Monday, June 30, 2014

Round 4 (of 6)

Here we go! Our 4th hospital admission for this phase. Everything went well with his LP procedure this morning. We're now settled into our room at "Hotel El Camino" and waiting to begin his methotrexate IV. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Jon put up our house flag today (I've been asking him to install the mount for about a year) ;-) so I decided to make a new wreath for the door.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

You did NOT just do that!

There was a 7 yr old boy sitting in the booth behind me, talking to Logan. They were sharing their names, grades, ages. You know, typical stuff.

The boy then asked Logan how old his little brother was - and Callum, who was BEYOND excited to be with his big brother after a long day apart, and simply wanted some special Logan time, was chatting nonstop about who knows what to Logan - so Logan thumbs in Callum's direction and rolls his eyes while making the "crazy" sign with his other hand (circling his finger as it points to the side of his head), all directing this to the kid behind me as if to say "yep, my brother is a weirdo and I'm too cool for school."

My jaw dropped as I saw this - you did not just do that to your little brother! Cut it out now! I snapped at him (I was shocked - it's the first time I've seen him act too cool for his little bro). He stopped, but not before he snuck a sly smile back at me.

Thankfully, Callum had no idea what took place in those split seconds beside him. And, minutes later they were best friends, playing and singing and dancing together as always which made Callum just pleased as punch since he really did miss his big bro today.

I'm not sure if I'm ready for the bratty teen years, if this is the foreshadowing of what's to come! :/

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Making friends

Logan made Callum and I hang around for "just 5 minutes" (about 20), while he played some strategy board game with an older kid (Logan says he's in 6th grade, not sure he's that old, my guess would've been about 4th). Several other boys circled around to watch while they played.

Logan lost, but miraculously didn't get upset at all. :) Instead, he told me it was a hard game and asked me if we could buy it so he could practice. I almost bought it on the spot for that comment alone - we've been trying to get him to understand that he won't ace everything the first time around, but that he will eventually get good at something if he just works on it and practices (a tough concept to understand and accept for the ultra competitive). ;-)

I was also happy to see he's made several friends at this camp - since I decided to enroll him at the Y for a few weeks so he could hang out with Robert (who's in the same camp), but wondered if he'd branch out at all and make other friends or not while he's there (it's always hit or miss with him on that front)!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Callumism after naptime

Callum awoke abruptly from his afternoon nap, clearly upset from a bad dream. I came into his room to check on him.

Me: Are you ok buddy? Did you have a bad dream?

C: Yes. In my dream, my butt hurt. Someone took my lotion and my butt hurt.

(I often put a cream on his butt, which he also calls medicine since the doctors gave it to us, to help with any sores he gets from frequent bathroom visits!)

Me: Oh no. Does it hurt now?

C: No, it was just in my dream Mommy. But I also had my iPad in my dream, and it wasn't working!! (whimper)

Me: Wow, that sounds terrible.

Health Report

I forgot to post these yesterday but I am really loving the shallow kiddie area where the kids can swim and play and hang out before or after their swim class each visit. This area has made all the difference for us I think!

Yesterday Callum was all over the place. He even got brave and started climbing out and trying to jump back in - yeesh! He also tried on his goggles for a bit and experimented with those (several self-initiated head dunks!), which I figure can only help give him more opportunities to become comfortable in the water. :)

I haven't mentioned much about his general health lately but we continue to progress really well. The super nice thing about this phase is that we have a lot of downtime when we're not at the hospital for his high-dose methotrexate. And being summer, it couldn't be better timing for us to enjoy the time together.

There are still some downfalls (of course) to his daily chemo (since I do still have daily meds I must give him at home). The two most frustrating for him, I think, are the nausea (and sometimes accompanying vomiting) and the hair loss. :(

I've been trying to get better at proactively managing the nausea with meds in the morning and night, but in general, he still has nausea most days. I had some nausea when I was first pregnant with him and remember it felt just awful to always have that crappy feeling following you around - so I feel really bad for the kiddo. :( I think this general icky feeling has also led to some tiredness most days but it's hard to say.

The hair loss isn't noticeable to the majority of people, but his hair is definitely thinning everywhere. How this affects him, is that this also means his eyelashes are falling out constantly. And, for anyone who's tried to calm down a hysterical 4 year old who's arms and legs are flailing and pushing you away as you try to get the demon of an eyelash out of his clamped shut eye, then you can certainly understand how frustrating these events can be (really, for both of us). And they generally happen about once or twice a day, these days. :( Ugh.

Finally, not so much of a big deal to Callum, it seems, but something that I'm always worried about, is his constant cough and sniffles that he seems to be hit with. Just about the time a cough will clear up and he'll appear healthy as ever, one of us will come down with something or he'll catch something from who knows where, and we're at it again - constantly on hyper alert and extra vigilant about how runny is his nose, what color is it, how bad is his cough, is it productive or not, and the almighty question, does he feel warm/ have a fever? Even still, thankfully, we've seemed to skirt neutropenia most weeks.

It's a tad stressful but I know it could be much much worse so I try to keep my nerves in check. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Private Swim

Callum had such an awesome time in his last swim class that I decided to sign him up for an extra day today. I just assumed they'd put him with another kid (since Logan can't make it, he's at a new summer camp all week), but it doesn't appear to be the case. Kinda neat, since he gets some great 1:1 time this way. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kids Bowl Free

I signed us up for a "Kids Bowl Free" program (all summer), so we tried it out for the first time this afternoon with the Cables family. All of the kids were roughly the same horribleness ;-) and we also had the bad luck of getting a crappy lane which took forever to return our balls. All of this meant it took us 1.5 hours to play a single game! And yet, the kids behaved surprisingly well (except for Logan who had a couple of grumpy moments because he couldn't play very well) and overall, we had a really great time (even Logan announced at the end that he liked it). :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Our exciting Friday night

I'm continuing to laminate worksheets. The boys were interested in doing a few tonight, so who am I to deny them of that pleasure? ;-)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I wonder how much the tooth fairy is going to give me for this one, Mom!?!

La Petite Playhouse

"Where kids have a WHALE of a time!" Hardeeharhar. ;-)

Jill wanted to check out this underwater themed indoor play structure in Redwood City. Since we had to be up at the clinic this morning for lab work, we were already halfway there.

Once I got the all clear from our nurse that Callum's labwork looked good (we have to play things week by week depending on his counts of course), we texted Jill and met up.

He's having a great time. Here are a couple of pics, where he's "avoiding the sharks" in one and sliding down one of the bigger slides with his buddy Trent in the other. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another day, another study

This time, they want to collect dust from our home. So I'm supposed to send them our vacuum bag. I change these pretty often given all of our animals - I feel sorry for the poor grad student who gets assigned ours to sift thru. ;-)

Summer swimming!

I decided to sign the boys up for swim lessons at a new swim center very close to our house. The place is brand new and really nice! The boys had their first lesson this morning and had a blast with Mr. Albe (who is just perfect for the boys). 

I'm going to see if I can keep up lessons twice a week over the summer - phew!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Field Trip Day

This BIG kid just informed me he has another really loose tooth. LOL

He had a great time on his field trip to Great America today. Now we're hanging out at a nearby park before heading home (they're both at the end of the slide in the second pic). :)

Gettin' my laminatin' on!

I found a great deal for a few sets of preschool-aged worksheet and exercise print outs, which I thought would be handy for Callum and I to practice on this summer so he doesn't lose everything he's already learned in preschool to date.

But, to keep them in shape and so we can reuse them again and again, I borrowed Kim's laminator and as she has said, am going to town! ;-)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A day with the Cables Family

Jon and Eric went golfing this morning as a part of their Father's Day break. Originally the plan was to have the boys and I drive up with Jon, and then hang out with Jill and the kids all day until they finished their game.

But, poor Callum had a bit of nausea and vomiting in the morning. :(

On top of that, the doctors gave us a new med to add to our rotation this last week, in a tablet form, which means I have to crush it and mix it with juice. But, it has a terribly bitter flavor so I use a lot of juice to help disguise the taste. All of this means that the new med has added a lot more time to my routine, since I have to spend extra time sitting next to poor Callum coaxing him to down this awful tasting juice, especially when he's not even that thirsty (or hungry).

So, an hour or two later, I was finally on the road with the boys to meet up with Jill. But toward the end of the drive Callum started getting carsick and complaining of how sick he was feeling. And, as I pulled off the freeway (just a few blocks from Eric and Jill's house), he started throwing up everywhere. :(

I quickly pulled over and stripped him down and wiped up as much as I possibly could (one more time, thank goodness for baby wipes which I continue to keep on hand!!). Once I was sure he was feeling better, we buckled back up and headed the few blocks over to see Jill and the kids (and do some much needed emergency laundry!). :)

Other than that, we've had a terrific time hanging out. The kids have had a ton of fun playing with each other, so excited to see each other that they didn't really eat much all day, afraid they might miss out on precious playtime otherwise. ;-)

Eric cooked a fantastic dinner and now we're quieting the kids down for bed, so that the grown ups can end the night watching the Game of Thrones season finale!

Hope everyone has had a fun and relaxing Father's Day!

Daddy does belly raspberries the best!

Happy Father's Day Babe, we all love you dearly!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Unfiltered Reality

I let the boys stay up way past their bedtime tonight, mostly because everything had shifted later this evening, which meant I had to keep Callum up for his last set of meds. :(

So, he was crankier than usual (we all were). And as I was telling him it was (finally) time for bed, he stomped off yelling at me, "You're mean!!"

And right after that, Logan's voice yells back from their room, "She's not mean. She's trying to save your life."

School Visit

Today Logan headed back to the boys' old school for summer camp. He had a fantastic time once he met up with and remembered a few of his old friends.

When we came by to pick him up in the afternoon, Callum was very excited to see his old school. However, he became super shy when I took him by his old classroom and wouldn't talk to any of his teachers. :)

I told them he'd probably warm up and break out of his shell after seeing his brother, which he did. So we headed back to Callum's old class and hung out on the playground for a bit before heading home. I'm hoping the more we make it part of our routine, he'll look forward to the visits with his class.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Water Bombs!

Now that Logan's school is done for the year - it's officially the first day of summer in our house!  :)

So, I let the boys stay up late and then fall asleep in my bed with me last night (but by 3am, man I was crowded smooshed between two kicking nudging boys, so I quietly carried them each back to their beds so I could get a few good zzz's before the morning).  :)

Logan is actually signed up for summer camp, but he really wanted to stay home today and me, the softie, said sure why not.  During the morning, the boys played on their iPads while I unpacked from the hospital, did some laundry and dishes, and tried cleaning up around the house (it was a little disheveled!).  Close to noon, I decided we needed to take a break and get out!

So, we headed to the store to pick up some supplies for a summer project I had in mind - at which point Jon texted me to let me know he had caught an early flight and would be home soon.  Since we were near the airport, we wasted time until he landed and then picked him up (which the boys were VERY excited about - so nice to see how much they love and miss their Daddy).  :)

At home, I pulled together the supplies we had just bought and set to work making some sponge Water Bombs!  It seemed like a really easy craft to pull together (and it was), and would be so much better than water balloons for the boys to play with this summer (they're softer for hitting/throwing and a lot less maintenance/clean up for me to deal with during and after their play!).

They turned out to be a HUGE hit - both of them kept telling me how much fun they were having and asked me if they could play it again tomorrow (after we cleaned up).  Success!!

Nice shot Mom! ;-)

Drying off in the sun while enjoying their chocolate milks :)

Another Throwback

When my grandfather Clock died, we had a lot of fun rummaging through old pictures, sharing memories and discoveries new ones. This snapshot of Nana on the left is one of my faves of her.

Still gorgeous, many (many!) moons later!! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kinder Graduation!

As it turns out, the awards ceremony planned before the Kinder graduation this morning sounded like a bit more of a big deal than I had originally heard about, so when I mentioned it to my Dad, he decided to drop by the hospital EVEN EARLIER this morning, to allow me time to get to the school for the awards event too!!  And, I'm really happy I made it.

While the majority of the ceremony talked about how great the school was, how great the teachers were and of course, how great the students were (awarding those who didn't miss a day of school, or those who were Jr. Coaches, or the most honored 6th grade graduating student - who gave a speech, I guess kind of like the valedictorian?).... all of which was a little *yawn* boring for this mother of a Kinder student ;-) there was one portion of the event that was of course, exciting for us!

They announced prizes for the Walk-A-Thon!!  I can't remember the exact numbers raised by each place, but Logan easily surpassed his competition (a brother/sister duo who raised $1,075 each), taking the grand prize for first place!  They gave him a plaque and even more surprising and totally unexpected, an iPad Mini!  I think he was a little shy and dazed going up in front of the entire school to accept his awards, but since then has been talking about his new iPad Mini NONSTOP.  ;-)

Dazed and Confused?

Humbly walking back to his seat ;-)
Very proud of his prize :)

Once the awards were done, the Kinder parents all shuffled off to the inner courtyard where a very fast and simple ceremony was held to promote the students.  I was able to snag a couple of videos which I sent to my Dad (Callum) and Jon to watch.  :)  My Mom and I laughed and cheered the kids on - it was a lot of fun and clearly, a proud moment for Logan.

And the ceremony begins!

It's the paparazzi!

Hee hee :)

All done!  Logan is already asking how many days until 1st grade starts.

Afterward, he took my mom inside to show him his classroom and his assigned square to sit on during circle/reading time.  We grabbed some pictures with me, my mom and a couple of his teachers.

Logan with Miss Sandy, his after school teacher

Logan with Ms. Garibo, his (English) Kindergarten teacher

Then we grabbed a cupcake to take back to the hospital for Callum, and left.

All in all, a nice celebration for our big guy who's growing up leaps and bounds in front of us!  I can't quite believe he's now a 1st grader - well done kiddo!!  We love you very much and are so proud of what you've accomplished this year.  :)