Sloan takes over the world! Our pre-WISH-trip report! (Dream Factory)

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by momma_mouse, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. momma_mouse

    momma_mouse Mouseketeer

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    I'll start off by introducing you to the cast of characters.

    I'm Ashley, AKA Momma. I'm 26 and currently working part time at a daycare down the road. Up until 5 weeks ago, I had not worked a day since February 2003, right after I found out I was pregnant with DD #1. I loved being a stay at home mom, but finally decided it would be best for everyone, both emotionally and financially, if we all got out of the house a few days a a week, interacted with others our age and made a few bucks to show for it.

    I went on my first WDW vacation when I was 5. That was just the start of an obsession. We went again when I was 10, 15, 17, Most recently, after 9 long years of no Disney, we finally were able to scrounge up the money and go on "our" first vacation. It was just my husband and DD #1 and I. We loved celebrating Ireland's 6th birthday (with free dining no less) in such a magical place.

    Here is a picture of Ireland and I. (Thanks to my wonderful Mom for the awesome Snow White custom! We had an outfit for everyday. Unfortunately, there will be none of that this trip. She doesn't have enough time and I don't have enough money. Clearance Disney store shirts it is!!)

    Who can tell me where this picture was taken? Anyone?!?

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    Next is my husband of 7 years, (we will celebrate #8 during this trip!) Shawn AKA Daddy. We met on the internet back in October 2001. We were married by January 2002! He's 31 and an over the road truck driver. He's gone most of the time. We are fortunate that he gets to come home most weekends, but for a trucker, a weekend is generally around 36 hours, give or take a few. None of us really like living the trucker's (or trucker's family) life, but it pays the bills and puts food on the table. After a couple of rough years, numerous lay offs and job changes and 2 rounds of unemployment, one lasting 6 months, we're just grateful he has a job.

    Shawn's only been to WDW once. He always wanted to go as a child, but his parents always planned vacations they wanted (which normally revolved around French/Indian war encampments they partcipated in) without regard to any input from Shawn. His first trip was just a few months ago! He loved it and was planning our next one before we even left! Disney sucked him right in!!! I almost forgot, as an only child with older parents, DH often found ways to occupy himself. One such was teaching himself how to do the Goofy laugh. He still loves Goofy and still does the laugh. And yes, he had his picture taken with Goofy!!

    [​IMG]

    Next there is Ireland. She's our 6 year old. She's in kindy this year. (She was more than ready last year, but missed the birthday cut off by 13 crummy days.) She's never met a stranger...ever. She's super smart, outgoing, a great big sister and a wonderful daughter. She loves Hannah Montana and all things princess, but her favorite is Aurora. Ariel comes in a close second. She alos loves Mary Poppins.

    Ireland's first trip was just a few months ago. She had been wanting to go for several years and we had been trying (Heck, we had been trying since a few months after we got married, but the money was just never there.) without any luck. Then after my brother and SIL went on there honeymoon to WDW in May, it's all she talked about. In turn, it became all I talked about. Finally, after many failed attempts, we made it happen! Ireland loved celebrating her 6th birthday at Disney. (Technically we were there a month before her birthday, but she didn't care.) Free dining made it that much better. Her favorite meal, hands down, was eating with the princesses in Norway. Runner up for best character meal was 1900 Park Fare.

    My princess with "the" princess!!

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    And just because I love this picture....even a princess needs her beauty sleep!

    [​IMG]

    Now to Sloan, but more often than not, he is referred to as Sloaner. He's our wish kid. Sloan is 3 and is the sweetest most loving child you will ever meet. He has a very sensitive side as well. The best part about Sloan is that he almost always has a smile on his face and everyone he runs into comments on that. I'll get into why he was granted a Wish later on so stay tuned.

    Sloan has never been to Disney World. We decided to leave the 2 youngest behind when we went in September. We wanted to make this trip all about Ireland. With the kids being so close together (At one time, I had 3 kids 3 1/2 and under.) she really doesn't remember it being just us. She doesn't remember all the one on one time I spent with her, the things we did, places we went, etc. I wanted her to get to experience that again. This was her trip. We were also afraid of how well Sloan would be ableto handle everything. Again, I'll share more about that later. But, back on track now, Sloan hasn't ever been, but loves all things Disney. Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Handy Manny, Cars, Toy Story, Finding Nemo...you name it! He's been talking about Disney World a lot lately (Normally I would say the WDW commercials are evil, but in this case...Thanks Disney!!!) I really didn't think he would use his wish on a trip there though. I hoped he would, but was thinking he would want something more along the lines of a toy or something. Especially since he's been scoping out a few things in the Christmas Wish Book lately. Imagine my shock when he said he wanted to go to Disney World! Besides Disney, he also has a huge interest in fire trucks. I would love to incorporate the Main Street Fire Department fire truck into his wish somehow, but I'm not sure how possible that is.

    Here are a couple of pictures of Sloan from my brother and SIL's wedding. I'll post more when I tell you all about him later.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Last but not least is Cambell. She was quite the suprise :eek: coming along just 372 days after Sloan, :blush: but we can't imagine our lives without her. She was the best baby ever (I always commented that she had no choice!) and to this day is such a wonderful child. She's 2 and has the best personality. She can be so funny at times, but other times soooo serious, just to crack up a minute later. She loves her Ireland and Sloan to pieces and wants to do everything they do. Cambell doesn't really have a favorite character. She seems to love all things Disney. She knows the theme songs to pretty much every Playhouse Disney show even though she has speech/language delays as well as a couple of other developmental delays. She wakes up every morning asking to watch Handy Manny or Mickey Mouse.

    Just like Sloan, this will be Cambell's first trip as well. I'm a bit worried about how things will go during the week with her (she asks to take a nap everyday...same goes for bedtime...sometimes as early as 6 or 6:30) but we will make it work.

    Here are a couple of pictures of our sweet baby girl! (also from brother's wedding) These just give you a glimpse to her serious as well as funny side.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here are a few more random pics I thought I would share.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here is a very sweet moment that I was very thankful my cousin was able to capture.

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    I missed most of this as I was inside helping with my niece, but apparantly Shawn had to go take pictures with the wedding party. Sloan was upset that he couldn't go with his Daddy.

    [​IMG]

    Ireland, being the great big sister that she is ran to the rescuse. I can so here her now..."It's okay, buddy."

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    She proceeded to pick him up (Keep in mind at the time he weighed only about 6 -8 pounds less than she did!) and carry him to Daddy.

    [​IMG]

    Go ahead...I know you want to....AWWWW!!!!! :love:

    It's past my bedtime so I'm going to wrap this up. I'll try to move on to more about Sloan and what lead up to him being granted his dream very soon so stay tuned.
     
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  3. momma_mouse

    momma_mouse Mouseketeer

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    So I left off with the cast of characters. Now for the details...

    After submitting our application to the Dream Factory I asked Sloan if he could get anything, go anywhere, do anything, what would he want. He told me he wanted to "go to Disney World and see Mickey and Goofy. Goofy's going to give me a kiss." So when the Dream Factory volunteer came over (just a short 2 weeks from when I submitted the app) and asked him what he wanted, he told her he wanted to go to Disney World. She immediately started telling us what all would be available to him. She left some papers for us to sign and told us to come up with some dates. A week later I got the papers to her and called her with out dates. Only a week later (last week) she called me to let me know everything was booked. We will stay in a hotel in Nashville the night before we fly out. Our flight leaves at 8 am on January 23rd. We'll get a rental car when we arrive in Orlando where we will be staying at Give Kids the World. We'll be there for 6 days and 7 nights. We know we're for sure using the 3 day park hopper to Disney as well as the Sea World ticket. We're not sure about Universal at this point. We'll figure that out later on. We're super excited and can't wait. Everytime we watch a Disney movie and Sloan sees the fireworks over the castle in the begining he starts screaming "I want to go there! I want to go there!" I think we're going to make a countdown chain this weekend so he can have a visual of how far away our trip is.

    Coming up next...What led up to Sloan's wish trip...
     
  4. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    The picture is outside of the bathrooms at Akershush, right?

    Your kids are so adorable!! I was awwwwwing at the pictures of Ireland comforting Sloan! Your trip is coming up soon! How exciting!

    Your mom is a Disboutiquer and she didn't even know it! :rotfl: Ireland's Disney outfits are beautiful!

    You need to put a link to your PTR in your signature so we can find it easier!
     
  5. Momofwishkid

    Momofwishkid DIS Veteran

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    Wow, Im so happy Sloan is getting him wish and everything seems to be coming together so fast. :cool1: The pics are wonderful and your kids are just adorable!
    I would let Maroo know you started a PTR so she can add it the the wish thread so more people can find you and follow along. (if you havent that is)
     
  6. yinyanggirls

    yinyanggirls DIS Veteran

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    I hear you on the job thing. It took DH 8 years of marriage before he found his dream job, which thankfully also pays the bills. We feel very grateful in this economy that his is secure and we are doing okay. Even with long hours and less family time, it all works out in the end.

    And I agree, total AWWWWW moment. :cloud9:

    I can't believe how fast they set this up for you! At least you don't have to wait long!
     
  7. pipersmom

    pipersmom DIS Veteran

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    I just found your thread, how awesome! The kids are all sooo cute..I can't wait to hear more. Everything has come together so fast for you guys, that's so great.
     
  8. dvc at last !

    dvc at last ! DVC Member 2006!

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    Beautiful family !

    AWWWWWWWWWWW !

    :cool1:
     
  9. maroo

    maroo DIS Veteran

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    AWWWWW!!!!!!!!

    They are PRECIOUS!!!

    What a precious family.

    Looks like some folks found ya, but I am going to link you guys on the wish trippers thread, too! :)
     
  10. kdzbear

    kdzbear DIS Veteran

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    Your kids are so cute! I think the third child is the charm. Hayley is my youngest and she is just happy to be alive. We just came back from our Wish trip and Hayley would just sleep in the stroller if she got tired. Kids are pretty resilient. I think you will have a wonderful time with low crowd levels. I can't wait to hear how the planning goes! :wizard:
     
  11. cantwaittoseemickey

    cantwaittoseemickey DIS Veteran

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    What adorable sweeties! I am so excited for you all! We are a Wish Tripper as well and are still learning. Looking forward to going on this journey with you. Your trip sure came together fast. That is Awsome!!!
     
  12. momma_mouse

    momma_mouse Mouseketeer

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    Sorry I haven't been back on here. Our weekend has been incredibly busy.

    I don't even have a lot of time right now. I just wanted to let you know I haven't forgot and will update more later.
     
  13. AlternateEgo

    AlternateEgo Missing the House of the Mouse

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    Can't wait to read more. Your children are adorable!
     
  14. momma_mouse

    momma_mouse Mouseketeer

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    Sorry I haven't posted anymore. It's been one thing after another between problems with Sloan's school, illnesses, etc I haven't had much time to get on here. At one point I had typed out a big long intro about Sloan and what led up to our trip...and my computer froze and I lost it all. :headache:

    Anyway, I just wanted to update that Sloan got an envelope in the mail from GKTW today! Things are starting to seem more real now. Only 3 1/2 weeks! :cool1: I'm excited and nervous but can't wait!

    Alos, our going away party is going to be next Friday. There is another family heading to Disney so they are combining our parties. We're having pizza and there will be characters there. Things are happening so quick!
     
  15. pnutallergymom

    pnutallergymom Mouseketeer

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    Have a great time!! Excited to hear about your send off party and the rest of your planning!!!!:banana:
     
  16. pipersmom

    pipersmom DIS Veteran

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    Very cool that your party is coming up so soon! Can't wait to hear all about it! I'm sorry you've been having to deal with illness..maybe they're just trying to get being sick out the way before Disney!
     
  17. yinyanggirls

    yinyanggirls DIS Veteran

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    I bet that GKTW envelope really makes it real!
     
  18. kdzbear

    kdzbear DIS Veteran

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    Wow! Your party and your trip are coming up so quick. Let me know if I can answer any Disney questions for you! :wizard: Just enjoy the last few weeks of planning!
     
  19. Momofwishkid

    Momofwishkid DIS Veteran

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    Wow it's getting so close for you guys! That is so exciting getting your info from GKTW. Cant wait to hear about your going away party.
     
  20. momma_mouse

    momma_mouse Mouseketeer

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    We're actually not planning much at all this time. We just went in September (only took oldest DD) and we had everything planned out. We ran ourselves ragged. This time we're going to go with the flow. Well, that could change when we find out how much spending money we're getting (a couple of table service meals would be nice--we got spoiled with free dining). We will see.
     
  21. momma_mouse

    momma_mouse Mouseketeer

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    Finally, I have a chance to sit down and add some more to this. Between Christmas, bugs being passed around and working wuite a bit, I haven't had much chance for anything. I only work afternoons this week (3:30 until 5:30 or 6) so hopefully I will get some things done this week. Unfortunately, Sloan's home sick today. He's been running a fever all weekend. It got up to 104 Saturday night. Because of the fever, his blood sugars are awful. Hopefully he'll be over this in a couple of days and hopefully no one else will get it. This is the 2nd time he has had it in a month.

    Anyway, on with our PTR. I left of with the cast of characters, but never got into why Sloan was granted a wish.

    Sloan is our very planned for second child. His pregnancy was so different from my first. I first felt him move at around 10 weeks. By 12 he was full on kicking me. I went into pre-term labor at 31 weeks. After numerous days in the hospital and a couple different times on magensium, I opted to stop trying to prevent labor and was air lifted 4 hours away. Guess what...nothing ever happenend. I went home still pregnant 3 days later. Sloan decided, 3 weeks early, it was time to make his appearance, cord around his neck and all. He was 7 pounds 15 ounces. Those steroid shots didn't just help his lungs grow...he obviously did, too!

    Besides some seriously bad reflux and getting rubes put in his ears at a year old, everything seemed prefect with him. I began to notice some delays when he was around 16 motnhs old, but brushed them off. I had him evaluated at 23 months finally. He had a severe speech delay so we started speech therapy. Within 6 months more things were noticed and he started occupational therapy as well. More and more delays and quirks were becoming apparant and when he was not quite 3 he was sent to for a full developmental evaluation. He was dignosed as DD-NOS (developmentally delayed-not otherwise specified). He also has some anxiety and a little OCD. He started preschool not long after, but we're still fighting to get him the therapy he needs. This summer we took him for private occupational therapy, just as our previous OT (through the states early intervention program) had though, Sloan also has sensory integration disorder.

    Then, back in October, I started noticing Sloan was eating and drinking a lot. I chalked it up to a growth spurt, after all, he hadn't had one in a while. his "growth spurt" continued despite the fact that he was not growing. During fall break, things got out of control. He would eat all day long. He was up all night long. He would completely soak through his night time pull ups in 30 minutes. I washed so many sheets that week I had to start laying towels on his bed. Finally it clicked and I knew what was going on. I checked his blood sugar one night....the meter read "HI" and I figured it was off for whatever reason. The next morning I checked mine to make sure it was working right...it was. So I went in and checked Sloan's. At this point he had been fasting about 12 hours. His blood sugar was 368. I checked mine again. The meter was working fine. Crap! I called the doctors office and basically demanded an appoitment. We were in the office within the hour and as soon as he stepped on the scales I knew. He had lost 5 pounds in a month, despite the massive amounts of food he had been eating. His urine had sugar in it and he was starting to spill ketones. They drew blood for a hemaglobin A1c...his was 8.6 which meant his blood sugar average for the past 3 months was over 200.

    After dirving nearly 4 hours to a not so nearby children's hospital, Sloan was admitted through the ER where he got his first insulin shot. We were told we were very lucky. Had we waited another 12 or so hours, Sloan would have been very sick. I'm so glad I trusted my gut.

    He was moved upstairs to a room around midnight. Bright and early the next morning education started. We had a lot to learn. Since we picked up on everything so quick and Sloan was doing so well, we were released from the hospital that evening.

    We ended up having a rough couple of weeks due to the type of insulin he was put on and we switched providers. He is now going to a wonderful children's diabetes clinic a little closer to home. (2 1/2 hours away instead of almost 4) Up until a couple of weeks ago, we had appoitments every 2 weeks. Most of it was education for me. Sloan's doing pretty well. His blood sugar is checked on average 4-6 times a day. (But when he is sick, like now, that can go up to 10-12 very easily.) He gets 4 shots of insulin a day, unless there is a party at school or he wants to eat a little extra at snack, then he gets an extra one. He is dealing with it all very well.

    So, a week or so after we got home from the hospital, I was googling around looking up information about type 1 diabetes and other things. Somehow during that, I ended up reading something about Dream Factory and I ended up checking out their website. When I read that they grant wishes for kids who have chronic illnesses, I knew I had to nominate Sloan. He has so much stacked up against him, but yet ALWAYS has a smile on his face. He deals with everything so well and I wanted him be rewarded for that. Within a couple of weeks a volunteer was at the house asking Sloan what he wanted. He said, "I want to see Mickey and Goofy! Goofy's going to give me a kiss!" And with that, his wish was granted. The rest as they say...is history!



     

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