So we’re are a little into the new year and I haven’t posted in a while, in fact one of my challenges (we aren’t doing resolutions this year but are setting some family challenges instead) for the new year is to be a little bit more active on my social media platforms especially Twitter. I have a Twitter account but I haven’t really used it yet, to be honest I don’t really get it, I’ve got a book from the library to help me but if anyone has any tips feel free to message me. I also need to blog a bit more regularly but it can be a bit hard as I usually do my writing at the end of the day, and after a day of chasing the surprisingly fast boy around to take things of him that he’s usually trying to eat, and wearing out my vocal chords saying ‘no, stop that, don’t eat that, that’s naughty, come out of there (he likes to go under our dining table to shake the lamp and remove the plugs from the wall) and all the other things that come with being a parent, all I really want to do is relax on the sofa with a G&T and watch some tv or some other low energy activity (at the moment I keep getting sucked into a deadly clickbait trap and spend hours looking at what is ultimately a load of shite, top ten reasons not to eat toast or 30 famous people who were actually aliens) and so I am going to make a effort to post more. I was talking to friend about this the other day and she said I should try Vlogging. I have a fairly decent smartphone and we also have little action cam and so I may give it a go, so watch this space and you may see the Grizzly beard dad on your screen (what a horrible prospect, in the very least you could probably use it to scare the kids into behaving) but first I think I need to figure out just what to talk about, maybe me chasing the Boy around all day could prove to be quite entertaining.
Another of our family challenges, which is probably more for us than the kids, is to be a bit more healthy and to do some more exercise. Now I walk everywhere that I can but that’s about it for me in the way of exercising, but I do try to do as much of that as I can. There are a few reasons for this the main one being I want to be around for as long as I possibly can. The other is my wife has signed me up for a 5k run for a charity which is for a children’s hospital (she is doing this and is also a half marathon for Tommys, a charity which is close to our hearts as both of our children are rainbow babies) and these days running a bath is probably my limit. I’m also trying to eat a lot more healthily and this week I even made a salad which my wife then pointed out was actually vegetarian and very unlike like me as usually I’m a dedicated carnivore. I posted some pics of them on my Instagram page so pop along and check them out, and if you want to know the recipes just drop me a message.
Christmas is not really my favourite time of year, and I think that this goes back to my previous career in hospitality and retail, when Christmas starts in October or sometimes even sooner, so by the time it finally arrives you just want it to be done so you can get on with getting ready for the next thing. In my house I’m known as a bit of a Grinch and my wife and daughter have made it their mission to de-grinch me. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas it’s all the build up and the music that, when you work in retail or hospitality that is forced into your ears from mid to late November, you have no choice in the matter it is just piped into your aural canals and it slowly drives you mad. I had to work on Christmas day quite often and one of the worst I had a cheese and pickle sandwich for my Christmas dinner. But all that is in the past now that I’m a stay at home dad and this year we had a lovely Christmas and my wife surprised me with her present to me. The label on the mystery package said ‘Thought I'd get you someone to keep you company whilst I work Haha!’. Now this had me a little stumped, I had no idea what was inside this present and we had agreed that I had already had my present earlier in the month, having spent quite a bit of money on it. I had no clue as to what it was, but the wording also had me stumped ‘someone' now the package was heavy but it was way too small for a live in girlfriend or robot. Now a robot wasn’t too far from the mark, the package actually contained ‘Alexa' who was inside an Amazon echo. Now anyone who has one of these will tell you it has some pretty amazing features or skills as she calls them, it can play pretty much any song you ask, do your shopping, make notes and check your appointments in your calendar, send messages and make calls, play games, read books and basically control your house if you’ve got the technology in place like hive and hue and any of those automated home controls in place, you can even tell it to do the vacuuming if you have a robot Hoover. I was pretty blown away by this but by far the best gift I got was the one from my kids which was a star wars themed picture about their father,
and that was the present which moved me and brought a tear to my eye. My wife has a knack for this kind of gift, the ones which really evoke an emotional response, in fact one of my most prized possessions is a small wooden keyring which was a father’s day gift from my daughter. I’m going to have to up my game in future when it comes to presents for my wife. The children had more presents than I’d ever seen, and the Boy was quite happy playing with the boxes and wrapping paper, instead of the actual presents which I guess is pretty typical of a one year old. It was a wonderful day and the food was awesome (thanks to my wife) and we were eating turkey for days, but then that's what Christmas is all about, eating too much and turkey sandwiches/curry for weeks. Boxing day saw us at my brother in law’s for more great food and some silly games, my daughter wanted pie face for Christmas and we played it at his house (to start with she refused to play but eventually ended up with cream on her face) and Speak Out where you put in a plastic mouth piece and say things which was hilariously funny. It was a lovely day and the children had an awesome time, and after all Christmas is a time for family. New year’s eve was just me and the kids as my wife was working a night shift. Last year my daughter who was 4 at the time, was determined to stay up until midnight to hear the bongs from Big Ben and she fell asleep just before 11. This year she was absolutely adamant that this year she was going to make it until midnight to see in the new year. And so after saying goodbye to Mummy, we settled down on the sofa to watch some films and eat sweets and chocolates. She refused my offer of an espresso, which was probably a good thing as she would’ve probably been up for days bouncing off the walls and talking a mile a minute like some rabid speed freak. She did really well and I’d filled her with enough sugar to give any one a sugar rush lasting weeks, but in a repeat of last year at 11pm she told me she was tired and wanted to go to bed. Maybe next year she’ll take me up on my offer of an espresso and make it until midnight. I have quite a few projects which I want to pursue in 2018 but I need more space, some of them are going to be messy and so until I get a shed they will have to wait, and with the Boy around I think that a shed would be safer anyway because he’s not nicknamed ‘the destroyer’ for nothing.