Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1 of Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

I won't lie when I say one of the advantages to this blogging challenge for October (I blog every day of the 31 days of the month in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness) is that I can just title my posts by the day of the month.  It's the small things I look for to make my life just a little easier.

So here I go; my third 31 for 21 challenge.  As I stated above, I am challenging myself to blog each day of October in support of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  It will most definitely be a challenge as I have struggled a lot lately with finding extra time to do anything.  But I also know I really need this.  Because I have been so overwhelmed lately by the combination of work and home, I need to use this for the reason I started it; an outlet.

For numerous reasons, work has been much more time consuming this year.  I bring something home with me almost every night and every weekend and it's definitely taking its toll on my sanity when combined with an already busy life full of responsibilities.  Then there's that whole sleeping thing and so there hasn't been much time left for me.

I will get into ways I'm trying to deal with the stress in a day or two, but for now, I want to focus on my whole reason for doing this.  Tera.

One of the things I have found that almost always helps me refocus is holding Tera while she sleeps.  Even after two and a half years, it's still just as special to me as it was when she was first born.  There is just something about watching my own child sleep in my arms that brings an enormous amount of peace to my mind.  I watch her little tongue hang out just between her lips, I feel her hands resting on my arms, I study her feet which I absolutely adore.  I watch her little Buddha belly go up and down as she breathes, and tonight I listened to her mumble "dada" as she was falling asleep.  The ironic thing is that I usually have a whole bunch of things waiting to be done when she is finally asleep, and yet when that happens, I typically have a hard time actually putting her down and getting to them; I just don't want to let her go.  I think I feel better about myself as a mom for that.

Today is one of my favorite days of the school year because I get to teach about Tera.  For the third year now, I have taken this first day of October to spend class time explaining to my students what Down Syndrome is and answering their questions.  It's the one day of the year they can get away with postponing a lesson and it generally is a day of the year in which I have most if not all of their attention.  I take my job as an educator very seriously and I am a firm believer that educating means teaching more than just your subject area and today my subject was Tera.  As with the first two years, my kids were great.  They were understanding, interested, curious, and respectful and I look forward to the questions they bring in the next several months.

I wish I had the time to share all of Tera's uniqueness, but our class periods are only 47 minutes long.  If I had more time, there are some things I've noticed more lately that I would share.  On the nights when she is still awake after her nebulizer as I take her up to bed, she waves goodnight to the fish in our fish tank outside her room.  She looks her happiest when she can have both Tom and I together with her.  There are times when one of us might be with her while the other one is doing something.  As soon as she can get the three of us together, she smiles as though all is right in the world.  She has moments when she needs a hug immediately and she'll hold out her hands and kind of whimper until she gets one.  She will lay her head on your shoulder and then pat your back.

I could go on and I have several other things I'm thinking about, but I do have 30 more days of this so I should probably save some stuff.  I would absolutely love any suggestions as to what to include this month so if you have something you'd like to me to do, include, or write about, please let me know.  The idea is awareness so please help me to spread that in whatever way you can.  Thank you as always for reading and for the support of everyone, I appreciate it more than I can ever say.  Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!!!

I'll be sharing facts again this month so for those of you who have been following since the beginning, it'll just be a refresher and for anyone new, enjoy :)

Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. 

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