Can speak food in German
Oct 25, 2000
Part 1 – Pre-trip

Cast of Characters

Me – Amy, mom & DW, HUGE Disney planner
Alex – indulgent DH and step-dad to
Caitlin – 13 year old DD

Woo hoo! We’re going to Disney World! I keep going around the office saying, “Nanner, nanner, nanner.” I am great fun to work with, they don’t REALLY hate me—I’m just particularly annoying right now.

Our trip requires some background. Well, I don’t want to go TOO far back, but about 4 years ago, Caitlin’s dad and I got divorced. He thought it was ok to have a girlfriend as well as a wife, and well, I just didn’t really go along with that. The reason this is important will become clear, believe me—I know y’all don’t want my whole life story here. At that time, we were all living in New Mexico, but our families lived in Michigan (which, if you knew my MIL, you’d agree was an EXCELLENT idea). During the divorce, MIL got very ill and my dad was also in and out of the hospital. My ex told me he wanted to move back to Michigan and would I consider doing the same (since we were both constantly flying back and forth at that time). Alex and I were together at this point—I talked to him about it and he agreed that he’d like a change so we made arrangements to quit our jobs and move to Michigan. Now, my ex’s little chippy threw a hissy fit and said she was NOT going to move here. Well, our plans were already made, so Alex, Caitlin, and I moved here and have been loving being around the family ever since. It worked out particularly well since my dad had a stroke right after Christmas last year and passed away in March. We were able to spend a lot of time with him before that and Cait really got to know her grandfather.

Caitlin always spends most of the summer and all holiday breaks with her dad--which is fine, it gives Alex & I a little quality time and she always loves, Loves, LOVES me when she comes home. She’s 13, this is a BIG deal to me. I know this may be hard to believe, but most of the time, I am totally uncool. This fall, she entered 7th grade and started hanging out with some new kids. Now anyone who has ever been a 13 year old girl (it’s hazy, but I vaguely remember it!) knows that there is really no meaner creature on the planet. Unless maybe it’s a 14 year old girl. She got into some problems with this crowd and just before Christmas, we had the sobbing and door slamming and everybody hates me thing going on. Really a great way to get into that holiday spirit, if you know what I mean. I felt for her, I really did—we moms always want to kick the behind of anyone who is mean to our babies.

Her dad was really pushing her to move back to New Mexico with him. So a day before she was supposed to come home, I got a phone call from her saying that she wanted to stay there and go to school for the rest of the year. I made him bring her home so I could talk to her in person, but there was really no reasoning with her. She was sobbing, I was sobbing—we were a big ole mess. The one part that made me feel better was that she kept saying, “Mom, it’s not you—I swear, you’re the one thing I don’t want to leave.” I finally gave in and let her go even though it broke my heart—with one condition. I had already planned this big trip to WDW and I was NOT rebooking it. Her dad HAD to get her down to Orlando on 2/27 or she wasn’t going out there at all.

Now Alex has just been wonderful throughout this whole thing. He always is—Caitlin and I both just adore this man. This is a man who will get into bed before me at night and lie on my side of the bed until I get there so I won’t have to get into a cold bed. Be prepared for the future trip reports, Alex stories are always kind of nauseating to people who don’t have a guy like this in their life. I’m a lucky girl and I know it!

We went to New Mexico for the MLK weekend in January to visit her. Luckily, just before she left, I had broken down and bought cell phones for the two of us with unlimited nationwide calls—so we talk on the phone every day. She’s not having a great time—she’s gone from being an only child to being one of 5 girls. She has 3 stepsisters and a half sister. Her dad and stepmom are not very nice to her. She called me last weekend and told me she wanted to come home. Right now. Today. Come and get me, Mom. I explained that if she came home right then, she wouldn’t be able to go to school for 2 weeks, then take a week off to go to WDW. It would be better if she waited, then we could put her back in school the Monday after we got back.

Since then she’s been waffling back and forth—she wants to come home, but she doesn’t want to hurt her dad’s feelings. I have a roundtrip ticket from Michigan to Orlando that I really have to do SOMETHING with soon. Change to one-way, cash it in, something! I’m ok with her staying till the end of the school year, if that’s what she wants. I know she’ll come back here for school next year and plus, she could spend the whole summer at home.

On top of all this stress, Alex’s house in New Mexico has sold and he decided it would be swell to start house hunting. I found a house I just adore last weekend. We’ve decided to wait till we get back to put a bid on it—if it’s meant to be, we’ll get it.

So—we leave one week from today! We’ll meet Cait at the Orlando airport for 8 days at the Dolphin. And the thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing my baby.

I’ll post the real trip reports right after we get back!


Dec 28, 1999
a good pre trip and I feel for you.........Hope this all works out and The DOLPHIN is fantastic.......thanks for giving us a pre family update


DIS Veteran
Aug 13, 2003
I can relate on a whole lot of levels. My DH is my boys step-dad, and what a great one he is. My DH also has 2 kids (14 & 8 yo girls), who we barely see 4 days a month, and they only live 1 hour away. This is the main reason for this trip. DH's daughters are cheering at Nationals, and we thought this would be a fun "family" vacation.

Started planning back in August. The ORIGINAL plan was for the girls to fly with their team (and mother) to the competition, stay with the team until the end of the competition, and then stay with us for 6 extra days. Well, the 14yo was a big "NO WAY", not even a chance she was doing that. The 8yo we had HIGH hopes for, maybe in a way too high. For 6 weeks she went back and forth of yes she was staying with us, no she wanted to go right home. In the end, sadly, neither of the girls are staying with us.

So we are making the best of it. We are obviously still going, I ordered the girls cookies by design baskets to be delivered to their hotel, will spend the day at the cheer comeptition, but alas, that's about it. Not even sure we'll get to see them.

I know that my boys and I will have a great time. I'm hoping DH won't be too upset thinking about the great time his girl's could be having with us, but in the end all will be fine.

Have a great trip, and maybe I'll run into you!


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Jan 14, 2003
Can't wait to read more. Alex sounds like such a great guy.


Can speak food in German
Oct 25, 2000
Thanks for all the nice comments. It's been a difficult situation, but we'll get through it. I'm really looking forward to this trip.

Sweetpea--I'm so sorry that you're going through a version of this as well. When families go through a divorce, it is so important for the parents to attempt to get along. Even though my ex makes me crazy when he disappoints Cait, I stick up for him. Alex says I deserve an Academy Award some days! When she doesn't want to visit him, I insist that she needs to spend time with her dad and she usually has a good time.

I hope that your DH's girls come around. I'm sure it must be disappointing for him, but those girls will know that they had the chance to spend more time with him and it was their choice not to take advantage of that. It will mean a lot to them that your family made the effort to come see them in competition.

Big hugs to you and best wishes for a great trip.


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