Friday, 21 September 2012

The big fall

Yesterday morning in a moment of slight brainlessness, we me and Mary were working in the kitchen,
we put Coel on the counter and basically turned our backs for a split second. Well… My poor little man
ended up on the floor, screaming his head off.

Now I don’t usually worry too much when the kids fall, they don’t usually fall from the kitchen counter and
everyone knows kids are top heavy and are most likely to fall on their heads, but his poor head swelled
up like Frankenstein on one side, he couldn’t keep his eye open and I was struggling to keep him awake.
We’ve always been told that when a child has a fall on the head, they shouldn’t sleep for at least a half
an hour as they may go into Acoma. Well I couldn’t keep him awake and I panicked. My parents work quite
close to where we stay so they rushed over, so my mom could keep Coel awake while we went to casualties.

We got there, and he was smiling and happy, the doctor checked him out, and sent him for x-rays as a
precaution and also so that he could be monitored and near the doctor for at least an hour in case
there was something to be worried about.


Luckily, nothing was wrong, no skull fractures or anything of the kind. No internal bleeding and no
concussion. The doctor mentioned that it is a misconception that we need to keep a kid awake
if they fall on their head, but that we must just watch they don’t lose consciousness. This didn’t
make much sense, how would you know the difference. So I did a little research and found this
interesting article on head injuries in kids. Hope it helps you all.

I’ve sure learnt my lesson and won’t be having any more moments of brainlessness anytime soon.

Cheers vir Eers

- Toppie se Vrou

Head Injuries

Head injuries fall into two categories:

1. external (usually scalp) injuries

2. internal head injuries, which may involve the skull, the blood vessels within
the skull, or the brain

Fortunately, most childhood falls or blows to the head result in injury to the scalp only,
which is usually more frightening than threatening. An internal head injury could have
more serious implications because it may result in bleeding or bruising of the

External (Scalp) Injuries

The scalp is rich with blood vessels, so even a minor cut there can bleed profusely. The
"goose egg" or swelling that may appear after a head blow is the result of the scalp's
veins leaking fluid or blood into (and under) the scalp. It may take days or even a week to disappear.

What to look for and what to do:

* Call the doctor if your child is an infant; has lost consciousness, even
momentarily; or if a child of any age has any of these symptoms:

o won't stop crying

o complains of head and neck pain

o vomits repeatedly

o difficult to awaken

o becomes difficult to console

o isn't walking normally

* If your child is not an infant, has not lost consciousness, and is alert and
behaving normally after the fall or blow:

o Apply an ice pack or instant cold pack to the injured area for 20 minutes
every 3 to 4 hours. If you use ice, always wrap it in a washcloth or sock;
ice applied directly to bare skin can cause cold injury to the skin.

o Observe your child carefully for the next 24 hours. If you notice any
of the signs of internal injury (see below), call your doctor immediately.

o If the incident has occurred close to bedtime or naptime and your child
falls asleep soon afterward, check in once or twice to also check for
disturbances in color or breathing.

* If color and breathing are normal, and you observe or sense no other
abnormalities, let your child sleep (unless the doctor has advised otherwise).
There's no need to keep a child awake after a head injury.

* If you aren't comfortable with your child's appearance (trust your instincts),
rouse your child partially by sitting him or her up. Your child should fuss a
bit and attempt to resettle. If he or she doesn't protest, try to awaken your
child fully. If your child can't be awakened or shows any signs of internal injury
(see below), call the doctor or an ambulance.

Suspected Internal Injury

The brain is cushioned by cerebrospinal fluid, but a severe blow to the head may knock the
brain into the side of the skull or tear blood vessels. Some internal head injuries —
complications of a fractured skull, torn blood vessels, or damage to the brain itself —
can be serious and possibly life threatening.

Different levels of injury require different levels of concern. It can be difficult to determine
the level of injury, so it's always wise to discuss a head injury with your doctor.

What to Look for and What to Do

Call 911 if your child shows any of these symptoms after a head injury:

* -unconsciousness for more than a few minutes

* -abnormal breathing

* -obvious serious wound

* -bleeding or clear fluid from the nose, ear, or mouth

* -disturbance of speech or vision

* -pupils of unequal size

* -weakness or paralysis

* -neck pain or stiffness

If your child is unconscious:

* -Do not try to move your child in case there is a neck or spine injury.

* -Call for help.

* -Turn a child who is vomiting or having a seizure onto his or her side while trying
to keep the head and neck straight. This will help prevent choking and provide
protection in case of neck and spine injury.

If your child is conscious:

* -Do your best to keep your child calm and still.

* -If there's bleeding, apply a clean or sterile bandage.

* -Do not attempt to cleanse the wound, which may aggravate bleeding and/or
cause serious complications if the skull is fractured.

* -Do not apply direct pressure to the wound if you suspect the skull is fractured.

* -Do not remove any object that's stuck in the wound.


Concussions are also a type of internal head injury. A concussion is the temporary loss of
normal brain function due to an injury. Repeated concussions can result in permanent injury
to the brain. However, it's possible to get a concussion that's mild and doesn't result in
long-term damage.

One of the most common reasons kids get concussions is through sports, so make sure
yours wear appropriate protective gear and don't let them continue to play if they've had
a head injury.

If your child sustains an injury to the head, watch for these signs of a possible concussion:

* -"seeing stars" and feeling dazed, dizzy, or lightheaded

* -memory loss, such as trouble remembering what happened right before and after the injury

* -vomiting

* -headaches

* -blurred vision and sensitivity to light

* -slurred speech or saying things that don't make sense

* -difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions

* -difficulty with coordination or balance (such as being - a concussion, call your
doctor for further instructions.

Preventing Head Injuries

It's impossible to prevent kids from ever being injured, but there are ways to help prevent head blows.

Make sure that:

* -your home is childproofed to prevent household accidents

* -your kids always wear appropriate headgear and safety -equipment when , in-line skating, skateboarding, -snowboarding or skiing, and playing contactsports. -Wearing an appropriately fitting bike helmet, for instance, reduces the
risk of head injury by about 85%.

* -your child takes it easy after a head injury, especially if there is a concussion

* -your child doesn't go back to rough play or playing sports until the doctor gives
approval. (If your child reinjures the brain while it's still healing, it will take even
more time to completely heal.)

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: January 2011

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Making a house a home

We’re in, most of the issues have been sorted out now and we can now start living in the space.
Wow there’s space, up till now my family and I have been living in a one bedroom flat let on
my parents property, it was cosy and home and served our needs for the time we lived there,
but with baby 3 on the way, there was no more room to squeeze another bed or cot or anything in.
The house was full and we needed to get a new one.

We moved in over a 2 day period with a trailer and 2 labourers. I spent a week unpacking. But our
house is basically unpacked, it’s cosy even though it’s spacious and I can honestly say I have 3 boxes
that I haven’t unpacked
J. Yay me…

I’ve done the kids rooms, toy room, our room, the kitchen, dining room, lounge and laundry. All
neat and tidy. The trampoline is up; the sand for the sandpit is being delivered today. (There was an
old fish pond that had been filled up; we just dug it up again

Here are some pic’s of our new home. Can’t believe it, but we have a Home.





Cheers vir Eers

- Toppie se Vrou

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

When it rains it pours

If you’ve read my last blog, Repo NONO!!! You’ll know that we had a rough time getting our house. It was a fight, a stress and an irritation, but we’ve moved in and well…..

The previous occupants left with a number of fixtures from the property, the built in braai, which now is a smoke signal box, the curtain rails, the control box for the electric fencing etc. This makes life slightly unpleasant but we can still live here.

The next couple of things wasn’t so nice, we tried to self install the DSTV dish, and well it’s still not working, we are awaiting a technician to install it at R 550 per hour…. The internet connection went from great coverage to poor and we had to have a booster Antenna installed – another R 500+. It gets worse, we went to open an electricity account and were kindly told that we could not do so till we received a electrical certificate of compliance, something that in a usual case of buy and sell a house, the seller would have to supply, the bank does not… Meaning we had +-R 6000 worth of electrical work that needed to be done so that we could then pay for the certificate at R 700, and could then only open an account, which also requires a R 3500 deposit. Our oven trips the electricity as well…

As if all of this isn’t enough, we had a wonderful feature added to our home on our one week anniversary. An indoor waterfall, through our bedroom ceiling… Yes the geyser burst.

Will it all come right? Will our bank balances survive? I sure hope so, I’m just dreading the next issue.

Cheers vir Eers

- Toppie se Vrou

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Repo NO NO!!!

So as everyone knows my little family of four will soon be five. We’ve been living in a flat by my folks up till now and our space was starting to get a bit cramped. So we took on the task of finding a bigger home for all of us.

We shopped around a bit, but in our price range and to suit our needs for the next 10 years, we had limited choices. 4 Bedrooms, Office/Study, Garden…. We looked at about 15 different places that either had granny flats, or studies. The rooms were all so small, the gardens not big enough, the cupboards iffy, the kitchens old, the bathrooms needed work… We were having no luck.

UNTIL, our estate agent brought us to what was basically our dream home, it was a non-negotiable R 100,000.00 less than what we were prepared to pay, and came with everything. Newish bathrooms, new kitchen with granite counters, 4 double sized bedrooms, a huge space I could use as the office, a heated pool, an entertainment room, even a massive laundry, lounge, dining room, big enough garden, a bar room, it was perfect. We put our offer in and it was accepted, we even got a 100% bond at an excellent interest rate.

We were very happy; we understood it was a repo house, and that the occupants were the previous owners. They however were friendly enough to agree to move as soon as we wanted to move in…. YA RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we said we wanted to move in at end of July, we were told in no uncertain terms, they would not move for 120 days. There was no legal standing to this; we were also met with rudeness and hostility. Come on people, we didn’t repo your house, the bank did and it was kind of your fault.

So now we had a dilemma, the bank only covers water and electricity etc. on the property until date of transfer. If these people didn’t move by the time transfer went through, we would be in a positions of paying a bond, their water and lights, and rent for us to live somewhere while they live for free in our new home…

We went and saw an eviction attorney, and the news wasn’t great.

1. If a person is “USED” to having electricity, you by law are not allowed to cut it, even if they don’t pay the account.

2. Water is a basic human right and can also not be cut

3. Because the transfer had not yet gone through we could not start with formal eviction.

We were up the creek without a paddle. The Attorney did however agree to send a few letters to the “occupants” warning of the legal action we intended to take, and those letters worked. The “occupants” moved out on 1 September and since the transfer went through on 31 August, we were new home owners, to a lovely home, and we could start moving in.

We did move in, but what we found shocked us. The “occupants” had decided to remove every fixture they could that they thought was theirs to take. No legally fixtures become part of the property and may not be removed. They took the curtain rails, some built in cupboards, the control box for the electric fencing, the dstv dish, the built in braai and even security gates. Needless to say there are holes in the walls everywhere. We have also found an electrical nightmare that needs to be sorted out before we can open an electricity account.

Our Dream home has turned into a not so much dream, but we’ll sort it out.

All I can say is, don’t buy a repo house unless you can help and afford it, the bank are not much help when it comes to information or assistance when there are occupants in the property.

Cheers vir Eers

- Toppie se Vrou

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Trusting your instincts


I’m becoming a mommy for the third time now and I cannot begin to tell you how scared and flustered I am getting at the idea that I am having a
baby girl. My 2 children that are here are both boys and they have seemed to be easy children.

Breastfeeding wasn’t something I managed to do very successfully, for longer than 4 – 6 weeks with both of them, but they did sleep through from
about 6 weeks. Neither of them had baby vomits that required running around with spoeg dookies all the time, neither were very hard to burp or had
colic, we did think Coel had colic at a stage, but that was also sorted out in 2 days. If I’ve had more than 10 sleepless nights in 3 years because of
teething or sickness it’s been a lot. They’ve never been in hospital except for when they were born. We’ve never had very severe nappy rashes, except
when they were teething, these only lasted a few days anyways.

Everybody keeps saying girls are easier than boys, if this is the case, baby Codi is going to come out with a full mouth of teeth and changing her own nappies.

I don’t think so, I have a feeling karma is going to come and bite me in the bum and make her a very difficult baby. I’m worried that changing her is going to
be a mission, that she’ll suffer from nappy rashes and bladder infections. I’m scared she’ll puke all over me all the time. I’m scared she’ll have all sorts of
ailments I won’t know how to handle. I go through stages where I wish she was a boy, because I know how to deal with boys.

Once I go through all the feelings and calm myself, I realise I’m being paranoid. A relaxed mother = a relaxed baby. And the best thing I can do for myself
and my Codi girl is to trust my instincts. They’ve never let me down before and I’m pretty sure that won’t change.

Cheers vir Eers

- Toppie se Vrou