Me & Mine // A Family Portrait (May 2017)

I know I say it every month but… where does the time go? May seems to have just disappeared in the blink of an eye!

We did manage to fit in quite a few fun family days out though…

At the start of the month we went to SEA LIFE Blackpool as Toby’s treat for reaching the top of his reward chart. A couple of weeks later we took the boys to Brock Bottom for a picnic and a play in the river – it was a fab day out and one we’ll definitely be doing again.

We tried a few weeks without the reward chart but it seems Toby still needs it to keep him on the straight and narrow for now so he’s just completed another one and our next treat/reward trip is going to be to the zoo so keep an eye out for that one!

Towards the end of the month I went to Manchester to see Take That and then was back again a couple of days later for the Blog On blogging conference. And then this weekend it was my 39th birthday and we celebrated with a BBQ at my mum and dad’s house.

My dad took these Me & Mine pictures for us at the weekend. The weather was a bit grey in the morning but had brightened up by the afternoon and the boys had great fun running round the garden.

Me & Mine May 2017

Toby wasn’t quite in the mood for having his picture taken though Read more

Me & Mine // A Family Portrait (March 2017)

For once I don’t feel like the month has disappeared before it even started! The first week of March saw us heading south for a holiday at Bluestone in Wales (which I still haven’t finished writing about!) and we had a lovely week away. You can watch the little video I made about our trip here if you like.

Since we came home things have been pretty normal. The boys have had colds again, Gabe’s sleep has gone back to being rubbish (he’s teething on top of his cold so it’s to be expected really), and some days I just can’t wait until bedtime!

We’ve had plenty of fun times too though; Toby and Gabe continue to be equally awesome and infuriating. I can’t believe next month we’ll be finding out which school Toby will be going to in September! He seems to have had a massive growth spurt this month. He’s constantly hungry and all his trousers are getting too short. I love an excuse to buy new clothes though so I’m not going to complain. Read more

Me & Mine // A Family Portrait (February 2017)

I’ve seen a lot of Me & Mine posts today all saying how fast February has gone. I know it’s the shortest month but it really does seem to have disappeared in the blink of an eye.  We’ve had the usual winter coughs and colds all month, along with a nasty bout of tonsillitis for me but nothing too serious at least.

We haven’t really been up to much in February (apart from my flying visit up to Scotland) but Toby and Gabe have been a lot of fun this month. Toby is just a sponge at the moment and wants to know everything about everything. And Gabe’s personality is really starting to shine too, he’s turning into such a little character. He’s even been sleeping a bit better too!

Once again though the month has got away from us without us taking a family picture so this one was grabbed this morning before I took the boys to nursery. Hopefully next month’s photo will be a bit more exciting as we’re off to Bluestone in Wales next week for a little holiday!

Me & Mine February 2017

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

I am super-late with this October Me & Mine post – heading into to the ‘so late I might as well wait until next month’ territory but after nearly three years of doing this I wasn’t about to miss a month now!

It doesn’t feel like we’ve really done much since my last Me & Mine post but we spent two and a half weeks without a kitchen (I can’t wait for it to be properly finished so I can share it with you all); Toby is now completely potty trained in the day (and almost night too) and has only had two accidents in the whole month; Gabe has got eight new teeth, and has started walking; Barry has been working at home two days most weeks and so has done a lot less driving; and I put the finishing touches to the boys room (with a bit of help from my brother who came to visit over half term) and managed to keep everyone fed and reasonably happy even without a kitchen!

What we didn’t do was have a chance to take a family photo so we’ll have to make do with this selfie that I took after the boys came home from nursery tonight. We’ve also got the nursery bear for the week so she made it into the photo too.


And this one is a bit blurry, Toby is pulling a face and Gabe is cut off the bottom but I love everyone’s faces…


So that will have to do for October – I promise I’ll try harder for our November post!

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

Another month gone and this one has really flown. It only seems two minutes since we were taking our August Me & Mine photos on the garden bench.

This month has been a quiet one. We haven’t really been up to much at all. Still just settling into our new routine. Gabe started the month with hand, foot and mouth disease and has ended it with four molars all coming through at the same time. But in between he has learnt to feed himself with a spoon and fork, he’s learnt to climb the stairs (at lightening speed, almost giving me a heart attack when I couldn’t see him and realised he’d made it up two flights of stairs without me noticing!). He’s also turned the TV off approximately 723 times and it’s driving me insane! Oh and yesterday he let go while standing up for a couple of seconds and didn’t fall over – I wonder if he’ll be walking by our next monthly update?

Toby has been getting used to nursery this month and has now moved into the pre-school room. We have made some progress with potty training too (full post coming soon!) but I think there’s still a way to go before he really gets it. Apart from that he is still just a little sponge, absorbing every word and fact that comes his way. A few weeks ago we were visiting Barry’s mum in hospital and there is a helipad outside. From out of nowhere Toby just said ‘oh look, a windsock!’ I mean where does he learn this stuff? (TV mostly – see, CBeebies is educational!)

I’ve signed up with a couple more supply agencies this month but still not actually got any work. To be honest I don’t know if I could cope with it at the moment with Gabe still waking up several times a night. And I have no idea how I would get both boys up, dressed and to nursery on time if I was going to work! I’ve been attempting to keep on top of blogging this month, and I was definitely inspired when I went to Blog On last weekend. Hopefully Gabe’s sleep will improve a bit soon and I might actually get some time in the evenings to get my laptop out. And while I’m not working I really need to make the most of my two days when the boys are at nursery.

And lastly, this month Barry has mostly been driving. He’s been encountering some awful traffic on his commute and spending four hours in the car some days. Add on to that a two day trip to Germany which involved getting home at twenty to one in the morning only to have to get up at half five to go back to work again and safe to say he’s looking forward to finally starting his two days a week working from home soon!

We didn’t actually manage to get a family picture in September but we went out for a walk up a local hill yesterday and I thought it would be the perfect place to get a picture. However, it was really busy at the top, there was nowhere to put the camera and we hadn’t taken the tripod despite Barry asking me three times if I wanted to take it. So I thought, never mind, we’ll make do with a phone selfie. But the boys had other ideas…


So that will have to do for this month. I think it’s pretty representative of our lives at the moment anyway!

Hopefully we’ll manage a better picture next month. In October we are looking forward to getting our new kitchen/diner, it’s all ordered so we just need to wait for the work to be done now. I’m so excited about what it’s going to look like! We will also be starting to look at primary schools for Toby – I can’t believe he’ll be starting school next year, he only turned three a couple of months ago!

Until next month then…

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

I normally start these monthly Me & Mine posts by saying how quickly the month has gone but actually this month it seems an absolute age since I published July’s post. Since then we have actually moved into our new house and spent a month unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything to go. We’re still not quite finished but we’re getting there and there’s only really one room of chaos left!

In other firsts this month, it was Gabe’s first birthday a couple of weeks ago – so we’ve made it through our first full year as a family of four. And look how different we were a year ago!

Me and Mine August 2015

Although we didn’t really do anything to celebrate Gabe’s birthday (not even a cake – bad mummy!) he seemed to enjoy opening his presents and we are hoping to have some sort of house warming/ birthday party sometime in September.

Toby and Gabe have both started going to their new nursery this month too. They go two days a week, which is supposedly to give me time to do house stuff and perhaps even a bit of blogging. I have managed to do quite a lot of organising in the house, the blogging not so much! And today I even signed up with a supply agency so hopefully I might be heading back to the classroom fairly soon. I wanted to get the boys settled in nursery before the start of the school year so that if some work does come up they are already settled in and it isn’t all a last minute rush. They are both doing really well, and the staff seem great so I’m very pleased with how it’s all gone.

Barry started his new (old) job this month too so is currently commuting to Manchester every day. It means some long days for him – he leaves the house at 6 am but is usually back not longer after 5 pm so most days we are managing to eat together and put the boys to bed. I know it’s really hard for him though, because he only really sees the boys for that couple of hours before bed when they’re tired and grumpy. He will eventually be working from home two days a week though so hopefully things will get a bit easier then.

I think that’s probably about it for this month. We’ve just been busy getting to know the local area, realising walking to the park and back is just that bit too far for Toby and I will end up having to carry him, and generally just trying to get ourselves into a new routine.

I mentioned last month that I wanted to take this month’s Me & Mine posts on the bench in our garden and my plan is that every August we will take a family picture in the same place so we can compare how things change from year to year.

We took 194 pictures while we were sat here (Toby did have control of the remote for some of the time which might explain it) and luckily, amongst them all we did get one nice one where everyone is almost smiling and looking vaguely in the direction of the camera!

Me & Mine August 2016

We also got these lovely ones of Toby pulling faces…

Toby with his tongue out Me Mine

Pulling faces

And this one of me tickling the boys, which I actually love…

Family giggles August 2016

Until next month then…

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

Well July has been quite the month for us. On the 15th we moved out of our house in Scotland and we have been living with my mum and dad in Blackpool since then. We completed on our new house on the 25th but then the removals people couldn’t deliver our stuff until today. So we’ve used the time to decorate Toby and Gabe’s new room and do some jobs (with a lot of help from my dad!) and hopefully after a bit of unpacking we’ll be able to move in by the end of the week.

I’ve not written a huge amount about the new house so far – until last week I had only seen it in pictures so I wanted to reserve judgement until I saw it in person! There’s lots of decorating to be done and we’re going to complete redo the kitchen, but it’s going to be brilliant once it’s all done and until then it’ll be pretty good anyway. I’m hoping to do plenty of posts as we sort the rooms out and hopefully I’ll be able to share Toby and Gabe’s room in a few weeks.

The boys have both coped brilliantly with the move so far. Obviously Gabe doesn’t really know what’s going on but he’s been managing pretty well and even slept through the night for the second time in his life the other day! Toby has been fantastic too – he’s been loving hanging out with his grandparents and especially helping my dad in the garden. He’s been sleeping well too so I’m hoping that continues once we move to the new house and he’s sharing a room with his brother!

This month’s family photo was very last minute (so last minute in fact that we only took it yesterday) and was taken in my parents’ back garden. We’ve got a bench in our new garden and I’m planning on taking next month’s photo there and then taking a family picture in the same place every August. I wanted to do it this month but we just didn’t have chance and seeing as we haven’t even moved in yet I thought I’d leave it until next month.

So anyway, here it is…a slightly out of focus picture, with three quarters of the family looking at the camera, at the end of a very stressful month.

Me & Mine July 2016

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

It’s a bit late in the day but I am at least managing to publish this month’s Me & Mine post on the last day of the month. It’s been another month of ups and downs for us. There has been even more illness with Barry and the boys all having a stomach bug, and then Toby and Gabe have both had chicken pox too. There have been quite a lot of tears (a lot of them from me!) and not a lot of sleep. But amongst all the illness we also had a lovely holiday at Center Parcs, and sold our house!

That last one is a very exciting bit of news – after 13 years in Scotland, 5 of them living in this house with Barry, we are moving back to the north west of England to live nearer both sets of parents. It’s all very exciting, but also very stressful. Although we’ve sold our house and our buyers want to move in at the end of the first week of July we haven’t bought anywhere yet! It looks like we might be moving in with my mum and dad for a few weeks this summer! Fingers crossed it will all work out one way or another.

Anyway, this month’s photos were taken during our holiday at Center Parcs. We got a few funny looks from people walking past as we balanced the camera on a bin and Barry dashed back to get in the shot before the timer went off. I do like this month’s picture though – we’re even all looking at the camera!

Me & Mine May

And I just wanted to include this one too – because although we’re not all looking at the camera on this one I love our happy faces…

Me & Mine May - Center Parcs

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

Another month has gone and as we head into April, with spring on the way I really hope we are putting the coughs and colds of winter behind us.

Unfortunately March has just been one illness after another in our house. Gabe has had it worse than any of us with croup then another cold that lasted over two weeks and brought infected eye with it, then I think he was well for less than a week before Toby brought another cold home from nursery and now we all have that one too. Added to that three new teeth and March has not been the best of months for the youngest of the Toby Goes Bananas clan.

Other than being ill we haven’t really been up to much this month. Barry’s mum came to visit the weekend of Mother’s Day and we had a nice lunch out and we’ve had a few trips to the park and soft play but we didn’t even do anything for Easter. I don’t really understand how Easter has turned into such a big deal but Barry was working on the Friday and Monday anyway so we just had a small egg each, and I’m still rationing Toby’s Easter chocolate!

Anyway, this month’s Me & Mine photo was just taken in the garden when Barry got home from work last night. We had some sunshine at least and Toby had fun on his slide and running around the garden for a bit. And I think we’re even all looking at the camera!

Me & Mine Family Portrait March 2016

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

I know February is the shortest month but it does really seem to have flown by! We’ve actually had some nice days weather wise this month – it feels like spring might finally be on its way. We managed a few days out exploring our local park and our town loch, and had a lovely day out in Dundee meeting up with one of my blogging pals.

Gabe seems to have grown before our eyes this month too; he turned six months old and he is now rolling over, he’s sitting unaided, he got his first teeth and we’ve started weaning! February has really been a big month for him.

There was some excitement for me and Barry this month too as my mum came to stay and we got to go out for a meal on our own for the first time since last Easter!

Even though it has gone really quickly we seemed to have packed a lot in this month, although it hasn’t really felt like we’ve been doing much…if that makes any sense.

Anyway, to this month’s Me & Mine pictures. It was a beautiful sunny, but rather cold day, today so we decided to head into town to the park for an hour. It was all a bit rushed because we had to be back in time to get our Tesco delivery, and we almost didn’t get to go in the park at all because the car park was so busy. We managed to park eventually and even though we didn’t have a lot of time I’m actually really pleased with the pictures we got this month.

Me & Mine February 2016

I think it’s going to be a while yet before we get one where everyone is looking at the camera but I think these came out pretty well in the end.

February 2016