Mom and ManCub take on the World!! (Updated 8/22/12)

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by SenecaWolf, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

    Joined:
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    Cast of characters (and boy are we characters!)
    Sarah (Me)
    I am disabled due to a car accident I had when I was 16. I lost control of my car on a turn, hit a tree and shattered my pelvis and right hip. I spent 3 months in the hospital and was told I would never walk again and would probably not be able to carry children. I walked out on crutches after 3 months then 4 years later had my first child and 2 years later had my son. The lingering effects of the accident are I have no right hip joint, I caught the MRSA infection in my hip during my initial stay and have since had 8 surgeries to clean it out. I have tried a total hip replacement and it lasted 9 months before MRSA came back and had to have it removed. I am now left with no hip joint so my right leg is about 5 inches shorter and due to years of walking around like that I have ended up with scoliosis. BUT, I refuse to give up and try to do as much as I can!

    Kyler (16)
    Kyler was my first born and I swear I thought that if all babies were as easy as her I would have had a dozen of them! She slept 6 hours straight thru the night by a week old, got her first tooth at 3 months without a fuss, crawled at 6 months and was walking at 10 months, she was content to play by herself and just perfect. Then she started preschool. She started at age 3 for the full day and had many, many incidences involving hitting or other problems with the other children. She didn't want to participate in many group activities and consistently disrupted the class. We made it thru that year but due to renovations at the school both of the 4 year old classes were combined and that's when she really had problems. She made it 2 months in and we were asked to remove her. I started teaching her things at home and in the mean time had her evaluated at a Montessori school when she was just 1 month shy of 5, where her IQ came back as 137 (no surprise, she was scary smart) but her emotional age came back at 46 months. Lots of meetings and evaluations later we learned that she had a sensory processing delay, mild hearing loss and a very slight case of Asperger's . At 16 now, she is aware of things that bother her and has learned how to adjust quite well. She's very responsible (she is the type of Aspie that is all about rules), she's in Regent's courses in high school but in a smaller classroom as she still doesn't handle a lot of overstimulation and she has a plan for college. She LOVES anime, drawing and adores animals. She has played the cello since 5th grade and loves babysitting. We have a great relationship and I love that we're so close.

    Ian (14)
    So remember how I thought I could have a dozen? Then Ian came along...he didn't sleep thru the night until he was 3, teething was a nightmare, he had colic, night terrors and any other thing an infant/toddler could get. I was very grateful when he started preschool with no problems. I feel bad that while they were growing up there were so many times we were dealing with Kyler and her meltdowns or focusing on behavior modification that I felt he was overlooked. We always made sure to have him involved with everything but it just seemed for awhile that time was so unbalanced. He has grown into an amazing young man, he loves music, is helpful and considerate and so fun to talk with! He is highly motivated and loves to talk current events (he loves Yahoo news). He has just recently become a Jr. Firefighter (Explorer) at the fire hall where his dad was a volunteer and is starting high school this fall. He already knows he wants to go to Syracuse University and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for him!

    :angel:About our Guardian Angel, Brent.
    My husband, Brent, passed away suddenly 2 days before Christmas 2006 and 4 days before our first scheduled trip to Disney. I went to a friend's house for a Christmas get together while he stayed home, I had a bit too much to drink so slept it off there. I returned about 7:30 am to find him on the floor in the kitchen. Ian had been awake for almost a half hour terrified because he couldn't wake up his dad, he was only 8. My world collapsed on me, I had never finished my degree, I married when I was 21, I had just turned 31 and had no real work experience. He was the guy who could fix anything, if it was mechanical or electronics, he could do it. He was the Cubmaster for my son's Cub Scout Pack, he was a volunteer firefighter, never missed a little league or soccer game and always received recognition for parental involvement at the kid's school. I fell into a horrible depression and finally after 6 months went to work at a convenience store to try to keep my mind busy. I was there for 4 years but I finally had to stop working because my back and legs just would not let me go on at that rate. I applied for disability on August 3 and was approved by November 18. SO, now that leaves me way to much free time and lots of time to devote to Disney!

    Brent and the kiddos :cloud9:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    ANYWAYS!!!!
    that's enough background...off to the point of this trip!
     
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  3. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    Here's my little family now :)
    [​IMG]

    So we finally made it to Disney in April 2012 for Kyler's sweet 16. I was pretty sure that was going to be the only time we would go BUT, Disney does not let go of you that easily! I was thinking about a return trip before we even left! So, planning away I figure on August 2013, little over a year away, time to save money for a good long trip, sounds good right?

    Not so much...
    Beginning of June, I'm basking in my Disney afterglow (still), driving my kids insane with Disney music and what should come in the mail but a big envelope from Disney Destinations! Hmm, whatever could this be? A PIN for 20% off room only for the month of August! Well, can't let a good PIN go to waste so I start looking around on the Disney site and notice that there is an end of summer offer for 30% off room only. I mention this to Kyler who just looks at me and shakes her head (she does that a lot to me lately) and says "No Mom, we just went." So I jokingly said "Well who said I was going to take you!" Her response "Take the kid, leave me here, have fun." I was like, yeah right, I'm not going without 1/3 of my family to Disney!! But wait...we just did spend a week in Disney in her honor...no no no, can't do it...but...? So I tell her that I can't leave her home alone, she's to young, what will she do, she can't take care of herself! Another head shake, she gets up, comes over to me and says "Mom, people trust me with their children all the time, they pay me to be alone with them, I think I can handle."

    Well...being somewhat improperly put in my place I start to go over it in my head. We could do a quick 3-4 day trip, just me and Ian. I know that Kyler loved Disney but at the same time it's a lot for an Aspie to take in. Remember how I said she had been doing well? First 2 days at Disney were spent dealing with issues and behaviors from her that I hadn't seen in years. Even she noticed it and had a hard time dealing. I think she realized that while she loves the place it's not something she's jumping to do again so soon. She is thrilled to be going back next August though!

    Anyways, in my head I'm figuring ok, she would be ok for a few days, my sister and niece would be over all the time, I just might be able to do this. But then the mom voice in my head screams "You're leaving a child home while you go on vacation!!" I look over at her and ask straight out: "You don't mind if I just took your brother?" Her exasperated answer "Mom, I suggested it! Look, what am I going to do. All I want to do is watch anime on Netflix, draw and listen to my music in peace! I want to be able to play the video games without Ian bugging me, I just want to chill. You realize I probably wouldn't leave the house, just leave me raman noodles, pizza rolls and cereal and I would be fine!! You also do realize that the moment you tell Aunt Mick that I'm going to be home alone that she's going to move right in anyways"

    "So you really don't mind then?"

    "MOM!"


    Next up...I think I'm gonna do it!!
     
  4. NightAngelX

    NightAngelX Would rather be at WDW

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    Great PTR so far! I can't wait to keep reading... *subscribing*
     
  5. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

    Joined:
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    So now that I have made sure at least 3 times that she really is ok with it, I start planning. Where are we going to stay, how long, etc... Obviously the 30% off the room is better than the pin I received so we start there. Yeah so 3 days was out of the question, then 4 days with 1 park per day sounded good. Oh but what about DTD?? 5 days it is!

    First check CBR as that was where we stayed in April. Add in meal plan and 5 day hoppers...Eeek $2000 before airfare :scared1: That just won't do. So next I check out value resorts, heard good things about Pop Century, I love the theming, we'll go with that...$1700, hmm, this isnt looking promising. But, I already have it in my head that we're going so I can't turn back now, that would just crush me! I figure I'll ask Ian where he wants to stay and bring this up to Kyler. She says "No! Why don't you give him the surprise trip he was always going on about!" Hey good idea! He had seen the commercials where kids were surprised by their parents and had always thought that would be a cool idea but he also knows that I am really OCD with trip planning and wouldn't be able to pull it off...so he thinks!

    Thankfully for my own sanity I am able to discuss this all with Kyler and my friends here on the DIS! Bwahahaha, now the secret planning begins. I call on June 6th and book for 4 nights at Pop Century with QS dining and 5 day base tickets: total $1425ish. Estimate about $700 for airfare, I can do this! I figured I didn't really want to waste the short amount of time we have by worrying about getting to ADR's, hence the change to QS. Even so, the kid LOVES breakfast at 'Ohana so I know we have to eat there and since Kyler doesn't care for any of the food in England, we're going to eat at Rose & Crown. I was hoping to get a time around 7:30ish in the hopes to see Illuminations but no such luck. So we'll have dinner at 6pm and linger around WS for a bit before we need to find a spot. No problem getting the 'Ohana breakfast ADR, thank goodness because that boy ate 6 Mickey waffles on top of all the other food there LOL.


    Next up...I hate searching for flights!
     
  6. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    Thanks!!
     
  7. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    More updates coming soon, Ian caught one wicked summer cold, just got his fever down from 103 to 101 :(
     
  8. NightAngelX

    NightAngelX Would rather be at WDW

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    Oh no!!! I hope he feels better soon. My husband and I just got over summer colds we never got fevers!
     
  9. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    Ok, now that the kid is feeling a little better I can continue this :)

    So checking out airline prices is a pain in the rear!! See, if I got all this started a few weeks before, I would have been able to get free dining, 1 day before and I would have been able to book really cheap flights on JetBlue. But, things never work out like that.

    We enjoy flying jetBlue so I checked prices..eek :scared1: Cheapest was $240 one way. On to Southwest, much more reasonable, AirTran, even better. After figuring bag fees, paying for seats, and realizing that I couldn't find a direct flight at the times I wanted, I went back to jetBlue. Resigned myself that I was probably going to pay $800 for airfare so I took a break for a week from the websites before I went crazy.

    In the meantime, I was starting to think finances. I was trying to squeeze this in before school starts, I only have a few things for school clothes bought, this is going to be tight. While browsing the Budget Board I come across the thread about individual YES enrollment. I start playing around with numbers and realize that if I dump the meal plan, I can get 5 day hoppers and room only for about $800. Not to bad...check the available programs and theres a couple that I think Ian would really enjoy. Next morning call Disney, cancel package and switch to 4 night room only! For some reason I waited a couple days on buying the YES tickets. Boy am I glad I did! The Captivating Moments: Images with Impact class was added. Perfect!! Ian LOVES anything multimedia, he wants to major in trans-media at Syracuse, this is perfect!

    All this time I'm still trolling jetBlue and AirTran. Thankfully my constant checking paid off! On the 13th I spotted flights for $110 from BUF to MCO!!!! Oh crap...its for the 25th... Well, considering that the flight the next day was $240 each, and it only cost $106 to add one night I booked it! So our flight comes in at 10:15pm, that will give us a FULL day on the 26th! Even after adding a night, I saved money due to the flights!! Things are going pretty good so far!! Oh yeah, checking that same flight today, its up to $315!


    Up next:
    Oh yeah, we have to get home!
     
  10. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    So by now I have been constantly trolling jetBlue and Rose & Crown's reservations sites. I really want to try to leave Disney as late as possible but I also want a direct flight. There is a 4:20pm direct for $280 but there is also a 7 PM flight out for $320. The downside to the 7pm flight (other than the cost) is there is only a 45 minute layover, I need to preboard due to my disability and it's at JFK. There's no conceiveable way I can imagine doing this. Well darn, I would have loved to have left the parks by 3pm!!

    I give up on flights for the moment and go back to stalking an ADR at Rose & Crown that's closer to Illuminations. I have been trying for days with no luck but by now it's gotten to be habit. Here we go, select day, select time, number of people, click search, close win....whoa! Wait a sec! Is that for real?

    This restaurant has availability at the following times :
    7:40PM


    Holy cow I don't think I've ever clicked the Make Reservation button so fast!

    So now I am all happy because I will get to see Illuminations from a decent viewing area and if we're lucky a little pixie dust will come our way and we'll be seated outside. If not, I am still overjoyed with this :goodvibes

    I am getting so excited now, the problem is...it's only June 19th. How on earth am I going to keep quiet about this? Argh!

    Well, later that evening I resume my jetBlue ritual. The direct flight at 4:20PM is down to $205!!! Booked that one too!!! So now plane tickets are purchased, YES tickets are purchased and half of the room is paid for!!! Happy dance time!

    Room - $535
    Tix - $364
    Flight - $630
    Grand total: - $1529 :cheer2:


    Up Next: Feeding a teenage boy on a budget!
     
  11. NightAngelX

    NightAngelX Would rather be at WDW

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    Great job finding awesome flights! Those are great deals!

    When exactly do you plan on telling your son? The day you leave? The night before? Are you going to video tape it? You should have your daughter tape it. :thumbsup2
     
  12. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    Well the plan is to have my sister pick us all up under the idea that we're all going to dinner. Instead of taking the exit to the restaurant we're going to the next exit for the airport. Kyler is going to give him the letter I made along with a Mickey Mouse t-shirt I had bought him (WalMart $3!!!). I will be doing my best to video it and it will definitely be in my trip report.
     
  13. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    Oh my oh my where have 3 weeks gone??? I only hope that my trip doesn't go by this fast! Anyways, we left off on managing to feed the boy. It has gotten much more complicated than I had thought.

    For the past 18 months Ian has been having some pretty severe digestive issues. He's been thru 2 endoscopy/colonoscopies and they finally found that he has an intestinal disaccharidase deficiency, mainly Lactase, Sucrase and Maltase. Maltase being the most severe, lactase the least. This means that so far we have to really limit almost everything that contains starches/sugars. High fructose corn syrup and maltose are the main things we have to avoid.

    Until I started reading labels I never realized how many things are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup!! Thankfully he has never cared for sodas and juices, he has ALWAYS loved water so that's on thing not to worry about. What we do have to watch is candy. So far I've managed to find some sweets and foods in the organic and gluten free areas that he can tolerate and seem not to give him problems but oh my are they more expensive than what I am used to paying! Over $5 for a box of pop tarts is not something I enjoy :crazy2:.

    I'm just not looking forward to restricting him when we're at Disney :( He LOVED the school bread in Norway, went crazy over the caramel store in Germany and thought he died and went to heaven at Goofy's Candy Co. *sigh* This is going to be rough. I'm hoping he won't notice the gluten free mickey waffles! I'm curious as to what kind of syrup he will be able to have....Needless to say it is all going to be very interesting. :scratchin

    Anyways, we're 3 days from our trip, and I have managed to keep it secret still!!! I almost slipped up last week but was able to recover and babble on about something else. Fortunately for me he had a few friends over so I doubt he even heard me to begin with :lmao:

    Last week I shipped off a box of his special cereals, the aforementioned gold encrusted pop tarts :lmao: and some fruit snacks he can eat. Also sent our toiletries, phone and tablet chargers, reusable water bottles and swimming clothes. It should have arrived today, I have yet to check the tracking lol.

    All in all I managed to get everything else packed into 1 single carry on. The only other item I will have is my tablet, which the case will have all our paperwork, IDs etc... Friday we're going to finish up school shopping and I'm going to sneak the suitcase over to my sisters. I'm really hoping this hurricane leaves us alone next week but if not then so be it! I have extra ponchos and don't care about getting wet!!

    Thanks everyone for reading along, next will be the trip report which will start out with the video of the 'reveal'!
     
  14. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    Oooh almost forgot...Have to post this pic. The left side is when Ian was 8 years old playing around in his dad's turnout gear. The right side is from a few weeks ago in his own gear. I'm so proud of him!!!

    [​IMG]
     

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