Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (November 2014)


Another month gone! I really can’t believe where November has gone – it seems to have disappeared before my eyes! Unfortunately November has been a month of illness, broken sleep, hard days at work and unrelenting tiredness.

The month started well with Toby finally deciding he was ready to walk…but then after about a week, and a nasty tumble at nursery (which may or may not have been related) he stopped walking again and wouldn’t bear weight on his right leg. A visit to minor injuries, our GP and finally A&E and despite two x-rays we were still none the wiser as to what was wrong with him. Two weeks of daily painkillers later and it seemed to be getting better and then a few days later he seemed to be completely cured! We’ll never actually know what was the matter but whatever it was I’m glad it has got better and Toby is toddling all over the place again.

While we were still trying to figure out what was wrong with Toby’s foot, I got a nasty cold which left me with no voice at all (interesting when you’re trying to get a class full of unruly teenagers to be quiet!). I actually didn’t feel to bad apart from a horrible cough and no voice but the Toby and Barry both caught it off me and really suffered. After three days of temperatures up to 39.5 we took another trip to our local hospital, this time for the out of hours GP. Fortunately it was only viral and apart from a nose which is still constantly dripping snot Toby seems much recovered. Barry’s feeling better too, after a day off work early in the week and I’m pretty much fully recovered too! I’m really hoping we can all avoid getting ill again in December but with me teaching over 300 different kids a week and Toby in full time nursery I’m sure more germs will be coming our way soon!

So, all in all November hasn’t been the best of months for us but it is ending on a more positive note – last night Toby slept from 8 pm to 7 am without a single wake up for the first time in months and we managed to get this month’s Me & Mine Family Portrait out in the garden today – the first one with a walking Toby in it! And of course there’s so much to look forward to in December – of course there’s Christmas but that also means two weeks off school and getting to see all our family too. Here’s hoping December brings us good health – and plenty more sleep!

Taking this month’s photo was a bit more of a challenge now Toby is walking – he wasn’t that keen on staying in shot so I thought I’d just include this little montage as he walked further and further out of the frame!

November outtakes

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (October 2014)

October started with a busy few weeks at work and then what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing week off. Unfortunately we decided to go to Butlins in Skegness which, despite not looking too far on the map, took hours and hours to get to. And then Toby decided that he wasn’t really going to eat and wasn’t going to sleep unless he was in bed with me. Which meant not much sleep for anyone. The weather wasn’t great either and we didn’t really get chance to take advantage of everything Butlins had to offer, I’m going to write another post all about our holiday soon but suffice to say no one came home particularly rested!

And now we’re back to work and Toby’s back at nursery and we’re counting down the days until the Christmas holidays (only eight more Mondays at work to go!).

We did manage to get a family photo at Butlins. This was just after breakfast on our last day and we were all ready to go home. You can probably see the tiredness on our faces. But this picture, just like all our Me & Mine family portraits reminds us that although we had a pretty rubbish holiday we got to spend a week together as our little family. And even when things don’t turn out how we hoped we should always make the most of the time do get to spend together.

October 2014

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (September 2014)

OK, so I think we’ve had what you might call a fail with this month’s Me & Mine photo – not only is it a week late, it’s also quite a rubbish picture, grabbed in the half hour between getting home from work and putting Toby to bed. And I had to give Toby my phone to play with to get him to sit still for 30 seconds! I suppose though it does capture what September has been about for us – not a lot of family time, but just enjoying being together in the short time we do have together, especially during the week.

Toby is still enjoying nursery, and his napping is getting a bit better too. He’s got so clever this month, learning how to do lots of new things like shape sorting, stacking blocks and cups, peg puzzles and generally just figuring out what things are for. At almost 15 months he’s still not walking – he’s getting closer every day. Hopefully by the time I do our October post he’ll actually have managed it!

I’ve been busy with work and being in a musical this month – I’m definitely looking forward to the school holidays in a couple of weeks! And Barry has been busy being a super-dad whilst I’ve been off gallivanting on stage!

So, without further ado here’s our September Me & Mine family portrait (even if it was taken in October!)


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (August 2014)

August has been a month of big changes – two weeks ago I went back to work full time after over 13 months of maternity leave and so Toby started nursery full time. The hardest thing for me (apart from dealing with unruly teenagers!) has to be going from being with Toby all day to only seeing him for about an hour on week days. Luckily he does seem to be enjoying nursery which makes it easier but it’s still not the same as being at home with him all the time. It means as well that we really need to make the most of our family time together at the weekends.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go for a walk along a short section of the Fife Coastal Path near to where we live. It was lovely to get out in the fresh air and have a bit of a change of scenery. At the end of the section of path we walked we came upon the ruin of St Bridget’s Kirk which is where we took this month’s Me & Mine photograph, looking out over the Firth of Forth (you can just catch a glimpse of the famous Forth Rail Bridge in the background). I’ve lived here 11 years now and never walked along this path before but we’re definitely going to try and explore a bit further when we get the chance.


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (July 2014)

Here I am, a little late with my July Me & Mine post. July was a busy month with Toby’s birthday and visits from family but despite plenty of opportunities we didn’t manage to get a single photo of the three of us together! This month’s picture then was hastily taken on our bed at home – the camera was on the tripod and Toby was far more interested in that than sitting with us for a picture. As it happens though I really like the way this shot has turned out!


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (June 2014)

So, another month gone. Half way through the year. And time for our June Me & Mine photo.

The first two weeks of June we were on holiday in Brittany (and I know I’ve mentioned it a few times but I will get round to writing up a proper post about it eventually). After a week back at home I was away again, off to Britmums Live while my boys had a weekend home alone. This weekend was our first proper weekend at home for the whole month and we made a good start on organising our house. I’d managed to tidy up the garage with a trip to the tip during the week so we could get round to moving my old desk out of the spare room/office and rearranging the furniture to make some more space and to hopefully make it a more appealing place to be so we’ll actually use it! Barry also did some good tidying up in the garden – it was a bit of a jungle after being so busy all month. I really don’t enjoy gardening (and I’m mostly excused due my hayfever!) but I do like to enjoy the fruits of his labour – even if it’s only looking at it out of the kitchen window!

So anyway, to this month’s photo. This one was taken by my dad while we were on holiday. This is in Vannes – a lovely town in south Brittany where we’d just been out for lunch. We’re looking a bit squinty unfortunately (I really must work out where the best place for the light is in a picture to avoid the squinty eye look) but I still like this photo of us on our first family holiday abroad.


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (May 2014)

I can’t believe another month has gone by! Since last month I have finished (and passed!) my Spanish course and turned 36! We’ve been going to all our usual groups and classes – Toby is still doing well with his swimming, he’s enjoying plenty of space for crawling at Parent and Toddler group, and he’s now the biggest baby at Baby Sensory and I spend every week just chasing after him! This month for Toby though has been all about crawling and kneeling. He’s just started pulling himself up to standing too – my little boy is really on the move!

And today we are setting off on our first overseas family holiday, although today we’re only going as far as Blackpool! We sail to France on Monday morning (Toby’s passport finally turned up on Thursday so we can go after all!) and we have 10 nights on a camp site in south Brittany. I’m really looking forward to it…I’m just not really looking forward to the journey! Fingers crossed Toby doesn’t have a screaming fit in the car like he has done on our last few long trips.

So anyway, here we are, our May family portrait – all packed up and ready to go…


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (April 2014)

Another month has gone so it means it must be time for another Me & Mine post and this month two family photos. We don’t seem to have done a lot this month really. Toby’s swimming and Baby Sensory classes both had a break for the Easter holidays so we didn’t get up to much on that front, and I spent most of the month writing a 2000 word essay, in Spanish, about Che Guevara, which wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had!

We have enjoyed a bit of sunshine this month though and now we have two cars Barry is getting home from work much earlier and has managed to get the garden all tidied up, and spend much more time with Toby. We took this picture after an impromptu picnic lunch in the garden a couple of weeks ago.

April family portrait in the garden

This week we’re having a wee break in the Lake District and we managed to get another family portrait this month outside the Bridge House in Ambleside. Unfortunately, the old guy decided to come and sit on the wall just as we were taking the photos. We had some others without him in but I really like the moment we were capturing in this one so I decided I’d just have to use the picture anyway!

April family portrait in Ambleside

We don’t have any big plans for the coming month – I’ve got my final exams for my Spanish course in a couple of weeks then at the end of the month it’s my birthday then we’re off to spend ten days in France at the beginning of June!

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (March 2014)

I can’t believe it’s the end of another month already – this year is absolutely flying but March is over and it’s time for another family portrait. March seems to have been another busy month even though I am struggling to think what we have done.

The first weekend of March my friend Claire came over to babysit so Barry and I could go out for a much needed quiet meal on our own. We made a few plans while we were there which should hopefully improve our lives a little bit. The first was to buy a second car which will shorten Barry’s commute by up to two hours a day – we did that and picked up our Toyota Aygo on Saturday. Toby and I are very excited that daddy is going to be home an hour and a half earlier from now on!

I also started reclaiming a bit of me time this month – I’ve started going to a Metafit class and I’ve also gone back to the amateur musical group that I’ve been a member of for a while. I even managed to survive a three hour dance audition last weekend! I’m really pleased I decided to back for this year’s show, it wasn’t until I was there that I realised how much I’d missed it and all the people who are involved. I also had a bit of extended me time this week with my whistle stop trip to London.

And to this weekend – my mum and dad have come up today to visit for a few days and so we went out to our local Harvester pub for dinner. It was the first time we have taken Toby out to eat and he was an absolute star. He had a little bit of what we were eating and then polished off an apple pouch that we had taken with us. Even being an hour late for bedtime didn’t seem to bother him. We got my dad to take this month’s photo while we were out. I was trying to find one where we were all looking at the camera but this one just made me smile. Toby loves grabbing faces (and my glasses!) at the moment and so this photo really captures everyday life for us.

Family Portrait March

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (February 2014)

Me & Mine is a photo linky to capturing our whole family each month. I’m afraid February’s family portrait is another indoor one. We had every intention of getting outside to take this month’s photo but a combination of a couple of busy weekends, a teething baby and pretty miserable weather meant our photo was left to the last minute again and so had to be taken inside. I do love how it is showing off our family dimples though.

A family portrait - February 2014

February started with me going out with the other mums from our antenatal class. It was the first time I had properly been out since Toby was born. I had a lovely time catching up with the other mums and drinking too much wine but thankfully didn’t suffer too much the next day!

I had two days at work this month too which was great. It meant Toby got to spend a couple of extra days at home with daddy too and I was secretly delighted I didn’t have to deal with the worst of his teething! It was another boys’ day last weekend too as I was off to Dundee for the penultimate immersion day of my Spanish course. I’m almost finished my two year Graduate Diploma which will qualify me to teach Spanish, in addition to the French I already teach. I’ll be so glad when it’s over though – it’s really hard to keep up with the work and look after Toby. I swear I had more time to do it when I was working full time.

And this weekend Toby has to make do with one parent again as the hubby has gone to see his parents and friends in Manchester. His mum and dad are moving house soon and so it’ll be that much harder for him to see the friends he left down there when he moved up to Scotland to live with me. Toby was really grumpy yesterday and I thought we might be heading back into teething hell but he seems a lot better this morning so fingers crossed we have a peaceful weekend to start the new month.