Welcome!

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Eve Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve to you all!  I hope your holidays have been ever so merry thus far.  Our days have been full and nothing short of busy.  I am looking forward to a string of days off of work to rest and recuperate!  I will work on Christmas Eve, and after that, I am off until New Year's Eve!  These are days that I typically never take off of work, so it will be a nice change to wake up each day and drink a whole cup of coffee before I have to go anywhere. 

Notice that I didn't say "sleep in" at all.  I know that won't happen.  Michael is a 6:00am on the dot kind of guy.  Hopefully, with careful monitoring of blood sugar, he can sleep in a little bit on his break from daycare.  I'm hoping that Noah can sleep in some, as well, since he is usually the one I'm having to wake up to get ready for school.  It would be nice to let these little boys get some needed rest and recover from the colds that they are still carrying around. 

Yesterday, we got a nice surprise at home.  Aaron got off earlier than expected and got down our remaining Christmas decorations!  (Yes, we really did wait until December 22nd to do so-- unintentionally).  He hung up our stockings and extra ornaments on the tree, he set up some additional Nativity people (shepherds and angels), he strung some lights on the bushes out front (the first time we've ever hung up lights at our house), he put the tree-skirt around the tree, and arranged some presents underneath, and the most meaningful thing of all to one certain two-year-old was the establishment of the Christmas Star on top of the tree.  :)  We currently live in a Winter Wonderland.  Just these few added decorations make our home feel so much more cozy and Christmasy. 

I have been enjoying my time in the morning by watching some Hallmark and ABC Family Christmas movies.  Sure, they're cheesy but cute just the same.  And they all have a certain way of filling me up with the warmth of the season.  So far, I have watched "Christmas Under Wraps" with Candace Cameron Bure, and "Holiday in Handcuffs" with Melissa Joan Hart.  I love "A Season for Miracles" and I'm hoping to catch it on Hallmark sometime this week.  I recorded "Unlikely Angel" with Dolly Parton, but I was really hoping that I could find an airing of "Smoky Mountain Christmas" somewhere.  Now that movie has a theme song that can get stuck in your head!

Aaron and I have watched "The Santa Clause" (we only like the first one), "Christmas With the Kranks," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with Jim Carrey, and "Home Alone" thus far.  I'm hoping to watch "A Christmas Carol" (the animated one with Jim Carrey), "Home Alone 2," and my ultimate ultimate favorite:  "Prancer."  And, if you're a "Prancer" buff like I am, you'll know that today is the best day to watch that movie because Jessica Riggs has to get Prancer back to Santa on December 23rd-- which is today!  Perfect day to watch the movie. 

In other news, our dishwasher decided that it was skipping Christmas this year, and about 99.2% of the time it decides that it's not going to fully communicate within itself and let us start a load of dishes, even when it's in the locked and loaded (pun intended) position. So, I've been experiencing the pioneer days (joking) by hand-washing all of our dishes.  In the dishwasher's defense, we bought it on clearance in August of 2013, so it's served a good run.  We have researched dishwashers via "Consumer Reports" and have picked out what we will replace ours with.  We plan to go get this new addition later on this week, or on New Years Eve after I get off work since Aaron is off that day.

Now, lunch break is over and I must return to work.  After the completion of this work day and the errands I have to run after work (assuming that Aaron gets off early and gets the boys-- if not, no errand running for me) I get to go home and relax in the glow of Christmas tree lights, until tomorrow when I return to work. 


Oh, and for a little Christmas cheer, here is the main picture we used for our Christmas cards:


Yes, they are as cute as they look!  I am so blessed to be their Mommy!


Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!!

Until Next Time,

Much Love,
Reba

Monday, December 22, 2014

Why? (ie, a nearly forgotten post found on my notepad)

**While rummaging through the contents of my phone's "Notes" app, I found this partially written post.  Rather than finishing it, I'm leaving it as is.**

There are times I still catch myself asking "why? Why us? Why him? He's so young."

Usually these are times when I'm looking at the clock and trying to decide if we can make it to the grocery store and get back home before it's snack time. Or it's when I'm putting his Humalog carrying case in his backpack. Or it's when I'm eating dinner an hour and a half after he does, and he asks me for a bite and says "I like taste. Just one bite?" And I have to fish out carrots & celery to give him some "free" bites. Sometimes it's when I drop him off at day care and other kids are running around with their plastic snack cups filled with cereal-- something Michael was doing just days before his diagnosis. It's times like these when I feel that lump start to form in my throat.

It's times like these when I think that other kids have it easy. Their parents don't worry about whether or not they should eat a snack before bed-- my kid requires one. Their parents don't have to think about how long it's been since their child ate his last bite of food. In the middle of the night when they cry, their parents don't worry if they're crying because their blood sugar is low. When they want a bite of their parent's bowl of ice cream, the parent probably doesn't think twice before holding out the spoon. At breakfast time when the oatmeal is waiting on the counter, their parents don't seek out ways to entertain them for 15 minutes as they wait to recheck a blood sugar after correcting a low.

And I'm not angry at any of these parents nor their children. They can't help it that they don't have type 1. I'm just saddened that these carefree moments have been stripped from us. Everything must be so carefully planned out now.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Noah: 11 Months

Dearest Noah,

Goodness gracious, how does time fly!  I can't believe that you'll be one year old next month!  You are such a small little guy that it's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that you're quickly growing up! 

You are spunky, determined, inquisitive, mischievous, and funny.  You know what you want and you will stop at nothing to get it!  Remote controller? No problem! Dog hair in your mouth? Bring it on!  You are a lightning speed crawler and you quickly get to whatever it is you are seeking out.

You're totally still in your "only Mommy" phase.  This simultaneously melts my heart and breaks it.  I so desire for you to always want to cuddle me, but I also don't mind admitting that it would be nice to hand you over to your dad, or uncle, or grandma, or grandpa without a cascade of tears and loud cries. I know that someday I will read over this post with gobs of tissues in my hands and sobbing at the fact that you are more interested in playing with legos or nerf guns than cuddling your Mommy.

You can still wear 9-month onesies and pants.  The pants are getting a little short, but your waist is still so small that 12-month pants don't particularly stay on you very well.  I am busy transitioning out your 9-month clothes and incorporating 12-month clothes.  It's so odd to me to have a baby who wears clothes that are sized at a number less than his age!  You are so cuddly and cute and small that it makes it that much harder to think that you'll be one next month!

You wear size 4 diapers-- Costco brand during the day and Huggies Overnight at bedtime.  You have a bit of a cough right now, but most nights you sleep from 6:30p.m. until I wake you at 6:30a.m. to get ready for "school."  On the weekends, and other days when you're not in "school", you can sleep until 7:30 or even 8:30 and I totally let you. 

You are a very jovial baby. You are always looking for ways to make people smile. I absolutely LOVE this characteristic!  You're our dancer baby.  You groove along to the music in the car or on TV shows, movies, or commercials.  You'll pause mid-crawl to give a little shake if you really like the song.  "If You're Happy and You Know It" is your jam.  This song was made for you!  You can rock it out by clapping twice at the appropriate times and you wiggle wiggle wiggle during the rest of the song.  As soon as you hear this song, your face lights up and you sport a huge grin-- you react this way to this song even if you're sick!

You had your first ear infection this month at the same time as your brother.  You didn't much care for your anti-biotic and I didn't care for the poopy diapers that accompanied it.  We were both elated when you took your last dose of the medicine, and your ears seem to be all better!  You currently have a little bit of a cold with a pesky cough that won't quite leave you alone.  Hopefully over the Christmas holidays, you'll fully recover.

You have two top teeth now, but they aren't totally visible to everyone-- only to those with whom you care to share your secret by leaning back very far and opening your mouth. :)  You like to view the world from the upside-down perspective when I hold you on my lap.

You love the Christmas tree and particularly like holding onto the non-breakable ornaments I hand to you to keep you entertained during diaper changes or when I just want to hold you in my lap to keep you from finding dog hair and putting it in your mouth.

Noah, you are sweet, funny, and endearing.  I love you to pieces.  You are a great little brother to Michael and you are just the humorous little guy that we need in our lives when diabetes brings gray clouds.  You're the sunshine and you've always got a smile to share.
























I pray you seek Jesus earnestly and always.  You can be a wonderful reflection of the light that He gives.  Your kindness and humorous attitude will be ever-needed in this world.  I love you, Noah dearest.  Thank-you for your constant smiles and the laughter you provide.

Love, Mommy




Until Next Time,

Much love,

Reba



Friday, December 5, 2014

Decor in Pictures

Here's a photo update of our current Christmas decorations:

Here's our tree, though not completely decorated yet, and not with the tree-skirt or tree topper since those things are still up in the attic along with our remaining ornaments.  Tonight we plan to bring all of the ornaments down from the attic to sort through even though we won't put them all on the tree.  In the background you can see the paper-chain garland and the Nativity Set.  Most of the characters of the Nativity Set are still up in the attic as well, but should be joining the group tonight.  We set up the tree as Michael ate his bedtime snack.  This is what he said "Oooohhhh!  Wow!!! Christmas tree! Yights! Is that my Christmas tree, guys?"  So cute.  Noah was mesmerized by the Christmas tree this morning! I think it was the first time he's seen one.  :)  Here's what we have so far:

Here's the Christmas Tree Advent Calendar and the accompanying sticker ornaments sheet hanging on our fridge:



Here is the fabric Nativity Advent Calendar and the accompanying Christmas bowl on the counter where the characters reside until it's their turn to join the scene:






So, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our house! This evening, I plan to let the boys watch the Christmas episodes of Wallykazam, PAW Patrol, and Team Umizoomi and, later on, Aaron & I get to watch a Christmas movie by the light of the tree!  Fa la la la laaaaaa la la la laaaa!


Until Next Time!

Much Love, Reba


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Things So Far...

We haven't done a whole lot of decorating yet.  As of right now, we have a construction-paper-chain garland hanging on our mantel.  I made it on Monday night.  It's actually kind of festive and cool since the construction paper has bits of glitter in it.  I chose red, green, and white paper.  Simple, yes, but my children are young and they don't mind. 

Aaron handed the fall-themed paper-chain garland to Michael on Monday night and he said "Wow!  A rope!" and attempted to jump rope with it.  A few minutes later, the paper-chain turned into a snake and Michael had to grunt and work really hard to keep from getting attacked.  Never a dull moment with this two-year-old.

Hanging on the door leading from our kitchen to the laundry room is a Christmas Advent Calendar that my mom is letting us borrow for the holiday season.  It is kid-friendly.  It's a fabric scene of Mary and Joseph in the stable with pasture land around them.  The pasture land is made of felt, and there are velcro squares on certain areas of the cotton fabric.  Hanging below the Christmas scene are 25 pockets in which are shepherds, a dog, sheep, camels, donkeys, cows, Wise Men, gifts, three angels, a star, and Baby Jesus.  Each piece has a velcro square on its back in order to adhere to the felt or other velcro squares on the fabric.  Each day, the child puts a new character on the fabric scene leading up until Christmas Day when Baby Jesus gets put in the manger. I loved playing with this as a tween-- which is around the time in my life that my parents got this.  My two brothers and I would alternate who got to put up the character on each day.  It was fun!  By Christmas Day, the whole fabric scene is filled with people and animals and a star and angels and Jesus!  So fun!  My mom let us borrow it this season since it's an activity that Michael can do that doesn't involve food.  As soon as Michael saw it hanging up, he swiftly removed a camel and a cow.  I knew that leaving all of the characters in their pockets would just be a recipe to having them all disappear at the hands of a curious toddler.  So, at my mom's suggestion, I piled all of the characters in a Christmas bowl and placed it on the kitchen counter out of Michael's reach.  Each day, I will take the appropriate character and place it in its pouch and let Michael put it up on the fabric.  So far, a shepherd and a sheep are in the pasture awaiting the addition of the faithful sheepdog later today.  :)

My Nana gave us a sticker advent calendar.  It's a picture of a Christmas tree, and there's a sheet with it that has an ornament sticker for each day leading up to Christmas Day.  I let Michael put the ornament stickers on for Monday and Tuesday, and I believe a present shaped sticker is tonight's choice.

The rest of our Christmas decorations are up in our attic at the moment, and I can't remember everything that we have.  I'm also convinced that I don't want to use everything that we have since what goes up must come down.  I plan on picking out a few things to display.  The Nativity Set and stockings will join the paper-chain garland on the mantle.  This will be Noah's first Christmas and I'm so excited to hang up his stocking.  I got it on clearance at Target last year after Christmas and it's adorable! I'll use non-breakable ornaments on the tree if we can resist from putting up each and every ornament that we have.  No promises. 

I also came across this cute idea while searching "easy Christmas decorations."  I have a whole container of tiny tin Christmas cookie-cutters and goodness knows we probably won't be using them all this season.  Simply because, who has the time?  I think the container has about 100 Christmas cookie-cutters.  Surely I can spare a few easily identifiable ones to hang in the windows.  I mention "easily identifiable" because my mom has a cookie-cutter of an angel in flight, and each year we twist it around in each direction trying to remember what it is!  So I'll plan to use the bell, star, snowflake and tree shapes.

I'll plan to post pictures after we complete our decorating extravaganza.  I also plan to take a picture of the boys for our Christmas card.  I have an idea in my head that would be simply darling if it works out as planned. :)

Happy decorating to you all!

Until Next Time,


Much love, Reba


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thankful for My Cheffer

A "cheffer" was a term of endearment in my house while growing up.  My little brother invented the term to describe, obviously, a chef.  These days, I have a fantastic cheffer.  None other than my sweet husband. 

This guy is incredible in the kitchen!  He can add dashes and sprinkles of spices and turn any dish into a culinary experience!  He grills, he cooks on the stove top, he makes his own pasta, he makes bread.  This guy can do it. 

As we made our grocery list for this week, we decided that we would have Velveeta Cheesy Skillet on Monday night for dinner.  If you haven't tried a flavor of Velveeta Cheesy Skillet yet, please do so.  It's like Hamburger Helper, except kicked up a notch.  After we returned from the store, we realized that we did not buy a box of Velveeta Cheesy Skillet.  Aaron grabbed ground meat, a box of Velveeta & Shells that was already in our pantry, and he got to work creating Velveeta Cheesy Skillet by hand.  He added mustard of all things to the meat to flavor it since he knew that just adding ground meat and mac-and-cheese wouldn't produce the flavors he was looking for.  Mustard was the ticket!  This dish tasted so good!!!

I know a lot of you out there might be thinking "Ok, seriously, she's raving about her husband making a homemade version of a boxed meal."  And yes, I am.  But that's just because it was what we had for dinner last night and he made it himself.  His skills reach far beyond making a homemade version of a boxed meal.  And if you're wondering why we are eating boxed meals, I have some answers.  Number one, it's food.  Number two, we're on a budget.  I won't rehash that again.  You can thank me later.  Number three, we both grew up eating things like this and it's a version of comfort food for us.  Number four, we do eat meals with fresh ingredients but last night was a Monday night and it was quite deserving of some comfort food. 

This morning, after eventually just biting the bullet and getting out of bed since our youngest hardly let us sleep a wink, Aaron made breakfast burritos.  For Thanksgiving dessert, he made Pumpkin Baklava.  On Saturday, I saw a TV show on which they were eating garlicky pasta and I mentioned how good it looked.  Aaron made homemade pasta with a garlic cream sauce for lunch.  This guy can cook and he's good! 

So watch out all of you Chopped Champions.  My husband can give you a run for your money. 

I just wanted to take a few moments and write about how much he blesses me with his cooking. 

So, if you're reading this, Aaron, I love you and I'm thoroughly enjoying my lunch of left-overs right now. :) 



Until Next Time,

Much love,  Reba


Monday, December 1, 2014

Go Tell it on the Mountain!

Over the hills, streets, avenues, sidewalks, and even on the front steps of the daycare!  Why the daycare, you ask?  Because someone in graciousness paid our daycare tuition for the first two weeks of December!  This is huge!!! And what a blessing!!!
 
Let me share a secret with all of you readers out there—we’re tight.  No, not the “cool dude, we’re tight” kind of meaning (although, I’d like to think we’re cool), but in the “yikes, each dollar is assigned a home and none of them are our address!” kind of way. We’re on a budget, as I’ve mentioned before in this post here.  And, if you know much about me, you know I struggle with money fears.  I know that we have planned out our budget and we have assigned each dollar a home; and at the end of the month, we are still holding a few dollars in our hands, and so it is deemed a success. 
 
But life happens.  Things show up that weren’t in the budget— like ear infections in both boys at the same time, which rings up a simultaneous doctor visit, complete with two copays (for two patients).  So the age-old adage of “two for the price of one” just got reversed.  One doctor appointment for the price of two.  That brought with it two prescriptions.  So, the copay and the prescriptions snatched away the dollars we had remaining that month and two dollars from a month prior when we didn’t end up using every last dollar. 
 
Not to mention, my children got these ear infections during a week when I was on special assignment at work and could take no leave.  That meant the day the boys got sick, Aaron had to take off early to pick up the boys from daycare and get them to the doctor.  Aaron has no accrued leave right now which means that when he’s not at work, he’s not getting paid.  This will change on January 1st when his leave is restored, but until then, this is our life.  So, he missed out on over five hours of pay on that day.  Over that weekend, he acquired food poisoning and missed work on the following Monday.  Nearly two full work days during that pay period will be missing.  So, not only were we using up the buffer dollars, we were missing out on pay we had counted on. 
 
It’s our policy to not include overtime funds in our budget since these are not funds on which we can hang our hat and depend on.  But, we surely include our normal paycheck amounts in our budget—that’s what budgeting is!  So these dollars that Aaron missed out on were actual dollars that we were counting on to make it, and now we found ourselves without this money and praised God that we had been sliding all overtime funds into our savings account.
 
We chose not to pull over any funds from our savings account into our checking account.  We knew the funds were present if we needed them.  We wrote checks for bills, and ordered more checks to pay future bills.  Funny how those checks just slip away and all we’re left with is a carbon copy of who got money.  I got a little teary-eyed as we slid into the holiday season and I wondered if our boys would have a nice Christmas.  Fortunately, they are very young and won’t mind if they get small trinkets wrapped up as toys.  And they’re not interested in the hot ticket items, which keeps us from battling others to get the items first (as if we’d battle anyone for material things anyways).  But still, in my heart I was a little sad since we’re on such a small budget right around the holidays. 
 
The Thanksgiving holiday passed and our home was warm and filled with family as we hosted Thanksgiving dinner.  We enjoyed the next few days off of work catching up with rest.  On Sunday, I wrote a double tithe check since we were unable to attend church the week prior due to Aaron’s sickness, and the boys’ ear infections, and my schedule to work.  So, I did the math and wrote out the tithe check to cover what we had received during the last two weeks.  When we made our budget, tithes were a total part of it.  I was always taught that God will bless you when you give to Him what is His.  I had heard stories of people encountering missteps and hard times when they chose to hang onto the money that they should have tithed.  We knew in our situation that our budget would only work if we gave to God what He asked of us.  Tithing was a must.  I put the tithe check in the offering plate at the end of church and we headed home for lunch.

Slowly but surely, Monday morning rolled around and we trudged off to our normal lives of work and daycare and laundry and dishes.  Michael woke in such a chipper mood today, as did Noah.  It was so nice to have such pleasant boys to start off this Monday in the right way!  Once I put Michael’s shoes on him and grabbed his jacket, the tears started.  He knew it was time to leave for “school” and he didn’t want to go.  I told him that I knew how he felt, but vacation was over and it was time for school.  I told him he could take all of his blankies with him—he was holding about five. 

He was quiet in the car as Noah bobbed along to the music and I sang and prayed.  When we pulled up to the daycare, Michael began crying again.  I wore Noah in the front-pack, with his diaper bag slung over my left shoulder, and Michael’s lunch bag dangling from my left arm.  I hauled Michael’s backpack with the fresh pack of Pull-Ups over my back, and took up his clean nap-mat under my right arm.  I convinced him to leave three blankies in the car for the ride home this afternoon (and in actuality, it was because I didn’t want him to lose all of his blankies since I knew he had one already in his backpack).  I lifted him from the car and he stood in place as I locked the car door.  Still crying, he asked me to “hold you?” which is what he says when he wants to be held.  So, I heaved him up onto my right hip and we made our way to the daycare doors. 
 
Once inside, his crying got louder.  Now, I’m not sure if that was because he knew we were getting closer to saying good-bye or if it was because we were now inside tiled walls and floors and cries echoed for that reason alone.  I held his hand and talked to him about how fun it was to go to daycare and learn about shapes and numbers and letters.  A dad holding the hand of his probably four year old daughter scurried quickly past us, and the young girl turned around to stare at the pack-mule of a mom and her papoose and crying toddler.  Quite the show. 
 
As we walked past the Director’s office, I gave a genuine smile and said “Good morning!” She started getting up from her desk hastily and said “Good morning, Reba. I have something to tell you. Your tuition for the first two weeks of December…”  (and in that moment I’m thinking ‘Oh no, don’t say that it’s doubled or that I’m late.  I’ve totally paid each and every week.  Oh, wait, today is December 1st.’)  “…has been taken care of.”  The smile left my face and it was replaced by tears in my eyes, and a lump in my throat.  She saw my change of expression and tears filled her eyes too.  She nodded and said “So, that’s an early December blessing.”  And I said “Wow.  It sure is.  Thank-you.  Thank-you.” 

With teary eyes, I walked Michael to his room.  He cried a bit when I dropped him off, but I’ve since been told that he resumed his normal demeanor shortly afterwards and has been his jovial self all day.  I dropped off Noah and he wasn’t even crying when I left the room.  That was super!  I made my way to work and texted Aaron and my mom to tell them of the gift we were anonymously given. 


The text messages went like this:

 
(My conversation with Aaron)

Me: Walked into daycare today.  Was informed that someone has paid our tuition for the first two weeks of December.  Miracle.
 
Aaron: Wow. Amen.

  

(My conversation with my mom)

Me. Walked into daycare today.  Was informed that someone has paid our tuition for the first two weeks of December.  Miracle.

Mom: You are blessed.  I love those miracles.  And the nice thing about anonymity is that you get to feel good thoughts about lots of people it might be.

Me: Right.  Just wish I could personally thank whoever it was because I’m truly truly grateful and I don’t want to appear ungrateful.

Mom: The blessing makes great blog writing.  Maybe inspire someone to anonymously do something for someone else when they read how your heart was blessed.  And when someone does that in that way, they are not looking for thanks.  They are being cheerful givers.  And what a great testimony to your tithe faithfulness!  As your daddy says “You can’t out give God.”

Me: It brought me to tears when Stacy told me, and then to tears again when I thought that God is really showing Himself and blessing us when we give to Him what is His.
 
Mom: My challenge to you is, as you have opportunity, share your story.  When someone asks you how you are, share your story. 

Me: Thank you.  I will share. I don’t want to seem boastful.  Just very blessed.  Unexpected start to December. :)

Mom: Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.  You are not boasting if you are giving God credit.  Can’t keep the light under the bushel :)

Me: :) good point.  Love you.

 

*****

 
Whoever you are who chose to pay our tuition for two weeks, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you for being obedient to the Lord.  We have truly received a blessing.  The fees we would have paid to daycare can now cover over some of the expenses we accrued during the past couple weeks with copays, prescriptions, missed hours of work, etc.  Some of what we have leftover can be put towards Christmas gifts for the boys.  My heart is so happy that it is totally overflowing in gratitude. 

 
So, to the other readers out there, here’s my challenge to you:  Trust God.  Give to Him what is His.  Trust Him when he lays a need on your heart, and follow in obedience. 

 
This blessing has given me a renewed spirit.  It’s lifted my heart and changed my attitude.  I feel like smiling more and griping less. I am finding that little things today aren’t bothering me as they used to.  It’s incredible what an act of kindness can do to lighten a load and replenish a positive outlook.

  

“Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.”  Mark 12:17
 

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 
‘Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”’ 1 Corinthians 1:31

 
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28
 

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

 
 
 

Whoever you are, thank you again.  You have truly blessed our hearts.  Thank you for your faithfulness to God.  He used you in a mighty way. 
 

 

 

Until Next Time,

 

Much love, Reba

 

 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Haunting

To get Type 1 Diabetes, you must be pre-disposed. Your body must already be programmed to have this auto-immune disorder. It's not contagious; it's self-involved. The body's immune system stands at the ready to attack and destroy the beta-cells (the insulin-producing) cells in the pancreas. Usually this attack is triggered by some event: a sickness, a virus, etc. It sets off this chain of events to attack the beta-cells and, overtime, lead to failure to produce insulin and cause blood sugar levels to rise dangerously high.

To a parent of a Type 1 child, I find myself haunted by this fact-- that some life event triggered my son's beta-cells to be attacked. I find myself rummaging through my brain trying to remember each and every time Michael was sick-- to see if I could put my finger on when his beta-cells stopped working.

Overall, Michael was a healthy child. A fun-loving energetic, happy, inquisitive little boy. He hardly ever had any colds. In fact, I NEVER had to take him to the doctor's office for a sick visit, only for his well-child visits.

The only thing I can think of was in the spring when I got a bad cold. This cold brought a runny nose, a cough, sore throat, migraines etc. I ended up taking a day off of work because of this cold. And since my boys are young and still dependent on their mommy and daddy for care, it wasn't like I could keep away from them. I hated the thought of sharing a sickness with them and I knew it was inevitable that they would both get it. And they did. They got over it rather quickly, but it haunts me to this day to think that I caused this in my son.

If I could have just stayed away, not been in such close contact, would my son have diabetes right now or would we have been able to put it off for a few years?

But that might have made his life harder if that was so. Getting Type 1 Diabetes at nearly 2 years old is a life-changer, no doubt. But maybe it's better that he got this at such a young age. He won't remember life pre-diabetes. This will be all he knows. And although that's a blessing in disguise, it's still hard on the heart to think that a two-year old knows what insulin injections are and has to get them multiple times a day.

Just this past weekend, while playing outside with my boys, I realized that Michael was giving me pretend insulin injections with sticks. He would poke my thigh with a stick and say "1, 2, 3, all better!" Or "1, 2, 3, all clean!" My heart hurt. Insulin injections were so much a part of his life that he incorporated them into his playtime.

It haunts me to think about the exact moment in time when he got diabetes. I even had a hard time sorting through the pictures on my phone to find the last few pictures taken before he was diagnosed. I wanted to see if I could see it. Could I see the signs of diabetes on his face? I found out that the answer was yes. Yes I could. He was so thin, so tired. But at the time, I didn't know what to look for. Now I see it as clear as day.

When Michael was in the car with us on our way to the Children's Hospital ER, we received the call that the lab work showed his blood sugar was 823. As a mom, I'll never forget that number. I'll also never forget the date of diagnosis: August 11, 2014. After learning what DKA is and how utterly serious it is, I was overwhelmed. I still am when I think about how narrowly Michael escaped a coma or death. Children with blood sugars in the 600's and 700's are life-flighted to hospitals. Some children end up in a coma first. Some die. The odds of being diagnosed before the second birthday is one in 3 million. The odds of being diagnosed without first being in a coma or having a seizure is even more rare. It haunts me to wonder how close Michael was to dying.

These are real fears and questions floating around in my mind as the parent of a Type 1 child. I know it's unnecessary to wonder about the "what ifs" of life. But it's not futile. Doing so helps me process our situation and it also helps me look at what the negatives in a "what if" situation could be. The "what if" world isn't perfect. Just because we might wish that something in our lives would have happened differently, it doesn't mean that the alternate scenario would be without problems. This helps me accept our situation the way that it happened and to realize that this was God's perfect plan for us. He chose August 11th for us.

On August 11, 2012, Aaron & I attended a pregnancy & labor class just seventeen days before Michael made his arrival. On August 11, 2013, we went to church and spoke with church friends about what their guesses to our second baby's gender would be since we'd be finding out a couple days later. We were also ready for our first family flying trip to visit Aaron's family. Michael would be having two different "first" birthday parties on our trip. We were excited to embark on that journey. We didn't know that the time bomb was ticking. On August 11, 2014, Michael was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and our lives changed again forever.

I know that Diabetes is a part of Michael's story and a part of his testimony. When I view it like that, I realize that we have not been abandoned by God in any of this. I'm reminded that He will remain by our sides through all of this because it's His perfect plan for Michael.

So, Diabetes, I accept you. You are now part of what makes up my oldest son. You are here to stay and I must be okay with that. I pledge to try my hardest every single day to keep you in check so that your effect on my son is minimal. Although I accept you in his life, I will not let him or us be ruled by you.


Dearest Michael,
I love you immensely and I think you are simply the bravest boy. I'm proud of you and how you are handling your new routines in life. You are stellar! I am proud to be your mom.
I love you forever,
Love, Mommy


Until next time,

Much love, Reba

Friday, November 14, 2014

World Diabetes Day

Today, November 14th, is World Diabetes Day!

We are clad in our blue today in support of Michael and in support of others living with the different types of diabetes.  Type 1 Day was November 1st, but today is a day set aside to support those who deal with all types of diabetes. 

Blue fingernails and the pre-breakfast blood sugar reading:

Mommy and Noah wearing blue!


Mr. Michael sporting his blue shirt, blue pants, blue socks, and blue Medical Alert bracelet.


Crazy hair don't care  :)  





So, for all of the heartache and worry that Type 1 Diabetes causes, it is nice to have a month set aside where people can band together to show support for one another.  And it may only be this one day that some people think about diabetes, but it makes a difference to all who are affected by this disease.  Just knowing that I can wear blue and show support for my son outwardly to a degree where someone might ask me why I'm monochromatic today, makes a difference to this momma whose oldest son otherwise deals with an invisible disease.  Today, it is visible.  It is blue.  It is making people think about what this disease is and what it does.  And that makes the invisible days worth it. 

Michael's entire daycare is dressed in blue today to show support and he's only been in daycare for three weeks!  Aren't those people the best?  We are blessed.


Until next time,

Much love, Reba





Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No End in Sight

When we were in the hospital, the diabetes educators let us in on a little secret: we didn't have to buy one of those special "bio-hazard" disposable containers for all of the "sharps" Michael will use for his diabetes management. In fact, they said, if we used one of the "bio-hazard" containers, we must make sure to dispose of it by following the directions on the box and mailing it away to a designated location. Otherwise, if sanitation personnel saw one of these containers in our trash can, we could be given a fine. A fine is not something we needed-- not with the expense that accompanies diabetes management anyway.

The educators told us to choose something we already had-- something with opaque sides (clear plastic is thinner and more susceptible to having a needle poke through it), and something that can be closed when not in use. They suggested empty laundry detergent bottles or empty bleach containers. My "mommy-of-a-newly-diagnosed-type-1-child" mind was racing--fumbling through the compartments in my brain trying to think if I had an empty laundry detergent bottle. It's one of those moments where I was certain I had just thrown one out the week prior. I couldn't kick myself for that because we didn't know. We didn't know an event would happen in our lives that would make empty laundry detergent bottles something to hang onto. I buy my laundry detergent in a bulk size, so if I had just opened one, it would not be empty for quite some time. The educator suggested an empty bleach bottle. Bleach?!? Who keeps that around with a toddler and a baby? I had no bleach container. What would I use?

Someone suggested formula containers. Formula! I have a baby that drinks formula! And formula containers are usually empty within a week. They are opaque. They can be closed. This will work! And so it began. We began saving every formula container. Now I keep spares on top of my fridge along with the current one we're disposing sharps into. One is also kept in my car for anytime we are out and about and have to change a lancet drum (the tiny needles to do blood sugar checks) or an insulin pen-needle. One is kept at my mom's house and one is kept at my mother-in-law's house. One is also kept in Michael's daycare classroom. Lots and lots of formula containers that will hold more pen-needles and lancet drums than we want to count.

And I've thought about this multiple times. Each time I'm washing out an empty formula container, each time I'm writing "sharps disposal" on a container, each time I'm wrapping a full container with duct tape and writing "do not recycle" on it. I think about how this is now part of our life. Noah will eventually stop drinking formula and we'll have to start collecting empty laundry detergent bottles or coffee canisters. The container itself isn't what I think about so much as what goes inside it. Pricks and pokes that my little boy has to do every day. I thought about how many empty formula containers we have on top of our fridge just waiting to be filled with lancet drums and pen-needles. It brought tears to my eyes. Because I knew one day there wouldn't be formula containers up there because Noah would grow out of needing formula, but Michael won't grow out of needing blood-sugar checks and insulin injections. Although there's an end in sight for using formula containers, there's no end in sight for the pricks, pokes, and blood. Each of those containers will be filled one day with countless needles. And this broke my heart.

One night as I lay in bed, tears just started falling. My heart was too heavy and it needed to overflow. I told Aaron how broken it made me feel to see all of those containers and to know that they are all going to be used. And after they are used up, then we'll be filling bulk-sized laundry detergent bottles and coffee canisters. Container after container will be filled throughout the years, and the thought of it made me cry. Diabetes isn't going away.

It pains me when I have to tell people that Michael won't grow out this. It pains me when I have to correct people when they say "well, surely he doesn't have to have shots, does he?" And I have to say "Yes. Multiple times a day." There's pain when people ask "So he just has to take some medicine and he'll be all right, right?" And I have to say "He has to take multiple insulin injections. Insulin is a hormone. There's no medicine that he can take and be better." And then they respond with "But he doesn't have to do the sugar checks does he?" And I reply "Yes. He does." They conclude with "That's a lot for a little guy." I nod and go on about my day. I know it's a lot for a little guy. It's a lot for someone of any age. Michael will be master of his diabetes, but it'll still be a lot each day to calculate, check, inject, etc.




There's no end in sight. And that's what makes me overwhelmed.

Until next time,

Much love, Reba


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Noah: 10 Months

My dearest Little Noah,

You are 10 months old and just the sweetest baby around!  I love you to pieces!   Your personality is starting to really show itself and I think there's lots of fun to be had in your life!  If fun isn't around, I have a strong feeling that you'll create it for yourself!

You are quite the comedian.  And this is so needed!  Your daddy is hilarious and you take after him!  You're also managing to pick up his dance skills. You'll bob your whole little body to the beat of the tunes of your brother's toy phones and your toy piano. 

I can already tell that you've made it your mission to get people to smile and I think it's great! The other day, I watched you crawl in front of your brother and then head butt yourself into his knees. You'd then sit back, stare up at him and yell "uhhh!" while clenching your fists. Later that same day, you crawled under the dining room table as your brother was eating lunch. You parked yourself right underneath his sock feet so that he could rub your hair! Later still, you crawled up to him as his feet hung off the edge of the couch and you proceeded to bite his sock! You are such a hoot. I hope you will always be such a jokester and search for ways to be funny.

You are a lightning speed crawler these days.  Watch out!  Noah's coming through!  You will look up to see which direction we are headed in, and then you will put your head down (to reduce drag, of course) and go on your merry way!

You are a good eater. You drink 4 to 5 formula bottles a day. You also eat baby food (homemade and store bought) at lunchtime and at dinner time.  You have an afternoon snack of Puffs and this is also your dinnertime appetizer.  :)  You can drink water from a sippy cup, but you mostly like to shake it in the air and make it rain. :)

You have the funniest expressions and we smile and laugh at them every single day.

You and your brother are already friends and are really taking notice of each other these days.  I am loving this!  You will play side by side and you are feverishly working on teaching each other to share.

You take one nap a day at daycare, but on the weekends, you take 3 shorter naps. 

You love to be outside, and some evenings I will park your exersaucer on the screened-porch and I'll blow bubbles for you and your brother.  You love to sit/stand in your exersaucer and watch your brother and your puppy race around the back yard.

You wear 9-month clothes comfortably.  You can wear 12-month onesies, but 12-month pants are a little too long.  Size 6-month pants end up looking like capri-pants and that just won't do in this colder weather. 

You bob (dance) along in your carseat when we play Christian radio on the way to school.  This blesses my heart as I see you in the baby mirror grooving to the beat of God's word. 

You are also very chatty, both at home and in the car.  You're not afraid to show off your two bottom teeth.  Your smile lights up a room and creates memories for days. 


We see this face at least once a day:

We see this face about 1,345,564,453,675,894 times a day.  Sweet, slightly mischievous, and kind.

I took this picture on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  You were so cuddly!

Who can hold their own bottle??? Noah can!


Excuse me!  Where did you learn to pull up to look out the window?

Sweet boy.

Happy Halloween!

A cuter pumpkin the world has never known.

Reading your very first Halloween card! You were so excited to have your own card!

Big Brother giggling with you and feeding you your bottle.

Mommy & Noah picture!

Mommy and her sweet boys!

Sitting under the table getting your hair rubbed by Michael's socks.

On your way out from under the table.  You certainly caused your brother to laugh hard!

Crawling up to your brother to bite his socks.  Such a silly boy.

This is typically the look you give to your brother.  A look of awe and friendship.  How blessed we are that God gave us you!


Oh, Noah, I love you to pieces.


I pray the verse Joshua 1:9 over you and your brother.  I pray you seek the Lord earnestly and always.  I'm excited to see what God has planned for your life.  He chose you specifically for a grand purpose.

I love you, sweet boy. 


Love, Mommy

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This Verse I Claim for My Sons

I have heard of other parents finding meaningful Bible verses and praying those verses over their children, and claiming those verses as beacons for the lives of their children.

While I read the word of God, my heart has been open to hopefully finding a verse that "fits" my kids.  This past week, I found it.

And although I could choose a verse for each kid, and maybe I will still do so, I find that this verse is so powerful that I want to claim it for both of my sons.

On October 28th, this was the "Verse of the Day" on my daily verse flip-calendar at my desk:

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9 (NIV)


How appropriate for our lives.  God's got us in His hands.  He knew what He predestined for us before any of it came to be.  He knew Michael would have Type One Diabetes.  He knew.  And, Noah may face trials and tribulations in his own life, and we don't know what those things are right now, but God does. 

To a mother, the fact that God loves my sons more than I do is so overwhelmingly peaceful.  I love them to pieces and want nothing but joy in their lives.  But I understand that this is a broken world we live in, and it's a scary place to be.  But God is bigger and He is greater!  Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world!  And this is why I pray that my sons seek Him earnestly and always and that they ask Him to be Lord of their lives at an early age so that they don't have to walk through this scary world alone.  After a while, the shields held by the father and the mother can no longer protect the child, and that child has to grow up and go out on his or her own.  It's that moment that I fear.  I hate the thought of leaving my children in this world when I pass away.  But this verse reminds me that God has a plan.  Nothing takes Him by surprise.

So while we are still learning the "new normal" for our lives now that Diabetes has made itself a member for life, we choose to trust.  And while we are training these boys up in the way they should go so that they don't depart from it, we choose to trust.  As we mold and shape their lives through the teaching God has given us, and as we find that our own lives are shaped in the process, we choose to trust. 

God is with us, wherever we go.  Wherever we go. 

It's a lot to ask of a mom to not be discouraged when one child is diagnosed with a disease for which there is no cure.  But God wouldn't give Michael this disease if He wasn't going to see us through.

So I'll be as strong and as courageous as I can be.  I'll put on the Armor of God one piece at a time, and I'll forge onward through the mess that is called this world.  And I'll trust.  Because He's going to be with us.  And He's going to be with my sons.  Wherever we go.  Whatever we go through.  He's here. 

Isn't that worth smiling about?  He's here!


Until next time,

Much love, Reba

Monday, November 3, 2014

Living on a Prayer and a Small Budget

Hello there, Daycare World!  My my, how my wallet is thinner!  

One in daycare at a time can be pricey.  Two at once?!?! Whoa, money, come back here!
(And for all of you with more than two in daycare, what are your secrets???)

Due to some life circumstances (hey, they come up all along and we try to go with the flow) the boys are now in daycare.  As we're adjusting to our new schedule, our budget is also adjusting.

Gone are the days of multiple grocery store trips each week full of nonchalantly tossing items in the cart which may or may not get eaten before the expiration date.  Now, we have a strict list that is compiled from looking at a couple different grocery store ads.  We add in the everyday items we need (ie, eggs, chocolate milk (part of Michael's bedtime snack), cracker packs (the second part of Michael's bedtime snack), etc) and we stick to this list!  We make one grocery store trip each week based on which store had the best overall sales (unless a certain sale is too good to pass up, in which case we leave room in the grocery budget for that, then we'll make a trip to that grocery store during the week just for that particular sale item.)

Gone are the random shopping trips to Target & Hobby Lobby where cute, but unnecessary items were gathered.  My house is decorated with a construction paper-chain garland on my mantle-- not cutesy pumpkin & gourd garland from Hobby Lobby, and not with a cute harvest table-runner from Target. 

Gone are the days of saying "Oh sure!" when invited to eat at a restaurant.  Also gone are the days of saying "Oh sure!" when Aaron and I discuss if we should have people over for dinner.  So, please, if you invite us to a restaurant and we decline, or if you are wondering why we haven't had you over for dinner, please know: we still love you!  We just can't afford these "extra" things right now.  We plan our meals very carefully and we budget for those meals.  Adding in a few extra people can tip the scales and we just don't have the funds right now.


And we know it's a season.  We won't be like this forever. 

Each morning when I walk outside, I shake my fist at my vehicle (inwardly, of course.  I don't want the neighbors to think I'm crazy.)  I hate hate double hate car payments.  And, (slap your hand against your forehead if you must), I have two of them.  And I hate it. 

What I hate even more is the feeling I had while preparing my budget.  I was scared to death that I couldn't afford daycare.  What would I do with my kids?  Would my husband or I have to quit a job?  Would we have to sell a car?  What would we do?!?!? 

I used Dave Ramsey's Excel budget form.  I LOVE this form.  I painstakingly poured over bank statements to see each and every bill that we pay, and where we spend our extra money after bills were paid.  What I hated to see was that we could afford daycare.  Daycare for two (in the region of the country where we live) is around $1,000 a month.  And we could afford it.  The reason I thought we couldn't afford it was because we were not being careful with our money.  A thousand dollars was slipping away from us each month and going to who knows where.  (The answer to that is Target, Hobby Lobby, Academy Sports, restaurants, multiple grocery store trips, etc).  If I had completed this budget form months ago, I would have seen what we could have been saving each month.  A thousand dollars?!?!  I could have had one car paid off within a couple months!  Then I could have rapidly been beefing up our savings account to pay off the other car.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I cannot even tell you how many times I slapped my own hand against my forehead when I saw how wasteful we had been.  I cried. 

So, now, we are tight.  In fact, we haven't been this tight since we were new new newly-weds.  We lived in a crumbling apartment  (it had a tiny chandelier in the dining room, so I thought it was cute), and we paid reasonable rent.  Of course, looking back now, we realize it was reasonable because we were living in the 'hood 'hood.  I used to lay all the bills out on the table and look at our bank balance and I would stagger bills to make sure they could all get paid.  Of course, we were on one income.  I didn't have a job (aside from a two week stint at a daycare, but we won't go into that.  I was so very naive).   I remember allotting ourselves $35.00 per week for groceries, and going to the store with my calculator and envelope of money.  I'd put into the cart what I could afford, and sometimes I'd slowly walk around the store and put things back that were not needed that week (like hand soap when I had a couple squirts left in the bottle at home). 

We are basically at that point in our lives again.  Except now we have two boys to feed.  Fortunately, they are little and don't eat too much. 

Unfortunately, Noah is still on formula and good gracious-- that stuff is expensive.  Fortunately, my dad is so incredibly helpful and can go to Sam's Club to get us the formula we need which they don't carry at Costco.  He can get it for us at Sam's in a container that sports 55% more formula than we can get in the regular grocery store-sized containers.  The Sam's Club containers cost only $2.00 more than the smaller container at the regular grocery stores!  This blows my mind and I am SO grateful to my dad for getting formula for us at Sam's.  I'm also trying to remind myself that formula-usage is a season.  Noah will be turning one soon and will be able to drink whole milk, which is MUCH cheaper than formula. 

Unfortunately, both boys are in diapers/Pull-Ups.  Fortunately, Michael's daycare class is busy potty-training.  In fact, most of the kids in his class are potty-trained, and I'm hoping that Michael learns through watching them.  Once he is potty-trained that will save us some money on diapers. 

Unfortunately, Michael and I have real prescriptions that we must fill.  Most of Michael's come in 90-day supplies.  That takes careful planning to budget for all of his medical supplies that are needed for management of Type 1 Diabetes.  Thank goodness for discount cards for testing-strips, and thank goodness for Diabetes Social Workers and nice pharmacists and friendly insurance reps who work together to make sure we can get the best deal possible for his supplies.  The "best deal possible" is still utterly expensive, no doubt.  But every penny saved, helps.

I have decided to make baby food for Noah in an effort to save some money on that front.  So far, it's going well!  I've read and re-read the blog posts on homemade baby food that my sister-in-law wrote.  I've texted her to ask for suggestions and advice as I embark on this journey.  I've read the baby-food "cookbooks" she gave me.  So far, I've made a variety of fruits and veggies for Noah to eat.  I got the confirmation from the daycare that bringing homemade baby food for Noah's lunch is okay.

I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job now about working with what we've been given.  After seeing how selfish we had been with our money, I am so incredibly focused these days on being good stewards of the money we've been allotted.  Every dollar is now accounted for and has a home. 

I wrote this post mainly to get out my feelings on the subject of budgeting.  This is in no way a pity post.  I'm kind of writing this because, oddly, I'm okay with it.

This was my verse of the day on my desk "Verse of the Day" flip calendar:

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."  Philippians 4:12 (NIV).

And that's life.  And it's okay.


Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba



Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Not Their Fight: A Post on Type 1 Diabetes

I shouldn't expect people to understand.  If you don't have  Type 1 or aren't directly affected by someone with Type 1, how could you understand?

What I cannot stand is when people say "I don't see it as a big deal.  I know plenty of people with Type one who have had it forever and they're doing fine."

Okay.  Great for your friends.  I'm glad they are managing their diabetes.  However, here's a few things to consider:

1. Some people who have Type 2 think they have Type 1 because they don't know the difference between the two types.  So it's possible that your friends with "Type 1" actually have "Type 2," so sure, I can see how they'd be doing great.  With some thorough management of diet, along with exercise, and potentially some medicine, they could be doing super.

2. If your friends have had Type 1 "forever" then they've probably had it since before the invention of the blood glucose meter, ketone strips, insulin pumps, multiple daily injection insulin treatment, continuous glucose monitors, etc.  Therefore, if your friends had to count carbs, inject insulin once a day, and then potentially boil urine to see if ketones were present, then it very well could have seemed like "no big deal" but I doubt it.  I'm sure to that person who has Type 1, and to their parents, diabetes management was and IS a big deal.  My grandparents tell me that I have so much more to do on a day to day basis than they had to do each day when my aunt was a young girl diagnosed with Type 1.  That doesn't mean that their day to day lives weren't hard and filled with confusion while they were taking care of my aunt.  I call on them frequently to ask advice, and even to vent when other people just don't get it.  This is hard!  And by the time Michael has had Type 1 "forever" then I think we'll find it to be easier. But right now, it's new and it's a life changer.

3.  The point that families who deal with Type 1 want to get across is that those who have Type 1 should be treated as "normal" people.  But don't confuse normal with "no big deal."  If you think that a Type 1 person is "just like everyone else" then that family has succeeded in showing you that a disability doesn't define a person.  But never for a second assume that that individual's life or the life of their family is easy or that there's nothing to this diabetes stuff.  This is a full-time job at keeping someone alive.  Don't underestimate that.  You will never see the ins and outs of diabetes management unless you are directly affected by it.  You might occasionally see a blood sugar check, or perhaps an insulin injection.  But you're probably not silently counting carbs, doing mathematical equations and ratios in spiral notebooks to find out how much insulin to give, analyzing amounts of exercise to determine if an extra snack needs to be given, waking up at 2am to do a blood sugar check to make sure that the blood sugar isn't dropping too low or climbing too high, eating within a certain amount of time so that the insulin can meet up with the carbs appropriately, preparing documents and binders and gathering supplies for daycares or schools or work sites, etc.  This is only a part of things that families of those with Type 1 go through DAY TO DAY. 

Don't underestimate this disease.  Don't think that parents of Type 1 kids are overreacting when we count carbs and worry that our child will drop too low during a nap.  When our child wakes up, we praise God.  And yes, most of the time, everything works out fine but that's because we are working to make it so. This isn't a walk in the park.  It's a roller coaster that you can't get off of.

And I know that my son will be okay.  But I also know that it will take diligence and work to make that true.  I'm not afraid of diligence nor hard work.  I have great parents and they taught me those things well.  I'm blessed to have a husband who has just as much of a work ethic.  We work together to make sure our child is doing well.  I know that not everyone has the support system we do, and I'm grateful for what we have.  But understand, this is not an easy disease to control.  Control is such a subjective term.  And I don't like people to assume I'm overreacting when I'm busy keeping my child alive. 

So, the next time you come in contact with a family who is dealing with Type 1, view that particular individual just like everyone else.  Because he or she is like everyone else.    But don't think that they've got no worries internally.  They do-- you just can't see them.  And they probably don't want you to.


Until next time,

Much love, Reba



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's the Little Things...

Last night, I was flying solo as Aaron was working late.  Noah was fussier than normal and I attributed it to teething pains.  He followed me around the house (he's quite the crawler now) as I put away laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, and washed off his green mess of a high-chair (he got to practice feeding himself baby food green beans earlier as I was preparing Michael's meal).  After consoling him due to his fussiness and giving him some medicine, I grabbed a clean sippy cup, filled it half-way with water, and handed it to him.  He grinned from ear to ear!  He was so proud of himself for holding his own cup and actually drinking some water from it! 

Michael ate a good hearty meal and was in a very good and happy mood.  He was being so well-behaved and I let him pick out a movie to watch.  He selected "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."  My heart did flips!  I LOVE watching Charlie Brown movies around the holidays.  After the movie was over, he asked for "More Chah Bown?"  So, I put in "Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving." 

Sitting down with both of my boys with me on the couch was so needed!  Noah happily drank from his sippy cup, which Michael was super entertained by watching.  Michael happily held his "mommy blankies" and watched the holiday film.  I reveled in the simpleness and my heart was full and happy. 

And it only got better!  Noah did a great job falling asleep.  Michael had a great blood sugar number prior to his bedtime snack, and he was such a big boy while we brushed his teeth together and got his pajamas on. 

At 2:00am, Michael says "Mama?"  at the foot of my bed!  He had exited his room, walked in the dark to mine & Aaron's room, walked around the room to my side of the bed, and grabbed my feet!  I was shocked that we heard none of this!  But, as I picked him up and took him to get a blood sugar check, I told him over and over how proud I was that he came straight to our room to get us.  His blood sugar was good and I changed his diaper and tucked him back in bed.  I said "Night night, sweet boy. I love you." He said "night night" in return, but as I was closing his door, I heard something I have waited to hear forever.  "I luh doe."  He said "I love you" !!!! I was so elated!  I said "Awww!  I love you!"  and stood in the hallway with a happy heart. 

Not long after that, Noah chatted me awake-- which is very typical these past several weeks.  I fed him his bottle and he went back to sleep like a champ. 

As I spent time maneuvering through my house in the dark, holding one child or another, I felt very peaceful and very happy.  It's the little things in life that add the constant dose of joy to the long days.  Little things like sippy cups, holiday movies, cuddling children on the couch, feeding a bottle, and hearing "I luh doe."  These things make the heart happy. 


Until next time,

Much love,  Reba


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Well, they *mean* well

It's frustrating to me how little the general public knows about Diabetes and the difference between the two major types. 

The other day, I was abnormally baffled by Michael's blood sugar numbers.  We were trying out a new carb to insulin ratio for lunch.  He was receiving more insulin at lunch in the last two days than he had in a long, long while.  His numbers were actually dropping into the lower range of normal when he was checked after waking from his afternoon nap. I was uncertain that we had chosen the right insulin dose at lunchtime and I was afraid that he would drop too low during nap time.  I got up from my desk to go to the bathroom just to get a change of pace and wash my hands in very hot water hoping to distract myself as I was counting down the minutes before Michael could be checked.  I must have had a look of worry on my face because two co-workers standing outside the door of the bathroom looked at me and one said "Are you all right?"  I looked up and just said "I'm battling diabetes today," and I pushed open the door to the bathroom.  Both said "Awww" and one said "Feel better."  I gave a sympathy smile and turned back to face them.  "It's not me.  It's my two year old son."  They both chorused "Awww" again and I headed into the bathroom. 

Tears stung my eyes.  They just didn't get it.  You don't get better from diabetes.  They just didn't understand this disease.  They didn't have any idea of its relentlessness.  They just didn't know and I found that to be sad.  They meant well, but they had no clue that their words could be so piercing because it signaled that they knew nothing about the disease from which they were hoping I'd "feel better."

And I feel the sting inside when a well-meaning friend is telling me about her decision not to attend a craft event with her young son this past weekend for a number of reasons, but when she said "And it's probably a good thing that we didn't go because there would be a lot of straight pins everywhere."  My heart felt a little pinch and a lump started to grow in my throat.  I nonchalantly said "Oh, he could have just practiced being a diabetic." 

I know she meant well.  And I know she didn't think about how her words might affect me.  And I promise I'm not even the least bit mad.  But I am sad.  Michael doesn't get a choice.  His fingers get pricked every day, multiple times a day.  I still ache for normalcy.  I miss the carefree days when I could worry about Michael picking up a stray straight-pin at a craft event.  Those days are gone.  Now we carry around medical straight pins called lancets with us at all times. 

Most days, diabetes definitely makes its presence known in our day-to-day life.  But, then there are moments like this when diabetes doesn't win, and when my heart is utterly filled with joy:

The other day I saw a Facebook post from a friend stating that she had participated in a local JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes.  I commented on her post and told her that it meant so much to me that she had walked.  She responded that she was inspired by Michael and by reading about our experiences with this awful disease.  So, if you're reading this today, thank-you.  My heart still wells with joy when I think that someone was inspired to get out and DO SOMETHING about this. That brings me to tears in the best way. 

Until next time,

Much love, Reba