The one about a rat and projectile vomitting … otherwise a stunning day in Cape Town

{there are images that may upset sensitive viewers ….this might change your opinion on spaghetti bolognaise for some time ….this might make you reconsider having children …..ever}

Yesterday I am working in my home office and I hear this noise – a rustling sound.  I don’t think much of it as Jackson, my Maine Coone cat, lies under my desk (or on my desk as this image shows) and I naturally assume it is him making the little scratching sounds I keep hearing.

At some point I glance under the desk, and realise there is no Jackson, and I glance around the room and assess I am alone.  Clearly something is not right here.

The short of it is, the noise is coming from under the two seater couch.  I move  the couch, whilst I am on the couch, as I am petrified what ever it is will run over my bare feet.

I call Priveledge who comes in. After much to’ing and fro’ing where we both realise that between us we are terrified, I lift the couch and she looks under it.  Priveledge manages to get up from a full crouch position, leaps backwards about one and a half metres, to find herself standing on one of the kids plastic chairs – in what can only be described as with catlike grace and flexibility.

Impressed, didn’t realise she was that athletic actually.

I make a leap from the couch onto my desk chair, and there the two of us stand.  Priveledge says that she saw a HUGE rat.  Connor (who was home sick) brings in his own designed and manufactured mouse tral (don’t ask).

Priveledge looks at the trap and says it is not big enough as the rat is REALLY BIG.

Not really the news one wants to hear as one is standing on a plastic chair in the middle of one’s home barefoot.

After mentally working through several options – none of which included me getting within 2 metres of the rat – I called Roderick – our faithful, able and I hope brave. garden guy – and asked if he would please come catch the rat.  He came over and caught the rat.

It was not HUGE, but I really think when it comes to a brown sewer rat, size is not really an issue.  The issues are whether it is dead, and how quickly it can die.

I am all for “saving animals” but I think when you are dealing with an animal that has had such bad publicity like the rat i.e bubonic plague/black plague.  It is going to need to be the cure for cancer to even make a dent in that sort of publicity.

I do think they need to start a reality show where they have Spin Doctors and they get given really difficult campaigns and need to create an interest in a product./item/country/animal that no one would touch.

On the final show between the last two Spin Doctors playing for one million dollars, they need to come up with a campaign that makes the sewer rate loveable.  I would think a next to impossible ask, and if you can do that and change public sentament about something so repulsive odds are you deserve the money.

Rat caught, we dropped him into a dog carrier box, and took it down to the nature reserve and released him there.  He squealed and he was jumping in the box, and it was really not a warm fuzzy feeling.

I did not take a picture of the rat, he seriously freaked me out ……. like made my skin crawl.

In this story Connor is home, that is because he got sick the night before, and has been throwing up and complaining of cramping and just not looking good.

I collect Georgia and Isabelle later in the day.  We get home, and as soon as dinner is presented Georgia starts moaning she is not well and she is going to throw up.

To understand Georgia, she is a total hypercondriac.  If you sneeze, she will fake sneeze twice.  If she knocks her knee, it will be broken, and she will dig out her crutches and be a cripple for three days.  Within all this one tends to ignore her when she indicates any signs of illness – especially if it mimics what someone else has.

Georgia had spaghetti bolognaise and then a bath.  She was sitting on her bed drawing when the spaghetti bolognaise made a second appearance.  The bulk of it got absorbed by the duvet, pillow, sheets, mattress and her pyjamas.

She ran to the bathroom, puking as she went.

{This image makes me feel like Dexter at a crime scene, but instead of blood spatter, I deal with puke splutter …. my speciality….}

Got to the bathroom just in time to drop the mother load of partly digested spaghetti bolognaise, unfortunately not quite in the toilet.

Now I had two children retching – not always in turns, often at the same time.

My shortage of buckets became apparent.  So kids are violently ill, Kennith is away on a work conference that entails him overnighting at a wine farm …. you can imagine the heaps of sympathy I am feeling for him at this juncture.

Last night was fun, but did not allow for too much sleep.  There was much up’ing and down’ing to hold hair back, and give sips of water and basically time for me to look towards the ceiling and wonder where for art my help shall come from.

Today the toilet broke — I have no idea if it is in anyway related to the amount of spaghetti bolognaise that was being forced down it, but I am getting a plumber in later this afternoon.

I am bitterly disapppointed that I have a large hulking cat that is forever hunting, but could not hunt and catch the rat.  I also expected Dexter, the Boston Terrier, to at least smell the rodent and look for him.  Nada. Both of them are clearly hopeless.

Otherwise, how is your day going?

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Puking is seldom fun ….

I almost forgot how much fun I had on Saturday night – it was a real humdinger but for some reason I seem to have blocked it out of my mind this week.

Coping mechanism no doubt.

Georgia (funny how she is featuring so much lately) comes into our room around 1am.  We are fast asleep and goes: “I need the toilet “ and then pukes on the floor.

She does however put her hand in front of her mouth so it spatters out between her fingers as she is heading towards our bathroom.

Again why she does not just go to the bathroom across from her room forever remains a mystery in our household.  She always asks for permission – which is endearing – however is less endearing at 3am as she leans over and whispers/shouts: “I need the toilet, can I go to your bathroom?”

So back to Saturday’s revelry.  Of course we scream – in unison –: “Bathroom, go the the bathroom!”

She goes, she throws up some more – some in the toilet, some not.

Kennith at this point has woken up, flicked on our overhead light and is standing in the corner like a scared three year old – the fact that he is naked is not doing him any favours.

Kennith cannot abide puke in any shape of form – he can swim in poo if he has to, but show him a speck of puke and he starts to blubber like the village idiot.

I look at him slightly annoyed while I clean puke off myself, off child, off toilet seat, off toilet wall, off toilet floor, off passage floor, off passage wall, off child’s bedroom floor, off child’s bedroom rug, out of child’s hair and a few splatters off bedroom door.

Child is all dressed anew, smelling mildly fresh.  I pack her off to bed, with a kiss on her forehead.

I get in to bed.  Throw the duvet with just a bit too much force over my bulk to show my irritation that Kennith, well, did nothing.  I close my eyes, make a little sighing sound and wait for slumber to appear.

Just before slumber appears, Georgia arrives for scene two (re-enacted, rather than any new features) … and pretty much goes through the same script, scene for scene.

Kennith is again in the corner – I have retained my part where I am cleaning up puke off various surfaces of the house.

It is all disturbing familiar.  All I am missing is the Sonny and Cher song playing in the background (reference kicks back to Ground Hog Day)

I am now a bit less amused than I was the first time, and am tiring of the role I have been cast in.

When aiming Georgia towards her bed this time – I decide to put a puke bucket next to her bed – well it is actually the mop bucket, but today it gets to be the puke bucket.

Georgia decides that scene three needs a go – this time before I had got myself into bed.

I must confess to losing out of the “Mom of the Year” Award at about this point.  I knew I was totally of of the competition when I heard myself screaming “for fuck sake, could you just puke INSIDE the toilet this time!!”

Any the who – once again I was scooping puke up – and redressing and … well you know how it goes as I have already covered this section earlier.

But I learn from experience, so I took Georgia, green bucket, puke towel and got into my bed with her.

Initially I miscalculated and thought the puking was all over and she can just sleep with us.  I put the puke bucket and the puke towel next to the bed within easy reach.

It is amazing the reflexes you possess – like crazy cat reflexes when a child in YOUR bed starts making that whoooggghhhh-whoooggghhhh sound.

Once she puked and we got that out of the way, I figured there was two ways to go about this for the balance of the evening.

I could either be up every 6 – 8 minutes with her retching over the toilet and me holding back her pigtails, or …. I could put the bucket in bed with us, with the puke towel and prop her up against me and sort of semi-sleep.

I went with that option as that way I could at least hope to get snippets of sleep.  When I thought I had it all taped, she decided to step the stakes up a bit.

She opted to throw in a bit of diarrhea for good measure.  There is a lot I can do in a bed armed with a puke bucket and towel, but catching diarrhea is not one of them.

Even with my incredibly proactive planning I was still up like a flipping yo-yo all night.

I must say it was challenging when she was poo’ing and puking at the same time.

The great thing about Georgia, is that even when she is sick, and retching into a bucket, she is still smiling at you and saying really sweet things.  Bless her cotton socks for being such a sweet little carrot.

Sunday she was pretty drained and lay around watching television most of the day.

I have no problem comforting a sick child at night, but the issue is the next day, the other well children do not acknowledge that you have had about 30 minutes sleep and let you take it easy … unfortunately not.

On the upside when Isabelle had an afternoon nap, we all had an afternoon nap, which was pure bliss.

So that is how we spent our Saturday night.  I can’t say that we are partying like it’s 1999 or anything over here.

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Girl’s night out …..

Last night was a girl’s night out with pizza and too much wine.

I am not sure if everyone else had too much wine, but I definitely did.

This morning I am feeling a little tired and bleary eyed.  However I always act like I am all zesty the day after a night out – my blood shot eyes may tell another tale.

I was not the designated driver – thank goodness, I was barely competent to be the designated walker.

Got home, and Kennith was in checking on Isabelle.

I had put her into bed a bit earlier that usual, as she was a bit gringy and very irritable.  I put it down to her long day, and maybe being out of sorts as she may not have slept as much as she is used to.  She did not seem to be ill when I left, but she just did not look right.

When I saw Kennith with her – it clearly was a bit more than her being gringy.  She had a raging 41 degree temperature, and was sobbing as only a sick baby can, in the dark of the late night.

I have never seen a child that hot before.  Her skin was fire-hot to the touch.  Her skin was so red it looked like it was sun burnt – her cheeks were flushed scarlet against her pale face.

Talk about being dead sober in 5 seconds.

We sprung into action.  Gave her a Ponstan suppository, and ran a cool/warm bath for her.  I needed to get in to the bath as well, as she was looking very bleak and I could not let her sit there all sad by herself.  Misery loving company and all – and I also felt a bit guilty that she was ill, while I was out playing drink-wine!

A cool bath after a night out is not the best way to end a night out … but any the ho, such is our lot in life.

Isabelle sat in the bath and played a bit.  I gave her some water with a touch of Oros to encourage her to drink more water and just let her splash around a bit – I was still amazed that a child could actually feel that hot to the touch.  (we have one of those inside-the-ear-take-your-temperature-thingies which are pretty accurate)

Got her out of the bath, dressed her in light jammies, and she came to sit with us on the bed.

Her temperature had dropped under 40 – phew, at least we did not have to go to the ER, as I think both Kennith and I had anticipated when we took stock of where this night was going.  Kennith thought he saw a convulsion, but it was probably her shaking from the cold against her skin.

Isabelle started to look much better, and her temperature had dropped to just over 38 degrees – Ponstan and bath combination had obviously worked.  I am a big fan of suppositories for babies – they just work, and then you are not standing there fighting with a spoon of sticky medicine and a non-willing baby.

When her temperature seemed to settle, and her colour looked less alarming, we put her into her cot – and Kennith set his alarm to wake up in another 4 hours to give her some more Ponstan.    Have I mentioned what a good egg Kennith is?

Poor munchkin!  Left her sleeping this morning when I went to work.

Tonight the moomie moms are doing a get together sans kids – I am not sure I will be able to ingest more wine this evening … however I have a plan that includes a Steers burger and chips for lunch … and then facing some wine for dinner might not be so scarey.

Face your fears and all ….

Medical wonders ….

Georgia is a medical aid’s dream. She is just never sick, we really never claim for her.  She is just a name on our medical aid card.

This weekend she was feeling very grim.  She had a fever, and lost her voice – it was replaced by the Marlboro man’s voice.  Very sexy for a 5 year old girl.

We kept her off school today even though, to be honest, if we were desperate we would have sent her.   One of the benefits of a full time maid – bless.  If my kids even look a little off colour, I just leave them home for a day lying on the couch,  with BBC’s on television,  and they are miraculously cured of any and all afflictions.

Because she is never sick and she had already had a few days of a temperature – I thought odds are it is something that is going to need antibiotics.  If she had not cured herself by now, odds are it will need external influence – made a doctor’s appointment this afternoon for her.

I was truly shocked that I got a doctor’s appointment on such short notice – so many miracles in one day, goodness me.

Georgia was so excited – it was her first time at a doctor’s office.  No really it was!

She could not have been more excited when the doctor took her temperature and listened to her heart beat.  Georgia was in total heaven.  I am not sure if I have ever seen anyone more happy to be lying on a doctor’s table and be examined.

Turns out she has tonsillitis – cool, so we got some antibiotics and then merrily skipped home.

If this was Connor I would be battening down the hatches, as I would be preparing for an ear infection and possibly some other deadly ENT issue.  Of course the fact that he no longer has his tonsils, would make me doubtful of the doctor and her abilities had she diagnosed tonsillitis with him, but moving on.

With Georgia I know I will throw a few spoonfuls of the antibiotics in her direction, some of it will go in, some will drop on the front of her jammies.

I will probably forget to finish the course – against doctor’s recommendations.  But Georgia will be fine and happily skip off to school without so much as a backward glance.

It’s good to have a kid that does not max out the medical aid!!

Hush little baby don’t you cry ……

Last night Isabelle started crying – err screaming might be a more accurate description – at about 1am.

It wasn’t a “I’m-a-little-upset-and-will-just-roll-over-and-put-my-thumb-in-my-mouth” cry.  It was a real screaming-child-in-distress cry.  I opened my sticky very disorientated eyes and stumbled through to her – my ability to not knock my toe on the corner of our bed continues to amaze me.  My theory is if you do that once and break your baby toe, you sort of learn a foot-sonar-technique to keep you safe for time eternal.

By the time I picked Isabelle up, she was really crying like she had sustained a serious injury.  I usually sit in her room and rock her until she calms down and then put her back to bed, but it just felt different and she was much more distressed than under normal circustances.  I stood in her room and tried to sooth her, but she wasn’t even toning it down, she was screaming blue murder.

I thought – for my comfort –I will take her to bed and put her in the bed with me and rock her there.  I figured at least I could be warm, awake but warm.

As soon as I got to bed Kennith grumbled something about babies and vasectomies … when I answered “what!” he sort of mumbled through the folds of the duvet that I should walk her around as sitting bed will not settle her.

You know how you feel this overriding urge to pick up the lamp stand and beat your partner unconscious with it?  Well that pretty much summed up how I felt right then.

I thought “You turd, you carry on sleeping, leave me to care for my baby who is clearly dying!!”  A rational mom always settles on death as the only possible outcome at being awake at 1am.

I did stand up. I slammed my ice cold feet onto the floor when I got out of bed – just to make my point.  It might not have been heard through the comfort of the warm snuggly duvet and light snores of Kennith at just that time.

I walked Isabelle around the room a bit, showed her the lights of the sleeping city – we have a great view from our bedroom.  But she was not even vaguely calming down.  Her body was stiff and she appeared to be on the verge of a I-can’t-breath episode.

I took her to her room and sat on the rather hard, cold and squeaky rocking chair to try to rock her to calm her down – all the time wondering how I could maim Kennith as he quietly slept.

I pulled the blankets away from Isabelle’s cot and looked around her room, as I thought that she might have been bitten by a snake or something as she was hysterical and totally out of control.

As I sat there wondering how long I was going to let this go on for before I made a trip to the emergency room, Kennith came plodding through and picked Isabelle up and tried to rock and comfort her.  Okay, so I would not quite smack his brains out with the night light yet …

Kennith then passed her back to me and he went off to bed.  I sat and rocked her until she appeared to calm down a bit.  I was not sure if she was having difficulty breathing as she was crying so hysterically and could not seem to catch her breath.

I thought it might be croup, but there was none of that very recognizable Doberman-sounding cough that separates croup from all other sounds. I thought that maybe a hot bath with lots of steam would help, but it might have been that I was so flipp’n cold right then, it probably sounded good to me.

Eventually Isabelle calmed herself and I was able to lie her down in her cot.  She was not terribly happy, but did do me the favour of putting her thumb in her mouth and started sucking on that.  I left the room door open as I went to bed so we could hear her if her breathing became labored and went back to my bed.

It always amazes me how quickly exhausted parents can spring in to action and run around the house in a panic, and then as quickly fall back into bed and carry on snoring like nothing at all happened.