Road trip. Hmm. This is an unfamiliar word to me. The last road trip I was on was when I was eight. We went on a trip to Florida and never, ever again did we drive. To be honest, if you have met my father- you are probably surprised we even did it once. He is a man with a lot of energy and him in a car with all of us... ha! You can imagine how well that went. Matt, on the other hand, drove to Florida many times growing up so he felt 10 hours was totally do-able. Before I launch into the more humorous events of our vacation- let me just say that we had a great time. We knew going into this that it wouldn't be a piece of cake but we had some awesome family time and and were surrounded by the most beautiful scenery imaginable.
|Our Captain was really good looking.|
We were supposed to leave early Wednesday morning for our trip but we were a little anxious and decided to head out Tuesday night with hopes of knocking a few hours out with the kids asleep. The plan was to drive as far as we could and then stop at a hotel to sleep and just have a few hours remaining in the morning. As we began our journey we had to make not one, but two stops in the first 28 miles- I was a tad fearful of what was to come. My first important lesson learned is that children don't grasp the idea of "trying" to go potty. As Carter put it, "Why would I go in the bathroom if I don't have the feeling. That's just weird." Touche, my son. That very reason was demonstrated a few miles later:) The boys fell asleep fairly quickly but Paige decided she was NOT sleeping on this road trip. That girl is stubborn but she was good so it worked out. We got all the way to Lexington, KY before stopping and found a hotel. This is where all the fun began. What we didn't think about when deciding to head out early is that a 5 hour "nap" in the car might mean the kids aren't tired anymore by the time we are. So picture this: Matt and I are so tired that we can hardly keep our eyes open. We find a hotel and cannot wait to just crash for a few hours. We quietly get the boys and Paige into the hotel room and slide them into bed. It took about 4 seconds before the giggles erupted. Not only were these kids NOT tired- they were hungry, thirsty and ready to party. Easton has never laughed so hard in his life. He was shouting random things out and cracking up which made the others crack up. Carter just wasn't tired anymore and Paige loves a good hotel so she had things she wanted to do. We were trying to be good sports but about 4 HOURS after getting to the hotel and still not sleeping, Matt was mad he spent money on a hotel since he couldn't sleep and I stormed down to the front desk like a crazy person and asked the guy if there was any amount of money I could give him to find me some milk for my obnoxious baby! I should have been embarrassed... but I wasn't. Not even a little. I was desperate. I believe everyone fell asleep about 4:45 and we were back up and out by 6:00. The kids were OK for the three hour trip we had left but they were excited so there was quite a bit of "Are we there? How much longer? I'm booooored!"
Here is the next thing. I have a child with Chronic Lung Disease and Asthma. I have given him a nebulizer or inhaler every day of his life- multiple times a day. Do you think I would remember to pack those items? You know, the ones that help him breathe! Nope, not a chance! Luckily, I realized it before he was due and called a Walgreens in TN and had them call the insurance company to get me a vacation coverage. Super annoying but it all worked out:)
|"Smokey Moutain's Finest" Indeed.|
We got to Pigeon Forge around lunch time. I kid you not... our cabin was on a direct incline for 6 miles. The roads were twisty and steep and had no guard rails. It made us sick going up every time but it was an awesome view! The cabin itself was perfect. It was exactly as the pictures described and we loved everything about it. We spent all of our time there baking Thanksgiving treats, coloring, playing pool, doing sticker books, painting, playing games, watching movies and eating. It was everything you need to do to relax and be worry free. The kids had so much fun and loved having their parents attention and we loved having nothing else to do but give it to them.
It wouldn't be a Clark trip without a little drama. Our last day in the mountains, I felt like Easton was acting weird. He had a familiar deep cough, wouldn't eat and was quiet. I kept telling Matt that something was up and of course, Matt kept telling me I was nuts. Matt left early in the day to find me a diet coke and I had him pick up some Tylenol... just in case. Around 6PM Easy decided to climb up in Matts lap and try to go to sleep. At that point, Matt thought maybe we should give him some Tylenol... ya know, just in case. Of course, I agree and get the Tylenol. I put the dropper to his lips and he dry heaves. For those of you that know me and my relationship with puke- you know I about died. I tried a second time and he dry heaved again. By this point he is burning up but I cant give him Tylenol so I laid him in his bed without a blanket and just kept checking him. About 10pm I laid down in bed and within 5 minutes we hear him puke! Matt and I both shot up and while Matt ran directly to him- I ran directly out the door! I know, I know. He is an innocent sick baby but I.Cant.Do.It. I can't. I don't use that word a lot but it fits here. This sounds horrible to say but I did better standing next to him on a ventilator than I do if he pukes. I'm sick in the head. Thankfully, Matt is the "Throw Up Master" in our house and he accepts the role even if he doesn't like it. Thank God. Anyways, I did not have a thermometer (because I forgot to pack that too) but I have a hand and my hand said over 104. This hand is pretty darn accurate. After the big puke, I put on my big girl pants and attempted to give him Tylenol again EVEN if it meant he might puke again. This time he took it and spared me the dry heaves. All this means that he now had to sleep in our bed. With a total potential to puke again. Obviously there was no sleeping for me. I was on alert and ready to dive out if I heard that dreaded sound. It was a nightmare. He finally cooled off around 1:45 and I felt I could go to sleep. At exactly 2:30 Matt was up and ready to roll. Awesome. I love a 45 minute nights sleep and I'm super pleasant when that happens. We got the kids in the car and headed home! We drove straight through this time and the kids were fantastic. Paige took a few naps and so did Easton. He was so sick that I don't think he cared to make a fuss about being strapped down. Carter NEVER fell asleep. He stayed awake the whole time and never complained or asked to pee! He wins the award for best traveler in the universe and he was funny. Every once in a while he would ask which state we were in. After guessing about four states that we could be in and being told no, he finally asked "Are we in America?!" The answer was yes. We were in Ohio. If you have ever driven through Ohio- you understand that the state never ends and how he could be appalled that we were STILL in Ohio:) I, on the other hand, did a lot of complaining and you can guess my anxiety level about being locked in a car with a potential puker. Ahhh! I was so happy to see Grand Blanc.
Trips and traveling (and every day life) are a little hard with kids this small but we make the best of it and don't set our expectations too high. We had fun. We love our little family and we will continue to make the efforts to create memories for our children year after year.
Other than Easton getting so sick, everything is going well over at the Clark house. Carter has settled in to Kindergarten and his report card was awesome. Mrs. Prue thinks his writing is awesome and his math impresses the heck out of me. I absolutely cannot believe what he has learned thus far. Report care had all S's and P's (Secure and Progressing as expected) except for one N (needs improvement) in self control. Hey, you can't win them all!
Paigey is awesome. She is looking so big and acting older all the time. Since we put tubes in her ears and removed her adenoids she has been healthy (yay!) and her voice has changed so much. She is growing up and really a dream come true for me. She's fashionable, adorable and funny. Her sassiness is still ever present but lets be honest, who likes a wallflower? You gotta stand out in a crowd and boy does she!
Easton is continuing to blow my mind every day. He is talking up a storm and he thinks he is hysterical... I agree about 90% of the time:) He had a great healthy run from August until recently. The shake up in meds really changed his life and we are so thankful we found the right match for us in a Pulmonologist. The biggest concern I have is how sick he gets. He doesn't just get a cold. He gets a temp over 104, he wheezes, he quits eating for a week, he coughs non-stop, he gets winded and his little lips turn blue. I really feel he seems "normal" so much of the time and then when he gets sick it makes me a little sad that his body is just not up to par...YET. We did good with this last illness. We were able to pump him with enough drugs that it did NOT go into pneumonia which is a major victory for us. Fingers and toes are crossed for a better winter and a real miracle would be no hospitalizations. I believe its possible!