Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Reconstructed...

We all know that the Christmas season can be hectic.  Shopping.... long lines at the malls, trying to guess what your various family members and friends would want for you to get for them, endless baking and party-going.  That is what goes on before the actual holiday.  For most people the holiday itself is a time for relaxing, enjoying your family and celebrating. 

It paints a pretty picture:  Beautiful tree, brightly wrapped presents, the kids trembling with excitement, and mom and dad smiling at each other and simply enjoying being together with their family.  Those families that choose to incorporate religion into the holiday (I realize that many families don't.... although I have to believe that the majority of people celebrating Christmas remember that the real reason for the holiday is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ) also attend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services together.... they sit together and listen to the Word of God proclaimed.  They celebrate the birth of His son and the light of Christ entering the world.  Christmas morning the kids wake up early and again, thrill with excitement to see what Santa brought for them.  They drag mom and dad out of bed and the family spends the morning together enjoying the gifts that have been given.  Its "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year".  And its a time that many look forward to for the entire year leading up to it.

Our family is, well, different.  For me, especially since the twins came along, Christmas is not exactly something I look forward to.  The pre-holiday festivities are what I enjoyed more... the shopping, the baking that good feelings that lead up to the holiday itself.  Because the holiday itself is NOT the pretty picture described above.  Our holiday is hectic, with constant running from place to place and most, if not all of it is not spent in our own home.  Most of the holiday is spent without Sugar Daddy as he has work obligations at the church.  He plays a 3:30 and 5:30 pm mass on Christmas Eve, then remains for another hour or so to help break down and move the remaining services indoors.  By the time he makes the 40 minute drive back to our part of town it is after 8pm.  Christmas Eve is spent at my in-laws house, as that has always been their family tradition.  The kids and I get there- we haul all of our gifts in and put them under my in-laws tree as that is where they would be opened later in the evening.... once Sugar Daddy is able to join us.  The rest of the family eats dinner and waits... some patiently, some impatiently for Sugar Daddy to arrive so that we can get on with the opening of presents.  During this time I have always felt on edge as I know that it is our families needs that are holding up the celebratory proceedings and the part that everyone really wants to get to.... opening the gifts!  Once Sugar Daddy arrives, he is beat.  He has just been through an afternoon of last minute set up and two masses attended by 3000 people combined.  Because he knows we are all waiting on him and because he doesn't want to miss out on anything he is stressed and tired.  For that reason the rest of the evening is somewhat strained, and we end up leaving my in-laws house quite late.  Christmas morning the kids do indeed get up early.... but they don't get Sugar Daddy and I up in anticipation of heading out to see what Santa brought.  Sugar Daddy and I are already up.... he has been up since 6am getting ready to leave to go and play the 9am and 11am Christmas Day masses.  He gets up and gets ready early so that he can spend as much time as possible with the kids and their Santa gifts before he has to head out and back to church.  The kids and I then head over to my sister-in laws house where Christmas morning festivities are proceeding.  We spend the morning there, and then head home to meet up with Sugar Daddy who grabs a quick nap, because by now he is truly exhausted and then we head out to my in-laws again to have Christmas Dinner.  By the end of the day, we are just happy that its over.
The prospect of going through all of this again this year was just too much to take.  Last year was a little better because Christmas Eve was held at our house, but this year it was to be back at my in-laws home again, and I realize the need for my mother in law to be able to continue that tradition that she loves in her own home.  But I was desperate for us to start and form some of our OWN traditions in our OWN home!sso wanted to know that one day the Sugar Kids would grow up and say, "this is how we did it at home...".  I felt that it was time we had some of our own traditions to stand on.  That is when Sugar Daddy and I made the decision that Christmas this year was to be Christmas Reconstructed.  We realized that what we needed was to be able to celebrate the holiday in our own way without any outside influences. 
This year we celebrated on Christmas Eve Eve.  =)  We decided that December 23rd, come hell or high water would be the day that our family celebrated Christmas. 
And sure enough, it worked!!!  We had the most wonderful day ever, yesterday!  We woke up in the morning and the kids helped me bake (included in the baking was my first experience with gluten free baking... but thats another blog post) and we made homemade Christmas cards with the kids.
We went to the park and we had a quick and easy dinner together.  We watched Polar Express...and finally.... we opened presents!  Sugar Daddy and I enjoyed the intimacy of being able to open gifts under our own tree and watch our kids' faces light up with delight at the presents they unwrapped.  And here's the thing... we will still have the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day described above... but now it's ok!!  Because we had our family time.... we had that time TOGETHER that we were so lacking before.  The kids and I had Sugar Daddy to ourselves for a WHOLE DAY!  And it was WONDERFUL!  Truly, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! =)

YAY!!  Time to open presents!
He has been asking for this since September!

I think she would have just been happy with the box.  =)

Good thing she also really loved what was inside!

Finally!!  A REAL drum for our little drummer girl. 

A new pillow friend.

A new Thomas movie.

Sugar Daddy with his new iPod Touch.
Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear Co-Worker... More than you ever wanted to know...

A co-worker looked at me funny today when I mentioned that I was going to lunch, but what I really wanted to do was take a nap. To try and explain, I mentioned that I had only gotten a few hours of broken sleep last night because  Sugar Boy’s sugar has been crazy high lately.  He asked, “So, what?  Is the insulin pump not working well for you guys?”  He was not being sarcastic… he truly wanted to know.  But in that instant I was SO frustrated.  Frustrated that people just DON’T.GET.IT.  I didn’t say much, I just got out of there. 

As I was driving to lunch I realized I handled that question completely wrong.  I realized that I should have stopped… explained… and educated.  As a result, the following “note” to my un-named co-worker was born:

Dear Co-worker,

Thank you for asking today about my son.  I realize that I sort of blew you off earlier as “just another person that doesn’t get it” when you were asking about Sugar Boy.  As the mama of a type 1 diabetic, it is part of my responsibility to raise awareness to what the disease is REALLY like and I realized after I left for lunch that I fell horribly short of doing that when given the opportunity with you today.

So, that being said, let me fill you in:

Before you can completely understand the symptoms I am about to describe to you, you need to know the definition of Type 1 Diabetes.  I have taken the following from the JDRF website:

"Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys certain cells in the pancreas, an organ about the size of a hand that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. These cells -- called beta cells -- are contained, along with other types of cells, within small islands of endocrine cells called the pancreatic islets. Beta cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy. But when the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.
For this reason, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to stay alive. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening."

The second thing you NEED to know: When you have a child with diabetes there are NO rules.  Diabetes doesn’t follow rules. 

For the first two or so years (can be longer, can be shorter – no rules, remember?) after someone is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes they go through something that is loosely referred to as “the honeymoon period.”  What that means is that the pancreas continues to produce some insulin in sporadic and unpredictable amounts.  This makes the disease especially difficult to manage as you never know when that is going to happen and send them low (a blood sugar under 80 is considered low for Sugar Boy).

Now, that is not to say it’s all smooth sailing after “the honeymoon period.”  There are plenty of other factors that determine the amount of insulin needed…. such as growth spurts, hormones, and metabolism, all of which are fluctuating constantly and therefore constant adjustment is needed to the insulin therapy being given (whether by multiple daily injections or by insulin pump).  We strive to keep Sugar Boys blood sugar between 80 and 150.  However, what you don’t understand is that to achieve that ALL OF THE TIME would take coordination and luck equivalent to a average person juggling six balls in the air while balancing one legged on a beach ball suspended 100 ft above ground on a tight-rope.  It’s pretty much impossible for someone who is not trained for the circus.  As parents of a diabetic, we do our best to become our kids’ pancreas.  But unless you are the real thing…. we just cannot achieve that same level of perfection.  To explain further, please check out my friend Reyna’s post, here.

The immediate dangers associated with Type 1 Diabetes are terrifying, especially to a parent.  Low blood sugars can result in seizure, coma and death.  There is a syndrome associated with Type 1 Diabetes called “Dead In Bed Syndrome”.  It’s exactly what it sounds like… a child goes to sleep at night, at some point during the night, their blood sugar crashes, and they die in their sleep.  This happens.  It’s scary.  And it’s the reason that Sugar Daddy and I are up at least once, usually twice every night to check Sugar Boy’s BG.  We sneak into our sons room, we dig his little hand out from under his pillow or covers, we prick his finger and we wait with baited breath until the number appears.  HOPING that he is not low.  If he is low, we then sneak back out – grab a sugar tablet or juice box (depending on how low he is) and sneak back in.  Most of the time he never wakes up – he eats the sugar tablet or drinks the juice in his sleep.  Then we wait…. Re-check his blood in 15 mins or half an hour (this is all taking place somewhere in the realm of 12 to 4 am, mind you)… and MAYBE if we are lucky, and his BG has come up to a safe level, we can go back to bed.  That’s IF we can sleep at that point.  That’s when we don’t lay there thinking “what if” – What if I had slept through the alarm and not checked?  What if I had not caught it till morning…  would it have been too late by then? 

That’s for the lows…. If he is too high (above 200) then we have to administer insulin to bring that number down to a safe range.  Why safe, you ask?  When a person’s blood sugar is too high, they produce a chemical called Ketones. provides that “glucose (a type of sugar) is the body's main energy source. But when the body can't use glucose for energy, it uses fat instead. When fats are broken down for energy, chemicals called ketones appear in the blood and urine. This can occur when not enough food has been eaten to provide glucose for energy, or it can occur in diabetes, when the body can't use glucose normally.  When ketones get too high a state called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) can occur.  Untreated, DKA will lead to coma and eventually, death.

There are also long-term dangers to consider.  Diabetics are in danger of numerous complications later in life.  A few worth noting are damage to internal organs, loss of eyesight, and neuropathy.  You have no idea what it is to look at your son and wonder if he will experience some or all of these.

Part of learning to control your child’s blood sugar means learning their “pattern”.  Insulin amounts needed per meal are never the same.  There is something called the carb to insulin ratio.  More often than not, the ratio is slightly different for every meal.  It’s up to us parents, with the help of our kids’ pediatric endocrinologist and diabetic care team, to figure out what that ratio is for each meal and snack they have throughout the day.  Once that is figured out (assuming it does not change… which it can) you then have to measure and calculate the number of carbohydrates in EVERYTHING that goes into your child’s mouth.  The ratio will change as they grow and as their metabolism changes, so it’s up to us to keep up with that too.  That’s one part of the “pattern”.  The other part is figuring out their basal rate.  A normally functioning pancreas does not just produce insulin when you eat… insulin is produced and distributed continually.  So, for that reason a basal insulin must also be given.  Basal rates change CONSTANTLY… again, determined by growth, metabolism and other factors.  Because I can see your eyes starting to cross we won’t go into insulin sensitivity factors for this lesson… just know that there is indeed one more piece of the “pattern” that has to be determined and perfected in order for it all to work “normally”.

Did you know that exercise also burns sugar?  So when you have a 4 yr old…. And they eat a good healthy dinner, and you figure all the carbs exactly, and you give them their insulin and then they decide to chase their sister for 20 minutes after dinner… guess what?  You just over-dosed them.  Because now, both the insulin given AND the exercise are burning that sugar simultaneously.  And that results in a LOW.

And while we are talking about that – let’s talk food.  Food has carbs, right?  Yep.  Carbs are carbs and all carbs are the same, right?  Nope.  We are just now finding out that whole grain carbohydrates react completely differently in Sugar Boys body.  They send his sugar soaring.  We also now know that he can have pasta during the day… but not for dinner.  If he has it for dinner, his BG will be high most of the night and then fall rapidly around 4am.  And let’s not even talk about marshmallows… as far as I am concerned they are from the devil.  Try telling that to a 4 yr old, though.  He doesn’t care that he has diabetes.  He doesn’t care that his sugar will take mom and dad on a roller coaster ride all night long… he just knows he REALLY wants that rice krispy treat, darn it!  And because we strive to keep him as “normal” as possible – we let him have it (within reason) and hold on tight… cuz we know it’s going to be a wild ride.  He has other food quirks, too… some of them we have crossed paths with, some we have yet to learn. 

And lets not forget what happens when the poor kid dares to get a cold (which he has had this week)!!  All hell breaks loose… literally.  Blood Sugars soar, and remember that nice little lesson above about Ketones?  Yep, those little buggers raise their nasty little heads then too.  A simple cold can easily land your baby in the hospital.  Think about that and thank God for your nice healthy pancreas the next time you have the sniffles. 

Now imagine… finally learning as much as you can about all of this to actually keep your child alive…. And then imagine the stress of sending that child off every day to be taken care of by a stranger at school.  A stranger who does not know all these things, all these quirks and in addition to your child has 20 other children to manage.  That kind of stress is completely draining.

And truthfully - this was just a quick lesson... there really is so much more to cover.  Like what its like to lay your son out on the floor every three days... apply lidocaine cream, and pray it works so that he doesn't feel the insertion when you change out the cannula for his insulin pump and the sensor for this continuous glucose monitor.  Seriously we are talking needles here... the kind that make grown-ups flinch.... and my 4 yr old regards them as "just part of life."  When I finally do sleep at night I drift off knowing that my little boy is wise beyond his years because of a disease that threatens his life daily.

You ask why I am tired?  Well, if you still need to ask then you really are one of the ones that “just doesn’t get it.”

Your Co-Worker

Saturday, November 27, 2010

T1D 365:6

Dinner.... When you are 4 years old and your BG has been over 400 for the last 4 hours.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Finding New Real Estate...

Some of you will have already read my previous post, Sensor Error... BAD Sensor!  If you have, you know that we had a very frustrating sensor night earlier in the week.  Part of the problem, I THINK, is that every time we have changed out the sensor for our CGMS Sugar Boy has bled... it has steadily gotten worse and worse.  After talking about it and thinking it through, Sugar Daddy and I think it may be the reason the last sensor failed the way it did.  When we pulled it, it had quite a bit of blood on and around the sensor. 

We have always used Sugar Boys bum for his sensor site.  He is very thin, and its one of the few places on his body where there is enough fat to provide the proper amount of sub-cutaneous fluid needed to take the glucose measurement.  I had made the suggestion to him once or twice before that maybe we put it on his arm.  I even reminded him that his friend, The Superhero has his CGMS on his arm, and that it works great there.  He wouldn't budge.... the prospect of us exploring new real estate was just not appealing to him.

So, Wednesday night, knowing I really really wanted to have Linkie back and attached to Sugar Boy so that I could keep a better tab on his numbers during Thanksgiving, I sat down to do our normal sensor change on his bum.  The second the sensor went in it started bleeding.... badly.  I pulled it back out.  What to do now?  I knew that his bum was going to need a much longer break than just two days.

I suggested we try the arm again.... I was met with a very strong and firm, "NO!"  The kind that comes with a scrunched up face and a pouty lip.  (Seriously, my son has MASTERED the pouty lip... really quite cute when its not totally frustrating.)  ANYWAY... this is when I decided that it was once again time to pull out the big guns..... I bribed him with a new train.

That night and for Thanksgiving we got the BEST, most accurate sensor readings we have EVER gotten from Linkie.... AND the ISIG (the measurement of the amount of sub-cutaneous fluid) is the highest its every been.  It was TOTALLY worth the bribe!  =)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I’m Thankful for….

My husband… he is my rock.  He is my partner.  He is the love of my life.  I honestly don’t know where I would be in this world if he had not come into my life and changed it forever.  SO Thankful!

My kids… who knew that such joy would come from two little people.  They radiate that joy, and I cannot imagine my life without the two of them in it.

Our church…. We are fortunate to belong to a wonderfully spirit-filled worship community that has truly opened its arms and enveloped our family in warmth and love.  I am so thankful for all of the rich experiences we have there.

Insulin… without it, my son would die.  Insulin is what keeps him alive and with us.  I worship the stuff, plain and simple.

My job… as much as I complain about being a working mom, I have to add this one in.  Because the fact of the matter is… without it, we wouldn’t have everything we need.  And especially in this economy, I am so very thankful to be one of the ones that IS working!

My fellow D Mama’s…. I get so much of my strength from them.  We lean on each other… we bounce ideas off of each other… we support and love each other.  It is truly a gift from God that I have these wonderful women in my life!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Treat

Have you ever been in a pre-school classroom?  I know most of you have.  I know that a couple of you have worked or do currently work in one!  It has to be the most sensory stimulating place in the entire world.  Sugar Daddy, who is pretty in tune to stuff like that anyway, gets positively jittery when we go to visit the Sugar Kids’ classroom.  =)

Yesterday we were invited to arrive a half an hour before the end of class for a “Thanksgiving Treat”.  We had no idea what to expect.  We knew the kids were going to be cooking… but that was it…. and the kids weren’t telling!!!

So we arrived, much to our surprise as soon as we walked through the door we could smell pumpkin!  It was heavenly… My first thought… “Oh dear God, she has them BAKING?!?!” 

Have I ever mentioned that Mrs. A (their teacher) is AMAZING?  She is.  Not only is she a wonderful D Mama fill-in for when Sugar Boy is at school, she manages to have 20 four year olds at her beck and call every day!  I seriously don’t know how she does it.  They listen to her in ways that I KNOW they don’t listen at home!  And because of that she does things with them that simply amaze all of us parents.  Really – the woman is a saint. 

Anyway – I digress.  Back to the Thanksgiving Treat!

So, once we were invited into the classroom… I saw the Sugar Kids sitting together at a table.  I made my way over to them.  They were wearing little headbands that they had made with a single feather sprouting from their foreheads…. SO cute!

And that’s when they started to tell me about their day…. They had made Pumpkin Bread!!!!  They each measured and added the water, oil and eggs… stirred the mix and poured it into little foil bread pans.  They even got to put it into the oven!!!  Clever Mrs. A had labeled each bread pan with the child’s name who made that bread so that the correct bread would get back to the correct child.  The kids cut the bread and served it to us.  It was SO good!  =)

Mrs. A, came up during our treat (just as I was SWAGing the carbs for the bread in my head) and handed us the box that the mix came out of.  She let us know that each box of mix had made 4 loaves of bread.  The woman is COOL, I tell ya!!!  No guessing needed… we gave Sugar Boy exactly what he needed in insulin…. Seeing as how he ate almost ¾ of his loaf all by himself!  =)

After we were done eating, the kids took us around to show off their classroom some more.  I really loved visiting the place where my kids are learning SO much.  It was a GREAT way to spend a half an hour of my afternoon!  =)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sensor Error….. BAD Sensor!


Last night we did our CGMS change-out where we remove the old sensor and insert a new one into Sugar Boy’s bum.  We do this every three days.  I LOVE our CGMS… I mean really…. It gives us the peace of mind that can only come from being able to check Sugar Boys’ number anytime of the day or night by simply glancing at the pump.  (We have the Medtronic CGMS that is integrated with our insulin pump).  When it works right (which truthfully is like 99% of the time!) it is MARVELOUS! 


When it doesn’t… It makes me want to scream and pull my hair out.  Last night was one of those nights.  After inserting the new sensor you have to wait for two hours to do the first calibration.  We usually do our sensor change right before Sugar Boy goes to bed, we check his sugar via finger prick to make sure he is stable and then tuck him in.  Two hours later when Linkie (that is what we named our CGMS) starts beeping that it needs calibration, we head in there and prick his finger again, and based on that reading we calibrate, and we are good to go… until his next calibration which we do doing his night check, usually around 2am or so.  Easy Peasy… except last night was one of the exceptions.  I had a feeling when I inserted the sensor that something wasn’t right.  And sure enough after we did the 2 hr calibration Linkie started beeping about 2 minutes later saying “Sensor Error”.  I re-calibrated.  “Sensor Error.”  UGH!!!!

An hour later… “Bad Sensor”

Well, Hell!

He has been having some soreness on his bum where we put the adhesive that holds his sensor down, so maybe this is a sign that we just need to leave it off for a couple of days.  That means A LOT more finger pricks today and tomorrow… and it means that he is at school without it.  But, I think that’s what we will do.  We’ll put it back on tomorrow night…. Because I REFUSE to be without it for Thanksgiving!  Who knows what all that kid will end up eating!!  =)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hang On Tight.... Its gonna be a week!!

You know it’s going to be quite a week when you look at your husband in the morning and just say, “Ok – we are going to get through this… we just have to remember to be patient with each other… and we just have to remember that its only one week!!!”

Really…. Just how much stuff can you cram into one week???

Monday – Bed delivered, Mom and her hubby came to visit for the week.

Tuesday – Moms appointment with surgeon to determine if she needs back surgery, Thanksgiving Treat at the kids preschool, Taking Mom and her hubby out to dinner sans Sugar Daddy because he has Tuesday night choir rehearsal.

Wednesday – My mom and my mother in law are together… all day…. at my house…. while I’m at work.  *sigh*

Thursday – Thanksgiving… mass in the morning, dinner at my sister in laws in the afternoon.

Friday – Hanging lights and decorating the house in the morning, Sugar Daddy gone in the afternoon to play a funeral, and farewell dinner for my mom and her hubby Friday night.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Too Much Stuff!

Today was frustrating.

We were bed shopping.  For our spare room.  When I woke up this morning we didn’t have a spare bedroom.  We had a play room.  Now we have a spare bedroom. 

Why is it that you move ONE thing in your house and this domino effect takes place?  That’s how it was tonight.  We had to move the sleeper sofa out of the playroom, so it had to go into our den.  Well, that meant that the exercise equipment (that I have not used in a year) had to go to the garage.  Too bad the treadmill wouldn’t fit through the door… it stayed in the den.  It actually looks pretty good the way we finally got it together… and who knows maybe I’ll use the damn treadmill again someday????

Anyway… then there is the play kitchen that was in the playroom… which had to be moved to Sweet Girls room, which meant moving her dresser so the darn thing would fit.  What were we thinking when we bought that HUGE play kitchen????

I have come to the conclusion we that we have a 2050 sq ft house, but we have 3500 sq ft of STUFF!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Date Night!!!!

We are going to mass…. Then out to dinner…. Then to see Harry Potter!

I love date nights…. I love my mother in law who keeps the kids for us so we can have date nights!

Anyway, seeing as how it IS indeed date night…. This is all the post you are getting for today!!!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Family Photo Shoot

It’s that time of year again!

Every year in November we make our way over to Portrait Innovations and make it through the family photo shoot. =)
This year had its challenges… I made the appointment just this morning! I had called to ask if I could make an appointment for a week or so later and was told that they were pretty much booked through Christmas. Then the guy said, but I can take you tonight at 7pm. Oh Boy.

So I rousted the family and made arrangements for Grandma D to feed the kids an early dinner. Rushed home from work and found matching outfits for all of us. Took a quick shower…. did my hair and make-up…. and then Sugar Daddy and I ran to pick the kids up at Grandma D’s, got them dressed and ready…. and flew to the portrait studio. Before we left Grandma D’s we gave Sweet Girl some Benadryl for her drippy nose. We got to the portrait studio… where, of course, they were running behind… and we waited. And waited some more. Did I mention that Sweet Girl had Benadryl for her drippy nose???? Ummmm yeah – she was ready to fall asleep by the time the picture taking started. LOL Luckily our photographer really knew what she was doing and woke her back up!

One of the things I LOVE about Portrait Innovations, though, is you get your pictures right away!

Here’s how they turned out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cuddly Bear Goes To The Doctor!

There is a little stuffed bear that floats around the Sugar Kids' preschool classroom.... its name is Cuddly Bear.  Basically the way it works is every day someone different takes Cuddly Bear home with them.  At first this made me nervous - sounded like a great way to spread germs from one kid to the next, if you ask me.... but when I witnessed for the first time the absolute delight on each of my kids faces when it was their turn to bring Cuddly Bear home, I decided not to be such a ninny.  =)

Cuddly Bear has been to our house a few times now.... after all there are two kids that Cuddly Bear comes home with to our house so we have Cuddly Bear twice as much as any of the other families!

Tuesday Cuddly Bear came home with Sweet Girl.  Now, this was a very special treat this time because there is no school on Wednesday!  So she got Cuddly Bear a whole day to herself.  Imagine my surprise when Cuddly Bear never even made it out of the bag!  I think that the delight of taking Cuddly Bear home just might be wearing off.  Well, here's the thing.... Cuddly Bear also travels with a journal and a bag of clothes to be changed in to each day.  Mom and/or Dad have the responsibility of writing in Cuddly Bear's journal and recounting what Cuddly Bear did while at home with your child.   I was joking with Sugar Daddy that I was going to write about how Cuddly Bear stared at the inside of his bag for the entire time. 

But alas, Cuddly Bear DID get to do something.... this morning, before school, Cuddly Bear got to go to the Doctor!!!

The Sugar Kids had their 4 yr check up today.  They did GREAT!!  Especially considering that Sugar Boy got 4 shots and Sweet Girl got 5!  She had not had her flu shot yet.... Sugar Boy had gotten his on an earlier visit.  Neither of them cried!  So proud of my big kids.  Of course the bribe that we would go and get a toy at the toy store if they didn't cry played a pretty big role, but hey - I have said it before and I'll say it again - I am NOT above bribery!!

Here are some pictures of Sweet Girl with Cuddly Bear at the Doctors!  =)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Re-Post: A Little Thing

For today's post, I decided to look back to earlier this year... I went over to my "old" blog and found a post that made me smile... since a lot of you weren't reading my other blog back in March, I decided to re post it today for you.... maybe it will make you smile too.  =)
Monday, March 1'st 2010
Yesterday was WONDERFUL!! My friend J and I spent three - count them - THREE hours at the spa! Pure heaven, I tell ya! Sugar Daddy stayed home and played dress-up with the kids, kept them entertained with a movie and I was awarded some blissful mommy-time! =)

I decided to get my nails done. A little thing, right? Yeah - a little thing that had me feeling like a million bucks as I left the spa. I have not had acrylic nails since before the twins were born. I sat in the car on the way home admiring how pretty they made my hands look. It was wonderful.

When I got home Sugar Daddy got ready to go play the Sunday evening mass (he is a music director at a church) and he reminded me on the way out the door that Sugar Boy had a site & set change for his pump due that night. "No worries" I said, "I've got it!" Usually he and I tag-team Sugar Boy's site & set changes... he pulls the new reservoir and I change out his site. In fact, since Sugar Boy got the pump almost a year ago, I am the only one who has done his site... Sugar Daddy knows how but is not at all comfortable with it, so I just do it. Sugar Boy and I have this little routine that we go through every two days (his site & set changes are a little more frequent because he swells easily around the site and day 3 numbers are always high if we leave it in for three days) and we have that routine down pat!

I was still admiring my pretty nails when we were having this conversation. My very pretty VERY LONG nails. Oh crap! *Smack on the forehead* What was I thinking? I have trouble buttoning my pants when I have nails - how the heck was I going to do a site & set?? Oh shoot! I voiced this to Sugar Daddy, who said "Uh- well - I don't know if I can do much better?"

OK - deep breath. I can do this. I was suddenly as nervous about doing a site & set as I was the very first time. As soon as Sugar Boy finished dinner I got all my stuff together to do the S&S change before I bolused him for the whopping 57 carbs he had just eaten (it was pizza night).
Pulling the res was no problem, nothing got in the way... but actually "changing his sticker" (that's what he and I call it) was a little bit interesting. Thank goodness for my very calm, very laid back 3 yr old. He just let me tough through it, without stressing me out more than I already was.

Once it was done, I couldn't help but realize how this was just yet another "little thing" that thanks to D was made into a very BIG deal!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Writers Block

NaBloPoMo Day 16

Well, you know it was bound to happen!  Those of us that have been participating in NaBloPoMo are half way done.... so that's 15 solid days of blogs under our belt.... and I'm starting to run out.

Actually, that's not true.  I have some GREAT ideas for posts that I want to write.... I just can't get them out of my head and on to the screen.  Maybe I'll go to sleep tonight and pray to the blog gods to help me with that little bit of misfortune.  Surely there must be blog gods, right??

In the meantime, I will leave you with my favorite picture of the Sugar Kids on WDD.  =)

Monday, November 15, 2010

T1D 365:5 The Insulin Pump

Oh how we struggled to make the decision to get an insulin pump to manage Sugar Boy’s Diabetes.  As a mother it was the thought of having something physically attached to my son that I couldn’t handle.  I remember one night about a week before we got our pump.  We had gone through the approval process with our insurance, we had already ordered it, and I knew it was on its way.   It was nearing bed time and I was getting jammies on the twins (they were almost 3 yrs old at the time), and Sugar Boy got away from me as soon as he was completely naked and started running around and doing the "nudie dance".  While laughing at his antics I remember looking at his perfect little body and thinking, "Never again will he look like that... after we get the pump it will be attached to him and that will be it."  I was overcome with sadness at the thought, despite the fact that I continued to laugh and clap to his dance.   Beyond that, I was concerned about people staring at him and noticing the lump under his clothing where his pump pack would be attached around his waist.  I absolutely HATED the thought of having that thing attached to him.    

We had chosen the Medtronic insulin pump, not because we felt it was the best one, but because it’s the one our Endo said we should go with.  Honestly we were surprised when we learned there were other options out there.  At that time we were not yet connected with the DOC and Sugar Boy was the only child we knew with Type1 Diabetes, so we just sort of blindly trusted our Endo to lead us in the right direction.  We were lucky.  He did indeed choose the best pump for us.  Later when we did the research we probably should have done PRIOR to purchasing the pump we were able to confidently determine that if we had chosen for ourselves, we would have chosen to go with Medtronic.   

 The first pump training meeting we had with our CDE consisted of learning how to work the pump, insert the infusion set, and figuring out the best way to contain the tubing that travels between the pump and the site on his tummy where the infusion set attached.  I was adamant that I didnt want the tubing visible... and I was also concerned that he would catch it on things (like his sister!!!) while he was playing.  We ended up coiling it up and tucking it into the pump pack along with his pump.   I remember walking out of the hospital and thinking it didn’t look as HUGE on him as I expected it to.  But it was noticeable.  He was quite proud of it.  He had already forgotten about the ordeal we had just gone through to insert the infusion set that first time.  My hands were still shaking…. But he was completely over it.  The first place we went after that was to watch Sugar Boy’s cousin at one of his swim lessons.  His uncle and other cousin were there.  Sugar boy showed them his pump.  That’s when I knew that it didn’t matter what it looked like – it was going to be okay.

For that first week the pump had saline in the reservoir instead of insulin.  So, we continued to manage Sugar Boys Diabetes with MDI’s and we practiced using the pump by delivering saline into his body.  It was STRESSFULL!  That entire week all I could think about was getting through that week because we were now doing twice the work!  And when you are a working parent, with three yr old twins… that’s HUGE!  The worst part of it was it was like re-learning Diabetes all over again.  Suddenly basals and bolus ratios and insulin sensitivity levels took on a whole new dimension.  I remember not trusting the pump to decide corrections (Hell, who am I kidding?  I still don’t always trust it… but darn if the damn thing is not usually right on the money!).  We had gotten so used to doing the math ourselves (and looking back I can now admit that we were often over-zealous in some of the corrections we were giving on MDI, causing wicked lows) that it was a hard move giving over that control to a piece of equipment that felt foreign and cold.  We made it through our first home site change and Sugar Boy didn’t shed a single tear.  When we were done he said, “That not hurt Mommy!!”  with a HUGE smile on his face.  My big brave boy.
We went back for our second bit of training and we filled the reservoir with insulin.  We have never looked back.  Right away the freedom we experienced in being able to let him eat freely without worry of how many shots he would need to receive was amazing.  We found that quickly blousing from the pump at a restaurant beat having to do the math, fill a syringe and give a shot any day.  It was only after doing this a couple of times that I realized that my worst fear – the one where people would stare because he was wearing a pump – was so silly because we now actually attracted a lot LESS attention being able to quickly dose him from the pump.  We have now been on the pump for almost a year and a half.  And it was honestly the BEST decision we have ever made regarding Sugar Boys Diabetes and how we manage his care. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tara wins the Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway!

Drum roll, please...

The winner of The Sugar Kids Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway is:


Please email me at within 48 hours, so that I can get your coupon code and you can get snuggled in to a new pair of PJ's ASAP! A new winner will be selected if the prize has not been claimed within the 48 hour window.

Thank you Komar and PJs for the Cure for sponsoring this Super Sugar Bolus!

If you didn't win, please consider purchasing a pair of PJs for the Cure!
100% of all sales go directly to JDRF!

The following blogs have been rolling out winners from the Great World Diabetes Day PJ Giveaway hourly throughout the day. Be sure to check and see if you are a winner!! 

Beta Buddies (9am EST)

Candy Hearts (10am EST)

D-Tales Blog (11am EST)

I am Your Pancreas (1pm EST)

My Diabetic Child (3pm EST)

My Sugar Bugs (4pm EST)

Our Diabetic Life (5pm EST)

Fellow D- bloggers don't forget to submit your blog for the Blogger Basal by next Friday, November 19th to Misty at Life Is A Box Of Chocolates! You can submit your blog by emailing Misty at This is a great way to get to know other bloggers in the DOC. I know that personally, I have connected with many other D' Rents and PWDs via the Blogger Basal.



Friday, November 12, 2010

The Sugar Kids' Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway!

Welcome to
The Sugar Kids'
Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway!

This contest comes to you courtesy of PJs for a Cure.

Komar donates 100% of the money from the sales of these special PJs to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Yep, you read that right! 100%  Isn't that great?!

The wife of Komar CEO Charles Komar was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and thus, Mr. Komar founded PJs for the Cure in an effort  to raise $1 million for JDRF.

Wouldn't you like to snuggle up in your very own set of PJs for the Cure?

Well, Komar contacted several of us bloggin' D mamas with an opportunity to give away free PJs, and we united for a mega giveaway to celebrate World Diabetes Day! It's a Super Sugar Bolus!

(Just so you know...My fellow D mama bloggers and I are neither getting paid by Komar nor are we receiving free PJs for hosting our giveaway contests. This is simply a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about the great work that Komar is doing to support the research for a cure!)

You can view the entire collection of PJs for the Cure at

Here's how to enter the contest:

Leave a comment on this blog post before Saturday, November 13th at noon EST. Please include your name.

Only one entry is allowed per person.

The winner will be chosen randomly at and announced on Sunday, November 14th.

Don't forget that I'm not the only D mama celebrating and holding a contest! Komar generously donated 13 pairs of PJs for this World Diabetes Day Super Sugar Bolus!

So, visit my fellow D mama bloggers listed below and increase your chances of winning! You can enter to win on all 13 blogs!

(But you can only win one pair of PJs. Once you win on one blog, you are disqualified from winning on another blog. We gotta be fair and spread the PJ love!)

Remember, you only have until tomorrow, Saturday, November 13th at noon to enter The Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway on all of these blogs. So, start clicking and commenting!

We D mama bloggers will announce one winner per hour, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m., on World Diabetes Day, Sunday, November 14th.

Good luck!

And, if you don't win, won't you please consider purchasing a pair of PJs for the Cure? It's for a good cause!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Celebrated!

Last night, to mark two years with Diabetes, we had a celebratory dinner.  =)

On the menu:
Naan Bread and Hummus
Pomegranate Salad with Blueberry / Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Middle Eastern Chicken Pot
with Butter Almond Cous Cous
and Tapioca Pudding with Baked Apples and Caramel Sauce for dessert.

OK - not the most kid-friendly meal (although, the Sugar Kids LOVED it!!) but I had a bit of a stressful day at work, and when that happens, cooking is my therapy.  Needless to say by the time dinner was done, I was VERY relaxed.... of course that also could have been the wine.... hmmmmmm....

Before and after dinner the kids played Candy Land with Grandma and Grandpa.  Laughter and high energy  filled the house.  When it came time to put on PJ's the kids were so wound up and had the giggles so much we couldn't even catch them to get them undressed and dressed again.  As you may have guessed, as a result of all of our revelry, Sugar Boy got two glucose tabs before bed.  =)

It was a GREAT night! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two Years

On November 10, 2008 a life was saved.  Sugar Boy was one of the 40 children in the United States who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on that day. 

What does two years with Type 1 Diabetes look like?

It looks like this:

Approximately 5,840 drops of blood taken from Sugar boy’s fingers
Approximately 1,080 insulin injections (in just the first 6 months after diagnosis)
Approximately 370 boxes of Juicy Juice (to bring up a low)
Approximately 250 infusion set insertions (once we had the insulin pump)
Approximately 120 sensor insertions (once we had the continuous glucose monitoring system)

But even more importantly….

It looks like THIS:

Happy D Anniversary to my handsome boy! 
Today, we CELEBRATE your LIFE!   

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

D Blog Day - A letter to Diabetes

Today is the 6th Annual D Blog Day...

I have had a letter to Diabetes kicking around in my head for two years now.  Almost two years to the day.  I thought that today may be a good day to finally get it down.  Get it out. 

Dear Diabetes,
Two years ago, in November, you moved into our family.  You weren't invited.  We didn't know you were coming, and you were most certainly unwelcome.  But these things didn't concern you then any more than they do today.  You just barged your way in and set up house inside my son.  My beautiful little boy's body became your home.  We were forced to accept that you were to become a member of the family. 
You require quite a lot of attention, don't you?  And when you feel that we have become complacent with having you in our lives you like to stir things up.  It really drives me nuts when you do that. 
If you had your way you would take over completely. 
If you had YOUR way - you would take his life. 
But guess what?  You aren't getting your way.  I'm the Mama in this family, and its Sugar Daddy and I that make the rules.  And we say that you mind your manners and remember your place.  Got that?  Good - because this is how it's going to be from here on out.... 
You know that handsome, incredibly loving little boy that you inhabit?  He comes first.  He gets to be a kid, and have a happy care-free childhood... and then we will see about you.  And I will make it my mission every day for the rest of his childhood and for as long as he wants me to, to make sure that you do not win the war you are constantly battling inside of him. 
Because I am smarter than you...and while there may be days that you have me cornered, I will ALWAYS fight my way out... and that sweet little boy will never know what it costs to keep you in your place. 
One day he will be ready to take over the fight.  And he will learn how to fight you too... he will learn from me and from his Daddy... and he will be even better than we are against you... because having lived with you from the age of 27 months, he will know you better than we do.  He will know your quirks and your personality in ways that his Daddy and I will never understand. 
He will be able to truly FEEL you... and he will kick your ass. 
And so that CAN happen, his Daddy and I will make sure that he is kept healthy and STRONG. 
So, just so we understand each other.... you may have forced your way into this family, but you will NEVER totally get your way.  I'll make sure of that. 
When it comes to you, Sugar Boy comes first... he always has and he always will...

Yours Truly,
Sugar Boy's Mama