Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Year

This year I have, in a matter of days, relived every paramount trial I have ever experienced in my entire life.

Two months after the hell of kindergarten mercifully ended naturally in June, I read The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. I read some of the book on the airplane to and from visiting my family for the weekend. When I got home I hugged Heath, hugged my babies, then spent the next few hours finishing the book. The book was very well written, especially considering it was her first novel.

While reading this incredibly written story, I relived my childhood. And I forgave my father all over again.

I did not enjoy the memories that resurfaced while reading the story. I never realized how much I had suppressed over the years.

I have now lost another two and a half days of my life being immersed in Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card. In that time I have relived every trial Heath and I have gone through. Nine and a half years worth of painful misery stuffed into two and a half days of reading. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had great times too. Just imagine every rotten trial you have ever experienced in the last 9 years intensified by 100 and written so well in a book you relived every emotional response in two days’ time. That’s where I am right now!

The good news is while all those horrible things I have read about actually happen to people, they don’t typically all happen at the same time to one family. For that I am blessed. Time has been kind.

There is an afterward to Lost Boys. It’s only on the audio version. Heath told me that the story was originally a ghost story told to college students. Then he wrote it as a short story for a writing workshop. It had such a response that Card agreed to write a novel. It was the antithesis of Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery. Card had read that book and didn’t like the premise that only evil things come back. Part of the story was from Card’s own experiences. The bug infestation was something he experienced living in North Carolina. The Fletcher family was loosely based on Card’s own family, their personalities and experiences. The story ended up being too real even for Card and he swore he would never write an autobiographical story again.

Do I regret reading these books? Not one bit. Will I read them again? No. Maybe Lost Boys but not for years. Would I recommend them to anyone else to read? Yes. They are amazingly told stories. I will warn you though, if you are at all sensitive like I am or if you have firsthand experience with any of the social problems described in these books, you will come out of each book feeling like you have been ripped through a knothole backwards, turned inside out, wrung out, and left back in your own reality to deal with yourself.

This year has been quite a year. I hope next year will be every bit as fulfilling and fantastic. Maybe without all the self discovery though.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Top Ten . . . or 16

At this reflective time of year I look back at my writing from 2009.  I considered doing another year in review but decided against it.  It was a wild year.  Yet we survived and are a stronger family for it. 

One mind blowing fact that I have to put out there before it’s no longer true is, I was pregnant last year!  A friend of mine was saying that she couldn’t believe Gwen was as old as she is.  Peggy said, “It seems like you were just pregnant last year!”  I thought about it and she’s right.  I was pregnant for the first two months of 2008.  That is crazy. 

Anyway, back to my favorite posts of 2009.  I love this list of posts for various reasons.  Most of them just make me laugh.  The best part is they’re all true.  You can’t make this stuff up.

In chronological order:

1.  Recipe For Disaster

2.  Disney Pixar Gratuitous Sex Scene  This one is still being visited after Google searches! 

3.  A Question of Taste  I posted this on a day where I was in a bad mood.  All day I kept telling myself that if I couldn’t say anything nice I shouldn’t say anything at all.  Dawn called and wondered if I had posted anything for the day.  I told her I was too ornery.  She said that she loves reading my posts every night before bed so I agreed to write something for her.  I pulled this idea out of my creative writing idea box in the back of my mind.  It made me laugh and put me in a better mood.  This post still makes me laugh.

4.  The finer points of sharing 

5.  Run run run as fast as you can

6.  Life with Kids 

7.  Brown Box

8.  Jake

9.  All Creatures of our God and King

10.  Harvesting Evil

11.  Peach Fuzz

12.  Pandora's Box

13.  Every so often

14.  A Love Story

15.  It's not stealing, it's recycling

16.  The Spot

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t pick one favorite.  Everything is my favorite.  I love these posts. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

He warned me . . .

Heath surprised me this Christmas with Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card
. I was hoping he would get me that book. When it arrived from Amazon he told me he had hidden my gift in plain sight in our bedroom. I had no idea until Christmas morning when he pulled it off the bookshelf and handed it to me!

I have had a sick fascination with this book since Heath listened to it on CD from the public library. I heard parts but not much. Heath told me the whole story. I know the ending. Even before he had heard the whole thing he was telling me I couldn't read the book for a long time. It paralleled our lives and the crazy year Gavin was having in kindergarten too much. Kindergarten had to be well over before I was allowed to read the book.

He warned me. I haven't gotten into much of the story happening to Stevie in second grade yet. So far the focus is mostly on Step and his rotten new job. I am now remembering Heath telling me how painful that part of the story was for him. We have lived all of this.

If I knew nothing about the story I would be continuing to read in hopes that things get better. I already know the ending. It's not all roses! I am reading because I can't stop. I absolutely hate this story but I love how well Card tells it. It is hard to relive trials in my life by reading this story but again, it is so well written that I have to love to hate it!

My brother has also read the book. He cried. His wife read it. She cried. Heath has listened to it twice. He cried both times. They all agree this is a great book. Tyson was afraid they had hyped it up too much for me. He was afraid I wouldn't like it because of all their recommendations. I told him my fear in reading it was that Heath warned me that the book is very similar to situations in our life together. Tyson tried to downplay that fear. I told him my other fear with reading it was that I get very emotionally involved in stories. I wasn't sure if I was ready for this one.

Heath knows this about me. He told me that now is the best time to read it because I can get lost in the story and easily slack on my job as a mother because he is home to help me out. It would be a really fast read except I am very emotionally involved already and need to take frequent breaks from it.

Oh how I hate this story and love it all at the same time. Heath warned me. I knew what I was getting myself into. He warned me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tying Up Loose Ends

There is actually a name for this condition.  I don’t remember what it is.  I am one of those people that has to finish things.  Remember the episode of Friends where Rachel is reading a story to Emma and Joey was there?  Emma was tired and fussy so Rachel put the book down even though she wasn’t finished with the story yet.  Joey wanted to know how it ended.  Yeah, that’s me.  I will hold my squirming disinterested kids tighter until I can finish the story! 

So . . . I have to finish some stories I started.  First of all, I forgot to share the pictures of the kids when we had breakfast with Santa.  Santa-and-Gavin Santa-and-Parker Santa-and-Gwen The boys were so excited to see Santa.  Gwen was apprehensive but never cried.  Last year she did not like Santa and she resented us for making her sit on his lap.  Gavin was so awestruck he didn’t really ask for anything.  Santa prompted him.  Parker asked for the Grinch.  Like the doll Grandma has with all the other Dr. Seuss characters.  I guess Santa didn’t have time to make the Grinch before Christmas because Parker got Handy Manny instead.  On Christmas he said, “Santa must be making the Grinch for me for Christmas next year!” 

On to stories that need an ending.  I found the universal remote.  It was wedged in the side of the couch.  I thought maybe that’s where we would find it.  I looked there countless times but I was looking under the cushions.  It was wedged in the side.  I could barely get it out. 

Heath had a weird look on his face when I showed him.  He thought he had thrown out the base that recharges the battery.  Two days before I had found the remote he saw the base and was ready to toss it since it had been months and we still couldn’t find the remote.  He was panicked that he really did throw it out. 

Huge sigh of relief, he did not throw out the base.  He found it and was very relieved.  Now we can have a universal remote for our bedroom.  How nice will that be to not have to use multiple remotes to watch a DVD or use the Wii?  I’m excited. 

Hopefully if I give this next story an ending it will get out of my head.  A while back I posted this about chronic fatigue I was experiencing.  The funny thing about that post is I really did write the first part and then hold onto it for months before I added to it and got up the nerve to publish it.  Once I hit that publish button my stomach dropped and I knew I would regret saying anything out loud. 

My mom called me all upset.  She knew about the situation because I would call her almost every time the exhaustion hit.  She was very concerned that it was still going on.  Her phone call came not even five minutes after I had read my first comment on the post.  I told her that someone had read the post and shared her story of finding out she has MS.  My mom and I were very sobered.  MS is not something you wish on your worst enemy.  I am so sorry that the sweet woman who commented has to live with this horrible condition every day. 

My biggest fear about possibly having MS is the fact that it’s an autoimmune disorder.  I already have two.  I don’t think I ever truly mourned diabetes until after I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  Diabetes was just a fact of life.  It made me crazy some days but it was my life.  I was old enough to remember what it was like to be “normal” but young enough to simply accept it as God’s will for me.  Hypothyroidism was another story. 

I was 25 years old.  Gavin was 9 or 10 months old.  I had already cried my eyes out during that pregnancy when my ophthalmologist told me I had the earliest stages of retinopathy.  He told me it may have been because I had been diabetic for 15 years at that point.  He believed it was because pregnancy advances all the nasty side effects of diabetes regardless of control.  (By the way, my retinopathy improved on its own and hasn’t changed since)  I remember thinking I couldn’t believe I was risking blindness to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine – being a mother.  I often thought that had I known everything that could go wrong during pregnancy as a diabetic, would I still choose to do it.  The answer was always a resounding YES. 

Being diagnosed with hypothyroidism was a weird experience.  I told my doctor I was either pregnant on the pill or I had a thyroid problem.  I did not want to be pregnant yet.  But the news I got back was hard for me to take.  I think I would have rather had a surprise pregnancy than have to take a pill every day for the rest of my life for yet another autoimmune disorder.  I cried and cried thinking I would eventually die from my body attacking itself.  So to have a reader tell me her story of discovering her MS felt like my morbid prediction of my demise was true. 

Well, so what’s wrong with me?  Why do I get so tired at the most inconvenient times?  Soon after my “To be or not to be” post I started thinking maybe it really was an anxiety thing.  I thought back to the summer when it started and thought of all the circumstances going on when my tiredness came on.  I had a lot of long term stress.  Then it went away only to come on again as more long term stress hit. 

I have noticed that this chronic fatigue comes on when I am petrified by anxiety.  I face the music and once the ordeal is over I’m back to normal.  Should I talk to someone about this?  Of course.  Am I going to?  Probably not.  At least I know what causes my exhaustion.  It is easier to deal with now that I know what’s going on.  It’s easier to force myself to deal with my anxieties head on.  Well, most of the time anyway. 

I know who I am.  For the most part I know why I am the way that I am.  I am trying to achieve my potential.  One baby step at a time. 

I hope this effectively ties up the loose ends.  I hope I haven’t lost anyone’s respect as a result.  I had to give these stories closure so I can stop thinking about it. 

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Excitement of it All

It’s one thing for kids to be excited about Christmas. In fact, it’s expected for kids to be excited about Christmas. But a grown adult not being able to sleep? Come on!

Heath laughs at me every year for how crazy I get on Christmas Eve. The whole day before Christmas drags for me. Especially this year because we have been ready for Christmas for a while now. The whole week dragged and now I feel like I wasted a week of my vacation wishing the days away.

Merry-Christmas-002 I did give the boys haircuts. And we made treats to pass the time. Merry-Christmas-004

Yesterday dragged on and on. Gavin watched Julie & Julia with me. At one point he said, “Are you sure this movie will last until night because I want it to be Christmas already!” I had to admit to him that I wanted it to be Christmas too and no, the movie wouldn’t last until night but it was a fun way to waste a couple of hours while Parker and Gwen napped. He enjoyed the cooking part of the story. And I muted the one spot when he came back from an errand too soon!

By dinner time I was jumping up and down just like the kids. Poor Heath! All four of us were nuts. We ate dinner early and opened our traditional one gift. Pajamas that Grandma lovingly makes every year.

Merry-Christmas-011 Merry-Christmas-015 My camera ran out of battery before I could get Gavin’s picture. I love Parker’s pirate hat with his pirate pj’s. And Gwen glared at me for every picture. I don’t know why.

We watched Elf together and finished reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. We always read one chapter a night for the seven days before Christmas.

My blood sugar finally responded to all the insulin I was giving to correct highs and I dropped dramatically very quickly. I had fallen asleep on the couch watching TV with Heath. He woke me up but I was so out of it. I finally thought to test and saw I was 49. I ate what I considered was too much. Then went to bed.

I watched TV until midnight when I decided I better try to sleep. I saw 1:20 am. Are you kidding me? I just went to sleep! I don’t remember seeing 2 am and I know I didn’t see 3 am. But I did see 4:25 am. An hour later I started waking up on my own when I heard from across the hall, “Mom! Mom, it’s 5:25. Can we get up?”

Heath had given the boys strict rules that they were not to leave their bedroom (unless they needed the bathroom) until 6:00 am. Gavin was supposed to check his digital alarm clock. Gavin was in charge. Heath was snoring and hadn’t heard the boys. So I went in there to tell them that they had to wait for another half hour. Parker said, “I told him it wasn’t time yet!”

I went back to bed wondering what the big deal was. If three of the five of us were up at 5:25, why couldn’t we just get up already? I got up to go through my morning ritual so I wasn’t holding anyone up when Heath agreed it was time to be up. I felt fine. I went back to bed and slowly started to feel crappy. So I got up to test. As I walked into the bathroom and shut the door I heard Heath laughing. “Shut up!” I joked. I tested and saw I was 35. Good heavens! I hate that 30’s and 40’s are my new norm lately.

It was so anticlimactic to have to go downstairs to put some real food in my mouth. I have fruit snacks by my bed but 35 is pretty low. I wanted something else.

Heath was laughing at me for being up so early but quickly took it all back when he found out how low I was. I told him about my cat naps all night and staring at the clock between weird dreams about Christmas morning. He laughed at me all over again. Too bad for him. I may actually see Santa one of these years like the man in Clement Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. And Heath will be as oblivious as the wife in the story.

Well, to make this long story even longer, the boys were quiet as could be. I watched the clock saying, “In one more minute they will be at the gate.” 6:00 came and no boys. 6:03 came and I was begging Heath to let me go get them. He said they had fallen back asleep and he wanted them to experience the joy of waking up on their own. We turned on the news and waited.

Finally at 6:08 we hear, “Is 6:08 after 6 o’clock? Is it 8 minutes after 6?” We rushed in to let the excitement boil over. Gavin was up but Parker was dead asleep. What! It’s Christmas kid! Get up! Heath grabbed the camera and accidentally woke up Parker with the flash. Merry-Christmas-016

Heath got Gwen up who sat up as soon as he opened the door but she was not ready to be awake yet.

And the party started. Merry-Christmas-017 The kids were finally allowed to look downstairs. They could see that Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk. Merry-Christmas-019

Merry-Christmas-022 Merry-Christmas-021 They were so excited about the new underwear Santa left with their stockings! It kills me that last year we told them if they were naughty Santa would give them socks. Then Santa gave Gwen some socks. She got other stuff too but Santa gave her a few pair of socks. Gavin was so concerned. “Was Gwen bad? She got socks!” This year we said something about underwear and Santa gave them underwear. They obviously didn’t think it was a bad thing!

Merry-Christmas-026 Merry-Christmas-030 Merry-Christmas-031 Merry-Christmas-029

Heath got a lot of pictures and some video. Unfortunately he didn’t get any video of Parker opening his Toy Story Lego’s. Parker was shaking and tearing at the paper as fast as his little fingers would let him. He was screaming, “Toy Story! Toy Story! That’s what I was talking about!!!”

After such a great reaction from Parker Heath tried to capture Gwen’s reaction to the six pair of Disney princess shoes we got for her. This girl has been begging for “pretty dresses” every day and she wears her fancy shoes to go with. We could not wait to give her those shoes that are meant for 3-4 year olds. I’m afraid Gwen is going to fall and break her neck! Her reaction wasn’t what we expected. She was very overwhelmed by Christmas presents. But you gotta love how I beaned her in the head with the box! Way to go Mom!


Such a fun day. I hope everyone else had a very Merry Christmas with their families. I love my little family and love that we get to do our own thing on Christmas since we are out of state from both grandparents. We miss everyone but I love spending the day with my husband and babies.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Spot

What is a spot?  Spots can be good things or bad things.  Have you ever had the rare privilege of parking in the first parking spot?  At Christmas?  Right next to a cart return so you can deposit your children in a cart as soon as you get them out?  I have.  I kept checking to see if it was actually a spot reserved for people with handicaps.  Nope.  That was a good spot! 

A toothpaste spot on your blouse moments before you have to leave the house and you don’t have time to change into another outfit is a bad spot.  I have known too many of those spots.  That’s why getting dressed is the last thing I do in the morning.  Although that choice sometimes has me patting myself as if I’m my own security agent, making sure I’m decent and didn’t forget anything. 

My house is full of spots.  Some good.  Some bad.  It’s a perspective issue.  I also know that one day these spots will change and I will miss them. 

The recycle spot is the corner of the kitchen counter by the sink.  That’s where all the items that need to be recycled are stored until one of us actually takes it out to the recycling bin in the garage. 

Very important items that must not be forgotten are placed on the floor about a foot away from the bedroom door.  The hope is we trip over it or step on it in the morning and remember to take care of it.  This is not a fool proof plan.  Many items have sat in the middle of the floor for days while we strategically step around.  These are items that need attention but are not critical.  We smack our foreheads every time we realize we forgot to do something with the non critical item. 

The shoe parking lot is at the foot of the bed.  Heath parks his shoes short term only.  His work shoes park overnight and walk out the next  morning.  My shoes don’t long term park as much as they simply live at the foot of the bed. 

My shoes could use some lessons from homing pigeons since I never know where they are.  If they aren’t in the shoe parking lot they could be in the shoe basket in the laundry room.  This is a spot dedicated for shoes unlike the shoe parking lot.  If I leave them out downstairs Gwen wears them and leaves them who knows where.  Usually not together.  Some days I look everywhere for my shoes.  Just when I think I may have to find a different pair or risk making Gavin late for school, I find my original choice in my closet where they belong. 

Laundry is another spot.  The kids have laundry baskets in their closets.  The boys do alright using it correctly.  Their socks have a tendency to lie around all over the house.  My pet peeve is the sock spot on the back of the couch. 

Gwen’s new thing is to push her laundry basket out of her closet so she can stand in her closet with the door shut, then play peek a boo regardless of having an audience.  Once the laundry basket is out she then dumps the contents out so she can put the basket over her head.  It’s a mesh cylinder with a turtle lid that Velcro's on.  When it’s over her head it comes down to almost her knees.  She teeters around and falls a lot. 

We have two collapsible laundry baskets in Heath’s closet.  One for darks and one for whites.  But I have a lot of shirts I don’t like to put in the dryer so those shirts spend time on the floor of my closet until laundry day.  Many times I forget about them.  Then I have nothing to wear!  I also have a laundry spot by the side of the bed.  When I’m in a hurry or I’m simply lazy, I will change into my pajamas and leave my clothes on the foot of the bed.  Then when I go to bed I’m too tired to put my clothes away so I sweep them onto the floor.  And there they stay until laundry day. 

The remote spot should be on top of the TV.  That’s where the universal remote charger is.  The remote can be found anywhere on the back of the couch.  Sometimes it’s on the counter or the table.  Sometimes we don’t know where it is.  We still haven’t found our last universal remote.  Heath finally bought another one figuring we would find the missing one once he did.  No such luck.  At least we have a new universal remote.  I hate using five remotes just to watch a movie. 

Like most families, we have assigned spots at the table.  I have to laugh that for years my kids have created snack spots for themselves.  These snack spots are not their typical meal spots.  No, they like to eat their snacks where Mom and Dad eat meals.  Then they almost never finish their snacks so there are crackers and crumbs right where we eat.  Gwen eats a few things at the table then grabs handfuls of snacks to be enjoyed somewhere else in the house.  Because she’s easily distracted, her snacks sit out wherever she left them.  And she will not eat them later.  The Little Diva can only eat fresh crackers! 

The homework spot is next to the boys’ computer.  One of Gavin’s first homework assignments of first grade was to write where he will do his homework and then draw a picture of it.  He wrote something about doing homework on the desk next to the computer “because the table is too messy!” 

Remember when I used to always have a clean house?  Pre Gwen?  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change like keeping my house spotless. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Is it really true?

As the excitement in our house builds almost to the breaking point,

As I try to find something to keep my kids busy while keeping them from literally bouncing off the walls,

As I try to finish wrapping gifts to be stored in my room since Gwen takes them all around the house,

I have some fun facts from the 1500’s.  I’m not sure if these facts are true.  These facts are more wild than my kids right now.  Who cares though.  You share this interesting bit of trivia at any party and people will be amazed at your knowledge.  Thanks to Heath’s coworker for passing along the email.  Enjoy learning something new today. 

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500’s.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . .. . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.  Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.  Hence: a thresh hold.

Getting quite an education, aren't you?

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme:  Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.  When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.  They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus,someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer...

And that's the truth...Now, whoever said History was boring!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Cards

Every year we take out the little red, plastic chair that my Grandparents gave Gavin on his first birthday. We dress the kids in outfits that go well together. It's usually striped shirts. Then we get out the Santa hats and take a million pictures of just the kids. We're never featured in Christmas cards.

When we're done we make our own Christmas cards and print them ourselves. We send out at least 50 of these things to friends and family.

This year is a little different. We took out the chair and the hats. The kids were dressed in their Sunday best this year. They fought over the chair like usual. And in the end we decided to go with a family photo from a few months ago. Then send it out over the Internet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Crazy

Seven days before Christmas and it’s already been a day! 

Let’s start with the good:

In the last week I have decreased my basal rates.  I don’t know why I never felt like I should do that before.  I guess I got to a point where I felt so out of control as a diabetic that I hoped if I played by the doctor’s rules, things would resolve themselves.  Obviously that didn’t happen as I spiraled more out of control! 

So I decreased my basal rates to a much more reasonable level.  I am still experiencing some lows in the morning but it’s not as often and it’s not as low.  I can eat the recommended 15 grams of carbs and actually have it sustain me like it should! 

The great side effect of all these positive changes is I have lost 3 lbs.  I know 3 lbs. is not even noticeable.  But I think it’s worth saying out loud.  I lost 3 lbs. by doing nothing more than DECREASING the amount of insulin I use in a day!  How do you like me now Doctor? 

Heath told me I should see him in 6 months when I’m all svelte (we both know I’m not going to lose much more weight this way) and tell the doctor, “Yeah, I’ve been doing things my own way.  Look at my weight that your nurse saw on your scale, so you know I’m not lying!”  In your face, Doctor Judgmental!  Who is overweight himself, by the way. 

I rode that high for the next 90 minutes until it was time to take Gavin to school.  As I was buckling up Gwen I heard my phone ring . . .

The bad: 

I don’t volunteer at school because I don’t want to deal with finding a babysitter for such a long term commitment.  I tried to swap babysitting with a friend but she has too much going on with her little girl to have time to volunteer this year. There is a time and a season for all things and now is not my time to volunteer.  Maybe next year. 

My kids had a play date planned for today.  My friend who was hosting the play date said that the other mom and I could drop our kids off to do last minute whatever.  I was pretty excited when I realized how  perfectly the time aligned with Gavin’s holiday party.  I asked her if she would be willing to watch Parker and Gwen for a little longer.  She was fine with that.  Vicki is great. 

The phone call was her telling me she didn’t know if she had food poisoning or the flu.  She still wanted to help me since I had committed to this party.  I grabbed the reindeer candy canes I finally finished last night. 


I talked to Gavin’s teacher about the recent change of events.  She was very understanding.  She has two little boys at home and she knows that sometimes things happen.  I felt bad that I couldn’t help when I had planned on it.  Gavin was disappointed but he was fine.  He just said, “This day isn’t working out the way we planned.” 

The crazy:

Once I got home I played an active game of phone tag with the two moms involved in this play date.  All of our phones were ringing off the hook!  We finally were able to work out that I would watch Rebekah while her mom helped with the play her son is in today at the high school. 

I had her car seat  in case Michelle couldn’t get to my house soon enough for us to pick our kids up from school at the same time.  Different schools, if that didn’t make sense.  I don’t live in the most convenient location.  I’m not kidding when I say it takes almost five minutes to get out of my neighborhood.  There is only one way in and one way out.  Once I’m out it only takes five minutes to get anywhere else I need to in the city.  I could probably walk to Michelle’s house faster than I can drive there because she’s in the neighborhood behind mine. 

I ended up taking my brood plus one to get Gavin.  I had Rebekah in Gwen’s stroller while Gwen and Parker walked.  Gwen loves walking and as she was distracted by something every other second I remembered why I make her sit in the stroller! 

Gavin came out without the basket.  I use that basket so I really wanted it back.  All five of us walked back in the building to get it.  Gavin’s teacher made a point to tell me that the candy canes were a big hit and that all my hard work and effort was appreciated by everyone.  That really was a much bigger project than I realized it would be and my fingers still hurt from trying to pinch 35 pipe cleaners into antler shapes!  I knew the kids would like it and I’m glad they did.  Between 25 students, two teachers, and several parents, we came home with three reindeer candy canes. 

We got everyone into the van and buckled up.  Away I drove.  To Michelle’s house thinking that made the most sense.  At the same time she was picking up her kids and driving to my house!  I missed the street I was supposed to turn on and had to turn around in a neighborhood while some guy was following me.  I stopped by the curb next to a park hoping he would pass me.  He kind of stopped too.  I started to wonder what was going on until he pulled into the garage of the house across the street!  What are the chances? 

I fixed my mistake and got to Michelle’s house.  I took Rebekah out while Gwen started screaming her head off.  Tired and hungry.  I started to take the car seat out but thought better of it in case Michelle wasn’t there.  Good thing because she wasn’t there. 

Of course my cell phone has no charge.  When does it ever?  I couldn’t find the charger we normally keep in the van.  I could have used OnStar to call but I didn’t have Michelle’s cell phone number with me.  So we drove back home while Gwen screamed the whole way.  Michelle was parked in front of my house.  The gardeners were parked across the street and were just finishing up.  Michelle and I had a good laugh over us going to each other’s houses.  Her other daughter wanted to run through the walking path and up to their house to see if we were there.  But they live far enough up in the neighborhood that Michelle figured it wasn’t worth it.

Everyone is home safe and sound.  I’m happy it’s nap time now and I’m looking forward to having two weeks off from the world.  Huge sigh of relief.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I was so excited when it was confirmed Gavin was a boy. I think everyone needs to have an older brother. I do. Heath does. It was so perfect that Parker came second. Gavin needed a brother to pal around with.

To be honest, I was terrified to be the mother of two boys. Being a very girly girl myself, I had no idea what to do with boys. Somehow I figured it out.

Then Gwen came along to everyone's delight. I have never been so amazed by another person before. I am the first of two girls. You would think I would know girls. Gwen has me mystified every day. I had no idea she would be born with a confident femininity. I guess I thought I would teach her. Somehow I'm the one being schooled on a daily basis!

Not yet two years old and this girl already has her own taste in fashion.

We bought the fancy black patent leather shoes to go with her Christmas dress. Since then she wears them all the time. She won't take them off for naps or even bedtime most days. Heath will put them in the top of her closet hoping she will forget about them. No, she begs for me to put her to bed. When I go in there she points at her closet and says, "Up, down! Up, down!" It took me a while at first but I soon realized her shoes were "up" in her closet and she wanted me to get them "down" probably so she could wear them to bed with her pink Spongebob Squarepants pajamas!

I have given up the fight with her in the morning about what shoes she wears. It's not 30 degrees every morning anymore so who cares if she has fancy shoes on with her jeans? The other thing she does is she will not wear her coat. That was a battle during that cold snap! She would get all mad and cry, "No! Jacket!" Hot pink marshmallow coat with a fur lined hood she loves to chew on or kelly green pea jacket? She prefers the jacket. She refuses to wear gloves too.

This morning she asked to wear a dress. She does this lately. She loves dresses and struts around the house in them like she's hot stuff. How in the world does she know dresses are prettier than pants? I have a denim skirt I wear in the summer a lot but other than that I only wear dresses to church! I won't let her wear dresses to drop off Gavin at school because it's too cold. Any other time of the year and she's in cute little dresses most days with sandals.

I convinced her to not throw a fit when I put her jeans on and a long sleeved t-shirt. She asked for her fancy shoes and was very proud of her outfit. Parker started dressing up in the costumes we keep in the closet. Gwen found a glittery purple fairy skirt I forgot we had since we got it when she was 7 months old. I helped her put it on. Then she put the pink train engineer hat on her head and look very satisfied with herself!

We can't get over how cute and sweet she is. She makes my heart ache. I am not sad that I'm done having babies but it is weird to realize that Gwen is my favorite age and she's the last one. Ohhhh . . . tear!

I like to watch Say Yes to the Dress on TLC on Friday nights when I've had it with the week and need to vege out. I can't wait to go shopping with Gwen. Not for wedding dresses but shopping in general. Although with her already having such fashion sense, I'm afraid she will be painfully aware of our 30 year age difference when we're out shopping. I still can't wait. I hate shopping but I can't wait to go out with my girl.

This is so typical Gwen. Girly girl who loves to play with her brothers' toys. She even makes the plane noises while she flies it all over the house! We have to find her a train set for her birthday. She loves trains.

Adding a scarf to the ensemble. I love how femininely she holds her hands. She has been like that since the day she was born. Again, how does she know? I think Santa may get her some nail polish for her stocking. He and I talked and we think she might be ready for that bit of vanity.

Eyeing the Superman belt. Should that be added to the outfit or is too much?

Gwen the little mommy. She is always pushing one of her babies in the stroller. So cute. I love that the boys want to be dads when they grow up. The other day I said something to Parker about being a firefighter or something when he grows up. He got really mad at me and said, "No! I already telled you, I want to be a dad when I grow up!" Gavin, on the other hand, is nervous to grow up because he "might not know how to do stuff like make a website." And he is not looking forward to kissing girls "because they always have those wet lips!" Hysterical!

It's a fuzzy picture but I love that Gwen is pushing Woody around in the stroller. She is too funny. My divalicious Little Miss.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Traditions

This is an interesting time of year when people all celebrate one of the same three holidays.  They all celebrate in their own way for their own reasons.  I just find it fascinating. 

Gavin’s school makes a big deal out of cultural differences, especially this time of year.  For the holiday party on the last day before the winter break the classes have a multicultural luncheon.  Last year everyone was told to bring a dish that represented the student’s cultural heritage.  Ok.  We’re as white and American as they come! 

The closest relative Gavin has that immigrated to the United States was my great grandmother who came from Germany.  I don’t know what my grandpa’s cultural heritage is.  We always celebrated my grandma’s German heritage.  My dad is a European mutt.  Aren’t most Americans a mix?  I just have to remember that Gavin is almost a minority in his school as a blond, white student whose family has been here for centuries on his dad’s side and generations on his mom’s side. 

This year his class is having the same luncheon party.  I liked how his teachers brought it to the parents’ attention.  The students all have a number based on their names.  The teachers grouped the kids according to their numbers and the kids bring something based on that.  We have been asked to bring a dessert that we traditionally have in our family around the holidays. 

Well, Heath and I have been married for nearly nine years and in that time we have not settled on many Christmas food traditions.  I have talked to people about Christmas food their family has every year as a tradition.  The consensus is people don’t like the food!  They continue the tradition because it’s comforting. 

My mom made angel sandwiches every Christmas morning with gumdrop bread.  I have to admit, I hated it as a child.  The angel sandwiches were a casserole of sorts consisting of sausage, eggs, bread, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and melted cheese.  I liked the sausage, eggs, and cheese but all the stuff I hated like the peppers, onions, and mushrooms were hard to pick out.  The gumdrop bread was good every other year.  I remember my mom would be really upset the years it didn’t turn out so well. 

Even though I wasn’t a fan of the angel sandwiches it was a Christmas tradition.  I remember the year my mom made angel sandwiches while we were camping in the summer.  We were not fans of that decision.  Angel sandwiches were Christmas and we only wanted them for Christmas. 

There are no special breakfasts we have landed on being a tradition.  We don’t eat a special lunch or dinner.  We don’t even have traditional treats.  Oh sure, we make cookies for Santa.  The last couple of years we have made sugar cookies in Christmas shapes.  They taste like cardboard because they came from a mix that I swear was three years old before we ever cracked the box open!  I think it was a neighbor gift from some friends years ago!  Heath assures me that it won’t go bad.  We finally finished the last bag in the box when I posted this

Gavin will be taking reindeer candy canes for his dessert item on Friday.  I remember making these for friends at Christmas time when I was younger.  I use brown pipe cleaner for antlers and glue on googly eyes and a tiny red pom pom for a nose.  I drove all over kingdom come trying to find some flavored candy canes because who wants a plain old peppermint candy cane?  I finally found what I wanted at Target yesterday.  Chocolate mint.  Yum.  I know the kids will love how fun the reindeer candy canes are.  Plus, those kids are going to have more food choices than they know what to do with.  A candy cane can be taken home and eaten later.  Or hung on a tree.  decorations-001 Since I only have two made so far I better get crackin!  I keep talking on the phone though.

My mom and I had a long conversation last night about Christmas and traditions.   My mom is not really into the Christmas spirit this year.  She finally convinced herself to put up her tree.  It’s not pre lit.  Every year that woman does the lights at least three times before she’s satisfied!  She suffers from extreme perfectionism like me.  I guess she was having trouble convincing herself to put on the ornaments.  She was talking to my sister and her husband.  My brother in law, Ed, asked my mom if she wanted them to help her decorate the tree.  My mom told him no.  My sister, Candi, told Ed that they needed to leave my mom alone with that task.  I just laughed when she told me.  Ed must not know my mom very well yet.

My mom said that next year she plans on getting a small table tree to put in her front window like some little old lady.  I know she won’t.  She knows she won’t.  I was telling her that I always put up the little table tree she bought for me when I was in college.  My mom knows my taste in decorations.  This table tree from Big Lots came with beautiful gold decorations.  I am not into cutesy decorations on my trees. 

I told my mom that this year I was having trouble finding a place for all the cutesy decorations given to me over the years by students, family, and friends.  My mother in law, Dawn, makes the kids decorations every year for Christmas.  I think it’s super sweet especially since Heath told me that was not a tradition when he was growing up.  It was for me.  Every year my parents would give us a new ornament.  I guess Dawn does it for her grandkids now.  Great tradition. 

Anyway, I told my mom that there was no way any of the ornaments from over the years would ever find there way on my tree.  My mom laughed because we have the same taste in decorating Christmas trees.  To us Christmas trees are beautiful and have little to do with kids!  decorations-002 By the way, Gwen sits on the presents and plays with the bows.  My friends are all getting headaches rolling their eyes at me because they all let their kids decorate the tree!  I finally put all those decorations and ornaments on my little table tree.  My kids could not be more excited about it.  They love looking at all the fun decorations, especially the ones with their names that Grandma made for them.  decorations-005 I didn’t clear my counter before taking this picture because I realized the crackers in the background are a Christmas tradition in our house.  We always have to have crackers with cheese spread.  And birthday cake that lasts the whole month!

I’m going to have to get a kid tree soon.  I grew up with a kid tree.  We had to have a place for all those ornaments we got every year!  And they weren’t allowed on my mom’s tree!  I have turned into my mother and it cracks me up! 

My mom reminded me about how my grandma celebrated Christmas as a little girl.  My great grandma came straight from Germany like I mentioned.  German tradition is to not do any decorating, tree included, until Christmas Eve.  My grandma and her brother would play all day while their parents decorated the tree and got things ready for Christmas.  When they were done they would ring a cow bell to let the kids know it was time.  The kids would see the tree and gifts for the first time late on Christmas Eve.  My great grandma would cook the whole week leading up to Christmas.  All special foods they didn’t normally eat.  Then for the whole week after Christmas she didn’t cook anything.  They would eat what she made before. 

decorations-006 Gavin made the tree and the first reindeer last year in kindergarten.  So I had Parker and Gwen make reindeer this year.  I love Parker’s antlers.  He cut his hands out by himself. 

decorations-007 This was what the kids opened for our family home afternoon the first Tuesday this month.  (Gavin puked on Heath the night before when we wanted to do this!)  And here’s the rest of it.  decorations-008 It’s in our bed because Parker kept chasing me around the house with it today.  He kept playing the music while I was on the phone with Candi. 

I love Christmas traditions.  We have so many because this is my favorite holiday.  What traditions do you enjoy this time of year? 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hip Hop Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Well, I finally got it to post a different song and I can even see it in IE. Enjoy our mad skillz!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Now it's beginning to look like Christmas!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I love elfing my family! Gavin said, "I saw this last year." Yes, son, it's a tradition. I can't believe I forgot about this until a friend mentioned it.

The best part about this day is Gavin has no homework this week! WAHOO - HOO - HOO - OOOH! I could give his teacher a hug. All he has to do is read for 15 minutes a day. He always has to read for 15 minutes a day. But that's all he has to do. No worksheets or spelling or anything else. Oh I could hug his teacher! Long live the Homework Nazi, and thank everything holy she doesn't teach anymore!!!!

For some reason I can only post the one song. I'm bummed because the hip hop one was hilarious.

Christmas Present

The greatest gift one can give another is to just be present. Live in the moment. Stop multitasking long enough to really be there for a child, neighbor, or loved one. I believe all people really want this time of year is for someone to just be present.

Some people want the stuff more than having anyone be present. It’s gift giving time and I want the stuff, they say.

The Holiday Season can be viewed as over commercialized. It is often driven by greed and guilt. Many people dread the Holidays because of these prevalent attitudes. The streets are full of impatient drivers all heading for the same parking spots at the crowded stores ready to fight over the last coveted item that is so “perfect” for someone on their list.

I don’t feel this way about the Holiday Season. I am enchanted by the magic of it all. The twinkly lights, the glitter, the warmth glowing from every building. I love all the anticipation of the season. I love the songs. I love the decorations and how they seem to snuggle up the space. My kids fall asleep faster than I do on Christmas Eve!

This year I am trying to get into the holiday spirit. I want to care. But I feel like the season was over before it ever got started. Christmas-card-pictures-070 A blink and you miss it feeling. I guess dealing with so much illness for so many days at the beginning really made me feel late in the race. Christmas-card-pictures-082 I don’t have that panicky feeling of not being ready and running out of time to get ready. I couldn’t care less if we didn’t buy any more than the few items that are sitting in my closet. That Gwen has seen twice because I forget she bathes in our bathroom!

This is how I feel! Christmas-card-pictures-051 The magic is all around me and I’m just not into it this year. I am outside the hustle and bustle. For heaven sake I haven’t even elfed our family yet!

My favorite song is Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses.

I especially like how at the end of the song she realizes that protesting Christmas and spending it alone is not as good as what ended up happening. Magic happened when she found her crush in the supermarket, trying to spend Christmas alone too! I have no doubt that something is going to jolt me back to reality. I will be present for my kids. Christmas-card-pictures-091 I am motivated by their happiness and joy during this most wonderful time of the year. Plus, I have to somehow convince Gavin that Hanukah is not better than Christmas just because it’s eight days v. one!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Circle of Friends Award


I have had the honor of being awarded the Circle of Friends Award by Shannon. Thank you!

In accepting this award I need to list 5 things I am grateful for.

1. My husband, Heath. He is the most wonderful husband. I love his wit and humor, his creativity, his patience, and all he does for me and our family. He is the only person in the world who knows the real me. And he’s still here!

2. My kids. My kids make me laugh at least once every day. They are so sweet, smart, and unbendingly stubborn. They don’t live to please anyone. They are each their own person. They are amazing little people. If only I could bottle their giggles like perfume.

3. The Gospel. This means everything to me.

4. Blogging. It is cathartic to me for so many reasons. I love writing. Blogging is a place for all my essays, opinions and theories about life. It’s where I remember my life with my family. But my favorite reason why I am grateful for blogging is because I have met some of the greatest people through blogging. People I learn from, admire, and am happy to call friends. I haven’t settled on any one topic as my “thing” to blog about. I’m passionate about a lot of different things right now. Having diverse topics has brought a variety of people into my life. I love it.

5. Music. It courses through my veins. It inspires me, calms me, energizes me. It’s something special I share with my kids. There is nothing more worthwhile than dropping everything to sing at the top of our lungs to Ingrid Michaelson’s Everybody, or Lenka’s The Show, just to name a few of our favorites. Music helps us dance like fools. It helps us clean the house. It inspires our creativity. Music was a childhood love of mine and I am happy to share it with my family now.

Now I award people.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanks for calling me fat!

Of all my responsibilities as a diabetic, my favorite is to visit my imbecile endocrinologist.

First of all, I have to get a babysitter.  I hate asking for help. 

Then I have to drive.  On the freeway.  I hate driving and I have mini panic attacks on the freeway. 

I park my behemoth of a van centimeters away from the large vehicles on either side of me.  Are we just bad at parking?  No, the parking lot is just tiny with tiny spots I think even Heath would have trouble parking his Mini Cooper in.  And his car is so cute and little it fits in your pocket! 

I walk into the office that is the size of my living room.  I’m talking the whole thing, patient rooms included, is roughly the size of my living room.  There is a sign on the tall counter stating that HEPA laws require people to have a seat and wait if someone is being helped at the desk.  Even if people whisper I know every word they are saying.  It’s a miniature waiting room with acoustical hardwood floors.  Who are we kidding with the sign? 

Nobody is at the counter except me.  I check in and sit in one of eight chairs behind the coffee table filled with an assortment of outdated tabloid and medical magazines.  Then I wait.  And wait.  When I’m done waiting, I wait some more.  I wait an entire 45 minutes before the nurse calls me back.   

She has me drop off my things in a room.  Then she makes me stand on the scale so we both have concrete evidence that I am 30 lbs overweight.  She never says anything about it.  She’s skinny as can be but after all, she is a woman and knows what a sensitive subject weight and BMI’s are.  I like the nurse although she talks faster than I do when I’m hyper and my blood sugar is dropping low.  It’s hard to keep up with her small talk sometimes. 

She takes my pump to download all the data for the doctor.  Not that he looks at much more than the data from the continuous glucose monitor sensor and how often I change my infusion set sites.  I hate my doctor but I’ll get to that in a minute.  I love that every time the nurse gives my pump back she also hands me an alcohol prep to clean the quick release before I reconnect it to the rest of the tubing.  I know she is being conscientious of germs and whatever.  She is a nurse.  It’s her job.  But what I see her do with my pump is put it on a shelf next to the CPU and shut the door while she pulls up the Pro Link program.  Unless she’s breathing into the quick release, I can’t imagine what germs could have touched it.  I can’t really get the alcohol prep in there anyway. 

Then I sit in the room rereading every poster I memorized early this year.  I wait for another 15 to 20 minutes.  That’s right.  I have been waiting for over an hour beyond my scheduled appointment time.  I’m so glad they can read my mind and know how much I love wasting time, not to mention my friend’s time while she takes care of my kids for me.  Remind me to send the office a holiday card thanking them for the exorbitant amount of my time they have wasted this year! 

Finally the Wizard of Oz himself opens the door and graces the room with his presence.  My mind starts racing.  What do I ask for today?  A heart?  Courage?  A brain?  I shouldn’t ask for a brain.  Since he is in desperate need of one I think it’s safe to assume brains are in short supply. 

His face is impossible to read.  His tone of voice stays even.  He asks how I am doing.  I never know if he’s going through the motions of a traditional greeting or if he thinks my response will give him some clue as to what’s going on.  I have answered both ways.  The one time I told him I was doing crappy he spent the next 8 minutes (since I only get to see him in the flesh for 10 minutes, if even that.  Some days it’s only five minutes) telling me that I’m being too hard on myself.  It’s too early to tell if I don’t like the CGM (continuous glucose monitor).  His whole attitude was that of a kind handyman.  We can fix this.  Don’t cry! 

Today I wasn’t even nervous to see him.  I knew what to expect.  Increases in my basal rates at the exact times of day I tell him I experience a lot of lows.  Why infuse personality in my voice?  I know my fate.  So I answered as dead pan as he greeted me. 

Then the unanswerable questions.  Why does it look worse this time?  I don’t know, you tell me.  We increased all your basal rates last time!  I know.  This is worse.  I know.  It’s too early for an A1C . . . you know it will be higher right?  I know.  Well, your vitamin D levels came back up.  (There is a whole pharmacy story about that but I won’t get into it right now.)  Good.

At one point I told him some days are better than others and cited an example.  On December 3rd my blood sugar was over 200 for 12+ hours before I could get it to come and stay down.  I sobbed myself to sleep that night after Heath gave me a priesthood blessing.  Obviously I didn’t tell him that last part!  Then I told him that since that day I am low all morning.  I eat at least three times before lunch. 

He looked at the graph in front of him.  The graph that only shows the data from the CGM sensor.  Data I think is not a true reflection of reality since I am constantly having to calibrate the sensor when it is so off.  Data that never reflects my lows.  The sensor can be trending down but I have classic low blood sugar signs, test, and see I’m 33 or something ridiculously low like that.  I can’t calibrate when it’s already trending in the right direction.  Plus, I can’t calibrate when there are arrows on the screen showing that my blood sugar is dropping quickly.  All I can do is wait for it to catch up.  He looked at the graph in front of him and said, “I’m not seeing that . . . let’s increase your basal rates starting at midnight.” 

He increased everything from midnight to 2 pm.  The very time of day that for the last week I have not even bolused for the food I eat.  I wake up in the middle of the night with a reading in the 30’s or 40’s.  I eat a bowl of cereal.  I am low again around 7 am.  I have another breakfast.  I am low again at 9 or 10 am.  I eat another 30 or 40 grams of carbs.  I am low again at noon.  Too low to even bolus for my lunch.  So I have to guess how much I should take for lunch since the bolus wizard on my pump won’t help until my blood sugar comes up.  I know if I don’t bolus for lunch I will be crazy high in the afternoon. 

Thanks for listening doc!  You’re fantastic!  I don’t need to sleep.  Who needs sleep?  I should eat my weight in carbs all night and all morning.  Works for me.  I don’t have kids or anything else to need to take care of.  Bring on the insulin!  Hook me up. 

He never said anything.  He just stood there with his arms folded across his chest.  Then he offered to let me try Symlin.  I told him I never heard of it.  He told me it’s an injectable drug that curbs appetite.  It causes me to use less insulin.  People lose weight on it and that’s why they like it.  Would I like to try this drug that I would inject three times a day?  I said, “No, do I really have to do this?”  He said, “No, you don’t . . . we could just play around with your pump . . .” 

Everything in his manner implied that I was a liar.  That I clearly eat too much or I wouldn’t be fat and I lie about all the cheating I do with my diet.  I haven’t sworn in so long I can’t even remember all the good words!  But my mind is full of the most hateful names to call this imbecile. 

Tears started streaming down my face as soon as I walked out into the cold, rainy parking lot.  I sobbed the entire way home.  Then sobbed some more to my friends when I picked up my kids.  The one whose house it was, led all the kids outside to jump on the trampoline while I sobbed shaking sobs in the arms of my other friend, who is a nurse. 

I will be finding a new endocrinologist.  Maybe the third time will be the charm.  Maybe I can find one who won’t say, “At the end of the day I go home and live my life.  You are still diabetic.  What you decide to do is up to you.  It doesn’t affect me.”  Yeah.  He said that.  This one I have now is a word I am not going to use since my mother in law reads my blog. 

And if you actually made it to the end of this post, you are a saint.  Thank you for your friendship and support. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Childhood is Calling

Every fall the front tree holds onto its green leaves long past the other trees have all changed color. Suddenly the leaves will turn a slightly golden green color and drop like a book. Fwoosh.

The front yard is full of huge leaves. They swirl into the street and onto the sidewalk. They roll up to the front door of our next door neighbor’s house until he can’t open his door.

For days and days I stared at the enormous pile of leaves threatening to blow all over the neighborhood at the slightest hint of a breeze. For days I talked myself out of it telling myself it was too cold.

Finally biting the bullet, I tackled the daunting project. Armed with my enthusiastic four year old, Parker, who was anxious to help. He asked if he could jump in the pile before we put them in the green waste. I figured childhood is short so I swept and raked them all into a pile as tall as I could make it. Then let him go for it. He was in heaven.

Gwen was squealing in her room not napping. Parker let her out and I took advantage of her petite size to help tamp down the leaves in the green waste bin. We used to do that with Gavin when he was about the same age. Both kids helped put the leaves in the bin until there was no more room. We moved onto a garbage bag that we stuffed like a turkey.

Heath reminded me that the city will not accept garbage bags from the green waste containers. So the overstuffed black bag has settled on the floor of the garage until I dump it in the green waste, probably filling it again.

Of course there are still more leaves sitting in the bottom of the branches. They have been slowly falling since we started the leaf removal project. My neighbor said he was tempted to get his leaf blower out and blow them down. I told him to go for it. He hasn’t yet.

This childhood moment of pleasure occurred while Dawn sent me this link. This is the most Piquant Storyteller article I have ever read. She knows me all too well. I read the article and was taken back in my memory to countless conversations with her about the topics discussed in the article (helicopter parenting). I could not have written the article better myself. Thanks Dawn.

Here’s hoping more people will understand what childhood is all about and the tides can turn back.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me


When I was younger I looked forward to the year I would be 15 years old.  Don’t ask why.  I don’t know.  I think I had a vision in my mind of how I would look and who I would be.  My 15th birthday came and went.  It was nothing like I imagined it would be.  It seems that since then I just keep getting older every year! 

I really enjoyed being 29 because that is the age everyone lies that they are.  So that was fun.  I didn’t dread my 30th birthday.  I’ve had people ask me if I felt like my body changed when I turned 30.  It’s hard to answer that since I was very pregnant for my 30th birthday.  I have recently decided that maybe all my frustrations with diabetes have more to do with age than anything else.  Diabetes hasn’t responded the same since my pregnancy with Gwen when I was 29. 

Now I’m 32.  I’ve decided not to be sad about it.  I’m still young.  I’m totally in the prime of life.  Plus, I’m doing everything I’ve ever wanted to do.  I have the best husband and the sweetest kids.  Life is good. 

My birthday began with rain pouring.  I’ve made this comparison before because it is so true – the rain was coming down in buckets like on the movies when the sky opens up and dumps rain all over the actors who are instantly soaked.  Happy birthday to me Mother Nature turned it off before I had to take Gavin to school.  I have a love affair with rain but I do hate parading my entourage to school in torrential downpours.  We all draw the line somewhere I guess. 

I think it is worth noting that yesterday there was snow very close to where I live.  It was 28 degrees this morning on the way to school so if it had rained today it would have been snow.  I thought I left Utah and its bitterly cold winters to live in sunny and mild California!

The phone started ringing off the hook with family wishing me a happy birthday.  A few days ago I was in such a bad mood that I didn’t think I was ready to fake enthusiasm for birthday calls.  I was so happy to talk to everyone.  It was so nice of them to remember to call me even when I don’t always remember to call them on their birthdays.  I talked to my mom twice.  My brother called and it’s always nice to talk to him.  Heath’s grandma called.  She is such a sweetheart to remember her children and their spouses , grandchildren and spouses, as well as great grandchildren’s birthdays!  My mother in law called.  I’m one of a select few who loves their in laws.  It’s always fun to talk to Heath’s parents and his grandma. 

Heath came home bearing gifts.  I’m easily surprised.  He told me on Friday that he was giving me money to spend on whatever I wanted but he figured I would use it for clothes.  Last night he came home with gorgeous white roses with a slight blush of pink, a chocolate cake with fudge frosting (so good!), and a gift bag from Macy’s.  The Macy’s in Union Square in San Francisco.  I wanted new pajama pants so he bought me a nice pajama set during a break.  I felt so spoiled in those cozy pj’s.  When I was 16 I visited my aunt and uncle in San Francisco.  My aunt tried to get me to try on clothes in Sack's 5th Avenue and Macy’s.  I couldn’t do it.  Too ritzy for a young girl who’s clothes came from Shop-Ko. 

Heath ordered takeout Thai food.  I got the pad Thai I have been craving for a while.  It came with prawns.  I am not a seafood lover but I do love shrimp of any kind.  He ordered takeout because we knew it was a waste of money to get anything for the kids who wouldn’t eat it.  Plus, it was so cold.  So he got them McDonald’s from across the street! 

My visiting teachers had left a red velvet bundt cake on my doorstep from nothing bundt cakes.  Gavin was so excited because I got the cake before Heath had come home.  Gavin was really concerned that I didn’t have a cake.  He was also trying to plan out having everyone hide to yell surprise to me!  My kids were so excited that it was my birthday and Gavin especially was being very sweet. 

My Relief Society President came over and got a free show of me in my pajamas!  It’s my birthday and I can put on my pajamas at 8 pm if I want to!  She said she wanted a pair to snuggle up in.  Anyway, enough about my intimate apparel.  She brought me some sensual amber lotion from Bath and Body Works.  After she left Heath kept raising his eyebrows asking if she was trying to give us a hint or something!  I just laughed and said, “I don’t care what they mean by the name.  I just like smelly lotion!”  If any presidency  members read this, I love the lotion and am wearing it right now. 

My mom timed the delivery of my gift so I would get it on my birthday.  I thought UPS would deliver it to my doorstep.  Around 7 pm Heath and I decided to brave the freezing cold to check the mailbox.  There it was.  She gave me Gattaca on DVD.  I LOVE that movie and only have it on VHS but our VCR ate a tape so we threw it away months ago.  She also gave me a check which I was not expecting at all. 

After putting the kids to bed myself.  Heath tries to help me but they insist I do it!  Gwen has been really mean to Heath lately as she screams and cries for me to put her to bed!  Anyway, after the kids were in bed we put in Gattaca.  Heath missed the beginning which was the only part I saw.  I snored through the rest.  I think I will try to find time today to watch it again.  Maybe without the matching eye shade that came with my pajamas!  I’m not supposed to wear it while watching a movie? 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Don’t you have the plague or something?

2008-11-25_0398 Christmas cookies and holiday hearts.2008-11-25_0391 2008-11-25_0392 That’s the way the illness starts!2008-11-25_0393 Christmas cookies and holiday hearts2008-11-25_0396 Goody goody yum yum yum!

These pictures were taken last year. A year ago I had no problem with my children decorating all the sugar cookies we made.

This year . . .

This year all the kids have taken a turn with the flu. Heath even took his turn over the weekend. We have become germiphobes around here. Parker was really upset that Heath was using the duck blanket. Parker said, “When Dad be’s sick he just gets germs all over my blanket!”

This year there were no pictures taken of the Christmas cookie decorating. It looked the same as last year . . . only a lot different. I was seeing everything in terms of germs. The boys only got 3 cookies each. I rationed their candy instead of letting them go for it. I even rationed the frosting on their plates. I was sick before they were even done. As a result, there are about a dozen more naked sugar cookies sitting in a bag that I know I should decorate but these images keep popping into my head.

I have learned that I am Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. Check out this song that is so similar to me it's shocking!
I hate every holiday except Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everybody!