Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Sep '09


Yesterday as I was pushing Wes in a cart out of the grocery store a lady stopped me and said, “Is he Down syndrome?”


She smiled big and said, “Do you know how BLESSED you are?”

I think I said something about how people often tell me that.

Turns out she had four boys, and then one girl. Her girl, the youngest, has Down syndrome. The doctors said she wouldn’t live past three, and now she’s forty. The lady called her daughter her “perfect princess.”

I forget sometimes that Wes is a little different. I rarely think about it. Today at the Buddy Walk I looked around and remembered that Wes is different when I saw all the other kids there who LOOK like Wes. It’s like I have to see him around other people with Down syndrome and then I remember that’s what he is, too.

When Wes was first born we took him to all the local events that brought together families with kids with Down syndrome. And while they were good things to attend, I always left shaken. Because I could not see how my little baby could grow up to look like the other kids I saw there. They looked so different than what I was used to. They acted a little different. And at events like that you see all varieties of the disability, some more severe than others.

I guess it’s the being different part that makes Wes a little special. And that, like the lady said in the store, is what makes us so blessed.


Buddy Walk

Today was our county’s Buddy Walk. I organized a Zumba demo for it to help promote our upcoming Zumba fundraising party. Two of the instructors that will be teaching at the party came and we performed for the crowd while they ate lunch.

Some things I learned about organizing a demo.

1) Things may be totally different from what the organizers told you to expect. Plan to improvise.

2) When making a hand-painted banner use a ruler to measure and outline your words before you start painting. That blasted banner took me two hours to make, but it was better because I measured first.

3) Elmer’s makes a really nifty product called Squeeze ‘n Brush where you squeeze the bottle and paint comes out the brush. So you just squeeze ‘n brush. Like the name says.

4) Those Squeeze ‘n Brush paint bottle run out fast. But they are really fun to use. And totally washable.

The demo was good. We danced on the grass in the middle of the crowd as they ate lunch. A few brave kids jumped right in and grooved alongside us. We met some great people and passed around bunches of flyers.

Here’s the best part, completely unrelated to the demo:

Just before the demo started two ladies walked up to me and said, “Is this Wesley?”

I said, “Yes,” and they asked me if I remembered them. I stared at them dumbly for a few second but still drew a complete blank.

Turns out–get this–they were two of Wesley’s nurses when he was born. Paula helped deliver him, and Tamara was there a lot during Wesley’s twelve days in the NICU. They came over because they recognized him. AND they remembered his NICU nickname: Squeaker (because of his squeaky little cry).

Wesley hung out with them while we did our demo. I was so happy to see them again. It was probably one of the best parts of the day.

The other best part was the balloon Wes got at the Buddy Walk.

The only other balloon Wesley’s ever had was at his birthday a couple of weeks ago, and he wouldn’t go near it. It scared him.

For whatever reason, Wes is really into balloons now! He talked to it while he pulled it all over the house.


Zumba Halloween Party Fundraiser

I’m helping to organize a fundraiser for the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation. It will be a two-hour Zumba party with a Halloween theme.

Since I mentioned it, here’s the official promo:

Let me tell you, organizing a fundraiser can entail a lot of time-consuming effort. Some lessons I’ve learned so far:

1) Companies are really excited to sponsor an event for a non-profit organization (like the UDSF). Three words: Tax Write-Off

2) Companies frequently lose your faxes and forget to return your phone calls.

3) But when companies do help you out, they really help you out. Our terrific printer donated $200 worth of gorgeous color flyers and posters to help us get the word out about the party. We never could have afforded that.

If you live in the area, plan to come! Four terrific instructors, giveaways, food, fun, and Zumba in costumes!

Sep '09

Our Budding Musician

John and I both like music. I play the cello. We have a piano, but neither John nor I are great players.

Now Wes, on the other hand…


Family Night at the Temple

Today for our family activity we visited the temple grounds.

Wes walking to the temple.

There’s a fountain out front that Wes had his hand in for about ten minutes before we finally pulled him away from it.

Wes has a shiner on his forehead from bonking into a coffee table last week.

Sep '09


I’m often dancing around the house, practicing for the Zumba classes I teach. Just this week Wes has found his own dancing feet.


(Song: “Me Estas Tentando”)