30 November 2016

18 best cute Christmas jumpers for kids 2016

Here are my top Christmas jumper picks for young kids for 2016. (If you are looking for 2017 Christmas jumpers - hop here!).

This post has become a bit of a tradition over here at Wave to Mummy blog - I am a huge fan of Christmas jumpers, especially for kids, and have trawled the interwebs shops for my favourite pieces this year, again. These are my favourite Christmas jumpers from this year and there are ideas for both boys and girls, from babies to school aged children! 

1. White penguin jumper / Next (3mths - 6yrs)
2. Grey polar bear / Next (3mths - 6yrs)

10. Red reindeer / Next (3mths - 6yrs)

We have not yet bought a Christmas jumper, as the ones from last year might still fit fairly well. If they don't, I think I am heavily leaning towards number 12, the blue light up dinosaur

Have you got your Christmas jumpers yet? What was your favourite of these?

21 November 2016

When your baby has a baby: New Baby Annabell dolly

When I was a few years old I got a baby dolly as a gift. It was the best thing ever and I remember loving it like crazy. So when my daughter got herself a new baby dolly, the new Baby Annabell, that does pretty much anything a newborn does, I think I was almost as excited as she was. Here I write how my daughter got along with her new baby, and I review the new 2016 Baby Annabell.  

You can also win yourself a new Baby Annabell, just like the one we have. Giveaway at the bottom of the post. Please note, this post is written in collaboration with Zapf Creation. 

The best judge is my daughter. She was smitten as soon as I gave her Baby Annabell. Now she wants to take it everywhere with her. The first night she woke up 4AM, crying for her baby. We had to make Baby Annabell a makeshift bed from blankets and a pillow and place her next to my daughter's bed, just so we could go back to sleep ourselves.

She tells me that "Aww, the baby is so cute!". She also tells me "it plays and it still plays and it talks like little children". 

The make believe play is endless. The baby is sometimes sick, sometimes crying, sometimes tired... She gets so much enjoyment out of it and it encourages her to use her imagination and role play. I believe her Baby Annabell has now been named Bethany, after her best friend at the nursery. She is now mummy and I am Nanny, and Bethany/Annabell is her baby. 

It is adorable seeing my daughter being such a good mummy to her baby - she cuddles it gently, and gets quite upset when it cries. She tells me off when I am being too rough with the baby or if I take the dummy away. She shouts at me I will make her Bethany cry. It is lovely seeing her interacting and being so gentle and caring in play. 

When I was little my dolly didn't really do anything. It was just a hard plastic dolly. You could move its arms and legs and that was it. But still, it was loved and cherished. I used to walk it around, proudly pushing the dolly stroller. I suppose this is one of those experiences most kids go through - loving and pretending to have babies of their own and mimicking their parents. It is so sweet to see. 

I think the interactive elements do make Baby Annabell even more magical to play with and I certainly had fun with it too, even if I am an adult. It babbles in a very cute way. It makes contented sucking sounds with the dummy and bottle, and the dummy moves as if being sucked. It closes its eyes independently, and can go to sleep and its breathing sounds change to happy snuffling. 

After feeding (or just using an empty bottle) it cries and needs a pat on the back to burp it. It "drinks" water, and this enables it to cry real tears and pee. You can make the dolly cry by taking away its dummy three times, after which it needs cuddles and cheek strokes. If you ignore it for a couple of minutes it will automatically turn off. 

The only slightly annoying thing I found with the doll is that the motorised component is quite loud. That said, this doesn't bother my daughter at all.

All in all the Baby Annabell works well and is fun to play with. Just remember to pack in three AA batteries if you give this as a gift as there isn't any in the box!

What was the best dolly you ever had?

You might also like: 10 things I learned in my first year as a mother and 24 hours with a newborn baby 

For the giveaway, win a new 2016 Baby Annabell for Christmas! (Can't guarantee Christmas delivery but will try...). Daily free entry, and daily tweet options to enter, alongside other options. UK entries only! 

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15 November 2016

When you feel like drowning: Little life update November 2016

I feel like drowning. Time is such a precious commodity and I have so little of it. I know I shouldn't really complain as the busyness I experience right now is the good kind.  The kind that comes from new opportunities, moving on in life, having a family. But still. I feel tired. 

It has been a few weeks of long days at work to finish off projects and handing over tasks. Making notes for whoever picks up my projects, making sure all important files are filed away safely, making sure my desk is cleared and bags packed. 

I have a new job now. New job, new responsibilities, new direction. Senior to my job title and a sizeable increase in my salary. 

mother with a toddler daughter with a punnet of strawberries on a field

mother and toddler daughter talking to each other on a field

Other than my real-day-job-pay-the-bills kind of work my blog work has also upped a step. There is a lot more interest from brands for collaborations, new exciting opportunities emerging, and commissions coming in. 

There are posts from May still in my drafts. Hours of video waiting to be edited. Ideas brimming in my head. I've interviewed a celebrity, an inspirational woman I feel a lot of respect for (transcribing soon!). I have booked my first ever press trip, somewhere here in UK I've never been to. 

And amongst all this I wonder have I lost my voice a little. There are things I want to write about but usually I feel too tired to get my thoughts in order and words on paper. I would like to write more about being a working mum, about building a career, about the hectic life we create ourselves, and about balance. Or rather, the lack of it. I love writing about the adventures we have as a family and sharing my photography but i would like to add to that, something from the heart. 

The last few weeks have been difficult. Our little girl has caught all the possible nursery bugs you can get. She has been sick and tearful and in need of mummy. Who of course has not been able to be there. 

It is tricky to balance it all. A lady needs her sleep too... 

mum and daughter cuddling on a farm field

It is all of course temporary. After the next few weeks I will get into a routine at work. I'll clear the back log of my commercial posts. And as we beat the winter bugs we will be able to sleep better and feel better. And then it'll be Christmas. And a well-deserved holiday!

How have you been lately?

2 November 2016

How to entertain toddlers at the airport

Here are our tips on how to entertain toddlers at the airport. Our family loves travel but lets face it, the actual act of travelling is rarely fun. Kids and waiting around is not a good combination. We have flown dozens of times and spent countless of hours on airports, and have had much experience of entertaining our toddler in the process. So I thought I'd give a brief overview of the three main ways we entertain our child at the airport. I hope they will help! Please note, this post is written in collaboration with Trunki - a fun ride-on suitcase for kids.

toddler pulling a toddler kids suitcase at heathrow

Prepare an activity pack

Preparing an activity pack to take with you is a good idea. I have written my top ten tips to pack for a toddler activity pack, but you can't go wrong with a kids magazine, some selected toys and finger foods, and of course a tablet or a smart phone loaded with kids apps. And even if you forgot to prepare an activity pack - you could always buy a few chosen items at the airport! 

Be the entertainer

Be prepared to be silly and inventive! The standard games can help, such as I Spy, or Move and Freeze. You could even try to compete on who moves the slowest as you are waiting for check-in or boarding. 

Another thing I find useful is to give your child a task to do. Nothing too serious, like holding passports or tickets, ha ha, we all know how that would pan out. A good idea is holding a lunch item, or carrying something equally small, or taking care of an "important leaflet" you pick up on your way.   

They can also have their own luggage and be responsible for that. 

I loved having our Trunki suitcase with us at the airport. For those that don't know what it is, it is a colourful small plastic suitcase the kid can sit on, and as it has wheels you can also pull it. It provided so much entertainment for my child it acted almost like a second activity pack. 

When we were queuing to check in or at the passport control, I asked my daughter to take care of her Trunki and pull it after herself. I would ask her to sit on it and ride it everytime she got a bit antsy. We did a few bus races too, with her sitting on her Trunki and me "running" next to her. I was really pleased at how sturdy her Trunki suitcase was, and how much entertainment it provided. My daughter loved her Trunki and would not stop talking about it. 

toddler looking out from airport window to airplanes

toddler sitting on trunki rideon suitcase in front of a plane

toddler standing and watching airplane at airport

What to do at the airport

At the airport there are a few activities you can do. Many airports nowadays have children's play areas - Heathrow for example has brilliant kids play lounges. Ask the staff at the airport, these play areas are often located a bit out of the way. 

Otherwise, on long stopovers we have enjoyed wandering about the airport. Plane spotting is great fun - walk about the gates and try and spot different types of planes through the windows. Many airports also have a viewing area where you can admire planes taking off. 

Shopping is another entertaining, albeit expensive activity. I am not a big fan of this as shopping is a pain with kids, however, buying them a new toy or a magazine is guaranteed to keep them entertained for a good while! 

How to entertain toddlers and kids at the airport. Three great ways to keep the kids happy and entertained when at the airport. Includes lots of tips for families and parents for air travel and airport layovers.

woman chatting with a toddler at airport

woman pulling toddler on trunki rideon suitcase

Do you have any other good tips? What have you done to entertain your kids at the airport?

How to entertain toddlers at the airport - top tips for families travelling by air

How to entertain kids at the airport - top tips for families flying and fun ideas when waiting

Entertaining kids at the airport - top tips for families flying and fun ideas when waiting for a flight with kids

Entertaining kids at the airport can be tricky - here are top tips for families travelling by air and fun ideas when waiting for a flight with kids

You might also like: 10 great ideas to pack to a toddler activity pack for travelling and  How to have an easy flight with your baby (under 1 year old)

Giveaway is now finished but do check the comments - people have given some AMAZING tips! Some of my favourite additional tips are to let your child choose a book at the airport for reading on the aeroplane, preparing a scavenger hunt for them ahead of time (note down what you want them to find at the airport such as a luggage colour hunt, or a blue teddy, or a coffee shop), doing round-robin stories of other passengers, skipping ropes, colouring and sticker books and of course tablets!

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