Younique 3D mascara

17 Jul

I’ve always loved going to formals and balls.  It’s so nice getting all dressed up, having my makeup done (because I’m terrible at doing eyeshadow myself), and getting fake eyelashes to make my eyes pop.  As a whole, going to a ball pretty much makes me feel like a princess for the night.

I bought fake eyelashes for my cousin Jennifer’s wedding last year, but every time I tried to put them in, I failed.  Eventually one of her other bridesmaids put them on for me.

I really like how my eyes stand out when accentuated by exaggerated eyelashes.  What if you could get the same effect, without the hassle (or in my case, down right impossibility) of false eyelashes?  According to the new Younique 3D mascara, you can.

Image from the Younique website

Image from the Younique website

Needless to say, I was intrigued and excited to try it out.  They are taking off in the U.S., but have only just landed in Australia.  I was one of the lucky first people to get my hands on some.  And by get my hands on, I mean an independent consultant sent me some.

Without mascara, with normal mascara, and the bottom photo is with Younique 3D fibre lashes.

Without mascara, with normal mascara, and the bottom photo is with Younique 3D fibre lashes.

What exactly is 3D mascara (it’s actually called 3D fiber lashes, but everyone seems to call it 3D mascara, or just mascara.  It’s so much easier.)?  It’s a two part system.  First, you put on some “transplanting gel,” which pretty much looks like mascara but is quite sticky.  Then you use another mascara like wand  from a tube full of 100% green tea fibres to apply tiny little fibres onto your sticky lashes.  The fibre plumps up and extends your lashes making them look pretty awesome.

I really like the way it looks, but only on the top lashes.  I think it’s a bit too much and stands out as un-natural looking if also done on the bottom.   But maybe that’s just me.  It looks kind of like your eyelashes are turning into trees by sprouting branches when you first apply the fibres, but if you use one of those eyebrow/lash comb things (the ones with what looks like a tiny comb on one side, and a tiny brush directly opposite the comb) to make all the fibres go in the right direction, it looks normal. Only longer and fuller.  If you don’t comb them and tame them, you will also find a little pile of stray fibres on your cheeks a while later.  The crucial combing/taming step eliminates that as well.

Personally, I only use the Younique 3D fibre lashes on special occasions, not because it’s hard to do (it’s not), or anything like that, but because I usually wear glasses and the rims of my glasses pretty much hide my eyelashes. When my eyes come out from behind my glasses, my lashes get 3D’d, which is only on special occasions because as a stay at home mom, I can’t be bothered with contacts most of the time.

I used Younique 3D lashes when we had family portraits done (by Michael Seager)

I used Younique 3D lashes when we had family portraits done a few weeks ago (by Michael Seager)

Click here to peruse and or buy Younique 3D fibre lashes, or any of their other products, such as mineral make up and BB cream.

*I was given Younique 3D fibre lashes free for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Number three

13 Jul

Everyone knows that number one is code for pee and number two is synonymous with poop, but what, exactly, is number three you ask?

I think this video explains it best:

Hannah was just a baby when that commercial came out, so naturally, I found it hilarious and actually understood what they were talking about.  I can imagine that a non-parent/caregiver/nanny would watch it and think what the heck.  Poo explosions were a regular occurrence when the kids were babies, but I haven’t had to worry about it for at least a year.  Until recently….

Last week:

“Mommy, I need to go to the toilet!” Daniel tells me urgently at a friend’s house.  I pick him up and run to the bathroom.  At home he wears undies, but when we’re out, I don’t really want to deal with poopy underwear, so he wears a pull up.  I don’t really want to deal with poopy underwear any time, but it’s so much worse when we’re out.  Not to mention the pooped on garments sit there fermenting in a bag until we get home if he poops in undies while we are out.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I pull down his pants and underwear as fast as humanely possible and lift him up onto the toilet.  He wants down less than a second after I put him up.

“Nope.” He tells me.  False alarm.  He knows there is a poo coming soon, but he’s not so good with the actual timing. I know there must be one coming soon too, he hasn’t pooped in 2-3 days, and he’s a daily sort of boy.  The two tiny little wet fart type accidents he’s already had today make me think he’s holding it in and has a bit of overflow.  Yes, that’s a thing.  I know all about it because Hannah used to hold it in.  She still does sometimes, but I can tell when she’s doing it and make her go sit on the toilet.  I guess she figures if she’s already on the toilet she might as well just go, so it’s not really a problem anymore.

I think Daniel is doing it because he doesn’t want to poop his undies or pull up.  But he doesn’t want to go on the toilet either.

We have about five more false alarms at my friends house before we have to leave to go to a different friend’s house, one who’s house I’ve never been to before.

He has another false alarm there before I notice he’s lingering in the bathroom all by himself.  Just standing there, away from everyone.  A quick check of the pull up reveals he’s already started his poop, which is fine, I’m just glad he’s finally pooping.

“I need to go to the toilet!” He tells me.  But it’s not just a turtle head, there is already some poop in his pull up.  If I try to get if off, then put him on my friend’s toilet, I’m likely to get poop all over the toilet seat.  Not exactly what I want to do at someone else’s house.

“There’s already some in your pull up buddy, just finish your poop in your pull up.” I tell him.  If we were at home, I’d get poop everywhere and put him on the potty or toilet anyway.

I leave him to it and he stands in the bathroom by himself for ages before finally coming out.

“I’ll be right back, I just have to go to the car to get a new pull up and some wipes.” I tell my friend as Daniel sits down on the new carpet next to Hannah.

“Ok buddy, let’s go change your bottom.”  I tell him whilst picking him up.

That’s when I notice;  the 2-3 days worth of poop isn’t contained in his pull up.  Not even remotely.  We’re definitely talking about number threes here.  My eyes widen in horror as I realize there is a big brown spot of poop on my friend’s beige carpet.  Her brand new beige carpet.

My mind races.  Should I help clean up the carpet poop?  Should I run Daniel into the bathroom and deal with carpet poop later? I can’t believe there is poop on the carpet.  I should clean it up, but what about Daniel?  Won’t he just sit down again and make more poop spots?  My mind is made up in a second.

Holding Daniel by the armpits out in front of me as if he’s toxic, I run him to the bathroom, where there is a tiled floor, to change his clothes and clean him up.  The poop is half way up his back and oozing out both sides of the nappy.  I don’t even know where to begin.

UrbMatinpost

“Do you have a hose outside?”  I ask my friend.

She looks at me like I’ve gone crazy.  It is the middle of winter after all.  “Yes, but you don’t need to do it outside.”

“Can I give him a bath here?”

“Of course.”  I think she is stifling laughter.

It’s impossible to peel his clothes off without spreading the poop, so now there is poop not only on his back, bottom, stomach, and legs, but also his shoulders.  The poo clothes are put in a plastic bag, which will have to ferment until I get home.  We somehow managed to get poop all over the bathroom floor as well.  There is even some on the bottom of Daniel’s shoe which has made poop tread marks on the tiles. The once white bathtub is streaked with brown.

Daniel is standing there, naked in the tub, delighted that he gets to have a bath in a foreign bathtub.  I don’t really want to get poop on someone else’s wash cloth, so I splash water on Daniel and wipe him down with my bare hand.  Once all the poop is off him, I use the warm water and my hand to get it all down the drain of the bathtub before using the baby bath I find on the side of the bathtub to wash both Daniel and the bathtub.

Daniel plays in the bath while I clean the poop off the bathroom floor and finally he and the bathroom are clean.  Number three has been dealt with.

Meanwhile, my friend, who is something like 39 weeks pregnant, is in her lounge room with Hannah and her daughter (who is under 2), cleaning up the soiled carpet.

“It’s a poo volcano!” I hear her say.  She is using vinegar and baking soda to fix her new carpet while Hannah’s giggles fill the room.  Luckily my friend has the kind of humour that finds poop hilarious.

Note to self: Always put Daniel on the toilet, even if at someone else’s house and pooping has already commenced.

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Top 5 chemicals to avoid to sustain healthy, luscious hair

10 Jul

Before kids, I always had shiny hair. Maybe I do now too, but I don’t really know since it’s pretty much wash, then throw in a pony tail whilst still wet. Today’s guest post is all about shiny hair. I’d better take note….

Everyone wants beautiful, luscious and healthy hair, but no one seems to know that the products we use to keep our hair looking shiny are actually doing the complete opposite! Most products on the market these days are riddled with chemicals that set out to destroy your hair – this will make you think that you need the products more and subsequently creates an evil cycle of consumerism that in the end only destroys your crowning glory! To help you out, here are the top five chemicals you should be avoiding in order to keep your hair looking healthy, luscious and beautiful!

Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) is also known as sulphuric acid. SLS is not only found in heavy duty cleaning products, but in many brand name shampoos! Most commonly, SLS is found to dry out hair, which often leads to breakage! Something that is used to clean garage floors definitely should not be put in your hair to clean that too! Next time you’re buying shampoo, look out for SLS in the ingredients on the back.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is found in many hairsprays, gels and volumizers, as well as in antifreeze, shellac and wood finish. This product is used mainly to dissolve oils, which is great for things like shellac, but not so great for your hair. Since it dissolves oils, isopropyl alcohol strips the hair of its natural oils and moisture, leaving your hair victim to breakage!

Proplyene Glycol

This chemical is found in a terrifyingly large range of hair care products: shampoos, conditioners, lotions, hairsprays, hair dyes and much more! This product breaks down the proteins in healthy hair, giving it a false “shiny” appearance, but in reality is just causing your scalp to become itchy and irritated, and your hair weak and dry.

Mineral Oil

You’d think mineral oil would be good for your hair and would keep it shiny and healthy – but no! Mineral oil will just make your hair look greasy and unwashed! It will find its way into your pores which will block the natural oils from coming through and cause breakage in your hair. Unfortunately, many hair moisturisers contain this product, so be careful next time you’re looking for a new one – always check the ingredients!

Ammonia and Peroxide

This may seem obvious to most people, but constant hair salon go-ers need to understand that the ammonia and peroxide you are putting in your hair to change it’s colour are really damaging! The peroxide will dry out your hair and cause it to become brittle, and break really easily!

There you have it – five chemicals you must avoid if you want your hair to be as long and luscious as possible! If your hair is starting to thin, there’s always something you can do about it! Check out online sites like Transitions Hair to get your personalised hair loss treatment sorted – you’ll have a full head of hair again in no time. In the meantime though, keep avoiding those harsh chemicals!

*This post was brought to you by Transitions Hair.  All opinions and research are from of the guest writer.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Hannah turns 5

6 Jul Blowing out the candle on her rainbow ice cream cake.  The bottom layer is strawberry ice cream, followed by a fudge and oreo centre, then vanilla, then chocolate and more fudge on top.  It was delicious.

Somehow, it seems like Hannah was born yesterday, but at the same time, it seems like I’ve known her my whole life. I vividly remember the day she was born, and having my very first skin to skin cuddle.

And now she’s 5. FIVE!!!!!! I can’t believe it. She has been planning her party for months. It was her idea to have a gymnastics party at the YMCA (where I go to the gym and she does gymnastics). It was her idea that it would be rainbow themed. Except we couldn’t find any rainbow invitations or cups or bowls or anything else really, so no one knew it was a rainbow party except Hannah. It looked more like a Punky Brewster, nothing matches sort of party. Not that kids these days have any idea who Punky Brewster is.

Hannah and two of her friends at the gymnastics party

Hannah and two of her friends at the gymnastics party

The paper cups didn’t match the bowls, or the napkins or the party bags. Some had chevron patterns, some different coloured polka dots, others stripes. But Hannah picked them all and she liked them, so who cares. Certainly not me and my mis-matched socks.

UrbMatinpost

She picked out the trinkets for the party bags (she wanted more lollies in there, but I would only let her put a few M&M’s and a lollypop in each), as well as the little toys for pass the parcel, because you know, she’s a big girl now.

There just happened to be a Day out with Thomas on her birthday, so we drove over an hour away in the morning, had a 50 minute ride on a steam train pulled by a character from Thomas (I think it was Duck), then drove back home, had a quick lunch, and then it was party time.

Hannah sitting on Thomas.  Daniel wanted to look at Thomas but was too scared of his large size to actually go near him (which is funny since Daniel's favourite thing ever is Thomas)

Hannah sitting on Thomas. Daniel wanted to look at Thomas but was too scared of his large size to actually go near him (which is funny since Daniel’s favourite thing ever is Thomas). This photo was accidentally taken before I had it framed properly, but she is looking down in the one that shows Thomas’ full funnel.

After the party, Hannah’s best friend Violet (and her mum) came over for a sleepover. We thought maybe after all the running around, the girls would be tired enough to actually go to sleep at bedtime, but we were mistaken. We put them to bed at Hannah and Daniel’s usual time of 6:30. Despite the girls being loud, Daniel was out by 6:35, but the girls carried on until nearly 9pm. It is the first time that they have actually reached the sleep stage during a sleep over without having to be separated though, so I guess that’s progress.

Hannah and her best friend Violet ready for bed

Hannah and her best friend Violet ready for bed

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Vacationing with your pooch

3 Jul

Now that we have a cheeky little dog, we have to seriously re think all of our future vacations.  Do we board her somewhere when we’re gone?  Get someone to feed her and let her destroy the side yard in boredom?  What if you could bring your dog with you on vacation?  Today’s guest post has lots of dog friendly vacation ideas:

The world’s most dog-friendly places: Vacationing with your pooch

One of the reasons we take on a dog, along with those dreams of having a loyal, trusty companion, is for the lifestyle change that goes with having a pet. Owning a dog means long, healthy walks, even in rainy weather. When it comes to vacation time though, often the only alternative is to leave our hounds with friends or family or to find boarding kennels for them. But, there are lots of places across the globe which are perfect for dog-comes-too trips. If you can visit out of season, even better, as it will be easier for your pooch to explore. Here are just some of the best places to go with your pet:

Oregan, USA

Portland Oregan

While opting for a city break with your dog may not be the most obvious choice, pooches are incredibly pampered in Portland, Oregan. Nicknamed the Rose City, Portland has more than 30 dog parks and it also has an incredible number of pet message therapists so your dog will come home feeling incredibly relaxed. There are lots of dog-friendly eateries too, so, while in some places you might have to eat in your holiday accommodation or outside a bar or restaurant, in Portland, you could try Dog Lovers’ Night at the Tin Shed Garden Café (details) where, if you buy a meal, they get one free.

 

The Cornish coast

Dizzy on front lawn of Mullion Cove

Most dogs love the beach just as much as children do, the sand underneath their paws, the waves to splash in, the wide open spaces. And, there are few better places to take your pooch than England’s south-western corner. Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula is the perfect choice because, while some beaches ban dogs from the sands all the time or during the summer, there are 13 beaches along the Lizard which your pet can explore year-round. Parkdean’s Mullion site makes an ideal central base as the caravan park itself has pet-friendly bungalows and a dedicated dog walking route (details) and Mullion’s gorgeous cove is one of the most dog-welcoming.

Brittany, France

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France is renowned as one of the most dog-friendly countries in the world. In most villages and towns, you’ll see dogs in pubs and restaurants and, if you’re ordering a meal, you’ll often find a bowl of water is brought out for Fido as you peruse the menu. The huge stretches of sand on Brittany’s Quiberon peninsula make it a good choice. Your dog can run across the flat, wide beaches to their heart’s content, something that is sure to tire out even the most exuberant of pooches. Most campsites in the area welcome dogs if you want to sleep under canvas with your pet.

Girona, Spain

Els Pirineus des de Rocacorba

Dog owners in Girona were recently told they must walk their pets for at least 20 minutes a day or face a fine of up to $500. The byelaw was brought in to cut down on the number of neighbourly disbutes arising from dogs left home alone to bark for hours. And, really, when you consider the beautiful countryside and coast that surrounds Girona, there’s really no excuse for not getting out and about to enjoy it with your dog. Many private villas offer dog-friendly accommodation and, for those looking for a strenuous workout, you can trek the Girona Pyrenees.

 

Lake Louise, Canada

lake louise

One of the dilemmas faced by dog owners in Canada is how to exercise their pet when temperatures plummet dangerously low. People are urged to walk small dogs for short amounts of time and to think about investing in dog boots to prevent paws becoming irritated by the salt put on sidewalks. But on a crisp, clean, sunny day, there can be few places in the world better to enjoy the Great Outdoors. There are more than 100 kilometers of dog-friendly trails at Lake Louise, so you never have to do the same walk twice on a break, and pet-friendly hotels including The Fairmont Chateau and the Lake Louise Inn.

They’re all breathtaking locations and, with so many places welcoming dogs, it just goes to show that you can appreciate the scenery together. There’s no need to leave Fido at home.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Cariloha

28 Jun

I have a set of expensive Egyptian cotton sheets that we got on sale once.  They are silky and smooth, and pretty fantastic.  Or so I thought, until Cariloha sent me some of their bamboo sheet sets.  I was intrigued when they first contacted me to review them, as I’d never heard of bamboo sheets before.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.  I say plant because despite it’s tree-like appearance, bamboo is in the grass family.  It sends new shoots up every year, reaching maturity in 3-5 years.  Bamboo can be harvested continually without impacting the surrounding environment, making it a very sustainable alternative to cotton and also wood.  Needless to say, the thought of using bamboo for sheets and clothes is pretty exciting to a Sustainable Agriculture student such as myself.

Aaron and I put our new bamboo sheets on our queen sized bed, admiring their softness as we went.  When we were finished, we laid on them with the kids.  Our puppy Rosie wanted to check them out as well.  We had only had her for a week or so at the time and didn’t want her to miss out on our little family bed sheet snuggle.  Unfortunately, Rosie liked the sheets so much she didn’t want to get off of them.  Instead of going out to pee, she peed right there on the bed.  Luckily for us, we have a mattress protector under the sheets, but it was still pretty annoying.  I wanted to sleep on those sheets!!! Instead, we had to wash them and remake the bed with different, less soft and inviting sheets.  Humph.

Cariloha bamboo sheets

Cariloha bamboo sheets

I kept the pillow cases on though, and slept on them until time to change the sheets again because they are so soft, silky, and nice feeling on my skin.  I like them way better than my previous favourite egyptian cotton sheets.  I just wish the pillow cases had a little pocket for the end of the pillow to go in so they don’t come out, but I think that is just an American thing.  I don’t recall seeing any pillow cases in the U.S. like the ones we have over here in Australia.

Cariloha also sent me a lovely purple bamboo shirt.

This shirt is made out of bamboo

This shirt is made out of bamboo.

I like this shirt for so many reasons:  the colour is flattering on me (plus I love purple), the cut is flattering on me, it’s really soft, it wicks moisture away, which is important if you are a nervous sweater like me, it’s long enough to cover my butt crack when I bend over (because jeans these days always show the crack when bending!!), and best of all, the scoop neck is low enough to not look weird, but high enough that it doesn’t gape open and reveal my boobs when I bend over.  Mom’s do a lot of bending, so this is obviously very important, especially for someone like me whose nipples show (even if I’m wearing a bra)  when I bend over.

They also sent me a pair of bamboo pants.  I thought they would be perfect for travelling, comfortable, but also stylish.  I usually travel in workout pants or pyjama pants, so  these would be much more appropriate.

Bamboo linen pants.  They look so comfy.

Bamboo linen pants. They look so comfy.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t look at the sizing chart on Cariloha’s website and went for a size 4 instead of a size 2.  I usually wear a U.S. size 3, so I wanted to be on the safe side and go bigger rather than smaller.  The sizing chart is right there on the website, but I am unobservant and didn’t notice it and didn’t use it.  When I got the pants, I could put them on without unbuttoning them, even though I am pear shaped and usually have to pull and wiggle a bit to get pants over my hips.  I was swimming in them. I could tell that if they fit properly, they would be super comfortable though.  You would have to wear light coloured plain undies though, as they are a tad bit see-through.

I ended up giving the pants to a very excited friend who was already a fan of bamboo clothes.

I definitely recommend Cariloha’s products.  They are so soft, well made, comfortable, and sustainably produced.  To purchase Cariloha bamboo products, click here.

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Click here for entry to win a Cariloha sheet set, a pair of bamboo pants, OR a bamboo shirt of your choice.   Entry only open to those with a U.S. or Canadian address, must be 18 or over to enter.  Competition closes 12am 5 July EST.  Rafflecopter will choose a winner at random.

*I was given sheets, a shirt, and pants to review and keep, all opinions expressed are my own.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Safe exercise ideas for mums to be

26 Jun

When I was pregnant with Daniel, I exercised all the way until I was 37 weeks and my gym membership ran out. I spoke to my doctor first to make sure the things I was doing were safe for me and my unborn baby. There are definitely some exercises you shouldn’t do when pregnant, so today’s guest post contains some that most people can do when they have a bun in the oven. (it’s always important to speak to your doctor before embarking on an exercise journey whilst pregnant):

Exercise; for some people it’s a swear word, but for others it’s what gets them through life, and keeps them sane in a mad world. When it comes to pregnancy, exercise can be a good friend, because it can help to prevent complications such as pre-eclampsia. It is believed that it can also help with a shorter labour, which is every mother-to-be’s sweet dream. An active lifestyle during pregnancy can also assist with keeping the body in shape, and reducing back pain, constipation and fatigue. So when you think about it, exercising during pregnancy is really actually the only way to go, if you want to get the most out of the experience! Here are some safe exercise ideas for Mums-to-be.

Yoga

Yoga is probably the best exercise in the world, because it is so gentle, yet does so much for your body. Most yoga teachers have specific classes for people who are pregnant, where they will work specific muscles according to what the mother’s body needs at the time. Yoga truly is an amazing tool for keeping the body in optimal condition and there are poses for soothing any pain, or bodily concern – all you have to do is ask. Always communicate with the teacher about your concerns as they will be able to guide you. It is important to avoid laying on your back after 16 weeks as the weight of the baby presses on a main blood vessel. If the worry is about finding the right clothes to fit, check out this URL for some lovely maternity wear for Mums-to-be.

Walking

Walking is an excellent choice as it gets you out of the house, and out into the world. Often during the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy, the mother-to-be can experience bouts of depression, or other feelings and walking will help with getting a change of scene. Sitting in a house, worrying, and dwelling on the pregnancy and birth is not going to do anyone any favours so get out, get the blood moving and get some fresh air into your body.

Swimming

The great thing about swimming is that it is so low impact. Any exercise that you do in the water is supported, and it is the one place during pregnancy where you will be able to experience feeling weightless – which is a stark contrast to the heavy feeling of carrying the lump!

Me at 37 weeks pregnant with Hannah.  I used to do aqua aerobics during my first pregnancy.

Me at 37 weeks pregnant with Hannah. I used to do aqua aerobics during my first pregnancy.

Pilates

Pilates is awesome for strengthening and toning, but can be quite a lot of work if you are doing the regular class, so make sure you find a teacher who can tailor the class to your needs as a pregnant woman.

Exercise Bike

An indoor exercise bike will mean that you can still exercise will staying in the comfort of your home, which is definitely advantageous if you are getting to the later stages of the pregnancy.

It’s best to mix it up and vary the sorts of exercise that you do, as this will help to work all the different muscles. Half an hour of exercise a day is a decent amount for a pregnant woman, and this can be easily split into 3 ten minute sessions. Any activity counts, (even housework!) so it doesn’t have to be formal exercise to get the benefits of an active pregnancy.

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Daniel at the children’s hospital

22 Jun

1 week ago:

My eyes are slowly drifting open.  The sound of coughing, barking, or maybe some kind of machine failure fills my ears.  It takes me a little bit to wake up properly and realise scream crying and gaging noises are accompanying the strange noise.  Adrenaline rushes through me and I am wide awake with realisation that the noise is coming from Daniel.  As I get out of bed, I see that Aaron is not here.  He must be up with Daniel already. How long had I slept through his horrible sounding cough and crying?  I must have been in a deep sleep.  It’s only 10:30 and I’ve only been asleep for an hour.

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Daniel is coughing a so loudly and uncontrollably that he is gagging and throwing up a little.  It’s not a normal cough, but a strange sounding one, kind of like a dry bark.  His coughing is distressing him so much that he is also screaming and crying and Aaron is having a hard time comforting him.  He wants me to lay with him in his bed, but first I have to put his dinosaur sleeping bag in the wash, as there is mucous-y vomit all over it, making this only the second time in his entire life that he’s thrown up.

The crying stops when I lay down with him in his small junior sized bed.  Instead his every breath is audible and seems to be a struggle.

“I’m calling the doctor.” I tell Aaron.  The crying starts again as I exit the bed to get my phone.  I’m told there is a 5 hour wait for the after hours home doctor.

“You can call the medical advice line in the mean time.” The operator tells me.  I do it straight away.  I tell them about the horrible sounding cough, the laboured breathing, and the coughing so much he vomited.  I put my phone up to Daniel’s face, much to his displeasure, and let the doctor on the phone listen for herself.  He coughs while the phone is next to him.

“I suggest you take him to the emergency room, that sounds like a bad case of croup.”  She tells me.  I’ve called the medical advice line a few times before, and they’ve never told me to go to the hospital, so I know it’s not just a standard line they give everyone.

There is a general hospital about 3 minutes away, but there is also a children’s hospital about 25 minutes away.

“Ok Buddy, we’re going to take a little trip to the Children’s hospital.  I’ll get dressed and pack my iPad and stuff and then we’ll go.”

“Can I come too?” Hannah asks.

“No sweetie, it’s night time and you have school tomorrow, you need to sleep.”

“I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!!”  Daniel is upset and crying again.

“It’s ok Daniel, the Children’s hospital is really fun!” I hear Hannah telling him while I get ready to go.  “There are toys there, and it’s only for kids!  There is a playground, and they are really nice, and it’s so much fun.  You’ll love it there.  Don’t be scared Daniel, it’s good there.  I wish I was going.”

Hannah’s kind words calm him down and his screaming is replaced by excitement.  I’m not sure why she loves it so much.  The only time she went she had pneumonia and pretty much laid in my lap the whole time.  She played on the playground for about 2 minutes, but that was it.  But I suppose that experience was much better than the time she went to the local general hospital when she was under 2, had a 40 degree (104) fever and refused to drink anything.  I took her to the doctor who told me to take her straight to the hospital.  She was admitted for the night as she was so feverish and dehydrated.  They tried at least 3 times to get a cannula in, but failed every time.  They never did end up getting one in so that she could get the fluids so so desperately needed.  They also needed to check her for a UTI, to see if that was the cause of infection, which entailed 3 doctors holding her down on a bed as she screamed the most horrible, heart breaking scream I’ve ever heard in my life while another doctor shoved a small catheter tube inside her.

Again, they failed.  While I held her hand and tried my best to avoid crying so that I didn’t upset her even more, they held her down and did the whole thing again, failing for second time.  They couldn’t get the cannula in, and they couldn’t get the catheter in, but despite not actually being able to do anything for us, they made us stay all night.  I was about 37 weeks pregnant at the time but Hannah was too terrified by that stage to sleep in the hospital bed all by herself, so both of us slept in her bed together.  She took ages to fall asleep after all her trauma and when she finally did, they shoved a thermometer under her arm, waking her up, as they did every hour.  Haven’t they ever heard of an ear thermometer that won’t wake sick kids up all the time?  It was horrible.  Needless to say, I now drive the extra 20 something minutes to the children’s hospital.

I bundle Daniel up and put him in his car seat after warming up the car so it’s not too cold inside.

Since the kids go to bed at 6:30pm, they don’t often get to ride in the car in the dark.  I thought Daniel might fall asleep on the way, but instead he is looking at all the lights, cars, buses, and trucks.  “Mommy, I see, a truck!!”  He tells me with excitement.  The car ride seems to be calming him down, but I can still hear his loud breathing.

“Look, there’s Wet ‘n’ Wild!”  I say as we pass the giant water slides.  For some reason, all the lights on the slides and stairs are on, even though it’s the off season and it hasn’t been open for two months, not to mention it’s now 11 something at night.  I wonder how much money they waste on electricity?

After parking at the hospital, a triage nurse greets us straight away to assess Daniel.  He hasn’t coughed much in the car, but he sneezes in front of her, which also has the trademark croupy bark noise.

“Yeah, that sounds like croup.”  She tells me.  She gives me a number with an A in front of it and tells me that I will be next because no one else in the waiting room has an A ticket.

Sure enough, he is seen about 20 seconds later.  Although croup is a caused by a viral infection, and antibiotics don’t help, oral steroids are given to open up his airways.  “We will check him again in one hour to make sure the medicine worked, and then, if he is doing well, you should be able to go home.”  She gives me a pamphlet about croup before we go to the waiting room for an hour.

Croup is more common at night, when it’s cold, and is often sudden, like it was with Daniel.  Hannah had croup a couple of months ago, but hers wasn’t nearly as bad as Daniel’s.

Daniel lays on me in a comfy plush chair (not like the chairs of our local ER) and tries to get comfortable for a nap.  There are too many other people around though, and he is distracted.  He really wants to lay down properly, but the chairs aren’t big enough.

I spot a long soft bench seat in the overflow part of the waiting room where the TV and wall toys are and carry him over.  No one else is in there.  He lays there for about 10 seconds before deciding that it’s play time, followed by iPad time.  Oh well, at least he’s happy, and I can keep myself awake watching the weird movie about a kid with leaves growing on his ankle that is playing on the TV attached to the wall.

After an hour, they call him again, check his vitals, and then tell us we can go home if we see our usual doctor tomorrow.  The steroids have done their job and there is no more laboured breathing or coughing.

When we get home, I sleep on the couch with him for the rest of the night, and I keep him home from daycare, since he has a virus and I expect him to be very tired and lethargic all day.

I am wrong.  He is not tired, and doesn’t seem sick at all.  Instead, he spends the day running around the house and jumping off the couch whilst I attempt to study for my chemistry final.  The doctor says he can go to daycare tomorrow and to expect a bad night again.

We put a heater in the kids’ room as cold air negatively affects croup, but we still expect some coughing and waking.  Luckily though, it never comes. They both sleep all night, and past their usual 6am wake up.

If your child has ever had croup. you know how scary it is.  That cough is like no cough you’ve ever heard before, and the laboured breathing is enough to send us parents running with our kids to the ER.  Although death from croup is rare, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.  And perhaps it’s rare because so many of us seek immediate medical attention for it.  I’m just glad that he is fine now.

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Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after lack of sleep caught up to him

Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after the lack of sleep caught up to him

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A little rest

21 Jun

I haven’t checked my emails in over a week. My dirty laundry pile is way above the top of the hamper. I just washed dishes for and hour and a half. My chemistry final was yesterday, so all of my spare time leading up to it was spent studying. Next semester doesn’t start until the end of July, so I get to have a little rest. If you can call hanging out with an almost 5 year old rest. She too has a break between semesters. This will be the first time she’s been home during a school break. During the last one, she had 3 weeks off and I had only one, during which there was an intensive 3 day chemistry workshop.  Needless to say, she went to holiday care at school.  Daniel goes to daycare 2 days a week year round (and loves it).

I’m soooooooooooooo glad chemistry is finished. Down Under, you only need 50% (in most subjects) to pass the class, and I had 49.2% before the exam (which is worth 50% of our final grade), so I know I passed and won’t have to redo the class, which is nice. Of course I’m hoping to do a fair bit better than 50%, but chemistry is hard, and I didn’t know some of the stuff on the test, so I don’t want to get my hopes up too high.

The Australian marking/grading system (some schools differ a little bit)

The Australian marking/grading system (some schools differ a little bit)

Hannah and I already have heaps of plans for the school holidays: baking, cooking, gardening, clothes shopping, shoe shopping (her feet have had a sudden growth spurt and she no longer fits into her shoes), a trip to Costco with Romana and Violet, play dates, riding the train to Daddy’s work and eating lunch with him, making Violet’s birthday present…. I think that’s it for now, but I’m sure the list will grow.

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I would suggest there will be more blog posts during the school break, but since I won’t be by myself, I highly doubt that.  Sorry.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Early wake up

17 Jun

“I need my car vitamin,” I heard the other morning as I lifted my still half asleep eyes towards the bedside clock.

5:36am.  Argh.

“No vitamin yet Daniel, your clock hasn’t turned green.  You know you’re supposed to stay in your room until your clock turns green.  It’s not 6 yet.” I told him as my head settled back onto my warm, soft pillow.

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“NOOOOOOOOO I WANT TO GET UP!!!!!!!!”  He screamed as he threw himself backwards on the bed.

Despite my half asleep brain fog, I knew a change in tactics was needed.  I had to outsmart the 2 year old.

“Daniel, it’s still night; it’s still sleep time.  Lay down and go to sleep.”  So what if it was morning, Daniel didn’t need to know that.  I would have made him go back to his room, but I didn’t want him to wake Hannah up.

My quick thinking did the trick and Daniel’s whinging immediately stopped as he thought about my words.  He wriggled himself under the blankets and laid his head on edge of my pillow.

A few minutes later,  a whisper accompanied by a dim light moved around the house. “Daniel?  Daniel?”  Hannah was looking for him.  She tip toed to the bathroom, the dining room, and the living room, quietly calling Daniel’s name.  I thought she would come in Aaron’s and my bedroom, but after checking everywhere else, the still dark morning returned to silence.

I thought she’d gone back to bed until I heard her soft footsteps coming towards our room.

“Hannah.  Hannah.”  I whispered.

The footsteps stopped, but I received no answer.

“It’s ok, you can come in.”  I told her.  She quickly came to the bed and got under the covers.

“I was looking for Daniel,” she told me “he escaped from our room.”

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!

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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson

The Best Mom Blogs

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