Then on to Universal Studios for the day! We tried to cram all of Universal in to 1 day. (We aren't Harry Potter fans so that did cut some things out.) We loved Universal! Jaycee loved the Transformers ride and the Spiderman ride. Elijah.....he liked shopping. Those rides were a little much for him.
Then Jaycee's moment came...Jaycee watched Barney's show in his theatre. She lit up when she saw Barney on stage.
Jaycee loves Barney. She watches him EVERYDAY! This was such a special time for her!! After the show when all the children were gone, Jaycee had her special time with Barney. She hugged him, danced with him, and took many pictures. Barney spent more time than I expected with Jaycee. This is when I wish she could talk. I wonder what she was thinking when she saw him.
After the Barney visit, we spent the next several hours taking in Universal. The characters here went out of their way to greet us and find Jaycee. They were amazing! They spent time talking to the kids. The people were nice too. One fellow park-goer handed Jaycee a stuffed animal that he was holding since he knew she was a wish child. That was neat! We met lots of characters at Universal but I'll just post one picture of that. How about the Grinch?
We arrived back at the village for a busy night. After dinner and a few spins on the carousal, we went to Mayor Clayton's birthday party. The Mayor of the village is a rabbit and he has a wife too! Jaycee loved the dancing at the party as well as all the games. The kids made birthday cards for the Mayor. At the party, he opened each card and got a photo with every child. Here he is opening Jaycee's card.
During the party, we split up to do some other things going on. The boys went fishing at the pond. It was too cold to catch anything though. The girls hit the salon. Jaycee was able to get her fingernails painted. She chose green, her favorite color. Jaycee loved getting her nails painted! It's funny because it's a struggle when I do it at home.
We headed to our villa to get the kids ready for bed. But, there was one more surprise in store for the kids! The Mayor came to tuck the kids into bed. You can schedule 1 tuck in while you are staying at the village. The kids loved it. Jaycee started jumping on her bed like a rabbit. Then Elijah started imitating her. The Mayor had to calm them down. It was so sweet! A great end to a great day!
*************More about Give Kids the World: When we were in the decision mode, I debated on whether or not GKTW would be a good place for us. I have never really been at a place surrounded by other children with major health conditions other than the hospital. I read great reviews about the place, but I was still wondering if it was really going to be a happy place. Yes, it was! It was beyond happy. The volunteers are happy, the staff are happy, and the other families are all happy. It was kind of amazing to see so many happy people in one place.
The other thing that was good about GKTW is that Jaycee didn't stick out. She used a wheelchair because long walks are hard on her. People here instinctly knew to open doors for us if they saw us coming. Everything was accessible (even the pool). Jaycee wasn't the only child there using a wheelchair. If I gave her a syringe of medicine, no one stared. We fit in here!
I asked Elijah, "Isn't the village nice? And there are other children there in wheelchairs just like your sister uses." I said this to acknowledge that other children were like his sister.
His response: "There were? I didn't notice." He's one of a kind!