2018 Bucket List

2018 bucketlist

What is the start of a new year if you don’t make promises to yourself that you have no intention of keeping past the first two weeks of January? I’ve figured this year, instead of a resolution, I would make a bucket list of sorts. Things I really wanted to do by the end of the year. 2018 is going to be a massive year of change for us, we are expanding our little family of three to a family of four and whilst I am terrified of how we will be able to handle this, I am also really excited about what new adventures this will bring us.

House goals

Having just moved house to somewhere that really isn’t my style, it’s no surprise that top of our bucket list this year is to get the house into a state that is acceptable and liveable. We started on Rileys room last year, it still needs finished, but we also have a few more rooms to make suitable to bring a baby home to. These are the first goals I need to have finished this year in time for our impending arrival. Ones I will also record on the blog this year as I am determined and daft enough to want to do it all myself (i.e. queue lots of ridiculous moments and memories!).

Replace bathroom carpet

Yes you did read this right! Replace the CARPET in the bathroom. Yuk. This absolutely needs to go! I am hoping to have this as an urgent January fix and to get some vinyl down quickly, as anything is better than carpet! The rest of the bathroom is grotty and horrible, but not something which we are willing to spend money on, so will have to be dealt with for the time being.

Finish Riley’s room

We started this room last year, however, given prioritisation, now that its painted, a bit more draft proof and new carpet down, there are other rooms which now take priority before the baby comes this year. I still need to add finishing touches, like adding his shelves, and sorting his furniture out.

Re-decorate the master bedroom

This one is quite a big one. This is the room the baby will sleep in for his first few months of life and as of yet, has only had the paper stripped off the walls. Unfortunately, the carpet in this room smells horrendous and needs urgently replaced. We also think there could be some damp in this room and a few large cracks in the walls. The heating is also terrible and is the coldest room in the house. Not ideal for a newborn. So the next three weeks of my life will be spent getting this room ready for a newborn to come home to.

Decorate the living room

This is probably the one room in the whole house which requires little work. It just isn’t my style however, and as such will be a room which still needs work to allow me to enjoy living in it. The carpet in this room is probably the only carpet which is in an acceptable condition and therefore is definitely a job for later in the year, but before my maternity leave pay kicks in.

Replace the hall carpet

The hall is such a small room, I am not sure if I am too worried about the décor here. Well its not great, but in the grand sceme of things, its really not the worst room in the house! However, the carpet smells like dog so again, that needs to go as soon as it can and be replaced.

Garden

The problem with rented homes, unless you have a letting agent who are really diligent, is that there are always parts of the house which will be neglected and not looked after. Not only has the majority of this house not been looked after, neither has the garden. I really dislike gardens which require a lot of work. A little bit of grass, some stones and I’d be happy! Unfortunately, this house has hedges surrounding it, trees, bushes and hanging plants down the side of the house. These have all become completely overgrown and there really is no other way to describe the condition of it other than jungle. So the first garden job…

Tackle the jungle

When we moved in there was leaves covering every square inch of ground outside the house. Kevin cleared most of this from the front of the house, but the previous tenants had chucked everything into the garden at the side preventing access to the back to clear them from here. We have cut back some of the branches which were likely to cause injury to anyone walking past, but there are so many issues inside the house, it’s just not going to get a look in till summer! Ideally I want everything cut back as much as possible and to pull a lot of the dead plants and bushes from the ground and start again.

Re-Do the patio

The garden is a little sun trap and sees the sun for the majority of the day in the summer. The only issue I think we will have is that size of the patio. It is fairly small, and I reckon the bushes in front of it will prevent some of the last of the sun from reaching it. These bushes are dead and will not grow very well anymore so my plan is to rip them out and extend the patio out a little further to give us more space to sit out and enjoy the sun.

Plant and look after some flowers

This is a Riley ask. When we told him we were getting a garden, other than “can I play in it?” his next question was could he plant some flowers. He has such an amazing fascination with nature; plants and animals alike and I would love to nurture this. Its something I don’t think I’ve ever cared about before, but seeing how enthusiastic and excited he gets about talking about these things, it makes my heart fill up!

Have a BBQ

My sister planned a family BBQ for my dads 60thlast year and Kevin ended up becoming a “Master BBQ’er”. This means he would like a BBQ every night it is sunny this year. I don’t think that will happen somehow, but once we get the garden in shape and have someone to host a BBQ, it would be fun to have some friends/family over for one.

Family

I’m not sure why changing our family dynamic worries me so much, but it really does! I want to do as much as possible to settle us into family life again after the upheaval a new baby brings.

Take a day trip as a family of four

This is something I would like to manage again, quite quickly when baby arrives. Obviously not for the first few weeks, but I would love to be able to go out as a family of four and manage a successful day trip!

Have a mini staycation

We won’t be going far this year. Between me being on maternity leave and so much of our money going on this house, we just can’t afford it. But I would like an overnight stay with all four of us somewhere nice!

Visit the beach and build sandcastles

Yes, we do live beside the sea. Yes, I have managed occasionally to visit the beach, but I really dislike going! We never make an effort to go to the beach other than a few times last year in the cold. I want to make a conscious effort to take Riley to the beach when it is warm so that he can play on the sand and build a sandcastle.

Have an ice-cream by the sea

Another one of Riley’s asks is to have an ice-cream at the beach. Again another one you think would be easy given where we live, but it really is difficult to fit in.

Visit a museum

My aim is for this to be a transport museum for Riley to enjoy, but any museum will do! A cultural family day is exactly what is required here

Have a picnic

I used to go on many picnics in the summer with my family when I was a child, however, its only something we have managed twice in the last three or four years.

Visit the Falkirk wheel and Kelpies

This is something that has been on my list ever since Riley turned 1. This year I would love to make it to somewhere on my doorstep that should be relatively easy to get to.

Have a day out at Kadonas

This is a sort of amusement park that I remember seeing pictures of one of my friends going to last year. We were always going to go, but time seemed to run away with us

Go Bowling

Who doesn’t love bowling?! I used to go to birthday parties at the bowling alley and loved it! As I found more freedom as a teenager we frequently used to take the train to Ayr to go bowling at LA Bowl. It was awesome and I would really love to go again sometime. Unfortunatly Dundee has no bowling alley (yes this is really crazy!) so we will need to travel a bit further afield for this one

Go wild at Edinburgh Zoo

One of my favourite places to go in Edinburgh. I last went in 2011 with Kevin when we first started dating properly and I would love to go again, but to also take Riley and the baby with us too. This is one for the better weather though, as the land is pretty exposed to the elements!

Have a mummy son day

The last thing I want with Riley this year is for him to feel like mummy doesn’t have time for him anymore. I am under no illusions that one on one time with Riley is going to be hard. That he will struggle with having been the one with all the focus for the last 4 years, but I want to make this a bit easier on him by dedicating some time for just me and him.

Go on a date

This is something we haven’t actually done since the month before I went back to work on maternity leave with Riley. That was 4 years ago now! It is important to take time out as a couple, particularly when you are always “mum and dad” when in the house. Having time without the little ones isn’t easy. Again another one I would like to have completed before baby makes an appearance, as finding a baby sitter for two is probably going to be harder!

Personal Goals

Become organised again

This is one for me. I used to be such an organised person, with a diary and scheduled my life. Even when Riley was small I managed it, however, nowadays I feel completely unorganised. This goal is to become organised in the house, with things going where they need to go and also organised in time. Life is precious and you need to make the most of what you have.

Make time for me

I have really not been looking after myself properly for the last few years. My job has ruled my life, however, with almost a year scheduled for maternity leave I want to ensure that I take time out and concentrate on me and what I need. Again, under no illusions that this will happen with a newborn, they always come first, however, I need to take time for me!

Restart my blog

I really enjoyed blogging last year, unfortunately my work took over my life, as did the house taking over any spare time I had left and this meant that my blog became neglected.

This is going to be the year I get it back on track and blog for a full year!

Publish my family videos

I love taking videos, and I have slaved over imovie on my macbook clipping, editing and adding soundtracks to them. I really want to continue to do this this year, and actually have the confidence to post them to my empty youtube channel. I’d love for my kids to have the ability to watch these when they are older and look back fondly on actual memories rather than just pictures!

Record more memories

For three years, I religiously took part in project life as a hobby. I loved it! Capturing memories and letting some of the creative elements (I don’t have many!) flow to create a sort of scrapbook for the year. Riley asks to look at these sometimes and actually loves looking at the pictures of himself as a baby! I want to get back into having somewhere to store my memories, other than just my blog. I want Riley to be able to look back on his life and remember all the happy times.

And its back to business as usual!

Well, after an unexpected break from blogging it is now back in business. I am determined more than ever to re-invigorate my little corner of the internet and bring it back to life.

A lot has changed in the 10 months since my last blog post. For one we have a brand new addition to the family. Yes we have gone from a normal little life of three which was just becoming all that more easy, to utter chaos again. Our new little bub, Brody, arrived at the very end of January and I now look back at my posts from last year and can’t believe he has only just arrived!

I had planned on blogging my entire pregnancy journey, however after a very sick first few months and suffering from extreme exhaustion all whilst still juggling a very demanding job, a busy family life and a house move, I found it difficult to dedicate the time to even keep it updated with our adventures.

My entire pregnancy (up until 37 weeks) I felt a nervousness and an overwhelming panicking feeling that when it came to my due date I was not going to bring a baby home from the hospital. It was the most ridiculous feeling, even more so now writing it down. For this reason I kept our little secret very quiet and only let a very few in on it. Every second has still been recorded on my macbook; I have diaries full of details and updates  from every week and my plan is to retrospectivly blog them.

When it came to the start of 2018 I had committed to myself i would start this up again, but struggled to find the time once again. Now that I am on maternity leave I really want to make the effort to keep this up to date as a record of our little family life as the kids grow.

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“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

How has it happened? 5 weeks since my last blog post!

This weeks living arrows photo is from our trip down to Legoland last week. We took the train down and for the most part, Riley really enjoyed himself until he got bored. He did cause a fair bit of trouble on the last half hour of the trip, but to be honest, I was bored after 4 hours on the train too! But I do believe it was also something to do with his dads awful decision to buy him jelly beans from the food cart!

He enjoyed looking out of the window and spotting sheep, cows, trains and tractors.

The last time we took a long distance train was in February 2016 and he couldn’t see out the windows. Its amazing how much children grow in a years time!

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After some lovely weather throughout the week I really wanted to make the most of it throughout the weekend so was a little disappointed that Saturday was a full day of rain. We spent most of Saturday indoors and I also slept for a good few hours in the afternoon, so naturally the only opportunity I really had for photos this weekend was Sunday, whilst we were out for lunch with my mother-in-law.

Unfortunately the lunch was ever so slightly ruined by Riley being very defiant.

We had a peaceful 10 minutes where he was picking out sauces for his Dad and throwing them at him.

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I hope everyone had a lovely week in the sun!

Laura x

Down in the dumps

I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps this week. I’ve had a really tough time at work and I feel that it has been really affecting everything else. My work/life balance, my sleep, my eating, motivation etc have all gone kaput. Working from 8:30 am till at least 10pm, sometimes even midnight with a few hours rest to pick Riley up from nursery, cook the dinner and get him off to bed, means that my mind just isn’t switching off and I can’t stop thinking about work related nonsense. I can’t keep up with the housework, with parenting, with going to the gym. Something always has to give and I hate that I can’t give my all to everything, or even half of it. The more I was thinking about it this weekend I wondered, why should work come first?

 

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Unfortunately, ever since accepting my promotion this seems to have been my life. Firefighting and struggling to keep on top of everything. I do feel that this job is nothing like what I expected and that it has been one career decision that I have actually regretted. I have a habit of making very bad decisions, usually due to me overthinking everything and being conflicted in knowing which the right decision to make even is anymore.

I have so many demands coming my way, for huge top business priorities to other smaller bits of work that also has to be done to allow the line of business to function. It is never-ending and I feel I have a mountain of work that I will never catch up on. Not even if I did have the right people to delegate to. I’ve been travelling for meetings a fair bit recently as well, which obviously doesn’t help with that drowning under workload, but certainly not helped when that comes in conjunction with bank holidays too.

Now the other side of this is of course home life. I’m struggling at work but deary me what a mess my house is in! When I work at night at home I’m lucky if I get a few minutes to do the dishes never mind clean the rest of the house. I do switch off at the weekends but last weekend I found myself sleeping it away from sheer exhaustion. I also spent last Sunday in discomfort in my arm where it felt like I was just about to get pins and needles all Saturday night and resulted in only 2 hours sleep. I ended up making a trip to out of hours, who didn’t have a clue what it was and sent me home.

Riley is another casualty of my work being so hectic. I’ve been travelling quite a lot recently which has resulted in Riley becoming very, very clingy towards me when I am home. Now as much as I love the cuddles and kisses, it gives me an extreme case of Mum guilt when I put him to bed and he says that he doesn’t want me to leave his side in case I’m not there the next morning.

Kevin says he pines after me at night, asking every time if Mummy will be there after bedtime. It breaks my heart to hear this. His behaviour is also awful after I’ve been away. It could be a coincidence but it really does seem to coincide with when I’m away.

I was recently approached by someone in another line of business who had been given my name as a recommendation as a good fit for their team. It was a bit out of the blue and not something I had been thinking about, but I had to turn the opportunity down as it would have involved weekly travel, which I am really kicking myself all the more now for that decision. A fresh start in a new role is probably what I need just now and I think something I probably will be looking into a bit more in the not so distant future.

But for now, I do think that stress is beginning to take its toll on me. My biggest worry is letting it go too far and reaching that point where my mental health takes a beating. I’ve been down that path before and I don’t ever want to go down there again. I had a rocky time since Riley’s birth and struggled with the crushing feeling of depression and anxiety for several years. I know the signs, and I know now that is not a place I ever want to go back to. I know that I need to start taking my work life back in control so tomorrow morning I am going to have to start my own prioritisation which is no doubt going to upset some people but my health is far too important to put work before it.

 

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“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

Our last few weeks have been very quiet on the photo front. Last week I took a total of 1 photo. This is very very unlike me and I put it down to the crazy hours at work recently.

I tried to make up for this at the weekend there, but again largely failed! I did however manage to get a few shots of him in the bath. Oh how grateful I am for the lighter nights so I can take photos in the bath again!

Riley loves a bath, and I mean absolutely love them! He gets one three times a week, (sometimes 4 depending on whether he has dove headfirst into something disgusting at nursery) but still asks for one every night.

I’ve been getting a bit bored of the old faithful Johnson’s bath stuff so decided to buy some of the Child Farm bath products and my goodness they didn’t disappoint. The smell! Oh it’s glorious!  Riley even commented on it before he jumped in too. My full bathroom was filled with the lovely tangerine aroma long after the bath was drained.

Riley loves having his hair all spiked up or shaped into a mohawk in the bath at the moment. I have tried re-creating with hair gel outside of the bath but that has never gone particularly well!

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My baby turned four this week! This age scares me. Its nearly time for school. My little boy is growing up far quicker than I care him too. I feel this is a constant thing I write about, how he continues to grow up too quickly, that he is becoming so much more aware of everything, but it terrifies me that time is flying, not just that riley is 4, but that I turn 28 this year too! 

Theres a corner on our kitchen worktop that I always worried about when he was just learning to walk. I thought would be an issue when his head was up high enough to hit it. It is only this weekend I have noticed that he is now taller than it and I’m not quite sure how that happened.

Anyway, out of all his birthday presents, what do you think he was most excited about? The Imaginext sets he has begged for over a period of three months? The many lego sets he has been coveting every time we go into a toy store? No. A £3 bottle of bubble mixture was all it took to capture his delight! To be fair to him these were pretty good bubbles. It was quite windy at the weekend so the wand was perfectly shaped to just let the wind catch the mixture and blow bubbles everywhere.

I now officially have a four year old! Eeeeeek!

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“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

The last few weeks have been a struggle with Riley’s behaviour yet again. We seem to go through periods of just awful attitude and right now its one of those periods.

I really struggle to understand what happens to my lovely little boy when we go through these patches as he just turns into a defiant little monster.

This picture was taken within a good few hours at the weekend thankfully!

6241765680_IMG_0929We were out for lunch after his birthday party on Saturday to a chain restaurant. When we were shown to our table he told the waiter that it was his birthday and was animatedly chatting away to him telling him about his party, his batman cake and how he had “such a cool time.” He is such a wee chatterbox and will happily speak away to most people.

The waiter came back quickly after with a party bag for Riley’s birthday. It was such a lovely gesture, and the food was tasty so definitely some where we will go back to. Riley loved the bag and was excited to open

If there is one thing I am proud of despite his awful behaviour recently its how polite he is. He says his please and thank you’s without prompting and everyone always comments on how much of a lovely polite boy he is. At least I’m doing some of this parenting lark right!

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“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

These children grow far too quickly. One minute you are urging them to smile by pulling ridiculous faces and making silly noises playing peekaboo behind a blanket and the next they are playing on their own. Riley is more than happy to sit and play with his toys without much encouragement.

Last week didn’t present me with many opportunities to take photos. A busy week with work and a weekend of cleaning meant a weekend spent pretty much indoors, apart from a brief interlude to get the boys hair cut. Riley spent most of the time undoing all of my cleaning and taking the toys out that I had only just tidied away. Children are so frustrating!

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In amongst his destruction of my clean drawers and shelves he found the box of fuzzy felt which we got for him when we went on holiday in January last year and had never shown an interest in before. He was very keen this time to get stuck right into it. He spent almost a whole hour making different types of dinosaurs with different colours, different heads, feet, and bodies.

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It does remind me that sometimes spending time at home is just as good as spending time outside. Not going out every week and exploring or doing different things isn’t the end of the world, its the quality time you spend with your children that makes memories.

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“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

What a glorious weekend we have just had. The sun has been shining and it even hit 17 degrees.This is almost unheard of in Dundee in March! With beautiful blue skies we had to make the most of it.

We now have a new favourite park – Monikie Park, we went there last weekend and Riley asked to go back again this weekend. I decided to take a picnic with us this time. Riley, as always refused to eat the sensible food and tried to plead his way to a packet of crisps. We compromised and eventually he ate half of the roll.

The sun had brought lots of people out and the park was much busier than it was the previous week, but even still Riley had lots of fun running free.

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Last week we didn’t make it much further than seeing the ducks and the adventure playpark so this time we took a walk down to the reservoir. We took a walk up one half of the reservoir and had to head back. It was lovely, but the nice weather had brought out the midgees, at points it was almost unbearable to walk through, although Riley didn’t seem bothered. I am still a bit itchy from the bites, they do like to feast on my blood!

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