Monday, July 21, 2014

Gone to Great Wuff


So, I blame my sister.  She and I were talking, while James was gone, and it was all very much like the day when Chris was sick, and we were so fed up, and we swore, when all this is done, we're going to DisneyWorld.  Well, she reached that point too.  She told me she wanted all of us to go to DisneyWorld.  And I said, OK.  If you and James want to do that, and you want us there, we're there.  If he's out there risking his life for the safety of me and mine, and he says Jump, I'll jump.  So we were scheming beautiful schemes.  And then reality jumped in.  And we realized how crazy that was to take all 9 of us to WDW, more if there were grandparents involved.  She made the offhand comment, "Well, my kids would have just as much fun at Great Wolf."  Well, then maybe we should go there.  A plan was born.

This was one of the easiest schemes we'd worked in a while, because the kids had no idea what Great Wolf Lodge was.   They asked if the hotel had a pool.  Um yeah, it did.  I was completely able to smuggle their swim vests and a second round of swimwear for all of us into the car without them having any idea.  We were ready for this trip.  And they just thought we were going to a regular hotel.  

They actually made the trip to Cincy really well. 
This summer has begun a turning point for us, I think. 
Traveling doesn't stink as much, now that 2/3 are potty trained, and the littlest is pretty happy to watch his brothers.  Since it was only a 2 hour and some change trip, the boys did great.  No one napped, Jake had taken a power nap at noon, so he felt great for traveling.  The kids took turns with the ipad, and surprisingly the fights were too serious.  They didn't make us stop a million times, in fact, we didn't stop at all.  No one had to pee until we pulled up.  And we arrived about 15 minutes after my Mom and Sis.  In fact, their car was still parked at the entrance when we pulled up. 

Jacob and I cruised the parking lot as we waited for Daddy to check us in.  
This place was Huge!  I hadn't ever been, but I got pumped up.  We were in direct sight of Kings Island.  As we were pulling up, the boys saw it, and asked if we were going there, and I said No, those rides are a bit too big for you.  This trip, we'll be staying right here.   And they were ok with that.  We'll save KI for another day.  There will be plenty of time for that.  

When the boys came out, they had received Wolf Ears.  
Oh man, they were adorable.  So we sat around, howling in the parking lot. 
Because we bees like that.  
We found my Mom and Annie in the parking lot, and they escorted us in, taking us right by a window into the 'pool'.  The boys were Amazed.  This place takes the little hotel we visited over Spring Break up in Lafayette and kicks it up on steroids.  They couldn't wait to suit up.  

But wait, first we had to see our room!  
Li and my Mom had hooked us up with the Kid Kamp room, where the boys had their own set up bunkbeds, in their own room, with their own tv.  They were so excited they would have been perfectly content to never leave the room at all.  

Jacob just took it all in.  
He's my thinker, this one.  He takes it all in, then forms a very stern opinion.  
And if he doesn't like it, you'll hear about it.  
But this place was Jacob approved! 

Wait, we can't forget the pool. 
The first thing the kids wanted to do was suit up.  
Forget dinner, let's go swim.  
So, our plan was to swim until 7 when James was to arrive after bringing down one of Lisa's besties Auntie Grube, then go have dinner together.  And the boys couldn't wait to grab their cousins and get swimming! 

This was as still as they got...for the next few hours.  
That swim park was amazing.  There was a lazy river, waterslides, a wave pool, and a bazillion other kinds of squirting things for the kids to do.  Nana and Eric took the kids to the lazy river, and Lisa and I ran immediately for the Toilet Bowl waterslide.  It was crazy, crazy and awesome. 

We swam for an hour or two, and we were all exhausted. And hungry.  James and Grube were running late, so we all went to change, and meet for dinner.  Lisa had planned for us to eat at the nicer restaurant.  There are 2, a sit down and get waited on restaurant, and a buffet.  We can grab pizza and ice cream near the pool, but there weren't a ton of options.   Not that we were worried, we all packed enough snackage that we didn't Need a formal meal, but we didn't realize that at the time.  So we ended up coming downstairs and the restaurant had an hour wait, forget that.  So we ate at the buffet.  Turns out it was Awesome.  Now it could have been that we were all starving, but there was some great pasta, and some salmon with fruit salsa that was scrumptious.  The kids were happy with chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese, and all was as it should be.  Just as we were finishing our supper, they started Story Time.  Apparently at 8 pm every night, there's a Story Time in the lobby.   The tree starts singing and talking, and kids from all over are welcome to sit and listen.  And they even said, Pajamas welcome.  Oh yeah, we had to get in on that.  

Even Jake was curious! 

The thing that got me, as we arrived, we were riding in the elevator, and there was a family wearing odd t-shirts.  They said something like 1y295 or something, it was a gene deletion.  OK, apparently it was 1p36 deletion.  Apparently, there was a convention going on this same weekend we were attending, of a little known gene and the couple hundred kids in the USA affected with defects in this gene.  So we were surrounded by "special needs kids".  I didn't get the scoop entirely, but it was actually wonderful.  I loved seeing Chris surrounded by other special kids like him.  There was a range on disabilities, just like Chris, and these kids were just playing with their families.  I kind of loved it.  When we were all sitting there, it was our family, the boys in their hard-to-miss t-shirts, and all these other kids, and they all had issues.  And it got to me, they are not alone.  Chris sometimes feels so alone in his issues.  He's not, I know that, but sometimes he feels like he is.  But he's not.  And in a convention like that, I could feel it, these parents were gaining strength from getting together, probably finally getting to meet kids they'd been hearing stories online, like some of the ones I hear about.  Cincinnati Children's has one of the best bowel centers, there is a ton of IA research going on, I wonder if someday they'd have a convention like this for Chris.  I would so go! 

Anyway, in the mean time, we are celebrating our one amazing family.  It had been a long time since we'd taken a trip with my sister and mom, and it was shaping up to be a great one.  We had only played for a couple hours, but we were exhausted.  And we ended up going to bed at 9 pm.  Our whole family.  We were Exhausted.  But also pretty excited that we still had another full day to play!