Sunday, June 28, 2015

A growing kid

Guess who just ate 2 corn dogs, 2 helpings of veggies, and is now on his 3rd piece of toast with peanut butter (because I refused to give him another corn dog).


Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer School

Today was the boys' first day of summer school, at their new school that they'll be attending in the Fall. I wasn't super thrilled to send them to an academically focused program over the summer, but I thought it would help them get acquainted with the school, the teachers, and make friends, before the overwhelming start of the school year in the Fall.

Logan was a little suspicious this morning as he interrogated me while we were getting ready. Will there be games and sports? Well, not exactly, but there will be activities. Will there by field trips? No. Will I know anyone there? No, you'll have to make new friends.

This sounds like school, not camp. I want to go to summer camp.

And it went on and on, all the way up, during our 45 minute drive through traffic (ugh).

Drop off is done in the playground where the kids line up with their assigned classroom/teacher and then head to class. Logan was not having that. I tried to get him to join and follow as his class marched off but he fell behind and then lost them (and then got even more upset).

So I told him to stay put with me, we'd go with Callum to drop him off first and then I'd go with him to his class next. As we were walking along the corridors, Logan stomped around in a really pissy mood exclaiming "This is so confusing! There are so many halls and so many doors!!" :)

I reminded him that we found the first day of Kindergarten confusing too but eventually figured it all out and he'd learn quickly at this new school too.

He continued to stomp with a scowl on his face.

Callum was actually much more excited about this new school - but when we dropped him off to his classroom, with one of the kids bawling his eyes out, afraid of leaving his Mommy, it registered for Callum that maybe he should be upset too.

So he suddenly clinged to my legs and wouldn't let go and started getting upset himself.


After several minutes of me trying to coax him to join the circle with his new classmates, I somehow pulled away and quickly backed out of the room. I felt so awful leaving him on his own. You'd think I'd be a master at this, after going through this sort of thing many times in the past. But no, it's still hard and it makes you feel awful to leave your child so upset, clawing at you to hold on and not let you go. :(

Next Logan and I headed to his class. We peeked in and could see they had already started with their circle time (and introductions). He stopped dead in his tracks and said Nope, I'm not going in. What?!? They've already started. I'm late. I can't go.

Yes you can.

No I can't.

How about I go in with you?

No, I can't Mom.

This continued for a few more minutes before I finally lost my patience and said get in there now. :/

I went in with him and we sat down toward the back. They were still doing their round of introductions and what, or where, people would be visiting this summer.

Mom, I don't know where I'll be going this summer, he whispered to me.

I reminded him, aren't we going to go to Hawaii?

Oh yeah! He brightened with a smile.

I stayed a little bit longer until I saw a few more smiles and could tell he was finally starting to relax. I slipped out after he no longer insisted I stay. I still felt bad leaving him as well, knowing he really didn't want to be there. But also knew he'd eventually (I hoped) have a good day.

When I picked them up a few hours later, they were both excited and happy! And both had the same news to report.

Mom! I made a new friend!!

Phew. Thank god.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I recently backed Lugabug on Kickstarter because I think this idea is fantastic - and we got ours today (just in time for our summer vacation!).

Here we are doing a test spin - Callum (and I) can't wait to try it out, for real, soon!!

If you haven't heard of them yet, check out:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Becoming a bookworm

It's taken awhile, but Logan has finally started to appreciate reading now that I've got him hooked on Encyclopedia Brown. He now heads to bed without protest, so that he can read a chapter or two before bedtime each night.

When all else fails, hit the classics! ;-)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Last day of school

I forgot to post Logan's last day of school, damn it!  Too many things hit us last week and frankly, I'm surprised I made it to his festivities at all.  ;-)

Anyway, the school had a fun celebration of (another set of) end of the year awards for kids - mostly for things like 100% attendance (which my kids will NEVER get, mark my words).  What's fun is that Logan won an award (just like last year), for being the top dog fundraiser from the Walk-a-thon.  He raised just over $3000 (amazing right?!? thanks to all of our wonderful supporters, family and friends!) and got VERY close to the same amount he raised last year (which is a huge deal since a big chunk of last year's funds were thanks to my company's matching policy, which we didn't have this year).

In addition to getting a cool plaque with his name on it (which he LOVED), he got a brand new mini iPad too! (which came in handy since he just dropped and cracked his old one *sigh*)

He was VERY proud and we, of course, are very proud of him.

I was surprised to find myself (and Logan), much less nostalgic and sentimental about the last day at this school (ever - we are moving schools!) than I thought I'd be.  But, I did at least have the wherewithal to think about snapping one last quick pic of Logan, with his teacher, before we left.  Ms. Mills has been very good to us this past year, helped Logan grow tremendously, and is someone we will miss very much.

Adios First Grade!  Onto Segundo we go!  :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

When it rains, it pours....

It's late, and I've had a really long day, so I'll try to keep this short.

We're in the middle of a heat wave - so our A/C has decided to conk out on us. We scheduled a guy to come look at it first thing early this morning.

Last night, without any warning, sadly, Jon's grandfather had a massive heart attack and passed away. :( We were suddenly up very late arranging a flight for Jon first thing in the morning. And also arranging for my Dad to come over to take Logan to school for me, since Jon would now be flying out, but someone had to stay home to meet the A/C guy.

Both boys had a terrible time sleeping last night. They've been a little under the weather and the hot house wasn't helping matters. So, Jon and I split up as we've been doing the last few nights - with him staying in the boys' room with Logan and me with Callum in our bed (since he tends to wake up 1-2 times a night with these horrendous coughing gagging fits and is only able to finally relax enough and fall back to sleep if I hold him, comfort him, and rock him back to sleep). It's made for some very long and sleepless nights for Jon and I.

Then this morning, at about 7am, Callum said he was cold and wanted to snuggle under my blankets (he had been up earlier about 6:30). I felt his forehead and sure enough he was burning up, just like last Saturday. :(

Took his temp and he had spiked up to 102.2. Grrrrreeat.

So, I'm on the phone calling/talking to the on-call doctor. Jon is pushing his flight out to a later flight. The A/C guy shows up early. And a few beats behind, my Dad arrives to take Logan to school (who is trying to sneak in some last minute zzzz's totally dressed for school but conked out in bed).

I hear them all bustling around the house while I'm begging poor Callum to take some Tylenol (I got permission from the on-call dr after I told him I wasn't interested in waiting forever in another ER with a feverish kid) and packing up our things to go.

My Dad took off with Logan. Jon set up the A/C guy to run some tests. And Callum and I headed back to the beloved nearby ER.

We were actually admitted quite quickly this time, thank goodness. The ER doc and I discussed the tests we had just ran on Saturday and debated whether to do another chest X-ray. I asked if there can be change, that quickly, from a few days to now. He said yes sometimes there can. So I said ok let's do another X-ray too.

That happened to be the best decision we all made I think. Because it turns out that sometime between Saturday and this morning, Callum had developed pneumonia. :(

Poor Jon canceled his flight plans for now, until we can see how Callum does over the next few days. I'm hoping, once Callum is a bit more stable, that Jon can still make it down to spend time with his family - I know it would mean a lot to him - and his family. We are all going to miss his grandfather very much - he was a wonderful man. :(

Callum received a heavy dose of antibiotics via IV at the ER and they sent us home with an oral prescription as well. We already had a normal check up at the clinic scheduled for Thursday so now we'll use that as a follow up as well.

I was caught off guard with the pneumonia diagnosis, but after several (and I mean several) discussions with the ER doc, ER nurse, and a couple of nurses over at our own clinic, I'm finally feeling a little better. It seems like we may have caught it early, hopefully, and because his counts are still good (he's not neutropenic), everyone felt very comfortable about sending us home and treating it just as we would an ear infection (for example)...

Still, given everything that's been thrown at us, I think it's safe to say we're a little pissed and frustrated at the Universe right now and just a tad bit on edge. If Callum does well over the next 24-48 hours I think we'll all, finally, start sleeping a little better again.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Our first ER visit

Callum's been fighting a cold for some time, and I guess it finally got the best of him this morning.

He woke up early, coughing quite a bit (usual for us these days).  After a little bit of video games, he came into our room and climbed into our bed, complaining he was cold.  I could tell he was a little off, and as he started slipping in and out of sleep, I knew it wasn't good.  Sure enough, he also felt warm to the touch.  :(   He was asking for his Gatorade and was complaining of nausea too.

So, I quickly got the Gatorade, gave him some Zofran, then took his temp.  Of course, it was all over the board which was frustrating.  His highest register was in his mouth at 101.7 (not good at all).  He had varying (and lower) temps under his arms, but he seemed to be getting warmer as the clock ticked, so I called the on-call oncologist to see what we should do.

She agreed it didn't sound great, and asked us to head to the nearest ER.  She was going to call ahead giving them instructions on what to do, while we got everything ready and shipped out.

The last time we visited this ER was a little over a year ago, when we weren't sure why Callum was in such excruciating pain, but knew something was wrong.  Roughly one week later, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Last time, they rushed us right into the back of the ER and saw us immediately.  This time, however, was different.  There were a handful of others in the waiting area but, to be honest, no one looked at all like they were in critical shape or injured or anything of the sort.  I started to wonder if they were all visitors.

When the triage nurse FINALLY came out to the window so that I could speak to him and tell him we needed to be seen IMMEDIATELY, he said yeah ok - check into the kiosk and sit down to wait.  There's a couple of other people ahead of you.

Ummmm.  Ok, I'll try to be patient for about 5 minutes while my moaning son who's limp in my arms continues to get hotter and hotter.

The security guard was way more helpful and actually followed me to the kiosk and helped me enter in our info since my hands (arms) were full.  Thank goodness for him!

We then sat and waited.  Callum was feeling more and more miserable by the minute and I was getting more and more irritable by the minute.  I started urgently texting Jon to get on the phone with the on-call Dr I spoke to, to make sure she had called... and basically find out what the fuck was going on.

He got a hold of her and she said she'd call in again.  At that point we were pulled back into triage, thank goodness.  Callum's temp registered at 103.8.  :(

While the nurse was filling out our paperwork he got a call.

"Yeah, I'm seeing him now.  Ok."


Then a couple of minutes later, a nurse from the back came up:

"Where's Callum?  Is this Callum?

Yep, we're finishing up here.

I'll take it from here."

She grabbed his labels, wrist band, and whisked us away.  Thank goodness for that.

I hope our on-call Dr had given them an earful, so I'm going to have to thank her when I speak to her again.  :)

The ER nurse said they'd need to get an IV in him pretty quickly.  I relayed that he had a port.  She said ok cool - what size?

Uhhhhh.  I have no idea!

Thank goodness I had brought our emergency port pack - which I handed to her.  I had actually grabbed it from our clinic during our last visit, in prep for our upcoming vacation.  The bag has the correct size needles, and everything else (including instructions!) an ER nurse would need to access him, since apparently not all ERs (or nurses) are equipped to access a port.  I sure was glad I had brought it!

Our emergency port pack

After blood draws and cultures were taken, they did an EKG and a chest X-ray (since his cough was sounding pretty crappy).  They also tested his urine and swabbed his nose for the flu.

Callum was not happy that I was taking pictures

After all of that, they (finally!) got him some Tylenol and started up a big dose of fluids.

You could see he was feeling better shortly after they started the meds/fluids, which was a relief.

Happy to have his iPad and feeling better already!

He spent some time playing on his iPad and then ate about half a granola bar and finished off the rest of his juice bottle before finally crashing.  Even sleeping, he seemed sooooo much better!
Ahhh, rest.

Results came back and everything looked fantastic.  His EKG and X-ray were fine (no signs of pneumonia).  His flu swab came back negative.  And most importantly, his numbers looked great.  His ANC is actually quite high - which I'll talk to our primary care team about when we see them later this week.  But, not neutropenic!!  So, that meant we could get discharged and go home.  Wow!!

I helped the nurse by removing his dressing (the nurse seemed flustered and busy and was going to try and remove it without any adhesive removers which I said just wasn't going to work, so another tech helped find some for me and then he and I slowly rubbed everything off while Callum half snoozed through it - the best possible outcome, by the way!).

We got home and Callum scarfed down a big cheeseburger and more of his favorite Gatorade.  I'm supposed to continue monitoring him and report back to our primary team if any sign of the fever comes back (especially within the next 24 hours).  So far, so good.  :)

Not exactly the way I had wanted to spend the majority of my Saturday (and sadly, Callum and I had to miss the get together with our new neighbors because of it too).  But, just happy it ended the way it did and we are back home! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Our little graduate!

We're excited to start Kindergarten in the Fall! :)

Baking for the new neighbors

Haven't made one of Mamaw's rum cakes in awhile! The house smells wonderful!!

When all else fails....

Gift cards, to the rescue! ;-)

My end of year teacher gifts. Ha!

Friday Freaky Fro Day!

Callum told me not to send these pictures to anyone.

You're welcome buddy ;-)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The lost tooth

As usual, Callum and I were running late to pick up Logan from school. He had been snacking just prior and noticed his tooth had become quite a bit more loose - to the point that it was bending forwards and backwards and twisting all over the place with the slightest push of his tongue.

It was kind of grossing me out.  I told him why don't you just pull it out?!?

No!!  I want to let it fall out on its own.

And then of course, he started playing with it nonstop.  :)

Because we were late, I let him meander a few feet behind me on the path to the school office while I rushed ahead to grab Logan.  At the same time, I was busily tapping away on my phone, sending this text to Jon:

His tooth is hanging on by a thread! 

Accompanied with this lovely pic to prove it.  Gross right?

Literally as I was hitting send, I suddenly heard Callum BURST into tears behind me.  I turned around and he had stopped dead in his tracks on the path, bawling his eyes out.

My tooth!  My tooth is lost!!

Apparently, at that very moment that he was listlessly shuffling behind me and playing with his hanging-by-a-thread tooth, it DECIDED TO FALL OUT ON ITS OWN.

And, apparently, he caught it for a split second in his hands, but then dropped it.

On the path.

Amidst the most PERFECT place you'd ever want to drop a tooth ever.

No, not really.

Doesn't every grain of sand and every tiny rock look like a tooth to you?

Well, if you can't tell from the pic, in real life, it absolutely does.  Everything in the path is the shape and size and color of a tooth.  *sigh*

Well doesn't that fucking blow.

So my kid's tears are streaming down his face as he has just lost his first tooth.  And I'm staring down at him, looking at the ground, looking at him, looking at the ground.  I was stuck not quite knowing what to do.  I could tell it was going to be an impossible mission to find the tooth.  Meanwhile, in the back of my brain my mind was also screaming at me, YOU ARE LATE!  YOU NEED TO PICK UP YOUR OTHER SON! FORGET THE DAMN TOOTH.

This always happens to me by the way.  Trying to deal with (and prioritize) two conflicting issues for each of my sons, usually on opposite sides of the room, house, school yard, whatever, it's all the same.

So, I looked at poor little Callum and said ok - you can stay here and look for your tooth while I go get your brother to come help us look for your tooth.  Or, you can come with me to get your brother and we'll all three come back to look for your tooth.  Which do you want to do?

He came with me and was already feeling much better.  The first thing he did as we approached Logan was show off his new front gap.

After picking up Logan, and certainly after 10 more kids shuffled past and kicked the poor tooth here and there in the dust, we three arrived back at the spot (or thereabouts! Remember - he was behind me - so I didn't even know where EXACTLY his tooth had fallen out!) to hunt for his tooth.

As you can imagine, after about 5 minutes of half-ass searching, the boys gave up while I stayed bending over, kneeling, scouring the ground, practically on my hands and knees, looking for that damn tooth.  Another Mom heard of our bad luck and joined in the challenge to help me, which was nice since we two also got to catch up on our lives for a bit, but neither of us had any luck.

That damn thing was nowhere to be seen nor found.

Thankfully, Callum didn't seem too upset by the fact that he wouldn't have an actual tooth to hand over to the tooth fairy tonight.  And, in an effort to help, his big brother told him matter-of-factly, I lost my first tooth too. But it's okay, all you have to do is draw a picture of your tooth for the tooth fairy, to leave behind tonight.

So, that's what we did.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

On Sheryl Sandberg's Reflections

I wasn't prepared to be hit so hard by Sheryl Sandberg's (amazingly and eloquently written) post, reflecting learnings from her husband's recent death (found here:

But there I was, sitting in my parked car, wiping away the never ending tears, trying to pull myself together to walk into Logan's school and cheer him on, at his end of the year concert this morning, and instead thinking how Sheryl's learnings not only apply to those dealing with loss, but also apply to anyone who's been hit with a tragic event in their lives.

Like us.

I found so many of Sheryl's quotes quite personal to me. Gaining a more profound understanding of what it is to be a mother? Hello! I never knew what to say to others in need? Yes. But certainly one that resonates quite loudly, as I think about how our lives changed after Callum's diagnosis last year, is the observation that "whatever rug you are standing on can be pulled right out from under you with absolutely no warning."


That observation is so very scary and so very true. And it rattles you to the core when it happens. But then, it *does* give you a chance to kick the shit out of Option B, now doesn't it?

Spring End of the Year School Concert

A bittersweet day since this will be Logan's last performance on this stage. He looked great and was all smiles all morning. Love my musical kiddo. :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hold the phone.

My baby has his first loose tooth!

These kids are growing up way too fast. :)

The week of medals!

Last week I was pretty sick (which, sadly, mean Callum is also battling a cold), and Jon was traveling (I think I'm always sick when he's traveling), so it was all I could do to (barely) get Logan to school (you're good with another hot lunch today, right kid?!) :)

But, it was a great week for him, since he was awarded two different medals. The first was from his chess club, where they had an end of year test and he got all challenges correct (even over the 5th grader, he reminded me).

The next was at his school's end of year awards assembly, where he was awarded a medal for "Best Imagination" in his class. Quite quite appropriate, I must say. ;-)

Callum and I were seated pretty far away, in the back of the assembly room, but I was able to get a pretty cute pic of them together later after school ended. :)

Yay to Logan!! We're pretty proud of you kiddo.