February 22, 2009

I Walked 1,467,286 Steps

which = 73364 calories burned. Luckily, I only consumed 71,000 -- so that math works for me. But during our fun filled week at Disney we didn't count any numbers. Not $$, not calories, not steps, not how many times I took Sadie to the bathroom, not time. It was carefree in every way.
We hit all the parks while we were there, but hands down, our favorite was Magic Kingdom. Alan and I decided that the attraction to walking ratio there is much more in our favor, and we could just take the boat over from our hotel.

The fun always starts at Dumbo:

There were several moments that had me laughing to the point of tears. The first was Bridger's first experience on a merry-go-round. He thought it was fun to sit on a horse like the other kids and wrap his fists around the shiny gold post. Then. . . it started moving. Clearly something he hadn't anticipated. We always thought that God had blessed him with 1001 facial expressions to make up for his lack of speech, and this ride evoked about 38 of them. At first he was very distressed, which morphed into mild concern, then lastly the look of thrill. It was precious!

This one only produced one facial expression from Bridger -- and from me -- nausea. I never do well on the teacups. We let Lance be in charge of the wheel and considering the weight load of our cup, he could really get that thing spinning:

A fun, girly thrill was the surprise reservation I made for the girls at the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique. A princess salon in the middle of Cinderella's castle where they get doted upon by "fairy godmothers in-training" covering them in polishes, glosses, glitters, jewels and a princess coif of their choosing. The girls ate up every minute of this and at least 100 of the 365 pictures I took were here. Lance patiently put up with this in exchange for a bag of cotton candy. He was sure to be seated in the lobby, as far away from the boutique as possible. The girls were also thrilled that they put enough shellac in their hair to hold these 'dos for several days!

Animal Kingdom was the kid's second favorite. We all loved the Nemo show and the neighboring aquarium. The absolute highlight was the Lion King show. Lance, Eva and Sadie were each selected from the audience to participate. They felt like stars! It was a particular relief that Sadie was selected as she was fresh from her extreme sisterly-jealousy-meltdown of the previous day at the Laugh Factory at Magic Kingdom where Eva had been selected to participate, with her cute little face on the large theater screen talking to the audience. As we exited the attraction you heard little children saying, "Look mom - there's EVA!!!" She felt like a celebrity for a few moments. All the while Sadie was sobbing that she wanted to be on camera.

I lost count how many times we rode Buzz Lightyear:

An absolute highlight of our week was the special pass Disney gave our family because of Bridger. This golden ticket let us use an alternate entrance for Bridger and his wheelchair and bypass all of the lines in every attraction. On the last few days of our visit the park had gotten quite crowded and every line was about an hour long. For us, it was always about a 45 second wait. At first we felt a like we were cheating in some way, but after a couple days of this, it was a delightful perk. It was the first time in 2 years that my life with Bridger was just a little easier. Managing all of those trips to the grocery store with a child who can't sit, going to the doctor every day for the last two months, the hundreds of piles of vomit laundry I have done from the strain a g-tube puts on his system. . . no, the guilt of passing by all of those other moms waiting in those long lines with their typical two-year-olds quickly faded as I felt, just for a week, a little boost to get me through the complicated days that would soon come again.

That golden ticket was so beneficial when we met the characters. It was always at least an hour long wait to meet them. But meeting the characters was the moment I came to tears. I would have thought that Bridger would have been either scared or indifferent to them. When we met Mickey and his friends, however, Bridger was screaming with delight, practically jumping out of his chair. I have never seen him more animated or excited. Each character would bend down and interact with just him for a little while. He was clasping his hands with delight and VERY upset when we left them. I considered devoting a whole post to the character meet-and-greets because his face in each of the pictures is priceless.

While Pooh was kneeling next to Bridger, he discovered that if he knocked really hard on his yellow, fuzzy head, that it would make a very loud thunking sound. He thought that was such a crack up and just kept knocking and laughing. I'm sure that Pooh's real head was ringing, but he pretended like he thought it was silly too.

Lance is still dreaming of the 24/7 free soda at our hotel, Eva is still protecting the last speck of polish left over on one of her fingers, Sadie is still talking about the super-fast roller coaster she went on (with the extra fluffy hair we made for her, she just passed the height restriction), and Bridger still gets excited when you say the word "Mickey". Alan and I are ready for a relaxing vacation next!