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Rethinking How We Approach Christmas

How was last Christmas for you?

Ours was strange, in that we had a newborn baby living in the crook of my arm, a two year old who was very excited about Santa but had cobbled together her expectations from (often conflicting) TV shows, and we had all spent the previous few weeks passing around particularly nasty bugs. Steve and I didn't have much energy but our eldest child had more than she could handle.

A few days after Christmas, we sat down and talked about which bits of the festive season had worked for us and which had not. We had been trying to keep things very simple, what with the new baby and all, but had still experienced low level stress and dissatisfaction; we also felt that our eldest's season had been more manic than magic. So we talked seriously about where things had gone awry and what we could do differently in the future.

Differing Expectations
The big thing, for Steve and me, was that we have different ideas of what Christmas is all about.

For Steve, Christm…

Babyccino Table Books: Six New Books

It's not even Christmas yet but we have six - six! - brand new books lying around our living room. (Actually, that's not true - three of them are hidden away, waiting to be wrapped and then unwrapped for the baby's first birthday, but you get the idea.)

There are also three library books kicking about, all chosen at random by the three year old, of which I recommend only one: The One Thing by Lauren Childs. It's a Charlie and Lola book and, as with all Charlie and Lola books, is bonkers and adorable and sneakily educational.

But back to the books we now own! They are:

Two Gifts From the Grandparents
Oi Cat! by Kes Gray & Jim Field
We already had Oi Frog! and Oi Dog!, both of which are firm favourites of our three year old. Oi Cat! is more of the same - ludicrous animal rhymes - but it assumes the reader has read the previous books and is in on the joke. Our three year old thinks it's hilarious (and she's not wrong).

Belle and Boo: Friends Make Everything Bett…

A Bunch of Good Things

Cinema Trips
I had a one off trip to see Some Like It Hot - second time on the big screen and still just as funny. I also have a standing four-weekly cinema date with a friend of mine, which we stick to regardless of what's showing - we generally go for the silliest and/or most female-fronted film available, but this time we saw Bohemian Rhapsody and it was absolutely perfect.

I saw Jen Brister live and laughed so hard I spilled red wine all down the front of my brand new rainbow striped T-shirt. If you have even the slightest interest in feminism, parenting and/or cackling loudly (and, if you don't, I'm not really sure what you're doing here), go and catch one of her shows.

Also Book Group
Which I love, even when I am the only person who didn't enjoy the book.

Bras Which Fit
It's so nice not to be gouging wire out of my chest bone every evening.

Apple Pie
Homemade. Not by me; by Steve. With apples from his parents' garden. Good.

Soft Play Play Dates
I fi…

Good Things and Grumblings. Standard.

False Economy Buying nice clothes for your firstborn, under the assumption that two children will get the use of them. Either you save them for best, which means they never get worn and you don't get your money's worth, or you let your eldest wear them to nursery and accept that they're going to come home covered in sparkly black and red evidently-not-that-washable-after-all paint. But at least she had fun constructing an enormous, walk-in castle (it's genuinely pretty awesome).

Pinterest Mom Attempt Thinking that we wouldn't make it along to the fireworks last night, I mixed up some glow in the dark bubbles. Yes, that's right: GLOW IN THE DARK BUBBLES. Equal parts glow in the dark washable paint and bubble mix, the recipe said.

Is there anything three year olds would love more (at that moment in time, when there's no strawberry ice cream to be had and you're not at soft play) than glow in the dark bubbles?

There is not.

Yeah, they didn't work. I had…

Babyccino Table Books - November

Our kids have soooooooooooooo many books, you'd be forgiven for thinking we didn't have a library at the end of our street (we do have a library at the end of our street; it's where our eldest child keeps "her" Maisie Mouse stories and a rather battered copy of the Topsy and Tim head lice book).

The thing is, despite them having soooooooooooooo many books, they tend to ask for the same handful over and over again. They each choose one book at bedtime and, for the past three months, I'd say we've done Feminist Baby and There Are Cats In This Book roughly 80% of the time. Both of which are great books which I thoroughly recommend but I'd quite like to read something else now and then.

Which is why I do Babyccino Table Books. That is: I grab a selection of their books and bung them on the living room coffee table for a few weeks, in the hopes that they might read them.

For the last wee while, we've had Halloween books on the table. It's only now…

Boo! 👻👻👻

Okay, Honestly...? There's nothing Halloween-related in this post, but I did just realise I could do a ghost emoji on my laptop so: 👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻.

The Big Debate In Our House Right Now
I grew up eating Wagon Wheels and Orange Clubs, but never Space Invaders or Monster Munch; my partner grew up eating Space Invaders and Monster Munch (not because they were at all nice but because they had "Space" and "Monster" in their names), but never Wagon Wheels or Orange Clubs. Which of us was less wrong?

Obviously, I was less wrong. Obviously. This is my blog and I form the opinions. Monster Munch and Space Invaders are just packing foam with a dose of bright orange chemical powder on top (unlike, say, Wotsits, which I greatly enjoyed until they changed the recipe), whilst Wagon Wheels and Orange Clubs - which my partner dismisses as "nothing but concentrated sugar" - provided blasts of hyper energy to get me through until dinner.

But we want to know where …

Seven Things

Ways In Which I Behaved Like A Proper Blogger This WeekI bought two plants. I chose one of them because it looks like a pterodactyl.I harvested a pumpkin grown by my very own child. It is big and turning orange on the windowsill.I wore a jumper with a slogan on it. It says "No Rain, No Flowers" and I wore it to a garden centre for maximum self aware social media irony.I put all the letters from my super-trendy peg board thing into a very pretty tin.
Ways In Which I Did Not Behave Like A Proper Blogger This WeekI did not photograph any of these things.I decided against the stylish copper bedside lights which would have gone perfectly in my dark green bedroom because there was too high a risk of the kids smashing the bulbs/smearing them with fingerprints.I let my three year old wear a garish supermarket-sourced witch costume with a massive hole in the front for seven days straight (and expect to do the same again next week, too).The coconut milk in my fridge went bad.
October Ho…