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Last fall, we took the kids to their first Auburn football game.

I stressed about navigating Game Day in the days leading up to it, and parts of it were, without a doubt, a challenge. It was bittersweet and strange, but I was glad that we took them – so glad that we decided to go to another game this past weekend.

Our seats weren’t great – high in the upper deck, above the student section. The location was odd, because we couldn’t see and could barely hear the band that was directly below us. It was like we were watching the game in pseudo-isolation. But it was Auburn, and it was Game Day, and we were all there together, so that made it great.

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Unlike last year, I didn’t fret about how we’d navigate the stadium. We had the loaner wheelchair, which weighs almost nothing and is easy for Sarah Kate to propel. We knew where to park, we knew where to get our elevator passes, and we knew where to stash the wheelchair while we were watching the game.

It was a piece of cake.

As much as I hate to admit it, I kind of love having that wheelchair. Sarah Kate has never had anything but a transport chair before; it’s a glorified stroller so she always had to have someone free to push her when she used it. It was no biggie when she was six, but at eleven it’s not much fun for her or for the pusher. More importantly, a transport chair screams dependence – the new chair provides freedom.

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I tried teaching Sarah Kate a little more about football – I was already well versed in first downs, quarterbacks, and field goals when I was her age – and it sorta/kinda worked. She got a new watch earlier in the week and took a great deal of pleasure in setting it to match the pre-game countdown timer. Once the game started, she tried to keep up with the game clock, as well, and sorta/kinda succeeded for a quarter or so.

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But quite possibly the highlight of the day was Nathan’s sudden decision to let us know whenever he had to go potty, and to keep his pull-up dry all the way up and back (four hours each way) in the car, as well as nearly the whole time we were in Auburn. He also learned what I was assured by Mr. Andi will one day soon be a valuable skill – the ability to pee between two car doors when in a public place without a bathroom nearby.

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War Eagle, Y’all!

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Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week.

According to Jenkins, Best to Keep a Person With Down Syndrome at Home – A spotlight on the letter to the editor written by the brother of the Frederick County Sheriff regarding the Ethan Saylor case. This kind of thinking is, unfortunately, still widespread.

For Barry Trotz and wife, transition to Washington centers around son with Down syndrome – A lovely vignette of the Trotz family and the challenges they are facing in the move to Washington

Learning When (Not) to Talk to Strangers About My Child’s Disability – Raise your hand if you’re a special needs mom and you’ve done what she did. I know I’m guilty.

Increasingly, Adults With Down Syndrome Face Alzheimer’s – A thoughtful look at the realities of this dreaded disease

Cerebral palsy doesn’t stop Zephyrhills High swimmer – Hoping this will be Sarah Kate in a few years!

Photo of the Week:

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Seven Snippets: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Fire Truck (Bed)

September 26, 2014

— 1 — You want to see what progress has been made on the Fire Truck Bed, right? Well, your wish is my command: This photo was taken Wednesday night, before Mr. Andi built the steps (which will double as storage). It’ll probably be a couple more weeks before it’s completely finished – we (read: Mr. Andi) […]

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How to Be a Loser Tourist in NYC

September 25, 2014

I took a whirlwind trip to New York this week. I left around 9:00 on Monday morning and flew back on Tuesday, arriving home just after 9:00 p.m. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some tweets from me about what I was doing, but if not, I’ll be writing more about […]

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Weekend Warriors

September 23, 2014

On Saturday night, I was sitting on the couch with a traumatized Stella in my lap (we shaved her – it wasn’t fun) and I got to thinking: this blog used to be all about our daily life, with much (most?) of it in photos, but over the past several months it really hasn’t been. I think […]

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Sun-Beams: September 21, 2014

September 21, 2014

Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week. Boy’s ‘True Colors’ Cover Reminds World His Sister With Down Syndrome Is Like Any […]

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Seven Snippets: Zoom Ball, Waiting Room Therapy Sessions, and Pick a Sister: Elsa or Anna

September 19, 2014

— 1 — If your child goes to physical therapy, are you familiar with Zoom Ball? Because we most certainly are. In 2006, I have a photo of Sarah Kate playing Zoom Ball with her therapist, Carrie, in Birmingham following her rhizotomy. In 2014, I have an almost-identical photo of Sarah Kate playing Zoom Ball […]

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Special Needs Land Mine: The Fast Food Play Area

September 18, 2014

I can remember it like it was yesterday. Some of the moms of kids in Sarah Kate’s preschool in Decatur, Alabama decided to get together for coffee at the McDonald’s near I-65. We were all navigating the chaos of having preschoolers at home – those years when you do your best to talk to your […]

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Two for Tuesday: Cord Blood and Miracle Marathon

September 16, 2014

I know, I know … I’m supposed to do the “odds and ends” types of posts on Fridays, but sometimes things just pop up and I realize I’ve gotta throw some stuff out there NOW, not on Friday. So without further ado… —– 1 —– Miracle Marathon starts TODAY! Sarah Kate had hoped to be […]

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Want to Get Healthy?

September 15, 2014

Y’all. I know I talked about it a little on Friday, but I just couldn’t let it go by without another mention. We all want to make better health and lifestyle decisions for ourselves and those we love. We want to lose some weight, have more energy, use greener products, create nutritious meals for our families, […]

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