This fella?

He has taken up residence in my back yard. And I feel sure he has some friends. This elusive MOLE is destroying my backyard. And he is seriously making me CrAzY!

Every day I see more evidence that he has been at work, creating an even more elaborate tunnel system, destroying the roots of my tender annuals and precious perennials, and my grass - oh, my grass!

Each morning I find a new mound where he has popped to the surface, no doubt to survey the scene, check out his own work, and recommit himself to destroying our once lush backyard.

I have news for you, Mole. I am not going to take this lying down. If you want this territory you are going to have to fight for it!

And as of tomorrow, I am bringing in the big guns! The Mole Eliminator

Let the games begin!!

package of love

We had just returned from Bean's non-MRI and he was cranky. Truth be told I was a little cranky, too. For Bean, nothing cures the cranks like a little Elmo so we grabbed a snack, put in an Elmo movie and snuggled on the sofa. That's when I heard a big thud at the door.

Strange sound, not really a knock, but something definitely hit the door. I peered over the sofa and caught a glimpse of our friendly, gentle, selfless post woman jumping in her post-mobile and speeding off. I went to the porch to find that, with tender love and care, she had lobbed a package onto our porch, evidently from roadside based on the indentation in the box.

I gathered our package and brought it inside to inspect, hoping that it wasn't fragile. Bean also did some inspecting.

We cracked it open to find that the T21 Traveling Afghan had made it's way to us, along with a journal revealing it's adventures.

Bean, ever the cautious one with anything unfamiliar, looked and touched with curiosity and gentleness.

Together we flipped through the pages of the journal, reading about the lives this lovingly made afghan had already touched. Other kids, from other cities and states, that share the diagnosis of Trisomy 21 are now sharing this afghan and calling it their own for one week before passing it along to the next family.

Bean enjoyed a little hide-and-seek, like so many other kids have done with this afghan.

It was pulled in to the nightly mosh pit.

And it joined him in bed. . .

This weekend we will say goodbye to this special afghan and send it on to the next family for more love and different experiences. If you want to keep up with the T21 travels be sure to check in here.

come again

after more than two hours of waiting and keeping a hungry Bean occupied we were sent home with no mri. the neurosurgeon couldn't be there for the 50 minute scan and the radiologists said they cannot do the flexion/extension views without neurology present because of the nature of the instability and risk to his spinal cord in those positions.

so, we are waiting to be rescheduled. a mere inconvienence, glad they are putting our Bean's safety first. we'll let you know when we are going to try again.

A little stability please?

Don't you just love when medical specialist's disagree?
When Bean had his xray over a month ago to re-check his neck instability we were told this. That was his orthopedic doc. The x-ray's were then sent to his neurosurgeon who said, "I'm not comfortable with these numbers."

(Bean with our friend, Kerin, whom he loves.)

So tomorrow we will arrive bright and early to outpatient surgery with a hungry Bean so that he can receive a sedated MRI. We know that the gap between C1 and C2 is wide, what we need to find out is whether or not his spine is being compromised during flexion and extension because of the gap. The MRI will (should) answer that question.

I have already been in contact with the specialist at Shriner's in PA that we consulted last summer and he is waiting on the results, which we will overnight after we leave the hospital.

Just to test his neck (and us) Bean took a tumble down the stairs before church on Sunday. It happened so fast that I couldn't reach him in time but did witness the head over heels, bouncing tumble. We both reached the base of the stairs at the same time at which point I scooped up a very scared Bean. I can't think of a time that I have gone from calm to scared out of my mind so quickly. After Bean calmed down, and James and I recovered from our small breakdown, he climbed off our lap and went to playing. The on-call doctor was comfortable with us skipping an ER visit based on his behaviour so we went on to church. Still very shaken.

A tumble down the stairs is scary for any kid, but when you are told that you should not even allow your child to do a forward roll because of the risk of spinal cord damage due to AAI, well, "scary" doesn't begin to cover it!

I think I may have to invest in a very large roll of bubble wrap.

Play Ball

Spinner is playing baseball this spring. Here he is at third base. Yes, the game is in play and he is facing the wrong direction. But if someone from the sidelines throws a ball his way, he's ready!

I'm wondering if the game is a little slow for his particular personality.

Although it does provide ample opportunity to bend his body into random positions.

It also provides opportunity to make new friends and discuss important events like wiggling teeth. Spinner's not bashful, he sticks his finger right in his opponents mouth (during the game) to check out the looseness of his tooth and give his professional input on how close he is to D day.

He even made friends with the opposing team's 3rd base coach, who spoke to him with some regularity.

Please note the coaches face as he watches Spinner lose his glove. . . again. And apparently those folks in the background don't feel too threatened by six year old's at bat.

If you are ever feeling down and need a good laugh find the closest recreation center and check out a t-ball or coaches pitch baseball game. You won't be sorry.


I would like to take credit for converting him , but I can't. The South itself has won him over.


I'm not much of a talker.

Though I can get chatty, especially when I get nervous and/or am surrounded by other non-talkers. It's a lovely quality. The more nervous and uncomfortable I feel, the more I ramble on about absolute nonsense. An attempt to fill the palpably awkward space between me and the poor person in front of me.

One time in graduate school I offered to pick up my roommate's good friend from the airport. She was a childhood friend who was more like a sister, and was coming for a long planned visit. I was excited to finally meet the girl who starred in the stories I'd been hearing all semester. So, while my roommate was in class, I made the trek to the Orlando airport to pick her up. For some reason, I became increasingly anxious about meeting 'A.' By the time I arrived at the airport I was a ball of nerves. After meeting and getting on the road to head home the chatting started. Man oh man, did it start. I really wish I could remember what I went on about but I can't. I have blocked it from my memory. What I do remember is that I talked and talked and talked and was paying no attention to my driving. At some point I looked up and had no idea where I was. I had missed my exit on the Beeline and was in a part of Orlando I wasn't familiar with. I then chattered on about that to 'A' who must have felt like she had stepped into a bad dream. I confessed my weakness then pulled off to a gas station to ask an attendant for directions. We eventually made it home, only one hour late.

But nervous chatter aside, I really am not much of a talker. And in my house, it is becoming increasingly clear that there isn't room for me to be a talker anyway. So it works out just fine.

Spinner does ALL the talking. He is a true talker. The kind that moves from one topic to another with ease and only an occasional pause to inhale.

While at the grocery checkout yesterday Spinner began a "conversation" with the clerk. It was pretty one sided going something like this, as he put the ground beef on the counter. . .

I like this meat. I like it cooked, for hamburgers. Hamburgers are my favorite food. I just love them and have them as much as I can. Hamburgers come from cows so I guess I like cows too but my papa doesn't have any cows on his farm, he just has horses. Buck and Beau. But we don't eat horse meat. We just ride the horses. And scoop their poop. Sometimes I help my papa scoop horse poop, he even made me my own pooper scooper. It's just my size. But it smells, boy does it smell. My Non says that horse poop is good for the garden and will help the flowers to grow big. Hey, we just bought some more flowers for my mom's garden. I am going to help her plant them. My favorite part is watering them because then I can play with the hose. My brother Tank really likes to play with the hose too. Yesterday when mom was watering her flowers she kept spraying me and Tank and we would run away and then come closer, Tank kept asking for more but he was scared too because he would hide behind me. It was so funny. . . it was awesome. But Bean, he doesn't like to be sprayed with the hose. But he sure does love taking a bath!

Clerk: looking at Spinner in disbelief, with a partial smile and partial jaw drop. . . Wow. Ma'am? If you will slide your card now.

Spinner, to the Clerk: Do you like hamburgers?

Hmmmm, maybe Spinner and I are more alike than I thought.

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