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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, June 30, 2015

Treats

This summer, I really want to savor the laid-back lifestyle.

I told Aaron that I wanted to do some summer-y things and really spend quality time together and being intentional about what we do.

Now, it's astronomically harder to just be spontaneous and take your kids out for ice cream cones when one of your kids has Type 1 diabetes and he's not yet 3.

I believe when he gets older, it will be "easier" for us to count an ice cream cone as a snack, etc.  But for these days, when his eating schedule and timeline is pretty strict, we opt not to include the kiddles in the treat receiving-- although I will admit that both Aaron and myself give "bites" (only one or two) of our snacks to our baby birds. :)

So far this summer we've made a couple of swings through the Starbucks drive-through.  I'm actually realizing I don't like frappuccinos as much as I thought I did.  I'm the world's slowest frappuccino drinker.  Aaron, on the other hand, is the world's fastest frappuccino drinker and the fact that he is getting something coffee related thrills me, and so I participate.

One night last week, we took an after-dinner trip to Dairy Queen and got a Blizzard.  I did share a bite of mine with Michael.  It was mid-point between his supper and his bedtime snack and I was watching his blood sugar trend on the CGM.  I knew he was safe to have a couple bites, and for the love of everything good in this world, we can't deny our child fun summer treats.  Noah happened to receive his bedtime bottle and get tucked in shortly after we returned home-- otherwise, he could have cleaned out each of our blizzards-- he is a bit of a bottomless pit.  We stuck our blizzards in the freezer to stiffen while we tucked in Noah and played some with Michael.

A "treat" doesn't have to be just food related.  Especially these days when we're being very conscious of our eating choices.  We try to eat whole, natural foods and we've both experienced comfort in wearing our clothes that were once too tight.  We also feel much better overall. 

So, for non-food "treats" we do things like after-dinner trips to Home Depot-- affectionately known as the Orange Bob the Builder Store to Michael.  Lowe's is the Blue Bob the Builder Store for obvious reasons.

Another non-food "treat" is to have a "stay-cation date night."  I discovered last week that Aaron had never watched the movie "Hook."  We instantly decided we'd look it up on Amazon Instant Video and watch it together that weekend.  So, on Saturday night, we tucked the boys in and watched the movie.  It was great!  So fun!  Even though I had seen it many times before, I still picked up on things I didn't remember, and it was fun to see Aaron's reactions and to hear his interpretation about it.  I enjoyed this stay-cation date night so much that I told him I wanted to make it a regular thing.  There are lots of movies that one of us has seen, but the other hasn't.  So we'd be able to recreate the experience by going through our movie repertoire and finding out if it's available on Amazon Instant Video.  Of course, we have our stand-by movies that we both could watch over and over again.  They include "The Proposal," "Definitely Maybe," and "I Love You, Man."  Spending quality time together is so much fun and doesn't have to be expensive.

Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba




Friday, June 26, 2015

Hobby Night

*This post was written yesterday, June 25, 2015.

This week, I decided to hit two birds with one stone. 

I decided to give Aaron a hobby night, which would give me a chance to tackle some "at-home" projects I've wanted to do.

First off, Aaron's hobby night.  This is a chance for Aaron to play Xbox at his leisure without worrying about time schedules or me nagging at him to watch a show. ;)  For Father's Day, Aaron got a special steering wheel for one of his Xbox racing games.  He's a real sweetie and really only plays Xbox after I fall asleep, or on weekend nights.  He hasn't had much opportunity to use his gift, and what's the point of having a gift if you can't use it?  So I asked him if he would like to have a hobby night and play Xbox after our work-out.  It's nice to do special things for my spouse!  He is such a great husband, a fantastic daddy to our boys, an extremely hard worker, and aims to please.  It's fun to bless him with something he likes to do.

Secondly, I needed to get my rear in gear and mop my kitchen floor.  I hate hate double hate the way my kitchen floor feels underneath my barefeet.  So I decided to hunker down and give it a good mop-- a real mopping, not just Swiffer WetJet.  Confession:  This would be the first time I've ever mopped my own floor with a real mop!  I know how to mop-- I just haven't done it in my own house.  I bought a real mop last summer, but just hadn't gotten around to making myself mop.  In my head it seemed like such a chore and that it would take hours-- I guess because that's how it felt as a kid when my mom mopped the floor. :) 

Once our workout was over, and Aaron was settled into playing Xbox, I threw a load of laundry into the dryer, moved all the dining room chairs, the dog bowls, the dog food containers, the diaper pail, and the trash can out of the area.  I swept the whole room first and then I conquered my chore-hate of mopping. (Kudos to Aaron who mixed up the mopping solution for me!)  And you know what?  It wasn't half bad.  I finished wayyyy before I thought I would, and I made sure I was thorough, too.  I read a few blog posts while I waited for the floor to dry.  After a bit of time (not hours, as I had envisioned) I moved all of the chairs, dog bowls, dog food containers, diaper pail, and trash can back into the room.  This floor felt great underfoot!  Yay!  Now, all of you prospective home buyers, come see my house and walk in my kitchen barefoot! 

We brought in the dogs for the night and I set out to make oat energy bites.  Super simple, no bake.  Tasty.  Love them.  I'll share the recipe soon.  I popped the bowl containing the mixture into the fridge and sat down to write the recipe out on a recipe card.  I planned to retrieve the bowl in 20 minutes to roll the mixture into 1" balls for ease of packing at lunchtime (although I really could eat this straight out of the bowl).  However, within 5 minutes of sitting down to write the recipe, the power went out.  It was shortly after 9:00pm.  Poor Aaron was in the middle of a race and had to end his hobby night early. :(

A storm was in the distance and we imagined that a tree branch probably fell on a wire.

Aaron's phone flashlight lit up the room for us.  We tucked the dogs into their beds and made our way to our room.  The energy bites did not get rolled into balls because I was not going to risk opening the fridge at all.  We have insulin in there, and power outages make my stomach turn when I think that insulin could be slowly losing its cool (no pun intended).

I like to take my shower at nighttime so that I'm all fresh for bed.  Well, I didn't get a chance to do that last night.  We turned the dryer to the off position so nothing crazy would happen if the power came back on in the night.  We left the dining room light on, and we also turned on my bedside lamp so that we would know right away as soon as the power came back on.  Aaron imagined it would be about an hour and a half.

We closed the bedroom doors of the boys since their rooms stay cooler than the rest of the house and we didn't want the coolness of their rooms to escape.

Psychologically, we had to prepare for bed.  We knew our fan wasn't blowing,  We knew the AC wasn't going to be on.   We pretended we were at the beach cottage and that made it a lot better.  We could see the lightning in the distance and hear the thunder, so that lulled us to sleep.

I meant to wake up at 10:30 to check Michael's blood sugar, but I either didn't set the alarm, or I turned it off.  I woke at 11:30 to Michael crying because his door was shut.  I opened his door and turned on his night-light which confirmed my suspicion that he probably wakes in the night and goes right back to sleep since he knows his door is open and can see the bathroom night-light.  But last night since his door was closed and there was no working night-light, he got scared and cried.  I told him it was okay, and then I checked his blood sugar.  He was in a safe range and I went back to the bedroom.  I realized that the power was still off.  Aaron sleepily nodded when I voiced my frustrations at the power still being out for two and a half hours. 

I must have been very tired because I fell asleep instantly and woke to a bright light shining right in my face, so I did the natural thing to do-- yell.  Aaron woke up because I yelled. :)  I then said "Oh!  The power is back on."  I got up and turned off the dining room light, but first I took note of the facial expression of one of our dogs.  He was looking at me like "Don't you know what time it is??? Why is that light on?"

We had a pit in our stomachs for about 3 minutes while we tried to figure out why the AC wasn't on.  We had just had it repaired last week!  Aaron eventually got up to check the thermostat and we realized the AC wasn't on because our house was cooler than the setting we had chosen to trigger the AC to turn on.  Our house didn't feel as cool as it said it was, but I must not have really cared.  I went right back to sleep.

I woke to an angry alarm clock shouting at me to get out of bed 30 minutes early to take my shower.  I had time to dry my hair instead of letting it air dry.  I actually finished getting ready sooner and had some free time this morning to race around the house in the morning-- finishing the recipe card, rolling the energy bites into balls, getting mine & Aaron's lunches packed, retrieving my address book so we could address the Father's Day card for Aaron's dad (late, we know).  I had so much free time, that I didn't even remember to grab my leash (aka, phone) before I left for work. 

So, at lunchtime today, I jetted over to Aaron's office and got my phone back.  It was nice to see him in the middle of the day.  Felt like we were dating. :) I got to see his desk and sit with him a little while.  That was a nice break in the day.  I love him.

Now that I had my leash back, I was able to chat with my mom for a bit, and text my mother-in-law.  Ahh!  The power of leashes.  So freeing and so frightening not to have them. 

I hope you've enjoyed our random story that started with a simple hobby night.  :)


Until Next Time,

Much Love, Reba


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Noah: A Post in Pictures

It's been a while since I did a post on sweet, sunggle-buggle Noah.

Here's a recap of recent things:


Noah can do downward-dog on a whim:



He absolutely LOVES to come into the Master Bathroom and walk on the supersoft bath rug.  (Thanks, Costco!)


This is the face he makes if he wants a bite of whatever we have  (this time it was a DQ Blizzard):


The epitome of summertime cuteness-- playing beside the kiddie pool at GG's:


Alabama summer brothers, sharing sugar-free popsicles:


A fun day spent with Grampa Bill and Uncle Bryan while Mommy, Grandma Chips, and Michael went to get Michael's insulin pump:



Whenever something happens that Noah doesn't like, he shouts "Nahhh!"  We have found that the word "No" has little effect on him, and Aaron's theory is that Noah probably thinks his name is "No, no, Noah."  This is a picture of him shouting "Nahhh!" at Michael when Michael put his plastic spoon in Noah's mixing bowl, although both boys were doing this and each had their own spoons and bowls of their own.  Heaven forbid. :)


Just the cutest 18-month old around!  His smile warms my heart.


Snuggle time with "ba" (bottle).  In our world of chaos and piecing together life's puzzles, we have decided to leave the bottle issue alone.  Noah finds security in the bottle and we'll let him wean when ready.


"Coloring" one Sunday afternoon.  He was very intense and tried his best to copy me if I showed him how to do a swirl or a smiley face.



Classic.  This is the face that Noah now makes when he likes something-- when it's time to eat breakfast, have a bottle, eat supper, go outside, put on shoes, take a bath, tickle, etc.  This is how he shows his joy and I think it's just darling. :)




Noah, sweetie boy, you are just charming and the best!  We love you and the way you round us out with your goofiness and sense of adventure.  I love being your mommy!


Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba





Monday, June 22, 2015

I cannot hate


I don’t understand diabetes, and I know I never will.

 

Never has something on this earth made me long so greatly for Heaven in its perfect completeness, absent of all sickness and disease. 

 

I severely dislike diabetes.  For some reason, though, I just can’t bring myself to say that I hate it.  Diabetes is a part of my son, and for that reason, there can be no hate.

 

No, I don’t like what it’s capable of doing to his little body—or perhaps what it’s already done.

 

No, I don’t like having to hold him down during a CGM insertion change while I watch his red face and scared eyes as a needle intrudes into his little self and leaves behind a wire that pings a signal to a receiver every five minutes.

 

No, I don’t like having to remind him eighty times to keep his hands on top of each other so that he won’t touch the area on his leg that I’ve sterilized with an alcohol swab in preparation of inserting a new pod for his insulin pump.

 

No, I don’t like having to hold him tightly in the form of a hug while I sing “Only a Boy Named David” (or “Giant Song” as he calls it), while I’m pushing the “start” button on his insulin pump for it to insert a cannula from which he’ll receive insulin for the next three days.

 

No, I don’t like hearing the ever so slight quiver in his voice when I show him the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) screen indicating that it’s giving him insulin, and he asks “Is it going to pop?  Is it going to prick?”  He’s scared that he’ll be hurt.  I give him a warm smile and I say “Nope.  No pops or pricks.  You don’t have to get another poke for three days.  Just sugar checks” (pricking finger for blood-glucose reading).  I see the relief wash over him as he realizes that he’s not going to get a shot and he’s not going to be poked.

 

This disease strips you of comforts that you used to have.  Sleeping through the night, watching children play without worrying about blood sugar levels, giving your children a cupcake or a brownie or a cookie just because, etc. 

 

Diabetes is now woven into the fabric of my son.  It is part of who he is.  I will ever try my hardest to minimize its effect on him.

 

I love him so.

 

I love both of my sons, and I pray that my youngest doesn’t get diabetes.

 

Although I don’t think I’ll ever say I love diabetes, I can say that I cannot hate it, because it is part of my son.

 

This is the life that we’ve now been given.  Wishing for the past doesn’t change the future.

 

I must learn to use what we’ve been given and treat each day as a blessing, because it is.

 

Jesus, I don’t know why you chose us for this.  But because I know that You’re with us, I ask that you protect my sons.  Please keep Michael from being overcome with diabetes.  Please keep Noah from getting diabetes.

 

Please make us grateful in everyday that we get to spend together. 

 

We love You.

 

 

Until Next Time,

 

Much love, Reba

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Four Things

I admit, I'm a sucker for quippy online questionnaires, and this set of questions has been floating around, so I decided I'd fill it out, too.


Four names people call me other than my real name.

1.      Reebz

2.      Rip

3.      Rebie

4.      Mommy (wow!  What a blessing that one is!)

 

Four Jobs I’ve Had

1.      Photographer of newborn babies

2.      Tutor of athletes

3.      Photographer of College Events

4.      Veterans Service Representative

 

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once

1.      The Proposal

2.      Little Women (with June Allyson)

3.      Cars (thanks to my sons)

4.      Definitely Maybe

 

Four Books I’d Recommend

1.      Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto

2.      Miles’ Song by Alice McGill

3.      Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge

4.      Any of “The Cat Who” series by Lillian Jackson Braun

 

Four Places I’ve Lived

1.      Virginia

2.      Honolulu, HI

3.      Alabama

  

Four Places I’ve Visited

1.      New York City

2.      Washington D.C.

3.      Seattle, Washington

4.      Maui

 

Four Things I Prefer Not To Eat (but I do eat them)

1.      Peanuts

2.      Bell peppers

3.      Raw carrots

4.      Bratwurst

 

Four of my Favorite Foods

1.      Chocolate

2.      Mahi-mahi

3.      Naan bread

4.      Peanut Butter

 

Four TV Shows I Watch

1.      Fixer Upper

2.      Love it or List it

3.      Lost in Transmission

4.      Pawn Stars

 

Four Things I’m Looking Forward to This Year

1.      Staying in a hotel suite for the first time

2.      Taking the boys to a pool

3.      Selling our house (hopefully!)

4.      Weekend getaway with Aaron

 

Four Things I am Always Saying

1.      Are you sure?

2.      Michael, stop that

3.      Noah, no screaming

4.      Ugh! Diabetes!

 


Fun stuff!

Until Next Time,

Much Love, Reba

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Omnipod: Saline Start

Last Thursday, we went to Children's Hospital to get Michael started on an Omnipod Insulin Pump. 

We researched many pumps and thought about pros and cons of each one.  We chose to go with the Omnipod since it is tubeless and since Michael is a rough and tumble two-year-old little boy.  I was nervous that tubes would get snagged or pulled on something while he played. 

In addition, for pumps that have tubes, the part of the pump where carbs and blood sugars are entered is attached to the tubes.  That means that this cell-phone sized piece of technology has to be attached somewhere on the body.  Michael would have to wear a modified fanny-pack, or clip the pump to his shorts.  Since Michael is not potty-trained yet, we didn't want something that he would have to remove before using the restroom.  Or worse, we didn't want something that might fall into the toilet! 

The "pod" of the Omnipod sticks to Michael's skin and is water-resistant.  This means that he can take a bath or swim with the pod still attached to him.  For pumps with tubes, the tubes and the pump itself must be removed from the injection site during a bath or during swimming.  The tubes then must be reattached after the bath or the swim. For my own sanity, I didn't want to have one more thing on our plates to remember to do before completing everyday tasks like bathing. 

The Omnipod offers variety in where we can place it on Michael's body.  We are able to place the pod anywhere that Michael currently gets injections-- the backs of his upper arms, the fatty parts of his thighs, and the buttocks.  Michael isn't keen on getting injections in his tummy, and it's not totally recommended that toddlers wear the Omnipod on their abdomen.  We place Michael's Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) (read about that insertion process here) on his upper buttocks, but we would still be able to place the pod on the opposite side of the body on the buttock-cheek.

So last Thursday we woke at our usual time (we're early risers during the week days due to our schedules at work).  My dad came over to care for Noah that day so that we wouldn't have to entertain Noah at the hospital for hours.  We're so appreciative of my dad and brother, Bryan who cared so well for Noah during our day-trip!

Aaron was able to get the day off of work to come with us.  We loaded Michael in the car and headed on our way.  We got to Children's Hospital about 45 minutes early!  I really dislike the early morning trips since we have to battle rush hour, but it worked out well this time.  I'm hoping for equal success this Thursday.

We got our choice parking spot in the parking deck and made our way down to the endocrinology clinic.  This was the first time Aaron had been there since he normally has to work during our endocrinology appointments or follow-up classes.  We were told to bring lots of toys for Michael since the class was supposed to be three hours long (8:30am-11:30am). 

We also brought snacks for Michael to eat at his normal times, as well as a sack lunch just in case class ran long. 

Michael enjoyed his morning snack of yogurt while sitting with Aaron:


Michael then spent some time playing with some d-siblings at the only toy they have in this waiting area.  The kids were nice to Michael.  They were there supporting their 13-year-old brother who was attending the insulin pump pre-start class where they describe all the different insulin pumps.  (You can read about our experience in that class here).  

The loot we brought with us included Michael's backpack (filled with diapers, clothes, emergency kit, blood-sugar meter, and insulin pens), my purse, the sack filled with Omnipod materials, and a rolling suitcase full of toys and books and magazines and coloring books and crayons. 

Later on, Michael and Aaron played a dirt-bike game on Aaron's phone.




Finally we were called back to the classroom.  It was just us and the instructor.  That was nice since it gave us some one-on-one time to ask questions.  I filled out a lot of paperwork to begin with and Michael and Aaron opened up the suitcase of toys and got busy playing and reading books.




Although the class was supposed to last three hours, it took us about an hour to get through the material and start practicing with the Omnipod's Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM). 

Aaron and Michael played in the room some, and then they went on an adventure to the gift shop which is housed in the main hospital across the street.  They got to walk across the sky-walk glass hallway that crosses over the street. 

They returned to the room so that we could put a pod on Michael.  He was so excited about getting his Omnipod!  The instructor asked us where we wanted to insert it.  I said thighs.  The instructor was nervous that Michael wouldn't have enough meat on his thighs, but he showed her!  He's got little ham hock thighs!  He got a little nervous when I had to tell him that there was going to be a clicking sound and then a pop.  I held him on my lap and we kept telling him he was a big-boy and was being so brave.  When the Omnipod clicked and then popped to insert the cannula, he didn't even flinch. 

We were able to gather up our material and head on home!

When we loaded him up into the car, I said "I like your Omnipod!"  He replied, "Ohhh, it was nothin'."  :)

We stopped at a restaurant for lunch and then picked up  Noah from my parents' house. 

The Omnipod was supposed to last from Thursday mid-morning to Sunday mid-morning, but the tiny cannula ended up coming out on Saturday night.  So we just followed directions and inserted a new pod filled with saline on Saturday night.  Tonight will mark 72 hours since that pod was inserted.  The instructors at Children's said not to put another pod on him since he'll be back at Children's hospital within 72 hours from tonight, and it would be a waste of a pod to put one on him tonight. 

"So what was this week for?" you might be asking.  Basically, this was our trial week.  We inserted the pods with saline, not insulin.  That way, we can practice using the PDM and letting it show us how much insulin it thinks Michael should get for his meals, etc.  Each time he's going to eat, we enter in his blood sugar and the number of carbs he's going to have and the Omnipod calculates how much insulin he should get.  We let the Omnipod calculate, and we also do manual calculations to check its accuracy.  Then we tell the Omnipod to give him the dosage, but it's just saline.  We still give Michael his insulin via injections this week as we practice with this new technology. 

On Thursday, we will actually fill the pod with insulin and we will not have to give anymore injections! This week was like a crash course in understanding how the Omnipod works and what it will be like when we activate it with insulin.

Aaron is not able to come this Thursday, but my mother-in-law Claudia is back in town and can come with me.  My dad and younger brother will watch Noah again since my mom is working.  I have Michael's suitcase of toys all ready to go, and we are increasingly getting excited about this new transition.

It comes with its challenges though, as is to be expected.  Since Michael wears a CGM, and since we are 10 months into life with Type 1 Diabetes, we really only check Michael's blood sugars about 4 times a day (before each meal and before bedtime).  It's not often that he warrants a blood sugar check in the night.  And he does not get sick very often to warrant increased blood-sugar checks due to illness.  However, since he will now be on an insulin pump and will be receiving insulin 24 hours a day, we are bound to see some change in his blood sugars.  We must check his blood sugar between 8 and 10 times a day for the first month while he is on the pump.  Each week we will upload information from the Omnipod onto a website, which the pump educators at the hospital can access.  They will be closely monitoring Michael's blood sugar levels as he adapts to the pump.  The increase in blood sugar checks means I'll be doing a 2:00am blood sugar check for the next month.  I definitely will appreciate prayers as we go through this transition.

Thanks for catching up with us and reading about our Saline Start.   I will share more once we activate his Omnipod with insulin this week!

Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba






Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Things My Two Year Old Says...


M: Can we watch Mickey Mouse Crackhouse?


When the real estate agent came to our house last week to list it for sale, Michael lead her on a tour of the house and his first stop was showing her the newly painted hall bathroom.
Michael: Mommy painted this wall.

Real estate agent:  I see.  It's very pretty.
Michael: Yeah.....  But.... there's a hole right here. (a nail hole) This wall, it's broken.


Aaron: What do you want for dinner?
Michael: Tuna sandwich.
Aaron: And what else?
Michael: A dirtbike.
Aaron: We're talking about what else you want for dinner. Tomatoes, salad, cheese...we're not talking about dirtbikes.
Michael: well..... Can we talk about dirtbikes?

Me: Okay brush your hair
Michael: Okay I'll brush my hair. (Gasps) Look mommy! My hair is beautiful just like yours!


Aaron: (after noticing pencil marks on the kitchen tile floor) Michael, did you color on the floor?
Michael: Yes. With a pen.
Aaron: why did you do that?
Michael: to color the kitchen.

Michael: (at normal volume on a Saturday at 6:30am) Hey! I see Merry! (Our boxer)
Me: Okay, but whisper. Noah & daddy are sleeping.
Michael: Okay. (At normal volume) doo doo doo doo doo. I want to watch a show!
Me: Shhhhh remember to be quiet. (Pulls a pan out of the cabinet to start making scrambled eggs)
Michael: Shhhhhhh you have to be quiet, Mommy!

In the Starbucks drive through line:
Michael: I want a double-shot and a pretzel.

Me: Michael, buddy, you've got to start pooping in the potty. Because now I'm changing your poopy diaper and you're about to take a bath and the bathroom will smell like poopy diaper.
Michael: But mom! I made it just for you!


(Michael wanders in Noah's room as I'm putting pajamas on Noah.)
Michael: I'm tired of this.
Me: you're tired of this? Tired of what?
Michael: Daddy!


Me: And you're a sweet boy.
Michael: And I'm Michael.  Michael gots lots of ideas.
Me:  Oh yeah? Like what kind of ideas?
Michael: Well... One time I saw a lizard in the sky.



There's never a dull moment these days.

Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba