Nearly his birthday …

Our biggest little man has been really ill for the past couple of days and it turns out that it’s tonsillitis 😢.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to have that as a toddler as it’s horrendous enough when you are an adult and you have it.

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x. He's been a right little trooper throughout and still keeps giving us smiles every now and again. He's on antibiotics now from the doctor and these seem to making him a little perkier but it's awful watching your little ones being ill isn't it? I slept in his bed with him last night (well, I say slept but pretty much just led and watched him most of the night) and I could see how uncomfortable he was and I kept wishing I could make it all better for him.

I’m just hoping that he’s going to be better for Monday as it’s his birthday!

I cannot believe he is going to be 3… where has that time gone?

I cannot believe that nearly 3 years ago today, our little Tasmanian Devil was about to make his appearance and change our world for the better. I’m not sure Leo will ever understand what he did for his daddy and I when he became our little rainbow 🌈.

In the run up to Leo’s Birthday this coming Monday, I’m running a competition courtesy of B for Balloons in Stockport.u can win a choice of 1 of 11 animal balloons, like the one in the photo below.

Click here to enter Terms & Conditions

1. You have a choice to choose 1 of 11 animal designs.

2. You must be able to pick up from one of 2 B for Balloon stores either in Hazel Grove or Shaw Heath

3. No monetary exchange

4. Must agree to photograph publicity as a winner

5. You must pay a visit to B for Balloon Facebook page to enter

6. Ends midnight 19/02/2018

Visit Millie’s Trust to see our most recent course dates! Only 2 places left in March for Level 3 Paediatric First Aid.

It’s here again

I’ve had a cracking headache for three days now, it just won’t go away.

I know why I’ve got it. It’s Millie’s birthday tomorrow. She should be 6…

Sometimes I think that the day before is almost harder than the actual day itself.

Text MILL06 £2 to 70070 to donate to Millie’s Trust (£2 can be changed to anything between £1 and £10)

It absolutely breaks my heart to be running around buying things for her birthday, things that we don’t want to buy her but do.

Flowers, so many flowers. I don’t know what else to get. At least we can make her sleeping place extra pretty for her.

Stressing out if people have remembered our baby girl’s birthday or whether she’s become a fading memory to people and nobody will visit her except us tomorrow.

I stood in Clinton’s today for the 6th year running, crying trying to pick her birthday card.

We choose teddies that are wrapped in cellophane to keep the rain out.

I picked up balloons that she’s never going to get to run around playing with in front of us like Leo does, laughing and smiling.

My heart is broken this evening.

I’m broken.

Give your babies an extra hug this evening.

xxx

Text MILL06 £2 to 70070 to donate to Millie’s Trust (£2 can be changed to anything between £1 and £10)

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Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas …

Presents wrapped, Reindeer dust scattered, vegetables peeled, meat ready for the slow cooker and a key left for Father Christmas to be able to get into our house.

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Candles lit, decorations left and flowers ready for Millie’s resting place tomorrow.

Always two sides to our Christmas…

And Mummy daddy are absolutely shattered and on the Amaretto and Quality Street already!

Merry Christmas everyone 🤣

Let’s see what tomorrow brings, x

Read my last blog, Six, that many? by clicking here

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Six, that many?

Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that we are just around the corner from our sixth Christmas without our little girl.

We were at Millie’s resting place yesterday and a lovely lady came to talk to me who recognised me from a newspaper. We got chatting and she told me that she was visiting her son who has in grieving terms, not long been buried, she was so sad. It hurt me to see her in so much pain and knowing that there’s nothing that you can do to take it away. Her son was a lot older than Millie, in his twenties but still no age to lose your life and a parent should never have to go through the indescribable pain of losing a child, no matter how old or young they are or in fact, you are.

Instead of preparing ourselves for Christmas by hunting out the latest gifts that our children want, an extremely large number of us are hunting out flowers or plants that might just last outside over Christmas a little longer than usual, we are placing little Christmas Trees and outdoor lights around our children’s resting places and we are laminating cards to last in the rain or laying them down knowing that within 24 hours they will be destroyed but hoping that our children will have read our words in them, in some strange and mysterious way that they are involved with our lives.

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For the first three years after we lost Millie, we didn’t celebrate Christmas. We didn’t put a tree up, we didn’t see any family or friends or exchange gifts or cards. We didn’t acknowledge it, it was just another day to Dan and I.

I don’t ever think Christmas will be a huge thing for us, it hurts too much. It’s hard to make plans with other people as I can’t predict how many times each of us will break down and cry and many people (thankfully) cannot understand why this happens. We’re more comfortable just having our own little Christmas in our own home.

The fourth year was different, we put a tree up and did a little bit of Christmas because we now had Leo. We couldn’t not do it for him. We’ve always said that we don’t want Leo’s (and now Asher’s) lives to be any different or miss out on on things because of what happened to Millie.

Christmas is something that Leo and Asher’s friends will celebrate and take part in and we don’t want our children to feel left out and not to be able to enjoy this time of year, especially as they get older.

I’m not religious, not at all. I did wonder,like many of us do and we had Millie christened but once she passed away, that was it for me. I couldn’t believe in something so cruel, something that could take away a child from loving parents, so as you can imagine Christmas will never be associated with religion in our house.

There will never be any Christmas scenes, any prayers and certainly no bibles. It will always just be a fun day for our children where they get some presents and are allowed to eat more chocolate than usual!

It’s extremely hard that first Christmas after you lose a child. Everything you see or hear, tears your heart out. Children getting excited looking at toys or coming out from visiting Santa, families enjoying big family Christmas meals and songs on the radio that can make you spontaneously burst out crying in the middle of a supermarket after playing just a few notes or words.

Waking up on Christmas morning, there are lots of tears before any of the fun. The tears fall as soon as we wake up for the missing part of our family, our precious daughter. We cannot help but think about how we won’t see her face running smiling into our bedroom, or the shock on her face when she sees that Father Christmas has been or how happy she realises she can be when she can have chocolate for breakfast. None of it. We never got to see it, we never will and we still miss it like it’s an existing memory. That’s the thing with us though, we don’t have any Christmas memories with Millie because we never got to see her first one. All we know, is everything that she will miss out on, everything she will never get to see or experience and although these thoughts are with us every day in everything that we do, they became ever so more prominent at special times of the year.

We’ll visit Millie a couple of times on Christmas Day, normally in the morning and then in the evening to light some candles. She’ll be left a card and lots of gorgeous flowers from us and at home, she’ll have a Christmas Stocking, just like we all will. Although it won’t be filled with special treats like all the other ones, it’s still hers and it will still be there.

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We’ve also got our other little star, the baby I miscarried in November 2016. I love my family so much, but it’s hard not to see what should have been, that we should have 4 children all laughing around the table with us, that there should be twice as many presents in our living room from Father Christmas and that there should be twice as much mess as there will be. I’d love to see twice as much mess and twice as much chaos in our home at any time because that would mean that we wouldn’t have any sad memories from the past and that all our children would be here with us.

If you are lucky enough to be able to celebrate Christmas with all your children around you, send a little love to the people that can’t. Christmas is an emotional time for anyone who has lost a loved one but a Christmas without a child that should be there is unbearable as you think about all the missing futures that they should have and even just the missing smile from around the table.

As much as we will laugh, smile and play with our little ones on the day, a piece of us will be with our missing children and there’ll always be a part of us that can’t quite get to that happy place that we all crave to get to, that perfect life that we all want.

I sign Christmas cards (any cards) off with Millie’s name in them, she’s a huge part of our family and always will be. Some people might find that odd and think that we shouldn’t do it, but I don’t care. Unless you have lost a child, I don’t care for your opinion when it comes to how we should we grieve or how we should act. Losing a child, is not the same as any other type of loss or any other type of grief, far from it.

Six Christmases down the line since we lost Millie and we are still trying to figure out what and how we want to do things without Millie here.

My heart is with all those parents right now who are experiencing their first Christmas without their child. The pain of all those firsts is a pain that will never leave me and will always hurt. I wish that I could tell these parents that the pain will go away but it doesn’t,not at all.

You learn to live with the pain and your life is built around it. You learn how to deal with your pain to get you through these special days and you will discover what is the right thing for you to do on these days and whatever you decide that is, is perfect – for you and always will be.

If I could line you all up and give each and every one of you a hug this Christmas, I would … I feel your pain, I feel your miss.

From one grieving parent to another xxx

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We survived!

We survived, we survived … day 1 of home life with daddy at work!

I’ve been worried about today for a few weeks, wondering how I was going to cope once Dan went back to work, but it’s now 8pm and everything is calm 😀… hasn’t been like that all day though 🤪.

Follow my blog on facebook I did manage to get a 30 second shower this morning before Asher’s vocals nearly burst the sound barrier! Of course, he didn’t actually want anything, just a cuddle and obviously this was fine, even if I was cuddling him trying not to get him wet with a half soaked towel. I got him settled (tried him in his actual big cot and he seemed to like looking at the trees outside), walked back to the bathroom following my wet footprints that I had left behind rushing to Asher earlier. I didn’t get chance to get back in the shower and wash my hair, but luckily my wonderful hairdressers convinced me many moons ago that washing my hair every day wasn’t good for it, so I’m going with that now 😀 (quite a mighty feat for someone who has washed her hair EVERY day for the past 20 years pretty much!)

Decided last night that we were going to get up and go for a walk this morning to get some fresh air and we did eventually manage this, once I had worked out how to put the rain cover on the pram, as I hadn’t used it on this part of the pram before! Once I’d worked this out and had Asher in the pram, I unlocked the door and Asher started to fill his nappy – waited until he’d finished, ran him upstairs to change his nappy and attempted the walk.

Fast forward through the walk (which was actually quite easy and good for my head space), it was dinner time! Leo’s currently addicted to Jam and Cheese sandwiches, not together I might add (although I may actually try that tomorrow as he keeps taking one bite of the cheese one and once bite of the jam one and chewing them together), who knew that would be tasty? I’m so not tempted to try this myself.

I have literally stepped on a thousand (okay, that may be a slight exaggeration there but it was pretty close) of wooden puzzles pieces, which Leo had taken out of a pile that was all ready to put in the loft for when Asher is a bit older as Leo has outgrown them but of course because we were putting them away, he wanted to play with them! Go figure ?!?!

Follow me on Instagram, click here I honestly think Asher did his best today to beat his nappy changing record as I seem to have gone through twice as many as we have all weekend and we have had at least one major explosion/full clothing change and wet wipe bath today, (I’m surprised that it wasn’t more to be honest).

Leo thoroughly enjoyed playing on Asher’s play mat today, he is way too big for it but he was enjoying it. The play mat involved our only real disaster today … Leo managed to kick my cup (yes I said cup, lots of people tell me that I’m odd for drinking pop out of a cup and not a glass) over and yes it was totally full of pop and we had a little lake appearing over the living room carpet – cue Leo bursting into tears because a) he was upset that he had knocked it over when I had said be careful and I think he thought he was in trouble and b) he was now covered in pop – Leo’s only change of the day! As this was happening of course Asher filled his nappy again and during my attempt at changing Asher and Leo running around the living room half naked, someone knocked on the door!

There wasn’t a chance that I was going to make it to the door, not without showing both my children’s backsides to whom ever it was! Two naked bums, knocking continuing at the door, two rather loud children – one laughing, one screaming and my absolute nutter of a dog running around barking like crazy at our visitor and me stood here laughing in the middle of it all 😂! I told Dan when he got home after this story that we need to invest in a RING doorbell so I can see through a camera who it is and tell whoever it is to leave whatever they are delivering or tell me whatever they want want whilst talking through the doorbell to me as there was no chance that I was answering that door today; whoever it was so knew I was in, so I apologise if you are reading this 😂, I was not intentionally ignoring you.

In between all this, I was attempting to express milk! I’m express feeding with Asher. I did the same with Millie and Leo for different reasons. Millie never latched properly and it became much easier for me to express and I also liked the fact that Dan could feed her to (and do a night feed 😀) and with Leo, after what had happened with Millie, I wasn’t sleeping much after I had him due to stress and worry and I made the decision that I was expressing right from the beginning and that was that.

I expressed with Millie until about 16 weeks (even through Mastitis , ouch) and Leo until about 11/12 weeks. I’ll know when I’m ready to stop again with Asher.

Anyway, attempting to express today with Asher and little toddler man has been very interesting. I really struggled getting the time to do it today because every time I tried, one of the boys needed/wanted something so I had to stop! Dan came in from work about 4 hours after my last attempt at a longer expressing session and I had text him not long before saying I was in pain and it turned out I couldn’t wait much longer. Luckily, when I do express I get a lot and quickly, so I have been able to do it in the multiple 5/10 minute sessions that I’ve managed to get in earlier in the day when things were calmer.

Dan walked in from work to see Leo playing with his bricks still on the floor and me sat on the sofa with Asher asleep and snoring on my left shoulder and my boob out expressing milk out from my right! He walked in, burst out laughing and said “multi tasking” at its best, pretended to take a photo and took Asher from me then I could finish up easier! Honestly, what he saw was literally the story of my day 😀!

As you can see in the photo below at the end of the day, Leo was still smiling, Asher was happy in his bouncer and the living room was in absolute chaos and I realised that I hadn’t even been for a wee all day as I was too distracted 🙈… But … I did manage to get a load of washing and drying done (I sacked the ironing off though – I definitely did not have time for that)!

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I am totally glad that last night, I had the genius idea of cooking a chilli up for the next few days to put in the fridge – I’m off to eat it now.

Bring on Day 2! 😘

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I apologise if there are obvious spelling and grammar mistakes in this blog, I’ve literally written it in 10 minutes and need to eat food as I’ve managed to only eat a piece of toast today and need to re-fuel 😀)Check out my earlier blog and see why I’m supporting the #sleeponside campaign – Click here

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Epic love for family photographs

Many of you took a liking to my fabulous photograph that Sharon Wallis of Bramhall teased us with last week and now we have seen the final photos including an amazing one of Daddy and Asher, these are so special as we have similar ones with Leo and I regret so much not having them done with Millie – it never even crossed my mind to have professional shots done with Millie when she was born.

So, I’ll leave this one here.

Look how fabulous it is. We all go on about that mums should have their photos taken with with their children; but dads are equally as special and they should too.

To see my photograph click here

And if that wasn’t enough to melt your heart, check out the one below of big brother looking after little brother.

I’m so in love with all these amazing and special photographs. Sharon has a truly amazing talent to be able to capture images as stunning as these.

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Photo Credits: Sharon Wallis

Join us at our Children’s Christmas party where we have exclusive use of a play Centre.

Full details in the image below.

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Love a good photograph

We are now two and half weeks into little Asher being in our lives. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of minimal sleep, learning how to actually get out of the house with two under 3s and lots of extra washing loads!

As you can imagine, I haven’t had chance to blog about how it’s been going, but I will do soon but for now I just wanted to share something with you.

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I cannot stand having my photo taken, it’s just something that I’ve never been comfortable about but I always try to have photos taken with my children as I want them to have photographs to look back on when they’re older.

Some of you may remember that when Leo was born, we had some professional photographs taken of him, well, once again, we have used the same amazing photographer to take some of Asher. We haven’t yet seen the final products (not until Friday) but I was sent a sneak peak earlier of a couple of photos and they are absolutely stunning so I wanted to share them with you. Sharon Wallis Photography of Bramhall actually made me cry when she sent me this today, it’s genuinely a photograph that I would want to have up in my house, I absolutely adore it.

It’s a photograph that I know I have a genuine smile in, as hard as it is for us to have photographs like this taken with our boys (because we are always thinking of Millie being missing from them), we know we have to do them, it brings us some normality and gives our boys something to look back on in the future

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Here another shot of Asher and one of Leo from when he was the same age, just 10 days old.

We absolutely love the shots that Sharon has taken once again and we are very much looking forward to viewing them all on Friday, I can’t wait to see Dan’s shot of him and Asher too. 😀

Take a look at Sharon’s Facebook Page by clicking here or visit her website. (I particularly love the outdoor shots you can see on here)

now 😀

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