Monthly Archives: January 2016

Untouched waters 

I’ve found myself seeking more and more advice recently in the past few weeks whether it be from friends,google,books or just general online searches (and no, I don’t believe everything I read online.)

We are in that bit now where it’s all new to us again. We knew there was only so far we were going to be able to go where we had done it. Which type of feeding, moving to Leo’s own room, starting to crawl, smile, wave etc. 

Now things are changing.

This week I’ve been seeking advice on switchover to cow’s milk (which has been very successful) how to get Leo drinking from a zippy cup rather than a bottle (not keen on this, any tips would be great) when he should be moving into a bed rather than his cot (which shocked me a lot as it might not be that far away as I discovered yesterday) 

I find this all very strange because I’ve been a mum for 4 years and I technically should know all this but I don’t, because we lost Mills and never got to any of the next stages. 

Just this week itself, we have had Leo’s 12 month check, albeit a couple of weeks early but we never got to do that with Millie. (He’s all fine and dandy in case you were wondering) Then I found myself asking about the next stage of injections because Leo will need them soon and I don’t know what they are for or when he should have them … But we are getting there. 

We’re listening out for his first word now as we know if isn’t far off, it’s possibly going to be ” Hiya” I reckon as he seems to trying hard with that one. He’s also constantly wanting to stand up but at the same time pushing us away or balancing on our knees whilst we’re sat down and being very brave by only using only one arm whilst holding onto me.  

It’s all so lovely to see, but so bittersweet. 

But he makes us smile every day and makes us want to get up in the morning, we couldn’t have asked for a happier boy. 

It’s all one new big adventure. xxx
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All the way to the other side of the world and back 

Kiwi’s don’t exist … That is the theory I came back with after leaving New Zealand (and of course, yes I know they actually do exist … But whenever I tried to see one it was always dark and I never actually got to see one apart from the one in the photo below) 😀 

  

So how did we end up travelling close to 12,000 miles to the other side of the world and why did we go? It wasn’t a holiday … Far from it … To me it was self-help break, a trip to find out who we had turned in to and to find out how strong we were without realising. It was a trip to find out what our future may or may not hold for us and a chance for Dan and I to see whether our marriage was capable of lasting through our grief. It was the trip of a lifetime … Or was it? Not really, we would rather have not been going under the circumstances that we were… A trip of a lifetime is something that you planned for, well; forever. A trip that you’ve made a list for of all the things that you can’t wait to see and discover that you never thought you would get to see.. Our trip wasn’t like that, it wasn’t a lifetime of planning that got us there, what got us there was losing our precious baby girl and the generosity of each and every one of you guys that donated your pennies towards getting us out there to New Zealand to meet a very special family, a very special family that have a very special little boy called Kory. Click here for media article 
This is Kory in the photo below.

 A few years ago, a follower of Millie’s Trust on Facebook put me in touch with a very lovely lady called Alison in New Zealand who unfortunately had lost her son a few years previously when eating a piece of apple in a nursery. We got chatting and Alison began to help me out with my emotions and feelings of guilt and then I talked about our communication online and thousands of you decided to get together and raise enough money to send Dan and I to meet Alison and her beautiful family on the other side of the world, which was absolutely amazing of you and we are forever thankful. It was unbelievable that just 5 months after we first spoke, Dan and I were on one of many aeroplanes on our journey to New Zealand to not only meet but to stay with these wonderful, well, the description for them then I suppose, were strangers – but they soon became something very different, they became our friends.

I struggled in particular after losing Mills and I needed someone to talk to, someone who had been through this – someone who could tell me what to expect. Alison became that person and her help whilst I was out there in New Zealand is one of the reasons why Leo is here today, Alison and Carl went on to have another gorgeous little boy, Charlie after they lost Kory and seeing them with him, made me be able to see our possible future for the first time in a long time.

 
The First time we all met in Auckland.

There is so much more to tell you about our visit to New Zealand and one day, I’ll tell it you all…I promise. Anyway, where am I going with this blog? 

Well, it’s been two years! How fast that has gone. It’s been 2 whole years since we rocked up in an orange camper van at Alison’s house and spent 10 days with this wonderful family who literally helped us to change our future.

 

One day (hopefully soon and not in 10 years time) we are hoping to get back out there and introduce Leo to these amazing people, to introduce him to another little rainbow baby called Charlie that came out of a terrible storm. We want to make more memories there with Leo and take hundreds more photos there that we are smiling on; except this time the smiles will be genuine and not show as much torment and anguish as the set we currently have. On many of the photos from this trip, we can see the hurt, pain, tiredness and stress in or eyes and I wish so much that I couldn’t see that, but one day, we’ll have some new ones and the smiles will be happy smiles. 

 
We might have had to travel over 11,000 miles to see our future but I am so glad that we did. Not only did it encourage us to have Leo but we met this amazing family who we will always be close to and I’m pretty sure Millie and Kory are playing hide and seek together in the clouds and watching down on us together, some times people are brought together for a reason, our two families clearly have … It’s a real shame that we are 11,000 miles apart but for now we have technology to keep us talking. 

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Kory’s parents set up Kory’s Trust in New Zealand – to see what they do, click here

Sleepy smiles and secret giggles 

One of my favourite things of the day are sleepy smiles … that’s the little ones that I get when I go in to kiss my boy good night before I go to bed, the ones were I turn my head sideways and peep through the side of the cot so Leo can see me the right way round when he is led down… He looks back at me, smiles at me until I leave his room and then goes back to sleep. I love these smiles …because they’re secret … Dan always says I wake him when I go to say goodnight to him … That’s because I can’t resist giving another kiss and cuddle. He always falls back asleep soon afterwards and I’ve got my smile … Happy happy. 

And then … there are the times when he wakes up in the morning, he just can’t help but make us smile. He doesn’t scream for us, he doesn’t cry to say he’s awake … Do you want to know what he does???  He scratches the wall, haha. He stands up in his sleep bag in his cot and he scratches the wall to our bedroom with his fingers or he’ll bang on the wall and start to chat away … I love it, always make me smile.

As for what he has mostly enjoyed this week… That would be a cardboard box 😀 (see below)  

I am always amazed as to how children want to play with everything that isn’t actually theirs or something they shouldn’t be playing with. If I put him in a room with 50 toys and a TV remote … tv remote it would be! 

Leo’s birthday is coming up soon, still have no idea what to get him (any ideas from you guys would be greatly appreciated, it’s really hard with his birthday being so close to Christmas) We have decided to have a little party for him, we think it should be a time to celebrate for Leo and for us, reaching the huge age of 1 is a massive milestone for all of us for many reasons, so party it is. 

We’ve also been enjoying going on some walks for the past few weeks, some have literally just been around our local streets and others a little further with daddy and our dog Rolo! The cold hasn’t put us off at all.   

Although, I have been rather disappointed with the snow (or lack of it) so far this winter, I’m a total winter nerd, I prefer it to the summer. What do you prefer, winter or summer? I only like the sun if I can lie down, relax and sunbathe in it … Which i can’t normally do in the UK as I’m too busy to stop and sunbathe! 

Got to go now, his royal highness Leo is tapping the wall telling me that he has woken from his very short afternoon kip 😉. 

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Dear Millie 

Dear Millie,

     At 8.32pm 4 years ago today you came into this world after I had spent most of my labour reading Alan Sugar’s autobiography as a distraction and darling you absolutely changed our lives forever, you truly showed us what it is to love. Just 9 months later, this world cruelly took you from us. 
 
TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on Millie’s 4th Birthday (£4 can be changed to anything between £1 and £10)
I cherish every moment that we got to spend with you, I have every smile and every little giggle locked away in special little box in my head that when it is silent and peaceful, I can tune into it and I can hear you, I can Millie, I can really hear you giggle.
You taught me how to be a mum, you showed me how much love was inside me that I never knew that I had, you taught me never to be scared of anything new.

When I became your mum, the minute I found out I was pregnant, you changed my life. The thought of being a mum absolutely petrified me but when you came along you taught me that yes it could be scary, but also that it could be so much fun. 

We told you all about the world and where we wanted to take you as you grew up, we wondered what you were going to be when you were older and whether you would go to ballet (pretty sure that you wouldn’t have done) or whether you would have preferred karate or street dance (pretty sure that you would have preferred this as your alternative) 

We had started talking about your first birthday and what we could and even chose the main present (a trike) that we were going to get you …. WHAM…You were taken, you left this world a lot more quickly than it took you to enter it and we didn’t get a second of a warning that our world was going to be turned upside down and smashed into tiny little pieces. 

Today, we have had our lovely friend Jay, create some very special balloons for your  birthday but for you resting place because  we aren’t going to get to see you play with them.

Instead of wrapping up your dollies, pretend pram and, you know what, that’s the problem, right now, I don’t even know what a 4 year old little girl gets for her birthday, I’m just guessing because I know you’ve seen what we bought you for your birthday, flowers – bloody flowers. 

What parent wants to buy their 4 year old daughter a bouquet of flowers for their birthday? I’ll tell you which ones … Absolutely none of them but it’s the only thing that seems suitable for your sleeping place, one of the only things that can brighten the place up, for a few days, until they die because of the weather and then we have to keep buying more because it is the only thing that we can do for you, keep your sleeping place looking as pretty as we can. 

We would do anything to have you back in our lives Millie, to let you meet your little brother Leo and play on the living room floor together and watch you argue like brothers and sisters are meant to. But we can’t, there is nothing we can do – there’s absolutely nothing that we can do to change this or what has happened.

 
What I want you to know Millie though is that every year we will be there, we will be at your resting place with flowers and more balloons and your little brother Leo wishing you a happy birthday and sending kisses to the clouds and we’ll be there again on your birthday evening to look up to the stars and wish you good night and we really hope that you feel the love that we have for you and feel the miss that we have in our hearts for you. 

We love you more and more everyday and cherish the moments that we had. 

Happy 4th Birthday our sweet little girl,

Love mummy & daddy xxx

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on Millie’s 4th Birthday (£4 can be changed to anything between £1 and £10)
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Carrots! 

   “Mummy says that I am allowed to make as much mess as I like … So I did with my carrots, I’m happy because I ate them all up” Leo xxx
 We’re still on very early stage food even though Leo is nearly 11 months old … It was starting to bother me that I felt like I was hindering his development but you know what, we are getting there at our own speed and I know we’ll be OK, so we are alright with that.
Food feeds are limited to at home only (at the moment 😕) tv off, dog locked in the hall, phone put away – how it should be, concentration on Leo – it’s the only way I can do it. 

I’m certainly not comfortable enough to be feeding him out of our house yet – too many distractions around for us outside whilst we are in this journey.

It’s Spaghettis Bolognese for tea … Wonder what he’ll make off that ? 

Happy Sunday xxx

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Start of a New Year 

January is here again , Millie’s birthday month ( next Tuesday,12th) – it’s always hard this month in the run up to her birthday, l know how jittery I am already about it; especially now we’ve just had Christmas and that was so emotional for us after not doing it since we lost Millie.

I’m looking forward to Leo’s 1st birthday in Feb because I feel like we’ll get a bit of an “emotional break”  for a good 6 months; normally a bit longer than that but this year we have the add on of Leo’s birthday on this end of the year and the period when Millie should be starting school – that’s how it is now for us, everything is guided around dates; believe me it’s not good for you mentally but I think to an extent most people are programmed like that to remember dates and times that are important to you whether you like it or not. Obviously Leo’s 1st birthday and when Millie should be starting school are 2 very big events for us and it’s gonna be sad. Of course, it’s not a complete “emotional break” – it’s just a period of feeling like a little bit of the weight has been lifted as we arent counting down to anything until the Autumn period again.

We’re unsure of what to do for Leo’s birthday yet (please feel free to throw some ideas our way), we want it to be special of course because we never got there with Millie, it’s another huge milestone for our little family again, one that I am sure will be recorded with many photographs.

Looking forward to having the weight lifted a little from us though over the summer months.

So, now we’ve all got Christmas and New Year over, let’s talk about Easter 😀😀😀 nah, I’m only kidding, I’ve just been highly amused yesterday evening when I paid a visit to our local supermarket and saw rows of Easter Eggs …. Seriously?? Lol

Easter next to discounted Christmas crackers, always makes me laugh.

So, most of you know that Leo doesn’t and won’t be going to nursery after what happened to Millie because it will just never be right for us. We are determined that Leo will go to some kind of pre-school further down the line as we don’t want to go from having him with us 24/7 to full time school – we know it won’t be good for us mentally. We are also more inclined to think that we will be able to do something like this because we have had help dealing with things like this from our friends Alison and Carl in New Zealand ( hi you two) … because unfortunately they have been through the same horrendous situation that we have too, they lost their gorgeous son Kory when he choked at nursery too; but their youngest son Charlie has now started to be away from his parents in a situation like this and I think, if they can do it, so we can we… we look up to them so much and gain so much from their experiences. It’s absolutely awful the way in which our families met, but they have been amazing for us.

So, I decided that I wanted to attend some kind of group where Leo could interact with other babies to improve his social skills, he’s fabulous around older children/ people but rarely gets the chance to interact with kiddies of his own age… And also because I need to get over my fears of Leo picking things up, putting them into his mouth and generally being more of an explorer … So I booked into a class, called Messy Monkeys … And this happened 😀


Then this …


And then this … 😀


It was absolutely fabulous.

I flinched everytime he picked up some dry rice.

I froze every time he put a paintbrush in his his mouth with paint on.

I felt faint when he picked up a cork and started to chew.

Sometimes, to strangers I must come across as rude, ignorant or disinterested when they are talking to me and I am watching Leo and they don’t know what happened us, I know full well that I zone completely out and tunnel vision Leo … but i promise, I am lovely really.

And the class, Leo loved it.

Leo loved it. Millie would have loved it too.

And that is what it is all about … Leo experiencing things that Millie would have done too.

I can’t stop him exploring and being adventurous and I wouldn’t want to.

So, anyway back to this class.

Leo was covered in paint and so was I. He had rice stuck to his legs and sticky glitter in his hair and he absolutely loved it and we can’t wait to go back next week. One of the best things about today’s class though, NO CLEANING UP! Leo had all this amazing fun and the lovely Messy Monkey girls did all the cleaning up afterwards! How fabulous is that! Leo also made and brought home his first piece of artwork – a 2016 calendar with his hand and footprint on (I know that it’s his hand and footprint anyway !) 😀

Leo and all the other babies even got to have their own little baths at the end in little red tubs with bubbles! What a wonderful end to the session.

I’d recommend this class to anyone if they are in your area! It’s great fun X

I wonder what other adventures we can get up to together?

——-

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Millie & Leo’s grandma is hosting a raffle around Millie’s Birthday (next week) in the school she works in. If you are a business and can donate a product or voucher to this event please do get in touch by emailing info@milliestrust.com or PM us on Facebook or Twitter. Beauty Vouchers, restaurant vouchers, actual products from businesses would be very welcome. Thanks Peeps