I am finally, finally feeling better with my ears! Thank goodness - I can't believe how something so small can cause so much discomfort. I am convinced ear infections are the hangnail or paper cut of the infection family.
I was so happy to be feeling better because late in the week, my folks who are the captains of the "Spur of the Moment Club" decided to drive on down for a mini vacation with us! Fifty years ago my dad had stopped at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga with his parents, and when I mentioned that we had been there a few years ago, he told me how much he'd like to go back there someday. Well, someday became this weekend, and my parents showed up Friday afternoon with my 14 year old nephew in tow! I could feel a fun weekend brewing as soon as they pulled in.
Saturday morning Jude and Mark went to play at an all day paintball event, so the rest of our gang piled in the Nav and headed for Chattanooga. We took our good old time getting there, stopping just outside Chattanooga when Calvin started to feel sick to his stomach. Always one to overreact, we stopped and bought some lunch along with a substantial stash of medicine for him, and once he was properly drugged we headed on to Ruby Falls.
Let me just say, if you are ever in the general area of Ruby Falls, it is TOTALLY worth the effort to visit there. Even though it was my second time seeing it, it is still breathtaking! If you are claustrophobic, you might want to just visit the lovely gift shop for a postcard because it is a long walk through an underground cave.) We had an amazingly great day! It was so fun to visit Ruby Falls again, and especially cool to see it with my dad who remembered it from so many years ago. Cal, Alina, and my nephew Ryon had a great time seeing the falls, walking through the cave, and generally having fun together. Since we had so much fun going down into the mountain, we decided to splurge and ride the incline down the side of the mountain for fun. (My mother would use air quotes on the "for fun" part. She was desperately hoping one of her grandkids would chicken out so she could avoid getting on that thing.) I have to admit, it is high up there, and while the trip down was neat, the trip up was a little...unsettling. Riding backwards up a mountain at a ridiculously steep grade makes a person take some deep breaths! After our adventures, we started for home.
We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner (I think there is some unspoken rule that you have to eat at a Cracker Barrel at least once every road trip...), and Calvin was not interested in eating anything. That's unusual to say the very least. He started shivering, and feeling sick again so I doctored him up with meds again, and fortunately he slept the rest of the way home. We carried him to bed, and hoped he felt better in the morning after a good night's sleep.
At 4:30 Mark and I woke up to a Calvin shivering, near tears, and trying desperately not to throw up. Poor guy! We got him more medicine, settled him in our bed, and he finally fell back to sleep around 7. You know, right in time for me to wake up. (This getting up early each morning finally bit me in the backside!) When he finally woke up, we could tell he was running a fever, but with Mark's assurance that he'd be fine, I took mom, dad, and Ryon downtown Nashville to enjoy some of the flavor of the city. We walked around, ate at Margaritaville, made a quick stop at Bass Pro Shop, and got home mid afternoon. I walked in the door to hear Cal holler from the bathroom, "Mom! I need you!" While he hadn't thrown up, it was evident he was feeling awful. Mark and I were suspicious that he had strep again because this is his usual pattern for getting a strep infection (we are pros now at at home diagnostics in this arena), so I decided to take him to a walk in clinic. I loaded him, a blanket, and a wastebasket in the car and off we went. Four minutes from our destination, I could hear the unmistakable sounds of Calvin hurling in the backseat.
Turns out, he has...wait for it...wait for it...strep! Combined with a nice, festering ear infection, he was feeling absolutely awful. We got a prescription for antibiotics and thankfully a prescription for Zofran, and anti nausea medicine created with pixie dust and rainbows I'm convinced. Not only has it stopped the hurling, it helps Calvin get a nice, long sleep. Which in turns, helps me.