Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bingo Night

We went to the school bingo night this evening. I had never played bingo with a crowd. It was hard work keeping up with the pace of numbers. We won only a few tickets and Frost complained it was unfair, it was rigged, he needed another card!

We used our tickets to buy a wooden robot, an old puzzle, a box of monkeys and a book about stuffed toys having an adventure.

It was pretty good value.

Plus, I took a bowl full of boiled eggs to the potluck and they WERE ALL EATEN. Due to the ceaseless laying of our chickens, the use of 6 eggs at one time is no small accomplishment. It gives me at least 2 days before the backlog starts to build and I am forced to ask Joshua to make more salted caramel icecream and eat frittata on the same day.

The toast is cracking

I was woken at 5.45am by Microsoft, at least that's what the caller ID said. When I staggered to the phone (to stop it waking the kids, imagining awful news or a confused overseas caller) it was dead. No voice. No message.

Then Wren woke up.

I persuaded him to play with things for a while but then Frost woke up saying we had been too noisy.

He lay on the floor and read Foxtrot while Wren competed with his feet for space.

I have been playing catchup on this sleep deficit ever since. For breakfast I asked Frost "Do you want me to print you some toast?" and later, when it popped up I yelled at him to get the vegemite because "Your toast has cracked!!"

Well, someone has cracked.

As soon as the toast cracked Wren decided he wanted some too. Frost didn't want to share his first slice with Wren because he wanted it cut in half with half vegemite and half Nutella.

This is Josh's fault-he bought Nutella at Costco and so the boys are all about nutella all the time. Yesterday they had nutella toast, nutella banana and nutella on a spoon. They wanted to do various other things with it. In fact, as I type Wren has said NUTELLA and brought the whole tub. "ITs here" he says.

Its here, there and everywhere.

Listening to Nouvelle Vague. Most apt for this day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The blue of hot places

Its cold weather again. Blue skies but ice on the old mop water I left out on the deck. The chickens pecked through the ice to get to their water and the new leaves are looking a bit limp.

I told Wren on Sunday that a Big Chill was coming and he has been afraid to leave the house. He thinks a Big Chill is a storm with huge winds and ice. He keeps whimpering and asking "is this the Big Chill?" From time to time Frost tries to reassure him, saying "the big chill is not a frost giant, Wren. Its just cold weather."

This alludes to Wren ongoing obsession with D&D Miniatures. First thing in the morning and last at night he is arranging the "guys" in "setups". I wish I could find my pictures of Frost at this age doing a very similar thing with his guys - the Papo knights and dragons. Shall I blame this on Josh or is it something genetic that boys like to arrange frightful figures in aggregations that approximate a hoard or army?

In unrelated news, Wren has made up a game on his new bed. He climbs up the foot of the bed, balances precariously on the top rail and then leaps through the air onto the futon mattress. Each jump is named according to a sound effect or trick done during the jump. He does the crow jump (saying CAW), the dragon jump (saying RAARH), the leaping lemur jump (springing high) and the orca whale jump (going splash).

Now an unrelated QUESTION. How often do you clean the front of your kitchen cupboards. I looked at them while mopping today and found them plastered with dried cake batter, flour, paint and other unidentified solidified drips.

It was disgusting.

I feel I have omitted some essential housekeeping. Sure, I can't keep up with wet dusting but kitchen slime dried on my lovely cupboards?

In unrelated EXCITEMENT: We are hoping to go to a game reserve for a few nights while in South Africa this August. Ingrid emailed to ask which camp we would prefer. Here is an excerpt from Ingrid's email. It made me laugh a lot.


Josh looks on this whole game park thing with disinterested dismay. He thinks it is weird and dangerous. I told Ingrid that Hilltop sounded better (due to the risk of the Hyena's stealing Wren instead of just the meat or the monkey's being overboard with the kids) but our provisional reservation is for Mtwazi in Hluluwe (continguous with Imfolozi) which also looks nice (no pool - which will reassure Mum who fears for Wren's safety). Here is a US Blogger's entry about staying there. I include it because it puts things in a perspective I never consider and uses words that you yanks understand like "Safari" rather than "going to a game reserve". Just don't say we're going on safari or I will laugh and mock you to show I am still Seth Afriken.

Apparently we can't go on any of the ranger escorted walks [where you walk through the park with a guy with a gun] until the kids are over 14. However, adults can go on a walk without the kids! Joshua will not be keen but I am hopeful - everyone has to tell a story of having to climb a thorn tree to escape white rhino. The kids are allowed out of the car at waterholes to walk to the hide and can go on a game-watching bus ride.

I am still battling the preschool question for this fall. I have signed Wren up at a lovely Waldorf inspired preschool but have some lingering doubts because its the furthest preschool we considered and is relatively large. Also, I really like the early literacy and manipulatives they use at some of the more expensive local Montessori inspired programs. Finally, the more alternative community at my current favorite school worries me a bit with Wren's health. Fall is always a tough time for respiratory and viral illnesses and a lower level of vaccination and more kids in close proximity make me a bit anxious.

Josh has decided against Montessori although I still have a strong affection for The Materials and the ritualistic focus that one gets. I wanna be a kid in the primary montessori class. Perhaps I will ask Josh to view the class one morning. Josh?

Clarity please, clarity. Spirits speak to me. Tea leaves - write the name of a preschool.

Moving right on - planning to blow some eggs and make beeswax candles with the kids. All these preschool tours have filled me with parenting inspiration for lovely activities to do with the kids. Wren would be fine at any of these schools, right?

Mum: This is the tart dish I bought at the thrift store yesterday for $4. Is it like yours or Dad's? I am thinking of making a passionfruit and lemon tart with my last tin of passionfruit from Australia!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Infection & The Germ Machine

I took Frost to the doctor this morning and they confirmed he has "some kind of infection in the wound, probably either Strep or Staph." The doctor checked his lymph nodes and they seemed normal but she also noticed the line up the foot, the tenderness and the crustiness. She said its not clear whether it has spread into the tissues or is still superficial but since his temperature was borderline elevated (99.5) they felt it better to put him on an oral antibiotic.

He has it twice a day for 10 days.

He seems fine and we shall just keep an eye on it and return if it does not improve rapidly.

Here is a picture for Granny, probably the only one interested in our gory health issues.

Wren is also obsessed with germs since his cough cold illness. I told him he was coughing because his body was fighting germs in his chest. This morning he made a Germ Machine out of Tinkertoy. I shall try and upload the movie.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Frost has a foot infection

After his bath tonight I noticed a scratch on Frost's foot looks infected. It has a red line ascending from the wound towards his leg.

I called the nursing hotline and we suspect he has lymphangitis from a strep infection. The nurse checked the diagnostics and he has:

1) At least 48 hours post the wound occurring.
2) Reddening around the wound.
3) A yellow crust, seepage or grey pus.
4) A red line ascending towards the heart.
5) His tetanus shot up to date.
6) He has no fever.
7) It is very tender / hot to touch.

So, the book says to send him DIRECTLY TO THE PROVIDERS OFFICE. Since he is asleep we have deferred that action till the morning but I have marked the red line with a pen and we will check he has no fever before Josh goes to bed.

It is hard to know how seriously to take these things. At one point the nurse was considering sending us the ER but both she and I had these infections as kids from running barefoot (her in Miami and me in South Africa). We think he will survive till morning.

I am reassuring myself that there are many less competent parents than myself who would not notice such small red scratches and there are not kids dropping like flies from strep infections.

Still, Frost had one in his nose / finger 3 years ago and the pediatrician got very excited about that.

More later.

It looks somewhat like this:

Better and the rain returns

We've had an early spring here with days of blazing sun and T-shirt weather at a time when we usually have frosty mornings and fleece most days. We've planted early spring vegetables and mowed the lawn. Dandelions are flowering and the hyacinth are completely unfurled.

Apparently, we are now returning to cold. As I type a curtain of cloud is drawing across the morning blue and according to my favorite weather forecaster, it will be raining by nightfall and we should "protect tender plants" overnight.

Wren suggested we "get a pot. Put it OVER them." so we are going to do that.

He is much better today. He still has a chunky cough but didn't nap yesterday and seemed in good spirits. He has been out scooting and running and sleeps better at night. This week Wren moved from his crib into a big boy bed. Apparently, Josh has some kind of recall telepathy because when I googled our crib to list it on Craigslist I found it was subject to a recall a week earlier. The drop sides can split apart and present a suffocation risk for babies! We now have to throw it away!

Here is the new bed:

The boys have been playing with water balloons they inflate with air (using the foot pump). They are very excited about creating friction and attaching them to themselves and each other.

We are now going for a scoot to the park. I have the CHD support group this afternoon and we may make scones.