Every year, the National Down Syndrome Congress hosts a convention where people from all over the country came come to participate in workshops and get the latest information about Down syndrome. Leading experts in the Down syndrome community give presentations on the how to address the health, educational, social, behavioral, therapeutic, and behavioral needs of individuals with Down syndrome. This year, it was held in Phoenix, Arizona at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. As if the draw of the convention wasn't enough, the lure of the resort and the opportunity to see wonderful friends convinced Travis and I to make this our anniversary getaway.
Fortunately for us, the world's best sister, who happens to also be the world's best aunt, cleared her schedule so she could take care of our kiddos (with a little help from Mama Hop).Leanne's been at this aunt thing for several years now and she's well aware of how much work is involved. She runs a tight ship! Within an hour of arriving at our house, she came and found in the girls' closet where I was hanging clothes, and she read the document she'd drafted containing her babysitting "policies" and behavioral expectations.
Leanne and I discussed her compensation for successfully completing this babysitting gig as well as the prospective rewards that compliant children could earn:
With the promise of fun in the sun awaiting, coupled with an experienced and loving babysitter, it was time to get down to the logistics. Us Type A, neurotic types can only truly relax and have fun once we've scrupulously checked every item off of our list. I typed up instructions, schedules, emergency contacts, and even a map. I set aside a laundry basket full of clean, coordinated outfits.
Then I proceeded to pack for myself. Since my day-to-day housewife attire falls somewhere between barely presentable and not half bad (if worn during the Clinton administration), I did a little shopping, stood on a chair in front of the bathroom mirror and texted some selfies to a trusted panel of friends. Baby Lydia even got in on the action and the next thing you know, I temporarily suspended my membership to The Yoga Pants Society.
Sadly, no amount of organization and planning could prepare me to say goodbye to the sweetest, cuddliest, happiest(as-long-as-mom-is-within-view) baby in the world. Lydia may only be a year old but she knew something was going on and she turned the clinginess quotient up full blast.
As heartbreaking as it was to leave my 3 babies, I knew it was an important opportunity to take a break, recharge my batteries, and nurture my marriage. The girls were in excellent hands and I was off to indulge in a fun-filled weekend at a beautiful resort with my best friend.
I've been dying to blog about the incredible experience that is the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention. It was such a awesome weekend jam-packed with so much terrific information that it will undoubtedly require more than one post. Your patience is appreciated as my parental duties and the subsequent exhaustion that accompanies my parental duties sometimes have a tendency to derail my best intentions to blog. Can I get an "Amen" from all of my fellow mothers? Solidarity, sisters. Solidarity.