Curveballs

16 Dec

I only remember about blogging when I need to unload some stuff and I’m not sure where to go. Sometimes we all need to spill, right?

My beautiful, vivacious, incredibly strong toddler was recently diagnosed with Alopecia Areata. It has been two weeks since our diagnosis and it has progressed quite a bit. Every few days, she has new bald spots. Most start as dime-size spots, maybe some thinning around the edges. Within two weeks, we have seen those initial spots grow to around 2″ or larger.

Nothing we did caused this. It wasn’t something she ate, it wasn’t a product we used, it wasn’t due to stress or trauma. It just happened. The thing with Alopecia Areata is that there’s absolutely no predicting what will happen. The loss could stop at any point or progress as far as complete hair loss across her body. Her hair can grow back at any point. It can cycle between growth and loss. Either way, we just won’t know. Its an autoimmune disease with no cure and a handful of treatments that *might* work. My girl is young and tiny though, so those treatments are a bit much on her body right now. We’re holding off. That means we are just going to take it as it goes. We’re ok with that. She is ok with that. We’re positive and we know that she’s just going to be the same kickass kid she’s always been, just with a bit less hair. It has been picking up speed though.

I’ve been at an impasse as to whether or not I should discuss it across social media. Yesterday, I posted a picture of her with her hair pulled back with a headband. Maybe people chalked it up to a toddler mishap with a pair of scissors. Maybe they aren’t quite sure what to say yet. Maybe it really isn’t obvious to outside observers.She’s completely healthy, despite it being an autoimmune disease. Alopecia doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t itch or sting or burn. It has no effect on the rest of her body systems. We are so, so lucky that this diagnosis means we will hold our baby every day and watch her grow up and live a full life. Other parents aren’t so fortunate. My heart breaks for them. So please, if anything, know what I know.

This still doesn’t mean everyone gets it. For the most part, that’s ok. We learned because we had to, not everyone is working from the same knowledge base. I’m ok with questions. I’m not ok with assumptions. I am dreading the day someone makes a comment about being sorry that she is dying because she is bald and they assume she has cancer. I’m terrified of the time someone makes a negative comment about her looks because of balding and scraggly patches of hair that she is triumphantly rocking. Maybe with glitter. I don’t want to see my baby’s confidence break down because someone makes an insensitive comment. That is what terrifies me.

So please, please don’t treat her like she is sick. Don’t act as if she is fragile. Don’t be afraid to look at her, she’ll even tell you, “Alopecia takes my hair away. Its ok!” If you want, ask me about her hair loss. Ask for details about alopecia. Tell her she looks amazing. Challenge her to a dance off. Be full of love and optimism. She needs it. I need it. 

Life is good

5 Oct

Like really good. I think I may have decided that October is my favorite month. Apples, pumpkins, warm clothes and warm colors, chilly air, cinnamon, and excitement as the beginning of the holiday season creeps in. It is beyond amazing to be in California and have hints of actual seasons again. Florida was the worst for that. I actually own sweaters and have worn them. Magic.

Baby #3 is happily wiggling in my belly, a strong and active little dude that is already so loved. Big kid just celebrated his last birthday in the single digits and the little chick is continuing to blow us away by being Captain Precocious. Hubs is happy and busy at work. Homeschooling is phenomenal. I’ve got pumpkins roasting in the oven and yeah. This is my life. Its wonderful.

Everything is awesome!

10 Jun

Everything is cool when you’re living the dream😉

Seriously though, California is great. It feels like home and things are amazing. We’re in a primo location. A few hours to Lake Tahoe, only half an hour to San Francisco or wine country. We’ve done so much exploring and we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. Farmers markets with (gasp) actual farmers, take note central Florida! No produce resellers here or bags that look like the ones sitting on the grocery store shelves.

The kids are thriving, too. Homeschool has been great, but we recently hit such a perfect stride! The “deschooling” process was rough, but we got our Oak Meadow curriculum after the move and he has jumped in with full force. I decided to buy the second grade and third grade. Even though he has technically been in second grade this year, we had some time off during the move and I feel like certain areas could use a boost. We’ll be working through the second grade package from now until the fall and then picking up with third grade right on time.

Let me tell you, Oak Meadow is fantastic for the big kid! Between his SPD, reluctance to read, but huge love of details and learning…its just perfect. His confidence has skyrocketed and he is choosing to read instead of it being a chore. We are really glad to have found OM. The tiny child just turned two, but insists on doing school with us, so naturally she is included! I’m a fan of Montessori for the younger set, so I’ve set her up with some work. It is seriously exciting to see them excited to get down to business in the classroom🙂

An inexpensive, health-conscious Easter basket for a 1-year-old

1 Apr

Such a sweet idea from a friend! What are in you Easter baskets?

The Clay Fox

Inexpensive, healthy Easter basket for 1-year-old

Easter is such a beautiful holiday for what it truly means, and although the connection to bunny rabbits and plastic eggs is a little blurry, it is such a fun tradition to receive a basket and scavenge for pastel hidden treasure. If you have a toddler, you may echo my frustration for the “cookie-cutter” baskets with feeble, small plastic parts and sugar packed together in cute shapes like baby chicks and sweet chubby bunnies. I have always enjoyed anything custom-made because it shows the effort and consideration given to the gift, but custom doesn’t have to mean expensive. I was able to run out to Target and Walmart (they were conveniently in the same parking lot) and grab everything I needed for a very low-cost.

I thought I would share in case any other mom was looking for a little Easter basket inspiration for their little one:

1. Of course…

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Big changes!

14 Jan

I have an incredibly legitimate reason for being absent! WE’RE MOVING! So long Florida, hellloooooooo California!

Hubs has accepted a killer job offer in San Francisco and we couldn’t be happier. I’m staying super positive and trying to not pull my hair out. He’s shipping off without me and the kids to start work and we’re tasked with getting the house packed up and ready to rent/sell. Deep breaths! I feel like singing, “We Shall Overcome”! Seriously though, it will be a trying month-ish, but I’m ready to take on the adventure of moving cross country to a hugely diverse, amazing city.

So! All you people snooping around, share your favorite San Francisco tips! We’re house hunting in east bay to give the kids a yard (something they’ve never had), but plan on exploring everything. I’ve got my fingers crossed for comments, don’t disappoint!

This is why I’m horrible at blogging

24 Dec

I don’t update. Really. I’m quite awful at keeping track of this thing! We’ve been up to all sorts of shenanigans. Science experiments, LegoLand field trip, holiday hubbub and all sorts of good stuff. I’ll break it all down for you soon. We’ve also started working on Montessori-ing our spaces for the wee one, so that’s fun! I’ve got loads of ideas to share! Be on the look out🙂

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Halloweenies: Part 1

31 Oct

Ah, October 31. The one day where it is acceptable to pretend you are something you aren’t, go door to door and harass strangers for treats. If you haven’t heard of it yet (helllooooo are you under a rock), consider having more than just candy tonight! The Teal Pumpkin Project is in full force and is a cause near and dear to our family. A teal pumpkin signifies your house has non-food treats for trick or treaters that suffer from food allergies. Stickers, pencils, vampire teeth, erasers…there are tons of options! Lets keep the fear on Halloween for make-believe monsters and not actual deadly experiences🙂

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If you are fresh out of pumpkins to paint, you can print out an awesome sign like mine HERE or if you are just offering non-candy treats, try THIS sign.

I’ve got Minnie Mouse and Harry Potter hanging out with me tonight. Part 2 will come after sundown, lets hope I can get some great pics!