What’s Love Got to Do With It?*

Last weekend, I was cleaning out the garage and organizing all the toys, tools, and trash.

By “organizing trash” I mean strategically placing those items the kids might give me grief about in the bottom of trash cans.

Who needs broken plastic golf clubs from the Dollar General, a fabric frisbee that has taken on a pentagon shape, or a crusty bottle of bubbles?

Not this mom!

Anyway, as I was cleaning I was reminded of a funny story from years ago.

Ian and I had spent an entire day outside playing “ball.”

Baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, lacrosse, kickball, volleyball, bouncy ball, paddle ball, and “Swick”.

(“Swick” is a mash-up of a game of kick ball and swinging. There is a complicated scoring system that only Ian really understands, but the rules amazingly stay consistent.)

Anyway, as we were cleaning up our yard, which looked like a ball pitt that had exploded, Ian recapped how fun the day was.

“We played baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, lacrosse, kickball, volleyball, bouncy ball, paddle ball, and “Swick”!

“Yeah, buddy, that’s a lot of ball. It was fun!”

“Yeah, we never do that at Dad’s. Dad doesn’t have any balls.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*What’s this title got to do with this post??

Spring Break Love

There’s so much to say, but alas, Spring Break is almost over and I want the words to be just right. So, for now,  12 pictures = 12,000 words.

There’s so much to say, but alas, Spring Break is almost over and I want the words to be just right. So, for now,  12 pictures = 12,000 words.

Trust and Friendship

Last night MJ had her first full-blown sleep-over.  I haven’t ever said NO to a sleep-over. She just hasn’t asked.

It is sort of like when she was a toddler, and we used to take nightly walks through the park. We never got her out of her stroller to swing or play on the playground, because we knew once we started, a walk through the park would never be so simple.   (That all ended around the age of 2.)

So, when I suggested a sleep-over for her upcoming 14th birthday, her eyes lit up and she invited 4 friends.  Three were going to spend the night; the fourth girl was only going to stay until 10:30 or so. She had never spent the night at someone’s house. She has T1D.

She is my Ian.

Ian has never been a sleep-over candidate – even prior to his diagnosis.  He doesn’t do well with things like that. He even has a hard time sleeping at his grandparents’.

And now, with T1D, he’s asked a few times, but we’ve always found alternatives to sleeping over. He has whined a few times, “I’ll never be able to prove I can stay all night if you don’t give me a chance!”

True.

But I also know Ian. The anxiety of the change in routine would be enough to literally make him sick and he’d  be home anyway.

Anyway, MJ’s friend was the last to arrive, but the girls welcomed her and were clearly glad she decided to come – at least for a little while.

A few hours in, MJ comes down and said, “Annie wants to spend the night!”

She was followed by a trail of girls…one I hardly recognized. They had given Annie a makeover; they straightened her corkscrew curls and put a flower in her hair.

Annie’s mom brought over her sleeping bag, pillow, and overnight bag. And her Lantus.

I could tell her mom was apprehensive and Annie was maybe a little nervous.  But of all the places in the world, this was a good place to start the overnight adventure.

I smiled as I thought of one of my favorite lines from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when the creepy garage attendant takes the Ferrari from Ferris and Cameron: “You guys got nothing to worry about, I’m a professional.”

I picture Annie’s mom saying, “A professional what?

True, Annie’s been a T1D for a year or so longer than Ian. But I get it and I could tell her mom did too.

I kindly said, “Are you ok with this? She’s gonna be ok. I can get up at 2:00 and check her. MJ knows what to do. And I have juice boxes!”

She smiled, hugged Annie goodbye, and walked away.

I don’t think I could have done that so easily.

But, what a milestone.

My heart melted when MJ carefully measured out Annie’s brownie and ice cream, just like she’d do with Ian’s.

And then again, when the girls told me that they are all going to do the Diabetes Walk next fall. They want to form a team for Annie and Ian.

I believe they will make this happen.

The only glitch in this experience…planning a sleep-over on the night we change the clocks and lose an hour of much-needed sleep. The girls watched the time miraculously change from 1:59 to 3:00 on their phones.

I have to trust that it was awesome, because I got more sleep than anyone! I was sound asleep by 11:00!

Recent Accomplishments

Yesterday I got to thinking about how great my kids are. (Yeah, yeah, aren’t they all?)  But seriously, MJ and Ian have had some pretty great accomplishments in the past few weeks.  Here they are in random order:

1. MJ was selected to be on the Power of the Pen writing team at school. It’s a creative writing competition with several rounds in the next few months.  The first competition is Feb. 15th.  Wonder where she gets her writing talent? 😉

2. One of MJ’s  drawings from Drawing I is now hanging in the main lobby of our building.  I took this pic of it yesterday morning when the lights were out, but I like the reflection of the front doors.


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3. MJ placed 6th in the district spelling bee this past Tuesday. It is  plausable plausible she will never misspell a certain word again the rest of her life.  (My forever-word is opera!)

4. Ian’s Upward basketball team finally won a game. They played another 0-2 team yesterday and won 24-10!

5. Stats on Ian’s basketball career (since he informed me he plans to be in the NBA after playing for OSU.):

Week 1: 2 points (the ONLY basket) – The final score was 32-2.
Week 2: 8 points – His best game “EVER” despite a loss of 36-12.
Week 3: 6 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, and 2 rebounds (This is his unofficial report to me because, unfortunately, I was monitoring Saturday School and had to miss it.)

6. It would be unfair to not give a shout-out to my Bluebird. Like a new mother, I celebrated the first (and only) night he slept all night this past Wednesday.  His internal clock is amazing. He wakes me up at 2:10 every night to go out and then at 5:26 a.m. to eat.  I took his water away at dinner time the last few nights but it only worked that one night.  Suggestions are welcome!

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The look I get when I interrupt Blue’s nap…

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And when I let him sleep….

Here’s hoping for more great things the rest of the month!

Happy Dia-versary! It’s Been One Year!

It’s been 365 days since Day 1.

No less than 2, 555 blood sugar tests.

At least 1, 460 shots.

1 trip to the ER for dehydration and ketones.

3 A1C’s that only dropped by a measly tenth of a percent each time.

It’s been a crazy hard and wonderfully bittersweet year. A year of firsts and milestones.

But he did it! We did it!

A year ago, this never seemed possible…that we’d deal with this and be ok.

We’re better than ok.

Being a mom is hard enough. Being a mom to a T1D…unimaginable.

But I’m ok.

And why wouldn’t I be?

I have a daughter who has learned to roll with the punches – both the highs and the lows – to accept the mood swings, to be flexible, to keep me on my toes, to bring laughter when we need it. She is my comic relief, my easy-going girl who truly makes my life easier.

I have parents who are willing to work around our eating schedule, make multiple rest-stops on long car trips, choose the right places to eat, make life feel normal, count the carbs, distract the kids, be quietly concerned, ask questions, make suggestions, but never push.

I have friends who give me their time and lend an ear, from miles and miles away. Friends who’ve come back to me and helped me deal with this latest season of my life. Friends who text at just the right time to bring a smile to my face.

I have a sister who provides the medical advice, the side-splitting laughter, the room to complain, the reminders to breathe.

I have a little boy who is amazingly strong in every way. His puppy dog eyes and his uncle’s charm, his sense of humor, his need to compete, his drive to win, his mad math skills.

I am a lucky mom to be given this strange gift wrapped in a beautiful package.

And someday, probably years from now, the best gift will be a cure. Until then, we will celebrate every year!

Happy 1st Dia-versary, Ian!! I love you!

Perspective

Yesterday marked Ian’s 9-month mark since being diagnosed with T1D.

9 months is the long road of pregnancy.

9 months is also the length of a school year.

9 months can seem like forever and 9 months can go by in a flash.

You’ve been pregnant forever!”

“It seems like you just told us you were pregnant!?”

“May is never going to get here!” 

“179 days to go!”

“I feel like this year is going by too fast!”

It’s all about perspective I guess.

Luckily, perspectives can change.

When diabetes turned our world upside down in January, we had a lot to learn and as things happened, we dealt with them. It was a crazy time of always anticipating and worrying, being anxious, realizing we weren’t prepared, and at the same time , if it’s possible, over-planning.  Diabetes can control your every move, decision, and thought.

But when you are dealing a long-term illness, you can’t function like that forever.  You just can’t. When you realize that something is going to affect the rest of your life, you learn to make it fit into your world.

So it becomes part of the routine and part of what you do. Sometimes you don’t even realize you were thinking about it. It’s kind of like when you arrive at a destination and you are like, “Hmmmm…We’re here already? I don’t even remember driving here?!?”  (Scary, but true!)

Getting Blue right before school started (and having it be one of the most demanding starts to a school year ever) provided enough other “stress” that diabetes suddenly went on the back burner.  I knew I had a good handle on diabetes and now I needed to get a handle on house-training and tackling a new school year.

Yes, diabetes is on a low simmer. I keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. But sometimes the pot boils over.

Back in March I mixed up Ian’s meds and this past week, there was another mix-up at his dad’s.  We’ve both experienced that total panic and guilt and have realized that it is really easy to make mistakes.  Mistakes that we will never make again.

When Ian had to consume 250g of carbs to feed 10 units of insulin, and as Ian described to me the next day, “Dad was getting out that huge Glucagon needle and I was like, Uh….what are you doing?????”….you snap back to the reality of diabetes pretty quick.

That is not to say that we are going to let that little mishap wreck the progress that we’ve made.

Because our progress is what is most important.

The next day Ian’s attitude and behavior was extraordinary. I had to run up to his school and give him his shot at lunch because of a schedule change.  As he hurried out of the clinic, he turned back hollered a “Thank you Mom! Love you!” and rushed off to the cafeteria. My heart melted.

That evening he was very sweet, affectionate, and a little clingy. Understandably so.

At dinner he folded the napkins (and taped them all up with scotch tape???) and assembled a fall centerpiece on our kitchen table. He destroyed several of my decorations around the house in the process, but it was a sweet gesture and it will remain there the rest of the season. He asked me to light the candle and he issued a “no elbows on the table” rule, which his 8th grade sister found quite annoying.

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Ian’s centerpiece.

As bad as things could have gone, everything ended up ok in the end.  I believe that it helped Ian have a better appreciation for all that we do for him to keep him safe and healthy. I think that this little scare also made him (really, all of us) see things from a different perspective.  It reminded us all (no matter how busy we are) to slow down, take some extra time and care, and be grateful for every day.

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That night I caught Ian and Blue sharing a different view of the yard on a rainy day.

Independence

Last night I dropped Ian off at his friend’s house for a party.   Things like this are not easy for a D-mom.

It’s scary to send him somewhere I will not be.

Luckily, this boy’s dad is diabetic (Type 2) and a teacher and their older son has friends with Type 1.

They also live about a block away.

And Ian’s friends all look out for him.

I had to stick around a little while before they got to dig in to the pizza so I could give Ian his shot. The host of the party, a charming little dude, says, “Guys we gotta let Ian do his thing and then we can go eat in the basement.”

After a brief review of emergency procedures, I left feeling pretty good. (He has been over there several times so this was just a review.) Ian seemed comfortable. His parents were comfortable and I knew I wouldn’t be far away.

The parents took the boys to play basketball at a church after dinner and his mom texted me to let me know all was well.

The original plan was to go back at 9:15 and bring him home for the night.  Some of the boys were staying over, but we are still working on that. 😉

When MJ and I stopped over at 9:15 (after some dinner and shoe shopping) and the boys were playing tag and having a blast.

And Ian reeeeeealllly wanted to stay and watch a movie with them, after they had a fire.

Since it was only a block away, and since he was having  a stellar blood sugar day, and since he was so nice when he asked…I told him he could stay til 11 when the mom was “pretty sure the boys would be zonked out.” (Haha!!)

So I gave Ian his Lantus, chatted for a few minutes and then asked him what he thought he would eat for his bedtime snack.

He cut me off…”Mom, I got this. I will eat like 15 carbs here and then have some milk when I get home at 11:00. I know what to do.  I’m good. I promise.”

And when I picked him up at 11:00, he was ready to go. He was sweaty and stinky and tired and happy.

All a boy could want.