Its been so long since I logged on to this account, I almost forgot my logon. Or it could be that being sick for the last four days has taken its toll.
On Sunday, my friend Shell Dinter, Jacob, Matthew, Brooke and John headed out to Minnesota to see some friends. On the way over, I had some rumblings in my tummy and thought "oh, oh." No way could I get sick! Jacob had gotten over his bug four days before this. Well, after five or six stops (just for me) we arrived at our friends, Bob & Cindy's house. Shell and I used to work with Bob and Cindy for a long, long time. I think I met Cindy in 1995 and from what I remember, our first trade ever was TSA - The Sports Authority. She and Bob got married a few months before Scott and I in 1999 and we even had our children at the same time. Jacob and Luke are a month apart and Erika and the triplets are three weeks apart.
Its nice that we've kept touch even though I'm not working anymore. So, I regress...
We arrive at their house on Sunday afternoon and the kids played so nicely together, the four of us catch up, we have a little birthday party for the kiddos and have a few glasses of wine.
The next morning, Matthew comes up to me and his pants are soaked through. I change him and its diarrheaish. Oh no. So I end up taking him in the shower with me to clean him up. He acts fine and frankly, we had plans to go to the Mall of America and just about nothing was stopping me.
We head to The Mall of America and Shell and I go to Legoland with the kids. She rents a couple of double strollers for the kids so we can get around easier. We spend a gazillion dollars at legoland. Jacob picked out a Coast Guard set that he wanted, I got the little boys a SpongeBob lego set for their birthdays which everyone can share, and a ton on Lego plates so we can build a table for the kids to build their stuff on.
Then we perused Hanna Anderssen, Gymboree, Disney Store and Shell probably got 1.5 seconds in a store of her choice. The kids got sick of sitting in strollers and were tired from not taking naps.
We met up with Bob and Cindy and the kids and ate at Ruby Tuesdays. Well, before that Bob took Luke and Jacob on rides while the girls did a little more shopping. Matthew just cried and fell asleep on Shell.
On the way home, I said I'd drive and follow the trusty Garmin that I borrowed from the in-laws. Cindy also had written out some instructions on how to get from their house to the mall. So really, we just had to reverse the directions and follow the Garmin and we should be able to get home.
(Just to caution the readers, I may not still have my road names right in this story and it may contain graphic language and descriptions that may be unsuitable for small children or delicate palates.)
I got onto 494 and then as I knew, I KNEW, that I should stay on this road until 35E North. But I was looking at the Garmin and I thought it showed me on the screen to take a right. Shell's yelling, "No! No! don't get off the highway!" This was my first of many mistakes with the Garmin.
So, we are in a big city with four precious children and I put my faith in the Garmin to get me back on track. So after a 1/2 hour of trying to get back to 494 or maybe it was 694, we finally got back to where we needed to be. During this time, Matthew had messed his pants, and it wasn't the ordinary messy diaper. It was the diarrhea diaper. Once you smell that kind of diaper, it will be engrained in your brain for the rest of your life. So we have our windows open a smidge and its pouring rain. Just as I'm merging onto one freeway to another, Michelle says, or screams, "Matthews throwing up!" And she dove into the backseat and tried to catch the vomit to lessen the mess. Shes a superhero.
As you know, you can't just pull over on a freeway, so I just open my window a little bit more and she cleans him up with whatever wipes we have and cleans up her hands. I don't think she realized it but she just held her hands up from her lap for quite awhile. Then we just started laughing hysterically. I mean, it really couldn't get much worse.
The Garmin gets us back to the house an hour after we left from the mall, while it only should have taken about 30 minutes.
I am going to write a strongly worded letter to the Garmin people. The thing would tell us to get off the freeway to drive on city streets and then have us get right back on that same highway. I'm not sure it tells us the shortest miles or what the logic is. The other problem is that if there is construction and the on ramps are closed, it doesn't recognize detours. So it will keep rerouting you to that same ramp that is closed. That's great in a big city you don't know.
On a positive note, it does tell you where the nearest McDonalds is.
So we enter the house, Shell puts the kids to bed, I give Matthew a bath, strip down the carseats and wash a bunch of stuff. O.K. how crappy is it to bring a sick child into another house?
So I get more sick overnight and we pack up to leave to drive home. Shell drives the whole way home. We stop to see her parents in Stanley, Wisconsin and had a really nice lunch. Jacob met the oldest person he know knows, Shell's Grandma. She's 93. The oldest person before that was Grandma Callaway's dad, Grandpa Ken. John wanted to be picked up by Shell's dad Dave and he wanted him to carry him around everywhere. John is such a stinker.
We arrive home and I get even more sick. Today I just laid on the couch and slept. With children running around. Go ahead, call social services. I need a break.
Things I learned on this trip.
Shell will probably never take a road trip with us again.
Shell didn't deserve to be puked on and I owe her a bazillion favors.
Bob and Cindy probably won't ask us to come back for a really really long time.
Jacob has now found someone else that he wants to marry, his new friend Erika.
Carry your own tissue because the toilet paper in gas stations or restaurants is really rough.