Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, don't let the door hit you on the way out

I wanted to write a 2008 wrap-up, but as you can tell by the post below it would be a pretty angry thing to read.

So I'm not going to write about not-so-good stuff that happened to my family back home. Seriously, I kept asking myself, "what on earth is going to happen next?" I won't expand on it because it's not mine to tell... but trust me, it was not good.

And I'm not going to write how Fred and I were the subject of gossip by people we thought were our friends. And I won't write about how utterly hurt we were by it and how a friendship ended because of it.

And I won't mention that we still don't have our green card, and so we were not able to go home to Vancouver like we had planned. We ended up not taking a vacation at all this year because we didn't want to use vacation days or money from our vacation budget in hopes that the green card would eventually come through and I'd be able to go home for the first time in 3 years.

Missing from this summary will be all the mysterious illnesses Elise came down with and the numerous ultrasounds and CT scan we had to subject her to. You especially won't hear a thing about how Elise was diagnosed with diabetes only two days after she turned one. And how we got the phone call telling us we needed to take her to the hospital in THE MIDDLE OF HER BIRTHDAY PARTY.

And I won't write about how heart-breakingly awful her illness has been. Or the stress it has put on Fred and I and our marriage. Or how lonely it has been dealing with this by ourselves. Or how some days the despair is so bleak I wonder if I'll even be able to get out of bed.

When Fred sat down today to write the Cunha End of the Year Newsletter, he asked me, "What happened that was good this year?"

I thought about it for a few seconds and quipped, "Well, we're still alive."

But when I sit and really think about it, despite all the junk we've been through, there were bright moments.

As horrible as diabetes is, I realize that it's treatable. As long as we remain vigilant, and take good care of her, Elise will survive. I know of friends whose empty arms are aching for their children, and would take a chronic illness any day over the alternative.

Though we didn't take a vacation, the fact remains that we could have afforded to, if we had wanted to. Because we were blessed enough to get out of debt 4 years ago, and we have been diligent about our budget; we were not really affected by the economic crisis. Sure Fred's 401k has taken a hit and our investments are not worth as much as before, but we're young and have time to build them up again.

And since Fred didn't take a vacation, he had about three weeks worth of vacation days accrued that needed to be used up before the end of the year. So Fred has been on vacation since Dec. 12, making life a little less stressful for me. Elise and I have enjoyed having him home.

As far as our marriage goes, both Fred and I remain devoted to one another and will not let the stress tear us apart. It is our strong bond and love for each other that allows us to face this disease head on.

And above all, I know my God loves me and I can always find comfort in His arms.

So I bid 2008 a not-so-fond farewell. I hope that '09 is kind to you and yours.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Fan Letter to 2008

Dear 2008,

You suck. To quote Homer Simpson, you are "the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked." If you were a person, you would that be Governor Hairpiece from Illinois. Perhaps the only way you could suck more is if you were the Dallas Cowboys playing against the Eagles for a playoff spot. Or maybe if you were just the Dallas Stars.

I don't like you very much and I'm glad you are about to be gone.

To sum up, you suck.

Yours very sincerely,
Joanne

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Things I learned this Christmas

Well, we have survived our first Christmas with a child that is somewhat cognizant of what's going on, Christmas-wise. I learned some things and because I'm feeling mildly philanthropic, I thought I'd share them with you:


  • Although toys that have lots of lights and make a bunch of noise are fun for the kiddos, not so much for the parents. Books = the perfect gift. The Little People Farm = not bad, the mooing isn't that loud. Toy Lawn Mower with music, a popper, and realistic sounds = just a plain old BAD IDEA. If we didn't have to surgically remove it from Elise's hands every time we need to take it away, then I would whisk it back to Target in a heartbeat.

  • For toys that require ANY assembly, it is wisest to either assemble it and leave it under the tree, or assemble it and put it back it it's box (if possible) and wrap it. Because nothing is shorter that the patience of a 15 month that has spied a new, fun toy, and cannot wait the 5 minutes it would take to wrestle the toy out of the box, attach any loose parts, and insert the batteries. That girl, she can scream.
  • Those grey twisty wire things that are used to attach the toys to the plethora of cardboard that is inside the packaging (parents of young kids know what I'm talking about) are just plain evil. I think they have taken the place of that hard, impenetrable plastic that houses electronic items as my nemesis.

  • It's okay to give your child your old toys as presents. Hey, it's new to them. My mom gave Elise a rocking chair for Christmas, so I got some of my old stuffed animals, gave them a good washing, and sat them in her chair under the tree. Reuse, Reduce and Recycle, right?

    Weirdest Christmas memory: Spiriting Elise through the family room with a blanket on her head. We needed to give her insulin and feed her before we could unwrap the presents, and there was no way to get her to her high chair without her seeing the tree and presents; so we put her blanket over her head and ran her into the kitchen.


  • Favourite Christmas memory: Elise's expression when she finally came into the family room. Pure amazement. It's fun to see Christmas through the eyes of a child, instead of a grown man who reverts to one on Christmas morning.

    I'm an Adult Now

    It's 12:33 a.m. on Christmas Day and I am awake. Still assembling and wrapping Christmas presents.

    I think I've discovered the time at which Christmas loses its (without the apostrophe) magical appeal.

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008

    Shopping on Christmas Eve Observations

    I realized this morning that all my Christmas shopping was not indeed done as I had previously thought. Poor Seven, who pretty much gets shafted every day lately had nary a present under the tree. So I gathered up my nerve and headed out this afternoon. My first stop took me to a nearby mall:
    • It was busy, but not that bad. I remember when I used to go Christmas shopping back home. Now THAT was a beating. You would circle and circle the lot at the mall. Not to find a space close to the door, but to find a space at all. The best strategy was to sit in one spot and follow somebody when you saw them walking to their car. And if they were just walking out to their just car to drop off their bags so they could go shop some more? Well, then you'd run them over.
    • People need to smile more... it's CHRISTMAS, dammit!
    • I don't care who you are, or how old you are, but using the cruder term for bull-excrement three times in less than five seconds makes you sound like you have the IQ of a barn swallow.
    • If you are going to a public place where there are copious amounts of people gathered and it's warm and indoors... shower, please!
    • I saw a guy pounding on the outside glass of a store to get his girlfriend's attention inside. When she looked up at him, he motioned to her that she should pick up her cell phone that he was calling her on. Just... wow. She should totally marry that guy... now.

    Second stop, Target. Man, I love that place. I always tell people that if I became homeless I would move into a Costco. Same goes for Target. Although I guess it would have to be a Super Target so I could have access to fresh fruit lest I get scurvy or something.

    Saturday, December 20, 2008

    Happy Birthday Uncle Chicken!

    Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my brother Stefan (we tell Elise that his name is Uncle Chicken - actually I believe it's how he refers to himself). He's my older brother by 4 years, and he turns 25 tomorrow (Dec.21). So that makes me 21.

    Look how awesome we are sporting our Bicycle Safety Week shirts in Stanley Park.

    I can't wait until Elise gets to meet her Uncle Chicken, he is a strangely hilarious, fantastically bizarre, and an immensly funny guy to be around. He used to make me laugh so hard I would almost pee myself. I guess it's a good thing that Elise is already in diapers.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Now Where did I put my Bon-bons?

    Heh, funny. Funnier still, I know people who could have written this letter...

    Thanks to my friend Melissa for sending it my way. I needed a laugh.

    We Can Dance if we Want To

    Send your own ElfYourself eCards

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Say it With Me...


    Awwwwwwwww!

    The Return of the Christmas Tree

    And it's baaaaaaaaack! The tree is up and fully decorated. And quite pretty!



    Thank you to my WONDERFUL husband for all his incredibly hard work getting it done. Had it been me, I probably would have launched that tree into our street with a primeval scream that would have sent our neighbours scurrying inside of their homes in fear.

    Then I would have kicked and stomped it until I was out of breath.

    And then, for good measure, I would have driven to Southlake, stolen a Hummer, came back and driven over the tree again and again, until it was nothing but toothpicks. Being the good tree-hugger that I am, I would keep the toothpicks for use in my kitchen, and do all of this while wearing my Birkenstocks.

    It ain't easy being green...

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Oh Christmas Tree, Oh... crap.

    Remember how I blogged about our beautiful Christmas tree that we cut down on Saturday? Remember how I said I couldn't wait to decorate it? Well, we did. And it was so pretty. And Elise didn't even pay any attention to it. She came down from her nap, looked at it, babbled something, and went on her merry way. I was so glad that I wouldn't have to worry about her messing with the tree.

    We came home from dropping Fred's Mom off at the airport, and Fred walked into the living room and said something like, "well THIS doesn't look right." I followed him in to see our 9-foot Christmas tree laying on the floor, ornaments smashed beneath it, and the water from the stand poured out onto the carpet.

    We put Elise in her play area, and commenced clean-up, with the lovely background music of a screaming child. Fred hauled the tree outside, where he cut a foot off the trunk. Right now our tree is hanging out in the garage until we get the energy to try again.

    The good news is that although a bunch of ornaments were smashed, NONE of the ornaments that Fred and I give each other each year were broken. That would have been the kick to the groin while I was already laying on the ground in pain. You know, if I were a guy.

    She did WHAT?

    After a rough night with Elise (waking up at midnight and not going back to sleep until about 4:30 a.m.), we woke up to a bit of a surprise this morning. We awoke to hearing her chatting quietly to herself this morning. It was about 8:15, a FULL 30 minutes later than she usually wakes up. Gee Elise, thanks for that early Christmas present. Anyway, that's not the surprise.

    While we were getting ready to go get her out of her crib, we hear a small thud. It sounded like she was pounding on the wall, something she's done a million times, so we didn't think anything of it. We walk down the hallway and notice her door was closed, not cracked open like we usually leave. Huh, that's weird.

    Well, we open the door and were aghast to see Elise wandering around her room! Somehow she had gotten out of her crib. We never heard her cry after the thud, and we have no idea how she even managed to get out. The railing comes up to about her shoulders, and there is NO WAY she has the upper body strength to hoist herself out of the crib.

    How did this happen? How do I stop it from happening again? She's only 15 months old, isn't that a little young for this? Anybody???

    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    Tree to get Ready...

    Man that's a HORRIBLE post title. But my brain is so tired I can't think of another one.

    Anyway, Saturday was the annual Cunha trip to get our Christmas tree... old-school style! Since 2002, we have driven out to Walls Family Farms to hand-pick and cut down our very own tree. Back in the early days we were so broke that our tree was usually a tiny, pitiful, Charlie-Brown tree. This year Fred picked out a beautiful 9-footer! I can't wait to decorate it.

    We packed the Mom-in-law (she's in town visiting from Toronto), Seven, Elise, Fred and I in the Rodeo and drove off to Terrell. If not for the wind, the weather would have been perfect. Here are some fun pics:

    Hayride with the Beans!

    Elise wants a Christmas Stump

    Nature Girl

    Elise and avó

    Off to find the perfect tree

    Seven in her element

    Our tree!

    Merry Christmas from the Cunha Family!

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    Speaking of Morrisey...

    I'm not a huge football fan. I never grew up watching it and I prefer sports with less standing around and more action; like hockey. But Fred enjoys watching it, and has become a Cowboys fan since we moved to Dallas. So on Sundays I'll indulge him, and sit with him while he watches the game. Besides, I've found it a wonderful way to lull me into a Sunday afternoon nap.

    This past Sunday I was cutting out coupons while the game was on. During one commercial break, there was a promo for the NFL on Fox with a very familiar song in the background. I turned to Fred, "was that Morrisey I just heard? Please tell me the NFL is not using a Morrisey song for their commercial!"

    Well, it was... but not really. And they are... sort of. What I heard was some horrible, countrified version of The Moz's Everyday is Like Sunday. Yikes. It was... terrible. I couldn't believe that Morrisey would actually agree to such a thing, but it was actually a promo for the NFL on Fox, so Fred informed me that Fox doesn't need his permission.

    My question is, who picked this song and why? I'm not really sure a song about depression and boredom with lyrics like:

    In the seaside town
    that they forgot to bomb
    Come, come, come - nuclear bomb

    is really a good fit. I picture some guy googling songs for his promo, "hmmm, the song's gotta have Sunday in it. So, let's just type in; songs, Sunday, lyrics... hit search. Let's see, Sunday Bloody Sunday? That sounds good. Tell Me on a Sunday? Nah. Ohhh, what's this one? Everyday is Like Sunday? Perfect!" I'm guessing he's never actually heard the song or read the rest of the lyrics.

    As Fred said to me, "it would be like using Queen's 'I Want to Break Free' for a Prison Break promo." Heh. Fred. He makes me laugh.

    Sunday, December 7, 2008

    The Revenge of These are a few of my Favourite Things

    My explanation as to why I do these: As I've stated in a previous post, I have opinions... lots of them. And when I find something I love... I mean really, almost-as-good-as-chocolate love, I feel compelled to shout about it from the rooftops. So I've decided to post about them every now and again. I receive no compensation from these things/website/places/people, but would gladly welcome whatever they would like to send my way. I like presents.

    I bet people who fancy themselves to be culinary experts detest the crockpot and everything it stands for. They probably view it as the redheaded step-child of the kitchen. Being a redhead, I don't really understand that phrase. These days, most people want to be a redhead. But I've wandered a bit off-topic...

    I don't remember how I stumbled upon this blog, but I love it, and everything it stands for. These days, what do most people complain about being short of? Time and money. This website helps you save both. It's called A Year of Crockpotting because the author made a resolution last New Year's to use her crockpot every day in 2008.

    So far I've tried two recipes; Chicken Soup (I tweaked it a bit and made it before I went to bed, letting it simmer though the night - my house smelled amazing!), and yogurt. Yes I did. I made yogurt in my crockpot. It was pretty cool. And way cheaper than buying Yobaby.

    She gives good detailed instructions as well as pictures of the ingredients she used and what her final product looked like. She also includes her verdict, and is pretty honest about it. I find her writing to be funny and entertaining too.

    So dust off your crockpot and simmer up something good!

    Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Is the Economy Really THAT Bad?

    Tough day today. Elise has been pretty sick this week, and it all came to a head today. My day consisted of:
    • Holding a clingy, feverish baby most of the morning while trying to check her sugars, check for ketones, and juggle calls from the pedi's office and the endo's office. At some point I recall eating an apple.
    • Taking said baby to the pedi's, and watching them inflict torturous exams on her while she screamed and struggled in my arms. Unfortunately her regular doc was off today so we had to see a doc that was a total stranger to Elise. This did not help matters.
    • Return home, and hold a clingy, feverish baby the rest of the afternoon.

    Didn't leave much time for the making of dinner. When Fred came home, I asked if he minded me running a few errands. As a thank you, I told him I'd pick up some Chick-fil-a (his absolute favourite - the man would eat it every day if possible) on my way back. My errands took me to Southlake, so I hit up the Chick-fil-a there.

    Because their drive-thru is always packed, I parked and went inside to order. As I was placing my order, the guy interrupted me to tell me he could give me the chicken, but no fries. Pardon? Because English was totally not his first language, I thought something might have been lost in translation. What I asked him to repeat himself, he told me the same thing and then looked at me like this was totally normal.

    I looked around, and a customer at another register was receiving fries. And I could see fries stacked up in the little fry container holder-thingy. I even saw an employee dumping fresh fries into the fry bin. So I pointed and asked, "Um, aren't those fries?"

    At this point he gets the manager who explains to me that those fries are already spoken for. He then walks away. At this point I'm starting to wonder if I'm on some hidden camera show, because it all seems so weird. The cashier looks at me expectantly, and I try once more. "You really have no fries?"

    Another employee walking by tells me that they've run out. All the fries are gone. No fries for you (okay I added that last part myself)!

    Is there some sort of fry shortage because of the bad economy? Should I start hoarding fries? Is the price of fries going to soar so only people like Paris Hilton (who probably wouldn't be caught dead eating a french fry) can afford them? I'm a little bit worried.

    So what do I do? I grab a handful (or five) of their mints, leave, and drive to the Grapevine location; where the fries flow like rainfall in Vancouver.

    Saturday, November 29, 2008

    So Check me Out...

    Just wanted to give you a heads up about my other blog (henceforth to be referred to as MOB); Death of a Pancreas. It's brand-spankin' new, so there's not a lot on there... yet. But I'm hoping to make it all shiny and sparkly soon.

    It's going to be about life with a baby that has diabetes, so I'm assuming it won't hold a lot of interest to most of you who read this blog, but if you do know someone who is going through the same struggle as Fred and I, please let them know about Death of a Pancreas. I'm hoping to use it as a way to encourage others, and maybe even pass along a little of my solid, three-month expertise (she said, sarcastically) along.

    Let me know what you think... and thanks for reading.

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    Thankful

    As we ate our Thanksgiving fondue, Fred and I discussed the three most important things we're thankful for. He very eloquently told me how thankful he is for me, our daughter, and his work. And while I can't quote him verbatim, he did say some very sweet and touching things. He also said he was thankful for HDTV, but I'm thinking that was a joke. Then again, he IS a guy...

    I am first and foremost thankful for my husband, Fred. I am thankful that he is such a hard worker, with an ethic that people should aspire to. He holds 100% of the burden of a paycheque on his shoulders, and never gripes about it (unlike me, who has been know to complain about the majority of household tasks being my responsibility). While we are hardly untouched during this time of economic uncertainty; I know we will weather this storm and come though okay, because he has been such an amazing provider. I am thankful for the man that he is, a shining example to Elise of what a man should be.

    Of course I am thankful for Elise. This world would be a much darker place without her. I wake up every morning, excited to go into her room, and greet the new day with her. Not a day goes by that she doesn't make me laugh. She has gone through more in her past 15 months than some people go through in a lifetime, and it has shown me what a fighter she is. But underneath that determined personality is a sweet, loving spirit. She makes me aspire to be a better mom, and person. And she has even taught me that I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for.

    The third thing I am thankful for? Insulin. Without it, Elise would not be alive. So thank you, Frederick Grant Banting (a Canadian!).

    So what are you thankful for? I'd love to know!

    We don't need no Stinkin' Turkey!

    This Thanksgiving we decided to do things a little differently. Rather, I did. We were going to invite some friends over and do the whole turkey/stuffing/pumpkin pie thing, but then last week Fred came down with some sort of crud, and while he didn't get all that sick, he did pass it onto Elise and I, who fared a little bit worse. Plus Elise's numbers have been really high again, making her a bit of a hand full. So we ended up dis-inviting (uninviting?) our friends (sorry Pam and Michael - thanks for being so awesomely understanding). Then I got to thinking; do I really want to make a turkey with all the trimmings for just the three of us?

    So I discussed it with Fred and the decision to do a non-traditional Thanksgiving was unanimous. First we started off with a bit of lunch: Prosciutto, marinated mozzarella, roasted garlic & monterey jack cheese bread, and tomatoes with fresh basil. Ever so yummy!

    A few hours later we moved onto the main course... Cheese Fondue! I make it from a traditional Swiss recipe that my dad gave to me, and I think it's better than what they serve at the Melting Pot. Just my opinion. And Fred's. And pretty much everyone else who has tried it. Fred and I discussed what we were thankful for (a post on that coming soon!), and then stuffed ourselves full of gooey, cheesy goodness.


    We ended the day with a wee bit of tradition; homemade pumpkin pie. I'm a bit ticked that the crust didn't come out all that well, but it sure didn't mess up the taste. Even Elise got to try a bit (pumpkin pie has a lot of carbs, but I gave it to her without the crust, and made it a part of her dinner).


    I have to say that I enjoyed our non-traditional Thanksgiving. Maybe we'll make it OUR tradition! Since we're not American, Thanksgiving isn't that big of a deal for us anyway.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was just as much fun as ours.


    Elise enjoying her first taste of pumpkin pie

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    What do YOU think?



    The first picture is me 10 years ago, with a short-ish hair cut. The second is me about 10 days ago, with my hair flat-ironed and styled (a rarity for me!) My question is this, can I pull off the short-ish hair, or should I leave well enough alone? I am well aware of my head's "short", er, "long-comings" (Fred likes to call me banana head, but in a totally loving way). Longer is totally easier for me, but I'm a bit bored with the long locks.

    What do YOU think?

    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    I'm glad I don't say half the things that I Think

    Said to Fred and I in an elevator at the parking garage in Southlake Town Center by a teenage boy:

    Him (looking at Elise who was wearing a purple hoodie with butterflies on it): Girl or boy?

    Fred: Girl

    Him: How old?

    Fred: Almost 15 months

    Him: Cherish her, man. You gotta cherish them at this age. They grow up so fast. Next thing you know they turn into us (indicating his group of friends).

    Thank you son of Dr. Phil. I loooooove taking advice from a 16 year old who isn't bright enough to wear a jacket in 39 degree weather. Not to mention he thinks a baby wearing purple butterflies could possibly be a boy. I mean, these Southlake teens have done some hard livin', driving around in their Daddy's H3. Gotta give them props for their words of wisdom, yo.

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Marianne Faith No Morrisey

    I think I wrote somewhere on my blog that I wake up with a song in my head every morning. It's true, whether it be a fun They Might Be Giants tune or the more classic "Graceland" by Paul Simon; my brain is a IPod and it's always on shuffle.

    I have no clue why this happens, or how my brain makes the song choice. I could be dreaming about Fred and I being one of the final three teams in the Amazing Race, and the last task is figuring out the carb amount of half of a turkey sandwich (no crusts), a cup of yogurt and a banana. On the opposing team is my math teacher from junior high who basically told me I was as dumb as a box of rocks when it came to math. Well in this instance, I totally kick him in the slide-ruler when solving for x, and take off for the finish line. There, the Philiminator greets me with one raised eyebrow and an announcement that Fred and I are the winners of the Amazing Race.

    I start to wonder why the cheering crowd suddenly sounds more like a crying baby, and I slowly swim my way to the surface of consciousness. Then my brain kicks in and I hear:

    This old heart of mine
    Been broke a thousand times.
    Each time you break away,
    Feel you're gone to stay.

    Really, brain? Rod Stewart? I win the Amazing Race and the best you can do is Rod Stewart?

    Apparently my brain is a 40-something year old housewife who likes to throw panties at unbelievably ancient singers.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Keeping my Mouth shut... For Once

    I'm not really big on being controversial on my blog. That's not really what it's about, and I find that controversy brings out the crazies. I just want to enjoy my own little corner of the world-wide-web-super-highway, and have the crazies leave me alone. This post, however, may have me sticking my toe in the cold, cold waters of controversy.

    It's all because of a Mom I met at story time today. She piqued my interest because she was visiting from Canada (She was from Texas and had married a Canadian). We started talking, and somehow found our way to socialized medicine. This is our conversation as best as I can remember:

    Her: Yeah, the whole medical system thing up there (meaning Canada) is a joke, they wouldn't even pay for me to have my baby. I had to cover the whole cost, but as soon as she was born, she was covered. I had to wait two years to get coverage.

    Me: That's weird, aren't you married to a Canadian?

    Her: Yeah.

    Me: What's your status?

    Her: Landed immigrant, permanent resident.

    Me: That's just bizarre, when my husband lived up there, he was a landed immigrant, but had medical.

    Her: (not being very forthcoming) Well, yeah. I mean at the time I was just a visitor. I didn't get my landed immigrant status until later, after she was born.

    In my mind I was saying, so let me get this straight, you were a visitor to my country, had no legal right to any services, but thought just because you were having your baby in Canada gives you the right to have the delivery covered by the taxpayers??? Ohhhh, I so wanted to ask her what her thoughts were on illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. and doing the same thing. Something tells me she would be VERY against illegal immigration.

    Not wanting to start a brawl at the library in this very affluent part of town, I said nary a word in response to what she had just said. But I'm telling you, it ticked me off. For several reasons that I'm not going into, because I don't feel like ranting today.

    This is NOT a post on my views on illegal immigrants, although anyone who knows me and our story of how painful it is to LEGALLY immigrate here should know where I stand. Rather, it's just a little ditty about how critical, and hypocritical some people can be.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    She Thinks the Amazing Race is Mooooo-velous

    I have two shows that I really and truly follow. By that I mean if my bum is not firmly planted on the sofa in front of the TV when they are on, then I am taping them. Or DVRing them. Or rather Fred is because I keep forgetting how to. I think Elise has more ability to operate our DVD player than I do. Anyway, one of those shows is Lost, and the other is the Amazing Race.

    So I finally get around to watching Sunday's episode of the Amazing Race this afternoon while Elise is napping. Unfortunately, for reasons only known to her, she decides to cut her nap short, with about 15 minutes to go in the episode. I figure, what the heck, it's only 15 minutes... I can finish it off while she hangs with me.

    One of the tasks in the episode had teams wandering around Almaty, Kazakhstan in a cow costume. Elise found this particularly entertaining and jumped off the sofa, ran up to the TV while yelling, "Cow! Cow! Cow! Moooooooooooooooo!" She stayed glued to the TV set for the rest of the show, mooing every time the cow would appear.

    Amazing Race, you have just won yourself another fan.

    Edited to add: apparently, we don't actually have a DVR. It's a DVD that has recording capability. I thought the two were one and the same, but a DVR has a hard drive. So I stand corrected and have learned my new thing for the day. So I guess I can finally go to bed, safe in the knowledge that I'm technologically stupid. And you know what? I am so okay with that.

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    The Meaning of a Cure

    Diabetes is a disease of "right now", and "what may come". "Right now" I have the painful tasks of giving my 14 month old daughter daily injections, and poking her finger to check her blood sugar. I diligently count her carb intake and walk that frustrating tightrope of her blood sugar being too high or too low. But that's not what scares me. That I can handle. I mostly fear the "what may come" part of this disease. The inability to manage diabetes brings risks of kidney failure (requiring lifetime dialysis), blindness, strokes, and amputation. Just having the disease means that Elise is expected to live 14 years shorter than average life expectancy. And perhaps most heartbreaking, any inattention to her treatment could mean that she may never be able to bear children.

    There is some good news, though. For the first time, scientists are predicting that we CAN expect to see a cure well within our lifetime. It's something I dream about for my daughter, a hope so tangible that my heart races with excitement when I think about it. I don't think I've ever wanted anything so badly. I do not dare despair that it might never happen for her, for that would be admitting victory for diabetes.

    So for now, I'll hold onto the hope for a cure, praying that "what may come" never will. For Elise, or anyone else.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Walking the (real) Dog


    All safety measures were observed during the taking of this photo. All squirrels were cleared from the area, lest Seven take off after one with Elise in tow. Yes, I let my child play in the street.

    Have You Hugged Your (stuffed) Dog Today?

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    I am not Kidding

    Dear Person or Persons in charge of Daylight Savings Time,

    Yes I know the time change was a few days ago, so this may seem a little late. You see, it took me a few days to put my thoughts down in writing because I've been wandering around my house trying to figure out WHAT BLOODY TIME IT IS.

    It seems some of my clocks are smarter than me and change on their own. Some, my husband changed on Sunday. And some others still display the "old" time. My problem is, I can't figure out which is which.

    So, on to my issue with you. I hate the very concept of Daylight Savings Time (here fore to be referred to as DST). It is, quite simply, a load of crap. I don't care that on some farm in a far away land it make the cows happy, or what ever bull you're touting, but it screws with my life and it must stop. And I don't appreciate the propaganda the local news is spewing by telling me, "You gain an EXTRA hour!" That, is pure crap of the highest degree.

    We're onto you, yes we are. Who are we? We are the parents of children who cannot tell time, and ergo do not give a flip about your stinking time change. We are the parents of children who are now waking up a FULL HOUR EARLIER than normal now, because of a reason that no longer exists. My daughter, has decided to add an extra half hour to that, because that's how she rolls.

    An hour may not seem like a lot to you, but when your days are filled with house-cleaning, meal-preparing, child-rearing, errand-running, diaper-changing, laundry-washing, and nose-wiping; and you do it all while suffering from the 500th consecutive bad hair day, AND quite certain that you have poop smeared somewhere on your person (because why else is that smell following you around the house like the dog when she's hungry), well then, I would say an hour is HUGE.

    So I am urging you, PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy... do away with DST. Or I shall be forced to hunt you down, find out where you live and start banging away on your bedroom window an hour before you usually get up. I will also knee you in the groin for the extra half hour. Because that is how I roll.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    So You Think You Can Dance?

    Warning: this is a tad long. I write it mostly because I've been hearing from a lot of people that they think diabetes is just giving Elise a shot once in awhile. I'm not writing it for myself, but so others will know what parents of kids with diabetes go through on a daily basis.

    Being a mother of an infant/baby/toddler is exhausting. Being a mother of a toddler with diabetes is exhausting. Times ten. Million. Aside from all the injections, carb counting, blood sugar and ketone testing I do; my mind is constantly spinning from all the thinking and planning that taking care of Elise entails. Each step of my day is a carefully choreographed dance. I have memorized most of the moves through repetition, but sometimes I have to improvise depending on the situation. Click here to see Fred's flow chart - it's almost like a "Choose your Own Adventure Book"!

    For example, my morning routine looks something like this: Get her up, change her diaper, save said diaper in case I need to test for ketones. Don't forget to put cotton balls in the diaper in case I have to test for ketones later! Test her blood sugar. It's low - get some juice in her asap. It's high - test for ketones and perhaps call the doctor. It's normal - breathe a prayer of relief. After all that business is taken care of, it's time to nurse her. It's one of the few times I get to sit down, relax and turn my brain off. A lot of people think I'm weird because I'm still nursing her. Are you kidding me? It's the only "me time" I get during the day.

    Nursing is done, time to start preparing her meal so I can give her insulin. She needs to eat about 5-10 minutes after her injection, so I need to have breakfast all ready to go before I can give her the shot. Her meal must consist of at least 15 grams of carbs; so I have a scale to weigh the food, a scrap piece of paper and a calculator to figure it all out. Gone are the days of just putting some food on a plate. While I'm preparing the meal, my monologue is punctuated with, "Elise, stop that. Elise, hands off. Elise get off of there, put that back, come here, take that out of your mouth, don't open that..." Well, you get the idea. After her meal is all ready to go, I prep the insulin, give her the shot, put her in her high chair and it's time to eat.

    After I'm done feeding her, it's usually about 10:00, and I'm feeling woozy because I haven't eaten yet. Sometimes I'm not done with breakfast and clean-up until 11:00, and then it's almost time for lunch. Sigh, the dance begins again.

    Diabetes is a disease that keeps you on your toes. Throughout the day I'm constantly wondering, "Is she high? Is she low? Should I feed her a snack? What if she goes low during her nap? What will I give her for lunch? How many carbs are in 40 cheerios anyway?" In case you care, it's about 4 grams.

    If you think leaving the house with a baby is hard, add diabetes to the mix. In addition to the diaper bag I also have to make sure I have a whole other bag o' goodies; apple juice in case she goes low, the emergency kit in case she passes out, the BG testing kit, sippy cup with water, extra supplies for the testing kit. If we're going to be out during a meal time I need to pack the insulin with ice in a cooler bag, bring needles, alcohol pads, her carefully planned out meal, and some "free foods" (foods with no carbs that she can eat in case she finishes her meal and is still hungry). It's a lot of crap to haul around and it's no wonder my back hurts!

    I keep a watchful eye out for things that could harm her. A mother at story-time offering her a snack without checking with me. Elise picking up another child's sippy cup with juice in it and trying to drink from it. My heart breaks when I am eating a snack and Elise holds her hands out for some. These days I try not to eat in front of her (or only eat when she does).

    We keep a daily log of all her BG tests (usually 7+ per day), her carb intake (3 meals + snacks), and her insulin (3 shots per day, sometimes 4). We email them weekly to the endocrinologist so they can make changes. If there are changes to her bedtime insulin, we have to test her at 2 a.m. to make sure she doesn't go too low. If she is low, we have to wake her up and give her some juice to get her BG back up, and re-test in an hour. There's something darkly comical about forcing a sippy cup on your child as she sits bleary-eyed in her crib at 2:30 in the morning. Luckily, my wonderful husband takes care of most of those incidents, although I do get up for the force-feeding fun. Thanks for the extra sleep time, Freddie!

    We do get off a bit easy... If Elise is high during the night, we don't give her insulin to correct her. Parents of older kids have to do this, and then check in one and two hours to make sure the child doesn't go low. If they over-correct, they have to wake their child up and give them fast-acting carbs. It really is like walking a tight-rope.

    I've left out a lot of stuff, mostly because this is getting obscenely long. My point is this; the dance of diabetes is a difficult, tiring one; full of dips and twirls that will make you dizzy if you let them. A lot of the time the steps are tricky, and cause you to fall. And it would be so easy to just lay on the ground and cry from the hurt of it all. But in the end, you always get up. Because your child's life depends on it.

    Not only do I have to dance the dance everyday, one day I will need to teach Elise the steps as well. If you know a mother (or father!) of a child with diabetes, let them know that they are an amazing dancer; more graceful and dedicated than any of those people on that stupid show I stole the title from.

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Halloween Recap

    What a fun Halloween we had with our little duck. We decided to go trick-or-treating just before it got dark, because we weren't sure how long Elise would last. We only hit up the houses of friends and neighbours that we know, because it really was for the experience... not the candy. No, I'm serious!

    Elise seemed to get the hang of it after just a few houses. She never cried, or got scared. She'd walk up to the door holding Poppa's hand and when the person came to the door, she'd hold out her little pumpkin bucket and then peek in to see what goodies she had received.

    When we returned home, we put on our porch light and commenced the handing out of candy. Business was pretty slow, but I did notice a few things:
    • Parents were DRIVING their kids from house to house. Seriously, a car or van would pull up to our driveway, kids would get out, knock on our door, get the candy, and run back to the vehicle. They would then DRIVE to the next house where the process would start anew. Come on people, or we SERIOUSLY that lazy? How sad and lame have we become that we can't even partake in the fun tradition of running from door to door? I can't tell you how much that ticks me off. If anyone has a good reason as to why parents do this, I'm all ears. I'm betting that there isn't one though.
    • I'm pretty generous when it comes to handing out candy. Every kid gets at least three, sometimes four pieces of candy. As I was putting candy into one kids bag, he reached up into the bowl and grabbed three or four more chocolate bars. I was holding the bowl about chest high and clearly not offering the bowl to him. One thing I hate as much as laziness is bad manners.
    • I didn't see a lot of the "aren't you a little too old for this" crowd. The kids we got were mostly in the right age range for Halloween. Good to see.
    • I'm not sure, but I think a guy down towards the end of our street dressed his dog up as a klan member. Fred and I discussed it after we walked by and Fred was of the mindset that surely he wouldn't. But I can't really think of what else it could be. The dog was wearing a white cloak and a pointy white hat (or whatever they call those headthings they wear). I was really at a loss, and am hoping I just missed something.

    Whew, I didn't mean for this to get so long. Hope your Halloween was just as fun (but lacking dogs dressed up in a hateful manner).

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Elise's First Trick-or-Treating Experience

    Since Elise was just shy of three months last Halloween, this was going to be her first time Trick-or-Treating! Of course I had the camera out, ready to document every cute second of it...

    Whatcha doing, Poppa?
    Our Pumpkins (not my handiwork)

    Time to go!

    Elise and Poppa, on the hunt for candy!


    So cute!


    Our pumpkin at night



    I hope everybody had a fun and safe Halloween!

    More Halloween Cuteness!

    So I decided to be smart and try and get some good costume shots while the gettin' was good. Morning is usually Elise's "happy time", and seeing how it's going to be 85 degrees later on, I think I made a good choice. I think next year I'll put her in a bathing suit for Halloween. Of course, that would be the year we get snow on Oct. 31. Anyway, enjoy pictures of the cutest duck EVER!


    I think I'm missing part of my costume...


    Cute little ducky behind

    I'm ready now, let's go!

    What do we have in here?

    Cool, a Treo. Now I can text everybody and wish them a Happy Halloween!

    Say it with me... Awwwwww!

    If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck...

    Duck on the run

    Happy Halloween!


    More cuteness to follow...

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Yeah, She's Pretty Cute

    I was laying in bed this morning, listening to Elise chattering away to herself in her crib. It was just about 8:00, so I thought I'd leave her since she sounded quite content. All is quiet for a few seconds, and then I hear VERY clearly, "Hello! Mãe!" (Mom in Portuguese)

    And then, "Mãe? Mãe! Mãe! Mãe!" It was just so adorable I had to leap out of bed to go see her. What a great way to wake up in the morning.
    By the way, she's feeling much better... hasn't had a fever in a few days and just has a bit of a runny nose and some congestion. We are well acquainted with the nose sucker these days!

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Sigh...

    So after a few days with great numbers, it looks like Elise has come down with some sort of bug. She's been really congested and has a temperature of almost 102. Being sick, and being sick and having diabetes are two totally different things. It can elevate her BG, cause her to throw out ketones, plus we may have to deal with her not wanting to eat because she feels so bad and that is a whole new level of difficult.

    So far she's handling it like the star that she is and we haven't had any issues with eating. I'm praying that it stays that way, and for a speedy recovery.

    Once again, I'm asking if you would pray with me.

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Answered Prayer

    Just wanted to let all of you who have been praying know that we have seen improvement in Elise's numbers in the past two days. In fact, the highest she's been since Tuesday at lunch is 205 (normal for her is between 100-200). I am so amazed at the difference in Elise's personality, I finally have my sweet, little girl back. Last night she was being so silly and goofing around... I don't think I've heard her laugh in almost three weeks. I'm being guardedly optimistic and hoping this is the start of a looooooong string of good days. Thanks so much for all your prayers, and praise God for normal blood glucose levels... YEAH!

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Why I Wish I were a Baby Part 2

    If you haven't read part one, go here.

    Having a Bad Day
    One day, Elise was having a Terrible-Horrible-No-Good-Very-Bad-Day of the Alexander variety. Things just were not going her way, and she would throw herself on the ground and sob her little heart out. And I admired the fact that she could do this. My day wasn't going too swimmingly and I was tempted to join her. Why shouldn't I be able to fling my angry self down, flail my arms and legs about and wail until I felt better? Next time a cop pulls me over, I just might try it.

    Cute Clothes
    I have a secret... I can't match. Seriously, I have no idea what colours go with what. I was too busy beating up boys and climbing trees when I supposed to be learning colour co-ordination. A lot of times I have to go back and change Elise out of what she's wearing, because Fred takes one look and just shakes his head. These days, I'm letting him dress her most of the time. The best thing about baby clothes is they come in outfits! No matching needed, everything is right there! Plus baby clothes are pretty comfy. And let's not forget about footie pyjamas!

    I Just Peed My Pants
    I'm not saying as an adult that I would like to wear diapers... but sometimes the outright convenience of it is almost enough to make me start clipping coupons for Depends. I drink a lot of water during the day... probably close to 64 ounces. That makes for a lot of peeing. When I start thinking about the time I could save by not having to take a bathroom break every two hours... maybe I would be able to write more blog posts about wanting to wear diapers. I'm also the type of person that HATES leaving a movie in the middle just to go pee. Usually I'll just tough it out, but by the end of the movie I'm yelling for Spiderman to just hurry up and die so I can get out of there.

    Okay, I seriously don't want to wear diapers, but it made me laugh, and I hope you enjoyed it too.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Holding On

    I'm not going to say much tonight, except that life has sure sucked lately. So much so that I'm not even going to write about it. I suppose I'm a little afraid that writing it down will give it some sort of power. All I will say it that despair is starting to take hold. And I'm feeling cheated. This is a time I should be enjoying my daughter. But I said I'm not going to write about it, so I won't. Instead I'm going to hold onto these lyrics from a Matt Redman song that have been resonating in my head all day:

    I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
    And there will be an end to these troubles
    But until that day comes
    Still I will praise You, still I will praise You
    Oh no, You never let go
    Through the calm and through the storm
    Oh no, You never let go
    In every high and every low
    Oh no, You never let go
    Lord, You never let go of me

    I don't really see a light right now, but I am holding onto His promise.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Apologies

    Sorry for emotionally vomiting on you with that last post. This has been a pretty crummy week, and I guess I just needed to blow off some steam. Unfortunately, we're still seeing mostly high BG levels, though there seems to be no reason for it. But what I'm learning is that diabetes doesn't make much sense. High BG's could be caused by stress, illness, hormone fluctuations (good God, not yet), growth spurts, the wind blowing out of the east, or the Phillies beating the Dodgers.

    I made the last two up.

    My brain doesn't really like vagueness, so I feel very unequipped to handle to handle this reality. I want to know the reason why. And I want it to be a logical answer that makes sense. I think a conversation between me and diabetes would go a little something like this:

    Me: Why are you causing Elise's BG to be so high?
    Diabetes: Because
    Me: But why?
    Diabetes: Just... because
    Me: But WHY?
    Diabetes: Because I said so. Now shut up and eat your dinner

    This week hasn't been all bad, Fred took the day off today and we went to the zoo! I'm hoping to post some pics from our trip soon. Sorry again for the spew, please feel free to send me your dry cleaning bill.

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    So...

    That previous post was an attempt to make myself laugh and get in good spirits. Starting the week with a laugh in hopes that it would set the tone for the week to come.

    Didn't really work. I know, it's only Monday, but this was truly one of the most craptastic days since Elise was diagnosed. It started off this morning when I took Elise's BG and it was almost 400. When she has levels over 250, I have to check for ketones. The result came back that she had a moderate amount, which means a call to her endo. At one point I was preparing Elise's breakfast and insulin while trying to discuss a treatment plan with the diabetes nurse AND console a very unhappy baby. I felt like a frickin' circus clown who is trying to juggle chainsaws. Badly.

    The day just got worse from there as Elise's BG was even higher the second time I took it after I had given her a correction dosage of insulin. And she still had ketones. I called the nurse again and she kept asking me if I was making sure Elise was drinking water (it helps flush the ketones out). I told her that yes, I was trying to give her water, but if she had a magical way to make a 13 month old drink when she seemed to be violently opposed to it, then I was all ears. She then suggested I give her diluted Crystal Light. I politely informed her that I don't keep such a product in my house, but if she would wait a few minutes, I WOULD PULL IT OUT OF MY ASS FOR HER.

    Do I sound upset? I am. Mostly because this person on the other end of my telephone didn't seem to get that you can lead a baby to water, but she will most likely fling that sippy cup at your head if she doesn't want to drink. She made me feel like I wasn't doing it properly. Oh, I see, I'm supposed to put the water in a cup and she will magically drink it for me? Here I was trying to WISH it down her throat. Silly me.

    After the fun task of spooning food into a screaming baby's mouth, I put Elise down for her nap and prepared to take her to the pediatrician after she woke up. Yes, started preparing almost two hours in advance, because of the amount of crap I needed to haul with me. When she awoke I threw her in the car and drove like a mad woman to get to the appointment on time. Two hours, a few tests, and much poking and prodding later; we were on our way home.

    More spooning food into a screaming baby's mouth, and Fred finally makes it home. I am wiped. I am mad. I am upset. I am sad. I also don't know how much more of this I can take. There was some good news though... Elise's ketones were eventually negative. So there's that. At least I can hold onto the fact that one thing did go right today.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Why I wish I was a Baby Part 1

    It wasn't until I had a baby, that I realized it was quite the life (for her). Now I'm kind of wishing I could go back and re-live my baby years all over again. Here's why:

    Mandatory Nap time
    This alone would be enough for me to want to be baby again. What? You seriously want me to go and lie down two to three times a day for an hour or so at a time? Let me get this straight... I get to sleep at night AND during the day? And the more I sleep, the happier you are? Gimme my blankie and I'll see you in a few. And please try and keep it down.

    Making a Mess... and Getting Away With It!
    I have this friend who refers to her kids as natural disasters. I won't use their real names, but her nicknames for them are Hurricane Hank and Earthquake Eva. Little 'Cane and 'Quake came over a few weekends ago and truly lived up to their nicknames. It seriously looked like a giant had picked up my house, shook it around so everything fell out of where it belonged, and then set my house back down again. Not that I minded, it was fun to watch the kids enjoy themselves. My point is this... after the kids were done creating chaos, who were the ones picking up after them? Their parents, of course! At the end of the day, almost every cupboard in my kitchen has been opened with at least one item taken out. And I dutifully follow behind Elise and put it all away, chuckling to myself that it's cute how she is so curious. If you do that as an adult, they call you a slob. Not fair.


    What a Cute Wittle Baby!
    When was the last time someone (besides your spouse/significant other/person in your life who is obligated to tell you) called you cute, precious, adorable, etc? Not that I'm all that hung up on looks, but I think it would be nice if from time-to-time a perfect stranger were to come up to me in the grocery store and tell me, "You are just the most darling thing I have ever seen in my life!" I think we could all use a compliment like that.

    I have some more, but didn't want to let this post get so outrageously long that nobody would read it... stay tuned for part 2!

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    Too Tired to Cry

    Have you ever been so exhausted, so completely wiped out that you don't even have the strength to summon the moisture for a tear? That's pretty much how I felt this Friday.

    It has been a very tough two and a half weeks. Poor Elise's BG (blood glucose) levels have been sky high, between 300-450 (her normal range is 100-200). And it's affecting her badly.

    Yesterday, she was walking around and all of a sudden, she just froze. Her shoulders hunched and all her muscles stiffened. Then she let out the most agonizing cry I have ever heard. It pierced my heart and I went over to her to see what had happened. She wrapped her arms around my neck and as I picked her up, she started arching her back and writhing in pain. I soothed her and calmed her down, then decided to check her sugar levels (making sure she wasn't upset as this can affect the results). She was at 428.

    No wonder she was in pain. High levels can give you headaches, stomach aches, and make you hungry. Unfortunately she has been running high for almost three weeks now and every time we up her insulin, her BG goes up too. I haven't seen a normal number in a long time.

    And our endo (endocrinologist) hasn't been much help. The problem with Elise being so young is that a low BG is much more dangerous than a high. So they have to increase her insulin slowly, over time. But meanwhile I have to care for a hurting child, and I have no way to make her feel better. Very difficult for an admitted control freak like myself.

    But that's a whole other post for another day. Meanwhile, could you pray for my little girl? I just want to figure out how to make her to feel better again. The shots, the counting carbs, the blood sugar tests; I can handle those. Watching her in pain is breaking my heart.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    She's walking... oh yes indeed!

    Amid all the craziness of September, I forgot to post that Elise took her first steps (about 4 of them) on September 17. After that, there was not a whole lot of walking (I guess she figured been there, done that... thank you very much!), but these last few days, you just can't stop her! After many, many attempts to catch it on video (it was so funny, she'd be walking along, and as soon as we would turn on the camera, she'd plop herself down and start crawling), on Monday, we finally were able to record her.

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    She's Just Trying to be Helpful

    For some reason, Elise has been having sleeping issues in the mornings. I'm not sure if it's related to the diabetes, but it started just after we got home from the hospital. Usually she sleeps until 8:30. I never used to hear a peep out of her until she would wake up, bright-eyed and ready to go. But lately she's been waking up around 6:00, crying. Sometimes she soothes herself back to sleep, and sometimes either Fred or I have to go in, put a hand on her chest, and she'll usually fall back asleep in five minutes. When we used to soothe her as a tiny baby, we'd also make a shushing noise. It's become such a habit, I still do it to this day!

    So this morning I go in around 7:00. I put my hand on her chest, and she quiets down right away. Because I'm so tired, I neglect to do the shushing thing. After standing there for about a minute, I start hearing a "shhhhhhhhhh" coming from the crib. It continues for about another minute until she falls asleep.

    I guess we've taught her well...

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Son of These are a Few of My Favourite Things

    Sadly I don't really have time to peruse this website anymore, but Television Without Pity is one of my all-time favourites. Their slogan is "Spare the Snark, Spoil the Networks", and their thing is doing recaps of TV shows and movies. With heaping amounts of glorious sarcasm. Gobs and gobs of sarcasm, actually. So much that I think the writers must have done an intensive course on it at some point in their lives. Which is all fine by me. There is the occasional bad word here and there, so if that offends you, best to leave it alone. But if you have a spare 20 minutes, check it out and read a recap of your favourite show. I challenge you not to laugh.

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Conversations with Elise

    I recorded this one day while I was waiting for Fred to come home from work. Originally, I wanted to capture how excited she gets when she hears the garage door go up as Fred comes home from work. While waiting, I decided to chat with her, never really expecting a response. Imagine my surprise when she actually answered one of my questions!

    She was telling the truth, by the way...

    Edited to add: Apparently it's not quite clear what I'm asking her. I believe the direct quote is, "did you make the poopies or something?" I don't know why, but this is how we ask her if she's dropped a few kids off in her diaper.

    The Totals

    Just wanted to give you an update about the walk (written by fred):

    On September 27, 2008, a team of 9 people - Gene, Susan, Claudia, Jackie, Ed, Del, Marcelo, Jonathan and Fred (Team Elise) - participated in the Walk to Cure Diabetes at Granite Park in Plano, TX and raised over $2,800 to help find a cure for diabetes.
    Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make this walk a success - Gene for coming up with the idea and organizing the team, Claudia and Susan for all their work getting shirts and buttons together with so little time, Jackie, Ed, Del, Marcelo and Jonathan for raising money and being a part of Team Elise, DG FastChannel for donating the shirts and everyone who donated so generously and provided words of encouragement.

    Ditto that.

    For more pictures, go to: http://www.helpmefred.com/teamelise.htm

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Go Team Elise!


    It's hard to believe that almost three weeks have passed since Elise was diagnosed with diabetes. It seems we have lived a lifetime already since then. We've received such wonderful support from friends, but it's still hard not to feel isolated. I've discovered how important it is to surround yourself with people who can understand what you're going through.
    That's why I am so excited (and a little jealous - Elise's schedule doesn't allow us to be there) that Fred is taking part in the Walk to Cure Diabetes this Saturday. Fred, and his team of 7 other walkers will be walking in Plano, Texas this Saturday, along with half a million walkers across the country. If you're so inclined, you can join them! Thanks to our generous friends, Fred has raised $1875 in less than two weeks. You guys are AMAZING!!! If you would like to help us find a cure, donate here!

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    Poetry in Motion

    Sigh... I love this picture. I love everything about it. Especially since it includes my two most favourite people in the whole wide world. I love how serene it makes me feel, and how nature's beauty bursts forth from its two-dimensional image. But most of all, I love what it represents. A father, walking alongside his daughter. Looking down at her with pride and love (okay, you can't see his face, but trust me... it's there). And she, at the moment, seems almost oblivious to his adoration and support, but will one day look back at this photograph and realize just how much her Poppa loves her.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Diabetes Dx Journey Part 2

    If you haven't read Part 1, then this post might not make sense. To read it, click here.

    I couldn't believe what I was hearing when Elise's doc told us we needed to take her to Children's Hospital that night. I am so thankful that we were surrounded by some wonderful friends that were at our house for Elise's birthday party. They stayed with us until we had packed our bags, and even cleaned up our house.

    We had also called some friends to see if they could look after our dog Seven while we were at the hospital. Pam and Michael live all the way in Richardson, but *just happened* to be in Irving at an event. If you don't know DFW geography, Irving is right on the way to the hospital from our house. Pam and Michael took wonderful care of Seven, even keeping her for a few days after we got home so we could get settled.

    On the way to the hospital, all sorts of thoughts ran through my mind, mostly ones where I blamed myself for Elise being sick. It was hard to believe that my daughter, who looked as healthy as any other baby, had this horrible disease raging inside of her. I was also so scared of the unknown. I didn't know what this meant for Elise right now and in her future. And was praying hard, that somewhere, someone had made a mistake.

    We checked into the hospital Saturday night and didn't leave until Tuesday afternoon. Those days were a whirlwind of doctors, nurses, information, education and lots and lots of tears. We learned what diabetes is and isn't, how to test blood sugar, how to give insulin shots, how to count carbs and monitor Elise's diet so her blood sugar wouldn't get too high or too low, and what to do if it did.

    I've made a lot of progress since we were released from the hospital a week ago. I can now give Elise her insulin without any help; something that would have sent me into hysterics before (I have a teeny-tiny aversion to needles. Actually, make that an incredibly huge phobia). I can more-or-less figure out her carb intake without getting a headache, although I still have a lot to learn in that department. Who knew algebra would EVER come in handy? Thank God I have a husband that uses that part of his brain... solving for x makes me cry.

    And thankfully, I can look at my baby girl without the word "broken" tarnishing her beautiful face. I hate that I felt this way, but I'm beginning to see she's a little girl who happens to have diabetes. Just like like I'm a girl (okay, woman), who has horrible eyesight, or you're a person that suffers from migraines, or you might know someone with arthritis, or your brother who is autistic, or that girl you went to school with who had epilepsy.

    You get my point? We all have our stuff, and it sucks. But it shouldn't define us. We're not broken, the world we live in is.

    And one day I will be able to see without glasses and my little girl will never need to be poked with another needle, ever again.