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Old 09-08-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
onceagain1
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Smile Chatterbox's Pre Trip Report (Dec 14-22, 2012)

Hi everyone,

Reading other PTRs made me want to create our PTR sooner than later so here's a bit of info about us.

I'm married with 2 beautiful girls. My oldest daughter is our wish child and has a complex heart defect, has had 3 open heart surgeries that are palliative in nature. She had her surgeries quite young, at 5days, 6 months and 3yrs old, but will need more at some point in the future. Likely she will also need a pacemaker, and at some point, a heart transplant. She is now 6yrs old and doing quite well, all things considered. I call her Chatterbox!!

She's now a big sister to her 2yr old healthy little sis, who we call Busypants who thankfully has relatively no health issues. She may be a bit delayed in speaking but seems to understand quite well, though may have some hearing loss issues. We'll see ENT soon, but pretty small potatoes compared to what we've already been through.

Several years ago we applied for my daughter's wish with Children's Wish, as they encouraged us to, as there were sometimes other events that ODD might be invited to from time to time. Now that things are stable, and that our younger daughter has gotten a bit older, we're ready for ODD to have her wish, so I contacted CW to let them know and they got started on the process. I gave them several dates around Christmas (as my husband has more time off at Christmas, and for financial reasons, it's best for us to work with his schedule). They called and gave me 2 of my 3 date choices to choose from and initially I went with my first, which is right over Christmas. But then I started googling and realised that it would apparently be super duper busy that week. At that point, I had not found this forum and did not know that you could show the pin/lanyard and likely use the fastpass entrance. And so knowing that my daughter (and hubby) isn't always best around the largest crowds, I called CW back the same day to ask about the other date instead. The other date is Dec 14-21, the week before, which still fits our timeframe but hopefully will be somewhat less busy. So those are the dates for us.

Now, I've since discovered this forum, and part of me wishes I could stick with our original dates, as it would be quite magical to enjoy Christmas there. However, I'm reminding myself that the diminished crowds will make the experience more enjoyable for ODD (and hubby and YDD), and it will still be Christmas magical.

Children's Wish volunteers came to visit us a few days ago to get all the paperwork signed. They also brought Roary the Lion who is the Children's Wish mascot. Chatterbox was super excited to see him. And as I heard he might be given to her, but that he was only for the wish child, I checked in our basement (where I recycle our toys in and out off) and found a bear for YDD, Busypants to have when Roary arrived. Worked quite well, both kids were quite happy. I also noticed that Chatterbox was the one who first wanted to make sure that her little sister received something when she did - so sweet of her to think of little sis!!

Anyway, rambling a bit, thanks so much for reading. Now hopefully I can link this up properly. And add a few pics at some point too.

Oh, and one other thing, I just love the dancing banana icon, seems so happy, seems to be a good choice to go with the happiness we feel about Chatterbox's wish!!
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Chatterbox's Pre-Trip Report

December 14 - December 22, 2012
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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Hi ! Glad you found this forum .. it sure was a GREAT help to me when we were planning my son's (also a heart kid) wish trip.
Your dates are great .. just before Christmas is going to be SO exciting !! I just love the decorations and festivities at Christmas time.
The Osborne family lights festival is just incredible .. it's my favorite part of Christmas in Disney.

Looking forward to reading more about your plans and such !
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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I know it is hard to keep from starting a PTR once you know your dates, I'm probably going to start one for our Nov 29-Dec 8 trip.

I am very happy to hear that your wish girl is ready and able to experience the magic of Disney during the Christmas season and I think the dates you chose are very good ones. You still get all of the holiday magic with much lower crowd levels. I have a co-worker who is taking his family to WDW for the first time during that same timeframe

I also have two daughters, the younger of which had to have brain surgery at age 2 1/2 from Osgood Slaughter disease. I can understand some of the struggles you have been going through. That wee one of mine is now 13 and is also a chatterbox. The experience with her at our area children's hospital along with interactions with a co-worker who had a wish child actually motivated me to become a volunteer wish granter for Make-A-Wish

There are a LOT of wonderful friendly people here who are happy to share all kinds of info to make your trip a special one I look forward to hearing more about your planning!

Oh, and I totally agree - the dancing banana rocks!
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome, and tips.

Moodyzblu - I just checked out Osborne lights, and wow - you're right, they look amazing. So I'll have to be sure we get to see them. They must come on towards suppertime?

mnmrmustard - I hope the dates are good, and part of me wanted to wait until ODD was a fair bit older, closer to your daughter's age, before taking her wish. However, matters became such that now is probably better. However, perhaps someday we'll be able to save enough to go back on our own.

And just because...

....i'm sure I'll get over using them after a while
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Chatterbox's Pre-Trip Report

December 14 - December 22, 2012
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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Yay for Christmas at Disney I can't imagine a better way! Our Wish Trip just got approved and our dates are 3-23 to 3/29. We will be there for my dd's 10th birthday. She is also a Heart Warrior. She was born with Transposition of the Great Vessels and like your dd will need more surgeries in the future. Can't wait to read more on your planning and excitement
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onceagain1 View Post

mnmrmustard - I hope the dates are good, and part of me wanted to wait until ODD was a fair bit older, closer to your daughter's age, before taking her wish. However, matters became such that now is probably better. However, perhaps someday we'll be able to save enough to go back on our own.

And just because...

....i'm sure I'll get over using them after a while
It is never too early to get the wee ones to Disney. I have a friend on the board who has taken his son every year since he was about 6 months old

I'm sure you'll find a way to make it back when they are older And I've been on the boards for years and still haven't tired of those funky little bananas - lol
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
onceagain1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleEsmom View Post
Yay for Christmas at Disney I can't imagine a better way! Our Wish Trip just got approved and our dates are 3-23 to 3/29. We will be there for my dd's 10th birthday. She is also a Heart Warrior. She was born with Transposition of the Great Vessels and like your dd will need more surgeries in the future. Can't wait to read more on your planning and excitement
LittleEsmom: DD technically has Unbalanced AVSD with Coarctation of the aorta. Basically a version of HLHS with a big pile of holes in her heart. She's had the Norwood, Glenn and Fontan surgeries. Some definate challenges along the way, and most assuredly some challenges in the future, but that's how it is.

And the date that you leave for your trip is DD's birthday as well

I forgot to mention, I also made a string of paper garland, that I saw someone else show on here, to use for counting down the days til DD's wish trip. I call them Wish Trip Links. I'll post a picture once I get that figured out. DD loves them. We started with 100 links, for 100 days to countdown. And I placed a more colorful paper (Disney wrapping paper) for every 10th link. I'm thinking I might have a little gift for her at every 10th link (and little sis too).
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Chatterbox's Pre-Trip Report

December 14 - December 22, 2012
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:22 AM   #8
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Joining in! So glad she gets her wish! Christmas sounds like a wonderful time to go! I tried to talk my son into going around Christmas but he has his heart set on Star Wars Weekend My son is a heart kiddo also.

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Old 09-09-2012, 05:55 PM   #9
onceagain1
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Wish Photos

If I do this right, here's a few photos of Chatterbox

With her Children's Wish Roary bear


The Wish Links I made for Chatterbox to count down. 100 links for 100 days until her wish. Every 10th link is more colorful, and I think Chatterbox and Busypants will have a small present to open on those days. Just have to find a few things for presents



Chatterbox to excitedly checking out the links.


And...if this is right, then more to come!!
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Chatterbox's Pre-Trip Report

December 14 - December 22, 2012

Last edited by onceagain1; 09-09-2012 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Think I figured it out, but will definately resize any future pics!!
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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Oh the pictures of Miss Chatterbox...
I love the twist you did on the colorful links on certain days and the little trinket/present. Hmmm...might have to think on this for my guys too. And because I love them too -
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:52 AM   #11
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Awe she's adorable !!
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:45 PM   #12
onceagain1
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Fairy Godmother Present

Thanks ladies, I think she's cute too She actually usually has much longer hair, but we trimmed it for the start of school. And actually, it was long enough for it to be cut as a ponytail and donated to Locks of Love, so we can help someone else

So, guess what arrived in the mail today for Chatterbox...a package from a Fairy Godmother!!! She was so excited to open it and see what it was. Again, sorry for the large photos, but I just wanted to get the photos up, and to say a HUGE thank you to her Fairy Godmother - you're too kind.

[IMG][/IMG]

More to come, just having trouble uploading, so what to submit/save now.

Please forgive the occasional blurry photos....it's rather difficult to keep Chatterbox in one place!!
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Chatterbox's Pre-Trip Report

December 14 - December 22, 2012
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #13
onceagain1
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More photos of gift from Fairy Godmother

More photos:
[IMG][/IMG]
What is it?


A handmade scrapbook for my Wish Trip!!!!

[IMG][/IMG]
Whee!! Mommy, hold it up so I can see how tall I am!! (that's Daddy's hand)

[IMG][/IMG]
I love it - thank you!!!!
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Chatterbox's Pre-Trip Report

December 14 - December 22, 2012
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #14
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That scrapbook is awesome!!! I love it I am sure Miss Chatterbox will have lots of fun helping you choose pictures for it
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:28 PM   #15
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Very cute scrapbook!!! I am sure you will have no problem finding great things to fill it with!!
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