Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Routines And Traditions

Assuming I’ve been good enough this year for Santa to come tonight (tonight!) I guess I’ll be busy unwrapping presents and spending time with my family, so I would like to take this chance to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a lovely 2012.  Thanks to you all for reading this year – I really appreciate it.
Now, as I was just a little baby last year, I don’t really remember much about it.  So, what should we be doing?  What drink should I leave for Santa?  Do reindeers need feeding too? Where does my stocking go?
Mummy’s talking a lot about ‘traditions’ and we’ve been to the pantomime today as she tries to start one.  My cousins go to sleep on Christmas Eve in new pyjamas every year.  Apparently every Christmas lunch has brussel sprouts, even if no-one likes them.  Care to share your traditions so I get the best of everyone’s Christmasses?  Much obliged!  Who knows, you might even pick up some tips in the comments too.  I’m ever hopeful . . . .
Merry Christmas everyone!
CB x

Friday, 23 December 2011

My Favourite Christmas Song

I’ve ‘borrowed’ an idea from Mammasaurus in that I’m combining a couple of memes in one post; Actually Mummy tagged me to talk about my favourite Christmas song, and I’ll also tell you about my fondest Christmas memory. 
So, my favourite Christmas song.  Well, I’ve heard Wham’s Last Christmas SO many times because Mummy loves it, and I quite like some of the more ‘novelty’ songs, too, but Mummy’s so embarrassed about those that I’m not allowed to mention them.
Instead, I’m going to go for Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas.  Now, it might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I don’t drive yet.  This is where I merge seamlessly into my fondest Christmas memory; you see, this is only my second Christmas and while the first was lovely, I don’t remember  a huge amount about it.  Rather, I’m looking forward to creating a fondest memory this year and it feels like we’ve been driving towards this weekend for a long time.
Mummy and I went to stay with Grandma and Grandpa last year because Daddy was a long way away.  They did throw a wonderful, festive party, but I know Mummy was still sad, and that’s where the song comes in.  The lyrics, “So I sing for you, Though you can’t hear me,” were really appropriate for last year and Mummy and I spent a long time looking at pictures and talking about Daddy.
This year, Daddy’s with us and we’re looking forward to a perfect Christmas.  We’re off to the pantomime tomorrow to kick off the festivities officially – I can’t wait!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
CB x

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

My Beautiful Fur (Faux) Coat!

What is with all this mild weather?  It’s Christmas this weekend and it looks like there’s no chance of a white one.  When I think back to last year  . . . we were snowed in, it was lovely and cold, and I couldn’t even really enjoy it because I wasn’t even crawling, let alone walking.  How frustrating!
Still, it has been cold this year already, if no snow (Daddy has bought a sledge ready for it, but the furthest I’ve been on it so far is from the display to the till on carpet.  Which was flat.  So not that exhilarating.
Anyway, it’s been cold enough on occasion for a coat, and even though I say so myself, I have the world’s most beautiful winter coat.  It’s a Ladybird coat, from Littlewoods, (from £26.00) and it’s faux fur.  Leopard print.  Does it come more glamourous than that?!  I say there’s no limit on when a girl can become a fashionista!  It goes with so many things, too; I dress it up or down, depending on the occasion.  It’s come with me on a day to day basis, but also a christening recently.
Here I am wearing the coat on my way to nursery recently.

It has a lovely, wide collar (also fur – faux, of course) and a beautiful bow detail on the lapel.  It does up with buttons, and it’s fully lined, so it’s really warm and cosy.  I wear it a lot, so my beautiful coat has been through a lot of every day toddler antics and the associated stickiness.  Mummy says it washes very well, too.  So well in fact that it doesn’t even need the brushing “to restore appearance” that the label suggests.
So, it’s gorgeous, it washes well, it goes with anything and everything, and on top of all of that, the attention I get whenever I go anyway is great for my self-esteem.  No more “cute little man” comments, everyone remarks on the “pretty little girl.”  Great!  Except for the stupid person who suggested I look like Pat Butcher.
Littlewoods has some beautiful children’s clothes, coats included, for boys and girls that you can have a look at here.  And what's more, they'll still deliver for Christmas Eve if you order by 9pm on Friday 23rd - how's that?!
Mummy and I were not paid for this review, but we did get to keep the coat.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Saturday Is Strictly Final Day! (And SatCap!)

So, we’re watching the Strictly final and I’ve just remembered it’s Saturday and therefore #SatCap! Phew, in the nick of time!
What do you have for this one?  Me, today, out walking Hairy Dog.  The other efforts are all over at Mammasaurus.

You Get The Picture!

So, roll up, last time for 2011, let’s see your kiddies’ artistic creations.  I’m sure there must be lots of Christmassy efforts out there.
Saying that, mine is not in the least bit festive.  Having promised you a salt-dough masterpiece of some description, I must confess to a bit of a fail.  In fact, it was quite a big Mummy Fail.  Salt dough must be amongst the easiest receipes IN THE WORLD: 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water, 2 cups of flour.  That’s it.  Mummy still managed to b*lls it up.  She got the ingredients the wrong way round and after adding a little bit more salt and flour, then a little bit more and another pinch or two for good measure, the mixture still didn’t look very dough-like so we ditched it, checked the receipe and started again.
By the time we had dough, I was quite ready to throw it around the kitchen rather than make anything with it, and the footprint I did make still isn’t dry five days later.  So today we’ve had a bit of a shot at Play Doh.  I ate quite a lot, but I did lend Mummy my hand long enough to do a hand print.

I look forward, as ever, to seeing your efforts.

CB x

Friday, 16 December 2011

I Can't Wait For Christmas!

I can’t wait for Christmas!  I’m nearly as excited as Mummy, and even Daddy seems to be looking forward to it this year.  I’ve already had my present from them, (a beautiful playhouse) but Mummy says Christmas is not just about the presents and I like her thinking.

I’ve seen Santa a couple of times this year already – I like to think we’re friends now.  I queued to see him at a local shopping village, and then he came to see me (well, apparently, he came to see everyone) at nursery this week.  He gave me a book both times!  I love books – how did he know?!

Apart from the gifts in a stocking that I’ll get from Santa for being a good girl, I suspect I’ll get some gifts from my family, although I know I shouldn’t be so presumptuous.  “You don’t give to receive,” Mummy says.

Mummy really wants me to love Christmas for the same reasons she did when she was little.  It’s a time to be with family and do ‘traditional’ things, like play board games.  Mummy LOVES board games!  I think they could become a regular thing for me, even if I don’t share her passion.

The point is that Christmas needed cost a fortune.  There can still be presents and festivities, even in these tough financial times; the sign of a good Christmas shouldn’t be governed by the value of gifts received.

I’ve heard of a family who encourages their children to give away one of their gifts to less privileged children.  I don’t think that’s quite right if people have thought carefully about what to give them, but I get the sentiment – be grateful for what you have, think of those who are less fortunate, and count your blessings. 

I hope I’ll always think about what I’m asking for.  I don’t think a Christmas wish-list should be full of things I actually need (if you can’t have things for Christmas that you just badly want, when can you have them?) but it should be a wish-list rather than an expectation-list.  I think parents who indulge all the ‘requests’ on these lists (obviously liasing with Santa and topping-up where required) are just creating monsters for themselves.  They’re not doing anyone any favours, the children included.  Providing endless expensive presents just means higher and higher expectation, less appreciation, and ultimately the joy of Christmas is gone.  If you have everything you ever wanted, what is left to wish for?

Mummy likes to give things that people wouldn’t buy themselves.  It’s a chance to treat those closest to you, but it’s also a chance to show someone that you’re thinking of them, which I think is why home-made presents are enjoying such a renaissance.  If only I were a little handier . . .

You see, it needn’t be hugely expensive – most people can make something, if they want to, and for those who don’t, Christmas will be about this time next year too, to give everyone a chance to put a few pennies aside in preparation.  Based on last year, my stocking’s going to include a couple of books (you can never have enough, in my opinion, and with so many “discount” book retailers around, they’re a great option) some chocolate coins (I intend eating them on my own this year – Mummy did too much helping last year) and some cool things I’ve lunged at in the supermarket over the year like a bouncy ball, a mini-slinky, that sort of thing.  If Santa’s been listening, of course.

Everyone knows we little-uns love the cardboard boxes more than the thing inside anyway, so have your marker pens handy on the big day to create a house, train, castle, etc.

I know I’m early, but I wish you all a very merry Christmas!

CB x

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Potty Training For Girls

Now, I know potty training is also for boys, but as far as we’re concerned in this house at the moment, I need to know the deal with potty training for girls – me and Mummy.  Daddy’s going to help, but let’s face it, Mummy’s going to have to deal with most of the whoopsies so she’s quite keen to minimise them.
Just to bring you up to speed, I’m still at the bottom end (no pun intended) of the ‘suggested’ age range for potty training. I’ve been quite interested for some time in the special chair in the bathroom that I’m not allowed to lick, that apparently grown-ups use,  although I have only ever seen Mummy and Daddy sitting on it.  They’re quite happy to tell me what’s going on, but I guess you all understand that without me spelling it out.
Anyway, getting to the point, Mummy thought it wouldn’t do any harm to get a potty and leave it around.  My dollies sit on from time to time, I sit on it, sometimes with my nappy on sometimes without.  Pre-potty, I’d had a few accidents during nappy-free time, and quite frankly, I find them mortifyingly embarrassing.  Just horrendous.  I don’t know whether to run away, crying my eyes out, or bury my head in Mummy’s leg, crying my eyes out.  I’ve started telling her, “poo,” when I’d like a clean nappy, so my awareness is improving.
So, yesterday morning, I was charging around my room playing, bare-bottomed, and I suddenly had the urge.  Mummy can spot it now because my eyes go a little pink and I stop what I’m doing, so she leaped across the room to grab the potty in the nick of time. Ta-dah!  I did it! One Number Two in the bag.  I gave myself a round of applause.
Mummy likes to think she’s in control around here, but I like to take charge of the schedule every now and then, to keep her on her toes.  She was going to breastfeed till I was at least six months.  Nah, I gave up at five.  She planned on doing this potty thing next summer, I say let’s spice things up a bit now.
I think it caught Mummy a bit by surprise.  She doesn’t even have a book on potty training yet, and Mummy has a book on everything.  A quick Google later and the three of us went out for me to pick my own potty, a step for me to reach the big girls’ loo, and a special seat to stop me falling in.  We’re armed with training pants, and some very pretty panties.
I’m after any other potty-training tips you have to get us all through this as quickly and easily as possible.  What do you have for us, lovely readers?
Sorry, that was a really sh*t post!  Ha ha!
CB x

Saturday, 10 December 2011

You Get The Picture

Yay! We’re getting so close to Christmas now!  I’m so excited already!
We have another couple of You Get The Pictures to get through before then, starting now – I’ll give it a couple of weeks break over the festive period.
So, in case you’re new here, the idea is simple. You upload a picture of some sort of artwork created by your children; painting, photos, chalk, crayons, or any other medium.  If you want to add words, fine, if you don’t, fine too.  There are no rules.
I am making one small change this week and that is to keep the linky open all week.
My picture this week is another painting.  Hope I’m not too predictable with my paint; I have a salt dough masterpiece in the making for next week, I promise.  In the meantime, here’s my dragon on canvas.

So, link ‘em up!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Playhouse To Call My Own

Daddy’s been threatening for a while that if I don’t start “pulling my weight around here,” I’ll have to move out.  He says even Hairy Dog earns his keep by keeping the postman outside.  I didn’t think he actually meant it though, not till at least I leave school and I don’t start for a couple of years yet!

Imagine my horror then when I came home and Daddy took me outside to see a little house built in the garden!  He wasn’t kidding!  Don’t get me wrong, he’s done it really nicely, but I’m too small to move out!  Who will hear my calling for my dummy at night if I’m sleeping in the house in the garden?!
Panic is now over though.  Mummy explained.  It’s a “Christmas present,” and it’s not a proper house, it’s a playhouse, made by Big Game Hunters.
You can have a look at all my house’s specifications here, not to mention all the others. Mine is a Whacky Ranch house, under Funky Playhouses, and boy is it funky! It’s green, with two windows, and it’s exactly how a little child would draw a house.

It retails at £259, and with property prices the way they are, I think it’s a bargain.  An estate agent might describe the interior as “compact and bijou,” but it fits my needs perfectly.
I would say anyone between about 18m – 6 years would get a lot on enjoyment out of this, perhaps even longer.  At the moment, I love the idea of just being inside and closing the door, then looking out of the window to point and laugh at Mummy.  I imagine in later years it’ll be a great little den, somewhere I can take my book to read on my own and get away from the rest of them.
I have two little wooden chairs in there now, courtesy of my grandparents, so I can comfortably entertain a friend, and it being so close to Christmas, of course I have a tree.  That’s 3ft tall, to give you an idea of how big the house is.

Daddy built it on his own, although the instructions advise two people to do it.  It took him an hour and a half against the suggested thirty minutes, but he was on his own and it was dark, so I think that’s probably accurate.  It comes as panels, so it’s easy enough to do.
We thoroughly recommend the Whacky Ranch house from Big Game Hunters, so if you’re still looking for a Christmas present for your little one, or birthday presents next year, I think this is fantastic.  It sits straight on the grass if you want, or you can buy a floor for it to stand on.  I have a floor, so it means I can use it all year round.  The house itself is all treated and guaranteed for ten years.
Mummy says all her dealings with the people at Big Game Hunters were great – they were very helpful and quick to respond. 
Disclosure: Mummy and Daddy were looking for a playhouse for me for Christmas and because I still don’t really ‘get’ Christmas, they didn’t mind giving it to me early.  Neither Mummy nor I received payment for this review although Mummy was given a 40% discount on both the house and the floor. (We bought the tree at the supermarket.)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

You Get The Picture

Welcome to the weekend, everyone!  Hope you have fun whatever you’re up to.  I met Santa last night so we’re now feeling really Christmassy in our house.
This is You Get The Picture, my weekly chance to share your artistic creations. Link up any paintings, drawings, Blue Peter-style loo roll animals, photos etc and have a look at the other entries.
I’m away this weekend but I can’t wait to see your creations when I get home tomorrow night.
Here’s my effort for this week:

Thursday, 1 December 2011

My First Blog Post

Mammasaurus is getting all nostalgic this week and asking us to share our first blog posts again, so here’s mine from way back in March.  I’d just learned to crawl.  That seems like such a long time ago, now that I’m a Big Girl! 
No comments back then – let’s see how it fares this time round.  Have a look at the others here.

Ready . . . Steady . . . Go!
I’m finally on the move! Persistence was the key and I’d been practising for what seemed like forever. It all started when I thought about bearing some weight on my arms. My second leg kept getting stuck under my bottom and that held me back for a while – it wasn’t even really a shuffle at that stage, and boy, was it frustrating! I’m embarrassed to say, there were a few tantrums.
I think Independence might be my second name. It’s about time I started calling some shots around here – I’ll choose where I play, and if I don’t like what I’m given to play with, I’ll select something myself, even if it doesn’t fall into the conventional ‘toy’ bracket. Today, I’m liking plug sockets. It’s only right to point out to Daddy all the potential trip hazards so I’ve been waving loose cables at him wherever I find them. Someone could do themselves a nasty injury!
I think Mummy and Daddy were beginning to wonder if I’d ever figure it out. Daddy didn’t crawl but perfected a bum-shuffle, and Mummy went straight to walking. Even I am impressed with the speed I’ve built up in just a few days!
I think grown-ups should just chill out – we babies will manage to get around, don’t you worry! Some of my friends have been crawling for ages, others still aren’t. I sometimes wonder if I should have held out a little longer. I mean, why bother getting up to fetch something myself when if I scream loud enough, someone will just bring it to me.
So, must dash now – I’ve seen something on the other side of the room that needs investigating quickly!