Fare thee well, 2016: My review of the year

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Fare thee well, 2016: My review of the year

This is a post I wasn’t going to write, but I’ve found myself in a bit of a funk.

The kids have both been sick (again – what the hell right?) so I’m even more tired than usual and feeling pretty run down. Friends have suggested that looking back over the great things that happened this year is a good way to cheer oneself up; so that is what I am doing, and whether anyone cares to read it is really largely irrelevant because this one I’ve written for me.

There’s lot to review from the year that was 2016; a massive 112 blog post and about a million photos. As this blog is now just over a year old, it also acts as a kind of ‘Best of’, and as the small one turned 6 months on new years day last year (and is, therefore, 18 months old today), it’s nice way to remember his journey from (screaming) baby to (whiny) toddler.

You can see a list of all the posts I’ve ever written in my archive.

January

Memories of the month
After a few posts in December, January was my first proper month blogging; actually, looking back, I wish I could be as prolific and funny as I was in January 2016 (this cheering me up thing isn’t getting off to a roaring start but we will persist). I set up a Facebook and Twitter account for my blog, and quickly realised there was a lot more to it than I could ever have guessed.

In terms of mum me, my life in January was probably summed up by this photo of my not-yet seven month old son in his cage, which he had learned to cruise round by the end of the month. Oh, and the big one was teething. Fun month.

My favourite photo
It’s enormously hard to pick one, but I like the look on his face.

My most visited post was this one about pyramid ‘multi-level marketing’ schemes, Forever Living, Juice Plus and the like. It remains one of my most widely read posts and is one I’m pretty proud of writing; the more I find out about these schemes the worse I think they are. This one about terrible memes on Facebook was also popular and still makes me giggle. One of my personal favourites was this collection of stories from friends about stupid stuff they’d done under the influence of sleep deprivation.

Facebook activity
I seemed to post a *lot* of duff links – but behold, my first ever Facebook update!


February

Memories of the month
Illness. I’m talking lots of snot. The toddler gave up on naps. So that was fun. I started a diet, but after a few months I lost my way – I will be better in 2017, promise.

My favourite photo
It’s a classic! And on his passport for the next five years.

My most visited post was this one about alternative milestones for babies. This one about the timeline of my average day did quite well because I think a lot of mums of two under two could relate. This one about reflux was probably my most serious post to date; but it was cathartic to write.

Facebook activity
I’d finally mastered the art of posting links that actually went somewhere, but that was about it. Apart from this gem. I’m hoping this gets more interesting to be honest.



March

Memories of the month
Finally, a little bit of sunshine – lots of days out to various farms, a few to the zoo, and one to Peppa Pig world. I am not sure what came over me. The small one moved out of our room and in with his big sister, which went better than anyone could have imagined and lead to our first full(ish) night of sleep in eight months or so.

My favourite photo
There weren’t many of all of us – so I like this one!

My most visited post was this one about the constant illness in our house. Actually this one over on Babycentre – my first blog over there – which was about milestone cards for mums, probably had many, many more views than anything I’d previously written.

Facebook activity
I hit 500 followers! Wowee. Among my excellent parenting moments from March…

April

Memories of the month
More zoos. Small one becoming increasingly determined with being on two legs. I made the finals of the MadBlog Awards for Best New Blog, which was crazy (spoiler alert: I didn’t win). I had my first piece published on The Huffington Post, which I’ve since asked them to remove, realising there is literally nothing in it for bloggers having their posts on there. You live and you learn. Still, I was very pleased about it at the time!

My favourite photo
A bit blurry, perhaps, but I just love his face in this, and the fact that big one has stolen his food.

My most visited post was this one about how much I hate Peppa Pig. This one about ridiculous stock photos is one of my all-time favourites, and this list of things I don’t do now I have kids resonated with a lot of people!

Facebook activity
This thread cheered me right up.

May

Memories of the month
That holiday – I don’t think I’ll ever forget it! Also, the small one took his first steps, so that was fun. The big one also spent time in hospital with a chest infection.

My favourite photo
Holiday double-buggy-nap winning.

My most visited post – ever – was this one about my disaster of a family holiday. It was never resolved, so Thomson can kiss my chuddies. This little comparison of my children and my dog did fairly well, as did a silly list of reasons that babywipes are the Swiss army knife of the mum world.

Facebook activity
Every now and then, a similarly disgruntled person stumbles across the thread and comments, and it brings it alllll back.

June

Memories of the month
It was the month of Brexit, and I doubt I’ll ever forget the overwhelming sadness I felt as I woke up and realised the way the vote had gone. It was also the month I attended my first blogging conference and met with some of the amazing bloggers I’d been chatting to for months including Sarah (Mumzilla) and Beth (Beta Mummy), and watched the fab Emma from Island Living 365 take the Fresh New Voice award. At home, it was the month of potty training. So there are lots of stories about that.

My favourite photo
An early birthday present – the fights that happened (and are probably still to happen) over this…

My most visited post was this one about my poor little girl and her stay in hospital, followed by this much more jolly montage of my little boy and his many, many, worried faces. A comparison between myself and my husband made a lot of people chuckle.

Facebook activity
It was a fairly good month on Facebook – lots of interesting* potty training anecdotes – but my favourite was this… 

*Not interesting

July 

Memories of the month
I had a one year old. ONE WHOLE YEAR of sleep deprivation. We went to the zoo, and the aquarium, and had a birthday party where we were all stuck indoors because it rained. It was also the month that he went into his big boy bed. Blog-wise, I started writing for Babycentre on a weekly basis which was really exciting.

My favourite photo
Most of my photos from this month have naked children in. We do like a bit of garden nudity in our house (just the kids, I promise) but I love this photo.

My most visited post was this one about the kinds of parents you meet at soft play. If you haven’t read it, please do; a lot of friends have said it’s their favourite post. This one was next highest but that’s probably because there was a competition to win a cake. People will do anything for cake. This one, which contains various pictures of the small one precariously balanced on things, gives some great tips on how to cope when you have a baby that thinks they’re actually a monkey.

Facebook activity
Lots of pictures of the baby climbing on stuff. More tales of poo and wee. And this momentous occasion. 



And I alsmost wish I hadn’t looked, because far from being the start of new things, this has never happened since.



August

Memories of the month
I went back to work for two weeks, leaving the small one for the first time ever, with daddy and then with my sister and parents. Everyone coped admirably. It was really sunny and we spent a lot of time in the garden which was basically a museum full of plastic toys.

My favourite photo
This day I was SO HUNGOVER I couldn’t even think about anything except not being sick and wondering why I’m such an idiot. The kids had the best day EVER because I let them mix the playdoh and everything.

My most visited post was actually an excellent guest blog by a friend of mine about labour; something I have never experienced and after reading this, don’t want to. That was followed by the first part of my return to work saga and a funny post about little parenting lies.

Facebook activity
What with being back at work for two weeks, it was pretty dull. But when I was done, I celebrated with a glass of wine.



September

Memories of the month
September was a good month for blogging! Firstly I found out that I had made the shortlist for the Mumsnet Best Comic Writer award. Secondly, I got to get all dressed up and have a night out in London at the MADs – and although I didn’t win, I did get to spend the evening with some amazing people! The big one started pre-school, and I also braved taking the kids up to London on the train for the first time which felt like a big achievement!

My favourite photo


My most visited post was Merry Sodding Christmas; yep – a Christmas blog, in September – about the struggle to get tickets to see Father Christmas (which we did, and we went).  Next up was a review I did of the Axkid Minikid Rearfacing Carseat – which we still have and use daily, and are really good! Also worthy of a mention was this post about my c-sections, which (strangely) stirred up a bit of controversy when it was published on Huff Post.

Facebook activity
Has to be this post-MADs lowdown!



October

Memories of the month
October is my birthday month, and I spent it at Peppa Pig World, again. Tres fun. The kids had a blast. The small one started going to a childminders once a week, which he disliked, loudly. Blog-wise, I made a meme based on my hatred for Peppa Pig and it went viral, which was an interesting experience. Even Katie price shared it #fame. I found out I made the Mumnet blogging awards finals, and I was in the paper #morefame.

My favourite photo
There were a few from this month but my favourite was this one; very Octobery.

My most visited post was this useful and insightful guide to selling things online, followed by this one about my whingebag son (who is, if anything, worse now). Third up was the tale of my birthday, and how I spent the night being kicked in the face by two toddlers.

Facebook activity
Lots to choose from this month but I’ve selected this little ditty written in complete ignorance of National Poetry Day, which happened to be then.



November

Memories of the month
Apart from my laptop dying a death, November was a great month for blogging for me! I won the Best Comic Writer award at the Mumsnet Blogging Awards, I was on the radio talking rubbish, and I also got invited to a three-day conference in Paris. The big one turned three which is crazy. How have I been a parent this long??

My favourite photo
There are loads from November I wanted to include but this isn’t Instagram so one it is. I love this one of the birthday girl in her fab birthday PJs having bedtime stories.

My most visited post was this post about having a really shitty day, followed by this one about having to play at being a single parent for one measly weekend, and this one which gives you ten reasons why your grandma is wrong when she says that mums these days have it easy (although I concede we may well do).

Facebook activity
Well, I could hardly choose something else…



Although we *still* haven’t changed the batteries




December

Memories of the month

Shouldn’t be as hard to remember as it actually is, given it was very recent. We were invited on a Bluestone Blogger break in Wales and you can read about that here. We also had a nice new log cabin office built. It was also Christmas and everything that involved.

My favourite photo
OK, I couldn’t choose. One from Bluestone on a sunny day, one from Caerphilly Castle where we stopped on the way home, and one with nanny and grandad on the beach on Boxing day.

My most visited post by far was a guide to buying secret Santa gifts for people you hate, which I co-wrote with the amazing Suzanne from And another ten things. My post about New Year’s resolutions for mums also did well, and people couldn’t help take a peek inside my new garden office.

Facebook activity
I was heartened to see that people felt the same as me. I’m not especially old or unfashionable.
Summary: It wasn’t all crap. Some bits were, but some bits were really good. In blogging, I have discovered a love for writing, and found a bunch of lovely people. I’ve had the confidence to sell my writing freelance, and (with a lot of help from daddy) I’ve kept two small people alive. Thumbs up.

 

8 Comments

  1. James Hopes January 1, 2017
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