Friday, June 24, 2011

A special wish...

When we were still under the impression that Ava was going to need a third open heart surgery this year, I decided to contact Make A Wish. The prior two years had been full of hospitalizations and procedures and surgery, so with this next big one coming up I felt that it was the PERFECT time for Ava to have something fun and magical to look forward to. Of course, we soon found out that surgery could be postponed a few years with some more stenting and ballooning. I considered contacting Make A Wish and seeing if I could put a hold on the process(I truly thought Ava might be a bit too young still to be able to come up with ONE true wish), but Ava had already caught wind of it all and judging by her total excitement there really was no turning back!

Ava seemed to instantly know exactly what she wanted, and her wish would come as no surprise to anyone who has spent even 5 seconds with this girl. She wanted to meet Cinderella and visit Cinderella's castle. Her wish from day to day would slightly vary, she talked of eating ice cream with Cinderella and Prince Charming, she talked of dancing with them, going bowling in the castle with Cinderella, etc, but one thing never changed, this girl wanted to meet her favorite princess, Cinderella. Once all the paperwork was completed we had to wait for Ava's pediatrician to give the official okay and then Ava was invited to the Wishing Place where she would make her wish known. The wishing place is seriously magical all on it's own. Unfortunately I did not take photos. I just wanted to for once be in the moment with my kiddos instead of living the moment behind the lens. I am kind of bummed I don't have photos of this magical moment for Ava, BUT I also don't regret my decision at all.

Everyone at Make A Wish is wonderful and so thoughtful. They called us prior to the meet to find out both kids favorite activities, foods, etc. So once we got there they had a gift for Ava(Cinderella doll) and some of the favorite foods for the kids(which happened to be ice cream and water, hah).

Once the kids were loaded up on unlimited ice cream, we all sat and watched a video on the wish making process. After the video and any questions, one of the volunteers took Greg and I to a semi-separate room where we filled out more paperwork, answered any questions, while another volunteer walked Ava through the wish process with visual guides at different stations, and at each station Ava would write down a different wish(though hers all came back to Cinderella). Ava's brother stayed with her and sort of acted as a translator when needed. Though we did overhear him try to coax his sissy into asking for a cat or dog at least once. Hah!

Once we were all done, we gathered together again and they showed me what Ava had written down as her wishes, and if there was anything we as her parents did not approve of. Since Ava's wishes were all so similar we had to sort of use them as inspiration to come up with at least one "back up" wish. Ava's official wish was to meet Cinderella and stay the night in her castle. The back up wish was a shopping spree at the disneystore, limo, dinner, etc.

At the Wishing Place, they have this locked room that the wish child is given a key to. So once their wish is known and written down, they go to the door, use their key and open the door. As soon as they do, the whole room lights up(in their favorite color, to boot!) and in the middle of the room is the wishing well. They place their wish in the well and once they do music starts playing and everyone dances. Mega cuteness. The wish kiddo gets to hold on to their key for later use. ;)

So after all that, we were given a tour of the rest of the place, asked any questions we had and then were on our ways!

A couple of weeks later, we received the call, Ava's wish had officially been granted!!! Unfortunately, the spending the night in Cinderella's castle is impossible, as Disney only makes the suite available for promotions, but Ava will be given a tour, as well as a private meet and greet with Cinderella! I did manage to snap a photo of Ava being told the news...

Yeah, I definitely made the right decision in moving on with the wishing process. Since the call, not a single day has gone by that Ava hasn't mentioned her wish, in detail. Not a single image of a castle has been seen without mention of Ava's wish again, being told in full detail. From the plane ride to what dress she is going to wear on what day, to what she is going to say to Cinderella and how many hugs she is going to give her, this girl couldn't be more thrilled. It is so special. Though seeing the huge ear to ear smiles and twinkly eyes now at the mention of Disney world is pretty breathtaking, I can only imagine what it is going to be like once we arrive. And honestly, I couldn't think of a more deserving little princess. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Preschool Promotion!

Can I take it down sappy mama lane for a second and just start off saying how unbelievably lucky I feel to have been blessed with both my children?! They are seriously the two best mini humans I have ever known. Ava has now officially completed her Preschool Chapter, and is SO ready to move on to Kindergarten! Thursday was the final day of school at that little corner classroom at Schweitzer Elementary with three of the BEST Preschool Teachers in existence. So, to celebrate the kids moving up to Kindergarten, Ava's teachers put together a little promotion celebration. The kids were given caps, promotion certificates and showed us what they had been learning in Education Through Music(Ava's favorite part, she comes home and sings the songs she learns for hours on end! It really is the cutest thing ever, except for the times she has tried to replace my alarm clock at 4am with said songs). After the kids received their certificates, there were cupcakes which had each of the little grad's name on them, beverages and socializing.

A few months ago, I would of been pretty nervous FOR Ava, because this was the sort of thing that set her into anxious fear mode. She would of started crying the minute parents started arriving, and would of been inconsolable and hiding her face in my shoulder the entire time. So when we arrived Thursday and saw Ava's face light up as she smiled and waved but remained seated and calm, it was simply the best feeling. Seeing her be able to enjoy activites she loves, without anxiety or fear, is priceless. I am truly thankful to the fellow heart mama who lead us down the all natural remedy path for Ava's anxiety. It has done INCREDIBLE things and freed Ava of that at times crippling anxiety beast.

So here we are, five years on this unbelievable journey, and another chapter in the books. Another milestone. Another memory. Another blessing. Congratulations, baby girl, this is only the beginning of what is sure to be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding time in your education. Thanks to the three remarkable group of ladies we called Ava's preschool teachers for the last two years, I am confident my daughter got the best start possible. We are going to miss Ms. Pat, Ms. Sigrid and Ms. June tremendously!