2016: The Ups, The Downs & The Blogging

Overall, 2016 has been a pretty up and down year. Great for some, and downright awful for others. Most notably, it has to be mentioned that it’s had one of the highest celebrity death counts in a year to date. There was of course Brexit. And the USA got a new president in Donald Trump. A more positive story came in the form of an announcement from The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in September. Which was giving the happy news that the Great Pandas are no longer on the endangered list for extinction.

So with the roller-coaster of events going on in the big wide world in 2016, it makes me think about whats happening closer to home. In my own life. There’s been a lot going on for us this year. It started out with me returning to work from maternity leave, and ended with a not so pleasant trail of events leading to New Years Eve, sitting here writing this post.

So with that in mind, here’s some of the highlights and low points of our year. Think of it like opening my journal – With lots of photos thrown in!

2016 in Review

First off, here’s our Instagram 2016 best nine – #2016bestnine collage.

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2016 Best Nine

So many memories and experiences had this year – Too many to count in fact! So I’ll try to break down some of the highlights by month for you…

January

Taking a huge leap into the New Year, I ended my maternity leave, and went back to work. This was a tough decision for me. I hadn’t intended on going back to work so soon, but being honest, I was struggling being at home all day, as I’m a workaholic at heart – So I decided to go back early.

January is also my husband’s birthday! And we celebrated by visiting the WB Harry Potter Studios. It was all decorated for Christmas still, and was a truly magical experience for us! I’d love to go again some day. Perhaps Halloween?

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Harry Potter Studios
February

In February, we had quite a few milestones for Chase! Crawling, both forwards and backwards, and pulling himself into a standing position against things (namely his cot – which was promptly lowered!).

We also had an underwater photoshoot done. And the photographer managed to capture some stunning shots of our little man both above and below the water!

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Underwater Photoshoot 2016
2016
Underwater Photoshoot 2016
March

We didn’t like the start of March 2016. A few days into the month we had our first experience with Chase’s contact egg allergy. It was pretty frightening to be honest. In all my training and experience in first aid, I’d never actually dealt with food allergies in real life before. So to have my 9 month old baby going red and swelling up before my eyes scared the heck out of me. We were very fortunate that he didn’t actually eat any of the egg. He had been playing with it between his fingers, when we started to notice that his hands were going red blotchy. Like nettle rash. When I attempted to take his food away to get a closer look, he rubbed his face. Almost instantly, his face too became red, blotchy and started to swell up.

He ended up in A&E, and after regular doses of an antihistamine, the swelling and redness finally went down about 48hrs later. Though it unfortunately, was just the start of a long-process of referrals and allergy testing. And meant that in addition to lactose, egg was also off the cards for weaning.

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Allergic reaction to egg. 10 minutes after touching it.

However the end of the month did perk up a little. It was Chase’s first trip to the park! Yes his first. At 10 months old. Bad mum alert! But he absolutely loved it! Especially the swings and climbing frame. In a way, this first trip was probably the start of Chase’s climbing obsession. To be fair to him, he doesn’t really climb the furniture, or anything he shouldn’t at home. However in the garden, or at the park, the apparatus truly become his playground for climbing!

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First time at the park!
2016
First time at the park!

 

April

One of our “2016 Best Nine” features photos came from this month. This was the first time Chase tried pomegranate juice. Yep you heard right. Pomegranate juice. As you can see from our photo burst collage below. He was a fan!

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Pomegranate!

On a negative point though, it was another month where Chase had a bad reaction to food. A visiting friend had accidentally given him some dairy as they didn’t know he was lactose intolerant. After 20 minutes of almost continuous vomiting, to the point he was struggling to breath – we were back at the hospital again.

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Another Hospital visit

Luckily, when we got home. Nurse Maisie was on hand to give lots of cuddles and make Chase feel better.

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Cuddles with Nurse Maisie
May

Allergy testing. Chase had the skin prick and dropper food allergy tests tests done this month. The results confirmed our thoughts that he had quite a severe egg allergy. But also highlighted an unexpected high reaction to dairy. We already knew that he was lactose intolerant; but as a result of this test, the allergy consultant wanted us to remove all dairy products from his diet.

This was quite a difficult transition for us, as one of Chase’s favourite foods was [lactose-free] cheese. And to this day, we cannot get him to eat any of the dairy free cheese’s available on the market.

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Allergy Testing 2016
June

June is a very special month for us – It was Chase’s first birthday!!

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Chase’s 1st Birthday 2016

We’d set a theme of Mr Men, and I made a massive Mr Men dairy and egg free cake for him. And he received lots of wonderful gifts from our family and friends to came to his tea party. He was definitely a lucky boy in that respect!

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Chase’s 1st Birthday Cake
July

A month of sunshine, fun in the playground, and picnics in the park! What more could you ask for?

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Picnics and Playtime
August

Another month of sunshine and fun! Especially as mummy booked off three weeks from work! Yay! We basically turned our garden into our very own playground; complete with tents, sun loungers, toys, a sand pit, and a paddling pool.

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Our 2016 summer in the garden
September

I finally got my study [almost] finished this month! As in, it was painted, we put up a massive [Ikea Billy] bookcase into the corner I had originally squeezed my desk into. And moved most of the crap boxes, chest of drawers and everything else out to make room for my new desk area.

It’s still a work in progress. I need to get my photos up on the wall, and move the final chest of drawers out. But I at least now have a great space for when I’m working from home (or blogging!) – and am no longer cramped into the corner!

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My study – Before and After
October

First off. My husband and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary! Yay!

www.adventuresofmummyandme.com was born! Yay! I officially started blogging in October this year. It seems like I’ve been going for so much longer!

I started this blog as a way to document our daily adventures, Chase’s journey of dairy and egg free weaning, and also as a creative outlet to express how I am feeling as a first-time parent with anxiety and depression. It ended up being a lifeline for me in those first few weeks, keeping my mind occupied during those dreadful nights of anxiety-ridden insomnia.

We also went to our first event as bloggers. Which was The Baby Show at London Olympia. And got to meet some amazing people there. We met Annabel Karmel, who gave us some great tips on dairy and egg free weaning. The lovely team at Funky Giraffe Baby, who we later went on to run two campaigns for on the blog (A Clothing Review and a Bibs Review). And last but not least, we had coffee with Al from the massively successful dad community – The Dad Network. If your wondering “Why?” on the last point – My husband is a contributor to The Dad Network, so we arranged a quick meet and greet of the family whilst there.

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Meeting Annabel Karmel
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With the lovely Beatrice at Funky Giraffe Baby

 

November

I became an Auntie! This was a really exciting month for me. It was my birthday (I turned 30 – boo!), but a week later, my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Artemis! So double celebrations in November from now on!

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Baby Artemis
December

We had a number of ups and downs during December. It seemed very much like 2016 wanting us to end with a bang.

I was signed off work at the end of November, and throughout most of December for mental health reasons. Chase had quite a bad case of hand-foot-mouth. And to top it all off, a few days before Christmas my husband had a seizure in his sleep and stopped breathing. It was the one time in my life that I was thankful for my insomnia, as I was awake at 3am when it happened, and was able to intervene and save his life. He’s feeling fine now, but we’re waiting on a referral to see a specialist in the New Year. Until then, he’s unfortunately restricted in activities, and not allowed to swim, drive, or be left alone in any capacity.

It’s certainly been an eventful month!

Well, that’s my 2016 in summary. Month by month, with lots of photos!

What was your 2016 like? Was it as “eventful” as mine? Or did you have a great 2016? What was your best moment? Let me know in the comments below!

Oh and one last thing…

Happy New Year!

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