Sunday, February 28, 2010


Pointing to her tummy: "Insulin. It goes in my tummy because it's insulin."

I guess this is our new normal.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Waving the White Flag

I'm the type of gal who usually keeps it together. Life can be all kinds of crazy around me, but I just keep plugging through. The kids are screaming in the middle of the store--I just pick them up and keep right on going. Justin is diagnosed as diabetic--we read up and start counting carbs. We move when I'm seven months pregnant with Gabriella--I get a midwife and we unpack.

Today the kids caught me though. They conspired. I had coupons for Target, so I pack us all up and we head out to pick up a few things. Through much begging Kate convinces Gabby that they should ride in one of those huge monstrosities of a cart with the two seats for small children. So with the girls in the seats and Nate in his infant carrier in the basket we set off to conquer the diapers.

As I reach the back of the store, a teeny-tiny voice says, "I need ta go potty." I sigh. I thought of this as I turned out of the neighborhood, I forgot to take her before we left. I turned the gargantuan cart around and head back to the front of the store, where we unload and head to the restroom. Then all four of us pile into a stall for Gabby to do the tiniest tinkle possible. Then of course Kate had to go. We all washed our hands and returned just in time to see our cart being put away. We retrieve it and get back to the exact same spot to hear, "I need ta go potty."

You've gotta be kidding. I tell her I'll grab what I need and then I'll take her again. I quickly grab a box of diapers and then head over a couple of aisles. The "I need ta go potty!" is no longer quiet. I put the box of diapers back on the shelf and head back to the restroom again, with less patience. This time she took significantly longer to do her business. Nate was fussing, and Kate was whining that she was bored. I gave up and came home.

Where Gabby informed me one of the floss sticks was in the toilet...the unflushed toilet. The joys of motherhood!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What a Chore!

My husband and I came from different worlds as far as chores went. I did them and he didn't. Okay, not quite fair. He had to mow half the yard. I don't get that one, I volunteered to mow the yard, so maybe I'm weird any how--don't answer that.

I dusted, vaccumed, cleaned bathrooms, and shared the responsibility of cleaning up after dinner with my sister. and like I said, I voluntarily mowed fairly often.. Until my dad got a riding mower and I wasn't allowed to use it. No need for me to push mow when someone else could ride it, right? I also did some laundry and cooking, though they were not primarily my responsibility

We plan to aim for a good level of chores. But what is that? They certainly aren't going to take over the 400+ loads of laundry a year anytime soon. At the moment Nate's on easy street. His job is to eat, drool, poop, and smile that gummy grin.

But he's so good at his job!

The girls are gophers (they go for this and go for that). They also have to put their milk cups back in the fridge after meals and put away their own toys each night. As they grow older, we'll add in some more chores.

Can these children be forced to scrub pots?

We believe that the chores are important on many levels... The children help with some of the burden that they are creating as a member of the family (not that they themselves are burdens, but that it teaches them that everyone needs to do their share). Chores teach important skills--it's a good thing if our children know how to wash their clothes and boil water. They also teach children responsibility.

What kind of chores did you do? Did you/do you expect your children to do?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hey Good Lookin', What You Got Cookin'?

The right accessories--dress up heels and an apron.

I like to cook...I love to bake. My girls are wanting to be involved with the food preparation process now. I personally can't wait until they are old enough to take a night or two of dish duty a week. That's why we have children isn't it? So that they can do chores? No?

Anyway... My mom got the girls a subscription to a periodical called High Five. This one is for younger kids, more the 2-5 set. One of the things that each issue includes is a recipe. The first one had mac & cheese cups. We didn't do it. It looked like way more effort than it was worth--including having to wash my muffin tin for mac & cheese that they could have eaten with a fork. Nah. I'm not for making more work for myself and making a not very healthy recipe even less healthy--you have to add flour to make it stick together and then bake it.

The next one, however, had a little recipe that the girls were interested in and I was willing to do. We typically have a snack of fruit every afternoon, so this was a little more work, but at least close nutritionally. It involves dipping banana chunks in a peanut butter-honey mixture and then dipping that into raisins. A little extra fat and protein and the girls had a great time. It's not something I would want them to have everyday, but it was a nice way to pass a little time this afternoon and they sure enjoyed it. Kate also got to look at the measuring cups to find the 1/3, so a tiny smidge of math too.

This peanut butter is sticky!


They also helped me bake cookies this Sunday when we were concerned about the ice and stayed home from church. They've been enjoying their chocolaty dessert this week.

Can I eat these?

Got to love cooking with the kiddos.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


What Gabby Says:..........What Gabby Means:
Zip me down....................Unzip my coat
Button me off...................Un-do my snap or button
You scribbled it...............Her blankets aren't just so on her bed and she wants them staightened.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kate's Version of Adulthood

Kate has some interesting views about when she grows up:

K: "When I grow up I'll watch TV all day."

Me: "Really Kate, what will you do about groceries?"

K: "Okay, I'll buy groceries and then I'll watch TV all day."

Me: "How will you pay for them?"

K: "Gabby will."

Me: "So you and Gabby are going to live together?"

K exasperated: "Yes!"
(duh) Too bad her sister has to work so she can sit around and watch TV all day. Doesn't quite sound fair to me.

And then at dinner time:

K: "When I grow up, I'll make better tasting food than you."

Me: "Can I come over then?"

I guess if she watches a bunch of cooking shows that may be true!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I think I might just hate trains. I know that they are an excellent use of resources. They are efficient. They are cost effective. They annoy me.

I live in a railroad town. There are tracks pretty much every where I go. I either have to go under, over or across them to get anywhere. My house is literally between two sets of tracks. Did you know that when a train comes to a crossing there is a distinct whistle pattern? The engineer isn't randomly blowing; they actually all do it the same way--except some do it until they run out of air and some of the 'whistles' are off key. And of course those that mess it up and make you wonder if they had some Irish coffee. A crossing is Long, Long, Short, Long. I really felt like I'd figured something out the day I caught on to that one (at 60 trains a day it took less than week). That's annoying, especially at three AM (Why can't it be Short, Short, Long, Short?), but necessary.

But my real gripe is the way they stop traffic. I understand that for trains to get from point A to point B we have to stop and let them through. I however, don't understand why I was stopped by THREE trains in an effort to drop off the girls last night--less than 3 miles away. There was less than a minute between two of the trains (going in opposite directions--one train was headed south at 26 miles per hour. The other train was headed north at 22 MPH. If the each left a 4:45 from their stations 35 miles apart, when would the come to annoy me?...oh yeah, not what we were talking about.). We all had to sit through two slow moving trains (the first train was on a different set of tracks) back to back. I just want there to be a gap of 5-10 minutes that the trains have to delay before blocking a major artery of the city.

And to stop waking me up at night. Oh, never mind--that was Nate.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Me Monday

I of course did not march my three children through the grocery this morning as the baby cried in the Moby Wrap, Gabby tried to touch everything and run off until I put her crying in the cart, and Kate laughed as though it were the funniest thing she had ever seen. I did not smile graciously at the cashier who said something about me having my hands full today and of course didn't answer cheerfully, "All day, every day."

I did not let Nate sleep in his car seat this afternoon because he refused to sleep in his bed and I wanted my arms free for a few minutes. I would always put him in his bed to sleep.

I also did not have to recount the number of pieces of lasagna in the box three times before I worked out how many carbs there are in the piece of lasagna I intend to serve my husband for dinner tonight. My memory is much better than that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

There are no extraordinary plans around here for Valentine's Day. We haven't been going out much anyway and today is sure to be a very busy night.

You can't exactly buy a diabetic candy for the holiday (I know they make stuff with artificial sweetners, but we try to use as little of that as possible), so I picked up some coffee for Justin when I was at the grocery on Monday. I stashed it in one of the upper kitchen cabinets. Around, oh Wednesday, he found it. I hear, "What's this coffee doing up here?!"

"Happy Valentine's Day," I answer.

"Oh, I thought it was open and, you were hiding it from me."

So now, he's found his Valentine's surprise AND he thinks I hide the good coffee so he can't have it!

* * *** * *
Align Center
Thursday I got a beautiful bouquet of tulips. They are so pretty and remind me of spring. I love flowers, but they are such a nonessential, so it's a real treat to get them. My husband, knowing I'm frugal above all in that area, was sure to tell me he save $15 by having them delivered a day early and that he chose the least expensive selection. That just makes them all the prettier!

Justin took the girls shopping yesterday, so I'm going to venture a guess that there may be chocolate involved (see previous post).

Happy Valentine's Day from Us...No sugar added!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Miss You

As a teacher, I was very attached to my students. I loved them with a motherly love and I cared deeply for them. I took their problems and worries home with me. That made me very good at my job and makes it hard for me to go back to it. It also makes this day a sad one every year. Six years ago one of my dear students went to heaven. I have many fond memories of her and her family and I am so grateful that they shared her with me. I look forward to seeing her again some day in a body completely healed.

Three Months Old

My little guy is three months old today. I did the bathroom scale this morning with him and he was 16.5 lbs clothed, so I'm calling it 16. Wow! He's growing so quickly.

Here he is at 1, 2, and 3 months old!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Slide show

I finally updated the slide show (on the right sidebar) to include Nate. I needed a little while to get a variety of pictures. I can't get over how much he's grown already. I'm guessing we're already about double his birth weight! There are newer pictures of the girls as well. Enjoy...or ignore. :)

The Perfect Way...

We've tried to shelter our kids from some of the commercialism that is so rampant. Evidently we failed...

Justin was joking about getting me noise canceling headphones for Valentine's Day, so I didn't have to listen to the kids while they're being loud.

Kate chimes in, "I know what I should get Mama for Valentine's Day."

"Oh Kate, you don't need to get anything for Mama."

"I should get her chocolate. That's the perfect way to say, 'I love you.'"

Oh dear. Thanks to all those hours sitting at the pharmacy my daughter has been indoctrinated by the ads playing nearby. I suppose I should be happy that she wants to get me something--and I sure do like chocolate.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Show Off

Well, I have a little show off on my hands. We were doing tummy time last night. Nate continues to be more interested in moving forward rather than rolling--it's been quite awhile since he last rolled. When he got tired of tummy time, I sat him up leaning a little against me. I thought that was pretty impressive. Then I moved. He stayed. He's obviously leaning pretty far forward, but he never did topple over. I picked him up from sitting.

He's not even three months old yet. I keep telling him to slow down with this whole growing up thing. I don't think he cares!

"This is pretty cool."

"Are we done with the pictures yet?!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cell Phone

I've found that a lot of times customer service is, well, lacking these days, so I was pleasantly surprised yesterday.

My cell phone evidently fell out of my pocket Saturday evening. I noticed it was missing when we got to the church to drop off the kiddos to go out on our date. I assumed I'd dropped it in the house and didn't bother to look for it until bed time. When I called it, it rang and rang until the voice mail picked up, but I never heard it. I went down stairs to try again, but this time it didn't ring at all. I was sure that meant that someone had turned it off. To be sure Justin checked the van, but then I called to cancel service to the phone. This was very simple. It was automated, which was good, since there wasn't anyone working at 10 PM on a Saturday night.

Yesterday when I called to check and see what charges had been racked up, the gal I talked to was just wonderful. She complimented me for having turned off the service so quickly and told me I wouldn't be responsible for any charges. Some activity already showed on the account--some mobile downloads of something. The text messages that I expect there to be hadn't shown up yet and may still take a day or two.

She did make a mistake--she told me that I could log in on the internet to check the charges, but couldn't because I got a message saying that "This phone has been reported lost or stolen." I just went through Justin's number and created an account, but I'm sure that's not easy for everyone to do.

Over all the service was excellent though, and that message said it was part of their updated security. I still think that all the employees should be up to date on it AND she also offered to stay on the line while I set up the account. I had declined to do some things for the kids before I did it.

To the person who took my phone: If you find a lost phone in the future, please be kind enough to return it (I had "HOME" programmed in.) It really is a pain to have to replace them and add all the numbers back in and you didn't get to play with my eight year old phone for very long. It wasn't worth it, was it?

Monday, February 8, 2010


From Gabby: As we are driving home the other night I turned around a little to look at the kids, Gabby orders me to, "Turn around and drive!" I was in the passenger seat.

From Kate: "When I grow up, I'm going to buy SpiderMan toothpaste." I guess princesses just aren't cool enough.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I've had some great babies. Really. Kate had colic and that was rough, but it only lasted a couple of months. We've not struggled with the constant ear infections that some families have or the failure to gain weight. They have all generally been content, but I think despite his early feeding patterns (Nate often ate every two hours at night, so 90 minute intervals of sleep for me) Nate has been an exceptional baby. He's always slept at night, only getting up to eat. He is a happy camper much of the time. He loves to snuggle with me, but he doesn't mind being passed around a bit. He's a strong little fellow. He likes to watch his sisters. And with all that eating--he's becoming a chubby mass of baby cuteness. Just look.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Date Night

Justin and I don't get out a whole lot. There are a lot of reasons for that, but we got to have a date night. Even better than that it is practically free!

My little sister, can I still call her little? I guess so, since I'm still a little taller than she is. Anyway, she gave us a gift card to TGI Friday's for Christmas.

Isn't that a cute box? We haven't been big on going out lately, as it includes three small children and Justin's dietary restrictions, but tonight was the perfect night.

A local ministry, MarriageVine, sponsored a community date night. It was a lovely night out. They had childcare set up for us and a short time of preparation to start couples' conversations with a short questionnaire. Ninety minutes was allotted for date time--enough time to chat, but not enough for a movie--probably intentionally.

Justin and I obviously had dinner while we chatted. It was odd to be out and not have anyone else to occupy us. There were no dinners to cut up other than our own and no one to entertain until the food came. We got to have a nice talk though--everything from the kiddos to chemistry and back again.

We were slightly rushed at dinner, simply because the location wasn't horribly close to the church and our dinner took a little longer to come than we had expected. We were able to finish and get back in time, we just had more conversation before dinner and not so much while we were eating.

At Friday's

A nice night out! Thanks Hol & MarriageVine!


I can't believe how big my my little girl has become. She tall and bright. She has a way with people and a great smile. I love that she can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. She has her Daddy's big brown eyes and beautiful curls. She is my joy and my challenge. I love you Katie-Kay.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I love the way little kids mix up words sometimes.

Gabby insists on calling ketchup, "shake-up."

She also misuses "potty train" as though it were a noun. Like, "Me potty twain in de toiwet."

Obviously she has a way to go on her linguistic skills--the use of 'I', and the sounds of 'l 'and 'r' for instance, but a big part of me will miss hearing, "Me wuv me widdiw wam." It represents a time when she loves and trusts me wholeheartedly.

I love this age. She is full of personality, but hasn't quite gotten an attitude. She is a sweet Mama's girl. She adores her baby brother and looks up to her big sister. I love that all fancy clothes are "wedding dresses" and that she has the sweetest, most contagious giggle. I love my Gabby-girl.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who knew what a great teacher diabetes would be? I don't remember the last time I did so much multiplication, division, and cross multiplication of fractions. Since we're aiming for a set number of carbs for each meal (36 at breakfast and 48 at each lunch and dinner), I often find myself altering serving sizes from those handy-dandy nutritional facts to fit those numbers. I can't imagine doing this in an age before those facts were listed on the boxes and before I could search CalorieKing for unlabled foods, like green peppers.

Many restaurants also provide their nutritional information online. It's not usually the first thing you see on their website, but you can find it pretty quickly--who wants their patrons to accidentally find out that the bacon cheeseburger and tater tots they ate was 1020 calories? I've actually found most fast food is pretty easy to locate, but some of the other chains are a little more difficult to figure out. I have yet to find nutritional information for TGI Friday's. When that happens, I use sites like CalorieKing to get an average number of carbs for what ever it is that we might order. Not as exact as my long division at home, but an educated guess.

We're getting there! Plus when I take my GRE one of these days I bet I nail the part on cross multiplication.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Where did the competent people go?

I went to the pharmacy again, different place though. The girl told me it would be 15 minutes, so the munchkins and I set about to kill some time. After checking back twice we finally get up to the window an HOUR after we got there. Once there we're told that they have one of the three things we needed. One of them (the glucose test strips) they don't have a number on the script and the other they don't keep in stock. It's insulin! A certain type, but it's insulin. Then I found out the problem with the insulin as she tried to hand me the one they had (he takes long acting and fast acting). The doctor, who hadn't specified how many test strips--probably because he wanted us to get whatever we needed, but evidently the pharmacy needed it specified--also hadn't said that we were supposed to get the insulin pens instead of the vials. This may not be a big deal to many, but Justin hasn't been taught to use these, he transports them to and from work (so the pen type--looks kind of like an EpiPen is safer and easier to transport), and we don't have that kind of needle, nor do we have a script for them. So I left with NOTHING, because at this point Nate's crying in his infant seat (I didn't put him in the wrap because it was supposed to be super quick and he was already asleep), Kate, who asked to sit in the seat of the cart is crying that she wants down, and Gabby, who has truly been a good sport is starting to run out of good behavior. I just hope they figure it out so we can pick it up this afternoon. Thank goodness we didn't wait until the last minute on his his insulin. Now the test strips are another matter all together, but we thought he had 50 of those left too... Can I have a do-over?


Okay, I'll admit it, sometimes I'm a little easily annoyed. Like on Monday, I was driving the three miles to the grocery store. In that time I dealt with two lane closures and two trains (very slow trains). You roll your eyes and you move on.

Then, as we are now running late, I was helping Kate get ready for gymnastics. The child was a bit grumpy about the whole situation, so she let the leg she was standing on slide out from under her, scuffing her elbow a little. This led to hysterics. I remember being a kid and the initial pain being pretty severe, but she just wouldn't settle--I actual wondered if she broke it somehow. She cried when we put her long sleeved shirt on because it rubbed against it. She screamed when I came at her with a band-aid to cover it so the shirt wouldn't rub it. Then she took off running across the kitchen in her sock feet to beat her sister so she could...throw away a dirty diaper?! This led to a face plant on the hard floor. What do you do? You laugh and move on.

But now I'm really annoyed. Justin was diagnosed as diabetic last week and given prescriptions for insulin needles, a meter, and test strips. I take these to our closest drug store, assuming we will be making a lot of visits to this national chain. The next evening when Justin is in need of a needle, we find it's the wrong one. When we call about it, we were told, "The perscription wasn't clear." What?! So you just guess? They didn't tell me to check to be sure it was right. It was all in a bag when I got it, so I wouldn't have even known if I wasn't completely new to all of this. We went and purchased the correct needles, at a cost of over $40, that didn't apply to our deductable because this time it was without the prescription. He was able to talk to a manager and get the money refunded, but then the person kept the receipt that we needed both for our insurance records and to get a rebate on the meter.

Then last night he opened the new test strips...they are the wrong kind. Everything they gave us (I chose the meter) was WRONG. Not one of the items was correct. So it's been well over 12 hours since he has checked his glucose levels. I'll obviously be looking elsewhere for our pharmaceutical needs--our thousands of dollars of business a year and they can't even give us the right syringes or testing strips (while the employee was holding the meter in her hand).

As a friend told me, this isn't the wrong size of underwear. This is people's health! So I suppose my public service announcement today is know what you're supposed to be getting--know the name of your prescription, it's generics, and what it looks like. I seriously have questions about what they are putting in bottles if they can't pull two correct items off the shelf in the 35 minutes I waited.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Girls' Perspective

Living a life with diabetes has already affected our girls. Of course, Nate will never remember a time before, but I do wonder what the girls are thinking about it sometimes and how much they comprehend.

Kate has appointed herself the sugar police. Everything I make she asks how much sugar is in it. She often tells Justin what he can't have. We're working on her understanding it's not really that he can't have a certain food, but that he is choosing something else.

I really thought Gabby was fairly oblivious to the whole thing, but yesterday as Justin sat down with his meter, she walked up to him and asked, "Why you checkin' you (sic) blood sugar?"

Kate also talks about, "when you get better." Justin told her that he probably won't get better. [While we completely believe that God could heal Justin, we also know that it is more likely that He will choose to leave us with this disease.] She shook her head at him and said, "No, I mean when you get to heaven."

Perhaps they have a better handle on it than I gave them credit for.