2016: the year we bottle up happy


Little Miss was absolutely over the moon with her Tinker Bell costume on Christmas morning.

We returned home on Saturday after a busy Christmas period seeing the grandparents and extended family, seeing in the New Year with friends in the countryside and celebrating the OH’s birthday on New Year’s Day.

Two weeks before Christmas, the OH caught a nasty cold and chest infection, which he kindly passed to me just in time for the big day. Though mine manifested as awful sinusitis, which I’m now on antibiotics for (hallelujah!). My throat ached, my head ached, my face felt like someone was pushing on it from the inside out, my teeth hurt, my nose was raw… Between Christmas and New Year, I became slightly narcoleptic, falling asleep wherever I was sitting before they gave me the antibiotics!

Thank god for the OH as Little Miss continued not to sleep. Though by what can only be described as a miracle, she slept 7:30pm to 5:30am on New Year’s Eve meaning we could relax, sip Prosecco and play party games with our friends without one of us spending half the evening with a crying toddler. (Unlike Boxing Day when she was totally overwhelmed by the 18 people in my in-laws’ living room and we did indeed spend most of the night tag teaming upstairs with Little Miss while the other socialised and ate some dinner.)

image 6-3

FaceTiming Nana L with Nana H to say Merry Christmas across the miles!

I think Little Miss had the same as me in the run up to Christmas, which would explain the complete meltdown month of December. (You may recall me writing about the 18m-2y sleep regression in utter despair before Christmas.)

The weekend before Christmas, Little Miss was running a temperature of 39 degrees for four and half days. She didn’t eat for nearly six. We were really worried and had multiple doctors’ appointments. They insisted it was ‘just a virus’ despite the steady stream of thick green goo oozing from her nose day and night. She was coughing so hard she would be sick with phlegm, which only added to the lack of sleep we were all getting.

The cough subsided shortly after Christmas but she only started eating properly again in the last few days. And although she isn’t sleeping like an angel, things aren’t as bad as they were… touch wood…

*edit* I started writing this post on Sunday evening. And jinxed everything. She woke at 10:30pm last night and was awake until about 3:30am. We tried our usual ‘pat pat shush shush’ until she was crying so hard she was shaking and trying to throw herself out of the cot. At which point the OH gave her a big cuddle to calm her down. After that I sat by the cot holding her hand until she fell asleep and got into bed at 2am… She woke at 2:05… And so it went until she finally exhausted herself. So I was grossly mistaken, the sleep situ is no better. 

So basically, we returned exhausted. Nobody’s fault, but not exactly a relaxing Christmas break. But it was lovely to see Little Miss get more involved this year and understand more of the day. Though, I think we have the only child in existence not bothered by presents. She was so unphased on Christmas Day she would just wander off after one or two. We were still opening presents at 6pm! Seeing her cousins, two year old Buttons and three year old Munchkin, I think next year is when the real fun will begin…

With so much going on, the blog took a bit of a back seat over Christmas, but I just wanted to check in today, say ‘Hello’ and a belated Happy New Year.

No resolutions for us this year. I gave up on them some years ago after I failed to stop biting my nails for the fifteenth year running.

Last year, I came up with a word to guide me through the year. ‘Mojo’ was great and did what I needed it to – I found my mojo again in many ways, lost it in others and some I’m still working on. But this year, on December 31, I saw an old colleague of mine post this on Facebook:  I thought it was such a lovely idea; so simple but effective. And it made me think how easy it is to dwell on the negatives in this parenting world – the lack of sleep, the arguments, the tantrums, the time Little Miss threw up on me… the time Little Miss threw curry at the wall… the time Little Miss threw herself out the cot… the time, the time…

And so I thought this would be the perfect way to keep a record of those magical little moment throughout the year for us to open on New Year’s Eve next year and look back on all the wonderful times we’ve had as well. And you never know, when you’re battling through the everyday with a stroppy toddler who wanted pasta, not rice today – you moron – when you get that text from the OH saying he’ll be home late tonight…  as the year goes on and the jar fills up, the sight of the ever fuller jar will hopefully be a little encouraging smile and a reminder of the giggles and kisses and quiet story times or welly walks we have had when the shit hits the fan.

Because let’s be honest shall we? This is parenting in real life. The shit will hit the fan at some point.

Happy 2016!


3 thoughts on “2016: the year we bottle up happy

  1. Tim says:

    Happy New Year! Sorry to hear you were unwell over Christmas – but isn’t it great how every passing year draws youngsters further into the magic of the festive season? I reckon this year was our peak year for childhood excitement. Our oldest is just 8, our youngest 3.5 (and Toby in the middle is nearly 6) – all young enough to believe in Santa (just), all old enough to fully understand and embrace the magic.

  2. natasham says:

    Happy New Year!! Glad you’re all feeling better, fingers crossed the sleep situ gets better. I love the idea of a happy jar. I read about it last year and then promptly forgot about it but I think I’ll be doing it this year too. We could all use an extra bit of happiness!! xx

  3. Rachael says:

    Happy New Year! Glad you’re all better. We had a Joy Jar for 2015, which we’re looking forward to opening this week. I’ve had a sneak peak already and it’s lovely to look back. Here’s to an overflowing happy jar for you this year! x

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