February is here, the time of year when people’s new year’s resolutions are broken, diets thrown out the window and Domino’s Pizza is once again on their speed dials (do phones still have speed dial?). February is also the month of love, romance, the time are year when the general public is thrust into a lustful state of mind. Partners expecting their one true love to show just how much they mean to them with material items and the givers are expecting to also be on the receiving end of some mighty fine…… hugging (wink face). So, you saucy, sexy readers out there (and Craig) tell me what you guys did on Valentines day, even if you’re not in relationship right you can always practice self-love and by this do not mean masturbation Craig.
This month also marks the official 10-year milestone for me and Laura being together. What a decade it has been, we have grown from drunkenly Frenching it up to Flo-Rida Low on the dance floor (my sweet moves obviously allured her), to getting married then to creating the two most wonderful beings to walk this surface. Also hitting the double figures puts Laura in a select group of people, my own mum only made it to 9 years before deciding to get milk and never to be seen again (you’re welcome Craig). On a serious note, I would to thank Laura for her patience, kindness, her genuine nature and her love. I have evolved, maturely finely like a fine wine, some might say you had a hand in that, I think they might be right.
Freddie fantastic day with his favourite Uncle
Freddie came for his first day with me and what a day it was. He was dropped off to me in the morning and within the first ten minutes after everybody left a strong scent was coming from the nappy area (diaper for other folks), that’s right captain ploppy had visited. Now I am not one for bragging, but I was a master at changing both Brooke-Haze and Ember during their nappy stages, so I was feeling confident, also no-one else was there to see me fuck up if I did, don’t worry I didn’t. The key here is preparation. I had the new nappy open ready to slide under, I had wipes pulled out ready, it was GO time. I took the old nappy off, wiped, new nappy on, old one wrapped up and thrown in the bin, done. Also, I have a secret weapon, that both of mine loved and so did Freddie. My secret is patented “drum tum!” Works every time.
Mark (Freddie’s Daddy) built Ember this nice toy board for her birthday few years back. I brought that downstairs for him to play with and loved it He also liked Embers dinosaurs which was cute because Freddie does a cool little roar when playing with Embers Dinosaurs
Valentines, where people are programmed to show their significant other just how much the feel by buying them extravagant gifts, going bigger and better each year, consumerism at its best. Me and Laura have never been big gift givers on this special day, instead we show our love in other ways (no, not like that you dirty minded people). The day before Valentine’s day I had a job interview and with my strategic mind, thought I could kill two birds one stone and pick up the flowers I had previously ordered afterwards (smart I know). Unfortunately, due to their undisclosed tests (I think they tried to trick me), the interview ran over making it impossible for me to get to the florists in time. I decided I would go pick them up first thing in the morning after school run BEFORE, I go to my dentist appointment (just in case) and be home in time to present my lucky wife with a beautiful bouquet of flowers before she got home from work being super romantic. This year though I think Laura out romanced me. It is safe to say I am the usually the more romantic one out of the two of us however, Laura surprised me with a lovely card an “I heart u” made from green beans (she knew I would prefer that to chocolate) and a delightful bottle of Jack Daniels Gentlemen’s Jack.
We stayed in Valentine’s day night and I cooked three different tasty, tantalising meal for me and the three special ladies in my life. For the girls I made meatballs and pasta, their favourite. For Laura I made sweet potato fries, a steak and salad and for me, I made chicken breast in a white wine sauce with cabbage, green beans and a side of dauphinoise potatoes which I begrudgingly shared with Laura, it was Valentine’s day after all.
Me and Laura went out for a belated Valentines meal, we rarely go out, childcare being one of the issues, but the biggest issue is me. I love the thought of going out, having fun, watching movies, playing pool, cheeky drinks, it all sounds great. The problem arises when it is time to go out. I dread it. By the time evening comes I am tired sometimes left feeling broken, I give all my energy and focus to the girls in the daytime that all I want to do is have a shower and rest. Even the days where I have a little more in the tank, I worry about what the knock-on effect will be. It makes me question many things, will I still be able to complete all my father duties in the morning? How much pain will I be in? And many more. These concerns build up into something bigger that it is no longer “just” going out. I am left feeling anxious and no longer want to fulfil my originally agreed social commitments. Cancelling plans with friends has unfortunately caused me to upset a few of those closest to me, people I have grown up, adding to the alienation.
Me and Laura are polar opposites with so many things, she sleeps so easily whereas I find it the hardest task in the world, she likes all things cheese (food/movies/music) I do not, she dances like Ross’ dad from friends whereas my dancing is like Usher, Chris Brown and JT had a three-way and spawn a lovechild, Laura can control her mouth, me not so much (I am getting better though), but as the wise Paula Abdul said “opposites attract.” Food being the biggest clash. Laura loves your burgers, steaks etc whereas I like my Chinese, Indian, Italian sorts of foods. I view it as when you go out you should have something a little more special than a burger, but because we were going out for a belated Valentines date, I let Laura choose. She chose Handmade Burger, and like a true gentleman I agreed. It had nothing to do with the fact I had a 50% off food voucher, that never crossed my mind, just the happiness of my wallet… I mean wife. The burger was okay, nothing to rave about, it was overpriced in my opinion.
After our overpriced (but not oversized) burger, we went to cinema to watch Instant Family with one of my man crushes, Mark Wahlberg. A nice family comedy, light-hearted fun, or so I thought. It started nice, a few giggles whilst I was munching on my popcorn (that Laura said she wouldn’t eat), then it slowly started pulling on the old heart strings. Now, I am an emotional man, especially when it comes to family matters. This film took me on an emotional roller coaster, making me reminisce about my troublesome upbringing whilst all the while having my two gorgeous girls in my mind. Me and Laura was going to go play pool or have a few cheeky drinks at a pub afterwards but we both walked out feeling drained from being put through the emotional ringer. I also realised that if we went home there was a good chance Brooke-Haze would still be awake which meant I could get some good quality cuddles in. We raced home and made it just in time, I got my hugs and felt happier for it.
Brooke-Haze had a half term week this month (this is a week off school for anybody who doesn’t know). Laura also had the week off from work, this meant we would be doing lots of fun, energy stealing, pain inducing activities. Usually these weeks are 40% fun and 60% agonising pain, this week however wasn’t so bad. This time around though I bugged, prodded and poked Laura into planning our week, ensuring we included less strenuous days to help recover and repair for the busier ones. We went to nature play areas, we visited family, we went to play parks with family, we met the infamous Peppa Pig (I had to restrain myself from beating the crap out that spoilt Pig Ace Ventura style for 5 years of torment), we rode the bus to visit our central library and ate tasty desserts, Brooke-Haze had a “Brookie Day”, she also had two birthday parties to attend one of them being at a Fun Farm and the other at Jump (a trampolining/bouncy castle place where I got a little excited and hurt my back and got three severe friction burns).
I was called back in this week to attend a second interview, they offered me a modified version of the original advertised job. I was pleased to het offered a job as I have been concerned that no-one would want me after taking a gap from working full time. I told them I had to think about it and talk it over with my wife.
The aforementioned date night with Laura also happened this week. Overall a really great week. Planning out the whole week was so much better than our usual day by day approach. It helped me cope with the physical demands of the week, it helped me mentally prepare for the tougher days, it also made use of our time better. So clearly my plan to plan planned out nicely. I love it when a plan comes together.
I started February feeling good, I was out of a slump and started to ger over my infection and was starting to make progress with my Custom Fit programme. I have been steadily going up in weights with my upper body workouts which has helped keep my spirits towards exercise up. My diet has been okay (always room for improvement though), in half term it wasn’t great, but where this would usually be demotivating but not this time. I mentally prepared myself for having a naughty week food wise and the Monday after half term I made myself complete a workout and ate well to ensure I was back on schedule.
As the second month of 2019 was ending, I started to feel a little anxious, especially at night-time. I have been waking up some nights feeling anxious, a feeling of unease consuming my body. I find those moments harder than when I feel them in the daytime, when they come on in the daytime, I have the time to control them, when I wake at 3am in the morning, feeling disorientated, it is harder to get a handle on what is happening to my body. I have been quieter on social media and apologise to those I have neglected to reply to yet, I will I promise. I go through ups and downs with social media, I love it and hate it at the same time, and I am still new to it. I am very conscious of my anxiety, I once was in a dark place with it many years ago and I never want to go back to that place. When I do feel it start to creep up, I withdraw from the world and go back to living in my little bubble until I am back on track.
February has been a good month, I decided to turn that job down. They wanted me to drive a fork-lift which wasn’t in the original advert. I don’t think it is wise for me to take a job which I couldn’t do if I had a bad day with my MS. All my previous jobs have been ones I can still do on my bad days, clearly this one wasn’t meant for me. The girls are happy, and they had a great half term week. Me and Laura got to spend some quality time together which was overdue and lovely.
It has sucked having that anxious feeling back again. There is no obvious causes springing to mind it unfortunately comes and goes. I am well equipped for them but that does not stop them from being so f-ing inconvenient and annoying but as I write this, they have been less frequent and less intense which is good. Lesson here is knowing and understanding sometimes we are tested and pushed to our limits, but we all have to remember it will pass, it will get brighter and it will get better.