Sunday, September 30, 2007

Magic Kingdom with 15

We had this day planned for several months. Marlee Anne was so excited about being tour guide for the day. It was the 5 of us, Howards and Malcoms. We all met there at 9:00 ready to start the day. I have to tell you I was a little nervous cause with that many people you never know how it's gonna go. I have to say it could not have gone any better.

It was so neat because I ran into my friends Tina & Courtney as soon as we got there. We ran into other friends from Covington throughout the day too.

We stopped for pictures in front of the castle which you know Mike would not have done without the other families. He was very patient and didn't mind having yet another picture made in front of the castle.

Buzz Lightyear was our first stop and I thought we had explained to everyone to stay with us. Buzz Lightyear is one of the rides we stay on and ride two or three times. Well we got split up and I will not call out any names but Scheree did not follow instructions. It ended up being the 5 of us and the 4 older girls. We all had a blast. Tim was at the exit taking pictures and hopped on with us. All this time the rest of them have no idea where we are or what's going on. We decide after riding twice we will get off and catch up with everyone else.

Space Mountain was next. We kept Lawson with us while everyone else rode. Some of them rode a second time while everyone else rode Indy Speedway. Mary Elizabeth and I took pictures of everyone.

We took the back walkway to Toontown to ride Goofy's Barnstormer. Cindi & I sat with Mary Elizabeth and watched Marlee Anne play on the playground. We talked about Mary Beth's Place and the things they were hoping for there. I have to tell you these quiet moments of talking and hearing about her memories of Mary Beth and things they had done with her at Disney were very special to me. I was terribly concerned about how she would handle the week and how I would be able to handle her emotions. She had a really tough time but in Cindi's spirit she handled it well. I honestly do not know that I could have done it. This was their first Disney trip since Mary Beth's angel day.

The kids decided they wanted to see some characters so we headed into the tent. We had lots of fun with Goofy, Minnie, Pluto & Donald. It was so much fun to see Lawson with his favorite - Donald. The big girls wanted to see the princesses so Marlee Anne said well ok. The princesses are so not her favorite but Mary Elizabeth and Michala love them. Carson did not want a picture made with them but the 3 big guys were happy to get a picture made with them.

We hopped on the train to head to Frontierland. We hung out at the playground while everyone that wanted to rode Splash Mountain. Everyone was getting hungry so we went to Pecos Bill's to eat. For some unknown reason Mike sent Marlee Anne and I to get our food then he was going to go. By now of course we have Disney down to a science for us. Mike gets in line for food while I get Mary Elizabeth & Michala fed, then we eat. Well Marlee Anne and I were in line and shoot I forgot his name. I have it written down. CM working there said oh it's your birthday. YES! It was my birthday all week long. He announced it was my 21st birthday and had everyone standing in line sing to me. I even got a delicious peanut butter/chocolate dessert.

Everyone went to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while we ate. Well after Cindi fed Michala and Scheree fed Mary Elizabeth. Having those extra hands and hearts was a huge blessing to us. We caught up to them and they wanted to ride BTMR again so Mike and Michala went with them that time.

Tim decided he would take Carson, Lawson & Marlee Anne to Tom Sawyer Island. Marlee Anne loves exploring the caves. While they did that we all went and rode Haunted Mansion. This time the HA line was working right like before. We ended up riding this twice. Ken took Michala with him and my back and the baby thanked him. She is getting heavy and it didn't take me long to realize it this trip.

We went in Mickey's Philharmagic while we waited on Tim and the kids to catch up with us. Wonderful show as always. Once they caught up with us we rode Peter Pan & It's a Small World.

Time for snacks. Well we had never had ice cream from Mrs. Potts. The day before we saw the awesome Sundae's. Everyone got those while I went to get my raspberry lemonade that the CM gave me for my birthday. It was so very good cause I have been craving it for months.

Teacups were next. Carson thought he was gonna be cute and ride by himself and then a family he didn't know got on there with him. We rode Winnie the Pooh, Carousel, & Dumbo. Marlee Anne rode Cinderella's horse without anyone telling her that was it. Probably just chance.

We still had a little bit of time before the park closed so we headed over to ride Pirates and Jungle Cruise. Our guide on Jungle Cruise was one of the best we had ever had. I just realized I didn't get his name either. He did a great job.

We had to go get our armbands for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and they all decided to go ride Space Mountain one last time.

On our way to get our armband we saw some Disney friends, MJ and her parents. It has been quite some time since we got to see them. It was wonderful to see how well they were doing.

People were already in the park with their costumes on. It was so much fun to see some of the hilarious costumes. We got our armbands, trick or treat bags and headed to Cosmic Rays. We enjoyed a quick meal while also enjoying the dance party with Stitch dressed as Elvis, Donald dressed as a pumpkin and Pluto a flying ace.

Earlier in the day we got a phone call from Aunt Nay saying Amy had a surprise for us. Amy said after the first parade go to the car barn beside the barber shop because Captain Jack Sparrow wanted to see his angels. The girls NOT me! I was terribly excited because this is a Masquerade friend. This is the Capt. Jack who last year after the Halloween party Mike saw in City Hall. Mike said when Capt. Jack walked in everyone screamed and hollered. I know why! WOW!!!

We decided to sit near the barber shop to watch the parade so we would be there when it was over. As Capt. Jack's float came by he waved his Capt. Jack wave. After the parade was over a CM came out and told us Capt. Jack wanted to see us. When we walked into the car barn the huge black horse that the headless horseman rides was there. That was a treat in itself. We all loved seeing that. Marlee Anne was extremely impressed that we got to go in there because we had never been there before.

Well here comes Capt. Jack. I wish Mike was telling this part because he describes me much better. He says when Capt. Jack came out I started with my Mike Moore giggle. Most of ya'll know the story. For those that don't Mike Moore was the love of my life, my old boyfriend that everyone knew I would spend the rest of my life with. Well God had other plans but still there is a place in my heart that when his name is mentioned I have this special giddy laugh. That giggle is saved for my old Mike, "our" Prince Charming and now Capt. Jack Sparrow. Marlee Anne never knew this story about Mike and she has been quite interested in discussing it lately. LOL!!!

So we had family pictures made with Capt. Jack. Marlee Anne said mommie get your picture made. Well of course. The grin on my face is priceless. After my picture with him Capt. Jack says to Mike that he and the Admiral should have their picture made together so their is no ill will. Mike says well you can have her and Capt. Jack says uh no thanks. Mike made this up cause I did not hear anything like that. Saturday Capt. Jack called Mike the Commodore and Sunday he had moved up to Admiral.

The most special parts were when he knelt down to talk to the girls. Mary Elizabeth like every other female loved listening to his voice, and Michala loved his hair. He held Marlee Anne's hands in his and talked to her about a long time ago when he had met her and her monkey. He stayed in character the entire time even when he was talking about Amy calling to tell him the angels were in town. His angels he said. It will forever be one of those special Disney memories.

Finally I was about to meet my long time internet friend Angie. For those of you that have internet friends and especially for our TRAK (true random acts of kindness) list ya'll know how very special this was for me. She, her mom and her daughter Aly was there. After the wonderful Halloween fireworks we got to meet. It's amazing to me how comfortable it is to meet someone face to face after all this time. It was so very special. I cannot thank Angie enough for taking the time to meet up with us and for the wonderful gifts. We even got to go to Toontown with them and trick or treat with them. Aly & Marlee Anne were really cute together.

They went to see the Halloween parade while we went to see Mickey. He was dressed as a scarecrow just like he said. As soon as he we walked up he remembered us from the day before.

We went down Alice's trick or treat trail again. This time the line was light for the characters so the girls got their picture made with Mr. Walrus for the first time. We also stopped to see Twiddle Dee & Dum. We met them way back when our friend Paul was still at Disney but Marlee Anne didn't remember it. She had lots of fun questions for them.

Time for the party to be over so we headed for the boat to head back home to get ready for the next day.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Trip down to Disney & MK

This trip was to include the 5 of us - well 6 of us as Marlee Anne says, Aunt Kim, Uncle Papa & Grace. Aunt Kim's surgery threw some changes in our plans. What were we going to do without the Godparents? We made it through it with some phone calls.

We ended up leaving Covington at 12:00 and arrived in Orlando at 6:45. Great timing even though we made one extra stop. The girls did great. We checked in and started getting settled. We had the "perfect" room once again. Thanks to our amazing friends for working out another wonderful trip!

Mike ran to Walmart for milk, fruit and stuff we couldn't bring with us. On the way back he stopped by Girodano's for a stuffed cheese pizza and greek salad. OH MY WORD! Thanks Tracy for recommending it. It was delicious!

We made it to bed fairly early so that we would be ready to go the next morning.

Saturday morning we were at the Magic Kingdom by 9:00. Marlee Anne & I went in to get my birthday pin. The CM was nice enough to put 25 on it. HA! That got some laughs. When we came out the dream squad was there. NO! No night stay in the castle. It was a special meet & greet with Cinderella. I just knew Marlee Anne was going to say NOT AGAIN! She smiled and told Cheryl thank you. We had to be there at 2:00.

We made a quick stop by the candy shop and that's when my camera wasn't working right. I had taken a couple of pictures before then and it worked great. We got the girls an autograph book and pen and headed for their surprise. When Marlee Anne found out we were meeting Captain Jack Sparrow she was excited. Soon Mike found out the whole excited of the meet and greet wasn't just Marlee Anne. It was mommie too. It was so very neat!

We left there and had to do Country Bears in honor of our special friend Pam. We all laughed and enjoyed it. Of course when I looked at Mike he was asleep. Too funny! After that we decided to do Tom Sawyer's Island for the first time ever. Well much to my surprise Mary Elizabeth & Michala couldn't go because you cannot take wheelchairs. The CM actually asked could they walk. Well duh! She doesn't have a leg. No I don't think so. To have the most amazing CMs in the world and then to very rarely have someone that you think WOW! OK! Mike and Marlee Anne went while the girls and I sat and had a nice little break.

Marlee Anne got a swirl ice cream that she and I shared while we sat and waitied for Michala and Mike to walk around. They even looked inside the Hall of Presidents so that Mike could get his fix of that.

We decided to do the Haunted Mansion next. We were excited and very impressed with the refurb there. The handicapped entrance was messed up and the CMs were very confused about it that day. We all enjoyed it though. For the first time ever Marlee Anne road with dad and Mary Elizabeth instead of Michala and I . When the CM asked how many I said 5. She said no mommie 6. LOL!!! It was so sweet!

We had just enough time to ride It's A Small World before meeting Cinderella. We didn't do much in Fantasyland because we knew the next day when we met our friends there we would enjoy that with them.

Our meet & greet with Cinderella was very special. The CM Cheryl that gave us the dream and the CM Kim were one of the best parts of the dream. They were both their ahead of time and really interacted great with the girls. Cheryl even gave them a $25 shopping spree for each one of the girls to get a pin.

Mike got us settled and he went to get a haircut at the Barber Shop. Michala was working that day so it was great to see him. I got the girls fed and then we headed over to watch the parade. A great spot over by the Barber Shop. I forgot to mention that there was no one in the park. I could not believe we were at MK and the crowds were that light.

After the parade we went to the Columbia Harbor House for lunch. I had a delicious salad there that I really enjoyed. Craving salads lately. Marlee Anne decided she really wanted to go to Toontown to see the characters. We went in to see Goofy, Minnie, Pluto and Donald. The photographers found out my camera wasn't working right and they all took a ton of time trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally they figured out it was the auto mechanism in the lens that's broken. It will work if the lens is on manual. I was very happy they took the time to check it out for me.

We went over to see Mickey next. By far one of the most amazing experiences we have ever had with Mickey. They cleared the room and it was just us, Mickey and two wonderful CMs Scott & ???? I have her name written down. Mickey was amazing with the girls. His interaction with them was great. After they had pictures made and we had family pictures made, Marlee Anne wanted me to have a birthday picture with him by myself. She got Mary Elizabeth and pushed her out of the way. Mickey was so thrilled with her being such a big helper. He gave her some very special pins. He asked the girls ages and Mike said another one on the way. He asked if it was a boy and we all proudly said yes. He asked the girls names. Then Marlee Anne said we can name the boy Mickey. Of course Mickey was thrilled. It would truly be a fitting name for our family. Marlee Anne asked Mickey what he was going to be for Halloween. He told her a scarecrow. She told him we would be at his party the next night. Mickey was thrilled and said to be sure to come see him.

We went to meet Mike's sister, brother-in-law & children. We all rode Buzz Lightyear together then headed towards the front to leave before the Spectro crowd. We stopped by to let Marlee Anne pick out the three pins for them. A very special Chip & Dale wearing Mickey ears, Fab five & Incredibles. I love the Tink pin that said Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust. Maybe I will get that one for myself before we leave.

On to the monorail to head back to our home away from home.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Birthday!

Thank you so very much to everyone for the phone calls, singing, cards, and gifts. I had the most wonderful day!

Marlee Anne has been planning my birthday for months now I think. That girl can really keep secrets. She is too funny! Aunt Kim threw a kink in the plans when she planned a trip during my birthday. She promised to work it out when she gets back and of course Marlee Anne doesn't forget a promise.

Marlee Anne didn't stay upset about that too long because Aunt Debbie called and asked her to go shopping. It was really the sweetest thing. My brother-in-law's birthday was Tuesday. To stay busy my sister decided it would be a great time to take Marlee Anne shopping for my birthday. The hardest part was that I couldn't know what was going on or where they went until last night.

This is just a quick run down of their stops. Chick-fil-A, Zachby's, Chuckie Cheese & McDonald's. Yes all in one day. They shopped Target, Kohl's, Kmart, Bath & Body Works and of course Michael's.

My scrapbooking friends will love this. My 5 year old daughter knows what a Cricut is and what a Cricut cartridge is. She knows the cartridges we have and which ones we want to have. She told Aunt Debbie that a Cricut cartridge was something she wanted to buy. Aunt Debbie ask where to go to get it. Michael's of course. Marlee Anne walks in and knows exactly where to go but she couldn't find the cartridge. They asked someone and they showed them the book to choose. Marlee Anne said we are having a baby and need the baby one. She of course picks out the right one. The New Additions one. They proceed to the check out counter and she ask for Aunt Debbie's debit card so she can swipe it. Too funny! I have another story like that to tell you but won't take up your time. I will tell it later.

My day started off with Marlee Anne fixin me breakfast. She gives me a Target bag that has the biggest box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in it. She says mommie it's your favorite. I never knew that. In fact I had never eaten it before. Marlee Anne fix my bowl and I helped her pour the milk.

Mom brought lunch over and we had a nice "party" then as Marlee Anne said. We really had a wonderful day.

Last night Marlee Anne threw me a surprise birthday party. Originally it would have only been one guest but thanks to Aunt Debbie I ended up having 2 others that she kidnapped from work. Tracey and Ann came too and brought a delicious Baskin Robbins cake. There is even a comical story about the cake. What's so funny about this "crew" of ours is there is never a dull moment. Marlee Anne thought Aunt Debbie was coming right after 5 cause she gets off work at 5 (usually). Marlee Anne looks at the clock and it's 6:00. She plops down in the chair and says well I guess my Aunt Debbie's not coming, my day has just been ruined. LOL!!! Once they all three get there and "surprise" me they tell us that Mike kept them late in a meeting. Thankfully Granny and Papa (Mike's parents) timed it just perfect and came just in time for cake. When Michala saw the cake she knew it was truly party time.

I had to open my presents before we could have cake. The girls gave me wonderful pjs to match some pjs that they already have. They even gave me a precious little outfit for our baby boy. Then they gave me my Cricut cartridge. Mary Elizabeth was in the best mood and filled with laughs and beautiful smiles.

My wonderful sister gave me some beautiful maternity clothes. She is the stylish one in the family so when I get clothes from her you can bet I will be styling.

Since Marlee Anne was our party planner we were entertained by her and then played a game. She kept trying to think of ways to keep them here all night.

It was a wonderful day filled with lots of fun, laughs and surprises. One of my most precious keepsakes was that Marlee Anne wrote mommie on the outside of the envelope. Mike told her the letters and she did a great job writing them. YEAH!!!

Thanks again to everyone for making this day so special!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Neuro Appt

Ya'll this email is going out to a couple of groups. It may be more detailed than what some of you want to read but it's going to the Aicardi list so I want as many details in there in case someone has ideas.

The girls appt went good yesterday. Thank you so very much for your prayers.

We all sat there amazed at Mary Elizabeth as we discussed how she is doing since almost this same time last year. It was actually Oct 1st when she had her stroke and grandmal seizure. She laughed and smiled and did really great! Mike said it's amazing the difference a year can make. God is good.

Michala showed herself in the doctor's office which we were glad of. She was very ill, fussy, aggressive and irritable. The doctor got to see what we have been discussing with him. Could be med changes or whatever. Who knows!

He added Tranxene to her meds. She will take half of a 3.75 pill which is the smallest dose available right now. She will take it each night. Has anyone used this? Good, bad, ugly? Any side effects that you have seen? He is hoping this may help her irritability and also the really bad seizures she is having each night. His concern was possible heavy sedation with it but with these seizures she is having lately they are pretty much knocking her out any way. So what do you do?

He also wants us to give Diastat if her seizure last for 5 minutes. That would mean Diastat way more often than we want to give it to her. We will just take that a little at a time and see how things go.

He also suggested an EEG since it has been so long since she has had one. Maybe that will help us figure some things out. He just was not pleased with her having the really hard screaming seizures so often.

We discussed the possibility of puberty. He went into a long spill about endocrine and all that. I was reminded that it would help if I would start keeping a more detailed journal on her seizures. URG!!! He did suggest the possibility of putting her on Diamox. Has anyone used that?

Oh and we did discuss the clonepan wafer but he said that one of it's side effects is drooling. He could quickly tell that was not something we could use any more of. The only thing she is taking for drooling is Robinul. If anyone has any other meds or suggestions for something to help with that we would greatly appreciate that too. Thanks!

Thanks again to everyone for your prayers. Having a direction to go in always helps!