Monday, November 21, 2011

Having a Diabetic Stinks

Like the title? Its true. For the most part we are doing well with it. We have gotten the routine down, it's still hectic, but we know what to do. I'm getting better at counting carbs, or at least estimating fairly well, but it still stinks. James has had a hard few days. He's frustrated and done with shots and finger pokes. Who wouldn't be? He was supposed to get started on his insulin pump this week but it got pushed back, and he's made about that. I'm having to drive to his preschool 3 days a week to test him and give him a shot for snack. I hate it. But, luckily for the most part his numbers have been pretty good, so it hasn't been too stressful. He always has a weird number here and there throughout the day, but we are getting better at handling it. Then tonight he got really whinny right after dinner, which generally would not be a time I would worry about his numbers, unless I was majorly guessing on the carb value or something, which I didn't think was the case tonight. He was high before dinner so I thought maybe he was just still high. We sent him to his room because of his attitude, I had the thought that maybe I should check him, so we called him down a couple minutes later, and he didn't come. I went to check on him and he was fast asleep. At 6 o'clock at night. That's when I got nervous! Ryan came up with his meter and we tested him, he was down to 40! (not good, by the way). So after struggling to wake him up we got some jelly beans in him and he started to normalize. Sheesh. Stressful. Good thing he's so cute. Let's hope he's stable now and the rest of the night goes fine.

I hate diabetes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving


I am hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year. I'm totally excited, and nervous of course. I did the turkey for my in-laws Thanksgiving last year, so that was a good introduction, but this will be the first time for me to do all the important stuff and have to clean my house too. :) I'm still delegating some dishes so as not to overwhelm me or my one oven. I feel so on top of it though. I have the menu planned, a step-by-step breakdown of prep for next week and a timeline for the day of. I got a turkey roaster for Christmas last year and am so excited to use it. It has a buffet warmer option, so I will totally be using it to keep side dishes warm while I'm doing finishing touches on everything so I won't be stressing about everything getting cold. I'm borrowing a bunch of Thanksgiving decorations to spruce up the house and I can just feel the holiday spirit emanating from me. I love this time of year. I'm trying my best to savor it this year since it always goes so fast. I can't wait!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Halloween 2011


We had a fun filled weekend of Halloween activities this year. The kids are all at such fun ages, they really enjoyed everything.

First we had the school carnival at Beth's elementary school. This is the most dolled up I got for Halloween, I was volunteering for the carnival so I wanted to get all dressed up.

The next morning we had the neighborhood trunk-or-treat, somehow I have no pictures of that. Whoops.

On actual Halloween, James had a parade at school, and we had a theme dinner of mummy dogs, pumpkin pizza, brains, eyeballs, and mud. :) I'm not usually very creative with this stuff, so I was proud and the kids thought it was hilarious.




After dinner we got in our costumes again. The kids were really excited!

I wish I had gotten a better picture of Kate, but she just won't sit still! She had a cute little fluffy tail, and I just loved her hat that was hand made by one of my neighbors. So cute!

And my all time favorite halloween pose:





Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beth's Birthday Celebration!


I realize I am way behind, but I just uploaded my camera and realized I never posted about Beth's birthday party or Halloween, so better late than never!

Beth wanted her party at Chuck E. Cheese this year. At first I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but it ended up being GREAT! I did very little planning and didn't have to come up with any entertainment, and most importantly, the kids had a BLAST!

The Gang

Dance Party!

Chuck E. Cheese!

Birthday dance with Chuck E.

The Cake!

Birthday Royalty

Getting Ready for the ticket blaster! She was so excited for this part.

Grab 'em! She got nearly 600 tickets!

Beth loved every second and I was so glad she got to feel special for her day. The last few months I feel like she's been neglected because of everything else going on. I wanted to make sure that she felt super special and loved for her birthday. Here are a few pictures from our family get together on her actual birthday too.





Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gratitude

This week I've spent a lot of time dealing with things I'm not grateful for. In particular, bills, bills and more bills. Hospital and Diabetic supplies are EXPENSIVE! I've spent a lot of time stressing about this and related topics lately. I've found myself grasping at straws for things to be grateful for, and that is exactly when I realized it's time for my annual gratitude post. I have found a lot of times in my life when I was struggling that counting my blessings was the #1 way to lift my spirits and make me realize that I am a truly blessed person. So, in no particular order and just as they come to my brain, here are a few things I'm thankful for:

My husband. I really couldn't ask for a better man. He works like crazy all day and then helps me out all night. He never hesitates to let me get away from the house and regain my sanity, and he is an expert dish doer and floor mopper. He is my constant source of comfort and strength and I could not do any of what I do without his support. I love him!

Doctors. As expensive and frustrating as they can be. This year they saved my baby girl's life and now they are helping my son to live the best life he can with a difficult disease. I'm pretty fed of with bills, but I will pay them every time because I know my kids are healthy because of them.

Beth. She is a joy to watch. I truly have never met such a compassionate, loving, caring, and emotional 6-year-old. She is so tender-hearted and spiritual. Something I really hope never changes about her.

James. If anyone had told me a year ago that my 'fraidy cat James would be dealing with diabetes and being amazingly strong about it, I wouldn't have believed it. Of course it is hard, and he has his bad days with it, but he has really taken it on with amazing strength. He is tougher than me and I am very proud of him. I really think this will be a great thing for him, as much as I wish I could take it away.

Kate. This girl has absolutely turned out world upside-down. There are definitely days I wish I could sell her to the gypsies, haha, but she has increased my patience and my capacity for love. She makes every day interesting and she forces me to interact with my kids more than I would naturally do, which I know is good for all of us. She will make me a stronger person, of that I am certain! I love her so much.

My House. Ryan and I talk about moving a lot, just making our dream home up in our minds mostly, but I really do love my house. We are perfectly comfortable and we have space enough for everyone. Its great for entertaining or just hanging out as a family. Its warm and comfortable and safe and I am always grateful to be so lucky.

My Neighborhood. I really can't say enough good things about it. I've never lived in a neighborhood this close knit. I've never been able to count on my neighbors like I can here. I know I am appreciate and loved and that I fit in. I know that there are people thinking of me and people that would drop anything to help me, at any time. They have shown me that over and over, particularly this year. I don't know if I could actually ever move because I love it here so much.

My Family. I have the best extended family. Both my own and my in-laws. I don't know what I would have done without them through our recent crisis'. I feel supported and loved through everything. And I have amazing examples to look too. I'm lucky.

My Friends. I'm not going to name people, because I would inevitably leave someone out, and the list is too long. But, I have the best friends in the world. These people are my neighbors, my long time friends, my new friends, my facebook friends. They support me, they encourage me, they commiserate with me, they watch my kids, they listen to me complain, they listen to me triumph, they inspire me, they motivate me, they help me change, they run away from home with me, and they laugh with me. I really would be lost without them. I would definitely be insane without them. I need friends every day, and there are so many I can call on. Thank heavens for friends!

Sterling Singers. For those of you who don't know, Sterling Singers in a community choir of 300+ singers. I joined in the Summer of 2008 and have never turned back. Every practice is like fuel for me. Sometimes I have a hard time getting ready to go, rehearsals are on Sunday evenings, but every time I am so glad that I went. I laugh, I cry, I stretch myself musically and spiritually. I love performing with them and changing lives. I feel like its made me a better person by just being a part of it and hearing the inspirational words of the songs and the spoken words at our performances. I love it.

My Church. I wouldn't be who I am without it and its teachings. I am far from perfect at following those teachings, but I try. My heart is in the right place. I know that my Heavenly Father knows me and my trials and He listens to my prayers and is trying His best to help me understand what I need to do to be successful in this life, and with my family. I have LOTS to learn, but I know where to turn to learn it and that gives me a lot of peace.

Modern Medicine. This kind of goes along with doctors mentioned above, but I feel like mentioning this specifically. Today Kate has been sick and struggling with her lungs again. I am grateful that I have the medicine at my finger tips to give her relief. I am also grateful that James will be starting on an insulin pump this week. It will be a new adjustment for us but he will have to endure much fewer injections and I'm grateful for that. And I'm just grateful for the advancements in Diabetes treatment in the past several years. Life will be better for him that any other generation of diabetics and I'm hopeful they will even find a cure or an even easier way to manage it in his lifetime. We are lucky to live in this day and age. I often think about what my nurse told me when I was in labor with Beth. When it was discovered that she was in an undeliverable position and I would need a c-section, the nurse told me that 100 years ago Beth and I would have both died. There was no other option.

Well, there are a million other things that I am grateful for. I truly am a very blessed person. But, as this post is getting rather long and wordy I'll end here. Happy Holiday season to all of my friends. I hope you take the time to count your blessings too!


And just as a good ending to this post, I recommend watching this music video. I cried and cried. My trials are hard, but I am grateful for them, and I'm also grateful I don't have other people's trials!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

6 Years

6 years ago tomorrow afternoon I became a mother. I cannot even believe its been that long, yet at the same time I can't imagine not being a mom. I remember the week leading up to Beth's birth so well. Man, was I ever miserable! I was just telling her tonight how big she made my belly!

This was 5 days before she was born. The night before I THOUGHT she was going to be born, see how ready and excited I look? Yeah, the next 5 days were pretty miserable. But Sunday morning October 23rd I finally headed to the hospital. That afternoon at 4:46 my beautiful girl was born. Bruised and swollen from her rough delivery, but beautiful none the less! My heart grew 10 times bigger just hearing her cry the first time. I would never be the same.

1st Birthday
2nd Birthday
3rd Birthday
4th Birthday
5th Birthday
6th Birthday

I love my big girl Beth so so much. She is an absolute delight. I have never met any girl as girly and sweet and sensitive as this girl is. I look forward to watching her grow up so much. I have a feeling I'm really going to like the woman she is going to become. Happy Birthday sweet girl! How has time gone so fast?!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How I'm feeling

I'm sure you will all get tired of me talking about Diabetes, but it is kind of my life now, so deal with it. :) I've just been thinking a lot today about how the last week has impacted my life and how to describe it. I'm not sure there is an accurate description, but here's what I came up with.

An easy life is like a brisk walk on a beautiful day, something you want to do and look forward to.

Life before all of this, just regular life with three small kids, tough but not too hard. Like maybe a tough jog on a beautfiul day. The scenery is still great, the sun is still shining, but sometimes you are too tired to run, but you can make it through.

The last week has felt like a tough jog through mud up to your waist. Its exhausting. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Sometimes you feel like you can't go another step. But, then you do. One step at a time until your strong enough to run through the mud. All along the sun is still shining and the scenery is still amazing, but its hard to notice it because you are too overwhelmed with the mud. You know? Does any of this make sense?

And its not really that bad, I guess this makes it sound pretty awful. For the most part we are doing amazingly well considering. James is still adjusting pretty well, Ryan and I are getting the hang of the insulin routine and I'm even getting better at counting carbs, making real dinners and everything. But in the back of mind I'm still always a little overwhelmed with my new responsibilities. I've always felt like I didn't have a strong grasp on the responsibilities I had just being a mom to young kids, so now there is just that much more to try to deal with. I've had to let a lot of other things slide in my life for a while until I feel like I can at least walk through the mud and not end up crawling. But considering its only been 1 week (wow, it feels like so much longer than that) I think we are doing pretty well.

The hardest thing right now is teaching James that he can't eat all the time. He's always been a grazer, snacking his way through the day. Well, he can't do that now. I've tried to make the transition as easy as I can, but its tricky and yesterday we had a bad day. He was sad and cranky all day because he didn't understand why he couldn't have what he always has. Ryan sat him down today and tried to explain and he's done a little better, but its still tough. I'm sure he'll grasp it eventually and get used to the new routine, but until then, I just have to be strong. I've been a pushover with him all week because I feel bad and i'm tired, so now he's getting used to that and I've got to stand my ground and do what's best for him. Being a mom is hard sometimes. But, like I said, we will make it. I'll learn how to run in the mud and it'll make me a stronger person. Eventually I might not even notice the mud so much and be able to appreciate the scenery again. I will. I know I will.

But for now, if I fall in the mud occasionally, just pick me back up and tell me to keep walking.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

About Diabetes

Obviously we have learned a LOT about Diabetes in the last few days. I thought I would share a few of the things to help you all understand a little more.


Type I is completely unpreventable. It is an autoimmune response where the body attacks the Pancreas until it can longer produce the hormones necessary to process Glucose. Science is unsure what causes it, but it cannot be cured or prevented as of now.

Type I has nothing to do with diet and exercise. Unlike Type II which can often be caused by poor diet and exercise and controlled by improving those things.

In the last several years treatments have improved so much that Diabetics no longer have to be on a strict diet. James will be able to eat anything that he wants, as long as we adjust his insulin accordingly. We will make some changes obviously, because the less sugar he eats the less medicine we have to inject, but for the most part he can eat his normal diet. We just have to consolidate his meals and snacks so he doesn't have to get as many injections.

There are several treatment options that will be available to James once we have stabilized him more, but all include injecting Insulin. There are insulin pumps he will probably be able to use that make it so we don't have to poke him every meal and stuff, but he will be insulin dependent for the rest of his life...unless they find a cure before then!

We have to check James' glucose level by pricking his finger at least 4 times a day.

We calculate his insulin dosage based on the number of carbs he is about to eat. Carbs are what turn to glucose in our bloodstream. That means we will be counting carbs in EVERYTHING.

It is best for James to get insulin before he eats, which means we have to try and estimate how much he is going to eat in advance. Tricky business with a 4-year-old! So far he is doing great, but we are feeding him what he wants to make that easier. Once I go back to making what I want, it might be a different story!

High blood sugar is what is dangerous in the long term, so as long as it is controlled he should not have to deal with the circulatory or vision problems that are the horror stories of diabetes.

Low blood sugar is more dangerous in the short term. If his sugar gets too low he could be unresponsive, unconscious and have seizures. We have something that is the equivalent of an epi-pen for if his sugar is that dangerously low. But that is an extreme thing, most diabetics do not experience that these days. Luckily, since we keep a close eye on the numbers usually a cup of juice or fruit snacks is all we will need.

So basically our job is to try and keep his sugar somewhere in the middle as best we can. Its tricky but we are slowly figuring it out. If any of you have questions, feel free to ask! I would love for lots of people to understand.

And by the way, he can lead a normal life. Play sports, go to friends houses all that stuff. You don't need to be afraid of him. ;)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Poor Boy


Today James was supposed to start his last year of preschool. Instead he spent the day at Primary Children's learning how to live with diabetes. Its not fair. No 4-year-old boy should have to try and understand why he has to get shots multiple times a day, or why he has to wait to eat until he's been poked two or three times. No one should have to be his parents practice pin-cushion. Its not fair. Its a life long disease. And he's only 4. It will be part of every memory for him. I know there is nothing I could do to prevent it, but I can't help but feel responsible when I see my boy in the hospital. Did I mention its not fair? I know that it is much easier to control these days, and that maybe a cure could be found at some point. I know there are worse things to be diagnosed with. But, none of this knowledge makes it easier. I just feel so upset. But, I also know that I am so lucky. I have the most amazing support system. I have 3 close friends/family members with children with diabetes who are open books for our questions and insecurities, as well as innumerable other people just there for me for any reason. I had 40+ email/facebook responses and many texts and phone calls today from people looking out for me. That's love. I know we will be ok. I know we will get the hang of it. I know we will be stronger for it all. But right now I'm upset, overwhelmed and sad. I'm just sad. My poor boy. Its not fair.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fun Mom

Sometimes I'm a fun mom, note often enough, but sometimes!

Making cupcakes! The way life should be, covered in cake batter.



Waterballoon fight!! I wish these pictures did justice to how wet we are and how much fun we had! It was fun to let loose and be one of the kids for a while!





Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kindergarten!



I cannot believe my Beth is in Kindergarten! She started last week and so far can't get enough of it! She was totally bummed when I told her it was the weekend. They really do grow up too fast. Here are a few shots from her first day.

Photo Wall Update

Its done! What do you think?


Friday, August 19, 2011

Picture Walls

I'm redoing my pictures walls, again. I've had the decorator bug lately, so I've been working on things slowly. Here are the latest changes, they are not perfectly finished yet, still a couple of things to add to the main living room wall. But so far I'm LOVING it!





The Cabin



Before the Kate adventure started we were enjoying a great time with our great friends Natalie, Michael and Mckinsley at their Cabin. I got a few pictures of the fun before everything fell apart! James is still asking why we didn't get to finish shooting arrows. He LOVED it! He was getting pretty good too!