Entertaining the troops

Firstly, I hope you are all well and safe.

If you are a parent you may be in agreement with me that one of the hardest things about self isolating is keeping the kids entertained.

As normal with toddlers ,we are doing our best to keep things structured and to maintain a daily routine. It gives the triplets some stability, and we also know where we are with them at any given time of the day.

Self isolating is difficult for all of us. The triplets are used to going out during the day. Whether it’s an exercise class with Stacey, or a mother toddler group. A trip out always keeps them a little more sane.

Stacey has worked hard to find things to do in the mornings when they would otherwise be at pre school. So we are both Learning the ropes of home schooling. Which takes a mass of patience, they are also having to settle into a routine. But we are doing okay so far.

Frankie is settling well into her own routine of school work and break times. There are printed copies of everyone’s routines stuck to the fridge so we all know where we are.

We have also added in to the day a break for meditation and exercise. Our mental wellbeing while we are stacked on top of each other in our little home is incredibly important.

We have included a set time once a week to get off our chests any grievance resentments we may have. To clean house in an emotional sense just so we don’t go mad.

I’m also playing another live gig from my living room this Friday 3rd April at 8.30pm GMT. Follow this link if you are tired of the TV and fancy some live music. If so, see you there!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/510598143013778/

Free live music – from me to you

If you have followed my blog ot read my book you will know I dabble in guitar and vocals.

I sing for a rock covers band and also play acoustic sets when I’m in the mood. Because venues have now closed and pubs and clubs are cancelling bands, I thought I could do a little something to entertain anyone who wants to join me. Il be playing a live acoustic set from my living room for all of you self isolating that miss live music.

On Friday the 3rd of April I will be playing a gig live on Facebook. If you fancy a bit of live music while you’re self isolating then look no further.

To get involved (the Last gig we had over 100 in the crowd), simply follow the link to my Facebook page and join.

The gig will begin at 8.30 GMT. It will be an hour of popular rock covers and Motown classics. Performed by myself, with Stacey reading out the messages and requests in between tunes.

See you on Friday – lets keep music live

https://www.facebook.com/groups/510598143013778/

The making of a Triplet Dad

In July 2019 I released my first book ‘From Triples To Triplets’. The title was changed from the original one of ‘A Meditative parent’ for a couple of reasons. The first being that people were put off a little by the title. It sounded like a self help book. The second reason is that with the speech problems I have I struggled to be able to pronounce it. Which as its author – wasnt good.

Since it’s release It has sold steadily, which is a good thing, but beyond that it has been a book of use. Which was what i intended it to be.

It is a story – my story to be precise, of finding my feet in fatherhood from a destructive past. Men like me with histories of personatilty disorders, anger, mental health issues and alcoholism, are not really pegged as men who are likely to become peaceful loving parents. And for many men – and women, these pasts can, and do become roadblocks in dealing with the pressures of paernthood. Especially when past and present issues are not adressed.

I wanted the book to be one that offered hope to those who still may be suffering from past traumas and who have now become parents themselves. Im no expert, and my book is not a self help manual. But i do share how i reached a point where fatherhood became the most important role i would ever step into. And how I overcame the pressures involved with early parenting.

My book has had great reviews from Mums and Dads. Even those who dont have children have found it to be a good read. My story is loaded, in the sense that I have had much to deal with in my time, and alcoholism and madness always makes for an interesting life, and subsequently, an interesting book.

In these times of self isolation you may be looking for a book to read. If so why not check my publication out. It was a labour of love to write. And the positive feedback is more than i could have expected as a first time author.

‘From Triples to triplets’ is available now on Amazon in paperback and on kindle. Also if you have kindle unmlimted it is free to read in that library. The link is below.

So, if you have read it, I thank you for lending your time to it. And if you haven’t read it, maybe you will find something within the pages to be of use.

New book – a taster

Over the last few months I have been writing again. or working on my new book to be precise. I have written about my early journey into Central Pain Syndrome to raise awareness and help caregivers and fellow sufferers a better understanding of this bizzare and rare disease.

Here is the introduction as a taster of my new book. It’s a way off publication yet as writing and publishing a book is a lenghly process (I am crrently on my second re-write). I hope this spikes your interest. Its a 3-minute read.

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Writing in the early hours

I’m Si, a husband and father to four daughters, three of which look uncannily alike and were born two minutes apart (yes Triplets). I am no pain expert in the medical sense, but as far as living on fire goes, I have first-hand experience. And I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I was diagnosed with Diffuse Central Pain Syndrome in July 2019. It’s a rare neurological disorder affecting the pain pathways in the central nervous system. I got diagnosed almost a year to the day the pain began permanently, following a whiplash injury when I was hit in my stationary car by a man in a van who didn’t stop until the last minute.

So, now, as a writer, I believe I can do something pro-active in raising awareness by sharing my story of the early days of living with the monster that is CPS.

This is my second book, which in a way follows straight on from my last one ‘From triples to triplets’, a book about my experience with becoming a dad from a destructive past, and ironically in dealing with the stress of early parenthood. The reason I say this book tails on from my other publication is because the car accident happened around at the time of the editing process. It made it increasingly difficult to focus on a single task. And with the added medications I had started on, and the distracting pain, I wasn’t even sure if the last book would get finished! So, although the subject matter is quite different here, the two books are linked by the experience of pain. Agonising, electrocuting, aggressive, relentless and permanent pain.

This book details my early journey into a diagnosis, through to pain management, daily living and sharing what has worked for me in dealing with this rare disease. I say I’m no expert, because even now I am driven to the edges of insanity with it, only unlike when It first began, I no longer bother going to hospital with it. Because for me there is nothing visibly wrong that the doctors can see, and nothing that can be given for Central Pain Syndrome other than anti-convulsant medication, which take a long time to start working, sometimes months.

I take epilepsy medications that slow down the nerve signals to the brain. These work (To an extent) because the problem lies in the pain signals being sent to the brain, signals that are malfunctioning and telling my brain I’m being hurt – badly, and the brain responds with pain, like a warning sign. So even though the problem isn’t in my head – it is, and also in my spinal column and brain stem. In short my central nervous system has turned on me. It creates pain for no reason other than it senses false threats. Standard pain relief doesn’t work. Which sucks for me!!

If you want a book explaining the ins-and-outs of the technical and medical details of CPS, or at least what little there is out there, and known about this disease, my advice would be ask Google. There are some great articles and books written, but still a world of misunderstanding and theory around it.

Instead I decided to do what I do best and share my personal journey with it in book form, as I did with new fatherhood previously, in the hope that it may benefit other sufferers, perhaps such as yourself or for caregivers who are at a loss in understanding this illness, after all it is life changing for everyone involved, as my wife Stacey would tell you.

As I said; and it’s worth repeating, I’m no medical expert, and have had to become my own advocate with CPS in a many ways, but when it comes to being electrocuted in the face for no reason other than my nervous system is malfunctioning, I can explain it in personal detail like the most learned of professional’s. In that sense I am an expert at having chronic pain. I’m in the trenches with it daily!

This is also a very personal book, so it gets gritty and dark at times. To understand CPS without understanding the effect stress has on the pain levels would be to not understand it at all. Internal conflicts from traumatic events, past and present can impact the way the central nervous systems functions. It is why above all else, mental management is crucial in dealing with the pain on a daily basis.

As far as I understand, CPS is a permanent condition. Once the central nervous system is damaged, and begins taking on a life of its own, whether from physical damage or emotional trauma, there seems no going back. As I was told by long time sufferers, if anything – the pain evolves, and it’s up to us to get better at managing it. And we do, because we have no choice, we toughen up out of necessity.

I don’t offer a cure in this book; I wish I did! However, I do contribute to Non contemplative meditation as my number one defence in dealing with then secondary pain. There will be a link to the free exercise in the back of this book. By secondary pain I mean the emotional strain, fears and frustrations CPS brings with it. To which there is an almost infinite list.

I share what has helped me, from my time working with the pain clinic, to psychology and dealing with past traumas. And how untangling the past has helped me deal with the present. Because reduced stress means reduced pain. And that’s about the best deal I can currently get, or at least until a cure comes along. Which it may do yet. There are organisations such as the ‘Central Pain Syndrome foundation’ who are working to better understand and help the sufferer. These organisations are vital in helping people like me on my journey.

So, if you are suffering from chronic nerve pain, and feel you are alone, know that you are not the only one. And there are others out there, in pain management programs and on online forums who are waiting to share of themselves and offer advice and support. We are, after all a segment of society that have become warriors in battling everyday life. Most people will never understand or experience the levels of pain we live with from day to day.

So, make yourself a cuppa, and I will take you on the journey of my first couple of years with diffuse CPS. And hopefully you will find something that resonates within these pages, and perhaps can become of use to you or another, who may be struggling to understand the monster.

My other book ‘From triples to triplets’, is available now through Amazon.

Stacey’s corner-Day 4

Hiya.

So today’s be a busy day, the babies are still under the weather but they do seem better today than yesterday.

We finally managed to get round to doing leaf rubbing. It worked out good, it kept them busy for 30 mins any way.

Si started painting the fence and I cleaned the girls trampoline. They were very happy that was up and running. That was hours of fun!

20200323_113029Me and frankie went for a run for her p.e. lesson today. It was lovely to get out in the sunshine, and every one stuck to the social distances rules.

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So a fun arts and crafts project I want to share with you that my girls love, is sticking. So I cut out shapes from card, christmas i cut out christmas trees and Angel’s. Valentine’s day I cut out hearts. For easter I’ll do eggs and bunnies.

Then I cut pieces of card into small pieces, all different shapes, sizes and colours. Then I give the girls a glue stick and let them stick the pieces onto the shape. Like a mosaic. They love it.

Tomorrow I think I’m going to do a scavenger hunt. Maybe I’ll get the water table out. More on this tomorrow.

Keep safe.

Stac. X

Stacey’s corner – day 3

Hiya. So I didn’t do every thing I planned to do today. I went out this morning to the supermarket to get a few bits, and my mother in law a few bits and dropped them round to her.

We went for a lovely walk and took the trio’s tandem trike and for the spare baby a pushchair to push. We collected some leaves, and plan on doing some leaf rubbing.

We’ll do this tomorrow now as we ran out of time. All you need for this is; leaves, crayons, paper and baking paper or tracing paper. More on this tomorrow.

I spoke to an old friend today on a video call which was lovely, and I urge you all to do video calls with friends and family. It’s important to stay connected.

The girls had a lovely long nap today, leaving us time to sort the shed and do more sorting of the garden, for outside play.

I don’t have much to say on keeping the kiddies busy today as they pretty much entertained themselves today and the long nap helped. But if your having one of those days where bath time can’t come quick enough, (lord knows I’ve had plenty of those days). Get some glow sticks, they are so cheap off Amazon and fill your bath as normal and add a few sticks and turn off the lights. You can bath them EARLY and they can stay in longer playing. BONUS!

Any way guys, just a quick one today. Hope you had a good day.

Stay safe.

Stac. X

Stacey’s Corner – day 2

Hiya Guys. So how is every one getting on? The girls are still not back to normal after a nasty bug where blakely had diarrhea for 12 days and now Lacey and Ava have caught it.

Frankie though is still in good health and doing really well with the schedule we set her. Im thinking that perhaps im going to speak with Frankie’s friends mum’s and set up a conference call they can all do at some point during the day to save contact. I think it’s important they all stay connected.

Heres the hand and feet prints we did hung up in their room. Think they turned out pretty good.So today we decided to go to Ninesprings park and feed the ducks, the girls were very excited and we prepared some zip lock bags with potato and carrot peelings. The girls loved feeding them, although it was cold and windy the fresh air was welcome.

We did learn after we fed the ducks that there is a problem with rats and feeding ducks is not aloud at the moment. Oops. but its still a good idea to get out and go for walks.Also the cafe at ninesprings has removed all the table and chairs and has crosses on the floor, showing you were to stand for social distancing. Also they are only using disposable cups so we were able to get a hot chocolate and biscuit for the dog.Today we decided to clean all the summer garden toys and make the garden a useable place for the girls to go out and play. I cleaned their sand table and brought it into the kitchen. I ordered some kenetic sand from ebay which came today and they played with this for ages. Kenetic sand is perfect for indoor use as its not messy at all, it’s also not too expensive.If i want to keep the girls occupied for half hour or more while i get chores done, like clean and sort the garden. Then i’ll give them an upside collinder and some sticks. I use kerplunk sticks but you can use dry spagetti. And let them put them in the holes and watch them disappear into the collinder. Honestly, they love this!I wanted to tell you something i did with the girls for valentines; i cut 3 heart shaped wreaths and gave them strips of tissue paper which they screwed up in balls and stuck to the wreaths with a glue stick. I put holes in the top with a hole punch and threaded pipe cleaners to hang them. They turned out pretty well.If your arts and crafts box isnt as full as mine, there are loads of things to do where you dont need any props. The girls favourite is hide and seek. They also love it when i hide one of their favourite teddies and they have to find that. Turning all the lights out and having a disco with music and torches.

Singing is another of my girls favourite. Twinkle twinkle little star, wind the bobbin up, wheels on the bus, to name a few.Well hope this gives you some ideas.

Keep safe and talk tomorrow

Stac. x

Lockdown – surviving relationships at home

Covid-19 is in full flight and affecting everyone’s lives at the moment, if you have managed to locate any pasta or toilet rolls, hit me up, I dont have much money but am willing to exchange a small guitar for some Penne and nine rolls of Aloe vera. If its not quilted – no time waisters please.

In all seriousness, there is a bigger problem at hand than what to wipe with in a few weeks time. The most pressing issue lies under everyday peoples roofs. In that couples will be forced to survive each other in close proximity.

People are meant to work. To have time away from each other is a healthy thing. It means a couple can take breathing space and have a stronger relationship for it.

So what now with this new situation? Families are having to self isolate to slow the spread of the virus. Couples are going to have to really live together, and there will be problems.

There will be stresses and arguments, but there are little things that can help a couple survive each others pressures and stay out of resentments. Its a difficult situation to be in however you cut it.

So may i make a suggestion of something that my wife and I do, which helps to prevent her not press a pillow over my face while I sleep, and me not pack up and drive to the Premier-inn for a break. House cleaning – and not he duster and bleach kind.

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She loves me really

Sitting down once a week to discuss fears and resentments honestly, without judgment or rancour. Just a simple cleaning out of any problems you will have with each other, and there will be plenty!

You may be Romeo and Juliet but make no bones about it, if youre under her feet she will want to strangle you occasionally. Becasue you don’t know how to clean the skirting boards properly, and she just won’t understand your ways of doing things, which will be wrong, whatever it is.

Take the time to talk, to stay free from the aggrivations you have with each other. Because the less they build up, the calmer your situation will be.

We are all forced into a dufficult corner with the stress of being off work and the pressures that absence will affect a family. So take care of the one you love, above all else at this time.

Be open and honest and willing to work together. Otherwise you are in for one hell of a two weeks at home. And i mean hell.

Stacey’s Corner

Hiya! Stacey here, most of you know who i am but if you don’t im Si’s wife. Due to the covid-19 lockdown i figured i could be of help to some of you mum’s and dads staying at home with your kiddies.

Im not an expert, and i get a lot of ideas from my fellow triplet mamas, occasionally i come up with a good idea myself. But i feel ive become pretty good at entertaining 2 year old triplets. Before covid-19 came along this is what we did. Stayed at home. ALL DAY! My triplet mums will know what i mean. SAHM for life.

So we’ve been self isolating since tuesday, i needed to come up with a schedule for my 12 year old singleton to follow to make sure she doesnt fall behind on school work. We all sat down tuesday night and came up with it. We needed it to focus on school work, but also make sure she stays conected to her friends and gets exercise. This is what we came up with. Seems to be working pretty well so far. I mean it is only day 2!

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For the triplets, we played some indoor bowling, I have a set that we used but you can use empty bottles and a ball. They loved this!

We also painted their hands using wasable poster paint and printed them onto canvas that i’ve had hanging around for ages now. But you can do it on paper or empty cardboard boxes. These im gonna hang up in their room.

I needed to tidy up before lunch so i gave blakely a toy hoover and ava and lacey a duster each, thety love helping mummy.

Lastly, I used an empty box i got from gousto today; i did wanna say actually thats been another life saver during this time. Gousto is a weekly subscription meal kit, which includes ready measured, fresh ingrediants and easy to follow recipes. Love it! And i used the empty box to draws round the girls bodies and then they coloured them in.

These are just a few ideas, they work with my trio so im confident theyll work for you whether you have 1, 2, 3 or more kids.

Stay safe, lots of love.

Stac. x