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Weekly Update – Wintery walks, Oxenford Christmas Tree farm & The Enchanted Grotto

What a great week to start December off with, sub-zero temperatures mixed with beautiful crisp days and warm sunlight. I actually felt prepared for this, with the cold winter coat I had picked up from Vertbaudet I just popped in the warm insert. Fully prepared with the finger gloves too, which are 100% times better than mittens (a topic discussed by my fellow mummy friends) I’m just lucky she keeps them on!

It was absolutely freezing, even the bar of the swing was frozen and Ariella did not want to stay on the swing for as long as she normally does. I wasn’t quite ready to take her home yet so we went for a wintery walk.

Wintery Park

A wintery park visit in minus figures, even the handle bar was frozen

Winter Walk

Brrrr!

Ariella' s Name

This week Ariella surprised me by counting to ten! I’ve always known she likes numbers but I hadn’t realised she knew the sequence of them. Often I’ll count the steps up to our home out loud, we do a lot of counting. Colour’s have really developed too, she likes saying purple “pur pel” and is linking more objects with their colours. The other theme for the week has been posting, she really likes slotting things under other things or into little gaps. To encourage this I bought the ELC Post box which has gone down a treat, they had a nice little discounted sale on for a few days. I’ve tried to get all the Christmas presents done this week and by doing so we’ve made use of many of the sales that have been on.

In other news Susie was put on her chair this week by Ariella, clearly Susie knows her place in Happyland Cherry Lane Cottage. Perhaps Ariella was making room for all the new friends that will be joining Susie and Savannah with the new Happyland Advent calendar she received. Although Ariella seems quite pleased we are even more happy that she has an advent calendar that is suitable for her age and should be better long-term use for her aka not chocolate. It’s a lot more expensive than its chocolate counterpart at £25 and was very tricky to get hold of due to the stock, but we did manage to get one on the second wave of restocking. Part of me is irrationally excited to show Ariella that Susie and Savannah will be getting a Christmas tree in their cottage this year, I hope in years to come when we get more expansive dolls houses (which I already have my eye on many) this imaginary play will just blossom further.

- Picture from ELC website

– Picture from ELC website

We had booked in to a local garden centre in Milford to their Enchanted Grotto to see Santa for the first time. I think we knew given the fact that Ariella isn’t fond of strangers specially those with beards that she might not find the whole experience joyful but in the interest of getting her used to the big bearded man we wanted to try. To help ease the process I picked up a couple of Christmas themed books a few weeks ago That’s not my Santa by Usborne, Nativity by Usborne and Spot’s First Christmas by Eric Hill. I’m hoping given that the Santa book has a touch page for Santa’s beard that it might help. We will be seeing Santa again on Christmas Eve so I will be sure to update! We did still get a present from Santa for Ariella and also to see some Reindeer which I had planned to do later in the month, I’m not sure the reindeer are part of the Enchanted Grotto. I think we just got lucky that they were appearing that weekend, but it was a lovely experience and the elves were definitely in character. These reindeer had come down from the North Pole for Christmas and were staying at a local hotel which they liked very much!

Reindeer

Reindeer stroke

Did you know their fur is exceptionally soft?

Santa

Meeting Santa for the first time – Ariella was not impressed, hence not sitting on Santa! Oh Dear, maybe next time Santa! Sorry

We also popped by Oxenford Christmas Tree farm to pick our own Christmas Tree, it was lovely and I highly recommend you go down and get yourself one. They offer delivery too, which we’ve taken advantage of because we are both pretty unenthusiastic when it comes to leaving pine needles in the car and faffing around with ropes. They have some beautiful decorations in their Christmas shop and they picked a really gorgeous high ceiling barn to display them in. It really feels like the spirit of Christmas in there and I’m glad we didn’t just arrange to have a tree delivered from the garden centre. Oxenford sell a whole range of Christmas Tree types which you can read about here. We decided to go for the Nordmann Fir which typically is the most popular style, I love the shape and needles but given it’s our first real tree we will see how it lasts once we put it up for decoration.Barn Ceiling

Christmas shop

The Christmas Shop in Oxenford Christmas Tree farm

Picking a Christmas Tree

Deciding on a Christmas Tree!

It was also my turn to host the play date this week, to keep things festive Ariella and her lovely little friends all made some of the snowflake ornament’s which you can find the post for here. Using a lid is a handy way to get everyone to help press down clay so that it’s flat (just roll it into a ball shape first!).

Festive Crafting with friends Once they departed to go enjoy their dinner Ariella sneakily found a triple chocolate cookie tucked away on a plate for the adults, she helped herself to it obviously. Not long after she then proceeded to vomit twice, I think that’s a lesson learnt!
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Evening chillout

Natural order was resumed by bedtime!

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