Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, Ellie, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, parenting, parenting after loss

Sleepover

Ellie went for her first ever sleepover last night. She has been asking to stay at both her grandparents houses for a little while and I knew we needed to let her. She packed everything she needed; pyjamas, clothes,hair brush, toothbrush, DVD player, night light, 2 teddies and she was ready. She also wanted to take her curtains (i don’t know why) but with a little persuasion she realised she didn’t need them.

You see, my anxiety over her not being here has always stopped us from letting her stay over anywhere for the night. I know she is safe with both our parents, that’s not the issue, I just knew I would find it hard. I’m sure most, if not all parents, find it difficult leaving their children for the night for the first time but for me it felt like a repeat of history and I’m still not sure I’ll ever be prepared for her to not be here.

Whenever I think of waking up and Ellie not being here it takes me back to the first night after having Jason. Neither of us could sleep, of cause, so we sat on the sofa and watched awful comedy shows. We stayed up until the station turned off and even then sleep was hit and miss. I couldn’t go upstairs, knowing my son should be lying in his Moses Basket or his cot sleeping away. I was very aware that I should have still been pregnant but I wasn’t and the reality hit like a tonne of bricks that I was at home while my baby lay on his own in the hospital. That feeling is awful, unless you’ve been there you’ll never be able to fully grasp what it feels like being at home and knowing your life should have been so different.

Of cause, being a parent after you’ve lost your child is really tough, I’ve never really been an anxious person but where Ellie is concerned I worry about losing her more than is really healthy. I’m so unbelievably grateful that we were given a second chance at being “normal” parents but with each day that Ellie grows and becomes more independent the more I wonder what Jason would have been like now and the reality is I will never know. Due to Jason’s health complications I will never know what it would have been like to parent a 5 year old right now.

Anyway, Ellie absolutely loved her sleepover and has already decided she is staying at my inlaws next week. Mummy really struggled but fought back the tears and the urge to sit in her bedroom and cry those really ugly tears I get when I think about death and what my children would have been like together now. We slept, I woke up and it didn’t feel the same as when Jason died, I didn’t get that gut-wrenching feeling that she was gone, I knew she was safe. I may have cried a little once I’d picked her up and she was back in my little bubble but that’s allowed right?

Life is unfair and our lives should be different however I made a promise to my daughter that she would never be second best or miss out on anything because her big brother isn’t here and a sleepover (as little as it seems) is something she shouldn’t miss out on no matter how difficult it is for me.

I feel proud. Proud of myself for not letting my fears take over and proud of Ellie for being so grown up, spending a night away from us and not being bothered at all.

What age did your little one have their first sleepover? If they haven’t yet, i’d love to know why you haven’t done it yet (if you feel like sharing of cause).

Posted in parenting

Twenty Twenty

The year it all went wrong.

I think it’s pretty safe to say so far this year hasn’t been the best. In February we were dealt with storms that lasted days and caused flooding damage to so many areas around us. Thankfully, we are fortunate that we don’t live close to water and we didn’t suffer but lots of businesses and houses were destroyed due to flooding.

It feels like as soon as our county started getting back to normal we all went in to lockdown and that has been tough in itself!

As keyworkers my husband and I have both been working the odd day here and there but this has been a really difficult time. Ellie has been missing her friends, her nursery teachers, her grandparents and is so bored. It doesn’t matter what we do with her, to her she is still stuck at home and it’s really hard on her. It’s hard on all children.

Our days have been fairly relaxed, we’ve done some nursery homeschooling in the form of phonics, name writing and numbers. She’s read stories, retold stories and acted them out. She’s learnt how to put her socks on herself and has been helping do the odd chores around the house too.

We’ve also had more than one tantrum throughout, usually every couple of days we get a really bad day. It’s tough but just something we know we have to ride out as best we can.

I’ve tried to remain positive through all of this; we are safe at home and for as long as we can we will stay at home. I’ve lost one child, there is no way I am risking taking Ellie anywhere to lose another one. It saddens me that some people haven’t taken lockdown seriously enough; Ellie hasn’t seen ANYONE other than me and Luke in nearly 7 weeks and its tough yet we’ve seen neighbours still visiting their grandchildren regularly and having BBQ’s with their families. Trying to explain to a 3 year old why she can’t do the same (because to her everyone else is seeing their families and friends) is hard. We are both fortunate that our jobs are safe and we both have jobs to go back to, something I know others don’t have. Like I say, i’ve tried to remain positive and see the good in something that is so awful.

I’m hoping lockdown ends soon and we can start to begin a new normal way of living where we can start to venture out more and she is able to go to nursery but I can’t see that happening until September now. We shall see.

How has lockdown affected you?

Posted in parenting, product review

Review – Casdon Self -Service Supermarket Till

Ellie loves to role-play shopping and has really enjoyed testing out the Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till. She’d had a really busy first week at nursery and she loved being able to play at home with her new toy.

Upon opening the box Ellie was slightly disappointed the till wasn’t already made (toddler problems right there!) and waited patiently for me to put it all together. The main base is made of three plastic parts that clip together easily then the counter attaches to the top. Thankfully the scanner comes ready made and slots into the counter. Its not difficult to set up at all however it did take me slightly longer to put all the stickers in place. I hate stickers on toys! The pressure to get them perfectly lined up is just too much with an over-excited toddler so I bribed her with snacks while I put them all on and made up the little food boxes.

However the time it takes to build and make up the boxes is definitely worth it once you’ve stocked the shelves full of branded goodies they know and love ready for play such as Hovis, Mr Kipling, Andrex and Birds Eye!

Once everything is assembled you are almost ready to play. The scanner itself needs 3 AAA batteries and works just like a scanner they’ve seen in the shops. It works on a light sensor so when items are passed through it it beeps like a real scanner. The buttons on the scanner also make a beep noise, there are two different noise levels so it doesn’t have to be too loud. The card machine on the side of the scanner also beeps when the numbers are pushed and coins put in can be given back as change when the button is pressed too.

The Self-Service till comes with a credit card, some notes and plastic coins that are great for teaching the basic skills of shopping and money. It also comes with a handy shopping basket to further develop imaginative play.

What We Think…

We love the bright colours, the bold red, blue and white are great primary colours and make it appealing for little children.

Ellie has really enjoyed acting out and pretending to be the shop-keeper scanning our shopping. She loves scanning different items and putting them in the basket, her imagination has developed lots since starting nursery so her play has developed too. It’s lovely to watch her play so happily. I love that she can use her own experiences of shopping in her play…although i’m not quite as keen on my milk costing me £20!!

The Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till is perfect for pretend play; toddlers and pre-schoolers will love using their imagination and experiences to buy their own shopping and scan it themselves! For me, the realistic noises really add to the whole experience. Ellie can’t wait to have her friends round to play!

My only grumble would be the stickers…did I mention I really dislike stickers?

The Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till is available from Hello Baby and at the time of posting is on offer at £49.09 with FREE UK DELIVERY.