Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A cruel joke

Kids throwing up. Kids having diarrhea.

And the washing machine breaks?


First it was Abigail. She was throwing up and having diarrhea for about five days -- with periods where we thought she was better and then it would start again.

Then, earlier this week we started wondering if Sidge was feeling okay. Today, we got our answer. And just as we were cleaning up his mess, I was giving Hannah a bottle and she threw up all over me!

Clothes covered with all kinds of "stuff" and no working washing machine?!

Monday my friend Claire took two loads to her house. But I didn't know we had any major illness that day. Now that I am pretty sure kiddos are sick, I really don't want to drop my germ-infested linens in a friend's machine. I am not really a mom who worries about "catching stuff" but I am not sure I'd like a friend to do that to me.

[Side note: Today, JB gave Sidge a thorough "exam" and then told him, "You just got a bug." Sidge responded by saying, "When I'm outside, I have had a bug fly up my nose before."]

Back to the washing machine ...

Our Portuguese washing machine has had a repair person out -- probably two dozen times at least -- in the two years we have been here. It is truly the bane of my existence in this house. My Portuguese housekeeper hates the machine, and she and I, in our combination of broken English and Portuguese that we communicate in, are transpiring to kill the machine once and for all.

The Base would have given us American machines if our lease didn't say that it included a washing machine and dryer. (Why the Base cares what our lease says I have no idea.) But because they included it in our lease, we are unable to check a machine out from the Base people. Thus, our adventures with the Portuguese machine.

Every time a fix-it guy comes in, I secretly hope that the machine in unrepairable. But each time, they manage to fix it. It lives another ten days -- maybe two or three weeks -- and then something happens again.

Did I mention that it only holds the equivalent of two big American towels? It takes me about five loads to wash what I could wash in one load in an American machine.

But even if that's all it could hold, at least I wouldn't have piles of very stinky clothing and sheets that need to be washed desperately and no way to wash them.

In the meantime, I have had to pass off the MOPs meeting tomorrow to a friend. I can't go with Sidge this sick. In addition, we were supposed to be hosting our friends the Morgans for dinner tomorrow evening. Not wanting them to expose them to whatever is looming in our home, I will probably take them out instead.

Sigh ... 'tis the life with four kiddos in a foreign country for you!

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