Mummy and Daddy bought us some new books about Santa, Rudolph, Elves and Snowmen ages ago and we watched some Christmas Peppa episodes, so we kind of get the gist, but Mummy and Daddy kept telling us that Christmas is about giving, about love and about quality time with family and friends and so whilst we didn’t have a long list of trips out or Christmas festivities planned, we started off our Christmas, once daddy had finished work, with a trip to see the Angels at Jessops.
Mummy and daddy felt nervous on the way there and mummy said that she can’t drive past the hilsbro ground and around the roundabout before going up the hill without getting emotional because that was when I, Austin had started my exit to the world and the panic set in. We pulled into the car park like old times and toddled in, all the while mummy and daddy telling us that here is where we were born and why it is such a special place.
This was our 2nd Annual Christmas visit to see our family at Jessops NICU! The angels who saved us! It always feels like just yesterday, the memories, the emotions! They still give the best hugs. Mummy still cries because even she cannot find the words to thank them. It was amazing to see Nina & Doreen who were the first two nurses to receive us the day we were born, who cared for us until Mummy came to meet us! Very special people!
Mummy is still in awe that they remember us and the little details about us from when we were born, they deliver thousands of babies every year. It is so much more than a job to them.
So, the NICU unit is supposed to be quiet and calm but we were absolutely bossing it running around with Nurse Doreen holding our reins. Mummy spotted a mummy having kangaroo care with her twins and mummy was overcome with emotion, it took her right back. But mummy never saw evidence that it would all be ok and there we were running around showing them that miracles do happen. The mummy was in tears too. Like some intergalactic mummy intelligence transferred through the window, they shared a moment. They just knew.
Always a pleasure. Mummy said she would take us back every Christmas and birthday with goodies for our Jessops family and that she won’t ever let any of us take for granted, the life we very nearly never had, nor the efforts, the heart, the soul, the expertise these people put into saving us.
We rushed back to Nannie & Grandads house to get ready for our first trip to see Santa. Now, we have to be really careful don’t we, with shopping centres, other children, winter germs, and so we didn’t visit Santa last year and hadn’t done so this year either. So far! However, mummy decided that as she loves ‘local heritage’ we would do our first Santa trip on the steam train at Elsecar, and so Mummy booked it as soon as she possibly could and counted down, hoping and praying that we would be well enough to go on the day.
So, we all trundled down to the railway, it was really stressful. Nannie had hold of my hand and I fell in a puddle so Mummy was grumpy with her because she should have been holding me tighter. Rory wouldn’t walk. He then also fell int he mud. As stressful as it was with two toddlers, we boarded the train and took up our seats in our own little cabin for the experience.
It was perfect really, our own little cabin, no germ sharing, lovely and cosy warm. The elves were really entertaining, in full character, walking up and down the train, breathing on the windows and drawing festive pictures in the steam. The railway volunteers gave the grown ups miniature’s and mince pies and we got gingerbread and a fruit shoot, but Mummy wouldn’t let us have the fruit shoot, we just played with it and pretended to drink from it because it made us feel cool and older. The gingerbread – it was our favourite part of the whole journey.
Santa came round too, and gave us a present. He asked if we had been good and Mummy said that we had. We will post the video of us meeting santa on our Vimeo account with the other videos. You are welcome to view.
So, here are the pictures from our Santa Steam Train experience….
On Christmas Eve we had lots of visitors from people bringing us presents. Auntie Mandy & Auntie Chloe brought some big boxes in coloured paper, we weren’t allowed to open them. Mummy hid them around the corner, she thought we hadn’t noticed. Then Auntie Nat Nat & Big T brought us a really cool present that they had made for us with Auntie Nat Nats brains and Big T’s joinery skills. It is really impressive. It will teach us all about real world things and is very sensory. We told him he should make them and sell them because every child needs one…
Later that afternoon when it was dark, Mummy stood us on the window bottom and we peered out. There was the big red guy from the train again, and one of the elves, but she wasn’t the same as the ones on the train. She was much thinner. They came inside. On closer inspection it was Nannie & Grandad, Mummy told us that they came last year aswell and that it is a tradition, every Christmas Eve, they will visit. They really are nutty.
Mummy and Daddy put us to bed, and followed shortly afterwards.
On reflection, Mummy felt bad that she hadn’t done any of the ‘carrot, mince pie for Santa…..reindeer dust (even though she bought us some ready) but as she and daddy said, we didn’t mind and they have had so much on, what does it really matter. Like we said in the last blog, we are just getting through the days.
Christmas morning came, we didn’t know that it was any different to any other. Until we went downstairs and were met with lots of big objects wrapped in paper in our living room. We had a field day….
we even face timed Auntie Vic.
Daddy bought Mummy (from us & Beau too) a BLISS bracelet. It meant a lot to her and it is something that she will keep, something nice but something that gives back to the charity that helped us so much through sandra, the BLISS nurse, the work that she did and continues to do at Jessops, but also, the policies, the practices and the VOICE for babies born prematurely and sick. Like us.
We got ready and went to Nannie & Grandads to continue our Christmas day celebrations and have our Christmas dinner.
We made our annual Christmas day visit to the Crematorium to pay our respects to Great Grandad Reginald and Grandma Joan. Rory was fast asleep so we left him in the car, but I went to say hello to the guy who gave me my name.
We had our dinner dressed as Christmas Puddings, something else Crazy Nannie insisted on, and we were really good. mummy & daddy planned it, giving us our dinner and a yoghurt, with Peppa on silent at the end of the table for our eyes only, and it kept us entertained enough so everyone could have their christmas dinner, albeit mummy and daddy ate at speed.
We ended up with even more toys to find a home for in our play room, and it no longer looked tidy and pristine like it did freshly decorated….
We spent the coming days playing…
Eating Percy Turners pork pie…
and in my world…..sitting on everything and anything….comical…
Mummy & Daddy used our new table to have a cheese feast when we were in bed one night, they thought they were really clever and resourceful…
Uncle Lev visited….
we all went to Auntie Vic & Uncle Naths. We started a new tradition each Christmas. Lovely food and fun party games. They bought us a crazy car garage with its own trampoline to keep at their house. We loved using their fire place as a stage and their big comfy sofa…
Daddy taught us how to use our first remote control car…
We became obsessed with our fire engine build-a-book…
Learnt how to sit on our scuttlebug, although I still waddle about with it between my legs, I haven’t quite worked out to sit on it an life my legs up, still puts the adults in hysterics watching me…
We really enjoyed learning to look after the animals with our new farm that Auntie Mandy bought us…
And heres a cute picture of us in the bath for good measure….
We didn’t do much else, just spent time together at home with our new toys, hiding from the germs and the bad weather.
On New Years Eve though, we managed a walk to the park. We were out of the house for 30 minutes.When we got home, Mummy reflected. Something she does a lot. She said that the trip, and the below photos that she took, epitomised our year. Some ups, some downs. Moving forwards, moving backwards, holding hands, yet being painfully independent, encouraging eachother up the steepest of hills and always smiles, lots of smiles.
She said that its been a difficult year but yet so much easier than the previous one.
We snuggled up and Mummy and Daddy summised that we together we have so many challenges to face in 2018, some exciting, some scary, some unknown.
Who knows, we might say goodbye to Rory’s trachy, hello to a winter spent outside of the playroom and welcome to a whole new world that we can only dream about.
On New Years Eve, every year, mummy and daddy write a list of aims for the coming year. They look back at the Ones they wrote last year for the year just passed and see if they achieved everything they wanted. Ironically they couldn’t find the 2017 aims, mummy seems to think they ticked everything off so she binned it, although it is probably a reflection of the slightly more chaotic lifestyle they have this year and it has been thrown away in one of Mummy’s crazy de-cluttering moments. Daddy did say though that they didn’t have many aims for 2017 except to do their best for me, Rory & Beau because things were so uncertain this time last year.
So, once we were in bed, they began, each taking their pen and paper, mummy and daddy wrote down independently all of the things they as an individual wanted from 2018, they shared and found their top 5 common priorities as they do each year and they set about enjoying their NYE, cup of tea and a treat before bed, at usual time, only knowing the new year was here because of the local fireworks waking us all up.
2018 – big changes, big dreams, bring it on!