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Ideas To Enjoy Halloween When You Can't Go Trick Or Treating

31 October 2020

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Some people don't agree with trick or treating however we have always let the boys trick or treat at our neighbours houses on Halloween. It's something they have both looked forward to over the years and it's sad that this year they won't be able to. I still want to make Halloween special for little J so I have been thinking of ways to make Halloween special when you cant go trick or treating. 

pumpkins


Decorate Your Home
We have always decorated our home for Halloween although I always feel like we don't get time to enjoy it as we are out most of the evening. This year make your home more spookier than ever and it will be the perfect setting for your night of spooky fun. 

Spooky Treasure Trail
Our children may not be able to knock on neighbours doors for treats but that doesn't mean they have to miss out. Create a spooky treasure trail for them to follow collecting sweets and chocolates along the way. 
cookies


Decorate Cookies
Who can make the spookiest cookie? You can let your imagination run wild and create the most scariest looking cookies ever. Why not host a competition to see who's is the best and then you can eat them.

Play Games
I'm not talking about Monopoly or Scrabble, create some spooky games to play with the kids. How about pin the wart on the witch, or an old favourite duck apple. 

Read Spooky Stories
Turn all the lights down and give the kids some torches and read spooky stories in the dark.

deathly hallows pumpkin


Carve A Pumpkin
Most will have their pumpkins picked and carved ready for Halloween but it's a great activity to do together and when best than on the most spookiest night of the year. 

Host A Movie Night
There are so many family friendly Halloween movies to enjoy. Host a movie night. You can even make a movie ticket, give the children money to spend at the snack and drink kiosk, turn down the lights and enjoy the movie. 

Find The Pumpkins
During lockdown homes all round the country popped rainbow drawings and paintings in their windows. During our daily walks we would look for rainbows and count how many we spotted. This year communities are trying to do something similar but displaying pumpkins. It's a lovely idea and I know the kids would love it too.

No matter what you decide to do this Halloween I hope you have a very spooky time and please keep safe.
Michelle
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Our Top Five Things To Do When Visiting The Lake District

29 October 2020

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Disclosure In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views and photographs are our own.

Although we haven't done a lot of travelling this year we have had some very nice days out and overnight stays and I think that has helped us get through this very strange year. One of our favourite places is The Lake District and whilst following local guidance it's been perfect to visit as there is plenty of open space to enjoy and no matter what the weather it's a beautiful place to explore. Here are our top five things to do and see when visiting The Lake District. 

Bowness on Windermere

Enjoy A Boat Trip On Windermere
Taking a boat trip on Windermere never gets old and we have been enjoying it for as long as I can remember. You can enjoy the stunning views of Windermere from a cruise that departs from either Bowness. Ambleside or Lakeside.

Red Cruise
Sail from Bowness to Ambleside or vice versa, and enjoy this 70-75 minutes round trip cruise.

Blue Cruise
A 45 minute circular cruise from Bowness, enjoy contrasting scenery of mountains, wooded shorelines and lovely tranquil bays.

Yellow Cruise
This cruise sails from Bowness to Lakeside or vice versa. The round trip takes 90 minutes.

Due to Covid-19 all cruises now have allocated seating and you can book up to between 7-10 days in advance. A face covering must be worn on board all cruises and it's advised to check the website before you travel for any updated information.

Grizedale Forest


Visit To Grizedale Forest
The Grizedale Visitor centre is a great base if you are planning one of the walking trails as it has plenty of parking, facilities including toilets and washing area, picnic tables to enjoy lunch or snack before you set off.

The centre also has a fantastic childrens play area, and a cafe area with outside and inside seating (although inside isn't available at the moment) serving food, drinks and ice creams throughout the day.  There is also a Go Ape centre here with climbing options in the forest and Segway routes if you would prefer this to a walk.

Railway Sign


Take A Steam Train Ride
You can enjoy the scenic views of the Lakes from the comfort of a Steam Train on the heritage railway. You can combine the yellow river cruise from Bowness and enjoy a 2 hour round trip. 

Your boat cruise will take you to Lakeside where you will then board the steam train to Haverthwaite Station.

Once at Haverthwaite you can enjoy a take away snack from the tea room, browse the gift shop, take a woodland walk and the children can enjoy the large playground area.

Due to Covid-19 all visitors on board must wear a face covering and as always make sure you check out the website for up to date information regarding your visit.

Walking through the woods

Walk Through Fell Foot Park
Fell Foot Park is a huge open space where you can enjoy walks around the parkland, meadow and lake. There is cafe open inside the park and they are working hard to not only provide takeaway snacks and drinks but to offer indoor seating too. 

There is a downloadable activity sheet available from the Fell Foot Park website including a tree trail and bird spotter challenge. 

The car park is open however parking spaces are limited and at the moment there are just two toilets open. 

Please do continue to check the website before your visit.

Vegetable patch at Hill Top

Hill Top - A Visit Beatrix Potter's Home
A visit to Hill Top is a must for Beatrix Potter fans. Although the house is currently closed due to Covid-19 the gardens, shop and cafe are open. 

The gardens are beautiful all year round but in Autumn they are busting with vegetables, fruit and pretty colours. 

If you want to explore the area you can enjoy the Beatrix Potter Moss Eccles Tarn Walk. This is a gentle walk taking from Hill Top to Moss Eccles Tarn, one of Beatrix Potters favourite places to paint while her husband fished. 

Please do continue to check the website before your visit.

The lakes




The Lake District is a beautiful place to visit with so many attractions and things to see and do and we never get tired of visiting and exploring. 

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Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit 

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Michelle
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Visiting Dream, Sutton Manor

21 October 2020

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For the past 11 years we have travelled up and down the M62 for both business and pleasure and every time we pass 'The big white head' I always say we must go and visit and see what it is all about, but we never had until last weekend. We are always looking for ideas for walks in the North West so we headed to Sutton Manor. The big white head which is actually called Dream is situated in the old Sutton Manor Colliery grounds and was created in 2009.

Dream Statue
Dream is located in Sutton Manor, St Helens and was the result of St Helens entering Channel 4's 'The Big Art Project' in 2008. Artist Jaume Plensa visited the site and had a vision of a piece of art coming out from the ground. He decided on a neck and head of a woman with her eyes closed as if she is meditating. He later decided to base the sculpture on a 9 year old girl representing the idea of 'future'.

Sutton Manor Woodland is very popular with dog walkers and visitors to Dream. There is a car park and plenty of road parking surrounding the area. 

Dream Statue
When entering Sutton Manor via the main entrance sign posts for Dream are dotted along the pathways however if you wish to explore the woodlands and circular paths you can choose a variety of ways. 

Some of the paths are a little steep and not very well surfaced however most of the routes are accessible. 

The Dream Statue is located in the middle of the woodlands and is very hard to miss. Other than visiting the statue there are no other facilities at Sutton Manor Woodland but it was a very enjoyable walk. 

Facts about Dream
Designed by world-famous, award-winning Catalan artist Jaume Plensa
Standing on a plinth, Dream is 20 metres, 66 feet high and is fifty times life size
The sculpture weighs 373 tonnes and sits on the site of Sutton Manor Colliery
Made from brilliant white pre-cast concrete with Spanish dolomite, the whitest marble
The plinth in the shape of a miner’s tally is 17 metres in diameter, made of 36 units
The casting of Dream by Evans Concrete of Derbyshire took a total of sixty days
A total of 6160 man hours were spent in constructing the sculpture
54 different panels each weighing 9 tonnes comprise Dream’s head
The supporting piles go 38 metres underground, nearly twice Dream’s height
An estimated 55 million vehicles pass Dream each year on the M62

Dream Statue



We really enjoyed our visit to Dream however I'm not sure whether we would visit again nor would I recommend travelling a great distance to visit. I think if the woodlands itself was to undergo a makeover to include maybe a cafe, toilet facilities, children's play area and other facilities to make a trip worthwhile then I do think it would attract more visitors per year. 

********************************************************************************

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit 

Visit our Out and About section for more days out ideas

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 


Michelle
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Family Friendly Halloween Movies

20 October 2020

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This month we will be pressing pause on our 'watching all the Disney movies in release date order' so we can watch some family friendly spooky movies perfect for Halloween. Here is what is on our watchlist.

Pumpkin


Frankenweenie
When a boy's beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.
Running Time - 1hr 28m
Suitable For - PG



The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.
Running Time - 1hr 18
Suitable For - PG

Maleficent
A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.
Running Time - 1hr 39m
Suitable For - PG

Maleficent - Mistress Of Evil
Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and dark new forces at play.
Running Time - 2hr 1m
Suitable For - 12+

hocus pocus


Hocus Pocus
A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.
Running Time - 1hr 39m
Suitable For - PG

Haunted Mansion 
A realtor and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted, and while they attempt to escape, he learns an important lesson about the family he has neglected.
Running Time - 1hr 29m
Suitable For - PG

Goosebumps
A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer's imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.
Running Time - 1hr 43m
Suitable For - PG

Goosebumps 2 - Haunted Halloween
Two young friends find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist's dummy to life.
Running Time 1hr 30m
Suitable For - PG

monster house


Monster House
Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.
Running Time - 1hr 30m
Suitable For - PG

Hotel Transylvania 
Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teenaged daughter.
Running Time - 1hr 31m
Suitable For - U

Hotel Transylvania 2 
Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.
Running Time - 1hr 29m
Suitable For - U

Hotel Transylvania 3 
Count Dracula and company participate in a cruise for sea-loving monsters, unaware that their boat is being commandeered by the monster-hating Van Helsing family.
Running Time - 1hr 37m
Suitable For - U

Corpse Bride
When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.
Running Time - 1hr 17m
Suitable For - PG

Toy story of terror


Toy Story Of Terror
Woody and the gang are held up at a roadside motel and members of the group start to disappear from everywhere. Woody and the gang set about getting to the bottom of the mystery.
Running Time - 22m
Suitable For - PG

Room On The Broom
To the annoyance of her cat a kindly witch allows a dog, a bird and a frog who have helped her retrieve things she has lost to ride on her broomstick, making it top heavy.
Running Time - 25m
Suitable For - PG

Paranorman
A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
Running Time - 1hr 32m
Suitable For - PG

The Witches
A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.
Running Time - 1hr 31m
Suitable For - PG

casper


Casper
An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits.
Running Time - 1hr 40m
Suitable For - PG

Ghostbusters
Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
Running Time - 1hr 45m
Suitable For - PG

ET
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.
Running Time - 1hr 55m
Suitable For - U

Hopefully we will make a start on our watch list this weekend. I think we will start with my favourite Hocus Pocus, its a classic!
Michelle
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Updating Our Book Collection With Little Tiger Press

19 October 2020

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Disclosure - We were sent the books to enjoy however we were not asked to promote on our blog. This post includes affiliate links. 

Although little J stills enjoys a bedtime story as part of his bedtime routine over the past few months he has really started to enjoy reading alone and it's nice to browse books perfect for 7-9 year olds. This month we were sent a selection of books from Little Tiger Press which he is currently working his way through. He started reading alone during lockdown and I'm happy to say he has continued even now he is back at school and his reading has paid off as he has been moved to the highest reading group in school.

A selection of Little Tiger Press Books
      

Yeti Collective
Henry is the new boy at Halbrook Hall – a crumbling boarding school in the Scottish Highlands. He thinks the rumours of yeti lurking in the misty hills are nothing more than stories. Until one day he gets lost in the forest…

As a young yeti, Tadpole loves living in Shadowspring. But now the precious spring water is disappearing and no one knows why. The situation is serious – surely there’s something she can do to help…

When Tadpole accidentally reveals the top-secret location of Shadowspring to Henry, the lost boy she saves, she knows she’s in deep trouble. But what if this human actually has the power to help the yeti not harm them?

The Egyptians
How did the Egyptians remove a mummy's brain? How much solid gold was used to make Tutankhamun's sarcophagus? Was the world's first pop star an Egyptian choral singer? Readers can discover the truth behind some of the most incredible ancient Egyptian stories and superstitions and unearth the most fascinating aspects of an ancient culture in this immersive book. With flaps to lift on every page, there's plenty of history to uncover!

Dragon Detective Sky High
When a visitor turns up unannounced at Dirk’s office with a new case for him and Holly to solve, all is not as it seems. A Sea Dragon has disappeared and the only clue left at the scene of the crime is the ashy outline of an elusive Sky Dragon.

As their investigations take them from a dodgy billionaire’s HQ to the top of the city’s tallest skyscraper, trouble is set to soar sky high for this dragon detective and his partner-in-solving-crime. Will they be able to hunt down the suspect and find the missing dragon before they both disappear into thin air?

Midnight Maker
In the middle of winter, three kittens are born in a barn. Two are ordinary, but the third, jet black and born on the stroke of midnight, is brimming with magic from whiskers to tail – even sparking life into a dusty old broomstick! While her siblings pounce at rats, Midnight perfects her flying skills on the broom, not noticing how her mother disapproves of her magical ways…

When Midnight finds herself abandoned, the little black kitten sets out to find a new home with only her loyal broom Twiggy at her side. The pair soon befriend a kind-hearted girl called Trixie. But how will Trixie’s family react to Midnight’s extraordinary powers and taste for mischief?

 
The hat full of secrets

Henry’s got a secret … a big one! And he doesn’t know what to do with it.

Grandpa suggests he should keep it under his hat ­– and he’s got just the hat for the job. But when Henry puts it on he discovers that Grandpa has some secrets of his own!

A lyrical and heart-warming story celebrating the magical bond between a child and a grandparent, with full colour illustrations on every page.

 
Skeleton keys
Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds… Join me for the curious tale of Gap-tooth Jack – thief, adventurer and champion of imagining!

When Skeleton Keys banishes Wordy Gerdy from the present using his Key to Time, he thinks he’s seen the last of the troublesome unimaginary. But Gerdy uses her ghostly pen to wreak her revenge, and before Skeleton Keys knows it she’s written his precious keys out of existence.

Skeleton Keys and his partner Daisy must follow Gerdy into the past to retrieve her pen and make her restore his keys. But Skeleton Keys has unknowingly sent Gerdy back to his own past and her pen is now in the hands of notorious thief Gap-tooth Jack. As they set off to find Jack, Skeleton Keys can’t help noticing that everything looks strangely familiar. Then he comes face to face with the thief – could it be that the two have met before?


I'm sure these will keep little J busy for the next few weeks. I love that he enjoys reading and cant wait to see what books he wants to enjoy next. 

Michelle
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Mighty Cards Review

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration. We were gifted a set of Mighty Cards for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

We are finally coming up to the home stretch of the first half term back at school since lockdown in March. I had no idea what this half term had in store for us and whether we would all make it to the end in one piece but we did, just about. There have been a few isolation days for us all while we waited for test results but on a whole we made it however we now have the uncertainty about when the boys will return and whether a 'circuit break' lockdown will be imposed over half term. Everyone has been through so much this year and although children are resilient and most have returned to school with smiles on their faces, the unknown is still hanging over us all and I have been trying to look for ways to help us as a family to deal with what this year has thrown at us at so far.

Mighty Cards

When we were recently sent a set of Mighty Cards, I knew that these may be what I had been looking for. The cards which are designed for ages 4-11, provide effective and engaging strategies to help children manage their feelings and emotions. The pack consists of 36 cards which are divided in to 3 types of activities.

There are a wide range of emotions that we experience every day including happy, sad, excited, worried, embarrassed and anxious. Sometimes these may be difficult to deal with so having some simple strategies to follow can really help deal with those tricky feelings. 

The cards are really simple to use and understand, and for us we have been taking the time to choose a card just before dinner to help us enjoy our evening a little better and then before bed to help us feel rested and content. 

Mighty Cards


Breathe 
Breathing strategies to calm your body and focus on your mind.

A sample of a Breathe Card is Finger Breathing.

Use a finger from your right hand to gently trace up and down the fingers on your left hand.

Each time you trace up a finger, take a slow deep breath in through your nose. Each time you trace down a finger, slowly release your breath through your mouth. 

Once you have traced the fingers on one hand, swap hands and repeat. 

Mighty Cards


Move
Physical exercises to help relieve tension in your body.

A sample of a Move Card is Wall Push.

Stand in front of a wall and place your arms out in front of you so your hands are touching the wall. 

When you are ready, try with all your strength to push the wall over. Count for 10 seconds, pushing hard. Then shake your arms and legs gently to release the tension in your body. 

Repeat 3 times. 

Mighty Cards


Create
Creative activities to build a sense of calm and control. 

A sample of a Create Card is Calm Poster.

Write the word CALM on paper in big writing. Colour and decorate the page using your favourite colours and stickers. 

As you are colouring and decorating, imagine that you are filling yourself with calmness and joy.

Place your CALM poster somewhere where you can see it often. 

How you use the cards is down to your own personal choice however even though they are designed with children in mind we have all been using the cards and after just a few days we have already felt the benefit. 

Mighty Cards


Dr Gail Sinitsky is a child psychologist and founder of Young & Mighty and has been working with children and families for over 15 years, providing assessment and therapy, in schools and NHS clinics. As part of her work, she specialises in designing and delivering highly successful workshops and groups for children experiencing 'tricky emotions', low self-esteem, trauma, and relational difficulties. I have teamed up with Dr Gail Sinitsky from Young and Mighty to offer one lucky Playdays and Runways reader and follower the chance to win  their own pack of cards.

All you need to do is complete the entry form below and pop back every day at 9pm for bonus chances to win. 

If you would like to know more about Dr Gail and Young and Mighty you can visit the website.

Good Luck.

Michelle



Terms

Competition closes on Sunday 1st November 2020

Entrants must have a valid UK address. 

Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 

All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 

1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 

Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 

The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 

The winners must respond within 28 days, if no response a new winner will be chosen. 

This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative 

The Prize : A set of Mighty Cards

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Asda Photo Canvas Review

12 October 2020

13 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted our Asda Photo Canvas for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

I have written previously about the different types of framed prints and canvas that we like to display at home. As the seasons change we like to update the pictures to be up to date and remind us of all the good times we have had over the last few months. 

Asda Photo Canvas


Asda was not a provider I had considered before for Canvas, although we have used them before for photo books and prints. Asda offer a range of Canvas prints, amongst other photo related items, and it is really one of the easiest ordering experiences of any Canvas or Print site. 

There are four frame types to choose from for your Canvas:  Slim, Premium, 2 Panel or 4 Panel.  We chose Premium as a closer match to our existing displays.  Next you choose your size. The larger the Canvas, the more it will cost you and the higher resolution you will need your chosen photo to be.  You can also choose borders or break points for multiple pictures. Next you simply upload your picture from your device to the site and it will display what the finalised Canvas will look like. Once you are happy its checkout and wait for your new display to arrive. 

The ordering process is really quick, its actually picking the perfect picture that takes some time! From ordering to delivery our Canvas was with us within a few days, delivered well packaged and safely. 

Asda Photo Canvas


The quality of the Canvas is very high. The Canvas is thick enough to withstand some slight prodding and poking if thats likely to happen, and the frame, although lightweight is sturdy enough to be able to be hung however you may wish.  Included is a frame hanging kit, however I always just hang the top of the frame onto nails in the wall that means I can change the canvas at any time and not worry about having to have the nail in different places for each canvas depending on the fit of the hanging kit.  As the frame is lightweight this has always been sufficient. 

Asda Photo Canvas


The one thing different about Asda Photo Canvas was the sizing. All our previous Canvas have been the same size, however as this wasn't available we chose slightly bigger dimensions rather than smaller, however the frame really does look a lot bigger than our existing canvas.  That said, the quality is really good and we love our chosen picture so on a wall with nothing else on it doesn't look out of place. 

Asda Photo Canvas


Overall I was really impressed with the service and the quality and wouldn't hesitate to use Asda Photo again next time we change the prints we have. 

John
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Baby Loss Awareness Week - Remembering Isabella and Rosie

9 October 2020

31 comments
Today marks the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week and I wanted to share again our story for anyone who is going through or has experienced baby loss to let you know you are not alone. You may have read last week that Chrissy Teigan and John Legend lost their baby boy, Jack. It broke my heart reading their story and seeing the pain they were both going through but I admire them for sharing their story as it's so important to share. Baby loss is not a taboo subject and we should be able to share our stories to help those who may need it and also help us too. 

baby feet


As many of you may know baby loss is extremely close to my heart. Losing a baby is heartbreaking and no parent should ever have to go through this. Preparing for a baby starts way before you get that positive pregnancy test it starts at the moment you decide you want to have a baby. 

For us, we decided when big J was just a few years old that we would try for another baby. When you make that choice it completely takes over your life and for us trying for a baby lasted six years. We tried everything. All the things you read about that can help you conceive, we tried but it just didn't work. We were on the verge of considering IVF when Finally in 2009 we got pregnant. I honestly didn't think that day would come when we got that positive test but it did and we were over the moon. 

I breezed through my first pregnancy with no worries or complications. I was young and naive and I fell pregnant and assumed at the end I would have my baby and I did. Unfortunately this is not the reality for most parents, pregnancy is a tough and worrying time and it does not always result in a baby in your arms. 

Our joy of finally getting pregnant didn't last long as our little baby we had tried for, for so long didn't have a heartbeat at an early scan and after just 8 weeks we had a miscarriage. 

It was so hard to pick ourselves back up after losing 'poppy seed' (the baby was a size of a poppy seed when we found out we were pregnant). I felt lost and sad and I couldn't understand why this had happened. Why after so long of trying for a baby was it taken away from us so quickly. 

The want for a baby didn't leave us but we were heartbroken and the effort of trying again was just to overwhelming.  Five months later to our complete surprise we were pregnant again with our rainbow baby. 

This pregnancy I wasn't as confident and I wasn't as happy as I should have been in the beginning. I was scared and nervous and I constantly wanted scans to check the baby was okay. 

Each scan I waited for bad news but there was none, the baby was healthy with a heartbeat. Our baby was measuring a lot bigger than my weeks pregnant and all the way through I was confident I was two weeks more than what they thought. When I got to 38 weeks I went to see my midwife. I was huge, the baby was huge but they were sure our baby was safe. I begged (and that is not a lie, I actually begged) for them to take me in and to start me off but they wouldn't. They did give me two sweeps between 38-40 weeks but our baby didn't budge. 

At 40+5 weeks early one Sunday morning I finally went in to labour. I remember the drive to the hospital thinking I am going to have a baby. This is it. When I got to the labour ward I remember chatting about rubbish to the midwife while I settled in to my room and she did all my observations. She hooked me up to heartbeat monitor and I just remember silence. There was nothing. 

The look on that midwifes face will stay with me forever as she kind of joked that the heartbeat monitor may be in the wrong place but I knew. I knew our baby had gone. 

The next few moments are a blur as I was stripped of my clothing, doctors and nurses came running in to my room from all directions and then I was told, our baby had died. 

A few hours later Isabella was born. My life changed at that moment and I knew then our lives would never ever be the same again. 

Losing Isabella was the worst day of my life. Going into labour at 40+5 weeks to find that there is no heartbeat was the hardest thing to understand. I had a fully grown baby inside me, I had felt her kick and move around. I had watched her heartbeat on our scans. I had heard her heartbeat on our scans. She was real, she was human, she was a baby, she was ours. 

How on earth could she have died? How? Why? 

baby stillborn poem




Coming home without a baby was the hardest thing we have ever had to do and telling big J his sister had died was heartbreaking. We had no words, we had no comfort for him. He wanted a sibling and we couldn't give him that. All we had was a memory box. 

Days seemed to last forever and the sadness just consumed us but we had big J to care for so we had to carry on as normal but we didn't want to. We were heartbroken and still are to this day. 
 
Five months later we were pregnant again, after losing Isabella this was bitter sweet. How could we replace her. Would she be looking down on us thinking we didn't care. Lots of people get pregnant again after a loss and that is where the term rainbow baby comes from. I knew this pregnancy wasn't going to be easy for us mentally and emotionally as we were not only still heartbroken but what if it happened again. 

Our bitter sweet joy didn't last too long as at 22 weeks at our scan there was no heart beat. By this time I was just numb, how could this happen twice, the odds are just crazy. Why had this happened? Was it me? Why were we being punished like this?

Two days later  Rosie was stillborn. After losing Rosie I was very ill and lost a lot of blood. My heart stopped twice and I had to be resuscitated twice and I had to have a blood transfusion. This must have been so worrying for John as he was by my side both times. 

I can't imagine was big J went through, he was just 8 years old and had to go through this hurt and loss twice in the same year. 

It was time to give up on babies. I couldn't go through this again, I didn't want to. I had spent 6-7 years thinking about babies and I had enough. We'd had enough.

That yearning for a baby didn't away so when we found out we were pregnant just over a year later we were happy but we soon found ourselves back at the hospital just after a few weeks of finding out. Our baby had no heartbeat. This time I didn't lose our baby naturally I had to go into hospital to have our baby removed. It was so sad and heartbreaking.

I have always been open about my pregnancies, our babies and our losses. Although it hurts each and every day I know talking about it to anyone who will listen helps raise awareness. 

Baby Loss affects people all year round, all around the world but Baby Loss Awareness Week is a time for parents to come together and remember their babies. 

The 15th October ends Baby Loss Awareness Week and I will be joining in with 'Wave of Light' as I do each year.  I will remember my babies by lighting a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for 1 hour.

Doing this I will be joining the wave of light uniting the world in honour the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

If you are going through baby loss and need to talk there are charities out there that can help you and you will soon realise that you are not alone, knowing that really does help, I promise. 

You can read more about my story by visiting my justgiving page HERE 

Michelle
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Visiting Disneyland Paris During Halloween Season

7 October 2020

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Happy Halloween Sign at Disneyland Paris
Halloween season is lots of fun and even more special if you are heading to Disneyland Paris. We really enjoyed visiting during Halloween and there are lots of tricks and treats to enjoy at the hotels and the parks to keep you busy. Unfortunately it doesn't look like we will make it to Disneyland Paris this year but if you are then I've gathered some information to make the most of your visit. 

Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris

a couple by a Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris

Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Park

I'm Walking Right Down The Middle Of Main Street, USA
From the moment you head in to the park you will be greeted with pumpkins and Halloween decorations as they line the streets with tricks and treats ready to pop up anywhere to give you a spooky surprise.

Main Street is one of our favourite places to take photographs as it is always decorated perfectly for the Halloween season. There will be lots of Mickey pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls ready to be snapped. 

The decorations and music at Disneyland Paris really add to your whole experience and they do it so well.

Maleficent at Disneyland Paris
Spot A Villain
Halloween brings out the villains and you will definitely spot a few of your favourites. Halloween season is the only time you can spot some of the villains so you won't want to miss them.

Maleficent will be lurking around Sleeping Beauty's Castle so make sure you check out Fantasyland.

If you fancy seeing Captain Hook head to Adventureland and look out for the Jolly Roger.

Rumour has it that Ursula will be making an appearance this year too. We have never met Ursula so this will be on our 'to do' list if we get the chance to visit.

pumpkins at Disneyland Paris

Jack Skellington at Disneyland Paris
Spooky Selfies
Spotting your favourite character in their Halloween costume is such a good feeling. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will be escorted around the parks throughout the Halloween season ready to snap a selfie with you.

Little boy with Mickey at Disneyland Paris

Mickey and Friends Take To The Stage
Mickey and friends will also we heading to the Fantasyland theatre for some selfies. (I think this will be the Meet Mickey Theatre but will confirm)

Hollywood Studios

Who's Lurking At Hollywood Studios?
From 1 October, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook and other mischievous characters are invading Studio Theater for your goosebump-inducing pleasure. A screamingly good time awaits those courageous enough to spend time in the presence of these rebellious rapscallions.

tower of terror at  Disneyland Paris


The Tower Of Terror
Welcome to the dusty remnants of the once-glamourous Hollywood Tower Hotel. Going up? Hop inside the service elevator and discover the surprises that lie on the upper floors - we’re sure you’ll fall quickly for this old Hotel’s quirky charms. Oh, and make sure you strap in, you never know what can happen in a rickety old lift.

*Due to Covid19 there will be only opportunities to take selfies with the characters at a distance for the safety of staff and guests. The precise times and locations of characters can not be guaranteed.

As well as all the spooky shenanigans you can enjoy all your favourite rides. 

Disney's Halloween Festival is back for 2020 from 26th September till the 1st November. Opening times and ride closures are updated on the Disneyland Paris website under plan your visit so make sure you check that out before your visit so you can plan your days. 

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Michelle
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