Thursday, 26 November 2015

How to help when a child is in hospital

This is my baby in a specialist neonatal ambulance at 9:45pm on Christmas Eve 2013 

Having a sick child is awful any time of year but my heart goes out especially to anyone with a child in hospital over the 'festive' season. Having been in a neonatal unit at Christmas 2 years ago, I know how it feels to be stuck in hospital worrying, while everyone you know is celebrating.

If someone you know is in hospital with their little bambino or even their lanky teenager in the run up to Christmas, here are a few things you could do to help...

Monday, 23 November 2015

Peppa's Christmas Post Tour

Here it is, my first post mentioning CHRISTMAAAS! (Believe me, I've been thinking about the C word since before Halloween so you should be grateful I waited until the end of November to get festive!)

To celebrate the beautiful new book Peppa's Post, Ladybird books have asked me to kick off Peppa's Christmas Post Blog Tour. Peppa's Post is a modern day version of my childhood favourite The Jolly Postman, in which the story is told with real letters, which you take out of envelopes in the book. My little boy loved the novelty of this and had a real look of awe and wonder on his face as we opened each little letter. (There's a chance to win a copy of the book on my Facebook page!)

Following the theme of 'post' from the book, I'm linking up with four top bloggers (way out of my league!) to spread a little Christmas cheer with a series of festive letters. I'm starting us off by writing to Jocelyn at The Reading Residence who will write to Anna at In the Playroom, who will write to Clare at Emmy's Mummy who will write to Kara at Chelsea Mamma who will write back to me! Keep an eye out for all their letters too!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

My boys play with dolls

Stargazer Lottie comes with telescope, astronomy books (and the cutest hat ever)

You may or may not have noticed that I am trying (possibly in vain) to raise my boys to be kind, gentle, caring men. I cringe when they play rough, tough, testosterone fuelled aggressive games and cling onto the hope that this is just a phase. I hope that our constant reaffirming of gender equality and the importance of kindness and emotional intelligence will eventually turn out the kind of men we want them to be (even if they spend a few years "killing each other's heads off" first).

This week I read about a start-up company which shares my vision of  boys being encouraged to play in a way which encourage their nuturing and sensitive sides, and also provides aspirational role models for girls. Lottie Dolls are small, perfectly formed dolls with interesting hobbies, a refreshingly balanced use of pink and boy dolls (called Finn) with a marked lack of guns or muscle. We were sent some samples to review this week. I had high hopes for these dolls and I wasn't disappointed.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Five Favourite Pirate Picture Books for Preschoolers

Pirates are a pretty big deal with my children at the moment me hearties. I say me hearties out loud, in real life, in public, more often than you could possibly believe. And ahoy there! Ahoy there me bleedin' hearties! It's like living in a weird, bad pantomime.

If you have a pirate fan, here are a few of our favourite piratey books...

I haven't read every pirate book ever written obviously. So please do fill me in with any of your favourite pirate books! I would happily fill another shelf full of pirate books! My husband will be thrilled

1. Captain Falsebeard in a Very Fishy Tale

By Fred Blunt

Captain Falsebeard is the newest book in our pirate collection. It's written in a cartoon strip style, with loads to look at on each page. My nearly 2 year old is happy looking at the pictures for ages, but is a little young for the story. (It's not x-rated at all! Just a bit complicated for his tiny brain!) The 3 year old loves the story though, and thinks it's dead funny that (SPOILER) a pirate boy dresses like a mermaid. He also massively appreciates the large amount of parrot poo that features in the book.

It's childish and silly and that's perfect for us! The boys are hooked and want to read more stories about the characters, which is good as I think there are more titles to come.

[Available online here.]

Monday, 2 November 2015

Happy Book Review

Y'know that song? Happy, by Pharrell Williams? Of COURSE you do. Even my Mum knows it. It's a brilliant song, and now it's been made into a book. 

Say what?! You can't make a song into a book. That's like making a TV show into a shoe. It just doesn't work. 

Well that's what I thought when the nice people who publish the book asked me to review it. It sounds too weird to work. 

I've read the book now, and umm, I still think that!