“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

The last couple of weekends we have had brilliant behaviour from Riley, however if you have seen any of my previous posts you will know it has not been the same at nursery! His behaviour has flipped and whilst we used to have the raw end of the deal at the weekend, it is now those looking after him at nursery that have been most unfortunate. After a particularly bad day on Monday (the gist of this being he went to the toilet unattended with another child, they flooded the place and put their shoes down the toilet – I had to try so hard not to laugh when they told me this!) I’ve decided that I needed to do something other than the normal praising good behaviour.
Because of this I’ve been looking at how best to reward good behaviour and have decided to bring back the rewards chart. I let Riley choose the reward this week and he really wanted to go see the new Lego Batman movie. This actually surprised me as every time we go to the cinema he gets scared and we have to leave with a half hour of the film still to go. I still don’t know to this day how Finding Dory ended, or if the minions really did manage to get rid of Sandra Bullocks character.
So the deal was agreed – well behaved every day at nursery for the remaining four days and he could go see the film. Tuesday was the first day in weeks I had a good report from the nursery! I was so impressed! This was followed by yet more good behaviour on Wedensday. Finally on to something I thought!  
 
I had Thursday and Friday off work yet still ended up working for the majority of these two days off and have taken zero photos all week. Not very successful for someone who is wanting to capture family memories this year.
Riley also managed to avoid getting into trouble for both those days and actually made it successfully to the movies to see the film and not only that…he actually sat through it all! He was quite noisy at times, chattering away and blowing raspberries back at Batman when he started it, but I finally got to see a film the whole way through at the cinema! I’ll be honest, I actually quite enjoyed it too!
 
We spent the rest of the weekend at my parents house in Troon. We had a really long drive through on Saturday with some awful traffic because of one of the Glasgow football games. The normal 2 hour drive took just under 3 hours, Riley was not impressed for the last hour and a half and eventually ended up crying himself to sleep. 
 
 
 The weather has been so poor however that it’s been pretty restrictive in what we could actually do so we ended up settling on getting some cake mixture from the shops and made Minion cupcakes. Riley usually enjoys baking, but this time left it all up to me to do and unfortunately the finished product was not great!
 

That’s another weekend by and as always its gone far too quickly. I have a day off on Monday so am looking forward to a long weekend this time round! I think it is long deserved considering the hours I have been doing at work so far!  

Sunday roundup
Once again I have finished this week feeling like a bit of a neglectful mother. I’ve been late to pick him up from nursery once and we have resorted to takeout twice this week. A domino’s and a McDonalds – dead healthy.
Another week at work which has just overruled everything else. So much for it stopping after the week long workshop eh? It is what it is for now and I need to ensure I set myself and my team up for success going into next financial year, I do know my limit and when it does get too much I will slow down, but for now, whilst I am able I am going to do everything I can to ensure that next year is much more successful than this year has been work wise. Putting in this extra bit now will hopefully let up some of the stress and improve my work life balance next year.
Riley’s week at nursery has not been the best. Every night we have had a bad report whilst picking him up. He doesn’t listen to the ladies at the nursery, he runs about when he shouldn’t and has become very defiant. He is a very easily led child and will happily follow other children who aren’t behaving. I’ve been asked to come in and speak to his key worker next week to discuss next steps and how we can join up and be consistent.  
This weekend I haven’t seen any of this. He has been the perfect example of a well behaved boy and it makes me struggle to believe anything they have reported back all week. If we hadn’t of just had the month from hell with his behaviour at home I probably wouldn’t believe them! I do feel that we can’t have both a good week at nursery and a good weekend at home…it seems to have reversed this week, usually we get the raw end of the deal at the weekend!
With my job being quite intensive, I do wonder how much it affects Riley, I have felt super mum guilt all week about working so much. I do make sure that I spend every second I can with Riley, however I do worry that stress about upcoming deadlines and other projects can impact on my mood and I so terrified that Riley sees that. I have become in the past month a bit of a shouty mum. Something I never wanted to be. Although, one could argue that with Riley’s behaviour before Christmas and up until last weekend has also triggered that.
On Saturday we had a bit of a lazy start. Lots of lazing about in pyjamas until mid-day. Riley spend most of his morning building Lego rocket boosters to make cars go “Super-duper really fast!” Children’s imaginations always fascinate me; they see so much in things that as an adult you take for granted.

 
 Due to me being a pretty awful wife, mother all round person this week I hadn’t actually managed to get any shopping in so we decided we had to get dressed so we could head out for lunch. We recently stopped using the buggy completely for Riley. Living in the city centre and not really going anywhere in the car it was convenience for us to continue using the buggy but he was becoming very lazy with it. After Disney I decided that was it, it was going away and Riley was to be walking everywhere. He didn’t take to well to this to begin with but is now more than happy walking about and unfortunately running away from us!


We decided to go to Frankie and Bennies as I had a £10 off voucher and it’s the only place Riley will behave anymore when we go out.
He remained pretty well behaved for the most part, and was kept happy with colouring in (what a godsend that activity is sometimes!) and playing with his Paw Patrol moshems. 


Of course the ice-cream for desert for eating most of his dinner was also enough to keep him happy too!


The one thing with Frankie and Bennies is how slow they are! The food is amazing but having to wait 10 minutes to be served and another 20 minutes for the bill and for them to take payment caused a little bit of angst when Riley got fed up! I kept him amused with snapchat for as long as physically possible!

Sunday has been another quiet day, mostly spent cleaning, which was all obviously undone rather swiftly by Riley half an hour later. My mum and dad were staying in St Andrews at a B&B as a gift they got for Christmas so decided to swing by our place for a quick visit. Riley was excited to see them. He was desperate to show them the rest of the Christmas presents he hadn’t already showed them over facetime. Another lovely little day, the first nice weekend we have had in a long time where he hasn’t spent half of it tantruming and screaming and crying!
All in I’d count it a successful quiet weekend!