Health is Wealth!

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This past week has taught me a lot. Sometimes we get caught up in our busy lives and forget what really is important….

On Thursday my beautiful nana was rushed to hospital after becoming very ill with vomiting from an obstruction in her tummy. It’s just another hurdle my dear grandmother of 80 years, who lives with Parkinson’s Disease has had to endure, after having several ups and downs with her health for many years now. Watching my nana lying in her hospital bed not being able to do anything for herself, makes me feel terribly sad for the once vibrant and independent women she has always been. Nana has wealth and an abundance of people who love and care for her, but in the end no matter what, life really is nothing if we don’t have our health!

I appreciate everyday of my life that I am able to get up out of bed and carry on with my day doing the things that I love the most, without needing help or supervision! I really dislike getting the flu or gastro let alone being struck down with a long-term illness or disease. I remember so vividly lying in my bed 3 years ago, when recovering from my semi-thyroidectomy, how frustrating it was not to be able to care for my children or enjoy running around with them. I use to lie there and think when I’m better I’ll never complain again that I’m playing hide-and-go-seek for the 20th time!!! We are all guilty of forgetting just how important life is when it comes to our health and it’s only once jeopardised it allows us to have a better perspective…for me watching my nana and being diagnosed with a heart condition was a huge kick in the butt!

What is health?

My definition of being healthy involves good mental and physically health. Mental – having the ability to use our minds wisely in a strong and positive manner and physically – having the ability to complete physical tasks and maintain a good fitness level! Both go hand in hand with a maintained well-balanced diet! The cycle I follow is I eat a well-balanced diet and exercise at least four/five days a week as well as drink at least 2 litres of water per day, take a women’s multivitamin and get out in the sunshine at least 4/5 times per week!

Other things I believe that are important to maintaining good health is obviously no smoking, limited alcohol consumption, getting at least 7-8 hours sleep per night, regular health check ups, seeking medical advice if you are not feeling 100%. I also believe that maintaining a healthy weight for height range is important but done wisely through good eating habits and exercise. I saw an advertisement on Facebook the other night…’lose weight in no time without dieting or exercise!’ what the? How is that healthy?? Our bodies should be treated like gold…we have one shot at life and it’s up to us to give it our best!

Plenty of things go wrong in our lives from day-to-day, week to week, but if our health is great we have the strength to get through anything! I look at my nana and am so inspired by her strength and how after everything she has been through can still smile. Her eyes still light up when someone comes to visit her and her voice still communicates with so much love and honesty. From here on in, I declare that I will continue to promote a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family – anything to give us the best chance of living a long and healthy life is certainly worth working hard for! All the money in the world could never make me happy if I didn’t have my health and as the saying goes…health is wealth!!

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Don’t Lose Sight!

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Life can be hard. It can be complicated. When you think you have it figured out and it seems as though things are sailing along nicely, that’s when you can almost guarantee that something will be layed out as a hurdle in your path to happiness. But that’s just life isn’t it!

In the 33 years that I’ve lived, my family and I have been through many ups and downs. The cycle usually consists of everyone going about their business – living, loving, laughing while working hard and then usually it only takes the ring of a phone to create a new sequence of events. We’ve been there for each other through deaths, injuries, illnesses and loss but as much as we feel upset, disheartened, heart-broken or depressed at the time, we find the strength to pick ourselves up and move forward in the direction we were heading when that phone call was made!

This year has seen so many things happen already. It’s been one thing after another and just as you feel as though you are standing upright from the last knock, you are facing the ground again! Our recent mishap for our family happened on Sunday. While our very talented nephew, who has a very promising rugby league future ahead of him, was playing footy, ran 100m towards his try line and instead of scoring he was tackled around his ankles, which ended with his lower leg being broken in three places. How things can change in a split second and from one simple action.

We were guttered for him. His season that just started, the week commencing which involved Broncos training, rep training and the start of his high school football has been put on hold until further notice! He is our champion, to us he was invincible. But no one is invincible, at anytime anything can happen to anyone of us. And I guess that’s the joys of rugby league. It’s been a massive few days. Watching my first-born nephew who is like a son to me take the pain not only from his leg and having it surgically fixed where a plate was inserted, but the pain of having to put his love of life on hold, all in his stride. He’s been so brave through it all, as has my sister and brother-in-law. I’m just so proud to call them my family.

Which brings me to why I wrote this blog. Plenty of people everyday are faced with ill-health, broken bones and situations that seem unbearable, but it’s a bump in the road that I believe has been put their to test our passion and strength. Situations like these can make or break a person, but life is too short to let it take us down! Life is precious and it’s there to be lived and enjoyed. It needs to be nurtured. Since finding out about my heart condition (although I’d rather not have it), it has been the best thing that could have happened. I’m now the fittest I’ve ever been (mentally and physically), the healthiest I’ve ever been and when we are faced with situations that aren’t pleasant, I feel as though I’m a much stronger person when dealing with whatever it is! My heart condition has not allowed me to lose sight of living a great life, it’s given me the determination to live life to its fullest!

My nephew’s broken leg is terrible, it’s disappointing, but it’s just a bump in his road. Him and I had a good talk last night about not letting it disheartened him enough to lose sight of the bigger picture. This situation I believe will show us just how passionate he is about his rugby league career and when he has made a full recovery and returns to the game, he will be bigger, better and stronger than we’ve already seen.

I believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes we figure these reasons out and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes that answer comes to us straightaway and other times it can take days, months and even years. But in all of life’s mishaps it’s so important not to lose sight. Life is about being challenged and it takes guts, strength and determination for these challenges to not knock us down. As humans we are allowed to feel upset when things are going wrong, we are allowed to shed tears or scream to the sky above. But we should never feel as though we are defeated!

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Goosebumps!

Are you the sort of person who when told something either wonderful or sad gets goosebumps? I am and this week I’ve had a few of those moments!

With the kids returning to school on Monday it meant I also had to return to work. We had a fabulous holiday together so none of us wanted to part with each other Monday morning, but we did! After Sienna went to bed crying Sunday night because she didn’t want to go back to school and leave me, I went to bed feeling sick. I was expecting something like this to occur, but I was so hopeful that she had overcome the separation anxiety feelings she gets. Thankfully after a bit of a shaky morning getting ready for her first day back, she has been fabulous at school all week! Not one tear has been shed just lots of beautiful big happy smiles! Phew!!!

Tuesday night was parent teacher night. I arrived a little bit early (I know what some of you are thinking – early?? Lol…yes I am capable of being early lol) When I walked up to the lady who was directing all the parents where to go, with a sincere smile she said “are you Bailey’s mum?” very proudly I said “yes!” She proceeded to tell me how wonderful she thought my son was and how much determination he has and that any adult that knows him thinks he is just fantastic! I started getting goosebumps and I couldn’t thank her enough for her kind words. But when she said it’s obvious he has great role models, I stopped for a mere moment and let out a sigh of relief! It was in that moment that I said to myself….the grey hairs, the wrinkles, the bad cop moments, the times when you sound like a broken record have been so worth hearing such kind words about one of my children!

But it didn’t stop there. I had Sienna’s interview first and her teacher said the same thing! Well mannered, caring, kind, pleasure to teach, tries hard, doing well….another goosebump moment! Then over to Bailey’s teacher who claimed the very same things….hard worker, great role model, mature, working above year level standard, we love having him in our class!!! I walked away on such a high!!! The children they were talking about were ours….very different from the ones we sometimes see at home lol….but they were ours!!!!

Then another goosebump moment occurred the very next day when Bailey came home and told me he had been chosen for the third year running to lay the wreath for his class during their school’s Anzac Day Parade. I was so proud of him. And finally I was able to be present for the parade today. He did such a fabulous job and like always he takes any job he is given seriously!

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Then there is our littlest one. Well what can I say. She is at the ‘sponge’ age of 2 where she is taking in everything, saying any word that is asked of her, stringing words together, using her beautiful manners, telling us what to do next in the routine, learning her colours and her goosebump moment this week was when she counted past ten for the first time to twelve…fourteen and eighteen then followed but that is awesome too as she knows that teen numbers are to follow. I’m really enjoying our time together when the two bigger ones are at school, but love it even more when we are altogether!

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It’s these goosebump moments that make my life so fulfilled. It makes all the sleepless nights worth it. It’s worth the pain you go through to finally be able to hold them in your arms. The tantrums, the billion times we are endured to the word no and the back chatting which I would have to say grinds my nerves the most! And even though parenting is a road full of flat, bumpy curves, with lots of ups and downs, it’s the moments that bring us to goosebumps or tears which usually accompany the bumps, that make this job the best around!

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4 Week Challenge!

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It’s been 18 months now since I started my fitness trek. The very firs time I put my joggers on after many years, I started power walking and before I knew it I had built up the courage to start running. Initially I would concentrate on running for a certain time and eventually as my fitness started to increase, I started to concentrate on the distance I ran. Back in January last year I started running 4km each time I ran. Eventually I build up enough confidence to extend that by another km and another. To date the longest I’ve ever ran is 10km.

Since the new year my running regime has consisted of 20km per week over 4 days – 2 x 5km runs, 6km run and a 4 km run. I’ve ran 2 PBs this year for 5km and 6km, but just recently I’ve become a little bored with my running. I still love it and maintain it each week, but I feel I’m ready for another challenge. Running for me now is apart of my week’s routine and I couldn’t live without it! Since my recent heart tests came back showing my dilated aorta hasn’t gotten any worse in the past year, my cardiologist is happy with me to keep my running up. But due to my condition I can’t be challenged to just any exercise and while running is safe for me, I’m happy to keep it up but I’m going to mix it up a bit at the moment!

After having discussions with some of my friends who exercise, one great friend in particular, has been a great ear for me of late. We’ve discussed different things that she’s doing and what I could do. So I’ve decided to mix up my running and do a 4 week challenge over the next month. Now that I have my new running shoes – the Asics Kyanos, what better time to challenge myself!

My 4 week challenge consists of:
Week 1
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
sprint session…4x1km sprints with 1 minute rest between each km.
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
Light, easy 4km run

Week 2
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
Sprint session – 3km time trial
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
light, easy 4km run

Week 3
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
Sprint session – 4x 1km sprints with 1 minute rest between each km.
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
Light, easy 4km run

Week 4
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
Sprint session – 3km time trial
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
4km time trial

I started on Tuesday morning with my 5km run and tomorrow will be my first sprint session which I can’t wait to do! I love speed which Is why the shorter distances suit me better, but I’m determined to do a 10km once a week for the next month!! My goal for this challenge is to measure improvement. I will be recording every time I do and if I manage any PBS in the next month that will be a bonus.

Running for me now has nothing to do with weight loss – although it helped me tremendously to lose my 10 plus kilos of after baby weight. Now it’s all about a personal challenge. It’s a time when I can be just me and no one else. A time when I can compete against myself and my running times. A time when I can think or a time when I can focus on nothing else but breathing. It’s my time to do something for myself that I love, which keeps me fit and healthy, which contributes to me being a better person in all areas of my life!

I shall update you with how my 4 week challenge went when it’s complete! Feel free to jump on the band wagon and have a go or create one for yourself that you’ll be able to manage!

My Current Running PBs to date:
1km 4.35
2km 9.30
3km 14.23
4km 18.47
5km 24.02
6km 29.37
7km 35.40
8km 40.57
9km 48.00
10km 52.21

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$1 Well Spent!

It’s been ages since I’ve written a fashion blog!!! So much has been happening with other parts of my life I just haven’t had the time. But watch this space as it’s getting closer to winter and you all know I LOVE winter fashion. I will be doing a series of winter fashion blogs in the coming weeks!

But today I had to share my recent most bargain purchase. My yellow top for $1!!! That’s right $1!!!! As I walked through the aisles of K-Mart the other day, they had sale racks with very little left on them, but neatly stacked in a row were a dozen yellow tees. The yellow caught my eye at first, as this is one of my favourite colours that I love to wear, but it’s not the most popular in stores. When I went over and had a look at the sale ticket it was marked $1!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes and I said to my 2 year old daughter who looked back at me with her big blue eyes “OMG Mia these tips are $1!!!! Lol! I had to giggle to myself when other people were stopping and saying the same thing!

I couldn’t resist and bought one. It may not last long and may shrink in the wash and be only good for one wear, but I don’t care as it was $1!!!!! Never in all the years of my bargain findings have I purchased a top for under $5. I think on a few occasions I have been lucky enough to nab a top for $3 or $4 but $1- I was impressed!

I’m not too proud to buy clothes from anywhere. Clothes are just material sewn together to cover our bodies. As long as it looks good, feels good on and is exactly what I want, I purchase and for $1 you can never ever go wrong!!!

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I wore my top today and I love it!! Very comfy on:)

All The Threes!

Since the new year rolled over, we’ve celebrated Mia’s 2nd birthday, Bailey’s 7th, Kane’s, Dad’s and Easter and last Thursday on April 4th I celebrated my 33rd birthday! Like most years my birthday was on school holidays which I LOVE!! It was such a fantastic day, one of the best birthdays I’ve had, especially since becoming a mum!

I spent the day doing all the things I love to do best….
During the day I went down to Wynnum and had morning tea and fish and chips for lunch. Mum came with us as well as my two nephews. The kids had a ball kicking the footy around, playing on the playground and swimming! It was a bit windy but the sun was shining – it was glorious!

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The afternoon was spent lazing around before we got ourselves ready to go out for dinner with the family. We ended up at Hotel HQ, the kids love the kid’s playroom there. Again it was a great night filled with beautiful food, yummy cake, lots of laughter and I was very spoilt by everyone…especially with a custom made frame with photos of My Party of 5 from my hubby and children:)

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Love it…thanks babe!

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I went to bed that night feeling happy and content! I was so overwhelmed with all the birthday messages I received either via Facebook, text and phone…I was definitely feeling the love!

And if my birthday wasn’t great enough, on Saturday night I organised a small party with my friends! Since turning 30 we’ve been through so much with my health, the kids and Kane’s job, this year I wanted a night out where we could get dressed up and celebrate a birthday where for the first time in a long time I haven’t been pregnant, breast feeding or recovering from surgery! We had a great night out at the Glen. 35 of our closest friends joined in the celebrations where we laughed a lot, chatted heaps and enjoyed a few drinks or three or four…lol! I really appreciated the effort people went to. I know how hard it is to get out and about these days, so it was great to see everyone relaxed and enjoying themselves. Once again my wonderful parents took care of our munchkins, but were able to pop in for a bit and my sister and brother in law stayed and drove us home:)!

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And of course what’s a birthday without a cake…my latest edition!

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To end what was a great few days of celebrations, I managed to get up to Garden City yesterday to spend my birthday money. I already what I wanted in mind and when I’m on a mission there is no stopping me! It took me exactly one hour to go from home and back with my money spent and everything bought that I wanted!

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A new handbag and purse, pair of havaianas and the best of all a Tomas Sabo bracelet and charm:)…very lucky lady I am!

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s birthday extra special. I feel very blessed to have a wonderful husband, three amazing children, a loving family and a number of great friends! For now all the threes has been awesome, lets hope it continues!!!

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Has the road ended?

Today I made a trip into town that I’ve been doing for over 6 years…a trip to the Terrace to see my kid’s Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist! Dr Bell-Allen has been such a wonderful man to my three children who have suffered chronic middle ear infections since they were 6 months old. Between the three of them they have undergone 7 surgeries, which have involved the insertion of grommets and each have had their adenoids out! It’s been a very loooong road! Last year I wrote a blog about this road called When Will This Road End? and after today’s appointment I’d love to be optimistic and say it could be now!

Today’s appointment was do or die for Bailey and Mia. If their ears hadn’t improved since February, they were both back in for surgery! I’m always nervous driving to the specialist wondering what he’s going to tell me this time! But today I didn’t feel anything other than calm. Call it mother’s instinct, but I was pretty confident that we’d get a good response today and that we did! Bay’s ears have finally drained and don’t retain anymore fluid, so his hearing is great, which I thought and Mia’s ears looked fantastic and the best he has seen them yet! I was so thrilled and so was Dr Dave (as the kids call him)!

So where to from here? We don’t officially have another appointment unless something happens from here on in. This has happened before and I even hugged my specialist and said goodbye and thanked him for all of his help and support in getting the kids fixed up and before I knew it I was back sitting in his office!!! So today there were no hugs, there were no good byes, just a simple thank you and until we meet again!

It’s the first time in many years that none of my children haven’t had grommets. Which means no ear plugs!!! It’s so nice to be able to swim without worrying their ear plugs will fall out and although you don’t take your eyes off kids when they are swimming anyway, you have to be even more vigilant when they have grommets and need to wear ear plugs!

This road that we’ve lived and travelled to get to this point has been hard, frustrating and emotional, but it’s made me a better parent. It’s made me become aware of the ins and outs of my children’s health which so many times has been helpful in detecting an early ear infection, which in turn has prevented perforations. It’s also made me feel very blessed and grateful that although dealing with this has been annoying, it’s certainly not the worst thing my kids could be put through. I see what other parents have to face and know that once again we are the lucky ones.

But one thing I have learnt is to really know and understand your child’s health. Don’t leave it a day to see your doctor. If you think there isn’t something right go and get it checked out. Early detection is the key for anything not getting to a serious point. Many people palm ear infections off as not much, but recurring could cause a lot of problems down the track with hearing and speech development. I strongly urge any parent out there who thinks their child may not be hearing properly to get it checked out. We are our children’s advocates and while they are little their voices, so it is up to us as parents to follow through with our instincts!

For now I live in hope and pray that my babies are on the road to good ear health, cause they sure have been put through the ringer with this one! I am optimistic that this could be the end of the road, but like anything when it comes to children, you always have to keep an open mind…I always expect the unexpected!

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Love seeing my babies happy and content:)