Sunday, November 28, 2010

MASSIVE FAIL! And about that Card Exchange....

It takes me a while to get a clue sometimes.  I finally clued in to the fact that Tracy over at The Superhero and the Princess has a Christmas Card Exchange set up as well.  And that she'd coordinated the exchange last year too.  So...if no one minds, I'm going to cancel the exchange through me and direct you all to head on over to fill in Tracy's Card Exchange Form.  She's ever so graciously extended her deadline to December 1st to accommodate the merger.  So head on over and join in the fun!

Massive fail....seriously, massive fail.  What a Thanksgiving holiday we've had in our home!  That trip we were supposed to take?  Cancelled.  Turns out that the weatherman predicted a possibility of blizzard-like conditions for the second half of our trip.  We've attempted that kind of drive a couple of times, pre-children and in some pretty dire circumstances.  It's not something we wanted to repeat.  So, we cancelled and stayed home.  But we didn't cancel until Wednesday morning.  So, Tuesday, I missed out on my workout and spent the day trying to prepare for our trip north.  Wednesday, the weather was too scary to go anywhere.  No workout.  Thursday.  Well, we all know what Thursday was.  I spent it in a bit of a funk, having dinner at my MIL's.  Don't get me wrong, I was grateful that my MIL was thrilled to have us and that we had an alternative to driving north in blizzard-like conditions.  But, Thanksgiving is the one and only holiday we spend with my family.  We never go north for Christmas.  It's too crazy and too cold.  We don't go up for Easter.  I absolutely love spending the Fourth of July up there (it's a whole community thing and is so much fun), but it rarely works out so that we can spend that particular holiday up there.  So, I spent the day sad and wishing we could have been with my family instead of just being grateful for what we have.  Awful of me, I know.  So, no workout on Thanksgiving.  Three days off.  It was bad.  And it didn't do my mood any favors.  Friday, Lily and I were both having some blood sugar issues.  We were doing fine on Thanksgiving.  I'm not quite sure what the deal was on Friday.  But Lily spent most of the day in the 400s, feeling awful.  I spent most of the day in the 200s, feeling awful.  My husband doesn't quite understand how blood sugars affect my ability to workout.  He was ready to head off to the gym first thing in the morning.  I had to pull him back and explain that we needed to wait until both Lily's blood sugar and mine had come down a bit.  At lunch, Lily was down to 299.  So, we ate lunch and headed to the gym.  Forty minutes into my workout, my blood sugar crashed on me.  We picked Lily and Leo up from the child-care center, tested her....426.  Home we went.  Changed her pump and finally got things back on track.  Saturday, we were all actually feeling pretty good.  Made it to the gym to workout.  Twenty minutes in, I was called to the child care center to change Leo's stinky rear.  I had to force myself to head back to the elliptical.  Ten minutes into my second attempt, I was called down to change Lily's stinky rear.  I'm still not sure how I managed to do it, but I did get back on the elliptical for a third time.  I did a 35 minute stretch and then headed off to the locker room.  I somehow managed to be 10 minutes late picking the kids up from the child care center.  I think, considering the two poops I was called in to clean up, they must have understood at least a bit!

Big sigh........gotta release all the pent up frustration I've been feeling.  It's been a rough couple of days.  Lily hasn't been feeling the greatest and has had some kind of stomach issue going on.  It doesn't appear to be a bug, since Leo obviously isn't suffering from it yet.  We're trying to keep an eye on what she eats and see if we can figure out what might be irritating her.  Between a cranky child, a tired little boy, an irritable husband, and my own disappointments, it hasn't been a very pleasant time in our home.

Okay, enough complaining!  Seriously, whining is not exactly productive.  And really, when it all comes down to it, I have no cause to whine and complain.  I have a fantastic husband, two beautiful and amazing children, a cozy home, a good life.  And since today is supposed to be devoted to our non-d children, I'm going to share with you some Leo.  He's guaranteed to make you smile.

I know, total picture overload, right?  But seriously, look at that face?  How do you resist it?  Leo is quite the character.  The kid cracks me up every day, in more ways than one!  He's always into something, always on the move, always trying to entertain everyone.  He's learned to open the dishwasher and use the door to give himself a little boost up to see and grab everything on the counter.  Oh, and to push the buttons on the stove.  We drop him and Lily off in the child care center at the gym and when we go to pick them up, he greets me with the biggest grin and an enthusiastic shout of "mommy!".  The workers there tell us of his escapades while he was there...the climbing the bookshelves, hauling toys around to give himself a boost up to the top of the gates, snuggling up with the pretty girls.  Leo is an ever-present reminder to not take life too seriously.  To lighten up and see the humor in each day.  To take a minute to sit down and snuggle.  He's my little snuggle bug.  My comedian-in-the-making.  I think he has a very bright future as a class clown and a ladies man.  For as much trouble as he can be, he makes up for it by bringing us giggles and kisses.  You should hear him read Curious George books.  There's a whole lot of animated gibberish with the occasional yell of "George".  That little face of his makes me just want to grab him up in the biggest squeeze.  And the best thing about him?  He idolizes his big sister.  Adores her!  She is his favorite person in the whole world.  She's the only one he says "Love you" to.  They have their moments and their little tiffs and struggles, but really, she lights up his world!  His humor, his caring personality, and his hero-worship of his all makes him a hero too!  He is my amazing, wonderful little boy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hats, turkeys, and blizzards....oh my!

We're heading north tomorrow.  Five hours north.  The Icebox!  We always drive up north to have Thanksgiving with my family.  Usually, I'm more than ready to go since we only make it up for a visit about twice a year.  I'm kind of nervous about heading up tomorrow though.  The entire state of Minnesota is under a Winter Weather Advisory.  Meaning, it could potentially get very, very nasty.  Rain, sleet, snow, all mixed together.  Yikes!  My husband is an excellent driver and I'm sure he'll get us there just fine.  But....the forecast still has me debating if going up is the best idea....

Anyway, before we head up, I wanted to share a couple of new hat pictures.  I realized a couple of days ago that this trip up north means my children need some heavy-duty headgear.  Something to keep their ears warm and toasty, no matter how nasty it might be.  Luckily, I was able to whip up a couple of hats really quick.  Here they are:

Okay, so Blogger doesn't want to let me add those pictures.  I'll have to try again in a bit.  I also wanted to remind everyone who wants to take part in the Christmas card exchange (yes, I do see your comments saying that you want to take part)....I need your addresses!  Send them to me, please!  You have until December 1st to do so!

Nope, it still doesn't want to let me load the photos of the hats!  Darn it!  They're so cute that I wanted to show them off!  Oh well....maybe I'll get a minute in the morning to post them.  For now....Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I'm wishing all of you a day of food, fun, and fantastic blood sugars, in spite of all that food, fun, and pie!

**Yay!  Pics are up!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Thoughts...

I'm in a quirky kind of mood tonight.  So, I'm going to share some random thoughts I've had this past week with all of you.  Give you a peak inside the very odd, twisted mind that I have!  Sometimes, I have great ideas that really make lots of sense.  Sometimes, they're just weird thoughts that pop up now and then.  And sometimes, there's just no making sense of them at all!

1. To the young "man" who worked out on the elliptical in front of me yesterday....PULL YOUR PANTS UP!  Seriously, I understand that this is a cultural thing that I have no hope of ever understanding (along with the desire to call yourselves "thugs" and the n-word, which I refuse to even type), but gym shorts have elastic waistbands and are meant to be worn at your waist.  It really defeats the purpose of working out if you have to stop every two minutes to retrieve your shorts from your ankles.

2. I saw T.R. Knight again.  I swear it must be him!  Looks just like George O'Malley, but with lighter hair.  It's got to be him!

3. The government should hire me.  I have great ideas on how to fix some of our nation's problems!  The obesity epidemic?  Give employers an incentive so they'll pay their employees to work out!  You work out for 30 minutes, you get paid for 30 minutes.  I bet this would increase production too.  Sitting at a desk job on your rear-end for 8 hours a day is not healthy and does not mean that you'll get 8 hours worth of work done! At least half that time is spent zoning out due to boredom and lack of activity!

4.  Coffee is an amazing thing.  I am seriously in love with whoever came up with the idea of crushing those little beans and pouring water through them to get an extremely caffeinated beverage.  Love it!

5.  Message I'd like to send to all of the politicians....Put your big girl/big boy panties on already!  Just because you've grown up doesn't mean you should leave the rules of the playground have to play nice, even if you don't like him/her!  A group project needs to be completed even if only half of the people contribute.  If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.  Put your thinking caps on and get to work on figuring out solutions to the problems.  Enough bickering already!

6.  While you're at it, remember this very important concept..."Power to the people".  It's not "power to the party who has the most votes"!

7. Godiva Milk Chocolate with Salted Caramel = divine bliss!

8. Even when circumstances suck and things aren't working out the way you want them to, we should all take a moment to remember this....LIFE IS FANTASTIC!

9. Instead of preaching about tolerance for people's differences....why don't we preach about accepting people's differences?  Is tolerance really the best we can aim for?  We should embrace differences, not "tolerate" them!

10.  Pppppppppppppphhhhhhhhhhhhhlllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeebbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbtttttt.
Sorry....just had to have one little nonsensical moment!  Wonder if lack of sleep is finally turning my brain to complete mush?  Oh well.....if it is, it is.  I'll just have a grand life as a mushy-brained d-momma!  Maybe we'd all be a bit better off with more mush in our heads....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So did it work?

I'm going to bare some yucky stuff here before I get started on my post for the night.  This evening, my husband and I dropped the kids off at grandma's to go see Harry Potter (I'm a nut, seriously).  After the movie, we picked up Arby's for a quick dinner for the kids and ourselves.  My husband was trying to figure out the carb-count and he said he thought about 15 grams for the entire small curly fry order that Lily ate.  I didn't want to push, although I did suggest looking it up in our Calorie King book.  He gave her insulin for 41 grams of carbs.  Two hours later:

She's asleep with an empty water bottle.  My d-kid chooses a water bottle as her lovey!  Tested her...442!  Apparently, those small fries have 39 grams of carbs and our carb-count was off by 24!  Teaches us a lesson, doesn't it?  Never guess on the carb count!

I know you're all wanting to ask it, right?  Did the 30-day challenge work?  It's the question I get asked a lot in the last few days.  The whole point of the 30-days of exercise was to make it a habit and not just an option anymore.  And you know what?  The answer is YES!  But......

Here's the thing....when you think of a habit, the things that come to mind are brushing your teeth, combing your hair, maybe biting your fingernails....all little things.  Things that don't take much effort to do and take no planning at all.  Exercise is not like that.  It requires planning.  It requires effort.  You have to dress for it.  You have to pack a bag to go off to the gym.  You have to check blood sugars (x2 here).  I have to feed the kids a snack just before we go so they don't get hungry while they're in the child care center at the gym.  And the fact is...I'm just not a morning person.  It takes me time to get going each day.  So it's usually mid to late afternoon before we make it to the gym. the 21 days in November, I've only missed making it to the gym 5 times so far!  One of those days was my "break" day at the end of the 30-day challenge and it was spent walking around the zoo with the kids for a few hours.  Another day was spent running around The Children's Museum.  Even on the days when we don't make it to the gym, we are more active than we were before.  We get out and have fun and run around and enjoy each other's company.  And the ultimate truth....every day, I do get a feeling that I can only describe as being "compelled" to go to the gym.  I've ignored it once because I had a head cold coming on, but that's the one and only day that I've really just skipped it altogether.  Not bad considering that in the past year and a half that we've had our gym membership I've been lucky to make it to the gym even 5 times in a month!

It's husband and I have been together for more than 10 years now.  Every Christmas, Valentine's Day, Birthday, etc., I've asked him for the same item, which he's never once bought for me yet....a perfume that he would like me to wear.  This year, for Christmas, my wish list is very different.  Thanks to Reyna's sister's blog, I've discovered a couple of new items that she has made sound so fantastic that I want some too (and no, I have no delusions about running 100 mile races even if I do get these items).  Top two items on my list?  Snuggbuds for my iPod because I hate having to continuously push my current earbuds back into my ears.  And Mizuno running shoes.  They have an awesome program to help you figure out what kind of shoe would work best with your type of gait.  I'm seriously coveting both of these items right now!  Seriously funny that both of my top items are fitness-related this year when I've been using excuses to avoid fitness for so many years before this!  Just wish I would have figured out how good being in shape and exercising feels before I'd gotten as far down the wrong road as I did!

Friday, November 19, 2010

For those of you who bought hats....

I meant to include a little care-card in with all of the hat orders I sent out, but I wanted to make them look kind of fancy (cause you can't just type it up on a computer and leave it simple, right?) and so I didn't get around to doing them!  So...if you bought a hat from me, you probably want to know how to clean it, right?  All the hats are machine washable, preferably on a gentle cycle (but regular cycle shouldn't hurt them any either) with warm or cold water (not hot!).  Machine dry-able too!  Just don't use the highest heat setting.  A few common sense things...try to avoid washing it with anything that has velcro on it or with buttons that could snag the yarn.  Other than that, there are no restrictions!

Reyna, I'm tempted to take up your suggestion and set up an account on Etsy or something for people to order hats.  I just don't want to have to pay the fees!  I might have to see if my husband has an idea for how to set it up on here so that people can order and then give them a link for the Step-Out page to pay for them...something to think about anyway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Being a PWD of a CWD

I've been feeling the need to write this post for a while, but I kept procrastinating.  Sarah's post the other day about her husband's confusion over her inability to look at her child's plate of food and just know the carb count reminded me that I've been putting it off (I hope I've interpreted that correctly, Sarah!).  I needed to find a night when I actually felt like talking about it, which is kind of hard to do.  Even tonight, I'd rather not.  But I know I need to, not just for myself, but for the other PWDs out there with CWDs.  That's Parent With Diabetes of a Child With Diabetes.  This might be a bit slow-going, but I'm going to try to get my main thoughts and frustrations out there in a way that other people can understand.....

When strangers first find out that Lily has diabetes, their initial reaction is sympathy.  I'm never bothered by that reaction.  I know most people are kind-at-heart and anything they might say or do that could upset me is usually done out of simple ignorance.  When strangers find out that I am also diabetic, the sympathy usually disappears.  It's not replaced with negative feelings though.  Just with a vague idea that since I'm diabetic too, Lily's diagnosis probably didn't devastate me in the same way that other parents, parents without prior knowledge of diabetes, were devastated.  Don't get me wrong, there are some benefits to being well-acquainted with diabetes at the time of a child's diagnosis.  I was still devastated, possibly in more ways than those of you who weren't as familiar with the disease.  But the long hours spent with educators and nutritionists, learning the ins and outs of diabetes, the hows and whys, the carb counting, and all those teeny little details that make such a big difference in our days....well, let's just say that the long hours were shortened into a few hours here and there.  I knew how to count carbs.  I knew about insulin-to-carb ratios, how an insulin pump works, why they're beneficial, etc.  But there's another side to that coin....

Being an parent with diabetes of a child with diabetes is like being the featured performer in a high-wire act when they only training you've ever had is years of walking the same familiar path.  There's a whole lot of emphasis on that analogy.  It's the absolute best I can come up with to describe what my reality is like.  You see, I had years of dealing with my own diabetes.  MY DIABETES.  I knew how much insulin I needed without counting up each little carb gram.  I knew what my blood sugar was before I tested.  It was a familiar path.  Sure, there were bumps here and there.  I knew, when I came to those bumps, that I just needed to move over as far as possible to the right side of the path and keep on going.  When those same bumps come along for Lily's diabetes, if I move over to the right, the high-wire is gone and I plummet to Earth, hoping that there's a safety net below to catch us all.  That plate of food that I look at and know how much insulin I need?  If I do that for Lily's plate of food and I'm off by even 5 grams, her blood sugar will either plummet or sky-rocket.  My diabetes and how I take care of myself has become "instinctive".  It doesn't require much of my thought anymore.  I know what's best for me and I do it, without thinking most of the time.  That's how MY DIABETES works.  One of the most difficult parts of being a PWD of a CWD is coming to the realization that MY DIABETES is not the same as LILY'S DIABETES.  Many of you are also followers of another blog titled Your Diabetes May Vary.  I love that title!  Because it is so incredibly true.  With LILY'S DIABETES, nothing is instinctive.  More often than not, I feel completely lost.  Because I'm her primary caretaker, the one in charge of her care from morning to night nearly every day, I've learned quickly that with her diabetes, precision is the key.  Everything has to be precise!  Food has to be measured into the smallest carb possible.  Insulin is doled out in as small of an increment as we can manage.  There is absolutely no room for error.  There is no looking at her plate and just knowing how much she needs.  Thirty extra minutes of activity that wasn't planned for and I'm left holding a little girl who's crying because she's terrified by the uncontrollable jerking that her body is doing.  One little piece of candy that wasn't bolused for and I have a little girl who sucks down water like she's been trapped in the desert for a week.  For Lily's diabetes, I have to walk that high-wire as carefully as I possible can.  I have no wiggle room when it comes to her health and well-being.

That being said, there's just one other thing I've learned as a PWD of a CWD that I want to share with all of you....sometimes, you just can't be perfect.  I know as moms, we feel it's our job to make everything as perfect as we possibly can for our children.  We feel that a hundred times more when our children have a chronic illness.  We get caught up in the idea that it is our "job" to keep their blood sugars perfectly on track and we beat ourselves up whenever an off number pops up.  Unfortunately, with children as little as Lily is, off numbers pop up a lot.  Here's what I've "job" is not to keep her numbers perfectly in line.  As much as I would love to do that, it's just not possible.  Growth spurts, extra activity, germs, everything throws a kink into the mix (add juggling all of those balls to my high-wire act!).  My "job" is correct her off numbers.  That's it.  Right there.  I'm here to correct her numbers when they are off and to try to do my best to keep her happy and healthy while she's off being the kid that she should be.  I want her to be as carefree and happy as possible and I refuse to burden her with her diabetes just yet.  I will educate her as much as I can and prepare her for when she's ready for that burden.  But I'll be the one to worry and carry the load while she lives as every child should.  That is what makes my efforts and stress worth it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Card Exchange!

Okay, I've had to take a couple of days off from blogging to get some work done on hats.  I currently have a two-tone green one that just needs some ends tucked in, a ribbed black hat with red stripes that is being blocked (it's where you wet the yarn down and stretch it out into the shape you want it to have and then let it dry), a deep red hat with cream stripes that I just started and am hoping doesn't turn out looking too much like a candy cane, and two more hats that I need to start up.  Good thing hats don't take too long to do!  I'm hoping I can have the two orders I have finished up and into the mail within a week!  Gotta get them done so I can start on my own hat.  I bought a lovely teal wool yarn and a silvery-gray yarn to make up a hat and scarf set, when I get a chance!

Okay, the Christmas's the deal.  Jill West (does she have a blog?  Someone clue me in, if she does!) organized a D-Family Gift Exchange on Elfster.  If you're interested in signing up, I believe the deadline is November 17th.  You can sign up by clicking HERE.

The Christmas Card Exchange!  That one is through me.  I always have lots of leftover Christmas cards after the holidays are over.  What better way to use those extras up and make even more connections than to start a card exchange with the D-OC!  Basically, all it requires of you is that you send me your mailing address.  I'll compile a list of all the addresses and then email it out to everyone who signs up.  You just have to send cards out to all those on the list.  Personally, I love Christmas cards.  They're the best kind of mail to get and are so worth the cost of stamps to send!  So, if you want to sign up and receive a few extra Christmas cards this year, just send me an email at  Write :Christmas Card in the subject line.  Deadline is December 1st!

I got my report card today!  Lily's A1C clocked in at 8.6, exactly the same as at her last check-up.  I'm so incredibly happy with that!  She's had a whole lot less lows and is doing really well with everything.  I was a little worried her levels might have gone up.  So this report card is quite the relief!  Her endocrinologist made a few changes to her basal and sensitivity settings since Lily tends to trend upwards at night.  Hopefully that'll do the trick to getting us back on track!  Until we're sure that the settings are right, I might have some long, sleep-deprived nights ahead!  So on that note, I think I'll head off to get some rest before the next blood sugar check!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Irony! And Mail Exchange postponed!

Big, big thank you to Joanne for cluing me into the Secret Santa, D-family Christmas exchange!  In light of that, I'm thinking I'll postpone the mail exchange until after the new year.  That's not to be confused with the Christmas Card Exchange though!  That one is still on and the deadline to sign up is December 1st!  Plenty of time yet, Reyna!  Although, the sooner people send their addresses to me, the sooner I can get the list going!  I'm hoping a whole bunch of you will sign up for that one.  I love, love, love Christmas cards!

I had a memory pop into my head the other night as I was crocheting a hat for one of my orders.  I thought I'd share it with all of you.  When I was little, I hated wearing hats in the winter.  Seriously detested them!  That might be partly because all of the hats we had available to wear were incredibly ugly hand-me-downs that had probably been worn by 15 other kids before being passed into our family.  Ew!  Unfortunately, hats are pretty much a necessity where I grew up (the Icebox of the Nation is the official nickname and the residents are actually pretty proud of that one).  One bitterly, horribly cold morning when I was 10, I missed the bus to school.  Since our house was only about 6 or 7 blocks from the elementary school, my mom decided that I should have to walk.  One way to teach me a lesson, right?  As I was running out the door, I do vaguely remember her warning me to wear a hat.  I didn't listen.  I walked those 6 or 7 blocks, without hat, in negative-double-digits weather.  My ears went numb.  When I got to school, I immediately headed inside to warm up.  What followed next was the absolute worst pain I'd ever felt up to that point.  It was the burning, tingly, pin-prickling, itching sensation of my ears THAWING!  Sometime during that short walk to school, the bitterly cold wind had frozen my ears!

Kind of makes it funny that I went from being so opposed to wearing hats that I froze my ears to making hats to raise money for diabetes!

Any takers on the mail exchange?

Deadline to sign up is tomorrow!  I still only have one person who has sent me their child's information.  If you want to sign up, send your child's name and age to

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

D-Blog Day!

I've been thinking about this all day.  I'm sure everyone has gotten the whole explanation from lots of other blogs today on what D-Blog Day is and the whole 6 things you want people to know about diabetes.  It's been so interesting to read everyone's thoughts and ideas!  I'm going to take a different approach though.  I think, being a diabetic myself as well as being the mom of a diabetic child, it gives me a different perspective on things.  So here are the six things I want people to know about diabetes...some of them are geared more towards the parents of diabetics and the diabetics themselves!

1.  Being a parent of a diabetic child is a whole lot harder than being a diabetic.  Seriously, in the 24 years since I was diagnosed, I never once cursed at the disease until the day Lily was diagnosed.

2. Diabetes can be a motivator or a de-motivator.  It all depends on the kind of life you want to live.  You can let diabetes hold you back and use it as an excuse.  You can allow yourself to be victimized by it.  Or you can throw yourself into life and be determined to live a full and beautiful life, regardless of diabetes.

3.  That full, beautiful life you want to live?  It's going to require that you take care of your diabetes and do the work that the disease requires.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that you don't have to take it seriously.  It is a lot of work.  But it's so incredibly worth it!

4.  Diabetes is a whole lot easier to manage in an adult than it is in our children.  Our kids are constantly going through growth spurts, viruses, emotional upheaval, and a million other things.  Their little bodies are still developing and in order to manage diabetes effectively, we have to be absolutely precise in carb-counting and insulin dosing.  But for my own diabetes, I can look at a plate of food, a snack, a drink, and just "know" how much insulin I need to take.  I know before I poke my finger where my blood sugar is going to fall.  Someday, all of our little children will reach that stage too.

5.  Ignorant people are an opportunity.  Whenever someone says something stupid or thoughtless about your child having diabetes, it gives you the opportunity to educate someone new.  Diabetes is spreading and becoming so much more common as each day comes and goes.  If someone says something dumb or asks a stupid question, take a moment and set them right.  You never know if that person is going to come face-to-face with this disease in someone they love.  You could be saving the life of the next child to be diagnosed!

6.  Diabetes isn't all bad.  If you let yourself embrace all of the opportunities the disease opens up for your children, they will grow up to have a healthy view of it and it's place in their lives.  Send them to summer camp for diabetic children.  Let them participate in life fully, even if it means you're going to have to do a whole lot of extra work and stress a whole lot more.  Take them to support groups and playdates and sleepovers and seminars and educational programs for diabetics.  Introduce them to other children with diabetes, point out celebrities and athletes who deal with diabetes every day.  You never know what seeds of information are going to take root in their minds and grow and develop into dreams and understandings and ideas and beliefs. Bombard them with information and see what they're capable of doing with it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beautiful focus

Today was Lily's first swimming lesson.  I have a feeling she is going to ADORE swimming lessons.  I was a bit nervous about how she would do since she tends to be pretty shy.  Guess I shouldn't have worried though!  She took to it like you wouldn't believe.  Not sure if that's just because she loves the water or if it's partly because the instructor was a young, fairly attractive guy named Rob.  I spent the entire 30 minutes terrified, she spent the entire 30 minutes having a blast.  The pool is deeper than Lily is tall.  For the kids as small as Lily and her two classmates, they put this white, plastic-pipe platform into the water.  It looks pretty flimsy to me, like all it would take for it to topple over is a kid being off-balance.  The other two students clung to the pipes while Lily danced around, bounced up and down, and did anything but hang on!  She was in her groove and nothing was stopping her!  It was really fun to see.  Rob took turns with each of the kids, teaching them to lie back with their heads on his shoulder, to float, to kick and paddle.  He'd come and get one of the other kids and as soon as he got back and put the current kid up on the platform, Lily would leap into his arms for her turn!  I'm pretty sure she got way more than her fair share of turns and time with the teacher!  Kind of made up for the other little girl, who spent the entire time clinging to the pipes and crying for her mom.  I'll have to get pictures next time to share!

On to what I want to talk about tonight.  Working out is not a beautiful thing.  Seriously, I think I sweat more than what is humanly possible.  By the time I'm done working out, I've sweat so much that it looks like I've wet my pants.  It's just that bad!  I used to worry about this.  Not anymore.  If people look at me funny, I don't really notice anymore.  I'm there to sweat and they are too.  If they have time to look around and judge me for that, they aren't working out hard enough!  Which is really kind of hypocritical of me to say because I love spending my workout time watching the people.  And yeah, I do judge.  Mostly, I judge on whether or not someone is attractive or interesting.   A little update for all of you...the woman at the gym who is 100 lbs dripping wet and has D-implants is now sporting a baby bump.  It's an odd look to have boobs that big with a big belly underneath and sticks everywhere else!  Anyway, back to the beauty of working out.  Even after this challenge and starting to establish working out as a new habit, it's still not easy.  Some days, it's hard to get myself going.  It can take quite a bit of talking myself into going before I actually make it to the gym.  So here's the truth that I've come to...there is no beauty in working out.  Working out is hard, sweaty, mind-numbing work.  No one really enjoys working out.  Those people who tell you that they love running?  They're lying.  They don't love running.  Not really.  But....they do love the feeling that running brings.  And even I'm at that point now.  I don't love working out, but I do love the feeling I get afterward.  That feeling is BEAUTIFUL!  Seriously.  Before I go to the gym, my body is sore, my muscles are weary.  When I get to the gym, it takes me a while to warm up.  I have to keep my focus short.  There is absolutely no way I would be able to log in 60 minutes on the elliptical if I focused on that 60 minutes.  For the first 10 minutes, I focus on the 10.  Once I reach 10, I focus on the 15, which is about when I'm starting to feel loosened up and actually into the workout, like I can keep going.  At 15, I start focusing on 20.  At 20, most days, I switch to using the elliptical in reverse mode to work my muscles a little differently.  I focus on the 40.  At 40, I go back to exercising forward and I focus on the 50.  At 50, I focus on the 60.  I can never focus past the current 10-minute increment that I'm in.  I just can't.  If I did focus on the end, I think I'd probably give up and quit a whole lot sooner.  So I focus on the 10 and tell myself that I can keep going, I can do it.  Good workout music is a huge key too.  The quicker the beat, the faster I can go.  My favorites right now for working out....The E.N.D. by Black Eyed Peas (fantastic beat for working out, even if they aren't one of my favorite bands to listen to) and The Twilight Soundrack, which has some good high-energy songs as well as some slower ballads.  Twilight is my choice for the days when I need to take it a little slower.  BEP is my choice when I know I can push myself a bit, add in a challenge.  They both keep me going.  And before I know it, those 10 minute increments add up and I've reached the full 60 minutes and can hop off the machine to go shower.  That's where the beauty comes in.  The beauty in working out is the feeling at the end.  The feeling of pride in what your body has done.  The feeling of muscles that have been worked and loosened up with exercise.  The feeling of relief that you're finally done with torturing your body with exercise.  That's the beauty of working out.  That's what makes people keep going to the gym and keep running and keep moving.

My point tonight....don't fool yourself into believing that some people find it easy to go and workout.  It's not easy.  Finding the motivation, the energy, the mental focus to go and workout.  Not easy at all.  But, once you get used to feeling that beautiful feeling at the end of working out, it does get a little less difficult.  We all still struggle sometimes, but making that effort is so worth it when you get that beautiful feeling at the end!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Truth, in black and white...

I've been debating about doing this post.  I keep going back and forth and procrastinating.  I feel like if I keep going on about what I want to talk about in this post that people will think I'm being preachy.  I don't want to preach on things or to keep going on about the same things all the time.  I've seen people popping on now and then and leaving comments every so often.  I appreciate all of the comments so much!  I read each and every one and they mean so much to me.  I just hope I'm not losing people or running people off by writing some of what I write!

Before I start tonight, I just want to say...Wendy, I'm so incredibly proud of you!  The fact that you're not compromising on your time out for exercise is a huge, huge thing!  Even just a few minutes of exercise can make a huge difference!

Okay...the truth!  I honestly don't quite know where to start on this one, so if it rambles a bit, I hope you'll forgive me.  This touches on several things and I need to bring them all together in order to make it all make sense.  Bear with me, please.  I promise, it will all be worth it in the end.....

My husband and I started dating more than 10 years ago.  From the moment I saw him, I was ready to throw myself into our relationship, whole-heartedly.  We dated for a year before moving in together.  From the moment we started co-habitating, I did it all.  I cooked, I cleaned, I did every little thing I could to make him happy.  Except for one.  I didn't take proper care of myself.  I never worked out.  I took care of my diabetes in a half-assed manner, but never really took it to the degree that I should have.  I ate without thinking and without consideration of what was healthy for me.  But I did everything I could for him.  I gave and gave and gave.  Six years after we first went on a date, we were married.  A year later, we had a baby.  A year and a half after that, we had another baby.  Through it all, I gave and gave and gave.  But I never did the one thing that I should have done for him....taken care of my own health.

Please don't get me wrong and think my husband wasn't doing the same.  But the fact is, women and men are very different.  I think it is just a woman's nature to give and give and give.  I know I'm not the only mom who does this.  Moms just keep on going and going until they hit burnout.  The reality is, I think moms have lots of mini-burnouts along the way.  Moments when we're tired and worn down and we just want to cry.  We hit those points a lot sometimes, don't we?  I think maybe men are better at recognizing when they're nearing emotional burnout, when they are getting close to having nothing more to give.  My husband was good about asking for breaks when he needed them.  He'd go out with a friend for a beer, go to the gym for a workout, go look at books at the bookstore.  Anything that sounded good and relaxing to him.  When I asked for a break, I spent the time doing dishes or laundry or going to the grocery store.  Not at all the same thing.  I never once asked him to watch the kids while I went to the gym by myself.  In fact, I used him as an excuse for not going to the gym.  I didn't want to ask him to watch the kids because he works hard all day and I didn't think he'd want to watch the kids.  I thought he'd resent watching the kids for me while I went to the gym.

The truth...I underestimated my husband.  I did him a huge disservice by assuming that he would resent watching the kids so I could do something for my health.  The truth....because I failed to take care of myself, little kernels of resentment built in my marriage, inside my husband.  He resented the fact that he felt guilty for taking care of himself, for doing anything for himself, because I never did anything for me.  I never asked for the support so I could do something for me.  This whole 30-day challenge's been fantastic for my husband too!  He's gotten to spend more time alone with the kids, establishing more of a parent, authority-image in their eyes.  He's gotten to play and bond with them.  And he's enjoyed that opportunity!  He's been inspired by my challenge.  He's gotten to see his wife in a new light.  He'd given up on the idea of me ever taking proper care of myself.  How sad is that statement?  And now, he has pride in me for what I've done, for what I've accomplished and for what I'm now capable of doing.  He's proud of me for the mother I am to our children and he's always been proud of me for that.  But now he can be proud of me for the person that I am too.  And that is an incredible thing for our relationship!

Okay, now onto a quick summary of my 30-day challenge.  At the beginning, just walking a couple of miles at a moderate pace just about did me in!  The first few days, I walked two miles.  Then I started doing three miles while pushing the kids in the stroller.  Then three miles with steep inclines while pushing the stroller.  Baby steps.  It was never more than baby steps.  I pushed just a little bit each and every single day.  And on that 30th day, I was able to do an hour and ten minutes straight on the elliptical!  At the beginning, 10 minutes was more than enough on that particular piece of torture!  At the beginning, if you saw my shadow in profile, it looked like I had three sets of boobs...the one set with two large rolls underneath.  I still have those rolls, but at least they're not looking so much like extra cleavage now!  I've got a booty now!  Not just two lumpy, blubbery, cottage-cheese consistency mounds of flesh that droop down into my thighs.  Nope, now I have muscle in that area and there's an actual definition between where my butt ends and my thighs begin!  I have muscles in my legs, calves, arms, back, everywhere!  And it feels great!  I'm no longer dwelling as much on the parts of my body that I don't like.  Instead, I'm marveling at all that has changed in this short amount of time.  I'm marveling at what my body is capable of doing.  I did bring the scale out of hiding.  Turns out I lost 8 lbs in that 30-day time period.  I'm more than happy with that.  Especially when I consider that the 8 lbs lost was all fat and that it doesn't include the number of fat lbs that have been converted to muscle.  It's an amazing feeling to take care of myself!

Okay, one quick reminder....mail exchange deadline is coming up on Friday!  Right now, I only have one person who's sent in their information for it.  If you want to sign up your children, diabetic or not, send me their names and ages to!

Off to check Lily again and then head to bed.  Nighttime blood sugars are depriving us both of sleep lately!  I think she must be hitting another growth spurt....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I meant to write this last night, but then procrastinated and decided to save it for my final, Day 30, woohoo, I did it, post.  Heidi over at My journey through the weight said something the other day that really resonated with me.  She said, "If they (my family) have to sacrifice then it's not worth the effort to me."  Oh, how close to home this one hit!  I think it's just plain natural for women to sacrifice for their families.  We give everything we have and then dig deep down inside ourselves to find just that little bit more.  We sacrifice our time, our patience, our privacy (come on, I'm not the only mom who pees with her child in the bathroom, right?), our bodies, and, ultimately, our health.  That last one.  Did you catch that?  We sacrifice our health for our children.  We resort to eating convenience foods on the fly, we guzzle coffee and caffeinated beverages in order to keep ourselves going, we consider exercise and me-time to be low on the list of priorities, so low that we often forgo them in favor of doing for our children and husbands instead.  As d-moms, we sacrifice that much more as we try to keep our children as happy and healthy as we possibly can.  Our children may thank us one day for nearly all of the sacrifices we make for them, when they're grown up enough to recognize our sacrifices.  But there's one thing on there that they won't thank us for sacrificing.  OUR CHILDREN WILL NOT EVER THANK US FOR SACRIFICING OUR HEALTH.  Catch that emphasis?  I'm serious about this one.  Here's why....

Are you aware that the number one killer of women is heart disease?  Actually, heart disease is the number one killer of men and women, worldwide.  More than all forms of cancer combined.  It's responsible for 40% of all deaths of men and women in the United States each year.  That makes it one very formidable foe!  Add in that most cases of heart disease can be prevented and it makes me want to cry.  Seriously!  This whole concept hits even closer to home for me since being diabetic puts me at greater risk for heart disease.  In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of premature death for people with juvenile diabetes.  Frightening!

Enough boring statistics and facts.  All of that comes down to one thing.  By sacrificing my health for my children, I am nearly guaranteeing that I will not be around for some of the most important moments in their lives.  By not eating well and not exercising and taking care of myself, I sacrifice my presence in my children's futures.  Do you think on her wedding day, Lily will take a moment to stop and think, "thanks, Mom, for all your sacrifices"?  Or is she just going to be sad that her mom isn't there to see her and hold her hand?  I know, it's a little brutal, but that's the reality.  By living the life that I have, by sacrificing everything for my children, I am creating that brutal reality for them.

That's the idea that set me on my course for this 30-day challenge.  That's the future that I want to change.  I want to be here for my children.  I want to teach them a healthy lifestyle and I want to be there for them as they face all of the major changes and decisions that life is going to throw at them.  I want to see them grow and develop into the people that I hope they will be.  In order to make all of that possible, I have to stop sacrificing my health.  I have to come to the realization that my health is one thing that I must not sacrifice.  For my husband's sake, for my children's, I must work hard to become a healthier person.

Here's my message for tonight....we, as moms, need to learn to not sacrifice this one, incredibly important thing.  Our children will not thank us for it.  We need to do what we can to be healthy people for our children.  If that means taking 20 minutes out of our day to walk a mile, then that's what we do.  If 20 minutes is all you can scrape out for activity, then it's better than nothing.  That 20 minutes is still a victory!  Every little bit counts.  Every little thing we can do to improve our health is worth the effort.  Every little effort takes us that much further to being happier and healthier and better able to be the best moms that we can possibly be.  Thirty days ago, I would have only been able to do 10 minutes on an elliptical before giving up.  Today, I managed an entire 60 minutes and I followed it up with 10 more minutes for a cool down.  My husband has surprised me, time and again, by carving out time to help me with my challenge, coming home early and watching the kids so I could make it to the gym.  Don't under-estimate your husbands.  Ask them for their help and support and let them know what you're doing and why you're doing it.  My message for all of what you can, as much as you can, as much as you're able to.  Every little bit counts.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How about some holiday fun? Mail Exchange Alert!

Day 29!  Yay!  I'm just one day shy of my 30-day goal!  The last few days, I've been taking it a bit easier on my legs and just hitting the Life Fitness elliptical.  Not too easy on them though as I've been doing 50-60 minutes each day and burning 700 calories in that time!  I'm loving what my body is capable of doing right now!  Funny to think back to the beginning of this, when just walking a couple of miles induced a major sweat and left me panting!

Hallie, to answer your question...there is no program.  I've just been doing baby steps, doing what was comfortable for me and pushing just a little bit further each day.  I started out walking two miles and then increased to three miles after just a couple of days, added in sharp inclines, pushed the stroller with the kids up the hills and down.  And now, nearly 30 days later, I can last an entire hour on the elliptical!  I'm going to take a one-day break on the 31st day, maybe celebrate by taking the kids swimming, and then on the 32nd day, start a new challenge.  I want to start adding up my calories and logging my food to see where I can get better control of my nutritional intake (because I hate the word "diet"!).

Okay, I have a separate post that I'm thinking of writing tonight, about sacrifice.  But I want to keep this one fun.  And I want to bring up another really cool idea that I had.  But first, how about another round of mail exchange? I'm thinking it would be a ton of fun to do a Thanksgiving-themed exchange.  Maybe have the kids write about something that they're thankful for and share one of their favorite things with their partner?  Same drill as last time...1. Open to all children, diabetic or not.  2. A $5 gift  3. Send a photo!  4. And email your partner a photo once the mail has been received.  If you want to participate, send me an email at, write :Mail Exchange in the subject line and include the names and ages of the kids you want to have participate.  One quick little note....I don't want to limit people who want to sign up and I know some of our DOC live outside of the U.S.  If you're unable to send mail outside of the U.S., please note that in your email and I'll make sure you're not paired up with our International participants.  Personally, I love sending outside of the U.S., just because it can be so much fun to learn about people in other parts of the world!  The deadline to sign up will be Friday, November 12th, at midnight.

Ready for a new, super-fun idea?  A Christmas Card Exchange!  I love, love, love Christmas!  And even better than Christmas presents are the cards we get in the mail!  I love getting Christmas cards!  Last year, I counted up how many people I had in my address book.  52.  Know what the problem with that is?  Cards are ordered in packs of 24!  Or at least, they were last year when we got ours.  So, 2 packs wasn't enough and 3 packs left me with a whole bunch left over.  What to do with the leftovers?  I propose a Card Exchange!  What better way to celebrate the holidays and have a little extra fun and get to know more about our online friends than to exchange Christmas cards with all of them?  Here's how it works:  I'll compile a list of all the people who want to participate and their addresses.  Post-Thanksgiving, I'll email everyone with the compiled list and you can all have the fun of sending and receiving Christmas cards from everyone on the list.  Sound like fun?  If you want to join in, send me an email at  Write :Christmas Cards in the subject line and include your address in the body of the email.  Deadline will be December 1st.

I can't wait to have fun with both of these!