Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Uncle Paul's Christmas Party

We went to the rotary Christmas Noddy Party at Groot Constantia last Saturday. They seem to have lots of parties at different venues throughout the peninsula, but by all accounts this one seems to be extra special. It is simply magical.

On arrival we handed in our gifts (which father Christmas was to give the kids), food platters and donated clothes and toys etc which we had been asked to take a long.

We then walked up a farm track and waited next to lush vineyards. We were collected by a tractor with a trailer filled with hay bales, and had a fun and exciting tractor ride up a bit of a bumpy dirt track with vineyards on one side and a forest with ferns and vines etc on the other. Going past I told Quinn that fairies live in that forest... not knowing how true this would turn out to be...

When rounding the forested area we came to a clearing, with a castle set back into the forest. There was an arena of hay bales laid out to sit on, and a pile of straw waiting to be played in, in the centre. We found a place to sit, and then all the children got busy with playing in the straw, while we waited for everyone to arrive.

A marching band (looked like salvation army or something) came and played some songs and carols and we all marched with them for a bit. The children then got a chance to try out the instruments (cymbals, drums, trumpets, flutes etc).

Noddy and friends then arrived in Noddy's car and entertained the children. Big Ears, Mr Plod, and Rag Doll were all there. Poor Mr Plod got a bit harassed as his helmet was stolen and he had quite a time getting it back from the crowd. I guess there's no fear or respect of the police force anymore... ;)

They then found ice-creams in Noddy's car boot and these were handed out to all. From then on the food did not stop. Trays of food came streaming through with whatever everyone had brought from chips and biscuits, to sandwiches, to pies, mini pizzas, hot dogs, cold meats, cakes, koek sisters etc, and juice. Everyone ate and drank and had lots of fun.

By then it was twilight and the coloured lights surrounding us had been turned on. A piano was brought in and we all sang carols. With Uncle Paul entertaining everyone with his funny actions and antics - he was especially funny when singing Old Mac Donald at the end with some animal props...

Then it was time for Father Christmas to arrive. The children had to blow all the lights out and we waited in the dark..... With a flash of red (a red flare) from Rudolf Father Christmas arrived on the roof of the Castle. We then had to wait for the Christmas fairies.

From inside the forest a tinkling bell could be heard and then a shimmering sparkler made it's way along a pulley (looking like a dancing fairy) all the way to the castle, when it reached the castle the castle lit up magnificently and looked beautiful really. With another big flash a fairy arrived in the Castle doorway ( a little girl in a while sparkly ballet outfit). She danced around and 'lit' all the surrounding lights again with her wand, and then 'lit' the Christmas tree lights. The children were enthralled. It was completely dark by then and it was really pretty.

Father Christmas then sat down and started handing out the presents ' he' had brought for the children. Once then got their present the fairy gave each child a packet of 'fairy' sweets. We all opened presents and ate sweets etc, after which it was time for Father Christmas to leave again. This happened with another bog flash, this time a white flare shooting into the distance. We then had a return tractor ride back to the cars. We only got home at about 10:30pm, and both children were still wide awake and very excited. It was really fun and magical for the children, and we'll definitely go again next year.

Monday, 20 October 2003

ER Drama

Well we had our first real trauma ward visit this week-end. We have gone in once before when Quinn had a bad day or vomiting and diarrhoea, but that was just for them to look and say, ' Yes, he's still fine, go home again'.

Well we have been replacing ceilings in our house since Monday last week (Lischka: it's Bakar doing the work btw). All I can say is it's been VERY messy and disruptive. Basically we have had 50+ years worth of dust falling down on everything.

So after sleeping on the lounge floor all week, they finally finished painting our room late on Friday. So on Saturday I stayed home to clean up and move back into our room, while Rich took the kids on the train to Fish Hoek and then got a lift to Imhoff to visit with friends and watch the rugby etc.

I joined them at about 3:30pm. When I arrived I notice that neither Q or G were very happy or social. G had been to the doctor on Friday anyway for tonsillitis (it turns out he has 'kissing tonsils' - meaning they are joined together. Apparently this causes apnoea, and snoring, and makes them more prone to infection. The doc said we may need to have them taken out at some point, especially if he is having disrupted sleep). He also has a fungal/bacterial infection in the corner of his mouth, which bleeds at night and makes disgusting black sludge on his lips and teeth, so we are treating that too.

So on Saturday Q had started looking very flushed, and told me his throat and head was sore. I decided to go to a pharmacy to get some fever meds. I took him with me, and by the time we got there he could hardly walk. I bought some ponstel and gave him a dose while we were still at the till. He fell asleep on the way back and was twitching and all delirious. We put him in a bed and he cooled down and slept. I gave Griff a does of the med as well. At 7:30 we were just starting to dish up dinner (which was a delicious roast), when Griffin and friend started climbing on the long bench chair by the table. I heard Rich ask him to get down and not pull the table cloth etc. I carried on dishing food.

Next I heard a fall and crying. Somehow Griff had fallen backwards off the bench and hit his head on a terracotta step. He cried a little and then went very pale and quiet and put his head down on Rich's chest. This made me worried.

Everyone was saying, ' oh he's fine, let's eat' I was holding his head in my hand and I lifted my hand and saw BLOOD. I got quite a fright and 2 of us were looking at his head trying to see where the blood was coming from. We saw it coming through his hair at the back of his head.

Luckily there is a paramedic who lives down the road, so we decided to take him there, to see how serious it was, because I didn't want to take any chances. The paramedic was a wonderful helpful guy. He checked his pupil reflexes etc and said that his eyes were reacting normally, and so it didn't look like there was anything more serious than the cut. He said he'd clean it a bit, to see how big and deep it was, so we'd know if he needed stitches. He started moving his hair aside and the cut was huge. It was about 5 cm long and open to about 5mm, and you could see red flesh inside! But strangely the cut was hardly bleeding.

He told us that he was fine, but that because the cut was so big, it would very likely get infected if left, and he would end up with a bald patch in the area. He said it was best to go through to Constantiaberg to get it assessed and stitched.

So we packed up and loaded a still sick and sleeping Q in the car and headed back over the mountain. Luckily there weren't too many people in casualty and we got seen to quite quickly.


Griff was acting fine through all this and was fairly cheerful even. The doctor was called and said that he definitely should be stitched, and he wanted a skull x-ray as well. So off we went. They made me ride a wheel chair while holding Griff. He thought the x-ray machine was pretty cool, until he realise I was pinning him down, and then he wasn't at all impressed and squirmed a lot. Luckily the radiographer managed to get her shots quite easily though.

We went back though and the doctor looked at the x-rays and said his skull was fine (which we pretty much knew anyway). They gave Griff 5mls of Panado and then 3 drops of some sedative. He ended up quite drunk and was laughing and playing and dancing about, and almost falling off the bed!

Quinn mean time had woken up and was lying on a bed in the 'observation room' having a great time watching his own TV with ear phones and adjusting the volume etc. And eating chips from the vending machine. He also kept pressing the red button which called nurses! We left him there on his own, and then took G through to a more surgical room.

We had to lie him on his tummy. Richard held his head, I held his back and shoulders and a nurse held his legs. He did not like being pinned down at all and started yelling. The doctor then injected a local anaesthetic right into the cut and under the skin in 3 places (yes I watched the whole time). He then said that with all the meds it was very unlikely that he could feel anything, and he was just yelling from being held down, so it was best to just get it over with as quickly as possible. So we held him down and spoke calmly to him while the doctor cut some of his hair away (Griffin hates haircuts, and I'm not sure he'll like them anymore from now on!). He then pout 2 stitches in. He said he wasn't going to do a whole row because Griff was moving too much and he just wanted the skin held closer together so it can heal itself. Also because they couldn't cut his hair properly they couldn't put a plaster over it. So they used something called 'plastic bandage' I think. It's basically a see through plastic fixative spray, to keep it clean and covered. He was also given anti-biotics to make sure he doesn't get an infection.

As soon as the doctor finished stitching him Griff was smiling and laughing again, and even said 'thank-you doctor'. He waved and said bye to all the nurses too. So that was how we spent Saturday night. Thankfully it wasn't too bad, but close enough.

Q had a good look and was very interested in everything. We also had a good talk to him about listening to us when we say be careful, because this is the kind of thing that can happen. etc.


Thursday, 6 March 2003

Lucky Boy

I was phoned last week by a lady at Vincent Pallotti Hospital (where the boys were born) saying that they had run a competition and had drawn babies born from each month over the past year or so.
Well Griffin won the draw for November!

We were invited to the prize giving and main draw last night. We went along unsure what to expect, and they'd put together a little cocktail party.

Each of the 12 finalist got a gorgeous teddy bear, one of those lovely plush, characterful, large RUSS ones - I LOVE it. And when they drew the name out of the hat for the big prize it was GRIFFIN!

He won a R5000 education policy :))) *grin*

They also took photos which were published in the local newspaper the Tattler. It was such an unexpected surprise :)

p.s. they were asking when I was planning number 3!