We’ll try to avoid the cliched description of our last year.
(Even though it has been a rollercoaster ride)
But let’s just say if the Queen had an annus horribilus, we’ve had an annus blogtabulous.
A year ago we dipped our toe into the blogging world, having never been on Twitter before, used a widget (to our knowledge) or met Mr Linky.
Just look at us now!
In fact, we’ve been so busy that we only realised late yesterday that it was our blogaversary and we’d done nothing to mark the occasion.
So welcome to our very own Mummy Central blog carnival – highlighting the range of posts we’ve given you over the last 12 months.
We started around the time of the Andy Gray and Richard Keys scandal, when these two dinosaurs of football were caught out belittling a female lineswoman.
So we kicked off our year with a tongue in cheek description ofÂ the offside rule, in language all of us can understand. Who can’t appreciate a shoe shop analogy like this?
Donna had a bit of a rant about the competition to give birth drug-free, and the celebrities who encourage it,Â inÂ They Don’t Call It Labour for Nothing.
“Would you go to the dentist and insist they do a major tooth extraction without anaesthetic?” she raged.
“So why do some women see childbirth as a badge of honour, if we can get through it drug-free and without medical intervention?”
Getting into her stride, she went on to confess herÂ hatred of Annabel Karmel, writing about theÂ devoted followersÂ who drove her crazy when she was weaning her son.
“The Annabel Karmel clone is a mum who, like the yo-yo dieter, enjoys giving you a list of what has been eaten today â€“ but not by her, by her little darling.
“…you find yourself praying to Bernard Matthews that sometime in the future, little Tarquil will accept nothing other than turkey twizzlers and chips â€“ just to force this smug mummy to make an embarrassing climb off her high horse.”
In March, Elizabeth interviewed her Mum to get the lowdown on whether it wasÂ easier to raise children in the 1970sÂ – as more than half of us think it was.
Despite having no fridge, or car and with disposable nappies just starting to come into the shops, Margaret felt her kids had more freedom and communities were so much closer and more supportive of each other.
Check out the adorable picture of baby Elizabeth – the spitting image of her daughter Milly.
This post turned out to be our second most popular read, with the first beingÂ I won’t be one of those mums, a nod to all of the things you said you wouldn’t do when you had children – but ended up doing anyway.
(Incidentally, the woman who inspired this post is now expecting her first baby in the summer – so we’ll be watching her Facebook page with interest!)
In April, we started the first of many posts about breastfeeding, when Donna confessed her battles in Trying my breast.
And Elizabeth revealed the uplifting story of how a bookÂ about aÂ silent ladybirdÂ gave her hope that son Mac would overcome his speech challenges. (And he’s come so far since then).
Donna took some comment abuse after revealing the frustrating story ofÂ gatecrashers to her son’s birthday partyÂ -Â but we don’t write a blog to have everyone agree with us.
And Elizabeth helped us celebrate the Royal wedding withÂ this inspired spoof Lady Gaga song.
In May we just missed out on becoming Toys R Us Toyologists, but got over the disappointment when we were announced as finalists in the Best New Blog category of the MAD Awards. A huge honour for a blog which had only been going four months.
The following month, Donna wrote two of her favourite posts, the first about theÂ most important decisionsÂ she’d made in her life – including lying about getting into college, and getting over post natal depression by letting go of the negativity in her life.
And the second highlighted the truth in the old self-help bookÂ How to Make Friends and Influence People, including ‘read a good book about the sexual side of marriage’. Oooerrrrr.
The Potty DiariesÂ began in July, when Donna started the frustrating job of toilet training Blake. And we revealed our thoughts onÂ child-free flights, as campaigners claimed kids were their biggest irritation when heading off on holiday.
August saw Milly and Brodie embark on their first day of school, and Donna reflected on a new start in her life, inÂ Educating Mummy.
As Amanda Holden took some flack in the Press for going public with her pregnancy, we defended the actress inÂ Judging Amanda. Her story had a dramatic but happy ending recently. But even if it hadn’t, Donna argued that no-one should tell an expectant mum to keep quiet, even if she has had two miscarriages.
As we slid into Autumn, we discussed whether the new parental style ofÂ cushioning our kidsÂ could send them hurtling into therapy, as counsellors are finding a new generation of adults ill-equipped to deal with disappointment or competition – because their Mums and Dads shield them from it.
And we continued the introspective theme, by asking if parents were to blame for ourÂ material world, after a report revealed kids don’t actually want half the stuff we buy for them.
In October, a poorly Donna vented her frustration at meeting Cruella de Ville in a coffee shop, and getting into a pointlessÂ argument over a cappuccino. And we askedÂ Is it ever OK to lie to your kids?
Elizabeth broke theÂ glass test mythÂ in November, highlighting the very dangerous assumption that meningitis can only be diagnosed with a rash.
On a lighter note, she confessed her childhood crush on ….Â Alan Alda!
As we hurtled into the festive season, Donna revealed the things she’d like for Christmas,Â which money just can’t buy. And Elizabeth gave us some tips onÂ how to get your children to tidyÂ – a gift many a mum would want to possess.
This month, we revealed how weâ€™re supporting Save The Children as #66Cities campaigners and hoping to make a difference in their campaign to end extreme hunger.
Donna confessed how her mother-in-law saw her lady parts in telling the story of the birth of her youngest son.
And if youâ€™re planning this yearâ€™s Summer holiday, Elizabeth highly recommended gramping.
Phew! Well, thatâ€™s just a few of our favourites from the 287 posts weâ€™ve written in our first 12 months.
Weâ€™ve been surprised at how many of you have actually bothered to read what we have to say, and so grateful for the love and support from the parent blogger community.
And we’d like to thank all of the wonderful PRs who’ve given us a chance to review products, and have generously come up with competition prizes to offer our readers.
Think we’ve run out of things to say? Not a chance.
We hope you’ll stick with us and join in the chat.
Here’s to many more blogaversaries. Cheers *raises glass*