Puzzler World 2013

Okay – so the kids are mad about puzzles, any sort of puzzle from crosswords, to word searches, Sudoku, number puzzles…….you name it we play it! Oh did I not say? I love puzzles too – such a great way to unwind.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a copy of the Puzzler World 2013 for the Nintendo DS. At the cost of £14.99, it seems a small price to pay to have so many puzzles at our fingers tips. The fact that you can pop the DS in your bad or pocket and take it anywhere was an added bonus.

So what’s it like? Well there are loads of games to play, and when I say loads, I really do mean lots and lots – in fact if you finish one game there are plenty more to get through and loads of levels to boot. There are lots of the old games that you would find on Puzzler 2012, but a few new ones as well – so you get all of your own favourites, pus a few extra that will so be joining your favourite list.

The variety of games mean that there is something for everyone – my youngest particularly likes the fruit machine and my son prefers the anagrams. They are challenging enough to get you hooked and make you want to play more! We often play together and it’s great that you can play bonus games and gain hints to help you when you get stuck – which you will at one point or another!

So as a family of puzzlers, would I buy this again? Well, for me I could sit and play on it for hours – especially when there is very little on TV and the OH is watching yet another football match. My son (who is 11) really enjoyed it at first, but got bored with the easier levels – he would prefer to be able to jump to the more difficult ones. My daughter (7) really enjoyed it. She needed a bit of help to navigate her way to the games she wanted to play, but soon got the hang of things – she’s even introduced Nanny (who loves a puzzle)  and now Nan is thinking of borrowing the DS when the kids are at school!

All in all, for £15 this is definitely worth the money – plenty to keep you al entertained, a great game for playing together or on your own and superb for taxing your brain and keeping it active. If you have enjoyed previous Puzzler World games, you’ll want to get this one too, and if you haven’t tried it before – give it a go. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked!!!!

It started with a ……gum shield?

So far, the transition from Primary to Secondary had been plain sailing. Son had settled in well, made new friends, hadn’t got lost (much) and seemed quite happy. Until this morning…….why do these things always happen when you are in a rush or have to be somewhere at a certain time? Today, I needed to be at work on time because it’s assembly day and I needed to take my tutor groups register. Today was also the day when my son’s emotions, tiredness and feelings of being overwhelmed decided to come to the surface-all at once.
It started with a………gum shield! Desperate to play rugby, my DS got up early this morning to boil up this lovely, brightly coloured piece of rubbery stuff so that he could mould it around his beautiful teeth in preparation for rugby training this afternoon. On first attempt, he heaved but he boiled it again and prepared to give it another shot. Round two lasted a few seconds longer, but by round three he was gagging! I could see him getting more and more frustrated and tried to encourage him to leave it, explaining that he probably wouldn’t need it the first time anyway. Well, at first it was a trickle, then proper tears and finally full blown sobs. It started with the gum shield, then he was hot ( worked himself into a state ) and then he didn’t feel well and didn’t think he could manage school.
At this point, you are torn between caring for you son who has bravely entered the big wide world of Secondary school, worrying about what work will say if you phone them and say you can’t come in after seven weeks off or giving your child some tough love because you know it’s the right thing to do!
In my head, I knew he was just tired and that everything seemed ten times worse than it was. But my heart was telling me that he needed a big hug and some downtime. Cycling three miles a day when you used to have a three hundred metre walk to school is a big change. Couple this with a new environment, making new friends and lots of homework every night, and you know as a Mum that it’s going to have an impact on them.
So what did I do? Well, we sat and had the hug and we discussed the issues. I calmed him down and he composed himself. I gave him the choice- did he feel ok to go to school? Could he manage to get through the day knowing that he could come home, chill out and have an early night? Now at this point, I know some of you are probably thinking that I am mad to even give my son a choice….but that’s where you are wrong. You see, I know my son and I know that he will always endeavour to make the right decision. He wiped his eyes, washed his face and told me that he wanted to goto school. He told me that the bike ride and the fresh air would probably make him feel better.
He sent me a text to let me know he had arrived at school and was ok. He text me at break to let me know that the morning had been good and he felt better. But when he sent a text at lunch, he said he was tired. I told him we would have his favourite tea and an early night….he sent back :~). My son doesn’t text me often, usually just to ask me if he can go to a friends, or pop to the shop on the way home. Today he needed my support. Yes, it broke my heart to see him upset and going off to school, and yes I was late for work, but today my son learnt a valuable lesson. He learnt to persevere. He also knows that I am there for him, and our little text messages through the day got him through it.
What has today taught me? That I have an amazing son that I am really proud of……a boy who won’t give up at the first hurdle. As a mother I couldn’t ask for anything more!

To blog or not to blog, that is the question!

Ok, so I started writing a blog when we went on holiday just over three weeks ago. Have I enjoyed it and should I continue I ask myself…….well, first of all, it is something that I have really enjoyed doing. It is definitely better use of my time than trawling through FB, and I am keeping a record of the more important things in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, FB is great for keeping up to date with what friends and family have been doing etc, but putting your blog out there for others to see and read, just seems….I don’t know, more satisfying?
And there’s the other side to it too. Since blogging and embracing @Twitter, I am finding lots of people writing about things that I am interested in. It allows me to share other people’s experiences that are similar to mine and I hope eventually that I will have a wider network of people to share and comment with.
Considering that this time last year I was only just learning to Tweet, I am pleased with how far I have come and it has inspired me to carry on. This week I have already contributed to #WordlessWednesday and now #SilentSunday, and joined in with @Britmums with their #snaphappy moments!
I know that I cannot sustain updating my blog on a daily basis so I am going to aim for once a week, twice if I can and even more if eventful things happen! My aim now is to try and comment on other people’s blogs and find new and interesting ways to share my blog with others. I have already linked my FB and @Twitter account this week, so now it’s onto Google+, Pinterest and many more……
I would really welcome any comments or advice from those of you who are already blogging – thank you to @superamazingmum for the encouragement and information already gratefully received!

Is it my ears?

I’ve got into the habit of listening to my music before going to sleep…. I know, it’s dangerous to lay in bed with your headphones in, yes- I know I could strangle myself in my sleep…. Fat chance!
Is it my ears or does everyone have problems keeping the tiny little headphones in? There I am, trying to drown out The OH’s snoring and relax before I fall into a deep sleep…. But no, the stupid things just keep falling out! I’ve tried them up the right way, the wrong way, sideways, even in the opposite ears! Relaxed? I get so stressed that they won’t stay in, that I end up cross and contemplating whether it’s the fact that my ears are too small/too big/funny shaped or it’s the ear buds themselves!
My conclusion? I have small ears. No matter how hard I try, the little buggers just won’t fit in…. The buds are just too big for my ears! I never had any problems with the retro style headphones that had little sponges on….. Where can I find some? Answers on a tweet to @jadeano please!
I’m guessing the old style ear buds weren’t that hygienic (especially if you didn’t clean your ears…..eeewwww yuk!) but there was something about the sponge thingy that made them stay in.
So, in short, I am giving up listening to my music before bed until I can find some headphones that fit. Anyone know where I can go to try some for size??????

Update…..look what I found in Poundland! *sigh of relief* let’s hope these foam pads do the trick!!

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Or maybe these will work better?

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Frustrated…..

Woke this morning to find my FB friends playing the alphabet game with animals……what a great idea and a bit of fun first thing in the morning – what’s next Claire?
Kids and I are off to the cinema today to see Brave – have you seen it? There’s not much else on for us to see as we have already seen Ice Age 4…..which was really easy watching and quite funny. It was a bit slow to start, but soon picked and kept the kids entertained for nearly two hours!
We’re taking advantage of Orange 2 for 1 and O2 priority moments offering free hot dog, popcorn or nachos, so it works out quite a cheap day out! I quite often forget about Orange Wednesdays…..if you don’t have a code, you can always get someone else to text you one!
Anyway, I have one grumpy daughter this morning who is getting the hump over everything……getting dressed her leggings don’t feel right, her socks don’t fit properly, her t-shirt is too tight around the arms and it goes on! I don’t know where this moody phase has come from, but I hope it doesn’t last too long. She has been through half of her wardrobe already. *sigh*
Anyway, the reason for my blog title today is because things just aren’t working as they should be. My Virgin superhub keeps dropping my wi-fi. This has been an ongoing problem for some weeks now, and I’ve had an engineer visit and a new hub and the problem is still there! The response from Virgin was that I don’t pay for wi-fi as it is a free service, therefore I cannot complain or expect it to work…..I should just use the data cable that came with my IPad/iPhone and use an Ethernet cable for my laptop. Really? How about my contract with Virgin finishes in two weeks and I go somewhere else instead!
Second reason – got my son a bike from Halfords for his birthday. He has taken it to his cycling course, only to be told that it has not been built properly….gears aren’t working as they should be, lights are on upside down and in the wrong place and they cannot believe it was sent out of the shop as it was! So now, I am taking the bike back for a service- not to the New Malden branch where they built it….it wasn’t even ready when they told us it would be, but back to the Epsom branch who are hopefully better. It’s going to be great fun trying to get a bike and two kids into the back of my car!!!
Anyway, how has your day been? I’m hoping that it’s better than mine so far, although I am hoping that mine is going to improve this afternoon ( the weather too!)
If you’re a Virgin customer, I’d really like to hear how you are getting on with your superhub as it seems to be quite a common problem!
Well, off to get the bike and kids in the car now….time for the cinema! Enjoy your day x