Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wake Up Week

sweetest face

Evelyn and Christian passing time in his hospital room!

What a week! This was another one of those 'wake up' weeks for the Crowell family. Just when we thought summer was about to roll into full swing we end up in the hospital. After an amazing weekend golfing, Christian ended up getting sick on monday night. We went in, for what was meant to be a quick blood work check up, on Tuesday but spent the whole day at the hospital while Christian got some fluids and anti nausea drugs. We finally got home in the early evening and had to promptly turned around and headed straight back to the hospital. Within an hour of getting home Christian came down with a fever. Which freaked Chris and I out a little bit considering he was neutropeonic. This means that his immune system was completely nonexistent and is a result of his intense chemotherapy. The purpose of chemo is to destroy fast dividing cells in the body. Cancer cells are fast dividing, as well as hair follicle cells (which is why chemotherapy patients lose their hair) and the lining of your stomach and intestines (which is why chemotherapy patients get sick).  Ok enough of the cancer treatment lesson just wanted to explain what neutropeonic means = no immune system!  This explains why fevers are so serious for cancer patients, a normal person has the ability to fight off general bugs, viruses and bacteria. But with no immune system Christian’s life could quickly be in jeopardy if his fever (indication his body is fighting something) is not treated quickly.  So long story still long we were admitted on Tuesday night and stayed until Friday. He needed to stay until his counts rose to an acceptable level and his testing came back negative for 'bugs'. All in all the hospital is the safeest place to be when he is fragile and compromised in this way. 
Motorized quad - amazing what you can do with it while confined to a small room!

Christian was a trooper but unfortunately found himself in isolation for the whole week meaning he couldn’t leave his room. Which makes for a long few days for him. Thankfully the staff and nurses at the hospital are so great and do their best to find things for him to do and keep him entertained. He was welcomed out of the hospital by a visit from Uncle Ian, Aunty Kate, Noah and Grace. They spent a glorious hour playing in the healing gardens at the hospital – including a great playground, child size soccer field with a little running track, child size basketball court and net, putting green and more. 
Noah and Christian enjoying Happy meal toys
Off to McDonalds to start off the long weekend and then home to recover from the long days in the hospital. Today we spent an awesome day at Uncle Dalton’s and Aunty Dianne’s house playing with all the kids. There is NOTHING that Christian likes to do more (ok maybe golf) than playing with his cousins, even if he has to just sit and watch them some of the time. Late afternoon led its way to a backyard beach party at our new house. Complete with kiddie pools, waterslide, waterguns and a full fledge water fight……which I am pretty sure I won! Pretty sad to gloat about a victory against my young nephews…..but it was all good fun!
Uncle Ian, Grace and Ryan - just chillin'
Tomorrow will be a day of much deserved rest. Christian is certainly losing some of his stamina and it is one of the sadder times of my day when I watch him watching the other kids play and run around – knowing that he no longer has the energy to do these things.  With the sun hanging around this week we can enjoy the outdoors and rest before big chemo begins again next week…already? My beautiful niece and clever nephew are coming out from Ontario for a visit and we are so looking forward to hosting them. We are also going to be having another milestone in the Crowell household next week, as Ryan will be celebrating his first birthday. Yea cake and ice cream! It is amazing to think that he was only 5 months old when Christian was diagnosed. How time flies.  Thanks for reading
Rav - our AWESOME clinic nurse - off on Mat leave - we will miss you!

Today I am thankful for:

1.     Water fights
2.     Birthday parties
3.     Kids in bed before 800pm

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Golf Delight

Christian's Team (Chris, Jason Jaffray, Ben Hoffman and Greg Kress)

What a week! I am sorry for the delay in posting a new blog but we have been completely consumed by our stay in the hospital for Big Chemo, spending a day getting a blood transfusion, attending the Jason Jaffray Charity Golf tournament (in Christian’s honor-yah!) and trying to arrange contractors to work on mom’s house. Needless to say it has been a busy but productive week. Christian faired VERY well after his big chemotherapy. We are a tad apprehensive since it was the first time in months that he would be getting all three of his chemotherapy drugs – but he did marvelous and never skipped a beat. Friday we were back in hospital so that Christian could receive his most recent transfusion – I have lost count but I am sure we must be on double digits right now!
The tournament send off - Christian's drive down the pipe!

With the latest news about his tumor and the fact that he won’t be having surgery we are trying to plan a small trip to Nova Scotia so Chris can see him family and Christian can have a much deserved visit with his Nanny Marilyn and go to the beach. But sssssshhhhhh it’s a surprise! We are not going to tell him until it is for sure and maybe even the day before since we never know when he could end up in hospital and a visit could get quickly cancelled. He is under the impression that he can’t go anywhere while his ‘tubes’ (AKA central line) are still in his chest, so it will  be an amazing little surprise for him if it all works out. A visit with Chris' family, golf with papa norm and play time in Victoria park is just what the doctor ordered!
Ryan enjoyed the day too!

While we are on the topic of things working out I just want to say how amazing the Golf tournament that our good friends, the Jaffray’s, put on for us. And by the way congrats go out to Jason who just got signed by the new Winnipeg Jets….GO JETS! They worked very hard putting in many tireless hours to make this golf tournament a huge success and an incredible day for our family. The prizes that came in from the community and friends was overwhelming and inspiring. Inspiring to know that so many people think Christian is great and want to honor his gargantuan battle with cancer. People whom we don’t even know and had never met, felt it was important to say, “We understand that life sucks right now – but keep fighting”. Because I can tell you that any parent who has a child fighting cancer needs to know that their fight is validated. Even if you cannot personally understand or comprehend what it is life –you don’t need to. You can just say – I am sorry you are going through this and I am sure it is horrible. And attending the event did just that. You can tell that everybody who was there was so proud of Christian as he bombed his drive down the 10th green! Proud that he is fighting the good fight, proud that he can still be a little boy, proud that he can show all the adults in the room what pediatric cancer looks like.  Chris and I felt very supported and loved and we were honored to be Christian’s parents that night – any night.

We met so many people who came out to support Christian, our family and the fight against pediatric cancer – not just with money, but more importantly with their hearts and with their sincere words. People like Greg Kreese and Steph Thomas whom I know spent a lot of time gathering prizes for the event and most importantly supplying Christian’s team with their ‘out of this world’ golf attire. Small things that will make this day one that our family WILL NOT soon forget.  There were many other groups of people who supported the event: the Olds Grizzlys’s Jr A hockey club, the Old’s radio station, the whole Jaffray and Bresden clan and many others. It was a very special night that touched the hearts of so many people. And most importantly it was a day of golf with his dad that Christian will never forget.

Evan rocking the bubbles!
Lastly Chris and I topped off the weekend by taking in the Folk Fest (for free!) on the banks of the bow river. What an amazing night. We impromptu popped the kids in the car (in their jammies) and headed downtown in hopes of catching a few waves of music from Jim Cuddy’s voice and we were not disappointed! God saved us a parking spot and a bench so our family could top off the most amazing weekend we have had in a long time. The kid’s first even Blue Rodeo concert was a huge success – even if Christian slept through it all! Evelyn danced, played with bubbles and enjoyed her freedom while Ryan bounced up and down in Chris’ arms wondering what the heck he was doing in downtown Calgary at 10 o’clock at night in his jammies! It was great. Thanks JIM!  

Life does not get much better - Blue Rodeo by the water with the people you love most
So now that the golf tournament is done and the weekend is over we will focus our attention on getting mom’s house completed, comfortable and livable. A place she can escape to so she doesn’t go insane when my kids are out of their minds! A few shorts weeks from now we hope to be home in Nova Scotia for a much needed rest and escape from reality. Thanks for reading.
Warming up with dad 

Today I am thankful for:
1.     New friendships (Greg and Steph, Doug and Loralie)
2.     Old friendships (Matt and Lindsday, Kelly and Heath)
3.     Forever friendships (Sophie and Andrew, Kirsten and Glen)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Golf Ball?

Golf ball. An oblong shaped golf ball. This is the current size of Christian’s tumor. Going from a tumor that was so large it protruded from his stomach and was bordered by his hip flexor muscle below and his diaphragm above – a golf ball sounds good. The original size of the tumor was almost the diameter of a mini football so we are ecstatic about its current size and response to his treatments thus far. After the first scan in April the tumor had shrunk almost 70%(in diameter) and now it has halved itself again. So I think it is safe to say that the tumor is shrinking and dying at an excellent rate.
Getting chemo in the HOT clinic with Nurse Jenny
The unfortunate part of the results was that the tumor is still within the confounds of his Inferior Vena Cava. This means that surgery is not going to happen at this juncture. It would be risky and not necessary as dictated by his treatment protocol. For his stage and level of Rhabdomyosarccoma resection surgery has not shown a significant increase in life expectancy; so if it is not an easy process for the surgeons they will not do it. We may explore surgery again at the end of his treatment in December if the tumor has finally decided to release its clutches on his vessel.  It does make me a little sad to not be doing the surgery since this is the only true and sure way to determine whether the remaining mass is dead or still has active cancer cells.   Our only other way of knowing if the tumor has developed a resistance to the chemotherapy and radiation is to wait until his treatment is complete in December. They will rescan him and then we will have to watch to see if they tumor continues to shrink as his body breaks down the remaining mass and residual scar tissue or if by some cruel turn the mass grows. If on the follow up scans (which he will have every 3 months for the next three years) the mass gets bigger then we will know that his tumor developed a resistance to his treatments.  This scenario is miles away and not in our thoughts right now. We are enjoying our time and rejoicing in our gifts.
Pizza picnic in Canmore - does life get any better? 
Soccer in the park
As I type this, Evelyn and Christian are sitting together on his hospital bed singing along to the Backyardigans and dancing away. They are so cute sitting there together enjoying each others company. As a mother, one of my most rewarding and heart filling moments is to watch them giggle and have fun together. I treasure these moments and hope they continue to enjoy each other’s company. I am sure she will continue to antagonize him and he will continue to ignore her but this is what siblings are about right?!
Spray Lakes Fun

Chris and I decided today that Christian not being able to have surgery is a way of helping us to let go and stop trying to ‘control’ Christian’s cancer and his outcome. By not being able to have a surgery, we have no idea where his tumor is in terms of cellular viability. For all we know he might be ‘cancer free’ or he might be, at this very moment, developing a resistance to the chemotherapy. But the take home message for us is that it doesn’t matter. What matters right now is RIGHT NOW, that we enjoy each other and experience as much of this life as we can. That we take as many opportunities as we can to enjoy life.  I think I have already typed this quote out before in the blog but it is always in the back of my mind,


Today Christian tells me he is thankful for:

1.     Toys
2.     Drinks – sprite, water, lemonade and Yop
3.     Sticker books (Evan and Ryan came in a short 4th!)

Throwing rocks in the river...our favorite pasttime

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Recovery from Chemo - tougher by the week

It does not care about body size, how tall or short you are or skin color. It doesn’t care if you are royalty or homeless, 63 or three. Cancer chooses at random and without cause. Cancer chose my three year old son. Cancer chose Christian. Will cancer choose you? Your mother or father? Your sister? Your brother? Your young child? Your husband or wife?
 We don’t have control over who does and doesn’t get cancer (especially pediatric cancer) but we do have control over our response to this cruel disease. Human agency and God’s promise of free will allows us to respond to these situations with hope, love and a positive frame of mind. God’s grace is what gives me hope for Christian’s future and our families future. I could chose to sit back and get angry and bitter. I can begrudge those who don’t have to go through what our family does and I can feel envy for those people who are taking vacations and planning holidays while we go to chemo. But we are not angry. We are trying to embrace this time blessed to our family. I am trying to be still and enjoy the moments we are given, the special times with our kids. We have been given such a gift of clarity for the fragility of life. All of us are at risk. Even though Christian’s morbidity is in jeopardy due to his cancer – none of us are guaranteed one more day. How long will you wait to embrace life? The gifts you have been given?

Ready for CT scan
I am trying to follow the words spoken on mine and Chris’ wedding day, words advising us about the strength of LOVE. God loves us and wants the best for our family, for his family. If I act out of love with peace in my heart then no one and no disease can bring us down.
“…it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

 Pediatric cancer is especially difficult to understand and cope with. It just does not seem right that a small little child or baby should have to suffer through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, bone marrow transplants and blood transfusions. It doesn’t seem right they these little people should have to experience pain and suffering associated with this horrible disease and the treatments are, in some cases, more difficult for them to cope with than the disease itself.  Not to mention the emotional trauma experienced by the parents and other family members. How do you explain to a two year old that their older brother has a life threatening illness? You don’t – it just becomes life for them. Evelyn now makes sure that wherever we go, whatever we are doing she says, “Can I come too?” A sure indication that two year olds understand more than we give them credit for! A sign to show me that she feels left out and I need to consider her more. She notices that we leave her at home when we go to the hospital; she noticed when we left her every day for radiation. She notices that Christian gets “poke box” presents after his daily injections and dressing changes. Yesterday day after Christian received his poke present Evelyn looked at my mom and said, “what about me?”  So it is difficult to maneuver and I know that Chris and I have made many a gaffe parenting our kids through this ordeal, I am praying that we will learn from these mistakes and become more aware and understanding parents. That our kids will become more compassionate human beings who are able to think beyond video games, designer clothing and the latest ‘must haves’.  That love will prevail in our home and in our family.
Enjoying 'the ride' together
So please remember that we all have a choice, regardless of the situation that this uncharted life throws at you – you have a choice. You can chose to sit and bitch about it and make excuses and lament about how horrible your current predicaments are (and come on, lets keep things in perspective here) or you can turn your heart to God and learn to love, forgive, and find goodness in every situation. I have a magnet on my fridge that says,

“Peace is not to be in a place where there is no chaos and confusion but to be in the midst of it and still have calm in your heart”
-       Fridge magnet

Face vs. driveway
Laugh a lot, love very often, smile at everybody because it contagious. Remember that God has your back and if you trust in Him – everything will work out just as He intended – PERFECT.

Today I am thankful for:
1.     Hot days by the water in the Rocky Mountains
2.     Christian giggling while he tickles his own armpit!
3.     Our primary nurse, Jo Brooks
Ryan 'assisting' with the building of the new toy shelf!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fun in the Summer Sun

Love him more and more each day

Can't wait to test the waters! Filling the pool is the best part!
Tomorrow is the day. CT scan day. Day to determine if the radiation was the success we have been praying it would be. The scale is set to tip in our favor and we are destined for a positive outcome. Our prayer (if you are reading this before 930am!) is that his tumor has dislodged itself from his inferior vena cava, the small finger like extensions of the tumor have been blasted into oblivion and the large mass that was remaining is now a small hard non living lump – death by copious amounts of chemotherapy and radiation.  As a family we are trying our best to stay positive and enjoy the summer. It has been raining so much but the few days it was nice we were sure to get out the pool so the kids could enjoy some time in the sun. Having the park in our backyard is such a blessing and Evelyn is in “play park” heaven. 

 We were blessed with tickets to the stampede (thank you Starlight!) so we enjoyed family day at the rodeo. It was a great escape from the everyday. Christian was enthralled with the midway and all the rides. The best part of the day was the band of winds playing outside the grandstand – Christian couldn’t help himself but to get up and dance!

Dancing with the Band!
We did have a run to the hospital yesterday evening as Christian has been struggling with some gastrointestinal issues (darn sewer pipes!) and his body was battling hard but ended up getting a fever which means a trip to the unit for antibiotics.  Luckily his ‘counts’ were fairly good and we only had to stay for his meds and a blood transfusion, and we were home…….at 430am. YIKES. 
Evelyn loving life!
I think the chemo has gotten to his brain!!!!!

Excited to be at the Rodeo!
Please enjoy the pictures and think of Christian tomorrow. I will post some results as soon as we know. Mostly likely it will be Tuesday – our next big chemo - when we meet with our oncologist again.  From there we will either have a surgery to remove the remaining mass or wait it out until November/December if the results are not optimal.  If we are so lucky we are faintly entertaining a trip home to Nova Scotia. Unfortunately day to day, hour to hour living doesn’t bode well for a family trip across the country!

Today I am thankful for:
1. Backyard pools
2. Christian doing "This little piggy" on Evelyn's toes
3. Bunk Beds

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Travelling Family

Relaxing with dad on the stoop!

I have spent the better part of an hour reading back over my past blog postings (starting at the beginning), and I am amazed at how far our family has travelled and it has only been six months. Six pivotal months. Six months that has seen so many changes. It has taken Ryan from being almost a newborn to a full fledged red headed screaming, food sucking ball of blubbery joy! It has taken Evelyn from a toddling little cutie patootie to a two year old brilliant, walking, talking tower of terror! It has taken Chris and I from a stage where we occupied our life with things we thought were important to a time where life is the most important thing. It has taken us to a stage when time is measured in hours and fevers, by doctor’s visits and blood transfusions, by needles and dressing changes. But most importantly is had taken Christian from being a very very sick little boy to a healing 3.5 year old mature little man. He has transformed in a little person whose strength and resiliance is beyond my comprehension. He has put up with so much, fought so hard and battled this tumor to a point where is now exhausted and somedays has troubles getting by without having a nap or a mental breakdown and most days he has both! He has such a frail vulnerability that I sometimes forget he is only eight short weeks away from turning 4.
I feel like we were already discussing life's twists and turns....
"being strengthened with all power
 according to his glorious might
 so that you may have great endurance and patience," Colossians 1:11
I feel sad that he is so skinny and his weight is not improving but then I read back over the blogs and I am reminded of just how far we have come. We spent a long time in the hospital with him quite sick, not eating, moving - nothing. So I remember the first night when Christian asked Chris and I for pizza. It was almost midnight but Chris was so elated he ran out and got him a pizza and I think both Chris and I shed tears as we watched him devour a slice a pizza. Probably the first real piece of food we had seen him eat in weeks. And I remember when we brought him home after his first month in the hospital. I recall that all he could do was to lay on the couch and we would be ecstatic if he would walk down the hallway, smile or engage on of us in a game or book. So things really have gotten better, times change and our focuses change but the end goal is what occupies my mind. Christian needs to be cancer free

So to say he is doing ‘well’ is true, the fact that he can play and run and eat and enjoy the outdoor pool – but he still has cancer and he is still fighting for his life -everyday until the cancer cells are all gone.  And what matters to me the most is that at the end of his treatment when we sit down and speak with Dr. Lewis after his last scan in December, he tells me Christian is cancer free.  It will take a full eight years before he can be considered cured but if he can run, play, grow and enjoy his little life - well that is all i can ask for.
Love Chapters!
So the goal for the end of the line is set. The journey along the way will be filled with highs and lows. This journey is what we need to remember and embrace. Embrace it because it is our life and we must not wish it away. It is God's will that we travel this road together as a family and as a community.  It is God’s tool for teaching us. Teaching us to be better parents, people, friends and sisters. The journey is what will make us strong; the journey is what will make our marriage better. The journey will give us understanding and compassion for other people who are sick and underprivileged.  We cannot control which way we will travel on the open seas but we can control our sails. We can set our sights on the important things in life and pray that these lessons will remain strong in our memories. We can chose to focus on the blessings we are given, the friends we make, the amazing things we will see and the experiences we will have with our children. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to set this time in our lives to writing, that I will have the chance to look back and read about an moment of time that was difficult beyond understand and amazing all at the same time. A moment to remember my children just as they are now – cute, irresistible, cuddly, soft and the best of all – mine! 

So five months to go and no guessing what the immediate future holds for Christian. I am praying his endurance holds up and he is able to enjoy the summer. He is very lonely for friends to play with so please stop by or call for a visit! I am praying the tumor is shrinking and dying off as I type this. I am praying that God will continue to grant me peace in my heart. I am praying that understanding of Christians cancer will grow and the lessons we garnish from this experience will be life changing.

Chris donated blood today for the first time in years (I was rejected due to low hemoglobin…isn’t that a funny twist of fate?) and it was a great lesson for our kids to learn about the simple things that we can do that have such a huge impact on others. I feel when most people think about saving someone’s life by donating blood they refer to a picture of an emergency room and a guy losing blood from a gun shot wound. That may be true but there is nothing more real that a whole pint of red blood draining into Christians central lines. I am not being ostentatious when I say that it could be you to save Christians life. Without his seven blood transfusions Christian would be too sick to receive his chemotherapy treatments. Without his chemotherapy and radiation treatments he would have succumbed to his tumor. So with every transfusion he receives his little life has been spared. And not only Christians but every other little boy and girl whom are RIGHT NOW sleeping in the oncology ward at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. So thank you to everybody who has taken time out of their busy schedule to donate. Thank you to Reagan and Louise who came out to the Genesis place tonight to donate. 
Something about the bike helmets!

Today I am thankful for:
 1.Candian Blood Services
2. Costco – what is in those hot dogs?
3. Watching my kids enjoy the play park
Can you believe this is Christian - he has a twin named Ryan!!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disappointed? I think not!

Well June 30th has come and gone and obviously we did not meet our goal of getting 1000 people to sign up for the one match bone marrow registration. But we did get 179 people to sign up – and that is 179 people that might have not signed up otherwise. 179 people who decided to put themselves out there with the hope of one day saving a persons life, a child’s life, a strangers life. 179 people who honored Christian’s fight with cancer and many more people who tried to sign up but were denied for one reason or another.  We learned that there are many stigmas associated with bone marrow donation – a plethora of myths that seem to keep people away from committing themselves to bone marrow donation. The main concern we have heard time and time again is – “I heard it really hurts”.  Firstly, registering does not mean that you will have the HONOR of donating, only that you MAY be asked. Secondly you are asleep when they remove some of your bone marrow (which your body quickly replaces) so you don’t feel a thing. And lastly – would you look into my son’s eyes or some other person who is going to die unless they receive a bone marrow transplant and tell them you would like to help but you are afraid of a little pain. I THINK NOT! So kudo’s too all who have signed up or tried to sign up. If you have not done it yet – DO IT and let me know so I can keep adding to the list. 

Please remember to donate blood this week if you have not done it yet. Christian has received no less than 7 blood transfusions (I am starting to lose count) so it is more important now than ever to get out there and give blood. Airdrie is hosting a blood drive on July 8th for those of you who live close.
I apologize for taking such a long blogging hiatus but with the move to the new house, chemo, Chris’ golfing trip and general mom duties – I just have not had two hours to sit at the computer and type.  Christians last big chemo session on Tuesday went well. He did end up getting sick (briefly) which has not happened for a while but being the trooper he is recovered quickly and was on the golf course with Chris and our good friend Jason Jaffray  by Thursday afternoon. He loves to drive the cart with Dad and tee it off when time allows! He did find out it is possible to sleep on a golf cart quite comfortably as he spent the whole back 9 dreaming of golf in Hawaill curled up on Dad’s seat!  We are eagerly anticipating the Jason Jaffray Golf Tournament being held in Olds in July as I am sure that Christian will be the star of the show!

We had a great weekend attending Ashley Jaffray’s wedding (she was a stunner!) in Leduc. Throw in a little baseball, lots of sun, treats with grandpa and some wedding dancing and it was such a great break for our family. Our children continue to amaze us with their patience and kindheartedness (our waiter at breakfast this morning might want to refute this statement!) and it makes our family trips so much nicer for Chris and I.
Ashley's beautiful outdoor wedding!

What’s next for Christian? On July13th he will have his second restaging scan. This scan will determine whether the tumor has shrunk enough to be removed surgically. The tumor needs to have recessed out of his inferior vena cava or else surgery will not be possible. Our prayer is that the tumor is small enough and in a location such that surgery is safe and ‘easy’ for the surgeon.  Regardless of surgery, chemotherapy will continue each week until November. Christian is doing well – enjoying his new fuzz – which he loves to style with some mousse each morning. But he is reluctant to talk about it falling out again as it inevitably will once all his chemotherapy drugs are back on board. He is smiling lots and enjoying his new home and space. He does get tierd very easy and we are having a hard time finding pants that will fit his tiny waist. For the wedding this weekend he wore the same pants he wore to Peder and Ryan’s wedding in Mexico when he was 17 months old – a bit sad.
Growing up before our eyes...what a handsome little man...and his fuzz!

I will try to blog a little more often now that we are more settled. Thanks for all the well wishes and support we have received from so many different people. It lifts us up and gives us hope to know that somebody is thinking of our family and of Christian’s struggle. Thank you to anyone who is willing to dare and think about what is would be like to live in our shoes.

Today I am thankful for:

1.     Steph and Greg’s Crayola bonanza for the kids
2.     Christian’s amazing dance moves
3.     Hot sunny days spent at the park