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Apart from *that* three word phrase that’s designed to strike fear into the hearts of all parents (see my Instagram Stories for more 🤔😱😫😭) isn’t it brilliant when your children get older? I feel like so much of the focus on parenting and motherhood is on pregnancy and labour and the early baby days and not much on what happens after that...and less still on what happens after *that.*

Sparked by an amazing (for us) thing that happened on my husband’s birthday, I’ve written about the brilliant things that happen as children grow out of the baby days http://www.ababyonboard.com/baby-days-gone-brilliant-things-children-getting-older/

(Spoiler - mine include giant lunchtime 🍷🍷 and great chats, but I’d love to hear what everyone else’s favourites are...)

Magazine

One for all the Lego fans (and their children...!) Did you know that if you sign up to the Lego site you'll get the free Lego Life magazine posted out to your child five times a year?!

https://www.lego.com/en-gb/life/magazine

(Not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share as I have a five-y-o who will LOVE this)

Do you have children who REFUSE to wear a coat outside, no matter how cold it is? It's not just you! (Seriously, do children not feel the cold? I'm always freezing!)

But what's worse is always fear of the icy judgement from other people who might think you're a terrible mother...so to address this here's a six-point 'strategy' for dealing with cold-weather coat-refusers:

http://www.ababyonboard.com/how-to-deal-with-coat-refusing-children/

How do you know when you’re done having babies?! Do you ever know for sure? Asking for...well, me, really! As I thought I knew but have completely changed my mind over the past year.

Musing about this over on my blog today, if you want to read: http://www.ababyonboard.com/know-youre-done-babies/

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Best things about being a parent: all the love / knowing you made this amazing little creature that’s like an extra piece of your heart, walking around in the world / sneaking an extra fish finger into the oven at dinner time. Worst things about being a parent: no sleep / being so tired you forget your own name, mid-sentence / TREADING BAREFOOT ON LEGO 😫😫😫. Tell me I’m not wrong! While you can’t do anything about the sleep, you can do something about the Lego - so we’ve been making a portable Lego play table to store it all away, thanks to something clever from Great Little Trading Co. we were sent as part of our role on the testing team. More over on my blog http://www.ababyonboard.com/how-to-build-duplo-lego-table/ And here’s to all of us who sneak in the extra fish finger...

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Happy New Year’s Eve! As everyone’s been rounding up all their brilliant achievements of the year, I’ve blogged instead about the really minor moments that take place every day, day in, day out, throughout the year when you’re bringing up small children - things that no-one ever celebrates in ‘best of’ lists (despite the fact they SHOULD be celebrated as parents do a fantastic job).

SO, make sure you read my 17 completely unspectacular motherhood moments from this year, ranging from snack fetching to bin men waving mixed in with many trips to the shop: http://www.ababyonboard.com/17-completely-unspectacular-things-ive-done-2017/

Have a brilliant night if you’re in / out / drinking wine on the sofa in your pyjamas 🙋🏼‍♀️

Did you know it's Save the Children UK's Christmas Jumper Day this Friday? Who's going to wear one? Here are our Pokemon numbers from last year...and you can read more about how you can get involved over on my blog, along with four other family-focused Christmas charity campaigns to support this year:

http://www.ababyonboard.com/christmas-charity-campaigns-support-festive-season/ - including Help Refugees Refuge First Days Children's Charity and Book Trust #christmasjumperday #christmas #charity

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This mug is the best mug to give to builders, it makes them *very* confused. And on the subject of this mug, I’ve blogged about why Tamara Ecclestone is brilliant and why I’m breastfeeding my three-year-old... read it here: http://www.ababyonboard.com/tamara-ecclestone-breastfeeding-a-three-year-old/

Things they don’t tell you in NCT classes #9999 - that the morning after a very late, very fun night celebrating the birthday of an NCT friend, you might have to be up very early for a children’s birthday party where your own child will NOT let you get off the bouncy castle 😫😫😫.

While hangovers and bouncy castles are not the best mix, NCT friends are *brilliant* (And here’s my post on all the other things they don’t tell you in NCT classes, but definitely should: http://www.ababyonboard.com/things-they-dont-tell-you-in-nct-classes/)

Does anyone know the best place to send a letter to Santa, one where you’ll actually get a reply? 🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻 (Is it terrible that we’ve never done it before?!)

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 🙈

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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? 😫😂

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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 🎉🎉🎉

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 Beyoncé...

Did everyone see Beyoncé'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 ‘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 ‘other’ matching glove that’s been lost all winter.

And your middle name might as well be ‘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! 💪🏻 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 ☀️ ... AND there's no school run 🎉🎉🎉
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 😴😴😴 ☕️ ☕️ ☕️

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

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It's the long weekend! 🎉🎉🎉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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