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

Wow! I can’t believe we’re heading into our third year of Me & Mine. In the first picture we took Toby was six and a half months old, and now we’ve got another baby almost the same age!

We haven’t done much this month, and when we have been outdoors like when Toby had his first experience of playing in the snow, or when we went exploring our local park, we didn’t have chance to get a picture of all four of us.

So once again we ended up trying to grab a photo in our living room on the last day of the month! I thought it would be cool to recreate the first Me & Mine photo that we did, but this time with extra added Gabe…

January 2016

And here’s the original from January 2014…

Family Portrait January

I’m really hoping the weather is going to improve in February so we can out on a few adventures and hopefully get a family picture that isn’t taken in our living room!

Before I go though, here’s an out take from today – Gabe is a bit obsessed with pulling my glasses off at the moment!

January 2016 outtake

See you next month…


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (December 2015)

We made it to the end of the year and I’m actually publishing my Me & Mine post on time! December has passed by in a blur of illness, sleepless nights and vague preparations for Christmas. Thankfully we were all more or less well for Christmas and spent the week staying with my parents and visiting with Barry’s parents too. Unfortunately the sleepless nights continued whilst we were away but I have a feeling that may just be the way of things for the next few months at least.

This month has seen Gabe turn four months old and he’s really starting to show his character now. He’s such a chatterbox and generally quite a laid back kind of baby these days (apart from at 4 am when he likes to keep his daddy awake for a few hours).

Toby is still developing at lightening speed. His speech has come on even more in the last month and he’s so clever. He’s playing with toys meant for kids a year older than him and he impresses me every day with the things he knows and can do. He’s starting to develop great relationships with our families too, which is really lovely to see. He still doesn’t get to see them that often so it’s taken a while to get to this point but he loves spending time with his grandparents and his uncle and auntie too.

This month’s Me & Mine photograph was taken on Tuesday just before we were about to leave Blackpool and head for home. For once we didn’t have to use the timer or remote as my photographer sister-in-law took the picture for us – thanks Becca!

December 2015

And seeing as it’s the last Me & Mine post of the year I couldn’t let it pass without putting all the year’s photos in one place (although there are only 11 as I didn’t manage to take a picture in January). This is the year that saw us become a family of four and I love that we have these monthly family photos as a record of our lives together. I’m definitely going to carry on taking our family photos each month, for as long as the kids will let me at least!


March 15

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

July 2015

Me and Mine August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (November 2015)

This month has been a bit of a mixed bag, but as ever time is absolutely flying by! I can’t believe Gabe is now three and a half months old and that we’re heading into December and Christmas will be upon us before we know it!

We had quite a lot of quiet days in November; Gabe is doing really well with his sleep at night now, sleeping from 6:30 pm to 5 am most days, but his naps are still a bit hit and miss. We’ve not been going out in the mornings very much as I’m trying to get him used to napping at home in his crib. On the odd day he might have a two hour nap but usually it doesn’t last much past 40 minutes at the moment. Toby has been brilliant really – he’s definitely used to his brother being around now, and although he doesn’t always seem too happy about it he’s really good at behaving when I take Gabe upstairs with his nap.

We’ve all had colds this month which has been a bit miserable and it has been disturbing Toby’s sleep more than anyone – in fact I think I’ve been up with him more than I have with Gabe this month! This weekend though we took the plunge with something that we have been putting off for months; we took the cot down and moved Toby into his big boy bed! We went to stay with my mum and dad last week and he slept in a bed there without any issues so we decided it was about time we made the move at home too.

Two nights in and it’s going well so far. He woke up the first night but that’s fairly normal at the moment and last night he slept right through without any problems. He didn’t even get out of bed when he woke up this morning – just lay there waiting for me to go and get him. Having a bed now at least means if he does wake up I can just get in bed with him and go back to sleep (we went straight for a full size single rather than a toddler bed) rather than having to sit next to the cot for ages waiting for him to settle back to sleep, or sleep on the uncomfortable floor!

As I mentioned we went to visit my parents in Blackpool last week – this was partly because we haven’t seen them for ages but also so we could do a few things to progress our relocation plans. We looked at a few houses and even saw one we think we would like to buy which is very exciting – more news on that soon hopefully!

And lastly I had my first night out in forever this weekend. I went out for a lovely meal with some of the mums I met through pregnancy yoga classes. I had a fab time, and even managed to stay out for a cocktail. I’m glad I didn’t drink too much though because having only got home at 1 am, Toby woke up at 2 am so I ended up sleeping on his floor for two hours (Toby is totally anti-dad if he wakes in the night so I have to deal with him). Gabe then woke up at 4 am and although Barry got up to feed him and he tried his best he just couldn’t get him to settle so I had to get up to him at 5 am. I did manage a bit more sleep snoozing on the sofa in the morning while Barry watched the kids but I was still exhausted!

So, to this month’s Me & Mine picture – despite spending a few days in Blackpool all together we didn’t manage to get a family picture there so this one was another last minute job, so last minute that I didn’t even use the big camera. This one was an iPhone selfie taken at the garden centre yesterday. I actually quite like it though – it captures a normal Sunday for us…we often enjoy a garden centre coffee and cake at the weekends!

November 2015

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (October 2015)

Me & Mine October 2015

Another month gone and we are creeping ever closer to the end of the year. Things have been getting a bit easier this week as we get used to every day life with a toddler and a baby. There have been a few tears this month as Toby started a new nursery and he is still finding his feet there. We still get crying every day when I drop him off but things are improving as the weeks go on. Gabe is getting bigger by the day and we are starting to get somewhere with his sleeping, particularly during the day. He’s much more amenable to being put down these days too which makes life easier. And just this week Toby really seems to have started to enjoy being around his brother again. After the initial novelty wore off he had been a bit put out by Gabe’s presence and the fact he was taking a lot of my attention but now Gabe is napping upstairs a bit more so I have more time for Toby again he’s decided this little baby isn’t so bad after all.

We’ve started making plans for moving back to England this month which is exciting. We had a visit from Barry’s parents last weekend – Toby loves seeing them but it can be a bit exhausting for everyone trying to fit everything in to a short weekend. Living closer to both lots of grandparents and being able to see them more  will certainly take the pressure off and make it more relaxing for everyone. I’m so excited to get the wheels in motion for the move and hopefully I’ll have some more news to share with you on that front soon.

I was actually organised this month and our Me & Mine photos were taken a couple of weeks ago just before we went for our walk in the woods. I know you can’t really see much of Gabe but he’s definitely in there somewhere!

October 2015

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (September 2015)

This is our second Me & Mine picture as a family of four. Gabe is now six weeks old but we’re still figuring things out and trying to get ourselves into something of a routine. Although day to day life still feels quite hard when I look back at where we were a month ago it is already massively easier than it was then, and things can only get better, right?

Although Gabe is often unsettled during the day, and my Lillebaby carrier has become my new best friend, he is sleeping fantastically well at night which makes the days an awful lot easier to deal with. In the last week we have started putting him up to bed around 8 pm and he will then sleep until somewhere between 2 and 4 am, when he’ll have a feed and go back to sleep until 7ish. I am well aware that for a 6 week old baby this is amazing and it feels brilliant to have our evenings back again. I’m not counting my chickens too soon though – from about 10 weeks old Toby used to sleep from 6:30 pm until 8 am every night. I was so smug…and it lasted about two months. And then he had his last set of vaccinations, got a cold the same day and never consistently slept through the night again until about two months ago! So although things are going well so far I am well aware things could change at any minute.

Being a parent to two small boys certainly has its challenges and we were well and truly tested on our tag-team parenting on Saturday night when Gabe was awake at 1 am and then again an hour later, at which point Toby woke up and was sick all over his bed, and then again over himself and me half an hour later! He’d been up earlier in the evening not feeling well and we weren’t sure what was wrong with him….I think I got about 3 hours sleep that night. Not one I want to repeat in a hurry but we got through it and we will again if we have to.

Barry has been fantastic over the last month. I know he feels a bit ineffectual sometimes when it comes to Gabe because he’s still breastfed most of the time and so he only wants me. But I can only do that because Barry is doing everything else. After leaving for work at 6:30 am he comes home to a sink full of washing up, laundry to fold, meals to cook, Toby to collect from nursery…the list of jobs seems never-ending and he does them all without complaining. I simply wouldn’t be able to manage any of this without him, and not only for the practical stuff… he’s been a wonderful emotional support as I’ve struggled with breastfeeding, a baby who is almost permanently attached to me and a toddler who is coping with it all admirably but who is the source of massive mummy guilt for me as he spends another morning watching CBeebies (embarrassingly he’s watched so much he can now sing along to nearly all the theme tunes).

And so another month has passed and we are slowly settling into our new expanded family. This month’s photo was another last minute one, taken tonight on our bed after both boys had been bathed and dressed ready for bed in their matching sleepsuits (how cute?). I am once again grinning manically as I do a big ‘cheeeese’ trying to get Toby to smile, and Barry looks like he’s about to say something. Toby was very sweet and got hold of Gabe’s hand though which was just lovely. I think it might be quite a while yet before we can manage to get a photo of all four of us together where everyone is looking at the camera and no one is pulling a silly face so for now this will have to do…

September 2015

After we got this picture Toby wanted to have a go with the remote but couldn’t quite grasp that he was supposed to look at the camera, not at the button he was pressing. I still love this photo though so although it’s not perfect I wanted to include it anyway.

September 2015 outtake

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (August 2015)

August has really been a month of two halves. The first half of the month was spent very pregnant and waiting for our baby boy to arrive and the last two weeks have been a blur of never-ending feeding, endless loads of washing and very little sleep.

Toby seems to have grown up so much in the last month. He is talking much more than he was at the end of July – he’s now putting words together into short sentences, he tries to copy everything we say, and for the most part he can make himself understood. He’s coped really well with the arrival of his baby brother too. Mostly he isn’t that bothered by him and just ignores him but he does sometimes come and give him kisses or stroke his head. There doesn’t seem to be any jealousy yet at least, although he is still struggling with the fact that he can’t always have me come to him if he wakes up in the night which he has been doing more and more of this last week.

To be honest Toby has probably taken Gabriel’s arrival in his stride more than we have. We knew this wasn’t going to be easy but the last couple of weeks have been some of the hardest we’ve had as a family. Gabe is showing all the signs of suffering with silent reflux just like Toby did, and although we’ve been lucky in that he doesn’t seem to have it too badly and there hasn’t been too much crying, it is mainly manifesting itself as a constant need to feed and an absolute refusal to be put down. Being stuck on the sofa under a feeding or sleeping baby isn’t the worst thing in the world for now, but when Barry goes back to work next week and I have to look after both boys on my own it’s going to be a different story!

This month’s photo certainly represents the last couple of weeks of the month; I’m still wearing my pyjamas, Toby is covered in snot and shovelling apple into his mouth, and we all look knackered…but this is my family, I love all my boys and I wouldn’t change any of them.

Me and Mine August 2015

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (July 2015)

This month saw Toby turn two, and we had visits from all his grandparents to celebrate which was lovely. I was planning on getting a photo of the whole extended family but some how it didn’t happen! Other than the birthday weekend we haven’t really done anything very exciting. I’ve been struggling with my hips and pelvis the last few weeks so I’ve not really been up for any big trips or even a walk to the park some days. Most weekends have managed to include a trip somewhere for coffee and cake though which has helped!

I wasn’t sure if we would even make it to the end of July as a family of three but I’m still pregnant and so it looks like August is going to be the month that our three become four…for now we are three and a very big bump! (Excuse my weird smile – I was getting Toby to say cheese, which also gets him to look at the camera.)

July 2015


Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (June 2015)

Oh dear, late again! We really need to get our act together to take a family picture earlier in the month! I had every intention of doing it when we went to a vintage car rally a few weeks ago but then Toby had a meltdown before we had chance, and then I was going to do it last weekend but we didn’t really do anything…and so finally we’ve ended up with a late iPhone selfie taken in the garden today! Next weekend is Toby’s birthday and we’ve got all the grandparents coming so I’m going to make sure I get a picture of all of us together and July can be an extended family Me & Mine. It will also be the last month of Me & Mine as a family of three (unless this baby is very late!) which is pretty exciting! Of course there’s always a chance that we won’t even make it to the end of July as a family of three – that’s actually quite a scary thought… I might have a baby this month!

Anyway, we didn’t really get up to much in June. It was my last month of work and it was a struggle just to get through the days sometimes so the weekends were mostly just chores, trips to the park, and catching up on sleep! So for now here’s June’s picture…

June 2015

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (May 2015)

Hurray! I actually managed to publish my Me & Mine post on the right day for once!

May saw me have two Mondays off work, an abandoned holiday, more teething, hit and miss sleep from Toby and finally my birthday. I also moved into the third trimester of my pregnancy, I can’t believe I’ve only got 11 weeks to go, and perhaps even less if this one decides to make an early appearance like his brother.

Toby is still being brilliant (most of the time), he’s learnt lots of new words this month, including ‘thank you’ which I am very happy about. He’s started counting and learning some of his colours too. He’s understanding more every day, I’m loving this stage in his development and can’t wait until we can have a proper conversation. He’s also started telling us when he has done a poo – the first step towards potty training perhaps?

This month’s Me & Mine picture was taken yesterday at the Kelpies in Falkirk, which is not far from where we live. I know you can’t see us very well on the photo but I think it’s worth it to get the horses in too!

May 2015

Me & Mine: A Family Portrait (March 2015)

Hurray! I managed to publish this month’s Me & Mine post on the right day, in the right month and everything! To be fair, I only managed to take the photo this afternoon after we got in from work and picked Toby up from nursery so it’s not the most exciting picture ever but this is pretty much the reality of our lives at the moment.

March 15

We haven’t had a very exciting month again this month. I seem to have been ill for most of the month, first with some sort of 24 hour stomach bug and then an awful cough which has hung around for weeks. Barry had the stomach bug too but thankfully Toby managed to avoid it. He’s just had his standard snotty nose this month and we think his back molars might be on their way too. On top of all that I’m still suffering from a dry socket where I had a wisdom tooth taken out so it’s taking ages to heal. It is slowly getting better though.

Reading this it sounds like it’s been a miserable month, and it has at times. But on a more positive note, Toby has been sleeping much better overall, we’ve had some nice trips out at the weekends even if they have just been to the park or to a garden centre for tea and cake. And of course we had the 20 week scan and found out all is well with our new baby boy!

Hopefully April will be a better month for everyone. I’m off school for two weeks of it which I’m hoping will give me a chance to rest a bit and get over all my ailments, and we’ve got visits from our families planned too. Fingers crossed we get a bit of sunshine too and we can all get outside and have some fun!

March 15 2