I was totally prepared for this year’s long road trip. I packed all kinds of healthy snacks, in labeled Tupperwarces none the less. Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes, tuna pouches, string cheese etc. . . Last year we ate McDonalds in half the states in the country (and we didn’t even win the million dollar monopoly game, lame) and did not want to do that again! I packed the kids so many fun things to do. I copied my sister and got them each a metal cookie sheet and glued tons of magnets to everything! They have Jake toy magnets, pompom magnets, alphabet magnets, paper doll magnets, superhero magnets and more. Vicki got them lots of car activity stuff for their birthdays so they have plenty to do- silly putty, stickers, stamps, coloring, beads, and movies. Everything was packed and labeled; I thought I was prepared. Then about an hour into our trip Liam pukes. He gets some of it on his clothes and car seat before I can dump the carrots out and hand him a bowl. We pulled over and cleaned him up. Well let’s face it, I said comforting words to him as I gagged all over the place and Jared cleaned him up. A little bit later he did it again. This time Jared dumped out a bag of peanut butter sandwiches and gave him the bag. Some vomit made it in the bag. We stopped again. I gagged again. Jared cleaned him up again. I threw away his clothes. I gave him some Tylenol and Hippie Oil that is supposed to sooth the tummy.  I have used it on Lydia before but it irritated his skin and caused him to jump up and down and scream bloody murder in the gas station parking lot. I am sure some people thought we were beating him. We had a lot of stares. We got as much oil off as possible and set out again. Thank goodness he did not puke again. I was not prepared for that! Next year, puke bag, check. About ten hours later we arrived in St. Louis. We took a trolley to the zoo. When Liam saw the trolley he jumped up and down and exclaimed “This is the best day ever!” You’ve got to love the enthusiasm of a toddler. Because I was thinking ‘Really? Really? The best day ever? We have been in the car for 10 hours. You puked twice. We burned your skin. We are all dog tired.’ But to him, at that moment, it was the best day ever! Sweet boy!  The zoo was awesome and the kids had a blast. Jared and I, being the cool kids that we are, decided to drive a little further. We were all ‘We can get to Kansas City. It will be awesome.’  Y’all, it was not awesome! We had been up since 3:30 A.M. We began our drive shortly after 4 A.M. We drove the four hours to Kansas City and as we drove through horrible, tornado threatening weather, Jared booked a hotel on his phone. The guy on the phone told Jared that it was a high end suite. The price was more than we usually pay so we assumed it would be nice. Never assume anything, y’all. We get there after dark and walk in with bags and kids in tow. As we are walking up the dated stairs, because there is no elevator, I am thinking that this is not looking so good. We get in the room and I wish I could say I laughed, but I was so tired I almost cried. Um. . . 1980 called and it wants its hotel back! Nice? Nice for who, Beetlejuice? There was no way we were staying there for double what we pay at NICE hotels! It was sketchy, super outdated, and I was not going to sleep there. It had an old box TV for heaven sakes! Jared thinks I am a hotel snob, but hey, a girl has to draw the line somewhere! We went back down the stairs and the kids and I got back in the car while Jared got a refund. And we kept driving. Only there was nothing else around! We ended up driving until midnight and stayed at a very nice hotel for much less. But I was on the verge of a meltdown; we had been traveling for 20 hours! So we walked into this nice Opryland like hotel looking like we belong with Beetlejuice in the other hotel. Liam has stamped all exposed skin with blue and green stamps. He seriously looked like someone punched him in the face. His shorts are a little puke crusted on the back from car seat residue that we must not have cleaned well, and his flipflop broke on the way in so he is half dragging one leg to keep his shoe on. I wish I was kidding. Then after we checked in and were walking to the elevator where people in dresses and suits are having drinks, Liam’s very full diaper drops out if the leg of his shorts. I kid you not! I about died right there. He has been potty trained for a year, but we are really good parents and on long car trips we make the kids wear pull-ups and pee as we drive. Otherwise this 20 hour trip would have been forty five because they pee ever twenty minutes. I’m not going to lie, I’ve considered purchasing depends for the grown folks too. Can you imagine how far you could drive then? I grabbed the five pound diaper as fast as I could and shoved it in my purse. You may not want to accept a piece of gum from me in the near future. I hung my bright red face in shame and we loaded the elevator. This, my friends, was day one of our travels. I am happy to report that day two was uneventful and we are resting at a nice hotel in Denver. Jared and the kids are swimming while I sit and type. Jared is “Mom, Watch”ing me more than the children! He and Lydia are having mermaid races. Now he wants me to video them swimming like mermaids- so I best run, y’all. 

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