Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Hollywood Bowl, Tower Park

 Me and Max don't normally get to go out together on Max and Mummy dates. Our weekends are normally full of school things, seeing family or boring stuff. So when Hollywood Bowl invited us to check out their refurbished Tower Park branch we couldn't resist heading down!

Hollywood Bowl have recently re-branded all of their bowling alleys to make them brighter and fun. We were certainly impressed that what once was a dark and dimly lit venue was now a bright, open and airy place. We loved how the bright pink branding and Hollywood stars were plastered all over the venue. It made the experience feel quite special.
Once we turned up it was really easy to book in. We loved the fact that you no longer have to don bowling shoes and as long as you have flat shoes on you can play in your own footwear! The touchscreen displays are perfect for adding players to the game, keeping an eye on your score, popping the bumpers up and even calling a staff member over. 

The staff are so friendly and are on hand in case you need any help (Max somehow ended up with his ball stuck halfway down the lane) and are able to order drinks and food lane side. We had a great member of staff who made sure that our games went smoothly. His enthusiasm didn't falter and I can honestly say that his positivity made our time there so much better.

Of course, like all bowling alleys they are more than accessible for little ones. There is a ramp for kids to push the balls down rather than bowl them. This was great as Max ended up beating me on both games (I say beginners luck!) and ended up getting strike after strike. The staff were great and whenever Max hit a strike or won a game he was award with sticker after sticker all over his top. 

After our mammoth games we had rumbling bellies and couldn't wait to head to the new American diner on site to fill up with some gorgeous grub. We thought ahead and ordered our food lane side as we were finishing up, which meant as we finished our game we just had to find a seat and our food was served.
 The service was fantastic and there was a great variety on the menu. Both me and Max opted for hot dogs and they came with skin on fries and veggie sticks. Max wolfed down his food which is always a sign of a good meal! Mine was definitely filling and tasted delicious. After we had wolfed down our food we headed over to the amusements corner to try our hand at winning a few things. Unfortunately our co-ordination didn't win us any prizes but we had a blast trying.

Hollywood Bowl is an amazing setting for some family fun. Me and Max had an absolute blast spending some quality time together. We're already planning to pop down after school with some of his school friends as it's a perfect way to unwind! Thank you so much Hollywood Bowl for inviting us to your fantastic new venue. It's definitely become one of our favourites.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

One Moment Can Change Everything

You never expect for one moment to change everything, but on this day one year ago our life was rocked. For me it was a normal day at work, until I get a phone call from Scott telling me to get home ASAP as Max has had an accident. In that moment you freeze. I didn't know what had happened but all I knew was that I needed to race home and be there for him. Once I got home I found Max stood in the shower crying his eyes out, his skin red raw. 

In one split second Max had climbed up onto the side of our kitchen worktop, lost his footing and grabbed the closes thing he could. Which turned out to be a hot slow cooker full of dinner. The contents poured down his back, the slow cooker hit his head and in a moment things had gone from happy to life threatening. Before some asks, our slow cooker was always positioned pushed against the wall and as far out of reach as possible. But kid's love to help, they love to be involved and you definitely can't have your eyes on them at all times.

The ambulance service were fantastic, keeping us calm as I swayed between hyperventilating and extreme focus. Scott supported Max the whole way to hospital on his chest as he couldn't lie back due to blisters fast appearing on his back. Once we reached A&E the staff were great at keeping us calm, letting me grab my mum from the waiting room and keeping us up to date on everything that was happening. We were told that the burns whilst not life threatening (thanks to Scott's quick reactions to throw him in the shower) would need looking at properly so we were whisked off in another ambulance to Salisbury hospital who have a specialist burns unit for children. 

By this time it was coming close to midnight, we were all exhausted and I'm so thankful my mum had stayed with us. She works in a hospital and kept us incredibly calm, talking me through the steps and tests they would probably run. Once there the nurses took over and tried to scrape off some of the burnt skin, but swiftly realised it would need closer inspection so a surgeon was called. He advised us that the best thing to do was to take him to surgery the next morning, scrape off the dead skin and apply Biobrane to the wounds so it could heal faster. Whilst it sounded terrifying we put our trust in his hands and agreed.

Watching your child go into surgery is a terrifying thing, but the staff on the ward were fantastic. They turned a scary experience into an exciting one with certificates, stickers and toys to distract him from the pain. Once he came around he was sore and stiff, bandaged all over his torso he was itchy and woozy from the pain killers. It was a few days and several dressing changes later before he was allowed home. I remember it being the same weekend as a conference I was supposed to be at and texting everyone to let them know I wouldn't be there. To be honest, those 4/5 days we were in the hospital felt like time had frozen. Scott was still in shock over everything and felt so guilty for not stopping it. The nurses were great at explaining to Max what had happened and how it was an accident, how no one was to blame and these things happen.

Once we were allowed home we were put in touch with our outreach nurse Nix. She was the biggest star of them all. We saw her on a regular basis and she helped us change his dressings, clean up his face and neck and reassure us that we were doing okay! It was fantastic to know she was there for any niggling panic we had. Because of his Biobrane he wasn't allowed a bath and because his neck and face were badly burnt we had to keep changing the weeping dressings. It was awful seeing Max wanting to go out and see his friends when he just needed to stay put and rest. Luckily we grabbed him some new toys and DVD's to keep him distracted.

After a few weeks Max's Biobrane was allowed to come off. The recovery wasn't over and we've spent hours upon hours rubbing lotions, creams and ointments into his skin to help promote healthy skin regrowth and try and prevent scarring. We need to do this for another year or risk the skin scarring or looking different from his other skin. He has to constantly be covered outside and needs to be closely monitored in case of any problems. I feel like a paranoid parent when I see the tiger stripes on his neck but know that I'm doing it for the right reasons. 

One year on and his skin hardly looks any different. His face flares red when he's hot and runs blue when he's cold but in time that will pass. We've educated Max on how to safely help in the kitchen and did finally get a new slow cooker. Since the accident we've tried hard to educate friends and family on burn safety and burn recovery. When a close friend's son spilt a mug of burning tea on his wrist I knew how she would be feeling and helped her with any concerns she had.

Anything can happen in a moment, sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. We had a bad thing happen, an accident that no one could have predicted. No one was to blame but that moment will stay with us forever. We've learnt to become more cautious, more attentive and adapt to whatever situation throws at us. Max has been such an inspiration throughout and been so incredibly brave. He talks about what has happened and hasn't let any of it phase him. One moment can change everything, but don't let that moment define everything.

Monday, 13 June 2016

An Exciting Weekend.

Now the weather is getting better we are trying to stay outdoors as much as we can. This weekend we headed out to a local woods to go Geocaching with some friends. We are absolutely loving Geocaching. Not only is it showing us new places in an area we thought we had mastered, but it is also getting us out and about doing something that is so much fun. We love the idea that we have to think outside the box, search high and low and find something unexpected. We ended up spending over 4 hours hunting and we were thoroughly tired out by the end of the day!

To keep on the outdoors theme, Max then got an incredibly early birthday present, his first bike! He has been desperate for a bike for months and my mum generously offered to buy him one as an early present. Not only does it mean he can use it in the warmer months, but also my mum gets to see him use his present before she heads off to Tenerife. He spent the afternoon zooming around and only the lure of food managed to get him back in for the night!

We love getting outdoors, it's a perfect way to spend time together and discover something new.