Monday, May 25, 2015

Eleven Years

Eleven years.  It's been eleven long years since our first diabetes diagnosis.  I couldn't even write yesterday.  (I've had a lot clogging up my thoughts lately.)  I don't even know what to say that hasn't already been said.

Eleven of her birthdays since then.  (Maybe 88 birthday parties for friends?)  Counting carbohydrates for cake, ice cream, snacks.  Guessing at the energy she'll expend running around, playing games, jumping on a trampoline, skating, swimming, playing laser tag or paintball.  Wondering if the stress of competition (or keeping diabetes a secret) will drive her up blood sugar.  Praying that if she takes her pump off to swim she doesn't forget to put it back on.  Praying it doesn't get lost or wet or dropped on the ground when she picks up the towel she wrapped it inside.
Eleven years of sleepovers and campouts, stressing over not getting a number last thing before she goes to bed, stressing when I don't get a number first thing in the morning.  Anxiety over not knowing everything she's hot dogs, chips, and the s'mores that don't fall on the ground.
Eleven years of school.  Preschool scares of lows on the playground.  First Grade Stickhorse Rodeo at the rodeo grounds-all the extra events (roping, bucking broncos, obstacle course..), being served (unmeasured!) fruit punch, dancing, and the hours in the hot sun!  Book Character Parades around the school on Halloween would drop her every year.  One year, she got a tray for Thanksgiving Dinner, her only tray lunch ever.  Recess and P.E. are always fun to figure out.  New pattern basal rates for the hours she exercises..we get this figured out by the first nine weeks.  And field trips..eleven years of trying to make every field trip..just in case.
Eleven years of checking every night between 12am-2am.  Because heck, we didn't need that sleep anyway.  And if she's low..another check.
Eleven years of pharmacies.  Ordering pump supplies, requesting new prescriptions, picking up orders, pharmacy deliveries when she's sick with ketones, coordinating refills when the dates are too close together (darn all those rechecks and strip errors!).  The months it took us to figure out how to use insulin pens instead of vials for more consistent numbers with each pump reservoir refill.  Making friends with the pharmacist so he can learn which meters we use the most, and fill our strip prescription for whichever strips we need the most since not all our meters are the same.
Eleven years of endocrinologists and doctors' visits.  Arkansas Children's Hospital, emergency rooms, visits for high numbers when we insist it must be a bacterial infection because we know.  High numbers tell stories.  Texting doctors in the afternoons, nurse calls in the night, after hours clinic visits.  Learning how many units of basal she should receive per kilo of body weight, every time she gains weight.  Raising bolus ratios almost every time we visit for their five ratios a day.
Eleven years of charting, recording, graphing, learning.  How much insulin did she use a day when she was two?  Four?  Seven?  Ten?  Twelve?  I can tell you all her basal rates, bolus and correction ratios.  Creating charts for recording that fit our life.  Creating notes for her lunches and blood sugar checks at school.  Changing the notes if her check times changed.
Eleven years making her life look normal.  Cute pump pouches to match her outfits, pump skins so she could wear Tinkerbell or jelly beans over it.  Finding cool purses with lots of zippers and pockets to hold her meter, lancets, strips, alcohol pads, and sugar tablets.  Allowing her to check her blood in her classroom, in the bathroom, nurses' offices, wherever she felt most comfortable.  Checking her out of school when she was too high to eat lunch or be at her school party.  Putting whatever we knew for sure she'd eat into her lunch box (nothing worse than getting insulin..then they don't want their lunch foods.)
And not to forget..Eleven years of checking her blood, ten and a half years changing pump sites, and a year and a half changing her constant glucose monitor sites.  Eleven years of forgetting her meter, leaving it at a restaurant, leaving it and forgetting where.  Leaving it at friends' houses.  Taking it, but not having any strips.  Or lancets.  Or batteries.  Forgetting to bolus for food.  Bolusing, but forgetting to eat.
Eleven years of food.  Sneaking it, hiding it, not counting it, counting it, craving it, finding non-carby foods for highs, high carb/low volume foods for lows.  We have a love-hate relationship with food and drinks at our house.
Eleven years of having other kids to care for, a life for the rest of the family, a marriage, a home, friends, and finding balance.  Diabetes has robbed a lot of time, energy, and carefree fun in eleven of her sweet thirteen years.  And ours.
It is never easy.  We are never done.  It never sleeps or takes always tags along with us.  We don't really like it, but it's one of us.  Happy Birthday, Diabetes.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chenille Stems.. or just Pipe Cleaners?

One of our sweet babysitters, Maggie, graduated from high school on Saturday!  We attended her party, and I wish I'd gotten pictures of her decor..all white with black stripes, gold polka dots, soo elegant with hot pink flowers, just gorgeous!  Here is a picture of the kids with her:

And Carter!
Her cousin, Thomas, was soo wonderful with Carter!  And Carter took to him right away..precious.  Had to save a picture! : )
Right afterward, we saw their neighbors, our good friends!  We had to run give hugs and take Ethan's friend, Gabe, home to swim with us!  Gabe also has diabetes, and we love to snag him when we can!!
Monday night, Clay had a band concert.  It was wonderful!  The last song was EXTREMELY fast, and they pulled it off!  I was nervous for them.  I think it was like 178 beats a minute, but it is actually written for like 220/minute?!  It was FAST! : )  And just beautiful music by all the bands.  They've worked so hard. ( you've seen these three pictures, but I didn't get to TELL you about them!)

When they were playing music, Carter was pretty good..hypnotized!  When they weren' was a noisy situation.

So proud of him! whole other subject now.  (Obviously, I dumped pictures off my phone today, ha!)  I made a wreath!  I'd never tried this new deco mesh before.. (burlap, yes, but this was interesting).  This is how I started:
Chenille stems to begin, I used 18 spread out.  I learned to hot glue them or they slide around the wreath when you hang it up!
This is with the widest deco mesh attached.  Here is the tutorial I kinda used.  They did a great job with pictures!
I was worried at this point that it was too airy-looking.  Code can see through it to the work wreath!!

It got better!!  I added (about 36) 15" pieces of ribbon (and then curled the ends of the chenille stems around an ink pen).

Finished, but not hung up..I have one more to finish! : )
This week in science, Clay and a partner, Carson, (and the rest of the class, ha!) have been working on 2-Liter bottle rockets!  His teacher emailed me today to say theirs went the farthest EVER in bottle rocket history at about 220 meters! (the "fins" on the sides were curved plastic, so maybe that helped?)  He must have talked Carson into letting him keep it, haha!
In January, I ordered a Casa Florentina dresser from Ballard Designs to go in my entryway.  I had a LOT of patience...and it finally arrived today!  I don't know if I believe it, but they custom make them in Italy for you.  (Even if it was a warehouse in Hoboken, I'm happy with it, ha!)
I know.  I paid extra for those layers of chippy paint.  I'm happy, so it's all good!  (Mary Claire is in the background making a HOUSE for Carter out of the big box!  With opening windows and a welcome mat!)

Didn't prepare for I just put on some stuff I already had! : )  Rocks from our trip to Arizona, love!!  Now, I need a lamp. .
I have *w-r-e-a-t-h* all over my bedroom floor.  And I only see sleep in my immediate future.  (I hope we don't crinkle all the ribbons I precut!)  I haven't slept much in the past three days.  I've gotten a lot done, but I'm feeling very run down (after three baseball games, bunko, book group, and a moody-getting-sick-Carter!).  I'm trying to stay upstairs every night to get the big kids to bed, then staying up there hanging out (blogging, obviously!) so they don't play iPad, phone, or go sneak snacks!  My laundry is missing me.  I should send a postcard.  (..Maybe I'm being lazy?  If I stay up there until midnight..I don't have to walk all the way back upstairs to check them!)

Hope you are getting rest!  Please say a prayer for two mommas, Juliet and Erica, they are doing a wonderful job mothering, but could use some extra prayers! : )

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Peonies and an Apology

We finally went to our nearest (and formerly our favorite!) nursery to exchange some dead wintergreen boxwoods from last spring, and for new peonies.

Ches ordered 10 Sarah Bernhardt peonies for me as a gift this spring (I'm all into plants right that age?), and about seven are coming up.  I got a gorgeous white one from my wonderful friend, Tiffany, for Mother's Day!  It was sooo beautiful.  I didn't want to cut the blooms, and I didn't want to plant it yet..I wanted to sit and stare at the gorgeous flowers! : )

Today we shopped the peonies, and because most of them are already finished blooming for the season, I had to keep googling pictures of the varieties to see what they'd look like next year!  I chose three: Kansas Double Peony (magenta/dark pink), Nancy Nicholls peony (blush to white), and maybe a Klehm? (med. pink).  Soo beautiful.  Want to see the most amazing choices?  Try this site.  (Looks like how joy feels.) : )
Kansas Double Peony
We also shopped trees.  I can't decide, and we'll have to have them delivered, they are too tall.  One that I'm loving is a 6-in-1 espaliered apple tree.  It's six varieties of apples grafted onto one tree!  And espaliered so that it grows horizontally.  So you can reach the apples.  It's a little bit of maintenance to keep it clipped and trained, but I'm up for the challenge.  Instead of my kids eating the wild onions, they can grab an apple.  Wouldn't it work for the fence at the end of my driveway by the garage?!
from here
I also loved the Meyer lemon trees (and they already have about 30 tiny lemons each!) (but I worry about the kids eating them, and the citric acid eating the enamel off their teeth!), the Mandarin oranges and the clementines.  And of course I was there to get a fiddle-leaf fig, but they had sooo many dark spots on the leaves.  They were no help in telling me why or how to fix I didn't buy it. : (
Even picked a big pot for one!
The largest!  But then..they didn't have a cart with wheels that wasn't really dirty.  I want it for I'll have to wait.  And just keep looking.
I've learned this little lesson about how good things come to those who wait, so I'm more patient.
..I can wait!
Hope you had a wonderful day outside too! Hugs!

ps..Clay decided to go back to class today.  And he received an apology from the coach.  I just told him I'd support him either way, and he probably chose better than I would have.  God bless him.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hard Day

Once upon a time, there was a sweet boy.  He just wanted to get along with everyone, not rock the boat, just learn, and be.  He worked hard on his lessons, he played even harder.  He was a good son.

The boy already had some strikes against him.  He had diabetes, and he was working to keep everyone happy with his numbers.  It was so hard.  He had sports and p.e. and big meals, and add to that: he was growing.  He liked to stay up late and to sleep in.  But his schedule wasn't always the same, so it was an especially difficult numbers game.  He had been selected and had chosen to take really demanding classes.  He was earning some of his high school credits, but it was fast-paced and a lot of assignments to maintain.

One day, this growing boy went to school and had his regular p.e. class.  They were in the middle of golf lessons.  He was swinging a plastic club against some tennis balls (we have to assume the district can't afford clubs and real golf balls, bless their hearts).  The boy was getting bored with repeatedly hitting the tennis ball, and he began to hit it a little harder.  He didn't hit it too hard, but enough that he set off his bully of a coach.

The coach got in his face, as the boy was away from his friends, and asked why he was so stupid.  Imagine the sweet, confused boy as he looks the coach in the face thinking he misunderstood.  The coach continues, and tells him he needs to go to a doctor to get his head checked to see if he has brain damage.  Then he asks if the boy has brain damage

The boy, now realizing what's happening, looks around to try to figure an escape.  The coach asks again, and the boy says he doesn't think so.  He is so humiliated, so angry, and wants to cry all at the same time.

Since the coach doesn't allow phones in the gym or field, he has no means of help.  The other kids don't see what's happening.  A bully always singles out his prey.

When they're finally released to dress out, the boy starts texting his mom.  Someone who will care.  He tells what happened, since you should always tell.  His mom is so busy calling the school, she barely texts back, "which coach?"

He answers as she is less than a mile away.  By the time his momma makes it into the school office, he's already been called in.  They have a brief moment with the nurse who says she knows something happened since the boy won't talk to her.

They meet with the grade level principal, and they get nowhere.  The principal tells the boy to his face that she doesn't believe him.  His momma is incredulous.  The principal says the coach asked the boys if they were doing something stupid.  The coach denies having singled him out or asking if he was stupid.

It continues.  The principal quizzes the boy.  Who else heard the coach?  Who can corroborate your story?  We've never had anyone speak against this coach.  Momma says coach was here when she was here, and he was mean even then.  Principal is not friendly or polite.  She takes notes like a police officer, asking specific questions.  Momma thinks she's trying to trip up her son.  It's not going well.  She isn't going to do anything about this situation.  She's already writing off the boy who pulled all the courage he had together to speak against a grown man.

Principal asks just what they want to come of this situation.  The boy says he enjoys p.e., and he doesn't know..could he be in another gym class?  Momma says for her son to be out of the coach's class.  Principal says there are only two weeks.  She can stop his grade (it's a 100%), and he can go to the library every day during the class period and take his final in there.  Or go back to class.  They look at each other.  This is not exactly what they said they wanted.  They get until tomorrow morning to decide. 

Principal asks if they have any other "business" with the nurse, and she curtly says Thank You(Apparently it's their dismissal.)  They got up to leave, went into the front office and had to ask the secretaries-with-their-heads-down for a note to get the boy back into class.  Momma reached for it, and she handed it to the boy.

They hug outside the office, and red-eyed boy goes back to his world.  Momma goes home and cries.  How can people be so insensitive?  How does it serve them to cause pain to others?
There are many prayers going up.  Prayers for the coach's heart, his family, his children, the boy's heart, his decision, the right choice (for now and as he grows into a man).  For the principal and her day and her life.  Holy cow, this is character building time.  Scary momma stuff.

And then, just like that, life goes on.  Baby doesn't take a nap, kids are home, dinner needs to be made, and big boy has a concert.  We move on.  Not forgetting, ever thoughtful of decisions that need to be made.

Prayers that the kids that call you momma don't ever have this experience.  And if they some character.  Hugs,  

Sunday, May 17, 2015


I have made new friends this week! : )  The total point of Diabetes Blog Week.  Some are funny, some hilarious and filled with make-me-crack-up language, and some make me gush, and some make me thankful.  And sweet Laddie, who has been leaving comments on everyone's blogs all week!  A true connector.

One of the newest friends I've made (maybe a few months ago?) is Morgan.  She's young and full of energy (a college student and figure skater!), and trying to find balance.  Her story is fascinating to me because her childhood friend had been diagnosed with diabetes when she was 8..and Morgan was diagnosed years later.   

Which leaves me wondering..will there be friends of my kids who will be diagnosed in the future?  Who will look to my sweeties for advice and same-same?  Makes me not want it to happen, but at the same time..oh how I'd have loved for my kids to have had someone to talk to that already knew the ropes.  Hard thoughts.
Grumpy Cat says Diabetes Sux.  Friends make it better though.
Today is the last day of D Blog Week and the official beginning of Laundry Catch Up and Unload the Dishwasher (so we'll have Bowls!), haha!  I'd post pictures..but swimsuits, underpants, and dirty plates are so last year.  I've enjoyed getting back into the blogging habit, and we'll see if I can keep it up.
Ethan had Vocabulary Day at school.  His word was Adventurous!  We made letters and put them on a backpack!  He wore a Panama hat, carried binoculars, map, compass, and notebook!
I think what I have to remember is that it's better to post a tiny bit with no picture than spending 7 hours on a post with edited pictures (I'm no photographer, I just crop and shrink to save space!) (and I think 7 hours includes bathroom breaks, baby baths, please-go-back-to-beds, yogurt snacks, a phone call, and a Pinterest check..) I'm going to make an effort, I'm kinda getting used to dishes in the sink. ; )

**Our topic today is Continuing Connections.  The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it's held every year.  So let's help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you've found or a new friend you've made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant's List, check it out and share it with us.  Let's take some time today to make new friends.

Visit a blogging friend today!  Hugs! : )

Saturday, May 16, 2015


It's so hard to pick a favorite blog post.  I'd normally just pick based on the pictures, cause I'm weird like that.  I love a beautiful house/gorgeous flowers/happy kids/beach picture, haha!  I picked a happy memory when Mary Claire graduated from fifth grade.  I finally let go of my illusion of control (both with her hair and her blood sugars!), let her take off her pump, play in the water with the other kids, and only worried about the pump making it to 3:00.  It's the day I accepted her diabetes (after 9 years..) and decided that I was thankful.  Thankful for the amazing people and world it had introduced me to. (I know I shouldn't end with a preposition..but try rewriting sounds funny!)

And meanwhile?  We've been partying!  Yesterday was Mary Claire's THIRTEENTH birthday!  How did she get so big?!  We had a school dance, Mary Claire's birthday sleepover, and we saw a movie!  (Pitch Perfect 2..and you might not want to take thirteen year olds!!  Eeek!!  I was a little embarrassed, and I was DYING that I'd taken all those girls!  I did ask permission first since it was a last minute idea, but still.  Dying.) 

Just a few pictures of my favorite daughter ever!  Happy Birthday, sweetie!! : )

Her hair is getting sooo long!

After the dance, they had FUN!  and they were hot!!  And they didn't dance with boys..kinda relieved, haha!

at MIDNIGHT after the movie!
Can't wait to see YOUR favorite posts!  I really am so thankful for our online community, my sweet D-Mama friends locally, they are some of my favorite people! : )  Thankful for every day I get to spend with these quickly growing kiddos.  I've started counting time left with a couple of them (till college!).
Hugs, y'all!

**Today’s topic is Favorites and Motivations.  If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blog post that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don't have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?  (Thank you Laddie of Test Guess and Go for suggesting this topic.)**