Monday, September 17, 2007

Lamb's Farm Buddy Walk

We attended the Lamb's Farm Buddy Walk yesterday. Lamb's Farm is a wonderful place for adults with developmental disabilities.

They hosted the Buddy Walk which is a Down syndrome Awareness walk. They had a large tent set-up for different Down syndrome organizations to display info. We worked at the Gigi's Playhouse ( booth.

The 2 women working at the booths next to me were great. One was from NADS ( She was sharing stories about her son who is 20 with DS. He really wants his driver's license. He learned how to drive at 16 but hasn't taken the official test yet. I am so glad that that is at least 9 years off for Sophia. I have full plans to drive her everywhere she needs to go for th rest of her life. I am sure she won't have anything to say about that ;)

Another woman was from Ups for Downs. She was telling me about her daughter with DS, who is in 7th grade. As soon as she said 7th grade, I conjure up images in my head of Sophia in 7th grade. She's chasing boys, kissing boys. God help me. I snap back to reality. I tell the mom that Sophia sure talks about Drake and Josh a lot (Nickolodeon show)-that Drake is her boyfriend and she's going to California to see him. The mom smiles in acknowlegement and says that her daughter also likes Drake and Josh. I tell her half-jokingly that I was hoping that maybe Sophia won't be interested in boys-that somehow DS will take away all those hormones. She laughed and said, "Are you kidding?" and gave me an all-knowing smirk. I think she deicided to spare me the details of her 7th grade daughter and boys-kind of like nobody tells you about the pain of labor. Some things you just have to find out for yourself.

I also kind of have an unwritten rule in life. It's pretty simple-One Day At a Time! Who knows what the future will bring but I do have today to enjoy and I will savor every moment-even the wet marks on the t.v. left behind when Sophia kisses Drake.

September Seeds Reap October's Rewards

September is always an exciting month-back to school, falling into a routine, the smell of fall in the crisp air. I look forward to September because I will have some "time for myself". I am not sure why I look forward to that because truth be told, I enjoy myself more when I am busy doing things for others. When September came along I quickly signed up for volunteer opportunities at school. I am also on the Board at Gigi's Playhouse, a Down syndrome Awareness Center. One of my favorite things about September is all of the preparion I do for October, which is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. If you want anything published about DS, one needs to send out press releases in Spetember. If you would like your child's school newspaper to print something about it, you need to submit in September. I am involved with Gigi's Playhouse Down syndrome Awareness calendar and we wrap it up and send it to the printer in... you guessed it...September. As many of you know, Sophia was a May bride in last year's calendar. You will have to buy one to see what she is for 2008! The theme again this year is "Believe". I also contact all of the local school and public libraries to make sure they display their books about Down syndrome in October. I also tell them where they can get free copies of books pertaining to DS-a local group called Ups for Downs makes them available for free! We have donated our favorites to Sophia's and Mira's schools.

There are lots of new beginnings in September, too. The girls both just started Hip Hop class. This is the FIRST dance class that allows both of their age groups so I am very excited they are together. I find myself worrying more about Mira as I watch the class. She doesn't like to let loose as much. The last time she took dance was when she was 3 and she ran off the stage at the recital. 6 years later, she was ready to try it again. Sophia, on the other hand, is the first to volunteer to show a dance step when the taecher asks. I have also glimpsed her practicing at home-doing the counts out loud like a professional! Sophia also starts CCD tomorrow. I work hard not to get upset with the Catholic Church that they can not acommodate special needs kids in their schools (at least here in the Chicago suburbs). If they did, Sophia would be in school with her sister and religion would be part of her daily schooling. Thankfully, Sophia talks about God and Jesus, says her nightly prayers, and definitely walks in Jesus' footsteps. I know she will be very excited to receive Communion. After Mira made her Communion, it got increasingly hard to prevent Sophia from throwing a fit at the altar when we all went up for Communion-especially if the priest didn't bless her. Depending on who the priest is, they will do a sign of the cross over a child who clearly is younger than 8. One time, Sophia actually laid on the floor because she was so angry that the priest didn;t even acknowledge her. Fortunately, now she walks with her arms crossed and hands on her shoulders-which seems to get the message across. She gets a blessing and sweetly smiles, triumphant.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I have a blog!

Hello! may think I am internet savvy but the idea only recently ocuured to me that these daily rumblings in my head can actually be put on to paper. Well, virtual paper anyway! Blogs seemed like somthing for 20-somethings until I started coming across a ton of them. I really enjoy reading how Down syndrome has changed families the world over. Once I figure out how, I will put links to some of my favorite bloggers. Anyone, I don't necessarily think I have anything earth-shattering to say but I like the idea of an open dialogue and where it can lead. I have "met" many other moms online and their stories inspire me. At the very least, this will give you a little glimpse into our life-a life better than I could have ever imagined for myself. Who would have thought that a "little something extra" on Sophia's 21st chromosome would be one of our family's greatest blessings?