Trying something new

Seriously, how hard is it to try something utterly out of your comfort zone? Well, I’ve been doing just that for the past 10 days and I’m loving it.

I’ve been working with a fabulous Personal Trainer called Sarah (otherwise known as Squatbot) and I didn’t expect to be doing any of what I’m doing.. Weights! I mean proper weight work, I’ve never done anything like this before. Many of you know, I like to run when I have the time, I like going to the gym (normally just cardio) and I love to swim (when time let’s me) but weights … a totally new concept to me and one that I did not think I would enjoy! But I could not have been more wrong.

Follow me on Instagram

I am genuinely surprised at the fact I am loving it and it’s partly because I’ve realised I’m actually stronger than I originally thought I was (thanks to Leo and Asher being mini Hulks) and that my trainer Sarah is really easy to work with and she totally pushes me.

One of the best things about doing this too, is that’s it’s getting me up and out of bed first thing in the morning and I absolutely love it! I’ve finally got more hours in the day and I’m feeling so much more energised and with a lot clearer head. My 7am workouts have been having a great effect on how I feel the rest of the day and it’s totally what I need at the moment.

What has stunned me the most about this type of training is the concentration that it entails. When you see videos of people lifting weights, it looks so easy. What you don’t see is what is going on in their head … where do I place my hands? Are my feet wide enough apart, is my back straight enough, are my knees locked too much … so many questions to ask yourself before you can actually make that lift or push that weight.

Sarah has been teaching me how to use weights and machines safely and I think that makes a considerable difference to getting what you want from your workout.

Once you’re learning how to do things right, your confidence levels start to rise.

I’ve not weighed myself this week because I know that weight training effects your weight differently than just doing a normal diet. I’m still following Weight Watchers but eating a little more protein than what I would normally have been, so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.

I already feel like my clothes are fitting a little better and I can really feel muscles working that I’ve never felt working before.

I even attempted a home workout that Sarah set me over the weekend and I got to get Asher and Leo involved too… turns out that young children make fabulous weights when squatting.

This machine looked very scary to me but not long after I took this photo, I was pushing 113kgs with my legs that apparently for a newbie is a bit of alright. πŸ˜€

If we avoid everything that we are scared of though, none of us would ever experience anything new would we?

I’m training with Sarah in Heald Green at the moment, take a look at her website for more details of how to book in for a free consultation or some sessions. X

Check out another mummy’s gym journey over at my blogger friends, Parenting Phils πŸ˜€

Overcoming Fear …

Real, gut wrenching fear is most often used as an excuse not to do something, not to take part in something, not to experience something. Fear stops us missing out on a lot, sometimes some of the most amazing experiences that you could ever have in life.

Fear is often irrational, sometimes not.

I’m not scared of many things in life, I never have been.

One thing that petrifies Dan and I though is another person looking after our children, leaving our children in someone else’s hands. It cripples us with fear.

Our fears are perfectly rational though, as our daughter died in a nursery when she was just 9 months old, she choked whilst eating her lunch. You would develop fears too if this has happened to you, there is no way that you wouldn’t have.

I have other fears including being anywhere near the food that she choked on, I cannot stand to see it – it makes me physically sick. I have fears of feeding my children, of feeding myself. I have fears that our other children will come to harm. These are all completely rational though, for us, considering what we have been through.

Dan and I have conquered an enormous fear of ours. Something that we thought that we never would.

Leo has started to attend nursery, yes, you read that correctly, Leo goes to nursery.

Follow my blog on FacebookBefore your mind begins to ask questions about how and why have we done this, keep reading.

I was adamant. I point blank refused to send Leo to nursery. I could not stand the thought of him being away from me, from us. I could not stand the thought of someone else looking after my child, the last time we put our child in nursery, she never came home. (Rational fear here, remember what I said).

I had it in my head that I would deal with school when it came to it, that I’d figure a way out that I could deal with Leo being at school every day, five days a week. I didn’t need to think about it until he was 4, at the time – that to me was a long time away.

Dan talked to me about it a few times but my answer was always no, or I don’t need to think about it yet.

Then we moved house.

After we had moved, Dan casually mentioned to me that there was a nursery on our estate, 5 minutes from our house – would I consider it? No But it’s got Millie’s Mark No We teach their staff now No

I made excuse after excuse. “He’s not old enough. We don’t need to put him in there, we can work our jobs around him. He can’t speak properly yet. He’s a fussy eater. He can’t tell us what is wrong with him yet when he is crying … the list went on and on..”

Follow me on Instagram

I thought he was doing fine at home. We taught him lots, we’ve taught him to count, he can recognise any number up to 20 that you put in front of him, he can tell you the colour of everything, he can point all his body parts out, he can name you animals and tell you their sounds. He was doing well. So why did he need to go to nursery?

But I was noticing something. Leo was more comfortable talking to adults and he would shy away around young children.

Dan has a lot of friends who’s children are older because he is older than me and my younger friends have only just started to have children really. The two children he was/is most comfortable with are two young girls who are 6-8 years older than him that he’s spent a lot of time with, he loves them.

But I had noticed. If children came along, he would hide behind me or turn away. I ignored it, I had to because if I didn’t then I couldn’t see it as a problem. I know, bad parent, I shouldn’t have ignored it.

Then he attended the party of one of our Millie’s Trust trainer’s young sons and I couldn’t avoid it anymore. He was uncomfortable, he wasn’t like the other children, he was shy and hiding and wanted Dan or I with him. That was my breaking point. So I booked to speak to the nursery. You know, the one that Dan had been asking me to speak to for over 6 months.

The nursery is Elm Cottage Orrishmere Cheadle Hulme and they have been phenomenal….absolutely perfect with us … they’ve talked to us about our fears, our worries, they’ve ensured that we’ve been comfortable every step of they way. All the staff have been absolutely amazing with us and go out of their way to ensure that we are ok with everything that they do. In particular Steph (manager) and Donna (Deputy Manager and Leo’s key-worker), well – we just cannot praise them enough.

They had their hands full even just trying to convince me to take that first step and letting Leo go in for a play – but we did.

We didn’t tell anyone apart from an extremely close friend (you know who you are 😘) who was to become our emergency contact and Alison (hi Alison πŸ˜€) in New Zealand who lost her son in similar circumstances and I needed her advice and sanity – that we were even contemplating this. No family and no other friends were told. We needed to do this for us and we needed to do it our way. We didn’t need any one else’s opinions or thoughts because not one person (other than our New Zealand friends) knew what we were about to put ourselves through.

And so it begin. For over 2 months Leo attended ad-hoc sessions and for a little bit at a time. We built him up from half an hour to a full morning over a period of time and this involved Dan and I being in the setting, we then moved back out of the room where we could see through a glass screen, then into the car outside whilst Leo played inside… remember this photo below? And the blog to go with it? Click here to read

Well, that was the first day that I had physically driven off from the nursery and left Leo without me in a 10 metre vicinity (I was 7 and half months pregnant here). I had planned to drive the 5 minutes to the precinct and sit and have a brew, but I melted 30 seconds around the corner and had to pull over. I eventually made it to the precinct and sat in the car absolutely crying my eyes out in the car … I must have looked insane to anyone that saw me. I ended up having a phone conversation with my friend Sarah who actually managed to make me laugh and that was an actual feat for her to do at this point in time!

As soon as the hour was coming to an end, i drove straight back and ran in to pick him up.

The lovely staff have come to understand how we feel and have often helped us when we have been massively struggling; such as the time above with me and when Dan arrived one morning in tears as they opened the door because he had walked Leo to nursery for the first time and he was unaware that the memory of doing this with Millie on the day we lost her, would come back and haunt him.

The nursery talked us through products they use in the nursery, food that they serve there, activities that they do and much more before we committed to Leo going there and one of my conditions was that Leo does not attend on the day that the type of food that Millie was eating on the day that we lost her, I know that sound a little crazy, but I had to do that for my sanity. I didn’t want him around it, not even with other children eating it. I’ll let him try it one day, I’ll have to – but not yet, I’m not ready.

Follow my blog on Facebook

So fast forward a very long story, more than 6 months down the line and Leo absolutely loves being there. He only attends two sessions a week which has been quite enough for us all for now but he is doubling his sessions from next monthl to build him up having more time away from us. One of the other big reasons that we needed to do this, is that I was convinced that if we didn’t do this now then when it was time to him to go to school, that I would have suffered a mental breakdown and would not have been able to cope.

I truly believe that a combination of help through our mental health problems, the development of Millie’s Mark which Elm Cottage now has and the support from all the truly remarkable staff there has made this journey just about bearable for us and we can’t thank everyone involved enough. There’s much more to this story but this blog is long enough now, so I’m going to hit publish for now, don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated…. but for now, here is a photo of an excitable Leo coming out of Nursery after enjoying his time there…

And that thing you fear … face it xxx

What is Millie’s Mark? Does your nursery have it? Read about it here

Win a Trunki in my competition by clicking here!

Resting Place Vandalism

Dear Stranger,

There are only a few words to describe you, take your pick which one you would like to use to refer to yourself right now, scum … lowlife… waste of space … would you like me to continue?

Who in their right mind would think it is ok to walk through a resting place of our loved ones and trash treasured mementos?

Have you that little going on in your life that this is what you get a thrill out of? Do you not have anyone to love you or that you love that could not make you understand how what you have done is not ok?

Had you had a drink when you did this?

Had you taken something that made your tiny little brain think that it was ok to walk through sleeping places and smash vases up, throw mementoes around and stamp on loved ones items? How would you like it if this was reciprocated in your home? I’m guessing that you wouldn’t.

I’m not even angry. We have nothing down at our daughter’s places that is irreplaceable – we know that this can happen, we know that the weather can destroy things, that’s exactly why we don’t keep anything irreplaceable down there – but others do and I’m so sad for them. This wasn’t the weather though – this was different. It was so obvious that things had been stamped on and kicked so hard that they’d smashed – we can replace them though, remember that. You can’t replace your tiny little empty thoughtless mind though can you? Or change that pathetic, shitty personality of yours that made you do this in the first place?

You are just a piece of nothing, you’re worthless. If this is what you get your joy out of in your life, trashing cemeteries, you don’t deserve a kind word said about you.

Grief only makes you tougher, that’s why I’m not upset about what you’ve done. I’m just sad that our daughter’s resting place has been interrupted by a no mark like you .

Karma. I believe in that. You’ll get yours.

Click here to enter my competition to win a Paddington Trunki

Purchase a Millie’s Trust Giraffe by clicking here … available in Brown, Pink and Blue

Mother’s Day means being broken again

Mother’s Day without your child breaks your heart into the smallest of pieces all over again.

Kind gentle hugs to all those mums out there who have their own special little angels today sending love from their fluffy clouds.

They’re all watching, they’re all smiling, give them a little smile back.

From one grieving mother on Mother’s Day to another xxx

Click here to win a Paddington Trunki

Trunki Giveaway

There are so many products for children on the market that you don’t ever know what are the best ones to purchase. We’ve recently had the pleasure of getting to use a Trunki and this is definitely one thing that I’d recommend parents to invest in for trips away.

Trunki has been around for many years now and you’ve probably seen them being used when on your travels. Trunki are regularly bringing out new designs of the original products and the newer products are just as fab.

Leo has been a very lucky boy recently and has got his lovely little hands on a brand new Paddington Trunki and a Leeroy Toddlepak.

From the minute he laid eyes on the Paddington Trunki (Β£44.99) he has not left it alone – he has packed it, unpacked it, sat on it, rode on it and hidden it away from us as he doesn’t want us to take it off him.

Arriving with a cute little Trunki passport and a set of Paddington Stickers, Leo couldn’t wait to get his hands on it! Luckily – a few days later, we were heading off for a couple of days so he was allowed to pack.

The illustration of Paddington on the case is gorgeous and I love the little tag about looking after the Trunki.

He was so proud of himself when he started to pack his own case, he threw in his underpants, some socks, t-shirts, Jeans and of course the obligatory soft toys and football!

I was extremely surprised as to how much actually fit in this little case! There was more than enough room for a week’s worth of clothing (and a couple of toys) without having to put his things in our bags.

The fact that Leo could hop on and ride along either being pulled by his mummy or daddy or using his own little legs to scurry along the floor was fabulous for him, he was so excited.

When we arrived at the hotel he pulled his own little case into the room and proceeded to unpack on his own. Proper little grown up boy πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™.

The stretchy straps inside the bag make it easier to fit more in the case and there is a handy little fabric pocket inside for those little extras such as a toothbrush and a comb.

Click here to win a Paddington Trunki

We have developed one little problem though …. Leo doesn’t want to ever get off it when he sees it – even having a ride around his bedroom before sleepy time πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•.

If Paddington isn’t your thing, there are many other of other options available that include a Gruffalo one, various animals and a Hello Kitty design. You even have the option to design your own case; Trunki have stated that there are over a billion combinations using this method.

Other Trunki Info

  • Trunki is extremely lightweight, just 1.7kg (3.8lbs)
  • Please don’t exceed over 50k in contents
  • Trunki is built from the same plastic as adult cases – hence why it can be ridden over and over again.
  • Trunki dimensions 46×20.5×31

Take a look at how funky Leo’s Toddlepak is when he’s modelling it walking down the street.

It’s a fabulous little design (there are many to choose from, see here) and lovely and bright.

I packed the bad up for a trip out and we got plenty in it, a full set of spare clothes, a pair of welly boots and a couple of essential toys in the main section. In the front face pockets, we had enough room for a full pack of wipes, some snacks and the side pocket for the bottle holder came in handy for a drink! All packed and set for a day out with just one gorgeous looking bag.

Click here to win a Paddington Trunki

My favourite bit though has to be the built in safety feature, with reflective features of the animals nose and the piping on the bag, ensuring our little ones can be seen when it starts to get dark.

I don’t think Leo will be leaving the house without his Toddlepak any time soon.

To purchase yours, click here

These are just two of the products that Trunki do from their range (and we will be purchasing ones for Asher too) – take a look at their website and I’m sure that you’ll find something that you like.

The lovely people at Trunki have kindly agreed to give away a Paddington Trunki via my blog!

If you’d like to enter, click here