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 newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Low Carb Choices: Cauliflower Rice

On Saturday night, Aaron and I decided to try a new recipe: cauliflower rice!  It's a low carb alternative to traditional rice.  I got the idea from a coworker of mine who has recently made a lot of healthy food choices and altered his diet quite a bit.  The instructions he gave me seemed simple enough, so Aaron & I decided to give it a whirl.  We added it to our supper in an effort to be "cup bearers" before we try it out on Michael's palate.  I am supposed to be introducing a new veggie to Michael each week, and this would be a great one for him to like. 

Aaron makes a fabulous hibachi stir-fry and, when we pair it with Yum-Yum Sauce, it is over the top delicious.  Basically, Aaron swirls some vegetable oil in a skillet and throws in some frozen mixed stir fry veggies (usually we try to buy an Asian blend).  He heats those through, adds rice (that we've boiled) or cauliflower "rice" (wink) (that we've roasted) and mixes it all together.  Then he pan fries some diced-up chicken thighs in a separate skillet and when the chicken is cooked through (in a matter of minutes), he adds it to the veggies and stirs everything together.  We then divvy it up into bowls and top it off with a little yum-yum sauce and it's good to go!  Delicious!  It's so easy and tasty and we could seriously eat it 4 times a week for dinner.  We always have leftovers, which makes a great lunch to pack for work!

This time, in lieu of "boil-in-a-bag rice" (which is how we typically cook our rice), we decided to go the cauliflower rice route.  I researched the easiest ways to make cauliflower look like rice and how to cook it.  We purchased a Box-Grater from Target (I chose the orange color) and we were set!  I took a whole head of cauliflower and chopped it up into roughly eight wedges.  Then I rubbed about 3 wedges against the large-hole side of the box grater.  Three of the eight wedges seemed like a good amount to split between two adults. 

I heated some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  After the skillet was hot, I poured the "rice" in.  I constantly stirred it around with a spatula for about 5 minutes until it was softened.

Aaron then poured the rice into the skillet with the cooked veggies.

He put the diced up chicken thighs in the skillet that the rice had cooked it.  Within a few minutes, the chicken was done and he added that to the veggie/rice mixture.  Here is a picture of our pan when I came back for my second helping.  So, as you can see, we had quite a bit left! 

I plan to make cauliflower rice again this week and serve it to Michael as part of a dinner.  Unrelated to the rice cooking is the picture of this little boy who snacked on cheese in between his dinner and bedtime snack. 
Such a cutie. 
I will definitely be making cauliflower rice when we do stir-fry dinners in the future.  Although cauliflower didn't take the place of rice flavor, it matched it well in consistency and added the "body" to the dish the way that rice does.  It is hereby an excellent low carb choice in my book. 
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How We're Going to Do: Fall Festivals

I figured it might be insightful (and perhaps even fun) to brainstorm about how I imagine we'll do certain things and approach certain events now that Michael is a diagnosed Type I Diabetic.   I figured it might even be helpful to some out there for me to showcase on the blog what we plan to do in case it helps spark some ideas for their own gatherings and events.

Item #1:  Fall Festivals and other Autumn Gatherings


Ah, fall-- my ultimate favorite season.  I love everything about it.  Crisp weather.  Cozy clothes.  Boots (hello!).  And yummy yummy scents that fill up warm homes.  And there's the dilemma.  Not only did the diagnosis of Type I Diabetes in Michael rock our world from an obvious standpoint, it has trickled down even to the tiniest corners of the heart.  I am a baker who loves treats and sweets and scents and giving these goodies away to people.  From even before I had children, I looked forward to the days when I'd be baking with them in the kitchen.  Last year at this very time, I was in my third trimester of my second pregnancy and was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and couldn't indulge in much baking.  But I secretly didn't really care since Michael wasn't old enough to partake in many treats.  I resolved that this fall-- this one right here-- would be the start of many fun adventures between me and my children, baking in the kitchen on cool fall afternoons.  And then Diabetes came back to this residence to stay. 

With Gestational Diabetes, there is a definite ending point.  I knew that as soon as Noah was born, my bout with Diabetes would be over.  In my mind, I would only have to put up with one season of holidays where I couldn't fully indulge in many goodies and second (or third) trips to the food area at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I never imagined that this adjustment of food choices and calculation of carbs, and blood sugar checks would now be a permanent part of my life due to Michael's diagnosis.  There is no ending date for him.  Not here on earth, anyway.  I know that one day, Jesus will return and all who believe in Him and follow Him, will join Him in Heaven and we'll be healed!  No more brokenness.  No more pain.  No more pancreases that quit making insulin.  I pray that my children seek Jesus early in life and never look back.  I long for this.  I long for healing for a broken little boy who doesn't understand why his fingers get pricked and his arms and legs are poked with injections multiple times a day.

From the heart of a baker of a mom, Diabetes stings.  It seeps and grows and it can take over every single aspect of your life--whether you are the one who has this disease or not.  We are actively working in our home to have this not be the case.  I read all the time about people who say "you can live a normal life with Type I Diabetes" or "if you have Type I Diabetes you can do whatever anyone else can."  I am working to make this true for Michael.

Therefore, this fall, when other two year olds are pitter-pattering around their local fall festivals, we're going to be right there with them.  Michael will be dressed in an adorably cute costume (I haven't decided what that will be exactly-- read: the fall consignment sale where I'll buy his costume hasn't rolled into town yet), and he'll be carrying a candy bucket.  At the end of the evening, the plan is for him to "trade" his bucket of candy for a new toy or perhaps a bucket of small toys.  I got this idea from my Nana, who is the mother of my Aunt with Type I.

And on other crisp fall days, we'll be out on our screened-in patio (if the construction crew EVER arrives and screens it in) tracing leaves onto paper and making leaf-impressions by coloring on paper overlaying them.  Perhaps inside there will be a nice autumnal candle flickering for us and offering a light scent of fall treats and spices (enjoyment of fall without the carbs, I say).  Or maybe we'll wash our hands with apple-scented soap from Bath and Body Works.  We're going to enjoy this fall, Diabetes-- you hear?

I plan to structure holidays around crafts rather than around treats.  My Pinterest board for all the yummy snacks I planned to make with my children will be overtaken by cute craft ideas that are seasonably appropriate.  We will make this work.  We will find peace with our lives.  Diabetes will not destroy us.  I'm writing this more to remind myself than anything.  My son will live a normal life.

So it'll take adjusting here and there.  Fortunately, Michael is not in school.  We can skip worrying about school holiday parties for now.   Fortunately, Noah isn't old enough to trick-or-treat, so we'll skip worrying about how we'll handle his consumption of candy until when we cross that bridge a few years from now.  (Although I do believe that when Noah is of age, I'll have him trade in his bucket of candy as well, because, in all seriousness, who needs to eat a bucket-full of candy?)

I'm going to do the best gosh darn job I can do as a mom to make life enjoyable for my children.  So Michael may not be able to have a "who can eat this tube of cookie dough the fastest" race with Noah when they're age 8 and 6, but who decided that was enjoyable anyways?  :)  I pray that my sons find peace and solace in their home, that they always feel rested and refuged here.  Treats disappear fast  anyway, but a paper showcasing a crayon leaf tracing lasts way longer.  :) 

(Stay tuned for a post about "How We're Going to Do:  Christmas!")

Friday, September 19, 2014

Diabetes Mellitus Type I: An Inside Look at the Heart of a Mom (Part 1 of....)

I've tried writing down my feeling from how I felt the day that Michael was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes, and the days following.  Here's some of my thoughts.  I don't know how many different posts this will come in.  My mind is full and constantly racing as I think about our future and this disease. 

It’s not anything that I ever thought would happen to my child.  It wasn’t even on my radar.  I was just to the point of thinking there might be a problem and that something might not be right when he was continually wetting the bed and soaking his diapers mid-day, and drinking cups and cups and cups of water.   But it was August in Alabama.  And he was almost two.  And he was tall enough now to reach the water dispenser on the fridge and liked to “help” get water for his cup.  So, when I added those things together, I thought he might be getting hotter since he was playing outside in the heat, and if you’re hot then you need more water.  So I thought he was just thirstier due to the heat outside.  And I thought he was showing off his new skill of filling his cup with water.  And I thought the mood swings and behavior changes were due to the fact that his second birthday was coming up, and don’t they call it “the terrible twos” for a reason?


And then I called my mom.  And I told her about his wet beds.  And I told her about his 7+ cups of water each day and constantly asking for “more.”  I told her about his mood swings.  And I heard her voice change on the other end of the phone.  “I don’t want to worry you,” she said.  “But I think you need to call his doctor.  I’m not saying this is what it is, but it sounds like diabetes.”  This was on a Sunday afternoon.


It hit me hard and I knew.  I knew that’s what it had to be.  But I told myself “no big deal.”  I had an Aunt who has Type I Diabetes and she’s greatly successful and lives a happy life.  So I knew this disease was manageable. 


On Monday, I called the nurse line for the pediatrician office.  Within 20 minutes she called me back and told me to bring him in that afternoon.  I sat at my desk for the rest of that day and dreaded what the news might be.  I researched Juvenile Diabetes and overloaded myself with worries of what life would be like if he actually had this disease.  But then I kept telling myself “it could be worse.  It could be worse.  It could be worse.  Diabetes is manageable.  We can do this.”  I fought back tears, and tapped my toes incessantly.


That afternoon, I took a very lethargic boy to the pediatrician office.  Once we were in the exam room, he kicked and screamed at anyone who walked in the room.  I managed to wrangle a urine collection bag onto his diaper, and I held him close as they pricked his finger.  The doctor then appeared.  “His blood sugar is high,” she said.  “Too high for our meter to read.  That means he has diabetes.”  I began to cry.  So did she.  She gave me instructions to take him to a lab nearby for them to draw more blood so that they could get an actual number for his blood sugar.  She made sure I was okay to drive.  I nodded that I was.  I called my husband and bawled on the phone that he needed to meet me at the lab.  I knew I would need his help to hold down Michael when they drew his blood.  The doctor told me that I would have to come back to the pediatrician office after we got Michael’s blood drawn.  She told me that we’d have to take Michael to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham that night.  I asked if it would be an overnight stay.  She swallowed hard and said “It’s a several day stay.”  I cried some more.  She said “Be strong, momma.  You’re going to make me cry.”  The nurse, who was holding herself together better than either me or the doctor, said “You can do this.  You’re strong.  He’s going to be just fine. I promise.”  I nodded and headed out the door with a very sick child.

In the parking lot of the lab, while waiting for my husband to arrive, I called my coworker and friend, and then I called my parents.  I cried during both calls.  Michael sang to himself in the backseat and offered a cheerful “bye bye” to his grandparents on the other end of the Bluetooth connection. 


My husband showed up and the three of us walked into the lab. The two people behind the desk were so sympathetic.  Our pediatrician had already called them to tell them we were on our way.  Michael busied himself by playing on the rug in front of the door, and waving to each person sitting in the waiting room, and pointing out cars in the parking lot.  He was acting like a toddler—but inside, my heart was breaking.  Finally, it was our turn to go back.  I tried to distract him by pointing out the fish painted on the wall and waving his favorite blankie in the air.  Aaron sat in the chair and held down his arm and tucked his little legs between his own adult legs to make sure Michael didn’t kick or flail.  The two adults who were behind the desk were so kind to Michael and talked about what kind of birthday party Michael would have.  Fortunately, the blood drawing didn’t take too long, but it is absolutely awful to hear your child cry out in pain.  The man said he was putting the vials in his cooler and driving them straight to the bigger lab in Montgomery.  They said that the amount of time it would take the blood to coagulate in their Prattville office was a little longer than it would take for him to drive it to Montgomery and have the bigger lab get a reading on it.


After it was done, Aaron stood up and his pant legs were wet.  The little bag that was taped inside Michael’s diaper to collect his urine had leaked out.  We quickly laid Michael down for a diaper change so I could salvage whatever was left in the bag and put it in a specimen cup for the doctor to test for ketones.  Aaron rode with us back to the pediatrician office.  He could have driven himself.  I couldn’t have driven myself.


At the pediatrician office, Michael was more like himself.  He didn’t automatically scream anytime anyone walked into the room.  The nurse was able to test for ketones with the minimal amount of urine left in the collection bag.  The doctor came into the room and said that Michael’s ketone level was very high.  She said we didn’t need to wait until the reading came back from the lab for Michael’s official blood sugar level.  She gave us directions to Children’s Hospital Emergency Room.  She had already called the doctors up there and told them we were coming.  She said not to go home to pack a bag.  She said to drive straight to the hospital.  She gave me her cell number and told me to call her if we weren’t being treated fast enough or if anyone was rude to us at all.  I gave her my number at her request so that she could call me when Michael’s official blood sugar level was called in to her from the Montgomery lab.  Aaron picked up Michael in his arms, and we were on our way. 


We decided that although we didn’t have to stay long enough to pack a bag, we would have to swing by our house to get our dog, my thyroid medicine, and Michael’s birth certificate and Social Security card just in case.  We phoned Aaron’s mom on our way to our house.  She was watching our 7 month old and he would have to stay the night.  We made arrangements with her for Aaron’s car to be driven to her house.

While I sat in the car with Michael at our house while Aaron ran inside to get the dog, my meds, and our whole lock box so I could get Michael's birth certificate and social security card on our way to Aaron's mom's house, the pediatrician called with Michael's blood sugar level. It was 823.

We quickly pulled into my mother in law's driveway. Aaron took our dog inside their house so that they could later take him down to my parents' house. My mother in law brought out Michael's ninja turtles suitcase filled with some of his favorite toys. We were told by our pediatrician not to grab any diapers or clothes-- that children's hospital would have diapers. Arrangements were made for Aaron's stepdad and our church associate pastor and dear friend to go get Aaron's car which was still parked at the lab in Prattville. My mother in law held out Noah to us so that we could give him kisses and hugs before we left. It broke my heart to leave him. After all, Michael didn't spend the night away from us until he was over a year old. Noah was having to do it at 7 months. Fortunately, my mother in law had spare formula, baby food, diapers and clothes for him. So I knew he'd be good for a few days.

We hit the road running. I sat in the backseat with Michael. Aaron drove. Andrew, Aaron's brother, called us on our way and we talked to him through the car. I grabbed the crocheted baby blanket that i keep in the car and i shoved it in Michael's suitcase. I also grabbed a stuffed animal dog and put it in the suitcase as well. We found our way to the children's hospital emergency room and they had free valet parking for patients. What a blessing.

I registered Michael while Aaron kept him entertained walking around the sparsely populated emergency room. Michael's diaper needed a change. But we didn't have any diapers.

Soon we were called back to triage. Michael was uncooperative. The sweet nurses tried to offer him stickers but that didn't work. We figured a diaper change might help. We asked for diapers and explained that we were told not to bring any. Michael wore size 5. In the ER, the biggest size they had was 4. Michael fit. I was amazed.

After unsuccessful attempts at getting vital signs and weight, we were moved to an exam room. The exam room experience was a whirlwind. We had two nurses in there going over how much insulin to give Michael through an IV. We had multiple doctors (at least 3 at different times) come in and we had to relay our story to each one. Michael's blood sugar was checked again. It didn't register on their machine either-- it was too high. I told them we got a reading of 823 from the Montgomery lab. The nurses had to insert an IV into Michael's right hand. Two young men appeared at the door. I knew what they were there for. They were there to hold Michael down. Since Aaron and I were present, only one of the young men had to stay because Aaron & I would be able to help hold down our own son. Having had IVs during the deliveries of both my children, I knew what they felt like and I hated them. Everything in me ached for this little boy who had to have one. I held his feet. The young man held his arms. Aaron stood at his head and we tried to distract him. I would have taken his place in a millisecond. And I still would. Once the IV was in, and after they got some blood work, we could hold Michael, and his attitude was better.

We were given a pack of size 5 diapers. His diaper needed changing-- again.

We were told Michael was not in DKA. We were told that they were still deciding if they were going to admit him to the hospital. Later, we were told that they read the blood work wrong. Michael was in DKA and they would have to admit him.  (The next day, we actually found out what DKA was, and I understand now why they don't tell you what it is and how serious it is on the first day)

Eventually we got to move up to the special care floor. We had to be there since Michael was in DKA and had to have insulin through an IV. The nurse told us she'd have to draw lots of labs through the night. She said she could either stick him each time, or she could do another IV in his opposite hand and draw the labs that way. Although we hated to do this to him, and my stomach churned, we knew that it was best for him to get another IV so that he could get some chance of rest overnight if he could sleep through the blood work. We held him down again and this nurse did an awesomely fast IV. Thank you, Jesus!

That night, we watched Cars, Planes, and A Bug's Life, off and on while we held Michael on our laps in the recliner. He slept through most of the lab work overnight which was a blessing. Aaron and I switched up who would hold him in the recliner and who would try to catch 40 winks on the tiny couch. Aaron asked for scrubs for me since my shirt had been peed on twice. We knew we'd get clothes brought to us the next day from my mother in law. (It's quite humbling to tell someone where your underwear is kept, and where your shirts and sweatpants are). 
I changed into a scrub shirt and we continued our night. 

The next morning, Aaron ran down to the gift shop to buy a shirt for Michael, and a better-fitting shirt for myself.  He returned with a cute "Children's Hospital" shirt for Michael and a bedazzled Auburn shirt for me.  I love my husband through and through.  Michael's endocrinologist came to meet us.  He is so upbeat and polite and was astounded that I called diabetes "manageable" and he said "you're exactly right.  It is."  He asked why I said it was manageable.  I told him that I had an Aunt who was diagnosed with Type I as a child.  He says "Shut up!"  which brought smiles from everyone in the room.  He is a super great doctor and many many many people enjoy working with him and feel like they are heard and feel like their children are getting phenomenal care.  I get to join the ranks of those people. 

Michael finally got to eat a meal.  We had to have him out of DKA before he could eat.  At 8:00am, he was able to eat low-carb pancakes and scrambled eggs. 

My in-laws arrived with Noah and with changes of clothes for Aaron, Michael, and me.  I got to take a shower and felt so much better!  My parents arrived soon after. 

Shortly after that, one of the Diabetes Educators came in.  The grandfathers took Noah to the waiting room, my mom watched Michael, and Aaron, Claudia and I spent the rest of our day learning about Diabetes Type I and all of the rigors that go along with the disease.  We gave fake insulin injections to a patch of fake skin.  We tested out the blood glucose lancet-device and checked our own blood glucose levels.  We poured over the pamphlets and books and tried to be coherent when none of us had gotten much sleep within the past 24 hours. 

Around 4:00pm, we were moved from the Special Care floor to the Endocrine floor.  About this time, family members left and it was the three of us again.  We had a phenomenal view from our window of Birmingham. Michael liked to climb on the window sill and peer down down down at the street more than 9 stories below us.

The next morning, the endocrinologist came by again.  He told us we would get to go home that afternoon as long as the Diabetes Educator thought it was ok.  This was a day early in my mind but I longed to get out of there and get back to my son's comfort zone of his own house and own bed and own toys.  Shortly after the endocrinologist left, my in laws arrived.  They had dropped off Noah at my parents house earlier that morning.  My father-in-law kept Michael entertained while the Diabetes Educator came back and spent the morning teaching us more about this disease.  The Social Worker then came in to talk about their role in the "new normal" of our lives.  Then the nutritionist arrived and we talked about the diet needs of a toddler who loves carbs with every fiber of his being, is diabetic and allergic to strawberries. 

The Diabetes Educator brought us our prescriptions for all of the supplies Michael would need.  The hospital had a pharmacy, but they didn't supply insulin there.  So my father-in-law took the prescriptions for insulin and got them filled.  Aaron went down to the pharmacy to fill what he could of the rest of them-- the pharmacy was out of a lot of stuff.  The next day we would get the remaining prescriptions filled at our local pharmacy.  

We made special provisions for Michael to eat supper in the hospital so that we could get one last tutorial of checking his blood sugar and giving him his insulin before we hit the road for our hour and a half car ride.  We had a bag of ice brought to us so that we could keep the unopened insulin cold on our ride home.  Once in the car, Michael fell asleep nearly instantaneously.  He knew we were on our way home.

This is a good stopping place for now.  I'll post pictures of Michael's hospital visit soon. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this super long post of my thoughts as a mom.  I'm still overwhelmed at times with the relentlessness of this disease.  If I could bear this burden myself and remove it from Michael, I would do so in a heartbeat.  I'll continue to blog about our journey, if not for Michael's sake when he's older, then possibly for the sake of some other family with a toddler who is diagnosed.  There's so little out there for these young ones.  If I can share the little info we are gathering here and there, I would hope that it would help some other family out there who might be reading this.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Noah: 8 Months

Goodness Gracious!  Noah is already 8 months old!

Dearest Little Noah,

You are growing so quickly!  You are already 8 months, one week, and one day old!  (But who's counting, right?)  You're a gem and I'm so glad that God saw fit to add your smiley self to our family!

Your hair is coming in thick with a bit of a wave.  It's the lightest brown and some might call it dark blonde.  Michael likes to brush your hair and he parts it on the right side and gives you a left-ward swoop in the front.  Darling, just darling.  :)

You have the biggest blue eyes.  People are captivated by them!  You'll be a charmer with the ladies to be sure.  But let's wait until you're in your twenties, ok?  ;)

You are soooo close to crawling!  I betcha that when you can crawl, you'll be so much happier since you'll be able to keep up with Michael and you'll be able to follow around your daddy and me when we move from room to room.  At the moment, you're definitely in your "only-Mommy-will-do" phase and you'll cry if I'm not holding you or sitting beside you and touching your back with my hand.  If I change your diaper and briefly leave the room to dispose of it and wash my hands, you cry.  If your daddy goes to your room to get you when you wake from a nap, and then you see me in the living room, you cry until I hold you.  If I pause from feeding you supper to throw something away or get a paper towel wet to wipe your face, you cry as soon as I'm out of sight even if I'm a foot behind your high-chair.   Sometimes, son, this is exhausting!  But, I'm constantly reminded that I LOVE being a mom.  Even through this "mommy mommy all the time" phase.  :)

You currently wear size 3 diapers, but we went ahead and bought a box of size 4 diapers for you to begin wearing once these size 3's run out.  You wear size 4 Huggies Overnights at nighttime and they work out pretty well.  Unless you have an emergency 2 ounce bottle at midnight to accompany a dose of Motrin because you're in teething pain-- and then your diaper is a little more squishy come morning.

You drink four 6oz. bottles during the day, and you drink one 4oz. bottle around 5:00am.  You eat Stage 2 baby food at suppertime and your taste buds don't discriminate!  You love all kinds of veggies and fruits and oatmeal blends.  You're not picky in the least.  We've also started putting an ice cube in a mesh teether and giving you that to gnaw on while we clean up around the kitchen before or after your meal.  Also recently I've begun putting some cut up apple pieces from an apple fruit cup in the mesh teether.  You think that is a real treat!

You are quite the squealer-- you let out a joyful squeal when your little body just can't contain the excitement that you feel!  Your favorite places to squeal currently are your high chair (which sends your older brother into rolls of giggles and imitations), and the bathtub when your hair is getting washed or when you randomly look at the ceiling!  You are just too funny. 

Your older brother thinks you are the greatest thing.  You can make him laugh by squealing, growling, or even just looking at him when he's in a giggling mood.  :)  You're a good sport and you don't fuss when he takes one of your toys away, but it won't be long until your "death grip" really kicks in and you fight with everything you have to hold onto your toys.

You have two teeth-- two very sharp "puppy teeth" we call them.  However, I'm sure it won't be long until more teeth show up.  You are still quite drooly and your gums are swollen.  You practice "chewing" your baby food.  Michael offers to give you crackers or cheese or lunch meat each night at dinner but we remind him that you can't have those things now.  One day, little one.  One day you can. 

Noah, dear, I love you to pieces more and more everyday.  You're a true joy and I'm beyond excited to spend the days with you and to see how you grow.  Your personality is already a knock-out, so I'm sure the future will bring many more giggles, mischief, and hard abs due to all the laughing.  :) 

It is my constant prayer that you seek the Lord earnestly and always.  I pray that your dad and I can be the example that you need to find that loving Jesus and following Him is truly the right choice. 

I love you forever, dear one.  Love, Mommy

Friday, September 12, 2014

Diabetic Supplies: A Peek Into Our Cabinets

Once we started figuring out how much of a truckload of stuff we will have each 90 days for Michael's diabetes supplies, we knew we would have to be super organized in order to be able to find the things we needed quickly.

We also knew that Michael would have certain dietary restrictions and needs and that we would need to make sure we had things on hand that were available at all times for him. 

Therefore, we set out on an organizing adventure and a refrigerator re-stock to make our lives as smooth as possible now that we have a new normal to live by.

So, here are some pictures of the rearranging of some cabinets and fridge area to showcase some of our choices on how we store diabetic medical supplies and food choices.

Here you see our "juice cabinet" filled with different flavors of Crystal Light and Publix brand sugar-free lemonade mixes, as well as Crystal Light liquid-flavoring to add into water.

Here is our Diabetic Medical Supply cabinet.  The bottom shelf has tiny storage drawers to house the lancets, testing strips, alcohol pads, Ketone strips, and pen needles.  These are things we use frequently.  On the second shelf you see boxes of extra pen needles, alcohol pads, user manuals for the blood-glucose meter, and our glucagon kit.  In this cabinet I also have two spare meters, as well as our medicines for adults, children and infants.

 Here is a look into our fridge.  I try to keep a pitcher of sugar-free lemonade ready.  Behind the pitcher of lemonade is apple juice that we use to bring up a low blood sugar.  The chocolate milk is part of Michael's bedtime snack.  The whole milk (behind the chocolate milk) is for Michael's breakfast or bedtime snack (if we are not using chocolate milk that day).  We keep an 18-count carton of eggs now since that is a "free" food and can be made into scrambled eggs for breakfast to go alongside a carb option.  The container sitting on top of the egg carton is scrambled eggs with cheese that I made that morning and stuck in the fridge to be heated up for Michael when he woke. 

Here is our yogurt drawer.  Michael LOVES yogurt for his snacks, so we try to keep several on hand.  In the drawer above the yogurt, you'll see a bag of matchstick carrots that we successfully added to spaghetti sauce and meatballs the other night. 

I've been busy brainstorming ideas on how to introduce more "non-starchy" vegetables into Michael's diet.  I'll post an update on how things work out!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Michael: 2 Years

Oh Michael,

Where do I even begin?  I’ll try to keep this post solely about your two-year-old self and not delve too far into your recent diagnosis of Type I Diabetes.  I’ve been compiling a post about our experience with that, but it hurts my heart too much to write about it for very long, so I’m having to go in stages.  So, we’ll make this post about fun only, ok?


Moments come when I can totally believe you’re two and that time has crept by at a good pace.  Then, other times roll around when I’m caught in a moment of “wait!  When did two years fly by?!? And when did you stop looking like a baby and more like a little boy?!?”  All in all, I think our time has been fantastic.  I’ve cherished every day with you and I love being your mommy. 


You are talking more now, which makes my heart super happy.  It’s so nice to hear you communicate what you want and for me to understand it!  However, there are times when you ask for “thuice” (juice) and I will give you juice (insert:  “Crystal Light lemonade” or “Crystal Light liquid flavoring in water” here), and you will push your cup away, or throw it, or swipe it off the table and in a high pitched voice yell “ehh! Ehh!”  Even though I’ve given you what you want.  I guess that is part of the terrible twos, so we roll onward, and your “thuice” stays on the floor, or on the table, or wherever it has landed until you ask for something else or until you decide that I did actually give you the juice you were asking for.


You LOVE love love (and for good measure, LOVE) to be outside.  Your daddy and I are having the patio screened in next couple week, and we are SO looking forward to opening the living room door and saying “have at it” and let you play on the porch and be in a confined area and yet still “outside.”   At the moment, we play outside with you, which entails playing “bat ball” (a t-ball set from your Great Aunt R, an activity for which you MUST wear your Lightning McQueen baseball hat—your rule) and/or running after Akuna and imitating his bark, or playing with the water table or sand table and asking me to “build house” out of sand so you can knock it over with a construction steam-roller toy.  Right now, our yard has an ant problem, so your daddy and I literally have to be one step behind you in order to gently move your shoulders like a bridle if you are running straight for an ant pile.  So, once we get the patio screened in, we’ll be able to let you have a little more independence in a safe environment while we work on making the yard safe from ants.


You are comfortably wearing 3T shirts and shorts.  We found out that even though a pair of 3T pajama pants looks EXTREMELY long, you fit into them perfectly.  When did you grow up?!? 


You wear size 5 diapers.  We were being semi-diligent about sitting you on the potty, but then diabetes happened and rocked our world, and I admit that we have all taken a step back and, right now we are putting the potty on hold.  But you are able to tell us now when you have pooped, so we will be returning to potty training soon—with an alternate incentive besides an M&M.  I’m thinking a poster hanging in the bathroom on which you can put a sticker of choice each time you sit on the potty like a big boy, and maybe you’ll get two or three stickers when you actually produce something to go into the potty.


Your birthday party was a lot of fun.  My heart was still heavy at cake-eating-time because it was your own birthday party and you had to have the smallest piece of cake.  My heart ached for you, son.  Truly.  And I’m writing a separate post about all of those feelings, but we won’t discuss them in this post.  You invited family and friends to your party.  It was “Cars” themed and so cute!  I hung up streamers of red crepe paper and you LOVED that from the very first thing that morning.  “Wow Mama!”  you said.  Your daddy is the best, and made and decorated your “Cars” cake from scratch.  We grilled hot dogs, and had a veggie tray, a fruit tray, cheese and crackers, and sweet potato fries.   After lunch, we opened presents.  Your cousin and your friend helped out and enjoyed your toys with you!  It was then time to go outside and try out your “bat-ball” set, and the “bucket of balls.”  At the end of the party, it was time for a nap.  You were worn out from all the fun!



On your actual birthday, your daddy cooked you a great breakfast.  He even showed you how to make scrambled eggs.  J  Grandma Chips and Grandma Dana came over for part of the day.  We made sure you got to do things that you wanted to do like play outside repeatedly and watch some of your favorite shows or movies.  For supper, you had a hot dog (which is one of your favorite things) and you said “Mmm Mom!  Hah-gog good!” And if you ran out of ketchup, you promptly asked for “more tet-up.”   You’re the cutest.  Seriously. 


I love you dearly, my son.  You are utterly precious and you keep us laughing, guessing, and growing as parents everyday.  You are very busy exploring your world and it is such an amazing thing to watch.  I cherish our time.  I love seeing who you are and I dream of who you’ll become.  I pray that you will seek God with all of your heart, earnestly and always. 


I love you, dear one.  Love, Mommy