My First Baby Annabell:Review And Giveaway

When it comes to dolls in this house there is certainly no gender stereotyping and the boys have loved playing with them just as much as the girls.

The biggest dolly fan though has definitely been Oscar and I love the benefits he gets from playing from them:

Learning Caring And Nurturing Skills – Looking after a dolls allows them to consider the needs of others such as – are they warm enough, do they need feeding, do they need changing.

Building fine Motor Skills – Having to line the bottle up feed the baby, putting on clothing andchanging the nappy are all great ways build their fine motor skills.

Using Their Imagination – The limits are endless to the way they can use their imaginations and role play with dolls. They can build all kinds of scenarios and let their imaginations run wild.

Oscar has built up a pretty good collection of dolls, but what he really wanted was one that can be taken around easily and for me something that is not to heavy and bulky for me to cart around when they’ve had enough!

My First Annabell’s baby brother arrived the other day and Oscar immediately fell in love with him. The squishy body makes him great to cuddle and being a smaller doll than the original Baby Annabell he is perfect to sit on the little ones lap for them to feed with a bottle

He fits easily into my handbag so when Oscar get fed up with parenting I can pack him away easily.

He arrives with a bottle for feeding and is dressed in a pretty, light blue baby grow with matching hat.

He would make the perfect first doll for any child, or a great addition when you want an easily transported doll.

If you want to win one of your very own then please feel free to enter the completion below.

Good Luck!

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Celebrating The Small Things:Week Twelve

This week has been a bit of an emotional one with the realisation my youngest isn’t so little anymore and how all Frankie’s hard work has been paying off for him.

Frankie’s Eyesight Improves – Its been nearly a year now since Frankie first started wearing glasses and it has been more than a struggle at times. He isn’t to bad at keeping his glasses on but since he had to start wearing a patch on his left eye we have had nothing but problems.
There have been so many bribes and ultimatums to get him to wear it and it has actually cost us a small fortune in the money he has earned for keeping it on.
It has however been worth the pain as on this visit to the hospital his sight has made a huge improvement and I couldn’t be happier.

Home Styling Tips From The Experts – I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous event hosted by the lovely people at Amara. When it comes to home styling I tend to buy pieces that I like without much thought about how and were they are going to fit into the house.
A day of tips and tricks has helped me no end and I will be showcasing this next week with a post on everything I’ve learnt.

Oscar’s Last Dance Show – Realisation is setting in that my youngest will soon be starting primary school and I will no longer have a little ankle bitter nipping at my toes.
I sat and watched his final dance performance with a lump in my throat and a funny feeling in my tummy that in a few short months this stage of both our lives will be coming to an end.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Ten

Running behind with this series once again – but hey ‘better late than never’.

It was a pretty big one for me work wise and was a little hard to really concentrate on the smaller things when there were so many exciting things taking place, so this is exactly where I will start.

Working With Kids: By this I don’t mean having to go out of the house everyday and leave the kids, I am in fact lucky enough to take my little ones along with me for a large part of the work I do and this saw Izzy taking to the ice with some of the stars from Disney On Ice and little Oscar get a special screening of the new Peter Rabbit movie.
They always say never work with kids and animals and although it can be pretty stressful at times I am very grateful to be able to do just this.

Loving My City: A lot of my work takes me into London on a weekly basis and normally involves me flitting from one place to the next and not really stopping to take it all in. After the Peter Rabbit screening I had a few hours with Oscar and we took this chance to wander around town taking it all in; from the beautiful architecture to the eclectic groups of people.
London has so much to offer and I really need to slow down and make the most of it when I get the chance.

Oscar Writing His Name: This is a proud moment, mixed in with a little Mum guilt too if I’m honest.
The more children I have obviously the more limited my time is to spend with each of the children and with the older ones having homework to complete I sadly devote a lot of learning time to them a poor little Oscar gets a little left out.
So the other day whist he was writing his Grandad’s birthday card with Izzy, she came in showing me how well he had done with writing his name without any help from her.
I was over the moon that he had done it and a little guilty that there had been little input from me! So its a big thank you again to his fantastic nursery and a big kick up the bum for me to set some time aside to work with him.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Three

Im a little bit late with this entry as life has got in the way and things have been sidelined. Last week was full of mundane tasks but I certainly have a few special moments to record.

Isla’s First Haircut: Being a grandparent is a completely new ball game to being a parent and one thing that I have found hard is bitting my tongue when Alice does things differently to I would. I have to hold myself back and remember all those times I got annoyed with my own mother for voicing her opinion so I told myself I wouldn’t be that fussing, interfering mother.
For months Isla’s hair has been growing out of control and I have wanted to take the scissors to it for so long.
Finally this week they decided it was time to be taken for her first haircut and I was so please to have been able to take her along for this experience.

Eyesight Improvement For Frankie: Last year Frankie was prescribed glasses and the vision in the right eye was a lot poorer than his left. The glasses alone hadn’t made any improvement so just over a month ago he was given a patch to wear for four hours everyday.
To be honest I thought we were going to have more trouble getting him to wear it then we have and apart from a few strops he’s been pretty good with it. This has paid off and he had improved by two lines on his sight test last week which was a big win for us.

Shopping With The Boys: Walking round the shops is somewhat of a distant memory for me since having children…well actually it’s only the last two that have put me off shopping with children for life.
All my shopping is done online and it wasn’t until we had a walk down Carnaby Street at the weekend that I realised now the boys are older they actually loved being able to walk around picking out things they like and trying the on.
They both certainly have and know their own minds when it comes to their style and Frankie was over the moon to be able to choose his first pair of ‘real’ trainers.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Two

This time of year is never my friend! I get depressed by the weather, long for brighter and longer days and generally spend the whole of January and February wishing away the minutes until the start of spring.

I am however hoping that this new series of ‘Celebrating The Small Things’ I started last week is going to bring a bit of joy to the next few gloomy months ahead.

This week I have picked a couple of my favourite moments that have involved things I don’t get time to enjoy as often as I would like.

One On One Time: With five children this is certainly something I don’t get the chance to do as often as I would like so I cherish them everytime I get the chance.
We took a trip to Southbank to an event where Frankie got to meet some of his favourite characters from the Cartoon Network show – We Bare Bears and we both sampled delicious coffee that had been expertly poured and topped with incredible latte art.
Aside from having to take some pics whilst I was there we spent the rest of the morning completely screen free, talking about all those radom things that run through the mind of a six year and and really just enjoying each other.

Healthy Changes On Track: For those of you that are followers of my blog you will know that the past few years have gained an ever expanding waistline with my change in career.
Its something I’ve been battling with for a long time now and this week I feel that I’ve finally broken the cycle and things have got back on track.
There have been no faddy diets, I’ve just cut out the rubbish and reduced my portion sizes, I have got back into all the exercises I love such as spinning and kickboxing and have been feeling and seeing the benefits both physically and mentally.

Getting An Insight Into School Life: When your children set off to school they spend over half their day in the care of somebody else and we have very little insight into what they get up to; and if your children are anything like mine they aren’t to free with letting you know what they do either.
At the beginning of the week I wasn’t to excited about the thought of having a meeting at the school, but was pleasantly surprised when we got the chance to join the children in the classroom to see what they get up to during their working day.
It was so lovely to see Frankie interacting with his peers, thumbing through textbooks and asking questions on things he was coming across and seeing how much he has come on during his short time at school.

Now We Are Six:Happy Birthday Frankie

When I was one, I had just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was five, I was just alive.
But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now forever and ever.

A.A. Milne

This was one of my favourite poems from my childhood and now as I’ve grown and become a mother I can relate to the words with each year that passes in my little ones lives and I have to agree that six is a pretty perfect age.

On frankie’s six birthday where his birthday request has simply been, ‘Lego and mussels’ I look on in wonder at the beautiful little boy he has become in those six short years.

He is certainly my most vibrant child that has a charater and tenacity that is heartwarming and alluring and his charming personality never fails to fill a room.

He is strong willed, determined and passionate and although this obviously comes with its challenges I wouldn’t change it for the world.

In fact it was his head strong ways that saw my big birthday plans of a trip to a Lego exhibition in town for him come crashing down when he insisted on a simple day of softplay with his little brother and a lunch of mussels to finish.

Colour Explosion Firework Paintings

As an adult I still find all the beautiful colours and the spectacular explosions of fireworks amazing.

I really wanted the children to be able to recreate the splender through some artwork with the children.

I popped over to the wonderful Mum In The Madhouse and found some really cool ideas that I got some inspiration for to make with my own littlies.  

I took two toliet roll tubes and cut lines halfway up the tube all the way round and then splayed them out.  I then cut bits off of the lengths at random. 

  
I put two different colours onto two separate plates and the covered the toliet roll ends with paint.

   
 

Number four had a great time creating explosions all over his page and it got him really in the mood for going out to watch the real thing tonight.

  

Image Of The Week:Carve A Heart

Over with the lovely ladies at Truly Madly Kids the image of the week is all about pumpkins and the wonderful cause raised by World Vision called Carve A Heart.  It would be wonderful if you could all dig deep and text HEART to 70060 and donate £5. 

My pumpkin carving skills are limited to say the least so I have picked one ofmy favourite  pumpkin themed images from our wonderful trip to Chessington World Of Adventure this week.

  
   

Wizards And Witches At Bocketts Farm 

It was the perfect day for a trip to the farm today with this beautiful autumn sunshine.  

I only had the two little ones today so Mum and Dad joined us as we set off to Bocketts Farm in Surrey.  We have visited here once before but this was a special trip to see what had been put on to celebrate Halloween.

   
 

On arrival we were given a spooky quiz to fill out on our way around the other attractions that could then be handed in to the pretty pumpkin who was handing out treats for completing the quiz.

We arrived in perfect timing to walk straight into the wizard’s magic show.  Number four is massively into magic at the moment so this was perfect for him.  

   
 

He kept all the children engaged throughout the show and there was lots of audience participation which is always great when there is a young audience.  Number four was in awe throughout and is still questioning how his wallet set on fire!!

We played in the indoor play area which is normally one of my pet hates, but the boys loved riding on the tractors and bikes, climbing through the soft play and whizzing down the huge slides.

   
 

All the areas were spotlessly clean and well inclosed which is a must for my escape artists!

The boys then had a quiet five minutes in the craft area where they made some cool witches hats to get even more of a feel for the Halloween theme.

   
   

Next up we made our way out to the animals.  The boys had a wonderful time petting the rabbits and Guinea pigs, feeding the sheep, goats and cows and looking at the super cute piglets that had not long been born.

   
         

We made good use of the vast outdoor play area with the air pillows being the biggest hit!

   
   

The boys were finally prized away when there was a call for the start of the pig races.  They had a brilliant time cheering them on and number four was more than happy when ‘Bradley Piggins’ came in first place!

  

Hungry from the busy morning we made our way to the tea rooms for some lunch.  There are a wide range of hot and cold foods and a really good children’s menu that offers more than just the normal sandwich or nugget meal.

  

Number five tucked into a yummy macaroni cheese while my little allergy boy was well catered for with a hot meal to keep him going.

We finished our day with a peek at the creepy crawlies in the reptile tent that had been bought along from Amazing Animal Encounters and a trip around the farm on a tractor ride which included a creepy wood especially for Halloween.  The boys loved all the lumps and bumps on the way round whilst the adults took in the stunning views.

     
     

We had a fabulous day at a fantastically run farm with super friendly and helpful staff who’s passion for the farm and the animals really shone through. 

If you are looking for Halloween themed day out for your little ones then Bocketts is the perfect place to go for the fun side of Halloween rather than a scare factor.  The Wizards and Witches event runs until 1st November and got a massive thumbs up from us.

   
 

We were given entrance to Bocketts Fsrm for the purpose of this review and these are my own honest opinions.

Not So Smug Anymore!

  

After a day filled with meltdowns over magazines, tantrums about the wrong colour grapes and cleaning up a pot plant that had been launched across the bathroom I sat back tonight and reflected on all those sideways, judgemental looks I have thrown to other parents over the years.

With my first three I will now openly admit that I was a super smug Mum. They were far from perfect as no child is but with a stern talking to or one of those looks only a Mother could give they would more than normally fall into line and do as they were told.

I would get remarks from people on how polite and well behaved my children were.  There was in fact one occasion when a stranger came over to let me know what a well mannered child number three was.

I would sit at soft play areas and chat with friends while the children all happily played.  We could go to the park and I would know they could wander around happily safe in the knowledge they would never be to far from my side.  A meal out was always a good experience as long as we didn’t drag it out for to long.

I would see a child throwing a tantrum and would throw the mother a judgemental look and wonder why she was allowing this to happen, I would watch programs like Super Nanny and would be astounded as to how people could let their children behave in such a way and then number four came along!

 This little bundle of joy completly turned my world upside down in more ways than one.

I became that mother that got a look as we walked into toddler group, people stop and stare as he screams and hits out in the middle of a shopping centre, I am continually on edge when we are in the playground as I never know what his next move will be.  My home has become a destruction zone of ripped wall paper and discarded toys.

He is the only one that has resorted me to tears, I’ve had so many trips to the health visitor for help I have lost count, I’ve dragged him kicking and screaming from soft play areas with silenced crowds staring at me.

I now wish I could turn the clocks back and offer a sympathetic look or reach out a much needed hand to all those mothers I have judged in the past.  It just goes to show that no matter how you bring your children up and what coping mechanisms you put in place life can always throw you a curve ball that completly messes with all your best laid plans.

His character makes him the little boy he is but boy had he been a challange!