So recently I’ve been posting short daily vlogs over on tiktok & surprisingly people seem to enjoy them. (CLICK HERE to check them out) Because they are daily sometimes I show what we are eating and a heavily featured meal is a regular go to for us, chicken pasta.
I get asked so often for the recipe and I am hesitant to make a video on it, because recipe content isn’t really my thing. So I thought I would just write it out for you…
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup of grated cheese of your choice
If you want to use the diced bacon (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t…) fry it off first and then set it aside to add on top of the pasta when serving.
Start cooking pasta (cook until nearly done)
Dice onion, mince garlic & grate zucchini – sauté in pan.
Dice chicken – add to pan with vegetables and cook until cooked through. (How much chicken I use depends on how many people I am cooking for, if it’s just the kids and I, I use just one breast and then I add on from there…)
Once chicken is cooked, add in 1 cup/250ml of cream, 2 cups of stock (I use 1 tbsp quirky chicken stock paste & 1 tbsp of vegetable stock paste that I make in the thermomix & I combine that with 2cups of water. If you don’t have this stock paste, just use your preferred type of stock)
Stir until combined and then add in the 1 cup of grated cheese – whatever cheese you prefer. Sometimes I use parmesan, other times the pizza grated cheese in the bag – this meal is fairly forgiving.
Drain the pasta
Add pasta to pan and stir to coat pasta.
Season however you like – I usually add cracked pepper & a sprinkle of vegeta stock powder and sometimes I just forget to.
Continue to cook & stir gently over a medium-high heat until the mix is simmering & pasta is cooked through.
At this point I normally turn the heat off and pop a lid on the pan. I find letting it sit for about 20-30minutes helps the sauce to be absorbed a bit by the pasta & it thickens. If you serve it straight away, it’ll just be a bit more liquidy.
When serving I top with diced bacon (from step 1), but sometimes I don’t…
So that’s it. The basic part which you need to know is 1 cup of cream, 2 cups of stock & 1 cup of cheese. That makes the sauce, the rest you can customise however you like. You could add in whatever veggies you like (mushrooms maybe? I am not a huge fan of cooked mushrooms…) You could use a shredded BBQ chook from woolies if you are short on time & don’t feel like dicing & cooking chicken breast… It really is a very basic & forgiving recipe. When I make it we always have leftovers for the next night or the freezer. (It does freeze & reheat well) Everyone I make this meal for always enjoys it & both my kids love it too. For me it’s comfort food, I like it and I hope you do too. Please let me know if you make it & any changes you made to it.
Today was rainy – I like rainy days…
I get to drink multiple cups of tea, wear a cosy jumper and I just love that vibe. (Very Folklore…)
I am certain last winter we didn’t have any rainy days – isn’t that crazy.
So each time it rains here this year, I just feel so thankful.
For as long as I’ve been taking photos, like since before the days of Bella In Bindyland. One of my favourite things to do is go outside when the rain stops, when everything is still drenched and just take photos. I love marvelling at the rain drops pooled on the plants and the how the tiny water droplets cling to the grass. To me, it is like my yard has been transformed to a magical place – it’s calm, silent & beautiful.
12’ish years ago I use to just share these photos that I took on a dodgy little point & shoot camera on my facebook page in an album titled something “so unique” like ❤ My Photography ❤ (I come from the era of msn spaces & myspace and at that time myspace was phasing out, but I was clearly still holding on…)
I remember one comment pissing me off a fair bit… I had taken a photo of my clothesline after the rain and this person had left a comment mocking the photo and saying it was lame (or something similar…)
Since then I often try to get a cool shot of raindrops on the clothesline, today I feel I nailed it… And even if I didn’t do it well enough to anyone else’s standards, I think it’s a cool shot and I am now at that point in my life where my opinions are what matter to me, not anyone else’s.
So here are some of the shots I captured whilst wandering around my misty backyard in my dressing gown this morning…
Enjoy. (Tell me which photo you like the best? Clearly I think they are all kinda cool…)
At the end of 2018 I wrote a great post – I love that post, I stand by it and honestly if you want an uplifting advice post for entering the new year HERE IT IS. That one is solid.
But it never played out for me. Yet, I will be using the same strategies going into this new year.
So lets vaguely rehash the year that I’ve just survived… 2019 – I cannot wait to farewell you. Sure there were sprinklings of good in you, but overall you were painful & a year I don’t ever want to relive.
From the first week of 2019 my world just kind of got a bit shit, well that’s a drastic understatement to be honest.
I promise you I had high hopes going into 2019, everything I wrote in THIS post was truth – but it barely lasted a month. My world fell apart.
During the first month of 2019 I was destroyed & hurt, my mental & emotional health took a huge hit and it all spiralled rapidly downwards and I lost myself. Completely.
This year I’ve dealt with tremendous hurt, my marriage almost ending, being diagnosed with a few new health problems, still being the family asshole because I insist on boundaries in my life, our dear dog passing away, a friendship break up, being in the darkest place I’ve ever been in, making mistakes, being hurt, being angry, being devastated, nearly selling our home – which comes with it’s own heartbreak & stress, becoming a FIFO family, being tremendously heartbroken – all while having very little support but still trying to be “fine”.
I did thankfully have a couple of dear friends who were great this year – but for the majority of this year, I rode it solo. Because everyone has their own problems & they did not need mine, so while some friends knew what was happening – I didn’t feel ok unloading all of my emotions on them. I was always “fine”. I rarely ever was.
I took every hit, hurt & break by myself all while holding our life together & making sure everyone else was doing ok. Because that’s what Mums do. Inside of us is collapsing and failing – but life keeps going – I do not have time to break down, because I had no one else to pick up the pieces. Me falling apart means our life falling apart and my little people didn’t need that at all. That couldn’t and wouldn’t happen. I had no choice but to carry it. Life had to continue as normal. I had to be fine.
This year I felt was almost my last. Almost. There were times I truly questioned why even bother. My sense of value in myself was nonexistent. I felt worthless.
I was destroyed completely, my sense of self, self worth, self love and everything I stood for – was totally obliterated.
There were times I didn’t know what way was up and I felt like I just was watching the car wreck happen. I cried more this year than I have probably ever cried.
For most of 2019 I no longer knew who I was. I lost me. She was gone.
But it turned around. To my surprise.
I couldn’t sell our house – just could not do it. I love our home, I love the people in the home. I love that on the framework of this home are prayers that I wrote for our family, for us – words I truly believe in. I refused to let it go. Perhaps that was a turning point, but things started improving in all areas and they continue to do so.
The details & specifics of everything that took place in 2019 are ours and we owe not one single person any explanation – but I will share we are in a better place and perhaps what happened this year needed to?
I will never understand why this horrific year took place and it pains me to say it but maybe – just maybe God had a plan. A damn bizarre one that I am saying “wtf” to, but hey it’s all come full circle.
I share this because I know this year I was not alone and I don’t want anyone else to feel as alone as I have.
I have known many, MANY women and couples going through really similar struggles. It just seems like 2019 was the year to nearly break us all. I have hardly heard from anyone that “2019 was so wonderful & easy…” – everyone seems to be on the side of saying “hasta la vista 2019, you were a bitch of a year..”
So how am I approaching 2020? What are my resolutions? Goals? What will I improve? What are my expectations?
Well, I will link back toTHIS post and I will steal a section of it because it’s still how I wish to view things… “In this new year I want to be intentional. Intentional with my faith, marriage, parenting, words, our money, my choices, my health, my thoughts – just overall be more intentional.”
I believe in second chances. So here is another shot for me to work on that from last year.
But honestly I’m walking into 2020 with no expectations, goals or grand plans for the new year. What will happen, will happen – I know I can’t control it but I know I can handle hard things, because honestly I’m sick of surviving hard years, but it seems to be what gets thrown at me continually. But it does constantly remind me I can do this.
I can survive hard things, on my own.
I am strong, I am determined & I am capable.
Dreaming & wishing – I would love, LOVE an easy year. A year that consisted of very little personal hurt – but like I said “dreaming…”
I’m not setting myself any resolutions “I must do” – I just want me to be ok again. That is my main focus, getting back to me – in whatever way I need to, to whoever that now is.
I can feel myself coming back, but I know I have work to do.
I want to rebuild my confidence, my self worth, my heart, my marriage & my spirit.
So maybe that is a resolution? Just to rebuild. Rebuild it all. Start fresh, make it strong & beautiful.
So I will gladly farewell 2019 tonight and welcome 2020 with an open heart and arms, with the hope to rebuild and the desire to be more intentional with every aspect of my life.
Thank you for sticking with me this year, I know I have been all over the place and a bit of a fyre fest. Your support and kindness means the world.
I pray 2020 is a beautiful & joyful year for you and your family – as hopefully it is for me & mine.
Happy New Year.
Edit; So I just opened my insta and this post from @momentaryhappiness was the first on my feed. Coincidence – maybe, but it seems fitting and like I was meant to read it after writing all of that. And honestly it made me a bit teary – it felt like a sign, if you believe in that. x
So let’s talk about the name change. I’ve gone from modernwifelife31 – which this site will stay as for now, then bindy_g3 and now Just_Bindy…
Identity crisis much? Is 30 going be the year for my midlife crisis? I have always thought I may die young, so maybe that makes sense, 60 is young right??
Anyway, I’m already off on a tangent…
Bottom line is, I didn’t feel like being “MWL31” anymore, and I thought “Bindy_g3” was a good fit, but it just didn’t feel 110% – I liked “Just_B” but that was taken… So “Just_Bindy” made sense…
So why did I change? Honestly I’m struggling with social media & blogging lately, I love it but I hate it. And I’ve been feeling less like “MWL31” for a long time, it came with a lot of expectations and pressure & still a name change won’t solve that.
But as soon as you publicly declare “I’m a christian, I believe in God” you suddenly have to live up to everyone else’s expectations of what a christian should be. I am me, that’s it, I don’t have to fit your mould of what you think I should be – I am simply me.
Also, there is more to me than being a Mumma, wife and a homemaker – yes all of those roles are incredibly important to me but it’s not all of me. I figured staying under MWL31 was limiting to the content I could post… I am not saying my content is going to drastically change, but it makes me feel a bit more free to post about other things.
Basically it’s just a boring tale of ‘I outgrew the name’, that’s it.
Going forward the content on this account will remain fairly much the same – but I wont be posting on a schedule and I feel I am going to draw back on sharing our actual lives – not that I share much about “us”, but now even less – and also I will add in more about my health/fitness stuff.
Because this blog has always been and always will be an ever changing platform that is reflective of my life in its current stage.
Currently I have been given an ultimatum – I’ve got to work out or my life as I know it will be gone in the next 20 or so years, I’m not necessarily working out for fitness or vanity reasons but to build muscle and improve bone density – so of course I will write about that, share my journey. Because it is MY journey to share.
Over sharing my kids lives however – is not my journey to share. I will share tips when I can, but I’m not a parenting expert – no one is. I can only share what works for us and how I personally do things. And I will from time to time share snippets of our kids, but they are not the focal point of this blog. My role as their Mumma is my life though, so my content is from that point of view… I hope this is making sense, are you keeping up?
Anyway, I just out grew my name – I’m slightly headed in a new direction, but Lord knows what direction that actually is, so want to continue this journey with me? Sweet, you can find me on social media at the below links or remember to subscribe with your email address in the side bar…
Thanks for sticking around
Today I thought I would share with you a meal we’ve been enjoying recently…
No idea what to call it & it’s a bit of a combination of a few recipes I stumbled upon on good ol’ Pinterest… (I’ll link them below)
It’s grilled salmon with mango salsa and an avocado dressing…
Salt & pepper
Work out how you want to cook your salmon, I have no idea how to do this – Trent cooks ours on the bbq on the grill. He coats it lightly with olive oil and seasons with salt & pepper… (He just said he cooks it on a medium heat for roughly 7 minutes on the presentative side or until it releases off the bbq, flip and cook for another 3 minutes)
For the salsa, dice a full avocado, about half a mango, 1/4 of a large capsicum and a few slices of red onion… Pop it all in a bowl and mix gently to combine, squeeze half a lime over it and set aside.
*Really I eyeball this mix, this amount was good for Trent, LuLu & I and it had about a serving left over. For more people obviously add in more ingredients and if you like less or more of an ingredient – adjust accordingly. If you aren’t a capsicum fan, tomato would also work.
For the avocado dressing I throw a full avocado (peeled & seeded obviously) into a stick blender (or a thermomix), add in just over half a 1/4 cup of basil (I use basil in tube from Coles, THIS one), about a teaspoon of minced garlic (or a clove), same amount of olive oil as the basil, 1/4 cup of cream and season with salt and pepper and blitz it up. Now the first time I followed the recipe below I felt there was way too much basil, which is why I lessened the amounts of basil & oil this time around. The one I made today using those very vague measurements (sorry) was awesome!
To present, place salmon on plate, place spinach down and top with salsa and dollop & smear the avocado dressing. LuLu had the exact same as us, but for Tommy I didn’t make his salad as a salsa, I just gave him some diced up avocado, mango & capsicum separately without the onion & lime and he really enjoys salmon.
Pour yourself a drink (a gin, lime & soda goes perfectly!) and enjoy.
Ok, we’ve established I suck at writing recipes – but that gives you a vague idea on how we throw this together and I like to think it’s a fairly healthy meal and it’s totally delicious! It’s so light so it’s perfect for hot days and it’s the kind of meal where you feel full but not gross full!
Also with the leftover avocado dressing I used it over pasta tonight for dinner with some grated cheese & halved cherry tomatoes & the kids loved it. You could also do it over zucchini noodles. (LuLu liked it so much she asked for the “avocado pasta” cold in her lunch box for school tomorrow…)
Anyway friends if you make this I would love to hear your thoughts or how you improved this in anyway!
Thanks for reading,
2018 only has hours left and then we are presented with a brand new year. A year to make our own…
These are my tops tips on how to make 2019 a great year! Yes every year will have hardships and challenges, but we can strive to still make it great and just remember hard times build strength and character!
Review 2018… Go back over the last year, work out what worked best for you and what didn’t. What people lifted you up and who was toxic? What habits made you feel better and which made you feel worse? Assess every aspect of your life, note down what worked and didn’t. Be mindful of these entering the new year and try to do more of the good in 2019.
Set your focus. For some people resolutions work best, for others vision boards, prophetic words or phrases. Whatever works best for you, set it.
Improve your health in someway. We should always work towards better health, perhaps this year you can focus on eating better, drinking more water, visiting the doctor for that check up you keep putting off, quitting a bad habit, seeing the dentist – whatever it is – make it a priority – our health is so important.
Be active – this goes along with point 1, but reflect on your past year and work out what activity you enjoyed most and do more of it! It could be walking, hiking, maybe the gym motivates you, family bike rides or yoga – being active is so incredibly important.
Improve where you live – our living environment reflects and effects our mental state. Work out ways to positively impact your environment, perhaps try organising your home more, decluttering, making a cleaning schedule etc.
So how do I plan to make 2019 a great year?
By following this…
2018 was a huge year for us, it was huge, busy, chaotic, stressful, exciting, worrying, upsetting and fun and I’m tired from it, so tired.
2019, I want to slow us down, I want to rest, I want less chaos.
In this new year I want to be intentional.
Intentional with my faith, marriage, parenting, words, our money, my choices, my health, my thoughts – just overall be more intentional.
I want to slow everything down, 2019 will still be a big year for us with LuLu starting prep but I want to try TRY and have a calm & slow year. So implementing more organisation, planning & simplifying into our lives, avoiding unnecessary stress & drama, saying “no” more and just allowing space for more quiet in my life.
I also want to grow in 2019, I feel I’ve grown tremendously in the last 2 years – every year we evolve but this year I want to channel my growth into certain areas… I want to grow in my faith, I pray for more patience and wisdom for my mothering, I want to grow ModernWifeLife31, I can’t physically grow any taller – haha – but I do want to continue to grow personally & emotionally. Every year I aim to grow more, learn more and become stronger.
So that’s my focus for 2019.
I know what bought me great stress & heartache in 2018 and I plan to steer clear of it in the new year. I plan to continue working on improving my health with my specialist, I also want to see a doctor about my back as I have scoliosis, I need to book us all in to see a dentist for a check up and I know we need a skin check up too!
Yoga and walking is something I want to do more of. I really enjoy the calmness of yoga and a yoga class is a nice treat for myself, we live in a nice area and I want to take advantage of that and go for more walks and make it a weekly habit.
As for our home, I feel I am going into 2019 with a clean and organised home – I’ve spent the time between boxing day and new years eve cleaning and organising our home, our space has been reset and we are ready to enter 2019. But we will continue to work on landscaping our block and decorating our home. I also want to continue to declutter our home.
But that’s about it, I have my same general list I stick to each year as well which you can read on THIS blog.
Well friends, in a few short hours 2019 will be here, I hope 2018 is a year you can look back on fondly even if it’s just knowing you’ve left stronger than how you entered it. And I pray 2019 is a beautiful & great year for you.
Happy New Year, Bring on twenty nineteen! (This is the last year in our lifetime that we will have a year ending in teens!)
I hope you are all having a beautiful December.
Today I did a little Christmas baking (Kringle the elf insisted we do it), so shortbread was made!
This is my shortbread recipe, I posted it over on Bella In Bindyland years & years ago, but I thought it was worth sharing here!
It’s a simple recipe but always seems to be a winner. I personally don’t eat a lot of shortbread, so it’s not my favourite – but Trent loves it and every time I take a box to a party or get together they always disappear quickly.
175g or 1 1/2 cups of plain (all purpose) flour
125g or 3/4 cup of rice flour
A pinch of salt.
200g unsalted butter, softentend
4 tablespoons of caster (super fine) sugar
Extra caster sugar for sprinkling on the biscuits when they are baked
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees (or 375 degrees F).
Line baking trays with baking paper.
In a separate bowl sift the two kinds of flour together, add a pinch of salt to the bowl.
In your mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy.
Slowly add flour mix to creamed butter & sugar, gently mix until combined.
Roll out dough into a disc and cover with baking paper or cling wrap. Place in fridge to chill for 1/2 hour.
Now with a cookie cutter cut out shapes!! (If you don’t want to do this, you can make it in a slice tray and just pre-cut little squares into the dough every 3cm).
I just think stars look pretty!
Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 150degrees or 300 degrees F & cook for a further 15-20 minute or until shortbread is a light golden colour.
Remove from oven and sprinkle caster sugar over top while still warm.
Cool on rack and then enjoy!
This recipe made about 60 small stars.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you make it please let me know.
Ok December is TOMORROW… I really thought it was just new years… But here we are almost at Christmas!!
Anyway – December 1st means…. THE ELF ARRIVES!
Yes, if you remember from previous years – we have an elf, Kringle…
In our house we go all out, I love Christmas and love any excuse to be over the top festive!
I’m not really a fan of the elf doing naughty antics, so I plan more funny little set ups or he shows what we are doing for that day…
Tomorrow he will arrive and bring with him our 1st of December box full of lots of goodies for the children, I just posted a video showing the contents of the box – so please CLICK HEREto watch that!
Here is our monthly plan for Kringle’s time with us…
Now I don’t follow this plan to a tee, it’s more an outlook for our December, so I can see what’s coming up and honestly we all have those moments as we just settle in for a good nights sleep in our comfy bed and then that thought pops into our minds – “darn it – I didn’t move the bloody elf!!” and you have to get up out of bed, half asleep and find the blasted thing and think of something on the spot.
So for me this list is an attempt to avoid too many moments like that.
It’s just our basic monthly plan, I can easily see what’s planned and what is happening at a glance and be inspired…
When I have funny set ups planned, that leaves me space to search for inspiration for a new setup or use one I’ve listed to the side… Also if we have something come up in December like a Christmas outing I’ll just work it into our plan…
I also have purposely left some blank days, that’s to give flexibility to swap things around and for last minute activities or outings!
I wrote this blog post last year with 5 tips to stay sane while our little festive visitor is with us… So I highly recommend youCLICK HEREto read that!
If you would like some elf inspiration please check out the hashtag #KringleTheScottsElf on instagram to see what I’ve done in previous years, orCLICK HERE to see it.
Also for December I write out our Christmas Bucket List and this also gives me ideas for what to do during the month…
I find writing these lists gives me constant inspiration on what to do during the month and just helps my mind be a little less cluttered with trying to remember every tiny thing.
Do you have a rough plan for what you are doing with your elf or for the month of December?? What is your favourite antic your Elf got up to last year! I would love some inspiration for new cute/funny antics! Comment below or on my social media! Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Pinterest. YouTube.
Let’s talk photos… Family photos. Professional photos and just photos in general.
I love photos, always have. Ask anyone I went to high school with, I was “that” person with the camera at every party, school camp or function and to this day I take photos, daily. Yes, daily. Photos are my love language, maybe that’s why instagram is my favourite social media…
Recently on instagram I asked how many people regularly get professional family photos done, (regular being at least once every 2 years)
The main response was NO.
And then I asked for responses on why you do or don’t get professional photos done… And I will get to them in moment, but right now I want to tell you why I invest in getting professional photos done.
Mainly so I am actually in them – as Mums we are so often the one behind the camera. I have countless lovely photos of the children and Trent with them, but not so many of me, heck even the pets have some lovely photos I’ve captured. But I want evidence I existed too in more than just selfies! But secondly because to me, they are like gold. They are so precious and I treasure them. And I know I will for the rest of my life, so they are an investment I’m happy to make.
A big reason people listed as not getting photos done was the cost and I agree some photographers charge way too much money and some deliver really poor quality photos – but there are awesome photographers out there who are affordable, offer great deals and do exceptional quality photos.
My tips for scoring good deals with photos is wait for times like spring or christmas when many photographers offer mini sessions, they are usually 20-30 minutes long, cost around $100 and you get 10-20 digital images… I like these sessions as they are cheap and easy.
Another way to justify spending the money on photos is write it off as a birthday gift for yourself. I did that last year. Or get an annual family photo done for the christmas card, print off and frame a few and presto easy & affordable christmas gifts for the grandparents! Or organise an extended family photo session, get everyone to chip in, then you can have full family photos, individual families and generational photos. That would be special and would make a lovely, thoughtful gift for parents or grandparents (birthday, Mother’s Day, anniversary etc) – because honestly those people never really need anything and that sort of gift I feel is so meaningful.
Another reason many people listed for not getting professional pictures done is because they do not like photos of themselves or their husbands aren’t fans of posing. Well, all I have to say to that is – do you think your kids or possible future grandkids will one day care if you think you looked good or not in a photo? One day you’ll be gone, sorry to be blunt – but we all die and all that will be left to prove we once existed will be photos. I treasure old photos of photos (yes photos of photos) I have of my grandparents, one day someone may feel the same way about your picture. Give them something more to treasure other than a selfie. And as for posing, well many photographers are happy to do lifestyle or more natural photos. You go to your session and positively interact with your family and the photographer just clicks away… Yes, they may give some direction but it isn’t so structured and posed as just sitting there and grinning. A good photographer should make you feel comfortable. I like both styles of sessions.
Our recent professional photos, taken by Tina Ebenal Photgraphy. (highly recommend her, she is a Toowoomba & surrounds photographer)
Photos are something so special to me, I treasure them. I capture a photo of my kids daily and I document it for our family’s project 365. Basically I take one photo a day, everyday for a year, log it daily on an instagram account I have set up especially for this project and then at the start of the new year I make the previous years photos into a book. I print 2 off, one for each child. These photos range from professional images, to selfies and to photos I’ve taken on my good camera… It’s a mix of individual photos of the kids, family snaps, the kids together and with our pets… Just our day to day life, captured & documented…
To my Mum friends, I want to encourage you to be in the photo. Get in them, don’t shy away, you may not love the photo of you – but I promise you one day your kids will treasure that photo and so will you. Very soon our little loves will be grown, they’ll be busy with their own lives and we will have our photos to look back on & remember when we were their whole world… And then we will be gone and all they’ll have is those same photos. And no one knows when that’ll happen, so get in the photo. Exist.
And to Dads, take more photos of your wives! Pick up the phone and snap a photo of her sleeping in a bed with kids sprawled everywhere, take the photo of her comforting a teething baby, pick up the good camera at the birthday party and take a photo of just her and the birthday kid or you take the camera on christmas morning and snap a shot of her with the kids or you surprise her with a voucher for family photos, even if you hate them… She’ll fuss and complain and say her hair looks silly, but just take the photo. It matters.
And that’s the point, you matter. Photos matter, memories matter. One day our future generations will want to know us, give them something. I wish more than anything I had more photos of my grandparents… Something to show my kids and for me to see them – to see a glimpse into their lives back then… I use to love when my Nin would show me old albums of the family, I loved sitting at the kitchen table and seeing the black & white and sepia toned images and having her point out who was who and telling me the stories behind each photo… I promise you one day someone will want to see a photo of you.
Investing $100 into a photo session for some lovely photos you didn’t have to set a self timer for I feel is money well spent, but if you can’t justify spending that money and I understand not everyone can, ask a friend with a camera to snap a photo and then do the same for her family. Or if you and your family are out somewhere all dressed up, ask someone to snap a photo of you all, try and use a good quality camera if you can! Heck, you don’t even have to be dressed up, just grab your tribe, stand in some good lighting, throw someone who isn’t a family member a camera, all huddle together and smile.
Get a picture somehow. But I do highly recommend investing in professional photos at least once every 2-3 years.
Bottom line is, just get in the dang photo! Be present, exist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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.