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!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Life Lately

I'm taking this brief moment to write a very short blog update.

Right now, Aaron is at Men's Bible Study and Michael is busy watching a show, and Noah is trying on Michael's shoes or showing me toys he has found.

I started working from home in mid-August.  I thought at first that I would have time to blog during my lunch breaks, etc.  But I was mistaken.  Working from home takes extra effort in some ways.  Right now, we're restricted on what we can actually work, so I'm fighting each day to find enough to do.  Also, since I'm at home all of the time, I find that I really value my lunch times just to get away from computers for 30 minutes.  I make myself lunch and watch "Four Weddings" and I always try to fold a load of laundry.  During my morning and afternoon breaks, I try to unload and reload the dishwasher.  Sometimes, I'll use the breaks to get things assembled for dinner (ie, if a crockpot recipe is on the menu, I'll throw everything in there during my morning break).

In the past two weeks, Michael has turned three and had two parties.  We had one small family party at our house.  Then yesterday, we had a bigger party at our church to include more family members and then some of my coworkers who have children Michael's age.  I took pictures (of decorations) at each party and I will have a blog post about that soon.

Michael had a good birthday.  I took the day off of work and it was SO NICE just to hang out with the boys all day long at home.  We didn't go anywhere.  We just enjoyed being home.  Michael politely insisted he was still two all day long, but eventually he came to terms with being three.

This week is VERY busy.  VERY.

Tomorrow, Michael has his three-year check up.  It'll be nice to get updated stats on his weight and height, etc, for all of the family we'll see this upcoming weekend.

On Tuesday, I have my home visit where a manager from work will come to my home to make sure I have an office space set up that's not smack in front of a TV, etc.

On Wednesday, Michael has his first dentist appointment.  The dentist told me that Michael will get to sit in the chair and they'll raise it up and lower it, and then they'll let him touch all of the dental instruments and maybe watch him brush his teeth-- maybe.  Then that's it for 6 months.  This is just a trip to get him used to going to the dentist.

On Thursday, Aaron picks up his tuxedo rental.

On Friday we'll head to the wedding site for rehearsal dinner.  We'll get to see lots of out-of-town family and I'm really excited about that!  We're really excited for Andrew and Becky and I think the wedding will be very sweet and charming.

So this week is just so packed and I'm hoping to get through everything with grace and a positive attitude.

Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Recipe Club: Enchilada Casserole

Today I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals to participate in the Recipe Club!

On the menu for tonight is a family favorite of mine while growing up:  Enchilada Casserole!  This was so tasty and something that I LOVED having for dinner.  I made it lots of times in college and impressed all of my friends with a home-cooked meal.  When I got married, it was one of the few things my husband and I could afford to make on our tiny newlywed budget, and we still eat it to this day!  It's good; the leftovers are good-- can't ask for much more!

Ingredients for an 8x8 pan (double the ingredients for a 13x9 pan):

  • 1 pound of ground meat (I used turkey this time since it was on sale)
  • 1 10 ounce can of red enchilada sauce
  • 1 16 ounce can of refried beans
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese (plain cheddar is delicious too)
  • Flour tortillas  (I use about 4 soft-taco sized ones for an 8x8 pan.  I've used the burrito sized ones in a 13x9 pan and have used about 6-- tear them or cut them to fit the pan)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Brown the ground meat.  I sprinkle in some paprika, garlic powder, salt & pepper.  (Chili powder is also an excellent choice-- I happen to be out of this today)
  • Spray non-stick cooking spray in an 8x8 pan
  • Open the cans of enchilada sauce and refried beans
  • Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the 8x8 pan to coat it. 
  • Place a tortilla in the bottom of the pan.  
  • Spread some refried beans on the tortilla, then sprinkle some of the ground meat on the refried beans.  
  • Pour some enchilada sauce over the beans and meat.
  • Place another tortilla on top of this and keep layering: refried beans, meat, enchilada sauce, tortilla, etc.
  • I can get about 3 layers in an 8x8 pan. 
  • Place one final tortilla on top and sprinkle with shredded cheese. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes.  Everything is already cooked-- so it's a matter of warming it all up. 

The melted cheese makes the top tortilla crispy and it's soooo good!

This is a recipe that can really be adapted to whatever tastes you prefer.  You can spice it up with spicy enchilada sauce and beans.  You can add a healthy element by choosing ground turkey and whole wheat tortillas and fat free refried beans.  There's so many options that you can choose to adapt this to what your family likes!


Linking up today with Andrea at Momfessionals for Recipe Club.

Until Next Time,

Much Love, Reba

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1 Year Diaversary

Dearest Michael,

One year ago today, you were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  At the time, this was a devastating blow to us.  We had no idea what to do.  We hardly knew the first thing about diabetes alone-- not to mention the immense care that is required for Type 1 Diabetes.

We spent 3 days in Children's Hospital learning how to care for you.  We learned how to count carbs and inject insulin.  We learned how to check blood sugar and monitor activities and snacks.  We made tough decisions as parents that week (like having the nurses give you two IV ports so that they wouldn't have to keep pricking your arm to get labwork done through the night).  We learned what to do at 2:00am if your blood sugar was 68.  We learned how to check for ketones by sticking cotton balls in your diaper.  We functioned on little sleep and even fewer showers.  We forgot to feed ourselves as we practiced and practiced the steps we'd need to master in order to be able to go home.  We met your fantastic endocrinologist and had a glimmer of hope that things might actually be okay.  We learned what DKA actually was and how close you were to dying. We learned that our touch and our arms could comfort you when everything around you was changing.  We learned to lean more on each other and be each other's support system.  We learned more of the value of family and how their presence can make the world of difference to us.

It took me three months to realize that I could look at you as my precious little boy again instead of a tiny human who was dying and who I had no idea how to help.  Soon, diabetes became a part of our daily routine and it wasn't frightening all the time.

I had my share of tears, I'm sure we all did.  Your daddy was such a rock to me.  He's always been that way-- from the moment we brought you home as a newborn to the moment when we carried you out of Children's Hospital with a plastic container filled with ice and insulin.

We have learned to adapt to what life throws our way because it's a daily task now.  Diabetes doesn't play by the rules, and it involves no rhyme or reason.  Ratios and correction targets change from week to week.  Eventually, I came to accept that this type of change is inevitable, and that I should never get to used to a meal-time ratio.

It was hard to let you be a toddler and to also have to control so much of what your world was about.  Those first few sicknesses after diagnosis were heart-wrenching and very very hard.  We learned to rely on God more than we ever have before and we came to realize very quickly that He loves you more than we can, and that Type 1 Diabetes was not a surprise to Him.

August 11, 2014 was the day your life was saved.  It was the day when we were sent straight to a hospital emergency room and you were admitted to the hospital and started on an IV of insulin.  We hardly slept that night as we held you and all of your cords and tubes.  The movie "Planes" played over and over on the TV and I still have trouble watching it today because of the memories it brings back of being in that dark hospital room with a little boy and an uncertain future.

Through this year, we've made great strides.  We attended an insulin pump introduction class to learn about pumps.  You grew immune to finger sticks, and tolerated injections quite well.  We got much better at eye-balling a plate of food and guessing the carb counts.  We started paying more attention in our own diets and were floored when we learned how many carbs we had been eating that we shouldn't have.  We struggled with A1Cs and ear infections.  We battled through the holiday season filled with treats-- and we didn't shun you away from participating in events.  We made a decision 10 months in to get you on an insulin pump. Yesterday, we had our final appointment to finish our "start-up" sessions of the pump.  Not many people can say that they've been back at the exact hospital 364 days after diagnosis.  We can.  You've been on the Omnipod for two months now and you are thriving.   We've seen more "normal range" blood sugars now than we ever have before.

We're doing it.  We're bringing diabetes along for the ride.  With each passing day, I believe we will notice it less as it becomes more woven into who you are-- and who we are.  I'm very much a realist and I know that Type 1 Diabetes will not just go away, and that no amount of crying or begging on my part can turn back time and stop this from happening.  Type 1 Diabetes is a part of who you are and I can never hate it, because I can never hate you.  That "little" baby (I used little loosely since you weighed 8lbs 14oz at birth) who arrived at 4:32pm on August 28, 2012, and who made me a mommy, is the same "little" boy who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just 17 days before his 2nd birthday.  He's the same "little" boy who is about to be 3, who has now conquered that first year of Type 1 Diabetes, and who is acting just so incredibly normal.  He's the same little boy whom I will always love no matter how challenging life gets.

Although being the parent of a Type 1 Diabetic is hard, it's kind of nice to know that when you throw your temper tantrums and have screaming fits-- your blood sugar is in normal range, and therefore, you're just being a normal nearly-three-old.  I know that Type 1 Diabetes will always be harder for you than it is for me, and please believe me that I would take it from you in a heartbeat if I could.

I pray every night for your healing.  I know that God can do mighty things and I pray that He chooses to allow a cure to be found.

I love you, dear Michael.  Through the good and the bad, through the highs and the lows.

Today, we celebrate.  We celebrate the life that you are still living.  We have reached our first "diaversary."  We got take-out chicken for supper and had a "picnic" on the living room floor as we watched "Cars 2: World Grand Prix."  It was the perfect way to celebrate the accomplishments of a little nearly-3-year old boy who has endured so much over the past year.

Always know that we love you deeply.  We are so very proud of you.

Love always,


PS: To read about diagnosis, click here.