Friday, November 19, 2010

D-Feast Friday - Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Can't be more simple.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
1C peanut butter
1C sugar
1beaten egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine all ingredients.  Shape dough into one inch balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet, two inches apart.  Press with a fork to flatten.

Bake 8 minutes until brown.  Cool Completely on pan, on wire rack.  Then transfer to storage container.

1 cookie = 10 carbs

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pumpkin Chip Cookies

Fall is in full swing here and I cannot get enough receipes with pumpkin and apples.  The smell of cinnamon wafting through the house just smells so comforting.  These cookies have become a favorite around here this time of year.

Pumpkin Chip Cookies
1C canned pumpkin
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/4C sugar (or Splenda)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each cinnamon AND nutmeg (or use 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice)
1C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter and sugar/splenda.  Beat in egg, pumpkin, and vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients.  Add to the pumpkin mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake 8-10 minutes of greased cookie sheet.  Store these soft cookies with wax paper between layers.

I didn't know what I was going to put in this little pumpkin jar when I bought it, but now I do! 

This recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen soft cookies.

1 cookie = 10g carbs if using Splenda, 15g carbs if using sugar.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DBlog Day

Today, being "dblog day", we've been asked what six things we would like people to know about type 1 diabetes.  I figured I'd ask Taylar herself and get her input and help here... in her own words.

 - Diabetes is when your pancrease doesn't make insulin and you have to go to the hospital.

 - I want people to know about the OmniPod and that I like it a lot because you don't have to get shots. 

 - People with type 1 diabetes can eat whenever they are feeling hungry, well, except at school.  But you need insulin to help me not get "high" and to cover the carbs.

 - Oh, you can't catch diabetes from a friend. It's just happens.

 - When you're the only kid at school that has diabetes, you feel special sometimes.  (Yes, she is the only student out of about 300 kids)

 - Diabetes doesn't mean you're an odd person.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween - Better late than never

Cowgirl Jessie and a crazy punk!

I love Halloween.  My birthday is on October 26, and growing up I would always have a Halloween costume birthday party.  My love for fall in New England and Halloween has certainly rubbed off on my kids too and we always have a fun time.  You would think that diabetes and all that trick or treat candy would cause mayhem, but I have been very lucky.  I've never been a Mom to hand out lollipops or other candy to the girls on a regular basis.  That was the same on Halloween as well, even before diabetes entered our lives.  They could each choose 2-3 pieces of candy, eat it, enjoy it, and then get over it.  No whining allowed!  This year Taylar never even asked the following day for some of her candy so the goodies we have aren't really a problem and will just be rationed out when the urge arises.

The girls and I made some pretty cool, unique Halloween decorations this year, thanks to D-Mom, Leighann.  I thought this was such a creative thing to do!  We changed these old OmniPods from this:

 To this!

Spider and pumpkin decorations made out of old used pods!

The PUMPkins and sPODers were easy and fun to make and you can find out how we did it by clicking here.  Taylar had an especially good time making an extra pump-kin and spider for her Aunt and Grandmum.  They thought they were adorable and Taylar got a kick out of them trying to guess what they were made out of.

Thanks Leighann for your creativity!

Friday, November 5, 2010

D-Feast Friday! Slow cooker hearty beef chili

Here's one to just throw in your crock pot and let simmer for a while.

Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 15oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I use one red bean and one black)
1 1/2C Salsa
1 16oz. can tomato sauce
2 T chili powder
1 onion, chopped
1C corn kernels

Brown meat; drain.  Add to slow cooker with remaining ingredients.  Cover with lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours (or high for 3-4 hours).
Stir before serving and top with cheddar cheese and a side of nachos.


Makes approximately 8 1-cup servings, about 20g carbs

Monday, November 1, 2010

Naked Pancreas!

Reyna over at Beta Buddies started the Naked Pancreas Challenge and I wanted to weigh in.  I haven't blogged in weeks so I figured this was a quick, easy one to do!

1. What kind of insulin management mode do you use?
Taylar has been using the OmniPod since May 10th of this year...the day after her 8th birthday.  Some present, huh?

2. How often do you inject/change pump sites?
We change the pod every 2-3 days.  Usually we go a full 3.

3. What type (s) of insulin do you use?

4. What are your basal settings?
It took forever to figure them out and there is still tweaking that goes on, but for the moment she's at:
12am - 5am -  .45 u/hr

5am-10am - .40

10am - 8pm - .35

8pm - 10pm - .65

10pm - 12am - .60

It has taken quite a while and a lot of sleepless nights to get her overnight rates to where they should be.  She was constantly in the 200s at midnight check but this has taken care of it....for now.

5. What are your correction factors ?

During the day 1:80

At night 1:140 - This was changed a little while ago from 1:90 because after the corrected highs at midnight, she was dropping too low at 3am check.  The 1:140 is working better.  Ah, the joys of it all, huh?

6. What are your meal ratios ?
She starts and ends the day with the same ratios...

12am - 11:30am - 1:15 Breakfast & morning snack

11:30am - 1:30pm -  1:30 Lunch

1:30 - 4:00pm - 1:25 After school snack (if she has one)

4pm - 12am - 1:15 Dinner and bedtime snack

7. What do you do for activity and/or PE?
This past summer was the biggest challenge with just starting on the OmniPod and all that summer swimming!  Taylar could basically eat what she wanted on the days we were at the lake and in the water constantly.  Then at night she would always drop low when I checked her at 11pm or 12am though.  After 2 nights of that we did a -15% temp basal for 5 hours overnight and it worked perfectly.  The "lag effect" is definitely something we deal with a lot.  A couple of preset temp basals we have are:

Bike rides: -30% for duration of the ride
Dance: -20% for one hour
Soccer Practice:  -25% for one hour
Soccer Games: - 20% for one hour
Swimming (and bounce house/maze craze type places): -50% for duration

Taylar has PE at 9am this year so she usually tests after it.  Where it is so early in the day and so close to eating breakfast we haven't had any problems with lows which is a good thing.  Plus, her morning snack time is at 10:45, about one hour after PE ends. 

8. How do you manage Pizza, Macaroni and Cheese, or any other "difficult to manage" foods?
Pizza, pizza, oh how we love thee.  Taylar loves pizza.  Who doesn't?  I remember reading about pizza when she was first diagnosed and wondering what they heck the big deal was.  Well, I sure found out first hand.  Now that I get it, we use the extended bolus feature on her pump.  Bolus 35g carbs (depending) per slice giving her 50% now and extending 50% over 4 hours.  We just did this the other day when she had pizza at a party for lunch and she was 90 before bed! Yipee!  If we have pizza for dinner, however, I add a unit to the calculated bolus from the pump and then continue with the 50/50 extended.

Pizza is the worst, but we also extend on ice cream.  Usually 50/50 over 2 hours takes care of it. 

9. How do you prefer to manage your logs/data?

Well, I have an on again, off again, relationship with Taylar's "frog log".  I'm sure you know what I mean right?  I have about 4 of them from the hospital and I do prefer to do it the old fashioned way and just write things down.  We also download her pump to the computer and can look at it that way as well.

And that's Taylar's naked pancreas!

Friday, October 15, 2010

D-Feast Friday - Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Have you ever been at the mall and walked by Cinnabon?  The smell of those cinnamon rolls baking is intoxicating in my opinion.  They are also loaded with carbs, calories, and fat.  Don't get me wrong I've had one once or twice but certainly not since D has entered our lives.

Here is Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien's, version of "Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing".   Let's be honest, they don't compare to a huge Cinnabon roll, but they are good and fun for kids to make.  It is a better alternative plus you won't feel guilty after eating one of these.

Picture taken from "Hungry Girl 200 under 200" cookbook

Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
For Dough:  1 pkg. Crescent Rolls

For Filling:
1/4C brown sugar (not packed)
1/4C Splenda
1/2T Butter at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Salt

For Icing:
1/4C Cool Whip, thawed
3T cream cheese at room temperature
1T Splenda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all filling ingredients making sure butter is incorporated evenly.  Set aside.

Combine all icing ingredients until smooth and chill in fridge to set.

Remove dough from package and knead into a ball using flour if necessary to help prevent sticking.  Using a rolling pin dusted lightly with flour, very firmly roll out dough into a thin sheet about 8x12 inches.  Spray the dough evenly with spray butter or an additional tablespoon of melted butter.

Spread filling out evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2inch border around edges.  Starting with a long side of the dough, roll it up tightly, forming a log.  Once dough is completely rolled up, pinch the long seam to seal.

Working with the seamside down, use a sharp knife to cut the log into 8 even pieces, being careful not to squish the dough. (A serrated bread knife is your best bet here.)

Arrange rolls in a baking pan swirl sides facing up. (I like to put them in a muffin tin!)  Press down on the tops of the pieces to flatten slightly and pinch side seams if necessary.

Cover pan with foil.  Bake 8 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Distribute icing over rolls and enjoy!

Makes 8 servings
126 calories and 18.5g carbs

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Letting Go

I'm just going to cut to the chase here.  Taylar slept over her friend's house last night.  Yep, I LET her sleep at a friends.  A non-D friend at that.  This is her first sleep over with a non-family member so this was a huge deal.  Honestly, I'm glad it's over but we all did survive.  If anything it was a great hands-on learning experience for Taylar's friend's Mom. 

Taylar's bags were packed and she was on her way at 5:00 on Friday.  I equipped the Mom with everything Taylar could possibly need in any circumstance that may arise.  I had written things down and even gave her our Calorie King book.  It all began with dinner (No phone call! This Mom is good!  Of course I was hoping for a call but she had already told me what they were going to have so I gave her a guesstimate of the carbs.) Blood sugar of 135.  Nice.  I got my first phone call around 7:00 for dessert.  The kids were jumping on the trampoline and Taylar was now testing at 62.  Those stinkin' trampolines.  Every time that girl has fun jumping around on one she goes low.  No worries though.  She had some juice and then her ice cream and was back in range after that. 

At 10:35 I hadn't heard anything about a "bedtime" reading so I called over there.  They were ending a movie but the Mom had Taylar test and she called me right back.  165.  Ok, that's a good bedtime number.  I was SO nervous though.  That's a good number if I'm going to check her again at midnight...especially after the trampoline incident.  Ugh.  You know how it is.  You get all those negative possibilities flowing through your head.  I prayed about it.  I prayed again and again.  

At 11:40 the phone rang again and it was Taylar.  She was fine.  She was just calling to say goodnight.  I guess they had gone to bed around 11 but she said she couldn't sleep until she called to say goodnight.  Awww.  I wanted to magically have her come through the phone and be at home.  Letting go.  Man, this was SO hard.  Instead I (prayed again and) went to bed. 

Somehow I got a decent night's sleep.  Taylar was 90 in the morning and eventually came home.  Looking back I'm so glad that Taylar had her first sleep over!  It is so much easier to just say no but she had an absolute ball and I know the next time will be easier....not that I'll have it happen again too soon. :-)  I'm proud of how she handled herself and her pump on her own and proud of myself for letting go.

Friday, October 8, 2010

D-Feast Friday - Frozen Peanut Butter-and Chocolate Pie

What is it about chocolate and peanut butter together?  All I can say is yum!

Frozen Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie
1 1/2C milk
1/4C sugar
1/2C + 1T creamy peanut butter
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2C thawed cool whip
1 (6oz.) graham-cracker crust (Or you could make your own!)
Chopped dry roasted peanuts
1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated

Combine milk and sugar in saucepan and set over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.  Pour into a medium bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 1 hour.

Gently stir cool whip into chilled milk mixture; spoon into crust.  Sprinkled with peanuts and grated chocolate.  Loosely cover the pie with wax paper, then aluminum foil.  Freeze until completely frozen, at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days.  Let pie soften at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

Serving: 1/8 pie, 34g carbs

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Walk

Taylar with her photo board that was posted at the walk
This Sunday was our JDRF "Walk to Cure Diabetes".  I showed up at 7:30 a.m. with my Mom to help set things up and to run the "New Walkers" information table.  It was only about 42 degrees that morning so I was thankful they supplied hot coffee for the volunteers!

It was so exciting when our team members started to arrive!  I loved seeing everyone in their "Sweet T" t-shirts!  There were 26 of us who walked and showed up to support Taylar.  It truly was heartwarming.  Last year things happened so quickly that we only had 8 walkers so to triple our team meant a lot to me.  It meant a lot to Taylar to have five of her cousins and three of her friends show up to walk as well.  It made it lots of fun to be together. 

There was a kid's tent with face painting and such, snacks and drinks, a little traveling zoo type thing, and great raffle prizes.  Three people from my team won a raffle item so that was exciting.  There were two walk routes this year and we chose to walk the wooded trail.  It was pretty cool and I think the kids enjoyed it especially. 
Heading up to the wooded walking trail

I am happy to say that Sweet T raised just over $3,000 for JDRF!  We surpassed our goal that's for sure!  To know that our team members were out there getting donations and spreading the word about type 1 diabetes makes me feel truly blessed.  I am humbled by the whole thing.  Thank you to all the friends and family members who helped make Sweet T so successful this year.  I love you all!

Here is a close up of Taylar's photo board. A cure. What would life be like? Do I even remember?  Maybe we won't have to have a walk next year. That is what I pray for every day.

Friday, October 1, 2010

D-Feast Friday - Ham with Apples

Here is a great, simple, fall meal that was a hit in our house.  Super easy for a weeknight too.

4 1/4lb ham steaks
1 small onion, chopped
3 apples, cored and cut into 1/2" wedges
1 1/2 C apple cider
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1T cornstarch
2T water

Lightly brown the ham steaks in a skillet with a little olive oil for about 2 minutes on each side and then set aside. 
Add onion to skillet and cook over medium heat stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add apples, cider, and mustard; cook, stirring frequently, until apples are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

Stir together cornstarch and water in a cup until smooth, then add to skillet.  Cook, stirring contantly, until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 2 minutes.  Return ham to skillet and cook until heated through.

4 Servings: 1 ham slice and about 1/2C apples with sauce:
261 calories, 30g Carbs

*This recipe is from the Weight Watchers Momentum Cookbook*

Monday, September 27, 2010

Constant Battle

I've pretty much had it with diabetes this week.  Last week we were battling high numbers that were driving me crazy!  As if trying to figure out a reason for the numbers wasn't bad enough, I have to deal with the thoughts of what it does to Taylar's body.  She did get a flu shot which her nurse said could bump her numbers for a couple of days but it went on for a little longer than I was comfortable with so I called the nurse... again.  We changed some basal rates around and adjusted her daytime correction factor.  Bam!  It worked all right.  Too much in fact.  Low, low, low.  Instead of seeing 250 & 300 now we've got a 56, 65, and a wonderful 42.  What the heck!?  That's not to mention two of her morning numbers being 70 and finding a 65 at 2am which scares the you-know-what out of me.  Thank goodness I pulled myself out of bed that night.

Sometimes it seems like we just can't win.  I don't understand how we can go on doing the same things every day but get different results.  She eats basically the same things, at the same times of day, exercises at the same times of day yet with different results every time.  It's enough to drive a person crazy.  We changed some basal rates back to what they were before this latest change so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Diabetes is SO constant and knowing that it isn't going anywhere, anytime soon can be very overwhelming.  I would love to just forget about it all for a while.  I'd love to forget about carb counting for a day.  I would love to let Taylar's little fingers heal from all those finger pricks too.  With all those lows we had to recheck recently, I looked at her PDM.  In a 24 hour period I counted 14 blood sugar tests.  That's just wrong, poor thing.  I would love to just ask her how her day at school was when she gets off the bus without looking at her to see if she looks pale to me or wondering what her blood sugar is knowing she hasn't tested or eaten since lunch time.  I'd like to just leave the house without asking my famous question, "Do you have the PDM?"  It really is all consuming.  I think about diabetes when I'm with her, when I'm not, when I'm in bed, in my car, out with friends, at the gym... all the time.  I didn't invite this intruder into my daughter's life and here I am catering to its demands.  It is just a constant battle.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I know it's still the weekend for a couple more hours, but I am so excited for next Saturday! There is a community event being held all around my town.  My Mom, sister, and I scored a spot to host our own JDRF tent. We have been working so hard the past couple of weeks trying to figure out what to offer that will draw people to our tent because there will be many others.

This is what we’ve got, how does this sound? We are going to have lots of colorful JDRF balloons decorating our tent, a few posters and a big JDRF banner that they are letting us borrow. We will have coloring sheets for kids and lots of diabetes information sheets. For the money making part of it we are going to sell sugar free freeze pops, sugar free cookies that were generously donated from Chatila’s Bakery and cups of ice cold Kool-Aid Fun Fizz offered in three different flavors.

As another way to raise funds for research we will also be selling paper sneakers in the amounts of $1, $5, and $10 to see how many “steps” closer we can get to a cure! Also, with any donation kids (adults too if they want!) can choose from a sneaker tattoo, or nail polish with custom nail art. Phew!

Would you want to stop by our tent? I’m so excited! I hope we can handle it all!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

Well, the first day of third grade went well, but didn't go off without some kind of hiccup.  Of course it didn't!  That's just how it is when you live in D-world.

First of all let me say that I love the school nurse.  She is very thorough and on top of her game.  This being our second year with her I could not be happier.  Anyway, around snack time, two hours into the school day, Taylar was running a bit high that day which I kind of expected being the first day of school and all.  I think it's "normal" (is there is such a thing anymore?) to run high when you mix anxiety and excitement together.  At least that's our experience.

So I wasn't surprised when the phone rang and it was the school nurse.  "Well, we're off to a great start here." she said.  I'm thinking Oh good!! Then she continued, "Taylar bumped her pod on her chair and it's just hanging here with the cannula out." 


She was wearing the pod on her back and when she stood up it got caught on the back rest of her chair.  I guess they were playing a game and she got up very quickly.  So I dropped everything and headed to school for a site change on the first day of school.  Mind you I live 1/2 mile from the school so I was there in a few minutes but, seriously?  Luckily Taylar was great about it and didn't really seemed bothered.  If anything I think she was happy to see me being her first day back and all.

The good part was that I had the nurse do the whole pod change while I was there and was able to watch her.  Her hands were shaky but she got through it.  Hopefully this won't happen again but if it does, and I happen to not be close by, I'm confident that between the nurse and Taylar (who could do the whole thing herself I'm sure) can handle it without me.

Happy new school year everybody!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Moment in Time

The Jonas Brothers concert totally rocked!  Those guys are talented!  I absolutely enjoyed it and loved being there with Taylar.  I've been to many concerts but it has always been with my hubby and sister.  It was different, but great being there with her.  She screamed, danced and sang along through the whole show (Blood sugars pretty high all day because of all the excitement too, but I told myself it didn't matter that day.)  Even though we were surrounded by mostly teenagers I was singing and dancing along too.  Hey, If you knew what we spent on tickets you would have lived it up too!

During the show there was a "moment" that made it all worth it.  I don't even know if you'll understand it but I have to tell you about it.  First of all, the name Nick Jonas has become a household name around here.  We talk about him checking his blood sugars and what he would chose to eat etc.  It's pretty funny but when you listen to their music every single day and have such a strong connection of knowing he has type 1, you start to feel like you know the guy.  Taylar has written letters to the Jonas Brothers and everything. 

Anyway, Taylar had made a couple of signs for the show.  Our seats were dead center 3 rows from the stage.  Yes, I said 3 rows!!  So needless to say when they were singing to us they were literally right in front of us. So here comes Nick down toward the front of the stage playing his guitar.  Taylar held up her sign that says, "Nick, You're my type 1".  Nick looks at her sign, reads it, looks right in her big brown eyes and gives her the cutest smile and nod as if to say, "oh, you have type 1 like me. I get that."  Taylar put her sign down and gave me the biggest giggly hug ever.  Meanwhile I was trying not to cry seeing how happy she was and how much this meant to her.  She was so happy to actually "tell" Nick that she was like him.  They have something in common that a lot of people just don't understand.  It was definitely a "moment" she won't forget.  Even the people behind us said, "Oooh, he just read her sign!"  They were happy for Tayar too.

Nick and Kevin.  Yep, we were THAT close

I don't know if you can understand why this was such a big deal to us but it really was.  Taylar looks up to Nick Jonas.  She looks up to him because he is living out his dreams of making music, making movies, traveling, making tv shows... all while living with type 1 diabetes.  He is a perfect example of "you can do anything you want to do".  He does not hide his diabetes and he refuses to let it stop him.  Who wouldn't want their daughter looking up to someone like that?  That's not even to mention that at his age, Nick Jonas is also the National Chairman of the JDRF Walks to Cure Diabetes this year!  Check out his video message here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jonas Obsessed

Taylar has always loved music and dancing.  It really is something she is passionate about.  This year will be her 5th year of dance lessons and there is always music playing in our house.  So enter a music group with a band member who has type one diabetes and you have one obsessed kid.  Taylar is officially a bit obsessed with the Jonas Brothers.  The youngest brother Nick who has type one like her to be exact. 

On the anniversary of her diagnosis my husband and I gave her tickets to one of their upcoming concerts!  We spent waayy too much money on these VIP tickets but it doesn't matter.  She deserves it.  It was the perfect way to tell her how proud we are of her and the way she has handled all she has been through during this past year.  Finger pricks, carb couting, multiple daily injections, switching to a pump... it has been a lot and she has handled it like the "rock star" she is.

 Nick Jonas wrote a song about his diagnosis when he was 13 years old.  Here are the lyrics:

A Little Bit Longer

Got the news today

Doctor said I had to stay

A little bit longer and I'll be fine

When I thought it'd all be done

When I thought it'd all been said

A little bit longer and I'll be fine

But you don't know what you got 'til it's gone

And you don't know what it's like to feel so low

And every time you smile or laugh you glow

You don't even know, no, no.

You don't even know.

All this time goes by

Still no reason why

A little bit longer and I'll be fine.

Waitin' on a cure

But none of them are sure

A little bit longer and I'll be fine

But you don’t know what you got 'til it's gone

You don’t know what it’s like to feel so low.

And every time you smile or laugh you glow

You don’t even know, no, no.

You don’t even know, no, no.

You don’t even know, no.

But you don't know what you got 'til it's gone.

And you don't know what it's like to feel so low, yeah!

And every time you smile or laugh you glow

You don’t even know!


So I'll wait 'til kingdom come.

All the highs and lows are gone.

A little bit longer and I'll be fine.

I’ll be fine.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

OmniPod Arm Bands

Taylar has been using the OmniPod for three months now.  We haven't had any pod failures that others have warned me about, and overall we are very happy with it.  There have been a couple times, however, that the pod has been knocked off accidentally.  This occurred when Taylar was wearing the pod on her arm.  Well, the only solution I could think of was wrapping the pod to her arm somehow.  I used an ace bandage type thing, a wrap by 3M that sticks to itself, and a sock cut off above the heel to create a cuff.  These things worked but were not exactly the best.

Enter me being obsessed by finding a band that works and my mother in law.  She can sew anything and makes the most beautiful quilts you've ever seen.  To my advantage, she loves it.  She has even made clothes for the girls which is a nice.  Me?  Nah.  I can cook, but don't ask me to sew.  Maybe a button or two but it's really not my thing.  Anyway, I ran the idea of some kind of stretchy arm band by her and voila, this is what we've got!

These are the two bands my mother in law came up with.  They are made out of spandex which I thought would be nice and stretchy but would hold the pod in place.  Taylar says they are comfortable to wear.  The flower decal is a nice added touch.  Because it is made of spandex, Taylar wears hers in the water too with no problem.

The only change since these pictures were taken is that we (by "we" I mean my mother in law! I don't sew remember!?) added a bit of elastic half way around the top and bottom of the arm band.  This really keeps it from sliding down over the smooth pod.

I told her we should market them because I've found nothing like this around!  Pod users...what do you think?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Date I Can't Forget

August 4, 2009

One year ago. On that day I was told that my then 7 year old daughter Taylar has type 1 diabetes.

One year ago today...

I felt like I was outside of my own body as I listened to my daughter cry and yell "I want to go home!" while a nurse put an IV in her small arm.

I watched with a queasy stomach and fear of needles while my daughter received numerous insulin shots every few hours that doctors said would lower her 700+ blood sugar level.

I watched Taylar while she slept in her hospital bed and finally let myself cry about her lifelong diagnosis.

I learned words like hypoglycemia, autoimmune, hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, insulin, endocrinologist, glucagon, humalog, NPH, glucometer, and hemoglobin a1c.

I remember being gently reprimanded for letting Taylar eat a snack that I didn't realize should have been saved for her next snack time, two hours later.

As I lay in the darkness of the hospital I pictured Taylar going to college and calling home saying she forgot her medicine and how frantic I would be. I pictured her wedding day and made a mental note that she would need a short sleeved dress for shots, and thought of how much I will worry about her health if she and her husband had a baby. Suddenly, although she was only 7, her life flashed before me knowing it would be different now.

I took carb counting classes and a lot of other training sessions that completely exhausted me.

I didn't eat.

I didn't sleep.

I didn't know how I was going to handle all of this. I couldn't help but focus on the foreverness of this disease.

One year ago...

I fought off the nausea that was rising in my stomach and drew up a needle full of insulin and injected it into Taylar's arm knowing I would have to do that every single day, multiple times per day if I wanted her to be healthy.

I began to hate math even more than I did in school. So THIS is what they meant by saying, "You may need this math some day."

I reluctantly cleared out a kitchen cabinet and filled it with diabetes supplies like syringes, alcohol swabs, insulin, glucose tabs, lancets, lancing devices, blood glucose meters, blood glucose test strips, bandaids, ketone blood strips, ketostix, the ever-feared glucagon, a few log books, Calorie King, lists of important phone numbers... and anything else I may have forgotten to mention.

I began to face type one diabetes head on without an opportunity to ever, ever stop.

I cried often. I was hurting.

One year ago our lives changed.

----fast forward----

August 4, 2010

In some ways it seems like this last year has flown by but at the same time I feel like I've been doing this diabetes thing forever. It's a strange feeling. And now that it is one year, what do we do? Celebrate it? Ignore it? It's a weird day.

Now that I am in a better place emotionally and mentally, I can look back at those first few weeks I can see how far we have all come. I eventually got over my sick stomach when giving Taylar shots and I found a good calculator to help with calculating carbs and insulin! I try to not think of the foreverness.... but on bad days it's hard not to. We have participated in one JDRF "walk to cure" and I am on the walk committee for the next one. I am trying to educate people and raise awareness about type one diabetes by manning a JDRF tent at a local community event in September. Yes, I have come a long way. But you know what? It's not really about me. Let's talk about Taylar here.

This girl is amazing. The daily routine that she has put up with for a year astounds me. She is just so brave and strong and amazing and happy and....She inspires me! I could go on! She has also inspired others as well. Her nurse used Taylar as a "model" for a young girl deciding if she should go on a pump or not. Taylar sat in on their appointment and answered questions the girl and her mom had like a professional. When the appointment was over and the door was closing I heard the girl say, "I want that pump Mom."

 I received an email from a friend of mine, sent to me, but addressed to Taylar, about two months ago. Her son was diagnosed with type 1 about four years ago and absolutely refuses to talk about using an insulin pump. In this email my friend went on to tell me that because of seeing how brave Taylar and how she is handling her diabetes, it encouraged her to talk more with her son about using a pump. She used Taylar as an example and actually thanked Taylar! Just for being herself. Oh, his pump start date is in 5 days.......

Not every day in the life of diabetes is a good one, but nine times out of ten, my girl doesn't complain. I don't know how she does it. I am truly blessed.  It doesn't mean that we don't have bad days or that I don't cry anymore.  I feel safe here to say that I still do sometimes.  The difference is that I now know better how to handle things.  I can count carbs.  I know what numbers mean and how to calculate them.  I can draw up a syringe and give injections if I have to (although I'm sure glad Taylar's pump does this part for me now). I have the confidence now to do it.  I can do this.  I never thought I would say that but here I am one year later actually starting to believe it's true.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Place

Okay, I admit that I think about diabetes A LOT and worry about Taylar A LOT especially with all these summer activities she has been going to.  But overall, I feel like I am in a good spot with this diabetic life.  (I can't believe I just typed that.)  Taylar's numbers have been pretty good besides the occasional nasty high or (less frequent) low.  Her A1C, although not perfect, was down 4 points since last time, and we have just been enjoying the summer.  Ice cream treats and all! 

I truly believe it is the grace of God that has put me in this place and I praise Him for that.  I think that is why there haven't been any posts from me here!  I've actually been enjoying life a little!  It's been a year since Taylar's diagnosis.  Well, one week from today will be one year.  We have come a long way and although it still is a daily battle, I feel like I've learned to handle what comes rather than react and play the blame game.

In this year, I've learned that diabetes is a big, fat, scary monster that will always do what it wants to do.  I do my best to control it, but I've realized that this monster is going to put its foot down no matter how hard I try to beat it.  It will probably always one-up me but I'm learning to accept that and educate myself further so that maybe I can at least tame this monster. 

As for Taylar... oh my goodness, I could not be any prouder of her if I tried.  She seriously has turned into a rock star at managing her diabetes.  She has been to many church functions, friend's houses, and even a summer school cooking class.  In each situation, with little or no guidance, she has been absolutely amazing at managing and monitoring herself.  Let me remind you, she just turned eight in May!  I don't know if it's the OmniPod that is helping her, but she truly has grown in this past year and has inspired me. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Team Sweet T's Walk Video for 2010

I have been working on our "Walk to Cure Diabetes" video for this year's JDRF walk in October.  This is my first attempt at doing anything like this!   Check it out:

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Talk about blog slacker.  Oh well, it's summertime.  I've already been enjoying it, believe me!  I do pop onto facebook for updates but I haven't made the time for my blog.  As I sit here tonight there is a constant drum of firecrackers exploding outside.  I'm surprised the girls are staying asleep!  Speaking of the girls, they have been so wonderful lately.  I know that Taylar is enjoying being home from school and Carissa is thrilled to have her big sister to play with.  I'm just hoping that I'm lucky enough for it to last for the whole summer.

On the diabetes side of things, Taylar has been on the OmniPod for just under two months now.  After a rocky start things definitely evened out and got much better.  But you know how it is, that didn't last long as it is still a daily battle.  Today has been down right awful!  I should have known when she woke up at 206.  I don't know how many corrections for highs Taylar has gotten today.  I just don't get it... and actually don't feel like talking about it.  But obviously something made me hang out here at my blog.  Well, at least a little venting is better than none. 

Taylar's going to bed number tonight was 232.  Taylar looks at me and says, "Mom, I wish I could go down my throat, take my pancreas out and punch it!"

I was all for it.  Hey, maybe it would make it start working again. *sigh*

Tomorrow will be another day.  A better day......I hope.

Happy 4th of July

Update since last night's post.

When I went up to check Taylar after all those highs ALL day, she was 51 at midnight!  I have no explanation.  I could have used a "Duck Diabetes" shirt today.  Ugh!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just what the Doctor Ordered

Shortly after Taylar was diagnosed I craved to have someone to talk to and who could relate with me. I wanted to talk with another parent who goes through the same daily struggles as I do.  I had reached out to a local organization that helps families in our situation in need of resources or finances.  I told the lady that there should be a diabetes support group.  She went through her files and made up a list of her type 1 diabetes clients, asked their permission to share emails, and sent out a group email with everyone's information on it. 

The email sat there in my inbox, and everyone else's I suppose, for weeks.  After a rough d-day, I  finally bit the bullet and wrote a group email to those on the contact list introducing myself and my connection with diabetes.  For those of you who know me I'm pretty shy so I was quite proud of myself for taking the first step.  After all, I was the one who asked for the group in the first place.

Sure enough people replied, telling their own stories and thanking me for being the first one to speak up.  There was one lady in particular who also emailed me separately from the group about possibly wanting to get together because her daughter is only a year older than Taylar.  I mentioned I'm kinda shy right? 

Well, long story short, last night we got together.  I invited my friend to go with me along with her daughter who was diagnosed a year ago and goes to Taylar's school.  Us three moms and the three girls got along great.  It was quite an experience.  It's crazy how from the moment I got out of the car I felt like I knew so much about this woman, yet we had never met before.  I suddenly wasn't as shy as I think I am.  Diabetes has changed me.  I was comfortable laughing with her, crying with her, and just sharing stories from the heart.  We shared stories that other people may think are insignificant or silly but we all "got it".  That's the hardest thing about the big "D".  People just don't get it unless they live it... every.  single.  day.

This new friend's daughter was diagnosed at age 3.  It amazes me that after six years she she is still wanting to reach out and connect with other people.  It felt so good to hear someone else's stories, whether good, bad, funny, or sad, and say, "I know exactly what you mean!" 

We got to her house at 6:30 and didn't leave until 11:30!  Talk about out of my character!  I am such a stickler about bed time.  Ah well, it was a wonderful night and just what the doctor ordered.

Monday, June 7, 2010


So we are 4 days shy of pumping for one month.  In some ways it seems like yesterday and then sometimes it seems like we've been doing this forever.  Taylar's numbers have been slightly more cooperative but we have still seen our share of lows and highs.  I had it in my head that going on the pump would be a quick fix.  Boy was I wrong!  It's still a lot of work, if not more.  I am guessing it will get easier and I shouldn't complain seeing so we're only a month in.  When Taylar was first diagnosed, it took a while to figure out her shots too.  I'm just being impatient I guess. *sigh*

More changes were made on Friday at her first pump follow-up appointment so I'm back to getting up at 12 & 3am.  Well, I really haven't stopped checking her in the middle of the night but lately if her midnight check was in her range I would sleep through until the morning.  I was actually starting to feel like a person again!  But, not so fast!  Back to checking.  Ah well, that's okay.  It gives me peace of mind anyway.

Taylar and I went to Pennsylvania last weekend.  We drove.  For six hours.  I was dreading what this was going to do to her numbers, but I nailed it by using temp basal rates for the latter part of the drive.  You certainly can't do that on NPH!  (I had to pat myself on the back for that one.  Of course then we had pizza for dinner and, well, that was the end of that.  But I'll save that for another time.)

We also went for a hike at the beautiful Ricketts Glen in PA.  It's famous for the many waterfalls that you see along your way up the mountain.  If we lived closer I would be there all the time.  Anyway, we did not complete the whole trail to the top because I didn't think Taylar could make it the whole seven miles AND we were hiking with my almost-8- months pregnant sister!  Both of them did great though :)  An hour in Taylar's reading was 120 and that was after having a juice box.  We still had a ways to go and I did not want to deal with a low on the side of a mountain!  Now here is a huge reason why I love the OmniPod.  All I did was set her pod on a temporary basal of -25% for one hour.  It took us just about an hour to complete the hike and when we were done her reading was 150.  Yipee!  I called that one a success too. 

This is the 40 foot waterfall.  They kept getting bigger and bigger as we hiked. Just beautiful.

So for now I'm still learning and still hanging in there. There are only 9 days of school left for Taylar and I'm very excited about that.  I'm planning on enjoying this summer to its fullest.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tear jerker

A poem in memory of the author, Gary Hempleman, for all children with diabetes.

She walks down the hallway in silence so deep,

Keep watch over him, as her little one sleeps.

With meter in hand, she opens his door,

Making sure not to wake him as she crosses the floor,

She sits on his bedside and brushes his hair,

As he dreams of shooting baskets, without a "D" care.

She holds his hand softly; his fingers so small,

As she watches and wonders why "D" came to call.

While she watches him sleeping, so peaceful and warm,

The forces inside him fight a constant "D" storm.

Will he ever be free of shots and blood testing?

She sits and she wonders as she watches him resting.

The beep of the meter breaks the silence of the night;

A small drop of blood tells if everything's right.

The seconds count down to the final display,

I hate this damn meter; i want to throw it away.
The number is fine, one down, a lifetime to go,

As he turns in his sleep, will he ever know?

Why does this "D" happen to someone so small?

My son is my hero, but my baby most of all.

She turns at his doorway, looking back one more time,

It's a nightly routine of the very worst kind.

She walks down the hallway and time passes by,

As she sits in dark silence and quietly cries.

I have to stay strong, and for him i will fight,

We'll battle this "D" with all of our might.

I'll teach him to master and conquer this foe,

This "D" will not stop him, i promised him so.

~Gary Hempleman~

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finally a pump update!

So here I sit on the couch at 3:45 am while the rest of the house is asleep.  Why?  Because diabetes is keeping me up.  It has been two weeks since Taylar started using the OmniPod (is that all?) and things have definitely been interesting.  Overall her numbers during the day have been pretty good.  Actually, no, they've been great. There have been occasional lows which I don't like and am not really used to though.  We've handled them he best we could and I'm convinced the change in weather has a lot to do with it.

The first week was a bit overwhelming learning all there is to know about the pump but by now we pretty much have it down. (Except for extended bolusing which I'm very anxious to use especially for when we eat pizza.  But I won't get into that now because "Taylar vs Pizza" could be a blog all it's own!)  Of course the biggest benefit is not drawing up syringes or dialing up insulin pens.  I hardly use the sharps container anymore which has been a good thing.

So part of this whole thing has been checking Taylar overnight at 12am and 3am.  Oh yes, that has been a blast, let me tell you.  I've tried handling it in different ways.  Staying up until 12 to test, trying to sleep before getting up at midnight, attempting a nap during the day.  Honestly, it doesn't matter how I do it because in the end it leaves me T I R E D!  And, like tonight, sometimes it leaves me A W A K E!  Just can't win sometimes I guess.

Before dinner last night we changed her pod site to her back.  She never put it there before so I was a little nervous that it might hurt.  But like usual, Taylar took a few deep breaths and moved on. 

For these two weeks we have been adjusting the basal rate set for 8pm - 12am to bring down her midnight highs.  And we're talking 272, 365, 488, and 255 just to name a few numbers from this week.  Lovely, huh?  It started out at .3 basal rate.  Up to .35, up to .40.  It doesn't really matter what we changed it to, she's still high at that time.  Talk about frustration!  Yesterday I called our nurse educator (yet again) and left a message saying I assume I should up it to .45.  She called me back laughing saying, "Hey, you don't need me anymore."  (Yeah right!)  So tonight .45 it is.  That sounded like a lot, it should do the trick.  Right after changing the pod I made the basal rate change for the night. Blood sugar check was 120 before bed.  Her target!  Ooh, happy Momma! 

So bedtime....I went through the whole bedtime routine and Taylar started complaining that the site hurts.  Mind you we just changed it 3 1/2 hours prior.  She tried laying in different positions but she really seemed uncomfortable.  After about 30 minutes of trying to convince her that it was fine (because yah, I would know how it feels right? Not!) we changed the site.  This was a first.  It was a new pod and it was now 8:30 (She's usually asleep by 8pm) and Taylar needs her beauty sleep.  (I'll just leave out the part that I had planned on grabbing my iPod and going for a nice long walk by myself after she was in bed. Note to self: Never plan something for yourself because chances are it probably won't actually happen.)  Let the frustration kick in here.  Ugh!  The site looked fine but obviously it didn't feel very good, poor kid.  We did what we had to do and by 9pm she was back in bed and sound asleep.  I pouted as I folded laundry and then had some ice cream with praline sprinkles.  (Hmm, probably not the best decision but my emotional eating could be yet another blog all on its own!)

Midnight check at the new, increased again, basal rate was... 273.  Waahhhh!?!  I gave a correction and rechecked at 3am...201.  What the?

So THAT is why I'm sitting here in front of the computer while everyone else is sleeping.  The diabetes monster is having its way with me and won't get out of my head.  I'll call our nurse educator in the morning to see what in the world we should do again.  ::sigh::

Oh my goodness, it's 4:30am and I hear birds chirping outside!  Maybe I should try and go back to sleep now.  My hubby leaves for work in an hour and my youngest, Carissa will be up about an hour after that though.  Maybe I should just stay up.........Actually, maybe I should grab the iPod afterall and take that walk.  But sshhhh, don't tell anyone!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Foodie Friday - Mini Microwave Triple Chocolate Cake

Who doesn’t like chocolate cake? It is an involved process to make a chocolate cake from scratch including all that yummy frosting, however, which happens to be a good thing in a house with a child who has diabetes. This certainly isn’t like my Mom’s birthday cakes but it serves a purpose for dulling the urge for chocolate cake. On occasion the girls make these mini microwave triple chocolate cakes all by themselves for dessert. This recipe comes from my Hungry Girl cookbook which I love. All of her recipes are so different and include nutrition facts which is a plus. Here’s the recipe for one individual microwave cake but put out two ramekins and measure the ingredients for two!

Mini Microwave Triple Chocolate Cake:
Per cake w/ topping: 27g carbs


2T cool whip free, thawed

1T Hershey’s Lite chocolate syrup, divided

2T devil’s food cake mix

1T vanilla yogurt

For the topping, stir together Cool Whip and half of the chocolate syrup. Put this in the freezer for firm up a bit while you make the cake.

In a very small microwave-safe dish (like a ramekin), combine cake mix and yogurt. Stir until smooth and blended. It doesn’t seem like much but it will puff up as it cooks!

Microwave for 1 minute. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

Remove chocolatey whipped topping from freezer and spoon over your cake. Drizzle with the remaining chocolate syrup on top. Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Better late than never.... If There Was a Cure...

I have had quite a week.  Taylar has been on the pump for 6 days now and the tiredness and newness is taking a toll on me.  I had every intention of taking part in the daily diabetes blog, but I just couldn't keep up.  I had a good cry yesterday, pulled myself up off the floor, put it behind me and feel a bit better today.  Eventhough blog week is over, I have to participate in the "if there was a cure" day.

I would no longer pray for a cure, but instead praise God that one was found!

I would sleep soundly at night and not become stressed if Taylar slept in a bit in the morning.

I wouldn't hate myself for leaving small bruises on Taylar's arms and buttocks from giving her injections.

I would re-gain a kitchen cabinet that right now it stocked wtih diabetes supplies.

I wouldn't withhold or force food based on what blood sugar numbers are on the meter.

In fact, I would throw away our meters, lancets, lancing devices, test strips for glucose and ketones, control solution, pods, insulin, alcohol wipes, pens, glucose tabs, glucagon, syringes, and anything else I missed.

I would erase the phone number to Children's Hospital from my memory.

I would not panic if I left the house during the day and left my cell phone on the counter by mistake.

I would drop Taylar off at her friends' houses or at their birthday parties without having to give explanations or just staying myself.

I would let Taylar swim, jump, run, and dance for twelve hours straight if she wanted to and not once stop her to do a test or drink juice.

I would not hear another child ask, "Hey, what's that thing?" in reference to Taylar's new pump.

I would not cry as often as I sometimes do.

I would not miss filling out paperwork for school and activities that include a heatlh history.  It would be like it used to be....blank.

I would enjoy cooking and baking again because I wouldn't have to worry about the carb counts of foods. 

I would never look up food in Calorie King anymore!

I would take the kids out for hot fudge sundaes and only leave the house with my wallet.  No supplies.

I would be overjoyed and thankful.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's get moving. Exercise.

Okay, so I missed a couple of days...but hopefully I'm back and will have time to participate the rest of the week!

How do we get moving?  Well, we are a family that likes to be outside so weather permitting, after school the girls are outside.  Now that Taylar rides her bike well  and spring has sprung, we go for bikes rides very often together.  We usually go for about two miles.  I have a bike bag attached to my bike so I always keep some glucose tabs in there.  I also try to remember to grab Taylar's monitor, my cell phone, and a water bottle too.  We have never run into a problem blood sugar wise when we've gone on a bike ride but it's good to be prepared.

Swimming!  Taylar is a fish and loves to swim!  I can barely talk to her when she's in the water because she is constantly underwater doing flips and handstands.  My parents live a mile away and have a pool that we visit very often in the summertime.  In addition my in-laws have a place on a lake that we visit on weekends in the summer as well.  I have never been successful telling Taylar to take a break from the water at the lake so I'm interested as to how this summer is going to go.  I plan on stocking up on some gatorade or something!

It's not exactly "pool weather" here in New Hampshire yet but since August every time Taylar has gone swimming at a hotel or at the local Boys and Girls Club she has gone low.  I just recently figured out how to handle it though.  The solution was simple really.  At first I would have Taylar do a blood sugar test and have a snack before she swims.  This wasn't enough because her swimming is so strenuous.  In addition to testing and having a snack I bring a juice box along and have her sip away at it every 15 minutes or so.  Since adding the juice she has not gone low when swimming.  I do, however, watch her blood sugar for a few hours afterwards though because sometimes she is a victim of the lag effect.

On her own Taylar is always dancing and performing for us!  I would have to say that dancing is the most consistent form of exercise she gets.  We are always summoned to her room to watch her latest routine to some great NickJonas music!  She has been taking dance for 5 years and the girl is only 8!  It is her first love and great exercise!

Whether you walk, bike, dance or swim, it doesn't matter.  Just get out there and move!