Our story with Kawasaki Disease.

Our story with Kawasaki Disease.

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Kawasaki’s disease.
Ever heard of it before? Nope, me either – it’s uncommon, but it’s serious and I feel more parents should know about it…
Please read THIS FACT SHEET to learn more (seriously, click that and read it, learn the symptoms)
This is a disease that should be on every parent’s radar. It is noncontagious but it’s very serious and needs treatment in under 10 days to help reduce the risk of long term damage to the heart.
Let me tell you our story with Kawasaki’s….

Saturday the 20th of October – LuLu’s party day, we woke up and our little man was just a bit “off” – nothing major, just grumbly and a bit clingy. He enjoyed the party and spending time with his Nan, but he didn’t eat as much as normal and we all agreed it was probably due to a big molar he was cutting. That afternoon he started getting lethargic and that night was dreadful. He was awake screaming & he had a fever in the high 38c’s.
Sunday morning when we woke up he had a rash on his tummy, by the time we had finished breakfast and we changed his nappy again it had spread to his back. So off to the hospital emergency department we went.
The doctor thought it could be just a viral thing – possibly hand, foot and mouth, I didn’t feel it was that – but being a viral thing made sense – kids get those.
By 4pm that same day the rash had intensified, so back to the hospital we all went. This time a new doctor said it was a random allergic reaction, Tommy was given an antihistamine and then steroids.

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This was his rash just before 4pm on Sunday evening.

We went home after a few hours and when we woke up Monday morning around 6am the rash had faded and he seemed to be on the mend.
A few hours later before 9am, the doctor from the hospital called and wanted us to return, she believed it maybe scarlet fever. By the time we arrived at the hospital, Tommy had gone back down hill and the rash had returned. (The steroids and antihistamine had masked the rash temporarily) We were given a script for penicillin and went home. At midday he started vomiting, I contacted the hospital they said it could just be the combination of scarlet fever, high temperatures and medicine making him a little unwell. He threw up a few more times and then again after we woke on Tuesday morning and now he had diarrhoea. We took him back to the hospital.
This time he had a blood test straight away and a cannula was inserted to start fluids.

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His “bear paw” – his first cannula.

They ran many tests; blood cultures, x-ray and from memory I think they started a broad spectrum antibiotic. And they started organising transfer to Toowoomba either by ambulance or care flight – which ever could come first. Ambulance it was.
Dalby Hospital did everything they could for our little man and their level of care was great. I can’t fault them for the multiple diagnosis, from what I have read this is very common in the early stages of Kawasaki’s because the rash and symptoms continually change and the symptoms could be many different illness, it’s all a process of elimination. The doctors and nurses really cared for him and we are so thankful.
Before 2pm on Tuesday we were loaded into an ambulance with a lovely nurse, I’ve never been in an ambulance before so that was an experience and I sat beside him holding his hand for our very quick trip. Trent and Lucy followed behind.

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I sat in the seat beside him on the right and he slept most of the trip. Thankfully we got there very quickly.

We arrived at the base hospital in Toowoomba, we were told paediatricians were on stand by waiting for us – we weren’t seen at all by one, so there may have been so miscommunication. Tommy threw up all over me again while we waited. We ended up asking for a transfer over to the private hospital and drove ourselves there. We couldn’t watch him become more unwell and no one could tell us when he would be seen properly. The base hospital was very busy.
We arrived at the private hospital at 7pm and were given a bed and a private room immediately. That night our little man suffered through more blood tests and they had to put in another cannula. He was started on more fluids and antibiotics. At this point they were worried about sepsis, a few viruses and possibly meningitis. Those possibilities were terrifying. We were exhausted at this point it was a hugely long day, I believe Trent left us at around 10pm that night to go back to Dalby.
The next few days were a blur with lots of tears, I sat in a hospital bed scared out of my mind holding our little man who just slept. He didn’t want to do anything and he was so upset. I felt like a zombie and my heart was shattered. Days earlier he was his normal cheeky self. I was wracking my brain trying to think how he got sick and I didn’t stop praying for him to get better. Trent drove in each day to be with us.
Wednesday was a rough day of more tests and this was the day he started to swell up. His little body went puffy, his hands and feet were like little balloons and his eyelids were so swollen. He is normally such a petite little guy, in hospital he gained 1kg due to the swelling. And his eyes were so red and blood shot, they looked painful.
Thursday I remember he sat up and finally ate something, he ate a jatz biscuit and a lemonade ice block for breakfast and then some weetbix. That was a huge moment, he hadn’t eaten for most of the week except a small amount of yogurt on Tuesday – which I ended up wearing anyway. He also had to have another new cannula put in that day, his 3rd one.

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During all these days we were waiting on blood test results, monitoring him constantly, weighing nappies, measuring water and our paediatrician was conferencing with the Lady Cilento paediatric team and infectious disease management team. His rash continued to spread down his arms and legs and he remained so puffy.
Thursday evening the paediatrician asked me if I had ever heard of Kawasaki’s disease… I hadn’t. She and the doctors she had been speaking to believed this is what he had, unfortunately there is no test for this disease – just ruling out other possible problems and that’s what we had been doing. Eliminating other viruses and illnesses. Every test was coming back fine, well not fine. His inflammation levels were through the roof, the highest she said she had seen in such a young child, his kidneys and liver weren’t doing great and multiple other worrying results – but for specific viruses nothing was coming back. Throat swabs, nasal swabs, stool, urine, bloods – it showed no illness – but there was clearly something going on.
We were waiting on one more test result to come back before we treated for Kawasaki’s… The only symptom that wasn’t exactly right for Kawasaki’s was his temperature wasn’t getting over 39c, but it was in the mid-high 38c – but the doctors believe the steroids he had been given on Sunday evening were effecting his fever. Because even with regular panadol & nurofen his temperature would continue to be higher than normal and he felt so hot.
The test result still wasn’t back by Friday afternoon – so we agreed it was best for Tommy to start the treatment anyway. The treatment is intravenous immunoglobulin – so it was not dangerous at all for him to have. Trent and I sat with him while the treatment happened and we prayed so much that it would work.

 

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Receiving the IVIG treatment.

Trent stayed in hospital with him that night and I went home to snuggle LuLu.
Saturday he did seem to pick up, he was more alert and playing. He was actually playing with toys! He ate more and just seemed brighter. We were so thankful that this treatment had seemed to work, if it hadn’t he would’ve had another round of it and if that failed, then he would receive a lumbar puncture – but thankfully we avoided that.
I stayed Saturday night and it was awful. We barely slept at all and I feel it was because he was more alert, suddenly he was much more aware of where he was and he was scared. So that was rough, but understandable with the constant nurse checks and flushing of his cannula. He was so sick of being poked and prodded!
On Sunday 28th/October he was weighed and was back down closer to his normal weight, we were getting our tiny little man back and after more blood tests we were discharged. It was so wonderful to get back to our big blue house and our own bed.

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The paediatric ward we stayed in, we were taken care of so well and all the staff were beautiful – but I hope we never have to return.

We saw our paediatrician the following Thursday, she said one of his blood results showed possible glandular fever as well.
The poor little guy, Kawasaki disease, possibly glandular fever, teething with molars and the paediatrician also believes he could’ve had a mild case of viral meningitis (due to his very sore head & neck).
We had another round of blood tests today (Thursday 8th/Nov) to check again for glandular fever & a bunch of other things, just to make sure everything has remained ok in his little body and we hope the glandular fever result was a wrong one and he hasn’t had that.
At the appointment we also discussed how upset and unsettled he has been since coming home. He has really good & normal moments and then he will just melt down and he is so sad, he doesn’t like being away from us and some nights he sleeps well and others he won’t settle at all… She believes his stay in hospital has traumatised him and he is suffering from a lot of stress. He still is suffering body/joint pain, peeling hands, feet & lips and appears to get very bad headaches. So all we can do is love him through this, we cuddle a lot, we carry him and stay close to him, we are gentle, we do massage and just take things easy. From the reading I have done these symptoms and the behaviour is expected and normal after Kawasaki’s.
Each day is getting better but we still have 6-8 weeks to go until we know if he has come out of this ordeal ok. In that time frame he will get an ECG done in Brisbane and that is to make sure his heart is ok. Until that test he has to have aspirin every day.
This experience was horrific. I am so thankful his issue was treatable and he responded well to the treatment, we continue to pray that his little heart will be totally fine and we have faith it will be, especially because he received treatment before day 10.

I want to encourage you, that if your child is sick and you are given one diagnosis and then they worsen/change – go back. Keep going back until the treatment works or you see improvement. You don’t have to accept one opinion. We are our children’s advocates. We have to fight for them. I knew each time in myself when he needed to go back to the hospital and I didn’t care if it turned out to be nothing, I would prefer to be known as the over cautious Mother than regret not taking him or leaving it too late. If we had just agreed it was some viral thing and tried to ride it out over a week, I hate to think of what the outcome could’ve been.
Because even in hospital with constant fluids and daily antibiotics given through his IV, regular pain relief and routine observation they were describing him as flat and not improving. I hated hearing that at each shift handover, I just wanted to hear he was improving – but I knew he wasn’t but I also knew he was in the best place and was being taken care of.
This was easily the most scary and awful week of our life. One I wish on no one and my heart breaks for families going through worse ordeals than this, gosh I can’t even imagine it. I know we are fortunate that it was this and nothing more serious.
So what caused this? It is unknown, it could’ve been anything – most likely just a basic germ and his little body sent it’s immune system into over drive causing all of his arteries throughout the body to become inflamed. Prior to the Saturday he hadn’t seemed unwell or anything, so we are puzzled. But we are praying this ordeal is now over and his ECG will come back with good results.

This blog post was created to draw awareness to Kawasaki’s disease. If you are concerned your child has Kawasaki’s please go to your nearest hospital or GP. If your child has this and you need support please feel free to email me at modernwifelife31@gmail.com and I can connect you with a great support group.
I pray you never experience this disease first hand, but if you do, know you aren’t alone.
Thank you to so many of you for your genuine kindness, concern and compassion over the past few weeks.
We would appreciate any prayers or positive thoughts towards healing and good results.

Thank you.

Once again, please click on these links and educate yourself on this disease and share this post or those pages with any other parents you know.
Kawasaki Disease fact sheet from Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
Kawasaki Disease foundation Australia 

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5.

Tomorrow she is 5.

FIVE!

I’m dumbfounded by that…

I still remember the moment I was handed her and I looked down and said “hi baby” and I was so scared and so in love. I had never held a baby so small before, she was perfect.

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I still look at her and I’m so blown away by how perfect and incredible she is. But in hospital those first few days I was a tiny bit more obsessed, I took photos of her ears & hands – wanting to remember every detail about her and still I don’t feel I have enough to truly remember every tiny thing. So I wish I could go back and relive it all again.


I remember thinking I was losing my mind because I could not stop sniffing her, even if I tried I just couldn’t stop. Everything about her to me was amazing and I didn’t even want to sleep. I laid there staring at her, absolutely exhausted but just watching her because she was the most wonderful little person I had ever seen.

The last 5 years have sped by at a rapid rate and it’s quiet depressing! I feel like I’m digging my heels in, trying my hardest to pull time back or at least slow it down. But I can’t. So I have to be present and ride this wave with her.

She’s so amazing, (I’ll probably say that 10 more times in this post), but she really is. She was a really easy baby and is a pretty incredible kid. I’m so thankful to God for blessing us with her. We are lucky parents.

She can be a typical little kid, but she’s also wise beyond her years and we can reason with her. She appreciates honesty and being told exactly what’s going or why something is happening. She is not the sort of kid you can say “just because” to. As her kindy teachers and I laugh about, LuLu likes being informed, knowing proper answers on everything from why the sky’s blue to how is bread made and 1000 other questions – daily…

She loves her daddy and brother so much. Her Dad can calm her in any situation and he has an amazing bond with her. For example, when she had her 4 year old vaccinations I believe she shed only 1 tear. She didn’t even flinch, Trent sat there with her and she was brave. Because her daddy was there and he told her it would hurt but only for a quick second and then she would be ok. She trusted him and was the bravest kid. That moment still makes me so proud. I love how close they are.

Sure she can be a typical little preschooler, she has a temper and will argue to make you see her point (no idea where either of those traits come from) but my word she’s awesome. Just a magical little girl that makes my heart burst daily.

She’s the light of our lives. From the second she arrived she bought with her joy and light into our lives.


She’s a force to be reckoned with and will fiercely stand her ground. She is a sweet little girl who will love on her baby dolls and play with her barbies and she’s a rough and tumble kid who loves the outdoors. She loves it when I paint her nails and she often asks to wear my lipstick, but gosh she’ll jump at the chance to go fishing or hunting with her daddy. She loves her brother more than anyone, she’s a beautiful big sister – but she’ll also get cross at him for messing up her toys, but then instantly will baby him again. She’s gone from having such little hair I worried if it would ever grow to having a head full of crazy & curly hair! She’s bold, daring and adventurous and loves to be challenged. She loves fairies and one day will love unicorns and the next day dislike them greatly. She rarely likes princesses, unless of course she’s with her best friend or thinking of her, because then her bestie likes them. She’s a kind and thoughtful little friend who generously gives out compliments and has a beautiful little heart. She loves to draw and paint, is so intelligent and has a great sense of self confidence. And also has amazing strength and athletic ability (didn’t get that from me). She displays empathy and also is great at being rational. She is such a level headed little kid that it shocks some people, but then she’ll prance off pretending to be a ballerina…
She’s a perfect mix of wild and sweet and I pray so hard she always keeps that fire inside of her. The fire that makes her hard to parent somedays, the one that makes me pray for wisdom on how to raise her, the fire that makes her question every single thing I do or say or tell her to do… That fire will make her a strong force to be reckoned with. I believe girls need that and I know whatever she chooses to do with her life that fire will help her be successful and no one will ever take advantage of her. Lord, I hope she keeps it. I parent her carefully – trying not to squash it out.


She’s a one of a kind daughter and gosh I’m thankful to God He chose us for her.

I am mind blown she’s about to be 5. Mind blown also that we have been parents for 5 years. Gosh I hope the next 5 don’t speed by so quickly.

LuLu, we love you dearly – you are the light of our lives and we are so incredibly proud of the amazing little girl you’ve grown into.

Happy 5th birthday. 💖

Love Mumma. x

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My list of 30 for turning 30. 

My list of 30 for turning 30. 

Hey friends,

On Sunday I turn the big 3-0…
And ya know what, I’m looking forward to it, for the last few years my best friend and I have been saying how the 30’s are going to be our prime – our 20’s were years that we both struggled with different things personally but as we near our 30’s we are gaining confidence, wisdom and strength.
I feel like I am entering the 3rd decade of my life with a newly found sense of empowerment.
I truly feel more confident in who I am and what I believe in.
I am very ok with the fact one day I love being dressed up in a pretty dress and the next day I am enjoying a pair or ripped jeans, and that’s just the trivial side of it.
I am feel strong in my faith, despite the naysayers. I don’t feel insecure about my parenting abilities and I am strong enough to set boundaries in areas of my life.

When I was in my early 20’s I felt I was still on that path of self discovery, working out who I truly was and what I stood for. By the time my thirties are rolling around, I kind of feel like I have a good sense of self and I am proud of who I am.
There are chapters of my life that I cringe about, the outfits, the anger, the poor choices – but it all adds up to me. If it wasn’t for all of that, I wouldn’t be where I am right now and know what I know.

Before I hit the thirty milestone I’ve personally been working on a little list of personal accomplishments that I’ve recently done that I am proud of & bits of wisdom I wish to share – because sometimes we need to brag about ourselves…
So here are 30 things I have achieved/done that make me feel ready & proud to tackle my 30’s…

  1. Get married. Doing life with Trent is amazing & I love him with all my heart. 
  2. Have my 2 babies. Add in 2 little ratbags and my heart is full, these 3 give me purpose. 
  3. Go camping. This was a step out of my comfort zone to discover something I really enjoy.
  4. Set personal boundaries & be ok with not tolerating toxic people. This was hard and I am still working on it, but I am getting better at it!
  5. Learn to put my health first. I need to be well, to enjoy life & care for my family. 
  6. Be open about having IBD. This is apart of me and I needed to accept that and by being open about it, that’s helped me greatly. 
  7. Get my scopes done… What a milestone, getting a colonoscopy before the age of  30 – but it’s vital for my health and we were able to work out the full extent of my disease.
  8. Start treatment for my disease. A scary time, but I need to be well. 
  9. Take care of my mental/emotional health. There is nothing wrong with not being ok and working out ways that work for you to deal with that. I have my own coping mechanisms that I find work best for me. 
  10. Give myself grace & make time for me. I am not a perfect person, no one is. And I cannot pour from an empty cup. I need to look after me.
  11. Start & maintain a night time skin care regime & wear sunscreen everyday! Because I maybe 30 & love it, but I don’t want to look 40 while I’m 30!
  12. Move into our house. This was a huge thing, I wanted to have our keys by my birthday and we got them & each week our home is coming more & more together, it makes me so happy!! 
  13. Let go of anger & hurt. This is another tough one, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come with this. 
  14. Forgive. As above. But also, holding onto anger is pointless – it only hurts us. 
  15. Realise & accept some people aren’t forever people, no matter who they are & some people are better loved at a distance. Another one that is a tough pill to swallow, but the sooner I learnt and accepted this the easier life became. (Even if I do have moments that it still all hurts & I struggle with it)
  16. Accept life doesn’t play out how we imagine it will, it’s all apart of His greater plan and that’s what I hold my trust in. Amen!
  17. Let go of other people’s opinions. What they think of me, is none of my business!
  18. Know my own style. I can accept I am not super fashionable, but I have a certain look and I know what suits me… Even if  88% of the time it’s jeans and a shirt. And I have a go to fool proof make up & hair look that I am confident in. 
  19. That to create a positive life you need positivity. Negative self talk & negative voices create a negative space – fill your mind and heart with positivity and watch it grow.
  20. Seek the joy. It’s my mantra, seek the joy EVERY SINGLE DAMN DAY – look for it. Write it down, capture it – whatever works for you, but train your mind to find the joy, even on the dark days – scratch & dig for that tiny little sparkle of joy.
  21. Learn how to make some go-to delicious meals. Done, I feel pretty confident in my cooking ability – especially THIS chocolate cake!
  22. Accept I don’t know it all and still strive to learn. This especially applies to my faith, I truly enjoy learning more & more about that.
  23. Try yoga. I really enjoyed yoga & it’s something I want to try and make time for more often – even if it’s just doing it at home. 
  24. Realise family maybe family by blood, but often family is people who we chose and who choose us. This can be sad but wonderful all at once. 
  25. Let go of romantic & idealistic views of everything. For me this was family relationships, the sooner I accepted that I can’t change people & they won’t behave how I wished they would – the better. It’s still hard & still something I am working on. But this applies to so many areas of life. Having zero expectations means less disappointment. 
  26. Know that your past doesn’t define you or anybody else. The person I was 10 or 12 years ago I wouldn’t even know now, but she is apart of who I am and I had to be her to be who I now am. And I cannot hold someone else’s past against them. 
  27. Make up my own mind on things & people without the input of others & be confident knowing I can make the right decision, for myself & my family. This was a life changing moment for me.
  28. Be confident in what you do & what you feel your purpose is. Being a stay at home Mum is something that can be hard to be proud of  in today’s world. Especially when in conversations people ask what you do and when you give them that answer they follow it up with “yes, but what’s your actual job?”… I love what I do, I’m proud of it and I feel it is my purpose in life. 
  29. Know that all through life there are seasons, and each season brings new highs & lows. I find this particularly comforting when applying it to parenthood, I refuse to wish away seasons of my children growing up because I know one day I will wish for them back again.
  30. Be proud & happy with who I truly am, even if other people aren’t. I know who I am and I’m proud of the person I am today. 

So there it is, my 30 little tidbits of wisdom and rambling thoughts. I hope you took something away from it…
Ice Cream Party (24)
I am looking forward to the weekend, I get to celebrate with a small group of people who I am so thankful for.

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Our sleep journey. (How we get our kids to bed by 5pm)

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Hi friends,

Let’s talk sleep… Kids and sleep – some just seem to “get it” and some don’t… Mine are a little in the middle.
Our kids seem to be very attached to us (which we do not mind at all, actually we love) and tend to sleep better beside us… Both started sleeping in our bed around 6-9 months and that’s how most nights are for us. I have rocked/fed them to sleep from the first moment and I have found they slowly grow out of it.
Now LuLu goes to sleep in her own bed at 5pm most nights and sleeps the whole night in there, that is a recent & positive change for her this year. I feel having both her & Tommy in our bed was starting to become a problem of one of them waking the other… But Tommy still is in our bed and we won’t bother trying to encourage him out until he is ready.  (We felt LuLu was ready.)

So let’s rewind… LuLu use to sleep with us, I rocked/cuddled her to sleep until she was nearly 3, when I neared the end of my pregnancy with Tommy I would sit on her bed until she fell asleep and when Tommy arrived she slowly learnt to fall asleep on her own and now recently we slowly started her sleeping a full night in her own bed. (She is 5 in October.)
My main tip with any sleep transition thing is slow and gentle and making sure they are ready.
Our theory with our babies has always been we are going to love and hug them as much as possible because one day maybe they won’t want to do that as much anymore and if we make them feel welcome with love & also allow them to sleep where they feel safe with us, that we are setting them up to feel secure to always come to us if they don’t feel safe or they need comfort.
I’ve never been able to do cry it out and each parent’s choice is their own, I have friends and family who do it and for them it has worked well. I tried once with LuLu & just couldn’t, I don’t think I even lasted 2 minutes. She was a super emotional baby & went from zero to hysterical very easily so I felt for her that was not the way to help her to sleep. So I fed her, I rocked her and then that transitioned into her laying on my lap for cuddles of an evening and when she nodded off I would carry her to her bed. As I got further along in my pregnancy with Tommy I became weaker and couldn’t carry her as much, especially when she was sleeping. So I started sitting on her bed, we would read some stories and then sing some songs and then I sat with her while she fell asleep. When Tommy arrived we continued the same routine for awhile and then slowly changed it to me saying I had to go sit on the couch and feed baby Tommy as he was tired & hungry but when he was asleep I would come back to her room and give her another kiss goodnight… This worked really well for us. Usually when I got back to her room she was fast asleep. So she had learnt to put herself to sleep.
In the last few months we started encouraging her to sleep in her own bed for a full night. Previously she would always go to sleep in her own cot/bed but around 10pm-1am at some point she would come into our bed… We never bothered fighting that, we liked the snuggles & we valued our sleep.
Anyway, we said if she spent a whole night in her bed the “fairies” may leave her a little gift near her fairy door… Sure enough when she slept a full night they did! Then the deal was if she sleeps a whole week, she gets another little gift and that time frame just keeps getting stretched out, now she hardly remembers it. But the fairies like to leave little gifts every now and then especially when she’s been extra good.
I feel really proud of how good she is sleeping.
Both of our kids go to bed around/just after 5pm and have done so since before Tommy was born (this time can be later if Trent is home or we are out & it may become later in the summer) and they wake around 6am-7:30am (usually later if I need to be somewhere early! ha!) It doesn’t matter if they go to bed at 9pm, they wake up at the same time.
* To save your question on why so early? It works for us for multiple reasons. Trent does shift work, some days I’m solo parenting from 5am-7pm, setting myself up to have at least an hour of alone time is important to me. I get to reset and do something for myself and this early bedtime is also what is best for our kids…
LuLu doesn’t nap, she hasn’t since before she was 3 – so an early bedtime for her is needed.
Tommy has 1 day nap occasionally during the morning at around 9:45am/10am-11/11:30am’ish – but that’s rare now, normally he doesn’t nap, so he also needs to be asleep early…
I still feed/cuddle Tommy to sleep for nap and bedtime – but if Trent is home I can feed him and hand him to Trent and he will fall asleep that way as well.
Lately he has been waking during the night as he is cutting a bunch of teeth. (He is 19 months today (14th/July) and just the other day he cut 3 teeth over night which included 2 molars. This made his tooth total 8 teeth, so he is due for a few more yet!)
With our kids we believe in being gentle with sleep. Of course when we have “those” nights like everyone, we get frustrated & sleep deprivation is torture & brings out the worst in everyone! But we try to be gentle. And of course we have rough nights, but we have found 99% of the time it is for a reason. Teething, night terrors or feeling unwell and occasionally I swear the moon affects my kids sleep patterns!
But we just try to ride the rough night waves as best we can…

Edit to add:
Tommy is now  nearly 21 months and as of recently I have had to wean him (read why HERE). Now he gets a cuddle to sleep, then I place him in his cot, he sleeps in his cot (with the side off) until we go to bed and then almost like magic he wakes up, we pop him in our bed and he sleeps through the night, only waking rarely now.
Of course when he is feeling poorly or teething, he maybe in our bed earlier or need more cuddles.
He will transition to a big boy bed in December when he turns 2, same as LuLu did at 2.

Sleep for every family is unique. No one style will fit everyone, but that is how we handle sleep in our household. We have been through every high & low of this sleep ride with our kids… We’ve had moments where they won’t sleep anywhere but on us (still occasionally – Tommy!), we’ve had amazing night sleeps where we wake up in fright in the morning because they slept the whole night in their own bed – so that must mean something is wrong of course! We have walked countless laps of the house trying to help them fall asleep and we’ve had moments where we felt like we didn’t have a clue about what to do next & get frustrated… But we survived and right now I feel like we are in a pretty good sleep space – having already ridden this sleep wave with LuLu who was a very clingy baby and not the best sleeper, I can be optimistic about the future with Tommy. For now we co-sleep with him, I love it but I know one day, when he is ready he too will go to sleep on his own in his own room for a full night… But for now I am enjoying this season, my all night snuggles and being there to help him feel safe & comforted when he needs me.

If you are having some troubles with sleep, a few things I’ve found that may help are…

  • Establish a set bedtime routine with your kids that is predictable. My kids know at 5pm or shortly after it is bedtime… By that time they are normally yawning and tired. We do bath time around 4pm, then a quick tidy of the playroom, read a book and then off to bed. Trent works shift work so our daily routine is flexible, on the days he does night shift the kids know after we say goodnight and goodbye to Daddy it is bedtime. (He leaves at 5pm) I truly believe children thrive on routine, they like knowing what to expect.
  • Rewards. If your child is old enough to understand some sort of reason, try to make sleeping in their own bed part of a reward system. Similar to our fairy deal, maybe a sticker each night and 7 stickers in a row means something special… The options are endless.
  • No electronics in the room. That’s a given, but young kids don’t need something stimulating their little minds. Bedtime should be for winding down… Books, prayers, talking about their day – but not electronics.
  • Have a good snack. Some children wake due to hunger, could be a growth spurt or maybe they didn’t eat enough dinner. A banana before bed is a terrific sleepy snack. The potassium is said to be great for promoting good sleep.
  • Fairy lights. LuLu isn’t a huge fan of the dark, nor am I really. We leave our hallway light on every night – it’s always dimmed very low but is bright enough that if she needed to, she could comfortably walk to our room. She also has a string of battery operated fairy lights in her bedroom. She thinks they are very special and it’s a highlight for her to switch them on each night before bed.
  • A well stocked night stand. LuLu is now at the age where she can help herself at night. She has a water bottle & a box of tissues beside her bed. This minimises the need for her to call out to us at night. She knows if she is feeling unwell or does need us though, that she can always come to us or call out.
  • Sleepy oils. This may or may not help, but I’ve found oils are a great addition to our bedtime routine. They can be applied to the feet, wrists and behind the neck or/and diffused during the night. I find them very calming & use my diffuser almost every night. If you would like to learn more click HERE.
  • The 4th trimester. If you are reading this and have a newborn, please just ride the wave. I found my babies just needed cuddles & patience when they were new. Tommy slept a lot better than LuLu but I feel that was also due to me being more confident in my abilities. Remember you are all they know and you are their comfort & safe space… Have a read about the 4th trimester & also leaps.
  • Co-sleeping. This is not for everyone, but for us it worked beautifully. We valued our sleep and found when our babies would wake upset they would quickly settle tucked in beside us. Please do your own research and use your own caution when co-sleeping.
  • Team work. Having a husband/partner that can wake up and help out with waking babies/children is a Godsend. Trent has always helped out during the nights and I’m very thankful for that. Working as a team is important and if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Patience & understanding. It is easy to get frustrated with children who wake constantly, you are already tired and then you are dealing with a difficult situation with usually an unreasonable little person. But it is important to try and have patience, try and understand why they are upset and won’t sleep. This will help you fix the issue. Are they upset for a particular reason? Are they not tired? Are they cold, hot, in pain, sick, has a big life change happened, hungry, need to use the toilet, scared, stressed? There are so many reasons that can effect kids and their sleep. I encourage you to have patience before losing your temper. As I said above, more often than not when my kids are having a rough night it is for a reason.
  • Consistency. But on the other hand sometimes children test boundaries as they get older and they need to know you’ll remain firm and bedtime means bedtime. If your child is being cheeky and constantly getting out of bed to see what you are watching on TV (I remember doing this) or asking for sips of water, take them back to bed making sure there is no actual reason for them to be out (have they used the toilet/had a drink/are full, no temperature etc) say “no, it’s now bed time, you need rest for tomorrow!” give them a kiss, say good night and walk out or if they are terribly upset, I would sit by their bed for a little while until they are calmed down.  (I only recommend this with children that actually understand reason and for each child that age will vary, but I would say not for very young children, I would do this with LuLu but not Tommy.)

I hope you found this post helpful, I would love to know your top piece of sleep advice, what has worked best for you?
Connect with me on my social media and let me know!

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Sunday Series; Anger towards God and what’s on my heart & in my head. {IBD}

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So it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Sunday Series” and to be honest I wrote a bulk of this post – the raw & angry section on Friday night, in tears and on my phone while everyone else was asleep … But I chose not to hit post.
I prayed about it instead, gosh I was cross at God that night, He copped an earful from me… I feel like He is ok with that. I kept getting the feeling that every single damn thing we are hit with in life is a lesson, a blessing and those hard times are there to teach us something, even if it is just the story to tell – to help someone else. So who knows who this will help, maybe it’ll just help me to get it off my chest… But let’s do this…
Right now I am sitting in my room on a Saturday night, listening to my baby cry for me. He is ok, his Daddy has him – but that baby boy wants me and it’s breaking my heart. He wants to be fed back to sleep. He doesn’t understand why he can’t have “boobie” like he usually does… Twice last night he woke and far out was he angry that I wasn’t the one comforting him. I laid in bed, tears stinging my eyes as Trent cuddled him out in the lounge room. But I think I am getting ahead of myself, here’s what I wrote in the late hours of Friday night, while my face felt hot and had a constant pouring of tears…

Today (Friday) was hard, this Friday really sucked, I hate having a bad Friday – it’s like it jinxes the weekend.
I had my specialist appointment today where I knew we would be discussing “level 2 treatment” (for my IBD – if you would like to read about that you can CLICK HERE)
I failed the safest and most basic treatment, after starting my first lot of medication after my scopes at the beginning of July, 2-3 weeks later I started to struggle to breathe – that was a severe reaction. It was quiet traumatic for me, it was awful gasping for breath and nothing could be done except to let my body come off the medication. It took about 2 weeks and then I was fine, I could breath again normally. Anyway, the next treatment option is pretty hardcore, so intense that it’s 1 tablet per week. And folic acid tablets every other day of the week.
The shit part of this, (besides the IBD) is that I cannot have any more children in the near future. If I want to have anymore babies I have to be off this drug for 6 months. And sadly I have to cut short my breastfeeding with Tommy and that breaks my heart because I know he isn’t ready. He is ready in the sense that we smashed our goal of 1 year, on Friday funnily enough he was the exact same age Lucy was when I last fed her – 20 months and 3 days. But with Tommy I was hoping to get to 2years. Back when I was pregnant with him and diagnosed with IBD we thought I may not be able to feed at all I was so sick. But we did it, I’m proud of what we have achieved but I know he still needs me. And I still need that tiny shred of babyhood. Trent & I have talked about the reality of having no more kids for awhile. He is very happy with 2, I however would love like 10 – or at least 1 more, but I see where he is coming from. When I’m pregnant I get dreadfully ill and our world stops, I don’t want to put us through that again. I basically become a useless human and I can barely care for myself, let alone 2 small children – so I know having no more kids is the sensible choice. But hearing my doctor say that I cannot under any circumstances fall pregnant on this tablet was very shocking, because while a baby isn’t being planned if it happened it would be wonderful (& incredibly surprising). But now it’s very final. Like I know we won’t have another but this just makes it very certain for now. (I say for now, but that’s just my Mumma heart staying hopeful. The reality is – it won’t happen.)
I just wish I had that finished feeling so many women have, like I have friends that are 110% done with having babies, but I am not… But I know I have to be…

So letting go of that last moment of babyhood is rough, especially when it is happening so abruptly. My heart is broken. I hate this disease – I hate it so much. It’s stolen so much joy from my life. My pregnancy with Tommy was all about this stupid illness, I couldn’t enjoy life or being pregnant for my final time, I just was scared the entire time and now it’s cutting short our breastfeeding journey.
It’s fucked honestly.
Even doing this intense drug won’t cure this disease, it just hopefully puts it into remission and if everything goes to plan we can reassess in 1-2 years, my doctor said some people chose to come off of the treatment at that point but a high percentage relapse & she said judging by the severity of my disease, if we can manage it and then I chose to stop the drug there is a super high chance I would become ill again. But we will cross that bridge when we get there, we have to hope it works first or it’s onto the next medicine…
I had a whinge about this on my insta stories on Friday and I had a mixed response of messages. Some people were just beautiful & saying they are sorry & just being kind. Others were sensibly saying my health is most important and I’ve done well feeding Tommy, I should wean and start the treatment and others were saying to keep feeding him and put the treatment off. I feel those last group of people don’t actually understand my problem.
Trust me I asked my specialist this, she said very bluntly “you can wait, but if you do and I can confidently predict you are heading towards having a major flare up and how extensive your disease is, you’ll get so sick that we will be at a loss for treatment options”. Do you know what that then leaves us the only option for? Surgery. And my whole bowel is sick, not just parts, so if 1 part goes bad the whole thing is.
So to avoid surgery & options I don’t even want to consider yet, I know I need to try this medicine. Trent is 110% supportive of this, he told me it’s not even a question – we are going to wean Tommy and start the treatment. That’s why he is out there right now with one very cranky 20 month old.
So that is where I am at. Being forced to stop breastfeeding, something I love and I find is so special to me. With LuLu I weaned her at exactly the same age Tommy is now, but she was ready – she didn’t fuss or care. Tommy though is a Mumma’s boy, he is so attached to me – like LuLu is to Trent… Every baby is different and I know this is harder on him than it was her, and I think that is what upsets me the most. So for now, he only gets a feed at bedtime and that will phased out very shortly and I plan to start the medication ASAP.
In an ideal world I would opt out of the medication, drink a herbal tea or some sort of magic broth and be cured – but it’s not going to happen. This disease is incurable, only manageable and it doesn’t matter what magic diet you are on, it won’t change the fact my gut is trying to kill itself. My scopes revealed my entire large intestine has highly moderate active disease, the entire thing – like it’s every where. That is way, way worse than I ever thought, like the entire stupid thing is sick! Honestly for the past 2 years since I was diagnosed I’ve been telling myself I am actually “not that sick” – that it all could be just in my head… It was a bit of a smack in the face to be told “no you are sick, you need to do something about this or it will get very bad”.
I hate going to doctors appointments, I walk out so overwhelmed and confused. Being sick is dreadful enough, having to remember every result, medication and test is worse. Especially when your brain is foggy 98% of the time… I’m flat out remembering milk let alone everything else! I am just hopeless at being sick, I hate rest and I forget everything! During that appointment my recent blood tests also confirmed I have markers for arthritis – so I have to at some point get that further investigated. But the drug I’m about to take could help with my bone/joint pain…
This drug that I am about to possibly take is scaring the absolute life out of me though, like it is hardcore. Every time I read about it, something new pops up and makes me feel physically sick at how intense it is. It’s used (in larger doses) for chemo. So yeah, there is a whole host of side effects that can come along with that and then we have to play the game of is the side effect worth tolerating so I am “better”. I’m just praying I can stay on the minimum dose and manage my disease and have zero side effects. That is the best case scenario.
So yeah that’s my thoughts for now… Thank you for understanding why this post is all over the place and Lord only knows if you understood my ramblings. But maybe this was meant to be written, just to keep my own sanity or maybe you are dealing with something similar and that’s why you stumbled upon this mess of words and emotions.
I get it – this disease is dreadful (I have a few other colourful words for it, but I’ve already sworn twice in this post…) and I’m sorry if what I’ve written here hits home, if you can relate or you are dealing with or have dealt with something similar.
Feel free to reach out to me on my social media if you wish. Praying for you and for me!

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And friends, if you are dealing with a hard time in your life health related or not – I am praying for you. Sometimes we cannot see why we are struggling in certain seasons, we can’t see the big picture of why and our life – but He can. Every little thing in our life, the good, the bad, the heartbreak and the regret – it’s all for a reason. One day you understand why, but gosh I know what it’s like to be in the trenches of it, wading through so many emotions with your hands in the air going “Why? Why this? Why me? Aren’t you meant to love me?” I get it. I’m there, I’ve been mad at Him and now I’m just heartbroken & feeling very low… I do not have time to be sick, my life is so full and rich in excitement – we have so much to do and enjoy and I can’t. I want to be living my best life and right now I feel like I just survive most days, I collapse into bed sore & worn out. I do know I have to learn to stop over committing so much, the other weekend I had to pull out of some fundraising work I was doing and I hated it, letting people down was awful. But I had to put me first, I couldn’t do that, do what I needed to at home and feel ok. I was so weak, but I am learning to realise I can’t “do it all”.
97.5% of the time I pile on the makeup, plaster on the smile and I’m good to go. Even when it hurts to just walk – I don’t care – I am pushing this illness to the back of my mind – ignoring it. Maybe you get that, maybe something else is hurting you and you just push it down and ignore it. But eventually we have to face it, we have to deal with it – even when it’s scary & confronting or unknown… If we push it aside & down forever it just grows & becomes worse, than we are dealing with an even worse mess! This can be a health problem, anger, hurt – anything. They are all so similar. No matter the problem, everything needs to be eventually dealt with. And when we have to do that, it’s so wonderful to be surrounded by people who love you and support you, but sometimes you are alone or no one else gets it. If you have no one else, He is there. He put it before you, He will bring you through it. I keep telling myself that, our Lord gave me this challenge (and I am not impressed by it nor do I get why…) but I just have to trust His timing, His plan and have faith that He will get me through it. Scary drugs and all… I’m thankful that it’s this and nothing worse, but far out I just wish it was something relatively basic, like I don’t know a cold… But it is what it is, and I just have to trust that He already knows the outcome, what happens is His plan.
Still pissed about it, but I have faith, I’ll be ok – just not right at this very moment…
Thanks for reading (especially if you made it all the way to the end.)  Your support means more than you realise.

If you would like to donate towards research for a cure for IBD and also help to raise awareness please CLICK HERE…  

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A few verses & quotes that have helped me recently…

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2

The only way God can show us He is in control, is to put us in situations we cannot control.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

So do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

Jesus replied, “you do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

God will redeem your pain and replace it with purpose. Priscilla Shirer

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. Psalm 118:5

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4

Dear brothers and sisters. when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy. Colossians 1:11

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail or abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come to test you, as if something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Your illness doesn’t define you, your strength and courage does.

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6 tips to avoid rushed chaos in the morning. 

Hi friends!

In today’s post I want to share some great tips to make your mornings less frantic. A big question I am often asked is how I get out the door on time in the mornings… LuLu has kindy 5 days a fortnight and this term + 1 morning of pre-prep, so lots on for us! So these are the things that work for us…

  • Preparation is the key to success. It truly is! Like the saying “those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail” goes – I truly believe being organised early as possible is how to be successful. The evening before we pack the lunch box, fill the water bottle and set out her bag – making sure it is packed with everything she needs for the following day – excursion/free dress day money, notes are signed and in bag etc… I also lay out her kindy clothes. Making a small effort in the evening means less stress in the morning.
  • Get sleep! Having a good nights sleep makes you more productive in the morning and well rested kids are easier to deal with!
  • Wake up at a reasonable hour. This should be a no brainer. I tend to be up around 6am’ish. This allows us time to calmly get through our morning routine.
  • Get things done as early as possible. As soon as we are done with breakfast I am busy, I put laundry on, LuLu knows to brush her teeth & get dressed, I go and get myself ready for the day and then I dress Tommy and do LuLu’s hair. Usually we then have some time to chill out in the playroom before going to kindy.
  • Set age appropriate jobs for your kids. LuLu knows to put her breakfast bowl in the sink, she often goes out to take the dogs coats off and she brushes her teeth and gets dressed on her own.  This helps me in the morning, while she is doing those tasks I can be doing others.
  • Know your time frames. Know how long it takes to get to the school and know when you have to be out the door, we like to get to kindy a few minutes early so we can chat to the teacher or other parents and calmly see LuLu off… I feel this sets her up for a good day as her morning has been calm and not flustered.

Our morning routine on a kindy day is fairly straight forward, I find having good routines with young children really is beneficial for them. They know what to expect and it isn’t chaos for them…
If you would like to see a kindy morning/day in action please check out my latest video HERE… 
But this is a basic look at how an average/ideal morning runs for us…

6am’ish I wake up with Tommy, LuLu occasionally will be awake at the same time or may wake a little later…
6:15am Unpack dishwasher and start organising breakfasts. The kids enjoy cereal and I have toast and a cup of tea.
6:45am LuLu is usually awake by now and having breakfast or our breakfast is done for the day. I tidy the kitchen, put away the toaster and wipe down the benches and if I need to get meat out of the freezer for dinner, I do it now.
7am I put the laundry on and make my bed.
7:05am I do my hair and makeup and get ready for the day. While I do this LuLu cleans her teeth and gets dressed for the day. I usually straighten her bed for her and then she sets up her snuggle toys neatly.
7:30am I dress Tommy.
7:35am I do LuLu’s hair, sometimes it is just a pony tail, other days she likes more detailed styles…
7:50am I may do a quick vacuum or some light cleaning while the kids play in the playroom.
8am I hang the laundry on the line.
8:10am We hang out in the playroom.
8:30am’ish We leave for kindy.

And that is a very rough guide to our morning. Some days flow smoothly and occasionally we have rushed mornings, but we all really dislike those so we strive to have calm and organised mornings.
How do your mornings go before kindy/school? What is your biggest tip for having a successful morning? I would love to know, comment below or on my social media!

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House updates & our feelings on building with GJ Gardner Homes.

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Hey friends,

House update time!! We are down to the final stage now, we are so close to having the keys I am literally dying of excitement… I can tell you now this week is going to drag on so long!
For our latest HOUSE UPDATE VIDEO click HERE <- in that video you can see our lighting and flooring choices as well as the exterior paint.

This week the house had painting touch ups, electricity was turned on, it was cleaned inside and out (it looks amazing!!) and Trent has been busy working on the shed and side fence… Post holes were dug for the front fence as well on Friday… Trent has been working tirelessly for us, he is so wonderful. Today he was there again doing fencing and I even got in and did a bit today! Tomorrow we will be back there cleaning up the block and finishing off the side fence.


We are slowly moving somethings into the shed, we bought some new storage shelves to store our seasonal items (christmas/easter/halloween decor, baby clothes etc) 
Our plan with the house is to be very strict with what comes in… I want to declutter as much as we can, what we don’t need or love is going to be put aside to be sold at a garage sale, which I hope to have in September… I don’t want every cupboard and drawer full of things, I want some empty cupboards, shelves and drawers!
This house is so special and beautiful to us, I only want it full of things we truly love. What we don’t need is going!

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Sneak peek at one of my linen cupboards, this is my walk in one!

So the next week is set to be a big one for us!!

How this week should play out is…
Monday – Security screens and doors get installed I think on this day -or maybe Tuesday… The skip bin is removed & I think our new fridge arrives… I don’t think I’ve told you all about this, but we are getting a new fridge and it is so beautiful – it sparkles!! Trent will be off to Toowoomba to get front fence supplies. (On this day we also have gymnastics, a committee meeting & hopefully I can fit in yoga! This is also our wedding anniversary) 
Tuesday – Front fence will be started and the final inspection is booked. This is where we go through & make sure we are happy with the finished product and check everything works etc.
Wednesday – I guess if any repairs need to be made they are done here… (Kindy day!)
Thursday – HOPEFULLY we get the keys on this day, pending the bank gets everything done in time as they are notorious for holding up handovers! So fingers are crossed this is the day we get our keys… If not I think it maybe Monday, so let’s hope it is Thursday! (On this day we have LuLu’s pre-prep morning class, than a meeting with her new principal!) 
Friday – Hopefully we get to move some stuff in, if not we will be moving stuff to the shed. (On this day LuLu has kindy and I also have another committee meeting in the morning!) 

This feels like a long time coming, but really our build has been done very quickly and that’s a credit to our builders, they are efficient and do things so well. (We started in March and finished end of July, that is incredibly fast!)
I can’t speak highly enough of the entire GJ Gardner Homes Dalby/Chinchilla team, they have made this process so smooth and pleasant. They are knowledgable, friendly, easy to work with & nothing I asked was too hard (or silly in some cases!)
Even when we’ve had minor hiccups, which really only happened towards the end, they were so easy to work with. I know a lot of companies try to spin the blame back to the customer, I have heard so many “bad builder” stories, but GJ have been outstanding, they got to the bottom of the issues and solved them so quickly… (None were the fault of the builders either, just ordering mishaps from suppliers/miscommunications etc) 
So if you are a Dalby/Chinchilla area local I highly recommend GJ Gardner Homes to build with… Chris, Chelsea & Kelsey are so helpful and are just genuinely really wonderful people!

Gosh I am so excited for key handover, it feels like it’s the lead up to Christmas!!
This will be my last blog post/video update on the house now until we show off the finished product. We are so in love with it and can’t wait to be living there!
If you would like to see more updates, please check out my social media as I can’t help but regularly post photos of it on there!

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Thanks for reading!

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