Christmas Wish List from Compare 4 Kids

We found this brilliant compare site for kids. Compare 4 Kids helps you save time and money in listing loads of things you need for your kids whether it is bedroom furniture or Christmas presents.
I tried out their Gift Finder with my eight year old daughter Star.

We logged on and put in our preferences, girl, aged 8 year and set our budget. With £100 to spend we chose one large gift and made up the rest with smaller gifts.

Straight away Star spotted the Snow Cone Slushy Maker for £49.99. We all love slushies so this would be a gift for all the family.

The we went on to the £25 price range and Star chose a board game, Logo billionaire. When clicking through to the shop we found it had been reduced to £17.99 so we are sticking with that price.

Next up was a Robo fish for £11.50.  Then Star spotted The Slap Watches at £7.45 and said she would like two, one for her one for her sister. That’s another £14.90 spent.

The total now stood at £94.78 so that left £5.22. We looked in the £5 section and star found a dinosaur woodcraft set for £4.99.

We found the gift finder fun, quick and easy to use. There was lots to choose from and the price range was brilliant. I’ve bookmarked the site for future shopping sprees.

The Gift finder takes your preferences and then gives you ideas from over 50 of the UK’s top websites such as Argos, Toys R Us, Hamleys, Prezzie Box and many more. It saves you from having to trawl each site individually and lets you see the best prices for what you want to buy. Or if you don’t know what to buy it will give you loads of ideas within your price range.

This is my entry into the Compare 4 Kids competition. All thoughts an opinions are my own (and Star’s)

Christmas List Linky Round Up

Just over a month ago I set up my Christmas list linky, where everyone was invited to submit a blog post featuring a list of anything Christmassy. I’ve had some lovely link ups and as promised here is a little round-up post.

Kerry from Lived with Love submitted her list of Luxury Gifts Ideas for Her, there are some lovely ideas here, I really like the Michael Kors watch.

Sarah from Ups and Downs, Smiles and Frowns submitted her Winter Bucket List, I wonder how many she has achieved? Looking at the list again I see that I’ve still not achieved a few that I would have liked to have done.

There is a whole heap of gift guide lists over on Mums Thumb Reviews.

Over on Emmy’s Mummy (and Harry’s too) There is a fabulous gift guide for 1 year olds. Some really good ideas here if you’ve a little one to buy for.

On The Oliver’s Madhouse the lovely Jaime gives us her list of what she would like her hubby to buy her for Christmas. I wonder if he’s read it yet, what will Jaime find under her tree on Christmas day?

Julie from Mama Owl writes her bucket list for Christmas, including putting the Decs up on 1st December (did you Julie?) and opening presents from the elves on Christmas Eve.

Kim from Northumberland Mam has given us a fantastic list of Christmas Decorations 

And the lovely Steph from Steph’s Two Girls has given us a fabulous list of goodies from Great Gizmos, these would make great stocking fillers.

Suzanne from 3 Children and It has listed their Top Ten Favourite Christmas films, is your favourite there?

Thank you to everyone who has submitted at link so far. If you have a post it’s not too late, the only rules are it should be a list and it should be Christmas related. The linky is open until Christmas eve, so do join in.

Merry Christmas.

Do you have a list of anything related to Christmas? Come and join our Christmas List Linky.

Living With a Halo

One week on from Stars operation and we are learning how to cope with the halo.
Just over a week ago I was thinking of how I would cope with Stars long hair if she had the halo fitted (it wasn’t definite then) but now I see that really was the least of our problems.

 Starting with the hair though, it really isn’t too bad. The halo doesn’t go all the way around the head, there is a gap at the back, perfect for reaching the hair and putting it in a plait or pony tail. We do have screws in the side of her skull which means hair brushing is difficult, but it’s not so impossible to keep it tidy. Also, I’ve been told that it may be possible to wash her hair next week when the pin point wounds have healed more. We just have to find a way of doing it without getting the vest wet.

 Now, our biggest problem is clothing. I didn’t realise just how big the vest is, both at the front and the back. And the bars come right down onto the chest making putting clothes on almost impossible. So far we have managed to fit her in a cardigan which just covered her arms and fitted around her back. So I tried one of my bolero type cardis which has a fastening at the front. It just about does up at the front but tends to slip off her shoulders. The other day I took an old vest top apart and sewed on some ribbons to see if I could adjust it to fit around the vest. I had a little success, although the vest was way too small. I think with a larger vest it just might work but it’s going to look weird. I’ve ordered her some dungarees, and praying that they fit. They seem the perfect solution as they open up at the shoulders. Also, they are adjustable at the sides so we could just leave them open if they don’t fit over the vest. Fingers crossed they do the job.

Another huge problem is getting out, especially to hospital appointments. I currently don’t have a car but I would so appreciate having one right now. We can’t really take her on the bus, it just wouldn’t be safe for her, I’d be scared of her bumping into one of the bars, or someone else. The ride can be quite jolty too, even if I ask the driver to stop while she sits down or gets off. I think she could cope with the stares, we’re kind of used to that with her having to wear a collar for so long. However, the halo is unpleasant to look at and I wouldn’t want to distress anyone on public transport. Taxi’s are a good alternative but so expensive, and we don’t exactly have a lot of money right now. I’ve tried to find some hospital non-emergency transport but so far had no luck. I’m managed to get two offers of lifts from friends and family, that leaves four journeys until the halo is removed. Also, I can’t really take her anywhere else. We have been invited to see a play at the town hall at Christmas but I have no idea how to get her there.

Now, I’m quite used to not having much sleep. The Little Man has only been sleeping through the night for a short while, and Star has never been a good sleeper anyway. However, I’m finding looking after her during the night a big strain. She calls out to me often needing me to turn her over, or rub her knees (this is usually what keeps us awake) or give her painkillers, or just comfort her because she’s distressed. This is happening all night long and I’m lucky to get an hour in-between. I do hope she settles more as she gets used to the halo, for both of our sakes.

Other things we’ve had to get used to are;
Cleaning the pin points. I found it quite hard at first, but now I don’t think too much about it and just get it done. The ones at the back are the hardest because you can’t see past her hair, but I’m so glad they didn’t have to shave her.
Washing. We can’t get the sheepskin under the vest wet, so no showers. She can have a shallow bath, but to be honest, I’d be terrified of her getting in and out, she’s not the best at this without a halo. So it’s wash downs. And we can clean under the sheepskin with baby wipes. I’m dreading what her skin will be like when it comes off.
Stairs. Star has always been a little awkward on the stairs and now it’s ten times worse. Now she has to balance herself and has limited vision. I have to follow her every time she goes up, and come down in front of her just in case.

The halo is big and hard, I’m already sporting bruises on my arms and shoulders from it, and every time I go to kiss her it feels like I’m close to losing an eye. It’s really not a kind or friendly contraption, hugs are out of the question. Also, when you collide with her, and believe me we are trying very hard not too, you worry about hurting her, although she hasn’t complained yet.

On the plus side, and it’s really hard to find a plus side, Star has been brilliant. She hasn’t complained much at all It has to be uncomfortable, and sometimes I watch her facial expressions and know she’s in pain, but when I ask she says something like “it doesn’t hurt too much, mummy” She’s a proper trouper. I really hope this is all worth it and she comes out of it fixed and pain free.

Boo woke up this morning and said “mummy, I had a wonderful dream” I asked her what it was and she said, “Lucy didn’t have to wear a halo or a collar any more and everything was great”

Despite everything my little girl still smiles


Dream Toys for Christmas

Less than three weeks to go to the Big Day! Is all your shopping done yet? With my little hiccup of a week in hospital with Star I’m now falling behind with quite a few things on my shopping list to get. I’ve been checking out what is popular with the kids this year as mine can’t seem to make their minds up and I came across this fantastic list of Dream Toys Here at Argos.

I’m surprised at how many toys come around again. I remember Eldest Daughter having a Furby first time around. She loved it, but I think at the time I played with it just as much as her.
Now you can get the fabulous Furby Boom, bright and colourful and incredibly interactive. The more you your child plays with it, the more it learns. Not only interactive but addictive!

Furby Boom

Another interactive, and one that’s definitely on my girl’s Christmas lists to Santa is the Teksta Puppy, available in pink and blue. It has over 100 interactive play features and comes with a ball and a bone.

Teksta Puppy Pink

How about something for the boys? Lego is always a big hit and this is Lego City Coast Guard Patrol is bound to be a Christmas favourite.

Lego city Coast Guard Patrol

Kids too young for their own Tablet, then the Leappad and Innotab3 are fantastic alternatives with loads of learning opportunities and colours to suit both boys and girls.

Innotab3 and Leappad

Still not found something suitable? Then pop over to Argos and see the rest of their Dream Toys for Christmas right here

Do you have a list of anything related to Christmas? Come and join our Christmas List Linky.

My Angel

On Monday I brought Star into hospital to have a manipulation on her neck to try and get it straight again.
The day started fine, with Star settling in on the ward and having a lesson with the school teacher there. We had a chat with the consultant who told us all the gritty details of what they would be doing in the theatre, all the possible outcomes, what could go wrong and why they had to do it. It wasn’t easy to listen too but we knew it had to be done. We signed the consent form.

Star was taken down to theatre around 1.30pm and we stayed with her while she was put under the anaesthetic. Then we left her.

Nearly three hours later the consultant came to speak to us. They had a few problems in the theatre, one being some soft tissue wedged between the misplaced bones, but they believe they’ve put the bones back. However, it was not as stable as they had hoped and so they fitted her with a halo collar while she was still under the anaesthetic. Then he took us to see her which was really difficult. Star was incredibly distressed and she looked awful.

The halo collar is to prevent her from moving her neck at all, it keeps it perfectly straight. The collar consists of a vest made of plastic which is lined with sheepskin. She cannot take it off. Around her head is a metal band which is screwed into her skull by eight screws. The band, or halo, is attached to the vest by metal rods. None of it can be removed by anyone but a doctor.

Star has been so brave but she really doesn’t like the halo collar, who can blame her really? She knows it is screwed in and is totally freaked out by it. It’s hot, itchy, uncomfortable, sore, heavy and just plain ugly. She will have to keep it on for six weeks, we can only pray that by this time her neck will be fixed.

I don’t think we realised just how distressing it would be. We were told that the halo collar might be used but they couldn’t tell us for definite before she went into theatre. Because she was in theatre so long we realised that it was probably because they were fitting the halo. I will never forget how I felt when we went to meet her and I saw it for the first time. I couldn’t even cuddle her properly.

Star has never really been a cuddly person, but I so miss getting close to her, even kissing her is awkward, those pins could have your eye out! The first time I saw the wounds in her skull I felt like vomiting, but I had to hide my feelings so as not to distress her further. You soon get used to them though. I would be quite happy to clean them, which of course will be my job once she is home from hospital.

We tried to prepare her for the halo but we didn’t want to scare her too much and of course we didn’t know for sure it was going to be fitted. So we omitted the fact that it would be screwed into her skull. She didn’t take this too well, who would? She still keeps asking to have it off constantly, but you can see that she is getting used to it.

She has also been feeling pain in her neck, just as much as before the manipulation, but that’s normal. The pain will be controlled with drugs until she feels better. The first time she moved off the bed (to use a commode) she had a really bad shaking fit which was really scary. Just one day later though and she’s helping herself off the bed and walking to the toilet. She would shake a little but she was determined to do it.

I thought that her neck would be straight but I noticed straight away that it wasn’t. The consultant said they had over compensated so that she was slightly bent in the opposite direction. This is in case the bones decided to pull back. But what if they don’t? I’m having trouble trying to understand this idea. I thought the halo was used to stop her neck moving after the manipulation, so how would the bones slip back anyway? I have to trust the doctors though, they obviously know more than me.

Today, day three and Star has been up out of bed a few times. Her teacher had her sitting at a table making cookies. I think Star was about three quarter’s there, she was just going through the motions, but carried on without complaint and was proud of the end result, even though she couldn’t eat more than a nibble. She was taken to the stairs by the physio therapist who made her walk up and down them, which she did without complaint but was happy to get back to bed afterwards. She didn’t move again all day.

This is Star this afternoon, relaxing in front of her bedside tv.


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.