So we leased a minivan just in time for our planned family vacation to Hubby’s hometown, which is a six-hour drive away. When we went to the car dealership to pick out a model, the lady asked us what features or colors we were interested in. Hubby and I looked at each other and said, at pretty much the same time,

“It just has to have a DVD player.”

And so we found ourselves on the highway in a minivan jam-packed with a pack-n-play for Babygirl, an inflatable bed for Babyboy, a suitcase for each of us, a large bag of diapers for both of them, a bag of nighttime loveys/ stuffed animals, Dreamlites and blankies, and a ton of snacks and drinks and eating implements and sippy sups and bottles for the kids.

We had packed the night before. The day of the trip, we woke up early and loaded up car. As soon as the kids were stirring, we got them dressed and fed: Babygirl her milkie bottle, and Babyboy his yogurt.

Somehow we got out the door by 8 a.m. The kids were positioned in the van for best viewing of the toddler movie I had bought just for the trip: Puss n’ Boots. Why? I figured they would like it, because it features cats, and they’re very close friends with our two fluffy kitties. (Plus, if you’re going to have to listen to the same movie over and over for a six-hour car ride, PLEASE let it feature the manly purr of Antonio Banderas…)

So we popped in the movie and off we went.

20 minutes into the ride, Babygirl made a gagging noise and then, “BBBALHGRRG. WAAAAAH!” She puked. Huge curdled milk puke, all over herself and the car seat. She was sitting and squirming in a puddle of puke. And so we had to find a rest stop, and I literally bathed her in a rest stop sink (YUCK) while hubby did the best he could to clean off the car seat with paper towels and wipes. I stuck the pukey clothes in a plastic bag, and off we went, again.

She was physically fine, so we figured she’d got motion sickness from her first time watching a movie in a moving vehicle. The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful, except that we had to endure the stench of baby vomit the whole ride.

The family visit was wonderful! The kids had tons of kids to play with. Babyboy had a bit of a cold and was coughing, and had his needy moments, but overall we were impressed with how good they were.

However, we could not get the stench of vomit out of the car. We scrubbed the seat down with disinfectant. We even bought a car air freshener, one of those that is advertised to mask even the most heinous car smells. It became a running joke how bad our brand-new minivan smelled. Despite this, we had fun with the fam.

Then, the day of the ride home. Babyboy woke up at 5:30 that morning, super-whiney, and grabbing at his right ear. He felt hot. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything, except for some water and a dose of Tylenol. He wouldn’t let me put him down.

We had to be home by a certain time as Hubby had to cover an event that evening… so Hubby did the best he could to pack and load the car while I held a miserable Babyboy, and we were JUST heading towards the door when…

Babyboy made a gagging noise and then “BBBALHGRRG. WAAAAH!” He puked all over himself, me, and my brother-in-law’s floor.

So. I had to give him a bath, and then take a shower myself (it was in my hair.)

We set out once more. Babyboy slept alot, but we managed to get him to take some juice. We were halfway home when again, the gagging noise, and again, puke, all down Babyboy’s clothes and the car seat. We stopped at a rest stop and I did the complete change while Hubby scrubbed the car seat. This was becoming a familiar routine.

I was starting to get really worried about Babyboy because he was just so pale and listless. He hadn’t done much other than throw up the whole car ride. He hadn’t had a wet diaper yet. So after some discussion, I called the Pediatrician’s office..

Now, yes, I am Med/Peds trained. But I don’t like to be my family’s doctor. Especially when I’m trying to make the call: is this an ear infection or worse/ Do we need to get IV fluids into this little guy?

So I called them and described hot, listless, pukey Babyboy to them, and they said, “Bring him in as soon as you can.”

So instead of going home, we went straight to the Pedi’s office for an urgent appointment. Babyboy did perk up a bit when we got out of the car. They took us right away, the doc examined him and announced, “He has a bad ear infection on the right. That’ll make him throw up.” We got a prescription, and instructions for home hydration, and were able to continue on…

Since then, Babygirl got the cold as well, and she has now puked on me several times. At least we’ve been at home where we can get clean!

And we really, really can’t get the stench of vomit out of our new car. Sigh….