Thursday, December 29, 2011

Real

I love blogging and I love all my readers. Seriously! I love when I get random emails saying that something I wrote about in a posting had inspired someone or simply made them laugh out loud!

Although I write via blog, caring bridge, and facebook, I feel that I hold back sometimes with my true feelings. This is all about to change. I'm taking charge and postings will be exactly like my journals, raw and real!

This whole journey with Grayson has made me change parts of my life and it left me searching for the true and real me. I didn't know who I was anymore. I had so many plans, hopes and dreams for myself and I was truly on the path that I had always envisioned for myself and worked so so hard to achieve. However, this is not the plan God had for me. I was one semester away from my nursing degree, one semester! This was all set aside when I was told my son had cancer. My son and my family is my number one priority in life and always will be, but I do hope one day to get back in the NICU.
For now my life is this, and it took months of getting "used" to. I finally feel like I have found "me" again and I feel a sense of peace with each day. It doesn't mean I don't have bad days or hateful angry days, but for the most part I am happy. I feel God has blessed me and our family.
I was always thankful for the things in my life but never to this extent. If you ever have the opportunity, I would highly recommend taking a walk through a pediatric oncology floor. It will be an experience you will never forget and it will truly change you. Don't take anything in your life for granted!

Ok, enough cancer talk. I'm still a normal 25 year old stay at home mommy and I've recently started taking time into thinking about me and what I want to do in life. I've started building my bucket list! I know, my husband thinks I'm crazy silly, but cute! =) So I will post all about my bucket list soon!!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve. We just want to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas!! Y'all have been so much a part of our lives this year and we wish you all the best and hope for a great New Year in 2012!!~

 This is the front of our Christmas card we sent out this year, sure fits huh ;)
And this is the back.

Please take the time to remember those children that will be spending Christmas in the hospital fighting the horrible disease, cancer! We are very blessed that Grayson is well enough to spend it at home with us!
 Merry Christmas <3

Monday, December 19, 2011

Project RACK

My girls have been learning a lot about kindness in school. They have been doing class projects that include everything ranging from anti-bullying to helping less fortunate families. So, as most of you know, we used the money we got back from our Christmas cards to do our own project at home.
We chose to do project RACK - Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. My girls really had a blast doing these things for other people after we have received sooo much help this year! It was nice to do a little paying it forward, although on a really small scale, BUT its the thought that counts!
So here are some of the things we did ...

All these goodies went to the Oncology Center in Minneapolis (where Grayson goes)!! Thank you Shannon for your donations as well! This is amazing!

 We taped some baggies with some quarters onto the dryers at the local laundry mat


We taped a few bags of popcorn to our local Redbox (these didn't last long, they were gone by the time we left the parking lot lol)!

Our last stop was at a center for pregnant teens and women and children that were victims of domestic violence. We brought some diapers and wipes and some gift cards for Caribou. The girls handed out some of their "Choose Joy" bracelets and I've never seen people's eyes light up as much as they did reading the bracelets and seeing us bringing gifts in general. Sometimes you just need to simply Choose Joy!
The girls loved doing these things today, which happens to be our Christmas Eve. It was a great day and Grammy approves of our day of RACK!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Choose Joy

We woke up to a little dusting of snow this morning! I'm not sure who got more excited, me or the kids! It didn't stay for long, sadly. It was melted by 2pm. Booo!! It's looking more and more like it really with be a brown Christmas after all!
My Christmas cards finally arrived this afternoon. Only a week late! Well I will have them in the mail on Monday in hopes they arrive by Christmas lol. Sorry, I blame Walmart!!

Today I sent the older three kids outside to play while I cleaned and Grayson and Emma were so cute. They kept a close eye on the kids and watched from the dining room window, so adorable!

 Trying to sneak out and go play with the kids lol


Grayson is wearing his "Choose Joy" bracelet. For some reason the lettering didnt show up well in the photo.

Miss Emma decided she was going to take her first few steps yesterday and today! Finally!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Know You Are the Mom of a Kid with Cancer When...

I have been feeling really lost lately and even a tad lonely.  Awww :( hehe
No, it's true though. I don't really talk to many people and if I do its usually my mom or dad maybe once a week for 20 minutes or to a few friends on facebook occasionally. But even most of them don't talk to me much anymore. I think its still a factor where people don't want to say the wrong thing, because I am a mother of a child with cancer. Psh! I'm a good place mentally with it all and I can not change the life we have but I can and will make the best of it. SO...The only other person to talk to is the hubs and we just seem to not talk much anymore right now. We are raising 5 kids and Grayson takes up 99% of our time and conversations so it doesn't leave much BS time hah! My doctor has mentioned PTSD...I guess its common among parents of a child with an aggressive form of cancer or cancer in general. Nice huh!
I have recently joined a childhood cancer support group and I feel so much better! *Obviously a day has passed since the first paragraph! I told you, I'm horrible at posting haha*
This is a post I found on the cancer support blog lol, it makes me giggle!

 You Know You're The Mom Of A Kid With Cancer When . . .                 
1.  You carry a tube of EMLA in your purse instead a tube of lipstick.                 
 2.   Kids with hair look kind of strange to you.                 
 3.  You can sleep anywhere, and anything that reclines more than 15 degrees looks "comfy."                
4.  Your spouse asks what that sexy perfume is, and it's Betadine.                 
5.  You don't realize the sharps container is on the kitchen table until half-way through dinner.                
6.  You enjoy the drive at 3:00am to the emergency room because there aren't any other cars on the road.                 
7.  You can name all the equipment used on "ER."                 
8.  You can diagnose the patients on "ER" before the docs do.                 
 9.  You hear a truck backing up and you think the IV is beeping.                 
10.  You are so proud that your baby finally gets hair (and he is 8)!                 
11.  Your new bathroom trash can has "Hazardous Waste" written on it (recycled sharps container).                
12.  You can maneuver a double pole with six boxes and a kid riding on a tour of the hospital, and make it back to the room before the low-battery alarm sounds and the kid has to go wee-wee.                 
13. You realize you've been home two weeks from the hospital and you are still measuring pee.                 
14.  The nurses stop responding to the IV alarm, knowing you'll fix it anyway.                 
15.  You use EMLA to pluck your eyebrows.                 
16.  Your children ask what's for dinner, and you automatically reach for the hyper-al bag.                 
17.  Your 2-year-old knows where all of the medical equipment goes and how to use it.
18.  Your child's first word is a medical term.                 
19.  You keep a bag packed all the time in the closet like you're 9 months pregnant.
20.  You can eat with one hand while you hold the barf bucket with the other.                 
21.  Your 5 year old can read and interpret the printouts of her blood counts, and argues with the docs over the calculation of her ANC.                 
22.  You find yourself showing hospital employees shortcuts for getting around the building.                 
23.  Your latest embroidery project is a wall hanging proclaiming "God Bless Zofran." 
24.  You notice that all the bookmarks in your house are alcohol pad packets, and the bathtub toys include several different sizes of medical syringes.                 
25.  You ask your CPA if bribe toys are tax deductible.

HAHA!!! Sorry, I know most of you will not laugh and are probably busy googling what some of these terms even mean. GOOD! You shouldn't ever know what all of this means. It sucks, but I like to find the humor in it all and keep a positive attitude :) And yes, my husband and I giggled like little kids and nodded our heads as we read each line going "Mmhmm!"

I want to send out a HUGE Thank You to those amazing people we have in our lives that have remember our family this holiday season. The cards we have received as well as some gifts have made us feel so blessed. Its amazing how I can be soo down some days and all I have to do is look at our wall of hope and see the love others have for our family! Yes, I have ALL the cards we have ever gotten, hanging up on our wall <3 Thank you all soo much for your love and support this whole long year! You've helped me through so many hard times!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holly Jolly Something or Other!

I'm horrible! I write postings and then forget to finish them and actually post them! Hah! Guess it's very easy for me to get distracted. Just ask my husband. He swears I have ADD, and sometimes I just might have to agree with him ;)

It's been a long week, but a decent week! We like decent weeks around here. Grayson has had a few good days in a row now which totally rock! I love seeing him up and playing, and causing all kinds of messes. That's what little boys should be doing! Not laying around sick, not knowing what "sick" even means.

The weather around here has been so off. I am from way up north, you know, within jumping distance of the Canadian border. I am used to rugged horribly cold winters. The kind where you wear at least 3 layers and walk around like the little boy, Randy, on A Christmas Story "I can't put my arms down!" But this year is sooo weird. We have no snow! I really never ever thought I would be saying this, but I really want some! I don't want much, just a light snow fall on Christmas with those big fat fluffy snowflakes. Those are my favorite!

Speaking of Christmas, we are celebrating our Christmas on Mon-Tues of next week! I am so excited! So are my kids!! The kids got an early gift from Grammy. My mom sent money for the kids to go to the store and pick something out and so that's exactly what we did last night.

Buddy picked out this little guy and he has been doing a great job at keeping my boys entertained for hours. His eyes light up, he walks, and look at those muscles!

They have been playing so nice together! Its really cute and melts my heart. Grayson does everything Buddy does, its so precious! Looks up to his big brother <3

This is Emma B....who has now been nicknamed Diva B, for reason I'm sure you can imagine. Shes been so crabby lately and will have a meltdown at the smallest things. Heck, someone could look at her wrong and there she goes, throwing a fit and crying about it LOL. Its so hard not to sit and just laugh! Poor girl! LOL

We went and saw Santa the other day! The crowds of people was seriously insane. But whatever, we got to see Santa!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Vacation

We have been so busy lately I haven't had a moment to sit and write. I've started many times but get so sidetracked I never finish the post. I've been planning things for the holidays, trying to set up appointments that work with out schedule, and not to mention the dreaded shopping list for Christmas gifts.
This year I don't want things to be stressful and chaotic. I just want it to be simple, fun, and stress free! I'm really looking forward to snow! LOL I know, I can't believe I'm saying this either, but hey, it always gets me in the holiday spirit :)

On Thursday, Nov 3 Grayson had his normal chemo appointment and got chemo and his levels were pretty low. His ANC was around 600 but his hemoglobin and platelets looked ok but were going down again. Even with all this, he was finally cleared for his first vacation!! He had the next 2 weeks off, so the doctor said that if we wanted to go out of town, now would be the time. By the time the 2 weeks is up he wont be cleared for holiday travel like we had really planned on. So, with that being said, we had to decide then and there if we were going to take a vacation. Hold your excitement please lol.  I know I sure couldn't! LOL We knew we wanted to take the kids, especially Grayson, to see the ocean. So Florida was our destination!!!
Grayson was given an "emergency care pack" from the doctor which has his size needles, meds, flushes, and instructions on how to access port. So even if he got super sick and we ended up in some tiny hospital, he could still receive the help/meds he needed. Also the oncology center here would be in contact via phone to advise what to do next and where to go if he needed to be hospitalized.
This was very comforting to know that even if we left the state things would still be ok :)

We packed up and drove, yes, DROVE to Florida! We left on Monday the 7th and got back on Friday the 11th. It was sooo nice and just amazing sitting on the beach in Florida. The first time Grayson seen a palm tree he was so stinkin excited! He kept pointing at them and cooing and just smiling soooo big! I can honestly say, he smiled the whole time we were in Florida. The palm trees and the ocean just calmed him and made him so happy. It made us ALL happy. We stayed in Jacksonville Beach and spent some time in St. Augustine as well.


St. Augustine Gator Farm

****Please pray for Grayson. He started acting funny/strange today (11/18). His tremors came back full force yesterday, after being "gone" for nearly 6 months! We hope this is not a sign of the tumor growing. TYIA****


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Donation Items

I know a lot of you have asked about items that can be donated to our Childrens Cancer Center and I have finally got the list ready and posted. So here it is! We would like to have LOTS of items donated to the center being we are there weekly and it could sure use some new fun things :) Not much there for little babies or toddles so please read carefully. ALL things underlined are in NEED of. Please email me at jessicabarry_2003@yahoo.com for our address to mail your donations.
Lets get together and help put a smile on these kids' faces!!

Children’s Wish List 2010 - 2011

Thank you for your support! By donating these materials to Children’s, you are giving patients the opportunity to play and have fun while they’re in the hospital.
The underlined items below are the ones are of greatest need right now.
Electronics: We must have a receipt for all-electronic equipment, movies, and computer games donated
Portable DVD players
Batteries: Size D, AA, AAA
Music CDs – lullaby, Disney, children’s songs, instrumental/relaxation music, current pop tunes
Sound Story Books

Infant:

Rattles, O-balls
Fisher Price, Sassy, Baby Einstein toys and toy sets
Mirrors
Mozart Magic Cube
Sound & Lights Aquariums (Fisher-Price)
Baby Board Books
Melodies & Motion Soothers (Fisher-Price)
Toy bars for strollers

Toddler/Preschool:

Pop-up toys
Magna Doodles
Matchbox/Hotwheels cars, garage
Chunky cars, trucks, trains, etc.
TOMY, Fisher-Price, Little Tykes toys/Little people
Fisher-Price medical kits
Wooden Peg Puzzles, cardboard puzzles
Disney play figures
Don’t Break the Ice, Zingo, Ant in the Pants
Sound books
Box puzzles 24-60 pieces
Gertie Balls
Playskool Busy Ball Popper
Wiggly Giggly Balls (Creative Kidstuff)
B.Meowsic (electronic keyboard)
Color Wonder

School-Age:

Art/craft kits – All-in-one sets (Target and Creative Kidstuff)
Card games: Uno, Go Fish, I Spy, Look Alikes, Waldo books
Lego sets – small/medium sized
TOMY robots; remote control cars
Nail art sets
Connect Four, Sequence, Sequence Jr.
Barbie/Ken dolls and clothes
Uno, Skip-Bo
20Q electronic games
Jigsaw puzzles (100-200pc)
Board games: Sorry, Trouble, Monopoly, Monopoly Jr. , Yahtzee, Scrabble, Scrabble Jr.,
Guess Who, Chutes & Ladders, Candyland

Adolescents:

Bead Kits
Art Sets w/good brushes, paints, pastels
Personal CD player
Logic Puzzle, Sudoku Puzzle, Word Puzzle Books
Art/craft kits – All-in-one sets (Target and Creative Kidstuff)
Cribbage boards
Chess sets
Nail polish; nail design kits
Gift cards - $10-$15 – Target, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble
Handheld electronic games: Yahtzee, Battleship, 20Q, Big Screen Solitaire, Deal or No Deal, Sudoku Touch Screen, High School Musical

Art and Craft Materials:

Playdough: small tubs, playdough tools
Washable markers
Watercolor paint sets
Crayons – regular, jumbo
Craft kits – child and teen
Fuzzy posters
Geometric design coloring books
Crayola Model Magic
Klutz Books
Window Markers
Colored Pencils, Pastels
Sticker books and stickers
Coloring/Activity books
Playing cards

Miscellaneous

Microfill pillows in all colors and sizes
Ink and paper for hp photo smart 7960-color printer
Oball
Water washable nail polish
Discovery Kids Animated Marine Lamp (discoverykids.com)
Subscription(s) to any of the children’s magazines found on www.redan.com
Usborne Books & More – Children’s wish list http://giving.childrensmn.org/keepkidsreading

Music Therapy items

Instruments
Classical Acoustic 1/2 (half) size guitar from Schmitt Music
Egg Shakers (from Groth Music or Best Buy Music Store)
Any Children's Instruments (from Groth Music or Best Buy Music Store)
Any Small percussion instruments (ocean drum, buffalo drum, rain stick, cabasa, djembe, tubano, bongos, maracas) from Groth Music or Best Buy Music Store
Electronic keyboard – preferably Yamaha
Board-Books that are songs (Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle, Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Well I have some GREAT news!! Im PREGNANT!

Just kidding ;)

As usual, busy busy!! I've had lots of orders coming in and I LOVE this!! Love to all my awesome fans and customers <3 I wouldn't be able to stay home with my kiddos and especially Grayson, if it wasn't for all of you!

On an even better note, I have lost 15lbs. I am officially down to my pre-pregnancy weight, I mean way back...before my first pregnancy! I weigh a little less then I did when I graduated high school now. It feels amazing! I still need to tone up more but have been having a hard time doing so. I have hypoglycemia and it seems to always get the best of me. Need to get this checked on ;)

Check this site out. It's super tough lol! But at least you dont waste money on a ton of DVDs that will just sit and collect dust. I like that I can just go at my own pace on this site and lots of good advice. I have taken on the get fit challenge I presented to myself and I am winning!! YAY!

Thanks for stopping by everyone and checkin out my bod ;)
 <3

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cutest pumpkins in the Patch

Riley has turned the big "8"!! Her birthday was on Tuesday the 4th, and she had school that day. We told her she can pick whatever she wanted to do when she got home from school and she knew right away what she wanted to do lol. She wanted to go to a movie with Jesse and Lauren. Oh poor Mama, she didn't want me to go haha!
So after school she opened her gifts and we ate dinner then had cake. Then, it was off to the movies! They saw Dolphin Tail in 3D and its been 3 days and I'm still hearing all about it! They had a blast :)

Just our family this year. With Grayson having cancer we can't be throwing parties with all kinds of germy kids (sorry to put it that way, I really don't mean it in a mean way). I explained it to her best I could and she didn't seem to be upset at all.
She was super happy :)
Buddy decided to help himself, apparently his piece was not big enough.

We went and got our pumpkins the other day! We wanted to go to a pumpkin patch but ended up just going to a place down the road. Here are some pics of our adventure.

Buddy picked his out right away and who needs to use your hands to carry it when you have a fireman hat ;)
Riley searched and searched for that "perfect" pumpkin. The rule is, you have to carry your own. Well she was kickin herself on the way to the car! LOL!
Stopped the kids during the madness to get a quick pic :)
Miss Emma wasn't sure about all the dirt and pumpkins. She only would touch the ones Riley brought to her haha!
This is the Proud Grayson and his pumpkin. He did not let anyone take it from him and its 3 days later and the pumpkin is in the pack n play with him as I type! He LOVES that thing! He's going to be heartbroken when it rots!

This year we are not going to carve pumpkins like normally. It was just too much work last year and the twins I'm sure will want to eat it again this year haha! So to save myself a day/two of cleaning, we are just going to decorate them by painting or coloring on them lol. Hoping to decorate this weekend :) I'm loving that Fall is here!! But someone needs to tell the weather this! Its too hot!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hope

Again, long time in between posting. My bad hah! Well Grayson is on his two weeks off of chemo, he has one more week of no doctoring or chemo! So nice! Hes been feeling pretty crappy since his last round of chemo and hes teething on top of that but overall hes doing ok. No crazy high fevers again which is good! He seems to be pooping [normally] again so I'm happy and so is he :)

We have been pretty busy. The girls are both in cheerleading now and they both really love it. I'm glad they wanted to be in something this year. Its fun for me to watch and its good for them :) Its just soo funny and cute watching them do their little cheers! My little cheerleaders :)

I've been wanting to take family pics for a long long time and it just is so hard to plan anything with our crazy chaotic schedule so I finally just said screw it and took them myself. Hope ya like :)





Did it all on our little itty bitty budget too. There was no way we were getting new outfits and paying for professional photos. Just couldn't happen. So I made the girls tutus myself out of tulle left over from our wedding last year. I made Graysons outfit too. Just made a vest pattern on some freezer paper and traced it onto some fabric then pinned in place on a onesie, sewed it in place, added some buttons and a bow tie and voila! :) The lettering we got at Joanns on sale. Also made the girls headbands.
So glad we got these done and the weather was so nice, cloudy, but that was fine for Grayson. These will be on our Christmas cards lol.

Hope ya all love the pics :)
We are hoping to get out this weekend and go to the corn maze. As long as the weather works with us :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

He's the Reason We Walk

Not much going on here the last few days. I like it :)
Things got crazy the last two weeks and Grayson was sick again. Had some ER time and it was sure scary. Grayson had a crazy high temp that spiked to 107! All is well now and he seems to be doing much better.
I'm busy busy with my shop and Id like to get lots more orders in asap. So you really need to stop by and check out ALL the super cute NEW designs I got in!! I'm so excited to get started on the holiday ones! Also, I had a new designer on board that is capable of adding names to my designs, so now you can get even more person and add a name :) LOVE it <3

We are planning a trip to the twin cities corn maze soon and I cant wait to get some good pics! Grayson will be on his 2 weeks off of chemo starting next week and I'm praying we can take advantage of it and do something! Financially we really cant. But I will think of something :)

Hope you all are having a great Monday and I just want to say "Thank You", again, to all those that have donated to Grayson's Acct. We appreciate it sooo much! <3 <3 Love, and God Bless <3 <3

If you are free on Sunday Sept, 25th you should really check out the CureSearch Walk in Minneapolis!! I am planning on walking with the kids if the weather is good :) Also you can donate if you are unable to attend! GREAT cause :)



Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's been awhile since I've had the time to blog, apparently. Hmm, well things are crazy and chaotic around the house like usual. The girls have started school. Riley is in second grade now and Lauren has officially started kindergarten! Crazy! They both love their class and teachers, which is awesome! Lauren only goes half days, and it's the last half of the day which is odd! She goes 1-3:30. Just doesn't make sense to me! Luckily the school has something called kindergarten supplement which we do have to pay for but it is cheaper then daycare so we don't have to worry about her having to miss school to come to doctor appointments or paying an arm and a leg for her to go to our other daycare with Wyatt and Emma.
So she gets on the bus in the morning Wed-Fri with Riley. Mon-Tues we don't have her signed up for the supplement those days because usually they aren't doctor days so she gets picked up here at 12:30.


Trying to get a happy little schedule going around here but it kind of seems impossible with a family of 7. I do have that dream though lol!

If you haven't checked out my shop yet, head on over! Got an awesome deal going on :) Also some newly listed items on Etsy.

I have a new project at hand also. We came across an entryway storage bench with the coat rack and I am going to attempt to paint it lol. Pics to come. I'm really hoping to get it done soon and that it turns out beautifully :) 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Buddy's (early) 3rd Birthday

Yesterday was a good news day for Grayson and our family! About time huh?! Grayson's glioma has "stabilized" with the chemo as of now so that is just so amazing and honestly the best news we have heard in almost a year!
He will continue with weekly treatments of chemo as planned and will have another MRI in around 3 months.
Today he had his very first eye appointment. It was a very stressful visit but all was great with his eyes and we will need to go back in around 6 months to make sure things still look great.
My dad and step mom brought the girls back home last night and they spent the night so we could do an early celebration of Wyatt's birthday today. We all met up at Edinborough indoor park after Grayson's eye appointment and wow! It was a BLAST! The kids played for a few hours and then we headed back to the house to have some cake. It was a great day!
Here are some pics of Wyatt's Early 3rd Birthday :)
eating the "hay bales" which are coconut covered marshmallows

Buddy and Grandpa

The Edinborough indoor park, part of it anyways lol

He sure missed his sisters!


They are the same, but Grayson needs to mess with Emmas lol!
Henley (my step-niece), Grayson, Emma

Buddy's cowboy theme party!




Everyone had a great few days! When my dad and step mom were getting ready to leave, Buddy said, "Thank you for bringing my girls." LOL He sure missed them :)