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Santa arrived today – The Logic of children toys

He did, today Santa entered into the world of the Happyland people. Which got me thinking, who decides which toys sit behind which advent calendar window? The logic in me would put Santa on door 24, Christmas Eve and yet here he is December the 15th. Seems a bit early to me but is it planned? Now he has to put his feet up like everyone else and wait. I wonder how much thought actually goes into these things, is it just me who wonders?

One day for example one window would reveal a single chair, but you know what? We have two chairs, but no table. Who decided to split the chairs and the table up so much? But still here is Santa? Never the less, perhaps it doesn’t matter? Maybe they won’t notice, but If I was a child I think I would. Why has Santa appeared on day 15? Where is is sleigh? How has he got here? Did he fly on the back of the single reindeer that ventured out of the calendar in the first week? It’s still an amazing advent calendar, perhaps logic serves no purpose here.

It’s been a quiet morning here, we stayed indoors yesterday as Ariella was still quite tired after her sickness bug over the weekend/start of the week. This morning after opening up our advent calendars and getting ready we needed to venture out to post a letter, pickup some groceries and generally show our faces to the wind. We have a play date to attend later, I really can’t believe it’s already nearly the end of the week and tomorrow is Friday!

Lunch time we tried out a new recipe taken from Annabel Karmel’s website, we don’t often buy any of AK food (if we are getting a meal I prefer the Cooks children’s menu or little dish) but I was browsing for recipes on Sunday evening and thought we could give this a go. It’s called Mummy’s Pot Noodle, I thought it was yummy but Ariella wasn’t really in the mood for noddles. She did have home made Spaghetti Bol last night so maybe she wasn’t up for another noodlely textured meal. Instead she devoured a pot of yoghurt, we made some progress with her using a spoon. To be honest she has always been able to eat with a spoon if it was loaded but prefers to use her hands. Today I showed her how to load the spoon herself and she definitely tried a few times before chucking the spoon away and using her hands.Mummy's Pot NoodleYoghurt Yum Yum

We have some wonderful Gruffalo cutlery eagerly sat in the drawer which was a brilliant gift from one of our friends. Every time we put it out, which is pretty much ever meal it immediately is thrown to the floor. We shall keep persevering! I’m always on the look out for healthy toddler lunch ideas so if you have any recommendations I’d love to know!

After lunch the post lady always brings our post at the same time every day, give or take ten minutes. For someone who likes routine it’s a reassuring sound hearing the bundle of mail hit the floor then off I go to collect it. Some days instead of a dropping sound there is a nice big knock at the door, we have a big lion knocker which resonates around the hallway. Those days I know there is a parcel waiting for me, today it brought me a book I ordered from Amazon called “A parents guide to developmental delays – by Laurie LeComer”, I ordered it alongside another book called “Small Steps Forward: Using games and activities to help preschool children with special needs – by Sarah Newman” which is more based around activities for SEN early years. We are still waiting due to high demand to be assigned with portage and an early years key worker so I wanted to find some structured reading. I feel like the activity list I designed needs some work as Ariella has moved forward in the last few months, so the activities need to be more fluid.

Activity Plan

Salmon Pesto, Mozzarella and Couscous

A quick dinner, Salmon home made pesto with mozzarella and couscous – Recipe from The baby-led weaning cookbook

Now that I’ve done all most of my Christmas shopping I have made some mental space to start planning for our next holiday. We are heading to the Indian Ocean and I can’t wait to write a long post about my choices on what I’ll be taking with us, how to cope with a long haul flight and in general my thoughts after on choosing the Indian Ocean as a family holiday destination. I’ll also be looking to plan Ariella’s second birthday party prior to this too as most of the work will need to be organised before we go. Exciting times! Well I’ve got some reading to do, by my next post I’ll be all up on the terminology and a child development expert – where’s my wine.

Being Mum Featured Lifestyle Weekly Update

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


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 stroke

Did you know their fur is exceptionally soft?


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!

Evening chillout

Natural order was resumed by bedtime!