Sunday, August 25, 2013

Buddy Walk 2013!

We are down the to the last week of summer; school supplies are labeled and in backpacks, the anticipation of meeting new teachers is high. I have a stack of things needed to be packed for our annual end of summer vacation to the north woods and the kids are super excited to spend five days tubing and playing on the beach. Fall is near.

With the arrival of fall means participating in the Buddy Walk to benefit Wisconsin Upside Down. Three years ago, we attended our first Buddy Walk days before Charlotte underwent open heart surgery. Last year, we had to miss the walk due to Charlotte being in the hospital for her celiac disease. We need to make up for last year, and are hoping we will have lots of family and friends join us for this year's walk.

Wisconsin Upside Down, an organization located right here in our home town of Hartland,  provides support and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome in this area. Money raised during the walk is used to benefit individuals with Down syndrome and their families right here in our community. We participate in different events throughout the year sponsored by WUSD, and are thankful to have opportunities to connect with other families in the area.

This years walk is being held at Nixon Park in Hartland. The walk will start and end in the park, and wind through the streets of the downtown area. There will be lots of fun stuff for the kids to do (bounce houses! games!), music, food, raffles, gift bags for the first 1000 walkers, and a resource area for families.

Since Charlotte's birth, we have been humbled by the amount of support we have received from family and friends. We are incredibly lucky to have so many kind and caring individuals in our lives. Charlotte is one lucky gal, we thank you.


If you would like to join us, please sign up here!
(Make sure you click to join "Charlotte's Web")

If you can't make it, but would like to donate, you can also do that here.

Finally, as I previously mentioned I have recently become a sales consultant for a company called Norwex. I have fallen in love with their products and want to share them! The company aims at reducing the amount of harmful chemicals used in our households. The products WORK, and have cut down on the amount of time I spend cleaning. It has also been incredibly eye opening as I have researched and found how many of the products I was using contained gluten. Charlotte has incredibly sensitive skin, and since switching laundry detergent, lotions and using just water to clean, it has cut down on the amount of skin irritation and rashes she experiences. If you are interested in learning more or have questions please let me know. Also, in support of Wisconsin Upside Down and this year's Buddy Walk, I will donate 35% of anything purchased through this link.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Get ready for school.

Charlotte's favorite show, Bubble Guppies, just released a new episode last week: "Get Ready for School." The theme song from that episode has been stuck in my head all week, and I have to tell you, I am starting to get a bit nervous.

Charlotte starts preschool in two weeks. Her last therapy session with the three therapists who have worked with her since she was 15 months-old is on Wednesday. We both will be sad to say goodbye to the people who have helped Charlotte so much the past two years. We are in the midst of a big transition around here, and I think it is harder for me than for Charlotte. I have a feeling she is going to power through these changes like a rockstar, but I can't help but be anxious.

The past few weeks Charlotte has suddenly seemed more grown up. Less toddler-ish, more preschooler-ish. Her verbal skills are once again taking off, and 2, 3, even 4 word phrases are flowing. She counts everything, regularly points out letters and colors, and is developing a crazy sense of humor. She is ready for school. I know she is going to do great.

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Each time she climbs in the car she tries to sit in her sister's seat....little does she know she is a long way from being THAT grown up ;-)! 
My fears stem from a few different sources. The first being, even though Charlotte's verbal skills have improved greatly in the past  6 months, she still is not nearly as verbal as Katherine and Will were during their first year of preschool. I will not be able to pick her up from school and get a play-by-play of her day. I will have frequent contact with her teachers and therapists, but it won't be the same as being there the entire time, as I have been the past three years. I know this will be good for both of us in the end, but it is still hard.

My other fear is the expectations of others. I have high expectations for my daughter. So does Mike, and her siblings, and our family and friends. We all KNOW what Charlotte is capable of. It is my hope that her new teachers and therapists will have the same expectations. I watched this summer as Charlotte slowly manipulated her swim instructor into letting her do whatever she liked, simply by saying "no, thank you" and giving her teacher a hug when she didn't want to do something. Charlotte can be very persuasive and is at times hard to tell no, but I have learned to be firm in order to help her succeed at a task. I hope others can look past her extra chromosome and stereotypes they may have and keep their expectations high; believe me, she is capable.

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Before school starts, however, we have a few more weeks of summer fun. Some playdates, maybe another zoo trip, and some water fun. We also have a long weekend of fun up north with family, hanging out on the beach and boat.

Enjoy the last days of summer....