Thursday, 21 January 2010

And They're Off! Only Just, Though..

Olga, Lara and Lucy left this afternoon for their flight to Ekaterinburg, via Helsinki. Here is an update of their progress as of 5pm from an online flight tracker ( - amazing what the internet can show you:

Lara looked the part at the airport, and was very confident about heading off without me. She was very clingy with me when we first arrived at the airport, she was a bit overawed, but after five minutes, she was happy to walk, and wheel her suitcase along (a birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa) like everyone else was doing:

 There weren't any tears at passport control, she understood I was staying to look after the boys, and gave me a hug and kiss, and a happy "Bye!" and a wave as they disappeared off to security.

24 hours ago it didn't look like this was going to happen!
Lara was sent home from nursery with a temperature of over 38 degrees yesterday lunchtime. There has been an outbreak of chicken pox in the older children's room there, and by 5pm I was getting worried, Lara had had a 90 minute sleep at home, and was lying on the sofa watching TV with Bob the Builder, not wanting to eat or being her usual self. I looked up the early symptoms of chicken pox on the internet, and they include a tickly cough (which she'd had this week, although it seemed to have cleared up by yesterday morning) and of course a high temperature.  Around this time I checked her properly for a rash, and indeed I saw there was a rash on her thighs, with what seemed to be large (1cm) blisters forming. More checking on the internet told me that if it was chicken pox, and if she was at the stage between 2 days before blisters appearing, and 3-4 days after they've appeared, then she shouldn't fly, as she is at her most infectious. It seemed she was right in the middle of this time frame. What a bummer. I checked with the travel insurance company, they would have no problem refunding Lara & Olga's flight costs, but they'd need written confirmation from a GP that Lara shouldn't fly. I was able to get her in to see our GP at 6.20 last night, and the first thing he said when I showed him the rash was "Well, it's not chicken pox". Phew! It was in fact urticaria, or hives, and it had probably been triggered by a chest infection that Lara was recovering from. He prescribed some antihistamines for the rash and some antibiotics to clear up anything left of the chest infection. By the time we'd been to order the medicine and collected Olga from work, and got home, it was close to 8pm, and Lara still didn't want anything to eat, and was just desperate to go to bed. I showed Olga the rash, and it had spread all the over her legs and onto her forearms, and looked quite unpleasant. We gave her the medicines, and rubbed in some calamine lotion, and Lara had a normal night, waking a few times but only needing a drink of water.
After having a hectic early evening, and needing then to watch the climax to series 5 of 24, Olga hadn't done any packing, so that was all left to this morning, while I looked after Lara at home.  The really weird thing was, when we woke Lara at just before 9am, and took off her sleepsuit, the rash had completely gone! No sign of the wheals at all, just a subtle pinkiness to her skin, that I treated with another coat of calamine, but other than that, she was her normal self, and had cereal AND porridge for breakfast, and a Full English for lunch. Quite bizarre, but we were so relieved that we hadn't reacted last night by cancelling their flights.
In the end, Olga got the packing done, although it was a bit tense for the last hour before we left home. Now I'm just awaiting a call from Helsinki in an hour or so to say that leg of the journey has gone OK. I'm off home to a very untidy home, but I'm not allowed to tidy up. Russian superstition dictates that you must not do housework, or any kind of tidying up, while a loved one is travelling, it's bad luck. Suits me!

For anyone thinking it's cold tonight, I just checked and it's forecast to be at most -22 degrees C during the day in Ekaterinburg this week, and that's with clear blue skies.

So, just me and the boys for the next 10 days..

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