Tuesday -- October 30th
Today Maddie starts her scans again. She has her bone scans, Xrays, MRI and pet scans today and Thursday. We're not scheduled to meet with the Dr.'s to review the results until the 8th of November, but hopefully we will hear more as the week progresses. We all have butterflies in our stomach, but like Mamma says, it's ok to have butterflies as long as they stay in formation. Keep us in your prayers!
Sunday -- October 28th
We're home. We got home late Wednesday night. We didn't want to leave! It was a great time and I don't even know where to start...
The beautiful black limo arrived Thursday morning and that was a HUGE deal for the kids! They immediately ran outside and hopped in, despite the fact that the car was 30 minutes early. They all claimed their seats and who got to control what buttons. I apologized in advance to our driver, Bill, for the ride he was about to go on! Lights on, lights off, windows up, windows down, divider window up, divider window down, t.v on, t.v off...
Everyone was so excited to get on the plane. Again, everyone claimed their seats. Of course, nobody stayed in them! We played musical chairs the whole flight!
When we landed in Florida, we were greeted by a rep for Give Kids The World. She showed us to the rental car and off we went. Everything was so organized. All we had to worry about was not losing a kid in the airport.
Give Kids The World Village is the coolest place we have ever been to! It was like a life sized Candy Land game that we were dropped into. Cobblestone streets, a Gingerbread House where all the meals were served, a carousel, a mini golf course, 2 pools, an arcade, a movie theater, an enchanted castle (where Maddie got to make a gold star that hangs on the ceiling with thousands of others forever), an all you can eat ice cream parlor, pizza deliveries, treat carts driving around, talking garbage cans, snoring trees, and little lizards running around everywhere! There were about 200 little cottages, all a little different on the outside, but the same inside. The Mayor of the Village was a Rabbit, Mayor Clayton. It was amazing!
We were given the run through on our little cottage, #208, and lastly instructed never to touch any of the animals. You mean like the lizard William's holding out front by its tail!?
Every morning, gifts were delivered to our house for each of the kids. I actually had to go to the Super Walmart, right up the street, and buy two new suitcases to get everything home! I must say, the Walmart was a highlight for me! Puts our Walmarts to shame! They had everything! I could've just shopped at Walmart all week!
There was so much to do and squeeze into our days. I'll try to summarize it, but first I have to mention how incredibly special we were treated at the parks. We all wore our Make A Wish buttons and Maddie had an additional button. We were put at the front of the lines for every ride without even having to ask. Not having to stand in line allowed us to get to do so much more in less time.
We went to the Magic Kingdom, MGM, Animal Kingdom and Universal. We didn't have time to go to Epcot or Sea World, which for me was very disappointing, as I had planned on sending Ernie for a very special, once in a lifetime swim in the shark tank at Sea World. Oh well...
William and Thomas really had very little interest in going to any of the parks. They wanted to stay at the Village! So, Ernie and I took turns staying at the Village or going to the parks.
First stop was Magic Kingdom. We all went. We loaded up with water bottles, the wheel chair and the tandem stroller they supplied us with. Stroller sounded great, right? Well, nobody would get in it, but I had to push it through the park all day anyway. We went on a few rides and then the highlight was Space Mountain.
I went on it with Michael, Maddie and William. William was terrified! I was in the car behind him and I was so afraid he'd panic and try to climb out! He was so happy he did it!
I think the highlight for William and Thomas was the talking, roving garbage can. They followed it around and had a conversation with it. William asked me if we could build one when we got home. I'll add that to my To Do List.
MGM was fun. We all went but Ernie and the boys left within the first 30 minutes. Before they left, Michael took Ernie on the Tower Of Terror. Maddie and William were so scared for them and so afraid they weren't going to come out alive, that they both started crying, begging Ernie and Michael not to go on! Well, they went on a ride they'll never forget! They were both so terrified and Michael could barely breath!
Next Michael made me go on the Rockin' Roller Coaster. You go from 0-60mph in just over 2 seconds! I never go on roller coasters, but felt badly that nobody would go on with him, so I went! Huge mistake! I truly was never more terrified in my life! We have pictures from both of those rides that we'll have to scan and post. They show the true fear!
Animal Kingdom was great. On that day, we had a special visitor. Michelle and her boyfriend, Robby came to spend the day with us. They live 2 hours away and arrived in time for breakfast at the Gingerbread House. The kids were thrilled. Michelle has been their babysitter since they were born and they adore her. The kids gave them the tour of the Village and then we all went to Animal Kingdom.
At Animal Kingdom, we did the Safari ride. That was neat. The cheetahs and lions were asleep in the shade, but we saw a lot of other cool animals. The one ride Michael wanted to go on, Mt.Everest (huge roller coaster), broke down, so he went back to the Village with Ernie and the boys, who were hot and just wanted to go swimming.
Maddie and I stuck it out with Michelle and Robby and we had a great day! We went on several rides and then Mt.Everest was up and running. We all went on. Very scary! When we got back to the Village, Ernie and Michael went back to ride the ride.
Maddie and I went alone to Univeral the next day. Nobody else wanted to leave the Village. Sounds crazy, I know, but the Village was just so much fun and so relaxing. The parks can be quite overwhelming and tiring. So, the two of us had a great day. We did the Shrek 4D, NickToons, Spider Man 4D, Dr.Seuss rides and Popeye's water ride. Maddie got her picture with Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey. She and Donkey had quite the conversation!
Spider Man was awesome! Maddie and I did it twice because the first time through, we had rushed to get in there and forgot to grab the 3D glasses! Duh! We were the two goofballs in the front of the car with no glasses! Maddie wanted me to tell them to stop the ride for us...Yeh ok. Um, excuse me? We forgot to get the 3D glasses, You know, the glasses you need to achieve the proper visualization for this ride. Yeh, well, could you please stop the ride so we can go get some? Just sit tight folks, we'll be right back. I don't think so!
Lastly, Maddie insisted we go on the water ride. She wanted to get soaked! Well, we sure got SOAKED! The two of us were the only two on the ride. In fact, the park was really quiet, which was great. So, yeh, we left the park exhausted and soaked. Not just a little wet...SOAKED! Our sneakers sqeaked, or I should say, my sneakers squeaked, since I was pushing Maddie in the wheel chair, all the way back to the car. The best part was that Maddie never mentioned to me the fact that I had black mascara smudged all down my face. Oh, that explains why everyone was looking at me funny. Should've bought the waterproof mascara. I explained the whole toilet paper on the shoe, food in the teeth, pact you are supposed to have with your girlfriends. Well, the same rule should apply to mascara running down your face. Especially if it's your mother...
The next day the whole family went to Universal for our last day. We did the same rides that Maddie and I did, with a few more added on. A thrill for the kids was meeting SpongeBob. We got a great picture with him.
Michael and Ernie went on the Hulk roller coaster. Ernie is now completely bald. Scared the hair right off of him! Maddie, Michael and Ernie went on a tower drop ride to end the day. They're crazy!
On our last night, Maddie and Thomas had left a note on Mayor Clayton's mail box, asking for a bed time tuck in. The Mayor does that upon request. Well, sure enough, the Mayor came to our door! All four of the kids hopped into bed and the Mayor tucked them in. Lights off. Lights on. Why are they all sitting up? Try that again... OK, maybe the third time will work. I guess I should've mentioned to Mr. Mayor that our kids don't sleep. That was fun.
The day we were leaving was Michael's birthday. It was a special day. The whole Ginger Bread House staff and patrons sang happy birthday to him and presented him with strawberry and whipped cream covered waffles topped with a candle, for breakfast! What a great surprise! I had a cake and gift hiding back in our room to top off the morning.
We were all very sad to have to leave. The time went by so quickly. Interestingly though, the kids were starting to miss homemade pb & j sandwiches, and our store bought waffles! The comforts of home! Oh wait! A very cool experience I almost forgot to meniton...
We watched the space shuttle go up!! We stood right outside our front door and we could see it! It was about 100 miles away from where we were but it was so clear and amazing to watch! The kids thought that was the best! They were fascinated! We watched until it disappeared. What a sight!
The flight home was interesting. We rushed to get packed up and make it to our flight. We were travelling with two extra suitcases now! Our flight was delayed an hour and then once we were on the plane, we sat on the runway for about another hour before taking off. Yes, William and Thomas sitting on a plane that's going nowhere. Need I say more? What do you mean they can't open the bar until we're in the air?!?!
The best part of the flight was the announcement the stewardess made. I had asked her if she could announce Michael's birthday and she did! She even got the whole plane to sing happy birthday! It was the best!
We arrived safely in Boston and our beautiful white limo was waiting for us! If you thought the first limo ride sounded crazy, it got even crazier on the ride home. Can you even imagine? Next time the limo company gets a call to go to the Savoie house, I'm not so sure anyone will show up!
Thank you to Make A Wish and Give Kids the World for an amazing trip! We will always cherish the memories!
Wednesday -- October 17th
Wow, it's really here. We're going to Disney TOMORROW!! We're all so excited! I don't think anyone will sleep tonight and of course, everyone will be up at the crack of dawn! I haven't even started packing yet!! Still busy organizing the house and getting errands done.
It's a strangely emotional day for me, for so many reasons. I remember the first time hearing the words "Make A Wish." Maddie had just been diagnosed and our roommate, Chelsie, was telling her about all the fun things she would get to do. Maddie thought the whole idea would be cool, as anyone would, but at the same time, I remember being so scared hearing the words, Make A Wish, for obvious reasons.
I remember driving Maddie home from the hospital that night and asking her what she would pick for her wish, if she could have or do anything in the whole world. She turned to me and said, "I would wish for Chelsie to be better and not have cancer anymore." Her answer made me cry. I explained that they were tears of pride. I was so proud and so touched by the amazing heart Maddie displayed at that moment, after just being diagnosed herself. She said, "Well, Chelsie's my friend now and I want her to get better."
The smell of Fall in the air just brings it all back like it was yesterday. It is so hard to believe more than a year has gone by. It's all still so overwhelmingly surreal. Now, our trip is here.
The kids deserve this trip and I am so grateful to Make A Wish and Give Kids The World, for making this happen for us. I'm sure we'll have loads of fun stories and pictures to share. Maybe we'll even bring the laptop so we can update the website at the end of each day. If not, we'll be in touch with you all when we get back!
OK, gotta go pack! Love to All!
Tuesday -- October 16th
Busy since last writing.
I was away in CT. Friday - Sat. for the funeral services of my Aunt. The services were beautiful and it was good to see the family. We now have another Guardian Angel watching over Maddie.
All of the cousins shared laughs and stories of our childhood and let me tell you, there were a lot of laughs!
Took a trip down Memory Lane when I was home. Drove around the culdesac I grew up on. Everything looks so different now -
The neighbor's "mountain hill" that we would roll down and play "king of the mountain" on, looks so small through the eyes of an adult! It's barely a hill!
Our house has been sided, a deck added, trees cut down.
The old wooden rail fence that was on the side of our house is gone. I used it as a balance beam every day. That's where I did all my training for the Olympics! You know...
The woods we played in every day are all overgrown and the paths we walked on for all of our youth are no longer visible. Drove through the town. The deli mart where I worked, the pizza place where I waitressed, the old variety store we used to steal candy from...ok just kidding, but we frequented the place!
It was fun to see everything. I hope to go back soon and really show my kids around. It was a great childhood.
Came home late Sat. afternoon and took all of the kids, along with our neighbor, Stephanie, to the annual Haunted Train Ride in town. The kids had a good time, but Thomas was speechless. He sat on the train next to me not saying a word, not moving. He was so scared! The Make A Wish reps, Karolina and Marshall, came to the house Sunday to tell us all about our trip to Disney! We are so excited - two days!!! They gave all the kids a balloon, which of course, William and Thomas had to immediately let go into the air. Nice huh? Here's 5 bucks now flush it down the toilet!
Haven't started packing yet, but Michael and Maddie have. Ah Yes, they each packed 5 stuffed animals, games I haven't seen them touch in years, two shirts, 5 winter pajama sets...you get the idea. We WILL be re-packing!
Thursday -- October 11th
LAST DAY OF RADIATION!!
We're all so glad it's over! Maddie wanted Molly to be a part of the big day, so we picked her up at 5:30am. Once we got there, they had fun in the playroom, playing games and picking out LOTS of stickers. Julie, the Child Life Specialist, gave Maddie a beautiful butterfly scrap book and nail polish. That was so sweet of her. She also brought in donuts and the girls walked around handing them out. Thank you again to the whole radiation team, for the kindness and warmth you have always shown to Maddie.
One week until Disney! The kids are so excited! They each have a count down calendar going. It can't get here soon enough! Wow , just think...no dog for a whole week!
It was Ernie's birthday yesterday. It's hard to believe he's 35. The kids loved giving him scratch tickets and of course, they played them, instead of letting the birthday boy have at them. Bummer, no winners. Of course the big hit was the huge cookie cake!
Monday -- October 5th
Hope you all had a nice weekend.
Ours started with William's playdate after school on Friday with Marion. As predicted, Thomas was not welcome to tag along. William made sure to whisper that rule into Marion's ear several times. The two of them tried to get away from Thomas but he wasn't giving up. He cried and screamed, all while pursuing them on foot for more than an hour! I'd see William and Marion run by the front windows. A few seconds later would go Thomas. Same scene out the back windows. Around and around...
Ok, this isn't working. I know, we'll go get an ice cream. Everyone in the car. Yeah, that's much better...
"He's not sitting next to us! He's not talking to us! Get away Thomas!"
"They're not talking to me Mom! William and Marion are being mean to me! Send William back to the Baby Store! Mom! Mom! Mom! Answer me Mom!
I could go on and on, but eventually, William came around and let Thomas join the fun. I think Thomas only had to pay a quarter to join. Once there was peace, they had a blast dancing and playing!
Saturday we went swimming at our friend's, the Dimond's house. Swimming in a heated pool in October. How cool! It was just me and the boys. Ernie had gone up to NH to visit his brother again and Maddie was at Molly's house for dinner. Later that night we got Maddie, and Molly came home with us to sleep over.
Sunday I took the kids to buy Halloween costumes. I like to make them myself whenever possible, but not this year. William already had his from last year. He'll be SpongeBob again. Thomas was determined to find a Thomas the Tank costume and luckily we did. He has not taken it off since! Michael is mustard and Maddie is ketchup! They're really cute! We even picked up a mask for Ernie. It's a one piece burglar hat with a mask and huge ears. It's hysterical! Maddie insisted we get Hope a Snow White outfit, made for dogs. Gladly, it doesn't fit her, so I'll get a few bucks back on the credit card!
OK, I've rambled long enough. Maddie's nurse Nikki, is coming out for a blood draw this morning. The kids have no school today or tomorrow, so once again, I better come up with something entertaining!
Friday -- October 5th
Hope you all had a good week. Ours was pretty uneventful, in a good way!
Another week of radiation done. Maddie has 3 more scheduled treatments. After our trip to Disney, Maddie will have two full days of scans on Oct.30 and Nov.1st. We will meet with her team on Nov.8th
Maddie had blood draws on Mon. and Thurs. and so far, has not needed any transfusions. Yeah!
Colleen Duffy came for a visit yesterday with her Mom, Mimi, and Abby the dog! Maddie had asked last week if Colleen would bring Abby to meet Hope. The two dogs did the usual butt sniffin' and became fast friends.
It was great to see Colleen again and her Mom. Sure wasn't very relaxing though... Let me set the scene...Screened in porch, lots of furniture in the way, 1 little dog, 1 HUGE, panting, tail wagging dog, 3 adults, Maddie, and 2 VERY active boys, William and Thomas. Yep, a little stressful. Would anyone like another glass of wine? Think I smelled burning rubber when Colleen peeled outta here!
William is having his friend, Marion, over after school today. He is SO excited and counted down the days all week! Of course, there's going to be trouble in Paradise when Thomas tries to cut in on the action. I'll have to come up with something pretty darn exciting to keep peace around here this afternoon...
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Monday -- October 1st
We went to the Museum of Science on Saturday, to attend a party for Jack Manning. Jack's a boy in our town, Maddie's age, who has beaten cancer and it was a celebration for him. Jack and Maddie were in the same class for two years before either was diagnosed. We had a really nice time and it was fun walking around the museum. A little stressful too...Where'd he go? Where'd he go? You turn for a SECOND and William's off discovering something else...on another floor! We went into the butterfly house, where you CANNOT touch the butterflies. Mysteriously, a butterfly landed right on William's finger tip. Hmmmm, imagine that...
The Lane's were at the party too, so Caroline came home with us, for her first sleep over. The girls had a great time! We went shopping for yarn so they could knit scarves with Maddie's little machine and they cuddled and watched movies. By the end of the night, Caroline was beat. I should've warned her that nobody sleeps in our house!
Michael had his friend, Drew, sleep over too, so the boys had their own fun. The two of them share the same sense of humor, so it's funny to watch and listen to them. As many times as I barked from down the hall, I don't think they fell asleep until after midnight.
Ernie had taken William and Thomas up to N.H. to sleep over at his brother's house. Unfortunately, the didn't make it. The boys wanted to come home around 10:30 pm, so Ernie got back home around 11:30. I had a feeling they'd be back! : )
The neighborhood kids all had fun playing capture the flag in our yard Sunday afternoon, and they even talked Ernie into playing! I thought the man would have a heart attack. Nope, he survived and today's a new day!