Monday, April 30, 2007

Early morning

There are goods and bads to living close to DC. Good: You have a lot to see and its so accessible. Bad: Everyone ELSE wants to see it to. So, often in order to see an exhibit or have a tour, you have to get to DC early.

Its difficult to get anywhere in DC quickly - and we live 30 miles out - adding to the delays.

I arranged months ago for us with our congressional office to have a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing - where they print money! The kicker: The tour was at 8:45. In order for us to GUARANTEE that we would be in DC in time for 8:45, we left the house just after 6:30AM. That is MIGHTY EARLY for us! On a bad traffic day, it can take that entire time to get into the city. On a good day, not so much. Today was a good day. We drove across the bridge into the city at 7:30 and found a parking lot by 7:45. At least there weren't lines at the BEP.

It was fascinating to see the steps that the paper goes through to become money. Its a multi-step process done on a HUGE scale - for example, one pallate of paper going through one machine was printing $32,000,000. They were having a rough day though - one machine jammed in 3 different places while we were watching and in another room, they had the huge magnifying glass out and a supervisor on the floor and they were scrutizing a sheet of bills.

All in all, a nice tour. We drove around a few streets in DC after our tour, and saw the Supreme Court building and the Library of Congress. We checked out a couple of other buildings that we were curious to their purpose. We then headed out to take Mike to the airport for what I hope is his last trip / conference for a while! Then we all came home and napped!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Been Busy!

Every time I think I'm ready to sit down and put up a post, something else always comes up (often Emma) that prevents me. I realized when replying to an email to Mom last night that I'm just busy. Every time I think I'm getting ahead of the busy curve, it tackles me again.

May and June are going to be a busy month:
- Piano rehearsal
- Drama production
- Another trip to DC for diabetic education
- Dance pictures
- Dance competition
- Regular soccer and baseball games
- Piano recital
- Dance recital
- Finishing up lessons for the year
- JDRF walk

And those are just the major events. There are still a bunch of "things" I need to do (like register the kids for some summer camps, work on some scrapbooking borders for a swap, finishing up plans for a scrapbook retreat in Sept, etc) that are taking up time. And you notice I haven't mentioned the "regular" things such as taking care of the house, doing laundry, and grocery shopping. Those seem to be the things that get pushed to the back when everything else gets busy.

I am looking forward to a little more free time this summer. We aren't going to completely take off of school - the kids do better if I keep their brains working a little - but it will definitely be pared way back and I will have more time to keep up with the regular things I have to do.

So, I'm feeling quite busy right now.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Successful Yard Sale

We had our yard sale out in front of the house yesterday. This has become an annual event - a few weeks before the neighborhood-wide yard sale - so much so that one of the customers yesterday remarked that he looks each year for our yard sale because we always have good stuff!!

Well, this was my big "clean out the baby stuff" yard sale. I had about 10 boxes of clothes too small for Emma and Michael and an equal number of boxes of toys.

I sold a lot and brought some home, still. I was surprised that I didn't sell MORE of the baby clothes than I did, but I got a lot of old toys out of the house!

The even better news. There is an annual "consignment" sale for Baby stuff at the conference center around the corner - THIS WEEKEND. So, if I can get my remaining baby clothes onto hangers and labelled before Wednesday, I can take them over and consign them. The company does a 50/50 split, which is pretty good - and this sale is HUGE. They bring in a TON of customers. So, just when I thought I was done "organizing" for a yard sale, I'm gonna pull my remaining boxes out of the back of the van and put everything on hangers and try again!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

And so it begins....

Today was Opening Day for the Loudoun South Little League. This is Michael's 3rd season playing t-ball/baseball. It is his first season getting "pitched to".

The Opening Day was nice. Each team marched in with a banner (I made ours - I'm quite proud of it) and they were announced as they entered the field. The league provided had a batting cage, pitching cage, and moon bounce - Michael tried them ALL out. They also brought in a t-shirt vendor who did silk screening on-site. We were all pretty fascinated by the process of applying inks in a certain order and then using heat to seal it in. Samantha, Michael, and I each got a Tye-dyed shirt with the Opening Day logo on it.

(Michael is on the far right - I know its hard to tell with all of their hats pulled so low!)

We then headed over to Samantha's first soccer game. Yes, we spent many a Saturday during sports season at a variety of venues. Samantha's team only had 6 players there, so they all played the entire game. Samantha played 3 quarters on offense and then one as goalie (she was tired of running)! Samantha's team won 2-0. It was actually a pretty good game - good offense and defense on both sides and decently hustling by everyone!

I didn't actually attend Michael's game today. It was at 5pm and it was cold and damp (it had been drizzling off and on all day). They played almost all of the 6 innings until they called it. Michael played pitcher, 2nd base, and center field. He also had a couple of really strong hits.

So, spring sports have started for us! Is it too awful to start the countdown until they are over?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Highs and Lows (again)

I've used that title before, but its still so appropriate I'm using it again.

It is the best way to explain Emma's week.

We are still on a roller coaster with her readings, although not as dramatic as we were. Starting last Sunday at lunchtime, Emma's readings went over 300 and they stayed there for 24 hours, despite giving her multiple insulin injections. They just didn't want to come down. It got as high as 475, which doesn't scare us nearly as much as it used to!! Anyway, after 24 hours, I went ahead and called into the nurse who told me to give her until she got through another meal and see how she was doing. I tested her right before lunch on Monday and she had come down - to TWENTY-NINE. That is NOT a typo - she was at 29. Many people would be unconscious at that reading - she was running around giggling as I corralled her into her high chair. Needless to say, we were a little freaked out by that reading and couldn't explain it - the nurses are baffled.

That started a period, however, with few highs. She had one high overnight that we treated but then the nurse said not to bother. It seems that children this age often excrete a growth hormone while they are sleeping - and its often around 3am - and it makes their blood sugar increase. So, when you swear that you think your children grew overnight, they did!

Anyway, her growth spurt subsided. We haven't had a reading over 250 since then. Her readings have been in the 60s and 70s most times. This is a little low for our liking (we want her over 100). And, she has decided she doesn't want to eat - which is often typical after a growth spurt too. So, between Emma's low blood glucose readings and her reduced eating, we have actually had several meals where we haven't even had to give her insulin. It was a nice break to give her poor arms and legs a break from all of the poking.

She's tired though because I have to keep waking her up at night to give her juice to keep her readings up - seems backwards to us!!

But, the nurses have changed around her treatment a little and we are trying a couple of things a little different to see how she does. We'll give that the weekend and see.

But, as I tell other folks - Emma seems no worse for the wear. Other than fussing about her shots right now, she's running around perfectly normal (like any normal 2 year old that is testing her boundaries and getting into EVERYTHING!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy Easter!

I have a few quick minutes before I KNOW that Emma will be awake, asking to get out of her bed.

We had a nice Easter weekend. Mike had been out of town all week and returned just after midnight on Sat morning. Just after lunch on Saturday, my brother Larry and his family arrived. They had been touring DC for a few days and spent Sat night out with us (in the boonies!)

The kids colored their Easter eggs. We learned something new this year. You can color an egg, write on it with the crayon AFTER that and then dip it in another color- the words are exposed in the original base color. This caused the kids to want to dip their eggs in a variety of colors over, and over, and over again. We finally just had to say STOP!!

The Easter Bunny visited our house. He had a little tougher job this year as we were striving to limit the sugar content because of Emma's diabetes. The kids got some cute toys in their baskets, some sugar-free jelly beans, sugar-free life savers, a sugar free bunny and a few sugar-full candies too.

After our annual Easter Egg Hunt in the front yard (in sub-freezing temperatures), we all got gussied up and got in the cars for the 2 hour drive to Charlottesville. We met my parents and older brother Bruce at the Boars Head Inn in Charlottesville for Easter Brunch. We had a nice time - would have been nicer had we actually been able to sit outside and visit but, alas, 40 degrees is just TOO COLD!!!

All of the kids slept on the way home - we're not exactly sure how much Michael slept the night before since he had a roommate (Gavin, my nephew) who seemed quite excited of the prospect of sleeping in the room with Michael!!

Here are some photos I took of the kids in the front yard. I may take these again in a week or so when its warmer and the grass is a little greener. I plan to update my blog with new spring colors and incorporate these photos into the design, so that you can see these smiling faces every time you open the page!! (I don't know why the last picture isn't rotated - I'll figure that out later)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ride 'em Cowgirl!

I went into Emma's room to get her out of her crib - she was resting because she's got a little bug. Anyway, when I walked in she said "horsey". I wasn't sure why. Then I figured it out.

She took her pillow, stood it up on the long edge, put her hand on the railing and climbed on her pillow like a horse. Then, she jumped up and down like one of those "bucking bronco" rides. It was really quite funny and she's laughing and saying horsie the entire time!

Couldn't get my camera fast enough to have photos - maybe she'll do it again.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

You really can find out almost anything on the Internet

I do believe that we are fortunate that Emma has developed Diabetes during this time of information technology. It makes it much easier for us to do Carb counting for her meals.

I haven't been feeling well today and decided that I was ordering pizza for dinner since Mike was leaving town. So, off to the Pizza Hut web site I go. I can put in the kind of pizza, toppings, and crust, and how many pieces of pizza Emma might eat, and it will give me a complete dietary breakdown, including carb count.

Did you know that 1 piece of Pizza Hut thin crust pizza with just cheese has 30 carbs!!

I have also been able to find out that a Chicken Nuggett Happy meal has 40 carbs - 10 for the nuggets and 30 for the french fries.

This is good information to know as we desire flexibility with when and where we eat!

A quick update

I've been meaning to provide a quick update for a few days and just haven't gotten around to it.

We are settling into a good routine here. Emma's new insulin regimen works much better. Now if she doesn't eat enough, we can just adjust her insulin down. If she wants seconds, we can just adjust her dose up.

Her blood glucose levels aren't swinging as much as they were, but still swinging some. She has been going low at night, which is intriguing, but we may just adjust by giving her a little snack before bed (we cut that out just because it keeps her awake to eat at 8pm). She also seems to be a little high before dinner, but that is most likely from her afternoon snack, so we'll probably start giving her insulin after that.

She has adjusted beautifully. When we tell her we need to poke her finger, she always says "pinkie one". Then she asks if we have to "pokie leg?" She has now chosen to sit in her rocking chair in front of the TV for her injection and its just gotten so easy because she doesn't even say anything most times now when we give it to her.

Had a little scare earlier this week when the sleep-deprived Mommy gave Emma the wrong insulin in the morning. I realized it about 1 hour into its 2 hour effectiveness - it was her "short acting" insulin. So, she got about another meal's worth of carbohydrates in the form of juice and granola bars to offset the insulin and I was very happy when her readings came back up. The nurse said that is actually a pretty common mistake - didn't feel too common to me. At least it was a short-acting insulin and in 3 hours I knew it was completely back to normal.

So, outside of feeling like we have a newborn that has to eat every 3 hours all night, things are pretty normal. I have gotten Samantha and Michael back into school, although not the full routine that I'd like. We won't be having "Spring Break" per se this week, as I have assignments for them to do, but I'm sure if one of their friends comes knocking on the door to play, I'll let them go out! Is it awful to pray for rain! It's gonna be a tough week regardless as Mike leaves in about 2 hours for a week in San Francisco.

Anyway, looking forward to Easter. Larry (my brother) and his family will be here Sat night after spending a few days in the city and then on Sunday we are driving to Charlottesville to eat brunch at the Boars Head Inn with my parents and my older brother, who I haven't seen in 15 years!

As I hear Emma talking from her bed upstairs, I'll wrap it up and go retrieve her for a snack - anyone want to predict how many of her things are thrown out of the crib and onto the floor? I guess all of them!