Friday, September 28, 2012

Blood test results...

I nervously called up the medical clinic this morning for my blood test results.  The nurse started reading through saying that everything seemed within a healthy range.  Iron and Ferritin levels were good (woo hoo considering I'm vegetarian!), blood sugar - good, cholesterol - great (take that all you chemical margarine producers - I'm an egg, butter, full fat milk, yoghurt and cheese eating girl!), B12 - good. Vitamin D - LOW!

So overall, I'm apparently a very healthy individual with very low Vitamin D.  Which led me to some interesting research...

*Low vitamin D is linked with depression and anxiety (yes, I'm a google Dr...I find it very interesting that usually natural health sites say one thing while the medical sites usually deny it - I'd rather trust the natural sites to be honest!) 

So, wearing my Dr hat right now, could it possible be the cause of my mystery illness??

I called my naturopath straight away and organised to pick up a therapeutic dose of Vitamin D to get started on straight away.  I highly recommend seeing a naturopath for any health concerns, even if it's just a second opinion aside from your Dr.  So many illnesses can be managed by diet and supplementation, and I truly believe the longer anyone stays off medication the better.

So the measures I'm taking to try and increase my health and wellness right now include:

*Exercise - Treadmill at the moment, with some stretching and at home Yoga thrown in. 
*Sleep - My biggest challenge as I'm a night owl...I'm endeavouring to be in bed fast asleep by 11 - 11.30pm
*Nutrition - Lemon water, Breakfast smoothie (I'll do a post on this soon - it's AMAZING), Salads for lunch, drink lots of water, Veggies and healthy grains for dinner, eggs, LIMIT wheat, dairy,  packaged foods NO coke or tea to limit caffeine intake.
*Supplements - I'm on Vitamin D, Occasional Spirulina tablets, Premular (herbal remedy for hormone balancing)
*Wellbeing - Taking time to relax and not push myself too hard right now.  Spend time doing a little relaxation and meditation.
*Attitude - Working on being grateful, accepting those around me and loving them, accepting myself,  not taking things personally, living with intention and purpose...I could go on as this list is a post in itself!

On a separate note, we had our Friday night movie night tonight with the boys.  We watched "Antz" which is an old movie, but the boys hadn't seen it. 

The boys really don't care what movie we watch, it's the novelty of eating dinner in the lounge room (dessert sometimes as well) and snuggling up on the couch afterwards.  It really is something they look forward to each week and is a great family ritual for us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


We had a gorgeous day here today!  Lot's of playing outside, and the boys decided that because the sun was out it must be time for the hose.  So they played for about 20 minutes and then I had 4 little shivering boys realising it wasn't actually probably quite warm enough for this kind of playing just yet...

I wrapped Jayden in a towel and snuggled him up on the couch and by the time I had seen to the other boys, he was fast asleep.  Very cute.

So he had an afternoon sleep, therefore he stayed up pretty late tonight.  We watched the new movie "Jeff Who Lives at Home", and I would definitely not recommend it around little ones as there was a LOT of swearing.  Luckily, Jayden was playing cars and otherwise occupied with a little torch so I got away with it.

So I snuggled Jayden into bed around 9pm and of course I dozed off myself.  I've now woken up with a really awful headache, so off to bed myself as well...

I'm starting to think that perhaps the idea of a few emergency back up posts might be in order for nights like this!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Busy day out and about...

I've committed to writing everyday, however just a warning, today is one of the days I have no energy to do so...

We headed to Mansfield about 9.30am this morning for me to get my blood test (see Mystery health issue).  Yes, I took them all with me again.  We managed though and the boys did really well.  They loved seeing me get the blood test...especially when the nurse said some people call her a vampire!
After that we headed to the playground, where being school holidays there were kids everywhere! I love how easily the boys make friends wherever they go, especially Dylan. 

The boys in the waiting room at the Dr's...note Ethan in the toy tub in the background...

Ethan's big tower

Jayden loved playing cars

We grabbed Subway for lunch and headed to the Botanic gardens to eat and play.  They are building a fantastic little children's garden there and in the sandpit was a whole lot of little sandpit toys.  How great that they have been left there for kids to play with.  The boys loved it. My phone battery died so I didn't have any photos. 

Then we headed to the Optometrist where Louis, Dylan and I had our eyes tested.  The boys eyes are all good and mine are stable (I'm majorly short sighted).  After Jayden broke my last glasses about a year ago I have been relying on contacts everyday, however today I splurged and ordered myself some new glasses.  I'm really looking forward to picking them up in a couple of weeks, but wow glasses are SO expensive!

So, we finally headed home at around 2.30pm.  A quick call to my Mum to say Happy Birthday, a quick call to my brother and Sister-in-law to organise an organic food order (check out Honest to Goodness ) and then the afternoon has gone by in a blur...

The boys are still up at 8.00pm partly because it's school holidays and partly because I haven't mustered up the energy to get them to bed.  Won't be long now though because I'm looking forward to curling up and reading Justin Coulson's new book "What your child needs from you" that I received in the mail yesterday!  I will put a post together soon on my thoughts of it. 

So there you go, a thrilling blog post today recounting our exceptionally exciting day!  The best part was all of the cuddles and kisses that I received...but then again that's my favourite part every day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lazy days and parenting from the heart...

We absolutely had a lazy day today!

We finished reading George's Marvellous Medicine

Louis, Dylan and Ethan didn't even get out of their pyjama's!

Jayden fell asleep in the afternoon after a major meltdown the poor little thing.  I just held him, he was so upset, kicking and hitting at me.  He wanted his Daddy though and as soon as he went into his arms he was asleep within the minute...

It's been a really big lesson of mine to learn to keep my cool when my boys have outbursts.  I don't always succeed but I'm getting better and better at it.  They really need us to be in a calm, stable place when they throw a tantrum.  I really used to let it bother me, and I would start to raise my voice, or be really frustrated at them.  It so doesn't help.  They are looking to us to learn how to handle their emotions and I realised I was really failing to teach them this by the way I was reacting! 

How I see it is when we are feeling emotional, or we're over it and we've cracked it, the last thing we want is for someone else to start yelling at us, telling us we're a cry baby or sending us away to deal with it all by ourselves.  When we're feeling vulnerable we usually want someone to wrap their arms around us and comfort us. 

I understand this is all easier said than done, but I have found it to be critical in building a closer connection to my boys.  The last thing I want them to do is grow up angry and emotional but unable to express it in a healthy way.  Or even worse, bottle it all up and pay out on themselves (and others). 

As parents, we tend to carry out what we were brought up with.  Our parents may have done the very best they could with us, but most didn't have the tools and resources that we have today.   We have the ability to learn ways of parenting that will enable us to really enjoy the connection and friendship with our children, and work as more of a team.  Of course we need to have rules and boundaries with our kids, however there is a line between expecting a child to jump when we say so and jumping together holding hands. 

Moving on...

The 3 bigger boys had energy to spare so we headed outside and set up a bit of an obstacle course.  They were only competing against themselves which works best for us most of the time.  I don't really need to encourage any more competition between them!  They loved it and kept running trying to improve their time.  Was a great fun way to get them outside...I was too busy playing with them to get any photo's! 

We also had a try blowing bubbles on the table. I got the idea from here.  It worked so great!  I didn't use any measurements but just used a small jug of water with a fair squeeze of detergent.  I wiped it over the counter, grabbed a straw, dipped it into the jug of soapy water and blew!  Louis managed to make a bubble inside a bubble which was great!  The boys all had success with this although Jayden, only 2 years old, needed some coaching to blow very slowly. 

Louis was very impressed with his bubble!

Some of the bubbles were huge!

Louis' bubble inside a bubble!

The kids played happily in the afternoon and Michael and I even managed to cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie!  (with plenty of interruptions and kiddie cuddles!)

Honestly, it's these days that make my heart almost burst with happiness!  My family is just more important to me than anything...I'm so lucky (and proud) to be a Stay at home Mum!!  It's the most rewarding job there could be...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Movie night take 2...

To read about our Friday night movie night FAIL click here...

We made it to the cinema tonight and after a few minor hiccups of the lights being left on and sound really low we managed to watch Madagascar 3!

 The boys were super excited to be at the cinema! Was hard to get their attention for a photo except for my Ethan who said "I'm looking Mummy!"

The girl running the cinema was thrown in the deep end on her first night...poor thing was doing her best, however the lights were left on and the sound was really low for the first 10min...

Dylan lost in a sea of bean bag...

He loved it and sat there the whole time!

He looks so little!

We all really enjoyed the movie! Kept the boys entertained, although Jayden and Ethan were a little restless.  Very normal for a 2 and 3yo!

The boys loved eating the popcorn and on the way out we had yummy pizza's ready and waiting for us!  I had quickly thought to pre-order them before we went in for the movie so we wouldn't have to wait at the end!  Smart mummy thinking ahead for once! 

So, although we didn't have quite the same excitement and build up as the day before the boys all declared it their favourite part of the day by far! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mystery health issue...

One evening, a couple of months ago, I was sitting in bed reading when I had a massive overwhelming feeling of fear followed by what I later learned was probably an anxiety attack.  I told Michael (my husband) that I really wasn't feeling well and asked if he would watch TV with me to try and distract me.  It didn't work.  I also had feelings of nausea and then the right side of my face and right arm and hand went numb and tingly. 

At about 2am I managed to finally dose off.  I thought that if I could just fall asleep then I would wake up feeling better.  Around 4.30am Jayden woke us up crying and while Michael went to him I got up to go to the toilet and felt even worse!  I really freaked out and asked him to call an ambulance. 

So, I went to hospital and being the country saw a Dr the next morning around 9.30am.  They seemed to think I was fine and treated me for a silent migraine with a saline drip and a couple of painkillers.  Although I had no headache.

They sent me to a larger hospital about an hour away, where I had to go through the emergency department again and after all of that they suggested again, it's probably just a silent migraine, we won't do a CT scan just let your Dr know if it happens again.

It really scared me and took me a good 5 or 6 days to start feeling back to normal. The numb/tingling feeling lingered and some of the evenings after that I felt like I was getting a little anxious but this soon faded.

After that I was feeling really good.  I lost a few kg and was eating well.  I have also visited a naturopath who has been helping with my general wellbeing also.

A couple of weeks ago, Michael and I headed to Melbourne for my cousin's 50th birthday party.  We were really looking forward to catching up with the family, dressing up and of course a weekend away is a rarity for us!

Michael and I all dressed up!

We had a fantastic time!  Overdid it on the wine and certainly paid for it the next day feeling a little seedy.  We took my Dad out for a belated Fathers Day lunch which was really nice, and the weather was gorgeous!

We picked the kids up from my In-laws and we were home around 8.30pm.  The boys went straight to bed and I went to check email and you do!

Well, to my surprise I started with another anxiety attack/mystery illness episode!  I quickly hopped in to bed and stayed calm this time assuming that I wasn't about to drop dead that moment.  Michael was super supportive looking up methods to help and gave me a little squeezy ball to help distract me.  I was sort of cold shaking for about 5-10min, but eventually managed to take deep breaths and fall asleep.

The next morning the anxious feeling was gone, but I was left feeling very spaced out, light headed and with a funny feeling in my right hand again.  Not tingling, but kind of feeling weak? 

This time around it took nearly a week to feel better...Each day I had reduced symptoms and was feeling better.  Those first few days though I was so tired, I snuggled up with the boys in the afternoon for a movie and dozed off!

So, I'm seriously either losing my marbles in my ripe old age of 31 years or there's something physically going on that's causing these weird episodes. My worse mistake was Googling my symptoms because I then started to worry that I have about 150 different medical conditions!!

So my mystery health issue will hopefully not be a mystery for too much longer as I head to the Dr next week for a comprehensive blood test and possibly some scans to follow...

I'll let you know how it goes! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The reality of 1 Mum vs 4 Little Boys...

The reality is that I'm outnumbered...heavily.

My 4 little angels on the bridge at Bonnie Doon!

At home this is fine.  I can easily manage the 4 boys when they're all playing and hanging out.  They often are focused on their own interests at times as well.  It's not unusual for say Louis to be on the computer, Dylan reading Lego instructions (seems he enjoys it more than building them at this stage), Ethan playing Super Mario Bros on the Wii and Jayden making all sorts of voices and sounds in the play room with the animal toys. 

Yesterday however, I loaded the car up and picked Louis up after school to head to a Dr's appointment at 3.45pm.  The appointment was for Louis (nothing serious - all is fine!) and as we pulled into the parking lot I took a breath and tried to briefly remind them of the "rules". 

"We must be quiet while we're waiting"

"We must sit still and be on our best behaviour"

Although I think the boys heard something more along the lines of...

"The Dr's waiting room is like a playground, jump around and be noisy"

We started off just fine, holding hands crossing the car park and quietly walking in.  We sat to wait and thankfully there were a few really great toys for the boys to play with.  Which was all good for about 5min...then the boredom set in.  I quickly handed out my iPhone to the first interested party (Dylan) but other than that there was not much I could do. 

Finally we were called in and we were really in and out in a few minutes.  The walk out to the reception was loud and crazy and we had to wait to be seen.  I had boys running in each direction...and some decided they would walk like gorillas across the floor.  Then the inevitable dash away from Mum began because after all, she can only get one of us at a time.  I scooped Jayden up and he inevitably started to squawk and scream. 

Just as I was signing away and thinking they were all sitting quietly around my feet (some wrapped around my feet) I took a breath.  Then Jayden pops up with his cheeky smile and the reception lady was so friendly.

"Oh hello little one, aren't you a cutey!"

I have a brief moment to feel good about this interaction when Jayden, who is only 2 1/2 years old comes out with...

"You stupid"

I shall just put my hand up for mother of the year award right now I think...

Flustered and over it I quickly try and catch the boys as they make a run for the door...I call out to hold hands when Ethan dashes across the car park to the car, Louis starts climbing a tree and Dylan and Jayden are trying to escape the grip I have on their hands...

The newly crowned Mother of the year straps everyone in the car and announces that there will be no electronics (easier to say than computer, TV, ipad, iphone or Wii) when we get home!!! 

So yeah, I lost my composure for a bit there...

Once we returned home though, I was a little frazzled so I put on some relaxation music, lit some candles and burned some essential oils and was in my own little world of peace while preparing dinner! 

Ethan loves pulling faces! Lucky it's such a cute one!

It's so important to centre ourselves after these moments, for our own benefits and for the kids as well!

Lessons Learnt (and yes, you would assume that I had learnt them by now!):

  • The best option would be to book a Dr appointment when I only have a manageable 1 or 2 children with me.
  • Perhaps have another adult with me to make it a little easier.
  • If the above options cannot be arranged, be more prepared with snacks/distraction
  • Accept that the boys will struggle with quiet/boring places for a few more years yet and I just need to deal with it!
I give you all permission to remind me of this post and the lessons I should have learnt as I take the boys, on my own, to the Melbourne zoo over the holidays...