Category Archives: family

Ariel and Mickey Mouse help a sick little girl!

I’ve mentioned little Sophia before, the little girl who “adopted” me as her Auntie Erin.  She recently had to have surgery on her arm, and this past Monday, she and her mom Becky called me to say she had to go back into CHoP (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) for more surgery.  An infection had grown in her arm in the original wound.  I found out Tuesday that she came home, but needed medication.  Becky tearfully told me that Sophia was refusing to take it; after 2 surgeries and hospital stays, fear and tiredness made her dig in her heels.  Nothing they said or did could get the medicine down her throat, and her surgeon said that if she didn’t take those pills, she’d lose her arm.

Before that would happen, they’d bring her back into the hospital and put her on IVs.  No one wanted to put her through that.  Not to mention, even a day of waiting to see if she had to go back gave the infection time to become even more entranched.

I felt so afraid, but I didn’t know what to do.  Nothing I could say would make Sophia listen when she wouldn’t listen to her mom and dad.

And then, as I scoured my mind to think of who she might listen to, I remembered the Disney Enchanted Calls.  I posted about these before where Mickey Mouse or a Disney princess will call.  I did it for Sophia before: I had Mickey call to wish her a Happy Birthday or that he knew she was coming to visit him in Disney World.  Sophia is the granddaughter of former Imagineer; she knows all about The Mouse and his “daddy” Walt.  She’s also a huge Mickey’s Mouse Club fan.  Even with Tinker Bell movies and all,  Mickey means a lot.   She’s been to his house, after all. 😉

And then I remembered I once had a Mickey call of Encouragment for her and it helped calm her down when she was nervous about something.  Of course I wondered: would it work now?

I jumped online and set up for Mickey to call, but there wasn’t anything for someone being sick.  For the heck of it, I selected Ariel, Sophia’s favorite princess.  For her encouragement call, it had an additional option: the person getting the call was worried they’d be okay.

I let Becky know what was going on and held my breath.

Friday, I got a call from Sophia, excited that Ariel had called her on Tuesday.  Ariel told her that she got scared too sometimes and it’s hard to be brave, but she knew Sophia could do it.  Becky told me Sophia hung up at the end, sat quiet, and then said, “If Ariel said I can do it, I can.”

She took her medication.  Every day.

Now, Sophia’s surgeon said her arm is healing very well, everything they hoped to see.  She’s now in the best case scenario, not the worse.  She’s not even middle of the road.  She’s keeping her arm and will have full use of it.  Because Ariel and Mickey called and said they believed Sophia could face her fears and be brave.

It’s a simple little computer and phone program; I’ve always worried that Disney would give up on it and shut it down.  Thank goodness they didn’t do it.  Because the power of hearing your heroes helped a little girl when she needed it most.


I have a new nephew!

My great-nephew actually, son of my nephew and godson Martin and his Angela.  His name is Martin John Junior, but I nicknamed him Bo.

And here he is!

I nicknamed him Bo because….

Okay, sit back, get comfortable.  When they said he’d be a Junior, I said we’ve done that already.  Then you have Little Marty, Big Marty, then he won’t want to be Martin some day because he’s too old for that, so and so forth.  Since many people in my family have a nickname, I said maybe he’ll be born with some feature that will cause him to have a nickname.  Like, if he had big lips, we could call him Jagger.  If he had big ears, we could call him Dumbo or Bo for short.  Then when he’s grown and his friends asked him how he got his name, he’d have an amusing anecdote.

Then I said, “I like that name Bo!”  And so he was.  In the family anyway.

Bo and his whole family: Big brother Miles, daddy Martin, and mommy Angela

I can’t get over how well Angela is doing!  Up all night after 16 hours of labor, and she’s sitting up, dressed, happily talking with everyone!

Father and son:

Look at him!

Bo, Daddy, and Mommy:

I’m already his favorite aunt; you can just tell.  I sing him the best lullaby ever, although he’s pretty mellow and only fussed 1 time.  I brought a camera with a fully charged battery.

And I gave him that great nickname.

Okay, he may not have a favorite, but we’re tight, Bo and me.

When he goes home tomorrow night, he’ll be wrapped in the afghan my mom made for Martin when he was going home from the hospital.  So her first great-grandchild that she wasn’t here to see, born in the hospital where we had to say goodbye to her, will still carry her close to his heart.

Welcome to the family, Bo.  We’re so glad you’re here.

The Wii Warrior!

Because only the pure of heart can find the holy grail!

Give it their all!

Anyone can flick a wrist, but some of us are born with a drive to do all we can!  Give our heart, soul, and body to whatever we face!

To have our family laugh…

…have friends worry about the safety of their TV…

…have our spouses ask “What do you think you’re doing?”…

… have kids call us dangerous.

I honestly try to just flick the wrist, but then it starts and my instinct yells, “Charge!”

But at least I don’t hit the little Wii spectators in the stands anymore. 🙂

Sick dog, sick husband

Who do you think is more difficult? 

Morgan has been sick this week; she got into Casey and Elphie’s dry food which affected her throat of course.  She’s been getting congested and now her energy is down.  You can’t just look at her and see she’s not feeling well.  She gets attacks, where — to keep it from being gross — it gets bad.  (Little Elphie hovers nearby each time, giving me anxious looks as I try to help her big sister.) So I made a vet appointment for her to go today.

But then John woke up and had gout.  He couldn’t walk because of the pain.  So I took the afternoon off to get his medicine and take care of both of them.

Bad news, besides two sickies in the house, is the vet had no afternoon appointments.  Morgan has to wait for tomorrow which sucks.  I hate she has to feel bad another day.

Back to the final Jeopardy question:

Which of my patients is whining and a pain to deal with: Morgan or John?

We’ll go to a commercial while you make your decision.

Time’s up!

Answer: here’s a hint.

I had to get away from John before I smothered him; Morgan is quietly laying next to me. 

Our family LBI bench dedicated to my Nana, my mom, and my aunt

Every family, if they’re lucky, has a special place where they vacationed or visited often that holds special memories.  For us, that’s Long Beach Island in NJ.  We went every summer; my grandmother, my mom’s mom, once owned a place there for a number of years.

When we lost my mom, we thought of different ways to honor her.  My sister Terry found out that LBI — specifically, Barnegat Light, was offering to have people donate money to have benches inscribed.  She mentioned it to us as a great way to honor Mom, but then after thinking about it, she suggested it be for Nana, Mom, and my aunt DeeDee (a nickname).  My Mom and DeeDee would jokingly call themselves “the High Girls”, their maiden name, like when they went visiting home town they said, Look out Plumstedville!  The High Girls are coming back!  So that’s why the bench has this inscription.  And since the lighthouse meant so much, they picked a place that’s more private — so no fishermen just dumping dying fish and tackle boxes on it — and a great view of the lighthouse.

I couldn’t wait to see it once I heard it was finally in place.  So we went today:

I called my aunt when we got there — actually, I had to call her because I was looking in the wrong place.  But once I found it, I immediately sent pictures to her phone and then these photos to she and the rest of the family so they could see it.

I originally planned to drive up Saturday alone, but John nicely said we’d go together.

Although I could have done without his joking, “You know, kids are going to call it the High Bench and get stoned there.”


So many great memories…. I’m glad Terry thought of making this for more than just Mom and that my aunt gets to see it when my mom and Nana didn’t.

Thanks, Terry for coming up with this, and thanks, honey, for sharing this with me today.

Rough day? Time to look at photos!

A friend got me a digital photo frame for my birthday.   I really enjoy seeing the different photos go by, especially as it’s made me go through the last few years and pick out some.  I haven’t looked at some of these in a long time.

Like this great one of my friend Kim D from our Girls Gone Wild weekend at WDW in August, 2003.  (Kim can you believe this was six years ago?!!)

Kim at Orlando airport

Kim at Orlando airport

That’s such a great picture of her!  We had just landed in Orlando after a very long delay and we were so psyched to finally arrive and tackle our whirlwind weekend.  I wish I had the pictures of us with the alligator/dragon statues outside Keystone Clothier where we laid like victims inside their mouths.  What I really wish I had was the guy’s face as he came out of the store and saw us sprawled in their jaws!

I do have this one of me playing Rebel victim of the AT-AT walker:

Oh no!!

Help me, ObiWan! You are my only hope of not getting squished!!

I have lots of John, of course.  Great ones of him being on vacation or just on a day trip, laughing and smiling.  Here’s one at Smithville, NJ with someone playing that very popular game show: What kind of dog is that? (About Morgan)

It's not nice to point, sir.

It's not nice to point, sir.

And this one of John being contemplative:

The Thinker

The Thinker

Probably thinking about how he can get the camera away from me.

I have action shots, like this one of me kicking butt with Kim Possible:



THIS one was an absolutely must-have!

Greetings from our house to yours!

Greetings from our house to yours!

Lots of both families — holidays, Ann’s wedding, trips, and just getting together:

Yo, dawg!

Yo, dawg!

Pictures of Sophia, from theater, and more of our friends, including friends we made online and finally got to see face to face:

John, Deb, and I: July 19, 2007

John, Deb, and I: July 19, 2007

I think I’ll go through the photo CDs, see what else I can find, and maybe scan a few of from the albums.  But I’ll leave you with this image:

Dont you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

New York City survived my family!

It even survived me singing You say it’s your birthday by the Beatles’ on the steps of the Lincoln Center.

My aunt and I at the Lincoln Center

My aunt and I at the Lincoln Center

We took the train into the city, each of us coming in at different stations, and finding the others.  Cathi, as a joke, said we would wear a single red rose so they’d recognize us.  She gave me one and everybody cracked up that we actually did it.  All of my sisters came on this trip except for Mary.

We met this great group of women who got on when we did; they were going shopping for the day in NYC.  We even ran into them on the train going home.

My friend Laura sent me a treasure chest of Disneyland goodies, including a pin that said it was my birthday.  I wore it on Saturday, and not only did people wish me happy birthday (I forgot I had the pin on and would be so surprised when people knew until I remembered the button), but a waiter, obviously trying to get into opera, sang in Italian to me at dinner with everyone stopping to listen.  AND!  When I saw a pewter figurine from Wicked for sale, the artist knocked money off the price for my birthday. (Terry, Cathi, and Gerry bought it for me.)

My niece, Jennifer, was supposed to go but couldn’t get off from her second job.  My aunt decided she’d rather give the ticket away for free rather than it go unused.  We announced to the cafe where we had lunch that we were giving it away, and met this wonderful woman Sandra.  She couldn’t believe her good luck, but I assured her we were telling the truth and just made her day.

DeeDee (our nickname for our aunt) picked South Pacific because she saw it when it first ever opened and starred Mary Martin.  She heard good things about this revival, and I have to agree: this isn’t a favorite of mine but I really enjoyed what they did with the production, modernizing it while keeping the themes alive.  I could still do without singing about are we in love, yes we are, no we’re not every minute.  I preferred the other numbers.

The musical is based on James Michener’s book, Tales from the South Pacific, from his service there in WWII.  This revival started with a scrim that filled the entire stage and looked like a page of the book with the first 5 paragraphs.  The end of the show had the last page.  Since my family are also Micheners, and my grandmother (Marion Michener) was good friends with Jim Michener, we were especially glad to see they did this.

I forgot how it dealt with race relations, with how Americans or other whites were pushed out of our society if they married the non-white Polynesians.  It struck a real chord with me since James Michener himself went through this prejudice with his Asian wife, and I’ve met Chinese and other Asians who have to go through this too.

The book was on sale around the theater; I wanted a family picture with it, but we lost Terry in the crowd, so I got a quick photo with it and then we did the group outside with our Playbills.

From left to right: Terry, Cheryl, me, Gerry, DeeDee, and Cathi

From left to right: Terry, Cheryl, me, Gerry, DeeDee, and Cathi

We had dinner at Cafe Fiorello’s across from the theater.  Very nice place and that’s where the waiter sang to me.

Of course, you can see, Cathi doesn’t have the date set right on her camera!

So nice day!  Our aunt was so extraordinarily generous to do this for us.