Living Arrows – 38/52 {2017}

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

As a parent, you kind of expect some weeks to be more challenging than others. Like the last week of term when all the children are exhausted or at Christmas time when the excitement rises. You know it’s coming and you mentally prepare for it.

This week was Amys first full week at school, and I was prepared for the tiredness and tears.

It was two-year-old Ava’s settling-in sessions at nursery, and I was prepared for the emotional tug of leaving my last baby, and being child-free for the first time in eight years.

It was James eighth birthday, and I was prepared for the excitement that comes with an almost 8-year old, who not only counts down in days, but in hours to his big day.

I think the problem was, I wasn’t prepared for it all to happen at once.

I wasn’t prepared

I wasn’t prepared for my two-year-old to start her full-day sessions because she did so well settling-in.

I wasn’t prepared for the headaches, stomach-aches, tiredness, and exhaustion that anxiety brings, or to ask my husband to stay with me because I felt so emotional leaving Ava at the nursery.

After an amazing first day at nursery, I wasn’t prepared for Ava to really struggle at being separated from me and to listen to her screams when I left the next day.*

I wasn’t prepared for a four-year-old who was so wired on an evening that she stays awake hours past her usual bedtime. She also wakes in the night (and creeps into our bed) then is exhausted the next morning.

I wasn’t prepared for my four-year-old to tell her class and teacher that I keep waking her up in the night!**

I wasn’t prepared for a six-year-old to have nightmares about me dying, and sleep in our bed for comfort.

I wasn’t prepared to arrive at the petrol station before the school run to fill up with petrol, only to pay and my debit card to be declined.

I also wasn’t prepared for my mobile phone to die as I was transferring the funds from my other account.

I also forgot that Ava had insisted on wearing pants mid toilet training, and I wasn’t prepared for her to have an accident in the school playground.

I wasn’t prepared to carry my sopping-wet wee-covered toddler back to the car because she was cold, wet and upset.

I wasn’t prepared to go back into the to the petrol station, to pay for my petrol covered in wee.

And after the emotional week, I wasn’t really prepared for my eldest to turn 8 years old. To feel the tug of ‘How did he get this old! Where have the years gone? Has he had a good day?’

I wasn’t really prepared to cancel half of our birthday plans because the weather didn’t look suitable for a day at a theme park***

And I wasn’t really prepared to feel like a failure because I hadn’t spent all 2 hours of free time at home to write and plan everything that has been swimming about in my head amidst all the other chaos and thoughts.

BUT. On the bright side…

I can see the positives now, and even the funny side, now I am no longer covered in toddler-pee!

It was always going to be a tough week. We have reduced Avas hours to mornings (instead of full days) while she settles in. I think Lily and Amy will settle and sleep better with time, the transition from the 6 week holidays back into a school routine (or into one for the first time, in Amy’s case) is a huge one!

In line with Avas reduced hours, I will be trying to expect a little less from myself! We put ourselves under so much pressure don’t we?

Chasing the light

James had a fab birthday, and really enjoyed his usual swimming lesson, followed by a birthday meal and day trip to The Deep, an aquarium in Hull. Instead of a theme park the following day, we had a relaxed day at home playing games and just being together. In hindsight, it was the right choice, we all needed a day to relax!

Then we called to see the children’s grandparents, before going to meet Kai, the newest addition to our family. A gorgeous rescue dog that Mr T’s sisters family have rescued. That’s where we captured these photos of the children.

I joined a camera club a few weeks ago to try and improve my photography, but I swear my family think I’m a little crazy to get so excited over the gorgeous golden light!

I have learnt so much about photography in the last year since I received my DSLR for my thirtieth birthday. Like anything, the more you learn the more you realise there is to learn, and I have SO many gaps to fill, but you can literally see my progress through the year in these siblings photos. I have started to put together a few posts on photography to cement and share my knowledge, in the hope it helps someone else.

These photos are some of my favourites so far, and not just because of the light. These photos are completely us, with messy hair and comfortable, non-matching clothes. In Ava’s case, she is in just her pull-ups after falling over and getting covered in mud. (And I’m slightly gutted we missed getting a shot of her before we cleaned her up!)

Ava jumping – An action shot!

Ava

Our eight year old, where do the years go?

Posing while waiting for their cousin to arrive back from a walk with Kai

* Ava settled really well after all the screaming and had a brilliant morning at the nursery. The nursery & their staff were all AMAZING at supporting us both!

** When Amy said I was waking her up in the night, I thought she was talking about when I was getting up with Ava or Lily. She didn’t. She meant I was waking her up in the morning, at 7.30am. Which is more acceptable, and sounds much less like I need reporting to social services!

***It was lucky we cancelled our trip to Flamingo Land, we found out on the day that it was the location for the largest girl guide meeting ever. Over 7500 girl guides! I love girl guides but can you IMAGINE the queues?!

Living Arrows