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The Diabetes Dude

Monday, August 30, 2010

Have YOU heard about the Diabetes Dude?!?

If not, here's the scoop!

A boy named Noah is the Diabetes Dude! He was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was in first grade. He is now 9 years old. His motto is: "I may have diabetes but diabetes does not have me!"

Soon after his diagnosis, Noah began putting a penny in a jar each time he
checked his blood sugar or had an injection, then donated the entire 22.2 pounds
of change to Children's Hospital of Boston, where his diabetes was first
diagnosed. He decided after seeing the impact that the big container of change
had on people who didn't know about diabetes, that he wanted to do more to
educate people on his disease. The Flamingo Flock began as one of Noah's
fundraising ideas for the American Diabetes Association. In 2010, Noah came up
with the idea of a using a flock of flamingos for a fundraising campaign. Each
flamingo would be blue - because blue is the color of Diabetes Awareness, and
each flamingo would have a name starting with "D" for diabetes, like Doug,
Darla, Dennis and Derby. Each bird would wear a tag with a letter explaining
Noah's fundraising goals. The flamingos, from one to a dozen or more, would be
secretly placed on the lawn of a home or office nominated by a friend or family
member for "flocking."

Soon the flocking idea took flight, when people saw the blue flamingos, they became curious about the young boy with diabetes. The flamingos gave Noah the opportunity to talk to more and more folks about diabetes and how they could make lifestyle changes, not only to better manage their type 1 diabetes, but also to prevent developing Type 2.

From Diabetes Health - to read more of their article about Noah, click here.

On Thursday, August 26th, Noah and his friends flocked the Today Show! It was fun to see all those blue flamingos in the crowd. Then.... Later in the day, he flocked Times Square!

After reading about the Diabetes Dude on Laura's blog, Houston We Have a Problem, I knew I wanted to get involved. And then I had my chance! Laura, being the awesome blogging Momma that she is, posted that the Diabetes Dude wanted people to send in pictures of their children with Type 1 to help flock the Kodak jumbo tron in Times Square. His goal was to show everyone in times square what we, at people with Type 1 and parents of children with Type 1, deal with on a daily basis.

So I sent in a picture and....

Guess what I saw on the jumbo tron?!?


Here's the original....

Actually, I was not there in Times Square to see it. But.... being the awesome dude that he is - they took pictures and posted them on facebook!

We LOVE you Noah! Thank you for all the work you are doing to raise funds and awareness of diabetes! You are one cool dude!

To find out more about Noah and his mission .... and how you can help, click HERE!

ps.... We would love a flamingo to visit us! We promise to take good care of it!


First Words

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I know we can all remember the first words our children said. It's such a special thing that we don't ever forget it.

But do you remember the first words your child wrote or read?

About a year ago, Sweetpea wrote her first word. It was her name. Quickly followed by "MOM". I kept that little scrap and it's hanging from my vanity mirror.

Recently, Sweeptea has started to read. She's reading short little books with very repetitive text. It's more memorization but she's doing many of things that readers do. And just like with my students, I emphasize that she IS reading!!

She can recognize some basic words. The first was her name. Then she learned Mom and Dad and cat and dog.

But you know what the next word was?


Yes, seriously. She read HOPE.

How? Well... It's a long story.

Back in the spring, I went to a jewelry party hosted by Misty at Life is Like A Box of Chocolates. I know - you're jealous! Misty and I live about five minutes from each other! This party was super special because a percentage of the sales were going to JDRF.

Many of us D Moms ordered a silver ring with the word HOPE engraved on it. (Many of us also ordered it to fit our middle fingers as an inside joke way of giving D 'the bird'. Hey- if you don't laugh, you'll cry!). Being the super sweet person that she is, Misty and her girls gave Sweetpea a HOPE ring of her own for her one year diaversary!

Then, a couple of months later, one of my wonderful friends gave me a very special necklace for my birthday. It is a silver ring with the words FAITH HOPE CURE engraved around it.

I was wearing this special necklace when Sweetpea spied it. It was then that she said, "Hope. It says Hope on it!"

My first thought was, "Wow. What a smart little sugar cookie she is!"

And then I thought about the significance of her being able to read that word.

I teach children to read. I know how unique it is to have that be one of the first words you learn.

It made me realize how diabetes doesn't bring only horrible things into your life.

If you are reading this, you know the bad things. I don't really need to elaborate.

But D also brings good things.

Like ..
Learning how strong you really are.
New relationships - in real life AND in your computer!
The bonds you make and the ones the grow deeper.
How you don't take the good days for granted anymore.
How you fight thru the bad days because you know they don't last forever.
The true meaning of perseverance, tenacity, and grit.
And how HOPE becomes such an integral part of your family, your life that it is one of the first words your child reads.

Because of diabetes, we have HOPE in an entirely different way than before. And that's not all bad.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." NIV Jeremiah 29:11


A Perfect and Practical Pump Pouch Prize

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This Sugar Bolus give away has ended! To find out who won, check out this post. Keep coming back to The Princess and The Pump - I've got more fun things to give away to special readers just like you!!

When Sweetpea first started pumping, I started searching for a pouch to carry her precious pink pump. At first, we borrowed a few from a friend until I could find someone to make one. Then, a few wonderful, kindhearted folks offered to make some for us. These pouches were great! But we found that when you wear something 24 hours a day, only taking it off for baths (as Sweetpea does), it gets worn out quick!! I ordered a few pouches from different places. But they all had problems. Some were too bulky and were very obvious under clothing. Some were too big. Sweetpea is a tiny little girl and the options out there for someone her size were few and far between. Some were uncomfortable and rubbed blisters on her belly. And some were just plain ugly.

And then- I found Too Sweet Boutique!

The minute I saw these pouches - with all the cute fabrics and personalization- it was like hearing the angels sing!

I immediately ordered Sweetpea the Diva pouch. (Naturally. What else would you order for a princess?!?)

This pouch was everything it claimed to be. It was well made. It was soft and comfortable to wear. It fit and it stayed close to her body so that it was not at all noticeable under clothing. AND it was darling!

I ordered more! Then I ordered the clear add on for Sweetpea's cgm.

And now, I get the honor of sharing one of these amazing pouches with one of my readers!

Amy, at Too Sweet Boutique, is offering one lucky The Princess and The Pump reader a very special gift! The winner of this contest will win a single pouch of your choosing up to a $45 value!!!

Too Sweet Boutique offers many wonderful pouch options. There are Simply Practical pouches, Perfectly Clear pouches, Omnipod PDM pouches, Simply Practical add ons, Perfectly Clear add ons. You can even "mix it up" by choosing 4 different fabrics and trim for an amazingly unique pouch! There are both girl and boy fabrics available. And, you can add a monogram or a name for personalization! To check out the site click HERE!

Oh- did you want to know what you have to do to win one of these awesome little pouches?!?

It's easy......

- To enter, leave me a comment.
- No duplicate comments.
- An additional entry can be received for a FOLLOWER who links to this contest on Twitter or Facebook and leaves a link in the comments.
- An additional entry can be received for a FOLLOWER who blogs about this
contest and leaves a link in the comments.
- The winner will be selected via random draw at
- The winner will be posted on this blog on Friday, September 3rd.
- You will have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner
will be selected.

Good Luck!


Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This past weekend, we decided to go to church on Sunday morning instead of Saturday night (like we usually do).

Sweetpea was not looking forward to it at first. She really likes church and they have a great time in her classroom.... but there's this boy. Doesn't all trouble usually begin with a boy?!? There is a boy in her class who bothers her. He tries to kiss the girls and takes away the toys that they are playing with. He's already trying to get their attention! And he is succeeding - but my little girl wants nothing to do with him. So much so that she does not want to go anymore.

We thought Sunday would be a nice experiment to see if he was there. The good news about church on Sunday is that he was not there! YES!

By this is where this story goes from being about the typical problems that all parents face to an entirely different, much more serious problem.

The A/C was not working in some of the children's rooms. The 4 yr old/5 yr old class, the K/1st class, and the 2nd /3rd class were all relocated to our small theatre.

(Yes. Our church is HUGE. We have 3 services and our main theatre seats about 1,200-1,400 people.)

This is NOT Sweetpea's idea of a good time. A big room filled with big kids that she does not know is very intimidating to her. But she left us willingly and went off to find something to do before their church service (singing and story time) began.

J and I took on bets on how long it would be before we saw our number flashing on the big screen telling us to come to pick up our child - something was wrong.

When we checked her in and dropped her off, I told the teacher in charge (like I always do) that Sweetpea has diabetes. I mentioned her CGM and told the teacher that if it beeps or she says she's low, to call us.

Well.... we sang. No number. We listened to announcements. A number - but not ours. We listened to the sermon. More numbers... not ours. Time to go... We were shocked! We were surprised and happy that she lasted the entire time!

We stood in line to pick her up. She was waiting for us at the door! She was definitely ready to go but she said that she had a good time! She said that she had played with some nice girls and listened to the story and sang some songs ("You know, about God.").

And then....

She said that she had told one of the teachers that she felt low. She said that the teacher said "Low what?". I'm unsure if Sweetpea explained about diabetes. She usually does... but you never know. Sweetpea said that she told the teacher two more times that she felt low and the teacher ignored her.


Now, to be fair, it was a different situation than what they are used to. There were many more kids and many more, different teachers than there usually are.

AND... she was not low. Not even close. She just wanted to leave early!

But the problem remains... My four year child told an adult in charge that she felt low and the adult did nothing. That is not good. What if she really had been low? What if she thinks, "why bother telling a teacher I'm low - they just ignore me?".

It's a tough situation. Should we have told every single teacher in the room about Sweetpea's diabetes? Should we have asked her teacher to make sure the other teachers were aware? Should we make a fact sheet to take with her each week? (for the record, her name tag that she wears each week DOES say that she has diabetes is not to given food) Should we just not leave her in a situation like that?

What's the right thing to do?

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. And hindsight is always 20/20.

This is what we have decided...

* We are going to make a fact sheet (similar to the one I've listed above under the "school stuff" tab - just without all the information church would not need) that we take with us and hand to the teacher every. single. week.

* I am going to contact the director of the children's ministry to let him know what happened. I want to make it clear that we are not upset at a person and realize that last week was a different situation but that we are very concerned that this happened and want to do what we can to make sure it never happens again.

* We will use our discretion at times when the normal routine is thrown off. Maybe we wouldn't send Sweetpea into that situation again - especially knowing that it makes her uncomfortable. Or maybe, like next week when they are having ANOTHER field day full of running, snacks, and teachers that do not know her - we just won't attend.

It's hard to make decisions like these. I never want to do something that is going to make Sweetpea feel "different" or stand out from others... but it's my job to keep her safe.

And it's my job to make sure that nobody ever puts my baby in the corner!

(At least not because of diabetes!)

DIRTY DANCING Pictures, Images and Photos


The Beanstalk

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thoughts at the Bottom of a Beanstalk

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jack who was about to climb his very first beanstalk. He had a fresh haircut and a brand-new book bag. Even though his friends in the neighborhood had climbed this same beanstalk almost every day last year, this was Jack's first day and he was a little nervous. So was his mother.

Early in the morning she brought him to the foot of the beanstalk. She talked encouragingly to Jack about all the fun he would have that day and how nice his giant would be. She reassured him that she would be back to pick him up at the end of day. For a moment they stood together, silently holding hands, gazing up at the beanstalk. To Jack it seemed much bigger than it had when his mother had pointed it out on the way to the store last week. His mother thought it looked big, too. She swallowed. Maybe she should have held Jack out a year...

Jack's mother straightened his shirt one last time, patted his shoulder and smiled down at him. She promised to stay and wave while he started climbing. Jack didn't say a word. He walked forward, grabbed a low-growing stem, and slowly pulled himself up to the first leaf. He balanced there for a moment and then climbed more eagerly to the second leaf, then to the third and soon he had vanished into a high tangle of leaves and stems with never a backward glance at his mother. She stood alone at the bottom of the beanstalk, gazing up at the spot where Jack had disappeared. There was no rustle, no movement, no sound to indicate that he was anywhere inside. "Sometimes," she thought, "it's harder to be the one who waves good-bye than it is to be the one who climbs the beanstalk."

She wondered how Jack would do. Would he miss her? How would he behave? Did his giant understand that little boys sometimes acted silly when they felt unsure? She fought down an urge to spring up the stalk after Jack and maybe duck behind a bean to take a peek at how he was doing. "I'd better not. What if he saw me?" She knew that Jack was really old enough to handle this on his own. She reminded herself that after all, this was thought to be an excellent beanstalk and that everyone said his giant was not only kind but had outstanding qualifications. "It's not so much that I'm worried about him," she thought, rubbing the back of her neck. "It's just that he's growing up and I'm going to miss him." Jack's mother turned to leave. "Jack's going to have lots of bigger beanstalks to climb in his life" she told herself. "Today's the day he starts practicing for them... And today's the day I start practicing something too: Cheering him on and waving good-bye."

--Author Unknown

This is a little story that I send home with my students the first day of school. I think that it's so true and so appropriate. And as I read it this year, I realized how true it is on an entirely different level.

As parents of children with diabetes, we feel the same worries as other parents. We worry about our children's safety and how they will acclimate to school. We wonder if they will behave and if they will miss us.

But we have other things to worry about, too.

Scarier things.

We worry about mealtimes, insulin doses, if anyone knows how to treat diabetes, if our children will alert when they feel low... or high... and if anyone will listen. We worry about hypoglycemic reactions. We worry that the pump will quit working. We worry that the finger stick was not accurate due to dirty fingers. We worry about birthday treats and other times. We wonder if our children will be left out. We wonder if they feel different. We worry that they will be sent to the nurse on their own. We worry that they will start to crash and no one will recognize the symptoms. We worry that they will go low on the bus. We worry that no one really knows how to use glucagon.

We worry that no one but us takes diabetes seriously.

Yes, our worries are different.

But there still comes a time, whether it's school or diabetes management, where we will have to step back and watch as they climb the beanstalk on their own.

I often think that, at least now, it IS harder to be the one who waves goodbye than the one who climbs.

Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm glad that while Sweetpea happily skips and sings through life, I'm the one that's up at night. I'm the one worrying about diabetes and carbs and numbers. I'm the one hurting. And I wish I could take on that burden forever. Because I know that someday, she will take over.

I'm glad, that at least for now, my Sweetpea is not climbing a very tall beanstalk. I'm glad that I have a little more time....

But even now, I know, my job is to begin practicing the cheering her on and the waving goodbye.

Because no matter how hard it is for us to do it (at the least the waving part), that's our goal. To get our children to the place where they are confident and capable. Whether it's going to school, taking care of diabetes, or handling anything else life throws their way.

And knowing the toughness and tenacity of our kids, I know they are going to be just fine.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Recently, I have found myself looking at other families and wondering what their world is like.

Sometimes, I feel a pang of jealousy. Usually it's when I see kids eating chips straight from the bag or drinking something that has not been carefully measured.

But mostly, I just wonder what it's like to have a child WITHOUT diabetes.

And I realized that I can't remember life before.

I think the reason I can't imagine what it would be like to have a child WITHOUT diabetes is that I've never had one.

You see, Sweetpea was diagnosed shortly after turning 3. The three years that we had her in our lives before D, she was a baby. I know what it's like to have an infant without diabetes. And a toddler - sort of.

But not a child. Because I've never had a child without D.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't look at other families and get all depressed and "woe is me". It's not like that. It's more just curiosity. Saying to myself, "Hmmm... I wonder what that's like?"

It made me think of a conversation I had with the Hubbs. He has horrible eyesight. I mean REALLY bad. You might think your eyes are bad. I did. Until I met him and realized that my eyes are very good compared to his! He wears the strongest contacts made and then also wears glasses on top of that. He's close to being considered legally blind. And he's been that way for as long as he can remember.

One day we were talking about the stars. And he told me that he's never seen the stars. Not in the sky. Only in pictures or at a planetarium. Never really seen them.

And that made me sad. I just couldn't fathom never being able to see the stars.

But it doesn't bother him. When I asked him if it made him sad, he said, "No. They're just stars."

He's never seen them. He doesn't know what he's missing.

So when I think about what it's like to have a child without diabetes, it's the same thing. I don't get sad or mad. It's just that I've never had one. I don't know what I'm missing.

And, for the record, I'd choose my Sweeptea every day, every time or another child without diabetes. I love HER. I want HER. Diabetes or not.

Sweetpea doesn't know what she's missing either. She can't remember life before. She can't remember a world that didn't include diabetes.

And my hope is, that as Sweetpea gets older, she feels the same way.

I hope that when she sees other children eating without worrying about how many carbs they are consuming, or children who can freely run to their friend's houses, children who don't visit the nurse at school on a daily basis, or children don't have to bleed before they eat....

I hope that if someone asks her if it makes her sad, her answer is "No".

Because she's never known it any other way. And to her, it's just the way it is.


Check This Out...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do you like free stuff? I LOVE free stuff. I especially love really cool free stuff!

If you're like me, then you've got to check this out!

CandyHearts is having a Blog Warming Party! Woo-Hoo! Free Stuff AND a party?!?

Get your tushy over there and check it out! Just click on her super cute button and you'll be whisked away....


Before you do...

I've updated just about all of the tabs above! There's some good stuff there! You should check it out, too! You can read all about us, find out about Sweetpea's dx story, get a list of great D sites and some really sweet D blogs! It's all there!

Of course, if you can think of something I've left out (or if I've left YOU out) just email me or leave a comment and I'll add it in!

Of course, new goodies will be added all the time so check back often!

Now what are you waiting for? Start clicking!



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome to my NEW BLOG!!!

I am SO GLAD you are here!!!

Go over to the right and grab a button so you'll always be able to find me! It's like speed dial - I'll just be one click away!

Add my new blog and address to your blog roll. Take just a second and click on the "follow me" button that you can find down on the right. Sometimes it's ok to be a follower!

The new blog is still under construction... So please bear with me! I'll be adding new goodies all the time.

AND - I have some fun things planned! Like GIVE AWAYS!!! And I PROMISE you, they are good! So make sure you check back often!

When I was looking for the perfect song to go with this post, I found the song "Welcome to My Life" by Simple Plan. And I just HAD to use it.

Here are the lyrics...

"Welcome To My Life"

Do you ever feel like breaking down?
Do you ever feel out of place?
Like somehow you just don't belong
And no one understands you
Do you ever wanna run away?
Do you lock yourself in your room?
With the radio on turned up so loud
That no one hears you screaming

No you don't know what it's like
When nothing feels all right
You don't know what it's like
To be like me

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you're down
To feel like you've been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one's there to save you
No you don't know what it's like
Welcome to my life

Do you wanna be somebody else?
Are you sick of feeling so left out?
Are you desperate to find something more?
Before your life is over
Are you stuck inside a world you hate?
Are you sick of everyone around?
With their big fake smiles and stupid lies
While deep inside you're bleeding

No you don't know what it's like
Welcome to my life

I know we have all felt this way. Whether you're the parent of child with diabetes, a person with diabetes, someone who loves a person with diabetes or none of the above.

And I chose this song because.... the only part of this song that isn't true is that someone DOES know what it's like.

That's why I blog. That's why I'm here.

Because I know. I know what it's like to live the D life. I don't have all the answers (don't I wish!). But I get it. And I know that on those days when you feel out of place, when you feel like breaking down, when you want to run away, when you scream and cry where no one can hear you, when you don't think you can take one. more. minute....

I hope you think of me. And the other D Mommy bloggers (who you can find on "speed dial" to the right or in my Other Sweet Blogs tab). And know that you are not alone in this fight.

I'll be here. Blogging. Telling you about our crazy days. Sharing the things that hurt. The difficult times. The scary moments. The things that are not working... And the wonderful days. The successes. And the victories, too.

I would be honored if you would join me on this journey!

Together we are stronger than diabetes!


Dear Friends and Family

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today I am posting the letter that we are sending out for our JDRF walk.

This year, I took a little bit more of a personal take on our family team letter. I combined last year's letter (which was a little more stat based) and a past blog post. It's hard to get the right balance. I want people to know the statistics about diabetes. I want people to understand the scary reality that we are facing and why we feel so compelled to do everything we can to find a cure. And I want people to have a little idea what it's like emotionally - for us and for Sweetpea.

If you are writing your own team letter in the future, you are welcome to copy and paste from us!

After all.... we are in this together for the same reasons. We NEED a CURE and we NEED it NOW!

Happy Reading!

Dear Family and Friends,

We are writing to you on behalf of our daughter, Sweetpea. On April 27, 2009, just weeks after her third birthday, she was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes. She will be insulin dependent for the rest of her life. She is required to constantly check her blood sugar by pricking her tiny fingers 7-10 times a day - including throughout the night. Everything she consumes must be measured and weighed. She wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day which continually infuses insulin into her body. But the insulin that she takes is not a cure - it is merely life support.

We have been asked what life would be like if Sweetpea was cured. It doesn't take long for us to think of a list! We would SLEEP. Through the night. Night after night after night after night... Never set an alarm for 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am ever again. And certainly never set an alarm for all of those times. Never hold our breath when we go in to wake her in the morning - because we would no longer fear that she has passed away in the night due to low blood sugar. Sweetpea would never have to be woken up in the night to drink juice. We would enjoy meals without counting carbs, giving insulin, and recording it all in our little blue book. We would forget the carb count for every food imaginable. Sweetpea would get to have playdates at a friend's house - because it would no longer be too much to ask another parent to handle diabetes. We would not be forced to interrupt playtime, dance, gymnastics, or school to check blood sugar. We would not worry if her falling down was due to a hypoglycemic episode. Sweetpea's fingertips would no longer always look dirty - because all of those millions of little bruises and holes from blood sugar checks would heal and disappear forever. Sweetpea's body would no longer have red marks all over it because we would no longer be inserting needles into her body. We would no longer see our child's blood every. single. day. Sweetpea could go to slumber parties with friends. Sweetpea would be able to drive a car without always checking her blood sugar first. Sweetpea would be able to go away to college and live on her own without being hounded by frantic parents about her blood sugar. Sweetpea would live a long, healthy life - and things like heart attack, stroke, neuropathy, kidney failure, amputations, and blindness would not be a part of her reality. We would have a party and serve food like pizza and ice cream and cake without worry. We would not watch every single bite that she takes. We would have a bonfire and throw in all of our supplies. In go the syringes, the insulin, the sets, the wipes, the numbing cream, the test strips, the meters, the pouches, the lancets, the ketone strips.... We would save one of each supply and put it into a shadow box and hang it prominently in our home so that every day we would see what WAS and give thanks to God for what now IS. But before any of that... We would fall to our knees and weep. For a long, long time.

Won't you help us make this a reality?

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, Princess Sweetpea's Dream Team will walk in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes at ________ in _____. JDRF is the largest worldwide organization dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes. In a typical year, over 85% of every dollar raised goes directly to diabetes research and education. Since 1970, JDRF has provided more than $1 billion to diabetes research. We have put our dream of a cure in JDRF's hands. We would be honored if you would do the same.

There are three ways you can help make a difference for Sweetpea.
1. You can join our walk team, known as Princess Sweetpea's Dream Team, which consists of family and friends who walk with us to show support for Sweetpea. Register online at:
2. You can make credit card donations to support our team via the above link. Or, you can send our family a tax deductible donation in any amount, made payable to JDRF. We will deliver any donations in Sweetpea's honor to the local JDRF office.
3. Contact others in your circle of family and friends to donate as well. Just get in touch with us and we can send you a pledge form. If you choose to raise donations yourself, you may forward this letter or write one of your own.

Last year, our team raised over $12,000 and had a team of 40 walkers! We would love to break those records this year. Thank you for your support of Sweetpea and we hope to see you at the Walk on October 2nd!

Please watch Sweetpea's Walk Video at
To find out more about our daily life with diabetes you can read Hallie's blog, The Princess and The Pump at
With Sincere Thanks,


A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Sunday, August 8, 2010

As you may know, we participated in a photo session at the beginning of July as part of The Littlest Heroes Project.

The Littlest Heroes Project (Inspiration through Art)is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people to give back, and make a difference through the beauty of art. They are artists with a passion for giving and inspiring others. Through their artistic talents they are able to come together as one and let children around the world know that they are loved despite the challenges they face everyday.

The mission of Inspiration Through Art is to help provide and capture memories for families who are dealing with hectic schedules due to having a child who is suffering from a serious illness or life altering disability. They are there to offer emotional support through the beauty and expression art has to offer, as a way of healing and coping. They understand that in the midst of being thrown a diagnosis and having to switch from a “normal” life to a life that is totally different, and often scary, things like getting photos taken is sometimes a huge challenge and is one of the last things families are thinking about. But when everything is done, and either the child has reached the end of their battle, or has proven the odds against it many wish they had more time to stop, and capture the journey that they lived through for so long. Through Inspiration Through Art- photographers and volunteers understand each and every case, and cater it to fit and honor each child and family.

To find out more about Inspiration Through Art (The Littlest Heroes Project) click here.

We were accepted into this program and paired with an amazing photographer, J. She is incredibly talented and we feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with her. Thank you, J! A mere thank you does not seem sufficient to tell you how thankful we are!

We met with J at a local garden for her to take pictures of Sweetpea and have a few family pictures taken. I also really wanted pictures of Sweetpea having her blood sugar tested. For some reason, we had no pictures of the D routine. I guess we're so busy DOING it that we don't take time to capture it.

Until now...

I wish that I could upload every single picture she took. They are THAT good! The saying goes that "a picture is worth a thousand words". Well, these pictures are worth more than that. These pics are priceless!

Take a look for yourself...

J captured my little girl as she truly is. Happy. Smiling. Silly. Confident. Serious. Spunky.


We Aren't in Kansas Anymore

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just in case you needed proof that the D life is oh-so-different from life before...

Take a look at this...

Here is my medicine cabinet.

Typical stuff. Tylenol. Cough Medicine. Motrin. LOTS of sinus meds. Deodorant. Band-aids. Vitamins.



Take a look at my new medicine cabinet.

I had to move it out of a kitchen cabinet and into the storage unit in our laundry room. Because we have that much stuff!

Take a look...

Here is proof that D messes with your mind.

I LOVE this cabinet. LOVE. IT. It is a thing of beauty. I love how organized it is. I love having all the supplies at my fingertips. I love having space to spread it out instead of stuffing it all in some tiny place.
Here's the breakdown...

This shelf contains (from left to right) gloves (for applying magic cream), boxes of sites (with 2 sites sitting out - pink, of course), boxes of pump cartridges. boxes of test strips, boxes of Multi-clix lancets, and two boxes of magic cream (the yellow ones) with a Glucagon kit on top. Inside the container to the right are alcohol wipes, teagaderm, and uni-solve. In front of the container are plugs for the pump site and extra battery caps and a knife to open those stubborn boxes. On top of the container are lots of new hand sanitizer bottles, a new log book (the blue thing), the blood ketone tester, and a box of blood ketone test strips.

This shelf contains (from left to right) boxes of the Dexcom sites and inserters (with the Decom charger on top), an extra test kit (pink thing), two more boxes of pump sites on top of a container of stuff like batteries for the pump and meter, directions, etc, a box of IV prep in front of a box of adhesive tape strips, 3 boxes of Chemstrips (urine ketone test strips), and extra boxes of insulin cartridges for the pump.

This shelf contains (from left to right) the box of D supplies for school, a box of insets that we don't use anymore on top of a container of old test kits, old log books, etc., extra alcohol wipes, a few boxes of syringes, a box of gloves, and the Dexcom box and manuals. The bottom shelf has a few crafts for Sweetpea, a hand vac, and sharps containers.

(For more info on what all this stuff is and what it does, read my post called What it Takes.)

That kind of puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

That's what I need to keep my child alive.

We aren't in Kansas anymore.

I know some might look at these pictures and feel overwhelmed. Sad. Angry. Scared. There are times that I feel all of those things.

But today...

Today we got home from a trip to Tennessee. I'll write more on that later. One of the first things I did was unpack the D bag and put stuff away.

And you know what I felt when I opened that cabinet?

Relief. Comfort. Peace.

That cabinet makes me feel peaceful. It makes me feel happy. It makes me feel safe.

Weird, I know.

But I'm thankful to have supplies. I'm thankful to get a 3 month supply from Animas of just about everything you see there. I'm thankful for the Awesome people at Wal-greens that fill the rest of my orders and treat me like a friend. I'm thankful to have what I need to not only keep Sweetpea alive - but to keep her alive and well. In the best way, with the best treatment I know.

I'd trade it all in, of course, in heartbeat, if it meant no more diabetes.

But until that day...

I'm going to open that cabinet and smile!


Your Diabetes May Vary

Monday, August 2, 2010

I LOVE this title... Your Diabetes May Vary...

I can't take credit for it... It's from Bennett's blog called.... Your Diabetes May Vary! Click to check it out.

It just stuck with me.... because it is SO TRUE.

This is a post that has been floating around in my head for months. It's never made it out before now... but it keeps coming back into focus time and again...

Everyone is different. Although many of us have children with diabetes and we are alike in so many ways... we're still different. We deal with the emotions differently. We treat D differently. We worry about different things.

And that's good. Because diabetes is like a fingerprint. No two cases are alike.

Sometimes, though, it just smacks me in the face.

I met a mother at a holiday get together. Her daughter had just gotten out of the hospital a week earlier after being dx'd. Her daughter was about 8. She was one of the first other moms that I met. And it was such an eye opening conversation.

She was irritated that her daughter would not just go play with the other kids. She clearly had no idea what she was in for... talking about her not being under control YET. Sweetpea had just started the pump. She expressed mild interest and I told her if she was interested in looking at it and seeing the supplies, I had it all with me... I'd be happy to show her. She was not interested. She did not want to talk to me about it. She acted like she couldn't care less.

I was shocked. Now, It's very possible that this woman was in shoch herself. Maybe she was tired of thinking about it and dealing with it. I have no idea what she was thinking and feeling - and I realized that there was nothing WRONG with the way she was handling it.

It was just VERY different from myself.

I hear that there are moms of Type 1 kids out there that..... SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. Now, this is what I hear. I have never met one. To me, they are like unicorns or leprechauns. You HEAR about them but never see them in real life...

That is just totally out of the realm of my possibilites. Don't get me wrong - I'd just about kill for a full night of sleep without the worry of D. If you know me, you know that I LOVE sleep. I need 8 hours to function. More is better. And that number is a JOKE now.

These parents that sleep through the night... more power to them. I don't judge and I don't think that they are doing anything wrong. But I don't see me doing that anytime soon. I love what Laura said about this subject...

It's BS when people ask me - - - 'Why are you still checking him at night?' or
'When will you be able to stop checking him all night?'. I want to ask them when
they would stop?!?! Would that be rude? If your child had a disease that could
potentially kill them - when would you stop checking?

We just can't. The WHAT IF is too strong. WHAT IF we don't check and we miss a low. WHAT IF we don't hear the cgm or it's off and doesn't beep. WHAT IF something happened and my baby died in the middle of the night because I was too lazy to get out of bed? I can't take that risk. I just can't.

(now, I'm not saying you're lazy if you don't get up to check. I'm just saying that that is what I'd be telling myself. And do tell myself when I feel too tired to get my rump out of bed.)

Just like we all choose different pumps. Just like we choose different kinds of insulin and insulin therapy. Just like we choose different ways of logging (or not logging) the numbers. Just like we treat lows differently. Just like different foods do different things to our children's blood sugar. We're all different. And that's Ok.

Because it's what UNITES us that is most important. What unites us is stronger than our differences.

And when we stand united, we are stronger than diabetes.



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