Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hello December

Well December has arrived and the Christmas countdown is in full swing! We kicked off the festivities on Friday by getting the tree up for the Late Late Toy Show. For the first time I let the girls have full control over the decorating. They really got stuck in and managed to get half way up the tree. (It's still waiting for me to finish it off!!)

Once the tree decorating was complete I gave the girls some activity books to pass the time while they waited for the Toy Show to start. It didn't start til half 9 so you can imagine how restless they were getting. Just as they were about to give up I produced a bowl of goodies and a hot chocolate each (which Ella promptly spilt all over the place)..

It was their first year staying up and they loved it, Abigail's main ambition in life now is to be a toy tester on the Toy Show, I still want to do that!!

Saturday was spent recovering from chocolate hangover and Sunday was spent recovering from actual hangover while trying to navigate my way through all the crazy people in Smyths while we finally got the Christmas shopping done. Some people where shopping like the world was going to end tomorrow, others where losing the will to live over the lack of Elsa dolls! We avoided the Frozen section as best as we could except to pick up a Spinning Olaf for Ella *whispers* we got the last one on the shelf!!! As it was Olaf and not Elsa we didn't think there would be any problems until someone spotted it in our trolley and loudly asked "Oh where did you get that, I didn't see any of them, haha I might just have to take that on you..", at this point we laughed and then hid Olaf before quickly finishing up!!

Have you had any Frozen fan encounters?

So this week will be spent finishing off the decorating, trying to get my house under control and catch up on blogging! I have a few reviews ready to go out so keep your eyes open, but right now all I'm going to do is sit and drink coffee because everything else on my list involves moving..

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

What's on Netflix this November?

Netflix came in really handy for us this month. I have the app on my phone so when the long hours of waiting around the hospitals became a bit too much for Abigail she was able to curl up beside me and watch cartoons on my phone. She was happy to find that a new episode of Ever After High had been added. Monsters, inc. a family favourite has also been added this month. Abigail's daddy surprised her with a big Sully teddy when she woke up and he has accompanied her around the house for big cuddles ever since.

With everything going on this month I haven't been up to watching anything new so I have been taking comfort in the fact that I have all of the Doctor Who episodes at my fingertips. It is filling the void since the new series has ended. Some good series that have been added this month are House (S1-8)

I have added this to my list as I have always wanted to watch it.

If you are a fan of the US version of The Office you will be happy to know that series 8 is now streaming.

If you fancy some action movies checkout the 2014 remake of Robocop starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Micheal Keaton. In Robocop, the year is 2028 and Omnicorp are at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front.

Also on offer is Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise who is in an extraordinary chase for the truth.

will be doing a Christmas countdown list in my next post but if you can't wait that long here are a few things to get you in the festive mood.

-Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas

Santa Claus joins Mickey, Minnie and all their pals in an original movie about discovering the true joys of Christmas. Watch the hilarious antics of stubborn old Donald as he tries in vain to resist the joy of the season.

-Christmas Angel

Ashley has been on her own all her life. She feels even more alone this Christmas as she searches fruitlessly for a job. The seasonal cheer around her only rubs salt in her wounds as she scrapes by to support herself and her dog, Dash.

-I'll be home for Christmas

In the spirit of the season, this hilarious comedy adventure celebrates the believer in all of us. Jake Wilkinson, a self-centred college student, has one thing on his mind - to get home for Christmas dinner or forfeit the vintage Porsche his father promised him.

-The Search for Santa Paws

When Santa loses his memory, it's up to his new best friend Paws to save St. Nick and show the world what Christmas is all about.

(Disclosure : I received an Apple TV and a years subscription to Netflix as part of being a member of the Netflix Stream team. All opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them. All images courtesy of Netflix.)

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Tale of the Tooth

Back in August the girls were doing what they do best, running around the place and swinging out of each other like a pair of monkeys, when Abigail fell face first on the floor and broke her tooth. It wasn't the first time she had fallen on her face, only months before she was messing in the bathroom, slipped and hit the sink with her mouth, knocking out a few teeth. They were all baby teeth and some were already loose so it wasn't so bad. The dentist recommended she eat soft food for a while. But this time it wasn't a baby tooth, it was an adult tooth.. her first adult tooth and it was a front tooth!

We panicked!

It was a Friday night and I didn't know what to do, I tried ringing the local dentists but got no answer. I got myself onto Facebook and straight to the Irish Parenting Bloggers group and cried for help. They directed me to the dental hospital (which I didn't know existed) so I gave them a ring. I left a message and they got back to me soon enough and asked me if the nerve was exposed? I had no idea.. He said it sounded fine enough to leave til the next day so I could take her to the local dentist. I gave her calpol for the pain and put the broken bit of tooth in milk.

I didn't sleep..

The next day I took her to the dentist where they had a look and said yes unfortunately the nerve was exposed. She put a type of bandaid, I suppose you would call it, over it and glued the tooth back on. We were then referred to the Dental Hospital and told it would be a few weeks before she would be seen and to keep an eye on it. I felt a bit of relief until bed time when the piece that was glued on fell off and crumpled. The bandaid was still on so at least I knew the nerve was protected. Back to the dentist on Monday where they put a temporary cap over it.

We got the appointment, they wouldn't be able to see her til October.

When Abigail went back to school in September a parent suggested I should bring her to the local HSE dentist to see if we could get her seen quicker. We brought her down and she had an appointment for a week later to have the temporary cap removed and have the tooth built back up with a filling compound. We were warned of the possibility that she would need a root canal in the future but for that moment we were happy that it looked to be resolved. Abigail was very careful when eating and took good care to brush her teeth twice a day with the help from myself or daddy.

Last Sunday Abigail said her mouth was sore. It had been over a month since she had the tooth fixed so at first I wasn't sure if that was the issue. She had two front bottom teeth coming in and two back teeth coming in so we thought that maybe that was the issue. On Monday she didn't really say much about it but on Tuesday she was not herself. She was very cranky and tearful and that night she was up a lot saying her mouth was sore and pointing specifically to the broken tooth. I said I would bring her to the dentist in the morning and by the morning it was clear that she needed to be seen. Her cheeks were puffy and her gum was red and swollen.

Luckily Owen had a few days off work and so was home. I brought Abigail straight to the dentist, he looked at her and said she needed to go to the A&E in the dental hospital as soon as possible. We were too late to make the morning clinic so he told us to get there for the afternoon clinic which started at 2. The quickest way for us to get there was for Owen to drop us to the dart in Bray, get the dart from there to Pearse St as the hospital is around the corner. We got a bag together, took Ella out of playschool and headed up straight away.

It was a long wait..

We got there for 1 but the clinic didn't start til 2 so we waited. Abigail had her leappad to keep her occupied but she wasn't really bothered with it, she wasn't in the humour. Finally she was seen and sent for an x-ray. Then we had to wait a bit more. Abigail had fun with the cool shades they put on her.

They examed her mouth again, the swelling had gotten bigger. The doctor came to have a look at her. Yes definitely an abscess and infection. At first the plan was to give her a high dose of antibiotics and have her come back in a week so they could start work on the tooth. But Abigail started to feel worse. They checked her temperature and it had gone very high.

It was decided then that they would need to drain the abscess. Abigail was in a lot of pain at this stage and would not let them near her mouth anymore. She would need to go to the Children's Hospital in Crumlin, the doctor was on the phone straight away organising a space for her. There were no beds available that night so the best option was to start her on the high dose of antibiotics straight away, take her home and then bring her to the hospital first thing in the morning.

Thankfully she got some sleep that night, even though we had to wake her to give her antibiotics and calpol at different times to keep the temperature down and pain at bay.

We were up and out of the house just after 7 the next morning, Abigail was due to go into theatre for 9 and so had been fasting. Just our luck though the traffic was really bad due to the weather and it was 10 before we got to the hospital. They were able to put her off til the afternoon and she was allowed have a drink of 7up when we arrived but nothing else after that. I had never been to this hospital before. All of the walls have lovely murals painted on them making it a less scary place for kids. This one was Abigail's favourite..

After she was checked in and seen by her doctor we were taken to the playroom (waiting area). Abigail was happy to see two other girls her age. They quickly bonded over colouring and playing with dolls. It was a long long wait. Owen had stayed home with Ella so it was just myself and Abigail. No one in the room was allowed to eat or drink as all the kids were fasting so it meant the adults were fasting too. I don't think I could have ate anything if I tried, I felt so uneasy.

It was nearly 3 before Abigail was called. They got her into robes, cute little ones with numbers on them. She started to get a bit nervous at this point but was doing her best to smile.

They gave her something to relax her. She didn't like the taste of it and got upset. She started asking to go home.. I tried to reasure her as best as I could but I didn't really know what to do. She was fed up with the pain and the waiting and didn't want to know anymore.

The bed arrived to take her to theatre. We tried to make it fun for her, told her she was a princess and this was her carriage, she thought it was funny being wheeled around. We soon left the lovely painted walls behind us and things started to feel more serious. I had to put scrubs and a hairnet on. Abigail thought I looked odd, she didn't like it. We tried to joke about it. We went into theatre and she was moved onto the table. She became very upset and distressed. I sat beside her and tried to reassure her and distract her. She wasn't making much sense as the medicine they gave her was kicking in. She kept asking to go home. I told her I would get her something nice in the shop, she asked if she could go to Disneyland. I would have promised her the earth at that stage..

She wouldn't let them put the mask over her mouth, she was too upset by then. They were able to hold it just over mouth. I held her hand and wiped away her tears.. She went quiet but her eyes were still open.

She's asleep now..

Her hand twitched in mine and her eyelashes fluttered but she was just staring ahead. It felt wrong. I was pulled away from her then and taken outside.

I couldn't breathe..

I thought she would just go to sleep, close her eyes and drift off. It wasn't like that, they had warned me but I still hadn't expected it. I also didn't expect myself to react the way I did, I thought I was going to be sick. I wanted to go straight back into that room and take her with me. The nurse said I should go and get a cup of coffee. I blindly made my way down the stairs and rang Owen and cried. He told me it would be ok. I went to the shop and picked up a ragdoll that Abigail had been eyeing then made my way to the coffee shop.

The smell of coffee that I usually love made my stomach flip over. I grabbed a can of coke and some sort of chicken wrap and went back upstairs. It was too hot, there was no air. The nurses kindly offered to mind my bag so I could go outside for air. I rang my mam. Mams are brilliant. They know how to make you feel better. She told me to breathe, pull myself together, that she was in the best hands and would feel so much better afterwards. After a few deep breaths I got myself together and went back up to wait.

Other red eyed, blotchy faced parents were silently waiting there too. We chatted and reasured each other that all our babies would be fine. None of us expected it to be so hard to watch them go under..

After a while the room started to empty. About an hour after she had gone in the doctor told me she was in recovery. It went well and she was sound asleep. Relief..

Another hour later I was led to the ward where she would be brought back. She had woken briefly but had gone back to sleep again. I didn't blame her, I would have slept too. I sat beside her and watched her sleep. Half tried to distract myself with a book but I couldn't tell you anything that I read.

Another hour passed, Owen arrived with a huge Sully teddy for her. She woke up just as he came in. She was very groggy and a bit disoriented. She couldn't remember much of what she'd been through and just wanted to go home. Out of everything that happened to her the thing that upset her the most was getting the plaster off her hand while they took the drip out. She didn't notice the drip but the plaster bothered her and then she saw the blood and just lost it at that point. We felt bad for her but at the same time relived that she wasn't crying about her mouth.

We were able to take her home.

It's been a few days since then and Abigail is doing great. She doesn't remember much about the hospital but we have talked about it and reasured her with any worries. She had come up with bruises on her face the next day but they have cleared up now and all the swelling is gone. Her mouth is healing well and she has just finished the antibiotics. We have kept her off school as her appetite isn't fully back yet but it's improving every day and she is in great form.

We still have a long way to go with sorting the tooth, she will need a root canal to prevent further infections. She will eventually loose the tooth but we are hoping to get a few years out of it before that. Then she will likely need a bridge or denture. For the moment though we are just focusing on making her feel better and doing what we can to prevent her banging it again.

But kids will be kids..

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Here's to another year!

A year ago today I made the decision to give blogging another go. I had previously attempted but gave up after only a couple of posts. I was determined this time to really give it a go not really knowing where it would take me. I didn't know what to write about or if anybody would be interested in what I had to say but I needed some positivity in my life and a creative outlet to keep my mind busy so I gave it a go. This was my first post A Fresh Start

It was hard going at first, I had a lot of self doubt (I still do mind) and I really didn't know what I wanted from it all but I just kept going, taking breaks here and there but I have learned that the only way to write more is to just keep writing and try not to worry about what other people think. I write this blog for me, it's my hobby, it's something I love and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the blogging community. I never even knew it existed before but to be surrounded by so many creative people and enjoy so many conversations has been amazing. I feel like I have grown in confidence over the last year and have come out of my shell a good bit.

Blogging has brought some fantastic opportunities my way, I never saw myself reviewing products before but it's something I'm really enjoying as I get to try new things and I feel like I am improving my writing or at least becoming more confident with it.

I don't know what the next year has in store for me and my blog but I'm excited to find out, I am learning so much all the time and still feel like it's all very new so I know that there is so much more to learn and improve.

So here's to another year and many more after that!

How long have you been blogging and what keeps you going?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Falling - A Book Review

As the evenings grow darker and the air becomes cooler there's nothing more inviting then curling up in fleece pyjamas with fluffy socks, tucked under a blanket with the fire blazing and becoming completely and utterly immersed in a book, becoming so invested in the characters, your heart aching for them wanting to know their story.

'Falling' is the debut novel by Emma Kavanagh, the Sunday Mirror says it's "A brilliantly executed and engrossing thriller", "Addictive", says Good Housekeeping and they're not wrong. From the moment it landed in my lap it had my interest. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but this one grabbed my attention, black and grey with the title stamped across it in yellow and two sentences..

"A town in mourning.
A murder in waiting."

I wanted to dive straight in but I took a turn last week just as I received the book and was unwell, heavy medication made me drowsy and so I had to wait until Sunday for the fog to lift so I could really take it in. I told myself I would read one chapter before bed on Sunday just to get a feel for it but 5 chapters later I was having to peel myself away and get some sleep. I picked it up again Monday and didn't put it down, seriously, I carried it everywhere with me in case I got two minutes to spare to fit a few more lines in. Finally last night around 2am I finished, it was so worth staying up, I needed to know what happened!

A plane crash. A murder. Straight away you are pulled in. The story follows four main characters, Jim, Tom, Cecilia and Freya.

Jim is a retired police officer whose daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.

Tom's wife was on the plane and he must break the news to their only son.

Cecilia had left her family, but survived the crash, and sees no way out.

Freya is grieving the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.

Four people with something to hide..

The way Emma tells the story is very clever, each chapter moves between characters, their stories unfolding in the moment and in flashbacks. At first I was unsure where it was going but as you delve deeper into their secrets more and more is revealed until you are reaching the end and everything clicks into place. I really do not want to give anything away because it's just fantastic when you get there.

If you want a book that will stop you in your tracks and pull you away from reality then this is it. Secrets and lies, murder and mystery.. 

Emma Kavanagh spent many years working as a police and military psychologist, she was born and raised in South Wales and still lives there with her husband and young son. I can't wait to see what else Emma has in store for the future. You can keep up to date with her on Twitter.

(Disclosure: I received this book as part of the Mumsnet Bookclub for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Hello November

Well that's it the midterm has come and gone, the Halloween decorations were just out and already they are back away in the press. Before we know it the halls will be decked and trees will be up with tinsel glistening in the fairy lights. Too early you might say but the talk of Christmas is buzzing in the air! I hope you all had a lovely midterm? Ours was quiet because I was sick but thankfully I'm feeling much better now, which is good as I have to be up early bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning! The girls have been showered and sent to bed early where thankfully they fell asleep straight away. The uniforms are laid out and just the lunches have to be made.

Are you ready for the school morning rush?

want to say thank you to everyone who got involved in my Halloween Craft Linky and everyone who mentioned it. It was my first linky and I'm very happy with how it went, I think I will have to do another one soon. I'm sorry I didn't get around to sharing all the posts on Facebook and Twitter but they are all up on Pinterest.

So something exciting for this month, my blog will be celebrating it's first birthday!! As this was my second time giving blogging a go I didn't know how long it would last but I'm very proud of how far I've come. I was asked at the start of the year if I had any New Years resolutions, I don't usually make any but I did say I would like to do more with my blog and so far I think I've done that. So onwards and upwards as they say..

I'd like to say thank you to the Irish Parenting Bloggers who are a mine of information and wonderful support. But mostly I want to say thank you, to you my readers, I wouldn't be here without you.. November is a month for being thankful I think, check out My Country Girl Ramblings blog she is having a month full of thankfulness.

So for the last few hours of midterm I'm going to put my feet up and relax and I hope you are doing the same.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Gruffalo: Photo

I was very pleased with the feedback you, my lovely readers, gave me on my review of The Gruffalo: Games app. It seems we have a lot of Gruffalo fans out there, so I'm delighted to share with you another app from Magic Light Pictures, The Gruffalo Photo app.

"The app encourages children and their families to explore and take photographs whilst they are out on their forest adventure. They can even take a #gruffaloselfie!"

Again I can't praise the beautiful graphics and bright colourful characters enough. This is a very easy app for kids to use, they can take a picture of each other or flip the camera around to take a selfie and then decorate it with beautiful frames, stickers of the characters and phrases from the book. My girls had great fun with this. Once you are done the picture saves into a little folder. Now they didn't save to the phone so I just did a quick screenshot of them to show you.

The weather hasn't been good enough to venture out into the woods the last while so the girls drew pictures of the characters instead and we took pictures with them. They each picked out the frames and some phrases and characters, the Gruffalo being the number one choice.

Also in the app is a "things to do" option in the menu that gives you tasks to do like taking pictures of a flower or find something blue. A great way to challenge the kids and encourage their interest in nature.

We give this app a big thumbs up and will definitely use it on our next woodland adventure.

If you happen to be in the UK you might like to know about the new Gruffalo's Child trails that are taking place in England. The Gruffalo's Child will leave her comfortable cave and go into the deep dark wood until February 2015 to inspire children to explore and learn about nature. The app also includes a map and directions to all of the 24 Gruffalo's Child trail locations across England.

Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo for details of Gruffalo's Child activity and trails and to sign up to the newsletter.

The app is available to download in the App Store https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/gruffalo-games/id909269064?mt=8

(Disclosure: I received a download code for the purpose of this review. all opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.)