Monthly Archives: December 2015

Happy New Year 

The last day of the year has come around again and so fast for many of us. Lost resolutions and promises to ourselves that clearly went out of the window (if you are anything like me) by the 3rd of January 2015 😀 but I’m making some more again this year – some which are more particularly important than others, I’m sure you’ll be able to work out which from the list below. 

Resolutions 2016 

1) Get back in my old dresses that I wore before having babies (as per probably most women on the planet making that same resolution this evening) 

2) Get some me time back and stop thinking I have to be there everytime Leo wakes up and goes to sleep (I know this isn’t normal and I’m going to work on this, this year) 

3) Write everyday (this should be an easy one, not to give in to on the 3rd as I’m always writing)

Are you making any resolutions this year? If so, tell me more about them. 

So what have we spent our last day of 2015 doing….??? 

We have today taken Leo out for some “first shoes” – big boy ones, something we never got to do with Millie – seems he was a little perplexed about the situation and looked very intently at the kind lady measuring his feet wondering what she was doing!

 
He’s a size 4G – I have no idea what that means in children’s feet terms – all I know is that Leo has loved playing with them whilst in the pram since we bought them – I wanted to buy him the flashing ones (child in me) but apparently they aren’t available in these types and I’ll have to wait until his next visit for them, we did get him some with aeroplanes on; so I was happy with that. Another step done. We ticked that box. 

Facebook memories hasn’t half been playing tricks on me this week –  sometimes it winds me up. I had a memory flash up a few days ago reminding me that it’s 4 years since I attended an old friend’s funeral and I wrote something about losing a child,  at the time, reading that back again this week felt like I had predicted my own fate a little there without knowing what was going to happen to us in 2012. I remember looking at his mum so upset after the service, I was very heavily pregnant at the time, and thinking that she shouldn’t have to bury her son, that it was so wrong. 

 

I also had a very blatant reminder of how much life can change in just 12 months today via my Facebook memories – here is a snapshot of what I read, one from 2011 and the other from 2012.

  

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So, this blog was just a short sharp one to firstly wish you all a very happy New Year and all the best for 2016 but to also remind you all to cherish and make the most of every second that you get because you don’t know when it will all be over.

We are heading home now (just paid a visit to Millie’s sleeping place to wish her and Grandpa Frank a Happy New Year and light some candles for them) and Leo will soon be in bed and I’m pretty sure I’ll be asleep by midnight (i know, I’m a lightweight 😀) but before that we’ll have a glass of Prosecco or a night cap of Disaronno and welcome the New Year in and “clink” to every year getting easier.

Click here to read my Xmas Blog and see how we got on with our first Christmas since we lost Millie

Happy New Year to you all, thank you for all your support this year and we’ll see you in 2016, love Joanne & Dan 

Keep safe tonight X

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Santa came and went … 

The elves, Santa Claus and his reindeer have left us for the year and there is no doubt that they will be back next year to deliver presents to all our good little boys and girls. 

We weren’t sure how this year was going to work for us, we knew we wanted to make it special for Leo, we knew we wanted it to be a quiet one and we knew we just wanted to be alone together.

We ticked all the boxes above and it genuinely worked for us – we had to concentrate on just our little family if we we were ever going to get through it – and  we did. 

We’ve started our own family traditions I hope that will carry on for many years; including an elf visiting and leaving Christmas Eve gifts in the form of pyjamas for us all in Leo’s cot whilst we were out visiting Millie lighting her Christmas Eve candles.

 

Millie was present all over Christmas on our dining room table – guarding the goodies for Santa and his reindeer for when they arrived and present when we ate our Christmas lunch too. (Although Leo actually wasn’t as he fell aseep, haha) 

Bringing Leo into the room in the morning for him to open all his presents was a magical moment so full of happiness for Leo but also sadness for Millie and what she would never have …but…we remained calm and happy for Leo, with the odd few tears so we could experience his first christmas properly and take in every second of it. Although he is still only 10 months old, he had a real good scramble through his presents and ripped the paper to bits albeit, loving the paper and boxes more than the toys!   

Leo really was spoilt by everyone – so much so that he napped half way through and 4 days later, he still has some wrapped presents on the side still waiting to be opened! I bet that won’t be happening when he is 5!

One of the best things about Christmas Day, we stayed on our pyjamas all day, even to visit Millie (although we did add extra layers as if was quite cold and muddy) , that is one of those reasons why I love stay at home Christmas’ – your own rules and no need to get dressed! 

I cooked a lovely Christmas meal, substituting turkey for chicken as neither Dan not myself are massive fans of turkey and I cooked all the traditional things apart from one specific food item (I don’t think I need to name it) as I struggle seeing people eating it on bad/emotional days and I just couldn’t cook it for Christmas Day, my best bit – the Yorkshire Puds (see pic below) – although I do have a confession ….    

I totally forgot to do them … Lol … until a friend (thanks Sally) posted a pic of hers on FB – 😀 … Cue me running to the kitchen and whipping up a fresh homemade batch up in 10 minutes … It’s a good job I know I can do things like that in cooking very quickly! That’s another thing, cooking – I used to love cooking and food before Millie passed – I mean really cooking from scratch and for quite a long time now, I lost my way with it – I lost all interest in cooking and just cooked, well quick and easy convenient food but slowly slowly this year, with help of a few people/groups giving me new ideas and recipes I’ve slowly started again and I’m starting to enjoy it – I think I might try and book on a cookery course next year, that’s so on my bucket list of things to do.  Haha. I’m sure we all have these lists! 

Anyway, back to Chistmas, ah yes – so our living room now looks like a toy shop has exploded in it and you know what, I love it – I don’t mind living in a room like this forever because this is one of the things that I missed so much when we lost Millie – the mess of toys being everywhere and the noise, the bleeping, the constant repetition of tunes and the sore feet from standing on the bits of toys  – I love hearing it all again with Leo. 

 
So, turns out that Dan and I are total opposites when it comes to unwrapping presents – I let Leo rip everything open and the paper and boxes stayed all over and Dan wanted to start getting it all in the rubbish bins as soon as it started getting everywhere until everything is open – but I think that is part of Christmas – the mess, I love it! I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people out there now thinking “I am either a Joanne OR a Dan present opener” – which are you? 

 

It turns out that Leo really liked Christmas, he was so excited all day! He hardly slept – apart from a few naps but he had a nice long 12 hour sleep that evening, I am so not surprised, I think he is still catching up now as last night he did 14 hours!! 

 (The toy, Henry Huggle Monster, I believe it’s called , is one I bought randomly one day – but it’s amazing, I genuinely love it and Leo grins his head of when it roars back at him)

Mummy and daddy haven’t done to bad either, it’s been really tough, I think Dan described it as “good but strange” – perfect description I would say. 

We also of course made sure that Millie’s sleeping place was looking so pretty, this was taken on Christmas Eve before we placed any of our Christmas things. (Oh and I’m not going to go into it as I have done previously, the mysterious white rose leaver who visits on special dates to us but won’t tell us who you are, stop wasting your money because they went straight in the bin, as per usual – whoever you are – you have a total lack of respect for us as a family, that’s enough wasted words on them). 

 

We always make sure Millie’s sleeping place is looking as pretty as we can – anyone who looks after a sleeping place will understand how hard this is in winter, it is so hard trying to find things that will last and that’s why we appreciate all our family and friends who visited over Christmas even more. Below is one of Millie’s “Christmas presents” – using the term loosely here because as you all know, I don’t want to be buying our 3 year old daughter flowers for Christmas, I shouldn’t be – just like every other parent who has lost a child.

 

So, to end; we got through it and we are still standing. There were smiles and tears and I’m sure that there will be a million more until our final days but we did, we rocked Christmas and we hoped that you did too. xxx

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NB: Please note that Millie’s Trust is closed over the Christmas period and will re-open on Monday 4th Jan 2016.

Christmas is coming …

It’s been a very strange and tough old couple of weeks in the run up to Christmas for us.

We haven’t celebrated Christmas since we lost Millie, which only actually means that Dan and I have only actually  celebrated Christmas together just twice since we got together nearly 6 years ago. When you think about it like that, it seems quite strange.

We spent the first couple of years together with Dan’s family which was lovely at the time but when Millie came along, we really wanted just to have our own little family Christmas at home as our little family – but we never got that. We only got as far as buying Millie some presents – but she never got them as we lost her before we got chance to have a Christmas together. So this year, we are giving Leo these special presents specifically from Millie, they are wrapped in different wrapping paper to everything else for him because they are off his Angel sister.  

(Millie’s presents for Leo -we  ran out of white snowflake so had to use white robin for the last one)

It’s been one hard step after another this week. In my last blog, I talked about how we had managed to put a Christmas tree up, which I’m glad we did because Leo absolutely loves the lights and watches them all the time. 

Many of you have also previously read about how we took Leo to meet Santa and visit the reindeer (read that blog here) so that we had those extra special memories for us and to have photos for Leo to look back on. So you see, as hard as it is, we keep trying … We keep pushing ourselves, for Leo. 

 

We made the decision earlier in the month that we weren’t going to give presents to anyone this year and asked people not to buy them us (they of course could for Leo, if they wanted to and he has been totally spoilt) but Dan and I have been finding it hard enough to deal with buying Leo presents for the past couple of months and trying to bring some Christmas into our home. I’m pretty sure everyone has understood why we have made this decision. To not celebrate for 3 years and then to suddenly have to do it again for Leo has been tough, it’s been really tough but we knew that we needed to do it and more so whilst he is little because the biggest thing for me was that I didn’t want to look back and remember his “first” Christmas wasn’t how it should have been and how Millie’s would have been. He deserves his first treasured Christmas and so do we to be honest.

These memories flashed up on my Facebook this morning, so you can see I actually used to love Christmas …

  
But I’ve hated it ever since we lost Millie but this year it’s a little different because we have Leo and I can’t wait to see how he reacts tomorrow morning. I’m not excited for me, but I’m happy for Leo that he is going to get his 1st Christmas because when he was born I still wasn’t certain that we would be doing it this year. 

A mum I know, who lost her gorgeous boy in 2008 and has since gone on to have another equally gorgeous boy told me that as bittersweet as it is , her younger son is so excited that she is now looking forward to the day – she gives me hope that further down the line, that I’ll start to feel the same – to have real feeling for Christmas again.

We’ve gotten Leo in the Christmas spirit today with his clothing and of course taken obligatory photographs … How could we not?

We’ve not done much at all today, in fact Dan has been painting the hallway whilst I’ve been chopping the veg for tomorrow! 

I’m sure that the next couple of years will change things at Christmas for us even more so as Leo learns what all the excitement is about and gets excited about Santa coming but the choices we have made for this Christmas are just enough to make some lovely memories to look back on. 

So this evening, we’ve got our Santa plate ready except in our house Santa has a Disaronno waiting for him to keep him warm on his travels 😀 and a chocolate biscuit as our Santa fancies a change from a mince pie when he reaches our house. (Neither Dan or I can stand mince pies). We also all have our brand new pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve …  and all Millie’s thing ready and waiting to take down to her sleeping place in the morning when we wake up. We’ve already headed on down there about an hour ago to put new christmas lights up and light some lovely candles for her on Christmas Eve – this is somethimg special we can always do for her. 😍

 (Millie Moo X) 

I’d just like a couple of thoughts here for everyone who has a lost loved one to remember at Christmas but more so all the parents out there that are missing their precious child/ren on Christmas Day. Unfortunately most of you will know someone who has lost a child, just take two seconds right now to send them a text and let them know that you are thinking of them and remembering their children – I promise they will appreciate it so much ❤️❤️❤️

So, let’s see what Christmas Day brings for us and we would like to wish you all a very  merry Christmas and hope you all have an amazing day xxx

  
 
Love the Thompsons xxx (in our Christmas pyjamas) 

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***Please note the Millie’s Trust shop will be back online after New Year***

It’s a Christmas tree! 

Twas 2011 when we put up our last tree,

We couldn’t have guessed how hard the next year would be. 

Our precious little girl, we welcomed into our lives, 

Till she was taken away, many days we have cried. 

We ignored Christmas Day as it was what was best for us,

You can’t judge till you been there, until you’ve lost and you’ve loved. 

But this year it is different, we’ve had Leo you see, 

So we’ve made every effort to put up a tree!

It’s plain and it’s simple but has twinkling lights, 

Leo laughs and he smiles and it’s oh so bright! 

So here’s to a day with some laughter and love, 

With so many thoughts of our real angel high above.

(Can you spot the Angel on our tree?) 😀

 
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  Daddy being silly with the lights …

 

But Leo seems to love them 😀

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Smudged Mascara 

I’ve found it quite hard to blog for the past few weeks because I have things in my head that I want to write, I start to write and then I cry and when I cry it doesn’t stop thus leading to a blurry screen, eyes being sore from lenses being rubbed whilst I cry and then mascara all over my eyes after I’ve forgotten I’ve already done my make up for the day – picture it, go on , seriously, it will make you smile me looking like this. Don’t worry, I know you’re not laughing at me crying, I know you’re laughing at my panda eyes and the cartoon image this brings to your head, it’s fine, honestly have a laugh on me. Even though you are all laughing right now, you know you have totally been there with the smudged mascara for whatever reason, smudged mascara is part of being a woman  I think! 

If you can’t laugh at yourself, like I’m doing now with this, what’s the point in it all? 

It’s coming up to that time,Christmas, I can say it now without thinking it’s ages away because it’s not, it’s less than 2 weeks away. This year has gone so fast.  This time last year, I was very heavily pregnant, although I was pregnant and should have been enjoying it, I wasn’t to be honest. I was so scared that something was going to happen to Leo, I was petrified  that we were going to lose him and I didn’t feel as though I could fall in love with him because I didn’t feel like I could cope having my heart broken again like when we lost Millie. That soon changed though, when he was born within seconds I knew I was totally in love with him.  (Me, heavily preggers last year Christmas time) 

  
I’ve struggled this year, a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing but I have found everything twice as hard because my head is constantly in worry mode. With Millie nothing ever really worried me, I was such a laid back mum and that’s exactly how I wanted to be. 

With Leo, I’m trying to be similar, I know I won’t ever be as laid back and easy as it was with Millie because of the tragedy that we have suffered but we don’t want Leo to suffer because of what happened to Millie; no matter how hard it will be on Dan and I. 

You will be pleased to hear that we have become a little bit braver with Leo and we will now allow two very close friends of ours look after him for a couple of hours, we weren’t sure when we would get to this point but we knew it would happen. These friends have both been on our first aid courses and have children of their own and we are never more than a couple of miles away when he is being looked after. 

For Leo though, this means he gets to spend time with other people on his own. To be honest, I am shocked that he is such a confident little boy when it comes to him being around other people and them handling him because of how much more on edge Dan and I have been, but he is very much like his big sister, he will go to anyone and let anyone hold him. For example, last night we attended an awards ceremony (you see because we won’t leave Leo unless he is very close by, Leo attends all events like these with us) and he made friends with the lovely man and lady sat next to us who also happened to have this amazing guide dog with them. Leo didn’t think twice about throwing some smiles out,having a chat, stroking the dog and giving high fives to them! He loves the attention I think 😀 – which in particular attracts women. This so makes me laugh! I can turn around for 2 minutes and just like last night I will turn around and Dan and Leo will be stood there surrounded by women, I find it hilarious! Haha

  
(inspiration Award won last night)

I know some people would’ve judged us last night for having our little man out so late with us but am I bothered? Not in the slightest. Lots of people don’t know why our son would be out that late with us and don’t know the heartache behind it – so why need I worry? If Leo being with us out till midnight keeps me sane, that’s what we will do. He sleeps until he needs it whether that’s going to bed at 7pm and sleeping till 7am or midnight until noon. Last night, he got to meet all these brand new people and see all the London lights, had his photo taken at Baker Street and travelled on the tube at midnight and he loved it and as soon as we got back to the hotel, he was in his pyjamas and fast asleep within minutes and didn’t wake up until 9am. He is now currently asleep on us on the train home. 

    
I’m not a mum who sticks to rules and lists and follows books, I like to erm .. wing it for want of a better phrase. Some mums like to follow guides and advice which is absolutely fine and works for a lot of mums but I’m the complete polar opposite and I like to fly by the seat of my pants and take everything as it happens. Trust me, if I tried to plan anything I can guarantee something would go wrong anyway, so I’m better not planning anything – that’s what I tell Dan anyway 😀 seriously though, I’m just not a planner or scheduler, never have been and I know that there are plenty of people that I drive crazy in my life because of that! Just don’t ever ask me to be on time anywhere, I am a total self confessed “latee” – and yes I know that is not a real word but it sounds appropriate! Bizarrely I have been very amused by a definition that I have seen online today (see below) … This made me laugh so much as it is totally me …  A time optimist also known as the below … This is so my word of the day 😀

 

(Photos from http://quotelounge.tumblr.com/post/134963265638/1082858991224372451-swedish-time-optimist)

I don’t care if people judged me for having Leo out late, he’s our child and we make up the rules for him. No one should judge anyone’s parenting because every single child is different and that is actually what is so fun about children, that’s why they are totally unique.

We also paid Winter Wonderland in Manchester a visit on their press night on the Friday just passed and I really didn’t know what to expect but it was amazing and if you are thinking about going – then it’s definitely worth the ticket price – all rides included in the ticket. Leo was amazed by all the lights and noises from the rides and the little 4 year girl we went with too absolutely loved the rides and would have gone on everything 5 times over if she would have been allowed. We also have our charity stall there on various dates up until Christmas Eve, so please do come and say hi if you see us.

   

We haven’t quite managed to get our Chritsmas tree up here at home yet – but we will do this week. I’ve never really been a fan of having them up from early December anyway, they start to get in my way and I am pretty sure Rolo would have had it over by now. We will be putting it up this week though and getting some lovely lights up for Leo to watch. We are trying to do everything that we would have done for Millie’s first Christmas so that we don’t look back and think “we wish we would’ve done that” – it’s Leo’s first Christmas and we will make it as special as possible for him – so lots to do this week , watch this space.

Leo seems to be changing at such a fast pace, he’s nearly 10 months now … Where did the time go? 

xxx

Don’t forget to order your Millie’s Trust goodies for you Christmas Presents, last call for online orders for guaranteed Christmas deliveries.

  
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Start of a new era 

Sometimes things don’t feel right at all. I’ve been quite down for a week or so now and many times I’ve thought that I just need to close my eyes and just block all the pain out for a few hours. It’s just so hard. 

Leo, today, is now exactly the same age Millie is and always will be.

Tomorrow he will technically be older than his big sister and the run up to this has been sitting in the back of my mind for months, more so nearly everyday for the past few weeks.

I feel broken. I feel empty. I feel hateful. I feel guilty. 

We are moving into a new era for us now, everything from today onwards is absolutely brand new to us. No one warned us how this would feel, they can’t because it’s impossible to describe. 

Simple things;

We never got to the stage with Millie where we stopped sterilising bottles.
We never got to give her, her first taste of real milk.

We never got to her 12 month check up or injections.

We never got to hear her first word.

We never got to … In fact, there are too many “never got tos to list”.

All this is coming with Leo and we can’t wait, but it absolutely breaks my heart at the same time. 

Last night was so sad, as Leo was falling asleep for his bedtime, I didn’t even need to ask Dan why he  was crying because my head was working in exactly the same way – thinking about the last time we put Millie to bed in her room, not knowing we were never going to get to put her to bed again – the mind can be so cruel sometimes.

  (One of the last photos we took of Millie)

A couple of days ago, Leo knelt up in his cot with his head over the side for the first time  – oh and it reminded me so much of Millie and I know it did Dan too, because when I shouted for him to come and look, he came running in took one look at him, smiled and then turned around with tears in his eyes – see what I mean? Everything is so amazing that Leo is doing but Dan, I know has the same broken hearted feelings as I do.

We are so proud of Leo and everything he is doing and discovering but there is this huge miss and pain for everything about Millie.

We should be making Millie’s school applications now, I knew this a while ago – Dan didn’t, I mentioned it to him last week. It’s being getting me down, in fact, real down. It’s times like this when it hurts a little more than usual. What I wouldn’t give to be filling that form in for Millie and getting excited about which uniform she would be wearing next September when she would start. Not sure how i’m going to feel next year when she should be starting – maybe we’ll just go on holiday for a few weeks to get away from the start of the new term. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to run away from things that you don’t want to see or that hurt or scare you, but sometimes it’s just so much easier for me to take myself out of the situation in the first place. (I hope my lovely psychologist who helped me so much isn’t reading this right now, she’ll be ringing me to tell me off.)

Sometimes it’s just so tiresome, I felt like I’ve done nothing but cry for the past 4 days whilst trying to avoid crying in front of Leo and making sure I always smile a big smile back at him when he grins his gorgeous  toothy grin at me.

I don’t ever want Leo to live in Millie’s shadow and he won’t, Leo is this wonderful little boy who deserves so much love and a wonderful life just for being him. We of course, will never ever forget our Millie and Leo will be with us on every special occasion for her, just as Millie’s memory will be there on every special occasion for Leo. 

Right now, I feel like I’ve been squished down in this tiny little box and I’m pushed in so tight that the only thing that can happen is that I’m going to explode out of it and send the top flying – I feel sorry for anyone who is near me when this happens.

I let down some friends over the weekend, I’d very bravely arranged for Dan and I to go out for a meal, very locally, and to leave Leo (already in bed) with one of our closest friends for a couple of hours. I genuinely had been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks, I even had a shower and started to get ready – but I crumbled just an hour before and that was it, ship was abandoned. Maybe I was being too eager thinking I could do this just a few days before getting to this big milestone … The thing is though, I’d arranged it because I so knew we needed to do it … Maybe I just planned it on the wrong weekend… Must try harder … As the saying goes.

Today hurts. A lot. 

Tears fall for my baby girl but laughter will always happen for my baby boy. 

Everything feels like a double edged sword at the minute. I feel happy, then I’m down , then I’m happy, then I’m down. Very much like a rollecoaster. 

I feel like a little of the black dog has gotten his teeth into me this week and I’m trying so hard to get him to leave me alone.

Distraction was the key to today. So we went to visit Millie and had a long chat with her about how she will always be Leo’s big sister even though he will grow bigger than she ever was and we left her some pretty flowers. Then we went shopping and I got this lovely photo of Leo and our trolley, how can I not smile when he smiles at me like this X 

  
Love you both so much Millie and Leo. Xxx

  
For info on what black dog I am referring to, please click here 

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