We're back home after 11 days of visiting with family. It was great seeing everyone and getting lots of visiting time in, but it's good to be back home.
I think the cat missed us. She meowed constantly for about 15 minutes after we got back, probably scolding me for leaving her for so long. Also, she hasn't left our presence since we've been back (a little more than 2 hours now). A little while ago I talked to my friend who stopped by frequently to check on the cat and the plants. She said she only saw the cat once when she arrived, and that was Friday. She called to her, but the cat never came to her, and when she walked back through the living room on her way out, the cat had disappeared to the back of the house. Not surprising for my old, antisocial cat. There are precious few people she will tolerate, and even fewer that she actually likes.
It seems like every time we visit, there's drama of some sort at one point. Usually it's minor, but this time we had two biggies, both involving Caleb.
First, we went to my cousin Yvonne's house to visit and to let all the boys play together. (She has two boys between Caleb's and Jacob's ages.) They were having fun playing in the pool while we were visiting and Rusty was grilling burgers. After we ate, the boys went back to playing in the pool. Grayson and Phillip swim like fish; my two only flail in shallow water because I keep forgetting to enroll them in swimming lessons. (I don't ever think about it because they only get in a pool once or twice a year.) I had reminded the boys several times to stay on the shallow end of the pool, to not go past the rope because the water was too deep for them. Jacob mostly sat on the side of the pool and kicked his feet; he got into a floaty-boat a few times, but other than that, he stayed in waist-deep water on the steps. Caleb is tall enough to walk around the shallow end (actually Jacob is, too), so he had fun playing in the water. He ventured close to the rope and started playing around. I think he must have lost his footing on the slope to the deep end. He went under and start flailing around, trying to regain his footing. Mama saw him struggling and yelled for someone to get him. Daddy, Melissa, Rusty, and Yvonne all jumped into the pool; I broke my conversation with Josh and stood stupidly at the side of the pool, my heart in my throat. I considered jumping in, too, but I wouldn't have done any good at that point. Daddy got to Caleb first and brought him spitting and sputtering to the edge. I wrapped him in his towel and hugged him and reassured him that he was okay. He didn't want to get back in the pool, so we gathered up all the leftover burgers and fixings and went inside to continue our visiting and the boys' playing. We walked out to feed the horses, then went back inside to have some cake and ice cream. (Grayson's 7th birthday was the next day.)
At one point during all the excitement at the pool, Jacob burst into tears and no one could understand what he was saying. Finally he stopped crying long enough to say, "Pops lost his glasses in the pool!" Jacob had seen him dive in fully clothed - shoes, cell phone, and all. I don't know if he had taken his glasses off or not, but Jacob was worried that they were gone forever because he wasn't wearing them. He calmed down after we showed him they were on the table. A few days later he told me he didn't have fun in the pool because people jumped in with their clothes on. I'm not sure he caught on to what happened to Caleb, it all happened so fast.
Now for the second dramatic event. Caleb started running fever Thursday afternoon. He had been laying around on the couch all day and we thought it was because he was exhausted from all we had been doing every day. He fell asleep on the couch after eating a little bit of supper. When we checked his temperature before bedtime, it was over 100. I don't remember what it was, but I gave him a dose of ibuprofen to keep it down during the night.
He woke up Friday morning feeling hot again, so I checked around and found an urgent care clinic in our insurance network. I gave him a dose of Tylenol before we left, and by the time we got to see the nurse, his temperature was a measly 99-point-something. The doctor probably thought I was overreacting about the fever because he commented about it being "just low-grade". After examining Caleb, the doctor determined he had some sort of bacterial infection: "cobblestone" blisters on his red, irritated throat; fluid in his ears (not from the swimming incident); and a crusty nose. He wrote a prescription for Augmentin and gave us some samples of Aldex D (antihistamine and decongestant).
Caleb hates Augmentin and remembers the hard time he had taking the "white medicine" a while back, so every time he's had it since, I've had to camouflage it with a little food coloring. When the pharmacist asked if we wanted to add a flavor to it, Caleb said he did and chose bubble gum. As soon as we got back to the house, I poured his first dose. He took one tiny sip and gagged (not uncommon) and refused to take any more. I called the pharmacy, explained the situation, and asked if I could bring it back and get a second bottle with no flavor added. They did, and now I'm coloring his doses yellow. I goofed this morning, though, and left the bottle of "white medicine" on the counter beside his doctored dose. I hurriedly gave some explanation, which I think he bought. We'll see. I just have to remember to keep the bottle hidden out of his sight in the refrigerator. (And I have to keep him from reading my blog over my shoulder, which he does from time to time.)
Fast forward to today. It's the fourth day he's been running fever! And I'm not talking about a low-grade 99 degrees, either. Friday evening, it was just over 103; early Saturday afternoon it was hovering around 102; this morning it was a little over 100, but by the time we got home at 3:30 this afternoon, it was up to 101.7. I checked again at 5:30 and it was 102.9! I'm pretty sure I'll be taking him in to see his pediatrician tomorrow, especially if he's still running fever. Unfortunately Caleb will miss out on music camp tomorrow and possibly Tuesday. I'll have to ask the director if it would be too late for him to join in on Wednesday. The big production of "From Acorns to Oaks" is next Sunday.
I don't want to end on a depressing note, so I've saved the highlights for last:
* One day we went to Sci-Port with Billy's mom. Although there were tons of groups of kids there, we had fun. We went to Bass Pro Shop for lunch (Sonic), then went back to Sci-Port. There were very few kids there in the afternoon and it was much quieter and easier to get to the exhibits. We even caught a last-minute alcohol rocket demonstration.
* Billy's mom and I had a girls' day out Saturday and went shopping. I found a pair of shell earrings at Coldwater Creek that were marked $10.99 - down from $45 - that perfectly match a watch band I made! I thought the earrings had been marked down because they were chipped, but it was actually a piece of glue that I was able to gently scrape off. Now I just need to buy some more shell beads and make a matching necklace. I also bought a second pair of shell earrings (mostly beige with iridescent pink highlights) to wear with my khakis.
* I finally got to eat at Macaroni Grill. The food was excellent - and there were so many delicious entrees on the menu! I can't wait to go back and try something else.
* I spent some time outside blowing bubbles for the boys to pop. I love to blow bubbles. I find it very relaxing, and I like to see how big I can make them. I could do that for hours.
* The boys got to play a lot with their cousin Seth for three days last week. On Monday, Mama and I took them to Kiroli Park, but we got rained out not long after we arrived. On Tuesday, we went to play mini golf, but it was too hot outside. We only lasted 5 holes before escaping to the clubhouse to cool down with some ice cream. On Wednesday, we had planned to go to the zoo, but since it had been so hot, the boys decided they wanted to play indoors at The Jungle Gym. They had a blast there and spent two hours running, jumping, climbing, and sliding. They were exhausted by the time they got into bed every night.
* I got to play Nerts 3 times - and I won every time, too!
* I did 2 Pampered Chef shows in West Monroe.
* Mama and I went garage saling Saturday morning. Along the way, we picked up Melissa and Lindsay, then stopped in for some Southern Maid donuts. Mmmm... (Krispy Kreme's got nothing on Southern Maid!) I bought two books and a frisbee for the boys and a bread basket with a red-and-white-checkered napkin. Melissa bought a set of skewers; Lindsay found a cute, coloful oil dipping set. Mama had the steal of the day: a beautiful opal pendant for only $1!
* I got to spend some time with my grandmother. Daddy took Memaw, Melissa, Lindsay, Jacob, and me out for dinner at Cracker Barrel Friday night. (Mama stayed at the house and tended to Caleb since he was sick.)
* I got to spend some time with my parents and my sisters.
Once I download the 100+ pictures I took, I'll share a few.