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Old 10-20-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
55Red416
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16

Bounce Spot or Disney World - That is the Question...GKTW/MAW 27 Nov - 2 Dec 2011

Bounce Spot...or Disney World....that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to travel to Greenwood, Indiana, or to venture to the House of the Mouse..?

Well, it's obvious who won out, isn't it? This ain't the Bounce Spot forums :-)

Introductions, fellow disBoarders, before I continue. I'm J, DH (shortly, technically DF for now) to H, my totally loving, caring, and compassionate future DW. I'm 31 and DW is 39, and our, well, extremely large family will be traveling to the World shortly (like less than 40 days from now) courtesy of the wonderful folks at Make-A-Wish Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio.

Initially, when our Wish Kid was told he'd have a chance to go anywhere he wanted and do anything he wanted, well, he said he wanted to go to the Bounce Spot in Greenwood, about 15 minutes away. Then we explained to him that we really meant anywhere he wanted and anything he wanted, and yet again, he still said he wanted to go to Bounce Spot, in Greenwood. Then we asked him if he wanted to go to a really big Bounce Spot with Mickey Mouse and, well, you get the idea. That and a Disney Parks commercial sealed the deal, so that's what the title to this is all about...but I digress...

(In future revisions and when I figure out the tagging, a table of contents will go in this position)

Grab a pen, because there's quite a few of us. And now, in chronological order: DS G, recently turned 21, aspiring mechanic and gear-head, a gentleman's gentleman, into everything from UFC to the NBA to the NFL to the newest console games. DS B, 15 going on 35, the quintessential teenager (nothing more need be said to protect the innocent and guilty alike). DS C, 12, a smart but awkward fellow (but weren't we all at that age?) but still a light of our lives. DS J, 8, the gallant young gentleman who stays behind to help all of his teachers at the end of the day (and whom I fully expect to be recruited to Indiana as a offensive or defensive lineman if he ever picks up football due to his sheer size and physical ability, particularly in the usual pickup roughhousing evident in a house full of young men). And last but not least, the twins, DS J and DS J, 6, both full of spirit and rambunctiousness typically presenting in kids of kindergarten age, particularly since the older twin has a laundry list of ailments and labels applied to both his physicality and mental abilities.

For those of you playing along at home, that's two adults and six boys. Yes, six boys. They are all DW's from a previous marriage. As for me, I have my own DD, A, soon to be 3, who was invited on the trip but her mother and I came to the understanding that it was going to be rough on her to go with us (essentially, her mother made that choice and I agreed to save my remaining brown hair in my head and the brain cells that the lawyers didn't take or kill throughout my own divorce).

I'm a firm believer on short posts, so......
[Click, post, save because I'm OCD like that]

Last edited by 55Red416; 10-20-2011 at 11:58 PM. Reason: explained the title of the tread a little clearer, place for TOC
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:36 PM   #2
55Red416
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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(I'm a veteran of writing a lot of well-thought out stuff only to have the Internet goof on me, so you'll find that I do a lot of short posting around 400 or 500 words just to make sure my stuff gets saved.)

DW and I have known each other a little over three years now, having met in the restaurant business where we were both managers at the same location. Our marriages were ending, and neither of us knew how we felt about each other until the end of the first year where after a particularly harrowing shift, we sat down and had dinner together. We ended up talking and just clicked, and we've been together ever since, and we'll celebrate two years together as a couple in February '12. So I've known the boys a little over three years, but I didn't really get to know them until Mom and I started doing our thing.

We both got out of the restaurant 'biz last year. DW now works as a recruiter for a local employment agency and I followed a career path into EMS from a five-year stint as a volunteer firefighter/EMT at our town's department. (55Red416 is a nod to that part of my life, with the 55 being the state's identifier for my home county, Red is my favorite Disney character, you know, the old LaFrance closed-cab pumper, and 416 is my unit number).

Back to the introductions, and I'll focus now on DS J, 6, the magical little boy who our Wish Trip is all about. I'll differentiate between him and his twin by using their middle initals. JB is the older twin, our Wish Kid, and JD is his younger but significantly bigger brother. He'll be big enough for truck work by the time he's 12, kinda like DS 8.

[depressing stuff]

JB and JD were born exactly six years ago tomorrow at our local hospital. DW and former spouse had hung up their kid spurs until they found out they were with child x2. DW decided to stick it out even though the pregnancy was high risk AND twins AND she got stuck on bed rest a good majority of the second half. JB and JD decided that they were coming early, so DW was rushed to the hospital, checked, rushed into L and D, and both the boys were taken by C-section premature and rushed over to the NICU at IUH Riley. Initally, JD was the twin with the worst prognosis, but after a few months, both of the boys were sent home with a ton of home care instructions, home nursing, and NG tubes (eventually they were switched to Mic-Key buttons, JD just had his taken out a little over a year ago).

Fast forward a few months. DW was hangin' at home when she discovered JB extremely apneic and cyanotic (not breathing and turning blue). Freaked out, she gave him a few back blows, got him breathing again, and called for the ALS cavalry (paramedics, that is). They beat feet for IUH Riley again, and the end result was a laundry list of diagnoses, including Periventricular leukomalacia (aka PVL), cerebral palsy (CP), epilepsy, developmental delay, Laryngomalacia, Tracheomalacia, chronic lung disease, and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Later, they added PDD-NOS (yes, that's a spectrum disorder) and the jury's still out on the specific epilepsy diagnosis.

For the first five years of his life, the docs at IUH Riley worked feverishly to correct JB's numerous diagnoses. JB has at least six docs he sees on a regular basis, an ear-nose-throat specialist, a developmental specialist, a behavioral specialist, a pulmonary specialist, a plastic surgeon, and his general practitioner. The ENT and pulmo docs worked extremely hard to avoid the worst-case scenario, but last March, it was realized - JB's upper airway was too compromised, so they had to put in a permanent tracheotomy tube.

What's the rest of the worst case scenario? Well, ahem, we're not quite sure. Best case scenario given no major respiratory infections, kid could be a champ and outlive us all. Worst case scenario, well, we don't know. The developmental folks tell us that third grade will tell us all we need to know about his future developmental wise. But that doesn't include the possible complications from the CP or the PVL or the GERD or the chronic lung disease or the secondary infections that come by nature of having a few extra holes in your bod for breathing and sustenance.

DW worked with a lady who told us about MAW and GKTW. You think of MAW being for kids that are really, and I mean really bad off. Extremely worse off than JB. Where terminality is measured in weeks, or months, not years or question marks. So we really didn't think that it was going to be appropriate for us to go to MAW and be like, "Hey, we've got a son that's this this and this, so, will you help us out?"

And then we started to think about the future. What does it hold for us? He's good to go now, but what about two or three years down the road? Is he going to keep getting smarter, or is this all we're going to see from him for the rest of his life? Is he going to have to spend a lot of years stuck in a wheelchair, or is he going to be a quadriplegic shortly? Or is some freak respiratory infection going to come along and smack us all on the forehead in the middle of the summer?

[Click, save, post. To be continued.]

Last edited by 55Red416; 10-20-2011 at 11:52 PM. Reason: adding a few lines of text
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
55Red416
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16

[/depressing stuff]

So, there you have it. We decided to go ahead and take advantage of the fact that we're all together for now, and take this chance while the boys are still young and the big boys are still with us, and have a trip as a family.

So, to catch you up with where we're at, we're awaiting the final details to be released to us from MAW. Our trip dates are locked in, but we don't have any details other than dates. Haven't seen the flight times or locations, so we really haven't started planning other than just some loose ideas kicked around. We know that we'll be on a flight from IND to MCO on 27 November and be returning on 2 December, so that's a grand total of seven days. DW and I started kicking around ideas tonight, although she fell asleep since she has an early check-in at a client around 0530 tomorrow morning.

We've basically decided that we're going to split into two groups at whichever park we head to for the day: Myself, DW, JB, and DS12 will stick together, while DS21, DS15, DS8, and JD can do their thing. Everyone but JB and JD have cell phones, so theoretically DS21 and DS8 can go do their thing, while DS15 and JD can go do what they want. Due to JB's medical requirements, he has to have at least DW, myself, or DS21 with him at all times as per standing medical orders.

Rumor has it that our GKTW/MAW arrangements will permit us to take advantage of EMH in the Disney Parks (according to our wish grantors), so we are planning to take Monday and hit AK in the morning from 8 to 2, head back to GKTW for a small rest, then return to MK around 4 and stay until 10 or 11. Refer to post 4, and as I believed, this was incorrect information coming from our wish grantors. Barring other information from MAW or someone in the know, I am working on the presumption that since we are off-property guests, this is not going to be an option.

No plans really for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday as of yet. We're considering spending two days at Universal/IOA and possibly doing SeaWorld or cutting out SeaWorld and doing HW on one of the days.

Friday is for Epcot since they have EMH that day, again, presuming that we can roll that way, and that is my favorite park (where I plan on spending at least a few hours with DW alone while DS21 takes everyone, but don't tell her because it's a secret).
Again, see my edited lines above. Unless someone in the know can provide information to the contrary, we're on the assumption that EMH is *not* an option.

Personally I'm not too hung up on SeaWorld. The last time I was there, I was DS8's age, and I got cross-checked into a concrete wall by some teenagers and dropped a whole boat of feeder fish into the seal exhibit. I will get my revenge some day, I suppose. And the time before that, I was 4 and got ran down by some evil woman pushing a double-stroller with menacing looking children on board, in the same general vicinity. Perhaps they really wanted my ice cream cone, or maybe it's just someone above telling me to avoid the seals.

We are officially 37 days out from our trip. Come along for the ride!

I encourage your thoughts, advice, constructive criticism, or whatever else may come, I welcome you along on our family's journey of a lifetime, and I thank you for the opportunity to share our journey and story with you in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Last edited by 55Red416; 10-21-2011 at 01:04 AM. Reason: emphasis to lines, commenting on EMH
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:08 AM   #4
newdrama12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55Red416 View Post
[/depressing stuff]

Rumor has it that our GKTW/MAW arrangements will permit us to take advantage of EMH in the Disney Parks (according to our wish grantors), so we are planning to take Monday and hit AK in the morning from 8 to 2, head back to GKTW for a small rest, then return to MK around 4 and stay until 10 or 11.
Families staying at GKTW, i believe, are not able to take advantage of EMH at the parks unless they are staying on Disney property.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:57 AM   #5
55Red416
Earning My Ears
 
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Thus validating my reasoning for creating an account and sharing my thoughts on our planning process :-). I thank you sir or madam, whichever you may be, for the clarification on THAT matter (it sounded fishy to me, too).

Suggestions, then, for fitting all four parks into a three day Park Hopper pass? Bear in mind that we'll need to take a break about six hours into the day, thus creating a great time for a park hop or a run back to GKTW to regroup and get back at it?

Perhaps look at doing AK, MK, and HW on the front end of the day, call it 9a to 3p, hop out to GKTW to refresh, then back to Epcot around 5 and break it up into a night for Future World and a night for the World Showcase, combined with a night for DW and myself sans children?

Or pack a sack lunch, take a break in the parking lot and then scoot over to the next park of choice OR back into the park we are at?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Last edited by 55Red416; 10-21-2011 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
55Red416
Earning My Ears
 
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I see that barring a thread bump, we've earned "Bottom of the Barrel" status.

I found pictures of everyone between our Android tab, my old BlackBerry, and my new EVO, so those will be up probably sometime Friday. I have to figure out which picture service I am going to use to hold everything so that everyone at home and on the boards can check it out.

Also going to be borrowing a camera from my parents. Since they cannot come with us, I am under orders to shoot as much video and pictures as possible. Between the tab, the phones, and the handheld, this shouldn't be an issue.

The boys and DFi sat down and ran through a list of stuff they want to do. I'm at work so I don't have access now, but I'll throw that up here too.

32 days to Disney, a little over 16 to the Bon Voyage party.

More to come.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:50 PM   #7
55Red416
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16

31 days until the Big Day! Getting excited...!

Shot over to easywdw while waiting for my partner to get to work tonight and got an idea of which parks we'd like to do on what days. We'll be going through GKTW so we will have three Park Hopper days to use in the Disney parks with two days at Universal/IOA and a SeaWorld day if we so desire.

So, according to easywdw and Touring Plans, here's a tentative schedule. Bear in mind that we'll be splitting into two rough touring groups. DW and JB will be buddied up, myself and DS13 will be buddied up and try to make our way around together, then DS21 will take JD and DS15 will pair with DS8. Everyone will have cell phones with the exception of the twins.

Sunday 27 - No flight details yet, so we're keeping this day open just to be safe.

Monday 28 - Hollywood Studios in the morning, Epcot in the evening. Our Epcot wish list is somewhat small, so we broke Epcot into smaller segments and are planning on visiting that park in the evenings. The boys mainly want to do Future World and maybe one or two World Showcase attractions, so we anticipate this shouldn't be an issue.

Tuesday 29 - Universal/IOA. I have never been to either park, so I'm looking forward to spending as much time as we possibly can in them, and I know everyone will be extremely upset if we do not hit Harry Potter.

Wednesday 30 - Magic Kingdom/Epcot.

Thursday 1 - Animal Kingdom/Epcot.

Friday 2 - Universal/IOA OR SeaWorld if Universal/IOA works out well on the first day.

Saturday 3 - No flight details yet, so we're leaving this day open.

More to come.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
55Red416
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Checking in with 21 days to go.

Next weekend is our bon voyage party at which we will get the rest of the updated information from MAW. Holly did manage to get the flight information, though. Out on AirTran 1091 at 0800 arriving at MCO at 1006 hours, coming back on AirTran 1092, departing MCO at 1700 and arriving IND at 1914 hours.

Ground transportation will be picking us up at 0530 on the day we leave, and it's less than 30 minutes from home to IND.

More to come.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:49 PM   #9
55Red416
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We are here now! Soon will start to convert this from a pre-trip to a trip report!
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