#TearsIntoSmiles with Elastoplast

The #TearsIntoSmiles campaign has challenged me to turn those tear filled moments into a happy ones.

I don’t think there is a household in the country that doesn’t have a selection of plasters. We have long been fond of the ones with fancy pictures, as somehow they seem to make things just a little bit better. I used to have to stock up in the USA on these fun additions to the medicine cabinet, with favourites like the lion king and winnie the pooh. Now there are lots to choose from and the Star wars ones are an instant hit.

When the boy has an accident I used to take on the strategy from his nursery which was to treat the wound with magic liquid (water) and then a big hug and a plaster. The boy was always ready to show off his Piglet or Eeyore. The boy loves to be outside, and his favourite at the moment is water pistol battles with his dad or friends. Bumps cuts and bruises are part of childhood and turning the #TearsIntoSmiles is a great way to make things better. I love the video from Elastoplast turning real tears into these miniature paintings.

Making sure that you get out and about in the fresh air is the best way for kids to learn about their surroundings and their limitations. The boy has had his fair share of bumps and scrapes. With a love of Fencing we now carry a first aid kit with us to every event. This kit will always contain a few plasters as well as cool packs and cream for bumps and bruises. I still use magic water, and you cant beat a big hug to make everything feel a little bit better.

This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

 

African Friends – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

African Friends is a 300 piece XXL puzzle suitable for ages 9+ RRP £7.99, and has a finished size of 49cm x 36cm.

The boy was quite excited to have a puzzle all to himself, and I was immediately banned from helping! he has helped me with my puzzles, but has never wanted to do a whole one so I was thrilled that he was willing to give this colourful 300 piece puzzle a try. African Friends has a very cute picture of a group of wild animals, and the boy enjoyed trying to name them all. I think he managed all the animals, and it was just the birds we didn’t know.

african friends

The boy started by piecing the edges of the African friends puzzle together, and found this fairly easy to do despite the amount of blue pieces. I was allowed to turn the pieces the right way up for him, but my help had to stop there. As a puzzle addict this was torture! I found it interesting how the boy wanted to work through colours and animals, quite often choosing the tricky colours first.

african friends puzzle

The boy had no problem completing the puzzle, and took a few evenings to complete the full puzzle. He says he doesn’t like puzzles, but was happy to sit for some time after dinner adding pieces, and was very pleased with himself when he had completed the picture. African friends is a very cute puzzle, and one we have all enjoyed looking at. The pieces are larger than an adult puzzle, but the boy didn’t feel that this puzzle was any easier than the ones I complete. I love the size of this puzzle, and Ravensburger have a great range of different sized puzzles suitable for different ages and abilities from the 100xxl for ages 6+ to this one the boy completed 300xxl age 9+.Visit the Ravensburger website for more great kids and adult puzzles, or click my affiliate link below to buy African Friends.

african friends ravensburger puzzle

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in return for an honest review, our words have not been altered.

Disimpaction

Disimpaction, not a word you hear everyday, well not in most households, but one that has become very common in the Dragon house over the last week. Disimpaction was a word that has scared me for so long now that I didn’t think I would ever be happy to even say it out loud, let alone write about it.

I think it might be something that someone might one day find useful to know it’s not as bad as you might think to have to medicate your child to the point of diarrhea. As a nation we hate talking about bowels and poo, but problems are more common than you think. While the boy and the rest of the family have struggled on through all the problems, now I feel is the time to say we have had enough and move forward.

Don’t think I have been sitting around ignoring the situation, as that is not the case. I have been on the hospital books for so long now that we almost deserve our own parking space! So how did we get to this point. The boy isn’t alone 1 in 4 children in an average school class will wet the bed at night. As many as 3 in a class of 30 will have some form of toilet issue and ours is that the boy isn’t clean.

So how do you deal with still trying to toilet train an eight year old? Well you don’t! You cope, you have things in place, you boil pants each week. You spend a small fortune on Pyjama Pants or washing bed sheets. You try to get others to understand that he just doesn’t go to the loo unless you tell him too. But people don’t understand, you might think. Hang on! I need the loo. The boy doesn’t. Nagging didn’t help, not nagging, ignoring it. medicine, laxatives, softener’s, changes in diet. Bribery, books, hours of reading stories on the loo.

These are just a few of things I have tried over his lifetime. Now, we are trying Disimpaction. A huge dose of Movacol, it softens the poo, and hopefully gives the boy diarrhea. Not pleasant, so it was decided by me that hospital looked like a safe place, away from home, away from distractions, where it would be taken seriously.  Where I wouldn’t be the bad nagging Mum for a change. This didn’t work! Hospital was too exciting, beds were hard, no sleep for me. Slow start to the medicine, horrid food that even the boy said was bad, and too much fun in the playroom. So after talking to my nurse and consultant, we came home.

Day 6, and there should be movement, for those in the know we should be doing a number 7 on the chart. We are on a very high dose now, and guess what, its not looking good. The boy says lots of rumbles, he says that he feels like he has less in there. We think he showed good signs on day 3 but since then very little change. The nurse is happy that I am doing it all right, but if we don’t have something happen soon, well I don’t know.

Disimpaction is not the end though, in fact this is the easy bit? (If over medicating a healthy child to make them unwell is easy) No the next part is not getting back to where we started. The boys x-ray showed how badly constipated and stretched his bowels were. This could take months for them to get back to the shape and size they should be. So each day I become Mum the poo monitor, “how big?” “what number?” “have you drunk your water?” medicine will be monitored every day increased decreased. But I know it will be worth it. We have had one pair of clean pants! This in itself is a miracle. One I wont be broadcasting, but one I am still happy about. So tomorrow day 7, and the full maximum dose, and I am taking each day as it comes. So if your child is having problems, do it sooner rather than later, not just for their sake, but for your sanity. I don’t know how many more days of staying at home and watching Dave I can take!

Brian – My half term Lego Build

When I saw a competition to build a Lego version of Brian from confused.com I knew what I would be spending my spare half term days doing. I am not usually allowed to build my own Lego, as the boy likes to make the models his own now. Spurred on by Jenny from the Brick castle, that it is ok for adults to actually make their own Lego models, I knew I had to give it my best shot! The boy quickly decided that building a replica Brian was too difficult, so started on his own version of a robot complete with jail, tower and minifigure’s. There are two competitions running side by side, one for an Apprentice builder and the other for Master Builder, so we can both enter our efforts.

Brian

So starting from the bottom up I set about trying to make my very own Brian, the Master Builder brief was to make your model as close to the real Brian as possible. The first problem was finding some suitable tracks and this is where we started to deconstruct some of the boys other Lego sets. The first model to be raided was Chima Lavel’s royal fighter with the Technic style pieces forming the base. Next I built up a platform using lots of my white or slightly yellowed 1970’s bricks. I needed to form a slope across the front which was achieved with a hinge on the back of two Star Wars base panels.

The most difficult pieces to fit were the curved areas, and this was achieved with the base of the Lego City Airport control tower, finished with some of the Ninjago Ice Dragons scales for the hint of blue. Still building up the back of the model with my vintage bricks I fitted another panel as the torso of Brian made from the roof of the Lego camper van. This was hinged again to get the right angle from the front, and then a small printed logo added for effect.

Adding in the detailed pieces for the sides was a fiddle, as I was not used to using the more advanced Technic Lego, which allows you to build on the side as well as top and bottom. The addition of a couple of Star Wars round dish shapes, and then the joints from the Ice Dragon allowed me to complete the side. Lego Hero arms were perfect for the model and not to off scale so I used these to complete the arms.

On to the all important face. I knew I had the blue dots from Lego City police cars for eyes, and a Star Wars grill for a mouth. But getting the shape how I liked it was tricky. I had a couple of attempts and then I found some more curved roof parts from the camper van which I think worked perfectly. Adding the head so it can both tilt and swivel allowed the face to have a little more character when I took the photos.

brian collage 1

I am so pleased with my finished model, and he is currently a proud addition to the model collection in the boys bedroom. If you would like to wish me luck, of have a look at some of the other amazing Lego Creations then pop over to the Brian Facebook page and my effort can be found here.

I love a creative competition, and this one is by far one of my favourites as I have a bit of a soft spot for Brian and the funny adverts that confused.com make. They certainly do stick in your mind.

Bizzy Butterfly Audiobooks

Bizzy Butterfly has two new Audiobooks on CD, available now for just £3 each these are great value and a brilliant way to encourage young readers to enjoy stories.

Bizzy Logo

Bizzy the Butterfly and the over the log frog

Bizzy the Butterfly meets a frog – but he’s stuck behind a log! Join Bizzy for music, fun and lots of riiiibbits in the Big, Big Garden.

 

Bizzy the Butterfly and the Mysterious Mousey Muncher

Somebody has been eating Bizzy the Butterfly’s cabbages – who could it be? Join Bizzy on another adventure in the Big, Big Garden where she makes a new friend and learns all about sharing.

Theses charming stories combine spoken word with music, illustrations and games, the stories provide endless opportunities for your child to play, learn and explore their imagination. For more information or to buy these great stories visit the Bizzy Butterfly website, Facebook or Twitter pages.

If you would like the chance to win a copy of each of these fun tales than simply enter the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the Rafflecopter, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • #World Book Day additional terms: In some cases there are multiple prizes, therefore prizes may not be sent out until all winners have been drawn, please allow 28 days from end of giveaway for all prizes to arrive
  • For a simple guide to  Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke’s Rafflecopter Guide

Boo! by Tracey Corderoy

Boo! by Tracey Corderoy is a new book from Little Tiger Press RRP £5.99 this paperback is a charming tale of a little rabbit who just cant keep still. Available from the Little Tiger website and online, I am sure this will become a much loved classic.

Hullabaloo the rabbit loves playing boo! But when he jumps out to surprise his friends he causes chaos – Squirrel lands in a puddle… splat! Hedgehog topples over… crash! And poor Timid Mouse bursts into tears! “NO MORE BOOS!” everyone shouts. Whatever will Hullabaloo do?

Picture 52

To win a copy of this fantastic new book why not complete the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the Rafflecopter, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • #World Book Day additional terms: In some cases there are multiple prizes, therefore prizes may not be sent out until all winners have been drawn, please allow 28 days from the end of the draw for all prizes to arrive
  • For a simple guide to Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke’s Rafflecopter Guide

Half term fun

Last week was our half term, and time to spend the whole week with the boy. I find it strange that although we spend all week together it seems like we spend all our time doing other things and not quality together time. I had nothing planned, and felt quite bad when I talked to another Mum who said she didn’t have a day free! But then I thought of all the fun things we could do, and lets face it the weather hasn’t been that great so decided to just go with it.

And guess what it was a lovely week! I wanted to catch up on all the things we never seem to have time to do, so first was to decide on a couple of competition entries. The boy, and children in general have a much better chance of winning than adults as there are far less entries, so I told the boy about 5/6 that I had found and let him choose. Of course he chose the Lego ones, but I decided another fun one would be building a marble run.

Monday

We started off in the garden, I had bought some garlic and onions and needed to get them in the ground. We have some lovely gardening posts coming up with some fab reviews so watch this space…

the boy

Tuesday

We spent the day just chilling, the weather wasn’t nice, so we baked scones for lunch and started to build our Lego masterpieces. We had great fun making Lego animations with our new Hue Animation studio while we chatted about things, school, friends and the Olympics.

Lego

Wednesday

I had booked some last-minute swimming lessons, as the boy wanted his swimming badge for cubs and needed to be able to complete his 25m. Our local pool do a 2 day crash course, and for £12.50 I thought this was good value. The boy seemed to be having fun and it turned out he knew two of the boys, so was very happy. After swimming we decided we were hungry, with very little food in the house a trip to Asda! OK!, I had a reason for the 1/2 hour journey as I knew they were doing some fun half term Lego activities. We made a Lego figure and had our photos taken, then a hot drink and cake in the café, followed by shopping. Finally we headed to Hobby Craft, just to pick up some paper. Unknown to me they had half term activities too, and the boy was soon engrossed in a bead workshop. I think his Minecraft inspired creation is wonderful, and lots of the other kids were in awe too!

minecraft

Thursday

Swimming time again, and this is a great way to get up and out as we have to be at the pool for 8.30am! An hour of swimming and the teacher was happy that he could earn his cub badge, not only that but he has moved up a group as well. The boy was very pleased with himself, and a treat of a donut in the café was on offer. But the call of the marble run, and Lego building was calling and he wanted to get home. So the rest of the day was perfecting the marble run. 30 seconds sounds ok, but when it takes up all the dinning room and lounge you realise it is quite a task. Videoing was also a challenge, as after 17 attempts, the battery ran out on the camera. Finally we managed to capture the whole run, and you can tell the boy was pleased.

Friday

A chilled morning, some TV together, a spot of lunch and a bit more Lego. We finished off a couple of our gardening projects and soon Dad M was home. We watched the Olympic short track and commiserated that Elise Christie was disqualified again. We needed cheering up! With Fencing every Friday we don’t often get the chance now for our Friday curry so this week was a special treat!

dinner

Sometimes with the rush of the week, all the clubs, cooking, cleaning and just general family life I forget to slow down and enjoy my time with the boy. This week we had fun, lots of cuddles, tickle fights and Lego. I was allowed to build Lego on my own, which is a first and quite refreshing! I wonder too who enjoyed their week more, me or the other Mum rushing round trying to fit everything in?


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Maisie Hitchins and the case of the Feathered Mask

Maisie Hitchins and the case of the Feathered Mask by Holly Webb, is the brand new adventure of Maisie a little girl who longs to be a detective. Followed by her faithful pup Eddie, she sets off to follow any mystery she can find.

In book four of the Maisie Hitchins series, Maisie finds herself coming to the aid of her friend Professor Tobin. The professor has travelled all over the world, collecting strange and wonderful objects. Now he plans to donate his collection to the British Museum – including a rare and valuable tribal mask from the Amazonian rainforest. But when a thief breaks into the boarding house and steals the Feathered Mask, leaving only a single feather, Maisie realizes she has a new mystery on her hands.

Picture 49

I think this is a great girls book, to inspire them to be anything they want to be whe they grow up. You can have a sneak peek here to see what Maisie gets up too, or enter my rafflecopter below to win your very own copy of this new Maisie mystery!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the Rafflecopter, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • #World Book Day additional terms: In some cases there are multiple prizes, therefore prizes may not be sent out until all winners have been drawn, please allow 28 days from 6th March 2014 for all prizes to arrive
  • For a simple guide to Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke’s Rafflecopter Guide

Another chance for you to win a copy of Things that Go!

Here is another chance for you to win a copy of Things That Go,  a new Curved Board book for children aged 0-3 from Little Tiger Kids Books.

New for February this chunky tab book provides an easy way for small children to turn the pages and find their favourite vehicles. With a RRP £5.99 you can purchase this book now from bookshops and Amazon.

Picture 50

If you would like to win a copy of this super book for younger children then simply complete the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the Rafflecopter, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • #World Book Day additional terms: In some cases there are multiple prizes, therefore prizes may not be sent out until all winners have been drawn, please allow 28 days from 6th March 2014 for all prizes to arrive
  • For a simple guide to Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke’s Rafflecopter Guide

Robotslayer by Vincent Kamp

Robotslayer is the first book by Vincent Kamp with characters based on members of his family, and storytelling with his sons, he has developed what was once a bedtime story into a great comic style book. Available now from Amazon for £7.99. The story tells the tale of hero Leo and his trusty sidekick Benny.

robotslayer

Some of my fondest memories of my Nan when I was small are of the wonderful stories made up by her each night before bed. Ok mine were stories of potatoes and mice, but they stick in my mind. To see that Vince has taken the step of taking his imagined stories to print made me want to read the story more.

With spectacular images, Robotslayer tells the tale of Leo, left in the city of Robotolis after the people have fled from the deserted city. The evil Dr Grububble kidnaps Leo’s trusty sidekick Benny Bing Bong, to help him develop his evil plan. Leo turns to Opa to help him bring back Benny and save the city by turning into the Robotslayer.

This book is dark and powerfully illustrated, a great book for encouraging boys to read. With comic book style writing, short bursts of text can be less intimidating than whole pages of words. With boys struggling more than girls to become fluent readers this book would be a great way to encourage them. With lots of ka-pow and action this book is great, but will there be a happy ending and what will happen to the robots?

You can find out more about the story behind the book Robotslayer on Vince Kamp’s website, where you can also find out about the downloadable app for I-pad.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: we were sent a copy of this book for review, and the opinions remain our own.

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be      checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the Rafflecopter, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • #World Book Day additional terms:  In  some cases there are multiple prizes, therefore prizes may not be sent out until all winners have been drawn, please allow 28 days from 6th March 2014 for all  prizes to arrive
  • For a simple guide to  Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke’s Rafflecopter Guide