A long road

The last month has been a loooong road for us. My younger daughter began coughing roughly 6 weeks ago (I've actually lost count but it was at least 6 weeks ago!)and she has coughed....and coughed....and coughed.

She started out with what we thought was croup - which she does get periodically. We tried all the usual things, her nebuliser, steam treatments etc, cough suppressant, but nothing helped. She then made the first of many trips to the doctor and ended up on cortisone and various other medications - still nothing helped. The strange thing was that the cough would be much better during the day, but the minute the sun disappeared she would begin this dreadful, barking, cough, which would continue until well after midnight. Frequently she would be coughing, gasping for air, coughing, non-stop. This meant that she missed a lot of school and was exhausted when she was there - not to mention the strain on the entire family.

In the past few weeks, she has had her peak flow checked, had chest x-rays and been tested for T.B. The x-rays indicated possible asthma, so we were prescribed an inhaler...and still she coughed. Our doctor finally referred us to a pulmologist, who we saw on Tuesday and he diagnosed Cough Variant Asthma. He prescribed a new inhaler as well as a nasal spray (she also has severe allergic rhinitis) and it seems to have WORKED!! At last, last night we had a decent nights sleep! I think it is going to take a couple of days for us all to feel completely ourselves again - but here's hoping we are on the road to normality.

How healthy am I?

I was reading a magazine the other day which suggested we should list 5 positive healthy habits we have and five negative. So, as I am a great lover of lists, I have done just that:

Healthy habits:
1. I don’t add sugar to anything except my pasta sauce
2. I drink 2 litres of water daily
3. The only oil I use in cooking (apart from making French fries about once a month) is olive oil
4. I drink a lot of soya milk and I don’t generally consume dairy products
5. I detest fat, so I cut it off any meat I use

Unhealthy habits:
1. I get very little physical exercise (ouch, I know that’s a biggie! I’ve gotta get back on that exercise bike)
2. I love crisps – I try to limit myself, but the odd bag does creep into my trolley
3. I’m a sucker for dark chocolate and although it has health benefits, I know I consume quite a bit more than is strictly healthy ;-)
4. I really love the odd beer shandy and often have a glass of wine with my dinner
5. I stress!

It's a HOT South African Summer

A friend sent me this email tonight, which pretty much sums up the Summer we are having.

You know you're in a South African summer when:-

A The best parking space is determined by shade instead of distance.

B Hot water comes out of both taps.

C You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.

D The temperature drops below 35 degrees C and you feel a little chilly.

E You discover that in January it only takes two fingers to steer your car.

F You discover that you can get sunburnt through your car window.

G You develop a fear of metal car door handles.

H You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30am.

I Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"

J You realise that asphalt has a liquid state.

K Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to prevent them from laying hard-boiled eggs.

L The trees are whistling for the dogs.

M While walking back barefoot to your car from the beach, you do a tightrope act on the white lines in the carpark.

N You catch a cold from having the aircon full blast while you sleep during the night.

O You learn that the Boardwalk isn't a shopping centre, its a temple to worship air-conditioning.

P It is considered OK to wear your Bikini top under any garment.. just in case

Q If you dont wear your slops to work you probably dont have any.

R The only guys wearing ties are the ones that flew in this morning and can't wait to leave.

I always wanted to be a hippie chick....

Your Hippie Chick Name Is:


Sense of humour required!

As far as I'm concerned there are only two prerequisites to being a mom; a well-developed sense of humour and a strong self-esteem. This week I realised I am probably a little lacking on both counts.

My eldest daughter Rox and I were shopping on Wednesday when we bumped into a casual acquintance (we will call her "A" to protect her dignity), we had a little chat with "A" and then continued with our shopping. Later on, as we were walking to the car, I mentioned to Rox that I thought "A" was a really nice person, a "my kind of person". Rox said, "Yes, I can understand why you like her, you are both lazy, (quick recovery here on registering my shocked expression!), um, not, er, lazy, um just not sporty kind of people".........................Ouch!

That afternoon I was driving in the car with my younger daughter, Paula, and happened to mention the above incident to her. Instead of the sympathetic response I was hoping for (Note to self: never look to daughters for sympathy), Paula said "I can't understand why she said 'lazy' - I could have understood if she'd said something like 'boring' - you and "A" are both boring kind of people, not really lazy."........................... double ouch!! (On being questioned as to why she finds me boring, I was told that "it's not in an ugly way, it's just cause you don't do mountain biking and stuff". It's true - I don't do mountain biking, but I do, do stuff, honest, I DO!!)

Well - at least I know they'll be honest if I ask "Does my butt look big in these jeans?"

These are a few of my favourite things…

Dogs – I cannot imagine life without a dog in the house. They win the "favourite animal award" hands down.

My computer – I’m happily hooked on it

Eating out – I could quite cheerfully eat out five times a week

Live theatre - especially good, old-fashioned musicals – nothing beats the feeling of anticipation waiting for the curtain to go up.

A lazy weekend – we seem to have so few completely free weekends. I just love going to bed on a Friday night knowing that we have an absolutely empty weekend to fill up doing just what we please.

Prawns – cooked in the shell with lots of butter and a creamy garlic sauce. YUM!

Dark chocolate – this is quite a new favourite thing, since I went off dairy products last year (we’ll ignore the butter and cream in the previous entry!!) I had to find something to satisfy my chocolate craving, so I tried dark chocolate (which is dairy-free would you believe it!) and now I will never know what I saw in milk chocolate.

Books – I could not live without a book beside my bed. My favourite authors are Rosamunde Pilcher, Erica James, Maeve Binchy, Katie Fforde, Cathy Kelly…. and a whole lot more.

Jeans – so easy to wear, they’re comfortable and match with everything. I live in jeans in Winter.

Grey’s anatomy – I am not generally a TV person at all, but I can’t wait for the next season of Grey’s to start.

Autumn – I just adore Autumn, especially inland where you can see the leaves changing and feel the freshness in the air.

Shopping – I confess that I even enjoy grocery shopping, but not on my own, I have to have a side-kick.

Log fires – growing up in the midlands of KZN we had a log fire every night in Winter, bliss.

Ginger Ale – if it weren’t so fattening I would drink only ginger ale!

Magazines – I would read them all if I could, but I limit myself to 4 or 5 favourites

The smell of a pipe – it’s not environmentally friendly I know, but I love the smell of a pipe being smoked – from a distance of course

Fresh linen – it’s absolutely delicious climbing into bed the day the linen has been changed.

Day old chicks – oh that soft, furry-feathered little body, they are SO cute