Last Wednesday, I got a text message from my husband that our car deflected a stone from a passing dump truck with the windshield when he was on his way to work. Unfortunately, the stone did some pretty significant damage do the hood and windshield when it made contact. Matt knew this wasn't a repair job we could put off for even a day, so his first call was to the insurance company - right after he emailed me a picture from his phone.
I was feeling a little ill looking at the picture, because I knew what that windshield was going to cost us. We already knew because less than two weeks after we bought the car, we developed a couple of cracks that just kept getting bigger and bigger. Because it was from a chip, they said it wasn't covered under the warranty. Fortunately, my brilliant husband figured out that when the dealership switched out our regular wiper blades for the winter wiper blades, they must have let the arm crash down on the glass, which chipped it and resulted in a lovely spider web crack. The dealership, when they realized what had happened, immediately booked our car to have the windshield replaced - at no charge to us. I respected their honesty - especially since it was a $1,200 windshield. Mistakes happen, but that one was a doozy.
Sorry for the tangent - back to the story now: While Matt was making arrangements with the insurance company, he got a call from my friend who takes care of Brandon during the week. His ears had been swollen that morning when we dropped him off, but they were getting quite a bit worse, so she was concerned. I called to book a doctor's appointment, said farewell to my boss and co-workers, hopped on a bus and made my way to the cracked up car to go pick up my baby boy. He was in good spirits, but his ears were swollen in the strangest places - around cartilage. And they were that almost-purple red color. I'm guessing because of where the swelling was happening.
We headed to the doctor where the nurse practitioner assured me that there was no inner ear swelling or fluids, so she felt it was likely a virus. (Later that day, Matt spotted molars, so I think it might have been teething.) Her advice - painkillers to relieve whatever discomfort he might have. And that's what I did just before I put him down for a nap around 1:55 in the afternoon.
Then I picked up my phone and got this:
Yes, you read that right. We had a 5.0 magnitude earthquake in Ottawa and I didn't feel it. Brandon and I were on the road, so we missed the earthquake by about 10 minutes. I'm quite happy we did. I don't know how either of us would have reacted to it, so it suits me fine that we were on our way home from the doctor and blissfully ignorant of the tectonic activity beneath us.
I probably could have used a nap, but I was glued to Twitter for the next 2.5 hours as I tried to get news about the quake and see what people's reactions were. I got a little concerned when someone mentioned damage to the building that I work in downtown. It didn't help that I couldn't reach anyone to find out if they were okay. When I realized the person commenting about my building lived in Texas (according to their Twitter profile), I decided not to worry too much. Besides, if there was anything truly serious, I was confident the news outlets would have picked it up. (Later that night, I found out there were cracked windows in my building - I think that was the theme of my day.)
Brandon woke up around 4:30 from his nap (and completely interrupted my Twitterfest). He was super-crabby (thanks to painkillers and teething, no doubt). Not even the rare treat of a granola bar coaxed him out of his mood. In hindsight, a banana might have been the wiser choice for a teething babe, but Matt hadn't spotted those molars yet. I finally had to bite the bullet and just take him out screaming so we could pick up Matt, go get gas and make it back home in time for the insurance company to drop off our rental and pick up the cracked up car. Fortunately, Brandon's mood improved when I let him watch Charlie Brown in the car. I think he enjoys watching Charlie Brown fly through the air every time Lucy snatches the football out of the path of his foot. (I don't teach him these things; his father does.)
In the end, we made it home in plenty of time. A flatbed truck arrived with our rental and drove away with the cracked up car, and a promise to have it fixed by Tuesday - uh, that'd be today. Except they called last Friday night to say the cracked up car was healed and whole again. The dents and scratches on the hood and the windshields had all been repaired or replaced in 48 hours.
I have to say a huge, well-deserved thank you to RBC Insurance for taking such incredible care of us during what ended up being a really eventful day. Everyone we dealt with was so helpful and stayed on top of the situation for us. I was really impressed with the service we got - start to finish.
About Brandon's ears - the swelling was almost completely gone by Thursday morning and totally gone by Friday. And the molars Matt saw went back into hiding.
All's well that ends well.