Siblings // Toby and Gabe in May (2017)

If you read my Siblings post last month (or any of my many Instagram updates on the subject) then you will know that the constant bickering between Toby and Gabe has been driving me insane… but I think we may be finally seeing the light.

They still fight like crazy but there seem to be a few more moments of playing together – Toby has realised that he can make Gabe laugh, and is also taking great pleasure in trying to teach him new words. The other morning over breakfast we were trying – ‘Gabe say apple’, ‘Gabe say mummy’, Gabe say ‘flamingo’ – I think that last one might have been a step slightly too far!

This month’s Siblings photos are just a random selection that I’ve taken since last month’s update. First up this one when we got the water table out for the first time this year. This one is actually pretty good because they can have a side each, although after a few minutes they were both just filling cups from a bucket and pouring them over the garden.

Toby and Gabe playing at the water table together

I took this next picture when we went to feed the ducks the other week. Read more

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in April (2017)

I have been a bit lax with my Siblings Project posts this year and in fact haven’t written one since January! This has partly been because I haven’t really managed to take many pictures of Toby and Gabe together, and partly because not much has changed on the the sibling relationship front.

This month’s photos are just a few from my phone over the last couple of months, as that is all I have. There’s a couple of good ones in there anyway…

On the settee in matching leggings

We still have odd moments of affection, and Gabe still clearly adores his big brother and wants to do everything he does, but most of their time is spent bickering and fighting. Whatever one has the other one wants, whether it’s a toy, food, a stick or even a random bit of fluff off the carpet! Gabe’s default mode at the moment just seems to be wailing at everything, especially when he can’t have what he wants, so there is quite a lot of crying in our house on a daily basis. 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

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

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in October

Another month gone since my last Siblings Project post and things are much the same for my two boys. A lot of the time they simply seem to exist in the same space. They are both such mummy’s boys and are really starting to compete for my attention now. I keep telling Toby that I’ve got enough love for both of them, and enough arms to hold them both, but when they both need me it isn’t always easy. I love this picture from a couple of weeks ago though, that shows just how I can be there for both of them. If you follow me on Instagram you might have already seen this photo but I wanted to include it here too. We were out for a walk up a local hill, I was carrying Gabe on my back but Toby wanted me to pick him up every time a dog came near us. I was pretty tired by the end of the walk but I’ll always carry them both when they need me too…

my brothers both need their mummy to carry them sometimes

but we are seeing more moments of a real sibling bond developing between them. Just yesterday I took them out to lunch by myself – it was only to the cafe in Sainsbury’s but I think it’s actually the first time I’ve taken them both out to eat by myself. I found a table right next to the food counter and left the boys there while I went to order the food. I had given them the little box of snacks I carry around in the changing bag, it only has breadsticks and rice cakes in it but I thought it might keep them happy for a few minutes. Toby is not known for his sharing, he’s much more likely to keep things for himself, but when I looked over he was taking things out of the box and giving them to Gabe, and even holding them up for him to take a bite of. Definitely a step in the right direction.

When we got home I decided to try and take a few pictures of them together as I hadn’t really taken any since last month’s post. Toby wasn’t really in a smiling mood though – all I got was silly faces. So for this month, these will have to do…





And then I think Gabe had had enough of Toby’s rather vigorous cuddles…


Maybe by next month Gabe will be walking and then Toby really will have his own little shadow.

The Me and Mine Project

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in September

I haven’t got much new to add in this month’s Siblings Project post. Toby is tolerating Gabe slightly more, and Gabe still wants to do everything his big brother is doing.

We are still having odd moments when they actually manage to play together but more often than not Toby just gets annoyed when Gabe crawls all over whatever he is trying to play with, or tries to eat the pieces of whatever toy he has. I know it will only get better as they both get a bit older but for now, playing referee is driving me a bit bonkers!

I haven’t managed to get many pictures of my boys together this month but here’s a few that I did capture…


Looking out over the balcony together – Gabe is getting so big now but I think it will be a while yet before he catches Toby up!


Toby ‘helping’ Gabe play with some of his birthday presents.


Toby pushing his brother on the swing – I had to intervene when he got a bit over enthusiastic though!

And that’s it for this month. I’m hoping next month I might be able to write even more about how Toby and Gabe are playing together. I really think it will help when Gabe starts walking, although then Toby will have even less chance of being left alone…

The Me and Mine Project

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in August

There have been a lot of big changes for Toby and Gabe since I wrote last month’s Siblings Project post; we’ve spent three weeks living with Grandma and Grandad, moved house, and now the boys are sharing a bedroom. So far they haven’t really disturbed each other that much – there have been a couple of times when Gabe has woken Toby up with his crying in the night but usually he goes back to sleep pretty quickly. I can’t wait for their bedroom to be properly finished so I can share it with you.

Toby and Gabe on the bench in the new garden

Toby still gets frustrated with Gabe quite a lot and isn’t always very good at sharing but we are seeing more glimpses of the relationship I hope they will have in the next year or two. Toby is still Gabe’s favourite person and they’ve had a lot of giggles together this month. I think you can see in this picture that they are really starting to look alike too – especially their eyes and noses. Maybe once Gabe has a bit more hair, and a few more teeth, they’ll look more alike.

Brothers looking more alike

They are even starting to play together a bit now, and Toby seems to be realising that he can show Gabe how to do things and Gabe will understand.

Playing together

Gabe just wants to do whatever his brother is doing these days – even if that is getting in the soft toy basket and being buried by teddies!

Anything you can do

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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

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in June

This is going to be a very short post this month. If I’m really honest, with the chicken pox and everything else we’ve been dealing with in the month since my last Siblings project post there hasn’t been a huge amount of sibling love going on in our house. It’s been more about sibling competition for mummy’s attention and I think a bit of jealousy creeping in from Toby because I’ve had to spend so much time looking after poorly Gabe.

I haven’t even got any proper (well, posed) photos of Toby and Gabe together this month but I didn’t want to miss a post, and I thought this was a chance to record what my boys’ sibling relationship is really like at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some moments of affection. Like in this picture when Toby was trying to help Gabe get out from under the chair (I think!) even though he was perfectly capable of doing it by himself.

Toby giving Gabe a helping hand

Toby is quite tolerant of Gabe for the most part – even when he insists on grabbing Toby’s hair….still! I’m really hoping he’s going to grow out of this grabby phase soon.

No grabbing Gabe

And Gabe just wants to be wherever Toby is, doing whatever he’s doing, which of course isn’t always possible at the moment. Yesterday, Toby even resorted to shutting himself in Gabe’s playpen so he could get away from him. Actually, maybe I should try that one more often….

The wrong way round


The Me and Mine Project

Siblings // Toby and Gabe in May

Amongst the illness of the last month the relationship between Toby and Gabe is continuing to develop. Things haven’t really changed too much though; Gabe still absolutely adores his brother and is always ready with a smile or a laugh for him. He’s starting to discover the joy of playing with all Toby’s toys too and now he’s on the move nothing is safe from his little hands. Toby still seems to see Gabe as a mixture of someone to entertain and give the odd kiss to, and something of an inconvenience who takes up far too much of mummy’s time still.

I am though catching more and more glimpses of what their relationship might be like in another year or so, when Gabe can really interact and they can properly play together. Yesterday I left them in the living room for two minutes whilst I was tidying up in the kitchen and came back to this sight…

Toby and Gabe getting into mischief

Now pulling tissues out of the box is a favourite game of Gabe’s so I said ‘oh Gabe, what a mess you’ve made’ to which Toby piped up ‘And me!’ They’re going to get up to some mischief aren’t they?

Gabe is a very grabby baby, and he loves to grab people’s hair, especially Toby’s if he can get near him. We’re trying to teach him to be gentle and he is slowly getting the idea. And Toby is trying to be a bit more patient with him too, instead of immediately just crying and shouting for him to get off!

Gentle Gabe

We are also trying to encourage Toby to share at the moment which is something he is still struggling with. However, one thing he has almost definitely shared with Gabe this week is his chicken pox! Especially after Gabe had this Duplo in his mouth (it’s a crocodile’s mouth in case you weren’t sure) which had been in Toby’s mouth just a minute earlier. It’s almost inevitable that Gabe will get the pox so we’re just playing a waiting game now.

Siblings pracising playing together

And the last picture for this month is one of those glimpses of what is to come. They were both concentrating on the bricks and for the briefest of moments neither of them was trying to take anything of the other and I’m sure that it won’t be long before we are seeing more and more moments like this between my wonderful brothers.

Toby and Gabe playing with Duplo


The Me and Mine Project