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.

Living Arrows 8/52

Almost at the end of February already and week eight in the I Heart Snapping Living Arrows project.

Toby is so wriggly these days. He’s not mastered crawling forwards yet but he can shuffle backwards and gets about pretty well just by rolling over in one direction then the other. I’m so used to just being able to leave him on his playmat while I get jobs done but now I can’t leave him alone or he’s away rolling under the furniture or getting himself stuck in a corner! And I know it’s not going to get any easier when he starts crawling properly. I think we’re going to have to get him a cage playpen.

Anyway, I managed to get this photo during one of his rare still moments, when he was just lying on the sofa chilling out in the sun coming in through the window.

Baby in the sun


living arrows

Weaning (The Ordinary Moments #15)

Weaning eating clementine

It’s a another Ordinary Moment for this week’s link up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me.

We gave Toby his first solid food to try on Christmas Day. He was happy to play with it but not that interested in eating it. He was only five and a half months at the time so we weren’t really concerned. But then another month passed. Toby was still playing with the food. He could pick it up but still wasn’t interested in eating. We were trying to follow a baby-led weaning route but I have to confess there are some things that I have fed Toby using a spoon. I also started holding the finger foods for him and he would eat pretty much everything but he just wasn’t going to put things in his mouth by himself. This wasn’t just food either – Toby just wasn’t interested in putting anything in his mouth.

Weaning eating highchair

Fast forward another few weeks though and it’s all change. Toby now has two bottom teeth and when they started coming through he started trying to eat everything in sight (including the highchair tray!). He will pick up veg sticks, toast, sandwiches, fruit and put it into his mouth himself. He is getting better at getting a spoon in his mouth if I give it to him but still has a tendency to fling whatever is on it all over the place. It’s lovely to see Toby trying new foods – I usually save a bit of whatever we’ve had for dinner and give it to him for lunch the next day. He still pulls a face every time he puts something in his mouth, even if he likes it and even if he’s had it before! Sometimes he eats more than others, but I am learning to trust him to manage his own appetite.

Drinking from a sippy cup is still a work in progress. Toby is eager to put it in his mouth but hasn’t worked out that he needs to tip it to get the water in his mouth. And then when I tip it for him he gets water in his mouth but doesn’t always seem that keen on swallowing it! Still, just like the eating, I’m sure he’ll get it in his own time.

Weaning sippy cup

It seems my early worries were unfounded. Maybe we should have waited a little longer before starting the weaning process but now he’s got the hang of it there’s no stopping him!


mummy daddy me


Another week another prompt. This one is simply a topic. One to think about…

Pink is for girls

When we found out we were having a boy at our 20 week scan we didn’t tell anyone apart from my parents. The only real reason for this was because I didn’t want Toby to end up with a wardrobe full of pastel blue clothes. To be honest it wasn’t so much the blue I had a problem with, it was the pastels! I searched out brightly coloured baby clothes wherever I could. Would I do the same if we were having a girl? Absolutely! Of course Toby did end up with some blue clothes, and some ‘boy’ clothes but I was just thinking the other day – if we do have another baby and it’s a girl would I be happy to dress her in ALL Toby’s hand me downs? Even the babygrow with tractors on it? I don’t see why not. But would I do it the other way round? If we had a girl first would I dress her little brother in pink or ‘girly’ clothes? Probably not. Although Toby does have a pink nappy! I like to think I’m pretty enlightened when it comes to these things though – Toby doesn’t have any ‘gender specific’ toys yet but I will happily encourage him to play with whatever he wants when the time comes.

I was never a ‘girly’ girl growing up. I’m still not now really. I used to be made to wear a dress for church on Sundays and I would be pulling at the zip, wriggling to get it off as soon as we got home. But most of the time I wore all my brother’s old clothes, I played with the same toys as him, I always got on better with boys than girls. Maybe it’s because I had an older brother and I idolised him, I just wanted to do everything he did. Maybe it was because my parents were both Scout leaders and so I went to cub camp and scout camp (in the days before girls were allowed in scouts) and I seemed to have much more fun with the boys than I did at Brownies or Guides. Girls we’re always talking about one another and bitching and falling out.

My parents always treated us equally too (apart from the wearing a dress for church thing). I started dance classes when I was four, and a year later when my brother decided he wanted to go to dancing too my mum and dad were happy to let him (he carried on tap lessons until he was about 15). I’m sure if I’d wanted to play football then that would have been OK too. The only time I remember my parents attempting to treat us differently was when I was 16 and wanted to go to the pub. My brother had been allowed to go to the pub when he was 16 (our parents trusted him to be sensible and were of the mind that they would rather know where he was, than him tell them he was at a friend’s house then go to the pub anyway). So when I was 16 I asked if I could go to the pub too. Initially my parents said no. I was outraged! “But Mark was allowed to go when he was 16!” “It’s different for you, you’re a girl”. As you can imagine, I wasn’t very happy with that, and in this instance I won the argument. I think it probably helped that I was going to the same pub as my brother so he would be able to keep an eye on me.

I think though, however hard we try as parents not to enforce gender stereotypes it’s hard to avoid them entirely as our children get older. I’m going to do my best to ensure Toby (or any other children we might have) are never limited by the ‘norms’ of society. I try not to push any gender stereotypes on to Toby now, and certainly as he grows up and starts to have opinions of his own he can wear what he wants to wear, and play with what he wants to play with (within reason!), and when he grows up he can be whatever he wants to be.


Living Arrows 7/52

We’re already up to week seven in the I Heart Snapping Living Arrows project. I’m really behind in visiting other blogs and commenting but I promise to try and get back on top of it this week. I really do like to see everyone else’s photos.

Lots of people comment about Toby’s spiky hair so I thought I’d use this photo which really shows it off! I promise I don’t do anything to it – it just goes like that, as you can see as it’s only spiky on the top and one side.

Living Arrows 7_52

living arrows

Learning (The Ordinary Moments #14)

It’s a very Ordinary Moment for this week’s link up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me.

Learning {The Ordinary Moments}

For at least some of every day, Toby goes onto his play mat. Sometimes it’s while get some jobs done and he is just entertaining himself, or sometimes I sit with him and we play together. I try to change the toys he has out to play with every day or two so he gets plenty of variety and I love to just watch him concentrating and figuring things out. It’s amazing to see him develop, and seemingly so quickly. Every day he works out how to pick something else up, or how to move a bit more, or how to make a different noise. Every day he is learning more and more. I know some people are sad when they see their babies are growing and won’t be babies for much longer but I just love seeing Toby turn into a little boy. I can’t wait until he can sit himself up, and crawl, and pull himself onto his feet. I am well aware I might regret saying this once I have to chase him around the house, but for now I’m just enjoying every second and can’t wait to see what he does next!

Playing and learning

mummy daddy me


Love is. . .

Emily at My Petit Canard has started this new meme just in time for Valentine’s Day. The only rules are…there are no rules! All you need to do is write a post about what love means to you – it can be funny, serious, soppy…the choice is yours. You can read Emily’s original post here. I’m also doing something I don’t usually do, and that is to also use this post for The Prompt. I just haven’t had chance to write a new post this week and seeing as this one fits it seems a shame to miss a week.

This week’s prompt was another quote:

Happiness is anyone and anything at all, that’s loved by you. You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

And here are my thoughts on the matter. What is love to me? (And it is love that brings happiness, above all else). Obviously I love my baby boy and I would do anything for him…even suck bogeys out of his nose several times a day and clean up his gruesome, stinky teething nappies. But that love is something organic, that comes from growing a baby for nine months and then giving birth to that baby who is a part of you. Love for another, who you meet as a adult and know nothing about, who you learn to love as you get to know one another, that’s a different kind of love.

  • Love is a husband who always lets me be in charge of the remote control.
  • Love is taking it turns to get up at 5 am with the teething baby.
  • Love is a husband who doesn’t mind staying at home with the baby so I can go and get my hair cut.
  • Love is a husband who knows when I turn my back to him that’s his cue to give my shoulders a massage.
  • Love is getting text messages every day just to check we’re doing OK.
  • Love is a husband who thinks I’m funny, and pretty, and lovely, and tells me every day.
  • Love is letting Toby grab and pull his beard because he finds it funny.
  • Love is cuddles on the sofa, knowing our little bear is sleeping peacefully upstairs.
  • Love is a husband who lies awake while I chat about our day when really he should be sleeping because he has to be up for work in six hours.
  • Love is a husband who is always there with a hug and a kiss whenever I need one
  • Love is a husband who holds me while I cry, even if he has no idea what I’m crying about.
  • Love is an awesome husband who also turned out to be a fantastic daddy.
  • Love is finding someone who just gets you.
  • Love is being a family.

Love is... the mr and me

I tag –




Living Arrows 6/52

It’s week six in the I Heart Snapping Living Arrows project. I’m really enjoying using the big camera more and hopefully my photos are getting a bit better.

This week we had one day of sunshine and it happened to coincide with a day that Toby had woken up early from his morning nap, so we decided to go out for a walk – nowhere exciting, just round the houses where we live. Toby was giving it big yawns so I put the SnoozeShade on the buggy but when I peaked in to see if he had fallen asleep he was still wide eyed. So I took this picture through the zip hole!

Living Arrows 6_52