Living Arrows 3/52 (2017)

I’ve been very envious of all the snow pictures I’ve been seeing all over social media last week – it was just cold, wet and a bit miserable here so we’ve had a quiet week at home. We did make it up to Cumbria on Saturday to visit my in-laws but that’s about as far as we went.

The rubbish weather, combined with the fact that at the moment the best time for Gabe to nap is right in the middle of the day, means we’ve spent a lot of time at home. Gabe really is into everything now and always wants to be doing whatever his brother is doing. Toby is getting better but he does get frustrated when Gabe destroys his latest Duplo creation, or knocks over another tower. I don’t know about the rest of you who have more than one child but I feel more like a referee in a wrestling match than a mum half the time! Read more

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in January (2017)

Welcome back to another Siblings update – this is only going to be a short one as it’s not that long since I wrote the last one. I wanted to get back on track with linking up in the middle of the month though so here it is.

Things are much the same with Toby and Gabe they still annoy each other all the time but we are seeing a more and more moments of them actually being affectionate towards each other and getting along. It’s so funny though – Toby has realised that if he gives Gabe a spontaneous cuddle then he will usually get some praise or acknowledgement. We’ll often say something like ‘that’s kind’ or ‘what a lovely cuddle’ – so now if we don’t say something straight away Toby will say ‘look at us mummy’ or ‘I’m cuddling Gabe’ just to make sure we realise he’s being cute! He’s too clever for his own good sometimes.

Toby and Gabe in their Bunting Tree tops

The best moments for me though are the ones that I catch that aren’t just being done for my benefit. Read more

Remembering Childhood // Mummy To My Cheeky Little Monkey

We’ve had a bit of a break over Christmas but I’m back with another Remembering Childhood post.This week it’s the turn of Vicki from Mummy to My Cheeky Little Monkey

Which decade were you born in?

I was born in the mid eighties – 1985 to be exact!

What is your earliest memory? How old were you?

I can remember looking out of my great aunt’s bedroom window at the crane ‘Big Geordie’ on the opencast mining.

What was your favourite toy at 5 years old? At 10?

Read more

Learning to scoot with the SmarTrike T1 Scooter

At three and a half Toby has had his fair share of wheeled transport. We got him a SmarTrike 4 in 1 trike for his first birthday, a sit on scooter for his second birthday, a balance bike for his third birthday… If I’m honest the second two haven’t seen much use – although Toby was full of enthusiasm he never really lasted more than ten minutes before he got fed up. I’ve seen lots of other kids his age who seem to be pros on a scooter so when we were given the chance to try the T1 scooter from SmarTrike I thought it would be a great opportunity for him to give it a try.

Just a boy and his SmarTrike Scooter

The added bonus of the T1 scooter is that is actually suitable from 15 months. With the addition of seat and adjustable handlebars it can be used as a ride on for younger children before removing the seat for scooting when your child is bigger. The scooter has two front wheels making it very stable for beginners too. Read more

Living Arrows 2/52 (2017)

I’m back again for another week of Living Arrows (I will post something else one of these days I promise!)

It’s been a quiet week of getting back into our normal routine. The boys went back to nursery without any complaints and I spent the whole of Tuesday cleaning our house from top to bottom, which literally takes all day in a three storey house!

Of course, as I predicted, two days back at nursery has seen Gabe with another cold. I don’t know if his teeth are bothering him too (although second molars at 16 months, surely not?) but he’s been dribbling like crazy for the last few nights. He actually slept all night on Tuesday night, for only the third time in his life but then the nights since then have all been pretty rubbish. I should know better by now than to get excited when he has a good night, it’s almost inevitably followed by even worse sleep than we’re used to. He’ll get there one of these days though and surprise us all.

I usually share happy (or sometimes serious) pictures of the boys but I think sometimes it’s important to share the reality of life with a 16 month old. Read more

Living Arrows 1/52 (2017)

So this post is the first of my fourth year of taking part in the┬áLiving Arrows project. It really is fabulous to have a weekly record of the boys and see how much they grow and develop. And just to show you how much they’ve changed, here is Toby in the first ever Living Arrows picture I took…

And the picture from week one of 2015… Read more

Living Arrows 52/52 (2016)

I’m sneaking this post in at the eleventh hour but I couldn’t go all the way through the year then miss the last Living Arrows post of 2016!

We’ve had a fairly quiet week between Christmas and New Year and I think we’re all going to benefit from getting back into our normal routine. It’s been lovely having Barry at home though and getting to spend some time together as a family.

These photos were taken at the beginning of last week when we went for a walk round a local lake and RSBP reserve. Gabe looks so happy to be out of the buggy and walking in this picture, although he didn’t last that long before he got too tired to walk and just sat on the floor in protest!

Gabe enjoying being out for a walk in the fresh air

It’s almost impossible to get Toby to pose nicely for a photo these days but sometimes he is happy to at least mess about in front of the camera…

And I don’t usually include myself in these Living Arrows pictures but I love this one of me and my boys walking together…

Walking holding hands with both my boys

So there you have it, another year of Living Arrows done. Once again as we enter a new year I’m going to be attempting to publish my Living Arrows posts on a Monday when the linky opens so I’ll be back again tomorrow with another one!

Living Arrows

Me & Mine // A Family Portrait (December 2016)

So this is it…December 31st and 2016 is done. If I’m being entirely honest I’ll be quite glad to see the back of this year. There have been some good times – we moved house in July and being near to our parents for the second half of the year has been great, even if the move itself was pretty stressful. We’ve now got an amazing new kitchen too (which I will share soon I promise, but it’s still not quite finished). We had a lovely holiday at Center Parcs in May, even if Toby did have chicken pox for the first part of it.

On the whole though I will remember 2016 as the year of illness and sleepless nights. Gabe has spent most of the year either poorly or teething or both, we’ve seen coughs and colds, conjunctivitis, chicken pox, stomach bugs, hand, foot and mouth…there really haven’t been many bugs that we’ve avoided!

We did manage to get through Christmas without anyone being ill, apart from a few sniffles, and for that I’m grateful. My brother and sister-in-law came to visit just before Christmas and we had a fab evening playing a new game (Codenames if you’re interested – I’d thoroughly recommend it) and Toby loved having his auntie and uncle to stay. It also meant we had someone to take our Me & Mine picture this month, even if it is only taken outside our house.

Me & Mine December 2016

We set up the camera at the end of the table on Christmas day too and so I thought I’d include an extended Me & Mine picture this month too…

Me & Mine Christmas Day 2016

2016 has been a year of survival for me, of getting through the days and hoping we all make it to bedtime without too many tears. I’ll be the first to admit that I have struggled to remain positive a lot of the time and I have to thank my wonderful husband for bearing the brunt of my emotional outbursts over the year. Sleep deprivation has a lot to answer for I think!

When I look at the year’s Me & Mine pictures all together though I see how far we have come. Gabe was just a baby at the start of the year and now he’s a fully fledged toddler. And Toby has gone from a cheeky toddler to an even cheekier pre-schooler who is too clever for his own good sometimes!

Me & Mine January to December 2016

2017 is going to a big year for us. The first full year in our new house, Toby starting school, Gabe learning to talk (and hopefully sleep!), I might even go back to teaching at some point. Whatever 2017 brings I’m sure we’ll cope with it just like we always do, and here’s hoping it’s a bit easier than 2016 was.

Whatever you are doing tonight to celebrate the new year I hope you enjoy yourselves – I’ll probably have a glass of wine in front of the TV and be in bed by 11 pm! Thank you all so much for reading Toby Goes Bananas this year and I’ll see you again ready to start afresh in 2017.

The Me and Mine Project

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in November & December

I missed last month’s Siblings Project update – even though I actually managed to get a few pictures of them together I just didn’t manage to find the time to write a post. So this month is a mixture of pictures of my two boys from November and December.

Toby and Gabe are slowly starting to learn how to play alongside each other (I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are playing together yet) even though Gabe does have a tendency to just throw things around still. They look like they are playing together in this picture from last month but I’m pretty sure Gabe ran off with some of the pieces a few seconds after I took this picture!

Toby and Gabe playing together with a puzzle

The kitchen the boys got for Christmas has been a hit though and is just about big enough for them both to play with it at the same time.

Playing with the kitchen together on Christmas morning

Toby is definitely showing more affection towards his brother these days too. This picture was taken last month. I think Gabe was feeling a bit poorly with a cold and Toby asked if he could sit with him. They actually stayed like this for about five minutes too. So cute!

Toby gives Gabe a kiss

More often than not though cuddles turn into headlocks and usually end in tears…

Not sure if this is a hug or a headlock

There’s no doubting though that Toby and Gabe love each other – just look at how they’re looking at one another in this one…

A look of love between two brothers

Every so often we get glimpses of what it might be like in another few months. We went out for a walk the other day and put the backpack reins on Gabe for the first time. Toby was desperate to hold Gabe, and lead him off on an adventure, and Gabe was more than happy to follow (mostly!)…

Toby taking Gabe for a walk

My brothers walking together

And the last picture I wanted to include for this update is one that makes me laugh. I don’t often think Toby and Gabe look much like each other, perhaps it’s partly because their hair is so different. But occasionally I get a snap where they look really similar – like this one with their matching, gormless watching TV faces.

oby and Gabe with their gormless TV watching faces


The Me and Mine Project

Living Arrows 51/52 (2016)

Everyone is starting to feel a bit better this week so hopefully we’ll all be well enough to enjoy Christmas. The boys had their last days at nursery before the Christmas break and both came home with so many Christmas crafts I almost needed a suitcase to carry them all!

The weather has been pretty rubbish though, not festive in the slightest. The rain did stop long enough though for Toby to finally get out on the new SmarTrike scooter we’ve been sent to review. Considering he’s never had a scooter before (although maybe has used one at nursery) I was really impressed with how well he did on it. You can see on his face how much he was enjoying it…

Toby having fun outside on his new scooter

Gabe has been feeling better too – his nose is still constantly dripping but apart from that he’s not too bad. He wasn’t too impressed with me going away for a night out with my friend last weekend though – he woke up at 10 pm and didn’t stop crying and go back to sleep until 5 am! Not much sleep for daddy that night either!

He’s turning into a proper little character now though and sometimes seems so close to talking, I’m sure it won’t be long until he gets more words than just ‘hiya’. He can still be very serious sometimes though, and if he’s not happy about something he’ll definitely let you know about it. He’s usually quite happy when he’s in the buggy even though his resting face doesn’t always show it…

Gabe and his serious face in the buggy.

Living Arrows