I love to look back, reflect on the year gone by and think about everything we've been through, how it's shaped me and what the year ahead can bring into our lives. Life is going at light speed. I sometimes can't keep up and then every now and then i'll flick to a video on my phone from the early days of being a dad and see my son's chubby, little legs taking their first steps... and then it hits me. How far we have come since the beginning of it all.

I am massively sentimental. If you've read any of my blogs before you probably know that. This time of year is without a doubt my favourite and I take any opportunity I can to look back and give myself the opportunity to have a good cry.

Life as a dad, mum, carer... it is relentless at times. No scrap that, at ALL times. I always heard how you are literally firefighting, doing, planning 100% of the time. And it's true. But I never understood it til I became a dad. Not so much in the beginning because it was so new and we were so fresh to it all. But now, almost three years in I really do feel it. And I only recently thought, how am I doing? Am I okay? Are we doing a good job? That's crazy that I haven't really thought about it before now. We've just been so busy DOING LIFE!

This year was probably the year of changes for us. It all started shortly after my son's third birthday. Before then we were lulled into a false sense of security. He slept like a dream, 7pm til 7am. Napped a couple hours from midday every day. It felt too good to be true. We would say how lucky we were and the terrible twos? Nah, they don't exist! But then it all went a little bit 180!

We moved him into a big bed on his third birthday. And he took it in his stride, he didn't ever get out and he'd still wait for me to go into his room before even jumping out of bed. We had it nailed. But a month or so after this... something new happened. He decided that 6am was a good wake up time. Okay, that's not so bad. My alarm would usually go off at 6:30am anyway. But then that soon changed to 5am. And then 4am. I swear one day when he woke, the clock started with a 3. I try to forget that day.

This wasn't an "Okay, back to bed now" type of wake up. He was WIDE AWAKE. Ready for the day. Still to this day we don't know what caused this change in him. But like clockwork, everyday it'd happen. We found ourselves slowly dying after having two years of full nights sleeps. Suddenly we experienced a little sleep deprivation. And it was not good. It was by no means as bad as it could be and is for some parents... but getting into work and trying to function like a proper human being was hard. Now? A new routine of waking at 11pm and then again around 4am/5am seems to be the thing. But now he settles back to sleep and isn't so wired when he wakes. We've taken to forming a make shift bed next to his and just laying with him when it's those early starts now and we all get a little bit more sleep.

He'll grow out of it, but for now... I just want to get as much shut eye as I (we) can!

Another change was nursery. It terrified me. But it really didn't need to. He proved to us he had it nailed within days. It broke my heart to know he wasn't being looked after by family anymore, but he took it all in his stride and LOVED it. Saying new things every day, knowing what we were asking, dancing, singing, learning his colours overnight... it has all been so amazing to see as his dad.

Let's not forget potty training. He was trained. Over night. Day one. We couldn't quite believe it. But we waited til he was ready and wanted to try it. And it worked.

He's becoming his own little person. In some ways so dependant on us for the smallest of things and in other ways wanting to do it ALL himself. Teeth brushing, pouring his own milk... even wiping his own bum. We're seeing changes all the time. My favourite? Has to be seeing his language develop more and more, having conversations with him and just hearing his thoughts. Oh, and the dancing. I love the dancing. 

We ended the year with his first ever nativity show at nursery. He sang along to a couple of the lines, swayed a little bit during the dance. My little three year old on stage in front of hundreds of grown ups. Just chilling, sitting with his friends. My eyes didn't leave his face for the whole show. I've never been prouder. 

This year has shown me that as comfortable as you think things are, these threenagers will come in and prove otherwise. Nothing stays the same. It's been a big learning curve this year. Maybe more so than when we first became parents... but if anything, it's built us up to be able to handle whatever this young man throws at us next.

Maybe for 2018 we just drop the night time wake ups? That'd be great thanks, son! x