Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fork and Spoon

Cirque du Soleil was wonderful!  We've been busy, but I'm still trying to get a nap in most days. ; )  Yesterday after Cirque, we fit in a movie-ha!  Ches wanted to check out the "fork and spoon" movies (really, they're called fork and screen-but he keeps calling them that since I think it's funny).  You can eat in your movie-I know bigger cites have them, but we don't have them yet at home, so..we saw Three Musketeers (only because it was fork and spoon!)

And..did I mention that I've heard the baby's heartbeat every least once a day?  I ordered (rented from a medical-grade doppler last week, and got it in time to bring it with me!  I've even started charting the heart rate to watch for changes.  I know, I know a bit obsessive..but you'd do it too if you had my history!

It's the best.  I did ask my doctor what he thought about it a few weeks ago, and he didn't recommend it.  He thought if there was a day I couldn't find the heartbeat I'd be more worried.  (Thank goodness that hasn't happened!)  I have to tell him when I go back next Monday that I don't need to see him as often now..and I'll have to tell him why. ; )

My friend, Jenifer, took Mary Claire to the doctor to get her site changed yesterday.  It totally went well!  I was SO relieved.  I talked to her before and after, and she was so good.  She got to open her little surprise I'd gotten her (new monogrammed tiger-striped pump pouch, a new *I love bling* hand gel, and a tiny Reese's peanut butter cup).  I told her she could have the Reese's, since she had new insulin.

At 2:00, an hour after her site change, her blood sugar was 99-Perfect! 3:40, she was 304-Not Perfect!  Freaked my mom out..and we weren't sure if it was the .4/hour she had missed (was the pump not working?), or the tiny 4g Reese's?  We troubleshot (past tense of -shoot?) the site, prime, insulin coming out?, basal, you name it-we checked it.  All minutes before we left for Cirque since we are an hour later here!

She did fine-but scary when the thing you depend on to keep your daughter alive (and allow her to eat!), isn't going so well.  I got all nervous, since we don't fly back till Sunday.  That's why we don't ever go for seven days!  ..Now I remember.  Whew.

So thankful to report..she's doing well.  I am thankful.  There are others around us right now not doing so well-I have a friend (only 37) with a brain tumor who is losing her fight (two weeks left), so please pray for her.  Pray for those who want to work and support their families, but are having trouble.  Pray for those with medical problems that God will intervene and hold them in the palm of His hand.  We have today-let's do what we can to help those around us.  (..I'm currently assuming it's my personal job to drive over to the gas station across the street every time I see people pulling up to pump gas-it's $5.89/gallon there-and people don't know!  Can you imagine your bill hitting $100?  It's just evil.  And all other gas stations are only $3.39 FYI.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't forget the Site Change!

Florida's a funny place.  I come all the way down here, and it's like another country.  There are so many different people and languages-and I come all this way-and meet someone at Wal-Mart (ha! they have them here too!) who lives an hour from me.  Isn't it a small planet?  Pretty cool.  And they were decked out in Mickey shirts. ; )

We have been total tourists today-shopping, eating, seeing a movie, buying Mickey treats, and last night?  We made a huge decision!  We come down here about twice a year (yes, airfare is cheap from our local airport!), and I always cry when I see the Cirque du Soleil La Nouba signs around Orlando-I've always wanted to go..and Ches?  Not so much.  Add to that the expense, and that we usually have kids (they'd love it!), and the expense of equals a big no-go.

But after having experienced loss and missed opportunities, I think we see things differently now (or he does.) ; )  When we got to town, he kept reminding me to book tickets for a show (!) to see the Cirque.  I have been beside myself.  And..after being told to do it, the practical side kicks in...we shouldn't.  Then, when you go check out seats and prices, you get only ten minutes to make up your mind to get the sale completed, or you lose those seats you've just nabbed!  So, picture it: three times-I even had my credit card entered, and moved my mouse to the Complete Transaction, and it timed out!  By then, I was committed.

Today, we went to Will Call to pick up our tickets.  I'm so excited!  I'd think I was ten.  (I kinda am on the inside!)  Anyway, we are going on Wednesday, I can't take a video or photos, but I will be taking tissues.  Am I emotional or what?  (yeah, don't answer)

We talked to the kids this evening, and they are doing well.  They got their report cards, and Clay and Mary Claire both got five A's-yay!  They are doing well, and we are so proud of them.  : )  Now, if we can get diabetes nailed down, we'll have this parenting thing!  (like nailing Jell-o down..)

When we travel, I usually change Mary Claire's site the day we leave, the day we come back, and if we are gone for long..a site change in between.  Well, I changed her Friday with the plan to change her site Sunday before we left town.  What happened Sunday?  I got all busy making lists (, eating out, kids' haircuts..), packing, changing sheets, etc. and TOTALLY forgot to change her site.  I feel awful!  I's the MOST important thing about us being gone, the MOST important thing about my job..and I have to say-I did not get an A.  My kids totally score higher than me, and I'm so happy I don't get grades anymore.

Thankful I'm only ten on the inside ; )

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Still going...thump, thump, thump...

Hey ya'll!  How's your part of the world?  Ours is frigid (well, comparatively so) now!  Eighty-five degrees on Sunday has turned into a low of 30 and a high of 53 today-with 25 mph winds!  brrrr!  Crazy Arkansas weather.  If you don't like it, wait till'll be different. : P

I raced to a specialist's office early this morning (my appointment was at 7:30am!) for a Nuchal Tranclucency Test.  It combines an ultrasound (sign me up!) with blood tests for your chances of a few chromosomal abnormalities, like Down's Syndrome and Trisomy 18.  I got a little nervous last night and did some reading.  It doesn't really tell you if you have problems, it just gives you a better look at your odds, which can help you make a more informed opinion about an amniocentesis (no thank you) or chorionic villus sampling (ditto).  It was recommended based on my age.  (insert good age joke here...I can't think of one.)

I'm thrilled to report it went well!  The first ultrasound probably lasted about 45 minutes (yes, really!), then the doctor wanted to try one of his new machines, so we went into another room for another ultrasound.  He checked for the signs of no abnormalities: two lobes of the brain, a nasal bone (well, I know it's cartilage), a hard palate forming, parallel "train track" ribs, a four-chambered heart with no leakage, a functioning stomach and bladder, and an unclenched hand. He also measured the fluid in the back of the neck (nuchal translucency), the thigh bones, and the entire baby's crown-to-rump body length.  

Then...he asked if we wanted to know what it was.  Umm..yes!  He wasn't absolutely positive since it's so early, but he thinks it's a boy.  We've totally been told girl based on the fast heartrate (today was 153), but I know that's an old wives' tale.  Mary Claire won't be thrilled (and I told her it might be a possibility today..but she still holds out hope!).  I am happy it's still going, and that it's healthy.  I can't stress over the gender today.  It'd be closest to Ethan in age, and they'd be good I think we'll be fine either way.

Then I had some blood drawn for rest of the test (the two are done independently but they compare the data in both) in the lab.  They came back to get me to see if they could do another ultrasound!  The Philips rep had come in, and they were trying to fine-tune the new machine, and they needed a guinea pig (or baby, it so happens!).  I am happy to oblige and watch another few minutes of Baby. ; )  He did some of the same measurements, and kept getting the same numbers.  Machine works great! : )

He gave me a cd, and I was just sure it was 45 minutes of watching my baby move around...but no.  It was just two pictures.  What a let down!  At least I got pictures?  I tried to load them, but it's not working.  : (  I'd take pictures of the pictures and upload..but my camera is broken.  What's a girl to do?

...I finally got a new microwave to fill the big hole in my kitchen today.  Exciting day!  I can now nuke popcorn, soup, and leftovers.  Rock On.  It's not as nice as I thought it'd be, but it works, and it's done, and that is priceless. ; )

Ches and I are going to Amelia Island, Florida on Sunday for a fun getaway, and I'm trying to tie up loose ends before we leave.  I had to get Clay to decide on a Halloween costume; he could not deal with limitless possibilities.  So, I narrowed them down for him...I bought four, and told him to take his pick!  I have to return the other three, but I'm thrilled to have that one thing marked off my list! : )

And..are you wondering about Mary Claire and her pump site while I'm gone??  (We haven't been gone more than 4-5 days since 2008 when we went to Nice, France!)  There is this nurse at our endocrinologist's office who changed her pump site then...and she said she'd do it again!  (You should totally check into that, BTW-it's awesome!).  I usually get her a gift card to say thank you-because she is truly invaluable!  ..I mean it means I get to go on a vacation.  I have a sweet friend who is taking her..I have to get her something too!! : )

I'm so blessed.  My mom who will watch my kids (and encouraged me to go away for longer!), my friends who'll drive my kids around (and to the doctor even!), my doctor who'll indulge all my strange desires for lab work and keep me confident and sane, my husband who works hard to support our family and fund our trips, and for my kids who are über excited for a brother or sister (not all kids want to add another to their family!), and for this sweet baby who might just stick this out.  What huge blessings! : )

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saint Louis

Friday we checked the kids out of school early...we were going to St. Louis!  We had planned a DOC (Diabetes Online Community) meetup for this weekend (but at the last minute it fizzled out), and since our room was already paid (and we couldn't get a refund!), we went anyway.

Friday night we only had time to eat out and go to the Chesterfield mall-the temperature had dropped so we needed a visit to Justice to get a sweater. ; )  We only checked out a few stores since we were all really tired-and the mall closes at 9! : )

Saturday morning started bright and early-the kids couldn't WAIT!!  We told them the first place they got to go..(Clay prefers it to Disney-even the RiDeS!)..was the City Museum.  I'm sure if you've been following me, you've heard about this at least a couple times already.  We always think we've done it all...but then they add caves, secret passageways-and we found the 10-story slide for the first time and a HUGE rope swing!  They evolve too-love it!

Here are some pictures from our City Museum visit (before my camera went kaput.) : (
We usually park in paid street parking, but this time-we were so early, there was room in the PARKING LOT!  We usually come in the evening-DAY is where it's at! : )  Check out those airplane fuselages and caged tubes to crawl through!

There is the school bus hanging over the rooftop (above the 10th floor), and see that big cage with a metal spire (remember where that is for future reference!)

The kids super excited planning their day!  And doing some oooh's and ahhhh's!

But first?  A train ride.  Through tunnels and around the third floor of the museum.

And then some fun new goofy things, like the Midwest Spatula Museum. ; )

And the hall of mirrors, where flashes aren't really your friends.

And something to make you think.  "What if imagination and art are not frosting, but the fountainhead of human experience?" -Rollo May      ...I always agree.

So..use your imagination.  Who wore the largest underwear in the world? ; )  Oh, and don't touch them.

Love an opportunity to stick your head through a hole!

A good visit with creatively built robots would foreshadow the remainder of our day. ; )

Fun Zone!  I don't know if you can see, thanks to the gorgeous sun, but Clay is crawling across the ceiling in those white bars, Mary Claire is crawling over the rainbow bridge, and Ethan is in the big ball pit.  Love the exercise they get!!

Toddler Area..only lasted a few minutes.  And there are movie theater seats all around the kids' zones. = Happy Mommas.

Big quarter and half pipes.  They run up them after getting a good start, then s-l-i-d-e!  All around us are little holes/walkways in the walls-they are all part of a huge maze with tons of exits.  Clay assures us he knows his way around, and he comes out where planned.  Is that possible?

Then on to the concrete inner shell shapes.  Ethan is a conqueror.  He has to run up the steepest side, and hold on for dear life.  Then he slides to the bottom. : )

I got a picture...of all three!  Then they scattered again.  If I'd never been there, I'd have panicked, but they really do know their way around.

Love the rope swings.

And then they played piano.  Can you see all the carvings in the wood?  There isn't a bare spot on it!

Clay's happily playing solo.

And then...I check out, and check into Watching/Photographer Mode.  They are crawling through the wire tunnels out to the first airplane fuselage.

And now..they have crawled out to the second airplane, and onto the castle rooftop.  Can you see the tiny red on top?  That's Clay standing on the roof, outside the caging, me freaking out. Ches is with them, but I'm still freaking out.

Then they crawl back to the first airplane.

I'd be petrified!  Even when I'm not pregnant, I've never crawled out there.  Ches has to be the brave one.  I do Disney roller coasters, he does wire crawling.  It's a deal.

And then they are crossing over to the tree house-thing.  There are two people in front of them going v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, and Ethan is right up on them.  I can't figure out where Ches is.

A little boy freaked out (like I would do!), and his mommy had to set him on her legs and crab walk out of there!  (Who would take me out?)

He finally crosses when they are almost done-he said the tunnel was shaking with that many people, and he wasn't going out till he could go straight across!

Then..on to the ROOF!  There's so much more to do!  They started with the giant slide.  You walk/pull yourself up the right side, then slide down.  (There are steps along the left side if you aren't into the climb.)

Another slide.  You walk up the caged area on the top, then slide down under the walkers!

Remember that caged spire on the roof top?  Eleven stories up, by the edge?  Yep, there's my boy at the very top!  Ahhhhh!!!!

Very proud of himself.  It makes me nervous.  But I would it be to keep them in a bubble, and not let them live?  What if he got sick in a couple years, and I'd kept him safe at home for years?  I'd totally regret it.  I vote Experience.  I hope it pays off in the future..and not with a daredevil career.

The sister can do whatever her brother does..and with style! ; )

Above the city.

Hark-a new toy!  It's a HUGE dome, and you can crawl up the insides, and swing from the thick rope swing!

Looking up..and there's my little monkey!  He's fast.  Ches ran up the stairs outside-to be on the top when he came out!

Clay in the cage right above the rope-and he bounced.  Fear strikes me here.

Mary Claire scaling up the wall (they are caged against the wall by welded bars)-who invented this place??

They certainly have a sense of humor.  This is the mens/boys/rooster bathroom.

And the women/men/disabled bathroom.  This is where my camera broke.  I hung it on the door handle, locked it, and Mary Claire thought it'd be funny to wiggle/shake the door handle from the outside.  When the door handle was turned, the strap fell down, and the camera hit the floor.  Now the lens won't totally go in, so you can't get the lens cap on..and it won't focus anymore.  So, a few scratchy pictures later...and it died.
So, from here pictures till I get a new camera. : (  We still had fun, and after some lunch, caves, and the ten story slide, we left for new territory.

We went back to the mall, watched Real Steel in IMAX, then had some Macaroni Grill for dinner.  The kids just love to color on the table! ; )

(and we found a gas station in St. Louis that is giving out free car washes to black and orange cars on Halloween.  Cool.  (Ches claims discrimination, but my van is black!) heehee

Ok, a note on the movie.  It was PG-13, but the only thing they hadn't seen.  We checked the ratings, and it was the same as Dolphin Tale...but I'll tell you: LOTS more language.  Lots of words I didn't like (some just used over and over again), some robot violence-they are boxing, and one adult kiss.  Mary Claire was grossed out over the kiss and language, so I had to apologize profusely to her, Clay said it was fine, and Ethan didn't really notice.  He just did some boxing moves afterward (and I wondered if he'd continue..but they're gone!)

Now it's Sunday, and we are headed home.  Only one trip back to the room to get the blanket I left (and a small panic attack over my sunglasses-but we found them!).  We are planning to stop at Ches' mom's house on the way home to visit, but we'll be home by bedtime.  It's a long drive!

And..I think we finally figured out her on-the-road pump basal!  We tried adjustments a couple times on the way here, and kept rechecking (you'd think we'd have nailed it on our 24-hours-each-way trip to the east coast this summer, but no.).  But, 170% seems to be her magic number.  I think we may have had other issues on that trip, but she's fine now.  We did really well!

At the City Museum, we had some constant checking-all that activity kept driving her low!  So she had a free mini-lunch.  We can't mess around with those 50's.  She left her meter with me while she was in those high-in-the-sky wire tubes, so I made her take her vial of Nerds with her...just in case!  That makes me as nervous as the high climbing, I just try not to let on too much-I hate to ruin a great day.  And it was pretty great. : ) 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ultrasound Pix and What I Think About

I can't believe all the years I spent being unthankful for the kids' health when they were babies (and when they were preborn).  I used to smile when the doctor listened to the heartbeat, but I expected it.  I didn't think bad things really happened to people like me. makes me cry to hear a heartbeat.

I had a good doctor's appointment last Friday-an ultrasound then doppler to see if we could pick it up yet (my doctor's good like that-he knew if we did doppler first, I'd freak out for a few minutes till we saw an ultrasound!), but we couldn't.  But everything was fine, and we knew since we'd just seen a strong heart on ultrasound.

Today, different story.  We went in just for doppler, to hear the heartbeat (we thought I was ready.  Ha!)  We saw a new doctor (they called at nine last night to say my doctor had a family emergency, and they rescheduled me), and she was sick, but wonderful.  She got it.  (Very Important.)  She tried doppler for a few minutes, but no luck.  We were sent down to the high tech ultrasound (finally...abdominal ultrasound!), and I experienced some déjà vu right away.

The last time I'd been in that room was with the twins last March.  I was also 12 weeks exactly.  So to sit on that table..was surreal.  Then she started the ultrasound, and last year came flooding back-my ignorance that there was no sound coming from the babies, my ignorance when she said she was going to get the doctor.  All of it, was right there in the room with me.

I just cried when I heard the heartbeat and she measured the sound waves to get a strong heartbeat of 164.  Just relief and thankfulness.
Real Sound Waves!

The baby was moving all over the place, but she caught a side profile ; )
My friends tell me all those prayers we prayed for all those babies were saved up, and they are for this baby.  I don't know, I just trust that God has a plan, I'm in it, and and currently we have a very healthy, exact-size-for-date baby growing.  Could it really be the real thing?  Could I really meet this child?  That's what I think every day.

That and I wish it was easier to go to the bathroom.  Pregnancy and progesterone really slow down your system.  I only share this for selfish reasons.  ADVICE??  Yes, I'm eating fiber, fruits and vegetables, beans...but dairy is my enemy.  And I need calcium!  I'm going to work on it-I just looked up top sources of calcium and get this, here they are in order:
1. dried herbs (!)
2. cheese
3. sesame seeds
4. tofu
5. almonds
6. flax seeds
7. yogurt, milk, and other dairy (really, down at #7?)
8. green leafy veggies
9. brazil nuts
10. herring (no, thanks)

See?  I'm going to be okay.  I'll eat some dried herbs and almonds, and lots of sesame seeds. : )  (and don't nuts have fiber?)

Praying for all my pregnant friends, and those that desperately want a child (I know how that feels too), that they may see the joy in a sweet baby, new from Heaven.  And for friends and relatives newly in Heaven-that they rock the babies already there.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lost in a Maze, but a Razorback Maze...Woo Pig Sooie!

We're gonna do some catching up! ; )  We have been enjoying our sweet fall days-sweaters in the morning, shorts in the afternoon..and lots of pumpkins! : )

Last week, Clay had a school Musical, School Daze! : )  He had a solo, so we were excited to hear him-he's had speaking parts, but not a singing part before.  He did really well!  Ethan opted to sit on the row in front of us, with our neighbors! : ) ..until he leaned back and hit his head -wham!- on the seat.  Then..he was all ours again! ; )  He's in turquoise squished in the row below:

Here's Clay (in blue stripes) singing his solo!  It had a High School Musical (basketball/PE) vibe!
And then..we jump to my newest wreath!  I started with fall leaves/sunflowers/pumpkins, but it looked really plain from the street.  I decided to dress it up for Halloween with some orange sparkly tulle, a black/silver bow, and a big black J that was just sitting in the laundry room waiting for a job!  Kinda busy, but I'm not a plain girl. ; )

Oh, look what I found.  My broken lamp.  A picture from my phone for posterity (and a baby book!)

Clay playing catcher at his game last game.

And Ethan yesterday making Momma cry.  He got stuff out of the Recycle bin, and was copying the letters off the boxes and cartons onto the driveway with sidewalk chalk! : )  He's so smart!  And he was singing the sweetest songs, but I couldn't catch them on the voice recorder.
And yesterday?  An awesome time at Sandra's house with the kids carving pumpkins!  I know she took great pictures, but I was plagued with an awful headache (today makes three days..) so I didn't take any.  I just enjoyed watching the kids.  And I made a big "J" on my pumpkin, but the holey part of the J fell out-I'll do better next year.  It's an arty J now!

And today?  The Ozark Corn Maze!  Here is an aerial picture of the maze (Can you say, AWESOME?):
Can you see the big Razorback leaning on the A?  And the Go Hogs?  We were lost in there! ; )
The girl scout juniors (and sisters!) before the Corn Maze!

Cute photo op...except the blue pumpkin-headed scarecrow is tired of pictures.  Or just plain tired.

They had a petting zoo-with goats and sheep.

They were feeding the sheep hay!

They were conning this perfectly sane goat to go UP this crazy contraption!  Here is the bottom..

..and here's the top!  Can you imagine?  (When we pulled into the parking lot I was freaking out thinking the kids were going to climb up to see the corn maze from above!  S-C-A-R-Y!

Then we rode the tractor/wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch to find our very own pumpkins..

Mary Claire loved the teeny ones!

We stayed till they closed down, and the sun was setting-a great trip! : )