I’m still going

So I carried on with the training that I started with That Squatbot back in March.

Take a look here for how I got started and what I originally thought and here for an update at week 4.

I’m now just about completing cycle 2 and I can honestly truly say that I am still loving it and I am so very surprised at that. Not because it’s exercise but because it’s a different type of exercise that I’d never done before.

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I like being a bit of a loner (or like my own company if it sounds better that way) πŸ˜‚! So for me to agree to work with a personal trainer took some persuading to myself, but it’s honestly one of the best decisions that I’ve made. I often like to just put my headphones on and go to the gym or on the running machine and not speak to another soul in the gym and then leave, but working out with That Squatbot has been so much more different than I anticipated.

She has been giving me so much encouragement, providing me with lots of advice of what better things to eat, how to perfect different exercise techniques and has generally become a friend!

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We train at a gym in Heald Green and the other trainers and visitors are all so friendly. I was a little apprehensive in the beginning as I thought it felt like a real serious gym goers gym with all these weird and wonderful machines but after a couple of sessions, it didn’t feel like that anymore.

And oh my I missed it … true sign of an addiction… Dan had his tonsils out a couple of weeks ago but then unfortunately ended up having a further emergency operation which meant between the kids, work and looking after a poorly husband, I couldn’t get to my own gym or to see Squatbot and I began to crave it. Not just for the physical side of it but for the mental health side of it. I needed to let some steam off and the gym has become my place to this! (Ask That Squatbot about our boxing sessions πŸ˜‚ #sorrynotsorry)

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Thankfully Dan is nearly back to normal now and my mum came over to help this week during half term so I managed to get there a couple of times and I’m now booked in for a full new cycle with That Squatbot and I cannot wait.

I haven’t weighed or measured myself for a couple of weeks as I lost my good earring habits whilst Dan has been ill but I’m getting back into it again. But all my maternity clothes are now away (yay!) and a lot of my clothes are starting to fit better – my aim was the 9 months on, 9 months off cycle and Asher has just recently hit 7 months old so I am totally on track and I cannot wait to hit my target if things go to plan!

The 9 month on/9 month off theory I think is a very sensible train of thought after having a baby. In those first few months, you don’t have time for yourself, you really don’t; not unless you have a lot of help around you to give you that free time and we don’t and with having two boys at home now, it was even harder this time than it was after Millie & Leo but I’m getting there.

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It’s not just about weight loss though for me, I’m not interested in the scales anymore (which is a bad habit that I have gotten rid of) it is about toning, my clothes fitting much better, my mental health and getting stronger. I feel so much stronger in what really is just a short space of time. I love not struggling to pick my children up anymore – and often both of them together because my arms weren’t strong enough and my back pain from pregnancy was still causing me issues. Weight Training has really helped me develop a stronger core, improve my posture and improved my back pain and I am genuinely so glad that I started this new challenge.

That Squatbot has also managed to convince me to aim for a further challenge and enter a competition in November with her! Eek, I agreed and I’m sure it will be fun but I’ll need to be working hard for this with her. This one isn’t about winning anything for me, this is about challenging myself to do something like this and I’ve never competed like this for anything before. Training for this alongside training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks that I am taking part in, in September this year for Millie’s Trust should hopefully see me hit my 9 month target!

As a Mum in her thirties, I often feel like I’m a bit lost. I was feeling like I was just working and being a mum and wife and I had nothing for myself, nothing to do for me, nothing to call mine. Now I do and it’s not only benefited me but it’s benefitted my family as I am a much better place mentally and even having to get up in the mornings for my early sessions (I love early mornings) has meant that my day is longer and I get more done, I’ve created those extra hours that I so badly needed.

Fancy joining me on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk in September – click here for details

That’s a wrap for now! But if you’re local and fancy a session with That Squatbot, give her a shout here on Facebook or catch her on Instagram.

Click here to read my blog We are Seven

Tears

I know that being a parent is hard, it is really hard at times and I know that you can tear your hair out when you child does something you don’t like, so I’m not saying to be the perfect parent.

Even after losing Millie, we still have to tell Leo off and shout at him or we know that he could turn into a total brat. He does have me wrapped around his little finger but it doesn’t mean that he gets away with being naughty or hurting people (or the dog for the matter), we have to tell him off, we know that.

I don’t judge other parents because we all have our own parenting ways that work for us but yesterday I was disgusted and it hurt even more because we had just visited Millie’s resting place and had a full on spring clean there. (Check out Leo rocking his underpants, it was just too hot for him and he was slathered in sun cream – which of course he had a meltdown whilst I put it on him πŸ˜‚).

Anyway, back to my disgust.

I witnessed a Mum shouting at a little girl yesterday in a supermarket who was probably around the age of what Millie should be now. The mum was absolutely swearing her head off at this poor child and telling her to “not to f***n come near her again today” and “to get out of her f***n way” … I was absolutely gobsmacked and even if I wasn’t a Mum who had lost a child, I am sure that I would have thought the same.

I really wanted to say something but this woman was so angry, she could have gone for me or taken it out on the child and I wouldn’t have wanted that. I was in such shock, I dropped the Β£20 I had in my hand (which I didn’t notice until I got to the till and I haven’t seen it for dust since) and had to walk away to get myself out of the way. I went to pay (with my debit card now) and left the shop, got in my car and cried.

I cried that I had just saw this poor girl be spoken to like this.

I cried because I had just come from visiting Millie at her resting place and I can’t put my arms around her anymore.

I cried because I was so sad that this mum didn’t know what she had and how special her daughter is and that she is privileged to be able to kiss her daughter goodnight.

I’m not having a preach here saying that you shouldn’t shout at your children or discipline them but this little girl, do you want to know what she had done?

Accidentally stood on her mum’s toe.

It was an accident, she didn’t deserve to have her mum shout and swear at her like that … just my thoughts xxx

Millie’s Trust are looking for people to join our team to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks in September (I will be doing it too πŸ˜€) contact us here to get more details or to register

Read my blog Four Weeks In here

Loving the snow!

I know a lot of people don’t like the snow because it disrupts the work/school day but I love it. I always have. I know you might think that I’m odd, I love the cold wintry days and can’t wait for snowy days to come every year – and they don’t, they just never come.

The last time that we got snow like this was just as I got together with Dan, my husband – that was 8 years ago, I had to cancel a date because I was snowed in. πŸ˜‚

There are so many things that I want to do with my children, so many things that I want to show them. My love for snow is one of the things that I want them to see.

Something so simple, so free and so fun. I hope they grow up to love it like I do and love playing in the snow together as they get older.

But it’s one of the things that I never got to show Millie, it’s one thing that she never got to see – and that hurts. The pain that hits me when I teach or show my other children things that I never got to with Millie, is indescribable, there are just no words for it … I could try to describe it but there there are just none that I can think of that can communicate the feeling and the thoughts strong enough.

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So that’s why this morning, at 7.30am – when I had been waiting for an hour (I’m surprised that I lasted that long to be honest, I was like an excited child when I opened the curtains) for him to get up, I went in and poked Leo and told him that we could go and play in the snow! (Yes Dan, I woke him up – and I’m not sorry 😘, love you 😘)

Before Dan had even finished his shower, I had Leo up, dressed, fed with his wellies, all-in-one and coat on! I don’t think Dan knew what was going on – or he thought that I had gone a little mad!

But look how excited his little face was πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

Join us on one of our charity challenges this year – click here for details πŸ’•

Dan’s breakfast was ready for him and then I sorted myself out for the weather outside and Dan and Asher were soon ready for the snow too πŸ˜‹.

Within a few minutes, we were out in the white stuff and watching Leo’s face brought tears to my eyes and I couldn’t stop thinking that I hope that Millie is sat on her cloud watching us and laughing at us, being cheeky and throwing some extra snow down for us.

Enter my competition to win a personalised Soft Toy!

(I bought the sledge weeks ago, the last time that we were supposed to get good snow – and we got none!)

I totally know full well that I annoy people on social media when it snows, I annoy all those people that end up late for work or school, the ones that are wet when they get to work and the ones that only like the sun and heat … but am I sorry?

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Nope, not one little bit – because I get to show my children something that I love … and something that still actually makes mummy truly smile … which only a few things do nowadays. So if the snow allows my children to have lovely memories and photographs of mummy smiling through their childhood – bring it on πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•.

Enter my competition to win one of these soft toys

Read my blog I wonder What

Why not purchase a Millie’s Trust hoodie to keep you warm in this cold weather – click here to purchase x

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.

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

Click here to donate online

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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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