Day 99 – I’ve got 99 problems but alcohol isn’t one

Well any more that is. I literally can not believe tomorrow is day 100. I’ve been blogging for 93. It feels so surreal.

At the start of the process I remember having a discussion with the lovely and wise Ainsobriety about getting rid of the alcohol in the house. I remember her suggesting it and the cold shiver of dread running down the back of my neck. What? You mean get rid of the alcohol? Like forever?

I remember panicking at the suggestion. Forever seems like such a long time. And I suppose it is. But having no alcohol in the house no longer fills me with a panicked dread.

Today I started wrapping up a whole cupboard of beautiful drinking glasses to go in the loft. They were kindly gifted from my godmother when I moved in and have gone down her family tree. Due to the sentimental value they are going to stay in the loft for a while, but won’t be taking up precious cupboard space. Instead I’m filling the cupboard with cookery (not baking-ha) books and having a move around my kitchen. I still need to clear out my gin cupboard, but I will get to that this weekend. I’m just proud I’ve started.

In other news, I slept terribly last night and ended up on the sofa. I think its hormonal. I’d promised myself I’d cut back on the sugary stuff, but after taking BB to her injections this morning I’m on the sofa with a toblerone. At least I’m keeping the promise “be kind to myself”.

So 99 days. See you tomorrow for 100.

Love

JS x

Day 98- Fricking Xmas cake

I decided to be all Mary Berry (instead of a merry berry) this year and have a go at baking a Xmas cake. I’ve never baked one before, but after watching mum as a child bake one I’ve always thought how hard could it be?

For someone quite disorganised, its ridiculously hard. Firstly, my husband came back from the shop with only half the cherries and no raisins. So we went back the next day and brought them.

I then realised I’d chucked the brandy out so after a quick google decided I would soak the fruit in darjeeling tea. Back to the shop for darjeeling tea.

We didnt realise that we’d brought loose leaf, so had to borrow a tea strainer from next door. Finally the fruits were in soak overnight (the recipe states 3 days but I didnt have time).

During this faff, I baked some premixed cupcakes with my step daughter and delivered them with candles and cheer to both my sisters for their birthdays.

So we’ve soaked the fruit. Now its time to make the cake. I look for the grease proof paper, we have none. The hubster had used the last of it in the week, so back to my mums to borrow some grease proof paper (couldn’t stand the thought of queuing at a shop again).

We stick all the dry ingredients together and we have no all spice. By this point I’m so unbelievably cross at myself I could have thrown the frigging soaked fruits up the wall. Instead I’ve improvised with chinese 5 spice (at this point the husband is hysterically laughing at me). He stops laughing when we both realise he’s used up all the brown sugar on something else. In goes caster sugar instead.

It goes in the oven and I automatically set it to 200. As everything cooks at 180 to 200 right? NOT THIS CAKE. After an hour I smell the corners burning and turn it down to 100 and hope the cake survives.

We are half way through the 4 hour bake. My step daughter is so excited that we’ve improvised or in her words done a really cool experiment. I’m close to tears in the corner.

So what have I learnt? Apart from I should stick to eating cake, not baking cake.

Well, planning is obviously important, reading ingredients and the method (hello baking paper). Seeing the excitement on my SD face, I keep telling myself, it’s the experience not the end product that’s important. And messing up and learning is half the fun of baking.

What’s also positive is I’m trying to see the good in this experience instead of focusing on the negatives (a million shop trips and a burnt, funny tasting cake). It’s bonded my SD and I, we’ve chatted away whilst doing it. I get to look forward to icing the bloody thing and force feeding a slice to my husband.

In the mean time, I think I’ll pause my application to the GBBO.

Oh and the best bit. I don’t even like frigging Xmas cake.

Happy sober sunday. How’s everyone elses going?

Love

JS

Day 97- More National Trust

I literally went straight to bed after writing last night, with a handful of obligatory chocolates and my book.

I curled up and slept like I was dead. A benefit of sobriety, I cant be more grateful for.

We all woke up around 7 and the weird mood of yesterday was hanging on to my jama bottoms, so I bundled up the gang and we headed out to an early National Trust by us.

Well. We all loved it. I never realised my SD would be so fascinated about the house, picking out the portrait of Henry VIII, asking volunteers questions, doing the quizzes.

We did the welly walk, climbed trees, solved riddles and my husband shared an old german fable. We then had attempts of creating our own fables, laughing as we went. Then to finish off an Autumnal picnic on a beautiful lawn with the lovely colours of the leaves surrounding us.

I feel so up and down at the moment. Yesterday was really low but then today I’m flying. I wonder when it will die down and level out. Did anyone else experience the same?

In other news our cat went out last night at his insistence and hasn’t come back just yet. I’m not too worried just yet, my other cat used to be an explorer but my SD and husband are beside themselves. I’m just about to head out round the block to rattle some dry bits with my SD.

Happy sober Saturday

Love

JS x

Day 96 –

I’ve never been tempted more than today to drink.

The day in some respects has been lovely. BB and I went National Trusting with a friend.

We both gazed in wonder at the colours of Autumn on a wood walk. She constantly reached up and tried to touch the leaves. We shared a lunch outside and then during her nap I came home snuggled up with a blanket, a cuppa, Dexter and a good book.

On the flipside, BB was sick over herself on the way to NT and I had to pull over. On the way back she pooed through her nappy.

On the subject of poo, things are no better with Dexter. We have a good day then 6 bad ones. All my soft furnishings have sheets over them to help protect them from his accidents and I’ve never cleaned up so much poo. We are vacuuming every day and up in the middle of the night when we can hear him going, to check he’s clean. We are all exhausted but dont want to give up on him. I’ve been brought up to believe when you adopt an animal it’s their forever home.

We’ve had countless discussions with the vets and heading back in on Thursday. After cleaning up a load this afternoon, I feel so sorry for him and just so sad.

My SD is home and we’ve thankfully got a sweet 7 yr old and not a stroppy pants. We asked her if she’d like to go football as if she really really loved it we were going to take her. She’s confessed she doesn’t like it, she only goes so mummy can talk to the other mummys. It also appears she hasn’t been isolating the last 2 weeks. Her mother told her she didnt need to isolate when staying at her partners as the germs didn’t follow them. So they’ve been Macdonalds, John Lewis, the pub and heaven knows where else. No wonder it’s spreading.

On the subject of the ex wife she spent loads on BB and it’s made me feel really uncomfortable. I’ve text thanking her, but it doesn’t sit right with me.

My SD turned up late, starving so we had a late tea and she’s gone to bed 2 hours later than normal.

So now I’m here, cuddling my cat and hubster shoving sugar into my mouth. I’m holding onto the first bit of the post like it’s a precious jewel.

I will get to 100 days.

Happy Friday everyone

Love

JS

Day 95 – Park Date

Day 95 was mostly spent outside in the glorious sunshine of a cold crisp winter/autumnal day.

We’ve been kindly given a hand me down trike which BB used for the first time today and loved it. After walking round the block 3 times she screamed when it was time to come off.

After lunch we managed to get out again and meet one of her lovely little friends for a swing date. Both girls loved it, it felt like their smiles were lighting up the whole park.

Then home and after nap time I took BB out on the trike again.

So all in all a lovely day outside with people. I’ve really enjoyed it, makes me feel so much calmer.

I think with my husband feeling so shitty, I’ve been feeling so incredibly anxious like I’m walking a tight rope. I’m trying to help him and I feel stuck inbetween giving him some space and giving him lots of cuddles. I’ve asked him how to help but he just shrugs and says he doesnt know. Then he’ll sneak up behind me and give me a squeeze.

My step daughters coming tomorrow and I think that’s also adding to the anxiety. From what I understand (and I’m trying to keep out of it), she actually hasn’t isolated that well and her mum has been taken her to her partners. Her partner is then looking after his 3 children who are also in bubbles at their school. And so the loop continues. I just hate the thought of the extra risk although I know it’s not my step daughters fault.

It doesnt matter how much precaution I take, I cant control who her mum mixes her with and the school bubble too. For a control freak (me about covid and BB) it creates so much anxiety in side its unreal.

I also never know what side of my step daughter am I going to get. Will it be the sweet, loving SD, who wants to bake with me and be silly or the grumpy 7 year old going on 13 with a ton of sass, eye rolls and attitude. That also gives me anxiety.

So close to 100 days.

Love

JS xx

Day 94 – The supportive wife

My husband is feeling stressed and anxious. Somethings happened at work and there’s increasing pressure on wfh with a new boss trying to prove herself. He’s cared for me and BB whilst I’ve had my heart issue. There’s then been his ex wife playing games and he’s recently become estranged from his mum and she didnt acknowledge BBs birthday. I can tell it hurt him terribly.

He confessed in the early hours of the morning how he’s been waking up in the middle of the night to check I’m still alive. I really feel for him. I’d be doing exactly the same.

I decided since I’m up and about more I’d start our dinner during BBs nap time and batch cook some food for BB. I’m quite a messy cook, especially when I’ve got a couple of things on the go and thought whilst things were simmering away, I’d pick up some of BBs toys in the living room.

Literally a minute later the smoke alarms going off. I’ve set fire to the kitchen. 2 kitchen towels are on fire and a wooden spoon is charring. Instinctively I grab the washing up bowl full of dirty water and chuck it over. The fire goes out. Whilst we’ve been extremely lucky (thank god for a smoke alarm), it wasnt the supportive wife result I was dreaming of. Back to the drawing board.

Love

JS X

Day 93 – Ugh

I’ve not really got any content to add today. I’m so disappointed with the latest lockdown news. I feel like the whole country pulled together at the start of the year to give the government time to come up with a strategy and all they’ve done is blow a ton of money and we’re back where we started.

I cried last night rather selfishly as my first mums night is cancelled friday due to it. I’ve really struggled making mum friends and was really looking forward to bonding with these fab girls. One of them however works on the critical care area of a local hospital as a consultant and as I cried I felt so selfish. It’s her first week back and she says it’s horrible. There she is facing it every shift (as well as all the other amazing frontline workers, whether it be dr, nurse, assistant, SLT, porter) and I’m on my sofa crying into my toblerone.

I’m also annoyed with the hubsters ex wife dictating how we spend our time as a family at a weekend. She’s already lied about saying we had an extra weekend with my SD (confirmed in text message) to only take it away and make it out like it was our mistake.

My hubster and her had a conversation about school clubs in the summer for my SD during this pandemic and my hubster said he wasnt keen on team sports right now and could we revisit in the new year. She never replied. She’s now booked her into football and whilst I’ve been isolating shes taken her 3 weekends in a row. Apparently my SD loves it and will be devastated if we dont take her. So she’s manipulated a situation so we either disappoint my SD and look like the bad side or we take her to something we’re not comfortable with. I’m also furious its dictating what we shall do in our time without our agreement. Like why should our Saturday mornings be taken up with this without our consent when we could be spending family time the 4 of us. So mad.

So I guess I did have something to write. UK peeps how you finding update 3458? Hows it in the rest of the world?

Any advice on how to handle the ex wife welcomed. She text the itinerary to my hubby and he’s just ignoring her. If she texts me I want to call her out on manipulating a situation. But I don’t know if it will ruin the work I’ve put in trying to keep it friendly for my SD.

Love

JS X

Day 92 – My God Mum

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you. But I’ve seriously lucked out with my god mum. She is everything I’d love to be if I’m ever lucky enough to be given the role. My BB even knows her as Grandma Din (when I was little I couldn’t say Lynne so the name Din stuck).

She comes over at the time I’ve asked for help. Bringing us a lovely lunch and straight away puts her slippers on (my mum always walks around in her shoes over BBs foam play mats and it drives me mad). She interacts with the toys BB wants her to interact with, doesn’t push herself on her and goes with the flow. I love her.

When I was little and my mum and dad got divorced, I stayed at my God mums every Thursday night. It was my favourite night of the week. I know it was probably easier for her as she only had me one night, but we would cook dinner, talk about everything and nothing and walk her dog I adored. I always felt relaxed, secure and loved. I still take great comfort in her company.

As I’ve grown, got promotions, brought a home by myself, it is my God mum championing my corner. Telling me how proud she is. Sending little notes for the good and bad times.

My godfather (her husband), walked me down the aisle last year and I was so proud to have them at our day. I feel really lucky as I now feel like I’m getting to know a new side to her as she tentatively offers support. In BBs 2 hour nap time, she tells me stories of her past, her glittering career, the famous people she met, her MBE. I love that she’s quite shy about it and I have to coax it out of her. She’s lived a fascinating life.

I dont know why I’m writing this, I suppose I just wanted to throw out a token of appreciation. I’ve told her today how much she means to me, but it feels good to write it down.

Love

JS x

Day 91 – HBD BB

Today is BB’s first birthday and we have celebrated with a Colin the Caterpillar cake. Like her mum, she adored her first taste of chocolate and here begins a beautiful love affair with the magic brown stuff.

I can’t even describe the love I feel for my 1 year old daughter, it seems to be all consuming. She is my reason I gave up alcohol.

I wanted to be fully present in her presence. And not hungover, regretful, forgetful and feeling like crap.

Dont get me wrong there are still days where I feel the worst, but I’m glad it’s not due to a toxin I have selfishly put in my body.

We’ve had a lovely day playing, eating cake, reading new books and singing songs. Her friends and family have left gifts on the lawn and waved from afar.

Whilst I’m sad we havent managed to have a party, I’ve loved being greedy and having her to myself on her special day (obviously I begrudgingly shared her with my husband).

Yesterday I felt like I had a moment of self actualisation, although it could be a pink fluffy cloud.

The hubster had brought BB to see me in bed and the 3 of us curled up together reading stories and playing. The rain was lashing down outside, it was a grey miserable afternoon. However I felt I was glowing with happiness, contentment and love.

I can only remember feeling like this once before. During a summer in New York working a frost valley summer camp as a life guard. I was walking down from the dinner hall back to the lake and the light caught the water for a moment and I radiated pure uplifted joy. I always thought that feeling, that electricity in my veins was a one off. Never to be repeated. But I experienced it again yesterday.

Interestingly that summer was an alcohol free summer too.

So that’s me. A Mummy to a 1 year old. I couldn’t be happier

Love

JS xx

Ps- we haven’t left my SD out, she’s got to self isolate with her mum due to a school covid case x

Day 90 – Just call me Gloria Gaynor

“At first I was afraid, I was petrified”

I survived!!! the night…. which is a relief as I’m officially on day 90. Last night my mum shared these gems with me over a 4 hour period:

I shouldn’t eat so much pasta (after she dishes up a massive bowl of spag bol for me).

It’s her belief the cat Dexter has an eye issue (this was repeated 3 times, he’d just sneezed and one eye was closed).

The cats bum is sore (yes because on Thursday you fed him loads of stuff we asked you not to and he’s had diarrhea for 2 days).

My sisters girlfriend has a drink problem (we are all secretly aware of this and my sister has stopped drinking to try and reduce her girl friends drinking). Apparently the gf fell down the stairs this week. My mum then ends the conversation abruptly as apparently she’s “not a gossip”.

BB is too clingy and it’s not normal in a child (like what baby isn’t clingy, during the clingy baby stage heightened by lock down).

BB is too much of a daddies girl.

Have I thought about moving house, my house is too small (it is small but we are hoping to be mortgage free in 5 years and it does have 3 bedrooms. It’s more the configuration than the space).

Why am I calling the husband (because the bar shuts at 10pm and its 11:30. I can hear the delinquents racing outside and I want to check he’s ok).

I am mean to call him.

It’s too cold, it’s always too cold in my house (mental note to turn the heating down every time she visits).

Ugh how can I even drink herbal teas.

She was going to bring round a bottle of wine but then remembered I was being boring and not drinking. So she didn’t bother.

But I survived. How I don’t know. I’m now sat in bed with a cuppa, eeking out “recovery from op” as long as possible as I hear my BB and hubster play together instead. In a moment I’m going to get up and join them.

Happy, Happy, peaceful, joyful Saturday to you all.

Love

Pasta munching, sober boring JS x