Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Christmas officially arrived at the McMomma House on Thanksgiving resulting in a new holiday:
I finally gave in this year and figured everyone else does it, I might as well join in.
We have a fake tree (I'm a practical gal if you haven't figured that out already) so we popped that bad boy up the morning of Thanksgiving and I hung up a snow berry wreath scented ornament for all of you out there whose immediate response was:
But what about the SMELL???
As far as experience, my kids think a pop-up pre-lit tree is way cool. Maybe all of you out there who drag your kids to a real Christmas Tree farm are the ones missing the fake tree experience.
Ever think about that?
She can decorate and throw sass at the same time
Thanksgristmas Outfits

And then it was time to give thanks...by wearing politically incorrect paper feathered headdresses, painted macaroni noodle necklaces and eating way too much turkey.
My girls have yet to appreciate Thanksgiving food, so it was pretty easy to bolus for a dinner consisting of olives, cucumbers, turkey, grapes and frozen peas. YUM.

I'm thankful for an awesome wife...and my ability to grow facial hair.
 I'm thankful for Tickles who caught multiple mystery lows Thanksgiving week...and that Movember is almost over.
I'm thankful for frozen peas and diet Hansen's soda...and that Movember is almost over.
I'm thankful for raisins...and that Movember is almost over.
 In all seriousness, what am I thankful for? Well, in addition to what I've mentioned before, I'm thankful that we're on THIS side of the year...10 months into life with diabetes and not on the other side of the year...brand new to diabetes and overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.
To wrap up the Thanksgristmas season, we made salt dough ornaments COVERED in glitter.
Which made an absolute mess.

She's very careful with the placement of glue
Livie is not so careful...with anything...here she is shaking the glitter off of her cookie and onto the floor that Domestic Divo had just cleaned...it also somehow ended up in her hair...and pretty much all over her...
But the finished product made it all worth it.

Home-made gifts are the best, I say. Especially when they leave little bits of glitter around that remind you of the holiday season all year long.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ain't nothin' but a G4 thang, baaaaabay!

One, two, three and to the fo'
UPS man is knockin' at the do'
G4 ready to make an entrance, so back on up
[Cause you know we 'bout to rip 'betes up]

Gimme the receiver first, so I can get it charged
Dexcom and Omnipod together, now you know we livin' large
Ain't nothin' but a G4 thang, baaaaabay!
To make this Momma go craaaaazay!
Our Dexcom G4 Platinum arrived Monday.
Ella ripped it open like a package on Christmas Day
And immediately named it....Tickles...after its color "Tickled Pink."
I have yet to figure out how to make this appropriate in public.
"Mom....Tickles is vibrating and I feel high"
Anyhow, as soon as Tickles was charged up, we slapped the new transmitter on her and anxiously waited 2 hours for Tickles to go through her wetting phase...
Some of you will remember that we tried out the Dexcom7 (aka G3) but very quickly learned that we didn't work well together. She was wrong...a lot. Which lead to more blood sugar checks. And Ella was always leaving her here or there so she always gave me the "out of range" reading. I think we used her for about 2 weeks before we packed her up and put her out of sight.
So obviously I had reservations about paying $399 to upgrade to the G4, but I figured I had 30 days to try it out and return it if I didn't like it. Plus once Ella saw they had a pink one, she was "tickled" - nice marketing scheme, Dexcom.
Too bad you don't offer it in lime green or I might get one for myself just cuz.
We've been bonding with Tickles (Yeah...) for about 5 days now and I have to say I am in love. 
Here's my top 5 reasons why:
1. Accuracy - Other than some minor drifting that was happening around 8pm at night, Tickles has been darned accurate when Ella's in-range or high. There's still a lag when Ella's in the hypo range, so we set the hypo alert at 90 which is working better for us.
2. Range - Ella was HORRIBLE at keeping the G3 within 5 feet, which is probably why it was always so inaccurate. Tickles can be left on the kitchen counter and Ella can wander through the house and it will still pick her up. Right now I'm downstairs and she's sleeping upstairs and I'm watching a post-pizza high come down rather nicely on the color screen. G4 range is 20 feet, we've had it still working at around 50 feet when in an open area like at a park or outside.
3. The pretty ring tones. Seriously. I love that I know if Ella's high or low based on the pretty ring tone that either goes up or down.
 4. Size - the G4 receiver is much smaller and far superior to the egg-shaped G3 receiver. But would someone PLEASE make a rubber cover for Tickles (Yeah...see what I mean???) so I don't live in fear of Ella dropping it on the tile floor?
5. Ella loves it because it's pink and it looks cool...like a nano. Which makes me less likely to have to nag her about where it is.  
It's like this and like that and like that and uh
It's like that and like this and like that and uh
It's like this, the G4's the CGM with the most.
So jus' chill, 'til the next blog post.
PS - I blogged about my love affair with the G4 all on my own. I wish Dexcom would pay me for this...or at least send me a few free sensors on the side.
PPS - This is just our own unique experiences with the G3 and the G4. My results were not obtained via a well-designed and statistically significant clinical trial and most certainly would not qualify for a peer-reviewed scientific journal article. If you're interested in real results, I suggest you start here.  
PPPS - My sincere apologies to Snoop Doggy Dog and Dr. Dre

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful Trees

I am not a big fan of Standard Time.
I do not like that it gets dark at 5:30pm.
Mostly because I don't know what to do with the kids between dinner and bedtime if they can't play outside.
They love being outside. They will play for hours outside.
They fight A LOT when they are couped up inside.
So tonight I kept them busy with a craft:
Making Thankful Trees.
Livie's Thankful Tree
I did all of the cutting & writing.
Livie did all of the decorations & gluing.
When I asked her what she was thankful for, this is what she said:
Friends, Family, Almond Milk, Pizza,
This Pencil, Broccoli, Trees, My Life, Do not Let Your Heart Be Troubled.

That last one was a memory verse she learned about 4 weeks ago for Wednesday night church.
I couldn't believe she remembered it.

It's a good verse to be thankful for - it's something I need to recite every day.
"Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God and also in Me." John 14:1
Ella's Thankful Tree
Ella made this all by herself.
Did you see the leaf in the lower right of the photo?
I'm thankful for Diabetes Friends, too.
I don't know how I would have made it through this year without some of you.
And I don't even know a lot of you in real life!
And a lot of you don't even know me...or even know of my existence!
But when Ella was first diagnosed, I stayed up for HOURS reading blogs.
Reading and reading and reading and reading.
And thinking to myself:
Huh...these people seem happy.
If they're happy living with this, it means I can be happy living with this.
These people are funny, too.
You can still be funny and live with diabetes.
There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel!
Ella's also thankful for Family, Love, Life, Air, Best Friends Forever, Delight & Peace.
When she was done making her tree, she declared that every tree needs a star at the top.
My Thankful Tree
I didn't make a Thankful Tree.
Mostly because I was still cleaning up the kitchen from dinner while at the same time trying to keep Livie from cutting herself with scissors and gluing her fingers together.
But if I were to make a Thankful Tree, it would have a lot of the same things I was thankful for last year:
 My Family, Friends, Health, My job, My home...
With the addition of some new items like:
Insulin, Afternoon Naps, Glucose Meters, Access to Plenty of Blood Glucose Strips, My awesome Pediatrician, A good Health Care Plan, Crystal Lite, Insulin Pumps, Endocrinologists, CDEs, Nurses, Starburst, Skittles, Almond Flour, School Health Techs, Friends for Life Conferences (who's going in 2013?), Camp Conrad-Chinnock, Diabetes Friends, JDRF, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Dr. Faustman, DOC, Diabetes Research Institute...and on and on and on...
All too often throughout this year I've found myself dwelling on what we lost when Ella was diagnosed. Or dwelling on what we might lose if Livie gets diagnosed as well.
Then the other day I read this post from Moments of Wonderful 
and watched the documentary at the bottom of this post about Life for a Child.
And I felt like I'd been hit upside the head.
I complain about the 1 hour drive I have to take on the PCH Highway along California's Malibu Coastline to get to Ella's Endocrinologist.
Meanwhile, a little girl in another country walks 4 to 6 hours on a dirt path to get to a bus to see her doctor or get medical supplies.
I complain about having to deal with the online pharmacy when they ship me not 6, but 5 vials of insulin.
Meanwhile there are people who travel hours to get just 1.
I complain about the $100 copay for a 3-month supply of insulin or a 3-month supply of test strips.
Meanwhile there are people dying because they can't afford the medical supplies they need.
I need to stop complaining.
Yes, having a child with diabetes sucks and I think, once in a while, I'm allowed to vent.
Having 2 kids diagnosed with diabetes would suck a lot.
But I need to stop dwelling on what we lost or what we might lose and start being thankful for what we have.
Because we have a lot to be Thankful for.
Life for a Child Documentary Part 1:
Life for a Child Documentary Part 2:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14th: World Diabetes Day

Last year on this day I didn't know that...
  • Frederick Banting discovered Insulin
  • November was diabetes awareness month
  • November 14th was World Diabetes Day
  • Blue was the official diabetes color
  • A blue circle was the international symbol for diabetes
  • My daughter would be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 70 days
I've learned a lot in 11 months.
One of the favorite things I've learned is how to make diabetes fun & special for Ella.
So here's how we did our very first World Diabetes Day.
Last night Ella stayed up late decorating postcards for World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange.
I put Domestic Divo & his mostache to work, too.
 Ella found and used every single rhinestone in our craft drawer. Each postcard got gaudier glitzier and glitzier until I'm pretty sure the last one weighed at least a pound.
By the way - if by some miracle you happen to read this blog AND you are the recipient of one of these beauties, please leave me a comment because that would be awesome.
First thing this morning we mailed our postcards. The people at the post office assured us they would make it through, rhinestones and all. Then they charged us more for the super glitzy one.
I wore blue from head-to-toe and slapped blue ribbons on Ella & Livie.
If you ask Livie what it stands for, she'll tell you it's to celebrate Ella's Diabetes.
You rock, Livie.
I snapped this photo of me in my office wearing blue and posted it for this special little girl we met at diabetes camp - Julia - hope you felt the blue love!!!
After work, I grabbed a bouquet of flowers for Ella and picked up a pack of  Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to go along with dinner.
This doesn't sound like much to you, but Ella used to love to eat Pillsbury Crescent Rolls filled with chocolate chips.
She hasn't had one since diagnosis.
After dinner we watched "This is America, Charlie Brown."
Next year I hope to do more.
Next year I hope to be organized enough to get Ella's school involved with wearing blue.
Next year I hope to do an activity with her classmates and educate them about Diabetes.
Next year I will ask all of my friends & family members to wear blue and send photos to Ella throughout the day.
Next year I'll do more.
But this year...our first year...
just seeing the smile on Ella's face holding a bouquet of yellow tulips (draped in her arms like Ms America) and how she gleefully shoved two 16-carb-each chocolate-filled refined flour crescent rolls in her mouth...
well, that was enough for me. 
More importantly, it was enough for her.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Drinking for Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.
I was not aware of this last year.
This time last year my biggest challenge was trying to get Livie to not eat paint...
or trying to convince Domestic Divo to shave off the Mostache he grew for Movember.
In case you're wondering, YES, he's growing it again this year and would love any support...
But this year I am all too aware that November is Diabetes Awareness Month.
Inspired by the fun time (I'm not kidding - the girls thought it was a blast) the girls had during our backyard clean-up day and the sheer giddiness they experienced getting paid $22 for recycling our glass, aluminum and plastic beverage containers, Ella decided to raise awareness locally while at the same time raising money for Diabetes Research by promoting what we are calling
Where we ask people to DRINK UP, save their recyclable beverage containers and give them to us. At the end of the month we'll sort them, take them to the recycle center and donate the money to a Diabetes Research Organization of our choice. We haven't settled on one yet...there are just so many out there we want to support...feel free to leave your suggestions and reasons why.
We made up some flyers and hit the neighborhood. Not only did we educate a lot of people about Type 1 Diabetes, but we also met a lot of super cool people that live right down the street from us. One lady even invited us in and showed us lots of photos of her family and grandkids and said she would recruit them to start saving cans for us, too!
We've also shared this with local family, friends, co-workers and facebook contacts and have collected several HUGE bags and have been promised lots more.
I can't WAIT to see my side yard FULL of bags of stinking old beer & soda cans at the end of the month.
I mean, really, what better reason to DRINK UP than DIABETES?
Even if it is just a Diet Coke.