Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Did It!

We did it!  We made it through our 2 week start of pump and can flex our eating amounts and times as well as run around as much as we want! was getting a little hard there in the end.  

Funnily...I now feel awkward about flexing the eating...we did have a later lunch at Gram and Papa's after class, but not by choice, just because we were running late.  It was nice not to panic about it.  We kept our meal carb targets the same for lunch, dinner and bedtime snack, but did add back in a 10 carb afternoon snack.  I am so used to aiming for a specific number...After 6 months or so, I'm not sure I remember how to let her eat whatever she wants.  We do still have to carb count accurately whenever we can, but it's permitted to estimate a carb number and adjust the insulin later.  Wow.  So much freedom that I don't know what to do with it!!  

So go ahead, invite us for dinner...we don't care if your meal is on time or if you serve any carbs at all!  (basic healthy eating rules apply, but we will make exceptions for dinners out).

We celebrated by going to the park after dinner.  We started by flying kites (after a quick cookie snack for play energy!).

Katie and Sam had a nice hug (I did ask them to hug for the photo...I should do that more often).  It was a gorgeous evening...just breezy enough for kites.  Jackets came off pretty quick once we all started running.  And can I mention how wonderful it is that the mosquitos are dying off?  SO GREAT.
 Katie flying the butterfly kite from Costco...this kite is flies so easily and we've had it for at least 2 summers and it's in great shape.  (though obviously, it's not used every day...still)
 It was such a relief to go to a playground...a great time killer and such good exercise for the girls.

 A few days ago, I went to yoga and came back to see the kids and Ben had been hanging out on the front step playing with chalk.  Ben took some great photos on his iPhone.

 Eventually, and I'm not sure how this happened, they started getting chalk all over their clothes and faces.  I will say I wasn't terribly pleased about it, but these lovely smiles and photos might make up for it.  Just as long as they know it's a Dad game.

 Also, earlier this week, Katie got in the mood for some cleaning/organizing (she might not get that from me) and made her bed and laid out hers and Sam's pyjamas.  Cute.
In other exciting news for this week, we all attended Katie's Bus School (First Riders) event put on by the school board's bus organizers to get kids familiar with taking the bus and bus safety.  It Was Great!!

They showed a video on a greyhound type bus, we learned about the "Danger Zone" around a school bus and how to take 5 GIANT steps away from the bus when you get off.  AND then the girls (yes, both Katie and Sam) rode a school bus...without Ben or I.  Just other kids and a strange bus driver.  They only went in a loop around the block (mind you, a big block, I could not always see the bus) for about 3-5 minutes, but Oh My Goodness was it ever a heavy moment for me.  My little ones are growing up...I'm so thrilled at the steps Katie has taken recently towards independence but I'm fully aware that I'm going to be holding back buckets of tears the first time I walk her to that bus stop and letting her go on her own.

Also, I should mention, fun things we have been listening to...Laura Ingalls book on tape "On the banks of Plum Creek".  Both girls, like it and Katie especially loves the scenes where Laura is in danger, specifically, drowning (almost) in the creek.  This happens twice in the first 2 disks.  Pioneer days eh?  It's written very intensely and read with just enough drama that you really get absorbed in it.  The set is from the library so has some scratches...the girls love when it skips.  =)

We have also been totally in LOVE with the 2 CD's of Elizabeth Mitchell that we got from the library...You Are My Flower and Sunny Day.  Some nice little folky sounding tunes...a slower pace than some of our other CD's we own. The girls know so many of the words and love to sing along in the car.  Even the tune sung in Japanese (noni to ka no sit shata de?...something like that, means under the Chestnut Tree or the liner notes if interested)  Also, she has a nice version of Jingle Bells, which we totally freaked Sam right out (it's her favourite song in particular) by singing (all 4 of us) at the top of our lungs in the car.  We all laughed ourselves silly that time.  And, can I mention one more?  Freight we love this one...the singers talk between verses and decide to go different places..."Brooklyn, ok lets go.  California...that's far we have to go faster...Visit Jojo in Africa?...that's really far, we have to go super fast..." and as they go faster, the tempo of the song picks up a bit.  And all of us listening move our arms like we are trains, faster and faster into Silliness.  Once at a red light, as we were doing this, I saw the guy in the car next to us laughing curiously, and so I rolled down my window and explained that it was a train song.  He laughed and said he thought we were running.

So much fun going on here...Just don't remind me that Ben starts school full time will I ever manage without him!?  Good thing I have a full day planned...playdate in the morning at a playground, meeting with Sam's preschool teachers, home for lunch, Pediatrition appt in the afternoon.  Maybe I won't notice that Ben is not around?  (doubt it.)  Wish us all luck with that!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Keeping Busy

 We have been keeping busy, trying to avoid extra activity during this first two weeks of pump.  The girls are getting cabin fever a bit and Ben and I are missing playgrounds etc too.

To help keep busy, Ben bought some cheap craft for the kids at Superstore (they were on sale for about 2$ each!).  Presto Dots is a kind of playdough that uses a special tool to shape the dots and stick them together. We played with it for hours one morning. 
 Ben was really good and shows special artistic talent in this medium.
 Looks just like on the box!
 The girls made silly faces.
 This is Katie doing her "Mr. Bean Face"  (the kids saw his part of the Olympic opening ceremonies and thought it was Very Funny) 
 We did break down and go to a playground one evening after supper.  We took shovels hoping for more sand play but they did play other playground things...not too much though I hope..!  Ben and the girls are on a "spaceship".
 Twirling...we love twirling!

 The girls got haircuts last week and we visited Gram at work.  It was lots of fun...but I do hope that this isn't what Gram does every day at work. 
 And we brought out playdough another day...hours of play fun.  Katie made a cherry cake and it was delicious!
This weekend the girls also saw their very first in theatre movie!  The Arctic movie in the IMAX at the Science Centre.  It was a great movie and the girls really enjoyed it. Our friends C and G and their Dad, Mike, invited us and it was a really nice visit.

We also went to a party for my Auntie Dianne's 70th Birthday...apart from the challenge of keeping the activity down, the girls had a great time playing with their cousins.

August is definitely coming to an end...the mornings and bedtimes are getting darker, the nights are cooling off and we have school on the brain.  Ben goes back on Thursday this week.  Sam starts on September 4th and Katie, whose school does a staggered start, has her first day on the 7th.  We bought the girls (incredibly adorable) school shoes and a couple of new shirts.  I'm trying not to panic as I am bracing for the challenges of getting kids ready for school every day of the week...Will Sam wear pants this fall/winter?  Will Katie let me do cute things to keep the hair out  of her face?  Will my kids show their teachers how smart and funny I know they can be?  Only time will tell.  

This week we have a playdate planned on Tuesday morning and a "learn to ride school bus" event for Katie in the afternoon.  Really looking forward to that...Katie especially.  We have our 2 week followup at the diabetes clinic on Wednesday morning, where we learn the more about fine tuning insulin doses for changes in our schedule and lifestyle...should be interesting! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Things

Here are a few photos:
The lemonade stand that Katie and Sam had the other week...Katie was selling Lemonade (crystal light) for a nickel and Sam had books "Free to Read".  We had planned family customers and even a few from the neighbourhood that came.  It was super hot that day so Ben set up the umbrella.
 Katie set up a hair salon and did Sam's (and my) hair with all kinds of pretty barrettes.
 A picnic lunch from our holidays in Kelowna in July.
 Macarons I just made This Very Morning...these are for a baby shower for a friend of a friend tomorrow and it was very best batch so far.  These are finicky enough that I knew to plan about 4 practice batches in advance.  Recipe source is the Bravetart blog.  To remember...whip the meringue part stiff enough, get the JK brand almond flour from Planet Organic, blend with the icing sugar for a minute and sift together.  Rest for 15 minute after piping and banging the tray to get bubbles out.  Pipe straight up, not at an angle for nice round shapes (my sous Chef, Gram and Papa Gram helped me figure out that one.)  They have chocolate swiss buttercream icing in between and I tinted the cookies pink.  Yum!
 It's been a busy crafting month...I also made my first quilt for this baby shower.  Quilt along as you sew the strips together, cotton batting and white minky backing.  Binding finished by hand using bias binding strips from all the different fabrics.  I's super proud and although sad to give it away, I am beyond proud of the skills I have gained. Who else needs a quilt?  =)
Ben is running a half marathon tomorrow.  The girls and I will go try and watch him on the course.

Not sure what we had planned for the coming week.  Hair cuts on Wednesday...and?  We are still working with the strict diet for Sam and restricted exercise, so nothing too crazy.  The more we keep it simple now, the sooner we can get on with life as normal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 3 - More Math and We Are Done!

We had our last pump class today. Spent a lot of time talking about calculating Insulin On Board (IOB). A Bolus of insulin that you give, either for food or to bring down high BG, is used up about 25% every hour, so 4 hours later, it is no longer in your system.

If you give a snack 2 hours after a meal (like we do at bedtime) you would calculate the insulin needed for the snack, but also subtract half of the insulin that was given 2 hours earlier (because half of that Bolus is still in your system). This was, you don't end up adding insulin on top of insulin and then end up with more than you need active in your body and go low later.

Best part...all the math we learned, which is good to know, is done by the pump calculators, so it's a little easier on a day to day basis.

The girls were good again today, colouring, watching movies and going for a walk with Ben.

The classes were good and it was nice to meet other families, some of whom had been on pump for a while and were refreshing their knowledge, so they had a lot of first hand experience to share (like for example with sick days...if you get ketones...drink lots of fluid to flush them out!!).

We ended up having our friends Steph and W and baby N for dinner as Russ is out of town. Pasta (carbed), salad, roast cauliflower and cucumber. Yum.

Hopefully, over the next few days/weeks, we will enjoy getting to know the pump and enjoy our last weeks of summer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 2 - Insulin

Just a quick note to say that we have finished day two of our pump school. One day to go. We are is hard for grown ups to think and focus on so much new information and hard for little girls to sit and play quietly, even watching fun movies on the laptop. In a room with other's just not home.

Hooking Sam up this morning was fine. We un-clipped her from the pump at home so that we could fill the pump with insulin. Left her original site (sticker/canula) in. Made breakfast and lunch to take to the clinic. Once we got there and had our pump settings approved, we clipped her back in and did out first real Bolus (for the carbs she was getting for beakfast). Easy peasy.

The girls did fine without a snack this morning and we had a small bit of almonds and babybell cheese this afternoon. The start of pumping requires no snacks to help us get a clear sense of how well the basal rate has been set. It is currently set to give 0.2 units of insulin every hour. (note:this is technically NOT a lot of insulin...we are still in the honeymoon phase where her pancreas is trying to work and putting out a little of its own insulin.). It has been SO nice to be able to give her insulin for meals without a needle. Just pushing buttons. And so nice too to be able to correct any high glucose numbers.

To clarify, she pump is set to give her a basal background rate of insulin all day long. Regardless of food she gets this. For high activity, we could lower her basal rate, for example, for a one hour soccer game, to account for her body using extra glucose, but generally, the basal rate stays the same. A Bolus is a bunch of extra insulin given in 2 cases: to cover carbohydrates she is eating or to bring down a higher than desired blood sugar. Previously, we were giving her a specific dose of insulin in the morning and at dinner time and feeding her the amount of food needed to use up this insulin (no more, no less!). And until recently, we were not doing anything insulin-wise to bring down high blood sugars. The pump is great for food flexibility and better blood glucose control. Today Sam's BG (blood glucose) was a little high since the insulin amounts programmed in her pump were based on normal daily activity and sitting all morning is not normal for her. Bu it was fixable by giving a bolus for high blood glucose (when we test her) and felt good doing so.

I can't member if I mentioned yesterday but for the next two weeks we eat as we have been, with specific carb amounts and then after that, once any necessary changes to the basal rate have been made, we can start exploring flexibility...eating what we want whenever we want it. (obviously, we are still interested in making healthy choices for the most part, and as enjoying a comfortable daily routine, as we did before diabetes too, but in a much less rigid, more normal way.)

Today we learned about calculating Insulin to Carb ratios and calculating Insulin Sensitivity Factor...two things that help you figure out how much insulin to give for a Bolus. Good to know, but happy that the blood glucose meter/pump remote does the calculating automatically for us too. Tomorrow we learn more about activity and calculating Insulin On Board (how much insulin is still working in your body from the last time you bolused). Then we are on our own!

Good night!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 1...saline

We have finished day one of pump school. The first of three mornings. I'm am SOO tired. But I think that has more to do with not sleeping great recently due to anxious and apprehensive feelings about these changes in our diabetes regime. Will Sam wear a pump? How will she wear it (belt clip, pouch of some kind? Should I sew pockets into all her clothes?). Will she try and take the pump off? How hard will the math etc be for Ben and I?

All told, the learning was fine. Getting to know how the pump works was great. Ben and I both have the canulas stuck to us (without insulin and tubing of course) a little elastic pinch going in...hurt less than when I prick my finger with a sewing needle. Sam was ok with it...not really happy but ok. She wasn't happy when I went to connect her to the tube/pump at the end of the session but once we did it and clipped the pump to the waist of her skirt, she was fine. We still gave the usual shots today.

Tomorrow, Ben and I will prep the pump with insulin, bring breakfast with us to clinic without giving Sam her normal shot of insulin and once we get it Checked by the nurses, we connect her.

One of the neatest things is that once you calculate the carbs in a meal, the remote glucose meter for the pump does all the other math and calculates your dose for you. You may want to adjust it, and can do so, but for most normal days it does all the work. Nice.

I'm so much focusing and thinking. And while Sam was pretty good about the pump stuff, we still had some related/unrelated(?) tantrums to deal with today. Also a pretty sedentary day which left SAMs sugars a little high...perhaps she was not feeling herself due to that. And Katie complained of a headache today several times so hopefully she(and Sam!) is not coming down with something.

Wish us luck for tomorrow!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Deep thoughts, by Sam

"Mommy, wouldn't it be funny if this whole house was made of poop? There would be a poop mommy, a poop daddy and two poop daughters and they would push and push all day and there would be lots of poop"

End quote.

Do I need to explain that Sam is still working on her potty training? She has been in panties all day and diapers at night since we got back from our holiday to BC in mid-July. For a while there we were doing a laundry load of panties every night. It is better now. Still she spends a lot of time noticeably trying NOT to go. It's been hard but I think what is helping is us backing off...not asking her if she has to go every time we can see she has to go. It's amazing how hard it is not to comment on it but I think it helps take the pressure off. Ok, honestly, it's one of those parenting things where I feel like I don't have a clue what we are doing.

We start Pump school on Monday. We have our shiny pink Animas One Touch Ping pump and all necessary supplies. (I's hard to know what you need when you are relatively clueless about the process.). I just thought to call the pharmacy today and ask if we need a different bottle type for our insulin. The answer is yes, we do, good thing I called.

I won't go on and on because really there's too much to say. Having Ben home for summer is always good and we have made good use of our time doing lots of fun family things. Pictures eventually.

I did make little lists of ins the girls have learned this summer...they helped think of things, but really lots of what we have seen them learn and I thought it was good to let the girls hear that we have noticed what they are accomplishing.

Jumping rope
Using a knife (at the table, cutting pancakes, etc)
Doing chores from a list
Making messes (she submitted this one)
Showering (with me or Ben, a big accomplishment)
Swimming in lake and pool (this is really about increasing comfort in, not actual swimming)
Lemonade stand
Being considerate

Learning more about pee and poop in potty
Singing songs (latest favorite, Elizabeth Mitchell)
Not bother Katie too much (again, submitted by Katie)
Nursery Rhymes
Bravre with medicine
Getting dressed in the morning (as opposed to wearing jammies all day)
Counting (she is a counting machine!)
Better at washing hands
Drawing (she drew train tracks All down our sidewalk one day)

Be back soon I hope!