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Old 04-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
erika412
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 327

Celebrating Kidney Function PTR -- 2 more days until we leave and SICK KIDS :(

I've been a long time lurker, but just recently started posting a bit more. I've been to Disney World quite a few times, but never really did much pre-trip planning (I know, I know, what was I thinking?). This time I'm all over it!

We are celebrating our youngest daughter's health. In December, the day before we were supposed to fly to DH's parents' house for Christmas, she was admitted into the hospital with kidney failure. It is a long story, but it is 5 months later and she's been in and out of the hospital 4 times. January was the worst- she was there for 2.5 weeks straight. She was on dialysis, they were talking transplant and she was down to 1% kidney function. I'm happy to say that she's now at 60% function with no transplant. She's still battling it, and will be for a while.

We decided we needed a vacation. And what's the best place to go when you need a vacation? That's right, the happiest place on earth! It will be her first time at WDW where my older two daughters have been twice already.


the cast members of this pre-trip party.
Travel Plans
Where To Stay? Oh, Where To Stay?
Random Babble
Pictures of previous trips - 2005 and 2007
Autograph Books dilemna
Travel Dates Decided
Our Tentative Schedule Somewhat In Progress, Kinda Sorta
More Pre-Trip Shopping
We got ALL OF OUR ADRS!!!!!
Did some PT shopping
Megan as Minnie
Shopping Goodies
__________________
Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR

Last edited by erika412; 11-04-2009 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
erika412
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Posts: 327

The Cast

As promised, the cast..

Our Kidney Princess:

Megan is now 19 months old. She was 15 months when she got sick and will be 2 years 2 months when we go to Walt Disney World. She is also allergic to dairy which makes me a little nervous about our trip. We have stopped eating out as a family since she started eating solids and being more interested in what we were eating. I've read that Disney is great with food allergies but I know I'll have to include a lot of pre-planning for her.

Here's a picture from when she was sick:



And a more recent picture:



The change still amazes me.

I recently got her a Minne Mouse t-shirt at the Disney store and she is so proud when she wears it.

Our middle child is Shannon. She's our drama queen who really does belong on a stage somewhere. She'll be 5 in May and is looking forward to it. She LOVES High School Musical and Hanna Montana. For her birthday, she is telling everyone to get her anything HSM or HM. I have a feeling we are going to be overtaken by stuff.





Mary is our oldest at age 6. She is one months away from finishing up kindergarten at two different schools- two half day programs. She's been in speech therapy since she was 17 months old but is in the normal range for speech now. She also has SPD and is sensory seeking. She loves Disney and is a huge princess fan. The curly hair in the following picture comes from being caught in the rain during a soccer game. How I wish it was like that all the time!




DH is Brian who hadn't been back to Disney since he was a kid until we went for about 5 days a couple of months after we were married. He was a member here on the DISboards first and his account is middlepat.

I am Erika. It wasn't until one of my college friends became a cast member after he graduated and I started to visit him that I started to enjoy Disney as an adult. Sure I liked the movies, the stuff at the Disney Store was cute, but if he hadn't been down there, I'm not sure I'd be as into it as I am. My first few trips as an adult staying offsite were visiting him. Sadly to say, he has recently been let go from a management role after working there for 16 years with the recent layoffs.

Next up: Our Travel Plans
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Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR

Last edited by erika412; 04-25-2009 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:46 AM   #3
erika412
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 327

I found a picture of Brian and me. I'm usually behind the camera taking pictures of our girls so there aren't that many of them out there. It works out since I hate having my picture taken! This was taken last August at a wedding.


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Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
erika412
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Travel plans!

The days we are booking for the trip, including travel, are

November 6-15th.

DH and I go through spurts of traveling often. First, his family lives a 3.5 hour plane ride away (in Canada) and we try to go see them every once in a while. Then of course we enjoy going to WDW. Then my family travels every winter to somewhere warm and we do try to join them as well as often as we can. We also like to do road trips every once in a while.

So, obviously, we aren't strangers to travel. But I do have to say, the more kids we have, the more I hate flying. For some reason, it stresses both of us out. We've dealt with delays - the longest two being 3 hours in the airport a year ago with all three kids, and 3 hours in a plane with a 6 month old baby quite a few years ago. DH's family used to live somewhere where it took us an entire day of travel and 3 planes to get to- more time was spent in the various airports waiting than actually being on our way.

The thought of flying with all three kids and their stuff does not excite me even though it is a pretty quick easy flight once you deal with all the waiting. We live close to O'Hare and it is direct flight. But, that would be 5 tickets we need to buy for potential delays, luggage costs, extra stress, etc.

I think it is the waiting that gets to me. You sit and wait to finally leave. Then you arrive and wait for your bags. Then you go to the Magic Express and wait there to check in. Then you go wait for your bus. Then on your bus you wait to leave. One time we had to wait a half hour on the bus to leave. So, we've decided to drive. The girls are good, little riders and I think they will be ok. I'm actually looking forward to the drive.

We're still talking about how exactly we are going to get there, but we are leaning towards...

53 to 290 to 294 to 57 to 24 to 75 to 429.

We are talking about leaving at 3 in the morning on a Friday but are concerned that it will get us to Atlanta at less than an ideal time.

Ideally, we'd like to do the bulk of the driving on day 1 and stop someplace close to Florida. That would get us to Disney about noon-2pm on Saturday and we'd have 7 day park hoppers starting on that Saturday.

Does that sound good? Any changes you'd make to the route?
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Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
erika412
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Posts: 327

Where to Stay? Oh, Where to Stay?

When DH and I were first tossing around the idea for this trip, we decided we would go back to the POFQ. We loved our last trip there. It was small, not crowded, quaint. Just perfect for us.

We've stayed at All Star Music pre-kids and had decided, finances providing, value resorts would not be a good fit for our family once we had kids.

Our first trip with our oldest two, we stayed at WL. It was perfect- a short boat ride to MK where we spent most of our time. The younger one was napping so DH would take her back for a nap while Mary and I would stay at MK and go on Goofy's barnstormer multiple times.

As much as we loved WL, we didn't want to do a repeat visit there when we planned the next trip. We ended up at POFQ which I said we loved. In chatting, we once again started to wonder if POFQ was a good choice for this trip. There are so many other resorts that we'd like to experience. Then, since there are 5 of us, POR sounded promising. I thought we settled on it... until we started talking about Poly.

Poly seemed great. Monorail access, beautiful resort, great location. We've been talking about it for a couple of weeks now and it seemed like the resort of choice.

Until tonight.

We'll have our car. Does the monorail matter? Does proximity matter? If the baby needs to nap, DH can just drive to wherever with her while I stay with the older two.

So, AKL came up in conversation. And it is sounding more and more appealing.

What to do? Where to stay?

If you're lurking, please come vote on my DH's poll. Or just post here what you think. We're open to all suggestions.
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Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
theweave
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Wow! Kudos to your youngest for surviving (and quite well judging by her recent picture) her kidney failure etc! You have a beautiful family!!!!

I am in on your trip report (okay pre-trip)!

I think you will do fine with your DD's allergies... from what I have heard, they are wonderful with that kind of stuff!
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2009: Offsite
2010: Pop Century!
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:10 PM   #7
erika412
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Thanks Chris!

I hope you're right about the allergies. I've read some conflicting stuff- since she's under 3 I've read we do need to pay for her food to have it more customized for her, then I've read we don't have to pay for it. I do plan on contacting Disney closer to our trip and see what they suggest. Reading here, it seems as if TS is the way to go.

That resort thread that DH started is now making me think Poly again. AKL sounds great, but it might be good when they are all a bit older.
__________________
Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:15 PM   #8
erika412
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Did I mention that we will be at the parks on November 7-13? We found out last night that the 8th is the last day of Jersey Week. I'm not too thrilled about that. But crowd levels go down a lot on the 9th.

So, do we take a chance and keep the same schedule? Or do we shift the day off from school from Friday the 6th to Monday the 16? I don't know. Shifting would have us there on 11/8-11/14. For the kids' school schedule, I really liked taking Friday off and then the next whole week to return to school on Monday. But how bad would switching to the next Monday be?

I did a little shopping today for the trip. I know, it is 6 months away. But in my defense, Shannon has strange little hands that need the aloe version of Wet Ones or they break out horribly. Because of Megan's allergies (she'll break out if you have dairy on your hands and touch her) we wash our hands often. Wet Ones work well when we can't get to a sink- like when we are driving. I can't find the aloe version every time I go shopping so when I saw them today, I went ahead and bought 6 bottles.

I wonder if I could get someone on the DISign forum to make a cute cover for them- Disney wipes or something like that.

I also bought a large tub to store stuff I've bought specifically for the trip. I read someone else did that. I think it is a good idea because knowing me, I'll have one bag of stuff here, another shoved in a closet, another in the van, and another somewhere else. I'm bound to either lose something and have to repurchase it when we get closer to the trip.
__________________
Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR

Last edited by erika412; 04-28-2009 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
erika412
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Because I've been thinking of our last trips there- here are some pictures from September 2005.









And some from January 2007. I was pregnant with Megan at the time.

We were picked by Mickey to have a special tour of his house.













Tired from a day at the parks.
__________________
Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:54 PM   #10
lizet313
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Am in Thanks for all your help with the emails. Your daughters are so beautiful. Megan is such a dtrong baby . I think I am in the same boat when it comes to where to stay. All your pictures are beautiful. Picked by Mickey wow .
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #11
erika412
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Posts: 327

Hi Lizet! No problem, let me know if you need help again.


As I've been reading every thread I possibly can read, I've been copying and pasting things that I found interesting into a text file.

It makes more sense to post it here. Then I can edit or add to this post as necessary. A lot of it might not make sense because it is just random things, but it will help me in planning.

blanket to block sun
little pillow for Megan to sleep
CARES harness
rubber drawer thing for Megan to sit on on plane
notify cc we are traveling
program disney resort/dining in cell
pop up hamper
clear jumbo bag to cover stroller
clear shoe organizer

I buy those thin little wipes- I think they are called Handy-wipes or something. I cut them into smaller pieces and put dish soap on them and leave them on the counter to dry. When they dry I pack them in a ziplock. In the room, just add water and I have a little disposable dish wipe with soap to clean up a sippy cup or a refillable mug. They work great!

sharpie click pens
allergy meds


I make up a bunch of goody bags to bring to dinners:

In a Ziplock bag

1. Printed sheets of coloring pages, go to http://coloringbookfun.com/ and pick your childs favorite disney characters
2. Crayons - Just picked up a four pack on disney themed crayons today at the dollar store.
3. A couple sheets of stickers in disney characters. You can find them at dollar stores, craft stores, etc.
4. Disney figurines or cars from the dollar store. I just went today and they have pooh and princesses. Put one or two in a baggy.
5. Pipe cleaners
6. Little snack (small pack crackers, croutons, goldfish, pretzels) to keep hold them over until their food comes.

glo sticks for night
disney figures

Magic Kingdom - Get a milkshake (ok so its not free but still) at Pinnoccio Village Haus, and check out the cool, dishwasher safe cup it comes in. We use them at home and LOVE THEM
-Get to the MK early, by 8:40 AM, to see the Opening Ceremony. This is not advertised in any of Disney's materials that I've seen--it is a very Disney way to start your day. Also, there are many Streetmosphere characters that wander around Main Street during the day--they are never advertised. One day the Mayor sat down right next to us at Casey's and started talking to us about how he was running for reelection. Many times you will run into the Dapper Dans, riding in the back of the first horse-drawn trolleys of the morning and serenading the passengers.
Bob Jackson – a piano player - does a family friendly show at the Port Orleans Riverside resort in the River Roost lounge. There are sing-alongs, boogie-woogie and ragtime music. You can see his schedule at: http://yehaabob.com/Page5.asp
mousekeeping envelopes
http://www.wdwinsiders.com/character_finder.php

read #405

I'm thinking possibly getting a sketchbook with cardstock pages, customizing the cover, and every other page with Disney stickers. That way, the character knows where to sign... Then the opposite side I'll put a photo of the child with the character. I found an autograph book at the dollar store, but the pages are regular weight paper. The covers are cardboard and sturdy, so I'm playing around with that and seeing if I can doctor it up for cheap.





http://www.wdwinsiders.com/character_finder.php





autograph book
-jolees
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2005132
wdwautographs.com

http://www.wdwinsiders.com/character_finder.php

Poly Fax Number: (407) 824-3174

Also some great info on faxing your requests here:

http://allears.net/acc/cro1.htm

Monistat's Chafing Relief Powder Gel.


Character Breakfasts
1900 Park Avenue
'Ohana Character Breakfast
Tusker House
__________________
Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:01 PM   #12
erika412
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Posts: 327

duplicate post
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Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:48 PM   #13
erika412
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Posts: 327

What to do, what to do...

I can't decide if I want to make autograph books or just buy them. I'm not creative at all. But I keep looking at books other people have made and they are so cute.

I know that some DIsers have shared pages you can print out and bin to make your own book and they are SO cute. Then I know some other people have made them with pictures from previous trips- that would be adorable too. I just don't know.

I'm most worried that if I try it, they will look horrible. Then I'll just buy the Disney version anyway.
__________________
Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
erika412 is offline  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:56 PM   #14
erika412
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Travel Dates Decided

Wow, has it been that long since I checked in here? I haven't done much more planning for the trip.

We have decided a few things for sure. We're leaving here on Friday, November 6th after school. Or we might take the girls a little early from school- maybe 2-3 hours earlier. It will get us through rush hour easier if we plan to take 94 into 65. We're still deciding that.

We're stopping on Friday and Saturday nights with trying to get as close as possible to WDW so on Sunday we can just wake up and head there. Brian is working on a spreadsheet of which parks to hit which day and where to eat at said parks. At first, I did some changing because I do want to spend our first day or so at the MK. TourGuideMike has that a busy day at the MK because it is the last day of Jersey Week, but I think we are going to chance it. We'll be packing up and leaving sometime on the 14th. It makes me sad to even think about now.

We did contact Brenda about Megan's allergies and she sent us some information. I'm feeling very good about this trip and being able to handle her allergies. I usually get nervous dining out - which we've probably only done less than 10 times since she started solids - but it sounds like the Disney Chefs are wonderful. Why should I be surprised?

I still have yet to fill out the forms because they want to know where we will be dining. I did talk to someone via another forum who has done the DDP with a "free" child and liked the deluxe aspect to get a little bit more for the free kid. I have no problem paying extra for Megan's meals because she can't just eat off our plates and we will need to be treated a bit differently.

We have yet to tell the kids. I'm so excited and want to tell them, but I don't know if they could handle a 4 month countdown. I do want to make them the countdown chain and each day rip off a ring- got a really cute one here actually. But I'm a bit afraid of Megan getting a hold of it and just ripping away.

Next Up- our tentative calendar of which park to visit when.
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Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR

Last edited by erika412; 07-10-2009 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:27 PM   #15
erika412
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Posts: 327

ADR ticker

[img]http://www.********************/timers/tickers/cvgusdwgnrvfkt8h.png[/img]

I wanted an ADR ticker because even though Brian has one courtesy of TGM, I wanted to be aware of it too. Our date falls on a time when we will be out of town, but we'll just work around getting that phone call in. Priorities you know.
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Me Middlepat Mary (8) Shannon (7) Megan (3)
1973-1979 (3 times as a kid),
93, 94, 2001 off-site WDW
95 Disneyland
2001 AS Movies
2005 WL
2007 POFQ
2009 Poly
Celebrating Megan's Kidneys TR
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