Looks like we made it to the other side.
We had a food and fun filled Christmas and Santa delivered, I hope yours went well too.
So here we are, in the limbo week between Christmas and New Year, the time to eat leftovers and talk about how full you are, plan diets, watch movies, shop in the sales and read reviews of the year.
Speaking of reviews of the year, I’ve put together my own, personal “Bumbles of Rice 2013 lookback” (nice neat link there huh?)
The papers will recall the birth of Prince George, the resignation and appointment of a pope, the passing of Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela, but for us the resounding image of 2013 is pinkness 🙂
Our bumble of pink, the apple of our all our eyes, little miss Laoise joined us on 4th June and life changed forever. The four of us spent the first half of the year waiting for her and the remainder holding her, minding her, snuggling her, kissing her, playing with her, feeding her, trying to get her to sleep and just watching her grow. She rules the roost here, and she knows it.
I’ve been on maternity leave since early summer so we got to spend a lot of time in my homeplace of Duncannon on the Hook Peninsula, an hour south of our Gorey home. Sometimes you forget how beautiful somewhere is til you go back, and this summer, with my three small children during our heatwave summer I fell back in love with Duncannon.
I had some mobility issues which limited our travel during the year, but apart from exploring all around Duncannon and the Hook we did fit in a trip to Tramore to go on the hurdy gurdies, some walks in Wells House, a few days in West Cork and a trail through the pumpkin patch at Ballycross.
Our middle man Cathal turned three in September, a fact celebrated by the Peppa Pig birthday cake he insisted that we bought in Tesco. This is testament to how much this kid knows how to test how good a mammy that I really am! He has grown up so much this year and emerged from his big brother’s shadow with a strong personality of his own. After some concerns about his speech he has very much found his voice, and with it his confidence and a neverending stream of questions like “Why did God make wasps?” and “where do planets come from” – he keeps us on our toes. He started going to playschool two afternoons a week and while he’s fully secretive about what happens he will often tell us that “Teacher says I’m allowed” if he encounters resistance at home, and he is very public in declaring his love of going to his school, eagerly asking every day “is it my school day?”. Cathal is full of fun but with a (very) stubborn streak, he’s always looking for a chase, is scared of bold dragons (we’re working on this) and can run “weally fast” in his superfast runners now because he’s a big boy.
Ciarán started big school just before his fifth birthday, and after the initial culture shock and exhaustion he is well settled now and really enjoys school, he idolises his teacher and is
driving us demented keeping us entertained with all his new jolly phonics sounds and school songs. He loves learning and it’s been an amazing change for us to watch his progress in the last few months, and to see how the phonics system can bring a child so far in a few short months. We had a few stressful Fridays until the end of November when he ran out of his classroom to tell me that he won the class “Star of the Week” award. PHEW! He’s really gotten into drawing this year and now that he can spell a bit has been writing cards and letters to whoever will read them, (including next year’s Santa letter on Christmas Day for next year with some very funny results. He was delighted to play a wise man in his class nativity play at Christmas, but really wanted to carry gold instead of myrrh.
I did some nice foodie bits this year (this started out as a food blog remember?) a course over 2 days at The Tannery in Dungarvan being a real highlight (helped by a night in the Moorings pub with some new friends). Other food fun included a lovely birthday lunch in Aldridge Lodge (Duncannon), a quick bite in Cistin Eile (Wexford) and afternoon teas in Marlfield House (Gorey) and Monart (Enniscorthy).
Cooking wise, this year was about survival with pregnancy and having a newborn. That said a few new recipes that I tried are here to stay, particularly Nigella’s Lemon Meringue Cake, Donal Skehan’s Lemon Drizzle Slices and Jamie’s Greek Chicken and Couscous. I have great plans for cooking in 2014, but we’ll see how they pan out!
On the blog front things went crazy. I started to blog a little less about food and a bit more about the kids and parenting, and I happened the Irish Parenting Bloggers Group which has brought lots of opportunity and support from other bloggers in the last few months.
The blog suddenly got a media profile. We featured in two national newspapers, in a feature on cooking with kids in the Irish Times in July and I wrote an article that was published in the Irish Independent in September, as a follow up from my Breastfeeding in the Middleground blogpost. Yvonne Hogan of the Irish Independent also mentioned the blog as one she likes to read on the RTE Today Show- a national TV mention!
Views went through the roof from where they were anyway. I got invited to some lovely book launches by other bloggers, received samples of products to review, even free groceries from Tesco!
I set up a facebook page for the blog and shared more through that outlet too. This year I have lots of ideas for Bumbles of Rice, but as I said before, it’s a hobby so I will try to not stress if things don’t work out according to plan. I can say that I will have a competition on the blog in the next few weeks, our first ever.
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, as then I get hung up on trying to stick to them and feel guilty when inevitably I fail. Instead I try to spend the time looking back on the good memories from the past year and I then thinking forward to my hopes (not resolutions!) for 2014. (you can hope to get fit, right?)
2013 was a good year for us, how was it for you?