Wednesday, March 30

Special Needs at Disneyland is super special

"A dream is a wish your heart makes....."
And like every parent,
I made a wish long ago that I wanted to
go to Disneyland with my own little family.
But how was it going to work out,
I wondered,
with our special son in a wheelchair?
Boy, did we find out and in true Disney fashion,
it was magical!
I'm thrilled to share with you
some of what we experienced.
And really, our day at Disneyland was enhanced
by having our Bugg with us.
We never ever felt left out,
or disappointed.
We were accommodated and included!
It is like everyone working at Disneyland
was meant to work there!

Typically, when arriving off the freeway,
you'd enter this way in the right lane.
for handicapped parking
you'll stay in the left lanes
and go this way into the Express Lane............

You'll be directed into a parking garage.
While you'll still need a tram ride
from your car to the park,
it is a lot closer.

You can take the tram,
this van just happened to be waiting
outside the parking garage.
Both have lock-downs for wheelchairs.
And the drivers were so nice
and thorough, making sure Bugg was safe 'n snugg.

City Hall is located on Main Street,
just past Mickey's flower face.
This is where you can check in
and tell them your special needs
and get a special pass to jump to the front of the lines.
We didn't need to get a special pass
because the wheelchair was the pass.
But if someone is mobile and not capable of standing
in a long line,
City Hall will issue a special pass,
which is also good for 5 additional people
with the special guest.
And by the way,
everyone (3 & up) pays for admission to the park.
Even the "special" ones.
It is so worth it, though.
Bugg was able to go on most every ride.

We were the proudest parents ya' ever saw!
We are at Disneyland!
And our Bugg gets to enjoy it with us, too!
Okay, so I cried.
Let's just get it out there.

The Baby Care Center:
a place for all things "baby."
It is absolutely adorable inside
and there's a Nana in a cute apron to help & assist, too.
There's a sign outside that says to leave
your stroller outside.
But wheelchairs are welcome!
(it doesn't say that, though)

There's cushion-y changing stations,
little potties,
high chair,
tiny tables,
I think I saw a fridge.
Everything is super clean.
It is really awesome!
Entering a ride through the exit

Most rides for wheelchairs and special pass holders
are all about the exit to the ride.
That is where we got to enter.
This sign means that Bugg will have to transfer.
Meaning, he'll have to get out of his chair
and sit on the ride.
This only worked if we could either hold Bugg on our lap
or sit next to him and help him be supported.

The Disney website has a really detailed list
of the rides and wheelchair accessibility
that we printed,
so we could know beforehand which rides could
accommodate Bugg & how.
In the picture above,
you can kind of see a sign on the right.
There is one of these at every ride entrance
to let us know how Bugg could ride.
This one was "it's a Small World" and he was able to stay
in his chair and be fastened down onto a special boat
that had a ramp.
Check this out.......

How happy it made us to see our
big boy so happy, too, & riding along with us!
Here are some more rides....

Buzz Lightyear

Bugg & Dada


Bugg was pretty chill on most the rides.
But every now & then,
he'd give one of his happy lil' squeals
and smile and giggle.
Oh, my heart must have burst a thousand times
that day!
I was holding Bugg & my 1 year old was
sitting next to me

Even though we were able to skip
the main line,
we still had to wait in the special line.
Most of the time,
we waited less than 5 or 10 minutes.
We waited 20 or so for Pirates.
No shock there.
That is such a crazy cool ride.
When the ride is a transfer like this one,
we were able to leave his chair
right where he gets on the ride.

The rider switch pass is great.
It is specifically used for kids that are too young
or too short to ride the big roller coasters.
For example, with this switch pass
my husband & our 6 year old daughter, Mia,
would ride the roller coaster
while Bugg & I & Ella (1 year old) waited for them.
We would wait at the exit and when they got off,
we would switch places and then
Mia & I would go on the ride together
without having to wait in the line all over again.
But I'm thinking this would also work
even if we just had Bugg.
We wouldn't put him on a roller coaster even if
he were tall enough.
He'd hate it and his head control isn't strong enough.
Make sense?

Did you know you can pack food
into the park?
I wish we'd brought in more soft foods for him
and kept it in a fridge somewhere.
I think you can store it at City Hall or Baby Center??
Anybody know for sure??
Because Bugg can only eat soft foods,
it was tricky trying to find stuff that would work for him.
(Their macaroni was super soft & easy goin' down
but overpriced for the amount you get.)

Bugg was loved everywhere we went.
I guess everybody puts on their best selves
when they step into this magical place.
Taking this picture,
people courteously stopped crossing the bridge
so we could catch our boy standing all grownup-like.
And they cheered him on.
It was so sweet.

Of course, it is a lot of work
to handle a day at Disneyland with children,
one of which is in a wheelchair.
But it was so so beautiful.
The memories will be there forever.
And our sweet Bugg.
I may never know how much he really got out of it.
I don't know if he'll ever remember it.
Or appreciate it.
And maybe he would have been much more
comfy staying home.
But he had his share of smiles.
And we were able to enjoy this trip
I'm all about creating memories
and family bonding.
It was way worth every effort!!!!

So do any of you have any tips
to add to this?
Click HERE to read more about our trip

Monday, March 28

our YELLOW weekend celebration

And in usual Bree holiday devotee fanaticism,
we got our yellow on,
both in color & happy moments.

The weekend was full of
dreary & drizzles & dark clouds.
The sun shone about 3 percent of the time.
No worries,
it shone round the clock in our house!

yellow crepe paper rosette center,

sigh....this boy!
I got bit by spontaneity (again!)
and asked my Hunk out on a date.
But how was I going to find a sitter
(which we're very picky about)
at such short notice?
I sent a text with fingers crossed!


I love dates.
Looooove them.
Because I love my Hunk.
I think part of the fun of "dating"
is the anticipation!
The planning, the getting ready,
the talking-about-it-with-each-other part.
Not that we had much time to prep
for this one,
but it was still fun & fit just right.

We've all heard that you should
go out on a date with your spouse
once a week, eh?
Fine & dandy was that plan during those newlywed days.
Then the baby comes.
School, work.
Then more babies.
Then Wyatt made us paranoid with his special needs.
Then we take the dates
here & there when G&G are available.
I tell you, though,
when that 3rd sweet'ems was born,
going out with each other became necessary for us.
Plus I just love getting dressed up for Brian
and being with just him.
And you know,
our Bugg is just fine every time.
So we have worked it into our budget.
(Or not.)
But we still do it :)
Paying a babysitter,
swapping with our friends that have children,
I guess years from now we could say
"Well, we saved a lot of money,"
had we not gone out.
But I hope we'll say,
"We have a ton of fun memories together.
k, stepping down now. ahem.

I had that dreaded conversation
with this one.
Yeah, that one.
Where she learns that Santa is.....
not real.
OH! The pain.
I was hoping this could wait a few (or a lot)
more years.
This wise beyond her years gal
already knew.
She just needed to hear it from me.
She took it well.
I didn't.
'Cause now she knows about everybody else, too.
This is killing me, friends.
Right before Easter, too!
I'm so glad that Bugg will never grow out
of that stuff.

yellow streamers wrapped
around canning jar lids.

a Peep in hot chocolate

If you do not get this magazine,
then I have just one question:
why the heck not?
Every time I get it in the mail,
my heart turns yellow!

Did you give some service
a go?
Great book, btw.

Made cookies....

.....and doorbell ditch delivered 'em!
Mia also ditched a handful of the smiley faces
at random spots in Walmart.
That'll get 'em!
I dare someone not to smile.

Ended the holiday with a yellow dinner:
lemon garlic chicken,
yellow squash,
lemon slushie,
I wrote a sunny love note to everyone.

It was realllllly sunny & yellow
over the weekend.

Did you have any yellow
moments, too?!!!!