It was a great week. We always enjoy a roadtrip together. The journey is half the fun! But it was also so good to see family and get to know them better. On the trip down, we were able to stop and visit the delightful family of MommyBrain. Honor and Laura Grace are recent pen-pals and it was so fun for them to get to meet as well. Onward from there, we drove to Mobile where we toured the U.S.S. Alabama. It was incredible. All of the kids LOVED it and I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance. After this stop, we drove on to Florida where we had a great visit.
My parents treated all of us to a visit to an Airspace Museum. It took three different vehicles to get us all there and all of the kids were so excited! Just minutes before we reached the parking lot, Honor threw up.
She is very prone to car-sickness and honestly, I was surprised we'd made it that far without a little vomit. We dropped the rest of the kids and cousins off with everyone and then Chris and I took Honor to Target to purchase a new dress. Since her carsickness seemed to have passed, we figured fresh clothes would do the trick and we could go on to the museum.
Getting her out of her carseat was most unpleasant. She was in the very back of the van and I wasn't able to reach her until she had deposited a good 3 inches of stew into her lap. It covered the buckle. I had to unbuckle her. I'm sharing this just to brag about what a great mom I am. I suppose the only other option was to leave her in it, but I only briefly considered that option.
We cleaned her. We cleaned the van. We left for the museum. Once there, she threw up again. But this time, I was prepared! I had emptied a washtub that I used to carry our travel snacks and she was able to throw up without any mess. At this point, though, I realized that she did not have carsickness. She had a stomach bug. Ever cheerful, she said that, on the bright side, at least she got a new dress out of the deal.
Chris went into the museum to let everyone know he was going to drop us off at the house while I sat with Honor. She was certain she was finished, so I kept the stinky tub beside me while she sipped water behind me. Suddenly, she gave a little choking sound and I flew into action, swinging the tub around to put in front of her.
First: She wasn't throwing up, only choking a bit on her water.
Second: The tub was already full and full tubs tend to slosh.
Thankfully, I managed to get it all on myself only. Chris returned to the van to find me near tears, with vomit on my clothes, in my hair, and IN MY EAR.
We returned home and poor Honor continued to throw up every drop of water that she swallowed. The poor child was so thirsty. I had her swallowing just a teaspoon at a time until she finally begged, "Since I'm going to throw it up no matter what, can I please just chug it?" The bug continued for 12 hours and then she rested for the next 12.
About 6 hours after she started, Joel decided to join in the fun. Again, 12 hours of vomiting and 12 hours of feeling like crap.
The next evening, my dad came down with it. Then Ethan. Then my youngest sister. And then it was time to leave.
Before leaving, we had car trouble. Chris spent hours tearing the van apart and fixing it. We reserved a room at a Drury halfway home, just in case. And I am oh-so-glad that we did. As we stood waiting for the elevator doors to open, Ethan had a relapse right on the hotel floor. By the time we got to our room, Chris and I were feeling it. Everyone else that had this bug threw up at least 20 times in that 12-hour span. Chris, the lucky-dog, threw up once and once only. So not fair.
The next day, we lingered until check-out at noon. We gently drove homeward, Chris and I both feeling miserable. About 3 hours from home, Sarah Grace, the last of us to catch the bug, began throwing up. More and more slowly, we traveled home. The poor sweetheart, slept in her carseat, cradling her vomit-tub in her lap as we got closer home.
45 miles from home, our transmission died.
If I hadn't been so exhausted, I'd have laughed hysterically. On the inside, I sounded like a crazy person. On the outside, I was slow gibberish.
A dear friend drove to pick us up. Thankfully, she has AAA and our van was towed home to our driveway for free. And it sits there still.
So yes, crazy stuff. But again we were bathed in prayer. And miraculously, as miserable as it all was, it was amazing at the same time. It was a beautiful visit. A healing visit.
And the car? Well, I have no idea. But I have peace. I am not worried. How can have fear for the future? I know it is in God's hands.