Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treating with a Diabetic

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert here, because really, I have no idea how this is going to work. Last year was a breeze because Mia didn't care. This year is an entirely different situation. She gets it. Halloween now equals skipping house to house, singing twick o tweet! and getting a bunch of sugary goodness. A big pile of it - the most she's ever seen!

Growing up all my parents had to worry about on Halloween night was razor blades and reckless drivers. I worry about blood sugar too, and breaking someone's little heart when she's told she can't eat all that candy at once. I'm thinking the best way to go about this is to let her choose two candies. The rest will go into hibernation somewhere and surface as after dinner treats now and then. I'm sure we'll keep a lot of it for lows too. Luckily Mia's endocrinologist handed us a two-page list of carb counts for just about every candy you can imagine, so that will help tremendously with boluses. Hopefully we can keep the blood sugar train from derailing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't Cover Your Eyes!

I don't know why I like scary movies but I do.

Every now and then a Friday night comes along and Pete and I will talk ourselves into watching a horror flick. We're not fans of the slasher ones like the Saw series (gross) or The Hills Have Eyes (grosser). Those type of movies have no business in today's society. I'm all for freedom of expression and creativity, but come on, do we really need to be giving wackos out there any more grotesque, psychotic ideas?

A good horror movie can be done tastefully and still scare the living poo right out of you. And you won't lie awake at 3am wondering if your seemingly normal but hopelessly neurotic neighbors really are inbred blood and brain - slurping cannibals.

I love the classic scary movies, the originals - you know the ones from the 70s and 80s that made some nights during childhood a living hell. I remember having a handful of friends over in junior high and watching The Shining for the first time. Our kitchen had a window out to the side yard. Some time late that night I was rinsing a dish. My dad was taking out the trash and thought it would be totally awesome to slowly rise up from beneath the window outside and quietly press his face to the glass.

Oh. My. God.

One of my most memorable Halloweens was at Florida State. Our good buddy Mario brought over Halloween I and II. All drunken commentary aside, we were beyond spooked in our little two bedroom loft that night - nothing like having to go pee while cautiously pulling back the shower curtain - you know, just in case there happened to be an escaped mental patient in there. So here is my list of all-time creepy flicks, in no particular order. Even if this is not your thing, I highly recommend stepping outside your comfort level, turning out all the lights and hitting play on the DVD remote. Some of these are straight - up terrifying, while others may take a little bit for the fear to settle in. Pick your poison.

Witches of Darkness

Every October my awesome Uncle Felix shares this poem he wrote for Halloween. With All Hallows' Eve being only a few days (or dark nights) away, here is a fun little medley to read with your kiddos. Enjoy!




Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweetfields Farm Pumpkin Patch

So glad we made our way up to the Brooksville area for some good 'ol country October fun! I highly recommend the Sweetfields Farms pumpkin patch. Last year we made the trek down to the Hunsader Pumpkin Festival in Bradenton, and while fun, I found it a little too over the top and crowded. Sweetfields was the perfect mix of timeless tradition and fun festivities to keep the family entertained for the afternoon. The sunflower maze is beautiful! So if you're looking for something more laid back and folky, head here. Go early because they put a cap on the crowds once the parking lot fills. No pets allowed.

Livie, Keri and Jaime met us there and of course, I had the camera snapping away! I'm hoping to get a new photoblog going soon where I'll include a bunch of these in a better layout template, but for now, here are a few from the Sweetfields adventure on Sunday. It was hot and sticky, but we had a great time!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Make Do & Mend

The last couple days have been tough for those of us in the type 1 community, so I thought I'd follow up the blog with a dose of bright and cheery. Happy thoughts, happy things. It's going to be a wonderful weekend - took Mia and Kai to the Disney store yesterday to get their Halloween costumes. Of course Mia wore her Belle princess dress for approx. 4 hours before Daddy could bribe her out of it for bed. And Kai wore his Toy Story Rex for 4 minutes before he'd had enough. Today we're hoping to head to one of the big pumpkin patches outside town, and tomorrow sounds about right for a little trip to the Children's Museum. Throw some football in the mix and we're good. What's everyone else up to?

Check out this pretty journal here and some other sunny Etsy finds below.

Friday, October 22, 2010

We need to find a cure -

Before any more lives are lost. I have had enough.

This is incredibly disturbing to me. I've been in a funk all day after learning of the little girl. No matter how hard we try and keep on top of diabetes, it can shut a system down in a moment overnight. This is why I don't sleep well anymore and why I feel like a neurotic mess some days.
Dead in Bed Syndrome

Someone with type 1 diabetes is found dead in the morning in an undisturbed bed after having been observed in apparently good health the day before. No cause of death can be established. This is the typical situation of the "dead in bed" syndrome, a very tragic outcome which leaves the family with many unanswered questions: Why, when, how, could it have been avoided?

After the first report from UK the observations have been confirmed from other countries. A number of young people with type 1 diabetes have been found dead in the morning without previous symptoms of illness, hyper or hypoglycemia. The number of deaths of this kind per 10,000 patient years has been estimated to 2 - 6. For a population of 100,000 persons with diabetes, this represents 20 - 60 deaths per year or approximately 6% of all deaths in persons with diabetes aged less than 40 years. A relationship to human insulin or intensive insulin treatment has been postulated but does not seem likely. Autopsies have not revealed the cause of death. However, the diagnosis of hypoglycemia is difficult to confirm after death.

In a recent review, clinical reports strongly suggest that nighttime hypoglycemia is a likely prerequisite of the event, but that the death is sudden and probably caused by cardiac arrhythmia. It is postulated that early signs of nerve damage (autonomic neuropathy) can result in a disturbance of the autonomic nervous system.

If  it's caused by severe hypoglycemia, why doesn't the person wake up? There has been an increased concern about the phenomenon of hypoglycemic unawareness, which is defined as a hypoglycemic episode without warning symptoms of the decreasing blood glucose level. Increasing evidence has been shown that hypoglycemic episodes as such precede the development of hypoglycemic unawareness. Hypoglycemic unawareness will increase the risk of having a severe hypoglycemia.

We know from recent studies with continuous glucose monitoring that nighttime low glucose values are much more common than previously thought. Most often, this is quite asymptomatic and the person does not wake up with hypoglycemic symptoms. Often the glucose value returns to normal or even high in the morning (so called Somogyi phenomenon) so this pattern is difficult to discover without taking nighttime tests every now and then.

Taking the wrong type of insulin before going to bed can contribute to severe nighttime hypoglycemia. We know this has accidentally happened to many young persons with diabetes. If a large dose of bedtime insulin (not uncommon in puberty/prepuberty) is replaced with a similar dose of regular or rapid-acting insulin this will lower the blood glucose considerably and could presumably trigger a severe hypoglycemic reaction which in turn could be further complicated by cardiac arythmia.

What can be done to avoid this from happening?
Checking a nighttime glucose value will give you an impression of the risk of hypoglycemia. If you use pen injectors, make sure the pen for your bedtime insulin looks and feels quite different from the one you use for daytime meal doses (not just another color that may be difficult to observe in the dark). If you use syringes and vials, store daytime and bedtime insulin in different places. When mixing insulin, be extra careful not to take the often higher bedtime dose of the wrong type. For physically active persons, it is important to check for late hypoglycemia after the exercise, particularly in the night and to have a rule of decreasing the bedtime dose after more strenous exercise, especially if the person does not practice this regularly.

From the Parents of Children with Type 1 Forums:

With the heaviest of heart, tremendous sadness, and with the family's permission I share that beautiful, clever and talented 13-year old Eilish, daughter of Mel and Charlie, and sister of Ella, passed away today. Mel and Charlie have always been conscientious and proactive parents. They absolutely did a wonderful job attending to the diabetes care of Eilish, all precautions were taken, due diligence and protocol followed, pump checked, blood glucose checked all in the most timely manner. Type 1 diabetes took Eilish from the world today.

Although we may have questions that really cannot be answered, now is the time to extend our heartfelt prayers and loving support to Mel, Charlie and Ella.

Monday, October 18, 2010

To the Cleaners!

I'm on a quest to find an awesome coin laundromat in the Tampa Bay area. Something fresh and funky with a touch of 1950s fun. That may be a stretch, so I'll opt for spacious, clean and functional. Why you ask? Because I want to use it as a location for a photo shoot. I have so many ideas for this, I may be a little in over my head - but the playful atmosphere, shiny machines and excellent lighting could really work. I took the above pics today at a hole-in-the-wall place we came across. Their one and only paying customer seemed pretty entertained. What do you think? Anyone know of any cool laundromats in the area? Let me know - leave a comment below.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Princess and the Red Balloon

Before iPhones, iPads and XBoxes, there were balloons. Who new the uncomplicated engineering of latex, helium and ribbon could keep a child entertained for hours? Someone handed Mia a red balloon while at the Hyde Park Fall Festival on Saturday. And they became best friends. All the way home, all day long, Mr. Balloon and the little princess were inseperable, dancing and skipping about without a care. Mia even tried to share her apple sauce with Mr. Balloon. But he didn't have a mouth so she insisted Daddy draw him one, with two big boogley eyes, so he could eat, talk and see the birdies outside. And that was super duper cool.

You can only imagine how very sad it was when Mr. Balloon met his demise later that day. I wasn't there for it - I was shopping at Publix when I got the phone call, a distraught Mia choking out the words "Buh. Loon. Buh. Loon. Popped!! Daddy do sumsting!!" Her little heart was broken.

I found her another balloon at the store, a red heart that said I Love You. And when I walked through the door with that thing, everything was right with the world again. I'm beginning to think if the only thing Santa brought this year was a balloon, she'd be perfectly content. I just better have a few as back-up.

D365 - A Quick Check

Monday, October 11, 2010


I have those euphoric moments all the time where I watch them quietly and think
wow, I am incredibly lucky. I worship their every little everything.

A Midnight Conundrum


Mia's infusion site went wonky on us last night. Checked her blood sugar just before midnight and she was 367, running high ketones. She was sound asleep. An emergency site change was in order before things spun out of control. Pete and I divided and conquered - he primed the pump with new insulin and reloaded the needle. I removed and cleaned the old site and got the IV prep ready. And ever so quietly, in the dark, with breaths drawn and fingers crossed, we changed everything out. She stayed asleep, and her levels lowered within range in a few hours. For all I know we'll have to do it again tonight. Diabetes likes to throw curve balls at you to see if you're really paying attention.

This is the little conversation I had with Mia after breakfast this morning:
"Mia, you're so brave. You know that?"
"No I'm not."
"Oh but yes you are."
"No I'm not. I'm not brave. I'm Mia!"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Florida is Asking for Forgiveness

Just wanted to give the Sunshine State a little credit. All baseball teams and sexual offenders aside, the weather has been absolutely perfect so far this October. Clear blue skies, gentle breezes and ZERO humidity. I was up this morning before sunrise enjoying coffee on the porch with Pete and had to dig out a hoodie - could only find maternity but whatever. It was cold enough to see our breath. So thank you Florida for the break in swamp ass. My family is completely vitamin D deficient from spending most of the last several months in the AC. It's been nice to get outside again and not feel an impending stroke. Here's to hoping the crisp temperatures linger, and I haven't just jinxed us all into a blistering hell within the path of a catastrophic hurricane.

Some Florida-esque Etsy finds I wanted to share -
I'm not sure what this is exactly but it looks super awesome and I want one for Kai's room.

You can grab one too here. I love this one for Mia.
And be sure to click on these other items that remind me of home:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It doesn't define her.

Sandboxes. Monkey bars. Giggle snorts. Tea parties. Pirouettes. Pom-poms. Pigtails. Catching a ball. ABCs. Bubble beards. Horseyback rides. High fives. Chasing bugs. Yummy tummy kisses. Bedtime stories. Getting the sillies out. Somersaults. Puddles. Rainbows. Glow in the dark stars. Playdoh. Finger painting. Messy faces. Sparkly shoes. Princess dresses. Conversations on her play phone. Picking flowers. Playing in the dirt. Toothy grins. Jumping on the couch. Stirring the ingredients. Reaching the light switches. Putting on clothes all by herself. Lunch with friends. Twinkle, twinkle little star. Baby brotha!!!! Daddy Dino. Dancing to Mommy's favorite song. Grandma's rice. Hiding treats from the pets. Saturday morning snuggles. Holding hands. Spinning round and round. Holidays. Telling us I love you oh so very much. Being 3.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Retro Invites and More Halloween Goodies

These old school invititations are perfect for the playgroup
or adult Halloween party you're planning.
Grab them here.

And be sure to click on these other festive treats:

Monday, October 4, 2010

An article every parent should read.

I came across this online just before Kai was born. We were about to start Mia on the pump, and I was incredibly overwhelmed. We were about to put her life in the hands of a small device people confuse for an MP3 player. I had a million questions, mostly what ifs?? So this article is for the moms, more so for those few of you that face true adversity everyday. Whether it be mothering a child battling cancer, a child with Down Syndrome, autism, aspergers, hemophelia, a severe peanut allergy and everything in between, this is for YOU. Any time you have a bad day, read this. You might feel isolated, but please know you are not alone.

By Lori Borgman
May 12, 2002

My friend is expecting her first child. People keep asking what she wants. She smiles demurely, shakes her head and gives the answer mothers have given throughout the ages of time. She says it doesn't matter whether it's a boy or a girl. She just wants it to have ten fingers and ten toes. Of course, that's what she says. That's what mothers have always said. Mothers lie.

Truth be told, every mother wants a whole lot more. Every mother wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin.

Every mother wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.

Every mother wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule.

Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class.

Call it greed if you want, but we mothers want what we want. But some mothers get babies with something more.

Some mothers get babies with conditions they can't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palette that didn't close.

Most of those mothers can remember the time, the place, the shoes they were wearing and the color of the walls in the small, suffocating room where the doctor uttered the words that took their breath away. It felt like recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it knocked the wind clean out of you.

Some mothers leave the hospital with a healthy bundle, then months, even years later, take him in for a routine visit, or schedule her for a well check, and crash head first into a brick wall as they bear the brunt of devastating news. It can't be possible! That doesn't run in our family. Can this really be happening?
I am a woman who watches the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing finely sculpted bodies. It's not a lust thing; it's a wondrous thing. The athletes appear as specimens without flaw - rippling muscles with nary an ounce of flab or fat, virtual powerhouses of strength with lungs and limbs working in perfect harmony. Then the athlete walks over to a tote bag, rustles through the contents and pulls out an inhaler.

As I've told my own kids, be it on the way to physical therapy after a third knee surgery, or on a trip home from an echo cardiogram, there's no such thing as a perfect body.

Everybody will bear something at some time or another. Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, medication, injections or surgery. The health problems our children have experienced have been minimal and manageable, so I watch with keen interest and great admiration the mothers of children with serious disabilities, and wonder how they do it. Frankly, sometimes you mothers scare me - how you lift that child in and out of a wheelchair 20 times a day.

How you monitor tests, track medications, regulate diet and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists hammering in your ear.

I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike.

I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy pieces like this one -- saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this. You didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God! Choose me! I've got what it takes!" You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so please, let me do it for you.

From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, carefully counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.

You can be warm and tender one minute, and when circumstances require intense and aggressive the next. You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability. You're a neighbor, a friend, a stranger I pass at the mall. You're the woman I sit next to at church, my cousin and my sister-in-law.

You're a woman who wanted ten fingers and ten toes, and got something more. You are a wonder.

Congrats Tampa Bay RAYS!!!

And here are some pictures from over the weekend of my little sluggers.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Lens!

Can you tell? I picked up a new friend yesterday for my DSLR. So far I'm pretty happy with it, but it's fixed at 50mm and I need more focal range to work with. But for close-up portraits it's excellent. I have a Tamrom 28-75mm next on my list, most of the money is saved - I'm just looking for a good deal as they are pretty expensive new.

D365 - Cure Diabetes

Friday, October 1, 2010

How is it October already?

Crazy to think 2010 has only a few months left to hold onto. Mia is so excited it's pumpkin time again. She was bouncing off the walls today while we were arranging all the decorations outside. I adore Halloween - the pumpkin patches, the pumpkin beer, the costumes, the scary movies. If only it were cooler.

Mother Goose - Gyo Fujikawa

I bought this book for M last Christmas - wanted to share with you how beautiful it is. First published in 1968, Fujikawa's masterpiece brings our favorite childhood nursery rhymes to life with brilliant, whimsical illustrations. You won't get sick of this one.

Does anyone else have it? He also has this book. Gorgeous. Both make an awesome gift.