2018 Recap

The last year went by in a blur but when I sat down to put these collages together I realised just how much we had seen/ done/ achieved in those 12 months. Having not written in a year, this set of collages sums up the whole of 2018 perfectly!

January

Guilt Trip Donuts / Unicorn flats / I went to Prague with a friend / We celebrated Nate’s 6th birthday / Ju Jitsu / Joey asked me to be a bridesmaid / Helen’s Bay / We celebrated James’ 38th birthday / Me and my boys

February

Nate had his birthday party at Clip n’ Climb / We visited Whitehead / I went to the theatre with Mum / Valentine’s Day / Strangford Lough / We saw The Front Bottoms + The Smith Street Band at Mandela Hall / We put our house on the market / We bought our dream home / It snowed

March

Marcie in the snow / We took a few snow walks / The boys treated me on Mother’s Day / Nate joined in on an Easter bonnet parade at school / Ollie’s left home for the first time on his school residential trip / The boys got their Ju Jitsu white belts / We celebrated world book day / Helen’s Bay / Cool dudes

April

We celebrated Easter / Played Escape The Dark Castle / Visited the beach at Hazelbank / My brother and I went to see Frank Turner in Dublin / Frank Turner played in Belfast the next day / We moved house / Spent plenty of time enjoying our new garden / Spent the good weather eating outside / eating outside more!

May

Beach visit / Nate got into baking and baked a lemon meringue cake / James and I went to London / We saw Frank Turner for 4 nights at Lost Evenings/ I got a night out with Bex / Hungout with my Mum / Our new sofas arrived / We visited gorgeous Murlough Bay / Got to play in sprinklers in hot weather!

June

Shorts for school / We celebrated Ollie’s 10th birthday / Joey and I took an evening Tyrella trip / We went to Scotland to visit family / The boys took part in Sports day at school / Ollie recieved an archery for his birthday / Jack had a wee op on his paw / We loved Ollie’s school concert / School’s finished up for summer!

July

Visited Donaghadee / We celebrated Harry’s birthday / The boys got to experience their first music festival at 2000 trees / Little rockers / I turned 34 / Me and my brothers / Ryan and I saw The Gaslight Anthem in Dublin / The boys and I visited Rossglass beach / Out with Bex

August

I took a day trip with the boys to Scrabo Tower / James and I went to London / We saw The Lawrence Arms + Lagwagon + Bad Cop Bad Cop / We visited Kew Gardens / The boys advanced to yellow belts! / Took a day trip to Carrick-a-rede / James built a den for the boys / I got to see Billy Talent at The Limelight /Nate learnt to ride his bike

September

The boys went back to school / I started again at yoga / We visited Rowallane with my Mum / Hungout with Ryan / Had brunch with Joey / We climbed Hen Mountain / Ollie started tenor horn lessons / We celebrated Mum’s birthday / We celebrated Flo’s 70th birthday

October

I started studying with Open University / Friday Starbucks with Charlene / Nate joined in math week dress-up / James and I saw Tiny Moving Parts at the Oh Yeah Centre / I went with him to Bucharest and visited Pasajul Victoria / and the Roman Anthenaeum amongst other things / We found a swear in a tunnel / We bought a fire / We went to Co. Galway with friends for Halloween

November

Galway / We Hungout with my brother Jason / Ollie sat his first AQE paper / Ollie sat his GL paper / More fire times/ I submitted my first assignment / Ryan and I saw Mumford and Sons at the SSE / Ollie sat second AQE paper/ James and I saw Chewing on Tinfoil at The Speakasy

December

Ollie sat his last AQE paper / Ehe elf arrived / Nate lost a front tooth / We went to see Skinny Lister and Flogging Molly at The Limelight / Nate was a shepherd in his play / Christmas photo / Ollie played tenor horn and sang in choir at the school carol service / We saw reindeer in Phoenix park, Dublin / Christmas!

Hopefully 2019 is as happy and exciting and filled with adventures!

2012 in review

January

So 2012 started off very exciting.  We were all awaiting the arrival of our new baby boy!  Having had contractions since approximately 32 weeks, I was sore and frustrated and growing very impatient.  I was spending each day wondering if he was coming or not.  This was coupled with low blood pressure and horrid back pain!  I was seeing the consultant every couple of weeks to keep an eye on my baby boy.

I tried my hardest to prepare Ollie for the new baby’s arrival and we spent time doing family things.  3 days before Nate arrived we were in the forest having a family ramble!  We wondered if it would turn my ‘spurious labour’ into the real thing!

I went into labour the morning of 18th January at about 6.45am after my waters broke.  It took us totally by surprise and we waited for my mum to arrive.  After a few minutes though, we knew it was going too fast and we had no choice but to leave right away.  My friend came over to watch Ollie until my mum arrived.

Nate’s birth went super fast and 3 1/2 hours after my waters broke, little Nate was born in a water pool using only gas and air for pain relief.  It was shocking and amazing all at the same time.  He was perfect and big!!  8lbs 8oz!  Ollie came to meet his new brother and we all went home together at 7pm the same day!

We all settled into family life quite well… and I posted Nate’s birth story.

I went on a lunchdate with Nate and my mum for my first trip out.  It was nice to get out and about and show off my newest little one.

We celebrated James birthday, James went back to work and I got stuck into being a SAHM to two.

February

We got Nate registered.  My second baby boy was made official!  It literally took us a couple of weeks to get around to doing it too!!  We were so busy being a family of four.  My boys both have different birth certificates, Ollie was born in Dublin so his is Irish!  Nate’s is the same as mine and James’.

Ollie became very affectionate and loved upon his baby brother a lot.  Snuggling both my boys, Ollie said “We’re all best friends aren’t we mummy”.

Nate was suffering from pretty bad reflux and colic.  It was very hard to put him down and he cried A LOT… so did I.  He was being given Infant Gaviscon and Infacol.

I tried my hand at single parenting for 3 days while James went to a work conference in Helsinki!  I struggled and ended up taking the boys and we all went to stay at mum’s house!

It then came around that I would be single parenting a bit more.  James had to go to London for a number of weeks for work, only home on weekends.  It was during this time, that I found out just how awesome my whole family is.  My mum, stepdad and brothers all helped out with things… even doing my dishes or keeping me company and I spent more than a few nights staying at mum’s!

Nate smiled for the first time and it was amazing.

March

Me and the boys went for a lunchdate with my brother and my mum and I spent quite a bit more time staying at mum’s house.  I couldn’t have got through those weeks without her, while James was away.

I had a parent and teacher meeting at Ollie’s school and was given a glowing report about my biggest boy.  He loved going to Nursery School and made some lovely little friends.

James and I had a wonderful and well deserved date night that included calamari, steak and frozen daiquiris!

I celebrated my first Mother’s Day as a mum of two and was treated to scrambled eggs and a bagel for breakfast.  We all went to Lady Dixon Park for the day.

On the last weekend in March, I left the boys with my mum for 3 nights and I joined my husband in London for the weekend.  We had never had a mini break together before and this was well deserved.  We ate good food, drank, visited the Tate and saw The Hunger Games.  I came home happy and relaxed.  I couldn’t have spent more than those 3 nights away though.  I missed my boys.

April

James came home.  No more long long weeks of single parenting.

I made a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30 and I also joined Twitter!  I posted about how awesome it was to be a mum of two boys.

Ollie got into Forge Integrated Primary School… due to start in September.

I got what I thought was a chest infection but ended up being an asthma attack.  My first in a number of years!

Nate giggled for the first time (and spewed on his James while he was being tickled) and I got my hair cut into a long bob.

May

Nate started teething.  It really felt like my little man didn’t catch a break.  All the drama with his colic and reflux and as soon as that started to settle down… teeth!  Boo!

Ollie became more independent…

…and I fell even more in love with my little family of four.

Nate slept through for the first time, had a ball in his door bouncer and he began weaning. He took to weaning really well and loved all sorts of first foods!

James and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!  James was in London at the time though for work, so I went out for a wonderful seafood lunch with my 2 brothers and my dad instead!

The weather took an up-turn and we were able to get the paddling pool out!  Sun!!

June

My biggest boy turned 4!  Oh how the years flew by!!  He had a party with a few of his friends and I made him a Minecraft Creeper cake which I was exceedingly proud of, though not as proud as I was of my amazing Ollie.

His actual birthday was a couple of days earlier and we went to Bangor, just the 4 of us.  We went to the Pickie Park and then out for lunch.

In June he also became obsessed with the Titanic and became a genius at building with Lego!

Ollie went on his first school day trip!  I accompanied to help out…

We also celebrated Father’s Day with a lunch at Nando’s and a trip to Lady Dixon Park and finished with a trip to Barnams for icecream!

Ollie graduated from preschool and we got to go to his graduation ceremony where he wore a crown, sang songs and was presented with a certificate and folder of all his work from the year.

July

In July I turned 28 and celebrated with a girly sleepover.  I had 4 friends sleep over and we had cocktails and sushi, lots of laughter and drunken revelations!  I didn’t go to bed until 5am!!  James got me an amazing bunch of pressies, we went to The Dirty Duck for an awesome lunch, Mookie World so that Ollie could run off some steam and the then we went to mum’s house for a gorgeous roast dinner!

We were told by a stranger (a random lady while we were out) that “Your children are a credit to you”.  Aaaaw.

Ollie had an asthma attack.  It broke my heart seeing him on the bed on a nebuliser and I guess I felt just like my mum did anytime I had an asthma attack when I was younger.

I moved my blog to WordPress.

Nate moved out of our room and into his big cot in Ollie’s room.  Ollie was so excited to begin sharing with his brother!

August

In August we had to rehome our gorgeous dog Dexter because the boys were both allergic to him and he was affecting their breathing.  It broke our hearts but we were so happy with the family who adopted him from us.

I sprained my ankle!

My brother took me out for lunch to The Mourne Seafood Bar as a belated birthday gift.  It was amazing as always.  I then wandered around town BY MYSELF!

The boys and I spent a lovely day at the museum where Ollie had trouble dealing with the fact that the animals were dead and stuff.  “But I want them to be alive!”

A stray cat made his way into our house.  He now returns every single day, and Ollie has named him Catty.  If my kids didn’t have allergies, I would have adopted him properly already.

Nate teethed pretty hard.

We all went to the beach… Nate’s first time!  It wasn’t the warmest day but was pleasant enough.  We all had a paddle and Ollie spent the whole time in the sand.  We took a picnic and enjoyed being outdoors.

Nate got his first tooth… and then his second!

September

Grandma took a week off work to spend with me and Ollie before he started school.  We did a few fun things including going to The Ark open farm and Exploris Aquarium.  I don’t drive, so it was great to get out to places we wouldn’t have been able to go to otherwise.  We also stopped and picked up the rest of Ollie’s school uniform!

I took Ollie to the Dinosaur Exhibition at The Ulster Museum!

We finished decorating the dining room and turned it into a dining room/ playroom with an art corner for the boys.  It was painted green!  Cheery!

Ollie started school and the night before, I wrote him a letter.  He was so excited for his first day and went in full of beans.  It was lovely.  He came out very happy but tired and we went for a treat Burger King lunch.

James got into a cycling accident but came home with only a few cuts and bruises and sore limbs.

Nate and I went to baby massage class and me and mum went for sushi!

October

I got new glasses!

It rained an awful lot.

Ollie and I both had a dentist appointment.  He got a ‘perfect’ and I was told I needed 4 fillings!

Nate said his first word, “hiya”.

We all had some sort of illness.  Chest infections abound!  Our cupboard became full of linctus and antibiotics… and all sorts of cold and flu medication.

I started and then finished Christmas shopping for the boys!  Such a weight off one’s shoulders getting it all done early!

I realised the hard way that mums don’t really get sick days (apart from when you’ve got an awesome husband who, even though he has work to do himself, helps out).

Mum’s dog Alfie came to stay for a few nights while mum and Harry went to Scotland.  It was lovely having Alfie to stay and really made my mind up about getting a small, non-shedding (hypoallergenic) dog in the future.

James and I went on a paranormal tour of Crumlin Road Jail.  James isn’t really a believer in anything paranormal and I guess I’m not either but it was spooky nonetheless.  I’d actually love to visit the jail in the daytime and do the proper historic tour.

We saw the fireworks in Belfast with mum and Harry.  We were sneaky and instead of going into the crowds we watched the fireworks from a highrise carpark!  It was pretty cold but they fireworks were nice to watch… and then it was nice to go home to the warm!

Ollie had a Halloween party and invited a few friends.  They watched a Halloween movie, were all dressed up, ate party food and then went out trick or treating together.  Ollie dressed up as a skeleton pirate!  It was a fab party and Ollie was sad when all his friends went home… but James then brought out the indoor fireworks and that cheered Ollie up again!  Nate dressed up as a mummy… in the same costume (at 10 months) that Ollie wore when he was 18 months old!

November

Our bedroom was finally decorated.  We bought the paint almost a year ago but never got around to doing it.  Until it was decorated, we were sleeping in a bright green room with a jungle border!  Such a relief to finally have a grown up and relaxing room!

I had my first and second driving lessons.  I was VERY nervous before I went on the first one but my nerves soon went away.  On my second lesson I drove all the way to Newcastle and back (a total drive of about 1 hour and 30 minutes!  My confidence hiked when my instructor told me I was doing extremely well.

We took the boys (well, Ollie… Nate didn’t really bowl) bowling and then to the soft play next door.

I wrapped presents.

I got two of my four fillings.  I get free treatment until Nate turns 1… so as it was free I took advantage of the gas and air.  I normally get so nervous before fillings… I really hate them… and the gas and air really helped!

We put up the Christmas tree and made salt dough decorations.  We make salt dough every year and this year they turned out really well!

December

I took the boy’s Christmas card photo.

Nate met Santa for the first time.

I had my first stein of beer at the Continental market in belfast.

I had my last class at a course I had been taking since October.  All about goals and positivity.  This class motivated me to begin my journey to become a professional photographer!  I made up flyers to promote myself and offered very discounted photo sessions to build up my portfolio.

Ollie went to his first pantomime with school.

I went to my first concert in over 2 years!! Mumford and Sons… and it was excellent!

We all went on the Lapland Express to see Santa with Grandma and Grandpa Harry!

Ollie was a shepherd in his school nativity and was awesome!

We all went to Castle Espie to see Santa a second time.

An awesome Christmas was had by all of us.  Dinner at my mum’s on Christmas day and dinner at Mother In Law’s on Boxing Day… then sickness struck!  Ollie was the only one who didn’t get sick.

James and I had a date and the next day he had the snip.

…and then I wrote this post.

I didn’t figure on this post taking quite so long to write.  I guess a ton happened this year and it was lovely to go through it all.  I’m so excited for what 2013 might hold for us!!  Our family of 4 against the world… who knows what might happen!