Living Arrows 30/52 (2016)

We are still living in limbo at the moment – it’s over a week since we sold and moved out of our old house in Scotland but we haven’t yet got the keys to our new house. If all goes according to plan we’ll get them later today but then unfortunately it’s going to be another week before the removals company can deliver all our stuff that they’ve got in storage. So until then we’ll still be staying with my parents and hopefully getting some decorating done and giving the place a good clean before we move in.

We’ve been trying to keep the boys occupied while we’ve been staying here and getting out somewhere every day. At the end of last week we went up to Cumbria to meet up with Barry’s parents for lunch and a bit of a walk along the coast. Toby had great fun climbing on the rocks and of course found himself a stick. I’m not sure what he was doing here though; casting a spell maybe?

Toby casting a spell with his wand-stick

It’s been hard work keeping a constant eye on Gabe this last week – there’s so much of our stuff everywhere at the moment and of course he want’s to get into everything. His absolutely favourite thing seems to be this crate that we brought with us – it’s full of the kids’ food, snacks and plastic plates and bowls and he just loves pulling everything out. We’ve ended up with quite a lot of broken breadsticks and crushed biscuits this week! This isn’t perhaps the best photo, but I love that it shows what a cheeky monkey Gabe is becoming, or has already become!

Gabe raiding the snack box

The lovely Donna who hosts Living Arrows is on holiday next week and so has asked me to host the linky for her – please do stop by and link up and hopefully I’ll have some exciting pictures in the new house by then!

Living Arrows

Toby Goes Bananas

Living Arrows 29/52 (2016)

OK, so this post is mega-late this week because we’re in the middle of moving house, we’re living with my parents, the boys seem to be tag teaming us with their not sleeping, it’s stupidly hot and I packed hardly any summer clothes, and…..just arrgghh!!

Anyway, here’s some pictures of Toby and Gabe looking cute. Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon!

Gabe with a big grin

Toby ready to blow out his birthday candles

 

Living Arrows

Toby Goes Bananas

Gabriel is eleven months old

I only got round to writing Gabe’s 10 month update a couple of weeks ago so not much has happened since even though this update is slightly late too. Eleven months old seems to have come round very quickly – I can’t believe Gabe is going to be one next month!

Gabriel is eleven months old

We’re still waiting for tooth number eight to appear so there’s been quite a lot of whinging still, and for the about a week he’s being refusing to eat anything much apart from fruit pouches. The last day or two he has started eating again but still no tooth!

Of course the lack of appetite could also be a bit of a reaction to the total disruption to his routine and the heat – since last Thursday we’ve been living with my parents until hopefully we get the keys to our new house next week, so everything has been different for him the last few weeks.

Despite my high hopes for Gabe’s new reflux medication it hasn’t quite been the wonder cure I thought it might be. He does seem marginally more comfortable at night he is still waking up at least a couple of times and often wants to get up around 5 am. Having said that, we have had a couple of nights where I’ve brought him into bed with me sometime in the early hours of the morning and he’s slept until nearly 7 am so maybe the tide is slowly changing…

Gabe standing at the TV

Gabe is the most active baby I’ve ever seen though so I don’t know how he manages on so little sleep sometimes. He never sits still, he’s always crawling off or pulling himself up. If you try and hold him he’s super-wriggly and often will try and dive out of your arms onto the floor. He is cruising round the furniture like a pro now and doesn’t seem to need to hold on for balance quite as much any more. I don’t think it will be too long before we see him standing on his own and even walking.

Gabe sitting in the bath

He’s loving the bath now too – he’s always quite enjoyed it but up until the last week or too wouldn’t sit in the bath so he couldn’t really do much. He’s decided he’s happy to sit now though so he can play with all the toys and the bubbles. We might even brave trying to give Toby and Gabe a bath together soon.

Gabe is eleven months old

Apart from the teething and lack of appetite Gabe has actually been much cheerier for the last few weeks. It could have something to do with the fact that we have actually, for the first time in what feels like months, had a couple of weeks where he hasn’t been ill!

That’s about it for this month I think. Gabe is eleven months old and I still can’t believe that next month I’ll be writing that he is one! And hopefully we’ll be all settled in our new house and I’ll be telling you that he’s sleeping through the night…well I can dream right?

0-11 months

Toby Goes Bananas

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in July

After last month’s Siblings post when I was saying that Toby hadn’t been showing much affection towards his brother he does seem to have warmed to him a bit more this month. There have been a few more unsolicited kisses and cuddles, although he still quite often just shouts whenever Gabe comes near him! There have been a few moments when they have almost being playing together though. Or at least both doing the same thing at the same time!

Siblings almost playing together

I actually managed to get a few better photos of Toby and Gabe together this month too. These ones were taken when we went out for lunch a couple of weeks ago – don’t you just love their matching outfits?

Toby and Gabe in July

Brothers together

There are more cuddles appearing from Toby, although Gabe might argue it’s sometimes more of a strangle hold than a cuddle. I can’t wait for Gabe to get a bit bigger so he can actually give him a cuddle back.

Toby and Gabe cuddles

Gabe still absolutely adores his brother and always wants to be near him, doing whatever he’s doing (which is where most of the arguments come from at the moment). Toby always says he loves Gabe but for now he doesn’t always show it! I’m hoping that changes though as they both get a bit older…

The Me and Mine Project

Toby Goes Bananas

Review: Tots Bots Joules EasyFit Star

When Tots Bots launched their redesigned all in one nappy back in March we were lucky enough to try out the new EasyFit Star. We loved the nappy then and it is still working brilliantly for us – especially on Toby. It still copes admirably with his massive toddler wees and we haven’t had any leaks, even after four or five hours of wear.

Tots Bots EasyFit Star in collaboration with Joules

When the EasyFit Star was launched it was available in block colours and three prints (Twinkle, Tweet and Treasure). Shortly after the new Rhyme Time prints were added to the range.

And this week Tots Bots are bringing you a fantastic new collaboration with top British brand Joules! There are two new prints available and we were sent the ‘Farmer Joules’ to try. I’m really looking forward to seeing the other print ‘Annabella Floral’ too – I reckon my boys could rock a bit of flower print too!

Two squishy bums in Tots Bots Joules EasyFit

The new Joules prints don’t change the amazing performance of the EasyFit Star – seriously I cannot tell you how much I rate this nappy (and I promise I’m not being paid to say that!) –  but they do add to the cuteness factor.

EasyFit Star from birth to potty

The Farmer Joules print features tractors, hay trailers, cows, ducks, sheep and chickens – Toby loved pointing out all the things you would see on the farm. The velcro, poppers and stitching are red and really complement the design.

Joules EasyFit Star

Toby and Gabe both seemed very comfortable in their EasyFit Stars – I think they look super cute with their matching bums!

Ten months and three years old in Tots Bots EasyFit Star with Joules

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

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Toby Goes Bananas

Toby is three years old

Toby is three years old today. Can you believe it? My little tiny 6lb 10oz baby, who was only three months old when I started writing this blog, is three!

Baby Toby

This is the first time that he’s really understood about birthdays and so the first year we’ve bothered having presents wrapped and waiting for him in the morning. Of course, his favourite thing was the balloon though!

Birthday balloon

We only gave Toby a few small things today because we’re moving out of our house this week and won’t be in our new house for at least a week so we didn’t want to give him presents that would just need to be put straight into storage.

Opening presents

So anyway, what is Toby like at three years old? He’s funny and cheeky, polite for the most part, prone to crying when he doesn’t get his own way but rarely has a tantrum. He can count to 20 (if you ignore the fact he goes from 13 straight to 16). He knows his full name and can recognise the letter T for Toby. He still loves his muslin blankets and has four on the go at any one time and he still loves to suck his thumb, although we’ve started trying to get him to only have it at bedtime.

Sucking his thumb in a cushion house

He can name all the planets and will tell you that Venus is ‘berry berry hot’, Jupiter has got a big red spot and Saturn has got rings. He knows the names of at least five different dinosaurs and could probably tell you every single character in every program on CBeebies – which perhaps I shouldn’t be quite as proud of! He learns new words every day and we rarely have trouble understanding him these days. I love how I can have a proper conversation with him now, and some of the things he comes out with are hilarious.

He loves anything chocolate and always wants to eat some of my cake, even if he’s got his own. He eats most things, as long as he’s got mayonnaise to dip them in (he may have picked that one up from me!) and we seem to have mostly got over the fussy phase that I mentioned in his last update. He eats a lot and was 102 cm tall at the last measure and wears age 3-4 clothes but he still only weighs 2st 5lb so he’s only put on 2lb in the last six months.

Imaginative play at three years old
He loves playing outside, especially making giant bubbles, and he’s really starting to get into imaginative play at the moment; building things and making up stories about them. But he also loves playing games on his ‘tiny telly’ (which is actually my Kindle Fire). He would probably play on it all day if he could but we try to limit his time and make sure all the games are at least vaguely educational.

He sleeps in a single bed, and usually sleeps all night. He likes to have three stories at bedtime and fall asleep on my lap. He sometimes wakes up early but always stays in bed until ‘Mr Sun’ comes out on his Groclock at 7:20. Sometimes he sleeps later, it usually depends whether Gabe is being noisy and wakes him up. He doesn’t nap, except sometimes in the car, but if he does it’s a nightmare to try and get him to sleep at night.

He still wears nappies (cloth ones of course) and although he knows when he is doing a wee or poo he has absolutely no interest in using the potty or the toilet. I’m hoping we might have a breakthrough over the summer, although with all the changes coming with moving house I’m not going to push him if he doesn’t want to.

Toby and Gabe - best of friends

He loves his little brother, and is still the one person who is pretty much guaranteed to be able to make Gabe laugh, but he gets annoyed with him all the time and is still not keen on sharing his toys. We are seeing more moments of affection though and Toby even seems to have started babbling nonsense back to Gabe – I have no idea what they think they are talking about but it’s very cute.

Fun with mummy
He winds me up every day, and then he melts my heart when he says ‘I ruv you mummy’. My Toby-Bear, my T-dog,my Super-T, my Toby-tobleroney, my baby.

Now you are three.

 

 

Toby Goes Bananas

Living Arrows 28/52 (2016)

This is going to be a very short post today – we are in the midst of house moving chaos and today is Toby’s third birthday! Here he is earlier in the week, actually doing a nice smile for the camera for once – he’s taken to either sticking his tongue out or doing a massive cheesy grin whenever I try and take his picture lately so this one makes a change.
A lovely smile from Toby

And this week Gabe gave us cause to get another milestone card out…
Gabe said da-da for the first time this week

He’s been saying ‘a-da’ for a week or two now but this week it definitely turned into ‘Da-da’. It’s still just a sound to him though – it’s not like he is actually referring to his daddy when he says it!

By next week’s Living Arrows post we will have moved out of our house in Scotland and will be temporarily living with my parents in Blackpool. All our stuff will be in storage until we get into our new house which is supposed to be happening a week later but that’s not looking to likely at the moment. Hopefully my already somewhat erratic blogging will not be too disrupted!

Living Arrows

Toby Goes Bananas

Wishing away the baby days // Living with reflux

When Gabe was born I knew there was a good chance that he could suffer with reflux just like Toby had. I thought that having been through it once I would be better prepared to cope with a reflux baby the second time round but that didn’t stop the disappointment when I realised that, at just a few days old, Gabe was showing all the signs of reflux that Toby had; being sick after every feed, sometimes hours later, the back-arching, the hiccups, the gulping, the awful screaming if you tried to put him on his back… the list goes on.

Wishing away the baby days - living with reflux

At least this time I took Gabe to see our GP when he was only a week old and we were prescribed Infant Gaviscon, a week later we added ranitidine too. It took six weeks of screaming and trying to console an inconsolable baby before we got to the same place with Toby. But whereas with Toby the Gaviscon and rantidine controlled his symptoms reasonably well, Gabe hasn’t been so lucky.

The Gaviscon has mostly stopped the vomiting, although he can still be a bit sick, and sometimes hours after a feed. But despite increasing the dose in line with his weight the ranitidine just doesn’t seem to be controlling Gabe’s symptoms as well. If you’ve been reading my blog over the last few months you’ll know that Gabe has been almost constantly ill since about February, and every time he is ill, whether it’s a cold, or a stomach bug, or teething, his reflux gets 10 times worse.

He isn’t too bad during the day but at night reflux really rears its ugly head. Most bedtimes involve at least half an hour of crying (from him and me!), standing up and swaying, rocking, singing, doing anything I can to get him to calm down and sleep. A really bad bedtime can see the crying continue for up to four hours; even going out in the buggy or car doesn’t always work to get him to sleep.

And then once he is asleep he can wake two or three times every night, needing milk to settle him back to sleep every time, and then he’s awake and ready to start the day sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 am, usually having spent the second half of the night in bed with me.

And now, after 10 and a half months of this, I am physically and emotionally broken. My arms and back are in constant pain from holding and rocking a stone and a half of baby every night. The lack of sleep is getting harder and harder to cope with. I have spent the last 10 months simply existing from one day to the next. Instead of enjoying Gabe’s baby days I have been simply wishing them away until he reaches the next milestone that might bring with it an improvement in his reflux. Some babies get better when they can sit up, when they start eating solid food, when they need less milk, when they can stand up…. but we are still waiting for the improvement to come.

I can’t wait until Gabe is fully weaned and doesn’t need bottles any more. I can’t wait until he only needs one nap a day, and then no naps, so we don’t have to spend so long fighting to get him to sleep, and Barry doesn’t have to spend huge chunks of his time pushing him round the streets in the buggy just so he’ll have a nap. I can’t wait until he’s got all his teeth and we don’t have to suffer the endless sleeping nights that teething brings. I can’t wait until he can talk and then at least he can tell us what’s wrong and where it hurts instead of constantly having to guess and hope that whatever we’re doing is helping.

I know, really, that the only thing that will bring an improvement in Gabe’s reflux is time. We thought Toby was over his reflux when he was about the age Gabe is now and we weaned him off all his medication. But six months later we realised that wasn’t the case and got him back on ranitidine…and then it took until he was two and a half to finally get him medication free.

Two weeks ago we finally got to see a paediatrician at the hospital after being referred by our GP back in April. Thankfully this doctor agreed that Gabe’s reflux still isn’t under control and has prescribed him omeprazole to try. Gabe has been taking his new medicine for just over two weeks now and it does seem to be helping. He has been more settled at bedtime but he’s still waking up in the night wanting milk, although perhaps not so often. He is teething quite badly at the moment too though so it’s hard to tell. It’s teeth numbers seven and eight that are on their way, one has just cut and so hopefully the other isn’t too far behind and then perhaps we can all get a bit more sleep.

Of course then we’re moving house next week which will be a massive upheaval for everyone. I’m really hoping we see an improvement in Gabe’s sleep soon though because I have a feeling the move will bring with it some disturbed nights from Toby too.

I’m in a Facebook group called ‘Living with reflux’ which is mostly for parents of children with reflux. I know from reading the stories on there that there are so many families who are dealing with situations much worse than ours and I really feel for them. But still, I can’t help but feel sad that reflux has stolen much of the enjoyment from both my babies’ early years. I have spent the majority of the time wishing for them to be over. And even though we never had any plans for a third baby, there is no way I would risk having another baby with reflux. I just couldn’t cope with this again.

 

Toby Goes Bananas

Review: Babymoov Lovely Bear Lunch Set

As part of our role as #stresslessweaning ambassadors for Babymoov we were sent this Lovely Bear Lunch Set. There’s a divided plate, bowl, cup and a sweet little fork and spoon. Everything in the is melamine so very hard wearing (but remember melamine can’t go in the microwave) and features a cute bear character.

Babymoov Lovely Bear Lunch Set

As you can see, Gabe isn’t quite ready for using plates, bowls and cups yet.

Cup goes the other way up Gabe

At the moment we either spoon feed him, or he eats straight from his highchair tray. If I give him a bowl or plate he just tips everything out and it gives him something else to bang on the table!

Gabe doesn't quite understand a bowl

He does like having something to hold while he’s being fed though and the spoon from the lunch set is the perfect size for his little hands.

Gabe using the Babymoov Lunch Set bowl and spoon

Although Gabe isn’t quite ready to use the Babymoov Lunch Set just yet I’m sure he’ll like it when he’s a bit older. I think it would make a great first birthday present – the set comes in four different designs and in a lovely presentation box too. I know Toby got far more toys than he could ever play with for his first birthday so something like this lunch set would make a fab alternative.

Babymoov Lunch Set giftbox

The Babymoov Lovely Bear Lunch Set has an RRP of £29.99

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

We're going on an adventure

Toby Goes Bananas

Living Arrows 27/52 (2016)

I’m so tired at the moment (when will Gabe realise that the day does not start at 4:30 am?) that I’m struggling to remember what we’ve been up to since last week. Barry has finished work now in readiness for our move so having him to share the early mornings is helping, but I still just feel permanently knackered.

Last week my mum and dad came up for a flying visit and took a trailer and car full of our stuff back to their house so we’ve got a bit of space in our garage to try and sort out more of our stuff. Before they left we went out for lunch and Toby was very pleased to be back at the cafe with the dragon…

Toby and the dragon

Gabe has been struggling with his teeth again this week but one of the next bottom ones has finally cut through and hopefully the other side isn’t far behind. He’s still managed the odd smile though…

A little smile from Gabe

 

Living Arrows

Toby Goes Bananas