Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gala Adventures

What an Adventure in Wonderland!  Tonight was our JDRF Gala-and Mary Claire had so much fun...after she warmed up! : )

We got her ready-fresh straight hair (as requested, Mama misses curling her hair!), painted nails, and a sweet new dress and shoes.  She couldn't wait to get dressed-she was ready long before me!

Here's Mary Claire when we were leaving the house:

And then, we got there and had our pictures taken (and printed!) courtesy of HP (thanks, HP!):
So..I was a little uncomfortable-I totally changed my clothes 10 seconds before we left, and I was thinking NO ONE would see me! : O

She however, rocked it! : )
Then we greeted people until all the kids were h-u-n-g-r-y!  We went to the back room, met and ate, and played.  She was kinda nervous and shy at first...

And then, she began to warm up, talk, and dance (and chase), and then it was Time.  Time to go out to help with the live auction and Fund-a-Cure.  She began by taking turns walking clipboards out to the live auction winners for their signatures.  We enjoyed getting to say thank you to the people donating for a CURE!
Taking things in..waiting her turn in a short line to get live auction signatures.

They are just precious! : )  And Megan's hat?  Adorable!!

She's finally all warmed up and HAPPY!

So she began to Dance and spin.  No one was dancing (this was Live Auction time)-they danced to their own tune-so sweet!

I could not tell them to stop-they were so sweet, and they are after all..Kids.

Mary Claire and Emma (Emily)

Mary Claire walking a clipboard out to the registration desk--thanks, Disney, for the awesome sets!

This is right up her alley. : )

Check out that mushroom! : )

And was Fund-a-Cure time.  She held up the first sign, the $5000-she was SO nervous!!

Jonathan in the cool Mad Hatter's hat!

Mary Claire's turn!
Aww..what a night.  We really did have fun, and we met new friends-the kids truly had an awesome evening, and for that I'm super thankful.  And I'm thankful for the (over) $200,000 that was raised tonight! : )  A CURE for Diabetes?  Priceless.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to write, but there are a million things going on.  It just swirls above my head like a big tornado-all messy and confusing.  I think it's called May.  It happens every year about this time-graduations, end of the year for Ches, vacation for us (on his break before summer school starts in May), Mary Claire's birthday, our anniversary, end-of-school year stuff (BBQ, parties, banquets), baseball games, dance recital, diabetes anniversary, etc.  Not to mention our incredibly rough weather-14 inches of rain in less than two weeks-flooding everywhere (PRAY for the people if you have extra prayer time-here, and all over the south-especially Alabama tonight--mile wide tornado through Tuscaloosa-Ches' temporary home for four PhD years), it's been awful.  The sun is our long-lost friend.

I'm trying to plan a birthday party for Mary Claire, but we are going to be gone for vacation the week before her actual birthday (May 15), so we are having trouble!  She wants a pool party, and we did our best to open the pool early to get it ready/clean, but now it's been dumped on, and the chance of it being warm enough is pretty slim.  What to do..nothing like replanning a party a week or two in advance. : /

We are now making invitations that say 'bring your swimsuit, but if it rains we'll go to the movies!"  Ha.  Yes, seriously on the invitation.  Only me.  I think we may even have to move to a Saturday night since we don't fly in until Friday night on the 13th, too late to party. : )

Oh, and ps.  We are going to Florida and Disney and Harry Potter world, woohoo! : )  Ches said we could split up since I am LESS than happy about Harry Potter world, but we owe Clay since last year we went for the grand opening, and they'd moved the opening back a month.  Sadness for my boy.  So, we shall try again, but it's not so girly, and we've ridden all the rides over on that side of Universal Studios.  But I am not confident enough to just go to our own parks that day!  Besides, we all have the same number of days on our Disney passes, so I'd hate to mess that up-it might mean they got to go on a day we didn't!!  Eek!  And that?  ..would be awful!

Alright, Ches says the Office is coming on..I should go.  I miss you, friends.  Sorry it's been so long-I'll do better! : )

ps-I increased Mary Claire's basal by .05 an hour, and she is waking up at about 71.  I guess we took care of the high mornings, but obviously..I have to reign it in.  That scares me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Blessed Easter, and paid-it-forward-forgiveness.  Thank you, God, for your sweet blessings and grace undeserved.
Before we left for church : )  We only took one, so I was hoping it would turn out!

And one at Gigi's-again, I only took two!  I was just enjoying the day today, not so many pictures.
We've had a busy few days (and too much rain and hail damage-to both our vehicles!).  Our trees and grass (and my ferns) are mighty thankful for the abundance of rain, but it's standing-room only now.  Please let it stop.

And BaSKeTs!  I got the Easter baskets finished yesterday:
Clay got a gift certificate for some track...and he turned it in to the shop owner like cash, while Ches was chasing Ethan! haha

This is the front of Clay's..

and the back with a Food Magic kit I got on clearance at Border's-hahaha-it's been fun! : )

Mary Claire's basket..with a new piggy bank!

and Ethan's with lots of cars and his left-handed pencil : )

oh-and the back of Ethan's with a new night-light!
We've seen movies (Water For Elephants, Hop, and African Cats), eaten out (Chili's and Mom's-yum!), and hunted Easter eggs till we have no more dust hiding in our crevices.  We had church this morning, and we always prepare the kids for an hour and a half or more of Mass, so they are mighty thankful that it goes so (relatively) fast.  Ethan was the only one causing a scene with his climbing around, trying to pull my shoe off, etc.  We escaped with only one crayon mark on Clay's pants (thanks to Ethan). : )  green, of course!

I raised Mary Claire's basal rate last night after a disappointing visit to our endocrinologist's office on Thursday (I was finally brave enough to do it).  Her day time blood sugars are totally wonderful, and her night times...not so wonderful.  What I didn't realize (when I'm letting her stay a little higher at night to keep her alive..) is that:
6 hours of bad night time blood sugar + 18 hours of good day time blood sugars = high a1c.

I'm sure this computes to other people, but I'd never thought of it that way.  I always thought of it more like taking 10 blood sugar readings, dividing by 10 and getting a pretty good number for the day.  It doesn't work that way.  You have to weight each by the length of time between each check...which makes the morning check worth so much more!  Ugh. more math to mess me up.  So he convinced me to raise her night time basal to improve her a1c.

Anyway, we started the day at 121, and after lunch, three desserts (it was Easter, and she couldn't decide), she was 114.  I totally thought I was rocking the carb counting...until..the dinner check.  She was 446!  Shock.  Um..can I have a do-over?  She was on a square wave, I did round up, but still didn't get it right.  I swear, those carbs just jump into her blood and multiply like rabbits.  I know, it's the three tiny desserts (she didn't even have 1 inch of pecan pie), and I know, this is part of the a1c problem.  It's just so hard to say no, Jesus died for you, I adore you, but no dessert.  I know, I have the problem.  Please forgive me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sharing Water

Me and my littlest sweetie went out to shop-he was so cute (and a handful!).  I had a $25 off coupon at Pottery Barn, and I just couldn't stand to see it go to waste.  So basically I got us all ready and went spend money to save money.  Seems wrong, doesn't it? heehee

There is a lovely little (man-made) pond at our outdoor mall, and Ethan loves it!  He always wants to throw things in it (coins!), make wishes, and just sit to stare at the water fountain (that keeps algae from growing..).  I snapped some pictures of him with my phone-you know how I am with those pictures from the back.  So quiet and private, but so real.  Like how we see our kids in real life.

Thank goodness Spring is here!  We are super-thankful for warmer days.

Remember this is Holy Week-the highest holy days on the church's calendar, and we are dying to our sin with Christ, only to rise again with Him.  Today is Holy Thursday, and we celebrate the Last Supper with Jesus' disciples and the washing of feet.  Christ was a servant above all, and we have to reflect His love and serve others.

Sometimes it is super hard to put another's need above your own, when you can't see past your own face and problems.  But we can sometimes solve our own problems by listening, understanding (even if we don't like what we hear), and trying to help someone other than ourselves.  It brings clarity.

Today, try to wash someone's feet.  Both really (even your kids or spouse) or just serve another in a humble way.  At our church, the priest really washes a line of people's feet on Holy Thursday.  A few years ago, I was asked to have my feet washed, and at first I was so nervous.  But it was humbling for me too.  Our priest at the time was so sweet, and he poured water and washed and dried each of our feet.  It took a while, but it was moving.

Have you played outside barefoot, then come inside with dirty feet, washed off, and felt so refreshed?  It really is!  And now I understand it.  When you serve your children (we let them sit on the sink counter, and they submerge their feet in kitchen sink), they relax and are so sweet and calm when we are done.  They sleep better.

This is what God wants for us.  To wash our feet and serve us.  He's trying, so can you pay it forward?

ps-we didn't end up buying anything at PB-it was just so fun to hang out together, play with all the lanterns (he loved them!), and be in the sunshine.  SO worth the effort to get out!  Thanks, Pottery Barn for the adventure! : )

Monday, April 18, 2011

Please Eat Your Sugary Cereal

What's worse than a bowl of Cap'n Crunch Berries?  When you give your daughter insulin for them, and she doesn't eat them.

What's worse than her not eating them?  Her not answering when you're yelling for her, then whimpering a reply.  Yikes!

What's worse than dry Cap'n Crunch Berries?  Getting-soggy Cap'n Crunch Berries.

What's worse than convincing a child that the milk smells fine?  Pleading with her to just taste it.

So..she was having an unhealthy bedtime snack (well, it's corn and oats and..there's..Milk!), and disappeared into her room while I was reading bedtime stories to Ethan.  She was oddly quiet-and it was at least 10 minutes post-insulin.  Umm..where was she and why was she not eating?  She thought the milk was bad, so she refused.  Sweet daughter?  ..That's NOT okay!

So..I'm teaching her she has to eat her junk food.  Bad.  But it was just sitting there, the perfect carb count for her insulin.  Next time, I'll make a new bowl with new milk.  Or give her alternatives.  Or start pushing juice.  Or freak out (in front of her) less.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Failing Palm Folding

Love Palm Sunday, Love-Hate relationship with the palms.  Today we got palms at church after they were blessed.  They were beautiful, albeit an attractive nuisance.  I got whacked in the eyes, face, arms, and head repeatedly (and not necessarily in that order).

The kids quizzed me on when I was going to make them something-a cross, bouquet, design, anything with their palms..if you've been Catholic at least one generation, you have quite a repertoire of palm-creativeness up your sleeve.  Especially after palming at least 20-30 Sundays!

I however, have not been a Catholic for an entire generation, so I don't have a repertoire.  I don't have even one design, unless you count the gum wrapper design where you fold two papers back and forth over each other for approximately five folds (although I bet I could make at least 15-20 folds with a palm!).  That's it.  It's all I can do.  I look at other people's busywork (as our readings and homilies are particularly l-o-n-g the last three weeks of Lent- Mass has been running at least 30 minutes late, according to my childrens tummies and their more-frequent time checks) and see that they are folding, bending, tucking, knotting, and I'm feeling hugely underqualified (is inadequate a better word?) in a crafty area-an area I'd like to think I excel in.  I mean crafting, not palm-folding.

I forget the rest of the year how it feels, so I forget to ask for lessons.  And if you let them dry out-like even for a day-it's too late.  They are dry and Fra-G-Le.  Ask me.  I've had last years palms brushing all across my van's dash for a whole year.  I know all about them.  You are supposed to keep them all year (yes, ideally in the house!), then return them for Ash Wednesday to burn them for ashes, but we always forget.  And apparently forget to learn how to fold them.

This older lady at the back of church today made this amazing, zig-zagged arching thing with a tied fluffy/pointy thing at the end (check out C1-The Square Cone here)-then gave it away to a little girl who oogled it-So Sweet!  Wish she'd share her knowledge and history. : )

Oh. My. Gosh.  Guess what I found when I felt sorry for myself and googled?  This awesome site with ViDeOs and designs!  Next year, I'll be the BOMB! : )  I think I'll try the Grasshopper!  Ha.  I will teach Palm Origami during Lent next year.  I'll be ready. : )

Here are all the awesome Palm Folding Design sites, in case you want to learn too!
Palm Weaving, the Story and the Art
Fun With Flax (book)
And here's a video with instructions : )
and check out these amazing pictures of folded palms-fancy style!

Can you fold palms into magical creations?  What can you make?  And..can you remind me next year around Ash Wednesday to start practicing?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chocolate Eggs

Oh my goodness-we had such a full day!
It started with this little man calling my name through
It looks strangely familiar..maybe like a vacuum tool?

And if you are is what the tooth fairy left my big boy:
It was all taped together : )  She's made butterflies, bowties, fairies, and this was a train!

We started with a trip to our local humane society-we'd heard about a puppy mill that got busted (and for drugs and guns too), and they had taken 50 miniature poodles there.  We called early today, but they were almost gone.  We decided to go on over there, even if just to visit the dogs, and think about another animal..

I took no pictures-the facility was surprisingly awful!  It was a quonset hut, and a lot of dogs were in outside pens, and the drive was dirt..just not what I expected.  It was also right by a bread factory, so it had this awful smell of biscuits baking.  Normally I like a hot food smell, but mixed with dog, it was nauseating.  Anyway, we didn't find our dream dog (don't even know what that is!), but we petted lots of them. : )

Then we went to an Easter egg hunt!  It was the first annual Hershey's Easter egg hunt, with proceeds benefiting the Children's Shelter of Northwest Arkansas.  The grand opening was today following the 'Hunt.  We were really surprised that ALL the eggs had prizes-mostly Hershey's chocolate!  After all the kids had collected eggs, I felt bad we didn't donate MORE!  We got so much chocolate! : )
waiting for the "Go!" signal

the little kids got to have a parent help them : )

He had more than enough help opening and checking all his eggs : )

..and he got a Golden Ticket for this sweet Hop bunny!

We discouraged the rock skipping, really.

Big kids all lined up.

Clay is formulating a plan to get the most number of eggs possible.

Isn't it beautiful?  So much potential.

Ready to go!

He smiled, he smiled, he smiled! At me!  : )

Go!  And they are off.  Here's the plan: don't stop for the close ones, head to the middle, and clean up. paid off. : )  She got three Golden Tickets!
They got golden tickets to trade in for things that didn't fit inside the eggs: chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, a Hop bunny rabbit, and a set of Hop playing cards.  We really had fun-there was a small lake (and the kids threw rocks in), a beautiful play area, concrete walking trails/sidewalks, nice restrooms-I had never even heard of Orchard Park, but I'd totally take the kids back to play-it was huge!

Then we went to Sam's to get me a new flat iron-mine died.  Only Problem?  When I got it opened, I found out it doesn't have a temperature control, so I don't think I can keep it.  I like my hair too much to burn it off.
Well, broke really.  All those parts came out of the inside. : (  RIP Chi.
And then to Chili's for lunch/dinner since we had some extra time..and we played with the Hop cards!  The suits are single white eggs, a pile of colored jelly beans, a wrapped candy, and a multi-colored egg.  So cute!

Next (since we try to cram it all in, and Clay has baseball for 3.5 hours tomorrow + church), we went to the movies to see Rio!  I was concerned at first since it seemed like it was going to be about hooking up the blue macaws to get them to reproduce-similar to that wolf movie, Alpha & Omega.  It ended up pretty good, and I had some tears!  There was also a little orphan boy who got a home, the caretakers got a family, some really wonderful music (Will.I.Am!) and of course there was a happy ending.  So sweet.  I loved the voices (especially Linda's-Leslie Mann-and Blu's-Jesse Eisenberg-remember him from The Social Network?)!  I was happy by the time we left, and there was no hook-up scene, so Thankful.

Then, we made our way home and the kids played egg-hunt-hide-and-seek in the yard till dark, and I cleaned.  Why?  Oh, I don't know.  I just love my new vacuum, and I put on clean sheets.  Just feels all fresh. : )

Hope you had a great Saturday with your family too!  Cherish the days, they fly.  Unlike Blu. heehee : )

Friday, April 15, 2011

Saving Money and Tooth Fairy Money

Can I just say 18 times that I *love* my friends (and family and husband)? : ) 

Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends, Love my friends!
heehee, I think I like the number 18-my old post office box when I was growing up, my old phone number growing up (ended with 1818), the number of times I got parking tickets...just kidding! : )

Anyway, yesterday I was sitting in the floor folding clothes telling Ches that the kids needed spring clothes-you know, those clothes you wear between winter and summer (seriously-not sweaters, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes, but not spaghetti straps and short shorts with sandals)  Like..capris that fold up and button, and short sleeves and little sweaters and stuff.  And..guess what my magical, perfect, God-chose-him-for-me-husband said?  Ok..guess!

"I think you need a trip to Branson."  (the most wonderful words he speaks..besides I love you, heehee)  I looked at him, and wholeheartedly agreed. ; )  He said I should go tomorrow (today!).  I said that sounded great! (Yipee!)

I cleaned the kids' closets all day yesterday pulling too-small clothes, and making Mary Claire try on scads of clothes to see if they'd make it another year.  She has a love/hate relationship with clothes (where I'm concerned)-she loves them, she hates to try them on.  Anyway, I made a list of what they needed, printed coupons, gathered mailed sale ads, and set my alarm.  I had to shower early, get the copies at the school made early, and head east (well, northeast!), since it's a two-hour drive.

I made great time, and got started.  I met a friend for lunch (the manager at Gymboree-we met years ago at Gap-literally, like maybe 8 or 9 years ago?  I don't even remember.  Anyway, she had this superbly awesome pen-a Bic fine point accountant pen..they used to have blue lids and a little silver clip, I'm assuming to clip to your shirt, haha!  Ok, so anyway, I made over her pen, and she gave it to me-so sweet! and helped me find my new favorite jeans that lasted almost five years.  She also sent me to find my next favorites..Lucky's! : )  We've been friends-and sharing our fave pens and clothes-ever since!)  Anyway, I shopped the day away, didn't bathroom break from 10:30am till 10pm, so I think I was busy. : )

They had AMAZiNG sales.  Really, I caught store sales, and I had printed out coupons for all of them, so in some stores I got 30-40% off the entire store, and then I had 20% off my entire purchase (Cha-ching!). Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Gap-it was awesome!

I guess you have to be flexible and plan around the sales.  And, I'm pretty flexible.  I can apparently plan and leave in a day's notice.  I did plan to be home by 4 or 4:30, but I move into a time machine in Gymboree, and it takes me hours to plan matching outfits, and if they don't have all my matching sizes, we have to call other stores to get stuff shipped to my house.  Fun stuff.

Okay, so I get home, the kids jump all over the bags, open and sort clothes, tell me what they like the best, we read bedtime stories (so glad I made it!) and then Clay tells me he's lost a tooth again! (I think this is the 14th)  Ches tells him it's his last, that the tooth fairy quits coming when you're ten.  He gets all sad (yes, I think he fully understands the Process), and I feel so sorry for him, give Ches the eye (but he did let me go shopping today..), and I tell Clay that he should just try it.

He asks to write the tooth fairy a letter, and disappears into my bedroom with the computer.  The next time I see him, he has a mistake-free (spell-proofed!) letter, edges scalloped with a punch, and the letter is so grown up.  When did he go and grow up on me?  In the last 20 minutes?

I took a picture, since sometimes the tooth fairy takes the tooth/letters since she was told to remove things a couple years ago. ; ) He went to bed with hope that she'd leave either a $5 or an Easter egg hunt help (umm..what?) for him.  I sure hope she doesn't let him down-he has big expectations.

Here is the text if you can't read it (since I am so tech-saavy I can copy from Word!):

Dear Tooth Fairy,

         This is my last tooth that I will have you handle. I am sincerely sorry, but your job is done for me. I wish you luck on your never-ending journey of taking children’s teeth, while giving them money. All Tooth Fairys started out in Europe, then came to America somehow. When I grow up, I may not believe in you. I will pass you on to my children and my grandchildren. I will always remember the  magic, and fun of the Tooth Fairy, meaning….. You!!

                                                  Clay Jones

What to do.  What to do.  And he wants her to write him back. Cough, cough.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


My daughter was stalking a site I love tonight, and reading all about a computer-friend who has diabetes.  It was a little surreal having Mary Claire read her diagnosis story, compare it to her own, with me crying all the while.  Ugh.  It's hard!  It was the best talk, reminiscing about her own diabetes drama almost seven years ago.  Bless her heart-and we think we just move on after a couple years.  Nope, it's still here.  It says it's here to stay.

She also watched her video placing a site on her daughter, and she's considering making her own video for other kids.  She's not allowing the site (well, the camera!) on her bottom, so it'll have to be a tummy site, and she has to work up the nerve to do it on video.  I think as you get older, you change.  She's never been really ashamed of diabetes but never really proud either.  She's okay with me explaining what I'm doing, but sometimes she is super-bashful when I pull out her pump in public!  I can't imagine it differently, actually, but it's how we keep her alive.

No one understands our life (unless they have Type 1 diabetes in their family!), so it's hard to talk about.  It seems like if we start talking basal or bolus ratios, or sites or checks, or even carbs or reduced basals, even our closest friends can glaze over.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry it's part of our language, and that there's no language class available.  I try to explain, but I think I make it worse.

Forgive her for being the "special" kid in class, the one with the bent-down mommy checking on her, the one who gets a special plate with counted snacks, the one who carries a bag around, the one who gets attention if she starts to mumble and not make sense.  We really wish she wasn't the special kid, we want her to be like the other kids.  Or are they just special in their own way?

This week has been Benchmark Testing.  She's had testing, and questions, and writing every morning, and she's making it.  I've been trying so hard to keep her blood sugar constant and even.  She loves her breakfast cereal, so I've added a peanut butter "popsicle" (just a long teaspoon full of peanut butter!) every morning.  She's hitting 140-146 every morning about 9:40, but it's not too bad.  I just don't want her to go low and mess up her test that means so much to the school.  She really needs her site changed tonight, but I know that it would mean a low tomorrow morning with new insulin.  I have to decide whether to let her skin go another day..or to risk low blood sugars and her test scores.  Such a dilemma.

I've also sent snacks every day for her morning break.  Since we didn't want to throw in a snack with carbs (thus another blood sugar check, bolus, and monitoring), we made up meat/veggie snack bags.  Every day she gets a snack baggie with salami, turkey, and sugar snap peas.  She's happy, I'm happy.  And she can keep going on her testing.

She is currently 130, so I think we are going to hold out to site change till tomorrow.  She had dance tonight, so that will keep her blood sugar at bay for another couple hours, and we'll watch it tonight.  Decision point comes in the morning when we face the music: was it a good decision, or rapid-change time? : )

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Pictures, Please

Beautiful days are definitely a gift!  We played outside then went down to the Fayetteville Square to eat dinner at Tiny Tim's Pizza, one of our old hangouts.  Ches had an honors convocation at the Town Center on the square that he had to attend, and he didn't finish teaching until 4:50, and the reception began at 5:30!  We ordered ahead, and he went closer to 5:45.  Then I let the kids visit the bronze Peace fountain which they used to play around when they were little.  I worked really hard to find old pictures of them, but it was pre-digital pictures.  Today's will have to suffice!
It's ten feet around!

I wish I had the old pictures when they were tiny to show you.  It's such a comparison.  They are tall enough to see into the water now!

Time out for a dead bug.

Back to climbing and checking out bugs and coins in the water!

Isn't he darling?  He's telling the water his wish (that he gets a plane!) before he throws his coin in. sweet!
Then we walked around the square, where all those tulips are finally blooming-just gorgeous!
Big, fat peonies!  Hope mine are getting ready to pop through the ground...

I just love pictures from the back..can you tell? : )

How wonderful are these tulips!?  Yes, there's a path through the back! ; )

Check out that flower that broke off!

Wait..there's another dead bug!  ..Let us see!
Check out these tulips.

..and he found something else to climb.

I swear she poses herself!

Check this out.  I guess I should not worry about low self-esteem? ; )

So sweet.  They are growing up right in front of me.
Of course they are climbing.. : )
So sweet..except when Ethan refused to get in the car, and yelled that he wanted to stay and take more pictures with the flowers.  Ha!  What a day.