Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I've been keeping busy!  And, therefore, neglecting the blog.  Sorry!  Actually, I've been keeping so busy that I can't seem to string thoughts together for a long blog post.  So, I have a few random thoughts I thought I'd share tonight.  But, first, an update!  My weight is still stuck, but that's not a bad thing.  I've been doing strength-training twice a week for the last few weeks now.  I do upper body one day, then cardio the next, then lower body, then another cardio, take a day or two off and then head right back to it.  I picked up a Personal Training journal from B&N.  $5.95 on the bargain racks.  Best money I've spent in a long time!  This thing is awesome.  It's got enough space for a year's-worth of journaling.  Each week has it's own page for diet, another page for strength-training, and another for cardio.  At the beginning of each week, there's a spot for you to write in what your plans are for the week.  And then you can check them off as you get them done.  It's a great motivator for me.  It's kept me going.  Even when I'm sore, which I really am!  All that weight-lifting is definitely having an effect.  I've had to up my weights a couple of times already in order to challenge my body enough for it to do some good.  My body was definitely in need of the challenge that strength-training provides!  My weight may not be changing, but my body composition certainly is!

My randoms....
1. Do you think that noise that men make when they're lifting actually does something for them?  Seriously, they grunt and groan and make as much noise as they possibly can (not all men, but you know the ones I'm talking about).  I just wonder what they think the noise is accomplishing....
2.  I thought I knew what a "hard" workout was....and then I put the elliptical on the Fat Burn setting today.  Apparently, if you don't go fast enough, it increases the resistance for you to up your heart rate.  Unfortunately, I didn't figure this one out until I was working like I was trudging through drying cement.  The machine was at its highest resistance when I noticed this message: Increase speed to decrease resistance.  Really?  It couldn't have mentioned that back when the resistance was manageable?  Seriously, I'd been spending the last 5 minutes cursing the machine and praying for it to ease up!  By that point, there was no way in hell I could have gone faster.  It took everything I had just to keep going!
3.  I find people at the gym funny.  There's one particular woman that I see every. single. time.  Seriously, it doesn't matter what time I head to the gym.  She's always there!  She's super-skinny, middle-aged, and she must work out non-stop.  She does this weird little move on the elliptical where she puts both feet on the same peddle and just uses her arms to move.  She reminds me of a stork or some tall, thin bird.  It's a very interesting effect.
4.  Something I've been noticing lately....every single person who comes into the locker room post-workout does the same exact thing as soon as they get to their locker.  They let out a big sigh.  Seriously, everyone does it!  Huge sigh before digging out their post-workout crap so they can clean up and get going.  I think it's a sigh of relief.
5.  Children are a great motivator for getting in to the gym.  Or maybe it's the two hours of child-free time that the gym allows.  Either way, it's keeping me going!
6.  Every person at the gym has OCD tendencies.  Really.  You start to pick up these things when you go to the gym a lot.  You see the same people working out on the exact same machine every day.  For me, I know my OCD tendencies are brought forward at the gym.  I break my time down into 6-minute increments and change direction every six minutes.  I also have an addiction to the Quick Start buttons that I am now attempting to break.

Okay, enough randomness.  I'll end by sharing with you some of my ideas for moving forward.  I picked up a few things today.  I want to add in just a bit more activity in an attempt to get the kids and I going each morning.  I picked up a yoga DVD for beginners that includes an AM and a PM workout.  And a $5 jump rope.  I have a tough time getting myself moving each morning.  I think most parents of d-children (and just small children in general) probably have the same issue.  So, if nothing else, I can at least pick up the jump rope for a few minutes each morning or pop the DVD in and see if the kids will do the exercises with me.  I signed Lily up for a Sports Sampler class at the gym and she's been going to that each Wednesday at 10, which gets me to the gym early.  Wreaks havoc on her blood sugars, no matter what I do, but we'll figure that out eventually.  The training journal is helping me keep track of what I'm eating and how many calories I'm eating and burning.  So far, it seems like my daily intake is averaging about 1500-1600.  I'm trying to make sure more of my calories are coming from protein and fiber and that seems to be helping to keep me going.  All of that at least gives me something to do while I'm waiting for the weather to improve.  I'm dying for it to be spring and warm enough to take the kids out in the bike trailer or the stroller for walks/rides around the lakes and the neighborhood.  There are so many parks nearby and I know the kids are dying to get out just as much as I am!  Now if Mother Nature would just cooperate!

I'll leave you with my favorite of our Easter pictures:
These two beautiful babies are my reason for everything I do!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm taking on a new challenge!

A quick update on the fitness stuff....you may have noticed that I haven't been posting about the fitness and weight-loss stuff much lately.  I'm still going pretty strong with it.  I lost my family's Biggest Loser challenge, but I'm okay with that.  I just recently signed up for a 90-day weight-loss challenge at our gym.  I mostly just signed up for the consultation with a personal trainer.  Too bad that didn't actually work out the way I wanted it too.  I was hoping for some helpful tips, but she was busy trying to sell heart-rate monitors and some special assessment that supposedly tells how your body burns fat.  Question for everyone....do you think a heart-rate monitor is necessary?  I'm torn about whether I need one or not.  Anyway, the consultation ended with me telling her I couldn't spend $240 on a monitor and assessment without talking to my husband.  She replied, "you can't make a decision on your own?"  Nope, I definitely cannot make a $240 decision on my own!  I did get something out of the consultation though.  My weight-loss has stalled.  Doesn't bother me much.  I'm hovering right in the mid-220s, so still 35 lbs less than I was.  But the consultation helped me realize that I need to start adding in some strength-training.  So, I'm using the weigh-lifting machines twice a week.  One day, I do a lower-body workout with the weights and follow it up with a short cardio session.  Then a day of just cardio.  Third day, an upper-body workout with the weights and a short cardio.  Then another day of just cardio.  Throw in a day off here and there and then go back at it all.  I started that two weeks ago and I just picked up a Personal Training and Fitness Journal from the bookstore ($6 at B&N, in the bargain area!).  So, we'll see how it all goes.  I still refuse to enter the Testosterone Zone that my husband prefers....you know, the one where men grunt and groan and yell as they lift bars that they've hauled massive weights onto while they posture and preen in the mirrors?  Yeah, don't want to go there!

Reyna, I keep meaning to give you an update on the Boob Lady and I keep forgetting!  Seriously, I have a bit of admiration and envy for the Boob Lady now.  She had the baby towards the end of January.  She was gone from the gym for all of two weeks!  Two weeks!  Seriously!  And then she was back, sans baby belly, and working out all over again.  Now that is hard core!

Onto my new challenge!  I'm seriously excited about this one.  It's a bit ridiculous how excited I am, but hey, green things make me happy.  You see, I have this major flaw.  I have the world's worst case of Black Thumb.  Seriously, I can't keep green things alive.  Those people who think houseplants are great practice for having pets and pets are great practice for having children....they're nuts!  Those things are nothing alike and just because you can kill green things just by looking at them doesn't mean you'll kill a pet.  I've never lost a pet and my two children are so far appearing to be happy and healthy and thriving.  Green things though...they turn black in my hands.  But I'm determined to change that!  And this beautiful green thing is going to help me:

Beautiful, bright, green Goldfish plant.  I put it in the beautiful pot you see it in (with Lily and Leo's help) and my husband drilled into the ceiling to hang the hook.  It's hanging in the southwest corner of our dining room, with the sunlight coming in from the sliding glass door all day long.  I'm hoping that it will stay alive and thriving.  Next up, we're going to be planting some grape tomato seeds in little fiber pots and hoping they shoot up into large plants.  My kids eat grape tomatoes like they're M&Ms!  I'm hoping for a good 5 or 6 plants to keep on our deck for them to enjoy and munch on.  If the seeds don't take off though....I may just have to make a run to a local nursery for a few plants!

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Ducking Fiabetes" doesn't quite cover it.

When you've had a child with diabetes for enough of a length of time, you begin to realize something....every Parent of a Diabetic Child is going to have a moment when "ducking fiabetes" just doesn't quite cover the situation.  We've had one of those moments tonight.  Lately, Lily's blood sugars have been dropping a bit just after bedtime snack.  So I've been backing off on the insulin before we put her to bed.  Tonight, I didn't back off nearly enough.  My husband and I put the kids to bed.  We have a regular routine where he reads to Lily and tucks her in while I read to Leo and tuck him in.  Once Leo has drifted off, I leave him sleeping and pop into Lily's room for a few minutes of snuggling before letting her drift off to sleep too.  Usually, we spend a couple of hours decompressing in our own ways and in our own spaces.  Tonight, we decided to watch a movie together.  About an hour into it, he got a call from a friend.  The movie was put on pause and while he was finishing up his call, I ran up to check Lily's blood sugar.  For snack tonight, she had a five huge strawberries and half a cup of milk.  I only covered 10 grams.  I expected a high number.  I got a 2 followed by a 4.  A fucking 24.  I'm not a swearer.  Very rarely will I do it.  But, here, it just seems appropriate.  I have never seen a blood sugar that low for Lily.  And it's been ages since I've seen one like that for me.  They suck.  They more than suck.  There is nothing in diabetes that sucks quite like having your child register in at 24.  I got a full juice box into Lily.  27 grams of carbohydrates in that full juice box.  She slowly rose.  40.....65.....84....95.  I thought she'd be safe and good at that point.  We finished watching the last hour of the movie.  I came back to check on Lily again.  82.  How in the hell can 27 grams of carbohydrates only raise her 50 points when it would normally send her orbiting in the upper levels of the blood sugar spectrum?  I've gotten another 1/3 of a juice box into her and am now waiting the 15 minutes for the recheck.  You know what I wish I had?  I wish I had a punching bag.  I could decorate it with various diabetes-related pictures and words and spend these 15-minute-waits giving in to my urge to pound on diabetes.  Fucking diabetes!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What do you do with your 15?

I hate the Fifteen Minute Wait.  Seriously, it's a pain to have to retest 15 minutes after treating a low.  When it's my low, I rarely retest.  I know my blood sugar is back to good based on the fact that I'm no longer jittering and I can put a coherent thought together.  Or I can walk without falling over my own feet.  When it's Lily's low....I ALWAYS retest!  No matter when it is, where it is, or what we are doing.  I wait those long 15 minutes and pull out the supplies again.  Last night, Lily cried out in her sleep at 1:30.  I dragged my barely conscious self into the kitchen for the meter, into her bedroom to poke her callused little finger, and waited to see a 67 pop up on the screen.  Lily sucked down half a juice box in her sleep and I was left with a dilemma....I can't go back to bed until I've done the recheck and I have 15 minutes before I can do that.  What to do?  Well, there's one thing that I will always do with that middle-of-the-night 15.  I have a little addiction that can be indulged in that 15.  Wanna know what it is?  I'm addicted to snuggling with my children!  Seriously, this is why Leo still sleeps in bed with my husband and me.  Because I can't get enough of his cuddles.  Lily very rarely cuddles anymore.  She's never been much of a cuddler really.  But when she's sleeping, I can get away with crawling in behind her, pulling her close and snuggling in to smell her hair and kiss her check.  Those 15 minutes are just enough to feed that part of me that craves contact with my children so fiercely that I'll never allow myself to say no when they ask for a hug or a kiss.  I hate having to wait those 15 minutes, but if I spend them curled up with my baby girl in the middle of the night, I can find it in my to love the opportunity the wait has given me.

So, I'm curious....what do you do with your 15-minute-wait?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A visual treat

I've been meaning to post pictures from our trip to the zoo on Monday.  There's a fantastic little zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, called The Como Zoo.  It's free admission, although donations are strongly encouraged.  It's a great little zoo, with a good variety of animals, including lots of monkeys.  The monkeys make my children happy!  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the animals this time around.  That doesn't mean I didn't get some great pictures though.  You see, my favorite part of this zoo is the conservatory.  It's gorgeous!  There's green stuff everywhere, which is a treat for the eyes in the middle of winter when everything is gray.  All of the pictures I took this time were in one specific room in the conservatory.  It's THE. BEST. PART. OF. THE. ZOO!  You'll see why:

Total picture overload, but it's so worth it, isn't it?  The flowers are gorgeous, there's sun everywhere, there are koi swimming in the water.  It's just a beautiful place and gives such a lift to your spirits.  Good thing it's open year-round and we have a nice little oasis to visit in the middle of winter!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Winner, winner....winners?

Sorry for the delay!  My husband took the day off from work and we spent the day out as a family.  A trip to the gym, lunch at Subway, and a trip to the Como Zoo.  I'll have to post some pictures of some of the zoo stuff later.  But for now, just thought I'd share with you who the winners of the hat give-away are.  Yup, I said winners.  I decided to do not 1 winner.  Not 2 winners.  But 3 winners!  I love making stuff for other people and it makes me happy.  Plus, these hats are super-quick to make and so much fun!  So...the winners:  Comments 2, 3, and 6...that's Kris, Joanne, and Jules.  Now, what I need from each of you is the age of who you want the hats for (for sizing purposes), which hat you want, and up to 3 colors.  And keep in mind, you can request as many as 3 hats!  Send me an EMAIL with all that info and your home address and I'll whip up the hats and get them out to you!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A giveaway, because I want to have some fun!

It's finally spring!  The winter hats are being retired, but my kids are so used to the routine of putting hats on before leaving the house.  To accommodate them, I made these:

 Leo in a Rascal Hat
Lily in a Floral Hat

To celebrate the end of winter and to give me a chance to make stuff for someone else (because it's so much more fun and it makes me happy), I'm going to do a giveaway.  I'll make up to 3 hats in the design and colors of the winner's choice.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment!  I'll draw a name on Monday at 10:00 a.m. CST.  

I can't wait to get started!  And, just for fun, a couple more pics of my little beasties:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Forgive my ignorance..."

There's a new worker in the childcare center at our gym.  A very tall, muscular, black man.  There aren't very many men that work in the childcare center.  In fact, I've only ever seen one other man.  Lily loves the new worker!  I was a little taken aback the first day I saw him there.  He was in the infant area, with a baby propped up on his shoulder.  He made a special point of saying goodbye to Lily as she ran out the gate to me.  Seems maybe he's taken a liking to her too!  When I went in to pick her up the other day, he checked her out and then proceeded to ask me numerous questions about diabetes.  In the middle of it all, he says to me, "pardon my ignorance".  Oh my!  Seriously, no pardon needed!  I don't mind when people ask me questions about diabetes and I appreciate the opportunity to spread knowledge, to help people understand.  There's nothing to forgive if someone lacks knowledge and is open to hearing about it.

Here's why I'm bringing this up...I trust my children's instincts about people.  Normally, a man in the childcare center might cause me some concern.  But my kids took to this man right away.  I avoid taking my children to the gym in the morning.  Partly because I have no motivation early in the day and partly because they're not as happy to go.  There's always the same two workers in the childcare center in the morning.  A pair of middle-aged women who have so far shown no signs of having any tender feelings towards my children.  Not a big deal, but my children are so much happier to go in the afternoons when the workers they're acquainted with are working.  And the workers they see then are always happy to see my children.  One even confessed to me one day that Lily and Leo are one of her favorite pairs!  So, I trust my children's instincts about people and don't force them when we're around people who make them wary.  Why is it so hard to trust my own instincts in the same area?  I have a prime example of this to share with you....

There's a woman who I've thought I should be friends with for convenience purposes.  She's married to my husband's oldest friend.  This friend is a wonderful person and the times I've been around him, he seems very genuine, easy-going, and personable.  So, for the past year, I've spent some time with his wife.  Having her and their daughter over for dinner and playing.  Meeting up for playdates.  Meeting up for drinks or coffee to chat.  But I've never been completely comfortable with her.  I've always had this fear inside that I was being judged or that she didn't really like me.  But I pushed the fear down and ignored it.  This last week, I met up with her and another mom that she's good friends with.  We met for drinks.  We talked about a couple of news stories that have come up in the last couple weeks in our area.  One about a mom who put her older child into the SUV, forgot about the baby in the stroller behind the vehicle, got in and backed over the baby.  Very tragic, we all agreed.  Another one about a 2-year-old boy who drowned in a hot tub.  One of the other two women made a comment that people should watch their children better.  Now, I have to admit, this comment kind of set me off.  How many of us have had to deal with judgement over the fact that our children are diabetic?  The last thing a parent who's lost a child needs is the judgement of others.  And after having Leo, I can totally understand how an accident can happen.  He can go from perfectly-safe to in-mortal-peril in 5 seconds flat!  I explained that it didn't sound like it was a case of them not watching their child.  And then I promptly stuck my foot into my mouth by adding..."I assumed when I first heard the story that the family was black".  Stupid, right?  Totally did not come out in the right way.  One of the women asked me what I meant and I said something along the lines of that "black people watch their children differently."  Yup, just made it worse.  Neither one asked for further explanation and the conversation went on to other things.

Here's what I meant from that comment and what neither of them heard:  I assumed the family was black because of my experience with my own family's structure and what I know of the families of minority groups.  Here's the thing with my family...when we get together, we mind our own children.  Each individual is responsible for keeping an eye on his or her own child.  That's not to say that we wouldn't step in if we saw danger, but we don't relax and trust that our children are in a safe environment.  In fact, whenever we go to my MILs, for example, we have to make a quick sweep of the area to make sure things are safe.  She has a habit of leaving knives and scissors within a child's reach.  In contrast, when I've been around my friends with minority backgrounds, there's been a very different feel to the gatherings.  I can only describe it as a "community" feeling.  Everyone is responsible for every child.  They trust that even if their child is not in their eye site, someone has an eye on them and their children are safe.  It's a wonderful thing, I imagine, to know that your children are that loved and cherished that everyone around you will help you keep them safe.  Maybe I'm completely off-base with those ideas, but that's just the impression I've come away with when I've spent my time with friends of different backgrounds.

Neither of the women asked for further explanation.  We parted.  I went home and told my husband about sticking my foot in my mouth.  I felt bad for giving them the wrong idea.  He told me that his friend's wife should know me well enough by now that it shouldn't be any big deal.  I let the matter drop.  Until I got this message from a fourth mom that all three of us know:

I don't know what planet you come from, but I don't appreciate you saying that black people don't take care of their kids. I mean who the fuck do you think you are??Are you that fuckin' clueless to think like that?? DON'T EVER classify me as your friend because I don't tolerate stupid and ignorant ass people such as yourself. I feel sorry for you. You clearly have issues that need to be dealt with. And before you say "oh I didn't mean you" what ethnic background you think I'm from?!?YOU OFFENDED ME. I actually tried to give you the benefit of the doubt when other told me how ignorant you are. What a waste!!
Yup, lovely message, isn't it?   I felt bad.  Really bad.  I sent an apology back to her, trying to explain what I really said and what I meant.  I sent a message to the wife, trying to explain and apology.  And then I realized something.  I've been ignoring my instincts and I really shouldn't be surprised by this at all.  You see, the friend's wife, every time we got together, spent a great deal of the time gossiping about other people we know and judging them.  She was aware that she was doing this and often made comments about how she probably sounded awful and shouldn't gossip.  I always just blew it off and told her it was fine, I didn't mind.  But I did!  Inside, that niggling feeling that made me fearful?  That was my instincts trying to tell me something.  If someone spends a lot of time gossiping and judging others while with you, chances are they're gossiping and judging you when you're not around.  I fully admit that I'm guilty of gossiping and judging at times too.  I ask forgiveness for it.  I'm not perfect and I don't imagine myself to be any better or any worse than anyone else.  We all have flaws, we all have strengths, we all have sins.  But deep down inside, we all have goodness too.

Now that I've had some time to think about all of this and process it all, I've come to a few conclusions.  I have absolutely no desire to be friends with people like this.  People who know me know that they can approach me about anything, tell me when I've said something stupid, ask for clarification on something I said or about what I meant.  My friends know I have a good heart and a kind and generous soul.  I have flaws, plenty of flaws, but deep down inside, I'm a good person.  People who know me know that.  I don't do things to hurt other people intentionally.  I may say stupid things.  In fact, I'm pretty great at saying really stupid things and my husband and I fight frequently over misunderstandings.  But I'm never offended when someone points them out and asks me what I meant.  I am offended by people who gossip and judge unfairly though.

I told my husband about all of this.  I don't want his friendship ruined because of it.  His friend really is a wonderful person from what I can tell and I know he and my husband both enjoy each other's company.  They have a lot in common.  I even told my husband that I'm willing to continue doing "family get-togethers" with them.  He nixed that idea though.  He has no desire to expose his family to someone who might gossip about us and judge us.  So, he'll meet his friend out and they can continue to have a good time together.  As for me...important lesson learned.  Trust your instincts when it comes to people!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Excuses are plentiful

I've been debating this one for a while.  I don't want to offend anyone or make it seem like I'm criticizing people. I'm not.  I've been there and I know just how hard it is to find the motivation to get up off my butt and do something.  The other part of the reason I've been holding off on this one....there's a major gross-out ahead...

Leo was born two years ago.  Just after giving birth to him, I started having some issues with my skin.  More specifically, with the skin on my feet.  A dry, hard, thickened patch of skin showed up on my foot where my littlest toe connects.  It cracked.  It broke open.  It bled.  It hurt like hell to walk on.  So I sat on my ass for nearly two years and used that little crack as a reason to not do anything.  I'll give myself a little credit and tell you that it was the mother of all excuses.  It was awful.  I hobbled around the house, limping and in pain.  It hurt and nothing seemed to help.  The doctor gave me anti-fungals.  They burned and made it worse.  Steroid creams...same thing.  Urea cream...oh my goodness, that was a special kind of hell!  We tried pills and creams and whatever they could come up with to give me.  Nothing helped.  And then I started working out.  I ignored it and just kept on with the exercise.  I stopped looking for an excuse and started doing instead.  And would you believe that it actually started to get a little better?  Not completely, it's still there and it still breaks open and cracks and bleeds and torments me.  But, it's not nearly as bad as it was and I'm still exercising, in spite of it still being there.  It's migrated a bit.  The spot by my toe has cleared up and there's a larger area of skin along the outside of my right foot that's affected now.  I know you're all dying to see what I'm talking about right?

What it looks like after working out:

What it looks like right at this very moment:

The skin peels off in strips and leaves open, gaping sores.  The doctor has decided to call it eczema, probably because she just doesn't have a clue what else it might be.  So, it sucks.  But it's not the end of the world and it's not keeping me from working out anymore.

Here's my point tonight...excuses are everywhere.  If you're looking for one, you'll never fail to find it.  There are a million of them....I'm too tired, the kids aren't feeling the greatest, think I'm coming down with something, my body hurts, I don't have the energy, I'll go tomorrow.  The list goes on and on.  The funny thing is, it's not so easy to find the motivation for working out.  There's a lot of those, but they're never so easily found as the excuses.  You have to look harder if you want to find them.  But if you look and seek them out, they'll stick with you and keep you going.

I have to leave you with some more pictures of my children.  Mostly because I think this is the funniest thing ever.  It's like a story told through pictures of what I deal with about 15 times a day, if not more.  The first few times, it's funny and cute.  By the end of the day, it results in tears from nearly all of us!  But I happened to catch these pictures early on this morning and so we were all still in excellent moods.  I've put it on my Facebook profile too and given it the title: How it all goes down....

Aren't they the best?  Seriously, I was on the very end of the last thread of my sanity when I put them to bed, but now that I'm sitting here and looking at those pictures, I can't help but smile and laugh.  I have a couple of the best kids ever and feel so totally blessed!