My Wild Ones // Climbing rocks and a whooshing stick

I’ve got a bit of a backlog of photographs and things to write about at the moment so please forgive my posting about something that we did two months ago.

When we were waiting to get the keys to our new house we went to meet Barry’s parents in Arnside, a village on the estuary of the river Kent, at the north east of Morcambe Bay. The estuary has a tidal bore which we were lucky enough to see just after we arrived.

beware-of-the-tide-in-arnside

After a lovely lunch in the Old Bakehouse cafe we had a little stroll along the water.

toby-with-his-dad-and-grandparents-looking-back-towards-arnside

Gabe was quite happy in the buggy as we walked along.

gabe-had-fun-from-the-buggy-on-our-walk

Looking out across the water you can see Grange over Sands where Barry’s parents live.

looking-over-the-bay-to-nana-and-grandads-house

As we walked along of course Toby found himself a stick. Apparently it was his ‘whooshing stick’.

toby-found-his-whooshing-stick

He had lots of fun climbing up the rocks with his Grandad.

toby-doing-some-rock-climbing-with-his-grandad

He’s quite the adventurer…

toby-is-super-happy-on-the-rocks-with-his-stick

At one point the water was coming right up over the path, I’m glad the tide didn’t get any higher or we would have been stuck!

watch-out-for-the-rising-tide-coming-up-over-the-path

Apparently the whooshing stick was good for drawing in the sand too.

a-stick-becomes-a-pen-for-drawing-in-the-sand-with-nana

Gabe enjoyed the view too.

gabe-enjoying-the-view-towards-grange-over-sands

And then as we were heading back to the car, the inevitable happened…

the-inevitable-breaking-of-the-whooshing-stick

We had a lovely day out though. It’s a beautiful part of the world and I’m sure we’ll go back again sometime.

MyWildOnes

My Wild Ones // Mini Trekkers at Center Parcs

Last week we were on holiday at Center Parcs in the Lake District. As I’m sure most of you are aware there are tons of different activities to do…and most of them cost extra! You do get quite a lot of emails before you go urging you to book things in advance but seeing as we didn’t know what we would feel like doing, or what the weather would be like we didn’t really book anything before got to Center Parcs.

It was a good job we didn’t as it happened as Toby’s chicken pox weren’t fully scabbed over until our second day there so we couldn’t really do anything when we first arrived. We did go for a walk around to get our bearings and saw the Mini Trekkers course.

Nearly finished the Mini Trekkers course

It’s a baby version of the high ropes course where the kids get to wear a harness and cross different bridges to collect the pieces of a jigsaw. We asked Toby if he’d like to have a go and when he said yes we booked it for later on our second day.

First steps at Mini Trekkers

This was a great activity for Toby, and it was lovely to watch him overcoming his fears.

Enjoying Mini Trekkers

He was a bit nervous at first but soon got into the idea.

Mini trekkers

By the end he only really needed my help to step from the platform onto the walk ways and then he was quite happy holding onto the ropes and walking along by himself.

Gaining confidence at Center Parcs

Holding on

Going it alone

It helped that he had to collect the jigsaw pieces on some of the platforms and he was so pleased with himself when he finished the squirrel picture at the end of the Mini Trekkers course.

Mini trekkers - done

And even more pleased when he was given a squirrel toy to keep as well.

Collecting his Center Parcs squirrel prize

MyWildOnes

My Wild Ones // Weaning: the story so far

The lovely Hannah is on holiday in Italy this week so she has asked me to host My Wild Ones which is very exciting! I’ve got a slightly different post this week – instead of just sharing a day out as I often do I’m going to shift the focus to Gabe and share some photos of his weaning adventures so far.

We started weaning with Gabe when he turned six months old so we have been going for about two and half months now. Just like with Toby we launched right in with a mixture of finger foods and spoon feeding. We’re not doing full on babyled weaning but equally I have never pureed anything either.

Gabe took to solid food straight away. The first thing he actually ate was some cinnamon and raisin bagel – perhaps not the textbook first food but it happened to be what Toby was having for lunch so I just gave him a bit!

Gabe's very first taste

He tried some melon that day too, although I don’t think he actually ate very much of it.

Stress less weaning with some melon

Since then Gabe has had all sorts of bread products – breadsticks are still a firm favourite, as well as lots of different fruits and vegetables and things like yoghurt, Weetabix and porridge too. Most mornings he has his practice at picking up Cheerios too – not only a tasty breakfast but also a fantastic way of developing fine motor skills!

Cheerio picking up practice

What we have found though is that although Gabe is happy to feed himself he still doesn’t manage to eat an awful lot that way, but he really likes his food and seems hungry. He also started waking for night feeds again, having not had them since he was about three or four months. So in an effort to get more food into him during the day, and hopefully fill him up, he has been having half of one of the seven month plus pouches for lunch and dinner, alongside some finger foods at every meal too. He is still perfectly happy to be spoon fed too – and loves to play with the spoon after he’s finished. I’ve not been brave enough to let him try and eat off the spoon himself yet though!

Having a go with the spoon

We are now starting to try and move on a bit from the pouches (which have lumps but are still soft) and introduce more textured food to he can just eat what we eat. He’s got six teeth now so biting shouldn’t be too much of a problem! Last week we were having Swedish meatballs with pasta and broccoli and he had a really good go at that so I think he’s getting ready to move on to the next stage of weaning.

Inspecting some pasta

Although he’s always been pretty good at picking things up and getting them in his mouth he’s definitely getting more accurate and generally better at it now – even when it’s slippery banana.

Weaning at eight months

I’m also very excited that we are going to be working with Babymoov on their Stress-less Weaning project over the coming months. We’ll be trying out some of their products and working with a nutritionist too answer all our weaning questions too. You can see Gabe’s snazzy new Babymoov highchair in some of the more recent pictures and you’ll be seeing some of the other goodies we’ve been sent very soon.

So now it’s over to you – I’d love you to link up your posts for My Wild Ones here while Hannah is away.

A few guidelines for linking up:

  • Link up one post per week with the theme of My Wild Ones. It could be a post about your child/children exploring inside or out; the idea is that it’s a photo project of candid childhood photography.
  • The post can be a one photo, a series of photos, or a combination of text and photos.
  • Comment on at least one other blog.
  • Please pop the badge at the bottom of your blog post
  • Don’t forget to tag me on Twitter – @tobygoesbananas – and I’ll retweet your posts as many times as you share them! You could also use #MyWildOnes to share, if you fancy.
  • Linky opens every Thursday and closes the following Monday.
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My Wild Ones // A trip to the farm

So after last week’s sunny picnic in the garden we’ve had every kind of weather from rain to hailstones but at the weekend the sun made it out for a bit so we decided to go out for lunch. Not far from us there is a pick your own fruit farm which also has a fabulous farm shop and cafe. There isn’t any fruit to be picked at the moment but there some animals to see too and a great play park so we thought it would be a good place to go to let Toby burn off some energy.

After Gabe had fallen asleep on the way there we took a bit of a circuitous route so he could have a longer nap. There’s a great view over the Forth back towards Fife.

View over the fields and the Forth

B

y the time we arrived it was time for lunch. It’s so much easier to go out to eat out now Gabe can sit in a high chair and have something too, and Toby can eat almost entirely independently too. He’s not that keen on having to wait for Daddy to bring his lunch though…

Lunch with my boys

Toby enjoyed looking at the animals and then playing in the park, and Gabe was still feeling a bit under the weather so he mostly enjoyed being snuggled in the sling.

What's through the fence

Baby chickens on the farm

Toby looking at the piglets

Gabe having a look

Piglets on the farm

Gabe looking at the pigs

Toby on the tractor

Driving the tractor

Toby loving the big slide

Playtime on the farm

Hannah is on holiday in Italy next week (lucky thing!) so I’ll be hosting My Wild Ones – please do pop by and link up your posts.

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My Wild Ones // A first picnic

It would seem spring has finally sprung up here in Scotland, or at least it has for a few days, no doubt it won’t be long before the rain is back! But yesterday the sun was shining, and it was actually warm so seeing as it was Wednesday and we didn’t have to rush through lunch to get Toby out to nursery on time I decided we would eat in the garden.

Toby and Gabe's picnic

I think this was probably only the second time Toby has ever had a picnic in our garden, and it was definitely the first time Gabe had. I got Gabe’s Snug seat out, and put the parasol up for a bit of shade (it really was quite hot in the sun) and we had our lunch off our fab Munchkin apple plates.

Toby's picnic lunch

As it happened Toby was much more interested in chasing bubbles and playing on the slide than eating his lunch but he did manage some apple and his ‘present cheese’. Toby didn’t eat cheese for ages, then one day we realised he would eat grated cheese, and then when I gave Gabe a stick of cheese one day Toby decided he wanted one too, and he’s eaten pretty much any cheese since. And for the last few weeks he’s really been loving his Babybel – he loves unwrapping his present!

Toby chasing bubbles

I think Gabe enjoyed it though, once he’d got used to the novelty of being outside.

Gabe enjoying some cucumber at his first picnic

He really wasn’t convinced to begin with…

Gabe wasn't happy to begin with

I just hope we get some more sunny days now so we can get out in the garden even more.

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My Wild Ones // Exploring the woods

There is a small wood very close to our house. It used to be fairly impenetrable with narrow, muddy footpaths but recently a lot of the trees and undergrowth have been cleared, three colour-coded trails have been put in and there are also lots of sculptures and information to look at (although unfortunately some of it has already been vandalised).

Barry had taken both boys for walks in the woods at different times but I hadn’t been since the work had been done and we hadn’t all been together so on Saturday as the sun was out we put the boys in the buggy and headed off. Gabe was due a nap so the hope was he would sleep and Toby could get out and have a run around. I’m not going to say much more about it and let the photographs speak for themselves…

Looking at the map with daddy

Recognising leaves

With the obligatory big stick

Tree information

Golden balls in the tree

Puddle jumping

Fairies, Goons, Hags & Giants

Exploring deep in the woods

Catching some rays

And he's off

Bat eyes

A fox

It's broken

Toby doesn't share raisins

Raisin face

It’s not far from home, and you can still see houses all around (and the massive Amazon depot across the road) but it really doesn’t matter – Toby had so much fun, and Gabe got his nap under the SnoozeShade…

Gabe asleep under the SnoozeShade

 

MyWildOnes

My Wild Ones // First bath together

Our boys only get a bath twice a week and usually I bath Gabe and he’s in and out in five minutes then Barry baths Toby and he gets to have a play while I put Gabe in bed. Yesterday however, the boys were overdue their bath by a couple of days for various reasons including Gabe being ill (again!), Barry getting stuck in traffic on the way home from work for three and a half hours on Tuesday and just a bit of laziness on my part.

Barry and I have both been ill as well with some sort of flu virus thing so yesterday he came home from work at lunch time because I was really struggling with both boys on my own. We decided to make bedtime for ourselves and give Toby and Gabe a bath in the afternoon and thought that maybe it would be a good time to try their first bath together.

Now, Toby has refused to sit down in the bath almost 10 months now. We had a couple of months where he screamed his way through every bath and then he settled down and started to enjoy it again but still refuses to sit down. Up until now Gabe has been bathed lying back on a bath support… so there was always a chance this wasn’t going to go well!

We put the aquapod in the bath (it’s like a bathmat with a built in seat that we used for Toby), and then when I put Gabe in… he cried. And cried. And cried.

Gabe isn't really enjoying this bath

We got Toby in in the hope that he could distract his little brother and he did a little bit by showing him some of the bath toys. But Toby still wouldn’t sit down and Gabe still wasn’t happy. Even our old faithful the bubble machine didn’t help.

Toby shows Gabe a duck

In the end I gave Gabe a quick wash and got him out and then left Toby with his dad to get his hair washed and have a play. Not the most successful first bath together with our boys but hopefully it won’t be like that forever! Maybe I need to try and get Gabe used to sitting first and when he’s happy with that then get Toby in too. And you never know, maybe Toby will even copy his brother and sit down in the bath again.

MyWildOnes

My Wild Ones // Baking with mummy

Toby loves baking but we don’t do it all that often because we’d always be eating cake if we did! We weren’t doing anything special for Easter this weekend though so I decided to make some rice crispy cakes with him. We didn’t have a recipe – I just used some chocolate (a mixture of dark and milk), a bit of butter, a squeeze of golden syrup and some raisins and dried cranberries, mix the lot together and fill some paper cases. Easy peasy!

We watch I Can Cook on CBeebies quite often so Toby knows he has to start by washing his hands…

First wash your hands

Then he helped break up the chocolate…

Break up the chocolate

Practised using the knife to cut up the butter…

Practicing knife skills

And after it was melted he mixed in the rice crispies and dried fruit…

Mixing chocolate and rice crispies

Then it was into the paper cases (I did help quite a bit with this part)…

Putting mixture into the cases

And finally it was time to wash up…

Now it's time to wash up

I didn’t actually take any pictures of the finished product which was a bit silly. We drizzled some white chocolate on top once they were set too. Trust me though, they were delicious!

All done and loving his robot apron

Toby really enjoyed himself; he loves wearing his robot apron that he got for Christmas off his Nana, and standing up on one of the dining chairs to help in the kitchen, although at the rate he’s growing he won’t need to be standing on a chair for long!

MyWildOnes

My Wild Ones // Growing confidence

At home Toby has always loved climbing all over the furniture, and us! Whenever we were at the park or soft play though he seemed to lose some of that confidence and would only try things with one of us holding him, or sometimes not all.

In the last few weeks though he seems to have suddenly grown in confidence. He is trying things he wouldn’t go near a month ago and what’s more he’s really enjoying it.

Last weekend at the park he climbed up one of those cargo nets for the first time. I could see his legs shaking but he held on and made it to the top. He was so pleased with himself too.

Toddler climbing a cargo net at the park for the first time

And then he was happy to spin round and round on the roundabout until he got dizzy!

Toby going round and round on the roundabout

Yesterday we went to soft play (if you’re anywhere near Edinburgh it was Scrambles at Ratho which is fab) and although Toby is usually OK once he gets going whenever we’ve gone before he’s needed one of us to go in with him. Not today though. It was pretty quiet and I think that helped, and of course being a school day there weren’t any big kids about but he ran off into the pre-school section without a backwards glance! He kept coming back to report what he’d done – ‘I went on the blue slide mummy’, ‘I went through the tunnel mummy’ which was very sweet but I didn’t have to go in with him at all.

And then he decided he wanted to go into the over 4s section. There were a few bigger kids in there but there can’t have been anyone over 5. I went in with him the first time just so he could find his way around and I could make sure he didn’t get stuck! He was walking over nets and bridges which he’s never done without a lot of encouragement before. He went down a spiral slide which I’ve never been able to convince him to do before.

Toby exploring the big kids soft play

And he went down the massive slide all by himself too. Usually I have to come down on the other slide with him on this kind of slide and he’s never been on one this big before. Look how much fun he’s having though!

So much confidence flying down the big slide at soft play

I’m sure over the coming weeks and months we are just going to see Toby’s confidence growing and growing. My big little boy is growing up!

MyWildOnes

My Wild Ones // Playing with friends

Toby is just getting to an age when he is starting to play with other children, rather than just next to them. I’m sure being at nursery since he was 13 months old has helped him develop this skill. Having said that he’s still got a way to go before he can really play with other children happily by himself.

Yesterday we went to visit my friend Claire and her twins Thomas and Edward who have featured in some of my previous My Wild Ones posts. Being three months younger than Toby all three boys have spent a lot of time together since they were tiny. In this picture I think Toby is about 8 months and the twins are 5 months.

Baby boys

Recently they have started asking to see one another which is very sweet. The other day when we were on the way to take Toby to nursery he was saying, ‘not nursery, see Thomas and Edward in the park’. I tried explaining that Thomas and Edward were at nursery too (they go to the same one as Toby but are in a different room at the moment), but he wasn’t having any of it.

Anyway, yesterday Toby was very excited to go to Thomas and Edward’s house and the twins had been waiting for Toby so he could help decorate some cakes they had made in the morning.

Cake decorating

Obviously having been dealing with her boys since they were born Claire is very used to policing them and trying to get them to share and take turns, and they’ve had to do this since they were born too. Toby isn’t always so keen on the idea though and although we had a few moments of playing together we had quite a lot of crying too. How is it that in a room full of toys toddlers will always want to play with the same thing?

Car ramp

Actually on advice from Claire I now always get the boys exactly the same thing for Christmas and birthdays – if you know someone with twins I would definitely recommend it. You might think that getting them two similar but slightly different things is a good idea but invariably they will both want to play the same one – and having two identical toys can help solve the problem (although sometimes even that doesn’t mean they won’t both want the same one!).

All mine

Despite the tears and moaning Toby didn’t want to leave and had a lovely time playing with Thomas and Edward. I just realised last week though that even though he’s known them all his life, and they aren’t identical, Toby doesn’t actually know who is Thomas and who is Edward. I suppose we always just refer to them as ‘Thomas and Edward’ so it might be quite tricky to work out. Toby has solved the problem though by just calling them both Thomas!

I think I’m going to have a very sad little boy on my hands at the end of the month when his friends move away back to England. And I’ll be sad too – I’ll miss having a friend round the corner who I know I can always call on for a cuppa and a moan…I can see a lot of FaceTime happening in our future!

MyWildOnes