Saturday, December 29, 2012

P is for...Phone

I had a few ideas of what to write about for my P post. In the end, here I am writing about my phone. Cuz I love it. It does so many nice things for me. I should throw it a party for being so incredibly awesome.

13 Things I Love About My Phone

13) I can talk to people on it if I choose. But really I'm more of a texting type of girl. I feel like my sarcastic wit shows more in a text. ;) But at least I have options.

12) I can listen to my jams on it.

11) Nobody else has a phone cover like mine. Sorry about your luck. Not only is it a one-of-a-kind cover, it's also an exercise device because it weighs like a pound. I lift this weight all day long.

10) It has a camera that I can use in a pinch if I don't feel like lugging around my 
real, and totally awesome, camera.  As long as I'm outdoors with plenty of light any way. Not mention that Instagram is tons of fun. When I remember that I have it. lol

9) It synchs, oh so conveniently, to everything else I own. Like my Mac Book, our Mac, the iPad, iTunes, and my iTouch that I don't really use much since I got the phone. (Kayleigh claimed the iTouch as her own.)

 8) It entertains me when I am sitting at the pharmacy bored out of my mind.  My favorite games: Bejewled Blitz, Bag It!, and Where's My Water? The apps for Apple products can't be beat. I know. I had a Droid previously. (The maps on the Droid are superior though. Don't use the GPS on you iPhone. lol)

 7) I can check myself in on Facebook so you all know what I'm up to. I know how much you care.

 6) I can check the weather, well, every where!! It makes me happy to know that the weather is nice here and snowy in Michigan.

 5) FaceTime is the bomb. Superior video calling device. As a military wife, I've used every video chat known to man and FaceTime is the clearest with the least issues. Even all the way to Iraq. And I hear that you might be able to load it on to a PC these days but that might be a rumor. But worth a looksie if you are in need of video chatting.

 4) I've been wearing out the calculator ever since I both of my kids got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

 3) Texting, I love it. Not only can conversations with more than one of my besties at the same time, I can't be accused of not having said something because I have it in print. Ha!! (Of course, sometimes that works to my disadvantage too. lol)  Plus I can send pictures. And my throat doesn't get sore from too much talking. I need to save my voice for all of the reading I do in my homeschool. We are Sonlighters you know.

 2) It is an integral part of my diabetes management plan when I'm on the go.

1) The calendar feature is my brain. If it's not in my phone, I'm probably not going to do it. Writing things down on a calendar is useless to me. I'll write it and then never, ever, ever, ever (thank you taylor swift) ever look at it again. But my phone beeps at me. Loudly. And so does my Mac Book and the iPad. The beeping means there's at 70-75% chance that I'll actually get stuff accomplished. Woot!! And it reminds my daughter to do her chores, which she hates. Double win!!

And yes, I had to add in my daughters' nightly insulin injections because sometimes I forget. Not anymore baby!!!

So yeah, I really like my phone.  And as long as I'm still on P... I'm really Proud of myself for getting this post up before the linky went up. You know, instead of on the last day. =o)


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

O is for... Odd

Every time we leave the pharmacy, people look at us with an Odd expression on their face. And we go Often.  Maybe this is why?

We even get a few looks on the light trips.

I guess not everybody leaves with a haul that size. lol


Sunday, December 16, 2012

N is for... The New Normal

If there is such a thing in diabetes? Or life in general?

With two kids with Type 1 diabetes, I've learned one thing for certain, the T1P (type 1 parents) phrase "YDMV" (your diabetes may very) is a true story. No kidding. There are very few similarities with my girls diabetes, other than they both have it. They could eat the exact same thing and the results will be totally different.

Honestly, I've been so busy managing their diabetes (because the reality is you cannot control it) that there is little time for anything else. Which is why my blog has been so very quiet this month. Well with the help of Christmas preparations and such.

So what is the New Normal for our life with two type 1 diabetics???  Darned if I know.  But here is a glimpse at some of the things that are consistent. Sort of.

Mountains of Supplies

I'm not kidding. We could almost open my own pharmacy with all the stuff now in my house. Good thing that we moved to a bigger house.

In our huge bathroom closet there is an entire shelf of extra supplies. It's a big shelf and it's filled. Extra lancets, ketone strips, blood glucose strips, urine ketone strips, needles of various sizes, alcohols swabs, extra meters. I also have a plastic "bug out box" with quite a bit of supplies in case we need to leave in a hurry. I have to keep track of two meters and make sure that they don't get mixed up. They each have their own (different) lancing device. We call them prickers. We have tons of insulin in my fridge. And a kitchen cupboard filled with supplies that we use daily. (Which we refill as needed from the massive hoard in the bathroom.) We have red glucagon pens all over the house for emergency lows. Tons of 15 carb juice boxes for dealing with low numbers. How sad is it that they can't just have juice because they are thirsty? Only if they are low. The poor dears.

We even keep supplies in our bedroom. We have to check the kids in the middle of the night and sometimes they are low and need a sugar boost to keep them alive and kicking. So we have a stash of juice boxes and crackers to treat lows. Not to mention the glucagon for serious lows.

A large part of type 1 diabetes management revolves around carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help provide energy for the body and without insulin they will also raise your blood sugar to a dangerously high level. For those with a faulty pancreas, that makes carb counting of vital importance. If our kids eat it, we need to know how many carbs are in it so we can determine how much insulin we need to give them.

If you look in our pantry, almost everything is marked with a carb count. It makes my life easier because counting carbs is time consuming. Some things are packaged in single serving sizes and those are relatively easy to deal with. Generally they are already marked.

Other things are in bulk. That requires measuring cups, I have two sets, or a scale. The scale is way more accurate. We have a fancy one and it really helps us be more accurate with their carb counts. It's also a lot more time consuming. Figuring out their carbs for meals often leads to a cold dinner.

My time for cooking a meal from scratch has greatly increased. I have to weigh each ingredient to figure the carbs. I have to add them all up. I have to weigh the pan that I'm going to cook them in. Then weigh it again with the food in it. Then I subtract the pan weight from the ingredients. Now I can finally figure out how many carbs per ounce of food.  Why? So that I can weigh it all out again when I portion out their food.

Sounds like fun right? But we can't give them insulin unless we know how many carbs they have eaten. And if they don't get the insulin they could get very sick and, well, die. That's the reality.

If we want to leave my house, we have a bag for that too. Meters, needles, syringes, test strips, insulin, glucagon pen, stuff to treat lows, and sustaining snacks all have to go wherever we go. It's like having a diaper bag again.

Holy Record Keeping Batman

Now that I figured out all the carbs I have to write it all down. Why? Well for one, it helps me spot trends. Two, it helps me communicate with the doctor.

What do I write down? Everything. I write down every one of their blood glucose levels. I check that at least 4 times a day. Usually more, especially for Kayleigh, who tends to go low. I write down the amount of carbs they have for each meal and the amount of insulin I gave them to cover the carbs. I write down everything that they eat. I write down where I give them their injections. You have to rotate sites on the body so that each site gets a 3-day break. Otherwise they could develop scar tissue.

I have all of their stuff color-coded so that it's a little easier to not mix up their paperwork. I decided that reading in our sleep-deprived state was too hard and colors would be easier. lol

I write down when stuff expires and when I need to order refills. I have written down a whole lot of phone numbers for our diabetes care team. We have a list of all our our prescription numbers for each child. It's a long list.

Math... Lots and Lots of Math

TIPs are often exhausted. I'm not entirely certain that it's because of the interrupted sleep required to check blood sugars at night. It might be because there is a lot of numbers and math involved. Math is exhausting. I hate math. And diabetes. And I don't really like numbers much anymore either.

Of course there is the math involved in prepping the food. There's also a lot of math involved in figuring out their insulin. And it's different math for each child.  Because they each have different carb ratios. A carb ratio tells me how many units of insulin they get for a set amount of carbs. And not only  are they different for each child, each child can have more than one carb ratio. Like the ratio for each meal can be different.

For example...

Mackenzie has two different ratios. At breakfast she gets one unit of insulin for every 12 grams of carbs she eats.  It's one to 13 for the rest of the day.

Kayleigh also has two different ratios. She is 1:45 at breakfast and 1:50 for the rest of the day.

And these numbers are not set in stone. They can, and will, change often.

So lets say Mackenzie ate 62 carbs at breakfast.

I would divide the 62 by 12. Giving me 5.2 . Which one could assume meant she'd get 5 units of insulin.

Uh, maybe. It really depends on what her blood sugar was. We check that before they eat every meal.  And if it's higher than their "target" number, I have more math to do.

Mackenzie's target is 120. It's just a dream number that her endocrinologist would like her to be at all the time. (Which he knows won't happen.) So if she wakes up and is 256, I would then subtract 120 from 256. Which is 136.  Then I take the 136 and divide that by her correction factor which is 80. I have no idea how the doctor decides that number but he said it's 80 and I believe him.

So when I divide 136 by 80, I get 1.7 .  I will then add that 1.7 to the 5.2 from her food. Which gives me 6.9 units of insulin that I will round up to 7. And so she will get 7 units to cover her 62 grams of carbs and the blood sugar that was 136 over her target.

Then I do it all over again for Kayleigh. Except Kayleigh is almost always low which opens up a totally different can of worms.  Some nights it can take us an hour to get her numbers high enough to put her to bed. Totally different.

Because diabetes is never the same for anyone. And it can change for the same person from day to day. The carb ratio that works this week might not be the one that works next week. Anything can cause a change in what works. A growth spurt. Stress. Hormones. A change in sleep patterns.  It's just a never-ending educated guessing game.

So to Sum Up the New Normal

Be prepared because anything goes in the unpredictable world of diabetes.

Linking up to Blogging Through the Alphabet, Weekly Wrap-Up, Photo College Friday

Sunday, December 9, 2012

M is for... Memories

I have had, in the past, lots of grand ideas about ways of preserving family memories. Scrapbooking was the worst one that I ever had. Not that scrapbooking is a bad way. It's a beautiful art. However I'm not very creative. And it involves a lot of clean up. I don't enjoy that. And it's time consuming. I have very little of that.  I've never completed a single album. Not one. Ever. Ever. Ever. (Sorry that annoying Taylor Swift song is in my head.)

So I tried digital scrapping and that is much more my style. And it takes a lot less time. And no clean up. I've actually completed many digital scrapbooks. I still don't have a lot of time, especially since diabetes has taken over our lives.

But one of my favorite digi-scrap projects is our December Daily album. (DD is the brain child of digi-scrap designer, Ali Edwards.) Basically you document your family's activities through out the month of December. It can be as simple or as involved as you like. I am determined to get the book done this year, regardless of what else is going on because my girls LOVE looking back on the albums. And they do it often. So here's a peek at our memories that we've had so far this December.

You can see some our December Daily's from previous years HERE.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

L is for... Laugh

Having two children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2 months is overwhelming and heart breaking, to say the least. Since neither one of those feelings are particularly enjoyable for me, I often turn to laughter to lighten the mood.  So this week I'm sharing some of my favorite diabetes funnies that help our entire family laugh in the face of this life changing disease.

This cracks me up every time. And not only is it funny, it's also true.

Bwaaa haaa haaaa!!! Love this!

My daughter's special dance for when she gets a decent blood sugar reading. Sadly, she rarely gets to use it because diabetes is STUPID.


Friday, November 23, 2012

K is for... Kind of...

Sometimes life is hard. We all have those times when we feel lost, overwhelmed, and not sure that we can keep our heads above water. The last few months have been like that for us. Back in September, our older daughter, Mackenzie, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  And if you'll recall, our younger daughter, Kayleigh, was showing symptoms and put on a "diabetes watch" by Mackenzie's endocrinologist.

Well now he's Kayleigh's endocrinologist too, because she was officially diagnosed this past Tuesday. I'm not going to go into the details of that in this post (I will in the future) but I will say that getting the second diagnosis is not any easier then the first one. Even if you know it's coming, it's still just as heart breaking. And there's a phrase in the T1D world called YDMV. Which means "your diabetes may vary." True story. Diabetes is always changing within one person and it never looks the same within two different people. The best you can do is manage it one number at a time. It's hard.

So when you find yourself in a difficult, even painful, place in your life you have a few options. You can, and should, grieve over it.  You can count your blessings. You can be furious and stomp around and probably make yourself, and everyone involved, feel worse.

I'm very big on counting my blessings at times like this because if I didn't I'd probably go mad and not be able to to take care of my babies who need a lot of care.

So as I sit here feeling sad for the difficult life that my babies have been given, I can't help but think that God is Kind of awesome for giving us some Kind of awesome people in our lives to help get us through this. This post is for them.

My friends are more than Kind of awesome. They are flat out amazing.

They're the Kind of friends who...

Remain calm when they check your (supposedly) none-D child's blood sugar and its incredibly high.

Want to learn about T1D.

When they hear your kid has T1D, start a board on Pinterest with recipes and things helpful for diabetics.

Are still willing to watch your kids even though it's now a lot more work and more than a little stressful.

Pray for your family.

Are willing to keep your kids overnight, even though it's an additional blood sugar check, or two, in the middle of the night for them.

Teach their kids, your child's friends, about T1D. So well that they think of ways to cure it or always check the carbs of what they're eating to see if Mackenzie or Kayleigh can eat it.

Curse restaurants that refuse to reveal the carb counts in their food along with you

When they hear on Facebook that your T1D's sugar is high, stop by to take her hiking to help bring down her numbers.

Enjoy a good diabetes joke.

Ask you how everything is going and what can they do for you.

Do nice things for your kids to help cheer them up when they're down.

Understand that diabetes is hard and sucky.

Think that a t-shirt that says "I'm with stupid" and has an arrow point to a pancreas is a brilliant idea.

Leave drug paraphernalia on your porch when you need supplies for your newly diagnosed four year old.

Are willing to bike 100 miles to bring awareness and raise money for a cure. Check out Tour de Cure to donate to my friend's ride.

Think its fun to think of ways to use an insulin pen and needle to deal with annoying people.

Keep their eyes out for food and snacks that are lower in carbs and sugar so that your kids can still enjoy some their favorite treats that aren't as good for them now.

Are simply so wonderfully thoughtful that they sometimes make you want to Kry.  (I hate that. lol)

So to Andra, Kristy, Teresa, and Wendy...

We love you!!! Kevin and I thank God for you every day!!



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where I Actually Do One

While I haven't blogged about it much lately, we are still doing school. Really. For the most part. I just seem to run out of time on the weekends and don't get around to the Wrap-Up. But this weekend has been relatively boring so I'm getting on it.



We're back into our Sonlight full swing. Complete with our beloved readers/read alouds and Eastern Hemisphere Explorer. We're currently studying Vietnam and reading Land that I Lost, which I believe is a true story. And truly awesome.  The author shares tales of his childhood in the jungles of Vietnam, pre-war. So far it's been very exciting. It also makes me glad that I don't live in a jungle.


I can't remember if I mentioned it, but Mackenzie finally finished MUS Epsilon and has moved on to Zeta. She also finished Life of Fred fractions and has moved onto LOF decimals. We are happy to have finally moved on. And the joy that we feel about this has cemented our resolve to do a lot less math reviews. Mackenzie has also discovered the perfect place to do her math. In front of a fire.

Language Arts

We are still happily plugging away with our grammar and writing lessons. I am thrilled to report that she is doing a better job at reading the instructions in Growing With Grammar so that she is actually doing the exercises properly. Woot!  She has a habit of reading the first part of the directions and then skimming the rest. The result is doing the grammar over.

IEW is, well, excellent. Just like the name promises.  And Mackenzie is finally remembering to underline her dress-ups for fear of the wrath of me. That can only help her. Dress-up underlining aside, her writing is vastly improved.


We're currently studying primeval sea creatures and we have a sudden urge to watch The Water Horse. If I had unpacked any of our DVDs we would.


Kayleigh is mostly interested in messy work, so we did some messy work. So we practiced our H's in shaving cream and did some sight words in glitter glue. Glitter glue is so much less messy than glitter and glue. Except the part where she squeezes the GG too hard but at least there's no glitter hiding all over the house.

In other handwriting news, she hasn't quite mastered the HWT's wet/dry/try method. Solely because she does not want to make the strokes in order.  And we've skipped the rest of the lame coloring pages in the HWT book and moved onto the actual writing. We're happier now.

We've added in some new reading activities from The Moffatt Girls. She has a Ready2Read program that has some really fun stuff, including the glitter gluing of sight words. She introduces word families as well as sight words which is fun for Kayleigh. And she has her doing stuff like "Cracking the Code" using a code to figure out the sight word. Good thing we put that page in a sheet protector so she could do it again and again.

Her Bible verse this week was one of my particular favorites, Exodus 20:12. ;) We are still using the Bible activities from Raising Rock Stars Preschool.  And now I've reminded myself that we didn't do our craft this week. Maybe we'll do that after church.

Speaking of crafts, Kayleigh did a fun and easy one (and totally not messy) craft to go along with one of her Sonlight stories, Stealing the Sun. She just drew a sun and then poked holes around her drawing using a giant thumb tack. Because who doesn't like poking stuff with a giant thumb tack? I can't name even one person. In fact, Mackenzie insisted on stopping her math lesson in order to get in on the giant thumb tack action.

In Other News

We had our last soccer game. Woo-hoo! I'm looking forward to not having to do anything on the weekend for a while. They were almost undefeated except they tied  one game that last day. Still awesome. She has seasons like that every time Coach Montgomery is her coach. He has mad coaching skills people.

We had lots of visitors. First my dad came to town.

Then my friend Joanne came in with her adorable son and brand new grandson. She'll be visiting her more often because now her grandson is living in the area. Yay me!!!

And our BFFs all came over to break in the girls new swing set. It didn't fall apart so I guess my man did a good job on it.

Lastly, in diabetes news. Mackenzie had to get more insulin. She's addicted. We refilled on election day and it was dead in the pharmacy. Woo-hoo! To see a military pharmacy empty is rare. So at least one good thing happened on election day. We didn't have to wait hours for our insulin.

 Kayleigh had a day of really high blood sugars. Like the meter wouldn't read it kind of high. And for the record. It was high before the lolly. I had to bribe her with the lolly to get her to let me prick her finger. I guess that won't work once she's diagnosed.

That's it. That's all I have. I feel good that the length of this post makes up for the weeks that I skipped. Have a nice day.

And if you haven't heard, I'm giving away a wonderful toy from Melissa and Doug. We have a lot of M&D toys in our house and we haven't had a dud yet. So check it out and see if you can win.


Linking to Weekly Wrap-Up, Photo Collage Friday, Preschool Corner, and Homeschool Mother's Journal.

J is for... Jammies!!!

The official homeschool uniform!!

There's a lot to be said about being comfortable while you learn.  =o)  Ahhh, the good life!



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