Virtual Birthday and Clip Show

Happy 1st birthday, Secrets of the Sandpit

Happy 1st birthday, Secrets of the Sandpit

I realised today that I missed my blog’s first birthday. It was a few days ago I think. Although I am a little late, I didn’t want to let this milestone gone by unmarked, and so I present you with the dreaded “clip show” episode. You know the one: you sit down with a mug of tea and some biscuits/chocolate/crisps/cake to enjoy your favourite show, and instead of a proper story you get little snippets of episodes gone by to remind you of what has gone before. Annoying, right? Well, buckle up because this is a ‘greatest hits’, if you will – the best, most relevant, most ignored or most read of Secrets of the Sandpit. Celebrate its birthday with me by taking a look around and reminiscing on the first year of my blog’s life. May there be many more!

Sandpit. Best thing ever.

Sandpit. Best thing ever.

So, to start at the very beginning, you can read my very first post here, in which I explain what the “sandpit” is all about. A year ago when I started this blog, the Boy would express his extreme excitement about The Best Things Ever by exclaiming “sandpit!”. In fact, if you look in the side bar you can see my running log of things that elicited this response over the past year. Faithful readers will have noticed that the list stopped growing about six months ago. He has sadly grown out of “sandpit!” and now just tells us “love-a guinea pigs” or “That’s a fun filled fest!” for special occasions. He has grown up so much over the past year, and his language has developed massively. I marvel every day at how long his sentences are getting and how complex, at his awareness of his own bilingual-ness and his ability to express his emotions in words. My Boy is three and is becoming a whole grown up little person.

My blog has changed over the past year as well. Like most people, I started writing with only a vague idea of what the ‘flavour’ would be. It began as a more durable log of funny things the Boy had said and done, not wanting all his best material to get swallowed up by Facebook. In fact, sometimes my posts were actually no more than a slightly longer status update.

Soon themes began to emerge, though:

* The Girl, who is only a month older than Secrets of the Sandpit, inspired me to  share the reality of breastfeeding in the hope of helping other Mums who were having a very tough start but nevertheless wanted to carry on, as well as pregnant women who wanted to be properly prepared.

* I started using my blog to follow my Boy’s language development, especially how he was coping with growing up bilingual.

* I also began a monthly children’s book review, as a way of sharing my love for children’s literature. The first one is here but you can read the others by clicking on ‘Children’s books‘ in the menu at the top. Keep an eye out for the next instalment this coming Monday!

* Then I went a little bit crazy and decided to reinvent education, which I got so excited about that I started a whole separate blog about it called Clean Slate. As The Caterpillar says in Alice in Wonderland, you should start at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.

* Thursday became poetry day courtesy of Prose for Thought. It has become one of the highlights of my week, turning my thoughts on family, sleeplessness, changes, identity, God and Weetabix into poetry, experimenting with form, verse and imagery.

* Other voices turned up and wanted to put their two cents in, like the Boy on play, the cats on the rules of the house and the Girl, updating us on the l33t skills she is learning in Life Game.

A year in, how is Secrets of the Sandpit doing in the playground? Well, like her author, she is not the most popular kid in school, but she has a group of faithful, close friends she hangs out with on play dates and sleepovers, that she can turn to for advice and pass notes to in class when the teacher isn’t looking. She also had one amazing day of fame when my Guide to Cbeebies was picked as Mumsnet blog of the day and a gazillion people dropped by to read it.

So happy birthday, Secrets of the Sandpit! I look forward to what the next year will bring.

Thanks for the cake, it was deeeeeeeelicious.

Thanks for the cake, it was deeeeeeeelicious.

Meet all my blog-friends over at Vic Welton’s place for her weekly Post Comment Love.


21 responses

  1. Happy blog birthday! Secrets of the Sandpit has become a firm favourite of mine over the past few months. It’s always well written and entertaining. Here’s to the next year!

    • Aw thank you! And thank you for always being the first to comment as well. 😀 I am a frequent visitor of your blog too, as you know. It’s my pre-7am reading, sets me up for the day.

  2. Happy birthday! I was just posting my own birthday blog onto PoCoLo and noticed yours ! Maybe next year, we should hold a joint bash 😉 I’m so pleased to have met you in blogland (and real-land) – and phenomenally impressed that you started blogging with a one-month old….

    • Hm yes I’m not sure where I found the time!! Good idea, let’s have a joint blogoversary next year. You sew the bunting and I’ll bake the cake. Or maybe I should knit the party hats and you can origami the centre piece.

  3. Happy bloggy birthday Judith! Your blog is one of my firm favourites. You have the power to move me to laughter, tears and getting the old grey matter whirring. You are such a fantastic writer, someone I aspire to be like. And not only that, you have become a good friend. I shall enjoy stalking – sorry *reading* – more in the coming year xxx

  4. Wow! Congratulations! I have recently started blogging and this post is very inspiring 🙂 I too have been thinking about wanting to add different topics but thought I should stick to my original choice – now I can see adding stuff works! Thank you!

  5. Big congrats, Judith! Its been a pleasure getting to ‘know’ you through your blog. I love your style, and love the way you share my passion for education that frees our kids, not ties them down….thanks for promoting my blog posts in Clean Slate. But hang on – how on earth can you say you’re not the most popular gal on the block when you have 906 followers??? It don’t compute! I don’t have anywhere near as many as that! Give yourself a massive pat on the back for writing this blog when your kids are still so little!

    • Ah it’s not really 906, that is counting my real life facebook friends as well, who are not technically speaking following my blog, they are just my friends. 🙂 I don’t have very many actual readers per day! Thanks so much for all your kind words! And check your email!

  6. It gave me goosebumps reading this! Thank you for mentioning Prose for Thought – I am so chuffed about how you feel about it, and for the lovely mention for PoCoLo at the end. I love how your blog has developed and always enjoy reading. Happy Bloggerversary x

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