Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Silkworm

Last week, Hannah got to take home her first school "pet"- a Silkworm.  In Zimbabwe, they only eat the leaves of mulberry trees, I am not sure about other areas.  It is a typical worm that makes a cocoon and then turns into a moth. They are studying insects and bugs at school.
Hannah was beside herself at the excitement of taking this worm home from school and caring for it and feeding it herself. The night before she got the worm, she was even worried if she would be a good enough Mommy.  I mean how adorable is that? 

So finally the day came- last Monday, the silkworm - also called Angel by Hannah and Silky by Daddy... finally came home.  We had to get Mulberry leaves from our friends house as there are only a few houses with these trees.  Once we did this, we were finally ready to feed it.  She did a great job checking on it every morning and afternoon, playing with it, petting it. She was an excellent Mommy. Yes, you see how I say "was". 
Then... it happened. In an attempt to get the kids to play just five minutes longer and get five more minutes of sleep, we asked Hannah to go play in her room.  In less than three minutes she came running back, literally screaming crying saying she could not find the silkworm. She said she was just petting it and then she lost it.  So, we ran in her room, carefully stepping on the white carpet as the white silkworm may blend in, and then we saw it.  It looked smaller and a little bit strange, and it had some awful looking black stuff behind it. Tom and I knew the outcome of this would not be good.  Hannah was so upset. We did our best to console her as she was simply devastated.  We tried to figure out what happened, but she was confused and then said she may have stepped on it, she did not know. This was of course through a mountain of tears. After about 10 minutes she finally calmed down.  We felt bad and were a little worried about her, but she seemed to be OK.
But wait...I'm not done.
So, after we got dressed and headed down the hall we noticed Piper had thrown up. Immediately Tom and I looked at each other and thought...No, there is no way.  How in the world would Piper had the time to go in the bedroom and even see the silkworm on the floor? And remember, there was only half of it there and we could not figure out where the rest of it went.  Our other thought was maybe Hannah actually did step on it, it may have fallen off her foot (it was small) and then Piper found it? Who knows. 
So, after dismissing those thoughts, I went in the kitchen and made myself a coffee and a bowl of cereal assuming everything was fine.  I finally sat on the couch with the kids to watch some cartoons.  This is when I looked over at Piper. She looked really strange, extremely weird.  I got on the floor and realized...was her face actually swollen??? Her eyes were a bit separated as ours do when we have an allergic reaction on our face and her cheeks were sticking out.  I freaked!  I looked for the vets number in my phone, but of course it was not there. I yelled at the kids - get your clothes on!, we have to take Piper to the vet. (Dad was at the gym.)  So while they got dressed, I googled ... are silkworms poisonous to dogs?  Couldn't find much- thank goodness, other than the fact that the Chinese use it for medicinal purposes, go figure.  I finally called my friend for the vet numbers.  I then tried to call, but the lines would not work. I mean, why now- right?  Coincidentally Daddy walked in the door and I then I rushed out to take Piper to the vet. She had also started developing some raised spots of fur on her back as well- had to be hives, right? 
Let me back track for a minute. So, while Tom and I were consoling Hannah, I remember hearing Chase say- whats wrong with Piper's neck and then he was hitting it back and forth. I said, please leave Piper alone! And then we went back to Hannah. What I did not realize, was that Piper had already started developing a reaction. The hanging skin was actually fluid filled glands hanging from her neck- like a big sack. Just crazy!
SO, out the door I went to the vet. As soon as I got there I only had to wait but a few minutes and the doc took me in. He checked her temperature, it was low. He checked her heart rate, it was fast. He said she was almost in SHOCK!!! After three injections - I was told it would take a little time, but she would be OK. He said we were lucky.  Piper had an allergic reaction to a silkworm.
I mean, can you imagine? Who would of thought...a silkworm?  Piper was much better in 24 hours, still a little swollen, but better and Hannah has no idea that Piper may have actually eaten her pet from school.  I think for now...we will just have to keep it that way.

Left: You can tell Piper is a little bit swollen here the next morning (under her eyes for sure).  Obviously Hannah is happy and as most young children do, had almost forgotten about it the next morning as well.
Right: Normal picture of Piper taken this weekend.

Wow! .... all this from a Silkworm.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Mini Harare Safari

This past weekend the kids, Piper and I went out on a mini Harare Safari. This is quite strange for this area as there are not many parks like this close to home. It was certainly a welcomed change and as you can see the kids had fun on our little outing with some friends. Amazing this was only 15 minutes from our house.
Chase enjoying the beautiful Zebras- ha ha
Cave paintings...


Chase is beyond thrilled- ha

love this one of Hannah
AND, last but not least... PIPER!
Piper FINALLY went on Safari! :)
She is like, seriously Mom?? Ha!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

United Nations Day

This past Friday was United Nations Day at the Harare International School. Some international schools overseas also call this day, International Day. It is a day to show the true colors of each student and represent the places where they were each born. All the parents are asked to bring dishes from their own country and then each area or region is represented with a few food tables. 

Our table was in the "Americas" section with by far the most tables, second was Zimbabwe.  The biggest hit for most international students is the American junk food. Not something I am most proud of, but by the lines you will see...it was the biggest hit.  Although we tried to stick to a theme of the Melting Pot, we ended up with way too many desserts.
They started with a show that the high school dancers performed from each of their regions, some unique Indian dancing and then a local school came to visit as well. They also performed with drumming and dancing too.  A representative from the United Nations also spoke. The end of the ceremony concluded with a representative from each country in a flag ceremony. It was pretty amazing and beautiful.
After the ceremony, everyone (parents, teachers and students) went to each of the tables to sample a little bit of each food from all the regions.  It was a fun day that started EARLY for us (the US Volunteers) below.

We arrived at 7:30 and did not get off of our feet until 3pm. The joys of volunteering I suppose. Ha
Enjoy a few pics!


(from October 2012)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mud Run - Take 2

Last year the kids participated in a Mud Run at the Marine House...and surprisingly it was that time of year again with yet another Fun Mud Run. 
Hannah and Chase were excited about the fun day of getting wet and dirty; however, when the time came for Chase to perform, he chickened out.  This seems to be a pattern with Chase when we get into big crowds. I guess we will have to see how this behavior progresses, I get it, its overwhelming. However, as soon as the day was over and we needed to leave, he finally decided he wanted to play and get on the water slide. By this time - it was time to go and tears were then falling down his face.
This is another fun pattern Mommy and Daddy get to enjoy EVERY time we leave...ANYWHERE!!. As if home is so horrible? They NEVER want to leave, tears and tantrums rage and Mommy and Daddy get to be the bad people, until of course they get in their seats (exhausted), crash out, then wake up totally absent minded of any incident that has occurred. Lucky us, the situation continues to repeat itself even after the prep talk before any play date or party. THIS my friends is a frustrating stage.
Back to the Mud Run. As you can see, Hannah had a BLAST!! And as you can also see, Daddy had fun torturing her to pieces. Ha! Too Fun!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Jacaranda Tree

The Jacaranda tree may be one of my favorite things about Zimbabwe. It is a large tree that has the most beautiful purple flowers and they are everywhere this time of year. It is similar to the Cherry Blossoms I suppose in Washington, DC. They only bloom for a few weeks every year and it is simply a breathtaking site.  The allergies from this tree may not be the best, but I will take the extra sneezes to look at these trees any day. 
My friend and I took the kids to this one street to try and capture a few good shots.

Not all streets are lined with an entire row of Jacaranda trees like this one. This street in particular is in a small neighborhood about 10 minutes from our house and is exceptionally beautiful.




Thursday, October 4, 2012

Catching up...

When I last wrote, I was writing about a green drink I had that morning, trying new sports like squash and tennis and keeping up with yoga ... working out almost every day of the week and then...BAM! Just like that, with one golf swing on my first time playing 18 holes- I did something to my back, my side, my rib? Who knows? In any case, 6 WEEKS LATER, an xray, a ct scan and an ultrasound later... I am still dealing with the pain.  But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I can see it..somewhere. More GOOD news ( I hope) to come on that soon.

Since this and the time we made it back from our R&R, I also had to plan the Harare International School's Family Fun Day (in 2 Weeks, I might add) and was in and out of meetings, at the school day in, day out.  They have a total of about 500 kids from Preschool to 12th grade. Finally, we had the event Saturday September 15th and it was a huge success.  Kids had a blast and I think volunteering my time was worth it, right? I think? More on that soon too. :)

The kids - they just got over some crazy croup that literally lasted 7 days with Chase at a 105.2 fever one afternoon. That scared me ... a lot! Tom also had to take Chase to the Embassy at 3 am one night to get a steroid shot and calm his breathing down. With one shot, he was fine and they headed home.

This is where Chase told Daddy...I think I swallowed a dog! :)

But, after staying home from school over a week, they are now on the mend and there is yet again, a light at the end of the tunnel.  And thank goodness because after today, THEY ARE BOTH FINALLY BACK IN SCHOOL!!! Wooo Hooo!  

So forgive the delay in updates, the lack of emails or calls, we are all slowly doing our best to get back to "normal", whatever that may be (Ha Ha) and promise to have more updates soon. I tend to send out multiple of these emails a year. Hmmmm.

It is hard to write a blog when your desktop crashes, we had no Internet AND my NEW iphone broke!! :(  So in this time, we got a new Internet company...Hooray!! and the desktop miraculously came back on, but only in short little spurts. And if you are wondering - yes, this is where ALL my pictures are hiding.  So, once I manage to get all the pictures off the desktop in the few minutes that is stays on and transfer them over to my laptop...I will have loads of more updates because we have actually been pretty busy these last few months.  AND...My anxiously awaited (by me only I am sure) R&R blog, that I have been working on for months, will finally be complete.  Also with the Iphone Broken, I haven't been able to send or post those random cute pics of the kids. Sorry. :(

More soon, Wish me luck!