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!

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Basic Update

Things have been busy-- very busy.  And I catch myself thinking "Man, I am not doing well at all at keeping the blog updated."  But, this blog is for me as a place of reflection and memories, and it's okay if I have to be inconsistent for a while in order to focus on other things that have to get done-- like work, and feeding the kids, you know.

I'd like to take a moment today to give a quick update.  These moments with the boys happen so fast and I kick myself for not writing down more of the funny things they say or the silly ways they dance and the cute conversations they have with each other.

Michael is currently 3 years old and wears a mix of 3T and 4T clothes. In pants, I say he's 3T and a half because 4T pants are a little too long on him, but 3T pants are bordering on high-waters.  He is POTTY TRAINED! Completely.  Wears underwear all day and at night and when we're out and about.  He even told me in Target on Saturday that he needed to tee-tee, which is what I was hoping for because I didn't want him to ever just tee-tee on the floor.  I was so proud of him for telling me he had to go.  He and I walked very quickly back to the front of the store where the bathrooms are, but I knew as soon as we set foot in the restroom that he would be afraid of the big toilets.  And he was.  So I told him we could try the family bathroom where it would be just him and me.  He opted to give that a try.  But, that small room with the giant toilet was still too much for him.  So he decided not to go.  I did tell him that I was so proud of him for telling me he had to go, and for looking at the toilets before deciding he could hold it. Baby steps.  I know we'll get there someday.  But I'm proud of how far he has come!

My plan is to work with Noah on potty training in November and December.  He turns 2 in January.

Michael is quite rowdy and can talk my ear off any given day, but I love it.  He has SUCH an imagination and it my heart bursts into tiny heart shaped confetti when he tells me stories or just simply smiles at me.  With Michael's Type 1 Diabetes, I often grieve the childhood he doesn't get to have.  I grieve the carefree life he could have lived.  Now it's wrought with finger pricks and pump changes and CGM insertions.  So much for a little boy.  But he is such a trooper.  And that makes my heart smile.

His current breakfast favorite is Kashi 7 Grain waffles.  The whole grains and the protein in these waffles keep his blood sugar at an even level and we love that!

He still loves Greek yogurt for snacks!  Yay and Praise Jesus!  He's become a fan of air-popped popcorn and so has Noah!

Aaron recently bought a bag of skittles for himself, and Michael has convinced Aaron to give him a Skittle if he goes tee-tee on the "big potty" rather than the toddler potty.  Michael calls Skittles "freckles" or "skiddys."

Favorite toys are most definitely cars.  Hot Wheels.  Die-cast cars.  Wooden cars.  Any kind of car.  His impression of a Formula One motor is spot-on.

Favorite drink is Crystal Light lemonade.  He drinks this all day long.

Favorite color is green.  Favorite shape is a triangle.  Favorite letter is abcdefg.  Favorite number varies between 2 and 3.

I love this little boy so much.  He picks out his own clothes and clean underwear each day. He wears a toddler size 9 or 10 in shoes and is thoroughly enjoying his light-up Spiderman tennis shoes.  He cheers for Auburn and the Seahawks.  Smart boy.  :)  He knows Aaron likes Hockey, specifically the Red Wings.  He can recognize numbers written down.  He astounds us everyday with what he says and what he knows.  Thank you, Lord, for this precious son.

Now for Noah.

He is my early riser, morning person.  I like mornings too, but not when they start at 5:00 on a Saturday to some little boy screaming "mama dadda mama dadda mama dadda!"  Noah is NOT a good cuddler in bed.  He will lay across my torso with his arms and neck at my trachea.  He likes to squish right up next to us and needs to have his forehead be in contact with some bony part of our face like our chin, or our foreheads.  So, at 5:00am when Noah screams, you can just go ahead and turn on the coffee pot, because there's no cuddling in bed with this guy.  He will wriggle his little booty and sing every song he knows.  If you tell him to be quiet, he will whisper "okay" once and then will proceed to yell "Ba??? Mama, ba???" meaning "bottle" which really means "almond milk in my sippy cup."

He's recently started saying "lemonade" and it's the cutest sound if you ask him to say "yum yum lemonade."  He gets tongue tied and it comes out "lum lum lemonemonade."

He is a happy guy and loves to tease and laugh at whatever we're laughing at.  That makes it even more hilarious.  He loves his big brother and wants to do everything Michael does.  If Michael goes tee-tee on the big potty and asks for a "freckle," Noah will hold out his hand and say "Skittle?" and think that he deserves one too for being such an awesome brother.

He is a very tough little guy.  He's gotten two goose eggs over the past couple months but he doesn't cry for more than a couple seconds.  He hardly cried when he got his flu shot last weekend and he can keep up with Michael's antics and wrestling like no other.  He holds his own and is desperate to sleep in a toddler bed.  He crawls into Michael's bed any chance he gets and burrows himself into the blanket and sheets and says "night night.  Night night."  We are going to convert his crib into a toddler bed very soon.

He comfortably wears 18-month clothes.  He can fit into 2T things, but pants are too long, shirts are a little big and the waist-line is much too large.   So, although he can fit into things, they wouldn't stay on him all day.  So we dress him in 18 month clothing and call it good.  He's not 2 yet anyway.  He could really still wear 12-month items but I made myself remove those clothing pieces from his drawers since he will be 2 this winter and I need to let go. :)

He wears size 4 diapers during the day and a size 5 overnight diaper at night.  As stated above, I'm hoping to begin potty training him in November and December.  There's a little boy at our church who was fully potty-trained by the time he was 2, so I know it can be done.

His current breakfast favorite is also "wobbles" (waffles), but he still fiercely loves applesauce and Nutrigrain bars.

He is a hefty eater.  Seriously, I don't know where the food goes.  Like I said earlier, he could still fit into 12-month clothes if I let him, but he can out-eat Michael at any meal, so I don't know where all that food goes.  I suppose it becomes the wild-hair energy Noah exerts at 7:00am and 7:00pm each day.

Noah's favorite toys are his "abba abba" (toy broom) and "adoo" (vacuum).  He will tremble with excitement when we take the real vacuum out of the coat closet.  After we're doing vacuuming, we'll wrap up the cord and then just leave the vacuum in the living room.  Noah will walk around the vacuum inspecting it and talking about it.  He loves vacuums.

He's also become recently attached to a blanket.  I called it a blankie and he responded with "bampeen" so that's what we call his special blanket now.

He loves our dogs and just giggles with excitement when they come inside.

He repeats words and phrases back to us, and it's so nice to have him be able to tell us what he wants.  He can pick his own snacks and distinguish Nutrigrain bar flavors to tell me which one he wants.  He can ask for more milk or lemonade.  He talks about the toy he wants from the toy basket if it's buried and he can't get to it.  He picks out books for us to read.  He loves to do Ring Around the Rosey. He knows that a shrill squeal will get our attention if Michael is picking on him.  He is 100% boy through and through and together with Michael, we will have our hands so full. Thank you, Lord, for sweet mischievous Noah.

I sorted the boys' clothes to make sure they had seasonably appropriate things to wear now that it's getting cold.  It's so fun to get a "redo" on the clothes of Michael's that he has outgrown.  We get to see Noah in the same outfits and it eases the pain just a little bit of seeing your children grow up.  I was able to get a very good assortment of clothes to sell at the consignment sale coming up next week.  I also sorted through ALL of the bottles we no longer have a need for.  I took a deep breath and also listed my breast-pump and the spare parts for sale.  This was such a hard one for me.  I knew, though, that I couldn't hold onto it forever, but it was the real piece of equipment that reminded me of being a mom to a newborn.  Sure, I kept some newborn outfits that the boys wore, but the pump was something that I used that contributed to their growth.  So I guess it held an extra special place in my heart.  I think part of why I didn't want to sell it was because I wanted to be sure we could adopt in the future before I got rid of all things baby at the house.  However, I reminded myself that we do not plan to adopt for a few more years and at that time, if something didn't work out on the adoption road and we decided to get pregnant again, then I could buy new bottles and a new pump at that time.  That eased the pain a little bit.  I'm actually excited now to see how well my items do at the sale!  I'm even contemplating volunteering this year so that I can meet more local moms.

Whew!  That "brief" update ended up taking up a lot more room than I thought.  But it was worth it and it was needed.

Until next time,
Much love, Reba

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lyrical Thursdays: Shoulders

It seemed a good time for another rendition of Lyrical (fill in the day of the week)!

The song for today is by For King and Country, and it's called "Shoulders."

Video Link

I don't really like the video too too much because it involves a car crash and that's still such a sensitive area for me since it reminds me too much of my dad's accident.  But, the lyrics of this song are where I rest.



When confusion's my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear
I know that You are near

When I'm caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I'll find my comfort here
‘Cause I know that You are near

My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don't have to see to believe that You're lifting me up on Your shoulders
Your shoulders

You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless

My help is from You
Don't have to see it to believe it
My help is from you
Don't have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it's true


I know that in everyone's life, struggles will arise.  It's simply inevitable.  Things are going to pop up that we never asked for, wished for, imagined, or think that we can handle.  And you know what?  We can't handle it.  But God can.  And it's such a relief to me to know that He is here.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Exodus 14:14.  "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

In my life, this screams "diabetes."  It's hard.  Very very hard to act as an organ for your child.  Some people think we are dramatic when we tell them that we fight to keep Michael alive.  But it's true.  And it's something people won't understand unless it happens to them, but we'd never wish it on anyone.

This song meets me where I'm at.

"When confusion's my companion..."  why God? Why my son?  Why at 2 years old?
"And despair holds me for ransom...."  God, it's incurable.  He will have this for the rest of his life!
"I will feel no fear..."  I know You love him more than I do or can.  I know he belongs to You.
"For I know that You are near..."  Fight for us, Lord.  Let us be still.  Let us be at peace.

This song can make me tear-up in a heartbeat.  It remind me that God's promises are true.  He sees us and He knows our struggles.  This song reminds me to count on Him. To trust Him to lead us on, no matter what earthly battles we face.

I'm hoping this song speaks to you today and that God sends His peace upon you.

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesday: First Jobs

Today I'm linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesday.  Today we're discussing our first jobs!

I baby-sat a lot during my tween years.  When I was about 11 or 12, I'd go over to a church family's house and watch the 2-year-old boy while his mom did things around the house.  This little boy and I became great buds and he called me "Bebie" because he couldn't say my name (Reba).  My dad took a spin-off of this and still sometimes calls me "Rebie" to this day.  We moved to Hawaii when I was 12, and I didn't get the opportunity to see this little boy grow up.  I'm friends with his mom on Facebook and when I see pictures of him, it's hard for me to come to terms with the fact that he's in high-school and is no longer a spunky toddler!

When I was 16, I had what I consider my first real "job."  My mom worked on the Postpartum floor of the military hospital when we lived in Hawaii.  Our house was right down the street from the hospital (we weren't military-- my dad is a pastor and we moved around about as much as a military family does).  My mom heard that the newborn photographer company at the hospital was in need of some seasonal help. I applied for the job and got it! So, on my Christmas break, I wore my best clothes and would go up to the Postpartum floor and be the newborn photographer.  This was back in the day when the only baby pictures were those head-shots on the pink and blue blankets.  I would set up the tiny photo-room and put the film into the camera.  Then I would make my rounds and sell photo packages to new moms and dads.  If a family chose to buy a photo package, they would come down to the photo room.  I would lay the blanket down on the photo-table, and the mom or dad would place the baby on the table.  I was under strict orders never to be the one to put the baby on the blanket-- to always let the mom and the dad do it.  That actually was a relief to me! I would turn off the lights so that the baby would open his or her eyes, and then I'd press the button and take the picture of the baby lying there on the blanket.  At the end of my shift, I had to take the film out of the camera, prepare the envelope for shipping, and drop the film into the mailbox on my way out the door.

I received very brief instructions one day prior to me being on my own at this job.  The company (Special Delivery Photos) was owned by a husband and wife team-- an older couple, probably early 60's.  The husband wanted the wife to spend more time at home, so that's why they chose to hire seasonal help.  The wife was very nice, but the husband? Not so much.  I didn't like the fact that this job was based on commission, but I had no other job, so I guess it didn't really matter.  Anyways, the husband told me that the pictures were not available online-- although the company had a website.  Online availability would be coming in the future, he said.  However, on the sheet I had to hand out to the families, it said the pictures were available online and could be ordered online.  So, when one family chose the most expensive package (which should have netted me $90.00), they chose to order online and did not submit a hard-copy paper form. I told them that I didn't think the photos could be ordered online, but the dad said "The paper says they can.  So that's what we'll do." And I left it at that.  The customer is always right, right? This was the only time someone had ordered the most expensive package and I was excited.  It also happened to be during my last shift before the spring semester of high-school started. The following day, I got a nasty voicemail from the husband.  He told me that I should have never told that family that the pictures could be ordered online (although I did not tell them that the pictures could be ordered online).  He knew which family it was who had placed the order (because we always took a picture holding a name card in front of the baby before we took their real photo).  He contacted the family and was able to get things set up where they would still receive their pictures.  However, he did not pay me for the commission.  For three weeks of work (we had long winter breaks in Hawaii), I got paid $86 and some change.

I did take away a love of photography from that experience, though.  In college in the state of Alabama, I had a job as a photographer and I photographed college formals, sorority & fraternity events, rush week, college club dinners, a country club themed dinner for the Queen of the country club, etc.  It was fun!  I was also a tutor for athletes at my college and that was, by far, my most favorite job.  Maybe ever.

My husband lived in the Seattle area in high school and he was a bus-boy and waiter at a restaurant.  He made stellar milkshakes and visited with all the regulars.  He can tell story after story about working there.  I'm sure he made more than $86!

What about you?

What was your first job?

Until Next Time,
Much love,  Reba

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Journey

On Wednesday,  the educators at Children's decided to make a basal rate change to Michael's insulin. That meant I'd have to check a 2:00am blood sugar for the next 3 nights.

10/02/15-  2:00am check. Done.

10/03/15-  2:00am alarm goes off. I come back to reality from dream-land and start heading towards Michael's room.  I always check his CGM receiver (which we keep outside his door) before I grab the blood sugar meter. As I bent down to grab the CGM, my foot stepped on what felt like a wet spot. So I pushed the button on the CGM to shine its light on the ground. I saw what I thought were several wet spots.
Oh no, I thought. Akuna peed inside. But I knew the spots were too many to be urine spots. So an even more horrible thought came to mind. Oh no, Akuna pooped. I turned the CGM's light towards the living room. I could see the spots. I turned the light towards the master. I could see more spots that led all the way into the room! Oh my gosh. Akuna has pooped all the way down the hallway and into our room! I headed into the bedroom to get Aaron. I would need his help cleaning up. Why? Why on our anniversary? Why when we're trying to sell our house? Why when I'm in the middle of a blood sugar check? I got into the room and said "Aaron?"
"Yeah?" He replied.
"We have an issue."
"Yes ma'am?"
That's weird. He never calls me ma'am. I decided just to let it out. "Akuna has pooped all the way down our hallway and into our room."
"No he hasn't. That's not poop."
I stopped and shone the CGM light on our floor. Aaron sounded so confident that it wasn't poop. I tried to figure out what the misshapen spots were. I thought Socks? No way. Aaron doesn't even have that many socks. And why would he have socks all down the hallway? I decided it couldn't be socks.
"It's our anniversary. Use your imagination." Aaron said.
Oh great, I thought. He's sleep-talking. I turned on the light. I wanted him to see the spots. He rolled over in bed.
"Just follow them." He said.
And then it hit me. I turned off the light. Aaron had not been asleep. I had not stepped in poop, but rather a flower petal trail. I said "Now? Do I follow them now?"
"Sure." He said.
Led by the light of the CGM, I followed this trail of rose petals down the hallway, through the living room, and into the dining room where there were 6 roses each in its own glass. Tucked in between the glasses was a card.  I read it in the illumination of the CGM.  Here it was, 2:05am, I'm reading a card that talks about how much Aaron and I have been through together-- I'm reading the card at that time because I'm up doing a blood sugar check for our son with Type 1 Diabetes.  I'm reading this card by the light of a piece of technology we use to help us manage Type 1 Diabetes.  I set the card down and go back to the bedroom to thank him.  I'm overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness.  My love language is Words of Affirmation, so it means so much to me when someone says I'm doing a good job, or that they are thankful for my help.  This card said all of that.
"I'm sorry you had to find out about the petals this way.  But I guess it's kind of fitting." Aaron said as I hugged him.

And there you have it.  Six years after this day:

We'd be celebrating our anniversary by the light of a CGM in the 2 o'clock hour of the morning during a non-routine blood sugar check for our oldest son. How far we've come.  And sometimes, those vows that are said on wedding days  ("In sickness and in health...") don't always only pertain to you and your spouse.  Those vows cover your whole family.  So as we learn to be two late-20-somethings who are parents to two young boys, one of whom has an incurable medical condition, we are learning to love more and more each day.

I am so thankful for Aaron and what he means in my life.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Recipe Club: Cuba Cheese Sandwiches

Today I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for Recipe Club.

On the menu: Cuba Cheese Sandwiches

My grandfather is from Cuba, New York (upstate NY).  In Cuba, there is a cheese shoppe that has sharp white cheddar cheese. My grandfather and grandmother (Popa and Nana) always pick up some of this cheese when they make their yearly visit to Cuba.  When my mom was growing up, my Nana would make Cuba Cheese sandwiches for them.  Anyway, I don't know if this is a common Cuba, NY fare, but we had these sandwiches many a time while growing up. My mom made them & taught us. And now my hubby & I love to make them from time to time ourselves. I did not have any official Cuba Cheese Shoppe cheese in my fridge, so I bought Cabot sharp Vermont cheddar and used that this week.  

Broil some bread until it's lightly toasted, then flip it over on the cookie sheet and place slices of the Cuba cheese on the bread. 

Stick it back under the broiler until the cheese is melty.  My grandmother and mom have also placed tomato slices on top of the cheese and the tomato gets warm and soft while the cheese melts. So so good! 

Easy, quick weeknight supper (or lunch!)

Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba