The Disney Ruling Class

So, when you have a toddler who likes colorful things and singing, you find yourself listening to and watching a lot of Disney movies. When you and your husband are also history dorks who have a lot of general knowledge of the royal hierarchies of various countries, you might find yourself wondering which of the Disney Princesses has the highest rank. Well, I’ve made my own ranking of who has the most royal clout out of the 13 main Princesses. You are welcome.

Elsa from Frozen would get top spot. She’s already a Queen Regnant, so she gets the honor of being the current ruler of the Ruling Class. If she were to die or abdicate, the following would be the line of succession:

2. Anna from Frozen, only because she’s next in line to Elsa by right of being her sister. If not for that, she drops down to #10.

3. Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. She is a Princess Royal (next in line for the throne) in her own right, and she marries Prince Philip, a Prince Royal. The two of them together would be a King Regnant and Queen Regnant, as opposed to either of them being Consorts.

3. Rapunzel from Tangled. She is next in line to become a Queen Regnant, and her husband will be a Prince Consort, since he is a commoner.

4. Merida from Brave. She is also a Princess Royal, destined to be a Queen Regnant…unless she gets screwed over by Salic Law and her brothers inherit.

5. Ariel from The Little Mermaid. While her personal rank is lower on the scale due her older sisters, she marries a Prince Regnant, who will eventually become a King Regnant, making her a Queen Consort.

6. Snow White (eponymous). She is a princess of unspecified rank who marries a prince of unspecified rank. Definitely royal, but no one knows to what degree.

7. Jasmine from Aladdin. This one is kind of weird. Jasmine holds the position of the only child of a sultan. This means that when she marries, she will become a sultana. However, given that most societies are patriarchal, her husband will take the title of Sultan and ultimately hold all the power.

8. Cinderella (eponymous). She is the daughter of some minor noble who marries a Prince Royal and will eventually become a Queen Consort.

9. Belle from Beauty and the Beast. A commoner, she marries a Prince Regnant of some minor principality in France. She will become a Princess Consort.

(This is where Anna would go, were it not for her direct blood relation to the only current Queen)

10. Pocahontas (eponymous). While not technically royal, she holds the rank of Chief’s daughter and is considered honorary royalty. She marries a commoner, so her rank remains the same.

11. Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. She is a commoner who marries a Prince who likely abdicates his throne in order to be with her, making them both commoners.

12. Mulan (eponymous). She is a commoner who marries a commoner. She only gets to rule if everyone else dies first.

I haven’t seen any sequels, so this whole thing assumes no children/heirs. So there you have it. Disney’s Ruling Class Hierarchy.


Little Things

Little Miss Minion has been surprising us with little things recently. She learned “old McDonald” at daycare last week, so now she sings that all the time. She talked to me about “dinosaurs-raaaawr” yesterday and wanted to watch dinosaur videos. I was getting her changed at some point and she told me to “watch my fingers” so I didn’t smush them in the dresser drawer. She got a little set of magnetic numbers and letters for Christmas and she can identify quite a few of them. It seems like each time we play with them, she knows one or two more.

This morning, she wanted me to carry her into daycare because it was too cold to walk. She also told me that Santa was coming because of the snow, and then we had to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. She can tell when we pull into the parking lot of daycare and she yells “we’re heeeeere!” When I pick her up at the end of the day, she says “mama, go home. Ebby bay home.” Ebby bay = everybody.

Next up: speech assessment in March.


Since Little Miss Minion is coming up on her third birthday, she will be aging out of her early intervention program. Once she ages out, she will either qualify for services through our local school district or she will be considered caught up with her peers and will not need additional services.

If she needs services, the district will provide transport to and from her daycare and the school. I think they said she would do half days a couple days a week. She will be tested for speech, gross motor skills, and cognition. Our appointment is in about a month and a half, closer to her birthday.

If she doesn’t qualify, there are other avenues we can go down if we feel like she still needs help.

I guess we will find out. Her appointment is toward the end of March. It will be done at the school building with their therapists.

March of Dimes

I have some exciting news! One of Little Miss Minion’s primary nurses has stayed in contact with us since we left the NICU. We have been invited to present our story to our state senators and representatives in March! We will be part of an Advocacy Day for the March of Dimes, which is an organization that does tons of research on prematurity and birth defects.

This visit will entail meetings with our local representatives and telling them about our experience in the NICU. I’m assuming the purpose is to help keep funding or grants or something. More details on that later. I’ll be working on a short explanation of my pregnancy complications and of LMM’s NICU stay and complications.

I don’t have a ton of info yet, but I’m so excited (and nervous) to be able to help this organization.

Reindeer & Santa

The Christmas Season has arrived and Little Miss Minion is learning new vocabulary to go along with it. Yesterday, she asked for “reindeer song” in the car on the way home from daycare and then asked “santa coming?” off and on for the rest of the evening.

She is talking much more since her surgery and my theory is that the fluid was slowly building up and pushing on the part of her brain that controls speech. Less pressure=more talking. Some of her delay could be due to the PVL (essentially, this is dead or damaged brain tissue) but it’s hard to know for sure.

This spring brings the expiration of her enrollment in the early intervention program that gives her physical and speech therapies. She probably won’t qualify for PT since she is pretty much caught up with her peers, so that will be one less specialist. Speech is a toss up right now. There is a big jump coming in expectations and if she doesn’t keep up, she might qualify for services through our local school district. I have a feeling she will still qualify but she’s improved so much over the past few weeks, it’s hard to tell.

Hoping everyone is having a cheery holiday season so far! Remember to wash your hands and keep the cold/flu/RSV germs away!

Preemie Awareness Month

It’s that time again!

I saw this poem today and wanted to share. 

It reminds me of hearing all the stats in the NICU about how small and early LMM was, and how she might have this problem or that one. And then listening to HER, as she proceeded to kick the crap out of the statistics and showed us what strength really means. 

So happy preemie Awareness month. And remember: anything can happen, child. Anything can be. 

Brain Surgery #5

First of all, Little Miss Minion is doing well and we are home. Don’t let the title of this post scare you. 
Monday night, we noticed that LMM was acting like she had a headache. She still doesn’t really talk much, but she was rubbing her head and crying off and on. She had speech therapy that night and seemed ok except for the head rubbing and generally seeming a little “off.” Tuesday was more of the same, but the problem with hydrocephalus is that the symptoms of a shunt malfunction are very subtle until they aren’t anymore. Irritability, being cranky, headaches…but when it happened for the third day, we listened to our guts and took her to the ER. They did a “shunt series” X-ray, which takes pictures of the shunt in its entirety to make sure that all the pieces are where they should be. Sometimes the distal catheter (the end where the extra fluid drains from) gets moved or blocked. Sometimes the system gets disconnected. Everything looked ok on the shunt series but they couldn’t explain the crankiness and headaches so the neurosurgeon wanted a CT scan to see the ventricles. Sure enough, one of her shunts had stopped working so the cerebrospinal fluid wasn’t draining like it should have been. 
They admitted us to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) to monitor LMM and decide on the timing of the surgery. As soon as we knew the shunt wasn’t working, surgery was a certainty. There is no other way to “fix” hydro. So we were taken to the PICU to spend the night. 
LMM is now two, and she knows a little bit more about what is going on. She handled it really well, and fell asleep on me while we were walking down to the surgery suites. They gave her a little bit of a sedative to keep her calm while they took her back to get prepped and while it was kicking in, she started cracking up laughing. It was a nice stress reliever. 🙂
The neurosurgeon came out after surgery to talk to us and said the surgery had gone well. We got to come back and see her in recovery while the anesthesia wore off soon after. After a few minutes back in recovery, we were cleared to go back up to the picu. As they were wheeling her out, the nurses at the central station all waved to her and she waved back from her bed. 
Within an hour, she was chugging water. An hour after that, she was onto jello, and soon after that, she was cleared for real food. Everyone was impressed at how fast and how well she was coming off the anesthesia. Last time, she was groggy and slept for most of the day. That was also about 23 months ago, so she was much smaller. 

We were discharged the following afternoon and LMM has been back to her regular happy self. 🙂
Many thanks to the incredible nurses we had this time. This hospital is not our first choice, but it is the one that her neurosurgeon primarily works out of. Our nurses were hands down the best we’ve ever had at this hospital.