Step 1: Agree to take a road-trip on a holiday weekend with a 7-week-old baby boy and his two sick sisters. Wait patiently on the morning-of to ascertain that the 5-year-old will be able to travel without (a) vomiting or (b) crying. Hit the road.
Step 2: Be sure to forget 3 out of 4 toothbrushes and mom's deodorant. Remember the snack bag at the expense of proper hygiene.
Step 3: Plan to stop every 55 minutes for either bathroom breaks, bottom-wiggle breaks, baby-nursing breaks, or wrong-turn breaks.
Step 4: Fail to make time adjustments based on gale-force winds and driving rain on the highway. (But be thankful for the loudly lashing raindrops which help the baby sleep for the first half of the drive. They help mask the constant cries from the back seat which holds the world's most lovably impatient sisters.)
Step 5: Let the 5-year-old sleep on the floorboards of the car at a rest stop until her headache goes away. Be worried that you'll never arrive at your destination.
Step 6: Treat the kids to your evil foe: happy meals with zero nutritional redeeming value, and 100% unknown food(ish) substances because you are SURE the Hello Kitty toys will erase the misery of the road-trip. Watch as both kids refuse most of the nasty food. Watch as one kid doesn't even open her Hello Kitty toy. Watch her cry from a returned headache.
Step 7: Enjoy your visit with family. Laugh and hug and converse. Say goodbye too soon.
Step 8: Turn around 27 hours after your journey began, and head home.
Step 9: Wonder what that blinking light on your dashboard is indicative of. Pull out the Nissan owner's manual. Stop at a gas station to check the tire pressure -- use your magical pressure-reading skillz because you don't own a pressure gauge.
Step 10: Repeat step 3.
Step 11: Be pleased when the baby finally nurses for a good, looong stretch of time because the car is otherwise empty (and peacefully quiet); the big kids are playing on the grass beside a gas station with your good-sport of a husband. Leave the gas station after a 30 minute layover.
Step 12: As soon as you hit the highway again, wait for your brain to ooze from your ears when your 3-year-old forces an emergency U-turn to the SAME gas station you just vacated. Clench your jaw because you know she can't help her body's urges.
Step 13: Wait in a line of grumpy women in a 3-stall restroom wherein 2 stalls are made unusable due to lack of toilet paper and one stall is occupied with a long-suffering (and probably embarrassed, poor thing) mother and her young son.
Step 14: Take your turn in the stall (finally).
Step 15: Lose the jaw-clenching contest when your 3-year-old declares she doesn't, after all, have to go number two.
Step 16: March back to the vehicle. Switch drivers.
Step 17: Return to the highway.
Step 18: Remember that it's dinner time.
Step 19: Drive immediately to the nearest mental-health facility and check yourself in. Call grandma to pick up the kids. Tell her they're hungry. And they probably have to go number two.
Step 20: Drool. Care not.