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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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…
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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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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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TIPS for saving. {money talk}

Hey friends,

An often requested blog for me to write is about our budget/who handles our finances/how we save etc.
Firstly Trent handles our finances & basically anything to do with money, insurances, accounts etc. I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I am not gifted mathematically or in the way of understanding any of that sort of stuff. No matter how hard I try. I feel more comfortable with him being in control of all of it, I can still access and see it all – but honestly it makes little sense to me. I try really hard to understand it but I just struggle with it. He pays all of our bills and organises our budget.
As for our budget, we know what bills we need to pay and have that money set aside and then our grocery money (which can be anywhere from $150-$250 a week… We eat a lot of fresh fruit, enjoy good quality meat, Tommy is still in nappies and that includes pet food/litter) and we also deposit an amount into savings. I won’t share our exact amounts, but we strive to save when and where we can. Any cash that we have at the end of the week or we make by selling items on buy, swap & sells is put into my little savings jar that I deposit into the bank and that goes towards extra things we maybe saving for like holidays, items for the new house, gifts etc. I did a whole post on selling items to make a bit of extra money, you can CLICK HERE to read that. (Oddly enough, that post of all posts went “viral”…)

A few great ways we save money are…

  • I make most of my own cleaners. And use white vinegar & bicarb to clean most things. Occasionally I will splurge and buy some cleaning products (I love Method) but for most things, I make my own. (I do like to buy furniture polish & glass cleaner)
  • I also make my own laundry powder, that recipe can be found HERE.
  • I buy generic brands where it suits us. Now I still buy brand name items for most things, but for a few things I tend to look for cheaper alternatives. It often is a bit of trial & error to find a cheaper brand of something that suits your taste. I buy store brand sugar, flours, pasta, butter for cooking, bleach for cleaning etc… The dishwasher tablets from Aldi are also very cheap & work great. (Our town is getting an Aldi soon, so I think I may try shopping there as well)
  • I bake our treats. I do sometimes buy us something for the week from the store, but 90% of the time I prefer to bake some biscuits or a cake for morning/afternoon teas for the week. I choose what to bake depending on what I have, what I need to use up or just what we feel like and I feel better giving LuLu a sweet treat when I know exactly what is in it.
  • Trent does all of our “jobs” around the house. We don’t need to outsource anything to tradies or the such because he is skilled and knowledgable to do it. I find this so helpful and I feel it saves us a lot of money. He does everything from fix his own work ute, he will be building the fences for the new house, constructing the kids play area and if anything is ever broken or needs to be done he knows how to do it… We are yet to ever need to “call someone”.
  • We don’t eat a lot of take away or drink a lot of alcohol. We do eat out (or have take away) but it is not in excess and both of us do not drink a lot of alcohol.
  • We very rarely buy soft drink. Huge saving in the groceries is cutting that out.
  • Writing a shopping list of exactly what you need and only buying those items is a great way to stay on track with the groceries.
  • Adding up your groceries on your phone calculator as you buy each item is another good way to be aware of what you are spending, that way you know if you are going over budget.
  • Shop around for the best deal and go with what works for you. Do not be afraid of calling around other stores if you are making a big purchase and getting the lowest price possible.
  • Reassess your phone/internet/electricity/health insurance plans if possible. Call up ask for a better deal, rework them to suit your current situation better or call other companies to compare. (We need to do this for our health insurance, because holy that’s an expensive one!)
  • Sell unwanted/unused items on buy, swap & sell sites.
  • Be sensible, that’s a huge one. Do not spend what you don’t have. Live within your means.

And on that note, I have a new HAUL video on YouTube CLICK HERE to watch it. It’s a small haul from a little shopping day the other day. I made a conscious decision to not go over board at the shops. It is easy to do when we go to the big shopping centre in Toowoomba, Dalby only has a small variety of stores and when you are in a big centre you see so many things you want, but staying focused on what you need is important. I did buy a few fun items for the kids to put away as gifts but it was all well within the spending budget for that day. (Trent did tell me to go buy something for myself, but I decided I wanted to save it to go towards something when we finally are in the house.)

I would love to hear your tips for saving money. Please leave them as a comment below or comment on my social media…

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How our Easter really was… {Truth}

How our Easter really was… {Truth}

Hey friends,

It’s Easter Sunday night and I am sitting in bed with my feet up & sipping a cold drink – I’ve just had a soak in a hot bubble bath… Sounds pretty ideal right? Nice and relaxing… What a splendid way to spend an Easter Sunday evening… I really could just leave the post at this and be done with it, but I’ll be honest here and tell you how my Easter Sunday has really gone and why those few basic “self care” things NEEDED to happen.

Let me take you back to Thursday… I woke up to a very odd looking left eye. Like the bottom half my eyeball was blood shot red and it felt swollen… Great. I figured it may have been some random allergy, I had plans to attend an under 8’s day event with LuLu that day and had to get groceries for Good Friday, so it was a busy day – my eye was throbbing in pain but I didn’t have time to deal with it…
In the afternoon we all decide to go to the block to check out the progress on the house and I wanted to stop by the pharmacy and grabbed some eye drops as my eye still wasn’t improving & the pain was very distracting… I spoke to the pharmacist and they told me to go straight to an optometrist because my eye looked very bad… Great. 3:10pm on a Thursday afternoon, before the easter long weekend I had to try and get a last minute appointment in a small town… Thankfully I got an appointment and I was sitting in the waiting room, I get a text from Trent who was waiting in the car for me with the kids and it read; “Have to go home, Tommy has just been sick everywhere”. Here I am freaking out that I can’t race home and console and fix my baby and help clean up, but thankfully Trent is very capable and took care of it all like a champ. I was able to get my eye seen to, get ointment and eye drops… (Turns out a part of my eye was inflamed and started causing another part to deteriorate in a spot… As of Sunday night, it’s doing much better!) 
That night was fairly sleepless as Tommy was unwell and Good Friday was a slow day, just taking care of our little man was our main focus.
(I still got to attend church and then I cooked a delicious dinner of homemade garlic sauce with snapper, rice, prawns, salad and buttered baked potatoes – it all sounds very mismatched but ended up being spot on!) At this point Tommy is on a very bland and simple diet, we couldn’t work out what was going on and continued watching him closely. He was/is acting happy, has energy and is seemingly fine, but randomly is throwing up and it’s not immediately after food or anything… It truly makes no sense…
Saturday rolls around, he only has 3 tiny little spit ups, so I think he must be getting better….
Then….
12:15am Easter Sunday morning… I wake up to warm liquid gushing over my shoulders and chest, I quickly realise it’s my baby, vomiting in his sleep all over me and our bed… I thank God, I honestly said this out loud “thank you for having him beside me right now God”… As I grabbed him and rolled him over so he wouldn’t choke and that’s when he woke up very startled. Thankfully LuLu who was also in the bed was curled up on the other side so she avoided the mess and Trent was working, so I really had to make a survival choice here… I knew to change the sheets I would have to wake LuLu, get her out of bed, turn all the lights on and it would take 5-10 minutes to get everything changed and clean and at this point I was so darn tired & weak I could barely stand… So I just cleaned myself up quickly, changed my top and cleaned Tommy up & threw a towel over the wet sheets… (I have a waterproof protector under my fitted sheet so I knew the mattress would be fine…) Not ideal and sleeping on a towel is something I do not recommend for comfort levels – but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes…
Trent wasn’t due home for like another 2 hours, so I walked and walked up and down the hallway trying to get my little man to settle, I laid in bed, sat on the couch, trying – I tried everything. He would nod off to sleep and then jolt awake… This continued to around 2am, when Trent finally got home and saved me and of course Tommy snuggled right into Trent and fell asleep…
So how did your Easter Sunday start? That good?
We were all up and out of bed before 6:30am.
We had fun doing the egg hunt and sharing in the excitement of new toys!
But Trent and I were both dead tired and bickered at each other a few times over stupid things and our patience was at an all time low. Then we ended up going to the doctors at 9am to get Tommy checked out… (Doctor also is stumped, hoping it’s a very mild form of gastro or a tummy bug presenting in an odd way… But if he worsens or doesn’t improve by Tuesday tests will be done)
I felt like I was running on total empty, I could barely move. I still had to peg out the bed sheets and then remake our bed and do all the other laundry, do groceries and tidy the house. We have sheets and towels everywhere at the moment to try and save our carpet and furniture if he was to be sick, so the state of my home isn’t making me happy either and add on the stress of having a baby (who is very small naturally so he doesn’t have weight to lose) being randomly & unexplainably sick… I was pretty much a wreck. I hate having my kids sick, it breaks my heart especially when it’s making no sense and I can’t “help”.
But I went home, pegged the laundry out, put another load on, tidied myself up, breastfed Tommy and put him to sleep, left Trent to nap/rest and took LuLu and headed to church… To rejoice in the fact He is risen, to listen to truth and just sit and be still… LuLu coloured quietly beside me as I listened about how loved I am and how great He is. I sat there quietly feeling like I was about to collapse – my bones ached and my body felt so weak, I prayed for strength to make it through the day,  for patience & wisdom, I asked our Lord to highlight some glimmers of joy in our day that at the time I just couldn’t find and prayed for the ability to give myself some grace and stop being so hard on myself…
Now church and prayer isn’t magic, it doesn’t instantly & magically fix things, but I always feel comfort at church & after praying. I know He is there, He loves & cares for me.
As we sung the last song at church LuLu wanted me to hold her, she clung to me, her little hands touching my hair and then holding me tightly, her head resting on my shoulder, she hardly ever does this anymore so I enjoyed every second of it – I savoured that moment and soaked it in. Despite feeling like I was too weak to hold her, I swayed gently and sung about our Lord rising from the dead on this day all those years ago and His love for us. He died to save us from our sins and rose 3 days later to give us eternal life, I felt so thankful for this life even the struggles.
For the rest of the day I powered through (I had to, what I didn’t get done today I would have to do on Monday and Trent was back to work then, so doing it while he was home to help me and stay with the kids made sense…) I got the groceries done, the bed made and the laundry finished and folded & put away… I gave myself some grace – we had ham and cheese toasted sandwiches for dinner, not exactly the roast I had planned.
By 4:45pm everyone was tired and our day was done. I vacuumed the floors like I do every night and quickly mopped them and we tucked our babies in bed. I ran a big hot bath with epsom salts and bubble bath and sunk down into it, snacking on a few Easter eggs, my first for the day & sipping cold water.

Then I had a hot shower and for a moment for my tired body felt better but now that I’m out and sitting here on my bed I can feel my bones aching again and I don’t know why, I really can’t explain it. But as soon as I get run down or not enough sleep – my body starts to crash, my bones aching is usually the first sign. It sucks, so I’ve got a cold drink and I’m venting my heart out to you all trying to relieve the stress and disappointment in myself.

Our Easter morning was still magical, we had an egg hunt and the kids loved their gifts. We spent time with a little friend who lives down the street, watched a movie and we spoke to our loved ones on the phone. We read Easter books and played games, Trent and the kids went for a walk around the block with some neighbours, but the enthusiasm on my end wasn’t to the level I like to give my kids, especially on special holidays. It was more on a survival level. That makes me feel disappointed in myself, but I know I have to give myself grace. I’m running on bare minimum sleep, my health isn’t terrific (working on it) and it’s just been a rough few days. There will be other Easters… There will be… And sometimes I think these rough days are blessings in disguise, they are given to us so we can appreciate the beautifully easy days where life just goes to plan that little bit more and also so I can share these stories – share them to encourage you.
No ones life is always perfect, kids get sick, lack of sleeps brings out the worst in everyone and somedays survival mode is all we can muster – occasionally even on special holidays… And that is ok. It is life.
Giving ourselves grace is vital, finding small ways to recharge with self care is vital and knowing it’s only a bad day/week is vital. This isn’t the story of my everyday, it’s a just a story of few hard days – days I probably won’t even remember in a year or 10! I try to remember this when I am struggling, this day will not be a stand out day, it’ll be a blur of the past, one day. I can chose to highlight what went right today and store that away in my mental memory bank or I can dwell on the negatives. I chose to remember the joy and let the hardships fade away.

Friends I hope somehow this rambling of words that have been typed with half closed eyes (so forgive the poor writing) has encouraged you today. Everyday won’t be magic, but there will be glimmers of joy in every single day. I can promise you that, you may just have to look a little harder.
I hope your Easter has been more easy & relaxing than ours!
Happy Easter.
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I just thought I would add as of Monday morning at 11am we have had no more vomits since that midnight incident. Praying to God, touching wood and everything is crossed our Little Mitty is on the mend. We would appreciate any extra prayers, please. He is still on a very bland and simple diet but if he continues to keep everything down until tomorrow morning I will start reintroducing food. I hope this is the end of this awful & confusing sickness! 

Ice Cream Party (29)Ice Cream Party (28)

Need to rest, but so busy!

Hey friends,

So it’s Monday, which means new blog post day… Except it’s 6:45pm at night and I do not have some amazing new post to share.
To be honest I’ve been in survival mode a little lately, I have a lot to do and I love being busy and doing things, but then coupled with a few sleepless nights my body crashed. My doctor said I burnt myself out 110% and my body was crashing- big time… I’m meant to be resting, rest doesn’t really happen when you are a mum of 2 small children and a wife to a shift worker. So I just try and get what I need to do and make sure in the evening I am taking some time out.
Over the weekend we had our first working bee for the kindy and I feel it was so successful, we got a lot done and it was a beautiful and social get together. I really love being actively involved in LuLu’s kindy. How involved are you at kindy/school?
I am the “plus one” person for the executive committee and I am also on the fundraising and tech committee. Trent is the maintenance officer for 2018, a role that suits him well. He is a builder by trade and loves helping out where he can. On Saturday he ran his first working bee and I’m quiet proud of him!

On Sunday we had a busy day, the lawns had to be mowed, then groceries – all before church! Then church, lunch at church and then out to a small local town to see LuLu’s artwork in the show! And what a surprise for her, when we got out there it had a ribbon on it! I’m not sure what the ribbon means, but we will get them back to kindy shortly and find out! She was so excited and we are very proud of her!

Today Trent was back at work, it was my first Monday flying solo to do kindy drop off & pick up and also gymnastics. So just the 2 kids and I, and I have survived, kids are asleep and house is tidy! Trent just walked in the door, so I best go serve him some dinner and then get back to resting!

Have a lovely week guys, I will be back on Friday with another easter haul, if you haven’t already seen my latest video click HERE.

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