We started off the day at midnight... or does that count as yesterday? :)
We prepped all their clothes, set up extra clothes for the day, got breakfast stuff and meds as prepped as we could, set up drinks and snacks, and... and generally tried to make this morning's preparation go smoothly. IT WORKED! :)
We had everyone up, dressed, fed, shoes on, hair brushed, glasses on, medicines done, to the bathroom for a second time, the wheelchair switched out for the stroller, and Wesley showered (he spits up pretty much every morning), then we were out the door for the third time (um... we still have that "oh, right... we forgot _______" even with the best of planning ahead of time...) by 9:30am.
A thirty minute drive to the park, then we met up with Elizabeth (Meredith's sister) and her two boys, Meredith's parents, and many friends, neighbors, and strangers that we enjoyed the morning with! A 1-mile walk along the river in beautiful weather and only the threat of rain at about 11:40 made for a great time!
Of course things couldn't go off without a hitch... so right after the 1-mile walk, we found a shaded area and put out a blanket and... discovered that Wesley's feeding bag had POPPED. Yes, there was formula everywhere, pooled all in the cooler and dripping out of it as well. Thankfully we had a water bag with us as well, but it only held less than half of the formula. With the help from my dad, we dumped the water, poured the formula over to the new bag, dumped a bottle of water in to a cup and filled the bottle with formula, then set the bag aside in the grass to come back to later when we had a second empty water bottle available. WHEW. Twenty minutes of craziness to get that all done and cleaned up and then grab some food for the kids (and adults) and snack a little. That was the one crazy hitch of the morning... then the impending rain that was threatening as we were enjoying some of the vendor booths :).
And... I got NO team picture from the Buddy Walk this year! :( We even talked about it before the walk but were about to leave and... well, afterward with the feeding pump issue and the impending rain we just didn't think about it again!
What I found was two super-organized leaders and I never did get a count on the teen workers! We did go grab everyone out of the car as the mist let up and the sun came back out a little bit. Before we'd even really decided to bring all 9 kids out to the field, one of the coaches and 4 volunteers showed up at the front of my van and offered to take the kids they were working with.
|Kristopher and Lynae|
|Kristopher and Lynae|
It's a balancing act, trying new things and trying to let all of our children experience fun activities and yet knowing what the after effects of activities like this will be for some of our kids that just don't adapt well to changes. We continue to work out the struggles, and to prepare for them ahead of time, and today was no exception.
All in all, it was a great day and we look forward to future TOPS gatherings in the coming weeks!