Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Living arrows 7/52 - Hooray for annual leave!

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

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Sunday roundup 12/02

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, 5 February 2017

Sunday roundup - 5/02

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!        

Friday, 3 February 2017

Friday Favourites

I feel like every week I am posting, 'oh what a week!" but it honestly does feel like each week is so much more intense than the last! I think it is just work zapping the life out of me in all honesty. Although I am very glad I got to spend this week at home rather than living out of my suitcase, but I do miss having people make my bed and not having to cook or do the washing up!

This weeks favourite thing has been the return of one of my favourite TV shows - Scandal!.

Oh I am so glad this show is back! I binge watched all past 5 series of Scandal over the space of a month. I don't know what it is, that mad chemistry between Olivia and Fitz, or Mellie's crazy determination, maybe Olivia's dysfunctional relationship with her father, or her fathers odd attachment to Jake...but I am hooked! If you haven't seen it, you should give it a try...its brilliant.

I do hope that this series gets the show back on track, I didn't enjoy the last season quite as much as the previous 4 due to the departure of one of my favourite characters and the change of some of the roles of the characters but I will still happily watch it regardless!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday roundup - 29/01

What a week! I've been away with work for most of it. Usually I can't stand travelling for work, and well, this wasn't an exception - a week away for a super intense workshop that I had spent the last month preparing for. Lots of senior managers and a very important issue to resolve. I am happy to say it was a complete success with many attendees announcing it the best hothouse event they had ever been to. Score!

I ended up out with my work colleagues every night and definitely had a fair bit too much to drink each night - which was absolutely needed after the time i spent preparing to get everything ready for the event. I swear, it was more stressful than planning my wedding!

I had far too many of these - felt like I was a teenager again! 

Got right on the selfies - was teaching my team all about how to take a selfie! God even with snapchat filters i still look exhausted in that pic!

The journey home wasn't great, we got stuck outside London behind a broken down train and ended up running about half an hour late. This meant we missed our connecting train back home and ended up only getting back into Dundee at 11:45pm. Yuk. After going into a busy week already completely shattered, this was not good!

Having only seen Riley briefly for a morning drop off at nursery on Monday I was determined to make the most of the weekend with him.

However, you know what they say about plans....

Saturday was a dull and wet day, which later turned to snow. I'd promised Riley we'd bake cakes so needed to pop out to Tesco's to get the basic ingredients. It had just started to snow at this point so we got dressed in warm jackets, Riley had his welly boots on so thanks to Peppa bloody Pig, decided it was best to jump in puddles. All was going well with a few soakings from the child until he found a gigantic puddle, the look of excitement on his face as i shouted at him to not even think about it...and what did he do? Ran to jump in it. Yup. Except the run turned into a tumble and he went flying head first into said massive puddle. Queue the tears. Back off home we went with a screaming child absolutely dripping wet.

On Sunday we actually got to make those cakes. I was quite enjoying making them until Riley sneezed into the bowl of cake mixture. Lovely. Although I won't lie, I did have a cupcake afterwards. The gross things mothers do sometimes!

One of these days it would be awesome to actually have a successful weekend!