Thursday, April 28, 2011

Power of Positive

Penny was really excited this morning about going to camp this weekend. She's especially excited for horseback riding, but I'm hoping there will be lots for her to enjoy.

I told her that if she really likes it, we can talk about sending her to an actual week-long solo summer camp in a year or two (there are a few in VA and Maryland that I've seen references to). I expected her reaction to be an immediate, "No, don't want to leave you!" but instead she seemed intrigued. So we'll see how her experience is this weekend.

I'd still be happier if I had a schedule of events, but I'm beginning to feel cautiously optimistic about this weekend. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peaks and Valleys

Penny had Monday off from school, so I worked from home with her in tow.

When she checked her blood sugar for lunch, it was crazy high, and I was about to curse the gods of random happenstance... when I remembered that around 9 in the morning, I'd chased Penny out of the kitchen, where she'd been "looking at" the bag with her Easter candy.

To make a long story short... yep, she'd been sneaking candy. And not just Monday, either. Apparently, she's been sneaking chocolate chips and cupcake sprinkles from my baking shelf in the pantry for some time.

Which puts the last couple of weeks' worth of random, unexplainable blood sugar highs in a whole new light.

So I moved the baking stuff up to the top shelf of the pantry, and I put all the candy away in a cabinet she'll need a stool to reach -- none of which guarantees she'll stop, but at least it's harder for her now. I tried to explain to her the damage that high blood sugars do -- we hadn't been very explicit about that before, not wanting to freak her out unnecessarily... but apparently it's now necessary.

But I don't know what else to do. The poor child has inherited my horrible metabolism and my horrible and inaccurate food processing abilities (by which I mean we're both always hungry, even if we've just eaten) and there's a lot more at stake for her than there is for me. How do you expect a seven year old to have the willpower to say, "What I've just eaten should be enough, and therefore I will stop now, even though I still feel like I'm starving," when I myself have trouble with that same thing? How do I discipline her for sneaking candy when my share of Easter candy is already almost gone and I had to make Matt take the rest of it out of the house so I wouldn't eat that, too?

Oh, well.

Diabetes camp is this weekend. I'm waffling between hoping we have a good time and dreading it. I'm trying to hide the "dread" portions of my thoughts from Penny, though, because if she gets even a whiff of lack of enthusiasm from me, it'll color her whole attitude, and the very last thing this needs is for her to be a whiny brat all weekend over things neither of us can control. (I do wish the camp had sent me a schedule of events or something, though. I really don't do well with "wait and see". I'm so freaking anal. Also, I really want to correct the grammar and typos in the info sheets they sent me.)

But on the plus side, I'm taking Friday off from work to pack, so at least there's that, right?

(Oh, don't mind me. I'm PMSing and sleepy.)

Monday, April 25, 2011


Fantastic weekend!

We left the kids with Braz and Adin Friday evening for our anniversary date. The restaurant was a little disappointing -- partly their fault, and partly because of what we ordered. But it was nice to be out together and on our own, anyway. Then, being nerds, we wandered around a Barnes and Noble, and then we wandered around a Books-A-Million. We thought about buying things, but realized everything we were interested in would be way cheaper on Amazon.

Saturday afternoon, Adin and Ripley and Henry came over to dye Easter eggs with Penny and Alex. That was hectic, but fun.

We picked up Braz and went out to dinner together afterward, and the kids were pretty good for that. (I apologized to our waiter for their rambunctiousness -- they weren't bad, but they were a bit noisy -- but he assured me they were among the better-behaved kids of the day. It's always nice being told the kids aren't nearly as bad as you're worried they are.)

Sunday, of course, was Easter. Penny tells us that she woke up at 1am with excitement. I don't know about that, but I did get up a bit before four to tell her to turn off her light and at least pretend to sleep. And I heard her get up again around 6, but she stayed in her room and quietly read until I got up to get Alex at 7.

Both kids really enjoyed their loot -- I'd included some sticker kits and little toys along with the obligatory stuffed animals and candy, and the two of them played happily pretty much all morning, which was fantastic.

After Alex's nap, we got dressed up and headed over to my parents' house for their Easter egg hunt and dinner, and that was all fun and wonderful, too.

So, all in all -- great weekend! Not as much grouchiness as I would have expected, given the general lack of sleep both nights, and lots of time spent with people we love.

More, please!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Matt and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on Monday. We both took the day off from work, and planned to spend the day just enjoying each others' company.

We dropped the kids off at school/daycare (and at the same time dropped my car off for state inspection, since it's due and the timing worked out), and then went home for breakfast. After that, we decided to run a couple of errands -- we had to pick up some prescriptions at the drugstore and get Easter candy for the kids' baskets. As we were preparing to leave the CVS, Matt's car hiccuped and then displayed some rather urgent and scary warning lights.

As a note: for a car that has a freaking computer embedded in the dashboard, its warning indicators are kind of stupid. How hard would it be to program in some actual diagnostic information, there? "Engine overheated" or "Battery low" or "Insufficient fuel" or... anything that isn't just a large red exclamation mark.

It put something of a damper on our moods, but the car actually appeared to be running fine, so we decided we could take it down to the Target to finish our shopping there, at least. And then we walked over to the Kohl's to get a nice shirt for Alex to wear on Easter (Penny's Easter dress from last year still fits, so she'll wear that).

Then we went home to watch an episode of Veronica Mars (while cuddling on the couch, of course). When that was done, we headed off to Colonial Williamsburg to have lunch at the Blue Talon. (One of the two scary warning lights had disappeared by the time we left for lunch, and when we got back to the car after lunch, the other light was gone, too. So... apparently whatever the problem was, it wasn't too bad, scary warning lights notwithstanding.)

Then we watched some more Veronica Mars, and then it was pretty much time to go pick Penny up from school.

It seemed far too short, but we had a nice time just being together, and we're going out again this weekend. We've been completely up in the air about what to do or where to go, but this morning's Groupon was for a tapas restaurant down in Hampton, which sounds like something different and fun. So I'll call when they open to make a reservation and then I'll order the Groupon and let Braz and Adin know when we need them to babysit, and we'll figure out if we want to do anything else while we're out and about.

So yay for us, and happy anniversary to my sweetie. May we enjoy many, many more.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Friday. Finally.

Do we have plans? Some, sort of.

It's become a usual thing for us to have dinner with Braz and Adin on Friday nights, though it's not a hard-and-fast plan, and we don't usually make any decisions until Friday afternoon.

And we've got a birthday party to go to tomorrow afternoon that will probably run fairly late.

No real plans for Sunday, aside from the usual chores.

And Monday, Matt and I are taking off from work to celebrate our anniversary. Not sure what we'll actually do, mind you -- go out to lunch, watch movies, go for a walk in Colonial Williamsburg, shop for candy for the kids' Easter baskets, sit on the couch and make out like teenagers? Your guess is as good as mine, honestly. But it'll be good, because a) we'll be together, and b) we won't be at work.

So here's hoping for a good weekend for all of us!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Busy Bug

Last night I finally figured out an approach for the story I'm currently working on, and this morning, the rest of the scene is clamoring to be written, and also I want to find some software (preferably something webby) that will help me make a map for the world it's set in.

So, naturally, I get to work to find my email box stuffed with tasks from my boss.

On the plus side -- hey, I have work!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I got nothin' today. Have a picture of Alex demonstrating his command of the letter A:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


On my work schedule for this week are three documents, two of which are status reports and therefore very short and quick. The third is an edit to a previously-delivered document in which the customer asked us to change the project name slightly and add one table, so... probably not going to eat up a bunch of hours, either.

Next week is a little closer to normal, with three documents of varying sizes, plus a software delivery.

But the week after that -- the last week of the month -- I've got nothin'. Not a single delivery of any sort.

I went into the weekly manager's meeting yesterday with that rundown, and told them that we were looking for work, especially work that had a charge number attached, and then I told the guy in charge of all the charge numbers that the document person and I would likely be leaning pretty heavily on the "generic" charge number for the next several weeks.

He made a note of it, then said, "Vacations approved!" Which was sort of a joke, and sort of serious. The generic charge number has limited funds. So while they're not going to make us burn our vacation time while there's no work to do... they'll encourage it.

The document person was already planning to take a few days off -- her son's spring break is right through the dry spell, so she figured to take advantage of the serendipitous alignment. I hadn't planned on taking any time, honestly -- I'm saving time for Mexico in August and Chicago at Christmas and building my buffer to deal with unexpected days off due to illness or whatever.

But I spent a little time looking over my timesheets and vacation hours and came to the conclusion that I can, in fact, probably afford to take a couple of days off. (I forgot that in January I rolled over a new tenure bump, so I'm getting a few days of vacation more than I'd planned on, plus some other factors, so... Anyway, yeah. Time off. Now I just need to figure out how much, and when.

I'll definitely take at least half a day on the 29th -- Penny and I are leaving for diabetes camp that afternoon, and the drive down to the camp will be smoother, I suspect, if I can go home early to pack the car and then we can head out directly after school lets out.

And she's got a school holiday (teacher workday or somesuch) on the 25th, so I can take part or all of that, maybe.

And Matt's and my anniversary is the 18th, so maybe we can take that day to hang out together, but that one only makes sense if he can take the time, too.

And in the meantime, I'm sort of praying we get some work in here soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sugar Rush

One of the most frustrating things, caring for a type 1 diabetic, are the things that make no sense. I mean, none of it is a picnic, but I'm braced to deal with a high blood sugar after a birthday party or a big meal, and I can adjust insulin dosages to account for extra activity or illness or whatever. But I hate it when Penny's blood sugars go berzerk and I can't figure out why. This entire weekend was a case in point.

We went out to eat Friday night to Penny's favorite restaurant, which is a buffet, and I let her fill her plate twice. She's a fan of sushi (which involves white, sticky rice and a ton of carbs) so I was braced for her blood sugar to be high that evening. I wasn't quite prepared for it to climb all the way to 400, though, or for her to still be high the next morning.

She was in the high 200s and 300s all day Saturday, despite giving her corrective insulin, and a Wasabi-high (Wasabi being the name of the restaurant) generally levels off much sooner than that. Saturday night, I tried to take my parents out to dinner, and as soon as Penny got her food, she told me she felt like she was going to throw up, and we spent several minutes in the bathroom waiting for it. It never came, but now I had a new theory about those high blood sugars -- illness makes them skyrocket.

But she wasn't feverish, and she never actually threw up, and it's possible her stomach was upset not because she was sick but because she'd sucked down her entire 16-ounce cup of milk in about ten minutes.

When we got home, I had her do a ketone test, but that turned up negative.

We were still a week out from needing to change out her insulin cartridge, but it does occasionally spoil, for whatever reason, so I got out a fresh Humalog cartridge and gave that a try. Six hours and two shots later, she was finally back in range. We changed out her Lantus as well, last night, and this morning she was actually a smidge low.

So had the insulin expired on us? Had she been sick and then it passed? Had it just taken her a solid thirty-six hours to digest all that sushi and syrup-packed fruit? A combination of all of the above? No idea. I mean, really, none. And that makes me crazier than the high blood sugar itself. If I'd known what was causing it, I could have done something about it that much sooner.

(On the plus side for the weekend, not to get lost in the diabetes frustration -- Alex made it through the weekend without any accidents! We're still telling him when it's time to go and watching him for the peepee dance, but I'll take whatever progress I can get!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011



It was just a whisper. I almost didn't hear it, but something dragged me up to the barest surface of consciousness. "Mm?"

"I feel low."

Woken from a dead sleep, it takes real effort to draw enough breath to speak instead of grunt. "Do a stick." I pried one eyelid open and looked at my clock: 3:35.

I was almost asleep again when she came back. "It says the number is thirty-eight."

Frack. I rolled upright with a sigh. "Be right there." She was back in bed by the time I shuffled to the hallway. Juicebox on the bannister. I wrestled with the stupid wrapper on the straw and got it in the box, miraculously without spilling any juice. Penny sucked half the box up with one long inhale, then spent a while wiggling the straw around trying to get the last precious droplets from the bottom.

I went back to bed, but couldn't sleep. What had caused the low? What if she'd slept through the warning signs?

At 3:55, I got up and went to check her again. Just to reassure myself that the juice had done its job. She was asleep, but not deeply -- she sat up when I started freeing her hand from the blankets she was wrapped in.

Sixty-seven. She's still sporting a blood sugar that's more believable as an age. Though at least it's come up to an age older than everyone living in our house.

No more juice boxes on the bannister, either. I opened a roll of Smarties and dumped them in her hands, and sat with her while she methodically munched through them. That was 23 grams of carbs, total -- usually, she bounces right back with only 8 or so.

I went back to bed. Worried and fretted for a while and finally managed to sink into a doze, and was woken when Penny got up to go to the bathroom. She went back to bed without trying to strike up a conversation (she even turned the bathroom light off before she opened the door), and I drifted back to my doze... Thump-BOUNCE! Penny was in the bed, climbing over me to get to the middle. "I had a bad dream." I looked at the clock: 5:00.

"Mm." Low blood sugars do sometimes manifest dreams that wake her up. I let her climb between me and Matt and put my arm over her for a few minutes. She was wiggly, though, which meant all that sugar from the juice and candy was finally in her system. I wondered if her morning blood sugar check was going to be over 200, then figured there was nothing to be done about it -- 67 isn't a number that we'd let stand even during the day. "Back to bed," I finally said.

I led her back to bed and tucked her in, and she went with only minor protesting ("I'm not sleepy!" "Too bad, 'cause I am.") and no apparent fear of more nightmares (which always makes me wonder whether they're actually all that bad or if they're just vivid enough to wake her up) and I think I finally got back to sleep around 5:15 or so.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Up and down. Driving rain woke Matt and I this morning. It was coming down so hard I was worried it would break a window.

Matt curled up around me and I wondered if we were going to take advantage of our both being awake ifyaknowwhaddimean but then I looked at the clock and it was only a minute or so until the alarms were going to go off anyway and Penny was probably already awake. Dangit. But the snuggling was nice, too.

The crazy rain had slacked off by the time the alarms went off, and by the time we left the house it had stopped. But it's still dark and cloudy and it's going to be raining off and on all day, says the weather guy on the radio.

So I'm feeling sleepy and lazy. Good thing it's looking like a kind of slow day at work.

Monday, April 4, 2011


It was a nice, quiet-ish weekend.

We had Jess down for a sleepover Saturday night. We went to lunch with KT and Kevin when they dropped her off, and gave Kevin his birthday presents. Then they headed off, and Jess and Penny played happily and relatively quietly all afternoon and into the evening. We took the kids to Chick-fil-A for dinner, and since three kids meant we had to take two cars anyway, Matt took Alex home after we ate, while I stuck around and read a book while the girls played on the playground for a while.

We let them sit up late, talking, until Matt finally told them to be quiet and go to sleep at about 9:45. When he went up fifteen minutes later to do the 10:00 blood sugar check, he said they were so perfectly still that he thought they were pretending to be asleep, until he realized they'd just conked out that hard.

Which did not stop them from being up by 7 Sunday morning. But they played quietly enough that I was able to sleep in until 8:30, which was a welcome rest.

That evening, we met up with Braz and Adin and crew at Kidsburg park, then we all trooped back to our place for dinner.

That was pretty much it.

Penny's on Spring Break this week, which means she's at the daycare and I'm keeping a sharp ear out for my phone. I have an appointment tomorrow for a massage (yay, Groupon!) And at some point -- probably Wednesday or Thursday -- I'll take some time off and take Penny to the Triple-A office to get passport pictures taken, then we'll collect Matt and go over to the courthouse to submit her passport application.

That's the week. Here's hoping things go smoothly.