Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let's get us a tree!

Ahhh, the annual jaunt to the Christmas tree farm. Or as I like to call it: "Let's try and make Joanne's head explode day".

It's not that I don't love our tradition (which started 9 years ago), of trekking out to a Christmas tree farm in the middle of nowhere, selecting our "perfect" tree (this one... no wait, this one. How about THIS ONE? Where's that first one again? They all freaking look the same!), and schlepping it back to our house. It's that life these days is a little more complicated, and everything rides on keeping with the schedule.

So we started out this morning by waking up late. Okay, no problem, let's just get ready as quickly as humanly possible. We piled into the car only 45 minutes behind schedule. And we were very low on gas.

But because we like to live dangerously, we pointed the car east and drove. At a very old-lady-like speed of 60 MPH. Fred has learned the hard way not to speed.

We got to the farm and ran to where the tractor picks you up for a hayride out to the field. I gave Fred, Elise and Seven very explicit instructions... we have 20 minutes to find our tree. At the end of those 20 minutes if we're not chopping something down I'm going to close my eyes, spin around and point. Whichever tree I'm pointing at, we're taking. I don't care if it's 20 feet tall.

tractor ride!

With that in mind, we were off. To my surprise, we found a tree we all agreed on quite quickly. Unfortunately, there was nobody around to take our traditional "in front of our tree before we sacrifice it in the name of Christmas" photo, so we propped the camera up on Elise's diaper bag, set the timer and ended up with not a bad picture, considering.

Our tree!

After we cut down the tree, hauled it back, paid for it and strapped it to the car, that's when the fun began. We were trying to get out of a rather small parking area when one of the cars in front of us got stuck, essentially blocking our way out.

Now I was starting to freak out. Elise is on a type of insulin that starts to peak around four hours after we give it to her (hence the keeping to the schedule thing). If she's not eating her lunch when it starts to peak, her blood sugar will drop and she could pass out or have a seizure. We had planned to leave the farm and drive about 15 minutes to Chick-fil-a for lunch. We were fast approaching her time to eat and were stuck in the parking area. But like any good D-Momma, I had some food with me and started to feed her in the car.

Luckily there was another way out, but Fred had to go down a long line of cars and tell them to back out the other way. Which commenced the poorest display of driving I have ever seen in my life. People were backing out and turning the wheel the wrong way and almost crashing into trees. Women were vacating the driver seat so their husband (or some other male) could back them out. It made me weep for my gender. We were finally free about 10 minutes later.

Now were we not only running against the clock for lunch, but to get Elise back in time for her nap. We don't miss nap time at our house for anything. Because I said so.

What followed is a comedy of errors that you can only shake your head at and laugh. We missed the exit to Chick-fil-a and it took an extra 10 minutes to turn around (due to stupid drivers in front of us, and slow, small-town lights). We were pretty much running on fumes, so we decided to fill up right after lunch. First a guy stole our pump. Then the pump we picked was on the wrong side for our car and the hose didn't stretch. Then they didn't take Amex (the card we use because we get 3% cash back). On the way home I swear the tree was going to take flight from the roof of our car at any moment.

But, we made it. They tree stayed attached to the car, Elise BG was fine (albeit a little high), and she napped for an hour and a half when we finally got home. Most importantly, my head didn't explode.

If it had, Fred wouldn't have been able to take this rather cute picture of my daughter and I.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So THAT'S why they call it Thanksgiving...

(also posted on my other blog)

Every year our church puts on a pancake breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. And every year since we started attending our church, we have gone to said breakfast. Because there is no way we pass up food that someone else has cooked.

They also have a tradition of passing around a mic, so that whomever feels led, can talk a little about what they are thankful for. As much as I wanted to speak my piece, I don't really fancy crying in front of people that I don't know very well.

So I thought my blog would be an apt place to post what I am thankful for. That way nobody has to witness the mess my face becomes when the water works start.

Of course I am thankful for my husband. I cannot stress enough how much he does for our family. Elise and I are blessed.

I am thankful for Elise. She is, in a word, amazing. And sweet, loving, smart, hilarious, kooky, and just a blast to be around.

I am thankful for his job that gives us medical insurance. Insurance that helps us afford to keep our daughter alive.

I am thankful for medical advancements and all the scientists out there working towards a cure. Thankful that I live in a time where diabetes is not a death sentence.

I am thankful for the roof over my head, food to eat, and a car that gets me where I need to go. And everything else that God has entrusted to me.

It really is a wonderful life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I love...

... Moms who bring their kids to play times, and then sit on the side and zone out; leaving the rest of us to police their unruly children. Drink some coffee and wake up ladies, this is NOT free babysitting. When my child has been waiting patiently for another kid to abandon a toy, and when they do, your child comes over and rips it out of my kid's hands; I WILL return the favour in kind to your precious, little California Rae, who does not need to come to playtime dressed in full princess regalia. Wake up and smell the entitled teenager your daughter is bound to become in about 8 years.

... Kids named things like California Rae. Or Nevada, or Dakota, or Boston, Manhattan or Chicago. Hey parents? The map of the U.S. called and wants it's names back. The only name I'd be semi-okay with would be Ida Ho. Because my sarcastic, sick-and-twisted side finds it funny. My mother-of-a-child side finds it awful and is about to call CPS on you.

... People who are so ignorant that they think diabetes is nothing more than some sort of allergy to sugar, and not a potentially life-threatening disease that needs almost around the clock care and attention. Apparently, some people are allergic to smart.

... Those of you who are Apple users and apparently think it is your earthly duty to make other people blindly worship the product as much as you do. I am happy that you have found something that works for your computing/music/cell phone/being-connected-at-every-single-stupid-moment-of-the-day needs, but not everybody has to worship at the temple of Steve Jobs. When I talk about getting a new computer, that is not an open invitation for you to start in on me. "You should totally get an Apple. Apple rocks! Appley-appley-Iphone-IPod. Apple, Apple, Apple... blah blah blah." It's your fault that I no longer want to even eat an apple.

This is not aimed at those who are Apple users, just those who are users and think anybody who doesn't want an Apple (or can afford one) is an idiot.

Hmmmmm, some of the knots in my back have gotten better, but not all. Perhaps I should have used more profanity in this post. Maybe next time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 things

I took this from Wym's blog. You should meander over there when you get a chance. She's quite funny and can see Mexico from her backyard.

Which, of course, is almost as good as Russia...

5 things I can't leave the house without:
  • my daughter and all her various supplies to keep her alive and well

  • my cell phone (albeit very reluctantly)

  • a bottle of water

  • my solemn vow to try and not kill any of the many terrible Texas drivers I encounter.

  • my wallet (because I couldn't think of anything else)

5 cartoons I watched as a kid:

  • Muppet Babies

  • Smurfs

  • G.I. Joe

  • Transformers

  • Scooby Doo

5 things I want to do before I die:

  • See a cure for diabetes (bet you didn't see that one coming)

  • Visit Victoria Falls and raft the Zambezi River below the falls

  • Visit Australia and New Zealand (I admit, not a lofty goal, but for someone who cannot stand to be cooped up on an airplane for more than about 4 hours, a goal nonetheless)

  • Speak Portuguese fluently and with a fabulous accent

  • Go through one day without being worried or stressed about something (yes, I realize that I'd probably be have to be dead already if this were to actually happen)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daily Picture Reject #12

Should it worry me that my daughter finds random hair balls to be this fascinating?

I haven't posted one of these in awhile, so here's the official explanation:

For those of you unsure what the Daily Picture Reject is: Fred and I take a daily picture of Elise. Rather, I do. This is not because we are prepping our daughter for a life as a super model. It is simply a way to hold onto memories as time slips by at ultra-sonic speed. It's also pretty cool to see how much she has changed in 804 days. After I take the picture, I email it to Fred, who then posts it on his website. It usually takes about 10 to 15 shots to get just the right picture. I am not what you would call a stellar photographer, so about 25% of those are completely unusable. Then there are always one or two that crack me up, but aren't suitable for the daily picture. Hence, the Daily Picture Reject!

Yes we are still taking her picture every day. No, we don't know when we're going to stop.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm published!

Okay, not really... but my letter to the editor was! If you want to read all of the who, what, when, where, and why (and perhaps a how or two), just click this link to my other blog.

Today, a letter to the editor. Tomorrow, a 859 page novel about an invading army of space giraffes from the planet Gyrot. And one wily human (who may or may not be named Joanne), and her plans to save the planet from these even-toed ungulates.

I pick Tina Fey to play the lead character in the movie version. Because our glasses are very similar.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

Growing up in Canada, November 11th (Remembrance Day) was a time that we would reflect and give thanks to those who gave their lives for our country.

There was always an assembly at school (usually the day before, since Remembrance Day was always a day off), marked by the reading of In Flanders Fields (see below), and the playing of Last Post. This was followed by two minutes of silence at 11:00 am (the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month), the time the Armistice of World War I was signed in 1918. To this day, the sound of a lone trumpet makes me want to bow my head and stand silent.

We wear poppies on our lapel to honour our veterans; a symbol of the famous poem In Flanders Fields which was written by a Canadian during WWI. To read more about the history of the poem, you can go here.

I thought it appropriate to post the poem today, in Remembrance of all who died so we could live free.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Monday, November 9, 2009

So nice, I'll post it twice

Hi, my name is Joanne and sometimes I am so lazy I cross-post stuff from one blog to another!

Seriously, this one is so worth it. If you like apple butter, you need to check out my other blog for an amazing recipe. You can just ignore all the carb count stuff in probably won't make any sense to you anyway.

Click here for yummy, apple-goodness!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How cute are we?

Last night we took Elise to her either her 5th or 6th hockey game. Unfortunately the best team (a.k.a the Canucks) lost, but we still had a blast. Elise had been so excited all week about going (she would ask every day, "we go to hockey game today?"), even more so when she found out dinner was going to be at Chick-fil-a, and we were going to take the train to get to the arena... pretty much the BEST DAY EVER in her book.

She did so well considering she didn't nap very well earlier in the day, and we kept her up until 11:00 pm. She kept cheering, "Go Canucks, boo Stars!" during the game.

I am so proud of my girl!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My road not taken

I've been thinking a lot about paths lately. How different paths can take you to different places. Some you choose and some you don't. You come to a fork and you go either left or right. You can choose to take the bridge over the river, or just walk alongside it. In some cases, you can even turn around and go back the way you came.

Sometimes the way you choose to go seems inconsequential at the time. I think about when Fred and I had to decide which pediatrician we were going to take Elise to when she was born. A doctor is a doctor is a doctor, right? Unless they graduated from an on-line medical school in Guadalajara or something; as long as they mesh with your personality, are willing to work with you on personal choices (i.e. vaccinations), and are competent, then you're set.

We made our choice based on a recommendation from somebody in our child birth class. We met the doctor a few weeks before I was set to deliver, and that was that. I never thought much about the choice again.

Until Elise was 12 months old and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was only through her pedi's thoroughness did we catch it early on. What brings to mind this particular path we chose is a story I just heard. About a 15 month old girl who died from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. Her parents twice had taken her to the ER, and twice were sent home. One with a diagnoses of teething, and the other with an ear infection (if you know anything about diabetes then you realize how incompetent these doctors must have been).

This story is such a punch to my gut. But for a pathway we chose over two years ago, that could have been us. How could something so simple as choosing a doctor lead to something so huge?

Sometimes we are forced to walk pathways we don't want to be on, not realizing with each step we are slowly becoming who we were meant to be. It is so with diabetes. It is a rough pathway, rocky, and full of ups and downs. Sometimes it takes us through the darkest, most mournful of forests. Other times we can feel the warm sun gently kissing our faces while a cool breeze plays with our hair. It is lonely, heart-breaking, wonderful, isolating, amazing, sobering and exhausting all at the same time. I have never learned so much about myself as I have since I stepped foot on this pathway.

It is not one I would have ever chosen for myself, but I am glad to be walking it hand in hand with my beautiful daughter, rather than trudging along another path; arms empty and aching for my little girl.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'm not kidding... again

I originally wrote and posted this a year ago. The passage of 364 or so days does not make it any less true, so I thought I'd repost it. Plus, I'm thinking that after what happened with my passport... maybe someone will hear my pleas.

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 a few days to put my thoughts down into 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 others still display the "old" time. My problem is, I can't figure out which is which.

So, onto my issue with you. I hate the very concept of DST. It is, quite simply, a load of crap. I don't care that on some farm, in a far away land it makes the cows happy, or whatever bull you're touting, but it screws with my life and it must stop. And I don't appreciate the propaganda the news is spewing by telling me, "you gain and EXTRA hour!" That is pure crap to 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 OUR 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 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.

Hallowe'en round-up!

I've been trying to find the time to post some pictures of all our Hallowe'en activities... and this morning I finally did. Except you get a super long post that will take you about three days to get through.

First stop... Pumpkin Patch!

Following the instructions on her shirt

Big fan of the tractor

Inside the house of hay

Not too sure about the slide

How do you make this thing go?

Plowing the corn fields


LOVE this picture!
Pumpkin Carving

What did you do to the pumpkin, Mom?

Poppa, stop hurting the pumpkin!

Finished product

Nice to meet you, Mr. Jack O'Lantern! Who knew pumpkins were Irish?

Trick or Treating


She didn't really like the scarecrow too much

Ready to roll!

Trick or Treating with some new friends

Let's go get more candy Poppa!

Aaaaaaaaaand, we're done! Congrats if you made it to the end and you are NOT directly related to me.