Hello *waves*, it's me again - back after an unintentional break...so here's a new post about where we've been, three new festive favourites and why I DON'T think it's too early for the C word this year (with Great Little Trading Co. LEGO #BuildtoGive and Winter Wonderland)

http://www.ababyonboard.com/new-festive-favourites/

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We are all Halloweened OUT for the year (it's loads of fun in our area and everyone decorates the outside of their houses for trick or treating).

But forget Halloween - I've written about 25 things that are *genuinely* scary for parents, from clock changes to the laundry basket, via glitter...http://www.ababyonboard.com/things-genuinely-scary-for-parents/

(Someone suggested school applications should have been on there! Let me know if you think of any more)

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Who had a bean bag when they were younger? We did and I don't think it ended well...fast forward a few decades (!) and we've been testing out a much better one from Great Little Trading Co. as part of the Testing Team (full review is here: http://www.ababyonboard.com/gltc-bean-bag-review/) P.S. E's brilliant spotty pyjamas are the #GetSpotted Alder Hay charity ones I bought from Matalan...if they've not already sold out, have a look for them online, we love them - her sister and me might have matching ones too πŸ™ˆ

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Look, NO PRAM...We ventured into central London today with cat shoes and masks, two children and just one of me. It was loads easier (steps were no problem, the bus was a breeze!) but constantly keeping an eye on everyone and holding both hands and carrying all our stuff and often both of them is kind of exhausting 😴🎻 BUT we got to go to a PJ Masks screening and met *actual Owlette.* Who else('s children) loves the show?! Isn't the theme tune the world's most catchy earworm? πŸ˜«πŸ˜‚

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Hands up who is THIS happy it's the weekend?! (Meeeee). Ridiculously excited about my plans for this evening, which involve the sofa and probably half a glass of wine before 😴 (I also have a new blog post about things we've loved this week, which is here: http://www.ababyonboard.com/five-things-loved-week/) Also - half term πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

I *hated* maths at school (anyone else?! I still have nightmares about it now!)

So following the realisation that I might actually have to help with school work, I'm looking at when your parenting skills don't add up...

http://www.ababyonboard.com/parenting-skills-dont-quite-add/

Are there any REALLY boring things you love now you're a parent? Like, say, cordless vacuum cleaners? Or drying the washing outside?!

Asking for...a friend...

http://www.ababyonboard.com/boring-things-love-now-im-parent/ 😴😴😴😴

After five-and-a-half years of using them, I have two questions about prams:http://www.ababyonboard.com/pressing-questions-prams/

OK, so hands up, who is NOT a fan of the school run? (ME)

It's always raining, we're always late and it is exhausting...need I go on?

(Here's seven other things I hate about it.. http://www.ababyonboard.com/ten-things-hate-school-run-five-things-secretly-love/ ...along with five I secretly love)

I hit a really big blogging milestone this week so thought it was time for a change...

...so here's to new looks and re-introductions (and a huge thank you!)

http://www.ababyonboard.com/new-looks-re-introductions/

It's the second year of primary school...

WHY did no-one tell me?!

http://www.ababyonboard.com/second-year-of-primary-school/ #backtoschool

An open letter to the park, on behalf of ALL parents...🌲🌲🌲

Do you spend a lot of time in the park? Seeing as we spend approximately 99.9% of our lives there, I have some suggestions to make them *much* better for mums and dads, from a prosecco bar and picnic Deliveroo to a robot swing pusher...

http://www.ababyonboard.com/open-letter-park-behalf-parents-everywhere/

We recently had a giant clear-out ahead of yet more building work, which unearthed a whole load of baby things we have in storage. Which raised the question of if we get rid of them now or keep them...just in case...

How do you know when the time is right to get rid of them?!

I'm also looking at the baby things I won't ever miss, from the Jumperoo to the dreaded Bumbo...

http://www.ababyonboard.com/baby-things-im-glad-see-back/

One of my favourite children's brands has always been Great Little Trading Co. (does everyone else love it? I could spend *hours* looking at the website!) So I was pretty thrilled to join the GLTC Testing Team where we'll be trying out lots of exciting products.

Our first testing mission was the Easy Reach Storage for Florence's room, which we hoped would create some order in the toy chaos. Find out what we thought here:

http://www.ababyonboard.com/gltc-easy-reach-storage-review/

A couple of things... http://www.ababyonboard.com/a-couple-of-things/

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What do your family argue about most on car journeys?

If it's choice of music, the windows being up or down or where everyone gets to sit then you're in good company according to a Virgin Trains survey of British parents.

After several car journeys that involved one or both children screaming for the entire time 😫 I'm always glad that we travel lots by train - and avoid the arguments! - so here's some ideas to make it as stress-free as possible this summer (including a tablet tip and top secret snack suggestion).

http://www.ababyonboard.com/tips-travel-by-train-with-children/
#ad #betterbytrain (photo is from our last UK holiday by train. We're off again in a few days so fingers crossed on the weather...) Virgin Trains East Coast

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Help, I need some book recommendations! What's the best thing you've read recently?

I think I've mentioned before but it has been an *embarassingly* long time since I've really read much, BUT, we're off on holiday next week and have also been trying out the new Amazon Fire 7 Tablet which is great for reading on, so I have no excuse really.

(You can also read a review of the tablet and some more of our favourite Amazon Appstore for Android apps here http://www.ababyonboard.com/family-apps-amazon-appstore/ )

#ad #Amazonapps #FireTablet #AmazonAppStore

Sky News on Twitter

Poor Princess Charlotte in such a stressful situation, but I really feel for Kate! There's nothing worse than your child having a tantrum in public when it feels like the whole world is watching, but I can't imagine what it's like when the whole world actually *is.*

P.S. What do you reckon she said to her to calm her so quickly?! My money is on either a) I have sweets in the change bag Or b) I'll let you watch Peppa Pig for as long as you want...

https://twitter.com/skynews/status/888425192564826112

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The school year is drawing to a close...HOW HAS IT GONE SO QUICKLY?! It seems like two minutes since I dropped her off for the first time, in her giant uniform (and then picked her up an hour later).

So to mark the end of Reception, here's 32 things you obsess about in the first year of primary school, from what exactly it is they do all day, to all the jacket potato and cheese lunches, socks, the magic of reading and what to do with the never-ending stream of 'artwork' and giant glittery structures made of cereal boxes and egg cartons that come home...sound at all familiar?

http://www.ababyonboard.com/first-year-school-things-obsess-about/

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To all new mums, no-one expects you to look like BeyoncΓ©...

Did everyone see BeyoncΓ©'s twin baby announcement photo? In light of the massive backlash around it, I've written about online criticism how there's no *right* way to be a new mum....and that it's OK to wear your pyjamas for weeks if you want but it's also fine to get dressed up and put on make-up, if you feel like it.

http://www.ababyonboard.com/to-all-new-mums-no-one-expects-look-like-beyonce/ #beyonce

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Family-friendly summer festivals! Who's been to one and would you recommend it for small-ish children (and their parents)?

(Photo is from the Crystal Palace Festival about five years ago...)

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Is anyone still breastfeeding their toddler? We're still going strong at nearly three, which is something I NEVER thought I'd ever say when we started out first-time-round. Would love to hear other people's experiences!

Breastfeeding older children isn't something people really talk about much, so for Celebrate Breastfeeding Week I've written about things you should know, from having unlikely heroes to the high probability that most people will have now seen your boobs...

http://www.ababyonboard.com/breastfeeding-an-older-child-things-to-know/

#celebratebreastfeeding #breastfeeding #bffriend17 #celebratebreastfeedingweek

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E's school had the new intake of reception class in for their stay and play session this week...which is weird as I can't believe it was a year ago for us! http://www.ababyonboard.com/stay-and-play/ Does anyone have a pre-schooler starting school in September? How are you coping so far?!

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We've been reading a lot of new children's books recently, so thought we would make a video review of us talking about them. It was during half term and both children were around - what could POSSIBLY go wrong?! http://www.ababyonboard.com/reading-new-childrens-books-video/

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Blackout blinds? You had ONE JOB...

It is hotter than an oven with the thermostat stuck on β€˜roasting’, in a furnace, on the sun, wrapped up snugly in hell* (* just in case no-one had noticed) so obviously the glorious pre-schooler dress code of choice = wellies, knitted hats and tights.

You can’t find where you stashed the sun hats but you *can* find the β€˜other’ matching glove that’s been lost all winter.

And your middle name might as well be β€˜put your sun hat back on!’ As you say it so often.

22 other signs that you're a mum in summer http://www.ababyonboard.com/signs-youre-mum-summer/

(An old post, but one that feels like it will be relevant till the end of time...anyone else still recovering from bedtime?) #scorchio #heatwave

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Picking this gappy-toothed girl up later to take her to vote with me. We walked to school singing Sister Suffragette which is our Election Day earworm. GO AND VOTE EVERYONE! πŸ’ͺ🏻 And take your children, too. I know everyone's probably had it up to their eyeballs with politics, but here's a really quick (promise) post about why it's so important, *especially* for your children: http://www.ababyonboard.com/votes-women-men-everyone-whos-registered-vote/ (especially the final point #votesforwomen)

#vote2017 #votelabour #GE2017 #Electionday

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Does anyone else ever have…PLEASE SAY YES because I know it can’t just be me…those moments when you realise that the small children in your house belong to you and you’re the one in charge? Anyone?!

Here's all the reasons I don't feel nearly responsible enough to be a mum of two, from my secret crushes to buying ridiculous things and never knowing where anything is...to all the rest: http://www.ababyonboard.com/search-responsible-adult-reasons-dont-feel-old-enough/

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Something not-so-great has happened, *again*

Related - if anyone sees a Barbie at the IKEA Croydon branch, please let me know...

http://www.ababyonboard.com/i-did-it-again/

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Morning! It's a Bank Holiday...it's not raining β˜€οΈ ... AND there's no school run πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰
If you need any activity inspiration, here's our favourite things to do in London with small children:
http://www.ababyonboard.com/best-free-things-for-kids-toddlers-in-london/
Plus our favourite parks:
http://www.ababyonboard.com/a-guide-to-the-best-parks-in-south-east-london/ (or there's always IKEA...)
#bankholidaymonday #london

CBeebies Grown-Ups on Twitter

Pretty exciting news for all Do You Know fans (and their children...) https://twitter.com/CBeebiesHQ/status/867430512004145155 Do you think they will have a special episode for the parents and answer all of these http://www.ababyonboard.com/how-does-it-work-do-you-know/ ?

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Do your children love books AND a healthy dose of screen time? We've been checking out something that combines the two in the shape of new children's reading app The Library of Miss Gadish...and I'm giving away an iPad to celebrate. Find out more and enter here:

http://www.ababyonboard.com/library-of-miss-gadish-app-review-win-ipad/

#win #competition #giveaway

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Do you ever feel like you never have time for anything, as a mum? (I do, ALL THE TIME).

Here's 24 things I definitely don't have time for as a mum, from chatty hairdressers to parental judgement and going to bed early...and three things I definitely do have time for..what else would you add?

http://www.ababyonboard.com/24-things-dont-time-mum-five/

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It's six years since I found out I was pregnant for the first time (six years!) and although that seems like a long, long time, I still often feel like I'm winging it when it comes to parenting (I think everyone feels like that at times...don't they?!)

So here's six parenting skills I am yet to master, featuring Pinterest, parenting on hangovers and dealing with *that* type of bedtime...😫😴😴

http://www.ababyonboard.com/six-parenting-skills-yet-master/

mumsnet.com

What was the standard of postnatal care like in hospital when you gave birth? Were you given a bed? Was your partner allowed to stay? Did you have help and support for things like breastfeeding if you needed it? I had the girls at two different London hospitals and had completely different experiences both times. The first was chaotic and stressful, the second was relaxed and wonderful and it made SUCH a difference (the doctors and midwives were brilliant both times, though). I think it's such an important, overwhelming time where you need as much help and support as possible, which shouldn't really depend on where you live or the time of year.

So I really like the sound of this mumsnet.com campaign calling for better postnatal care for all; they're going to work with parents and the big healthcare agencies to see what can be done to improve services for all: https://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/better-postnatal-care/the-mumsnet-campaign-for-better-postnatal-care

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Did you know it's World Maternal Mental Health Day? It's such an important topic that affects *so* many new mums.

So I've written about weird ten things no-one ever tells you about your mind and body once you've given birth (might be familiar...) http://www.ababyonboard.com/10-weird-things-no-one-tells-body-pregnancy/ - And most importantly how you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help during this time if you need it. #maternalmhmatters

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Did *anyone* get a bank holiday lie-in...anyone? We have, unsurprisingly, been up a while 😴😴😴 β˜•οΈ β˜•οΈ β˜•οΈ

(This might sound familiar! http://www.ababyonboard.com/things-youll-know-child-early-riser/)

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It's the long weekend! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Is anyone planning an Easter egg hunt over the next few days? We had a very special one this week...and suspect we will have at least two more (at least!)

Make sure you read this post with five tips for creating a perfect Easter egg hunt (including lots of Cadbury UK chocolate has anyone tried the mini Daim eggs? Or the Oreo ones?!) 🐰

http://www.ababyonboard.com/creating-a-perfect-easter-egg-hunt/ #ad

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Are you in London over the Easter holiday? And do you have dinosaur-obsessed children? Then the new dino-themed T Rex Grill at Natural History Museum, London might be for you...make sure you read our review http://www.ababyonboard.com/natural-history-museum-london-trex-grill/ Benugo 🐲

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These guys 😍It's totally worth every cold cup of tea and lost hour of sleep, every time you feel all the emotions, all at once and every moment of worry / exasperation, isn't it? Had a pretty special 24 hours in London for Mother's Day and we are all either asleep or exhausted now 😴😴😴Hope everyone's had a good weekend?

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Bye bye baby days πŸ‘‹πŸ»πŸ‘‹πŸ»πŸ‘‹πŸ»...all of a sudden it seems they're firmly behind us, which is very bittersweet. So I'm looking at all the things I *won't* miss about them http://www.ababyonboard.com/bye-baby-days-five-reasons-wont-miss/ from the giant baby bag of stuff through to never knowing what's wrong and the long days of doom, when you've been up since the dawn of time, everyone's crying and you've already eaten lunch. At 9am.

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Who else is up FAR TOO EARLY for a weekend? (Lie in, what lie in...?!) This might be familiar: http://www.ababyonboard.com/things-youll-know-child-early-riser/ πŸ˜«πŸ˜«πŸ˜΄πŸ˜΄β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈ

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Happy International Women's Day! I asked the 5-year-old what the best thing about being female was, and she said 'Going to school and getting to vote.' 😍😍😍 Here's an old post but one that's relevant today - on powerful women and how we need to look to the future http://www.ababyonboard.com/powerful-women-look-to-the-future/ #IWD2017 #IWD #InternationalWomensDay

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What motherhood secrets do you wish your best friend would have told you? As lots of my friends are having babies at the moment, I've written about the type of real advice about motherhood only your friends would tell you, from the horrors of day three through to having the wine and the fact you probably *won't* drop the baby http://www.ababyonboard.com/advice-to-my-friend-the-new-mum/ (PS teeny tiny baby Florence! Enough to make me broody. Don't tell my husband...)

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I love spring flowers (who doesn't?!) πŸŒ·πŸŒΈπŸŒΌπŸŒ·πŸ’but generally just stick them in a vase and hope for the best (I'm always jealous of people with magical flower skills, and people who can keep plants vaguely alive). So it was brilliant to go along to an M&S flower masterclass last week with its head florist (and none other than M&S ambassador Joanna Lumley) to learn some tips on making flowers look fabulous and all about the Fairtrade and homegrown offerings for Mother's Day. Here's my post
http://www.ababyonboard.com/a-mothers-day-flower-masterclass-with-ms/
(and answers to all the Joanna Lumley questions everyone was messaging me!)

20 modern classic children’s books for World Book Day 20

Did everyone make it through World Book Day?! I never realised it was such a massive thing among parents! We actually escaped dressing up at school (they had to take in a clue instead) but Florence dressed up for nursery (she went as the Worst Witch, which made a change from her usual outfit of...pyjamas πŸ™ˆ) On a book-themed tangent, I'm over on Junior Magazine talking about 20 modern classic children's books http://www.juniormagazine.co.uk/books/20-modern-classic-childrens-books-for-world-book-day-20/20983.html (including the one that makes me cry *every* time!) #worldbookday

No, YOUR toddler went to playgroup in her pyjamas today... πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

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This weekend we...mainly wore hats (wasn't it so cold?!) There's a little bit of an update over on my blog with some of the things we got up to: http://www.ababyonboard.com/five-things-weekend/

babyathollands.co.uk