November Photo Challenge #amsh2017 Day 3 – Close Up

Trying to find a decent close up picture was difficult.

I didn’t want this one to focus on my children as they are my main focus anyway.

I tried to find a beautiful flower but it’s November, not much is flowering currently.

I tried to get close to some ducks that were sitting on the side of the pond but a toddler came along and scared them all off before I could get the correct light and angle.

The photo I ended up taking has actually turned out to be one of my favourites that I took today. It took a few goes but I finally got one I was happy with.

My husband thinks it looks like a bullet hole in glass but I think the hole means a spider ate last night.



November Photo Challenge #amsh2017 Day 2 – Family

There are 5 people in my close family. I have a husband and 3 kids. All three kids are in my heart and mind but only two are in my arms.

I have no full family photos as my Milo died before my Lilith was born. I now struggle to take photos of just the 4 of us. I want them as I know the kids will want them as they get older but I just can’t 90% of the time.

I do have a bear that takes the place of my Milo but even then it still doesn’t feel right to take the image.

As I created this challenge I am not sure why I have added a topic that is family based when my family is so hard to photograph. I think having it in the challenge is a way of sorting out my head a bit.

The photo I choose to share is one including my Milo but it is a composite of many different photos. It has and always will have my Milo at the centre. We may not be able to see him any more but he is always in our hearts.

the houghton

November Photo Challenge #amsh2017 Day 1 – Toy


This photo is of all my family’s favourite toys.

These are all very special and if any of them got lost there would be trouble.

The black bear at the back is mine. He is called Blackie. I was given him for my first Christmas by my big brother. He went everywhere with me. He even got lost one day while out shopping but luckily he was found very quickly due to the help of a passer by.

The dodgy looking pink but is actually brown bunny is my husbands, creatively named Brown Bunny. He slept holding his ears every night. He hated it when it was time for the bunny to go in the wash so DH’s mum went out and bought yellow bunny as a substitute. Yellow bunny was never as popular but was ok for wash days.

The white bellied bunny (or kangaroo, we have never been sure) is my eldest son’s bedtime companion. Her name is Raa raa. Initially she was Raberoo but A shortened it.  She was given to him as a present when he was born by my work colleague. We weren’t sure that he would be the favourite initially as A favoured an elephant as he liked to chew the trunk but Raa Raa won out. There are multiple Raa Raa’s floating about. We have one that is kept downstairs and both grandparents have one that is kept at their house.

The pink bunny is my daughters. As is a trend in this family she is called Pink Bunny. I bought her this on a whim. I love the make and thought it was cute. She has been a firm favourite ever since. We have purchased a spare too as PB got left at my parents after a visit and we ended up having to meet my dad half way back as L just wouldn’t settle without the damn bunny.

The final teddy is my Milo’s. He is called Dexter the donkey and he was by his side from when Milo was 10 days old until his death. He was a good teddy for him to have as Dexter is machine washable so if he got dropped out of the incubator then he could be cleaned properly and reduced the risk of infection. We decided that we wanted to keep Dexter instead of putting him in the coffin with my Milo. I needed the donkey to be close to me. He initially smelled just like my son. I cradled him just like my son in the early days and still do when I have a bad day. Milo wasn’t left alone though as he had his other donkey and a bear that was his brothers.



November Photo Challenge.

I have seen many of these photo challenges around the net. I often find that I struggle to find a subject on many of the days, or the things I can come up with are really not creative or have been done many times.

I decided that I would create a challenge of my own. It has taken me a while (as you can probably tell) and trying to get the image and wording correct has been a giant pain in my back side.

This is what I will be doing for the next 30 days. I plan on sharing both a photo and a small piece about the photo.



Half Term

Cannot believe how quickly this half term in school has gone. My eldest son started a new school in September and it feels like he has only just started but it has been 7 weeks. He finally settled into the routine and then the half term holiday started.

Husband is on annual leave this week which will make my life 100 times easier. It is a nightmare trying to do anything with both kids when you don’t drive.

The first weekend we dedicated it to homework, sleeping and clearing the living room.

Today we have taken a car full of unwanted book, home ware and toys to the local charity shops. Luckily we have quite a few in our area so we were able to help quite a few different charities. The kids weren’t overly happy in getting rid of their toys but the thought of new ones in a few months pacified them slightly and taking them for a hot chocolate and cake in the bakery helped too.

Tomorrow Aiden is going to be visiting Cadbury World for the first time. Unfortunately I won’t be there to witness the wonder on his face as he is going with his cousin and grandparents. He has an uncomfortable early start but hopefully he will nap on the way there (who am I kidding?) While he is there his little sister will be visiting the local trampoline park for a tots session and then getting a new haircut. I want to jump myself but I don’t think they allow adults too. Shame as could do with the workout.

Wednesday while her biggest brother is chilling playing Minecraft Lilith will be watching her first ever film at the cinema. We are going to watch the My Little Pony movie. The original is the first ever film I saw and so history is repeating itself. She chose which seats we are going to be sitting in. I just hope she will stay sitting for the whole film. I’m planning on purchasing her body weight in popcorn to help in that endeavour.

I hope to do some rock painting and hiding in the latter part of the week. It seems that the kids have been caught up in the craze since Lilith found her first rock a few weeks back. I must remember to leave clue on the social media group, though not sure if that is cheating a little.

I will get the kids to design and paint a rock for their missing brother and rather than hiding it we will take it to his grave for him. I also plan on doing some rocks that will be angel related but they will be hidden in the local area.

On Friday the kids will be going to a local charity Halloween party. I booked the tickets ages ago and wasn’t planning on telling the kids but an email notification came up on the tablet while A was using it and the surprise was scuppered. Mum fail or what? We are going with the cousins to the party so hopefully it will be a great afternoon all round.

The weekend will probably be much like the first, making sure homework is completed, reading record is filled in and uniform is ready.

This is the busiest half term we have had for a long time. We normally just watch a lot of TV, play on the computer/tablets and visit the local parks. Having a daddy home really helps.


#AtoZChallenge2017 Parenting After Loss, Day 25, Letter Z – Zones

Loss parents have many zones to their lives. Loss Parent, Normal Parent, Not A Parent, Friend, Sibling, Child. All of these zones are overshadowed by Loss Parent, at least at the start of the journey.

Once the initial numbness and pain has passed all zones are still affected by the loss but in different ways. Friend zone may change as some people will no longer want to be around you as they will have no idea what to say or how to act. They may also be afraid of the tears or that they fear the loss will rub off on them (numpties).  You may also find that you don’t want to be around some previous friends because they have a child the same gender or age as your missing child.

I have all the zones listed above. All of them were affected by the loss of my Milo especially the Normal Parent zone. I wanted to talk about my son but a lot of people didn’t want to hear about him in normal play group situations or they just wanted to say they understood how I was feeling due to losing a grandparent (still a loss but incomparable to the loss of your child).

Loss Parent is an odd Zone. I find that while this zone is a constant in my life I am visiting it less and less. It is starting to not define me any more. At first all my interactions were led by the fact that I am a loss parent but now I find that I no longer lead with my Milo story (wrong word but it works for this post). Obviously this zone takes over around special dates but I would worry if it didn’t.