As we bring in the New Year tonight celebrating with a disco party at home, I can’t help but look back on what a momentous year 2016 has been for us.

2016

Hugely pregnant at the beginning of the year, I got the loveliest present in March when baby Max was born. The fastest, easiest pregnancy and the biggest baby and easiest birth by far, Max has brought so much to our lives that I didnt even realise was missing until we had him!

Max Just Home From Hospital

Max Just Home From Hospital

We all had to learn to manage with two babies under two years of age which was an experience in itself. With lots of happiness, some tears, frustration, lots of arguments, anger and lots of joy – fitting in time for school runs, after school classes and shows, I am so grateful to be able to breastfeed as doing so on the go was an absolute necessity.

Luca hugging Max

Luca hugging Max

In 2016 we attended lots of doctor and hospital appointments, yet thankfully everyone is happy and healthy.

We had our first big family outing when Max was just a few weeks old visiting a dear friend in Portrush. Next we attended Stendhal Festival of Art in August. It went really well and we had lots of fun with friends! Followed by a family holiday to Bangor.

Travelling to festival family shot

Travelling to festival family shot

Max ear defenders

Cora and Eve

Cora and Eve

Wearing Max in Lillebaby carrier

Wearing Max in Lillebaby carrier

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We have learnt  a lot about ourselves, the kindness of others, how willing some lovely friends have been to help out when times were tough and I even surprised myself by finally standing up for myself!

I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend just over nine months of maternity leave surrounded by my two baby boys. It’s been such a precious time that I will never get back, a real chance  to bond with and be there for my babies every, single day. No words can describe how much I have cherished it.

I took the plunge and started this little blog, something I had only thought about doing before, as I was too shy. I am so very grateful to each and every reader, for all your support and encouragement. Thank you and I plan on sharing much more of our family adventures next year.

Christmas 2016

This Christmas has been completely different to any other we’ve had so far. Four weeks of sickness followed by a trip to the Out of Hours doctor on Christmas Eve and a visit to A&E on Christmas Day with poorly little Eve.

Luca was the donkey in his crèche Christmas play

One of my lovely sisters is an A&E nurse and Eve got personally attended to by her, getting pain relief. She will forever be Eve’s heroine.

 Christmas colouring in

Christmas colouring in

Making gingerbread men

Making gingerbread men

Luca's Christmas card

Luca’s Christmas card

Cora on Boxing Day

Cora on Boxing Day

Christmas night out

Christmas night out

By the time we got tucking into our Christmas dinner it was 9pm. My very kind mum brought it all the way from her house (a 25-30 minute drive away) and served it up. The first Christmas me and the kids have ever had not surrounded by the buzz and excitement of our huge family at my parents house. Never again.

Looking forward to 2017

I don’t have any set resolutions as such this year. My main focus is my kids as always. I want to be mindful of being more present with them, living in the moment to do fun things and to listen and just be there for the sad times too.

I aim to choose more positive words around and to them, showing more compassion especially when I am tired or angry.

Most of all I want to make happy memories and let my family know how much I love and appreciate them just as they are.

I’m looking forward to sharing the many new challenges, trips, milestones and celebrations that my family have in the year ahead.

Wishing each and every one of you the happiest, healthiest year yet in 2017.

Love,  Fionnuala xoxo

 

We have spent the past FOUR weeks absoluately floored with seemingly never ending sickness in our house.

Four sick babies

Four sick babies

Four weeks, three antibiotics, one hospital appointment, a few days off school and crèche, a few bottles of calpol, two billion used hankies later – I’ve  never had a busier November/December in my life!

Bugs

It all started off with the most awful vomiting and diahorrea bug I have witnessed. Entire bed sets including sheets, pillows and duvets were bunged into a bin liner and chucked out the bedroom window straight into the wheelie bin to avoid having to bring them through the house for fear of spreading the gruesome germs further.

Only two of us managed to miss out on succumbing to the bug – luckily I was one (having hyperemesis with two children in the past I think was more than enough sickness for a lifetime for me!)

Infection

When that had run its course the weather decided to take a turn for the worst, leaving my two baby boys quite literally breathless. They both got chest infections and I have been at the doctors once a week with one of them at least. Both of them were prescribed antibiotics to tackle their infections.

Little Luca had to get a stronger dose of medicine to try to get rid of it as he got much worse. Then baby Max had to get an inhaler and spacer to help his breathing.

Max's medicine

Max’s medicine

Cabin Fever

I can safely say I’ve never felt cabin fever mixed with exhaustion quite like it! There were days when I walked around the backyard just to get a bit of fresh air into my lungs, and to avoid the babies just for a few minutes. I’ve never felt closer to being a hermit in my life, only communicating with the outside world via an open car window, through social media or the telephone. Thank goodness for the geniuses who invented them. The poor boys have really felt it too, especially Luca who had to miss a few days off crèche, which had him in floods of tears!

Sick of sickness

Lots of mopping, wiping, washing, cleaning and cuddles later, it has made me realise that nursing is definitely a vocation, one that I have not been called to! It breaks my heart to see my kids sick or in pain, but there is only so much moaning I can take!  Sorry if that sounds mean, but constantly being around my little sick people made me feel a bit, erm, sick!

Night Out

Just when it seemed safe to go on a very long overdue night out (I got a bit greedy and went for two in a row, practically unheard of since my twenties!)

Ready to rock

Ready to rock

I ended up getting sick too. At first I thought it was a really long hangover and then it dawned on me that you don’t get barking coughs and a streaming nose from a hangover! Doh!

At least the boys are in much better form and even managed to visit Santa. The girls are hanging in there too.

My boys visit Santa

My boys visit Santa

Eve is Christmas ready

Eve is Christmas ready

Decorating and Work

The house has taken a big hit though, with the Christmas decorations going up in slow, long drawn out stages. Usually I spend hours getting the house ready for Christmas even adding in a few new decorations, but this year we have only managed to get to the shops for one big a Christmas present shop so far! My Christmas mojo is non existent at the minute, so much so that I didn’t even decorate the tree this year for the first time ever. The kids got free reign…

Our Christmas tree

Our Christmas tree

The housework has had to take priority over decorating. It’s been a challenge to catch up with the mountains of laundry – although you would never believe I’ve actually done anything to it at all as each area I clean or clear is just as bad as it was before within five minutes!

All other forms of work has had to go on the back burner too as I just  haven’t had a spare minute to myself lately. Even getting washed or going to the toilet has been a miracle in itself. My laptop helpfully decided to break as well just to add to the fun!

Holiday Time

School is breaking up today until January so I cant wait to get snuggling in and getting cosy with the kids for long, lazy days watching tv in our pjs and eating a shameful amount of sweets. Visiting family and friends is a-must, as is cinema trips, walks, going to the park and everything fun we can think of.

It’s one thing having to sit in the house because of sicknesses, but there is a certain luxury in choosing to do it too!

Roll on little Max’s first Christmas filled with lots of excitement and fun!