October 28, 2015

10/28/2015



This was our day crammed in to one minute. Not pictured- boys having meltdowns that I was leaving to go to the hospital, Ivy screaming going in to her car seat not wanting to go to the hospital, an hour drive in traffic, a call from a mechanic refusing to fix damage that they created, tears, a port access with no blood return, Ivy going limp in my arms from anesthesia, not being able to pick a now sick Sebastian up from school, FaceTime with Grey + Seb, wishing Greysen a happy last day as a six year old, missing my son waking up as a year older tomorrow… But, even so, Ivy received four chemotherapy drugs today and still managed to smile. Life is unfair, constantly reminded how lucky we really are despite what is going on.

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”- Exodus 33:14

October 18, 2015

Sunday at the Pumpkin Patch

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Lovely overcast day called for a visit to the pumpkin patch. Ivy’s counts are low and we probably should have stayed home, but cancer has honestly taken so much from us already that the last thing I wanted was to skip over an annual tradition. Fresh air is always a good idea, and it really was a great morning. We can’t wait to carve them tonight and I’m really looking forward to baking seeds to snack on all week.

I realized I haven’t posted a blog post in well over six months but I’m sure you can understand… I miss it. Sometimes. But mainly just miss having a space to dump twenty pictures to. This fall has been a hot one. Grey is in first grade, Seb is in his first year of pre-k, and Ivy is still battling and winning. I started an amazing job this month doing PR and social media projects for an architectural/interior design company. It has been so nice to have another focus and healthy distraction during this time. I’m so lucky to also be able to work from home! It’s a true blessing. I will do a formal update, hopefully sooner than later :)

August 6, 2015

A Holiday with The Holidays

20150713-IMG_0758 A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to have a three-day break in Ivy’s treatment to sneak away to San Clemente State Beach. The good people at The Holidays offered us a trailer to beach camp in, and it was perfect! As parents themselves, they understand how hectic camping with kiddos can be. Well, they took the hectic and stress out to create the perfect environment.

At The Holidays, everything is provided. This summer for us has been pretty stressful, to say the least, and I was so hesitant to commit to these three days but I am so glad we did. The only things we had to pack were our swim suits, clothes, sunscreen and food. It was so nice to just get in the car and go. That in itself was worth the stress of transporting chemo to and from the campsite ;)20150713-IMG_0719 20150713-IMG_0729-Edit 20150713-IMG_0730 20150713-IMG_0731 20150713-IMG_0734 20150714-IMG_1040 20150713-IMG_0751 20150713-IMG_0770

How great is that fire pit circle that they have set up? They also have a shed full of fun games and toys for the kids to play with. Again, one less thing to remember to pack. The beach is also just a short walk away! The only real activity we are okayed to do per Ivy’s Oncologist is going to the beach. The boys love playing there (who doesn’t?), so we are all happy with this only outing.
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All of the trailers come equipped with pots, pans, utensils, and even a coffee drip kit. They are also run by solar and have bluetooth speakers, which makes any night at the campsite fun. It was so fun to be in close quarters all night, wake up with each other, and then throw bacon on the skillet while watching the kids play in dirt outside. You can get a full list of amenities here.
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The trip was a blast, and although it was only three days, it was such a nice break from the ridiculously crazy summer we have had. My mom guilt runs deep when it comes to the boys and how short their summer was cut. Not saying that they didn’t have a blast all summer at Grandma’s house (where we have stayed, two minutes from the hospital– update on that later), but this obviously was not the summer we had planned to have. Trips were cancelled, sleepovers and days with friends cut short, ice cream outings also taken away…. but, we had this. And this trip was a great escape, just thirty minutes north of us, yet gave us all a fresh breath of air. You can book your trip with The Holidays right here!

X

June 13, 2015

Here’s To First Grade

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We did it! Well, he did it, and I am so proud. Grey had a somewhat harder start,  he didn’t even start talking until he was three, but this was his year. He did so well, so brave, so smart. He read, he laughed, he learned, he shared, he struggled, and he overcame.  Here’s to first grade, Grey Baby, you’re on your way.

So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.

May 27, 2015

e m o t i o n s

  What I wouldn’t do to go back to this sweet bliss of lying on the bed after her nap, nursing and playing as she wakes up. Instead, I am sitting in a vinyl recliner that I had to beg a nurse to grab from the NICU upstairs. The only similarity to the above pictures is that we are still nursing, and still co-sleeping, albeit sitting upright instead of laying comfortably in bed. 

I am not sure when this will become “normal” to me, it feels like a bad dream that we can’t seem to wake up from. On top of the stress in the hospital, I often find myself asking if the emotions I’m feeling are okay. Am I allowed to cry? Yes. Am I allowed to be angry? Yes. Am I allowed to be relieved and excited when we get Ivy to crack a smile, take a bite of food, pick up a toy, or get good test results back? I sure hope so. 

I threw up yesterday, twice, and all I can think of worry about is if I’m hurting Ivy. She has no immune system, so if my throwing up wasn’t from dehydration, nerves, or yucky cafeteria food, I could cause her to spike a high fever which is a super-no for a child with cancer. But, enough about me. 

Ivy has been such a trooper these last five days of treatment. She is in the first phase, called Induction, which consists of 28 days of chemo and monitoring here in the hospital. Every four days she gets Vinchristine, which is a syringe full that they are able to push through her Port. Her port is on her left side, and is basically an internal IV that they can access at all times (super helpful during those 2am blood draws for lab work!), and is how she gets most of her medications and fluids. She also gets chemo through a lumbar puncture which happens every eight days, called Intrathecal chemotherapy, and that puts chemo in her cerebrospinal fluid. 

On Monday she had Pegaspargase (PEG)  which is yet another form of chemo, only administered one day out of 28, through an IV Drip bag. She has been wiped out all week since, and the only food she successfully wanted to eat was her three bites of vanilla pudding- a pill goes on each bite. She is totally a pro already! I am so proud. 

Ivy’s still unsure about her team and nurses. Every time they come in she will wave and yell, “bye!” Trying to pursuede them to go away and leave her alone. I don’t blame her, although their support has been amazing. 

The biggest feat of the day was that she was able to push her stroller all the way from our room to the outside garden! I am so proud. She hasn’t been walking since we got here, and it’s so hard to see our once wild and active babe struggle to walk. But, as always, she will power through and be even stronger than before.

May 23, 2015

For Ivy Scout

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Where do I even begin? I am only writing this because sweet Ivy is scooting around the halls with her Daddy, and I have a few minutes with a Ivy-free lap. This week has been a whirlwind, to say the least. I guess I should start with a where, what, how, when, and WHY? All questions I constantly keep asking myself.

On Monday, May 18th, we took her in for a well baby check-up, and I had mentioned to the doctor my concerns about her bruising. Ivy is a tough cookie (with two older brothers, you kind of have to be), and the doctor shrugged them off because they were mainly on her legs. I am an advocate, as most of you are/should be, and really pushed for a blood test just to see if there was something wrong. I assumed it was anemia and that we would get a iron-rich diet handout and be on our way. I was wrong, so wrong. Tuesday, May 19th, we went in for the blood test in the afternoon and that evening we were called to immediately come in and admit Ivy Scout to the Oncology Unit. Wednesday, the 20th, was full of tests on tests on tests, and on Thursday, May 21st, we found out news that no parent wants to hear– our tender little sweetheart was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. 

Again, this week has been a blur. It still doesn’t feel real, and it didn’t really hit me until Ivy received her first dose of chemotherapy last night. And at the moment I realized that we are treating cancer, giving our daughter horrible, rough, medicines, to fight something even worse.

We received great news that the leukemia hadn’t yet reached her spinal fluid. We are so relieved, and even smiled so much last night knowing we were on the right track and that we are hoping to beat this cancer. We have a long recovery ahead of us, and I say recovery because our sweet girl is such a fighter. I have read every comment, and a friend sent me this one– A little meaning behind the name Ivy– The Druids prized the ivy plant as a symbol for tenacity and determination: ivy  can grow, spread, and flourish under many conditions – cultivated land or wasteland, in light or near darkness, fertile soil or upon rubble and stones. It will push its way through tiny cracks and crevices to reach the light and is strong and difficult to destroy. 

We appreciate everyone taking time to think about, pray for, and uplift Ivy in her recovery. Thank you to each and every one of you for the prayers, the love, the encouragement during this time of uncertainty. I knew this community was strong, but the support we have felt over the last five days hasn’t gone unnoticed, and has helped lift our spirits. We will never be able to say thank you enough.

  

May 16, 2015

Supayana

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Supayana is a women’s and baby/kids clothing line designed by Yana Gorbulsky. Yana’s unique designs feature digitally printed fabric with illustrations from Montreal based artists. All of the pieces are sewn by Yana herself or an assistant seamstress so it’s a small shop and the designs are all made in limited supply. She just released her new line yesterday, and you can see more on her Instagram!

May 14, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forever

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I’ve lived in San Diego County my entire life and don’t think I’ve ever been to the Strawberry Fields! I drive past it at least once a week and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do with the kids, so off we went. The kids zipped up and down each row and I think we spent a total of twenty minutes there. Ivy was the only one who had the right idea, stopping to take bites before placing in the bucket ;) Then, the water sprinklers turned on and they lost all interested in picking and just wanted to play in the mud. I’m not sure why I envisioned a peaceful time “at the farm,” full of slow-paced picking, but ha! Visions usually aren’t reality, which can be said for many areas of my life.

Ah, children. I have felt tested all year! I know this time will pass, and I know I will look back on all the amazing times– even miss the craziness. But, it’s hard to not get caught up in the trenches of motherhood. Those trenches are real, and I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Some days are so long I often question if I am doing anything right at all. And even the overwhelmed feeling I felt during this trip to the strawberry farm, I look back just two days later and see the fun the kids had. The mess we made, the strawberry stains on the carpet, the 1$ ice cream cones we got after in the car, the request to blast a song loud with the windows down and scream out the lyrics together. That is what it is all about, and maybe that is motherhood, messy. I’m trying to let go of the exceptions I  see in my head and be present in that minute, that very second, to realize it is fleeting and it will all be gone soon.

-K

 

May 11, 2015

Sebastian’s Fourth Birthday

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Sebastian turned four last week and in true Seb form, asked for a train birthday. I was hoping to throw him a taco party since his birthday is Cinco de Mayo, and we had a train party last year, but no ma’am! Kid knows what he likes and I think it says something about him to still be so interested in the same thing. We took our immediate family out to Campo, which is a little over two and a half hours away, to ride the Gold State train at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum.  Sebastian was so happy. That sounds vague :) but I’ve never seen him so still and quiet. just taking it all in. It was a great way to start his fourth year around the sun.

I’m learning to let go of expectations as a parent, and I owe that all to my children. I used to go crazy for birthday parties! Kind of sad now looking back. And don’t get me wrong, I love planning and creating, but there is so much more than decor and food. This is the first year I’m fully letting go of over the top parties,so I can focus on being present and creating memories they can always look back on.

Xx,
K

May 1, 2015

The Laundress

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Spring Cleaning… have you started? I think I spent all of April scrubbing, dusting, rearranging, and purging closets! Though, there is nothing worse than feeling great about a clean space yet simultaneously feeling guilty about the harsh chemical scent most store-bought cleaners put out there.  That is, until l discovered The Laundress.

Their products are eco-friendly, free of allergens, and even bio-degradable. I definitely appreciate the natural (amazing) smell of these products and feel more comfortable with my littlest babe helping me wipe down mirrors and cabinets while using The Laundress solutions.

thelaundress-1-2 thelaundress-3 thelaundress-11The Laundress is currently offering a 30-Day Clean Home Challenge, inviting you guys to ditch the cleaners you’ve been using and try their solutions! You can get 120$ worth of product for 80$ here, or 20% off of three products on the site with the code BLUERSEA20.

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Are there any cleaning tools or products you can’t live without? I’d love to hear, and I can guarantee that using these products along with your favorite tools will make cleaning something to look forward to!

Xx,
K

This post is sponsored by The Laundress, a natural cleaning solutions company that we use and believe in.