Thursday, September 29, 2011

17 Today!

WOW! Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday that we were planning a Sweet 16 party and now here we are a year later....

Happy 17th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Kayleigh Breanne.

So....the count down is on to graduation! I'm thrilled with her senior school year and it's been a great 4 weeks of school. I hope and pray it continues.

We've been bombarded with senior pictures....ordering of cap & gown, announcements and other graduation stuff...senior project...and now we're getting hit with scholarship & college stuff. The next 8 months are going to FLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!! Before I know it, you all will be reading all my blubbering about graduation and the final days of her high school career.

So just for today.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOOGS!!! <3 You're my first born, a light in my day and I'm so blessed to witness what a young woman you've become. You make me smile when I see you with your CCC youth group friends. You make me laugh when it's just me and you in the van and we're singing Barney songs at the top of our lungs (Yes, 17 years old and she still remembers certain songs...afterall she watched those movies over and over...they're kinda embedded in her brain!). My heart swells with joy as I watch your passion for cooking and baking. You're gonna make a GREAT cake decorator someday (What am I saying? You're already an amazing decorator!) I'm sad that high school is coming to an end for you but I'm excited about what is to come. BIG things are gonna happen for you baby! You serve a BIG God and ANYTHING is possible if you trust in Him. I love you more than you will ever know! Love, Mommy <3

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

6 Months Left

Only 6 more months.




Smith's Medical.

It all ends in less than 6 months. I'm starting to have those gut wrenches again. We were so sure we were going with MiniMed when this all started. It was the only pump we'd seen and held. Then in 2009, we had the luxury of actually holding 4 different pumps...MiniMed, Animas, Cozmo and OmniPod. Four choices...but only one stuck out for Kacey. Cozmo! She held it in her tiny hands like a cell phone. She beamed as she pressed the buttons. No matter what we did to convince her, she wanted Cozmo. When the pump finally arrived, it was instant love. More love than I'd ever see her give her blankie...a doll baby...or her favorite stuffed animal. Even more love than she had for Rufus...and believe me...thats A LOTTA LOVE!

I watched a bond form before my eyes that I knew would never be broken...Herbie! Then just about a week or so after we got Herbie, we got the letter. THE. LETTER. Smith's Medical was discontinuing the Cozmo pump but they would honor the current warranties for 3 years. March 2012. It seemed so far away at the time. Kacey had already bonded with Herbie so we made the difficult decision to stick with it. After all...3 years seemed so far away. Then in 2010, Herbie cracked and we had to send him back and got Goober as a replacement. He was identical to still loved but not as much as Herbie was.

Now here we are 6 months from the March 2012 date. Almost 3 years. Can you believe it? I'm back to the same question again....What do we do? The process will have to be started in the next 3 months and I really don't wanna think about it. We're comfortable with Cozmo and we're gonna have to be thrown out of the comfort zone...AGAIN! Is this the right time? there ever a right time? How will this affect things at school? Will Kacey be ready? Will she still want Animas? What happens if we choose Animas and then they intergrate the system? Whatever we choose, we're stuck with for 3-4 years again! Its a HUGE step. The whole process is a HUGE step.

Whyyyyyyyy O'whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy did Cozmo have to go out of business?!?! :(

So here I sit...going back over the worry of what to do. I know we will make the right choice but I'm really not ready to jump.  Whatever pump we choose, I am going to convince Kacey to try an automatic set for it. She's so independent with her care and thats the one thing she has to have me do. We still have meltdowns every 3 days and I think once shes able to do the insertion herself then that will change. She did the same thing with injections. She'd cry when it was time for a shot but then once she could do them on her own then she didn't want anyone else doing them for her because she knew her own pain.

So if we choose Animas, which automatic insert sets would you all recommend? Ahhhhhh so many questions are swirling through my head!!

God give me the strength to overcome this fear and the confidence to make the right choice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thank You Dex!

I had a totally different post scheduled to post today but after the night I had, I felt I better post on Dexcom. Two years ago, we did a Dexcom trial. I had a love/hate relationship with it. Kacey was still honeymooning and I was frustrated with it's lack of consistancy. I was also struggling with seeing my child attached to *two* devices. We weren't ready. It wasn't our time. Dexcom wasn't right for us at that point.

And I sit 2 years later....thanking Dexcom for alarming last night.

Our day of school ended pretty normal. Kacey is still battling a headcold and now shes got the cough so I'm sure we're not out of the woods just yet. Thankfully her sugars haven't spiked too bad....until yesterday! When we got home from school, she was high. Like 400 high. She plopped on the couch and I reminded her that she had Upward Cheer practice and she perked up. You see, at her first game, the couch was impressed with her leadership skills and she chose Kacey to be the Captain this week and for the second game. She's been beaming about it and she was excited to go to practice last night.

Rest. Dinner. Leave for practice.

While at practice, she led like a pro and put 100% into it. She also led off with the first prayer (for Morganne) during devotion time and then it was back to practice for another 30min. After an hour of jumping around, we headed home. Sugar check- 297. Ugh!

Home. Shower. Snack time. Sugar check- 291.

By this point it was almost 9pm and she was tired. She sat down on the couch and before I turned around twice, she was sound asleep. I decided that since she was battling the cold and not getting much rest, I'd just leave her there and let her sleep. I covered her...kissed her forhead...checked Dexcom again... 283. Checked pump... 5u of IOB. She should be good til 2am.

Set alarm. Snuggled in bed watching TV. Fell asleep within the hour.

Bzzzzzzz. Beep! Beep! Beep!

Groggy I winked one eye open. It wasn't my alarm. WHAT was that noise? I pushed myself up in bed and sat on the edge looking into the living room where I could see a dim light. WHAT is that?

Ohhhhhh. Emmmmmm. Geeeeeeee! It's DEXCOM and that was the LOW alarm!

I rushed out of bed, tripping over Cricket who has recently decided that sleeping next to my side of the bed is the right place to be (wrong!). As I stumbled and cursed the dog, it woke Frankie (shocker!). I sat on the edge of the glasses....staring at Dexcom. LOW. Low. LOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By this point, Frankie had stumbled into the living room too. "What is she?" .... "She's LOW, thats what she is!" I directed him to get the juice beside the frig and pour her some in a big cup. Meanwhile, I tried to jostle her so she's wake up a little. "Kacey.... *shake*....Kacey, you're low....*shake harder* Kacey! (stern voice) You are LOW baby!" She peeked one eye open and said "I know I heard you." LOL! Frankie gives me the juice and she sucks the whole cup down. "Sweetie, did you feel the low?" She opens her eyes and looks at me and says, "If I felt the low, don't you think I'd wake you up?" AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I giggled cuz I couldn't be mad about her smart mouth at this point.

So I'm sitting there waiting for this juice to kick in. Those 15 minutes are the LONGEST wait! I kept pushing Dexcom to see if she was coming up. Nothing. So then I checked back to see what happened as she dropped and this is what I saw...

WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Talk about a ride! She dropped like the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens.

I don't know about you all but when we have lows like these and we catch them before it's "too late"...I sit and reflect. I think about all the "what-ifs" and all those families that are not fortunate to have Dexcom. I remember those that lost their battle with this terrible disease and I struggle. I struggle emotionally and then I can't go back to sleep.

My "What if" worry this time was....what if she'd gone to sleep in her own bed and I never heard Dexcom beep and my alarm wouldn't have gone off til 2am. What if I slept through my alarm? What if she was lower? The questions are endless. But...those angels around me made me wake up in time. I thank God for another day...even though I'm exhausted from no sleep. My baby is well rested because she went back to sleep after her juice and I stayed awake working as her pancreas. Thats my job. I'm her Mom AND her pancreas. It took about an hour and another cup of juice and she finally hit the 150-170 mark and thats where she hovered the rest of the night.

Thank you God for putting her to sleep on the couch. Thank you God for waking me when I needed to be. Thank you God for giving me the strength to push through the long day ahead with no sleep. Most of all....THANK YOU Dexcom and the makers for giving us a wonderful tool to use for times like this!

My friends, THIS is why we set our alarms for 2am every morning. THIS is why we do what we do.

This morning, she woke up tired but she knew that she had Festive Chorus Tryouts and she was not about to miss school! I gave her nurse a heads up about what happened during the night and now here I sit at....STARBUCKS! Thank you God for coffee, for without it I could not function! LOL!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Making A List

....and checking it TWICE!

Lists. Lists. And More Lists!

I've always been a list maker. It's the only way I seem to keep my day organized. If I lose my list then I'm racking my brain with "What was on the list? What did I need to do? Dang it! I forgot my list!" I jot things down more often because in my busy days I seem to feel overwhelmed and unoranized without "MY LIST". Since the girls both have crazy schedules this year, I find myself feeling that "rushed" feeling each morning. What can we do to make the morning go smoother?


So last night, we made a list of the most important things we need to do each morning. The list is subject to change but at least we have a starting point.

This list got posted in 2 spots....the bathroom beside the "family calendar" and the back of the front door. This morning was the first day of using the new list. How did it go? Well I'm thrilled you asked! It went PERFECT! The morning was not spent asking, "Do you have your stuff together? Did you get breakfast? Did you brush your teeth?" Instead it was spent saying, "Hey Mom! Got my stuff ready! Getting breakfast and my lunch is packed!" Ahhhhhhhhh! I've always taught my girls responsibility from a young age. I've tried NOT to baby them or do things for them that I know they could do themselves. They don't need me to help them gather their stuff for school. They can get their own breakfast. They can put their own shoes on. And they've been self sufficient since about....Kindergarten! It was always something I made a priority because I think in todays society, they NEED to be able to do basic life skills on their own and thats what this list is...basic life skills they need before they walk out into the real world of school. Sometimes our mornings got so rushed that they'd forget something and it would throw the whole day off. This year we don't have time for "morning mess-ups". We get up at 6am...dressed and hair done by 6:20am....breakfast by 6:30am....lunch packed and bookbag packed and ready by 6:40am....out the door by 6:50am....get to Kaceys school by 7:15am (we have to get there 15min early or we wont get in the parking lot and our routine will be thrown off)....she goes into school at Kay to school by 7:50am....and then I BREATHE! So they don't have time to forget something at home because we can't go back and get it.

This morning was proof that the LIST works! Now....what did I do with my list for today? LOL! Ahhhhh....I don't have one because today I finally get a day to myself. Hopefully I get to sit here at Starbuck's for a little while and enjoy the peace :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Starlight Fishing Trip

We've been so blessed to be a part of Starlight Children's Foundation and if you don't know what that is then I really hope you click that link and check them out! We have been a part of this wonderful group for almost a year now. Along the way, we've been fortunate to meet some pretty amazing families. Although we don't know everyones illness or problem, we all come together for one try and forget about the daily struggles we go through and have a day of fun as a family. Starlight MidAtlantic has exceeded any expectations that I ever had. I could never have imagined that we'd be having these fun adventures and we have them to thank. Starlight is made up of so many volunteers that don't get thanked enough. These people take time out of their daily lives to create a day of fun for us. I'm humbled by their dedication and I know I've asked several times, "What can I do to help?" and I'm reminded that I'm there to have fun and enjoy the day with my children and not worry about what needs to be done. I've always been an "involved Momma". I help plan events at school, help with youth group at church, volunteer for room Mom and other fun planning...but when it comes to Starlight....I just have to be "Mom".

Over the last year, escapes have been Disney on Ice, The Circus, Sports Day at Indoor Sports Complex with California Pizza Kitchen, Raced Go-carts and played Lazer Tag at another Sports Complex...and now Fishing on a private pond with pro fisherman. We've been invited to several other events but we had to turn them down because of plans or because of nasty diabetes days. From what I heard, there are many more amazing GREAT ESCAPES in the near future. How exciting!!! I haven't told Kacey about any of them yet because I love seeing the look on her face when we get those invitations.

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to go fishing on a private pond in Richmond. We had no idea what to expect but the girls were very excited to go fishing. We woke up to a drizzly rain. Just the day before, Kacey was home from school sick with some sort of bug that was working on her tummy and I wasn't sure how the day was going to go. Her blood sugars bounced in the 400's the whole day before and she woke up in the high 200's. Diabetes never sleeps and even when you have a fun day planned, things can go wrong. We decided to see what kind of mood she was in before we made a final decision. Even with sugars in the 400's, she begged me to let her go to school (yes she LOVES school this year) so I figured she would want to go...and I was right! She popped out of bed and shouted "It's time for fishing!". We left the house early since its an hour and a half drive for us. We made a stop at Burger King for some breakfast and then we headed to Richmond. We went through bands of rain. Downpour. Drizzle. Stop. Repeat! I knew it would be tough to hold a fishing rod and an umbrella so we were not sure what was going to happen but we were taking the chance anyway. Whats the worst that could happen....we'd be out a 1/2 tank of gas and fun memories of driving up there :) It was worth the trip!

As we pulled in, the squeals coming from the backseat were intoxicating. Those blood sugars shot to the 300's but it wasn't stopping her today. We were NOT going to let diabetes win this one. We got out and we were greeted by the pro fisherman waiting along with Starlight volunteers and the owners of the pond. Everyone was so welcoming and very talkative. It was nice to be in such a friendly atmosphere! We were assigned our fisherman, Mickey. He grabbed a few poles and some bait and we headed down to the pond. The rain had cleared off for a bit. Mickey showed the girls the bait, how to bait the hook (they both said "Gross!"), how to cast the rod and then talked to them about fishing. Kacey caught the first fish and he took it off the hook for her after we caught a few pictures. The excitement that filled the air was amazing! The rain started to pick up to a drizzle and Chris from DGIF went to his truck and brought out a stack of brand new Real Tree ponchos and handed us all one. AHHHHHHH! The girls were so giddy because they both love Real Tree camo. The rain was not going to stop soon as they were in their rain gear, they headed back to the pond for more fishing fun. It wasn't long before Kayleigh hooked into a bass...then Kacey got a bass....and Kayleigh another. They had a great fishing spot and a great mentor to help them. The smiles on their faces were priceless! We took a break for lunch that was provided...hamburgers, hotdogs, pasta salad, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, chips, cookies, brownies juice, water and....COFFEE! After lunch, we went back for 2 more hours of fishing. Kayleigh caught a total of 5 fish and Kacey caught a total of 11. Daddy....well he only got 2! They teased him all afternoon :) The rain had realy started to pick up and we decided it was time to call it a day. We went on inside to get warm. Kacey only had a thin blanket with her but when Ms. Barbara offered up a Starlight blanket, she grabbed one to wrap herself in. Once all the families came in for the final meeting, we found out that the ponchos we were wearing were for us to keep...the blanket Kacey used to wrap herself in was hers (she wouldnt let it go all afternoon)...the fishing poles on the table were theirs to keep from Greentop along with a new tshirt! They also got new long sleeve shirts from Starlight and a goodie bag from Dept of Game & Inland Fisheries. HOW COOL!?!?!

All the girls kept saying was "We can't wait to go fishing again!" and "Daddy can we get a boat? We wanna fish!" I think this was their most exciting Great Escape to date. We can't thank everyone enough....

Barbara...thank you for all the time you put into these events! We REALLY do enjoy them all!

MidAtlantic all ROCK! Without all of you, these events wouldn't be possible.

Mickey & Greentop...Thanks for a GREAT day of fishing instruction and the goodies provided. They will get lots of use out of those fishing rods!

Chris & DGIF...Thanks so much for being wonderful sponsors of these events.

Fishers of Men....GREAT job making these kids smile! As I looked around at all the smiling faces, my heart overflowed with joy to know that you all were making it happen.

Frank & Rhonda....Thanks for opening your home to us and treating us like "family". We had only just met you and you made us feel so welcomed. The girls LOVED the pond and we look forward to seeing you next year!

Starlight....Simply AMAZING! Living life with diabetes has its challenges. We have good days. We have bad days. But a GREAT ESCAPE day is NEVER a bad experience! To everyone that makes this possible....2 words....THANK YOU!!!

So if you haven't clicked the link above, now is the time. Check out Starlight, see what they are doing, read about how they're coming into lives of kids with illnesses and most of all...check out those smiles! If you're fortunate enough to be able to donate to this wonderful foundation then PLEASE click on the link. You won't be sorry and you can see where your donation money goes.

Now for a few pics....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello Refreshed Me

As you all know, I've spent time struggling about writing since everything happened with my blog. Today marks day 4 of school and I've finally taken a moment to sit down and open up my blog site. Forgive me for being behind on reading but I think I might have found a spark for writing again. A spark...but it's's not forever gone.

The end of last week and beginning of this week held LOTS of tears for me. So many firsts and so many lasts when it comes to school and I had a hard time channeling it all. How did I ever deal with it before? MY BLOG! Yep, thats what I did...I WROTE! So here I am again!

Last Tues & Wed was Open House at school. We met Kacey's teachers on Tuesday and we met Kayleigh's teachers on Wednesday. I was a little upset because we had not met anyone from Kaceys school and we were walking into Open House and they had NO idea who she was. Then I got a phone call from the nurse and felt an overwhelming calm feeling when she said she could set up a meeting for Thursday afternoon. PERFECT! Kacey's schedule could not have been a better day. It's almost like it was handpicked for her...ok maybe it was...*wink wink* She has Math and Language Arts every day and then she has Science one day and History the next day  Then she goes to a class called Intervention....this is a time block that she can catch up on work missed, get help if shes having trouble and if shes absent then she can make up tests, ect. It was a GREAT addition to her schedule. After that she goes to lunch...this is about 12:40pm. Once she finishes lunch then she goes to Band and then to Chorus. She is so in love with these two classes and shes thrilled that they're getting to try every instrument before they choose what to play for the year. So after we met all her teachers (which BTW, every single one of them was VERY nice) then on Thursday we went in for the meeting.

Ahhhhh the meeting! Yep, you know the meeting where you have to tell everyone what diabetes is, how to care for your child and trust they absorbed some of what you said so you aren't bouncing around like a frantic monkey all day worrying whether your child is safe during the day...yeah thats the meeting. Well...her nurse was so on top of things that we had the nurse, all of her teachers, the assistant principal, the 504 coordinator and her guidance councelor in the room. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! I was so excited to have so may pairs of ears in the same room. I passed out the handy dandy notebooks that I'd put together, I went over what diabetes was, how to care for her, what she can do on her own, what they would need to help with, what everyones roles were and the feedback I got was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Once again I was blown away by the willingness to stay on top of her care. I was thrilled to find that her nurse had 20 years experience in IV therapy and when I talked the "Diabetesenese" she knew exactly what I was talking about. There are a couple other T1's in her school and there were several that have gone through the school. Can you hear the sigh of relief I breathed? Her nurse wasn't familiar with Cozmo, obviously because they're out of business now, but Kacey showed her everything and shes comfortable with it. She has never had a student on Dexcom but we showed her how to put a Dex site in and showed her how it all works and shes on top of her game. Another sigh of relief :) As I walked out of the meeting, tears streamed down my face. Why tears? Why in the world was I crying? Because I had so much anxiety built up from worrying about Kacey going to a new school, new teachers, new nurse, new surroundings and the anxiety was replaced with comfort. I had only met all these people once but I was VERY confident she was going to be in GREAT hands.

Now for Kayleigh...a SENIOR?!?! Where in the world did the time go? She only has 4 classes this year to get her Advanced diploma. Shes taking English, Government, Oceanography and Trig. Only 4 core classes and she gets out of school at 11am one day and 1pm the next day. We met her teachers at Open House and I was thrilled with them! One of them went to high school with me, one of them is the step mother of a friend of ours that I've known since middle school, one of them my mom knows from the Army and the other is a football coach. Ahhhhhhhh! Could it be a more perfect Senior year? We've already been hit with ordering graduation announcements and we already know when graduation is this year. She has already started her Senior boards and next step is the scholarship process. This year is gonna FLY! She's already making plans for college and she knows what Culinary school she wants to attend. Also, there is a job opening for a catering position that will be opening up the end of this month and she was recommended for the job and the owner is thrilled with her cake portfolio.

Right now....Life is GOOD!

The first week of school went GREAT! Kacey made new friends right away, they both love their classes and teachers and I'm one very happy Mommy!

So now what will I do in my spare time? Well...I just got a NEW camera so I'm sure you can guess what has been taking up my time. I had to say goodbye to my Nikon Coolpix after it fell off my van seat and hit something on the floor. The LCD screen was damaged. LESSON LEARNED....NEVER carry a good camera without a case! So what did I replace my Coolpix with? Well God has a way of working. He never gives us what we WANT when we want it, right? We get those things in His time. My birthday was Aug 22 and my hubby knew he wanted to get me a new camera because I was a crybaby without mine. Seriously...I cried for days after mine broke because I carry my camera everywhere with me. He went to several places looking for the new Nikon Coolpix and when he finally went to Walmart the girl there told him that they were discontinuing the Coolpix. WHAT?!?! So then he had to tell me that there was no Coolpix within 50 miles...he didn't have a present for me...and we had to try and find a different camera that was comparible to what I had. Ummmm...try getting through those tears! I cried even more because I had 2 upset kiddos that didn't have anything for me the day of my birthday because they thought Daddy was getting me a camera. So I sat through tears and sent my brother an email. If anyone knew anything about good cameras, I knew he'd know since he's a photographer on the side. He was bummed because he'd just sold his Nikon D60 before he moved from Hawaii a few weeks before. That would have been a perfect starter camera for me. So now what? I surfed Craigslist but you have to be careful with something like that because you don't know how "used" it is. Then I got a brother had contacted my cousin who had a Nikon D5000 for sale. Seriously?!?! This was Sunday night and he'd just put it up on Craigslist the day before. NOWAY! My brother told him to hold it til he talked to me. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! He hadn't taken many pics with it but he upgraded to a newer camera and took $100 off the price. That made it only $50 more than what my hubby was going to pay for the Coolpix. With puppy dog eyes, I pleaded and he agreed that it was time for a GOOD camera. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! So my cousin shipped it to me 2 day delivery  and by the end of that week I had a camera back in my hands! (Thanks to my hubby, my brother and my cousin) God had bigger plans for me and everything fell into place like it was sopposed to. In the meantime...Ive been snapping pics of flowers, bugs and most of all...I've been working on taking Kay's senior pics. I LOVE IT!! It was worth every penny and I'm so glad I took my brothers advice :) I'm still new to it. I still have a long way to go. I still have ALOT to learn. But the thrill of having a hobby like this is so much fun!

So heres a little of what I've been up to....

Keep in mind...all of these were taken in Automatic setting. I still haven't gotten comfy with it enough yet to understand manual settings. I'm sure I'll be sharing tons more!! :)