The Blands

Looking ahead to the New Year

Christmas is over and with the New Year upon us Steve takes some time out to reflect on the year ahead.

So, Santa’s checked his list, he’s even checked it twice AND found out who’s naughty or nice. Everyone’s done their ‘driving home for Christmas’ and now everyone’s driven home after Christmas. And everyone is well and truly sick and tired of ‘A Fairytale in New York’ and anything by Michael Bublé Christmas is over for another year and that means it’s time to clean up and look ahead to the New Year.

For our little family, 2017 is likely to bring with it a fair few challenges – but I’ll get to that later. First, that clean up.

Christmas clean up

Fred is at a wonderful age at the moment. Every single day he learns something new – but that means that he’s not easily entertained. Toys are fun for about 30 seconds before he has to dash off and tear a box apart or take a very important call on mummy or daddy’s phone.

And that means that the balance bike we bought him for Christmas will probably be old news by about December 28th. To be fair it was a present bought with the future in mind as he’s a little young at the moment. The box it came in at least kept him busy for a good while on Christmas Day.

You’ll remember that in an earlier blog we had some concerns about whether the real Christmas tree would make it to the big day. I can now confirm that it did. Fred seemed strangely unbothered by the huge tree in the corner of the room and so, all the glass decorations that had been hidden out of his reach at the top of the tree survived unscathed. All our ‘real or fake’ worries proved unfounded so it’s real all the way for us now.

Christmas also coincided with Fred communicating in no uncertain way to us that he was ready to go from two a day naps to one. As if we didn’t have enough to think about! Without warning he decided that napping in his cot in the morning just wasn’t for him, which led to a couple of particularly testing days. I can’t tell you the best way to tackle this problem as I really don’t think we have cracked it yet. We’ve gone cold turkey on the morning nap, even when he seems tired, and pushed on to the one afternoon nap.

Looking ahead to 2017

It’s fair to say that December has been a fairly testing month all round for us and it would be difficult to look ahead to the New Year without explaining why. Rachael has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she’s due to start chemotherapy just after Christmas. That’ll take her up to the middle of May, then she will undergo an operation, followed by a spell of radiotherapy. All being well, we should be clear of all of this by the start of August... I’ll be honest, that seems like a long way away right now.

We’re being as positive as we possibly can and there’s no reason not to be. She found a lump and reported it quickly so the outlook is good but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a rough few months for all of us, and for her in particular. Fred and I will do our very best to support her all the way, and we’re so lucky to have a wonderful family and an incredible set of friends around us. I should say too, how incredibly proud of Rachael I am. She’s so determined to beat this and it’s inspirational to see her handle it all with such positivity and bravery.

So New Year will be a bit of a non-event for us this year. We’re told that the first chemo session will lead to a pretty uncomfortable three to six days so we’ll probably see in 2017 tucked up in bed. I can’t promise I won’t sneak a bottle (or two) in there with me!

It’s horrible but we’re going to smash it.

And it’s absolutely not going to ruin what’s going to be a really exciting year for us and our little boy. When he reaches 18 months he can join his first ‘little kickers’ session at our local football club and 2017 will also be the year that he learns to talk. I can’t tell you how much we’re looking forward to that! I think this is going to be the year when Fred goes from baby to young man and we can’t wait. Going through something like cancer without him would be so much harder and in many ways, it’s a blessing that it’s happening now, when he has no idea what’s going on and probably won’t even notice that mummy’s wearing a wig.

So, all that remains is for me to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year from Rachael, Freddie and I.

The Blands