Welcome!

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!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Being a Parent of Someone with Type 1

Today is going to be a random assortment of thoughts and feelings about Type One.  I'll include some memes that accurately depict what I feel as a parent of a child with Type One, and some memes will show how Michael probably feels as someone living with Type One.

I've also included a video clip from Ed Damiano.  He talks about the Bionic Pancreas.  Ed's son has Type One and Ed is designing the Bionic Pancreas in order to have it marketable before his son goes to college in two years.  Ed very very accurately describes what it's like to be a parent of someone with Type One.  Please watch.  This video is educational and very honest.



Also, this week, I had a cry-day.  As I mentioned in this post, I don't have these days very often anymore.  So, of course, on the day following that post, I had a day where I just felt defeated. 

On my desktop at work, I have this picture as my screen-saver:


Sometimes, I catch myself looking at Michael's sweet nearly-three-year-old face and I just break down and cry.  I don't know why Michael was chosen to have Type One.  I ache that I cannot take this from him.  But as much as I'm hurt and wondering why Michael has this illness, I do know that it wasn't a surprise to God.  He knew Michael's pancreas would fail and that Michael would need medical attention to survive every day.  I firmly believe that God has a plan for both of my children.  And as long as I'm here on this earth and get to be their mom, I will do my best to continually point them to Him.  For I know, without Him, I would fail.  And Type One isn't something I can handle alone.

I shared my thoughts with a dear friend of mine, and she responded in a beautiful way.  I wrote down part of what she said and I keep it at my desk as a reminder. 

"We don't know God's plan.  Maybe He brought this horrible thing into your life
for a grater purpose.  Maybe He's showing the devil
that you will still have faith & follow like Job.
And yet, sometimes we still feel like we are alone.
Partially because no other human we know
is going through the exact same thing at the same time we are.
But I would rather have God as my company and support
than any human."


And now for the memes!  Just remember, please read this in a light-hearted way.  I have a full Pinterest board dedicated to Type One Diabetes.   On that board are both humorous as well as serious pins about Type One.  I've chosen to share some of the more light-hearted ones here.  Sometimes, we must find even the slightest bit of humor in life in order to keep from constantly crying.

Memes for what I feel as a parent to someone with Type One:










Memes for what Michael might feel as someone living with Type One:






Until Next Time,

Much love,
Reba

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesdays

Today I'm trying something new!  I'm linking up with Shay at "Mix and Match Family" for What's Up Wednesdays! 



Today I'll be answering these questions: 


Let's get to it.

What We're Eating This Week:

Julia Child's Eggplant Pizzas.  These are so good!  They're even good heated up for lunch the next day.

This week, we've also made Mushroom Sausage Kale Pasta from Mix and Match Mama, and Creamy White Chicken Artichoke Lasagna from One Good Thing by Jillee.  Both of these recipes were SO GOOD!  I'm sorry I don't have any pictures.  But I can tell you, it's a good feeling to sit down to supper and feed your husband a meal that makes him speechless because it's so good!


What I'm Reminiscing About:

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about August 11, 2014-- the day my oldest son was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes, just 17 days prior to his 2nd birthday.  (Read the full story here).  We're quickly approaching our first "diaversary" in just a couple weeks.  On August 11, 2014, it seemed like there would never be another day besides that one.  Time seemed to go in slow motion all day long.  Type 1 Diabetes used to make me cry all the time.  And although I definitely still get teary, I don't have nearly as many days when I full-out cry because of it.  Every night, I pray for the healing of my son, and I pray that my youngest son doesn't get Type 1.  And I'm finding that I'm able to give my fears to God.  As a mom, it's so odd to think that God loves our own children more than we can.  But it's true. God has a plan for my sons.  He knows Michael's needs.  God created Michael's body and He knew that Michael's pancreas would fail and he would have to have medical attention in order to survive each day.  Type 1 Diabetes has taught me to completely rely on Him.  To trust Him.  To take my fears to Him.  To believe that He has a plan.  So, these days as we approach the first year anniversary of my son's diagnosis, I will choose to be joyful.  I will choose to acknowledge the sovereignty of God and the fact that my son is still here.  I will choose to look at August 11, 2014 as the day my son's life was saved. 

What I'm Loving:

Time with these kiddos:


I mean really?!?! They're just the cutest.  And I'm blessed beyond measure to be their mom.

I'm also loving this new table runner that my Nana made for me!



Perfect for fall and has just a hint of sparkle!  Just my taste!


What We've Been Up To:

Cleaning.  Our house is on the market right now, so I'm trying my absolute hardest to keep it in "show order" at all times.  Not easy with a nearly three-year old and an 18-month-old running around.  And two dogs-- one of whom has recently shown her destructive side.  So, each day I do a couple loads of laundry, at least one dishwasher run-through, and a quick pick-up of the living room.  Here are my current feelings on cleaning:





What I'm dreading:

In September, we'll take our first "true" family trip.  My brother-in-law is getting married in south Georgia and Aaron is going to be the best man and Michael is going to be the ring bearer.  Noah and I will happily sit on the front row.  :)  Although I'm super excited to see lots and lots of family from out of state, and I'm eagerly anticipating our first time staying in a hotel suite, I'm equally as nervous to make sure I pack all the things we'll need to adequately care for Michael's diabetes while we're there.




We won't be in the jungle or anything, and there's always a pharmacy nearby.  It's just my jitters for trying something new and branching out-- just bringing diabetes along for the ride. 



What I'm Working On:

I'm working on just letting things go.  I'm trying to not be such a dweller.  I re-hash things in my mind over and over and that's not healthy.  I can't change the past, so I really shouldn't spend my time worrying about it.  One of my favorite Bible verses is Exodus 14:14 which says "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."  (NIV)  That's so comforting to me.  My goal is to let things go and trust that God will take care of me.


What I'm excited about:

Working from home!!!! I'll get to start working from home in two weeks and I'm so so excited! 




I'm very self-motivated and able to stay on task.  I'm also somewhat of an introvert-- so working from home is a perfect scenario for me.  Right now, I leave for work before my boys wake up (or right as they're waking up), and I am really looking forward to being around them each morning!  My mother-in-law will still come pick them up in the morning and take them to her house or on fun little trips while I work.  But it'll be nice for her not to have to come over so early!  I'm really looking forward to this new working arrangement!


What I'm Watching/Reading:

Reading:

 

 
 
I read His Princess after I finish reading my Bible during my nightly Quiet Time.  This book is really great and offers short reminders that God deeply cares for us.  I read Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle when I have extra minutes here and there.  It's really an amazing book about proper nutrition and the need for different types of workouts (cardio and strength-training).  Aaron and I are almost done with our second run-through of P90X3, and this book helps keep me motivated to reach my goals!
 

Watching:

My husband and I watch a hodge-podge of shows.  We don't watch any prime-time mainstream TV.  We just can't get hooked.  Instead we watch really light TV shows like "Leepu & Pitbull," "Counting Cars," "Chopped,"  and "Cutthroat Kitchen."  We also catch up on "Wahlburgers" and "Duck Dynasty."  In the Spring, we watch "Vikings" and "Swamp People" too. 

What I'm listening to:

A bunch of Hillsong United.  Currently, my favorites are "Scandal of Grace," "A Million Suns," and "Touch the Sky."  I throw in some PureNRG "Here We Go Again" periodically. 

What I'm Wearing:

I don't have any recent wardrobe changes, but I did just buy a couple new shades of nail polish.  I am loving Sinful Colors brand nail polish in the shade of "Easy Going."

 
What I'm Doing this Weekend:
 
Shopping at Costco and Hobby Lobby.  We don't have a super huge Costco list, but it's fun to take the boys and peruse the aisles.  And I know I'll be making a trip to Hobby Lobby to get ready for Michael's birthday party (Bob the Builder Theme!), and to get ready for a Women's Event for our church that I'm hosting (we'll be making homemade candles!)
 
 
What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:
 
Michael's third birthday party!  He has gone back and forth between a Bob the Builder party or a Spider-man party, and eventually he made up his mind and chose a Bob the Builder Construction themed party.  I am so so excited for this!  It's a theme I was hoping he'd choose because I've had a whole Pinterest board filled with ideas!  I am so excited to execute some of those ideas and really make it a special day for him.
 
What Else is New?
 
The Upwards Flag Football/Cheerleading season is right around the corner and I'm going to volunteer to be a Cheer Coach!  My mom and mother-in-law have done it for the past two years and it's time for me to step up and take the reigns.  So I'm excited to try something new!
 
 
What about you?  What's up on your Wednesday?
 
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba
 
 
 



Monday, July 27, 2015

The Cost of it All (An Updated List on the Cost of Type 1 Diabetes)

Diabetes is an expensive disease.  There's just no denying it.  And the supplies are not something you can skirt around and try to live without.  These things are a necessity for proper diabetes management, and, well, life

Now that Michael is on an insulin pump, we are not buying exactly the same things we used in the past (see that post here). 

Here's an updated account of what we purchase:

For a 90 day supply of the insulin and other necessary supplies Michael uses, this is the breakdown:

Humalog vials (we now use Humalog vials instead of Humalog & Lantus pen cartridges.  Michael no longer received multiple daily injections {MDI}, but rather receives Humalog all day long via his insulin pump.  We buy vials of Humalog and inject it into his pump every 3 days via syringe).  The cost of a 90 day supply of vials (3 vials) is $135.00

Glucagon (emergency kit-- 3 kits)   $45.00  (I don't buy this every 90 days, but these expire after a year, so I will be restocking some of the kits I bought last fall)

Ketone strips (for urinalysis-- 100 strips)  $17.00  (Again, I don't really have to buy these each time.  I can get up to 300 strips every 90 days, but can usually get by with just getting 100 strips).

Lancets (to check blood sugar)  $64.78

Testing strips for blood sugar meter (918 strips)  $135.00 

When I order everything shown above, I pay about $396.78 to the pharmacy every 90 days.  Items that are not on this list include Lantus (slow-acting insulin) and pen needles.  Since he receives Humalog all day via his insulin pump, the need for Lantus is gone.  Also, since we are not giving him injections, we no longer have to fill the supply of pen needles.  I have a few spare boxes of needles in my cabinet, as well as some spare Humalog & Lantus pen cartridges for emergency purposes in case his insulin pump ever fails.  This is a recommended practice by the staff at Children's Hospital-- always be prepared for the worst.


Now that Michael is on an insulin pump, there are additional costs associated with that.  To start him on the insulin pump process, we had to buy a Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) (this is what we use to tell the pod how much insulin to inject) and a set of pods which we insert on him every 3 days (the pods-- like all other types of insulin pumps-- only last 3 days before a site change is needed).  The cost of the set-up to get the PDM and the first 90 day supply of pods was right around $500.00. 

Every 90 days, we will pay around $236.00 for pods.  These pods arrive via mail, and we buy the insulin from our own pharmacy.  No pod is ever shipped with insulin in it. 

The items above are required to keep Michael alive. We choose to use some elective equipment to help us better manage his diabetes. This piece of equipment (called a Continuous Glucose Monitor, aka CGM), along with it's necessary accessories (transmitter, receiver, inserters), cost us $1,542.00 to start-up, and it costs us $116.38 each month for the supplies.  (On the previous post about how much diabetes costs, I accidentally said it cost us $542.00 to start the CGM process.  That's incorrect.  It was $1,542.00.  Leaving off a "1" makes a big difference).

Since I last posted this, I've had a few different co-workers still come up to me and tell me that it would be nice if insurance helped out with the cost. The hard thing is, these costs and calculations are after insurance has paid 70%. Seventy percent. That's crazy that diabetes management takes so much money! And these are just the figures that we pay based on the insurance we have. Others might pay more or a little less depending on what type of insurance they have. 


To see a little bit about the "prize bag" we keep for Michael's CGM insertion change, see this post.  I keep the prizes in a Cars tote that I got at Target.  I think I paid $3.00 for the tote.  It has held up really well.  Recently, Aaron and I stocked up on some additional prizes.  My favorite place to look for prizes is Target's Dollar Spot right at the front doors.  There are typically great options there and they vary from season to season.  I can get themed water bottles (Ninja turtles, PAW Patrol, etc), coloring books, board books, little plastic race cars, toddler silverware, plastic animals, etc for about a dollar each.  We also scoured the toy aisles and found some Hot Wheels on sale for 82 cents!  We grabbed about 4 of those.  I've also gone to Hobby Lobby and wandered through the aisles near their party favor section and I've found some tiny tubes of bubbles, a cup with a crazy straw, some pretend bugs, some shovels for the sand box, etc.  Each week when Michael gets a CGM insertion change, we lay out all of the prizes and let him choose.  It's so funny to lay them all out before him because each time I take out a toy, he says "ooh!" and then the next toy comes out and he says "ooh!" It's so cute.  He's so enamored by the prizes he gets to choose from.

Diabetes is expensive, for sure.  But seeing Michael's smile, hearing his giggle, listening to him sing, and dare I admit this-- hearing him be a typical big brother to Noah (ie, pestering, taking away toys, etc), reminds me that of course this is all worth it. 

I read something so awesome last week by a fellow D-mom.  She called the day of her daughter's diagnosis the day her daughter's life was saved.  That's so true. 

August 11th is coming up.  And on that day, I will choose to celebrate the fact that my son is here.  It was on that day that his life was saved.  We found out what the underlying problem was-- Type 1 Diabetes.  And we've worked relentlessly since that day to strive for a normal life for him. 


Until Next Time,

Much love,
Reba


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lyrical Thursdays: Touch the Sky

Good morning!

Today is a good day for some song lyrics.

The song for the day is Hillsong United's "Touch the Sky." 

Here's an honest confession:  my eyes will literally tear up when I hear this song.  It is an honest prayer and a cry out to God of the realization that we need Him.  We need Him.  We cannot "do" life alone.  We're not designed to do so.  He created us to need Him and to rely on Him.

This song is just honest, and I think all of us can relate to it.  The song starts by admitting that we get caught up in the world's jewels.  We try to keep up with the Joneses.  *I'm raising my hand over here* We trade our self-worth for fleeting objects.  But you know what?  Jesus loves us still.  He rescues us.  He wages war for us.  He traded Heaven to have us again.  

You guys-- this song captures the rawness of life and the pure yearning that each of us have to be filled.  Earthly things will not fill up the space inside us.  Only God will.  A God who loves you.  He made you.  He cares for you.  He will rescue you. 

Read the lyrics as you listen to this song and I pray that it speaks to you as it did for me.

Video Link




Lyrics courtesy of: AZ Lyrics

"Touch The Sky"

What fortune lies beyond the stars
Those dazzling heights too vast to climb
I got so high to fall so far
But I found heaven as love swept low

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

What treasure waits within Your scars
This gift of freedom gold can't buy
I bought the world and sold my heart
You traded heaven to have me again

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky
When my knees hit the ground

*****



Until Next Time,

Much love,
Reba




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesday: If Walls Could Talk...

 
Today I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesdays.  The topic today?  House tours!  How fun!

Welcome to our home!

We bought our starter home in 2010-- a year after getting married. 
We liked the brick, the large flat lot, and the mature pecan trees. 

 
 
My husband bought two knock-out rose bushes for me for my first birthday as a homeowner.
 
 
Two years after buying our home, we welcomed our first baby here.  This room was already painted in these blue shades since the couple who owned the home previously had also welcomed home a baby boy.  It seemed natural that this room be the nursery, and we have a semi-beach theme going on.  Now our first born is nearly three!

 








In January 2014, our second little boy arrived. He is now 18 months old and sleeps in the Detroit Red Wings room-- this used to be a man cave but, well, things change. :)






This bathroom has housed many a bath night for two little ones. Recently painted white, it is much brighter and more cheery now. Add in a couple new rugs and voila! Cheerful bathroom suitable for bath toy wars and numerous splashes.






The master bathroom, also recently painted white, received new gray rugs because gray & white create a crisp and simple space.







The master bedroom has offered many nights of rest. Many prayers have been lifted up here, and many prayers have been answered. The antique vanity, passed down through many generations, and the bedroom set given to me by an aunt make this room feel extra special. The artwork above the bed is a watercolor print painted my sons and designed by my mother-in-law.



Fresh flowers add an extra dose of cheerfulness!


I love our corner fireplace.  The paint color is Walnut Bark.  The cream-colored walls are "Cozy Cottage" which I think is very fitting for this house.  :)   




 
I don't have a mudroom, so this bench is where we gather our shoes and our bags.

 
I love our gallery wall.  We change out the prints every so often, and add new canvasses when we can.  I have found that my oldest son finds peace in flowers.  I am keeping my eye out on my youngest son to find something that speaks to him, and I'll make canvas prints of that when the time comes. :)



The color in the dining room and kitchen is Wood Smoke.




 


 


 
This signs hangs in my kitchen near the coffee maker.  It's a daily reminder to relax the expectations I hold myself to.  It's a reminder to live in the moment and enjoy things as they come.  (Sign can be found here).
 
 


We added on this porch last fall.  The water table & sand table offer entertainment for two young ones while the porch creates safe shade.
 








The yard is large & flat with mature pecan trees. Two dogs especially love this space!





And that's that!

We love our home and the memories that we've made here. 


What about you?  What features of your home do you love?

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba