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

Kahlil Gibran

I can’t believe we sit here nearly at the end of the second month of 2017. Time really is getting away from me already this year.

On Sunday, Riley made me realise how quickly not only this year has gone, but also the last three! We attended a christening for a work colleague’s son.

Riley was dressed up in a lovely little outfit from Next which I rush bought earlier in the morning. I may or may not have forgotten about the Christening and also that the last suit outfit we had for Riley had been long since grown out of.

I couldn’t believe how grown up he looked when I dressed him. I stood looking at him wondering “where has my little baby gone?” He is just looking more and more like such a wee boy every day, so tall and so grown up.

As much as I hate seeing my little baby becoming an almost four-year-old little boy, I love being able to watch him grow. He has become his own little person with an amazing personality, a love for tickles and giggles and an inquisitive nature with a penchant for asking “but why mummy?” over and over again.

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I really can’t stop looking at this picture and just thinking he looks so smart (despite him un-tucking his shirt just as I finished tucking it in) and beyond his 3 years. He likes his hair gelled up despite it being very fine and difficult to do much with. He seems to have his own fashion sense now; he picked out the smart shoes that go very well with his little suit.
As as much as I want time to slow down to let me cherish some of these moments that little bit longer, I am so excited to see how he will have changed this time next year!
Living Arrows

Everyone loves an adventure. They give us some of the best memories. To a three year old, most things feel like an adventure cause everything is so big and exciting and new when you are a kid

So when I told Riley we were going to a park to find the Gruffalo he was thrilled. I had been told about Rozelle Park in Ayr and that there was a Gruffalo hiding in a tree somewhere so I couldn’t wait to take him. The Gruffalo has been a favourite in our house for a good few years. If it’s not the Gruffalo, it’s the Gruffalo’s child!

On a cold winters morning I bundled Riley into the car we headed off to the park. It had been raining for a good few days beforehand, I’d made sure Riley was prepared with welly boots…but me being me came in very unsuitable for mud pair of Ugg boots. Bad footwear choice.

There are so many lovely places in this park, and it is full of wood carvings. You can see the first one as you drive into the park, it is certainly something to look at!

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We walked over to the duck ponds and watched all the birds in the water and squirrels that were bounding about in the trees behind us. Riley loves nature, and there certainly was an abundance of it here! At this point Riley decided to run off from me after one of the squirrels and fellin the mud. When I say fell, I mean he ran into it, got a foot stuck and then fell face first into the squelchy mud. He couldn’t get up and I had to try and rescue him. My own feet got stuck in the mud as I pulled him out and there went my clean ugg boots. Caked  I was!

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After cleaning Riley up, we came across some more wooden carvings of WW1 figures. It was a lovely area with lots of lovingly created figures.

What became quite clear to me at this point was that I should have probably asked someone where the daft Gruffalo was. Riley started moaning that he was fed up walking and we were about to call it a day until I saw a random tree stump in the middle of a clearing and wondered if that might be where this Gruffalo was hiding.

We were almost at the stump when I noticed two little ears sticking out of the top! The Gruffalo was inside the tree stump hiding.

Riley then, once again, found a stick to play with and took great delight in throwing it up in the air and trying to make it land on top of me! img_0631img_0640

I really do have a bit of a crazy child! He was busy shouting out “I’m crazy” as I took this picture.

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Another little adventure under our belts. Rozelle Park was beautiful, despite ruining my Ugg boots and it being rather cold! The wood carvings throughout the park were lovely and I’d love to spend more time there discovering all the other ones. I don’t think we even scratched the surface!

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

Kahlil Gibran

We had a really quiet weekend this time round. Kevin was working on Saturday so I decided to take the little out for a haircut and a walk down to the beach.

I am not really a beach person, I hate getting the sand stuck between my toes and finding it still in my shoes two days after my visit. Riley on the other hand loves it, well the whole three times we have been to a beach anyway. We live right by the sea and have access to a beach only 15 minutes away, yet we have never been to this one! We have been to the pebble beach plenty of times (the lack of sand really sells it!) but never the real beach with the sand.

Riley took his little vetch camera with him, this kid loves taking pictures, and of course is also partial to a selfie! When you check to see what he taken pictures of afterwards however, it is usually one of his feet, his forehead, or the ceiling, but occasionally he can take a good picture.

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He took his photography role very seriously this weekend however and told me he had to take pictures of every dog he saw. Him running about going “Cheese wee doggie!” sure made a few of the owner’s chuckle.

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His favourite photo from the day

If there is one thing I would love to instil in Riley it is my love for capturing memories. If he still loves taking photos even half as much as I do as he gets older, I will be a happy mummy!

Living Arrows

This one has been a quiet week. I actually managed to finish on time at work for the majority of the week so I have been feeling a bit more relaxed and chilled out in the evenings.

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Riley has been relatively well behaved at nursery too. I am hoping that now we have had two good weeks in a row, that the behaviour chart is now working for him and driving his improved attitude. We shall see how it goes next week too!

At nursery Riley is learning about “People who help us” just now and Riley loves this topic. They have previously discovered everything about Doctors and I am so impressed with how much he is taking in. He knows how to put someone in the recovery position, how to phone for an ambulance and he can tell you the contents of a first aid kit. I have been blown away with how much he retains, can repeat and demonstrate back to me after he gets home.

They are now focusing on Police for the next month and they took a trip to the local Police station. They posted some of the pictures on their facebook page and Riley’s face in each of the pictures is beaming. It is so amazing to see something he takes such an interest in.

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Kevin has finished his last shift as a manager at work on Saturday. His shifts have been crazy all year which has left me feeling like I’ve carried the burden of everything when it comes to household chores and all things childcare. His shifts ranged from an 8am start till a 9pm finish and included nearly every other weekend, very rarely did he do a normal 9-5 working day. When the weekend is the only time you have to enjoy to enjoy with your family together, having that taken away from you is horrible. We weren’t able to plan as his shifts were likely to change with not much notice.

He is now going on secondment to another job which we are both hoping will turn into something more permanent. We will be fully taking advantage of his change in hours though, I will be able to get back to the gym (which is awesome as currently I feel so unfit!) and we can plan weekends again; I’m so excited!

Whilst Kev was busy working Riley and I headed into Broughty Ferry which is a lovely little fishing village in Dundee. We headed to get his haircut as it has been quite out of control and decided to head down to the beach afterwards. Broughty Ferry beach is somewhere I have never been before! Having previously lived on the opposite coast I have so many fond memories of long walks at the weekend from my parents’ house to the beach and playing there, I felt I had to take Riley. We spent a good two hours there walking the length of the beach, climbing the sand dunes and jumping out of the way of the waves.

On Sunday we had a lazy day where we stayed in our jammies till almost lunch time before heading into town. We were buying some new clothes for nursery for Riley when he found himself a minion umbrella that he absolutely “had to have.” He walked home with it up, twirling it about with the biggest smile on his face, despite the lack of rain.

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Riley wanted to play with his Toucan Box when we got home. I do love a bit of crafty time, so we got it out and Riley made his spider and spiders web.

I decided tonight Riley was going to bed on time so after the spider was made I went to run his bath. When I got back he had put his brolly up and was hiding under it with his ipad. How many years bad luck do you get for an umbrella up inside?!

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I’m currently listening to him reading books to his teddies in his bed so an early bed tonight has clearly been in vain!

I do love my work. It gives me structure to my day, it gives me focus for the week and goals to achieve for the year. I love to stretch myself and push myself to achieve all that I can, but amongst all the stress and pressure I do need a break every now and again. I booked some leave off work for three days, and actually managed to take said leave for one of those days!

After failing on my first two days off last week I decided that Monday was going to be a mummy and Riley day. I took the time to visit my parents at the weekend and refused to take my works phone or laptop with me.

We took the opportunity to visit one of the parks I used to go to all the time when I was a child; Eglinton park in Irvine. It’s one of the nicer places to visit in Irvine with lovely grounds to walk around and get lost in if you have no sense of direction similar to me!

We started off at the kids play park where he had lots of fun coming down the slides and on the trampoline.

 

I convinced Riley it would be fun to go on a bear hunt around the grounds and he was quite excited. It had been years since I had last been in this park, so quite why I decided that to go exploring would be a good thing I’ll never know! I helped Riley find a stick and off we went on our adventure around the park, Riley poking his stick in every hole, puddle and patch of mud. It wasn’t long until he broke his stick in half and got quite upset. We spent a further 10 minutes trying to locate another stick which was of similar ‘stickiness’ to the last one.

 It didn’t take long for me to majorly regret the decision to walk around the park as my feet started turning to blocks of ice in my boots. I have always been someone who walks quickly, I can’t stand waiting about and its something I am still struggling to let go of as I continue to give Riley the freedom to walk himself without a buggy. He is a wanderer and is very happy to stop and play with everything and as much as it can become annoying spending 5 minutes staring at a puddle, I do love watching him learn through exploration.

 

It makes me laugh that every time I ask Riley to smile for the camera he pulls the most ridiculous faces! He is not the most photogenic when it comes to forced photos.
As part of my goals for this year I want to ensure i capture as much of Riley’s Childhood as possible, so have decided to join in with Living Arrows from this week onwards. It is a simple idea to capture moments of childhood – “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” This is run over on What the Redhead Said’s blog. I’m hoping I can keep this up once a week to prompt me to take more photos with my big camera than with my phone and to capture the memory behind the image. You can find out more about his project at the below link.
Living Arrows