• December 2008
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holiday wishes

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

I’ll probably not be posting much, if any, between now and the new year.  I’m taking a break to spend time with family and to bake cookies, watch movies and play board games with my children.

I hope your days are filled with joy and that you are surrounded with the love of friends and family.

See you in 2009!

Fun times at Sugarmont High

A better title for this post might be No Sleep (so no nightmares)  on Elm Street or Lifestyles of the High and Sugary.

If I lived in a different place, I could make the title similar to a movie about someone who doesn’t sleep well in the northwestern part of America.  The title could be Drowsy in Denver or Insomnia in IllinoisYawning in Yakima. If I lived by my youngest sister, I could name this post Weary near Waxahachie High in Hawaii would be a fun title, but who knows what kind of readers would come by looking for news of a high that does not involve sugar in the blood.

OK.  Enough of that.  Obviously, I’m Goofy in Grapevine from a lack of sleep, as I am cracking myself up with titles that are probably not funny at all if you’re the slightest bit Rested in Richmond.

Yesterday, I woke up to find a huge pitcher of water with straws in it on the kitchen table.  This is a sure sign that J. has been up during the night drinking water because her blood sugar was high.  She didn’t wake me, probably thinking she could drink water, bolus and be fine by morning.  Well, she thought wrong.

When she checked her blood sugar around seven o’clock, it was 578 and she had large ketones. I thought it had to do with the nine peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s Kisses that she ate when she was up in the wee hours of the morning, but now I’m not sure that was the whole reason.  Normally, when she eats and doesn’t bolus, we can bring her blood sugar down to normal range fairly quickly.

Since yesterday morning, some of her blood sugar readings have been:  HI, 494, 436, 511, 389, 305, 283.  She’s checked her blood sugar every 2 hours, we’ve corrected with injections, we’ve increased her basal rate and she’s checked for ketones about 8 times. She’s forced down liters of water and Diet Sprite, but didn’t have an appetite until around ten o’clock  last night.

She vomited and had a fever yesterday afternoon/evening.  This morning she was finally below 300. Through the night when I came in every two hours with the lancing device (is that what the pricker is officially called?) and blood sugar meter, she’d dutifully roll over and prick her finger.  We should probably be glad that we weren’t in Forks sleeping over with the Cullens  with all the pricking she was doing yesterday and through the night. Their self control would likely have been wearing thin by the time this morning rolled around.  What?  They’re fictional characters? Quit raining on my parade and play nice.

During the night, I scooped her blood onto the test strip and gave injections in whichever arm she left out of the blanket for me.  That way she could roll over and get back to sleep more quickly.

We’ve found that she comes down faster (usually) with injections rather than a bolus.  I’m not sure why that is so.  It was not the case these past 24 hours, but seems to finally be working now.  We shall see how the rest of the day pans out.

This is the first fever she’s had since she was diagnosed in December 2006.  I had to get out our manual from the diabetes team at Children’s Hospital to make sure I knew what to do.   Good news.  I did.  🙂

Second diabetes anniversary

Two years ago, J. was diagnosed with type I diabetes at age ten.  She had been feeling icky for a couple of days before that Monday.  I thought she had a stomach virus.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing her gasping for air, fighting to live as her body tried to rid itself of the excess sugar floating around in her bloodstream.   After a day or so  in ICU and then in the hospital,  and loads of diabetes education, she was able to leave the hospital and begin the rest of her life managing and succeeding in spite of a  disease instead of letting a chronic illness run her life.

It’s amazing that it’s only been two years.  It seems so much longer.  Diabetes has become so much a part of our daily lives around here, that I cannot remember what it was like to not know exactly how many carbohydrates are in each serving of each food I prepare.  I do not remember how it felt to have J. go to a friend’s house and not worry about her blood sugar and the possibility of ketones.  I cannot count how many nights I’ve woken up around 2 a.m. to check J’s blood sugar while she was sleeping or to just look at her to make sure, again, that she’s there breathing evenly and peacefully.

Learning to let go and let her learn to navigate her life with this disease has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced.  I’m still here, still counting carbs in everything I cook and writing it down for J. to see when she gets something to eat.   I still sometimes remind her to write blood sugar readings in the log book and help when I’m needed or asked, but I’m not hovering.  I don’t think I hovered much before, but she was pushing back a lot so I stepped WAY back to give her some control in an attempt to avoid rebellion – against both me and diabetes.  I’m constantly working to push all the horrifying possibilities of health problems (resulting from poor control or heredity) out of my mind and try to keep J.’s life as normal as possible.  And yes, I know it’s not all about me.  J. is the one who has to live with a chronic disease.  But my life  includes loving and parenting my children, one of whom is alive because she always has insulin pumping into her body.

All year, J. has been saying that she wanted me to check my blood sugar all day today like she does – upon waking, before meals, at bedtime.   Last night, she didn’t feel like getting an extra blood sugar meter from the closet for me to use.  This morning, she said she didn’t want me to check my blood sugar.  She said she just wanted it to be a normal day.  So we didn’t make a big deal of it.  We just had a regular day.

Well, I’ve appeared to have had just a regular ol’ day.  I’ve privately celebrated all day that my youngest child is healthy, that medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds since insulin was first injected into a patient with diabetes in 1922 , that J. will have the opportunity to live a long life and to continue to thrive.

50 things

I saw this over at Annie’s blog, so I’m playing along.

Learn 50 things about your friends and let them learn 50 things about you!

1.Do you like cheese? Most kinds, yes.

2. Have you ever smoked? Look!  There’s something shiny!

3. Do you own a gun? No.

4. Do you like listening to Christmas music? Yes, but I get tired of it after a while.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends on why I’m seeing the doctor.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? They are nasty, nasty, nasty.

7. Favorite Christmas song for all time? O Holy Night

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? hot cocoa w/ coffee

9. Can you do push ups? a few, yes.

10. Who is your favorite Grey’s Anatomy Character? Christina Yang.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? my jade bracelet

12. Favorite hobby? reading

13. Do you eat “exotic” foods? not often

14. Do you have A.D.D.? Sometimes I think I do.  🙂

15. What one trait do you hate about yourself? I tend to be impatient

16. Middle Name? Jean

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?

“I need to be making truffles right now.”

“Should I bake cookies tonight?”

“My nose is a little bit cold.”

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Dr Pepper, toll fee, Diet Mt Dew

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Dr Pepper, water, hot cocoa

20. Current worry right now? cannot think of any

21. Current hate? Three minute long voicemail messages.  Just say it already.  There’s no need to repeat it 157 times.

22. Favorite place to be? At home.

23. How will you bring in the New Year? With my kiddos.  Maybe with Chrissie and her kiddos, too.

24. Where would you like to go? Europe

25. Name three people who will complete this? I really don’t know.

26. Do you own flip flops? Certainly!

27. What shirt are you wearing? Gray hoodie with a white long-sleeved t-shirt underneath

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? not at all

29. Can you whistle? Yes.  I’ve taught Dobby how to whistle several things.

30. Favorite color? Green

31. Would you be a pirate? Only if Captain Jack/Johnny Depp was the captain.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t sing in the shower

33. Favorite girl’s name? Brittany and Jasmine

34. Favorite boy’s name? Jordan

35. What’s in your pocket right now? cell phone

36. Last thing that made you laugh? co-worker’s impression of “the cat lady”

37. Bed sheets as a child? Yes, I had bed sheets, but I cannot remember the pattern on them.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Very bad sunburn

39. Do you love where you live? Definitely love my house.  Do not love Oklahoma in August and September.  Each year the heat and humidity have me wondering why I live here.

40. How many TV’s do you have in your house? two

41. Who is your loudest friend? I’m not sure.

42. How many dogs do you have? two

43. Does someone have a crush on you? I don’t know.

44. Do you get embarrassed easily? Sometimes

45. What is your favorite book? Shantaram

46. What is your favorite candy? Ferrero Rocher

47. Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince theme song? Sadly, yes. My kids watch re-runs of that show and I hear it often.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? I have no idea.

49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Sleeping

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I wish I’d taken a shower last night so I don’t have to this morning!

transmission repair

Turns out, it wasn’t that little plastic piece that needed to be replaced to make my washing machine spin.  The motor transmission needs to be rebuilt.  And possibly new brake shoes are needed as well.

Who knew that washers had parts that sound like car parts?

Probably a lot of you knew, but I did not.  Until yesterday afternoon.

The best part is that the cost is well below what it would cost to buy a new washing machine.  I’ll have it home tonight if everything goes as planned.  The repairman and his repairman son took it home yesterday afternoon.  They’re not even charging extra for fixing it on a weekend.   Great guys, yes?  I agree.  They’re very kind.  My parents have known their family for a long time from church and I’m glad to have their number programmed into my phone.  🙂

UPDATE:  My washer is back and is good to go for another 9 years.


This afternoon I went to the laundry mat that’s nearest to my house and got most of my laundry done in an hour.  That alone makes up for the hassle it is to lug the clothes out to the car, remember to get the detergent after driving a block, lug the baskets of dirty laundry into the laundry mat, and change bills into a bazillion quarters.   An added bonus is that I was able to sit and read for almost an hour with no interruptions.

this and that

  • I found the perfect gift on Etsy just now. It will be shipped on Monday. 🙂
  • Tonight, Mom and I are volunteering at The Nutcracker. I haven’t seen it in several years and am looking forward to it. Also, I’m not-so-secretly hoping that I don’t get assigned to the balcony again tonight.
  • Finally, it’s starting to feel like the holidays around here. I am coming out of my holiday funk and am starting to have fun preparing gifts, baking a bit with the kids and making plans for the next couple of weeks.
  • The washing machine is being repaired today. It quit spinning a couple of days ago. It’s done this before. Twice. Every 18 months or so. Each time, a little plastic part is needed to make it spin again. The repair is not costly and I’m hoping that it’s what needs to be repaired today. The repairman told me that the plastic part breaks because I do heavy loads of laundry. I guess I should try to do lighter loads. It doesn’t seem time-effective or water-conserving, though.

Band Concert

This is my oldest daughter (in blue) at her band concert. It’s hard to believe that she’ll be 16 this summer and ready to start driving on her own.

Poinsettas were lining the front edge of the stage. I took this photo from about 12 rows back when I was waiting for the concert to start. I’m loving my camera!

birthday wishes

to you,

to you.

dear Julie!

I love you, sis!

I hope your day is wonderful and that this is your best year yet.

Do I spy Mrs. Lovett?

Aah, no.  It’s not Mrs. Lovett… it’s just me.  Natalie.  I’ve been cutting up venison with Dad.  Then slicing my thumb.

Fun times.

decorations have been hung on the railing with care

We hung garland on the front porch railing and our wreath on the front door last night. This afternoon, the kids and I decorated the house, inside and out. Mainly outside. We’ve gotten our tree put up and some of the decorations inside. We’ll finish them either tonight or tomorrow afternoon. I’m trying to keep decorations simple and to a minimum this year. The past couple of years I have felt claustrophobic with all the decorations out everywhere. I have enough decorations to fill a much bigger house and the kids always want to decorate every blank spot on the walls, tables, bookshelves, and all flat surfaces.

Outside, my son helped me hang icicle lights around the roof. Actually, he hung them and I held the ladder steady for him and directed him. I’m glad he’s gotten so tall (almost 5’11” now). He can reach things much easier than I can.


I have a lot of Santas after many years of collecting them.  I find them all year round, sometimes in unexpected places like garage sales or dusty, forgotten corners of thrift shops.

One of my favorites is this hand-painted Santa pin that Mom brought home from Saint Petersburg, Russia a couple of summers ago.  Each morning when I pin this cute little guy to my blouse or jacket, I smile.

Sometimes technology stinks

or maybe the true culprits are my computer and my lack of patience.

A few minutes ago, I had this whole post filled with photos, a slideshow and great descriptions.  Now it’s gone.  Poof!

Now I’m settling and posting a condensed version.  Hey!  Maybe I have a career ahead of me with Reader’s Digest!  Look how condensed this post is.  I cooked all the water out of it!

(Yeah.  I know.  It’s time for me to go to bed.  I’m delirious from fatigue, evidently.)

Click here for the slideshow I made on photobucket with photos I took of Sophie dancing. The fastest setting is still much slower than I envision the slideshow. My vision is much more like a flipbook than an actual slideshow, I suppose. My camera can take up to 13 photos per second in the sports setting. Neat, huh?

I didn’t realize that the lighting in my kitchen is so yellow until just now.   Hmmm… must rethink taking photos in kitchen with no flash.

my camera

My new camera, the Nikon COOLPIX P80) is great! My kids are starting to ignore me when they see me messing with it. I was hoping they’d get used to me having it and quit reacting so I can get candid shots. I like those so much better than posed photos most of the time. I’ve got a ton of photos to share, so will either post a few tonight or create a slide show so I can share all of them at once.

I’ve missed having a good camera and find myself going everywhere with the camera bag slung over my shoulder. Now I’ll have to work on remembering to print out my favorite photos and not have them only on the computer or on cd’s.  I’m not an inspired scrapbooker at this point, but love having photos hanging throughout the house.