Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my toddler baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Lunches for Michael

Preparing lunch for someone with Type One Diabetes is never as simple as throwing things in a bag and saying "good to go!"  Meal times are also never as simple as saying "yeah, sure, get anything you'd like from the lunch line at school and don't worry about measuring exactly what goes on your plate." Every meal and every snack take a lot of work to correctly prepare.

Michael has wanted to buy lunch at school on a few occasions this semester.  When that happens, the lunch ladies are supposed to measure the scoop of beans or fries or whatever, and Michael's tray is then brought to the nurse's office where they calculate the carbs and dose Michael for them.  Michael then takes his tray back to the lunchroom to eat with the rest of his class.

On days when Michael packs his lunch (which are most days), he takes his lunchbox to the nurse's office.  They calculate the carb amounts that I've written on all items.  They dose him for the carbs (ie, give him insulin), and he then takes his lunchbox to the cafeteria where he eats with his classmates.

I took a picture of the typical lunch he likes to bring to school.  I pack his lunch and his afternoon snack.  If his blood sugar ever drops to a point where he'd need a morning snack, I have provided snack options which are stored in the nurse's office.  These items include peanut butter crackers, shelf stable chocolate milk boxes, etc.

For lunch, Michael typically likes to have a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, some type of chip (in this case it's Veggie Straws), something sweet, and a juice pouch (we use Capri Sun Roaring Waters).  For snack, I like to provide something with protein (Go-gurt, or a Greek yogurt cup, etc.).

For every items, I write whether it's for lunch or snack, and I write the grams of carbs.  This makes it easy on the nurses and also ensures that the correct carb amounts are dosed for, since types of breads vary in carb amounts, etc.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Friday, March 15, 2019

Work Appropriate Outfits

I started keeping track of my work outfits around the second week of February as a way to remind myself of outfit combinations.  Early in February, I ordered two pairs of pants from Aeropostale because I previously owned a pair of their "uniform" pants and remembered how soft they were.

I ordered a pair of their classic fit uniform pants in navy. These have a slight flare and are so soft! I also ordered a pair of the skinny leg uniform pants in black. These offer a nice alternative to my black linen pants which are more wide-leg style.

I also have had some shoe adjustments this month. My older black flats started to really wear out and once I came to terms with the fact that I had owned them for 7 years (I got them when I was pregnant with Michael), I could give myself permission to buy new black flats. The ones I had previously were Dr. Scholls and were so comfy. I wanted to find something similar, but for a way less price tag since we're on a strict budget here. I found a pair at Wal-Mart of all places. Now, I don't typically shop at Wal-Mart, but I do when my kids meed shoes. Here's a mom tip: always check Wal-Mart for kids shoes since they almost always have pairs for under $10, which is paramount to me since kids' feet grow so fast and I can't justify a higher price tag on kid shoes. So I went searching for shoes for myself and walked away with two pairs- one pair of nice black flats with comfy insoles for $12, and one impulse $5 buy of neutral colored laser-cut pattern suede flats. I'm so happy with these purchases!

Yesterday, my mom went shopping at Kohls and found a pair of flats in my size for $5 so she grabbed them and gave them to me as an early birthday gift. They're pointy toed navy suede with military-influenced gold buttons. I am wearing them today with a pair of dark khaki pants and a blue & green blouse.

Here's my collection of teacher-appropriate outfits. Enjoy!

Until next time,
Love, Reba

First Grade Performance

On Tuesday of this week, Michael participated in his school's 1st grade performance. The theme was Candy Shop, and students who chose to participate were encouraged to wear bright colors or dress like Willy Wonka characters or like candy.  The participation was voluntary, and parents were sent a note home in early February asking if their child would like to participate.  Michael was eager to do so, which makes my mama heart so happy. 

Michael would come home from school over the past co
uple of weeks and tell me some of the songs they were working on (like "Lollipop, Lollipop" and "The Candy Man," which he said he didn't like).  He's not a big one to wear costumes, but decided it would be fun to wear Skittles wrappers on a shirt. So on Tuesday, I cut open some small Skittle packets and then used safety pins to attach them to his shirt. He was quite proud of himself. 

At the performance, which followed an APT meeting, the 1st graders got up on stage and performed 5 songs. It was cute! Michael didn't fully do all the dance moves though, which is typical for him and he said later that he was nervous. All 6 grandparents were able to attend which is so fun and such a blessing!

Until next time, 
Much love, Reba

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Our Tornado Safety Plan

Living in the South, we experience severe thunder storms that can create the possibility of tornadoes.  Although Spring and Summer are the two top seasons for tornadoes, we can have one at any point throughout the year.  In late January, I was at a baby shower in the downtown area of a town we live near.  As soon as I arrived at the event location, the tornado sirens went off.  Now, normally these sirens are tested around 1:00pm on the first Wednesday of the month. If we hear these sirens on any other day, we know to take cover.  Unfortunately, these sirens aren't always fast enough to provide the warning sound to people, but they're still a mechanism of an urgent message. 

It was torture as I sat inside this location and communicated with Aaron via text message.  This day, two tornadoes were in the area, and one was heading right for my house with my husband and babies inside.  Aaron had all three kids in the hall bathroom and was prepared to grab Avery's crib mattress and shield the kids further if needed.  Fortunately, for us, that storm jumped over us and landed about 20 miles away with minimal damage.  The other storm that was circling that day was closer to where I was, and it hit about 20 miles in a different direction and completely devastated that town. 

My heart was in one location that day while my body was in a different spot.  I know, realistically, that even if I had been home, I do not possess superhuman strength and cannot cause a tornado to skip over my house just because I'm inside it.  However, I know that these storms are terrifying and cause worry, and I just wanted to be in my home with my children so that I could hug them and sing to them in this very scary situation.  I also knew that I wasn't fully prepared for the storm.  My sister-in-law who lives in the northern part of the state keeps a bicycle helmet in her hall bathroom specifically for storms.  I was reminded of this when I visited her home just the weekend before this day of storms.  As soon as I got home from the baby shower, I hopped on Amazon and bought a helmet for each of my kids.  (It was cheaper to buy them on Amazon than to buy them in a store, but urgency is the most important thing here.  If I needed to buy them immediately, cost wouldn't have been an issue.)

When the helmets arrived, I fitted them for each child and stored them in the hall bathroom cabinet.  In this cabinet is already an emergency box of supplies for Michael (to include fast-acting carbs, slow-acting carbs, a spare blood sugar meter, test strips, etc.).  I have had that box in place since a few months after diagnosis.

When storms came around again this past weekend, I felt more prepared.  As soon as our phones went off alerting us to a tornado warning, I gathered up the kids and headed to the hall bathroom again.  The reason we go to our hall bathroom is because it's located near the center of the home (away from exterior walls and windows).  Aaron stayed out in the living room watching the storm coverage on the news so that he could see which direction the tornado was moving. 

As I told the kids to get into the bathroom, I grabbed shoes for each one of us because if a home were to be damaged, you'd want hard-soled shoes to walk around the rubble with afterwards.  I also grabbed Michael's diabetes bag (which has his insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor in it).  I also grabbed three leashes.  This was in case I had to strap the kids to the toilet.  The toilet is bolted into the floor, meaning that it is more sturdy and secure than our bathtub insert, so we have our children huddle around the toilet during storms.  It sounds gross, but it's extra motivation to keep the toilet cleaned (which I just happened to do the day before). I had leashes just in case I needed to wrap around the toilet base and loop the leash around each kid's waist. Fortunately, we didn't have the storm head our direction and we exited the bathroom about 30-45 minutes after entering.

Unfortunately, the storm hit about 70 miles to our east in the county I attended college.  Although the college town was safe, the towns in the outskirts of the county were not.  The death toll rises daily and a multi-level search and rescue is currently occurring. This only serves to reiterate to me that these storms are unpredictable with where their paths will lead them, and that you can never be too careful in safety preparations.

We are very fortunate, but my heart sincerely aches for those families and communities affected.

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Avery- 18 Months

Avery turns 18 months old today!

Her check-up isn't until the end of next month because I had to make it during a time when I would be off from school, so Spring Break it is!  At her last check-up in December, she weighed just around 20 pounds.  I don't imagine that's changed too much since she's so mobile these days.

She is so affectionate, and loves her baby dolls and stuffed Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse toys. She still sleeps with her Pat-Pat Baby and has to be holding it when we get her out of her crib in the mornings.  She'll hold her little bald baby (it makes a crying and laughing sound) and she'll say "oh oh oh" while she pats it and tries to wrap it in a blanket.  She also gets her "mous" everyday and likes to carry them around the house or push them in her baby doll stroller.

She has also become very interested in playing dress-up, which is so fun and I can't wait to see how this continues during toddlerhood!  She'll bring the kitchen dish towel to me quite frequently, and I'll wrap it around her waist and tuck it into her waistband so she can have a skirt.  She also likes to wear them as scarves or head-dresses.  She also loves wearing baseball hats backwards.  She's just turning out to be the cutest little thing and it's such a treasure to watch!

She loves bath time and even convinced Aaron to give her a bath right after dinner the other night even though she had had a bath the previous night.

She does not wear bibs and still prefers savory foods over sweet ones.  At her 18 month check-up we'll find out if we can re-introduce rice to her.  She prefers Veggie Straws (which she calls "please") and shredded cheese (which she can actually say) as her snacks, although she's been pretty fond of a Kashi blueberry waffle (plain, no syrup) for breakfast lately.

She still must have her milk in a bottle.  She'll drink water from a sippy cup during the daytime, but refuses to have her milk in a sippy cup.  The only time she's ever actually agreed to have her milk in a cup was at my mom's house this past Sunday when it was bottle time after dinner, but I forgot to bring a bottle.  So we used a very basic sippy cup and she accepted our attempt. :)  At home, though, there's no substitution-- bottle or tantrum.

She sleeps so well at night.  She goes to bed around 6:15 at night (earlier if she didn't nap well), and wakes around 7:00 (sometimes later) in the morning.  She takes at least one solid nap during the day (sometimes this can be a two or three hour nap!) or she takes a few smaller naps (thirty to forty-five minutes).

She took a long time to get her first teeth, but then she sprang into action and now has almost a whole mouthful!  She has her four top front teeth, and the last of the four front bottom teeth is coming in now.  She has molars in the back and I know it won't be long until her other teeth come in.

She's still a skinny-mini and can easily wear her 12-month clothes in addition to 18-month.  I put her in some 24 month outfits just for a change of pace!

She's the sweetest little girl and I'm so so blessed and excited to be her mom!  She's such a blessing to our family!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Monday, February 18, 2019

Valentine's Day

We keep it pretty low-key on Valentine's Day around here.  Aaron & I don't buy each other things on Valentine's Day, but we always get our kiddos something.

Here they are opening Valentine's cards from my Nana.

This year, the boys got a PAW Patrol heart filled with little heart-shaped lollipops and little heart-shaped Sweettarts, a Snoopy chocolate bar, and some Airheads.  Avery got a little brown plush puppy with a pink heart.

I bought a Valentine's outfit for Avery in the fall and she got to debut it this month!  It's a long-sleeve onesie that says "Who needs Cupid when you're this cute?" and a pair of striped pants with heart decals at the knees and a red tutu.  I tried to get some pictures of her in the outfit, and she wasn't so thrilled with having her picture made for some of these!

I teach a class on Thursday that gets out at 1:30, so I was able to make it to Michael's class party after I was finished teaching.  His class had a big snack and then the kids exchanged Valentine's cards.  He and my mother in law made his cards, and I was so happy to have her take point on this and lead the way!  His Valentine's were a hit with his classmates!  In their class, you have to provide a card for every kid, so he came home with lots of goodies.

My mother in law helped Noah and Avery make their own Valentine's.  Noah is very much into all things police, so his Valentine's cards say "You're Under Arrest for being so Sweet!" with pictures of hand cuffs and police cars.  Avery is very much into puppies, so her cards say "A pup-pup for my Valentine!" with a collage of puppy pictures.

Overall, it was a very fun, low key holiday-- our favorite kind!  Today, I am off with the kids and Avery just woke from her afternoon nap while the boys continue watching Woody Woodpecker.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba