As the year grows to a close and everyone seems to be making lists of their highlights, lowlights or favourite kebabs (no, really) of 2011 I thought I might as well join in.
2011 did not start well for us, as you may well have read about here or here. But, it has got a lot better since and so I thought I would tell you all about that.
So here goes...my positives from 2011. And you know what, it's been a good one!
1. Getting pregnant and getting past the 12 week mark. We lost our second pregnancy at 10 weeks so the happiness and excitement of this one was tempered until we made it safely past the first trimester. With just 2 months to go, the realisation of our family expanding by one more little person is setting in and we are all so very excited and happy!
2. We got engaged. We had always talked about marriage and kids and felt under no pressure to do the former before the latter. However, after getting through all of this and becoming a much, much stronger couple and team for it, it became really important to us to make it official. The wedding is not until December 2013 because we want the kids to be old enough to be part of it but planning is well under way and we are very excited!
3. Our wonderful William, against all odds, started to talk. His first proper, identifiable word was duck. It changed our worlds more than you know. He seems to have given up on saying duck now but clearly says 'car', 'gone', 'cat', 'Parker' (our cat's name) and 'cook' and has a whole heap of other sounds that are just waiting to be turned into proper words when his wee head is ready. Yay for him!
4. We bought a house. A proper grown up, expensive, let's stay here for a long time, house. I love it. It is just the perfect size and shape for our family with heaps of parks nearby to help with that never ending wee boy energy.
5. We had our first proper family holiday. We have been away for weekends since Will was born, and for long haul holidays to see family but they never felt like holidays should feel. They were full of obligation and tension and often, tragedy, and family time was rare. But last summer we went here to stay on a farm and it was wonderful. It was easy, enjoyable, relaxing, stimulating and perfect family QT. And that was with morning sickness and torrential rain all week!
6. Will stopped pulling out his hearing aids or refusing to wear them at all and started keeping them in ALL DAY long other than nap time and bath time. The difference they have made to both his and our lives is immeasurable. Such a huge milestone for us.
7. Will started to sign; to properly use signing as a language and communication tool. I wrote this list when he had almost 40 signs, it badly needs updated as he already has closer to 60. It has made life much easier and more fun and is hopefully keeping Will from feeling too frustrated at not yet mastering much speech.
8. We got a cat. Well, technically, he is just on loan while some friends of ours are away experiencing life on the other side of the world. I have never been so much of an animal person but the difference he has made to our life as a family is wonderful. Will adores him as you can clearly see from the fact that 2 out of the 5 words he can say are 'cat' and 'Parker'. They are still learning each others limits but I can tell that there is a mutual admiration / fascination there and a whole lot of love.
9. Shaun got a new job. I knew that his old job was hard, that the people were annoying and that he felt, and was, undervalued and taken advantage of. I thought that was just how working was but turns out it doesn't have to be! His new job is just the right amount of hard to be stimulating without losing sleep over it, the people are wonderfully crazy so far and he feels valued and in control. He keeps saying 'I am so much happier' which makes me feel a) awful for not realising how unhappy he actually was and b) so very grateful that he had the gumption to get up and move on. We are all happier for it!
10. This last one is not so much of a point as just the whole year of 2011. At the beginning of the year it felt like we could, very easily, fall apart as a couple, a family and individuals. And what happened was that not only did we not fall apart, we got stronger as a couple, a family and as individuals. We didn't just get through it, we got over it and we are happy, happier than we have been probably. And going into 2012 I feel so lucky to have everything that I have and so excited about everything that is coming.
But enough of this sappy nonsense, someone pass the champagne and let's toast the new year!! xx