We had been planning on heading to San Angelo for months to spend Thanksgiving there. Casey and I had decided our game plan was going to be to leave after work on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving so hopefully the kids would sleep. I had packed all bags the Sunday before and had even created two bags filled with "presents" wrapped up for the kids to make the trip a little more exciting. I had snacks packaged and drinks ready, anything to make the trip go a little smoother. Casey and I both got off work early and I grabbed the kids. When I got Eli, I noticed he had an extremely stuffy nose and nasty cough. He had a rough night the night before and apparently he had gotten worse as the day had progressed. So on my way home I put a call into the pediatrician to see if they had any advice. First real road trip and first real cold? Ugh! Once I got home with the kids I gave Eli a bath, rubbed vicks all over him, and fed him. Then off we went! 4 PM departure and according to the GPS, arrival in San Angelo 9:18 PM. Casey and I both knew it was not realistic to arrive then, but we were hopeful to be there around 10 PM. I had suggested we try and make it to Austin and then stop and let the kids eat, feed Eli, then hopefully Eli would go down for the night and the Reese and Ashton would sleep as well. Well the trip started off great. Eli and Ashton both fell asleep within 15 min and Reese was watching the IPAD quietly. I even said to Casey, we need to enjoy this moment.
So about an hour and fifteen minutes into it Eli wakes up and starts crying (5:15 PM). Then Ashton says he needs to go to the bathroom (5:45 PM) so we stop at a gas station near Bastrop and give everyone a stretch, change diapers, etc. Eli didnt want to eat so we put him back in. We were hoping to make it to Austin before we stopped for dinner so we loaded up again and off we went. Traffic was awful and then we finally stopped in Bee Caves (north of Austin) at a McDonalds around 7PM. I was wrangling the three kids while Casey was getting food. I started to feed Eli, he was doing okay, just extremely congested and then it happened. He started choking. Eyes/face got all red, he couldnt catch his breath...SO SCARY! Finally he stopped coughing and his color went back to normal but it was scary enough. Casey and I both agreed we wanted to get him checked out. Maybe we overreacted but it was extremely scary and to go another 3 hours with a baby in that shape didnt seem smart. So I found a nice couple and asked where a ER was and they told us it was in the same strip center we were already in. Meanwhile Casey walks up and asks me to find someone to help as Reese had spilled her entire drink all over the table/floor where we were eating.
We got to the ER, and they were super sweet. Long story short, in 45 min they had checked him out and said he just had an extremely nasty cold (viral) and to just to saline/humidfier/vicks and said to follow up with pediatrician if he got worse. So off we went at 8:45 PM. We debated on getting a hotel but we were all so wound up that we decided to press on. Everyone climbed back in and off we went. The kids were all being total rock stars I have to say. We made it to Llano around 9:45 PM and at this point GPS said we would be there around 11:30. I had just texted Casey's mom and mine to tell them where we were when Casey and I felt us hit something. I saw a deer on the side of the road that had been hit and we knew that isn't what we hit but we weren't sure. I asked if we were okay and Casey said he thought so. Then 10 minutes later he said we weren't and needed to pull over. So we pulled over onto some dirt road in the middle of nowhere and it was PITCH BLACK! Ashton and Reese were asleep and when Casey got out he saw that we had a flat tire, driver's side front. UGH! So my awesome husband got to getting out the spare and working on changing the tire. Meanwhile Eli got irritable so I took him out and started to nurse him. And then it happened, blow out number two....from Eli. All over him, all over me! Beyond gross! So I got to changing him when he decided to upchuck all of what he had just eaten as well. So I found a plastic bag, through all the clothes in and got another outfit. Finally around 11 PM Casey was able to finish up and we got back on the road. He said we would need to stop once we reached Brady to get some air in the spare he had just put on.
So off we went again. I had been texting/calling Casey's mom and mine to keep them updated. I mean the ER and then a flat tire? Really? Oh well, all we could do was laugh. Around 11:30 we made it to Brady and got some air and then headed on. Casey and I both were pretty tired at this point but knew we had only about an hour left. We were both so ready to be there. We were laughing how our 5 hour and 15 min trip was turning into the marathon of a trip full of bad luck. And then it happened, in our rearview mirror flashing lights, yes, pulling us over. Casey said, the speed limit is 45, I swear that is what the sign said. So out come two policemen shining flash lights in our car waking up one child (thankfully it was Ashton and not the younger two). License and Registration please. Casey handed it over and the policeman said, "Mr. Lee are you aware your headlight is out?" Casey and I just looked at each other and all we could think was what the! Casey said no, and we both asked if it was the driver's side light, thinking maybe when we hit whatever it was it bust the light....but oh no, it was the passenger side. Casey told the policeman he had no idea and had just gotten done changing a flat and I chimed in and said that was about an hour after we had left the emergency room with a sick child. I am pretty sure both officers thought we were making this up. Thankfully the officers were super nice and said they were just going to run Casey's license and then write us a warning. Thirty minutes later (yes it is midnight at this point) we were back on the road.
At 1 am we pulled into G.G.'s house. Our trip finally ended and we got everyone in bed by 1:30am. That was just the start to Thanksgiving and it was a memorable one already. The next two days were spent with family and yes, five generations. The kids GREAT GREAT Grandmother was able to come to the house for Thanksgiving. She is going to be 101 in December which is amazing. We had a great time, despite the fact that Eli's cold got progressively worse. And while he celebrated his first Thanksgiving he also got his first fever. Casey and I decided to leave Friday morning so we could get Eli and Reese (who started getting a green snotty nose) to the doctor Saturday. Thankfully our ride home on Friday went much smoother and we left around 9 am and arrived safe and sound at home around 3:15.
I took both sick kids to the doctor yesterday and came back with 4 ear infections and one eye infection. Despite the rough parts of Thanksgiving I have to say I have so much to be thankful for each year. Three healthy kids (for the most part), an amazing husband, and an extended family who are such blessings to us. All of these wonderful people are because of an amazing God who put each of them in my life. Happy Thanksgiving!
100 years apart!!