Thursday, 30 January 2014


As you may have noticed at the top of this blog it says 'a look at the FIFO life', yes we are a FIFO family, what the hell is FIFO???? Fly In Fly Out, refers to the type of job my husband S has. Our family is based in Melbourne and S works in a remote iron ore mine in the Pilbara W.A, it takes him a whole day of travel just to get to and from work.
We jumped into this lifestyle not quite 2 and a half years ago when our first babe was just 7 month old. S had always wanted to do it, it had been his career dream since he was 17, and I guess it was a mix of me feeling secure enough in our relationship and being sick of hearing him talk about it, but I was finally on board too.
I not going to go on and on about how fantastic it is and how great it has been for our family finically, both are true for us, but the the real truth is that it is hard work for everyone involved!  It's hard work for S who is actually doing hard labour in 13 hours shifts for 14 day straight, being separated from his wife, and two beautiful children, missing out of little family events like taking the girl to the zoo twilight concert of beauty and the beast. It's hard work for me, the stay at home mum, whose life in consumed with feeding, entertaining and cleaning up after two very active toddlers, without any knock off time. It is hard for my parents who are my rocks when S is away at work, they live about 800 meter around the corner and make themselves available for me night and day, always just a phone call away if someone is uncontrollable crying, has a raging temp, won't take a bottle or if I just need a shower because I didn't get to have one the day before.
Yes somedays I feel like a single parent, I feel like I'm doing it all alone, but I'm always quick to remind myself that I'm actually blessed, we have a good income that allows me to stay home with my babies while they are so little, we are a great family dynamic which seems to thrive off this lifestyle.
Just the other day I bumped into someone who I hadn't seen in about 3 or so years and when chatting to her about what S does and how often he is away she said something that no one else has said to me, it wasn't the usual 'how long are you going to do that for?, it can't be good for you relationship' type of comment, she simply said 'it would keep things fresh in your relationship'. It made me smile because that is exactly how I feel.  We miss each other fiercely while he is at work, even with Skype and phone calls, so when he arrives home I get butterflies waiting for him to get off the plane, and for the next 6 days we are extremely affectionate toward each other, which our girls love to see and love getting involved in a family cuddle on the couch. Our marriage is FRESH.
So to answer the question most people ask….We are going to keep doing FIFO until it doesn't feel right for our family anymore, when the bad out weights the good. But for now it just a good fit for us.

Low FOD what diet???

I recently was diagnosed with the very glamorous gastrointestinal disorder 'Irritable Bowel Syndrome' or IBS, this has come after over 2 years of stomach issues, only easing while I was pregnant with my second baby Deedee.
So lets go back to the day of my 30th birthday, My husband had not long started working FIFO so wasn't home for my birthday, I met up with my best girlfriend for lunch with my seven month old little lady Lala and her 3 month old little man. We had a lovely lunch but on the short drive home I started feeling ill, sick in the stomach and having a hot flush, this was the first 'attack' like this of many over the next couple of months.  I had various tests done at the doctors, from blood counts to pregnancy tests, two months down the track we finally found out that I had Giardia, a nasty little bug that you catch through contaminated water.  This was a very emotional time, not only had I been sick for a couple of months but the medication I needed to take meant I had to stop breastfeeding my baby for 3 days, which basically meant that I had to stop feeding all together, as my supply was crappy and I was having trouble pumping to keep it up while I couldn't feed her.  Things got much better within days of having my medication, but within a couple of weeks it became apparent that I had become lactose intolerant, a by product of having a nasty gut bug.  Lactose intolerance is pretty easy to control, these days there are so many options to make life easier, lactose free milk, cheese and yoghurt, plus there are some amazing dairy free recipes out there, and if coconut milk and cream isn't the bomb.
Jump forward to my second pregnancy-  Pregnancy does amazing thing to your body, for me to gives me a free pass to all the things I am allergic and intolerant to.  So for a good nine months I got to eat all the fruit I'm allergic to (thats a whole other story) and have all the milkshakes and ice-cream that a pregnant women needs, that of course was until I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes again (like the fruit thats a whole other story).  After I had Deedee it was going well until day 10, day 10 was when that lactose demon showed its ugly head once again, never mind I thought, I know exactly what to do, I even started making my own lactose free ice-cream, which is amazing by the way and I will definitely be sharing some great recipes with you all.  Over time even with my lactose free life, ok not completely lactose free, a girl does need a little chocolate from time to time, it became apparent that something still wasn't right.  I was still having attacks of ahem diarrhoea every week if not more and having tummy pain and bloating almost daily.  Sometimes the attacks are so bad they last hours and can leave my tummy feeling sore for up to a week.  The sad thing is that I think I just got so use to it and I accepted that it was part of my life. The bad attacks would unfortunately bring on panic attacks especially at night which would intern make my symptoms worse.  I started to not know if the tummy was causing panic attacks or if the panic attacks where causing my tummy issues, both go hand in hand.
So now I'll bring you to were I am now- A month ago I finally got my arse to the doctors, I actually went to go and get my over due pap smear done, oh the joys of being a woman, but started chatting to my G.P and the issues that I was having, She straight away suggested it could be IBS, but could be a lot of other things too, including the Giardia not being completely gone. So off i went to to be a pin cushion once again, getting tested for gluten intolerants amongst other things.  I was praying that something would show up and it would be easy to fix and wouldn't mean that I would have to cut more things out of my diet, alas nothing showed up, I am technically in perfect health, which is great news, but wasn't a real help with the tummy problem.  My G.P then started talking to me about having IBS and how I could start to try and manage it, she started rattling of something about FODMAPs and all these technical scientific words, I must of had a blank look on my face because she had a giggle and printed off a fact sheet for me.  The printout basically told me what FODMAP stood for,  Fermentable Oligo-saccharides,Disaccharides, Mono-saccharides andPolyols, and how to help control the symptoms you need to have a low FODMAP diet. She told me to have a look into it and see what I think, and that she can send me off to a dietician if I wanted to have any help with it.  I spent the next week researching, becoming really scared about and disheartened about all the things I would have to temporarily cut out, espacaily onion and garlic, seeing that I put it in absolutely everything that I cook.  The fruit side of thing, didn't bother me as I had come to term with not being able to enjoy fruit many years ago, the dairy thing, I already had covered, and I just needed to cut down the amount of gluten in my diet, a trip to the health food section in the supermarket and a few chats with GF friends had me covered in that area.  So last week I dived head first into a lactose, gluten and FODMAP free diet. 
So far the results have me astonished, I started this thinking, yeah I'll give it a go for the 4 weeks but I doubt it will do anything, but I have had days and days of no pain, nothing, nada! Days and days of 'normal' bowel movements!  In over a week, I have only had one episode of an uncomfortable belly, and that was after I was silly and ate some maccas fries while at the shops.  I don't want to get too excited too soon, but I am hopeful that I have found something that will help control what is going on in my tummy. 
Stay tuned for much more on this, and some of the Low FODMAP recipes I am trying out.  

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Operation yoga

It's been over a year since I had my second baby, so it has been a whole year of me saying I should get around to strengthening up my poor old separated tummy muscles.  That's a whole year of thinking about it with no action at all! 
Well today things just got serious, I pulled out my pregnancy yoga DVD and did a whole 20 minutes of the post natal section!  I know I know, 20 minutes isn't fantastic but hey it's 20 minutes more than I have done in,  well I guess years.  I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed it and how great my two girls were while I did it, they even tried it and joined in at stages. 
Now here comes the fun part, tomorrow shopaholic me is allowing me to go and buy a yoga mat, and some comfy yoga clothes.  
So here is my pledge to myself (and being online surly means more I'm more likely to commit yeah?): 
I Amy-Carrie promise to take time out for me even if it is only 20 minutes a day, put on my new comfy yoga pants and my DVD and yoga it up baby!!!!