Oct 5, 2014: Living on the Face of the Sun

Okay, okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic—maybe it’s not quite that hot. But seriously, 95 degrees in October? Insanity!

And so, we broiled those kind souls who came out to Sam’s Step Up for Down Syndrome walk today! Thankfully, we were able to stake out a shady picnic table in the park, so it was bearable at our table, and we didn’t venture far from it. We did go out into the crowd for a bit to play a couple of games and let Theo go through the bouncy obstacle course, but it was just too hot to do much of that. Still, we had a great time. Grandma and Papa came out to join us, as did Auntie Jeanette and Justin. And this year’s surprise addition to our team was one of Sam’s teachers at Early Intervention, Miss Julie, and her husband, Tim. It was so nice to see everyone!

A cool thing about the walk this year was that they did a superhero theme, and some local organization made capes for all of the people with DS. So Sam got to walk across the finish line sporting his beautiful lavender superhero cape! Miss Julie’s husband tried to get some pictures, so hopefully he will send them to me. (Chris and I were busy walking Sam across the finish line, so obviously we couldn’t take the pictures!)

The cheerleading squad from a local high school was also there, flanking the path through the balloon archway at the finish line, and so the participants had their own cheering squad as they crossed the line. We got to submit a line about why Sam is a superhero that they would announce as he crossed, and we shared that this year, he learned to walk! And indeed he did walk across the finish line—but I think the best part was when he stood at the beginning of the row of cheerleaders cheering for him and did his usual “YAYYYYYYY!!!!!” and applauded wildly for himself. Sam’s a big fan of earning applause and will gladly give it to himself, too. 🙂

As long as I’m on the subject of Sam’s walk and people who deserve applause—if you donated to our walk or joined us in the heat, you get a huge round of applause, too! Thanks to you, we blew our proposed fundraising goal of $1,500 out of the water! Are you ready for the total? With your help, we raised a total of almost $2,300 for Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area! And we cannot thank you enough! As you may know, every week we chose a winner from that week’s donors, and we offered either a fabulous (okay, thoughtful, if not particularly fabulous) prize or a matching donation. Almost everyone asked for a matching donation, so at the end of our fundraising efforts, Chris and I made a $300 donation to match all the winners from the fundraising period. And Chris’s excellent company matches charitable donations, so they have processed a matching donation that should arrive in DSC’s coffers shortly. All told, that brought us to almost $2,300. You guys are awesome!! Sam sends hugs and sloppy Sam kisses to all of you!

Anyway, back to the heat… Sunday wasn’t the only blistering day. Saturday was unbelievably hot, too, so we felt the need to escape it. We had thought Fleet Week was this weekend, so we were going to head over to San Francisco to watch the Blue Angels perform. Unfortunately, we had the date wrong—they perform next weekend (when, unfortunately, we have previous commitments all weekend so we won’t be able to attend—which is a shame because I think Theo would’ve really loved it this year, and Sam never met a plane he didn’t like!). But we decided it was still worth heading to SF, which was only supposed to be in the 80s, compared to our 95 degrees. So, we went to the SF Zoo. We haven’t been there since they opened the new playground, and it turned out to be an excellent day to go. Blue skies, gorgeous weather, babies at the zoo (the baby gorilla was adorable!), and an excellent new playground. The boys had a ball!

We got home in the mid-afternoon, and then around dinnertime we walked downtown to the Oktoberfest. Our little community has an adorable, sleepy little downtown with a couple of restaurants, a coffee shop, a post office, a couple of hairdressers, and a park. It’s pretty quiet down there much of the time (although the park is pretty hopping!), but it really comes alive for Oktoberfest and a couple of other events throughout the year. So we walked down there, let Theo play some games (he actually won a stuffed toy on a basketball toss—sports aren’t usually his strong point, so I was really excited to see him make the basket!), let Theo ride a few rides, and just ambled around. Sam was happy every time they played polka music—he would dance happily in his stroller and yell “YAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!” Apparently he is a polka fan….

This week has been busy but not especially eventful. It’s been busy because, as usual, I overbooked myself. I’m notorious for doing that. And I made a grave error on scheduling that I definitely will not make again. I’m teaching two classes, and in the past it has always worked well for me to have online discussions due on Tuesdays and graded homework/exams due on Thursdays. So I set that as the schedule for both classes—without stopping to think that getting forty assignments to grade every Thursday might be a little…um, challenging. Plus, I’ve had a particularly challenging work assignment. So the end result is that I’ve been getting up around 4:45 every morning to work, and often working until 9:00 at night. Not ideal. And hopefully not going to be the case after the end of this next week, though we’ll see. I’m exhausted, but I’m going to keep pushing through to that light at the end of the tunnel—and hopefully learn from my mistake and not overbook myself again! So if you’ve noticed radio silence from me, that’s why. Yawn…

I also had two meetings for Sam this week—one to go over his most recent developmental assessment, and one to prep me for his upcoming transition meeting (transition meaning, transition into the school system and leaving Early Intervention—wail!). I think I’m going to wait until next week to fill you in on the pre-transition meeting, because the actual first transition meeting is tomorrow, and I’ll know more after that. But the short version is, I wish Sam didn’t have to leave Early Intervention in February, but he does. And now we face some very tough decisions about what the best school environment for him will be. We know what would be ideal in our minds—but making it happen may be very challenging. Blah…

In case you missed it, this wasn’t the only post from today. I also posted my take on the debate over whether October should be Down Syndrome Awareness month or Down Syndrome Acceptance month. Click here to read it. 

Anyway, I’m going to sign off for now, but I hope you have a lovely, cool week—and that eventually you share some of that coolness with those of us baking in Northern California!

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