Wednesday, August 31, 2011

AOA #72: The Marshmallow Gun

So when I saw this post on The Idea Room, I just knew we had to make Dakin his very own marshmallow gun.  So we did!  It was crazy easy (especially when you use your feminine charms to get the guy at the hardware store to cut the PVC pipe for you...)  It took all of ten seconds to assemble and has provided hours of fun so far!

 Target #1: Blocks.  Not a good idea.  The marshmallows just don't have that kind of velocity.
 Target #2: Stacked cups.  Much better idea, if you can get them to stay up despite two fans blowing in the house (yes, it's still 106 degrees here).  But look at his grin!  He loves it!
So, first Autumn of Awesome item accomplished, and the verdict: awesome, of course.  You just have to be careful not to inhale the marshmallow...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Autumn of Awesome

OK. Perhaps it is because I have been trapped in my house for the last three months ( but I am dead ready for fall. Always my favorite season, fall around here signals a return to sanity in weather- temperatures that humans can actually survive in, golden rays of sunshine instead of the brazen blasting hot yellow of summer. And a lot more fun things to do. So I made a list. Of course. I love lists.

Anyhoo, my list is the 100 things I want to do with Dakin before the year is up, so strictly speaking it will be the Autumn and Early Winter of Awesome. Autumn of Awesome works better. A lot of the things on the list are things we do every year anyway, but some are new. Some of them I won't be specific about because it's never a good idea to put where you are going on the Internet, right? So...all of these will be a blog post as well, so I can catalog the memories.

Without further ado: the Autumn of Awesome list:

1.Collect rocks in a basket (sounds strange, but I found it on a parenting website or something...haha
2. Thing I can't be specific about, but it will be good. You'll see.
3. Do something nice for someone.
4. Do an advent calendar.
5. Make black cat cookies (yum!!)
6. Make a gingerbread house.
7. Enjoy Thanksgiving
8. Go to Tiger Creek
9. Go Halloween shopping
10. Do something amazing
11. Do something breathtaking
12. Go to the Dallas aquarium
13. Go to the Dallas Butterfly House
14. Go to the Pumpkin Patch at the Dallas Arboretum
15. Carve a pumpkin
16. Make chocolate pumpkin bread (if you haven't had it, make it. Ah-maz-ing!!)
17. Decorate for Halloween
18. Decorate for Christmas
19. Go to Santaland
20. Get Santa pics done, preferably without tears this year
21. Make a Halloween craft
22. Make a Thanksgiving tree
23. Make a Christmas craft
24. Make tummies
25. Make and get Dakin to acquiesce to enter a table fort
26. Look at the stars
27. Play in the snow
28. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
29. Go trick or treating
30. Awesome awesome thing #2...a party. Specifics later.
31. Awesome thing #3...a wet and wild experience
32. Make play dough
33. Go Christmas shopping
34. Collect autumn leaves
35. Make gingerbread people
36. Make cookies for Santa
37. Make treats for his reindeer
38. Make Christmas gifts
39. Go to the zoo
40. Go to Cherokee Trace drive through safari
41. Awesome #4: new friend
42. Awesome #5: construction project
43. Awesome #6: might or might not work
44. Awesome #7: treasure hunt
45. Awesome #8: important purchase
46. Make ice cream
47. Have a birthday party
48. Play instruments
49. See a movie
50. Kick fallen leaves
51. Press autumn leaves
52. Read our Halloween books
53. Read our Christmas books
54. Make salt dough ornaments
55. Awesome #9: sneaky and secret
56. Awesome #10: sneaky and secret #2
57. Make a tree journal
58. Make a 'collection'. Dakin seemed interested in the collection one of the dinosaurs on 'Dinosaur Train' had. So I thought we could start one for him.
59. Make giant bubbles
60. Blow bubbles outside
61. Make Challah bread
62. Have a Hannukkah dinner
63. Feed ducks
64. Make shaving cream tub paints
65. Make sparkly snowflakes
66. Have Movie Friday
67. Successfully make a homemade bouncy ball
68. Make magnetic silly putty
69. Grow beans in a CD case
70. Make stars in jars
71. Build a rocket
72. Make a marshmallow gun
73. Make toothpick buildings
74. Make pumpkin spice play dough
75. Celebrate Guy Fawkes day
76. Fill bedroom with balloons on Dakin's birthday
77. Watch the Great Pumpkin
78. Watch the Charlie Brown Christmas show
79. Watch at least one Halloweentown movie. He wasn't biting last year...
80. Make a Christmas Child box
81. Go to the park
82. Go to story time at the Mud Hut
83. Slide down the slide at the park
84. Go to story time
85. Dress up for Halloween
86. Awesome #10: meet a big new friend
87. Have an awesome birthday cake (oh, and it will be awesome)
88. Have Christmas dinner
89. Lie outside on blanket at look at clouds. Provided the small one agrees.
90. Do leaf rubbings
91. Go to a craft show
92. Make wassail
93. Make gifts for Dakin's doctors
94. Awesome #11: a moving experience
95. Make gingerbread play dough
96. See friends
97. See family
98. Raise money for SMARD
99. Open presents on Christmas
100.Decorate Christmas tree

Ok, that's all of them! I am looking forward to an amazing end of the year. Now if I could just get it to cool off so we could go outside...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Strolling For SMARD

So this has been going on for about 2 weeks now, but I haven't mentioned it here.  You have read about our newfound Jackson Laboratory friends, and we are now planning a fundraiser to help them expand their research into SMARD. 

Strolling for SMARD will be held September 24th at 10 am at the White Oak High School track.  We will walk a mile around the track, then enjoy a silent auction, raffle and games for the kids. 

Our goal is to reach $5000 that we can contribute toward Dr. Cox's SMARD research at the lab.  All funds raised will go directly to the lab, and donations are tax deductible.

We have already gotten a number of local sponsors, and will be highlighting them soon.  Please come join us for what we hope will be a nice fall morning.  Admission is 10.00 a person, with kids ten and under free.  T-shirts are available for 9.00, with 100% of admission and t-shirt prices going to the lab--straight to SMARD research. 

If you are out of the area but would still like to help, please consider a tax-deductible donation directly to the lab.  You can find our Strolling for SMARD page here.

Please help us find a cure.  Your generosity could help my little boy walk or snorkel or dance at prom one day.  Thank you!!!   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Conversations With Dakin: Honey Edition

Speech Therapist: Dakin, what are those? (showing him picture of bees)
Dakin: Bees.
ST: And where do they live?
Dakin: Honey store.

Well of course. Doesn't that make sense?

More random Dakinisms:

In the van the other day: Dakin in his chair, nurse behind him, me having run into the restaurant we were parked at. Dakin heard a truck go by and said, "big, loud, red, stupid truck." Then he caught himself and kind of looked back a little to see if Jane was going to do anything about the fact he said stupid. He then amended his statement to "big, loud, red truck.". Ha!

In the kitchen the other day being bugged by a fly: "he's everywhere!"

His other new favorite thing to say is "Mommy say yes." Even if I haven't said yes, he will say I said yes to whatever it is he wants to do. It's pretty cute.

Monday, August 8, 2011


They do happen!

We got some amazing news today. We, as a little tiny SMARD community, have raised just about 50,000 dollars!!! And, as a result, the Jackson Laboratory has assigned a post doc researcher to work exclusively on SMARD. They also said if we keep raising cash like this, Dr. Cox may be able to make the whole of his lab's research SMARD. Can you believe it?! We have come so so far...from no hope at all to having a person researching SMARD full time!


I am pretty humbled about this, and my heart is really full. I don't know what to say- how do you thank people who are trying to save your child's life? What words are sufficient to properly express a gratitude I can't even sense the depth of? How do I thank the anonymous donor who gave this research $25,000? How can I tell Gus, who hiked his rear off in July and raised almost 6500 dollars how much his sacrifice and love for Dakin and his buddies means to me? The people at the lab who have made our cause their own...and thus have sealed themselves to my heart forever- how do I thank them? And the friends and sweet people who have donated...I just hope that all these people know how grateful I am.

Hope is one of the greatest gifts in the world, so thank you so much to those who have helped restore some to me. Know that you are in my heart and will be always. This is my baby we are talking about. You will never know how grateful I am.

Sigh, as usual, words fail me.

But we need to keep this momentum going. In the next few days I will be announcing my personal fundraiser. Let's keep it going!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Truck!

So we have this friend.  This awesome, awesome friend.  His name is Dan, and he is an engineer.  We met Dan last year when we had contacted LeTourneau University about helping us modify toys that Dakin could actually use.  Dan took the problem and ran with it...creating a truck for Dakin that he absolutely loved.  Dan graduated from school and went to work.  But he hasn't forgotten about Dakin.  A week or so ago we got a call from Dan, saying he would be in town and had a new truck for Dakin.  So he stopped by, we had a nice visit, and this is what he brought:

You know what this is?  I will tell you what it looks like--it looks like one of those awesome flip RC cars.  And that is what it is on the outside.  But with the simple, genius addition of a piece of PVC pipe, it becomes a world of opportunity for a little boy who can't play with the regular toy.  See how much he is enjoying it in the video?  Amazing.  That smile is worth the world to me.

Dan had just seen the truck in the store and thought he could modify it for Dakin.  You see, Dan is one of those truly kind and thoughtful people.  It touches me so much to know he is using his God-given talent for engineering to help Dakin have a toy--something so simple and that so many take for granted.  Dan, I can't say how grateful we are to you--for your thoughtfulness and your giving nature, for your talent and concern for my sweet little one. 

And if we ever get a house with more rooms, you have a standing invitation.  At the very least, dinner.  :)