Date

Thanks to the Maclaren stroller company for the XT Techno twin stroller. It rocks. It is a sturdy side-by-side umbrella stroller, lightweight, folds up smaller than most single strollers, and I used to think it was the Honda of strollers, but I now think it is the Mercedes of strollers. It has been my life saver on this last trip we went on.

We were excited to go on vacation to visit Utah to celebrate for the graduation of Julie (Bryan’s youngest sister) from BYU. After that we planned to fly on to Oklahoma to visit my family and have a fun time with them too. Then fly home. All this in 9 days.

Day one of our trip: Wednesday

First off, I forgot that a 6:05 am flight requires you to get up at 3:45 AM so you can get your family at the airport at 4:30 for check in and security and to get on your plane on time. I was planning to bring my new single stroller purchased exclusively for this trip so that I wouldn’t risk having an airline break my favorite stroller the Maclaren XT techno twin stroller. Then I realized the time of our first flight and how we were going to have to carry two sleeping little people, possibly three, I realized it had to be the twin stroller, my little single stroller wasn’t gonna hack it.

So off we go to the airport. Pushing two groggy kids in the stroller with a bag of coats hanging off one handle and a booster seat hanging off the other and Bryan wearing a stuffed backpack and pulling 3 suitcases, a toiletries bag, and two car seats and Isaac pulling the last suitcase and wearing a backpack full of kid entertainment.

Checklist:

  • Check as much as we can… left with three kids, small diaper bag, and back-packs (check!)
  • wheel kids through the airport to security, easy unload of stroller, quick collapse of stroller, x-ray everything, get back in stroller, reach gate. (check!)
  • wheel kids down the “breezeway” to the door of the plane, unload and fold up stroller, get on plane. (check!)
  • Reverse it all and get out of airport to the rental car pick-up (check!)
  • They give us a Dodge Durango SUV instead of a mini-van… they say it still fits 7 passengers and is bigger than a mini-van to make us feel better… Yes it can fit 7 people, but not them and their baggage. Plus it is so high you have to vault into it and it GUZZLES the gas. Thanks Budget Rental. Forced to fit our three carseats in the middle row (doesn’t work very well), lay down the back bench and pile up our luggage in the back which fit easily in OUR mini-van (remember how the rental dudes say is smaller?) and thank heavens we had the small Mercedes of a stroller because another one wouldn’t have fit! (check!)
  • Get to Grandma Coates’ at 9:30 AM (check!)

The rest of the day was fun with the cousins playing together, going to the park, letting the kids explore grandma’s house, and visiting with our good friends Mike and Nikki. I did happen to try to leave Mike and Nikki’s house without my purse and camera, but Mike ran after us down his driveway to get it back to me. I forget so many things. I will not mention how I forgot I had spare clothes for Micah to wear after his potty accident at Mike and Nikki’s and his meltdown while I tried to clean up him and his clothes and get them dry before we could go home, prolonging bedtime… overall, still a great day.

Day two: Thursday

Stuff into the Durango to go to a children’s museum in Salt Lake, use the double stroller for the littlest people (thank you Maclaren!), enjoy the morning, get kids down for naps and quiet time, the rest of the family goes down to Provo for Commencement for Julie. Have a great day.

Day three: Friday

Cousin Jason starts throwing up, poor little guy. More graduation to go to. We bail from Grandma’s early in hopes of keeping our kids from getting the flu bug. Drop the kids off in Spanish Fork with good friends Mindy and Greg Henry so we can go to graduation without them. Have a great time sitting in the warm field house yelling for Julie when she crosses the stage. Watch everyone else’s kids get the wiggles and get unruly, but we get to enjoy ourselves child-free. Aunt Jenny Lloyd was brave to watch Jason for graduation even though he was sick.

Dinner at Tepanyaki Japanese steakhouse for the adults, have an incredibly cool chef who cooks the food very theatrically in front of you and eat yummy food! Forget purse at the restaurant, dang! Go hang out with the Henry’s for a bit after and realize we wish they were our neighbors still! Pick up purse on the way home from the Henry’s.

Day 4: Saturday

Go wander BYU for nostalgia’s sake. Meet up with my old roommate Ingrid Flanders and reminisce and catch-up. Bryan attempts to hike the Y with Micah and Isaac- not fully successful. Still having a great time. Leave Provo, realize in Salt Lake that we were dumb enough to leave OUR STROLLER in the parking lot! ARGH!! I can’t live without my stroller! Cousin Katie came down to see us from North Ogden so we got dinner at CAFE RIO (the best!), chatted for a bit and then she and I drove back to Provo to get our stroller from Andy and Julie’s apartment because they were nice enough to go get it from the parking lot for us. Stopped to get BYU creamery ice cream and had a nice bonding time in the car. She is a great cousin!

Day 5: Sunday

Not many people sleeping the night before. Supposed to leave for Oklahoma today, but 9 out of 13 people come down with the stomach flu, 5 of which get to go to the ER for IV fluids, we spend the day cleaning and watching TV. Rearrange flight plans and just plan to go home the next day instead. Sorry to miss the other portion of the trip, but we don’t want to share the misery! Jason only had it 24 hours (but it comes back later, darn!), we are hoping that it will be the same for everyone else. Melinda and Doug fly home with Jason, they still haven’t gotten it, Isaac, Grandma Myrna, and I (Ily) are the only ones left in Salt Lake who haven’t gotten it. Grandma was sick with something else, she’s lucky she wasn’t vomiting too!

Spend the day cleaning up after the the little boys as they throw up. Finally take them to the ER at 5pm. Too tired to carry them, thank heaven’s for the Maclaren stroller. I had given out, but it hadn’t! Push the younger boys in nothing but diapers through the hospital and ER with towels across their laps to catch the vomit, we must have looked crazy. Bryan had come with me even though he was still feverish himself and feeling miserable. I love that man! I couldn’t have done it alone.

On a happy note, they did well with the IV’s- Micah is such a champ and took it bravely- and we ran into Great Aunt Carla who was working in the ER that night as a social worker for trauma patients. We weren’t very traumatic, but it was nice to have her visit with us a bit. Both boys did better after getting the fluids, but Reece couldn’t hold anything down still the next day even. At least we knew he would be ok since he did have fluid in him. Isaac was still awake watching TV when we get home at 10:30. I think he watched TV all day.

Everyone sleeps this night. Wow, that was lucky.

Day 6: Monday

Isaac informs us that he fasted yesterday, he was very proud of himself. I am thinking to myself, whoops, we forgot to feed him! No one else had any appetite and he never asked for food so we never thought to give him much! What negligent parents!

Kids only allowed to eat popsicles, toast, ice chips, and sips of gatorade. Reece wanted a drink so badly… it was awful to keep him from drinking more than a sip. He cried a lot for more, but each time we gave him more than 1/4 cup of liquid, he vomited. It just broke your heart! Finally we had to make him stop drinking at 5 so we could have his tummy empty for the flight, we were determined to fly home that night!

Spent the day deep cleaning the carpet, disinfecting all doorknobs, light switches, sinks, toilets, and LOTS of laundry. It was sunny so during the breaks, we sat in the sun reading and playing games. The sun felt so good!

7:00 pm- Time to leave for the airport. We load the luggage, we load the kids, we start the car, we begin to back out of the driveway, Reece gives a terrible heave and all of what he had in him comes up. We stop, I am ready to give up. We take Reece in to clean him up, Bryan begins to clean up the car and car seat, I am thinking we are there for another night. Dang! We just want to be home! Bryan convinces me that Reece is empty now, nothing more can come up. Whatever. I am too tired to make a real decision so I go along with it.

We go to the airport. Dry heaves from Reece. We check all the baggage. He seems fine, miserable and thirsty, but fine. We get on the plane, more dry heaves, nothing comes up though. A long two hours later we carry a smelly, tired, uncomfortable baby off the plane, push him and his sleeping brother Micah in the Magical-never-give-up stroller all the way out of the airport and finally get home. We get home exhausted, but ready to rest.

Too bad we have no Gatorade in the house! A thorough search of the food stores unearths a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider which gets us through the night to settle our stomachs.

Day 7: Tuesday – at home

Oh how nice it is to be home! My next purchase might just be leather furniture (the easy clean-up factor sounds appealing). Reece is still not able to keep anything down this morning. He woke up at 5:00 screaming for a drink. I gave it to him, he urped it all up. Spent some panicked hours giving him only sips of drinks and trying to get him to suck on ice and popsicles. He finally fell asleep again. It is gonna be a rough day!

As miserable as this all sounds, I still find myself chuckling at the comedy of it. Grandma Myrna told me yesterday just before we finally drove off to the airport that she marveled I was still smiling, she would be crying by now. I think it is the stroller that held me together. Thank you Maclaren! You gave us a stroller that has pushed us through some happy and some desperate moments. The Lord truly inspired those engineers who work for your company to make a good quality piece of equipment that would make life bearable for families like ours.

We did have such a pleasant trip at the beginning. If nothing else, the end brought the whole Murdock family closer together. Suffering together forges close bonds or something poetic like that.

Comments

Dad Murdock April 29, 2008 at 5:04 p.m.

Ily, I would hope in the future that we can have bonding experiences that don't include vomiting and diarhea. I also want to thank you for all you did to make this week a good one. Except for Saturday night and Sunday. You should send your comments to the MaClaren company and become their stroller spokesperson.