Our Christmas in pictures…

(Click to enlarge!)Christmas

 

 

Getting ready for Christmas!

Well the big day is almost here (well I suppose it is here already for some people – we are tracking Santa – are you?).  Over the past couple of days we have been busy baking, cleaning and just generally getting things ready for Christmas.

Here are a couple of things we have been up to…

Making a Gingerbread house - very impressed with this kit we got from Aldi!

Making a Gingerbread house – very impressed with this kit we got from Aldi it even comes with Hansel, Grettel and the Witch

Star tealight holder made from an old jar (thanks to the Superscrimpers programme!)

Star tealight holder made from an old jar (thanks to the Superscrimpers programme!)

Making reindeer food!

Making reindeer food with some porridge oats and glitter

Sprinkling the reindeer food outside so they know where to land!

Sprinkling the reindeer food outside so they know where to land!

Hope everyone has been having as much fun as we have preparing for the big day, and not getting too stressed!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE HOPE YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES HAVE A FANTASTIC TIME – HERE’S TO A FABULOUS AND EXCITING 2013!!!

Place names Little Mr A has decorated for Christmas day!

I will have a nice grown up table when they are older!!!

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Am I mad?!

I’m beginning to feel like a bit of a mug!  I assumed this year as Little Mr A is at school and learning how to write/learning letters that he was expected to write his own Christmas cards.  Cue a couple of stressful hours over the last few weekends of me helping him lovingly write his friends names in the cards as well as his own name.  He was very proud of them and couldn’t wait to give them out to all his friends (in total I think we did around 30!).

cards

He has been receiving his Christmas cards this week and around 90%, maybe more have been written by the parents.  A couple of his friends have written their own names on them but that is it.

 

Am I the stupid one?  What did you do with your little ones?  Did you write their cards for them or did you sit down and do them together?  I would be interested to know if I’m the only one?!

My fave Christmas songs

I love Christmas songs!  When December comes the Christmas songs get put on the i-pod and that is all that gets played in the car!  We always find a music channel playing Christmas songs when we are putting up our tree and the first thing we do on Christmas morning is put on VH1.  There are so many songs to choose from but (in no particular order) these are my top 5…

1.  Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas

I think this would make most people’s lists?  I’m not a huge Mariah fan but I love to sing along to this Christmas classic!  Don’t think Big Mr A appreciates it much though!

2.  In the Bleak Midwinter

I remember singing this song in a nativity play at Primary School.  It is one of my earliest memories so very special!

3.  Jingle Bell Rock

Another classic made even more special by the fact Little Mr A will be singing it in his first ever school Christmas play :

4.  The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t let the Bells end)

It’s nice to have a more ‘modern’ Christmas classic that I can say to my children ‘I remember that when…’ like my parents can do with Slade/Wizard etc.  Well done Darkness for coming up with a great Christmas song that holds it’s own with the oldies!

5.  God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

I know this is not technically a Christmas song but after seeing it on Love Actually it always reminds me of Christmas and I just love it!

I could add loads more like Bon Jovi, Elton John etc, it was so hard to pick just 5!

Posted as part of the Britmums/Coca-Cola Festive Playlist Linky

When Santa came to town

On Sunday the big man himself came to our village – yes Santa was here!

Santa Claus came to town!

Little Mr A was very excited to see him and tell him everything he wants for Christmas (although I was not very pleased when Santa told him he would be getting something he most definitely isn’t!!!).  Little Miss A had her first experience of Santa too as she got to sit on his knee.  Santa seemed quite taken with her and I thought he might take her off to be a new elf!

Little Mr A confirmed this was the real Santa (unlike the one he had seen at a Christmas party the day before who was apparently just a ‘man in a beard’!) so that was good news!

Little Mr A got two cars as his Santa gift and Little Miss A got a lovely teddy which she is very taken with!

Christmas is so exciting again now we have children, I can’t remember what we used to do when it was just the two of us!

Little Miss A with her first ever present from Santa

Little Miss A with her first ever present from Santa

 

Little Mr A ready for his Christmas play

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Little Mr A ready for his Christmas play

Little Mr A in his Christmas play outfit (don’t think you can call it a nativity when One Direction are in it?!). Thanks to Grandma for the beard 🙂

Christmas gifts for babies

Well it’s that time of year again, Christmas is nearly here and I am sure I am not alone in struggling to know what to buy for those pesky little babies!  This year I have made Little Miss A and her baby cousin a treasure basket each, however, people have been asking me what she would like for Christmas and I have really struggled to come up with any ideas.  As she is the second child she has lots of things that have been handed down to her from Little Mr A and really doesn’t need any more toys!

If you are struggling to find a present for a baby in your life, here are some ideas of things we had for Little Mr A that were really good toys and would make great presents.

Learning Curve Lamaze Puppy Tunes
puppy tunes
This is a great colourful toy for babies with a hook so you can attach it to pushchairs, cots etc.  Each of the puppy’s legs plays a different note when squeezed and with the puppy you get a leaflet showing you how to play a couple of songs such as Old MacDonald. You play the songs by pressing the appropriate coloured leg.  It is also a sensory toy as together with being brightly coloured, the tounge is silky and the ears crinkle.

Little Mr A loved the noise when I squeezed the legs – it really made him giggle!

Usually I would avoid noisy/musical toys as they can get very annoying, however, this is good as it just plays nice notes and is not too loud.

There are no batteries required it just works when you squeeze from the air in the legs.

You can also buy other ‘tune’ animals such as an Octopus and Elephant.

 

Early Learning Centre Wooden Noah’s Ark

ark

This is currently half price, a bargain at £7.50!

I think this is a great gift for any baby.  Although they may be too young to play with it properly, it looks really nice set up in a nursery, plus the animals are big enough for a baby to hold (and put in their mouth!) without being dangerous.

It is excellent quality and, as it is all wooden, is pretty much indestructible, unlike some of the plastic toys around these days!

As well as the Ark you get Noah and his wife and 12 wooden animals. The animals are printed on both sides so you get the front and back of each animal! The Ark also comes with a lift off cabin so that you can get the wooden animals back out again!

As well as being able to use it as a shape sorter, you can also use it to teach your child about animals or play snap.

Little Mr A had lots of fun with this toy for quite some time given all the different things you can do with it.

 

Prince Lionheart – BACK TO SLEEP Slumber bear

prince l

This is actually a gift that Little Miss A has received as an early present from Santa courtesy of Grandma!

What the website says…

The ORIGINAL audio pacifier with actual sounds recorded INSIDE
a mother’s womb!
Recordable function allows parents to create their own soothing
message for Baby!

Invented by a DOCTOR, recommended by midwives. Used successfully with millions of babies in maternity hospitals worldwide since 1978! Back to Sleep Bear’s authentic womb so unds are universally recognized by babies and effective in lulling them to sleep in minutes! Soundbox has a 5 minute auto-shutoff timer to save batteries, with sound and motion sensors that reactivate recording when baby cries orthe bear is moved.

Also includes Silkie™–the Natural Bonding Aid!™ Parents can bond with Baby by transferring their scent to the Silkie. Even when Mom and Dad cannot be with Baby, their scent remains to reassure and comfort Baby. Baby loves the soft and smooth Silkie texture that provides beneficial tactile stimulation!

Soundbox has a 5 minute auto-shutoff timer to save batteries, with sound and motion sensors that reactivate recording when Baby cries or the bear is moved.

What I say…

I was a little sceptical as to whether this would actually work at soothing Little Miss A and helping her sleep, however, I am pleased to say I was wrong!  We use the ‘sound box’ attached to her crib at night and play to her the womb sounds and were really surprised when it calmed her and sent her to sleep!  We also use the lullaby music sometimes during the day to sooth her if she is a bit grisly.

With the product you get the bear, the soundbox which can either be placed into the bear or taken out and attached with a velcro strap to a cot/pram, and a silkie blanket.

The bear is nice and soft and looks really nice and good quality.  At the moment he is just sat in Little Miss A’s crib as we prefer to use the soundbox on it’s own, however, I am sure as she gets older we will put the soundbox back into the bear for her to cuddle with.

The silkie is really nice quality and Little Miss A loves the feel of it.  Again, you can either leave it attached to the bear or use it as a separate item.

The soundbox is the main event!  It plays various noises such as the womb sound, white noise, lullabies and nature noises.  You can even record your own message.  It is easy to change what noise you would like, you just press the relevant button on the front of the box.  At the side is a volume control.  We have found you don’t need to have it on very loud when the box is out of the bear.  After 5 minutes the sound will go off, however, if the box is moved or baby starts making noise the sound will come back on again.  Little Miss A seems to have worked this out and gives it a ‘bash’ if the sound goes off before she is asleep!

The box takes 2 AAA batteries.  There is a notice on the website to say that Duracell batteries are recommended as they fit best, however, we have not had a problem with other batteries.  Once the batteries are running out a beeping noise starts (which can be quite annoying in the middle of the night!).

I appreciate this won’t work for every baby but it certainly works for Little Miss A!

 

I hope that has given you a couple of gift ideas for any babies you have to buy for, there is so much choice out there it is difficult to chose something that is going to be useful and enjoyed for a long time!

Christmas day outfits for the whole family – Barratts Christmas Giveaway!

In an ideal world I would love for us all to be able to stay in our PJ’s all of Christmas day.  I love getting snuggled in our PJ’s and fluffy slippers and settling down under a blanket with a Christmas film, hot chocolate and popcorn.  Don’t think the in-laws would be too impressed when they arrive for Christmas dinner though!

For me…

My outfitSlippers         Nightshirt

For Big Mr A…

Big Mr A OutfitSlippers       PJ bottoms

For Little Mr A…

Little Mr A OutfitSlippers          Spiderman PJ’s

For Little Miss A…

Little Miss A Outfit

Slippers           Baby Girl PJ’s

And not forgetting the dog…

doggie pj's

Doggie PJ’s

Thanks to Kel Loves for this fab competition!

Getting in the festive spirit at our local light switch on!

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