Sunday, March 06, 2005


283 Days of Treatment to Go

For the record, I’m not dragging out these Make-A-Wish journal entries because I think you guys have nothing better to do than visit our site and check in every day (even though I have nothing better to do than check out the guestbook every day!) Truth be told, I took so many photos that I want to share with you that if I loaded all of them up in a single journal entry, I’d cripple Geocities entirely. And, you’d get plain sick of looking at my kids. So I hope by spreading it out over a couple of entries, you won’t be so tired of us that you stop visiting our site!

We began the second day of our trip with me in full "Type-A-Control-Freak-Trip-Planner" mode. Every single “Planning your Disney Vacation” book that I begged, borrowed or stole all said to arrive at the parks at least an hour before opening and by gosh, I’m a rule-follower if ever there was one. So we woke the kids at 6:30 (really, what were we thinking??? Is that *any* way to start a vacation?) and headed to Animal Kingdom.

Blaine and I were in our usual respective positions of driver and navigator, aka Mr. I Don’t Need to Stop and Ask Directions and Mrs. Oh My God Pull Over and Let Me Get Behind the Wheel Myself! I knew the day was off to a bad start when he squinted at a street sign up ahead and asked, “Is that where I turn, honey? Steven Dwarfs Avenue?” Come on, how can I NOT make fun of a guy who obviously needed new bifocals for his birthday last month and doesn’t realize that none of the dwarfs were named Steven?

Anyway, we arrived at the park an hour ahead, just like the travel books suggested. I told the kids that because we were with Give Kids the World, we wouldn’t have to wait in any lines …. they took this literally and were quite upset we weren’t allowed in the main gates at this time, but had to wait with the other thousands of Animal Kingdom groupies who apparently read the same books as me, who also hoped to be the first in the park.

"Kendrie, posing for her first photo of the day at Animal Kingdom"

I want to mention that this outfit you see on Kendrie is one she selected herself. I argued with her for ten minutes that morning that she needed to wear tennis shoes and in fact, carried them around the park all day assuming her feet would get sore and boy, “she’d thank me then!” But of course they didn’t, she didn’t, and she wore these boots every day of the vacation. Whatever.

We rode the safari ride that morning which we liked a lot, and saw the Festival of the Lion King Show, which we loved. By lunch, though, the kids had fought over who got to sit in the strollers (never mind we had two strollers and that Brayden and Kellen, at ages 8 and 6, are a little too big for them anyway!); fought over who got to sit where on the rides, and in the shows, and who got to push the strollers when they weren’t riding in them. Something tells me that Blaine and I lost control of the vacation this very morning, by not squelching their little argumentative personalities right from the start!

Those parks are big, I am out of shape, and those strollers are heavy! By lunch, I was hot, tired, and ready for a break. I had made reservations at the Rainforest Café, which I thought the kids would get a kick out of. We’ve never lived anywhere near one, and I just knew that although expensive for lunch, it would be worth it. By this point, considering they had managed to fight all morning, over any- and everything, I thought it might even be soothing balm needed to help heal the festering blister that had become my kids’ moods.

So as we’re walking in, I’m oohing and aahing over the décor, animals, “thunderstorm” show; telling my kids, “See? Didn’t I tell you this was going to be neat? Isn’t Mommy fabulous for getting us reservations at an awesome place like this????” and feeling all proud of myself and Kendrie looked at me, wrinkled her nose and said, “It smells funny in here.”

After lunch, we went to the Tree of Life and watched Flik's 3D Bug Adventure --- which I discovered too late that if you have a child with you who really freaks out in the dark and doesn't like it, especially when the screen "spits" at you and "bugs" run aound your chair, well, there's no real way out of there! Let's just say I wound up with a crying child on my lap whose head was buried in my shoulder.

Next, we went over to the Dino-land part of the park and let the kids play on a neat play-land and ride a few rides. Then, in an episode that would come to exemplify our entire vacation, we went to the “Dinosaur” ride and Kendrie, although technically tall enough, wasn’t so sure about it. She’s not too keen on being in the dark (see above Bugs Life comment) and although she had the courage to walk in, she balked at the last minute and didn’t want to go. That’s fine, I certainly don’t want to traumatize the poor child at the age of 5, (again, with the Bugs Life episode!) so I told Blaine to take the older two and Kendrie and I would wait out front.

Well, if you’ve never been to Disney, some marketing genius had the brilliant idea to have every “theme” ride empty into a gift shop, conveniently filled with t-shirts and key chains and stuffed animals and all other kinds of “must-have” items. Disney probably makes millions this way. We were waiting for them to get off the Dinosaur ride, and Kendrie asked for a dinosaur book. I said no, and she started in with, “But it’s not fair that they got to ride the ride … I wanted to ride that roller coaster earlier and I wasn’t tall enough and now this ride was too scary and I’m not getting to do anything!” (pout, pout, whine, whine) So I’m thinking to myself, “You know, she’s right. She is too short for a lot of these things and it’s only a few dollars. If it makes her happy, well, this trip *is* supposed to be about her, right?” and bought her the book. Brayden and Kellen get off the ride and naturally, were upset that I didn’t buy THEM anything, so I said, “Fine, find something you like and you can have a souvenier, too” and then Kendrie starts in with, “But if they get to buy something then I get to buy something else!” and Brayden says, “No Fair! How come she gets TWO things???” and I’m sitting back wondering how have I managed to raise the three most greedy, selfish children on the planet without even realizing it???

Anyway, we finished the day with the afternoon parade and a few runs down the Kali River Rapids, which were lots of fun. I was never so smug about the dollar-store rain ponchos I bought for the trip as I was that afternoon.

Then it was back to the village for the evening activity, a pool party with Shamu and other creatures from Sea World. Kellen got over his initial disappointment that Bubbles was unable to join us (I thought Bubbles was the name of Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee???) and he and Brayden and Kendrie limbo’d and hula-hooped the night away. It was really a lot of fun, as were all the activities at GKTW.

OK --- that’s all I’m going to put about the trip for now but I promise to finish up before the end of the week. I’m sure you’re all anxious for me to move on to the other pressing, interesting matters in my life that I write about on a regular basis --- like, …. well, ….. um, ...... wow, maybe I should drag this Make-A-Wish update out as long as possible!

First, though, I want to tell you about an initiative that Saturn Automotive is offering in an effort to help the National Bone Marrow Foundation. As you might or might not know, there are nowhere near enough people signed up to be bone marrow donors on the registry. You need only go to Taylor’s site and read the difficulty she had finding a donor to realize this is a serious problem. Unfortunately, getting signed up as a bone marrow donor isn’t as easy as checking “donor” on your drivers license (which I’m sure **ALL** of you have done also, right?????) I received an e-mail with the following information in it and want to share it with all of you in hopes if we can get the word out, we can help make this initiative a success. Here is a portion of the e-mail I received; I hope you will all visit the site and do what you can to help!

“Anyway.....Saturn is offering a wonderful promotion to help the Marrow Foundation. They are red wristbands in the style of Live Strong bands. People go to Saturn's site, and they can get two free wristbands. Proceeds from this promotion will go to The Marrow Foundation to help cover the costs of tissue typing new volunteers for the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. If people log on to the Saturn Web site (see below) between March 3 and March 8, they can order two FREE wristbands, and Saturn will contribute $.50 for each one ordered to The Marrow Foundation. According to Trevor's page, Saturn has made 69,000 wristbands available for this purpose with a potential value of $34,500 to The Marrow Foundation!:

Isn't that awesome? Here is the link!
Saturn Wristbands for Bone Marrow

I just ordered mine and the process is very easy! I thought perhaps you might want to mention it to your many readers and pass the word along before March 8th.”

As of right now, I have three bracelets that I never take off my left wrist … my yellow Live Strong band, my green Cure Search band, and of course, the one, the only, the original Julianna Banana Pink Wish Bracelet. I plan to add my red marrow band as soon as it arrives in the mail!

Hope you all had a great weekend; Kendrie played hard and is pooped. Her “boyfriend” Nicholas came over to play today and I think she’s worn out from chasing him all over the yard. I’m not sure if she’d know what to do with him if she caught him, but she sure thinks he’s cute! Maybe the fact she is so tired is why when it came time for meds tonight, the exact same meds she’s been taking every night since last August, she hid in the closet and wouldn’t come out???? Let me just say that Blaine did NOT see the humor in that!

Take care,

My parents just don’t seem to realize that I get tired of taking all this medicine! Bactrim, 6mp, steroids, methotrexate --- every time I turn around they’re coming at me with a vial, or a syringe, or a spoonful of applesauce. Enough, already!

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: Woo-hoo! Mom got our Camp Sunshine stuff in the mail. Hey, all you out there in Caringbridge Land --- who else is going in April??!

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