Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mail Exchange Reminder and an itchy tag....

Quick reminder to everyone (and a huge thanks to Wendy for reminding me!)....tomorrow is when we're all supposed to have our mail exchange gifts in the mail to all of the kiddos!  Don't forget to put in a picture of your child!  I can't wait to hear what all the kids think of their gifts and how much fun they have with it!

You know what it's like when you have an itchy tag in your clothing?  It irritates and rubs and drives you nearly insane until you can finally cut it out?  Well, this is me, "cutting out the itchy tag".  You see, I have a problem.  I adore Fall!  Autumn is my favorite season.  It's very nearly perfect.  Brightly colored leaves in reds and oranges and yellows.  Apples falling from the trees.  The return of the coveted Honey Crisps (best apple ever!).  The crisp, clean, cool feeling of the air.  The fantastical booming, banging, flashing thunderstorms.  Seriously, I love fall!  There's just one major problem.  And really, it's quite a doozy of a problem.  Fall means a plethora of political ads.  I know, I know...discussing politics makes people nervous.  But honestly, this isn't about my political beliefs.  Or your political beliefs.  Or anyone's political beliefs.  It's about basic common courtesy and a lack of respect for the American people.  You see, political ads are not about politics.  Nope.  They are about who the lesser of two evils is.  Constant bickering back and forth.  Don't vote for the other guy because he's more evil than I am.  Vote for me because I'm not nearly as bad as the other choice.  That's all it is anymore!  Do the politicians just think we're not intelligent enough to hear what they plan to do and make a decision based on who has the better plan?  Give us all some credit, please! We all have brains in our heads.  We can think for ourselves and make informed, intelligent decisions.  Right? Really's the conclusion that I have come to:  Politics is just a game of tug-of-war.  We have the Republicans on one side, Democrats on the other.  They're just continually pulling on the rope, seeing who can get the most power over what happens in our country.  The majority of them get into politics just for the power alone.  Don't get me wrong, I do think there may be a few who actually care and want to make changes, but once they've been in office for a couple of years, they discover that no one else cares about making a difference.  It's just about power.  Who has it, who wants it, how each party can win it back.  They're so busy trying to win that power that they lie, cheat, steal, and degrade themselves and the American people without thought or care.  They twist the truth in so many different ways, it ends up looking like a pretzel and no one can figure out where the beginning and end are anymore.  Want a good example of the lies and twisted truth?  Our current governor wants to make a bid for President of the United States of America.  So he's running around, talking about how he's balanced the Minnesota state budget.  The reality?  The state is "borrowing" money from the public school system in order to pay it's bills.  Borrowing, without interest, from our children.  The schools are then left unable to pay their own bills because all of their reserve money is tied up in the state's bills and won't be paid back until the end of the school year.  Kind of like smashing your child's piggy bank in order to pay your mortgage, isn't it?  Doesn't mean you balanced your budget though.  It just means you shifted money around enough that all the administrators and big shots can keep their perks while our children and schools suffer.  Excellent job, Governor Pawlenty!  While he's busy doing all of that, the Republican and Democratic nominees for his job are having a b*tch-slap fight over DUI convictions from several decades ago and are busy calling each other names.  It's enough to make someone want to vomit!

I wish there was an easy answer to all of this.  Politics in the U.S. just seems to have gotten so petty and wrong.  It no longer matters if there is one person who genuinely believes in making a difference.  The views of the individual candidates don't matter at all.  It's all about where the party-lines are drawn and wrestling power back and forth.  One party wants to accomplish something.  The other one will stop it in any way they can.  Not because it's not a good thing that the first party was doing, but because they don't want that party to think they might have even a little bit of the power.  I, for one, am so very tired of it!  I want to order them all to their separate corners for an extended time-out.  They're all mostly a bunch of idiots, creeps, and crooks, if you ask me.  I have no solutions.  But I just might be voting Independent from now on!  Maybe they're becoming the lesser of three evils....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

I have no time for blogging lately!  My wonderful idea to make hats to raise money for our walk has brought in several orders for hats that I'm trying to whip up and ship out.  No complaints here though.  I'm having so much fun with it!  I love making hats!  They're so quick and it's so much fun to make each one unique and beautiful in it's own way!  I'll share a few of them with you quick before I go off to crochet some more!

A hat with curlicues for an adorable little 4-year-old girl...I have two more to finish up for her sisters!

My adorable little model with an ear-flap hat for a 2-year-old boy.

And a matching hat for the 2-year-old's brand-new baby sister!

Okay, off to finish up some orders!  This is so much fun!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The walk report....and I'm married to an attack dog!

Ah, the walk.  It's always one of those days when we put so much of our energy into praying for a beautiful day with great weather.  And then the day comes and we realize that all our prayers were in vain.  Drizzly, icky, cold weather!  Awful.  And no offense meant to anyone, but people who sign up for these walks and then don't show up because it's cold and drizzly and icky are LAME!  Last year for the walk, we had fantastic weather.  Lots of people showed up to walk in the beautiful weather.  This year, the rain and drizzle started and more than half the people who signed up must have looked out their windows and crawled right back into bed.  I thought we Minnesotans were made of stronger stuff than that.  Seriously, we brave horribly cold temperatures in the winter just so we can go flying down hills on skis, zooming through snowbanks on snowmobiles, and drench mittens while rolling balls of sticky white flakes into balls for fights or snowmen.  And those same people couldn't be bothered to drag their lazy butts out of their warm beds for a couple of hours to raise money and awareness for diabetes?  Oh, so lame!  The walk did go pretty well though.  The kids were well-behaved, in spite of it being chilly and cold.  Leo's poor little hands turned red from the cold and wet and he still didn't complain!

I love my husband.  I really, really do.  I adore the guy.  But, man, there are times!  We haven't been out on a date in so long!  It's been months since we left the kids with anyone so that we could do something together.  In fact, the last time we did, Avatar was in the theaters and we went to see the 3D version.  There just really isn't anyone who understands the whole diabetes thing all that well.  My husband's mom has been trying to learn what she can about it, but when you're not living it every day, it's hard to "practice" so that you can feel sure of yourself.  When she watched the kids while we went to the movie, Lily asked for orange juice. My MIL thought maybe she was low and gave her the orange juice.  She wasn't quite sure how to test Lily's blood sugar yet.  Honestly, I'm okay with Lily having a high every now and then.  I'd rather she had gotten the orange juice and gone up then have her be low and be denied what she needs.  But my husband FREAKED. He has a tendency to over-react.  In his words, "we're never leaving the kids again."  Oy!  I finally got him to relent on those words this weekend.  We dropped the kids off at his mom's apartment just after nap and snack time.  The kids had been fed, blood sugars had been checked.  We ran off to the bookstore, to look at books in peace.  Something we never get to do anymore!  Somewhere along the way, my phone dropped out of my bag.  I never thought anything of it, since no one really calls me anyway and if his mom had needed something, I assumed she'd call my husband's phone.  Nope.  When we went to pick up the kids, my MIL told me that she'd tried to call to see if Lily could have a cookie, since she was asking for one.  My MIL distracted her instead, but did end up giving her a package of fruit snacks.  You can all guess where this is leading, right?  My husband freaked again.  He goes into this attack mode sometimes and it just boggles your mind to be approached in that way!  He asked his mom if she gave Lily insulin for the fruit snack.  No, she didn't.  He assumed that she didn't even think of giving Lily insulin for the fruit snack.  Oh, I love my husband, I really do.  But you know that saying about when you ASSUME something, you make an ASS of U and ME?  Yeah, it took a lot of talking to get him to calm back down again.  Luckily, he held it together long enough to not let on too much to his mom that he was freaking.  Oh, my husband needs to relax!  Our children came away from the time with Grandma happy and full of life.  So what if a blood sugar was a bit high for a little while?  That happens on it's own all the time anyway.  I just wish getting a break and managing a date with my husband were easy and didn't end in crankiness.  From him or the kids!  Is that too much to ask?

Friday, September 24, 2010

There's no jiggle!

I should be heading to bed.  Our Step Out walk is in the morning, bright and early.  But I just can't bring myself to sleep!  So I'm going to blog instead.  Maybe that'll relax me enough that I can go to bed....

I forced myself to go to the gym today.  I'm really good at making excuses to not go.  Some of my excuses are actually valid.  Others, maybe not so much.  I've been dealing with foot issues for a while now.  I have patches of eczema on my feet.  They've been there for over a year and I just can't get them to go away.  The skin on these patches gets dry and then it cracks open and I walk around with open sores on my feet.  It's awful.  And it keeps me from exercising a lot of the time.  I finally found a doctor who seems to know how to get the patches to go away and my feet are finally healing.  But I still find excuses.  I need to stop making excuses and just go.  So tonight, I went.  And I walked for 2 miles around the track.  It actually felt good!  Now if I can just keep it up....

One of my favorite things about going to the gym....I love people-watching!  Seriously, it's one of my favorite things to do.  And the gym is the best place for people-watching.  There's such variety!  The beefy meat-heads who grunt while pushing up weights.  The young, single women who think if they just lose 5 lbs, they'll find someone to fall madly in love with.  The skinny little men who just want to put on a little muscle.  Runners, tennis-players, swimmers, old, young, social butterflies and the socially-inept.  All in the same place!  And you know what they all have in common?  Insecurities.  Seriously, it's incredible to me that people are so uncomfortable in their own skin!  The men and women both, although the women seem to have it a little worse.  I've seen women at the gym who look like they don't have an ounce of fat on them.  They're on the treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, running around the tracks.  All the while, they're pulling at their clothing, shifting things around, dressing just so because they don't want anyone to notice their jiggle!  Everyone jiggles.  It's a fact of life.  And if you have any parts that don't jiggle, then they're probably not real.  I know I've blogged about this before...the teeny tiny woman with enormous boobs.  There's no jiggle to her boobs!  They aren't real.  Several thousand dollars spent on her boobs that don't jiggle and you know what?  She's still insecure!  Every time I see her, I notice how she's dressed.  Always wearing bike shorts.  Skin tight.  And always wearing a top that looks like it's painted over her boobs, but is loose around her tummy.  You know why?  Because she's had a baby.  And all women who've had babies have a little extra skin to deal with.  So she's insecure.  My point in all this?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  We nit-pick at our flaws.  A tummy that jiggles, boobs that are too small/too big, a nose we don't like, eyes that aren't the right color, hair that doesn't sparkle and shine like the commercials tells us it should.  We pick ourselves apart and then forget how to put ourselves back together again.  We try to hide our jiggle.  Oh, how I wish we could all just embrace that jiggle and realize that all those flaws are what make us unique.  They make us real!  Love your jiggle!  Seriously, I have it on very good authority that it's what the men like about us most anyway!

Off to bed so I can walk 5k tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I wish...

I'm in a melancholy mood tonight.  Our Step Out for the Cure walk is coming up on Saturday.  Just a few more days to go.  I wanted to actually get in shape for it.  That hasn't happened.  I have such a hard time motivating myself to go to the gym and exercise.  It's not that I don't want to.  It's that I'm incredibly lazy, not to mention tired, worn out, stressed....and I have a million excuses.  I need to give up on the excuses and just push myself to go.  I was also really hoping we'd be closer to our goal.  I set our sights high this year though.  Our goal was $500.  We're at $130.  Not even close to where I wanted to be.  Which is really why I'm in my funk tonight.  You see, I wish I could explain to people how important this is to me.  I wish people could really understand what it's like to be a d-mom.  I tried explaining it once to someone.  The up and down all night long, the nights of no sleep, the anxiety.  Her reply..."oh, I totally get that.  I'm up and down worrying about my kids all night long too."  Not to make light of the stress and strain of just generally being a parent.  I understand that.  It's what I had before Lily was diagnosed.  But only other d-parents "totally get that".  I wish I could get others to understand.  How do you explain to them when there's no way that they could get it?  I wish they could get what it's like to take a trip with your children and have to pull over to the side of the road and hold your baby girl while her body jerks uncontrollably, both of you crying because you're scared, trying to coax her into eating just a little bit more candy.  I wish they could understand what it's like to be so tired and so scared for your child that you crawl into bed with her and hold her all night as you both sleep, just because you don't want to walk away from her because her blood sugars are stuck on a see-saw and you can't get them off.  I wish they could understand what it's like to hold a teeny tiny little finger, searching for a spot that's not completely calloused from the last year of finger-pokes, to ask your little girl to hold still while you prep her tiny little butt for a new infusion site and fight the urge to cry over how still she holds, how brave she is, how amazing calm and grownup she is, in spite of only being three!

You know what my greatest wish is though?  My absolute greatest wish, the one I wish more than anything, is that no parent would ever have to "totally get" this.  I wish diabetes were something we could fight like we would any other enemy.  I wish all the tears we, as parents of children with diabetes, have cried could be collected and used to drown diabetes, to obliterate it and wash it away, leaving no trace of it behind.  Oh, how wonderful would that be?  Someday.....Until then, I'm going to hold my daughter close and fight as hard as I can to keep her as happy and healthy and safe as she deserves to be!

Partners are out!

Finally!  I've gotten all of the emails out with the partner match-ups for the mail exchange!  Please ignore any typos you might see in your emails from me...I had a little extra help with typing.  Leo kept crawling into my lap, pushing buttons and then ran away giggling when I pushed his helpful little hands away!  What a nut!  A reminder of the guidelines for everyone:
1. A gift worth no more than $5
2. Send a picture of your child with the gift.
3. When your child gets their gift, take a picture of them with it and email back to your partner (this helps the kids see the whole process).

That's it!  Nothing too complicated, right?  Feel free to encourage your children to write letters to their partners if they're old enough to write.  And who says it has to stop with just the gift?  Maybe we'll even end up with a couple of new pen pals from all of it!

Have fun, everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sleep, please!

At 9:00, Lily was 309.  I gave her a correction.  At 10:30, Lily was 336.  I gave her a correction.  I'm now stuck, waiting up to see if the correction takes effect or if I need to change her pump, in the middle of the night, while she's sleeping in her darn feetie jammies.  And all I really want to do is sleep!  Okay, mini-tantrum over.  But sometimes, just sometimes, it really bites being a d-mom!


Only 24 more hours to sign up for the mail exchange!  Would you believe we have 30 children signed up for it?  I could really use one more older/pre-teen!  And all others who haven't signed up are welcome too!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Tooth Fairy, Tinker-bell, Fairy Godmothers, and now...

The Glucose Fairy!  Seriously, D-kids are awesome and they deserve their own kind of fairy, don't they?  Not one of those lame ones who only visit once every few months or the ones we keep wishing would show up to grant our wishes, but never do.  No, the Glucose Fairy is on the job, night after night, in every D-household throughout the world.  High blood sugar?  Here comes the Glucose Fairy with a water bottle just for you and a dose of insulin to bring that blood sugar down where it should be.  Low blood sugar?  Here comes the Glucose Fairy with juice, glucose tabs, or whatever your favorite middle-of-the-night treatment might be.  Borderline?  Here she comes with those 3 or 4 grams of carbohydrates to make sure you'll sleep comfortably for the rest of the night!  In our household, she frequently shows up with a Hershey's Kiss or two in the middle of the night.  It's the one thing Lily will happily eat, asleep or awake.  How awesome is this Glucose Fairy?  She does 3:00 a.m. blood sugar checks, comes running whenever she's called, and has everything a diabetic child might need.  And she even has the AKA Mommy/Mom/Mama attached to the end of her name.  No lame fairies for our kids.  This one never forgets to show up when she's called (unlike that lazy Tooth Fairy) and if you wish for her, she'll always be there (unlike Fairy Godmother).  She never loses her temper and gets red in the face like Tinker-bell.  She's a cool, calm, glucose and water-dispensing hero, fighting off the nighttime fears that come with being a diabetic.  I'm thinking we should wrap her up in a tinfoil outfit, similar to Tinker-bell's, but with a bit more pizazz to it.  Get her an awesome tool-belt with water bottles, rolls of glucose tablets, maybe some chocolate and orange juice and a blood glucometer.  We'll have her set.  Anyone need an idea for a Halloween costume?  Reyna, you could totally rock that look with those 6-pack abs of yours!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lead foot for life

I've been off this week.  You may have noticed in my blogs.  I'm just feeling "off"....not quite myself, not quite 100%, tired and worn out and just not all there.  My husband and I were sick a few weeks back.  We both were running fevers of 100 for three weeks straight.  He's recovered and I've been feeling better, but if I over-due it or don't get enough rest, then I suffer a relapse and feel myself slipping back into it.  Oh, the joys of having a rogue immune system!

You know what it's like to have a lead foot?  You're driving along in the fast lane, zipping through traffic.  No one else is going as fast as you are and eventually, you get stuck behind someone who doesn't agree to going your speed.  It's frustrating, right?  You can't get around them and you just sit there behind them, wishing they would speed up or get out of the way.  My husband is an excellent driver.  He's never even gotten a speeding ticket.  But in life, he has a lead foot.  He is a WORK. A. HOLIC!  Not in the way you would think though.  He doesn't work more than his 40-45 hours a week.  He comes home in time for dinner.  He's great about that.  But he's a work-a-holic in the way that he never takes a break.  He gets up bright and early in the morning, goes off to work, never takes his coffee breaks, keeps himself to 30 minutes or less for lunch, comes home and drags us all off to the gym, helps cook dinner, picks up around the house, spends his weekends mowing the lawn, fixing my car, and just generally doing basic maintenance and upkeep around the house.  The man doesn't rest!  Sounds kind of nice, right?  The problem one else works as hard as he does.  To be honest with you, I'm not capable of working as hard as he does.  If the kids are fed, dressed, happy, healthy, and interacted with, I'm happy.  If there are a few toys left on the floor or the carpet hasn't been vacuumed for a day or two or there are dishes in the sink....I'm not going to worry and stress over it and send the kids off to play by themselves just so I can get it all done.  Don't get me wrong, the kids do play by themselves occasionally and I do pick up, do dishes, vacuum, whatever.  But I'm not overly stressed about making sure it all gets done when it all should be done.  My husband does.

I'm bringing this up tonight and sharing this with all of you because it's a problem for us every Friday, but more so when I'm not feeling well.  I don't get as much done when I'm feeling under-the-weather.  And Fridays are tough for my husband because he's dealt with his co-workers all week long.  Remember the work-till-you-drop mentality of my husband?  Fridays, he always comes home frustrated and angry.  He's been busy pulling his weight at work all week long.  And Friday comes around and he feels like he has not only been pulling his own weight, but pulling the weight of everyone else too.  He feels like others aren't pulling their fair share.  It's not really something you can bring up at work, is it?  You can't really come out and yell at your co-workers for their lack of motivation.  So, he comes home cranky.  And I'm completely honest with you when I say that I will never be able to work as hard as my husband does, to do as much for our family as he does.  I just can't.  I need my relaxation time.  I can't bring myself to stress over the little things.  This all makes it a little easier for my husband to direct some of his resentment towards me when he gets home on Fridays.  Today just happened to be a rough one since as soon as he got home, I crawled into bed and fell asleep.  I didn't intend to.  I was just talking to him while he changed from work to home clothes.  The kids were busy eating dinner in the dining room, just 10 feet away from our bedroom.  And I just drifted off.  My wonderful husband let me nap for a couple of hours while taking care of the kids.  He really is a great guy.  I just have to keep calling him out on his workaholic, never take a break tendencies and maybe eventually, he'll decide to try those breaks, right?

They don't get it...and a MAIL EXCHANGE!!!!

You ladies are awesome, you know that?  Seriously, I love all of the d-mommies that leave me comments and validate my feelings!  Part of the problem yesterday was lack of sleep.  Part was that I'd been up most of the night testing Lily.  It's really hard to fall back asleep when you have someone snoring in bed next to you!  I think a big part of the reason I reacted to strongly to the CPS comment on Facebook was because I spent every last ounce of my energy taking care of Lily and making sure she slept well and didn't have to worry about a thing.  You girls get that, right?  The idea that you're spending every last bit of your energy and patience keeping your diabetic child healthy.  You do that and then someone comes up and questions whether or not you're doing your best for your child or, God forbid, tells you that the job you're doing could warrant you a visit from CPS?  Well, I know I'm over-stating things a little bit, but it just hits you in the wrong way, doesn't it?  So, I spent yesterday clearing all the drama from my list of friends on Facebook.  I've decided to simplify my life by getting rid of any drama that I can.  It felt so good to do that!

Now, on to the fun stuff!  The Mail Exchange!  I'm thinking the best way to do this is to have all of you email me the names and ages of all the children you want to have matched up with a mail friend.  My email address is  I'm going to try to match each child up with another child who is about the same age.  Non-d kids are welcome too!  Here are the rules:

1. A small gift (stickers, socks, book, whatever) worth no more than $5.
2. Sent no later than October 1st.
3. Include a picture of your child
4. When your child receives their mail, follow it up by emailing a picture to the sender

Sound easy enough?  I'm including the photo email in the rules because I think it'd be great for our kids to see who they sent their gift to.  Even better if the gift is featured in the photo, right?  Once I get all the emails, I'll pair children up and email each of you the email address of the person you'll be exchanging with.  This way, you won't have to over-share your mailing address and we can keep a lot of it private.  You can ask a few questions to get an idea of what each child might like.

I'm so excited to do this!  I hope you'll all join in and feel free to invite others over to join too!  I'm going to make Tuesday, September 21st, at 10:00 p.m., the deadline for signing up!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh no, she didn't!

What a day!  Oh my, what a day!  I'm in turmoil tonight over something and want to share my day in the hopes that others will either validate my feelings or tell me I'm an idiot.  Here's a synopsis of my day....

Woke up and remembered that there were no more coffee grounds in my house.  Bad nights followed by no coffee is not good for my attitude or energy level.  So I loaded the kids, pajamas and all, into the car and drove through the nearest Caribou.  Brought it home and set the coffee on the counter to cool so I could drink it.  When enough time had passed, I went back to the kitchen and found my wonderful, beautiful boy bathing in a puddle of luke-warm white chocolate mocha.  Before I'd even gotten to take one single sip of my coffee!  Oh, you can imagine my tears, can't you?  But he's my beautiful baby boy, so I cleaned him up, thanked God that the coffee was luke-warm and couldn't do any harm to him, gave him a big hug and kiss and a giant squeeze (perhaps a little more than he wanted at that moment) and then sent him off to play again.  I'm not one for voicing huge frustrations on Facebook, but every now and then, I will.  I posted about the spilled coffee and when a close friend replied about how awful it was, I told her, "I know!  I'm seriously tempted to beat him!"  I have an odd sense of humor and some seriously biting sarcasm.  Now just to clarify, anyone who knows me in real life knows that my children are rarely even spanked.  I've only ever spanked one of my children when they have run out in the middle of a parking lot or done something dangerous that scared the wits out of me.  My kids get TOs, but not physical punishments.  I won't even let certain family members babysit my children because I've heard them threaten to "smack" their kids!  That kind of language is not something my children will ever hear!  But, a not-quite-as-close friend replied that I should watch what I say because someone might take it seriously and report me to CPS.  Really?  Do people take that seriously now?  Do our social workers not have enough to do without people reporting about what someone said on Facebook?

So, what do you think?  Did I over-react?  Was the comment justified?  Or would you be offended by such a comment too?

Oh, and just to bring the story to a close...I deleted the not-so-close friend, after letting her know that I had no serious intention of beating my child and thought she should know better than that.  Oy, what a day!

FYI...I'm hoping to put up the post to sign people up for the mail exchange tomorrow!

Wear the damn mask!

Normally, I would sensor my language.  But today is a swearing kind of day.  Seriously.  Sleep is a very precious commodity.  I'm lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep in a night.  Most nights, it's less than that.  The days of getting 8 good hours of sleep are long over.  And the hours of sleep that I do get are interrupted frequently, by worries over Lily's blood sugars, by Leo twisting and turning and flopping in the bed, BY MY HUSBAND'S SNORING.  Oh. My. Gosh.  The snoring!  I think I'm going to go batty from the snoring.  You see, just after Lily was born, I finally convinced my husband to go in for a sleep study.  I noticed him gasping and pauses in his breathing while he was sleeping.  He went in and the next day, we had answers.  The standard at the time, I believe, was that if you stopped breathing more than 5 times in an hour, you had sleep apnea.  My husband stopped breathing 36 times in one hour of sleep.  And at one point, he stopped breathing for 46 seconds straight!  He can't even hold his breath that long when he's conscious!  He was given a CPAP machine and fitted for a mask.  But he HATED it!  He hated wearing it at night and would pull it off in his sleep.  He fought with it all the time and would sometimes just decide to not wear it at all.  And then I got pregnant with Leo.  And I couldn't handle not getting enough sleep while in the first trimester (aka the three-month coma).  So I slept in Lily's bed with her.  And then I got uncomfortable and sore with pregnancy and I wanted my own bed.  I moved back into our bed and instilled the rule..."If you're not going to wear the mask, you can sleep on the damn couch!"  That worked for quite a while.  And eventually, my husband started wearing the mask every night.  Things went along well for a while.  We got *some* sleep and we were happy.  And now we're back to the beginning again.  My husband is back to hating the mask.  It irritates his nose and he ends up with a spot on the bridge of his nose that's red and irritated.  He doesn't want to wear the mask anymore.  Don't forget, Leo is still sleeping in our bed with us.  So now, not only is he disturbing my sleep, but he's disturbing Leo's sleep and Leo is disturbing my sleep.  I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!  Seriously, I'm going to lose my mind.  I rarely get to crawl into bed before 11:00.  And then I crawl in, just to be kept awake by snoring.  I hate waking him to tell him to put the mask on, but I have to or I'll never sleep.  So I do and then listen to him fuss with the mask for a good 5 minutes.  I'm so tired and all I want is a decent amount of sleep.  I could just cry over how tired and worn out I'm feeling.  I don't know what to do anymore.

To add to my misery this morning, I forgot yesterday that I needed to pick up more coffee.  I used the last of the grounds yesterday morning.  So now I'm stuck at home with my two very small children, incredibly sleep-deprived and cranky, and no cup of liquid energy anywhere in sight!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The real guilty pleasures....

I have some serious guilty pleasures.  I love books.  Adore them really.  I could probably send a box of books to each of my followers on here and still have at least twice that much left!  I used to read wonderful, thought-provoking, intellectual books.  The Lovely Bones....disturbing and difficult to get past the first couple chapters, but beautiful in the end.  In the Time of the Butterflies....heart-wrenching and complex.  If anyone is looking for a purely exquisite, magical story, Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni definitely fits the description.  All those wonderful books!  And then children happened.  And then diabetes happened to Lily.  And my brain turned to mush.  I can't bring myself to read books that make me think anymore.  But I don't want to give up reading either.  So, I have taken up cheesy, horrible, historical romances.  I don't know why.  Seriously, I can't figure this one out!  I love reading them though.  I get to lose myself completely in the story for a little bit.  Never mind that they are all basically the same story told over and over again, that there's rarely anything surprising about them.  You know what's going to happen at the end.  Boy and girl fall in love and get married and live happily ever after.  And yet, I can't seem to help myself from buying another one.  $6 a book and I only read the darn things once and then don't have any idea what to do with them!  I can't even seem to give them away!  Maybe I should glue multicolored paper to them and let the kids use them as building blocks......

I think I need a bit of sleep.  Off to bed I go!  Hope all you d-mommies get a great night of sleep!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The AMAZING instinct of a parent...

I saw this video earlier today.  It's such a sad, sad story.  But when I finished watching it, I was left with a different feeling.  A feeling of wonder.  You see, when my daughter was born, I knew in an instant that I would do anything for her, including sacrificing my own life.  I knew in the deepest parts of my soul.  But, I've always kind of men feel that same connection to their children?  Do they feel that same gut-wrenching, throw-myself-under-a-bus instinct that tells you to put the safety and well-being of your child first?  This video proved to me that they do.  Even before birth.  So, I hope the video above works.  And I hope those of you who watch it will forgive me for the sadness I'm sharing.  I'm sharing it because the wonder of it and the amazement for what this man did for his family far out-weighs the sadness.  Parenthood is such a beautiful thing!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's not the pancreas that's wonky...

I've been thinking about this lately.  I've read all of the Tagged posts.  So interesting to read the similarities and differences in how people deal, what they do, what they think, about the very same questions!  I hope I don't offend anyone by posting this.  Really, it's not intended in a "nit-picky" or critical way.  I'm posting more to raise up the hopes of some of you who sound so sure that a cure will not be found in our lifetimes.  To be honest with you, I doubt the cure too.  But, I don't let myself think about it much, because, really, I'm just busy living life as it is and not concentrating so much on the "what if" and "what then" thoughts.  Anyway, here's what I want to say about the whole cure thing and the nature of diabetes in general....

IT'S NOT THE PANCREAS THAT'S WONKY.  Scientists haven't always understood that.  When I was diagnosed, it was assumed that my pancreas was the culprit.  And then, about ten years ago, the thinking changed.  The research showed something new.  The pancreas wasn't the bad guy!  The pancreas functioned just fine in most other things.  But it just didn't produce insulin anymore.  Someone finally realized that the t-cells were the nasty, little bastards!  Those t-cells, who were supposed to be busy fighting the war with germs and viruses that invaded the body, turned traitor and killed off the beta cells in the pancreas.  Just the beta cells.  You have no idea what a break-through that was!  It suddenly explained why "curing" diabetes with a pancreas transplant just didn't work well.  In fact, in most cases, it made things worse.  A person got a pancreas transplant and they lost the good, functioning parts of their old pancreas.  If their body rejected the new pancreas, then they ended up in a really bad situation with a completely wonky, not-functioning pancreas.  So, transplants were out.  Islet cell transplantation started getting some notice.  But if someone got an islet cell transplant, then they  had to take non-steroid-based anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives.  Know why that worked?  Because those drugs suppressed the immune system so that those little traitorous t-cells couldn't do their nasty work.  Stop taking those drugs and the t-cells go back to killing off the beta cells.  So now we're back to researching again.  Looking for something new, some new idea that doesn't suppress the entire immune system, doesn't take out the functioning parts of the pancreas.  What to do, what to do?  Well, here's where I give you some hope.  You see, there's been some recent news articles that I've found incredibly exciting.  Hope-filled, interesting.  Reading them has been like watching a light bulb turn on, seeing the sun break through the storm clouds.  There are two articles.  They basically say the same thing, but one is a bit longer.  One is from the U.S. about the University of Virginia.  The other is about research in Canada.  Definitely worth the reading.  And I hope it will give some of you a little bit of hope!

Promising Future

Vaccine to Reverse Diabetes

How cool would that be?  To go from poking teeny little fingers endless times each day, injecting insulin in its various forms and methods, to stopping by the doctor's office for a vaccine every few months?  THAT makes me hopeful!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Yup, you read that right.  I've taken to pimping in an effort to raise money for our Step Out for the Cure event, coming up in just two weeks.  I set my sites pretty high and put my goal at $500.  With two weeks to go, we've raised all of $50.  Yup, only 10% of what I want to raise.  It sucks.  Would you believe that in 26 years of having this interloper in our family, my mom has not donated even a penny to diabetes research?  Nothing.  Not a penny.  LAME!  Don't get me wrong, I understand when people can't afford to donate.  But really, even $1 would make me happy!  And who can't come up with a spare $1 every now and then?  Sidetracked....anyway, back to pimpin.  My crochet hooks have become my b*tches.  And instead of putting on rubbers, they're flying through my yarn stash.  I'm making winter hats and selling them off.  Taking orders, if people decide I'm trustworthy enough to order from.  And all they have to do in return is head on over to my Step Out page and make a $15 donation.  How awful can that be?  And for their $15 they get one of these:

It's a seriously messy business.  Really.  But, I think it'll be worth it.  Hopefully it'll help me get just a little closer to my goal.  And I can keep my crochet hooks flying fast enough and long enough (without my hand cramping).  And hopefully end up with more orders than I can imagine.  I just wish my brain would come up with these wonderful ideas earlier so I'd have more time to prepare for them!

Okay, I'm off to get some rest.  Not such a great night here.  Tested Lily at 10:00.  She was 129.  Great number, but it meant I had to test her 30 minutes later.  72.  Yup, fifty point drop in 30 minutes!  So, juice and 30 minutes later, she was at 345!  Ugh!  I just can't win tonight!

Friday, September 10, 2010


You're all going to have to bear with me for a minute or two.  I need to gush.  I read all your comments.  I treasure all your comments!  Writing all that I have, there's been this little fear that it will change the way people think of me, that it won't be well-received.  And then I come here and read what people write at the end of my posts.  And I cry.  I've never felt so wholly-accepted for who I am and all I've been through.  Honestly, if you've read all of this, you know more about me than even my own family.  And your support and encouragement have done so much to help me heal as I've written everything down and laid everything bare.  You all rock!  As d-moms, as friends, as human beings.  It's amazing how friendships through the computer can become so much more meaningful, so much more incredible.  For all the bad that diabetes brings, the bonds it helps us foster is a truly wonderful and amazing thing!  Please don't ever under-estimate how meaningful your comments and friendships are to me!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The wrap-up...

It's almost 7:30.  My husband is at his friend's house for the Vikings game in HD, Leo has been asleep for almost half an hour, and Lily is in her bed, winding down and drifting off to sleep as well.  So, I really can't find another reason to procrastinate writing a wrap-up to my diabetes journey.  I'd like to find a reason, but I can't.  So, here we go....

Adult life with diabetes.  I'm not really sure where to start with this one.  College life with diabetes is hell.  Stress and anxiety play some major games with your blood sugars.  So does sleep-deprivation.  And not eating well.  Which just about sums up college life.  Except for the big A, of course.  What would college life be without some partying?  One of the benefits of growing up on the American-Canadian border in the pre-passport-requirement days is that I got my drinking days out of my system early.  And to be honest, I never was much of a drinker.  I'd go across the border with my friends as soon as I turned 19.  More often than not, I ended up the DD.  But, on those rare occasions when I have indulged in too much alcohol, the result was never pretty.  There's this thing that happens with your blood sugars when you drink.  The sugar in the alcohol makes your blood sugar spike, so you take insulin for it.  And then the alcohol evaporates from your system, taking the sugar with it, and you plummet.  On a rare night, I'll have a drink or two, but I limit myself to no more than two and very rarely drink anything other than a wine cooler or hard lemonade.  I'm just not much of a drinker.

Pregnancy and diabetes....I'm sure there are plenty of you who've had to deal with gestational diabetes and might be able to relate to this a little bit.  I took excellent care of myself during pregnancy.  My A1Cs were always in the 5-6.7 range.  Never higher than that.  Between my two diabetic sisters and me, there are 9 perfectly healthy children.  Pregnancy isn't easy, even without diabetes.  It was hell for me.  There just wasn't much about it that I enjoyed.  It may have been a little different if my husband had been the doting sort.  But he's not.  The last Christmas before children, I had convinced myself that it would be special because I was pregnant with our daughter.  We decided to limit ourselves to one gift for each other and save the rest of our money for preparing for the baby.  My husband gave me one really shiny gift....stainless steel canisters for our kitchen.  Not quite what I had been imagining!  Honestly, pregnancy probably wouldn't have been that awful if it hadn't been for my doctor.  The first time, I went with an OB resident.  I figured the less knowledge she had, the less she'd freak out on me.  Which was true for the most part.  But at the end of pregnancy, I had weekly ultrasounds to keep track of Lily's development and weight.  The u/s tech kept telling me that my baby was going to be at least 9 lbs at birth.  Lily weighed in at a whopping 7 lbs 9 oz.  Not even close!  The second pregnancy, my doctor was nearing the end of her residency.  I'm honestly not sure where her concerns and comments at the end of my second pregnancy came from, but at one point, I was having problems with my fasting glucoses in the morning (they were running around 140-150).  She told me she was afraid I was going to have a stillborn baby if I didn't get them back under control.  And then the weekly ultrasounds started and she started talking about scheduling a c-section because she was afraid the baby would be too big.  Two weeks before I had Leo, the u/s tech gave his weight as 8 lbs 4 oz.  I chose to have an amniocentesis done at 38 weeks to check on Leo's lung maturity so that they could induce me early and avoid the c-section.  Leo weighed 8 lbs 6 oz at birth.  I've learned not to trust the doctors when it comes to weight estimates for the babies of diabetic moms.  They freak out and over-estimate, just to be on the safe side.  My labor was induced for both pregnancies, as it was for all of my two diabetic sisters' pregnancies.  That's just the way it is when you're diabetic.  I do not believe diabetes or the risk of a child developing diabetes should ever prevent anyone from having a child though.  Children are precious in every way.

Now we come to the part I'm not really eager to talk about.  Keep in mind as you're reading this that my story is not your child's story and what has been true for me and for many diabetics may not be true for your child.  It's a medically proven fact that diabetics have a higher incidence of chronic depression.  I have my own theories on this.  I mean, considering the daily life that a diabetic person leads, is it any wonder that they have a higher risk of depression?  I've dealt with chronic depression since I was a teenager.  Before having children, I tried a few anti-depressants and I never stayed on them.  For whatever reasons, the medication would work for a while and then not work any longer.  So I'd stop.  And I stopped completely when we decided to start a family.  After Lily, I suffered horribly from postpartum depression, but never sought treatment for it.  I used breastfeeding as an excuse to not medicate.  By the time I was done with my pregnancy with Leo (he's exactly 20 months younger than Lily), I knew I couldn't get through without medication.  After a lot of tweaking, I've finally found a medication that works.  During the tweaking, I had to go off a medication that was causing an allergic reaction.  It was during that cold-turkey time that the doctors came up with a new diagnosis for me.  I'd lay in bed at night, unable to sleep, worrying that an ax-murderer was going to come in and hurt my entire family.  It was awful!  And it makes me sound like I'm a complete nut-case, although I think this may be more common than we realize.  The doctors actually came up with a name for it.  Phobia-inducing anxiety.  After all that, I've come to the conclusion that I will never allow myself to stop medication again.  It's just too hard to deal with that and with my own diabetes and my child's diabetes.

Like I said, this may not be the case for your child.  Keep in mind that my story isn't just shaped by diabetes.  It's also due heavily to growing up feeling completely alone and isolated within my own family.  It's from being a child of an alcoholic and abusive environment.  Being diabetic has only been a part of the puzzle.  The lack of a support system is a bigger part.  And chances are, if you're reading my blog in the hopes of understanding how a diabetic grows up and thinks and develops, then you're providing your child with an excellent support system.  Your children will grow up, knowing that they are loved and cherished and that their mom or dad sacrificed sleep, health, and so many other things in order to take the best care of them.  You have no idea how much of a difference that will make in your child's life and their care of their own condition.  I'm sure they'll have their moments of rebellion, of anger and frustration, but when it comes down to it, the most powerful tool you have for convincing them to care for themselves is your love and the self-worth your love will give them.

And that's about where the journey ends.  I have all the reason in the world to take care of myself now.  I try really hard.  I never thought I'd pass diabetes on to one of my children.  My seven nieces and nephews from my two diabetic sisters are all normal.  I have 18 nieces and nephews in all and not a one has shown any signs of diabetes.  Until my daughter.  Lily's diagnosis broke my heart in a way that nothing else could.  But it's not the end of the world.  I do worry that she'll be reluctant to have children of her own for fear of passing diabetes on to a new generation, but I really hope to be there to convince her that it's worth the risk.  And my greatest that I won't be here long enough to watch my children grow, that I'll leave them too soon.  That is the best motivator of all!

I'll post sometime in the next couple of days about the mail exchange.  And it'll definitely be for d- and non-d-kids!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What did I just do?

I'm procrastinating on the wrap-up to the journey I took you all on through my life with diabetes.  I still need to talk about how the diabetic life is as an adult and all that.  But some of it's going to be difficult to share.  I'm not someone who opens up easily.  It helps that none of you know me IRL (in real life), but still....I'm waiting another day.

Instead of blogging, I've been spending my day with these two cuties:

We're trying to get every last drop of sunshine we can out of summer before it turns cold.  I'm worried that it's going to be a long, brutal winter.  I've been having massively insane urges to crochet winter hats for my entire family.  I actually just finished a ribbed hat for my husband and am starting on a hat for Lily.  I'm trying to decide what I want to do for Leo's yet and after I've done all of those, I have a few skeins of Sublime Cashmerino Silk in lavender that I will make a really nice hat for myself. the midst of doing all that, I'm working hard on this:

When I was pregnant with Lily, my mom made her a lovely little rag quilt.  If you're not familiar with them, they're lovely little quilts made from squares of flannel, sewn together with the edges left out and cut into small strips.  Every time you wash the quilt, the edges fray a little bit more and give the blanket more and more character.  Unfortunately, Lily has far outgrown the baby prints my mom used in the quilt.  She's taken to dragging the purple top-sheet from her jersey sheet set around the house, calling it her "blankally".  So, I'm making her a new rag quilt.  I'm aiming for it to be a Christmas present.  Think I can finish it on time?

Oh, and one more thing before I head to bed (after testing Lily, of course!).  I had an idea that I'm still in the "seriously considering" stages of and I'm putting a "feeler" out there to see if there would be interest in it.  Last year around this time, Lily and I participated in a "mail exchange".  Basically, it involves purchasing some small item (socks, stickers, book, whatever) and having your child mail it off to another child.  We included a picture in our exchange and the little boy we sent it off to now has Lily's picture on his fridge and tells his mom that he and Lily are going to get married.  It's adorable!  So, the would all of you feel about doing a mail exchange?  Doesn't have to be diabetes related, but it might be fun to exchange pictures and send off some cute stickers or whatever.  It would involve sending your address to another d-parent.  Not sure how people feel about that idea, but thought I'd bring it up anyway.

One more thing for all of do you give diabetes a great big middle finger?

Yup.  My husband gave it to her and didn't think she could eat the whole thing.  I'm guessing she thought it was worth the slightly high blood sugars for a bit!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I hate fundraising.  Really, I do.  I detest it.  I don't like asking people to donate money.  That said, for Lily, I will.  And I do.  So, I'm posting this here.  Don't feel obligated, but if you feel called to, I won't complain!

Our Step-Out page:

My greatest joy and deepest pleasure

I thought about calling this my "guilty" pleasure, but really, there's no guilt involved.  So it can't be a guilty pleasure, right?  Obviously, this isn't diabetes-related.  Diabetes itself involves no pleasure at all, although we can find joy in many things in spite of diabetes.  Here's the thing that gives me the greatest pleasure in life....cuddling with my children!  I've co-slept with both my children.  I don't know how many parents really do co-sleep, but every time I read an article about co-sleeping, it's the same thing all over again...."co-sleeping is bad and shouldn't be done."  Black and white.  Every time, I want to tell the author and the publication to go stuff it!  I never intended to co-sleep with my children and never would have thought I'd be a parent who would allow that.  But honestly, co-sleeping has been one of my absolute favorite parts of being a parent!  And I, personally, wouldn't have it any other way!

I needed a break from posting about my life as a diabetic.  I still have a bit more I want to share about it, but I needed a break.  And then I saw an article about co-sleeping and felt like I should talk about this on here.  You see, all these articles make me so mad sometimes.  I don't think that everyone should co-sleep.  It's not for everyone.  But these articles that make co-sleeping sound like it's so bad, that tell you that it increases the risk of SIDS...I hate them!  First of all, SUFFOCATION is not SIDS!  SIDS is sudden and unexplainable.  If a child suffocates while sleeping with a parent or in an adult bed...that death is explainable.  It is not SIDS.  In fact, a little known piece of information is that co-sleeping may actually decrease the risk of SIDS.  Secondly, if a parent is going to co-sleep, they should know how to do it safely.  When both Lily and Leo were little, I gave up using blankets.  No big pillows, no fluffy blankets.  I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, and I don't take any kind of medication to make me sleep harder.  I'm a pretty light sleeper and I'm pretty in-tune with what's going on with my baby all night long.  I make sure the environment my child is sleeping in is safe, even if it's in my arms!

My favorite comment to get from people about the argument that I'm ruining my children, that babies need to learn to put themselves to sleep.  Oh, how I love this comment!  Seriously, have you ever seen an 18-year-old man who couldn't fall asleep without his mommy?  Show me one, and I just might start buying into this argument!  I love being there when my babies fall asleep, holding them as they drift off.  Lily refuses to let me do that anymore!  She's been kicking me out of her bedroom since she was 18-months old.  I hate that!  But she falls asleep on her own, no crying, no fussing, no anxiety or fear.  I'm guessing all people learn to put themselves to sleep at some point or another, no matter what their parents choose to do.  I've never had to let my children cry themselves to sleep.  To me, that means a lot.  Besides, what better way to spend an evening than curled up in bed with Leo's head on my shoulder and my hands across his back as he cuddles in and falls asleep?

Don't get me wrong.  I don't think co-sleeping is the only way.  I don't even think it's what other people should do.  It doesn't work for everyone.  It's not the right choice for some people.  Some people swear by the cry-it-out method.  We all choose what we think it's best for our families.  I just wish co-sleeping was as accepted and supported as some of the other options.

Okay, off to test Lily one last time and get in one last cuddle with her.  The cuddle gives me something wonderful to look forward to when I don't really feel like staying awake to test her!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just an FYI....

I HATE nighttime lows!  I absolutely detest it when I go into Lily's bedroom to test her on the way to my own bed.  And she's low.  I hate it!  I hate having to wake her from her slumber to coax her into drinking a cup of orange juice.  And then having to wait another 15-20 minutes to check her again before I can go to bed.  Life as a d-mom really does suck sometimes.  But she's worth it.  So I do it anyway.  That's just life, right?