Previous total: 1407

4/14/07: 0

That's right, zero. Oh, we went to Disney today. We even went at Ben's specific request. It's just that for the very first time ever, he requested to go here:
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Previous total: 1395

4/07/07: 12

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 4/07/07:

Previous total: 1295

1/27/07: 6
2/03/07: 6

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 2/03/07:


Today was a good day in the park. He actually walked into Adventureland with minimal coaxing and stood in line for Pirates. It was very crowded and noisy, though, so we bailed out of the line when he really started to panic. Even so, he walked back through Frontierland and Liberty Square before making it back to Fantasyland, and he never once made any inappropriate noises or actions. The Pooh ride is closed for refurbishment this week, so that was not an option for him today, but he did spend some time in Tomorrowland riding the people mover and also Buzz Lightyear. That means that really the only area of the park he did not go into today was ToonTown, but there really isn't much back there anyway. It was nice to see him walk all over the park instead of staying locked into Fantasyland. He was very happy the entire time we were in the park, aside from the panic attack at Pirates. I didn't want to push things too far there, I was happy just to see him walk that side of the park. Since the hospital adventure last summer, he really hasn't been willing to go anywhere besides Main Street and Fantasyland, so today was a very good day.

(Well, aside from the fact that he woke up at 6:30 this morning and has been on hyper drive all day. He just finally fell into bed, and I intend to follow suit very shortly.)
Previous total: 1281

1/20/07: 6
1/21/07: 8

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 1/21/07:

Previous total: 1277

12/22/06: 4
Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 12/22/06:

So, yesterday was a bit of a long day.

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lokheed: (Default)
( Dec. 15th, 2006 11:06 pm)
"Life is random and unfair, life is pandemonium."*

Ben fell while skating this evening. He landed on his butt, but he also instinctively put out his hand to catch himself and wound up fracturing his arm just below the wrist. All in all he was good about it, and it could have been much, much worse. I knew something was very wrong as soon as he fell, but I must admit I was extremely relieved when he was moving his hand and flexing his fingers. I held him in my lap to keep him still, and called 911 to get a paramedic out to see him since I didn't think it would be a good idea to drive him immediately after the fall. The ambulance arrived within a matter of minutes, and the paramedic confiermed that it did not appear to be broken. He also suggested that rather than taking Ben to the emergency room, I should take him to the pediatric urgent care place right up the street. That turned out to be a very good suggestion. We walked in the door at 6:05 pm, and by 7:15 he had been examined by the doctor, had three x-rays taken of his arm and hand, had the x-rays read, had a splint placed on the arm, and was ready to go home. If we had gone to the hospital, we would probably still be there now.

He will need to have a cast put on, but that can't happen until Monday. In the meantime he has been prescribed liquid tylenol with codiene for the pain. The fracture is very small and nothing is displaced, and once the initial pain subsided he seemed to be doing very well. When last I saw him, he was well on the way to falling asleep for the night.

For all its worth, Sara was very good about the whole thing. Obviously worried about Ben (she arrived at the urgent care within a few minutes, and before Ben was back to see the doctor), but not the least bit nasty or accusatory to me. She seemed to accept at face value that this was nothing more than an accident, and that no negligence was involved. If she felt otherwise, she certainly worked very hard not to show it. For my part, I can't help but kick myself a little. I never, ever go skating myself without the full protective gear including wrist guards. When Ben skates I have always made him wear a helmet, but I have never even bought pads and wrist guards for him. Obviously that will change. I know I shouldn't feel guilty, but there you have it.

So hey, fun evening, what?

*lyrics from "Pandemonium", The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Previous total: 1259

12/7/06: 3
12/9/06: 15

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 12/9/06:


We spent nearly four hours in the park today. Ben would have gladly stayed longer. I would have gladly eaten glass rather than go on Snow White's Scary Adventures one more time. I must be getting old. (He also rode Pooh 3 times, plus once each on Peter Pan and Mickey's Philharmagic)
Previous total: 1255

10/13/06: 2
10/27/06: 2

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 10/27/06:


I kept meaning to post these, and I am only doing it now because it crossed my mind.

The truth is, I'm not sure it is worth continuing to track this.  Ben is not going to the parks as often, and when he does he is no longer obsessed with just riding SWSA.  This is a good thing.  He definitely wants to go on it, and he enjoys it, but then he wants to go do other things.  As I said, this is a good thing.

In other Ben-related news, he has been eating chicken nuggets like crazy and has also eaten a few other new foods.  He ate some cheese pizza at school last week, and has been eating breakfast fruit bars as well.  We weighed him on the bathroom scale a few days ago, and although I don't trust it as being entirely accurate it seems pretty obvious that he has put on at least five pounds in the last month or so.  This is a very, very good thing.  It appears that the possibility of a g-tube is now extremely remote.  I can't even begin to say how happy I am with Ben's school and teachers right now.
lokheed: (Default)
( Oct. 28th, 2006 06:03 pm)
OK, everyone, time to get out your copies of the 2007 edition of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. You do have a copy, don't you? No? Weird.

Anyway, The Guide, if you are not familiar with it, is the bible for anyone visiting Walt Disney World (WDW). It has been the gold standard for WDW guide books for many years now, generally considered to be the best and most thorough guide book out there. As I understand it, it is also consistently the best selling guide book for WDW every year. So you can imagine I was a bit surprised last year when Len Testa, one of the two authors of the book, sent me an email asking if it would be ok for some people from the Guide to meet us at the Magic Kingdom one day and to ride Snow White's Scary Adventures (SWSA) with Ben.

They had heard about us on the message boards at, and were so amazed by the story of SW1K that they wanted to meet Ben in person and experience the ride through his eyes. The afternoon they met us was very nice. Len was there, as well as a couple of the other support staff who work on the Guide. They rode SWSA with us, and then we sat down and had some lunch at Cosmic Ray's and chatted about Ben, Disney, and other random topics. When they asked us how we stayed sane riding SWSA so much, I commented that I had reached the Zen of Snow White and that nowadays it is the most soothing and relaxing place in the park for me. We also mentioned reading one section in the guide that talked about one poor staffer who had to sit for hours watching crowd patters right underneath a speaker on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority that repeated the same phrase every thirty seconds ("Paging Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow. Your party from Saturn has arrived. Please give them a ring."). We said, "We feel bad for that poor guy, we know exactly what he went through." That's when one of the staffers sheepishly raised his hand and said, "That was me...."

So anyway, nearly a year later I found myself in a bookstore this afternoon and saw the 2007 edition of the guide was out. Out of curiosity I picked it up and thumbed to the entry on SWSA, and was amused to read the following paragraph:

In 2005 we had the good fortune to experience Snow White with Ben, an autistic tyke who, with his family, has seen the attraction more than eleven hundred times. His parents -- far better people than us -- stay sane by thinking of ways to redesign the attraction each time through.

Yup. That's my kid.
lokheed: (Default)
( Oct. 17th, 2006 03:07 pm)
Ben ate chicken nuggets today!  This is the first time he has eaten meat in years.  His class went on a field trip today for lunch at McDonald's, and his teacher got him the chicken nugget meal.  Then she told him he had to eat the chicken before he got any fries.  He actually did it without any complaining.  I could hardly believe it, so on the way home from school we went through McDonald's and got more.  During the drive home he ate a couple more chicken nuggets, and without any argument.  It was absolutely amazing!

I am so happy right now, I don't even know what to do with myself.
Previous total: 1253

8/19/06: 2

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 8/19/06:


This past Saturday was the first time Ben had visited the Magic Kingdom in over two months.  He seemed very happy to be there, but he also didn't want to stay very long.  This weekend seemed more like he wanted to go to a whole bunch of places to check and be sure they still existed after his long absence.
Previous total: 1251

6/4/06: 2

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 6/4/06:


I meant to post this on Sunday, but I forgot.  It's been kinda busy lately.
Previous total: 1215

4/29/06: 9
4/30/06: 15

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 4/30/06:


Over the course of two days he also did several other rides.  The second biggest thing:  he specifically asked to go on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority twice each day and Buzz Lightyear once each day even though we were not in Tomorrowland when he made the request.  Historically I have had to kind of push him in that direction and suggest it, and we hadn't been on either ride in a few months.  The biggest thing:  Ben went on Splash Mountain this weekend for the first time in over three years.  I wouldn't exactly say he enjoyed it, but he walked over to that side of the park completely without being forced and also walked onto the ride entirely of his own free will.  It scared him half to death, but given that we went on to spend another three hours in the park I have to say it didn't appear to have traumatized him.
Previous total: 1206

4/22/06: 9

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 4/22/06:


Also today, rides on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan's Flight, and Mickey's Philharmagic.  Ben was laughing and happy the entire time we were in the park, even when it was pouring down rain.  He had a good time sitting on his favorite bench and watching people, and also sitting in the bay window of the Main Street Confectionary and watching the crowds in the hub.  All in all a good afternoon at the Magic Kingdom.
lokheed: (Default)
( Apr. 20th, 2006 06:44 pm)
I took Ben to the doctor this afternoon, and his checkup went very well.  The doctor said that physically he was just fine, no signs of irritation in the ear/nose/throat department, digestive system sounds good, nothing inflamed anywhere.  He said that the most likely cause of his recent vomiting is that when he was so sick for so long last month he caused an irritation in his GI tract that has not yet healed and is therefore sensitive.  If that is what has happened, then it wouldn't take much to trigger another round of vomiting.  The doctor prescribed a medication normally used to treat acid reflex, and hopefully that will keep things calm and give his stomach time to heal itself.

If that doesn't help, then the next step is blood work and a visit to a GI specialist, but hopefully it won't come to that.
lokheed: (Default)


( Mar. 17th, 2006 11:42 pm)
Ben got sick last week.  He started throwing up at lunch at school on Wednesday, and continued throwing up for the entire afternoon while he was here at the house.  I left for Boston on Thursday morning, and I called every day to check on him while I was gone.  This past week has been spring break, so he hasn't had school and Sara hasn't had work.  He continued to be sick throughout the early part of the week, finally showing signs of improvement as the week wore on.  Again, I called every single day to check up on him.  One evening after work I went down to Sara's place to spend some time with him because he really wasn't up to going out and spending a night here.  I talked to Sara this morning about this weekend, and she thought Ben was doing well enough to spend the normal weekend here.  Although I offered to come down and pick him up after work, Sara thought it would be an easier transition for him if she dropped him off.

Apparently he cried in the car all the way here.  When Sara arrived with Ben (as well has her sister riding along), Ben was sobbing.  He appeared to be terrified to be here in the house.  He begged to take his backpack and go back to the car.  Ultimately, Sara took him back home with her.

I don't know why he was so afraid to be here, I honestly don't.  I am pretty sure it's not the dog, they have gotten along well.  He certainly hasn't had any issues coming here after school every day.  But I could tell from Sara's body language that she thought there was some reason, and that I was hiding something from her.  A few weeks back she noticed some bruises on him and asked where they came from, and I did not know.  Whatever she is imagining, I have no way to disprove.  It scares the hell out of me.

I am going to go down and get Ben on Sunday and take him out for the afternoon.  I think once he starts back at school on Monday things will get better.  My gut feeling is that he is just out of sorts from being so sick for so long, and having his schedule all screwed up.  Getting back to a normal routine should help.  I feel awful for him, and there just doesn't seem to be anything I can do.
Previous total: 1203

3/16/06: 3

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 3/16/06:


Ben has been pretty much knocked flat for the past week, and yesterday was the first time he ventured out of Sara's apartment.  He was happy to get out, and apparently enjoyed going to the Magic Kingdom, but got tired very quickly.  This morning the first thing he said when he woke up was, "Take a tram!"  I expect he and Sara are at the Magic Kingdom right now.
So, last week I went to Fort Worth for several days to work.  Overall it was a very good trip.  Quite a lot of work got done, but really nothing else interesting happened there.  I got to see Walker for dinner one night, which was nice.  He seems to be doing well at his new job.  I also got to have dinner down at the stockyards, which was very, very good.

Over the weekend [ profile] retcon came for a visit, which was great.  Friday night we did Pleasure Island, and at one point he was dancing for quite a while with a seriously smokin' hot chick.  Unfortunately her boyfriend showed up, which was a bummer.  I had already been making plans on sending him a text message saying "have fun, call me when you need to be picked up..."  Ah, well.  Saturday we went to Animal Kingdom and did Expedition Everest, which absolutely rocked.  We also did the safari and grabbed some lunch before going over to MGM.  Over there we did the Tower of Terror, which was excellent as usual - except for the part where it ate my cell phone.  We wrapped up the day at Epcot, with a spin on Mission: Space and dinner in Morocco.  The fireworks were particularly nice, since the park wasn't very crowded and Kris was able to see everything (she usually can't see over the crowd).  It was like our wedding night all over again, and that was pretty dang cool.  Sunday was more of a lazy day, although we did go out and do go-karts at one point.  It was damn cold (yeah, I know, Florida cold - but Riff was cold too, so I don't think I was being a wimp), so we didn't stay out long.  Early Monday morning I had to take Riff back to the airport, and that was it for the visit.  We are hoping that hie will come back again for another visit later in the year, perhaps in the fall when it is comfortably warm without being ungodly hot and humid.

The other big news is that not only is Ben doing very well in his new school, his new teacher has taken aim on the potty training issue.  For the past two days Ben has gone to school in regular underpants, and he has stayed dry all day.  The end of diapers draws near, and we are all deleriously happy about this development.
Previous total: 1184

2/11/06: 6

Running total of the number of time Ben has ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures, as of 2/11/06: