Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ending on a High Note

Today was emotionally draining. I haven't been that intense in a long time. Now that things are starting to settle down a bit I want to write about the positive things that happened today. I have to write it now or I will be in my head all night about it.

I have been dealing with Gavin's intensity really well lately. The effects aren't always permanent but I am controlling my own intensity while trying to teach him how to control his. Today I ordered him to sit on the couch. It was 8:45 am and I was afraid the neighbors might call the cops thinking we were the reason why he was screaming bloody murder! He was not happy about that. I made him wait there for a while before I even told him about the "growlies in his tummy." I have learned lately that if I start trying to talk to him too soon he gets more out of control. I calmed myself some by blogging then I sat next to him and told him I understood how he felt because I had growlies in my tummy too. He hugged me and I suggested he read to me. I love that I know reading diffuses his intensity. It worked like magic. We both calmed down.

Heath had a lot of his own stress today. I told him my perspective. I don't think we are on the same page but I felt better having said it and recognizing that it may have been my answer to prayers about this subject. Despite everything that was keeping Heath preoccupied, he still gave me several unsolicited hugs. Tight ones. The kind that leave me with no doubt that he loves me a lot.

I got several well timed phone calls today from nurses and family. As a result, I did not throw the contents of the brown box across the room, much less off the Golden Gate Bridge! I'm still not thrilled about this whole continuous glucose monitoring system but I am willing to try it. The Sunscreen Song tells us to "do one thing every day that scares you."

While all of those things that happened today are great, I would have to say that the best thing that happened was that Heath found this song!

This version is the only one I can stand of this song. Nelly Furtado needs Chris Martin singing with her to make it sound good. His voice is incredible. And mixed with hers . . . I get chills every time!!! This song takes me back to several car rides around town not long before we moved to CA. I can still remember Parker (the DJ, not my Parker) calling her Smelly Furtaco. I don't remember the radio station I listened to. Sad. Has it been that long that I can't remember the name of the station with Chunga and Mister in the morning? I only liked the afternoon show when Parker was the DJ. Everyone hated Parker. I thought he was funny and witty and he had good taste in music.

The next best thing that happened today was "Mercy" danced by Twitch and Katie and "Bleeding Love" danced by Chelsie and Mark. Chills all over again! This is the first time we saved an episode of So You Think You Can Dance this season. I have been so disappointed with this season. I love that we saved the episode with awesome dances from last season!

It's been a long and exhausting day with many discouragements and shocking news. The Lord has blessed me all day with the things I needed. That is worth remembering!

Not Worth It

I have decided this stupid continuous glucose monitor is not worth it. I have found out that I really should be calibrating 4 times a day. That only saves me 3 tests a day. I am not supposed to trust the sensor when it tells me I am high or low. I have to test from my finger before taking action. I didn't realize that before. Maybe I was told that and I wasn't listening or didn't get it or whatever but I didn't know that. So that puts me back up to testing as often as I was before. I don't have to test after I eat. Some days I would forget to anyway so really this isn't changing anything. I just have to wear this extra thing that, the truth be told, bugs me.

Last night my sensor was way off. It was telling me I was dropping low when I got readings over 300. Too much discrepency. I finally decided to take out the sensor because it obviously wasn't working. It had pulled out a little on its own. It wasn't all the way in my skin. I don't know how it happened but stuff like that happens sometimes. I may have gone to sleep sometime after 1 am and woke up at 6 am because my blood sugar was low. But it was the best sleep I have had since I got the sensor!!!

Heath is working from home this morning which is nice because the new sensor isn't working. I keep getting a lost sensor warning. I can't even get it to transmit and I just put it in. It bugs me that the whole process of putting in a new sensor can take almost an hour. There is a lot of down time while I wait for things to work before I can move on to the next step. It's a calculated waiting game. There is nothing I can do about it to speed it up but I'm beyond annoyed that it's been in for an hour and now it's not even transmitting data.

I'm snapping at everyone because I hate being forced to do something I don't want to do and I don't want to do this CGM anymore. I really just want to give the doctor enough data for him to make some changes. Hopefully in a couple of months I can say forget it and not wear it anymore. I can't imagine doing this for the rest of my life. I can't. I was starting to give up on the whole thing yesterday. Then the bad sensor and now this new bad sensor are not changing my mind! We can't download any info from my pump because the software will not work on any one of our computers. Heath tried several different things to get around it but he still can't get one file from the CD they gave us. So I am basically wearing this thing that I am constantly aware of for my doctor who I see once a month. Not worth it!

Gavin is already having intense temper tantrums. We had some stupid telemarketer call us offering us the newspaper. The phone rang at 8:45. Heath said the caller ID said telemarketing. I said to tell them off because it wasn't even 9 am! He is much nicer than I am and ended up telling them they had an interesting loophole to call us when we were on the do not call list. He was very nice about it. I am trying not to swear.

It's going to be a fantastic day, I can already tell.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Adding to the list . . .

Brushing my teeth also makes my blood sugar drop! Guaranteed every night that I floss and brush my teeth I drop low. Guaranteed! That way I can eat again and it tastes absolutely nasty. And obviously I'm not hungry or I wouldn't have flossed and brushed.

I heard that quitting smoking is as difficult as starting the habit of flossing your teeth! Ha ha! I thought that was hilarious and probably pretty true.

Warning! Scrapbooking May be Hazardous to Your Health

When I first started really getting into scrapbooking I would go until I had a headache. I have two family scrapbooks that give me a headache just to look at them! The smell of the books and the look of the pages reminds me of those days when scrapbooking gave me a headache.

The other day I was Cricuting cute little embellishments for my sister's baby shower invitations. It was tedious and I started getting a headache. So I quit for the day. The whole time I was cutting things out I noticed that my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) sensor was sensing that my blood sugar was slowly dropping low. I had slowly dropped to 96 over a period of about 2 hours. I needed to calibrate at that point. I pricked my finger and got a reading of 41!!! No wonder I had a headache.

Today I was working on the baby shower announcements again. I wanted to see how my baby shower for Gavin was worded so I looked it up in an old scrapbook. Pulling the book out immediately made my head hurt. So weird but true. I found the invitation and finished what I was working on. I checked to see what my blood sugar was doing. 111 and dropping.

Over time I have learned that this list of things drops my blood sugar 99% of the time.

  • making a bed
  • cleaning the house
  • sorting the boys' toys
  • dreams where I am physically active in my dream
  • stress (but only if dropping low is inconvenient otherwise stress makes it soar)
  • sitting at the playground while my kids play
  • and now scrapbooking!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?

Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?

Do you swim in a pool,
to keep yourself cool?

Is that what you do?
So do I!
Or drink lemonades?

frozen ones

or pose for pictures

a lot

while your frozen "lemonade" drips

and drips

Is that what you do? So do I!
(words and music by Dorothy S. Anderson)
obviously I added my own, but you get that!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Safety Dance

Proof that my kids will make us millions someday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Very Own CGM!

This is the most unflattering picture of me and with my black shirt it may be difficult to see. Nevertheless this is my right arm. I am wearing my very own CGM in my arm! I am pretty excited about that because I didn't like having the trial CGM's in my stomach. The first trial was fine but the second trial was irritating the whole time. So I really wanted to try to wear the CGM somewhere other than my stomach. I hardly notice it at all.

The nurse educator was very nice. I was glad she left me a big packet explaining everything she verbally explained. Sometimes I thought I understood and I would think back to the trials I did and have an ah-ha moment. But really, I am so overwhelmed with new information! Heath was there most of the time. He had to chase Gwen around some of the time. He says he understands so I think we can figure this all out. It just felt like she explained all these things that could go wrong and with my gloom and doom outlook I am convinced something will go wrong and I don't think I understood how to fix it. Everything went wrong with my last trial but it didn't matter because I went to the Dr.'s office and had it removed and I walked away. No big deal. Now the CGM is mine and I guess I need to know what I'm doing. It will be fine. The benefits outweigh the inconveniences.

One thing I wanted to talk to her about was the fact that my transparent dressing is crappy. I got this new box several weeks ago and the dressing falls off completely in the shower. It's like all I had on was a piece of Saran Wrap. The tape underneath comes off too. Actually, it kind of disintegrates. It's weird and really annoying. Well, Lisa was talking about the dressing and she said that I could wear different dressings that I can buy from Wal-Mart or Target. I guess Mini Med will let me buy dressing for my pump but the exact same dressing for my CGM is more expensive! Sounds like something a medical supply company would do. Then she said something about how the dressing was originally designed to be put on the skin and have the pump infusion set go through it. It's for people who are sensitive to the adhesive. That's me! So when I change my infusion set later today I think I may try that.

I think I understand some of the settings better. She changed a couple of settings from what I had with my trial. Like the low BG alarm. It was set to 55 before. We changed that to 75. That makes more sense to catch a low before it gets super low.

She told me that it takes a couple of times changing it (or telling the pump I've changed it) to really get into a groove and feel comfortable with it. She also said that she picks one day a week to always change hers. She changes it every Sunday morning. So I will change mine on Sunday because that will be the two days the FDA wants me to change it. Then after that I can plan on changing it weekly. It takes some time to change it because I have to wait 30 minutes before hooking up the transmitter and then I have to calibrate it 3 hours later. So it's nice to plan on one day a week to do all that and know that's how that day will go. It sounds like I should only have to test 3 times a day. I can do that! This should be interesting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chic to Geek

Today Heath was a model. He was chosen to be part of a photo shoot with a client. He has been part of other photo shoots since he started working for this company. I guess people are realizing what I have known for years –Heath is hot! The photos are for a site that his company is designing for PayPal at

He was wearing clothes he doesn't normally wear. Not what you're thinking. He wore a t-shirt with a button up shirt over the top like some layering piece jacket thing, jeans, and sneakers. I didn't want him to leave the house like that. He was supposed to dress up as a developer. I was ok with the whole idea last night when he told me about it but this morning I was starting to wonder. I asked him why he had to dress up as a developer. Couldn't they just photograph a developer? He told me they wanted him and that he could pass for a developer. I asked, "Is that a compliment?" I always thought that developers were kind of sad guys in their mid 30's living in their mother's basement. Heath didn't really answer my question.

When he came home he said that he looked fantastic for the photo shoot. They were very impressed and wished the other guys would have geeked up their look a little more. I think they wanted to photograph Heath because while he can dress up really geeky, he looks nothing like a real developer. Kind of like Val Kilmer in Real Genius. Hot! Then Heath handed me my own t-shirt that says alpha (symbol) geek. He has one too. Hmmm . . .

All Creatures of Our God and King

Speaking of bugs . . .

When I was a kid I was ok with bugs. I remember my brother and I were pretty interested in bugs some days. We really liked praying mantis bugs. We thought they looked really cool and they were good bugs so we were all for them. But one day my world shattered. I have been pee my pants afraid of praying mantises ever since.

My brother and sister had found this brown praying mantis in the middle of the driveway. First off, we thought the color was interesting since we thought they only came in shades of green. We knelt down to get a closer look. It started jumping and hissing at us. I am not making this up!

It was not too many years later that I learned that the females eat the head off the males after mating. Why not? That's not creepy at all! To learn more about this absolutely terrifying creature click here.

This is a baby praying mantis that we found on our tent when Heath was trying to put the tent away. Luckily for me I really don't think that was on the tent when I was sleeping in it with the boys. At least I hope not. Little side note, Gwen wouldn't sleep in the tent. She is spoiled and only sleeps in her crib. So we asked the boys who they wanted to stay outside with them. They picked me! That's right. I'm awesome! They picked me!

Another shot of the shudder bug. The shadow looks cool.

This is to give you an idea of how tiny this little guy was. And I was still scared. I know. Everyone wants to party with me. Who wouldn't? I hate spiders and praying mantises, yet I cry when my kids kill bugs.

One last story. I was playing outside with Parker. We saw a dragonfly flitting around. I pointed out the cool dragonfly. Then I passed on the same legend my mother taught me. I told Parker that if he said mean things the dragonfly would sew his mouth shut. He stared at me wide eyed and said, "Should I give him the ball?" I tried to re-explain. He didn't seem to get it so I gave up. The next day out of the blue Parker says, "If you say mean things when a dragonfly is around he will sew up your mouth!" Ahh, so I did get through to him!
Enjoy the bugs this summer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Jake joined our family this afternoon. Sadly, Jake returned to his maker soon after.

Jake is a pill bug. He died at the expense of his exuberantly loving caretaker, Gavin. My heart is broken. Gavin doesn't know. He thinks Jake is just really sleepy. Really sleepy! Gavin said the prayer for dinner tonight. He prayed that Jake would be good. My heart broke some more.

Heath was working from home today after his meeting in San Jose was canceled. He told Gavin to find five bugs outside. It was to get Gavin to go outside and spend some time out there . . . and stop bugging Heath! So Gavin had his magnifying glass that is so scratched from little kid teeth and being scraped across concrete. He was a boy on a mission looking for bugs everywhere. He found a pill bug and carried it into the house to show his dad. Then he took it back out because it was lunch time.

I got the little kids down for a nap and fell asleep myself. Gavin had found another pill bug outside and decided to keep it as a pet. When I finally woke up, Gavin was telling me about Jake. Something about how he was on a rock in a jar with another jar on top of him so he could have a ceiling. Gavin asked what else he could give Jake. I suggested a twig. Gavin was pretty excited about that because "it could be his blanket!" I'm not sure Gavin knows what a twig is. He found a tiny caterpillar looking thing and put it on the outside of one of the Costco sized animal cracker jars that housed Jake. By the time I got out there Jake was not moving. Neither was the caterpillar thing. Jake was not squished so at first I didn't know what was going on with him.

When Gavin was about Gwen's age I would point out bugs to him. I was trying to be a cool mom to my boy. Gavin would pick up the pill bugs that were rolled into a tight ball. They knew what was coming. Then Gavin would squish the living daylights out of this poor defenseless bug between his tiny fingers. I stopped pointing out bugs after that. Parker discovered bugs on his own and was pretty proud of himself for stomping on a ladybug. Yes, my little boy who is deathly afraid of flies was proud of killing a ladybug. I saw smooshed ladybug by the garage door and felt deep remorse. I knew Parker didn't know ladybugs were good bugs. I gently explained it to him and prayed he never found another ladybug again.

I am near tears over Jake's passing. It saddens me to think that my little boy wanted nothing more than to enjoy Jake as his pet. Gavin tried to make him as comfortable as possible. He found the perfect rock for Jake to sleep on. And Jake did. I guess I feel a little better knowing Jake died peacefully in his sleep. Ok, who am I kidding? Jake baked to death in his plastic tomb. The same way that babies and toddlers suffocate and overheat, forgotten in a car on a blazing hot day. Gavin was so excited about Jake that he wanted to learn about pill bugs. Heath taught him how to do a search on Yahoo kids. I read the info that came up. Pill bugs are crustaceans like lobsters. They need moisture. They also need dirt and someone with a little more knowledge than a 6 year old to care for them.

Rest in peace, Jake. Rest in peace.

Monday, July 20, 2009

CGM Training

A nurse educator, who has been diabetic for 40 years and has worn a sensor for the past 3 or 4 years, is coming to my house on Friday to teach me how to use my CGM! Heath is taking a Fun Friday so he will be here to learn with me and I don't have to go anywhere. She's coming to me. My excitement about all of this is starting to return.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer School Drama Performance

Do you remember the Sesame Street character Forgetful Jones? Have you ever had one of those days when you are Forgetful Jones? That was me last Wednesday. Heath worked from home so we could all go see Gavin's drama performance. He wore cargo shorts so he could carry cameras in the pockets. He had the Flip video camera in one pocket and my little Cannon camera in the other pocket. We got to school, checked in at the office, and went to Gavin's classroom. We arranged ourselves on the floor. The only chairs in the room were for the 20 students in the class. There were four or five drama classes for grades 1-4 with 20 students apiece. All the performances were in the classrooms at different times during that last week of school. So seating was on the floor since there was no way to get extra chairs in all the rooms.

Heath handed me my camera to take pictures. The screen said "No Memory Card!" Ohhhh no. I had put the memory card in the computer to get some pictures off of it and forgot to put it back in the camera. Heath saw the card in the computer that morning but forgot to put it in the camera. I felt so bad. Heath took some video of the performance. But shortly before the play was over the Flip ran out of space. I had several old videos that needed to be erased still sitting on the camera. Wow. Mom was not doing well for this little activity. Tell me I didn't feel bad.

Why is there no video with this post? Well, I'm a little weird about my blogging. I don't like to say where I live. Rather than go private with my blog I am elusive about some details in my life. So you don't get video because my city was the focal point of the sign with the name of the play underneath - Friendly Neighborhood Helpers. Sorry Mom. I know you wanted to see the video.

I was surprised and not surprised by Gavin's performance. I was not surprised that he didn't really sing. I was not surprised that he sat in the back where it was almost impossible to see him. The play was a series of songs. Every song featured a small group of kids who would stand in the middle under the sign. Even for the two songs Gavin was featured in he didn't really sing much. Again, I was not too surprised by that. What I was surprised by was how he was talking through other songs and trying to get my attention to say he forgot the toothbrush prop for his dentist song. I guess I hoped he could sit still like the other kids. Heath told me I had tunnel vision because other kids were just as restless as Gavin.

After the performance our legs were completely numb. Then we went outside for popsicles. Some parents asked the teacher if they could get a picture of her with their child. I felt like a moron all over again. We had the camera. Just no ability to save any picture we took. Oh well.

I'm glad Gavin took these classes for summer school. He had fun. I'm really glad that summer school is over. I'm looking forward to cramming in as much nothing as I possibly can before school starts up in about a month.

Speaking of school . . . I want to tie up some loose ends on school stories.

  1. Did I really burn everything? No I did not. But I seriously thought about it. I had this sense of relief wash over me as soon as we pulled out of the school parking lot on the last day of kindergarten. It was all over and the anger melted away. Thank goodness because it was draining to be so consumed by anger for 9 months. I didn't get around to the big pile of paperwork I needed to sort through. I was just happy that school was over. Last week I pulled out the pile. I had a definite garbage pile, a definite keep pile, and a Gavin needs to look at it and decide pile. The anger started to come back as I saw things. I tried not to read anything but just put it in the definite garbage pile. I realized that all that junk was saved for ammunition if I needed it and it was also saved because torching it was going to be my reward for surviving. I was getting so upset all over again I really wanted to burn it but I knew that simply putting the garbage bag outside would be closure enough for me. There was one book that I blogged about and I didn't want to save it. Heath had never looked at it before. He read the notes from the teacher that made me so irritated. He was irritated by them too. Being the packrat that I am I tried to rationalize why we had to save the stupid book. He wisely told me to rip out the photographs for Gavin to save and then toss the rest of the book. All of the emotional baggage from kindergarten is waiting in my outside garbage can to be picked up Wednesday morning to then rot in some landfill somewhere. Or be recycled. This city recycles out of the trash. Either way it is out of my house. Hallelujah!
  2. The principal is back in the office after a well deserved summer break with his family. I will contact him this week to meet about placing Gavin this coming school year. I almost don't even know what to ask for. Anyone would be a million times better than his kindergarten teacher. But I will try to come up with a list of my wants and we can try to find the best first grade teacher we can for Gavin.
  3. The school counselor told me last Thursday that she is no longer going to be at Gavin's school. She was pink slipped with countless other educators and when people were being rehired she was put in the middle school because she has secondary education experience and some counselors only had elementary ed experience. Basically she was surplused to another school. I have firsthand experience with that. It's not always the worst thing that can happen. Then out of the blue she asked me if I had found a preschool for Parker. I was annoyed because whether she means this or not, I feel like she is putting full responsibility on my shoulders for Gavin's poor kindergarten experience. I feel like she thinks if he had gone to more than a Pre K Summer Program he would have had a happier year. That gets under my skin in so many ways. And I want to sue all over again because that is discrimination to say that a child MUST attend preschool before entering kindergarten. Did I yell at her? Did I tell her off? No. I know that as a working mother, she feels that preschool is necessary for many reasons. I decided not to cut her down by being self righteous as a homemaker. I said something lame like I'm not worried about Parker's social skills. He's different than Gavin. I figure she can think whatever she wants about me. Preschool would have only exacerbated the issues we will always have with Gavin in school. He doesn't like to go. He just needs a loving, caring, encouraging teacher when he gets there. Both of my boys are incredibly intelligent. They lack nothing academically. It is my prerogative as their mother to keep them out of preschool and allow them to have the very same education at home that they would get in preschool for a pretty penny.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks to decompress and to enjoy because before I know it, school will start. Hopefully without so much drama.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Uncontainable Joy

My goal with Parker's birthday this year was to give him his own special day where he would feel like a king. Goal accomplished!

We went to the park by our house while Gavin was at school. I pushed Gwen in the stroller while Parker rode his trike. Not the bike. The trike. I fought with him about it a couple days ago and decided the fight wasn't worth it. So he was all decked out in his Mickey Mouse helmet and knee pads on his trike. After the walk/bike ride, the kids played at the playground with the school counselor's kids. That was interesting running into her.

Parker was told dinner was up to him. Dad told him he could choose Mexican, Italian, or Pizza. Parker chose McDonald's. Dad couldn't break his heart alone so he told Parker to tell me. Parker told me he chose Mexican. I high fived him and we went to our new favorite Mexican food restaurant. Parker had fun coloring and loading up on chips. He ate some rice and said he was full. We told him to eat more dinner if he wanted cake. He ate a few more chips and said he was full.

We teased him the whole way home that the presents were really for us. He kept saying that it wasn't our birthday.

The happiness could not be wiped off his face. That kid was so excited.

He would open a present, get all excited and bring it over to me to show me. He loved this book I made him with his name, birthday, address, phone number, brother, sister, etc. He even recognized all the people I made with the Cricut machine.

Both boys got a kick out of this one. Gavin had gotten a submarine book for his birthday and now Parker got the helicopter book for his birthday. I think Parker said something like, "I knew it! I knew I would get a helicopter one!"

All the kids enjoying the new books.

The new rocket balloons. This toy was a huge hit. This was the first attempt. Dad may have inflated it too much. Parker may have squeezed too tight. But this one popped.

Parker could not stand still for a picture. And giving me a normal smile was too much to ask for too. Uncontainable joy.

My favorite picture of Parker all day.

His cake.

I had cleaned the kitchen. Every dish in the house was clean. The floor was mopped. It was awesome that nobody touched that kitchen all night. We had cake outside. I love that I remembered the party hats. Ok, Parker helped me remember the party hats. But I forgot that we also have matching plates and napkins. Oops. That's ok, Heath forgot the number 4 candle from the store when he picked up the cake. Gavin was antsy in the van waiting for Dad to come back with the cake. He said, "Why is Dad taking so long? I think he's just in there not doing anything!"

It was the best day ever. Happy Birthday Parker!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

4 Years of Parker

Looking back, Parker came into our lives exactly when we needed him. I think most parents agree that their kids came when they were supposed to even though it may not have seemed that way at the time.

We were having so much fun with Gavin and were starting to get baby hungry again. We wanted our kids about 2 years apart. So we started thinking about baby number 2 the fall after Gavin turned 1. I don't know why I thought it would take a long time to get pregnant but I did. Who knew we were the type of couple who could blink wrong and get pregnant! That's basically what happened.

Parker's pregnancy was the hardest. I was so sick and uncomfortable for 9 months. But he was by far my easiest baby. My theory is that if you have an easy pregnancy you have a difficult baby and vice versa. I think labor and delivery factors into that too. It was a difficult labor and a scary c-section. Like most moms going from one kid to two, I was worried about how it would all work out. I also worried that I may repeat the severe postpartum depression I had with Gavin.

I remember my doctor holding Parker up to the drape for us to see. I saw his dark hair and relief washed over me! How weird is that? His dark hair didn't last long though.

I would look into Parker's face and feel like I already knew him. We bonded instantly. When he was born my doctor said that it was a good thing I had chosen a c-section because he was still so high she didn't think he would have ever come down. I was so grateful for all my alone time with him in the hospital. I got 3 whole days with Parker basically all to myself. The c-section actually turned out to be a huge blessing.

All 3 of my favorite boys.

Parker has always fit right in. It was so easy for me to go from one kid to two. Gavin loved Parker right away. They have always been crazy close best friends who also happen to be brothers.

The boys have always done everything together. Two years difference in age really isn't that much. It was more noticeable when Parker was less than a year old but that age difference disappeared fast. Maybe that's where the whole afterthought thing started. Nobody ever means to make Parker an afterthought. But it happens. A lot.

Gavin's birthday is conveniently around a holiday. Gwen's birthday is also easy to remember. 7/5/03 and 2/22/08 roll off the tongue easily. There are number patterns with each of those dates that make them easy to remember too. I will admit that even I have a hard time remembering 7/16/05. Gavin and Parker do so much together that I think everyone makes such a big deal out of Gavin's birthday that by the time Parker's comes it feels a little like "been there, done that."
Parker's first birthday was pretty anticlimactic. It was also the beginning of the combined birthday present trend for them. July has become birthday month in our family. We celebrate from the 5th to the 16th.

The 16th is usually not a very big deal. So sad. I hate the way it has worked out. Parker is such a sweetheart. He knows how to get his needs met. He is such a snuggly cuddly guy, unlike Gavin who prefers to keep his personal space personal. Parker is really easy going and doesn't offend easily. So he has been ok with a lame birthday all this time.
His second birthday was a rough day for me. I was still trying to get over the shock of being pregnant again without trying and wondering how we were going to survive until our house in UT finally sold. I had no patience for my kids and it was making me so sad. They weren't even doing anything. I was a hormonal pregnant lady. We went shopping at Costco together as a family. Not really a cool birthday party! Parker had smashed his head into the wall the day before so he looked really awful. Once again he seemed to be the afterthought.

I don't even have any pictures for July 16, 2008. We more or less celebrated both birthdays in UT. We did a little family birthday party on the 12th after we got home. The boys opened their presents from Mom and Dad and we had cake. This picture was taken of Parker the day before his birthday.
It's hard for Parker to be the little brother sometimes. He gets all of Gavin's hand me downs. He loves the clothes now because he's little but one day even that won't be as cool. Gavin got a new bike and Parker got the hand me down bike. The bike isn't that exciting now that it's not Gavin's anymore. Parker got a new helmet with matching knee pads that he called hot pads for a couple of days!
Tonight we are going to try to do the big deal birthday thing. Parker has already gotten a few presents. His presents from Grandma and the helmet with "hot pads." (I can't give up the cute mispronunciation!) Tonight he will open his presents from Grandma and Grandpa. He will also open the rest of the presents from Mom and Dad. Yesterday we ordered him a SpongeBob birthday cake. The boys can share the toys on it but I felt better knowing Parker was getting something Gavin didn't even get.
Parker has been so excited for this birthday. He is thrilled to be 4 years old now. I can't believe he is celebrating the same birthday Gavin celebrated when we moved here. And in February, Gwen will celebrate the same birthday Parker celebrated when we moved here.
Parker may not have always had the best birthday parties but he is so loved. Our family would not be the same without him. His special personality blesses our family daily. I love my Parker. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dear Diabetes . . .

Dear Diabetes,

I have been trying very hard to keep you happy. I know our relationship hasn't always been the best. I was a pretty stupid and rebellious teenager. Is there no forgiveness in your heart? Will you always carry this grudge and make me suffer now as my consequence?

It's been 9 years now that I have really tried to stay under control. I wear a pump, I change my sites as often as I should and I check my blood sugar at least 6-8 times a day. I don't binge eat anymore. Yesterday I honestly answered all of the questions posed by the nurse associated with my insurance company. She told me I was doing great. In fact, most health professionals tell me I am doing everything I should be doing. Why don't the numbers match with my level of effort? I know I probably should see a regular physician. But I see my endocrinologist monthly. He makes changes but they don't seem to satisfy you.

When I am physically active you sabotage my weight loss with excessive and dangerous lows. When my life gets harried and I have trouble making time for exercise you allow my weight to drop with constant highs which make me skip meals more often. Can we meet somewhere in the middle? I'm tired of carrying around 30 extra pounds of baby weight. Especially when I am doing everything in my power to eliminate it. Why would you hold me back when weight loss would be so much better for the both of us?

While I never welcomed your pal Hypothyroidism with open arms, I think we are doing ok. Is that the problem? After 15 years with you, you threw me the curve ball of Hypothyroidism? Now that I've gotten used to the both of you again, you're jealous? Do I really have to think about you two all the time? Your demands have become a part of my daily routine. I'm sorry if that's not enough for you.

You have allowed me to have three beautiful and perfect children despite everything that could have (or should have) gone wrong. So why are you punishing me now? I'm having a hard time being a good mom to my kids when you affect my mood with high blood sugar. I haven't really been able to satisfy your high blood sugar demands in nearly 24 hours. I am bolusing correctly with no love from you. I changed my site, wasting an infusion set, but grateful it wasn't a waste of 100 units of insulin. You teased me with two lower numbers and now 314? Really? What can I do to make this up to you?

Confused Type 1 Diabetic


Do you ever say you are not creative? Do you ever dream at night? Think about one of your craziest dreams. Realize that all that craziness, all the plot lines (whether or not they make sense after you wake up), all the characters, all that you see in your dreams comes from you! Your imagination is powered by you!

You may think that someone is so creative and that you could never do what they do. Well, you're only partly right. Not everyone has the same talents and abilities. Some people have amazing visions of what could be but no idea how to execute on it. That's ok. They find the right talented people for the job and the world changes. Just because someone didn't actually create the product by physically touching it doesn't mean they aren't creative as the mastermind behind the idea. Wouldn't you agree that Matt Roloff (Little People Big World) is creative even though he can't always physically work on his projects? And where would we be today without the creative minds behind Star Trek? We wouldn't have cell phones among other modern day conveniences.

One of my favorite shows is So You Think You Can Dance. I love dance. But I can't dance. I've tried it and it was a train wreck. My soul is fed by watching the unending creativity on this show. (Last season was so much better but I think this season is finally starting to pick up.) Sometimes I think the next reality show should be called So You Think You Can Problem Solve. Or something along the lines of problem solving. Heath would win. He is incredible at problem solving. He doesn't believe me when I say he's a good problem solver. He thinks the solution is always obvious. Not to everyone! Not everyone's mind works the way his does.

Everyone is good at something. Everyone has ideas to share. Everyone is creative in one way or another. Like most things in life, creativity takes confidence and passion. Reward yourself for small successes and your confidence is instantly boosted. Your passion continues to grow and your practice time increases. Suddenly people rave that you are so creative! It's not hard.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Elephant in the Room

You will all be happy to know that the brown box has been opened. Heath opened it for me last night after my post. He pulled each item out of the box slowly. He would smile and excitedly say what each thing was.

H: Ooh! 10 sensors! How often are you supposed to change it? Every 3 days?
T: About that. There are ways to cheat and change it every 4 or 5 days. But I'm supposed to change it every 2 days.
H: Well, 10 sensors is almost a month of supplies right?
T: I guess.
H: A transmitter. A USB so we can download your information. That's not too cool because their software is crappy.
(He looks at the box some more)
H: Oh, maybe it's not so crappy! Some reading for you. (He tosses the booklet on my lap which I promptly toss back as if it is a hot potato.) And an invoice. The box is now open!

My heart was pounding. I was having a panic attack. I told Heath that I didn't want to open the box because it meant I had to do something with the contents. Now the 3 boxes sit on the desk by the computer like a big elephant in the room.

The nurse from my doctor's office called back while I was taking Gavin to school. I called back to reschedule my appointment but she didn't say anything about my CGM. I realized that after I got off the phone. I may get another phone call later from them. If nothing happens in the next few days I may have to call them.

There is a picture on the box of sensors. It is an Asian woman lounging on a cartoon couch ready to dive into the biggest piece of carrot cake I think I have ever seen. Her shadow is a drawing too. It's very strange. I don't know why she and the cake are real but everything else is a drawing. I also don't know what I'm supposed to think about a woman about to eat a large piece of cake. It's like the ad wizards are telling me that if I wear a CGM I can eat cake. I do anyway. Shhh!

I got an email from Mini Med a day or two before the CGM arrived. It told me that I need to read all the literature in my package. I also was supposed to read all the info from a link they sent me about CGM's. I clicked on the link and scrolled down through a lot of info on pump therapy. By the time I got to the CGM info I was no longer interested in learning anything.

I just wonder if maybe I can simply show up for my training having read nothing. I never went to any birthing classes. Good thing because it wouldn't have mattered. But do you think the hospital would have turned me away? "I'm sorry. Your water may be broken but you don't know what you're doing. Take this class on labor and delivery first and then we'll talk." I don't think I need to read anything before going to a CGM training. It's not like I haven't worn two of them for trial studies. It's not like I don't know anything! Do people read the instructions on their deodorant before using it? Is this really so different?

I'm sure by the end of the month I will be posting about how glorious my new CGM is and how much I love it. Right now I am dragging my feet.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Brown Box Continued

The brown box continues to sit on my counter. I was able to forget about it for a few days by putting an art project Gavin brought home on top of the box. But last night I decided to hang his art work on the walls in the office. The staring contest continues.

I would say don't think I'm a complete lunatic but I'm starting to doubt my own sanity. My last post was embellished a lot. I wrote as if I was afraid to open the box when really I expected to open it that night when Heath got home from work. Last Monday I got a phone call from Mini Med saying it was on the way and that I would get it on Wednesday. I was super excited. Dawn and Barry can vouch for that. But we didn't get around to opening the box Wednesday night. The longer I wait the more I really am starting to fear opening it. It's not a can of worms but I feel like it is.

There are moments when I want that stupid CGM and I don't all at the same time. I don't want to wear it. At all. But it would sure be nice to see the graphs on my pump again and know if my blood sugar is going up or down and how quickly. I think so much time has passed since I tried two different CGM's that I've psyched myself out again.

I was watching In Plain Sight with Heath and we were having a snack while watching. My heart started racing the way it does when my blood sugar drops low. It's an intense show and I really get into shows but the way I felt had nothing to do with the drama on the show. I tested and got a reading of 54. It's always weird to drop low while eating a snack I know I don't really need. I told Heath it would be nice to have a CGM right then. I walked past the brown box and the anticipation panic immediately came back. I need to open that dang box but I can't force myself to do it.

I hope that tomorrow night we actually open it after my doctor's office returns my message about needing to reschedule my appointment this week. I think they were closed last week for the holiday. My guess is I will get a phone call, reschedule my appointment and have it include time with Dave, my heroic Mini Med rep, to teach me how to use my CGM. That's my guess. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More Birthday Fun

Yesterday we got another brown box. This one was from Grandma. It was the boys' birthday presents. Even though Parker's birthday isn't until Thursday we let him open his present from Grandma.

The combined gift was an animal croquet set. It is so cute. The boys had a lot of fun playing last night.

Gwen loves playing with it too. Gavin and Parker have a problem with her sharing in their game because she takes the animals apart and gives them to me. When I tell her to give it to Parker, he takes one part from her and then she runs away really fast with the other part! So we set it up in their bedroom where they can close the door and leave Gwen out.

These are the clothes Grandma gave the boys. They love their outfits. They are starting to grow out of their clothes and we are going to have to do some shopping soon since we are pretty much out of hand me downs. I am glad they each have nice, new outfits. Thanks Grandma Rose! (or whatever it is you go by these days!)
Gavin's shirt says "leave it on the field." He has blue shorts. Parker has a striped green shirt with matching green shorts. Parker loves green and Gavin loves blue. That worked out perfectly.

More croquet from last night. The green on the wall is our green screen. We need to get a couple pictures of Gavin for Grandma Westover in front of the green screen for her reading poster.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

Who says you can't have too much of a good thing?

For the last 10 days I have been on vacation from my trainer. He's a nice guy and all. He is pleasant to look at, although most of the time he is a cartoon. He boosts my confidence by saying I'm doing awesome in a voice so similar to Jack Black's voice I have to wonder who did the voice over! But at the end of the day he's not real. He's a cartoon version of some nameless guy who smiles a lot while he demonstrates how to do the exercise correctly. He can't see me. I think if he could he wouldn't be so complimentary. I can't imagine my form is as correct as he believes it is based on where the Wii-mote and nunchuck are.

My vacation lasted much longer than it was supposed to. It's always easier to fall into bad habits than to keep up with the good ones. It all started on July 1. I woke up and decided I didn't need to work out when I was planning on cleaning my house all day. Heath took Gavin to school while I cleaned in a pungent smelling sweat. My blood sugar dropped about 4 or 5 times that day so I figured I must be getting enough exercise on my own.

Then we unexpectedly had Gwen in our room until the 6th. That's a lame excuse for not exercising though because it's not like it would have woken her up any earlier! My next excuse is that I didn't want to be seen in my skimpy workout gear! As if I can't shut my door or something. My goal is to look halfway decent in my clothes. I know it may never be perfect because the shorts were given to me by a college roommate and the tank top was something I wore to mow the lawn in high school! Kevin James says he wants to lose enough weight that his stomach doesn't jiggle while he brushes his teeth. Then it's all maintenance from there! I just want to wear my clothes and not have them wear me.

So what was my excuse on the 7th through the 9th? I was tired and lazy and out of the habit of getting out of bed before 7:00 am. Well, how much could I have really physically atrophied? A lot. It may have been ok except for the fact that my laziness also included far too much caloric indulgence. A couple weeks ago I was annoyed that my exercise was causing my insulin needs to go down so I was having low blood sugar frequently throughout each day. I was so sick of eating! Somehow when my insulin needs balanced out from no exercise and a decrease in two of my basal rates, I still ate just as much as I had been eating before. Only it was rich sweets. Huh, I can't imagine why it hurt so bad to exercise this morning!

I think my trainer is real and he hates me or something. First of all, the game said that it noticed I was unable to complete the 30 day challenge. Did I want to start over or continue. I must not have thought this through because I said to continue. Bad choice. I saw that today the focus would be toning my arms and legs. Ok, I can handle that. It was 25 minutes of lunges and running around the track. I worked on my shoulders and my deltoids twice. My other break was tennis and volleyball but I was lunging for the ball as instructed and I'm amazed I didn't keel over and die.

This post is being brought to you via the dead. My legs are virtually useless from the knee down. The running tightened my calves too much. My thighs are starting to feel it now. I'm afraid if I sit too long I may fall asleep and not wake up for 20 years like Rip Van Winkle. All I want is a candy bar and Diet Coke. That's ok right?

The plan is to torture myself again tomorrow. I need to build up my muscles and I really need to get back into the habit of getting up and doing something. I'm not convinced it will be humanly possible though.

Who says you can't have too much of a good thing?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Side of the Fence

Sometimes what may appear as greener pastures may be nothing more than a patch of weeds. I just finished reading Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book titled "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms."

I have known that there is a lot of controversy around mothers and women in general. Sadly, women seem to always find a reason to be in competition with each other. What's worse is they always find a way to put each other down about anything and everything. My sister shared some of her experiences with me and all I could say was "Welcome to Motherhood!" But in reality she would have been criticized for any choice she made about anything in her life. She is a woman.

Like I said, I knew there was controversy but I didn't know it was an all out war. Not until Gavin's kindergarten teacher as well as the school counselor told me I needed to send my kids to pre-school. After reading this book, I have more confidence in my decision to keep my kids out of pre-school. That decision should be made between a husband and wife and God. When Gavin was about to turn 3 years old I remember freaking out a little thinking I only had 2 more years with him before I had to share him with school. I feel that same way about Parker. I only get one more year with him before he goes to kindergarten. I'm not worried about their academic intelligence, nor am I worried about their social skills. My kids are normal and well adjusted. I miss them when they are gone. They are my life.

Living in Utah there wasn't as much war about whether or not a woman stayed home with her children. Many women did stay home because that was the culture in Utah. At times I felt like I was a drain on society. I felt guilty for getting a BS degree with the intent to stay home if I ever married and had children. I especially felt like a lazy bum when so many of my SAHM acquaintences justified their decision by working from home. They would do anything to make a buck. In Utah I felt like I was in competition with other SAHM's and I was losing because my house wasn't perfect 24/7, my son wasn't walking by 9 months, etc, etc, etc.

After moving to CA, the mommy guilt shifted. I feel like I am viewed as irresponsible for having 3 kids, two years apart in age, all from the same man who happens to be the only man I ever married! I am criticized for not paying hundreds of dollars on state of the art pre-schools and overscheduling my childrent to the point that people need to get on a waiting list for a playdate. A friend of mine recently told me that she is not going to enroll her 4 year old in pre-school anymore because it's nothing more than a really expensive playdate. I heard a description of a pre-school/day care that was different from the other facilities. This one let the kids go in and out as they pleased. Snacks were not scheduled. Kids were not forced to join in any art or science project but if they got "stuck" in one spot too often or for too long they were encouraged to join an activity. I am not interested in paying for that when that is essentially what I do at home with my own children! I don't need to pay someone else to raise my kids.

I loved this book. It reminded me of everything I have. And I have it all. I have a wonderful and supportive husband. I have 3 of the cutest and smartest kids. They tell me constantly that they love me. Ok, lately Parker tells me he loves me on one day and I tell him I love him every day and he laughs. Then he admits he loves me every day too.

This book told me to stop being such a perfectionist. Heath will roll his eyes when he reads that one! He's been telling me that all along. But maybe it took reading it in a book to realize that the house doesn't always need to be spotless. I have relaxed on this cleaning compulsion of mine. I used to sweep after every meal and snack when Gavin was a baby. I think of that every few days when I finally get around to sweeping because I don't think Gwen needs to eat petrified hamburger chunks off the floor. Cheerios are ok but meat is questionable.

The whole stop being such a perfectionist thing also helps when I realize that my kids are not going to be perfect. They never will be nor were they ever meant to be. Because I stay home with them I have gotten to know them really well. I am learning what works on each one (and it's not the same for any of them.) I am learning that Gavin is very slow to adapt to some activities. We have a hard time getting to school without tears. At least he is having a good experience and is fine once we get there. I can only imagine his therapy bills if I sent him to a pre-school or daycare because I had to. He doesn't get a choice now. School is mandatory. Summer school is not but we committed to sending him to the art and drama classes so he doesn't get to choose. But I feel better knowing he had 5 years to be a free kid! I don't pick him up from school only to cart him off to a million activities. He comes home and gets his emotional needs met from me.

I vow to never again feel ashamed that I just stay home with my kids. I do so much more than that. I am a mother!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brown Box

On my counter sits a brown box. It was delivered by the nice UPS man that delivers packages in my neighborhood. I signed my name to receive this brown box. Only the most important boxes require a signature.

The box is not very heavy but it will change my life. My excitement about the contents of this brown box cannot be contained yet I find myself not ready to open it.

There is a bit of fear mixed with my excitement. There is also a tiny bit of doubt. Am I really worth the cost? What will be the monetary cost to use what sits in the brown box resting on my counter? All human life has worth but I still worry about the changes and sacrifices my family will make as a result of this brown box. If used correctly, my life could be prolonged by this brown box. At least my quality of life will be better.

The brown box calmly sits on the counter tempting me to peek. Yet I am overwhelmed by how life changing it can be. So I stare back hoping to win the staring contest. I know sooner or later the box will win. The question is when?

When will I get the phone call to set up the meeting to learn to use the contents of the brown box? Who will teach me? Will the timing be convenient enough for me to bring moral support? Will I find out how expensive maintenance is and suddenly no longer want to use my new life line? Will the box sit in a corner collecting dust looking violated after it was opened but unused? These questions keep me from opening the box.

Anticipation surges into my heart like a million butterflies ready to be released. The box sits. Tantalizing not taunting. Hoping not judging. Waiting for me to be ready for my life to change forever. No matter what I choose my life will never be the same again. The brown box cannot be forgotten now that it is here nor can it be taken back as if it never arrived. The brown box changed my life long before it was tossed onto the UPS truck. There is no turning back time. No looking back. To choose to do nothing is a choice in and of itself. So I will choose to continue the steps that have led the brown box to my kitchen counter.

To be continued . . .

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

County Fair

Gavin was gone all day today. He left at 8:00 am for school then we picked him up at 12:30. We had lunch at McDonald’s because Parker earned a book on his Pre-School World game. (We reward the kids for doing well on their educational games. By the way, Gavin is playing a game for 6-8 year olds. He says he’s not in first grade anymore because the game talks about second grade all the time. Gavin is keeping up just fine!) Anyway, after McDonald’s we hit the County Fair. We got home around 6:00 pm. Gavin had not been home that whole time! He’s having a great summer!

Today was $2 Tuesday at the Fair. That’s how we justified paying $20 for close parking. The cheapest parking was $8 and it was 10 miles away. They give everyone bread crumbs so you can find your way back to your car. Since Gavin just turned 6 years old we had to pay for him. So it cost us $26 to get in. We paid $10 for two strawberry lemonades in nice reusable plastic cups. The lemonade was too sweet and syrupy and kind of nasty in my opinion. But the kids loved it and it quenched their thirst so it was worth it. We also paid $6 in tickets for a ride. So for $42 we had the time of our lives in four hours at the Fair. I thought that was pretty good.

We saw part of a magician show but the boys were not interested. So we watched an "actress" practicing a dog show. The next show wouldn't start for two more hours so we moved on. We saw the animals, which the kids thought was pretty cool to see live animals. We saw brand new 8 day old piglets eating. Gavin was asking if the mom pig needed to wake up to feed the babies. He couldn’t accept that really all she needed to do was lay there. Twin calves were born on Gavin’s birthday. That was kind of cool. The boys loved letting the goats smell their hands. Gwen seemed pretty fascinated by all the animals. But she was trapped in her stroller.

There were a couple of young ladies with a bucket of water balloons. They asked if the boys wanted to play with the water balloons. It was free. The boys tried to toss water balloons to each other. Parker threw overhand and too short so the balloons would break on the grass. Then he would throw underhand like the girl showed him but he still couldn’t get it close enough to Gavin. I think the boys went through at least 10 water balloons. They had fun.

The girls gave them prizes. Gavin chose a bendable cow and Gwen got a bendable pig. Parker chose a 3D plastic puzzle. It came with instructions, which is good because I don’t think we can figure out how to get it back together without instructions.

We walked by this little track and saw that a pig race would start in 20 minutes.

So we sat down in the grass to watch. There were plenty of seats in the bleachers but with Gwen in a stroller we decided to sit in the grass instead. We had fabulous seats. We were right at the PVC pipe fence and could see the entire track.
Gwen was getting really bored sitting in her stroller so I got into my Mom purse for some snacks. I used to look in awe at other moms who always seemed to have exactly what their kids needed in any given situation. Now I am one of those moms! Thank heavens I have Type 1 diabetes or I would never carry a glucometer and snacks. These items are the reason why I finally gave in and bought a purse some time after Parker was born! I had a smaller glucometer that couldn't hold my snacks as easily and I was tired of carrying it all in my hands so I became a woman and bought a purse! My purse seriously is a bottomless bag of tricks that has been extremely useful lately.
Gwen was enjoying the heck out of a bag of Cheez-Its. (That was actually from the diaper bag.) At some point she decided she had had her fill and that Dad was hungry. So she started feeding him. It was the cutest thing. She was so proud of herself too. So we got pictures of her feeding him crackers.

The pig races were fun to watch.

This is a great shot of the pigs mid hurdle. I thought the pigs in the back were the smartest. The front pigs would jump over the hurdle and knock it down so the back pigs would just run over it and not have to jump. Of course they still lost but I don't think anyone really cared about which pig won. For the last race the MC chose four kids. One from each section around the track. The kids each chose a pig for their section to cheer for. Our section's pig won!

We looked in the buildings at all the projects and displays. We saw some really cool science fair projects from kids in the school district. I was disappointed that the art was interspersed with all the other projects and displays. I loved the art building at the Salt Lake County Fair. It was an entire building dedicated to every form of art. As a family we spent most of our time in that building. I was always in awe of all the incredible art. Granted there was some lame art too but for the most part it was very inspiring. Today I saw some scrapbooking layouts that won ribbons. I should enter some of my layouts because mine are at least that good if not better!

There was a building with model trains in it. The boys would have thought it was cool except it was so crowded with pushy shovey people. After the trains we made our way back across the fairgrounds to the dog show and almost immediately regretted it.

The show was really slow and not at all entertaining! Gavin seemed to be actively engaged in the show. Parker was bored out of his mind. Although he looks like he's interested in this picture. The second the show was over we headed for the rides. The boys had been waiting all day for that part.

Poor boys have parents with ADD or something. We told them in the beginning we would look at the animals and then go on rides. We just kept finding more things to look at after the animals. On the way to the rides we stopped to watch some percussion dancers. Their dance term. It was a mix of tap, clogging, and some other fast stepping clicking dance. Parker was less than amused. He kept pulling on me so I told Heath we better go quick. I felt rude for walking away in the middle of the dance show but my 3 year old was about to lose it! Then of course we ran into the third family from our ward we saw today. They talked to us for much longer than the boys had patience for.

We finally walked among the rides. The boys were told to find their favorite and that would be the one and only ride they would take. It didn't matter if they didn't agree. Each boy would only ride one ride. We're cheap parents. The rides all required at least 3 tickets. Each ticket was one dollar. The boys found a Cars track and both really wanted to do that. So Heath paid $6 in tickets for the boys to ride. As we were leaving Gavin reached into his pocket and handed Heath a ticket he had gotten from school! We could have saved a buck! Ha ha! We're not that cheap that we were upset I just thought it was ironic.

Parker really wanted to ride in the blue car that was the first in line but another boy got there first. There were enough kids that each car had a passenger so Parker had to climb in with Gavin. I thought he would be upset about the quick changes in his plans but he didn't care.

They both had a blast. Gavin said he tried to steer along the track as if he was really driving. When the ride was over Parker ran over to us exclaiming with all his might, "That was AWESOME!"
The weather was perfect. You couldn't have ordered a better day for the Fair. It wasn't overly crowded either. It was perfect. Heath and I kept quoting lines from Bill Engvall's comedy routine about county fairs. We all had tons of fun. I'm so glad Heath took today as a vacation day too. His parents went home yesterday afternoon and we miss them already. But today was a lot of fun with just our little family. By the way Dawn, Parker keeps praying that Heavenly Father keeps Grandma and Grandpa healthy and strong! He thought it all up himself. I thought that was sweet enough to tell you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Traditional Birthday

Gavin is a traditional boy. He hears generalizations about events and that is exactly what he wants. No bells. No whistles. The traditional stuff is enough for him. In high school I had an art teacher tell us not to draw symbols. He drew a bunch of symbols on the board like animals, stick people, etc. We were supposed to suspend our memory of symbolic pictures and draw what we actually saw. I imagine Gavin has a file in his brain full of symbolic events and that is what he wants right now. Birthday equals presents, cake with candles, balloons, people jumping out yelling "Surprise!" to the birthday person, etc. So that is what we gave Gavin this year.

Birthday cake with candles . . . check

Gavin wanted a chocolate birthday cake. That is Dad's specialty. Heath and I even found those hard sugar decorations that I loved as a kid. The number 6 candle completed the traditional look.

Family hiding to yell "Surprise!" . . . check

Gavin has talked about a surprise birthday party for two years now. I thought Aunt Deanna putting together a birthday party last year without us realizing she was going to do that was the perfect surprise party. But Gavin kept asking for a surprise birthday party this year. He even explained that he would go outside to play and when he came in we would all jump out of hiding to yell "Surprise!" That's when I got what he wanted. So we hid behind the couch for him.

He was so excited that we would do that for him!

We sang Happy Birthday and he said he was going to make a wish. He wished out loud for a telescope and took three tries to blow out the candle.

Then he very excitedly opened presents. This year was a book birthday. Grandma made him a book called Gavin's Stories. It was a bound scrapbook where she put in pictures she made on her Cricut and journaling blocks for him to make up stories about the pictures. It's a really cool book and for the aspiring writer he is he loves it. I made him a scrapbook with journaling starts. It's in a 3 ring binder so he can add his own pictures wherever he wants. I gave him plenty of journal starts with extra lined paper that I created from my Fonts 4 Teachers software. I even made him some embellishments and gave him some stickers. He loves to scrapbook with me. Great minds think alike because I called his scrapbook Gavin's Stories. The scrapbook is all about him. The book Grandma made is for stories from his active imagination. Grandma and Grandpa gave him an interactive book about a submarine. There is a stick that you move the submarine around the page with. Mom and Dad gave Gavin One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss read by David Hyde Pearce on CD. We also gave him Frog and Toad are Friends and Frog and Toad All Year because they are books he can read to himself.

Then we had cake. Gwen was so messy that in hindsight we wished we had just given her a bath then. Instead Grandpa took out a sandblaster and cleaned her up! Just kidding. He used several wet paper towels to finally get her all clean. She ran around the circle with Parker while Grandma and Grandpa cleaned the kitchen. Gavin was scrapbooking. Gwen was getting sick of being chased by Parker and was starting to whine and cry because he wouldn't leave her alone. Then she kept crying without stopping. I went to get her and noticed blood on her tongue. Heath came and noticed a huge goose egg on her forehead. I more or less freaked out. My baby was broken. I was afraid it would scar and I didn't want my beautiful girl to scar. I couldn't believe all 3 of my kids have injured their foreheads in the same place at the same time of year on Sundays around birthdays. I was grateful she had bangs to cover the ugliness.

Then the phone rang and it was my mom calling for Gavin. Even though we told her we had just barely discovered Gwen's major injury, I don't think she realized what was happening. She started singing while Grandma Westover had to get Gavin out of the office for his phone call. Parker was in the way and on "the list." I told him in no uncertain terms to put toys away upstairs before I started yelling at him. He ran off crying and then cleaned up all the toys out of total guilt for his brotherly accident. Heath took care of Gwen, I didn't have to see her and stress, and I talked to my mom in peace in the other room.

All the way around Gavin got his traditional birthday! I can't believe he is 6 years old. I can't believe how he looks like he is 6 years old. What a great kid!