Sunday, August 9, 2009


If my dream was to be an author or columnist I would write
a REALLY good column on "How to Lose Your Mind
In 20 Days". The movie would not star Kate Hudson and Matt McCon...
because they are way too good looking and unrealistic in a psycho
parent kind of way. Let me tell you, I would definitely make it into the
non-fiction section of New York Times Bestseller List!

Okay, this is the picture that haunts my dreams:
We embarked on our CRAZY journey as follows--
2 kids in the back seat, 3 in the middle, and Claire and me in the front.
Yes, you read that right, there was no way to access the kids in the back.
Crazy? Absolutely!

I should have read the stars or the omens or something when before the
trip even started, Luke came down with a really high fever then broke
into a mad rash. Cooper followed and then even I got it.
My head hurt so bad on the first day we drove that I was hallucinating
about Cafe Rio and Krispy Kreme donuts. Then I broke into a speckled rash.
It was so weird!

Okay. First two nights were spent in Dallas with Rachel and fam.
It was great...except the night time (You will find a repeating pattern
of terrible sleep throughout my saga--it's one of my themes.) I slept on the couch
and listened to my little Ethan scream his head off both nights.
I finally realized he had the family fever and doped him up on Motrin.
That boy was on fire! Here is his speckled body on the drive to
Albuquerque to visit Rebecca and fam for 2 nights:

The poor boy was covered in a hideous, deformed looking rash for 2/3 of the trip.
No one even told me my baby was cute. How sad is that?

Rebecca's house was fun also and we were treated to some amazing company,
outstanding food, and a lame movie ("Knowing"). Sleep was pretty
good there until I finally decided to see why
Ethan was screaming one night. I went in to see him under his
pack n' play mattress and sleeping/screaming on the bars.
It was really sad. I've since learned you can velcro the mattress down.
Clever people, those pack n' play makers!

Okay, then off to Brianhead where we had a pre-family
reunion reunion. Does that make sense?

It was really fun to see everyone and hang out with all. It's also where
I had my first breakdown. I was running on little sleep, a lot of
frustration, and no husband. I think I was justified.
I probably shouldn't have yelled at my dad for wanting to pick up
Luke and give him loves, but I did. It was all very rational
at the time. I apologized later, though.

We stayed in a wonderful cabin that had the most awkward set up. I was in
a room that was connected to another room that Claire and kids slept in.
My kids were good, but Ethan still had that fever and was
up for 2 of the 3 nights screaming his head off.
When there are 40 people sleeping in 1 cabin you have to run
at the first sound so you don't wake everyone up.
It was miserable and his fever seemed to be never-ending.
Mom (me) was losing patience--quickly.

We smored, we hiked, we hot tubbed, we biked, we swam, we ate, we laughed.
I cried.

Yeah, daddy came to play for a couple of days at our actual family reunion in
St. George. Look how excited we were!

It was really, really fun to see extended family again. It wasn't even that hot!!
We went to an amazing theatre called Touchan (or something).
We saw a so-so play, Footloose, but the setting was unbeatable!
The musical starred Thayne from SYTYCD season 4.
That was kind of cool.

This is where I experienced my 2nd breakdown. I won't say why--it was
too embarrassing. Just know that I cried again. How sad.

This is where it went downhill. My uncles set up
an amazing 4-wheeling trip through beautiful sand dunes.
Cooper was so funny, he would not part with this monstrous
helmet no matter what we bargained.

Oops! Jake was being not-so-smart. He flipped his 4 wheeler and bruised up his hip
real good. At least we think that's all that happened. He still gets
shooting pains through his leg. This is when I had to start
taking care of 1 more person instead of just the 3 babies.
(I am totally being dramatic because he was still very helpful but
it makes the story so much better to complain.)

Anyone ever night golfed? Totally fun!

Okay, we drove back up to Provo for a get together with the Hutchings fam.
Thanks so much to everyone who came and planned and provided.
Worst night so far. We slept with Coop and Luke in our room and several
others downstairs. Luke decided to wake up and scream bloody murder for hours on end.
Was I mad? Livid! I love my Luke but the boy has a will of iron.
He doesn't give up. If we tried to comfort him he'd scream louder.
Mad, mad, mad.
Through some miracle, Cooper didn't wake up. Jake and I attempted
to move rooms and sleep together in a twin bed.
I gave up and ended up making a bed on the floor.
I wasn't sleeping anyway with Lukey torturing my every thought.

Me, Jamie, Debbie (mom), Grandma. How cute!

Then Jake left and I was all alone again.
We drove up to Heber to spend a couple nights at the "Rustic Getaway" cabin.
Rustic it was! I had monster ants and bees in my room.
But, it was fun!!
By this time I was so use to not sleeping that I couldn't sleep
when I had the chance. The kids were pretty good except for a few
Ethan episodes. He was in the shower so everything echoed. Instead of
one baby crying, it was like three babies crying!

This is Cascade Springs, a cool natural springs area.

Check out those tat's!

Then off to Sundance to enjoy 2 nights in the fam cabin.
Night #1--Luke screamed his guts out from midnight to 2 am.
At 2 I went in to try and calm him down which only made the
screaming 4 times worse. None of the adults slept. My deepest apologies.

The second night I had my third and final breakdown. Bless her heart, a very well
intentioned friend/psychologist told me that I mothered all wrong.
That was not a very nice thing to say to me 2 and a half weeks into
a LONG trip. I cried. Actually, I sobbed and admitted I knew I wasn't a perfect mom.
But I try. I really do.

The good part-we did enjoy some fabulous food, wonderful shops, and a fun water
park while in Provo. Apparently cupcakes are all the
rage and I am way behind the time for not knowing that.
We had some cupcakes, some Cafe Rio, some Pizza Factory, some Main
Street Pizza, some ice cream, some of everything.
I love Provo!!

Then Claire and I drove the crew to CO for 3 nights of AMAZING
sleep! To be followed by a hotel in Missouri and then, finally, home again!

Do I regret the road trip? No.
Would I do it again? Ask me later.

p.s. In all of my adventures I threw away my phone (oops!)
so...send me your numbers so I can call you...someday!!


Anonymous said...

wow. wow. wow. wow. wow.
It was just as crazy as I thought it would be when you guys first told me about it. Who wouldn't break down crying?? I WOULD!!! In fact, I do it frequently within the comforts of my own home. Too bad that everyone was so sick! Glad to have you back...

The Thomas Family said...

You're a great writer..and an even better Mom. Any Mom who will take 5 kids 4 and under on a major road trip is pretty amazing (or crazy):).
Your trip sounded action packed and very memorable. I'm sure you'll never have another trip quite like it. :)

We're glad you are back. We've missed you.

Amanda said...

Okay, I totally laughed at your cometary of your trip. I am not laughing at you but I can vividly pictures every aspect of your trip. When I don't get sleep I cry too. You are brave, to go for such a long trip with sick babies and not have Jake around for most of it.
I like all your pictures! That little Lukey-bear is a character :)Send him over to play with Jonah.

Rebecca said...

that sounds miserable and I was there! you're wrong, though- I told you ethan was cute on a few occasions! I'm sorry you had to go through all that. I honestly didn't know it was that bad. Sorry I wasn't more helpful.

Grant and Shalie Morgan said...

Oh darling, that sounds CRAZY. I'm sorry about your breakdowns, I'm sure I would have had more than 3 though. 3 kids under the age of 3 all by yourself for that long in a car... you are superwoman! Why on earth did your friend say you were parenting all wrong? I'd like to know 'cause I think we have a little bit of the same style, so I must be doing it wrong too. Wish we could have seen you in UT. You look SUPER sexy by the way, what is your secret?! Glad you're back home where chaos is a little less!

Maylene said...

I think you are still an amazing Mom! I know I could never handle what you do and drive on a road trip and stay in that many places. You really should write a book or column or something...because you are good at just being candid and I have to admit, secretly I love reading your blog to see what sorts of adventures you guys have been up to.

The Child Family said...

For starters I did say Ethan was cute :)
Second, oh my goodness, I had no idea you were running on so little sleep, you hid it VERY well when we saw you. When i'm tired everyone better watch out, but you were very pleasant!!!
I'm so sorry about your meltdowns... I'd really love to hear about #2 someday :)
Jake looked so funny in red sand from flipping that 4-wheeler, he needs to be more careful.
I'm so glad you got good sleep in CO, it must be Jennifer's house.
It was so good to see you, and I can't wait 'til the Hitchings decide to have a Fam reunion so we can all get together again!!!!

Connie said...

You are a good mom and don't you ever forget it!! I can totally sympathize with you having 3 kids . . . 2 under a year was definitly a handful!
I love you and your kids!
Aunt CJ

Lindsey said...

Oh, Emily. You're just doing it ALL wrong. LOL.....Who the crap said that?! Nobody knows what is right for your family but you! None of us are perfect moms.

And I, for one, think Ethan looks adorbale even with a rash! He's SUCH a babe.

Ryan and Andrea said...

I can relate being on a month-long trip w/out hubby! It sucks! So sorry we didn't see you in CO, but it was fun to see you at the reunion. You are an awesome mom!!

Ryan and Andrea said...

BTW, Thayne was in HSM & HSM 2 also!! So sorry to hear you didn't like Footloose OR Knowing.

Karen said...

Heber is my old stomping grounds! I love Cascade Springs! We used to go every summer.

I cry when I'm tired too. Hard. A lot. Babies will do that to you. In a year or two, you'll remember mostly fun stuff about the trip and you'll be glad you went -- but will still be able to brag about how crazy you were to do all that!

Jene and Megan said...

Oh my goodness! That is quite the tale...I feel for you, I really do about all the lack of sleep and stuff. I only have one kid and that's hard enough. I can't imagine doing it with 3!
I'm glad you are home safe and sound and hopefully recovering! =)
P.S. I love Provo too!!

The Longnecker Zoo said...

Emily...I am laughing my head off right now! YOU ARE A HOOT! This sounds painfully VERY familiar to some of my traveling (and at home) times. I think most moms go through these horrid stages at one time or another. And if not, we can lend them our children ;0)

Rachel said...

You didn't forget any of the things we memory is so shot.

I'm so glad I didn't have another 10+ hour leg after we got to Dallas...don't know how you guys didn't go insane! Especially with such a full car.

The Allred Family said...

What a travelogue!!!! I haven't even tackled that b/c I don't know where to start. I think I might just reference people to your blog. You captured it perfectly.

Amy Ellertson said...

You rock Em! Wish I could have seen all of you guys as you passed through provo. sounds like it was nuts!