— 1 —

Mr. Andi left for his annual Louisiana fishing trip earlier this week, which he takes every fall with his fave uncle – he leaves around 1:00 am so that he can have his boat in the water by 6:00 am. As he was finishing up packing, he told me he had spoken with Uncle Tim and that he had promised to meet him at the marina no later than 6:00 am with “engine block biscuits.”

Apparently, Uncle Tim brings a can of refrigerated biscuit dough in a cooler, stops about 30 minutes out from the marina, preps the biscuits in a pan, and sets them on the manifold of his pickup truck to bake during the remainder of the drive.

Not kidding.

But even more amazing is that Uncle Tim is apparently only one of many who have tried cooking on a car engine while on a road trip. I found an actual car engine recipe book on Amazon, available as both paperback and Kindle, called (get this) Manifold Destiny.

— 2 —

Sarah Kate takes the field for the first time tonight! At least I think she does. The middle school bands were invited to be part of the Mayberry high school football pre-game spirit tunnel and first half pep music. They’re going to sit with the high school band in the stands and everything. I plan to take photos but I’ll be wrangling Nathan by myself while Mr. Andi snacks on manifold treats, so I’m not sure how successful I’ll be. Stay tuned.

— 3 —

As promised, I’m sharing the video of Nathan seeing his fire truck bed in his room for the first time. He had seen it in the garage, but since it didn’t have a mattress, support slats, or steps in the garage, I don’t think he realized what it was going to be. The night we threw it all together we just pushed his toddler bed over to one side to make room, so at first he thinks we mean for him to sleep in his old bed. It doesn’t take long for him to catch on, though.

— 4 —

Sarah Kate got her new braces last week. The good news is that they do force her knees to straighten, as advertised. The bad news is that they don’t fit in the new Converse high tops I got her right before school started. The other news is that said Converse high tops are in the same size that I normally wear, so all is not lost.

— 5 —

The Miracle Marathon is over – at least the active part of it is. Sarah Kate has raised $764 – her team, $1521. She wasn’t able to walk a full mile every day (her walking pace right now is about 40:00/mile, and the challenge was to do 20 minutes of exercise per day, so you can do the math), but she was active, and now she’s working up to a mile fun run. There are still a few more days left to donate, so if you’d like to join her in helping to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, click here.

— 6 —

I find this story hilarious. So this guy with a British accent gets a parrot, teaches it to speak, and the parrot disappears. Four years later, he shows back up but now he speaks Spanish. I particularly like the fact that the bird’s name is Nigel – classic British name that I would wager is rarely heard in Spanish-speaking circles.

— 7—

Don’t forget to send me your “buddy” photos! A number of you have already shared a photo of your buddy with Down syndrome on my Facebook page – I’ll do a roundup of all of them here next Thursday for Down Syndrome Awareness Month. If you’d like to participate, share it on my Facebook page by noon ET next Wednesday, October 29 with your child’s name. No Facebook? Shoot me a message here and I’ll let you know where you can send your photo.

Have a great weekend!

This post was inspired by and is linked to Conversion Diary‘s 7 Quick Takes.

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Three years ago, Mr. Andi, with the help of a neighbor, built our backyard fence. Back then, he was in a race against time before Nathan started walking (which would lead to escaping).

We opted for a wooden picket fence because we had grown used to the vast expanse across our yard and our back-door neighbors’ and didn’t want to obstruct that view. We live on a corner lot along the main artery of our subdivision and were loathe to cocoon ourselves behind a six foot privacy fence.

When Nathan got a little bigger (i.e., turned four back in March), Mr. Andi boldly declared, “When the weather is nice, you can just open the door and let him run free. How great will that be?”

Famous last words.

Spring was consumed with Sarah Kate’s surgery and recovery, and summer along the gulf coast is ridiculously hot and humid, but fall – FALL! – is glorious because the temperatures are marvelous, the humidity is gone, and we can still run around without a jacket (and in shorts most days). The Go Outside Bug has bitten Nathan, so at long last I’ve decided to “just open the door and let him run free.”

Here’s how that’s gone down:

  • He destroyed a tiki torch, and by destroyed I mean beat-it-into-oblivion-and-poured-the-oil-all-over-his-school-clothes.
  • On more than one occasion, he has raced outside (without permission) and over to the fence to watch the passersby – in a shirt and nothing else. I don’t know if his junk has been exposed through the pickets, but I can guess.
  • He decided he needed some milk and brought the whole almost-full gallon jug outside, then poured it all over the upholstered patio furniture and outdoor rug. (Side note: have tips for cleaning milk out of patio cushions? I’m all ears.)
  • He continues to throw the practice softballs (and the bat) over the fence with great regularity.
  • He digs in the dirt. A lot. Which is fine by itself, but bringing the soil from the raised bed garden inside? Not fine.

Let me stipulate that these things have all happened when I went inside to use the bathroom, refresh my tea glass, answer the phone, or {fill in the blank other task that takes less than two minutes and keeps Nathan within earshot}.

If you’re reading Mr. Andi, I want you to know: opening the door and letting him run free is not the nirvana you envisioned.

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Why Our Buddy Didn’t Walk This Year

October 21, 2014

Had you noticed I haven’t mentioned Down Syndrome Awareness Month this year? Every October since Nathan was born in 2010, our family has participated in a local Buddy Walk for Down syndrome. Well … it’s kind of local. We walk with the Down Syndrome Society of Mobile County (DSSMC), but we don’t live in Mobile County. […]

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Sun-Beams: October 19, 2014

October 19, 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. What People Can’t Tell About Kids With Down Syndrome From Looks Alone – Great stuff […]

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Seven Snippets … Or Not

October 17, 2014

I’ve got a list of snippets for you, but I was hit hard this week by the stomach flu, and … I just didn’t have the strength to finish typing them up. I’ll hold the details on Sarah Kate’s new braces, a video of Nathan the first night he got his fire truck loft bed, […]

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Yep, He Really Did It: The Fire Truck Loft Bed

October 16, 2014

Remember a couple of months ago when we dreamed of building a fire truck loft bed for Nathan? Back then I said: Mr. Andi is 100% sure he can build it, but I’m only 60% certain he can do it, so I calculate the odds of us attempting it at 80%…..Stay tuned. Well, the bed is (mostly) finished so I […]

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Could This Tiny Packet Change My Daughter’s Life?

October 14, 2014

Strictly speaking: No, because it’s a sample. But packets like it – filled with real blood, not just a demo fluid made to look like it – do have the power to positively impact children with cerebral palsy, autism, diabetes, and other health conditions that have no cure and few treatment options. My recent trip […]

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Sun-Beams: October 12, 2014

October 12, 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. Disabled Army vet Noah Galloway turns heads on cover of Men’s Health – Overcoming not […]

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Seven Snippets: Adorable Sushi Dates, Progress on the Fire Truck Bed, and the Southern Elaine Benes

October 10, 2014

— 1 — This story about Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin and his new friend Ann may be the cutest thing I have seen all year. It’s almost six minutes long, but worth every second. You can read more about the story here and here. — 2 — The kids and I went to the county band […]

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There’s No Village for Special Needs

October 9, 2014

I’ve noticed a lot of people these days lamenting the loss of the “village” in parenting. In the past, women banded together to help each other; the newbies had built-in mentors to lean on for help or advice. But today, extended families are scattered, so mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts are no longer readily available to […]

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