Hospital and Family Memories

Last week I left you as I tackled my roller coaster life. Well, I’ve been so busy since then, but things seems to be getting better. With school visits, shopping and a day out at an inflatable theme park spirits have been lifted a little. Even though I’m a little exhausted too.

Hospital Memories

This week I will be in hospital for the first two days, so I may not be around much. Or I might be if I can get on the internet while in the hospital and I’m bored enough. The hospital is like my second home now, I don’t even have to give my name when I walk into the reception of my usual ward.

It takes me back to just a few years ago when it was the same for Star at the Children’s Hospital. It was Christmas 2013 when she was first fitted with a halo, how appropriate. She earned her nickname Star for all that she went through, she truly shone despite the pain and sadness. Now she has to see her consultant just once a year, but she still has to see a nurse every three months and has another appointment with the very busy geneticist next year. The good news is that she seems to be doing just fine, and she copes so well with her pain. Yes, she is a Star!

Family Memories

This weekend Graham’s brother came up to visit from his home in Dorset. He brought his two young children with him. We had Graham’s Mum come to visit too and they all stayed for the day. It was so lovely to have family around, the kids ran riot and made an awful mess, but I loved it. I do think that my kids are way to quiet and tidy sometimes. When my older two were little the house was never tidy, but they didn’t have laptops or phones to play on. They did have the Nintendo, but still liked to play and make mess. My kids, even when not on devices, will do quiet stuff like draw or read. The Little Man loves his Lego, but he always puts it away after playing. 

Having family around brought back memories for both me and Graham. When we were young the house was often full of cousins and aunts and uncles. We used to have visitors all the time, or we’d be the ones visiting. My mum had five sisters and two brothers, so there were many, many cousins. Usually, me and my two cousins of a similar age would be on tea duty and be sent to the kitchen on a regular basis to make pots of tea for everyone. 

These days it seems a rare occasion when we have lots of family visiting, or we visit family. Most of my family dissipated when my Nan passed away, but one of the main issues is the age differences in my own family. Two of my  brothers are a lot older than me and their children are even older than my eldest children. So the only cousins my youngest kids have are Graham’s brother’s and, as I said before, they live in Dorset. 

Families tend to be smaller these days and families don’t always live close together any more. I know that when I was little, four of my aunties and my Nan all lived in walking distance from us. 

I do miss those family days though. Even though it meant more arguments, more mess, and definitely more cups of tea. It was never dull.

Do you come from a large family, or have a large family now? Do you get together a lot with family?

I’ll leave you with a photo of a tired out Christmas cat 🙂 

black and white cat sleeping on the back of the settee with Christmas decorations in the background.
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My Sunday Photo December 12th 2018

Festive

Christmas is nearly upon on..I know because I have all my food shopping deliveries booked from now until Christmas Eve! I’ve decided to share some festive photos with you today.

a display of Christmas festivity, a tree, reindeer, polar bears, snow men and lots of snow.
School festive display

If you are a regular visitor you may remember that I took my youngest son, The Little Man, out of school in June when bullying had him end up in A&E. I couldn’t find anywhere for him to go straight away so I home educated him for a while. Then in October we found a lovely school, a little further away, that seemed good for him. And they could start him straight away.

festive display showing a lit up tree, snowmen and polar bears
Festive display

Last Monday we went to the school for a Christmas crafting session and were greeted with these lovely displays. But that’s not all, there was a huge sleigh in the foyer, lots of decorated Christmas trees, and the whole school was lit up with fairy lights in bowls, jars and hung up. There was a singing and dancing Christmas tree and a whole corridor where children could hang up the crafts they made at the session. I can’t show you more in photos because the lighting wasn’t good enough for my phone camera, and a lot of photos contained lots of other children which I would not share without permission. But trust me when I say the whole school looked magical.

In the Little Man’s last school there was very little in the way of decoration and I was actually told by the head teacher that they didn’t like to get the kids too excited before Christmas as it affected their work. This was a primary school, children should be allowed to get excited at this time of year surely. Also, there was one Christmas assembly and only the nursery class did a Nativity or Christmas play. 

This year The Little Man has something Christmassy going on nearly every day in the next two weeks and I am so excited to go and see his Christmas performance. I have so missed all this.

p.s. for a lovely idea for a unique Christmas gift and a way of sharing your photos with a loved one, please see my review of Neveo on my previous post. 



Sunday Snap
Photalife



Keeping in Touch with Neveo

Recently, I was contacted by Neveo and asked if I would like to try their product. I was really thrilled and I have been dying to tell you all about my experience with it.

If you are a regular reader you will know how much I love my photographs. I love printing them off and making photo books too and I’ve shared many of them with you. 

We like to share our photos over social media, with a click of a button you can share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. But what if the person you want to share with doesn’t use technology? We tend to forget that there is a whole generation out there that finds technology difficult to master. My Mother had never been near a computer and my Mother-in-law really has no clue what to do on one. Even her mobile phone is used for calls only.

Staying Connected

Neveo asked me to make a magazine of photos to send on a regular basis to my kid’s grandma. With their app. on my phone I can transfer photo’s directly and add some text. Then Neveo take them and print them in a lovely glossy magazine. 

Example magazine
Example magazine

We used to live in the same street at the kid’s Grandma and she would see them every day. Since we moved away they see her less and less, and she’s missing out. But, even if we were still living nearby, I’m sure she’d love a magazine of their photos every month. It’s such a lovely gift, something to treasure.

You can use it for other family members too, just create a profile for Grandad, Auntie, Uncle, Cousin etc. The choice is yours. Once you’ve chosen your recipient you can also ask other family members to join in and add their photos to the same account. For example, for my kid’s Grandma we also asked my husband’s brother to add photos of his children, her other grandchildren.  Then all the photos were combined in one album.

Pages from my album for my kid's Grandma, featuring six photographs with text.
Our magazine

The whole process was simple and the finished magazine was a real treat.

How it Works

You can pick an album of up to 50 or 100 photos to be sent every month. For 50 photos the price is £9.99 per month, for 100 it’s £14.99. There is no extra cost for postage even if you are sending it to another country and you can cancel at any time. Currently there is a special offer of 3 months free on a yearly subscription.

Then you download the app. on your phone and start adding photos to your album from your camera roll, Google or even Facebook.  You can also view these on your online account and add extra photos from your computer. 

example of the app. on a mobile phone
phone app. example

You can also invite other family members to add their photos. They will need to add their own name and password, and only they will be able to add text to their photos.

You can write a quick description about each photo, or add a couple of sentences to make it more personal and chatty, like writing a letter. 

The app. sizes and prints the photos along with the text which means you don’t have to spend hours organising and editing. You can however, move the order of the photos around if you wish.

At the end of the month the magazine is printed and sent off to it’s recipient who it going to be thrilled to receive it.

 a copy of a completed magazine for Grandma
Our magazine

Neveo

Neveo currently has a special Christmas offer where you can get 3 months free on a yearly subscription.

You can download Neveo on IOS Apple

Or Android or you can visit the website

What do you think? Do you have family member who’d love to receive this every month? 

Disclosure: I was asked to review this product but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Word of the Week 7th December 2018

Hello and welcome to the new home of Word of the Week, a nice and simple weekly linky, with everyone welcome to pop by and share. You reflect back on the past week and sum it up in one word. Then share your word with us in a blog post, with as little or as much explanation as you like.

There are not too many rules with this linky, just remember to read at least another couple of posts in the link up after adding your link. Do try to stick to the theme of summing your week up. I will read and comment on all posts and tweet them out for you. Please add the badge below to your post so that others may find us and join in. If you comment or tweet then please use the hashtag #WotW

If you are unfamiliar with the Word of the Week linky then please feel free to ask any questions. New linkers are always welcome, we love to hear what you have been up to in the past week.

My Word of the Week

bees being very busy

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

I have been so incredibly busy since last week. On Saturday we put up the tree and decorations.

On Sunday we had a very exciting visit to an inflatable theme park, InflataNation.

On Monday we visited the Little Man’s School for a Christmas crafting evening, along with hot chocolate and carols. I’ll be posting photos on Sunday, but it was a wonderful evening and I’m so glad we’ve made the right choice of school for our youngest.

Tuesday I had to go an buy some birthday cards for my niece’s 21st. I also stocked up on some Christmas cards and visited the £1 shop for some cheap treats. 

Wednesday I attempted some supermarket shopping. I always do my shop online as I find it much easier, but I am also finding myself buying the same things week in week out. Time for a change, so we went shopping. It wasn’t too bad until some ignorant shopper tried to push me out of the way with his trolley. I have a power chair and it doesn’t push. I just get shunted if someone tries to push me. Anyway, he managed to squeeze past and rush off and I called after him ‘you only had to ask me to move!’ But he was way too keen to get out of there.

Thursday, I had to go to an appointment. It didn’t take long but it did mean that I have been out of the house every day this week since Sunday! 

Today, Friday, I’m not going out. The idea is to get some housework done and maybe even a little baking. We have Graham’s family coming to visit tomorrow. I also have to wrap their Christmas presents as we won’t be seeing some of them again until next year.

Talking about Christmas presents, do you wrap as you go along or do it all in one go? I’ve tried both, but my memory gets hazy as to what the gifts are if I wrap them too soon. 

 

Raisie Bay – Word of the Week



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InflataNation – Birmingham

We were really excited to receive an invitation to visit InflataNation inflatable theme park. My Children have always loved bouncy castles and InflataNation is the perfect place for children of all ages to bounce and play.

We visited the Birmingham InflataNation but you can also find parks in Manchester, Cheshire and Beverley. 

Inflatanation sign

What is InflataNation?

InflataNation is a theme park full of inflatables. Exactly what you would imagine it to be. There are inflatable slides and bouncing areas along with ball pits and activity zones. The park is open to all ages and abilities, so yes, the adults can bounce along with the kids. There is also an area especially for the under fours so that they don’t miss out on the fun.

If you don’t want to bounce, or can’t like me, then there is a fabulous cafe area where they sell food, snacks and drinks.

large inflatable theme park

The Theme Park

From the moment you enter you are floating on inflatables. But there is so much more to do than bounce. The slides are great fun for all and you get a choice of height just in case you are not brave enough for the bigger slides. We liked how you could slide down together in two aisles, it’s a race to the bottom. 

large inflatable slide

My kid’s loved the wrecking ball area where you each stand on an inflated pillar while swinging the wrecking ball at each other. The last man standing is the winner.

There is also a gladiator style duel where you hit each other off the podium with inflatable batons. And an inflatable assault course which two people can race to complete.

Or if you just want to bounce or play in ball pits you can do that too.

You get an hour in the park to enjoy all the activities and there is so much to do the time just flies by.

child pushing a large peg into an inflatable wall

The Cafe

The cafe area was clean and spacious and in the perfect place to watch all the action. 

We decided to have lunch there and were happy with the food served. Two of my children had meals from the kid’s menu, Star and her Dad had pizza and I had a panini. The kids had slushies with their meals while me and their Dad had some nice coffee.

I thought the prices were reasonable, we spent £36 for five of us, but we could have saved money by not choosing the more expensive drinks. Also available were family servings, so you could have pizza or hot dogs for the whole family at a cheaper price than buying individual meals.

The food was served within 15 minutes which was good and it was brought to our table.

the cafe
the menu
Part of the menu, there were also kid’s meals and snacks available

Safety

You are advised to wear long sleeves and long trousers in the theme park because it is possible to rub your skin after excessive play. It is well ventilated to keep you cool, but it’s  constant physical work while in there and you are bound to get a bit hot. I’d suggest covering up in something light. You will need to wear socks.

Before you go in you can read the safety rules which are shown on a big poster on the wall in the cafe. There is also a short safety video to watch and you are guided to view this five minutes before your session starts.

Other Features

There is a viewing area which looks out over the park and you can watch your children play. There are also extra tables and chairs up there to take your food and drinks. This area was accessible by stairs only so I didn’t get to see. Graham took some photos for me.

a view of the inflatable park from above
a view from above of the large slide

There is also a kid’s party venue, a special place set aside for the party goers before they go into the park to bounce.

The theme park also offers several classes including fitness classes, inflata tots and disability friendly sessions. The disability sessions are for those on the autistic spectrum where a calm environment is created and parents or carers can enter for free.

The Cost

The general cost is £9.95 per person for one hour play for over 4s. £5.95 for under 4s. However, there are many offers available such as family passes for two adults and two children for £32.50. You can also pay for extra time, £7 for over 4s and £4 for under 4s. There are also passports for those that wish to attend regularly and different prices. 

Parties vary depending on what package you want but the cheapest price is £12.50 per child.

You can also book adult only parties if you don’t want the kids getting in the way!

Our Verdict

The kids gave the park a big thumbs up and would love to go again sometime. They had tons of fun and it totally wore them out. Graham had fun too, but I think maybe he should have been a bit easier on himself.

I thought the place was clean and spacious. The cafe area was a really lovely place to sit and watch while waiting. Access was easy for my wheelchair and there was a disabled toilet.

The food was nice and the portions a good size.  There was a nice variety of fast food to enjoy and service was good. The coffee was especially nice.

I think the cost was reasonable, especially if you take advantage of the special offers. It makes for a great family outing.

Boo in the inflatable theme park

Please visit https://www.inflatanation.com/ 
for more information. It is recommended that you book your session before arriving.

Disclosure: we were given free entrance to InflataNation for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.