Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pods and Paint!

So...when God offers you a blessing, you should say Yes.  And you realize it means you are gaining a huge potential for excitement!  But with that comes a potential for disappointment if that blessing is delayed, hurt, injured, or lost.

It's still worth it in the end, but still.  A painful growth period always follows. : )

My cutie the fall we moved into our last house. : )

Boo at the Zoo a couple years later.  (Mary Claire and Ethan look tired! )

Little Mermaid and a skeleton a year later : )

Aren't they sweet?

This year at Farmland Adventures!   (I know it's hard to tell, but he's a crocodile!)  Big kids have elected not to dress up.  Even though that means no trick-or-treating.

We have had blessings rain on us..both joyful and not.  This diabetes thing is such a mixed blessing.  We love that it brought us together with amazing people. (Especially at Farmland Adventures last week!)  And yet, the daily grind included two 42's today.  In one child!  Whew, that makes them feel awful! : (

This house is our other baby.  And..we found out it is going to be another SiX weeks.  And I thought I could pull through without my boots and warm clothes. : (  Maybe not.  It's going extremely slowly right now.  Sheetrock was finished September 15, and we were still on time..but paint has taken over a month.  We are still hoping it'll be done this Friday.  I know, we'll have forgotten this in a year..but it sure feels like a weight this year!

So..pigs DO fly!  (yep, I actually have a flying pig in my garage..we are Razorbacks after all!)  The painting is nearly done.  Here are a few pictures:
This is Benjamin Moore's Woodlawn Blue (HC-147, I think).  Love!

Same color in a few rooms in the house!

Sherwin William's Anew Gray. : )  That's the linen cabinet for my bathroom..guess it walked out of the bathroom.


Study..more Woodlawn! : )
We are trying to be patient.  We've waited so much longer for other things.  I know it'll come together.  (I'm only this calm since we will lose our rate lock, and the rate has gone down.  Ask me how I feel again in a month. ; )

All things considered, we are making it one day at a time.  Clay has had some amazing blood sugars, meaning he's still making a little insulin..meaning he's also had a few lows.  We'll figure it out.  We also received our trial Omnipods and PDM, and he will start it tomorrow after school!  We'll let him choose a pump (as long as our insurance supports his decision!) ; )

Hope you are having a patient week. : )  All treats and no tricks, I hope!  Can you believe I didn't get one single picture of the kids tonight?  We are having family pictures made on Saturday, so we'll count that and not stress. 

Prayers for your family's blessings!

Know that the Lord works wonders for the faithful.  Psalm 4: 4

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Learning and Praying.

Still some battling going on (with the big girl and her front-seat-insistent-drama, and the middle honest boy and this mean guy downstairs I can't bear to name).  I know I shouldn't give credit, but it has been rough.  We mysteriously haven't been praying on the way to school like we used to do.  It's just been hard.  Even today, I just told God (yes, out loud with the kids praying with me..I figure it's ok for them to know that it's hard for me, since it might be hard for them too) that I didn't really want to pray, and asked for the desire to come back.  We even told Him that we felt yucky and didn't have the words, then we prayed some rote prayers, and blessed ourselves.  It's all we could do.  (I will say I felt better afterwards, even though I had so little to offer up)

We're all-in-all okay.  (I think saying it makes it better, in case you are wondering.)  Clay went back to school, so I've been a bit busy since Monday.  I'm making two lunches, counting and writing notes for two kids, and troubleshooting blood sugars for both.  I've only talked to the school twice today (it's 12:13 and pre-lunch), so not too bad.  Oh, and only 6-7 texts.  The substitute nurse has been amazing, and it has been a positive experience for Clay.

He had a *surprise* field trip on Tuesday (we sign a generic field trip form the first week of school to cover ALL trips for the year), and guess who didn't know?  Or tell their child to take their meter?  Or which nurse didn't know where he was?  Yep, he went with band over to one of our high schools to see a performance.  We made sure the nurse over there knew, and she made contact with the band director from our school to make sure she knew (and to keep an eye on him)!  It's a learning experience. 

And then..on Wednesday morning, I lowered his basal to 85% and gave him a few extra grams of breakfast, to prepare him for P.E. first block.  Well..they called at 9:30 and he was high! Guess why.  He has G.T. on Wednesday mornings.   No P.E.  Good grief, every day is a learning experience!  Just sent him off with a perfect blood sugar, totally regular bolus for food.  At 9:30, we had a great number: 149.  I told her to leave him.  Guess who texts at 10am with a 50?!  The nurse.  Exercise low.  I didn't scream. (shocking, right?!)  Well, I was at a friend's house helping her pick paint colors, so screaming would've been inappropriate.  I just texted madly, gave up and called!  She gave him a juice box, then two peanut butter crackers.  I also had her reduce him to 85% for two hours, just to make sure he'd make it to lunch.  He was 106 at recheck (yay!!).  She just called with his lunch number, and he's 124, woohoo, we made it!

Yes, it's all a numbers game.  Actually, I feel like it's my report card.  And I only liked A's in school.

I can only guess what's in store for Friday.  Guess when I'll find out?  On Friday.  Girl, I don't need no planning!

Ok, they have been stinking up my house for over a week, and I *LOVE* It!  The cabinets got resanded, little spots filled, and painted with their Pearly White semi-gloss.  And did I mention it stinks?!  You can smell it when you park out front.  And the doors are shut and taped.

We had the concrete decking laid out around the pool, but after looking at it, it's not quite right, so we are meeting again tomorrow to fix it.  Because hanging out around the pool is where I want to be! : )  Water or no.

K, I am supposed to be putting clean sheets on beds, putting away laundry, and delivering toilet paper to everyone's bathrooms.  I should probably actually start those little chores that only I can do.  I'm gifted like that. (oh, and apparently I rock the dishwasher chore too.  No one else will even challenge me.)

Have a great day!  Remember to pray.  Even if you have to ask for words to say. : ) I promise you'll feel better afterward.  Hugs, y'all!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bananas and Eiffel. Relief is Here. wonder how I keep g-o-i-n-g and don't get all mad that this happened to us?  That I'm not screaming, "why us"?!

Because I have comic relief.  Seriously.  Best therapy ever.  ok..and besides, what good will it do to get mad and complain to God and family and friends? (at a level my neighbors can hear?!)  I'm going to let you in on one of the most hilarious.  Go to and look up the Hutzler Banana Slicer 571 (or just click on the words).  You have to read the customer questions and answers, and then go read the reviews.  You will laugh..and absolutely feel the need to join in.  Or at least click Yes on the helpful comments! : ) 

Yes, it may be avoidance, but it's FUN!  Ok, and one other thing I learned that is relaxing.  Want to draw the Eiffel Tower?  Like for art or math or some great demonstration of your amazingness? (or for your daughter's room?)  Try this.  And tell me how awesome you are.

See?  Stress melts away when you can love a banana slicer (that saves marriages, encourages writing, and bonus: doesn't cut children's fingers!) and draw the Eiffel Tower.  Like you've reached the pinnacle.  For this week, anyway.

You are SO welcome.  Hugs!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Walk & PUMPING x 2!!

Yesterday was our JDRF Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes!  I felt even more reason to go after this long, harrowing week.  (although just like everyone else in FORTY degree weather, I wanted to climb back in my bed!!)  But we did it.

I think the adrenaline got me through.  That and the hugs and love that my JDRF family pours into me.  Really.  (ok, and the Qdoba and s'mores) (and photobombing Leigh's team pix!)  I was thrilled to see all the other teams, and of course, the families.  I just *love* them.  I used to not know them all that well, and it felt weird to be in "competition" to raise the most money for JDRF, but I don't even care about that anymore. (sorry, JDRF!)  I care about seeing my BFF's and my friends and family that pull themselves out of whatever better things they could be doing (laundry?  cleaning their house?  painting furniture?  going to the War Eagle craft fair?!  sleeping?  I know, some of these are on my list..).  But they CAME.  Thank you for spending your time with us, allowing your daughters to spend their time with us, and for donating.

But we made it.  And then I slept. ; )  And then..Ches mentioned that someone had told him the JDRF office had a Medtronic pump.  WAHT?  Yes, I was all giddy and crazy at the same time!  I called Lauren, who works there, and asked about it.  She said she actually had it in her car, and thought of it for US!!  I can't tell you the excitement.  Is that weird?  So, I asked her if she could meet me in like 25 minutes (before church) (assuming she doesn't have a billion other things to do with her Saturday!), and she said YES!

We met (thank you, Lauren!!), and I started programming it.  I used Mary Claire's basal rates to determine rates for Clay.  From what I've learned, she's become a bit insensitive to her insulin after so many years, so she needs more than he does.  So, I set each rate about .1 to .15 less than her rate.  We set up his correction rate, bolus ratio, etc. and by the time we got to church, I put a site on him, and he was pumping!

Ok, so he FREAKED out when it was time to site him (and I'd left the sil-serter at home).  I had to manually stick in the needle, and he was mad.  We bribed him with a box of Allen & Ginter cards, since we kinda needed him to be on a pump for momma's sanity.  (and momma had no idea how much they were!!!)

Our boy had seen 200-420 in the course of the day yesterday, and in church I checked him.  He was 71.  I gave him these awful Jolly Rancher sour chewy things, and at recheck 30 minutes later he was 124.  Ok, pumping is g-o-o-d.  Momma can handle this stuff. 

We had a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and he had three slices of pizza, two hunks of cake (really friendly cake cutter!), and never batted an eye.  He got a bolus each time, and told me he loved me. (I'm assuming because I'm an amazing mom, and I'm so fashionable and level-headed and I make good cookies)  But then he said something about LOVING the pump!  And he's so glad I bribed him to try it!  (So..not the other things.)

So..we are pumping.  With TWO.  And I have to say secretly, I'm so much happier!  I can handle this.  BUT, I still never heard back from the Omnipod rep, so I requested a demo pod online.  He loves it, but he might love the pod more.  I want him to get to make that decision.

I'm thankful for the situation right now, and I'll feel okay sending him back to school this way.  I'll just wing it.  I don't know when he'll check his blood there (pe is first block!), or what he'll do for lunch.  He isn't hungry at lunch since he takes other medicine, so he generally eats cookies or ice cream (since I told him to just eat SOMEthing!).  That really won't work, so hopefully we can find a new normal, and a new lunch plan. ; )

I have a few pictures for the walk and my house that's on auto-pilot (I'm sure they are appreciating not having me call every day! ha!):
School Friends!  And Alyssa has diabetes right now too-until her islet cells start functioning in her liver!!  Woohoo!

His first year up on stage.

Clay, Alyssa, and Mary Claire

Balloon Release.  Beautiful (I think prayers are going up).

More friends!  Girl scout friends and LUNCH!!  We got Qdoba this year too.  Everyone loved it, it was so warm and yummy!

Sweet girls!  I know they are tired. : )

Carter all bundled up. : ) I guess it's a good thing, his shirt was WAY too big!

Me and Kelly!

Kelly's son, Gabe and Ethan!  Awesome friends, and they are in the same grade/same school.  Ethan wished to have diabetes like Gabe last week.  Whew, I had no idea we were headed for two back then.

Aiden, Leigh, Me, Kelly, and her son, Zack! : )  Love, love these ladies!!

Our dinner party at Chuck E. Cheese ; ) I guess it's the only one I added?!

The cabinets got a coat of lacquer primer.  Wow.

The doors got a primer coat too.

I guess it doesn't stick to glass, it flaked right off!  There was a super fine powder coat of white dust all over the floor too.  Weird.

Pocket door to office.

Lots of cabinet doors!

Carter's window.  Jesus is blessing this house. ; )

Siding behind Carter's vanity. : )

Dining'll be so different with painted walls!

Last one.  The pool got tile a couple days ago.  I just haven't had time to go see it!
I have to say it's honestly been a couple of hard days, not just diabetes x 2.  I think just trying to maintain our path (Walk, church, Sunday school, friends, etc.) and having all the extra prayers, I feel like we've been under even more spiritual attack.  I've had some really strange things happen (unexplainable), and I broke down before class this morning.
I'm not proud of it, but even that is teaching me.  I keep thinking I can do this, but it's not without h-e-l-p.  None of it.  I have prayers carrying me, and people willing to help and pray more.  Just know that having a smile on my face and continuing, doesn't mean there aren't problems.  I'm just doing the very best I can from one minute to the next.  I think you can be sad and happy at the same time.  Don't you?

Praying for your family, your health, and that God blesses you with a great prayer team.  Biggest hugs y'all!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12: 1-2

Friday, October 18, 2013

Making it : )

We made it through the first 48 hours.  Consider it our second accomplishment. ; )  He is nothing like Mary Claire. The multiple shots, two insulins, I know it's normal..but right now I feel like a full-time nurse. (like I didn't before, ha)

I feel like complaining isn't an option (but I can make sad faces and cry now and then).  I feel like I have to be strong for Clay, so he knows it's not the end of the world.  It's really not, but it just sucks.  That's the easiest thing to say.  I felt like my days were endless before, my nights were meeting my mornings too quickly, and now?  I realized today I have to get up even earlier..I have to check and correct two now!

Clay hasn't been back to school yet, but even him not getting around this morning, I was still late leaving to take the other kids to school!  Clay likes to pick a finger for me to check first thing in the morning when I wake him up, and then he likes to decide which arm I should give a shot.  It takes a while.  Like..he ponders over where the last one was..which one isn't sore..which finger is feeling the least feeling.  Etc.  Take my word when I say it takes a while.

We did call the Omnipod rep (and left a message) to try the pod.  I think it's better suited to his active life (than the Medtronic pump Mary Claire uses), and his loathing of tubing.  We'll see how it goes.  His doctor is still not super "on-board", but I can't keep up the shots.  Little bits of insulin drip out the needles on the insulin pens, and insulin comes back out the holes in his arms..and they are about a unit's worth!  That loss of a unit when you only give 1.5 or 2 units is a BiG loss!  It means he'll stay high.  See? tough.

His spirit is still happy.  He tells me he thinks his attitude is actually better now.  He thought it was an awful day before when he had to run errands with he knows there are worse things. ;o)  And there are worse things than diabetes too.  He's doing ok.  (shocking, after the bawling we did together on Wednesday!)

He and Mary Claire are bonding too.  Also surprising. ; )  They've always had a sibling rivalry thing going since they are only 17 months apart.  I'm just happy to see them sharing needle/pump information and stories.  Really, it's comforting to a momma's heart.

So..we finally got all of our supplies (except another box of strips we need to get from Bentonville today).  Only three pharmacy visits.  I'll just remember to call for refills a couple days early! ; )

I've had awesome friends help to deliver shirts, pick up prescriptions, make and deliver stickers for our shirts (bring me chocolate!!), and we are incredibly thankful (understatement!) for your caring, heart-felt notes, thoughts and prayers during this time of intense change.  It'll be okay, and we'll figure it's just a LOT right now.  If we make it a couple hours with no tears (mostly just mine!), we are considering it success. : ) moves on.  I have a couple pictures for you. : )
The kitchen, prepriming/prepainting. Eeeee!  It'll be all painted in a week!  SO exciting!

Our sweet friend, Leigh, brought Clay a JDRF Bag of Hope and his Rufus bear.  I found Clay all rolled up in a blanket with Rufus inside this morning.  So sweet.  (They are never too big.)  (And I was too late to catch Carter hugging on the bear!)

Stain went on yesterday! : )

It'll be some stain, some paint. ; )

I had the seat stained (I'm sure my kids will stand on it!), and the rest will be painted.

And, the stickers are perfect!!  These will go on all the shirts, aren't they cute?!  We also ordered balloons for tomorrow to go on the tent (mostly blue with a tiny bit of gray).  Fun!
I have to'll be a relief to move.  We moved away from the house Mary Claire was diagnosed in, and we'll move away from the house Clay was diagnosed in.  I don't know..just a fresh start with new memories.  We'll always remember, but this way we don't walk by the places that tug at our hearts every day.  Where he had his first shot, where she sat and cried, where I saw her skeleton body, where he laid awake staring, thinking.  Change is good. : )
Just wanted to let you know we are making it, one day at a time.  And life totally goes on.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, may God bless you.  Hugs!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Diabetes Diagnosis, Take Two

Do you ever feel (as a mom..or even just a human on Earth) that it's just an accomplishment that you made it through your day?  There are a lot of things that get laid at our feet that we just don't think we'll survive to tell about..but yet we do.

Today was another of those days.  I don't have the words or the eloquence to do it justice, and it's not just my story.  But it is mine also.  Clay was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes today too.  : (  And yes, we are surviving.

It began so simply after I picked the kids up from school.  After I'd spent all afternoon delivering team shirts for Mary Claire's 2013 Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes team.  He told me he'd been going to bathroom a lot.  And not number 2. haha.  (My wheels were already spinning.)  He said he was thirsty a lot too, and water tasted sweet.  He told me he had an accident while he was sleeping last night.  And what do we all do when our non-D kids pee a lot?  Check them.

He resisted.  He hates needles. (who doesn't?)  He gave me grief, and I asked if he was scared of the needle poke or scared of what the number might be and what it might mean.  He said both.

He asked if we could wait until we got home.  I told him we HAD to check now.  If he was high, we needed to go to the doctor right away.  He let me check him, squirmy and all.  He was 562. : (

I boohoo'd like a baby, and hugged him for so very long and told him how sorry I was.  Over and over.  And over again.  Mary Claire looked at me, and I whispered high, and she cried.  Carter cried.  It was a big ol' pity party.  We deserve to have one now and then, and this was the right time for us.

I texted our endocrinologist and told him Clay was 562, and we needed to come in.  When he didn't answer in two minutes (like he has doesn't have patients!), I called the office.  It was after four and getting late. (Office Hours Late)  They told us to come on in.  Small bit of relief that we had an "in", and that we'd done this before.

Clay told me he was really thirsty, so we stopped to get drinks.  Mary Claire kept telling me she had to call Alyssa since they were supposed to be working on a project together, like now.  She called her and couldn't really talk.  I got the phone, tried to tell her what was going on, and lost it again.  She got off the phone, and her mom called back. : )  She said she'd meet us at the doctor's office and watch the other kids.  Sweet providence.

I just said okay.  I couldn't say anything else.  I didn't have words.  Or the time. Or the brainpower.  I was in a fog.  And I had to be careful since Clay was sitting next to me.  Like, I couldn't lose it again, you know?

We got back on the highway, and made it up there pretty quickly.  Jana and the girls were already there.  Bless their hearts.  I could just say thank you.  We got all the paperwork filled out (for a new patient!), had to talk to the admitting department (it's a part of the hospital, technically), and then we waited to be called back.

The sweet nurse, said it hadn't been long since he'd seen me, but now a different child?!  Yeah, my thoughts too.  We did the weigh-in, height, pulse, etc.  Then the a1c check.  Of course, it was a ten.  That made it a sure thing. : (  More sadness.

So, it's pretty likely that he's had it for maybe two months.  I just remember the hand-foot-mouth disease (Coxsackie) virus he had the first week of school.  August 20 he missed school.  Oh good that when his body started attacking itself?

So, long story longer..we got retrained, new insulins, new meters, new food to insulin ratio.  Whole new child, whole new set of rules.  

I'm breathing more normally now.  He was 90 at about nine pm.  Not bad.  Doesn't mean my job is done, or I will sleep easily tonight.  He still has small amounts of ketones.  He still has a long night and a few longer days in front of him.  Learning to check his blood and give shots.  He is not excited. (that's an understatement actually)  He has checked himself once and given one of his shots.  We'll get there.

So, if you see him, reassure him.  This is a game-changer for him, and he just wants to know why.  The question we all want answered.

So.. the big Walk is this weekend.  What do I do for HiM?  Do I Sharpie marker his name on her shirts too?
How they looked on the proof.

How they really look : )  Neon pink.  Camera doesn't capture it.
Do I just write "Clay and" over the top left corner?  How do I make him feel included?  I already told him the shirts next year won't be pink.  They can be blue.  BOY blue.  I actually think I got a smile.

I'm exhausted so I better sleep.  I have to meet the pool company at the house in the morning, deliver the pool tile, and stay on top of blood sugars.  For two.

Send some prayers our way, please.  For good to come of this.  For our family to continue to look up and be faith-filled.  For patience in the rocky beginning.  For emotional stability (for all of us).  For no one else to get it.  For Clay's health.

Praying your house is healthy and D-free.  If it's not, I pray that no one else gets it.  That gross club no one wants to join.   
Welcome, baby boy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Yee-haw!  I'm beyond thankful for these amazing days!  I love the gorgeous, sky blue-pinkish-orange sunrises and sunsets, and this weather (except today's rain..) has been so nice.  No sunburns and heat rashes, and no heavy coats and colds.  I love this season. : )  (..ha! can you tell?)

The house is definitely coming along!  (another mood booster?)  We finally have most of the cabinets installed.  They are finishing up my open shelves, the corbels, and the island.  The painters need a day to sand them and get ready to prime the next day..maybe Wednesday, and start painting on Thursday?!

I'm having hardiboard siding put up behind Carter's mirror above his countertop and around the pool bathroom up to four feet, as wainscoting.  They got a little mixed up and did to up to four feet in his bath, and are working their way up to the ceiling in the pool bath!  That's a LOT of siding we didn't necessarily need.  I really want to see some blue wall and some white siding.  I really want it taken down.  Is that bad?

Pool has had no change.  A couple of the steps are way too high (steep, as in one is 13" and one is 14" high!), and the construction manager watched, and he opted to leave them that way.  I just can't let the kids fall off into the shallow end!  Can you imagine?  (Ok, picture ME falling off into the pool.  See?  Gruesome!  Hilarious, but in a bad way.)

Anyway, I requested they make the bottom one start higher, then add a whole 'nother step.  It'll eat into the shallow end, but I'd rather it be done right than speed through it.  The crew was in Kansas City on Friday, and I don't know when they'll be back.

I am finding depths of patience I didn't know I had in me.  Really.  It's been a huge growing experience.  I know it seems tiny, but for me, there are some giant steps.  Like my exterior lights.  They are on unconfirmed backorder (meaning limitless right now), for whenever.  To pass inspection (and therefore close on the house) (..and therefore move in!) we have to have lights.  Do we (A.) choose new lights? (none come close) (imho)  Or do we (B.) put on little cheap bearable lights to pass and hold us out until the good ones become available?

Ok, this may be easy for some of you, but it's torture for me.  I will have a funky-looking house for a while.  I care what people think, no matter how awful it is.  I know, I know, it's wrong.  It doesn't matter.  But just think, when my house is done, I'll be making up for lost time entertaining.  The kids just want a house full of kids over.  Those kids have parents.  They'll think I spent all my money on brick (well, I kinda did!), and didn't save any for those outside lights.  I don't want pity on us. ; )  So, just know we are choosing this.  And come back in January.

So, we'll tough it out, like we have so far, and I'll get my a-mazing lights in the end.  See?  Patience.  I have a ton of examples from this little ol' project, but I won't bore you.  I know it'll be worth it.

Wanna see some pictures?
Frames for Children

His new thing is opening his mouth for pictures!

He adores his big brother : )

Yum!  (open mouth again!)

Kitchen!  (remember this bare window?  Kitchen is looking good!)

Desk/Stovetop Area : )

Siding going up behind Carter's sink

Shelves in the kitchen!

More shelves!  I had to have them lowered to reach them ; )
Ok, that's it!  We are waiting for priming, painting, and then, lighting..not so far now. : )
Hope your house is farther along. haha, hopefully cleaner!  Hugs!