About That Pain…

About That Pain…

A couple weeks ago Hank decided it was all over him. He had this pain he couldn’t explain in his abdomen and he was pretty sure his short little life was drawing to a close. It was nothing that should have caused too much trouble but he absolutely couldn’t shake worrying about it. Why does it hurt? What is causing it? What if it doesn’t go away? What if I have to have more tests? What if the doctor can’t find out what was wrong with him. It was consuming him.


We got it x-rayed, we went to the doctor, heck, we even had blood work done. The doctor determined he’d probably just injured it during baseball but Hank still couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Come to find out he’d watched some sort of movie about a child that get’s cancer and dies. Oh Henry…Even after I talked to him about how movies can put ideas in our heads he was still fixated on this pain.


Finally I had the bright idea to ask my friend Kathy,who is a therapist, about it. I told her how he had no reason to worry but he was.

In case you can’t see the picture here was her response: “I would say something like ‘I know you are worried. We have been to the doctor, he has run all the tests he needs, and you are healthy. Sometimes our brains get stuck and we worry about the same thing over and over until it seems real. You really are okay. You need to tell your brain what to do. Tell it you are fine and go do something fun.’


Y’all! It worked. It really worked. Now I had to say it several times over the course of the next several days but every time he would bring it up I would just pull out my phone surreptitiously and just reread it to him. He’d say ‘okay’ and then wander off.

You should totally find a friend who is a therapist.

The other little quandary we’ve had with this character occurred before we left for Disney World at Space Camp. The fifth graders at Hank’s school go to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a five day day camp. After graduation the kids were allowed to hang out and ride the rides. All his friends piled on the Space Shot ride and he got on with them. Now he had hemmed and hawed about whether to do it or not and finally decided to go for it. He gets on the ride, they buckle him in, and then they say ‘last chance to get off’ and Henry raises his hand and says he wants off. Whomp, whomp, whomp…I pleaded with him ‘Hank, I’m worried that you’re really going to regret not going on this ride.’ But, he insists that he wants off. So, off he comes.

About thirty five seconds after we get in the car to go home he starts up ‘I should have gone on the ride. Why didn’t you make me go on the ride?’ It reminded me of a tweet I’d seen Jon Acuff make recently:


‘Regret has a longer shelf than fear.’ Ain’t that the truth. It certainly set us up well for the next week when we went to Disney World though because he went on everything there. Even Everest.


Let’s just hope he doesn’t see a movie about a kid that dies on a roller coaster or we’ll be back at square one. 



Nine Flipping Keys

Nine Flipping Keys

You know when you decide to take nine flipping people to Walt Disney World you’re going to need to plan things way in advance. Gone are the days when a large family could take an impromptu trip and have any kind of fun at all. Want to sit down and eat? You have to have reservations and you have to get them months in advance. Want to get a fast pass for a good ride? Better make them as soon as Disney releases them. Want your pick of hotels? Months and months and months in advance! This isn’t necessarily bad it just means a lot of planning needs to go into all this business to make it seem more like a vacation and less like a MOTHER OF PEARL WHERE DID ALL THESE PEOPLE COME FROM nightmare.


Enter the Disney App. You can manage your fast passes, see where you have your reservations are, check wait times etc and all that. I made sure the sitters and the older kids had the app too – that way no one had an excuse for not knowing where we were supposed to be when.

We didn’t quite make the opening ceremonies for rope drop that first day. Certain (Billy) members (Billy) of (Billy) our (Billy) party (Billy) felt (Billy) the (Billy) need (Billy) to (Billy) bring (Billy) backpacks (Billy) so (Billy) we (Billy) had (Billy) to (Billy) wait (Billy) thru (Billy) the (Billy) long (Billy) bag (Billy) line. Of course, no need to sell out who that person was.


Yes – yes it was you.

For the first couple hours of the day crowds were very reasonable. After that, it turned into a total madhouse.

Speaking of madhouses…we take our Buzz Lightyear very very seriously.



Apparently, we also take our ice cream very seriously, because, good gravy, look at the size of that thing.


If it looks cold and overcast that’s because it was cold and overcast. We shivered through the Astro Orbiter.


We shivered through the tea cups.


And we finally got relief in the indoor rides. Oooh! Oooh! Stella got chosen to chat onscreen at the Monster’s Laugh Floor attraction.

If I was a fancy blogger I’d know how to upload the video to the website. They asked her several questions and told her a joke – which she actually got.


It was super cute. An unplanned surprise.

Huh…maybe fun can be had at Disney World without completely over planning everything…but, I wouldn’t recommend it.




Trail’s End

Trail’s End

Spring Break has come and gone. We went to Walt Disney World – along with fourteen billion other people – at least, that’s what it felt like. We found some cheap tickets via Nashville and made it in to Orlando just in time for dinner.


Gracie was a total champion on the airplane. I was so worried about how she was going to handle the flight – let’s face it, she can be quite, um, challenging. Girlfriend knocked it out of the park though! The boys begged to let her sit with them and I acquiesced.


And yes, that is a pacifier in her mouth. Yes, I know she is three. Look, all the adoption literature I’ve read says ‘pay for the braces – let them keep the pacifier.’ This may be complete malarkey but it keeps her so calm. One crisis at a time and it’s not the binky’s turn yet.

This was me for the first leg of the flight. Constantly checking to make sure that she hadn’t unbuckled and was careening down the aisles.


True story: ten minutes after take off I look back and she is sound asleep. Score!


We took the Magical Express to the resort. On a side note, isn’t the Magical Express just so much more magical on the way there than it is on the way back? It really is nice now. We checked our bags in Nashville and they were dropped off to our hotel room later. With that many kids it was nice to not worry about the bags.

The bus dropped us off at Fort Wilderness so we could have dinner at the restaurant called Trail’s End. I love Fort Wilderness. If only those little cabins were bigger! Our fourteen – okay five plus two sitters – children just won’t fit in them.

We took the boat to the Magic Kingdom then monorailed (Haha – silly autocorrect doesn’t think monorailed is a word) over to our resort.


Look at that little angel. I love that little critter.


“Really Mom? Angel? Angel of what?”

Pictured above: Stella’s biggest tormentors. It’s 51% their fault and 49% her fault. Here is an example of the fights they get in:

Stella: “This apple is big.”

Hank: “Your head is big!”

Damien: “Oh!!!! You wrecked her!”

Stella: “Wahhhh!!!! Mom, they said my head was big!”

It’s their fault for being obnoxious and choosing to engage her and it’s her fault for not just letting stupid stuff like ‘your head is big’ go. On the one hand, I’m glad they are bonding so well, on the other hand, I’d prefer them to not bond over torturing a seven year old.

It’s the end of the trail for that behavior! And that pacifier! Well, one day soon anyway…