Well, hasn’t 2020 turned out to be fun? In light of the massive amounts of thoughts constantly racing around my head at the moment, I’ve found myself back on the blog again. Shocking, I know. With the corona virus pandemic playing havoc with the world, we here in Victoria, Australia have found ourselves practicing physical distancing. Well, some of us have. Some are a little slow on the uptake. But given we are now a family of five, finding ourselves all stuck at home for the foreseeable future, I have decided the blog will be a way to keep myself mentally healthy. Hopefully!
I’ve had loads of ideas, and really want to try and reach out and support anyone who may need it, and get support in return! These are difficult, uncharted times, and we will all need some kind of support over the coming months. Whether that be new ideas for the kids, support for you as parents/adults or just some good old fashioned validation that you are doing alright, I hope to provide it here.
I’ve also created a facebook group that you can join, where we can all share tips and support. I know there are loads of different facebook groups that have been created for all different reasons in this new corona age, however I would love to share support and ideas that we have either tried ourselves or plan to try. And even a space to share local or online businesses that are either new or struggling with the physical distancing measures in place now. I know there will be a lot of business that will have already or will be trying to make the move to an online platform, and would love to spotlight them if we can.
Now keep in mind that I’m at home with two school age kids who “go back” to school via remote learning on Wednesday, an almost three year old and husband who is frantically working from home, so I am not sure at this point just how regular my posts will be. I’m hoping that once we get into the school term and work out our routine, it will be clearer then.
In the mean time, please feel free to sign up to the email list, join the FB group or link up on instagram, and let me know how are you all going? I would love to know what your would find useful, are you working, not working? Are your kids home from school?
Stay safe and stay home (if you can!).
We’re well and truly into the pointy end of the footy season here in Melbourne. Yep, September not only brings spring, but footy finals too. We are definitely an AFL family, listening to most matches across the weekend and usually watching at least the Friday night match on the television, no matter who is playing. And we’ve been club members since Ms 4 was about 1 1/2. Which brings me to the question: Which club? Who do your kids barrack for? As in, if you and your partner support different teams, whether it be AFL, rugby, netball, soccer or basketball, who do your kids support?
Have you left it a clean slate, ready for them to choose when old enough? Or have you and your partner chosen for them? I’ve ‘surveyed’ a few friends to get a bit of an idea about this very important issue! We’ve done the old, one for me one for you. The Mister got to choose for the first born, because he seemed to care more, and second born was for me. Because, we do not support the same teams. Nope, The Mister is a Hawthorn man and I am North Melbourne. When Mr 2 is old enough to work it out, he may have some resentment toward me……… 😉
So of the 5 or 6 families I asked, I really got a mix of responses. One couple had a similar response as ours, although they aren’t too interested in the footy anymore. Another told me that they were going to let their offspring choose for themselves, and had provided scarves in both teams in order to provide a balanced approach. Although they had quickly removed the Essendon scarf placed in the cot by one grandmother, as and I quote “I ain’t having that shit go on in my house” (Love it!)
Another friend, and they don’t have kids at this point, advised that he isn’t a fan of the “one for mum and one for dad” approach and will respect any offspring’s decision, as long as it’s not to support Collingwood, or Hawthorn. Another decided to start supporting his wife’s team. He says because he just liked the song (he swapped to the Tigers, so fair enough. I hasten to add this occurred some time before the Tige’s current good form!)
And one friend told me how they had one for each, but complications had occurred after they had separated and since re-partnered. The nature of the new relationships has meant that which ever parent the kids are with, one child is not barracking for the team that everyone else is. It can be a passionate, emotion filled experience, following a sporting team, that’s for sure.
There are not many games left now, in this year’s AFL season, another round of finals next week and then the big one. Which has, for the first time, bought a public holiday to the people of Victoria as well, thank you very much! No matter who is in, we will be watching the big game and enjoying the atmosphere it brings to Melbourne – please, please, let there at least be one Victorian side in!!! And there is a remote, vague chance that things could be tense here on the day – at this point, both Hawthorn and North Melbourne could still make it to the big game.
So now tell me – has the choosing of sporting teams been tricky for you? Let me know!
This week, we’ve had to hunker down. The Mister has had to go overseas again this week for work, and the only way I can describe my coping process is: hunker down. Especially this week in Melbourne – until Thursday, it’s been cold and wet and grey. So we’ve been coping by watching movies with popcorn, some crazy dancing, baking and eating not so great food. Because at this point, when it’s me and the kids 24/7, and they don’t eat food at the best of times, it’s whatever’s easy. You want pasta with cheese? You got it. Seriously, I don’t know how my kids are growing and developing intelligence. I swear Mr 2 only eats white foods – oats, milk, pasta, cheese, bananas……
Thursday bought sunshine, and temperatures above 12 degrees. Yes! They’ve been in the backyard, and Ms 4 could play outside at kinder. So some of the crazy can be run out of their systems, and maybe tonight they will go to bed with less resistance – ha! Cheeky things know how to push it when there is only one person here!
You may remember from this post, that my little ones luuuuurve to sneak into our bed at night. They’ve been better, but when it’s only me, I don’t have the energy to fight it once I’m asleep. So this week has seen lot’s of snuggles in the morning, and lots of edge of bed sleeping for me. For they surely cannot use the WHOLE EMPTY HALF of the bed that is free with The Mister away!!!! No, they must sleep attached to me at all times.
Thankfully, he’ll be back on the weekend, and there are no more overseas trips planned for the year. How do you go when you’re normal parenting routine is thrown out of whack? Do you bunker down, or carry on as normal? Any tips, throw ’em at me!
Linking up with With Some Grace for #FYBF – go find some more awesome blogs!
This post was bought to you by Dettol.
Before you have kids, you ‘know’ things will change. Work, money, some household roles. Your body. And you also ‘know’ that you won’t let some things change (bahahaha!). We’ll still do the things we love to do, baby will fit in with us….. And to some extent that’s true. Like, for perhaps the first few months. Then baby is not a newborn anymore. Baby becomes a small human intent on making you focus solely on them at all times – for food, for nappy changes, for entertainment, for laughing, for cuddling. So you know, mostly, it’s all good and pretty much why lots of people have kids. It’s when they’re slightly older – preschool/toddler – that you realise how the small things have changed. There are loads of things that have changed for me because of kids and below are just three:
Music. Now I’m not talking about seeing live music. Clearly that’s changed. The last live show I saw was Hi 5. Lord. But even listening to it has changed. I do it less, for one, mainly because I listen more to the ABC during the day now. Because I don’t get to watch the news etc on the tv anymore. For one, it’s the kids bed and bath time when it’s on and two, I don’t want them seeing it. I can have the radio on and turn it off quickly if I need. And also, when we put music on now, it’s with a lot of thought. Music from the 90’s features a lot and earlier, and we pick stuff that we think the kids will enjoy – that they can jump around and rock out to. Because they actually love doing that which is awesome, especially for The Mister. He’s been in bands for most of his adolescent and adult life, so it’s good to see them enjoy music.
Books. I used to read and read and read!!! And I do read blogs and new sites a lot but I used to read books. Stories. Things that took me to other places and times and gave me different views on things. Now, books are read and re-read but aren’t quite the same. Jessie, Iron Man and the Wonkey Donkey have taken over from Elizabeth, Frodo and Jo. Which is quite lovely in one way, but something I’ve recently tried to change. I’m so pleased the kids have always been interested in books and stories, but I need to make sure I keep reading too. Even if it’s re-reading the one’s I love and throwing in a new one every now and then. I’ve been trying to go to bed a half hour earlier to get some book time in.
Hand Wash. I never used to buy hand wash. I would have soap in the bathroom and that would be it. Why would I a spend more on liquid soap, I thought. Ha!! Since having kids, the amount of time I have spent washing my hands must of quadrupled. And that’s being conservative! Multiple nappy changes a day, washing out said nappies (we use cloth), cleaning up after the kids, and all the normal reasons to wash hands. It’s now an essential and since using the Dettol No Touch system I’m thoroughly converted. I think I need one for the laundry as well as the one I have in the kitchen. The laundry is where we store and wash nappies, feed animals and change kitty litter. One in the laundry would be pretty handy actually. I sometimes make my own – I recently worked out how to make the foaming hand wash which is great, but I think the No Touch system is really god for the kitchen – think washing hands after cutting raw chicken and think about what the pump on the hand wash must be covered in. Yeah. Nice.
So tell me, what are the small things that have changed since you had kids? Is it something that surprised you or were you fully prepared for the change?
And it’s pretty scary, actually. We had been taking Mr 2 back to the doctor on a seemingly weekly basis. It wasn’t actually weekly, but that’s what it felt like. Constant coughing that turned into wheezing, that sometimes turned into heavy, laboured breathing where his poor little ribs sucked in and out.
It started about September last year. Initially it was croup – meaning a steroid dose was taken. The next month, we were away on the Great Ocean Road for a weekend, and his breathing became wheezy and his ribs were working hard. So we called the Lorne hospital and they recommended we come in. It was a Saturday evening of a long weekend, and we had never needed to take the kids to an emergency department before. And we weren’t in Lorne, we were probably 25 minutes further on the winding ocean road. That had Mr 2 vomiting with car sickness the day before. Awesome.
So we headed in, with Ms 3 happily bunked in with friends in their cabin. I was, of course, completely anxious the whole way there – was he going to spew on the way, was his breathing going to get worse, was Ms 3 ok with us leaving her when it was night and we were in a strange place. Naturally, he didn’t spew, slept the whole way there and Ms 3 had an awesome time with the big girls! When we got to the ED, the staff was great. Saw us straight away and were lovely. They monitored him for a bit, gave him a dose of steroids and diagnosed bronchiolitis. Rest and fluids, and get another course of steroids for him.
Over the months since, we’ve been back to the GP at least five times with similar symptoms – particularly the wheezing and coughing. Each time leaving with redipred and ventolin, and sometimes antibiotics, but no diagnosis. When kids are under two, there is a reluctance to diagnose asthma, mainly because they can ‘grow’ out of it. Their airways are small and more sensitive to inflammation. So they wait a bit and see if the symptoms will ease off. That’s my understanding.
We had started considering going to a different GP, to push for a bit more assessment. He had turned 2 at the start of the year and it was still happening. Around March, he was wheezy AGAIN. Of course it came on later in the day and I only managed to get an appointment at about ten to five and with a different GP. I got in to the clinic, with Ms 3 and Mr 2 managing to climb all over every inch of the waiting room and the GP’s room. They cannot sit still when we are in a GP’s office!
Well, this one was awesome. She read the file, listened to what I was saying and assessed Mr 2’s presentation. “It is asthma” she pronounced and proceeded to instruct me to take him to the local emergency department for assessment. Wait, what? She was concerned that he needed a thorough assessement that she couldn’t do at this stage of the day. He needed to be monitored over a three hour period, to assess his breathing and his response to medication.
So off we went to the local emergency department. The Mister had just got home from work, so he met us there. Luckily, it went fairly well. We didn’t have to wait hours and hours. Saying that, whislt we were waiting, his breathing worsened and we heard that real rattling, whistle type breath for the first time. That wasn’t great.
He was assessed and monitored and sent home with ventolin and spacers and instructions to see the GP, having responded well to the ventolin. And that was how we found out our child has asthma. Since then, we have had an appointment with the nurse at the GP’s to develop an Asthma Management Plan and to learn a little more about asthma. That appointment really bought home to me how serious asthma is. We don’t have it in our family and neither does The Mister. So I’ve never really been exposed to it. The nurse made it clear that it can and does kill children when not managed properly. Scared the bejeesus out of me. So now he is on preventer medication, morning and night, with the plan to reassess once we are through winter. For Mr 2, coughs and colds appear to be a trigger, so winter can be a difficult period. And we carry ventolin, spacer and mask with us all the time, in case an attack flares up.
Luckily, the younger kids are when they’re first diagnosed, the more likely they seem to grow out of it. Fingers crossed that happens for us too. He’s been travelling well so far through winter, with only a few episodes of needing ventolin, usually when he has had a particularly severe cold/cough.
Did you know there is an Asthma First Aid Plan? I didn’t, I had no idea. Click through if you are interested in knowing more about it. It’s simple and straight forward, and good to know if you’re with someone who appears to be having an attack.
How about you? Do you or your child have asthma? Was it a surprise, or does it run in your family? Let me know, I’d be keen to hear (read!) your experience.
Here are some more links you may find useful:
- The Asthma Buddy App – great for slightly older kids learning to manage their asthma.
- The National Asthma Council Australia – lots of information for those with asthma, or caring for someone with asthma, for professionals and for media.
- Asthma Australia – again, has lots of information and links to state/territory specific sites.
Monday night, Mr 2 decided that he was going to wake up at 3am and come into our bed. Now, to be fair to him, the whole previous week The Mister had been away and I was not going to do the ‘sleeping in your own bed’ battle by myself. So Mr 2 was used to just coming on in and sleeping on top of me. Because why sleep on the other 3/4‘s of the bed when you can make sure mum is sleeping on the edge?
Suffice to say, he got a rude shock when he was gently guided back to his own bed at 3:00 am on Tuesday morning. He did not handle it well. And for the next two and half hours, did his best to ensure no one else in the house slept either. He cried, he got out of bed continually, he kept heading up the hall to his sister’s room. Often, he would be put back into bed, appear to settle for 10 minutes, and somehow sensing that I was just about to return to sleep – bam! The pitter patter of little footsteps could be heard as he made his way to our door. To say that he was less gently guided back to bed at this point would probably be an understatement. I was not coping well with three hours sleep!
To add to the fun, Ms 4 had woken at roughly the same time due to a coughing fit that continued to annoy her for an hour or so. She wasn’t asleep either. In fact at one point, when Mr 2 was still in his room, yelling loudly, she suddenly appeared in our doorway, hands on hips and demanding “what’s all this racket about??” If I wasn’t so exhausted and irritated it would have been adorable. In fact I think it did manage to raise a small smile. She was promptly sent back to bed, and exhausted, we gave in and bought Mr 2 to our bed. Where he quickly fell into a deep and angelic slumber. Faaaaaark!!!
How do they always manage to have these terrible nights when you really need them to sleep early and well?! We have kinder at 8.30 for Ms 4 on Tuesday’s. We need to be up and at them in order for me to be only slightly late and disorganised. So of course, the two cherubs would have slept until about 9 if I’d let them on Tuesday. Any other day that would have been great!
Sleep and Mr 2 has been an ongoing battle for us. Recently, it had seemed to be a lot smoother. We put in some hard work (using the camping out method) and he was sleeping well in his cot, not crying for us to bring him to our bed. Then after a little while we decided to take the side off his cot, whilst he seemed settled with his sleep, so that he didn’t think he needed to come out. It was a theory. A theory that seemed ok until routine changed and it all went out the window. He had been going to bed and staying there, and only every now and again coming to our room. Now, he fights bedtime and, well, please see above! I know for some, kids in the bed are no big deal. And I didn’t mind when he was smaller, but now, it just doesn’t work. The Mister doesn’t sleep at all well and finds himself exhausted when doing the long drive to work. So for us, it’s not something that suits us.
Now I could ask for your tips on sleeping, but really, I just want to know that I’m not the only one battling this!! Do you have a toddler fighting to get in your bed? I saw that Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided has some good tips for coming to terms with a kid who won’t go to sleep.
*Update* For this week, the cot has been turned so that he can’t get out. And we’ll be revisiting the camping out method 🙂
Did you know, that in Australia each year 260 children die and 58,000 children are hospitalized from accidental injuries? These are big numbers! Would you know how to help a child who was unconscious and not breathing? That’s what the people at KidzAid want to know. I have vague memories of my first aid training, pre-children, and I keep putting a paediatric first aid course on my to-do list. I still haven’t completed one.
Here are some more stats for you. For every minute that CPR is not performed when needed, the chance of the child’s survival decreases by 10%. After 4 minutes without oxygen, your child can suffer irreversible brain damage. That’s scary stuff. So basically, what happens in the first five minutes holds the key to saving their life. Five minutes is not enough time to allow professional help to arrive.
We therefore need more people of all ages who are trained and willing to provide immediate CPR to our kids, while waiting for help to arrive. And that’s where KidZaid Paediatric First Aid Training comes in. And to highlight the issue, and raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, the KidZaid team will convert the Palladium at Crown Melbourne into a large training centre, and offer training to parents and families, and break a world record at the same time! There will family fun day activities; celebrity CPR challenges, jumping castles, roving princesses and superheroes, toddler playzone and more.
We’ll be there – it should be a great day! We’ve never gone into the city on Good Friday and with all the family oriented activities happening with the Good Friday Appeal, it should be a really fun day. And I’m so pleased this opportunity to learn paediatric first aid has arisen, and in a way that provides support to the excellent Royal Children’s Hospital.
Details: Entry is free, with a $5 registration fee to complete the CPR training (all proceeds to the Good Friday Appeal). To make this even easier, there is a special $15 family CPR registration price, that allows parents to take advantage of the opportunity to have all the important adults in their child’s life trained for one low cost. Training sessions will run hourly throughout the day and to secure your spot, register today at www.cprchallenge.com.au. Check out the website for more information and follow along with the CPR Challenge on facebook, & twitter.
Tell me, have you completed a paediatric first aid training? Is it up-to-date? Are you going to attend the CPR Challenge?