Monday 31 March 2014

Reasons to be thankful for Nintendo - quarantined in the car

I just can't shake this dam lurgy, it feels like we've all had some sort of ailment for quite some time and because I only had an hour sleep last night I feel rough. We've come to see nanny roo as it's Mother's Day and rather than spread my lovely germs around perfectly healthy people I have quarantined myself to the car on the drive. That may sound like a boring way to spend an hour or two for some people but then we work with Nintendo so this sort of quiet time is covered.

Opeie wanted a couple of new games to play for his birthday. He's such a cool 3 year old and is a bit of a Mario geek already which I love as the mustachioed plumber shaped a huge chunk of my childhood. So we got him Mario 3d land. Also it seems that Adventure time has found it's way into our daily life so I thought we would get him the new game too. Ive become a bit of a fan myself.

Being the super dad that I am I thought I should give them both a try for him, at least then I'll know what I'm doing when he inevitably asks for help, so all that's left to do now is put my feet up for an hour or so In our automobile of germs and hope that jumping on a few koopa troopers will help take my mind of this never ending lurgy.

I'll add this to my reasons to be thankful for Nintendo.

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

Were so happy to be over all the drama from Friday. Seth's operation went by without issue and we couldn't be more relieved. Friday was a strange day which resulted in Mrs M stopping in with Seth over night and me heading home with Opeie. Although I'm always with Opeie (he's been like an extra limb since day one), I'd never actually spent a night alone with him and the thought of it was making me very anxious. That probably sounds a little over dramatic but Opeie's sleep has always been erratic and he has never slept through. That part I can deal with the problem is that Mrs M feeds him through the night and sadly I am ill equipped to give our growing boy what he wants. I had visions of me driving miles down the motorway in the middle of the night to get him to Mrs M or just being up all night with him screaming.

So while Mrs M took care of our big soldier and kept him entertained on the ward I was doing everything I could do to tire Opeie out in hope for a long sleep from fun exhaustion. It's seems the driving to and fro from the hospital, the entertaining Opeie and the anxiety had unfortunately taken it's toll though and I was dropping off by 8pm  with no sign of Opeie feeling sleepy.

It was a strange feeling being away from Mrs M, it kind of felt like we had broken away Into teams for the night. Although Seth was getting increasing annoyed by his cannula Mrs M's hospital updates were putting a smile on my face and I could never be more thankful for FaceTime I wonder how people ever coped without it.


By 9pm Opeie was ready for bed so I sat him down and explained again that mommy wasn't going to be home tonight and it was a little adventure with daddy. Maybe it was luck, exhaustion or that at 3 he fully understood where and why mommy was at the hospital with Seth but he was a real gem and I'm so proud of how he coped with his first night away from Mrs M. He woke up three times but I rocked him straight back off to sleep each time with no tears or issue.

6:15 and he woke with a big smile on his face and eager to go and get his big brother. Mrs M got the thumbs up from the hospital that Seth was being discharged and us boys headed out early  to pick up out well loved cargo. It's amazing how one small change can make such a massive impact on your family life and although the night went by without any problems it made me realise even more how much I love Seth and how much I love and Need Mrs M with me on this amazing adventure through parenthood. As I pulled up outside the hospital and saw Mrs M's hair looking like she'd been dragged through a hedge and hearing Seth tell me how much he loved me and missed me while holding me tight it just made it even more clear how lucky I was and how smitten I am by these three amazing and beautiful people.

Thursday 27 March 2014

"To the patient, any operation is momentous."

No matter how many times people say "when you have children time flies by" it doesn't prepare you for how fast it actually is. Tomorrow Opeie turns three and I really can't believe how quickly that time has gone by. I can happily say though that we have crammed in many adventures along the way and I think he has a great life.

Sadly though there won't be any celebrations tomorrow as the lovely people of the NHS had given us 11 days notice of an operation that Seth needs which has unfortunately landed on Opeie's big day. It seems like we're having to postpone it for a few weeks until we have the time to celebrate it the way we want. I know it can't be helped and at 3 he doesn't really understand but I'm still feeling a little guilty about it but under the circumstances Seth is our main priority.

Seths been going through a roller coaster of emotions which has taken it's toll on him and he's exhausted, the poor thing, but hopefully the op will go by issue free and he'll be back home to relax with us. It's a shame that things like this have spoiled our plans, we had planned a weekend in Brighton and lots of fun for the boys but when you have children sometimes you just need to put things into perspective. Doesn't make it easier that Seth was crying last night saying he had ruined Opeie's birthday, he really does take the wait of the world on his shoulders.

You may not hear from me for a few days but I hope you all have an amazing weekend.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

"A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities."

Yesterday while I was cleaning Seth's room I stumbled upon a well hidden box of Lego I didn't even know we had. I'd sat and organised most of the Lego a few weeks back and this box had managed to go undetected. So while we were waiting for tea to cook we emptied out the hidden box and Seth came up with a family Lego competition. Build a futuristic vehicle.

Seth's little face lit up when Mrs M sat down to join in too. I think Seth loves the fact that he can be the master builder and show mommy how to build. I love how he proudly takes the things I've shown him and explains them to Mrs M.

Opeie was busy pottering about so Seth decided Opeie could be the judge. I don't need to tell you out there how much I love Lego, it really is the best toy ever. Anyway after about 40 mins of building, Seth told us it was judging time. We each had to present our creation to Opeie and try and sell it to him, like Dragons den but with Lego. So here are the results as picked by Opeie:

Bronze went to me. I think I lost points for it being a single seater but also because the driver was on his phone while driving, tut tut...

Silver went to Seth and his flying/driving space vehicle that split Into two separate vehicles for excellent getaway, built in CCTV and ejector seat. The Lego vehicle equivalent of a Swiss Army knife...

And gold went to a very proud Mrs M (who couldn't cover up that certificate smile) for her very pink police/fire truck from space. Space to carry baddies below. The driver/pilot is part mutant and has wings for swooping down on the less desirable members of her planet.

Even though he spent the Lego session pottering about Opeie still managed to dazzle us with his building skills by creating this head transporting vehicle. A great little unexpected building session and a fantastic toy that I could happily write about every day.

Saturday 22 March 2014

“Tis hatched and shall be so”

Since becoming part of the Nintendo family bloggers network we've been so excited about receiving our first item to review. So when our first game arrived last week with a huge chocolate Yoshi egg attached the boys were all smiles and ready for a bit of gaming. Seth was the first to play so only fair that it was up to him to take the lead on the post...

"hi its Seth, i was so happy when Pauly said our first game had come from Nintendo, i love my 2ds and really wanted to try a new game. I love writing the blog and being able to play with cool things. We have Yoshi's island for the Ds so i couldn't wait to try out the new one.

I really like Yoshi, he's one of my favourite characters, i like toad too. Yoshi's New island has baby Mario and Luigi in which is cute and Opeie really likes the baby Mario characters. I haven't got far in to the game but i love it when Yoshi eats the really big baddies."

"Opeie is really good at playing the game too, actually Opeie is really good at playing most games. I can't even beat him sword fighting on Sports resort. I'm really looking forward to playing the rest of the game".

The boys have been having so much fun playing and as with all the Mario based games i was hooked from the get go. The game follows suit with the previous releases but the graphics as expected have much better definition. I'm only a few worlds in myself but i love the colourful creative themed levels using different art styles. I'm thinking i might take full advantage of some quiet gaming time in the bath again tonight to catch up.

The game is easy to pick up and play and is great for younger children, Opeie being almost 3 picked it up and played it like he had been playing it for months which i think is great when you have younger gamers in the house who want to get involved in the games their older brothers and sisters are playing.

For me the thing that stands out most about this game are the fun graphics but i also love the new additions from the old game like the giant eggs to throw that destroy pipes and walls and the in level mini games where you can take your fingers off the buttons and use the motion sensors in the console to move around. Its a really great touch to the game and gives it a real edge.

(Apologies for the video quality its difficult filming yourself while playing!)

When the game arrived we downloaded it on to our 2ds so i cant really write about how good the 3ds compatibility is but I'm sure as its a game released by Nintendo it would be amazing.

Blogging for Nintendo is great and I'm in geek heaven. Stay tuned for all our up and coming gaming posts.

Friday 21 March 2014

"I hear a hoot in the trees ahead."

A mouse took a stroll...

Through the deep dark wood.

A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.

"Where are you going to, little brown mouse? Come and lunch in my underground house."

"It's terribly kind of you, Fox, but no - I'm going to have lunch with a Gruffalo."

"A Gruffalo? What's a Gruffalo?"
"A Gruffalo! Why, didn't you know?"

"He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, And terrible teeth in his terrible jaws."

"Where are you meeting him?"
"Here, by these rocks.
And his favourite food is roasted fox."

Roasted fox! I'm off! Fox said.
"Goodbye, little mouse," and away he sped.

"Silly old Fox! Doesn't he know, There's no such thing as a Gruffalo?"

On went the mouse through the deep dark wood. 

An owl saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.

"Where are you going to, little brown mouse?
Come and have tea in my treetop house."

"It's terribly kind of you, Owl, but no –
I'm going to have tea with a gruffalo."

"A gruffalo? What's a gruffalo?"
"A gruffalo! Why, didn't you know?

He has knobbly knees, and turned-out toes,
And a poisonous wart at the end of his nose."

"Where are you meeting him?"
"Here, by this stream,
And his favourite food is owl ice cream."

"Owl ice cream! Toowhit toowhoo!"
"Goodbye, little mouse," and away Owl flew.

"Silly old Owl! Doesn't he know,
There's no such thing as a gruffalo?"

On went the mouse through the deep dark wood.

A snake saw the mouse, and the mouse looked good.

"Where are you going to, little brown mouse?
Come for a feast in my logpile house."

"It's terribly kind of you, Snake, but no –
I'm having a feast with a gruffalo."

"A gruffalo? What's a gruffalo?"
"A gruffalo! Why, didn't you know?

His eyes are orange, his tongue is black,
He has purple prickles all over his back."

"Where are you meeting him?"
"Here, by this lake,
And his favourite food is scrambled snake."

"Scrambled snake! It's time I hid!"
"Goodbye, little mouse," and away Snake slid.

"Silly old Owl! Doesn't he know,
There's no such thing as a gruffal...?"


But who is this creature with terrible claws
And terrible teeth in his terrible jaws?
He has knobbly knees, and turned-out toes,
And a poisonous wart at the end of his nose.
His eyes are orange, his tongue is black,
He has purple prickles all over his back.

"Oh help! Oh no!
It's a gruffalo!"

"My favourite food!" the Gruffalo said.
"You'll taste good on a slice of bread!"

"Good?" said the mouse. "Don't call me good!
I'm the scariest creature in this wood.
Just walk behind me and soon you'll see,
Everyone is afraid of me."

"All right," said the Gruffalo, bursting with laughter.
"You go ahead and I'll follow after."

They walked and walked till the Gruffalo said,
"I hear a hiss in the leaves ahead."

"It's Snake," said the mouse. "Why, Snake, hello!"
Snake took one look at the Gruffalo.
"Oh crumbs!" he said, "Goodbye, little mouse!"
And off he slid to his logpile house.

"You see?" said the mouse. "I told you so."
"Amazing!" said the Gruffalo.

They walked some more till the Gruffalo said,
"I hear a hoot in the trees ahead."

"It's Owl," said the mouse. "Why, Owl, hello!"
Owl took one look at the Gruffalo.
"Oh dear!" he said, "Goodbye, little mouse!"
And off he flew to his treetop house.

"You see?" said the mouse. "I told you so."
"Astounding!" said the Gruffalo.

They walked some more till the Gruffalo said,
"I can hear feet on the path ahead."

"It's Fox," said the mouse. "Why, Fox, hello!"
Fox took one look at the Gruffalo.
"Oh help!" he said, "Goodbye, little mouse!"
And off he ran to his underground house.

"Well, Gruffalo," said the mouse. "You see?
Everyone is afraid of me!
But now my tummy's beginning to rumble.
My favourite food is – gruffalo crumble!"

"Gruffalo crumble!" the Gruffalo said,
And quick as the wind he turned and fled.

All was quiet in the deep dark wood.
The mouse found a nut and the nut was good.

The walk from home to the supermarket is an hour round trip, its amazing what you can spot if your having a really good look about. This post came about because Opeie picked up his mouse before leaving the house and told me "we need to find a snake, a fox and an owl". There really is adventure round every corner... if your willing to make the effort.

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

It's sports relief day at Seths school today which means a sports related mufty day. Seth toyed between boxing and American football but we all knew American football would have the final touch down.

So after retrieving the ball from the garden and ironing Seth's varsity jumper all that was left to do was add his war paint and our little linebacker was ready for action. "Blue 42 set hike".

Monday 17 March 2014

"Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good."

Ive been meaning to write this post for a week but haven't got round to it till now. Gifts from the Pirates has been asked to join the Nintendo parent bloggers and we can't wait to get stuck in. I'm a big Nintendo geek and the boys have gone Mario crazy since being introduced, so we're really excited to be reviewing products for a company we love so much. All that's left to do now is pop our feet up, hit the tea and biscuits (courtesy of Nintendo) and switch our consoles on.

Our first Nintendo review will be up in the next few days and the boys have been having a good play of our first game Yoshi's New Island and its a good one. Stay tuned for more gaming fun.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe."

When Opeie is at his weekly dance class he always loves the instrument section. Two big boxes of instruments come out for the children to pick from and Opeie really enjoys dancing around making a noise. Today was one of those annoying days where I knew there were packages coming and I didn't want to miss them, so as we were pottering around the house I thought a musical craft session was in order.

Opeie had been dancing around the lounge to Katy perry and the Ramones this morning (eclectic taste just like his dad), we needed some instruments to compliment our moves so we searched the house for inspiration and got to it. First up we decided to make some maracas. Julie who teaches the dance class loves to get hers out and shake them about so we wanted some too. Opeie loves toy surprise eggs (which I have written about before), so we have ended up with a box of empty plastic eggs perfect for a good craft session. Opeie chose to fill his with small bells and I chose lentils.

After filling our eggs we taped them up and taped a plastic spoon to each side of the egg. We used some Duck tape to make a handle and our DIY maracas were complete...

Next up was mini castanets. I've used old Dr Seuss books that we have multiples of for many craft ideas we've had (remember the bunting?). I tend to use the inner pages but get left with the covers, so We doubled them up with a fold for extra strength and cut out an oblong shape. We then folded it again and glued in a 2p piece to each inside fold. Simple yet very effective Cat in the Hat castanets.

I'm quite sure all of us have got at least one 'messy drawer in the house. Since moving in to this house we've had a draw in the hall that is full of mini bells that jingle every time you try and get something out of it. While we were sitting at the table I saw Opeie trying to thread bells onto a sparkly pipe cleaner so I helped him out and we came up with a jingle wand type instrument.  Very creative on Opeie's part.

Opeie then stared playing with some Lego pieces that were on the table so in keeping with our musical craft session we made a Lego scratch board for making skritchy scratchy sounds.

And then it was time to make our musical masterpiece. We love dancing and singing and as soon as Mrs M and Seth are home we'll be making great music as a family.