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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Disasters and Diabetes

You may have heard about the storms that blew through the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) area the day after Christmas. At least 9 confirmed tornadoes killed 11 people.  One tornado was determined to be an EF4.  Pretty scary stuff.

While the city we live in wasn't affected, a neighbourhood where my husband's friend and co-worker lived was obliterated.  The friend (who I'll refer to as "I"), lost everything; his house was destroyed.  "I", his wife, and their 5-year-old twin boys survived the tornado by hiding in a closet.
"I"'s house the day before
Events like these always bring the stark reality of our situation to my mind.  What would happen to Elise if our house was destroyed by a storm like this? What would we do for supplies?  How do we prepare ourselves so we're not scrambling to make sure we have what we need to take care of her?

I'll be the first to admit we are not prepared in the slightest.  I do have a bag of a few things in our "tornado room".  For those who don't live in tornado country, you want to be in a room that has no exterior walls or windows, and is on the lowest level of your house. I used to have everything in there; strips, pods, extra meters, glucagon... the works.  I had a reminder set up on my phone to rotate out the supplies every few months so they wouldn't expire.

And after awhile, I got tired of it.  So I took all the supplies that expire out, telling myself that I'd have enough time to get what I need in case we were ever in a situation where we had to take cover.

Fred went to visit "I" the other day, to take him some food and check in on him.  He was amazed at the huge path of destruction the tornado had left.  "I" was at his house, surveying the damage and trying to determine what, if anything was salvageable.


What used to be the living room
He told Fred a chilling story; his wife and kids were already in the closet when "I" went to look outside.  He saw the funnel cloud and took off running to the closet.  Not 30 seconds later, it hit.  The winds were so strong, it even blew open the door of the closet. He could hear glass shattering.  Then, 10 seconds later, it was all over.  
After the tornado
Half a minute is not a lot of time, especially in a panicked state of mind.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have time to run to the fridge to grab the insulin, let alone anything else, and get to the closet in time to be safe.

And if I'm being brutally honest, there have been times where I've completely ignored the tornado sirens going off.  Usually I'll turn on the news to see what they're saying, then take a look outside. Apparently I fancy myself quite the meteorologist.

That's not to say I'm always so stupid. Last month ago we were having a pretty wicked storm in the middle of the night.  Around 3 am, the sirens went off.  A quick peek outside the window confirmed an eerily green-looking sky, so we scooped up the kids and ran to the closet. Side note: waking small children to huddle in a cramped closet at 3 am is about as fun as counting carbs at a Chinese buffet).  In the end, we were fine, but we did see some damage to surrounding neighbourhoods the next day.


Storm from last month
So what about you?  Are you prepared?  Do you have a "go bag"? It's not just for those of us who have to worry about tornadoes... What about earthquakes? Fires? Hurricanes? Zombies? Land Sharks? Zombie Land Sharks?  Okay, maybe I made some of those up.

You can bet that I've decided to change my ways and make sure my family is prepared.  Hopefully I'll do a follow up post to show you what I came up with.

Many thanks to "I" and his family for letting me share their story.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The song beneath the song

In this post I wrote a few months ago, I talked about all the things we do to try and get diabetes to behave that outsiders don't see, and how exhausting it can get.

When you look at the graphs below, you think, "hey!  Not bad.  Those are some pretty good after breakfast and lunch numbers!'



And you know what?  They are. But what we've been dealing with over the past week is anything but nice.

Strep.  High fever.  Ketones.  BGs in the 400-500 range.  Antibiotics. Blah.

Over the past week, through trial and error, I've discovered that we can hold off those high BGs by bolusing her for double what she eats (so if she has 50g of carbs, I bolus for 100g).  And starting at 1:00 pm, I run a 50% temp basal (so her basal + half for non-podders) for the rest of the day.

The result is today's decent looking graphs.  But the back story on those pretty numbers contains a lot of fear.



It's scary because at dinner, when she eats her most carbs, I am dumping a tonne of insulin into her.  Just before she goes to bed.  

Just before we go to bed.

Actually, I'm chicken when it comes to dinner and don't bolus x2.  Last night I bolused for 140g when she ate 80g and she STILL hovered around 350 until we did multiple corrections.

On this last day of World Diabetes Awareness Month, I wish that people would get what a double-edged sword insulin can be.  Yes, it saves my daughters life.  She cannot live without it.  But it can also take her life if I don't tread carefully.

It's a pretty frightening dance and I'm trying my hardest to sense when diabetes is changing the beat on me.

Even 7 years later, I'm still learning the moves to this dance.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Today

***This is a re-post of a blog I wrote 3 years ago.  It's just as true today as it was then.



This is my daughter, Elise.  She is 8 years old. She loves to play soccer.  Paint and draw.  Read.  She loves to dance and sing.  Making her little brothers laugh. The colour green.  Roller-coasters and waterslides.  She's a girly-girl with a tough side... the absolute best of both worlds. 



She makes me laugh.  Loves everyone she's ever met. Blows me away with how smart she is.  She has the innate ability to drive me bananas, but at the same time; I am so very proud the be her Mom.  And today, she makes me thankful.

Without today, Elise would not be alive.  If it wasn't for today, I would have had to say goodbye to my first-born over 7 years ago.  If today had never happened, this would be one of the last pictures I have of my daughter...


During a month that is supposed to be filled with thanks, I am most thankful for today, November 14.

Because on this day, in 1891, a baby boy was born in a small farm house in Ontario, Canada.   He would grow up and make an astonishing discovery that would save my daughter's life 119 years later.  Not just the life of my daughter, but the lives of countless others too. 

Because in addition to everything I wrote about her above, Elise also has type 1 diabetes.  Her body NEEDS insulin to survive, but no longer produces it. 



It was nothing she did. Or didn't do.

Nothing she ate. Or didn't eat.

There is no cure.  No special diet.  No secret spice.  There isn't a bark that grows on a tree that can be brewed into a tea.

But there is insulin.

Today, I don't have to watch my daughter literally starve to death because of a faulty pancreas.  And that is why I am thankful for today, the birthday of Dr. Fredrick Banting; inventor of insulin. 

He saved my daughter's life.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Lucky Ones

We live in a country where we have access to the latest and greatest diabetes technology.

We are some of the lucky ones.

My husband has a job that provides us with health insurance.

We are some of the lucky ones.

We're able to afford a CGM and necessary supplies for our daughter.

We are some of the lucky ones.

If we ever ran out of any of our supplies, we have a whole community to turn to for help.

We are some of the lucky ones.

Our support team of doctors and nurses are pretty amazing.

We are some of the lucky ones.

Insulin is readily available to us.

We are some of the lucky ones.

My daughter's diabetes was caught very early on and we didn't have to suffer through the horror and agony of DKA or the PICU.

We are some of the lucky ones.

We have access to people that will help my daughter through the emotional toll diabetes can take.

We are some of the lucky ones.

For us, diabetes is not a death sentence.

We are some of the lucky ones.

As hard as diabetes is, I always have to remind myself of the people who are not as fortunate as we are.  For people in developing countries, diabetes can be a death sentence, and that's why I'm thankful for the work the International Diabetes Federation does through the Life For a Child Programme. And while I am all about supporting those who are working to find a cure or ways to make life with diabetes easier, we can't forget those who barely have access to the medicine they need to live.  IDF is currently helping over 17,000 children and youth with diabetes in 46 countries by providing supplies and education.  Please go to their website to donate or find out more about them.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nine. Times.

It was 1:45pm on Monday when I started this post.  As of 10 minutes ago, I have been on the phone with our school nurse 9 times.  Nine. Times.



The first call was around 8:00 this morning, only 15 minutes after school started.  The reason?  Elise was low. I honestly can't remember the number because there are so many from today, but she was below 100.  Only an hour after eating.

Even though I changed basals and I:C ratios (so she'd get less insulin), she only topped out at 120 after breakfast.

The rest of the day so far has followed suit.  Low after low after low.  In fact, I'm expecting a call soon, since my watch is telling me she's dropping.  Again.

All those spikes you see were from the many, many carbs consumed.
But she always came right back down
Now it's Tuesday, about 24 hours later.  I never finished the post yesterday because... well, life.  And again, I've been on the phone with the nurse nine times.  Including one phone call where Elise was 51 in P.E.

As much as this sucks, I am very thankful we have probably the rocking-est (is this a word?  No?  I care not) school nurse in the history of ever.  We are the lucky ones.  I have heard from so many parents how care at school is a battle, the nurse isn't helpful, and things being done to their child are downright illegal.  

We are contemplating moving to another state.  I am unfamiliar with the laws and unsure of the protections that exist for Elise there.  I do know that right now we live in one of the best states when it comes to protecting our kiddos with T1.  

It shouldn't be this way.  There are so many struggles when it comes to diabetes; finding an endo you gel with, getting the supplies you need, insurance battles... the list goes on.  I'm lucky that when I send Elise off to school, I know she's in amazing hands.  Not everybody has this and it hurts my heart for them.

This month, I am thankful for so much.  But after what we've been dealing with over the last few days, our nurse is at one of the top spots on my list.  If you have a good one, make she she/he knows it.  If you don't... well I'd be shouting that from the rooftops too.

And I think a certain nurse will be getting a "just-because-you're-awesome" gift tomorrow.

Second verse, same as the first... but worse lows this time

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My new job title

Conversation with Elise yesterday:

E: S told me that his mom is an art teacher.  I told S that you are a diabetes teacher.

The hours suck, and so does the pay.  There's no time off and the work itself makes you crazy.

But there's nobody else I'd rather work for.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Watch me meme

Awhile back, I was asked if I'd like to contribute a meme to the T1 Everyday Magic website in honour of World Diabetes Awareness Month.  After looking up what a meme was (I kid!), I agonized  over what my submission would look like... should it be funny? Mention poison cookies? Should the humour be subtle, yet sprinkled with sarcasm?  

Click here to find out, and to see some other great memes from some pretty cool DOC peeps.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A witch, a ninja, and Dusty walk into a bar...

Under the influence of candy and the trick-or-treating hasn't even started yet.


These blood sugars are brought to you by hours of running around and over 30g of uncovered Halloween treats.


And what you don't see?  The continued lows all night; including a 72 at 10:00 pm, a 62 at 1:15 am, and a 64 at 5:30 am.  Thank goodness we're all stocked up on sugar here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

National World Diabetes Awareness Month



Before you use diabetes as a joke or a punchline, think about Elise, and the millions of children and adults like her who struggle everyday with the burden of diabetes.

She did not cause this.
She won't outgrow it.
There is no cure.
It is 24/7/365.

And if you can eat something, then so can she.

Monday, October 26, 2015

I want my $1!

In light of what's been going on around here with diabetes, I decided to try and have some fun with it.  We try to avoid using words like good/bad when it comes to blood sugars, but I've heard of some people doing this and thought it was worth a shot.

For every 100 that pops up on the meter, Elise gets $1.  It's not for having  a "good" number, it's just for fun.

Some people have told me that it's bad to mix BG numbers and rewards, but I've told Elise this is not a reward, but a fun game we can play.  So far, she's enjoying it.  And that's all that matters.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Sometimes...

Things have been rough lately.  Diabetes has been a big, stupid jerkface, and Elise is collapsing under the burden of it all.

The other day we had a meltdown of epic proportions. My heard was breaking because I couldn't fix it.  She's hurting down to the depths of her soul and I can't do anything about it. It was haunting to listen to.

She's right... Diabetes is awful.  And horrible.  And not fair.  She's right to ask, "why me?"

But what, as parents, can we do about it?  We can hold their hands. ease the burden in any way possible, validate that their feelings about diabetes are okay (though I've had some argue with me about this.  That's another post for another day), and love them as best we can.

But there is no tangible way to help.  And that's the kicker.

I went to bed that night with a shadow resting over my heart.  I replayed her sobs in my head, feeling like an utter failure.

It's my fault she has this.

My fault her numbers have been erratic lately.

My fault because nothing I do fixes them.

My fault because by now, I should know what to do.

The next morning I awoke with a renewed determination.  First and foremost I wanted Elise to know how proud I am of her.  And how she constantly amazes me with her strength.  And even though diabetes is hard, she is bigger and better than it, and it won't beat her.

So I wrote it down in a note and tucked it into her lunch bag.  Usually I write her jokes, but that day she needed more than a laugh.

There were quite a few calls from the nurse that day (because of the erratic numbers), and I could always hear her in the background; she sounded in good spirits. Usually multiple nurse visits cause major grumpiness.

When she got home, she bounced off the bus to meet me and gave me a big hug when we got in the house.  Then she said this:

"You know that note you wrote me?  Thank you.  It made me smile.  I also read it to M (other girl n her grade with d), and it made her smile and happy too.  And then we talked about how hard diabetes is.  Can I keep the note forever and look at it when I need to?"

With that, she showed me exactly why I wrote the note.  Because it's true.  All of it; she's amazing, and brave.  Strong and a fighter. There are days when diabetes will get her... but she'll prevail in the end.  I know it.

And sometimes... even though I feel like a failure when it comes to diabetes, it's nice to know that I can get it right.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Feeling low?

What do you do when you find boxes and boxes of Jelly Beans in the clearance bin at your grocery store?


You buy as many as possible.

And then text your fellow D-Moms in the area to alert them to the booty of low treasure that awaits them for just 45 cents a box.

It's the small things people...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I guess it's really over...

Almost two months after FFL was over, my last piece of the conference I was trying to hold onto fell off.


And now I'm sad.  Again.

(This post was written a few weeks ago, but never published. I still felt the need to share)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tap Tap... is this blog still on?

Hello.

I'm still here. Well, sort of. 

Somebody really needs to build an app so my post ideas will go directly from my brain to the blog.  Scratch that... I might start to sound as crazy as I actually am.

Every year, the end of August and beginning on September around here cause me to temporarily lose my mind.  Mostly because, in the span of two weeks, we experience the following:

  • Setting up our 504 plan
  • Meet the Teacher
  • Home visits from the boys' teachers
  • Back-to-school for Elise
  • My birthday
  • Elise's birthday
  • Elise's diaversary
  • Mattias's birthday
  • A birthday party for Elise and Mattias
  • Back-to-school for the boys.
This year we added selling a house, our wonderful dog Seven passing away, and the death of a fellow D-mom.

I had more cake and did more crying during those two weeks than I care to admit.

I have lots to share... even if you're not particularly interested. But not right now.  

Right now I think now it's time for some cuteness, however random it may be:
Birthday pinata
Cheering on our team
Fun at the park while trying not to melt in the heat
She's 8!  How did that happen???
I love to snuggle this guy... even when it's 105 degrees out
These 3... they exude awesomeness 

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Trifecta

Her pump wasn't working, her sensor fell off and her BG was 409.  Time for a pump change, sensor change and a shot.

Around here, that's what is known as "The Trifecta".  Thankfully it doesn't come along very often.

Monday, August 10, 2015

What lies beneath

It was reward for a season well-played.  Elise's soccer coach promised that if the girls won all three of their playoff games that day, next week he would treat them to ice cream after the game. So win they did.

Cue 7 year old girls squealing.

Cue inward groans from one mom.

Don't get me wrong... I'd be crazy to be against ice cream.  It's just...

The game was around dinner  time... we'd have to do ice cream first, then dinner.

Trying to make sure her BG stays pretty good during the game is hard enough, now I have to make sure she's at a decent enough number to have a treat after the game?

Let's not forget how crazy her BG can run after games.  Adding ice cream just doubles the fun!

Of course, no matter what, Elise was going to be included.  Even if her BG was 400, she would get her ice cream.  The hard part is that nobody (but you guys) gets what a crazy, mind-crushing, hold-your-breath-and-hope-the-stars-align freaking tightrope we as parents walk in that situation.

Two hours before game: BG is 220.  You want to correct, but not too much so she isn't low at game time.

Check her BG before game: 170.  Hold your breath as you hope the exercise plus IOB doesn't crash her.  

Watch during the game as the dex meanders a line between 190 and 210.  You want it to go lower.  Hope it doesn't go higher.

See her check her pod on her leg after she makes a save in goal and kicks the ball away. Make a mental note to ask what that was about later.

Game is over. Finger poke shows 203.  Bolus for 20g and head to the ice cream shop with the team.

All these decisions we must make, the internal dialogue... nobody gets it (again, present company excluded). It's exhausting.

So off we went to the ice cream shop.  Elise's cone was at least double what I had bolused for.  So I bolused some more.  One of the moms watching commented about the PDM, "Cool!  It's like a remote!"

After the ice cream was consumed, we left to find dinner.  We stopped at a restaurant, but due to behavioral issues, we decided to leave.  

But honestly, it was the 360 double arrows up that was the real reason. Elise's BG was skyrocketing and we didn't know why.  We found out soon enough.

Remember Elise checking her pod during the game?  Something had hit her leg and jostled the pod, resulting in the cannula coming out.  By the time we got home, almost three hours had elapsed, Elise had eaten about 50g of carbs and received no insulin.

What's the point of this post?  It's what people see vs. what they don't see.  They see me check Elise, give insulin, give carbs and we all live happily ever after. Simple... like using a remote.

What they didn't see was the 509 on the meter.  The ketones. The stomach pain.  The crying. The shot. The pod change. The bacon and yellow pepper she ate for dinner at 9:30 because her BG was still so high. The worried discussion on just how much insulin to give her. After all, it was bedtime.

It. Is. Exhausting.

Why do I wish others could see what lies beneath?  I don't know.  I don't.  I just wish they could get what freaking rock stars our children are.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

All my rants are belong to you

I'm feeling sort of ranty.  And a little bit stabby. And like playing hide and seek with my kids... Me as the hider, tucked away somewhere they can't find me with a bottle of wine. And some chocolate.

It's hot here people and cabin fever is setting in.  Did you know it's going to be 108 next Monday?

Hence the stabby.

Anyway... something making me particularly crazy lately is diabetes for many reasons.  So here is my list of D-things making my butt itch today:

1. Why the freaking hell does our supply company cover up the expiration dates on Elise's test strips with their prescription label?  Don't they know I have this weird need to organize our supply cupboard by date?  The only way I can figure out the date is to RIP OPEN EACH AND EVERY BOX.  Kill Me.  Kill me now.
 



2. Elise's pump settings are broken.  And I don't know how to fix them.  Everything I do makes it worse.  We did some basal testing yesterday and it showed me her basals are too high.  We tried to test some more today, but multiple corrections haven't gotten her back into range to start the testing.  It's almost dinner time and the poor girl still hasn't eaten lunch.

3. Our last two dex sensors have been waaaaaaay off. Like, 100 points at times off. A call into dex had the guy lecturing me that the dex is not FDA approved for the arm... blah, blah, blah.  Never mind the fact that it's the ONLY place we put her sensors and has been for the last three years. And just now the problem arises...

4. Elise just came and showed me this.



So instead of finishing my rant, I'm off to change her pod.  After which, all my other rants will have disappeared into the vast recesses of my brain; never to be remembered again.

So I'm dropping the mic and walking off the stage.  


BOOM.

*in case the title of this post makes you think I've gone crazy, read this.  The title really has no meaning.  It just made me giggle.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Team Elise Time!

It's hard to believe, but in just a few months Team Elise will be participating it its 8th JDRF walk here in Dallas.  I can still remembering almost falling apart when I took Elise to the walk only two weeks after she had been diagnosed.
The first Team Elise walk... she was so little!

Fast forward to seven years later and Team Elise has participated in 20 walks in 5 cities across 4 countries and 3 continents. How cool is that?

Team Elise Toronto 2015

This year the shirt colour is purple (picked by Elise because it is my favourite colour - how sweet!), and if you live in the metroplex, we would love it if you would join us on September 26... and get a super cute shirt for free!


And if you just so happen to be in Lisbon, Portugal on that day, you can join our friend Tiago.  If you click here, you will be taken to our Team Elise website. You can then click "join" and that will give you all the details on how to join our team.


That time we went to Portugal and walked with over 200 people... all of whom were there for Elise

If you don't live in the area but would like to support us, there are two different ways: 


  1. You can donate to the Bionic Pancreas by going to: www.bu.edu/alumni-forms/forms/eng/damiano/ (please enter "Team Elise" in the Comments/Questions section).
  2.  Or you can donate to the JDRF by going to www2.jdrf.org/goto/teamelise (click on Donate).
We are so thankful for all the support we've received throughout the years. Thank you to everyone who is helping us turn Type 1 into Type None.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Anniversaries are supposed to be happy

We've never really celebrated Elise's diaversary. Not for lack of wanting to, but because it comes two days after her birthday, the day before Mattias's birthday, a week after mine, plus it's mashed in there with school starting. There's just a lot going on in a span of a few weeks.

We always acknowledge it; praise Elise for how brave she is, talk about how far we've come, and how thankful we are for discoveries and technology.  The day is bittersweet, because it is not only the day our lives irrevocably changed, but also the day our daughter's life was saved.

Today marks a year since we lost Nicolas.  I have been dreading its coming for weeks, because slowly I was being transported back to a time of such intense bleakness and pain, I was afraid I would never emerge.

How to you acknowledge the passing of a life you never knew, except for the 17 weeks you carried him?  One that you loved from the moment you discovered he existed, but you never got to tell him? A life you've always wanted, but was never meant to be? 

Today he would be almost 7 months old.  Learning to crawl.  Discovering solid foods.  He would have attended his first FFL with us.

Just like with Elise's diagnosis, I get mired down in the "what ifs". And it's a dangerous spiral.  So just like with Elise, I want to try and look towards hope.

I know where he is.  I know I will see him again.  I know that he is not in pain and will never have to suffer the sadness of this world.

And I am thankful to the kind friends who have already reached out today.  Remembering that my son was here and will always be a part of my family. Acknowledging that his life had meaning.

It is this hope that will get me through.  And knowing that if Nicolas cannot be in my arms, then resting in the arms of Jesus is not a bad place at all to be.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

FFL 2015... was it worth it?

Due to mountains of laundry, a sick kid, Blogger eating my first post, and me not wanting to admit that FLL 2015 was over, this post has taken awhile to write.  But here it is, in all it's bullet-pointed glory.
  • Don't congratulate yourself on the foresight of planning your flights around your little one's nap time.  Because even though you may (or may not) have given him lunch, followed by a benadryl chaser, he will choose NOT to nap during his regularly scheduled time.  In fact, he will finally fall asleep just as the plane lands.  And then shriek at you when you wake him up as you get off the plane.
  • Forgetting a suitcase at home sucks.  Forgetting the suitcase that has all the diapers at home really sucks.
  • Thankfully, you have awesome friends (for life), that will drive you to Target. And put up with you as you scan every item with your cartwheel app.
  • Are we the only family that brings one suitcase solely dedicated to food?
  • Watching fireworks from the comfort of your hotel and not have to be in a crowd of people is the best.
  • I love it when registration finally opens and people start wearing their green or orange bracelets.  There is nothing like looking at someone and not having to say a word.  The "me too" echoes back loud and clear.
  • I didn't get any pictures, but my kids (and Fred) love to hang out at Sports Central whenever it is open. Thanks to all the great staff that make it happen!
  • I love meeting a friend that lives in my computer for the first time in real life.  I had no idea that Denise, Mom of Bean was going to be there, but I'm glad we got to meet.
  • Florida in July is stupid hot.  That's why even I will go to the pool.
  • I know this is only our third year at FFL, but going there makes me feel like I'm home, and the people make me feel like I'm with family.
  • Let's not forget how awesome it is to have someone else carb count the food for you!
  • One of Elise's favourite things every year is the Exhibit Hall, and the SWAG.  There were some fun booths this year! Unfortunately I can't really tell you about them because I spent most of my time chasing children around the hall.  And losing them. 

  • Sundaes from Ghirardelli are always a good idea.  Blood sugars be damned.

  • I loved seeing some of me old favourite presenters (Joe Solo), and some new-to-me peeps (the Osers). I did miss the Stress Management session though... I can always use some mediation.
  • I love these guys and all they are doing to make the Bionic Pancreas a reality.
  • Speaking of which, I was in the session where they unveiled the iLet (hee), and the collective gasp of delight from 300+ people was amazing. I just might have teared up a little.  Or a lot. Plus it was fun to see Elise's picture in the slides during the presentation... couldn't have picked a cuter poster child.  Just my opinion!
  • I got to hold it!
  • The banquet and dance was fun and I loved shaking my booty with my little girl on the dance floor.
  • Loved seeing Elsa with a green bracelet!
  • Dexcom threw a fun movie night for the kids.  They got soft comfy blankets to lie on (and keep!) as well as popcorn (5 kinds!) and drinks.  And of course, ice cream after the movie.  
  • Of course there's the breakfast with the characters before the CWD day at the Magic Kingdom.

  • Disney is NOT the happiest place on earth.  In fact, I think I met some of the most miserable people ever there.  I was afraid one guy was going to take a swing at me.  Nevertheless, as much as I don't like Disney, I love seeing it through the eyes of my kids.  I love that THEY love it.  And that's enough for me.

  • Did I mention Florida in July is stupid hot?
  • What do you do when you bolus your child for a Dole Whip float, and she takes one sip and decides she doesn't like it?  You get her some ice cream.  And what do you do when half that ice cream falls off the stick and onto the ground?  You buy her a churro.  Thankfully there is no shortage of carbs at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Elise spent most of her day at the MK low. At one point we were searching for some lemonade and we went to the Pinocchio Haus. We asked a guy if they had lemonade, and he asked fresh or frozen?  Elise wanted frozen, so he told us to sit down.  A few minutes later he brought a try with three frozen lemonades, and two bottles of water.  When we asked how to pay, he replied, "it's the magic of Disney".
  • We spent part of our time at MK with another FFL family Elise and their daughter H had so much fun together.  And H's parents were fun for us to hang with too! Nothing like another D-family to have your back when you're dealing with Disney and BG craziness!
  • If my husband ever keeps my two older kids at the MK until 2:00 am, I will kill him.  Or seriously maim him.  Especially when we have to get up at 7:30 the next morning.  And fly home later that day.
  • Best Disney picture ever
So... Is FFL worth it?  It is.  Every child-tantruming, over-priced food, sleep-deprived, burst-into-flame hot, BG rollercoaster, friend-making, I-got-your-back, me-tooing, same-same moment of it.  Try it for yourself and see. 

See you in 353 days.