Friday, September 25, 2009

Off to spend some time with THE Mouse...Mickey of course!

Well, after months of anal planning and week of packing and repacking, we finally leave for Disney today!!!!!

All the suitcases are packed, food items packed neatly in our handy dandy reusable bags and Olivia is dressed in a Minnie shirt and feeling 100% after being super sick last week.

Now all I have to do is wait for Toby to get home from work...hopefully it's a short day for him!

I am SO excited to go and see Olivia's face when she sees her Minnie and Mickey, or when we spin like mad on the teacups (my LEAST favorite ride by far-darn motion sickness!)...I just can't wait!

I'm off for a quick lunch with my mom so Olivia can say bye to her Guma, and then we are (hopefully) off to the World!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A tale of summers past...

Summer has definitely (and obviously) changed since my college days and becoming a mom. As much as I LOVE being a mom, sometimes I wish I could go back to those carefree summers full of traveling and fun.

I would always take the first session of summer classes so I could get them out of the way and get on to the fun stuff: I spent at least 4 weeks every summer volunteering at camps for kids with Type 1 diabetes.

It all started when I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 11. It was August of 1993 and I had lost about 20 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks of summer camp, I was drinking literally gallons of water a day and using the bathroom every 15-20 minutes. My mom knew there was something wrong, so off to the doctor it was. After about 30 seconds he told me I had diabetes and off to the hospital for a week it was. I was totally miserable and in the "why me" phase for a few weeks until I realized that it could be worse-I could have cancer or something that was much worse.

The following spring I was invited to spend a week at our state diabetes camp. I was super excited to be able to spend a week away from mom, and be with other kids who knew exactly what I was feeling. I had an awesome week, and was looking forward to going back. Unfortunately, I wasn't ever able to go back. My brother and I ended up having to spend the whole summer (every summer until I was about 16) in Wisconsin with our dad, so camp was out.

I had always had fond memories of the week I spent at camp that summer, so while looking for volunteer opportunities during my freshman year of college, it occurred to me that I should look into camps. The first one I looked into was of course Florida camp since that is the one I had attended. I also knew some people who volunteered at Camp Kudzu in Georgia, so I sent in my paperwork to them as well.

After a few weeks of phone calls and emails, I was all set to go. I was doing 3 weeks of Florida camp and 1 week of Camp Kudzu. For Florida I was doing the Pee-Wee camp for kids ages 5-8, and 2 of the older kids sessions (for ages 11-14). At Kudzu I was only doing a week, but working with the 8-9 year olds.

That was the best summer of my life! Spending 24 hours a day with the girls was awesome! We did more activities than I could count, and had more fun that I thought was possible. Even though as counselors we only got about 4 hours of sleep a night, I was never tired (until I got home and slept for 20 hours straight)! Seeing camp from the counselor perspective was much different than I imagined. I never knew how much time and effort the counselors put in to making camp so amazing and making sure the campers didn't feel different or that diabetes was running their life.

After that summer, I decided that I would spend my summer volunteering for as long as possible. I did my camps all through college and for the next 3 years after I graduated. Then, in the summer of 2007 I was pregnant with Olivia so my camp days were over. That summer was pretty hard knowing exactly when camp sessions were going on and I was stuck at home. I know that I will definitely go back as soon as Olivia is old enough to go with me (probably when she is 5 and I can go back to Pee-Wee camp). Until then, every now and then during the summer I pull out old scrapbooks and pour over my hundreds of pictures and even dig out the book (yes BOOK-43 pages), I wrote as a college class project that documented just one week of the best summers of my life....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is it wrong.....

  • That the extremely nice worker in the bakery knows Olivia by name and gets excited when we come in (almost daily) to do some shopping and Olivia gets her free cookie?
  • That when doing the dishes and I come across the ones my husband has not rinsed off (and are now terribly crusty with grossness), I leave them in the sink and wash the rest?
  • That I take any money found while doing laundry?
  • That I have let Olivia eat nothing buy orange sherbet and strawberry milk since Monday-yes she is sick & has strep, but still, is it wrong?
  • That I may have a not so nice "name" for a church!?
  • That I anally alphabetize all DVD's in the house (that is after categorized them into kids, Toby's wrestling DVD's and general) and get upset when (everyday) Olivia pulls them off the various shelves?
  • That sometimes I actually find it funny when Toby, makes, umm, "man" noises?

ONE week!!!...and Olivia is sick!

I cannot believe that I can now say we are leaving for 1 week for Disney!!! Poor Olivia has lost her play area in her room b/c it has been taken over by our suitcases, so now to get back at me she destroys the living room at least 5 times a day! Each day the stack of Disney stuff grows larger and larger. I made my way to the outlet mall today and popped in the Disney Character outlet store there to see if I could come by anything that we "really needed" for the trip. I found Olivia cute little Mickey necklace, a new shirt with the whole gang on it and a pair of PJ's..and my grand total was: $5.26! Gotta love the sales! I did online check-in right at our 10 day mark, so I am hoping to just pop in and out and head right over to Epcot and get the fun started!

Now to the yucky stuff. Poor Olivia is SICK!!! It all started Sunday night when she had a runny nose. I figured it was just because her 2 year molars are getting ready to come in, and she always gets a runny nose with teeth. We were at my mom's house watching the Packers crush the Bears, and she was running around with the dogs not acting sick at all. I took her to the doctor first thing Wednesday morning because she wasn't getting any better-just worse. Verdict from the doctor: double ear infection (one of the worst that she has seen), sinus infection, strep throat (that explains why she only wanted to ear orange sherbet and strawberry milk), and bronchitis!!! The doc said it was this bad because Olivia was such a preemie, her immune system functions at much less than normal (which we have known since she was about 3 months old and they did TONS of tests on her). So we left the office with 2 antibiotic prescriptions, orders to do her nebulizer 3x a day and let her eat whatever she wants until she feels better (even if it is only orange sherbet and strawberry milk).

Two days later, Olivia is feeling much better (except for the fact that now the lovely, antibiotic induced diarrhea has begun)! She has been really good at taking all the meds, and has FINALLY shown an interest in eating "real" food. The doc assured us that she was 99% sure Olivia would be good to go when it is time to head to see The Mouse! Yeah!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mickey's and Minnie's and Disney, Oh my!

Well, here we are, just 10 days from our Disney vacation!!!! I am unbelievably excited!!!! This trip has been in the works literally since the day we got back from our last "big" trip in February! I am now officially in "Ican'twaitI'mgoingcrazy"mode! My poor husband sure does put up with a lot when it comes to my guilty pleasure. I am now spending most/all of my free time going over our plans, rechecking ADR's, obsessively checking Disney related websites multiple times a day, etc..... I really don't think he understands that all the time and effort I put into our Disney trips is (in part) what makes them so amazing!
I have starting packing. Well, you can't really call it packing. After doing all the laundry last weekend, I pulled out all of Olivia's Disney related clothing and tossed it into her suitcase. When I made one of my (almost daily) trips to Target, I bought a pack of diapers, some Goldfish, and a new stroller fan, and tossed all that in Olivia's suitcase as well. On a shopping trip to Kohl's, I was checking out the clearance rack and came across an adorable pink sundress with the Disney princesses on it! The best part....I only paid $1.80 for the $28.00 dress!!!! By far, my favorite thing that I packed for Olivia is the Minnie dress I made her!! It took me weeks to get the dress just right (and even now, it is nowhere near perfect, but it will work), and my sister-in-law made some adorable Minnie bows to match, and Olivia has cute black Crocs w/ Minnie on them so she will look adorable (if I do say so myself)!

My other Disney "news" is that this year I applied for the Disney World Mom's Panel. This is something I heard about last September (about a week after the application period had ended). This is an AWESOME, online question and answer panel made up of 15 mom's and 1 dad who answer just about any question a person could have about WDW. All someone has to do is email the question, and one of the Mom's/Dad answers it. I am so passionate about Disney and everything it has to offer, I thought I would give it a try and apply! The process seemed easy enough: answer 3 100 words or less!!!!! For those of you who know me, I am quite the talker, so getting my answers into 100 words was quite a challenge!

Last Thursday, I got up when Olivia did, fed her breakfast, then put Dumbo in the DVD player to keep her occupied and out of my lap while I filled out the application. 9:00am came and the questions were posted:

1. In 100 words or less, please tell us about yourself and your family.

2. In 100 words or less, what makes you a Walt Disney World expert and what is your number one tip for families who are visiting the parks for the first time?

3. In 100 words or less, tell us about you. Do you have a special talent or expertise (e.g. write a blog, are a food or wine expert, speak a second language, travel internationally, etc)?

The first two questions were pretty easy, but that third one threw me for a loop! I ended up just writing from the heart, and came up with, what I think are, 3 pretty good answers. Now the waiting begins...I don't know how I will be able to stand it!!!.... Oh yeah, 3 trips to Disney in the next month and a half help!