Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walk Day Rocked!

The walk today was a blast! We had 13 people walking with us and it was so fun. 3 of our team members this year are T1's - Nikki, Zoe and Mikayla - they are all at the same school now and have become close friends. They even call themselves "D 3" which I think is adorable. I decided to do a video for my walk day blog - and I wanted to thank everyone who donated to our team, walked with us and prayed for us. We are so very blessed.

video

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Very Special Walk Update


Okay people tomorrow is walk day! We are so pumped. I wanted to take this opportunity to let one of Nikki's best friends say a few words. She took it upon herself to organize a Max Life Bracelet sale at her school and worked so very hard to raise money on behalf of Nikki and all those affected by diabetes. Soooooo, Here is Brooke's blog:

Hello! My name is Brooke Willis and my very best friend (Nikki) has diabetes. I can never know what she goes through every day, but I do know that it hurts her so it hurts me. I pray every day and every night that someone will find a cure. I love walking with Nikki and selling pop at her pop stand to raise money to help JDRF find a cure, but this year I wanted to do more. I decided to sell bracelets at my school to raise money. I am a 5th grader at Piner Elementary. My principal thought it would be a great idea. So every morning for a week and a half I sold bracelets before school. They interviewed me on our school news and I told the whole school how I wanted to help find a cure for Nikki. I am very proud of how the students at my school supported me by buying bracelets. Every student who bought a bracelet got to hang a shoe on the wall. The wall looked really cool with all the shoes on it! Tomorrow at the JDRF walk I will get to turn in the $170 dollars I raised! I would do anything to help Nikki, she is a very special friend! Also, I know that there are children all over the world that have diabetes. I hope that this money really helps find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes, because it is a very mean disease!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009 Walk Day in 3 Days!


We are getting pretty excited about walk day this coming Saturday. We've had some great momets fundraising this year. Nikki and her friends (who you have all heard me talk about on a regular basis) Samantha, Brooke, Emily and even Samantha's little brother Gus all came out last weekend for one last day of fundraising.

They were just too cute for words. But more than that, I was secretly watching them on and off and at one point I just thought I would bust with pride. Here are these 5 Tweens, spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon working their little behinds off and it was not for a trophy, a blue ribbon or to win a place in the 'in crowd' - it was to help other people - period. That was definitely a "My cup runneth over" moment.

I can't wait to see what our final fundraising figures will be - you can bet I'll be blogging the total immediately! Thanks to all of you who have donated so generously and to those of you who have lifted us up in prayer.

God is Good, all the time

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Doggie Drama







By now, most of you know that we are a family that loves our dogs like they are part of our family (because they are). The last weekend in August we adopted our new baby girl – Hope. A teenie, tiny little munchkin who is like a little typhoon running around the house. Hope, who is Amber’s puppy, is part Jack Russell and believes that she is as big (or bigger) than our Border Collie and Beagle.

On Thursday night, September 3, she decided to prove this by following Angel & Hollee up the basement stairs (which she couldn’t do about an hour before this) and resumed her play fighting with them at the TOP of the stairs – not a good idea. Before I even knew she had gone up, I heard this HORRIBLE scream. I turned around and she was sort of sitting/leaning/laying against the wall at the BOTTOM of the stairs.

Another trip to the doggie emergency room and another terrible night of worry for Miss Amber (well, all of us). They didn’t do much at the e.r. besides give her a pain shot, take x-rays and wrap her leg. Her right front leg was broken at the elbow (growth plate) and she was in excruciating pain. I literally held her against me and sat up in a chair all night long because any type of movement caused her to just scream and scream and scream. In the morning we took her to our vet and he sent her on to a specialist. She wound up having to have a permanent pin placed in her elbow through a surgical procedure. She is stitched up pretty good but was already walking around quite well the day after surgery. Today, 1-1/2 weeks after the incident, I can’t convince her that she’s not supposed to run, play, bite, chew and generally terrorize her furry sisters. She gets her stitches out on Friday but won’t be released for full play for another 3 weeks – ugh.

She’s quite the sweet little thing and is such a joy to watch. The accident didn’t slow her down for much more than 24 hours – a tough little nut. Angel is annoyed is the attention she gets because she thought she was the only princess on earth, but they are getting along wonderfully. Hollee thinks she is Hope’s mommy, so sweet to watch the level of patience Hollee has with the ‘baby’. The vet proclaimed her part Jack Russell, part Shark - a very accurate description.

Anyway, that’s the latest update on the doggie drama at the Turner house – let’s hope that’s all for a very long time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Walk Day is September 19



We are in total “walk mode”. Nikki and her best friends spent the weekend raising money by selling Sprite, Coke, Diet Pepsi, etc and the orange Max Life bracelets. They have raised quite a bit and will be at it again next weekend! In addition to that, the wonderful Principal at Brooke’s (bff) school has given permission for Brooke to sell the Max Life bracelets during the school day! It’s so great to see they young women these ladies are becoming – they all make me so proud.

We still have almost 2 weeks until walk day, so if you are able to donate anything (there is no amount too small) we would be extremely thankful! 100% of all the money we raise goes directly to research dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. You can get to our walk page to make a donation by clicking here: http://walk.jdrf.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=extranet.personalpage&confirmid=87310416

Thank you to all those who have already donated and to all those who are praying!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nikki & Middle School


With the sudden death of our beloved, 8 year old Lab - Buddy, I 've been in a bit of a fog for the last 2 weeks. However, since the arrival of Hope, our 12 week old Jack Russell things have been a lot more 'up'. I was looking through my last few blogs (not including the article I posted yesterday) and realized I have not spoken one word about Nikki's new adventure in middle school!

Let me just sum up her first week of school in the words she used when she came home the first day "it was the best first day of school EVER" and that is how she continues to feel about the subject. I have had exactly one phone call from her since school began and that is wonderful!

Oh....wait....did I mention that Nikki's new, wonderful school nurse has diabetes and wears an insulin pump? Did I mention (I think I have) that one of her closest friends is on her 'team' and in at least one of her classes AND she also as T1. Now hang on, that's not all! She's made another new friend who is in a couple of her classes and....you guess it....she has T1! It's like a mini diabetes camp every day. So things in that area are just great (knock on wood). It also helps that she's been blessed with great teacher's again this year.

We've had pretty consistent blood sugars in the mid to high 100's except at night when they seem to be running higher. I'll be adjusting her nighttime basal this evening and we'll see how that helps.

After so much sad news lately, it's awesome to think and share the wonderful things going on! We are continuing with our fundraising efforts - the walk is only 3 weeks away! THANK YOU to those of you who have already donated to our team, you are a blessing to millions of people! If you are able and would like to donate to our walk team you can access our team donation page and donate online by clicking the link at the top left side of our blog.
God is Good :-D.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Parental Alienation Sydrome

What on earth does this have to do with me & my husband; Amber, Nikki or type 1 diabetes - well, nothing. Honestly, it is a subject that I have been researching for some classes I'm taking. I felt that the article(s) were very informative and simply wanted to share some of what I've found. I think the subject is a serious one and one that will hopefully gain more attention as more research is done.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Richard A. Gardner, M.D., first introduced Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, in 1985 as a way to describe what he refers to as a "cluster of symptoms" present in children who, during the process of a child-custody dispute, reject one parent as a direct result of strong, negative claims introduced by the other parent.

In addition, in cases of true Parental Alienation Syndrome, the negative propaganda that is being introduced to the child by the alienating parent is not substantiated by the alienated parent's behavior prior to the dispute. In many PAS cases, the child enjoyed a warm, vibrant relationship with the alienated parent prior to his or her parent's divorce.

Another notable distinction in true cases of Parental Alienation Syndrome is the idea that the child so strongly adopts the alienating parent's point of view that he or she begins to vilify the alienated parent independent of the alienating parent.

Alienated vs. Estranged
Children who are estranged from one parent are typically not victims of PAS. In many cases, when a child is estranged from a parent, that parent chooses (perhaps for a variety of reasons) not to be involved in the child's life.

Alternatively, there are also situations where an older child may be estranged from a parent due to that parent's own behavior. For example, a child whose mom is an alcoholic might choose not to participate in unsupervised visitations. This is not an example of PAS, however, because there is a valid reason for the child to resist contact.

Abuse Cases
Substantiated cases of abuse - whether emotional, physical, or sexual - should be differentiated from cases of PAS as well. When there is abuse, it is reasonable for the child to reject the parent. Therefore, it does not constitute a true example of PAS.


PAS Should be Considered When a Child Consistently, and Without Reason:

Shuns the parent in question

Denigrates, belittles, or disparages the parent

Appears unable to distinguish lies from the truth in regards to the parent

Unjustly hates the parent

Defames the parent with invented stories and lies

Uses inappropriate language to deride the parent in public

Views the parent as singularly bad; sees nothing good in the parent in question

Shows extreme resistence to seeing or maintaining contact with the parent


Degrees of PAS
Parents who contribute to Parental Alienation Syndrome do so to varying degrees. Mild alienation may be perpetrated by a parent who avoids conflict with the other parent and allows pent-up anger and resentment to spill over to the children. Moderate alienation may be perpetrated by a parent who is extremely angry with his or her ex-spouse, but lacks the self-control to manage his or her own behaviors. Thus, the child becomes indoctrinated in the same anger and resentment. In both mild and moderate forms, the alienators may not intend to cause harm to the child's relationship with the alienated parent and usually responds positively to education.

In cases of severe alienation, though, it is more difficult to change the alienator's behaviors. He or she truly believes that the child is better off without the other parent, intentionally withholds the child from the other parent, and purposely uses his or her influence to destroy a once-positive relationship between the child and the alienated parent. (Wolf, 2009)

Gardner's definition of PAS is:
"The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrinations and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the target parent." (Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.)

Basically, this means that through verbal and non verbal thoughts, actions and mannerisms, a child is emotionally abused (brainwashed) into thinking the other parent is the enemy. This ranges from bad mouthing the other parent in front of the children, to withholding visits, to pre-arranging the activities for the children while visiting with the other parent.

One criteria necessary for the detection of PAS is probably the least described or identified, but critically is one of the most important. It has to do with the existence of a positive relationship between the minor children and the now absent or nonresidential parent, prior to the marital separation; and a substantial deterioration, of it since then. Such a recognized decline does not occur on its own. It is, therefore, one of the most important indicators of the presence of alienation as well. as a full measure of its relative "success." By way of example, if a father had a good and involved relationship with the children prior to the separation, and a very distant one since, then one can only assume without explicit proof to the contrary that something caused it to change. If this father is clearly trying to maintain a positive relationship with the children through observance of visitation and other activities and the children do not want to see him or have him involved in their lives, then one can only speculate that an alienation process may have been in operation. Children do not naturally lose interest in and become distant from their nonresidential parent simply by virtue of the absence of that parent. Also, healthy and established parental relationships do not erode naturally of their own accord. They must be attacked. Therefore, any dramatic change in this area is virtually always an indicator of an alienation process that has had some success in the past (Boone & Walsh, The Florida Bar Journal, 2009, sic).

Any attempt at alienating the children from the other parent should be seen as a direct and willful violation of one of the prime duties of parenthood



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hope is Home





We went and got Hope yesterday, early afternoon. She is just so precious and tiny! After leaving her foster home we stopped by Lexington to let her meet her many grandparents and then headed home. Angel wasn't exactly sure if Hope was a dog at first, but Hollee loved her immediately. It took about 2hours and they were all 3 playing like they had been together all their lives; it made you feel good just to watch them. So I guess this will begin a new chapter in our lives and it looks like it's going to be a busy one!





Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hope


I like that word - Hope. It's been especially important over the last few days. Even better, it's the name Amber has picked for her new puppy - Hope - who will be coming home on Saturday. She's a 14 week old Jack Russell mix and we just can't wait to have her become part of the family. You can be sure that I will be bombarding everyone with pictures of her and of her with her new furry sisters. Angel has been very lonely since we lost Buddy, so I know she will love having a sister who likes to play as much as she does. Our Beagle Hollee, had a real hard life before she came to us, so she is not much for playing - her favorite thing (aside from sleeping) is sitting beside me wherever I am. She will play with Angel from time to time, but not enough to make Angel happy.

No one can ever come close to replacing Buddy; but it will be great to have a new little furry life to love.


Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Memory of Our Buddy

I found myself looking through a lot of old family pictures today and that usually means a video (see). In this case, it was so helpful to relive all these wonderful memories.






video

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Buddy Turner




It was an April morning in 2001, I was outside talking to a neighbor & waiting on my oldest daughter – Amber - to hurry herself out to the car so I could get her to school. As the neighbor and I stood there talking a scraggly looking rather large puppy walked up and attempted to say hello. My first instinct was to look around for my kids because I didn’t know if the puppy was friendly, he was very obviously friendly and hungry and covered in ticks and thirsty and loving.

The girls didn’t see him as I got them into the car so I didn’t mention anything about the dog. However, my mind was thinking that perhaps we had found Amber’s “Air Bud” dog (it was her favorite movie at the time, she was 7; Nikki was 4). When I returned home the puppy was still hanging around so I went in and got my husband who is normally traveling for business, but happened to be home at that point. He fell in love with this scraggly, ragged puppy as fast as I had. We made the decision to keep him. I called the vet and made an appointment to take him in that day and we took him around to the backyard – which is fenced. I couldn’t let him in the house at that point because he was literally covered and I mean covered in ticks.

When the girls got home from school he was still in the yard; Amber took one look at him (and he at her) and they were instant friends. She was a tiny bit intimidated in the first few seconds because of his size but that passed immediately and for his part, the puppy wanted to continuously “hug” Amber -- I couldn’t let him because of all the ticks. We left a few minutes after all this to take him to the vet. They took over 120 ticks off him and removed an imbedded flea collar (how’s that for irony). He was approximately 6 months old; Amber named him Buddy.

The months and years that followed were mixed with laughter at his antics and anger at his antics – like eating my custom made blinds, the carpet, the doors to the bedrooms, oh and he could climb fences. While we admired his talent for climbing we weren’t too thrilled with the fact that we had to replace our newly installed, and rather attractive, fence with a not as attractive 7 foot high privacy fence.

Amber and Buddy were inseparable; he was her very best friend and pillow. Buddy got sick this past Saturday morning – to say it was unexpected is putting it mildly. Although Amber and I rushed him to the vet and then on to the animal ER, his spleen had already ruptured due to massive tumors and he had lost a lot of blood; which all leaked into his belly. We had no idea AT ALL that he had anything wrong. He fought hard but died during surgery at approximately 7:00 Saturday, August 15, 2009.

I have so many Buddy stories to share but right now it’s all a little too fresh. I know not everyone will understand why we are so devastated over the loss of a “pet”; the only thing I can say is that Buddy, and our other furry babies Angel and Hollee, are much, much more than pets – they are our family and the loss of Buddy is huge, especially for Amber.

Buddy loved to play in the lake; sleep on the bed; chase the 4-wheeler; chase flies, squirrels, rabbits and birds. Buddy loved his furry sisters Angel and Hollee; he loved company coming to the front door and stealing food off the counter. Buddy loved to patrol the backyard and follow Bryan whenever he was outside working; Most of all Buddy loved his people and especially his girl, Amber. Buddy was 8 years old, we brought him home and laid him to rest in the back yard under his favorite tree.






Monday, August 10, 2009

Diabetes Camp 2009: Update


Today was Camp Thoroughbred at Nikki’s school. It’s a middle school orientation for incoming 6th graders (I know I mentioned this in my blog yesterday – just reminding - :-D). Anyway, Mikayla’s mom picked the girls up around 7:00 a.m. They met their other (non-D) friend Emily at the school and spent the day doing things like practicing how to open their lockers and find their way around the school – they had a blast.

I picked them up at 2:30 and we headed straight back to camp because they were in a rush to make the horseback riding outing. Emily went with us to drop them off – they giggled for the entire hour drive. It was raining when we got there so Nikki’s group was hanging out in their cabin; which had no affect on the very good and giggly mood (and I mean Nikki, Mikayla, Emily and the rest of the cabin of 11 year old girls).

On the drive back to camp, one of the conversations centered around Mikayla having a low last night and Nikki being unable to fall asleep right away (which prompted her to brush her hair instead of count sheep – I didn’t ask for details). The best part was that they were laughing about the fact that by the time Mikayla’s blood was up and Nikki finally fell asleep it was time for midnight blood checks for the cabin so they were all wide awake for a long time: “and mom the funniest part was that ‘S’ couldn’t get her finger to bleed so we all climbed on her bunk and took turns trying to help her get blood out; but we were all laughing so hard that it didn’t work so she finally changed hands and then she got too much blood – it was so funny.” Now, for many people nothing about that incident seems funny; but I did understand it. From my point of view, the truly best part of that story is that all of those girls felt perfectly normal and not like the center of attention because of diabetes – I mean, they ALL have diabetes – no biggie.

God is Good!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Diabetes Camp 2009




Well, today was the big day for Nikki. One of her favorite days of the year….the first day of diabetes camp. This is the 4th year she’s attended and each year her excitement leading up to camp grows by leaps and bounds.

I noticed a couple of things this year; the first is that this year Nikki was reuniting with friends from previous years. After 4 years of camp she has her own special group of ‘camp friends’ and they were very happy to see each other. The other thing I noticed was the campers themselves. What I mean is this; in a typical setting it takes kids a day or so to warm up to each other – not so with D kids at D camp. When I left, all the girls were huddled together around one lower bunk talking as if they had been best friends for years. Some of them knew each other, but a lot of them were new to camp – D has a way of bonding them.

Of course, Nikki is blessed to be at camp with one of her closest friends, Mikayla. This is a big year for them because they will also be attending the same middle school and they will be on the same team. That is a priceless support system for them both. In fact, tomorrow is what we call “Camp Thoroughbred”. It’s a day long camp for incoming 6th graders; the purpose is to help them become familiar with their new surroundings. Since a huge factor in D blood sugar highs and lows is stress/anxiety Mikayla’s mom and myself feel that Camp Thoroughbred is a an absolute necessity for both our girls. Sooooo, Mindy (M’s mom) is picking the girls up in the morning and taking them to the school and I’ll pick them up in the afternoon and return them to D camp – about an hour away. Nikki and Mikayla both informed me just as I was leaving that they HAD to be back to camp by 4:00 tomorrow because they are going horseback riding at 4:30 and they DO NOT want to miss it.

A final observation from today is how much Nikki did not mind that we were leaving; in fact I’m not sure she noticed. The responsible parent in me relishes her independence; self-confidence and how comfortable she is at camp – the stingy, clingy parent in me wishes she was a tad sorrier to see me go. Actually, I’m kidding. It does my heart good to see the young woman she’s becoming.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Family, Friends and a Trip to the Mall


We just got home from a wonderful day spent with some of my high school friends and my awesome family. It was truly a great day. Nikki managed to con her grandfather (my Dad) into taking her to the mall - now that's definitely only something a "Poppa's Gerber Baby" could do - but she will remember it forever.

Amber and my nephew Michael went along for the outing. Did I forget to mention that Nikki did not have any money on her and I was at my grandmother's with my mom. Of course, Poppa came through with some $$'s but evidentally the thing Nikki was after in the mall was still a little out of her price range - so (PROUD MOMMY MOMENT HERE) Amber gave Nikki the money Poppa had given her to spend. Now is that sweet or what? I am just so proud of Amber.
Nikki leaves a week from today for diabetes camp, for (gasp) 7 DAYS - no matter how many years she attends camp I don't think I'll ever get used to her being gone for that long. Once she returns from camp she'll have 3 days and then school starts.

I'm planning on really focusing on the walk in early September - I have to figure out how close we are to our goal. Looking forward to participating as a team again this year; one day I just know I will say "Nikki USED to have diabetes".


Monday, July 27, 2009

Good Numbers and Camp Fun


First, I must report that the problem with Nikki’s blood sugar was not, apparently, the pump. Rather, it was the INSULIN – we must have gotten a bad supply the last time we filled the order. The morning we were leaving for camp we had had a terrible overnight so, in a last ditch effort not to cancel camp, Bryan went and got a new refill on the insulin and PRESTO perfect numbers.

Having said that, we had made tremendous changes to her correction factor, meal bolus and target BG. Because I was not 100% sure the problem was fixed, I was hesitant to change all those numbers back to what they were – UNTIL we had 2 major crashes at camp.

Nikki is a go-getter and a very competitive little thing so she was very busy at camp. The first crash was just after she had hiked quite a way, zip-lined over two canyon areas, hiked up a hill and was on the return hike when she crashed. Thankfully, we were with a group of AMAZING leaders who had a golf cart magically appear and transport Nikki the rest of the way down the hill, to our dorm. She was up and at em’ again within 30 minutes – blobbing on the lake.

The following day we had a BAD (40) crash after a day of wall climbing and blobbing. Again, the staff at Cedarmore moved heaven and earth (almost literally) to get a golf cart to us, so I could get her back to our dorm. It was then that I felt completely justified in changing all of her ratios back to their original numbers – and we had no more crashes; AND we have had really great numbers since then. By-the-way, just like the day before Nikki was up and at em’ about 30 minutes after this crash; in a MUD PIT – Seriously.

We had a wonderful time at camp with old friends and made some new ones. One of Nikki’s best friends, Emily, gave her life to Christ during camp – something she has contemplated for 3 summers now – we are still praising the Lord for that decision.

Nikki is spending the night tonight with another of her best friends and has reported in some good numbers this evening. So things are pretty much back to normal….whatever that is. Check out some a few pictures of Nikki in action :-D.

God is Good! All the Time!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stomach Punched

This is a hard blog to write – we went for Nikki’s diabetes check up today and it was the worst one we’ve EVER had. Her A1C’s are and have been consistently in the 7 range since the first check up after her diagnosis (they want a child of Nikki’s age to be under 8), today they were at 10. My heart stopped. We have suspected for the last few weeks that her new (relatively) pump is the root cause of so many astronomically high numbers. The diabetes team at Children’s shares my suspicions: we have made adjustments and are doing a couple other monitoring steps over the next week to confirm that. Once we are sure that the pump is the problem we will start the process of changing back to Mini Med. We are also going to file paperwork to begin her on a CGM device (continuous glucose monitoring).

What we are seeing with this Deltec pump is that it begins to deliver insulin and then just stops – no alarms, no reason; it just acts as if a bolus command was never entered. What we are afraid of now is that it sometimes says it has completed an insulin bolus delivery that it did not actually deliver – meaning she has not actually received any insulin at all. Again, this is just a suspicion at this point. Other things - a big one is puberty, she'll turn 12 in February - are most likely contributing to some of this as well.

All of this is well and good but the bottom line is that my child’s life is being compromised and that is not acceptable. I haven’t felt much like talking about it today, don’t feel a whole lot different tonight – I just can’t get my mind around that number and the feeling that I should have done something more, sooner. It does feel like I've been punched right smack in the middle of my stomach, a whole bunch of times.

Last blood sugar reading today was 103.

All for now,

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sweet Summertime


I've been sooooo neglectful of my blog for the last month or two that I hang my head in shame :-(. Things have been so busy - good busy - with vacations and family visits that I've left it unattended far longer than I wanted to. -
We had an amazing time in Disney World - but I know I've already said that 1000 times - in this instance I'm referring to Nikki's blood sugars and all things diabetes - we had not one single problem the entire 10 days!! Thank you Father God!!

The day before yesterday we were at our local theme park - Kings Island - and her blood went completely wacko for no apparent reason - and she ended up with ketones!!! UGHHHHH!! All was back to normal by the next afternoon, so I will have to add that episode to my unexplainable file.

We go Monday for her diabetes check up and I'm honestly worried about what her A1c's will be this time -

This coming Wednesday we leave for church camp for 4 days - I go as a group leader (I think that's what we're called) on that one because they aren't equipped to care for diabetes. However, in about 3 weeks she leaves again for diabetes camp and is completely stoked about that. I just wish there were more time between when she comes back from D. Camp and when school starts - there is only 2 days in between each summer.

I'm refocusing our fundraising efforts since the walk is rapidly coming upon us. We are doing pretty good so far, but would really LOVE to hit our goal of $2000 this year. If you or anyone you know is able to donate any amount (there is nothing too small) you can click the link on the upper left side of our blog and it will take you directly to our fundraising page.

I hope everyone is having a magnificent summer with awesome blood sugars!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Most Magical Trip

We got home Tuesday morning (actually the middle of the night) from an unbelievable 8 days in Disney World. I was going to post some pictures here, but since there are so many that I wanted to share – I just did a video. We are already planning our next trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, the problem now is coming to back to reality! Nikki's blood sugars held pretty well the entire time - Praise God!


video

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Disney World 2009


I am so very excited - we are heading for Disney World tomorrow morning - for 10 days! Of course, I'm sure I'll be blogging pictures (at the very least) throughout our trip - I won't be able to resist making everyone look at them!

Blood sugars are good and I'm praying they hold steady so that Nikki has a fabulous trip as well. On the 30th we'll be celebrating my oldest daughter's (Amber) 15th birthday at a place called Akershaus Royal Banquet in Epcot Center - both girls are pumped about that!


So...go on...ask me...."what are you doing tomorrow?"



You got it "I'm going to Disney World!!!"



God Bless,


Friday, June 26, 2009

Thinks


This evening I was thinking and that made me think (seriously); I wondered how much of my time is spent worrying about Nikki's blood sugars and then worrying about whether or not I'm doing all the things necessary to help her become a healthy, successful and independent young lady - That's when I realized that my overactive worrying/thinking button had been pushed and that, in turn, caused me to start speaking in "Suess language" again. The result is the following poem:

MY THINKS

Oh the thinks I can think
In one quick little blink
I think about hope
I think about nope
I think about ways to help her cope
When I think what I'm thinking, I shake my head hard
Still my mind starts in blinking, which causes MORE thinking
I think about shots
I think about red spots
then I think about tears
and I think about fears
and I wonder if diabetes will last all her years
When I think what I'm thinking, I shake my head hard
Still my mind starts in blinking which causes MORE thinking
I think of her smiles
I think of her eyes
and I think that her future will soar past the skies
When I think what I'm thinking, I shake my head hard
I let my mind blink and I welcome the thinks
Cause' her future's much brighter than all the thinks I may think.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Does Chronic Illness Look Like

I just finished this video for my Consumer and Family Sciences CFS380 class at Western. Since it is dedicated to all those dealing with any kind of chronic illness I decided to go on and upload it here on No Sugar.




video

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Checking In


Hey Everyone! Still busy here, but now I'm busy getting my summer classes completed (and with professional work) so that when we leave for Disney next Sunday (the 28th) I'll be a free agent - and have nothing to focus on but my kids and husband!

VBS is going on this week and it's been a great time. We still have tomorrow and Friday; Amber is part of the staff this year (again with the growing up stuff) and this will be Nikki's last year to attend; both girls are having a blast.

Yesterday we were able to spend almost the entire day with family. It was my nephew Michael's 9th birthday and we headed to my hometown (about and hour and half away from my house) immediately after Bible School. We had a completely wonderful time and were able to hang out with my mom, my nephews, niece, great nephew and my granny for a whole day. Now that was good for the soul!

That's about it for an update. I'm off to do some more coursework! Hope everyone is well.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We've Been Busy

The last 2 months have been really fun and REALLY busy for us. I decided to throw a sampling of pictures from some of our bigger event. Tomorrow (Monday) begins a whole new set of fun stuff - VBS, Disney, Birthday Parties in Lexington, and of course I'm in school this summer - but I'm getting a head of myself :-D.




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Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Classes & Photo Stories

So, I'm taking summer classes this season because these particular classes are only offered in the summer. Anyway, one of them is a technology, presentations, etc. class and is conducted by a professor that I really like. She has us doing an assignment using a new (to me) program for telling photo stories. We all know that I looooovvvveee to put together photo stories; I think they are a very powerful way to get a message across. I am completely addicted to this program!

I did a short practice video so that I would be prepared when I needed to use it for class and guess where I'm going to upload it today?! Yep, right here. I used pictures of our family from the last 3+ weeks since we've had so much going on and included one of my current favorite songs "It's America". Hope you enjoy it and thanks for indulging my obsession :-D.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Livin' Loud

Nikki danced her little heart these last few days – what a great performance! The theme this year was “Livin’ Loud” and it was awesome. I can’t get over how grown up all the girls in Nikki’s class looked on stage this year. Most of them have danced together since around the age of 6, so it’s been neat to watch them all grow.


Of course Nikki’s two best friends were dancing as well (Sam and Brooke). Brooke is in a different class this year, but they were all three still pretty much glued together back stage between performances. Nikki performed three numbers this year and just loves dancing. She would do it 24/7 if it were possible.


A lot of people came to see her dance this year; both grandmothers’, friends, cousins, neighbors – I say it a lot but I truly mean it – we are blessed.


Like every single year, Nikki’s blood sugars were off the chart – HIGH HIGH HIGH – it happens when she gets extremely excited or nervous – the two combined make for unreal numbers. I think I even saw the meter smoking once :-D. She was right back to normal – 128 – this morning. That was the last event we had and now REST; oh and DISNEY WORLD!!!! We are taking the girls to Disney at the end of this month – can’t wait.


The big downer for me was that I lost all the pictures I took from last night – I have a ton from the first day and evening but the last performance I thought I had my memory card in and didn’t; when I got home – NOTHING. Thankfully, my best friend had taken a couple of pictures of Nikki and family so I have something. Don’t think I’ll ever make that mistake again.



I have so many pictures that I want to share that I just put them in this little video file - just click on it to see my little dancer :-D.


All for now…..



Recital Week 2009


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Monday, June 8, 2009

Vlogging....Yep, I said Vlogging

I don't know how often I will do this, but I decided to do a video Vlog instead of typing out my blog tonight. Here goes:

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer Rambling




Happy Weekend! What beautiful weather we’ve been having! We are still in the middle of Nikki’s recital week – at this point she is preparing for her performance on Wednesday night. She’s had really great blood sugar numbers: of course, if I could figure out a way for her to live in a swimming pool she would have perfect numbers all the time; she is a fish and thankfully we have a pool – which is where you can find her when she’s not dancing. They girls have already had their first official summer sleepover - which happened THE DAY school got out.

I am taking summer classes this year in preparation for FINISHING school next May (YEEEE HAWWW). My concentration this summer (I’m a Child Studies Major with a Family Studies Minor) is Parenting Young Children with a Chronic Illness – wonder where I got that idea :-D. Seems like the classes are going to be demanding but very exciting and thankfully I won’t have the addition of teaching, and the girls’ many extracurricular activities on top of course work. The one weird thing is that I will finish up the early summer semester while we are in Disney World – thank goodness for technology huh?!

Monday will be a hard day for Amber because it will be the last day she gets to spend with Angie before the family has to return to South Africa; prayers for Amber and the Peens family would be greatly coveted. On a happy note, Amber’s LIFELONG BFF/Sister will be coming for a visit mid-June and that will be a great boost for her (and the rest of us Turner’s). Life is definitely a roller coaster – a crazy, wonderful, sad, hard, exciting roller coaster.

God is Good!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Whew....





Wow, I didn't realize it has been so long since I've had a chance to blog. We have hit one, if not THE, busiest times of year for us and there just aren't enough hours in the day. Let's see, both Nikki and Amber have had their final chorus performances for the year; and for their schools - they are both moving on to middle and high school next year.

Amber has had us especially busy lately: her chorus group performed at King's Island Music in the Parks the weekend before last and placed FIRST with a rating of EXCELLENT! Way to go TMS! This past weekend Amber performed in the musical Beauty and the Beast - the cast and crew knocked it out of the park! What an awesome show - and they performed a total of 5 shows for their weekend run.
Yesterday was a very emotional day - it was the Farewell Party for Amber's best friend, Angie and her family; I just can't get my mind around the fact that they will be gone from our lives in less than a week - They will certainly takes pieces of our hearts with them.

Now hang on, that's not all: this past Friday afternoon was Nikki's 5th grade 'graduation' picnic: we had a blast. THEN tonight was Nikki's 5th grade graduation ceremony - just when I thought I was all cried out. Tomorrow in the afternoon is Amber's 8th grade graduation ceremony - followed on Wednesday by another party for Angie and Amber here at our house - a swimming party. At some point I may begin breathing (and stop crying). Next week begins recital week for Nikki.

Some totally cool news is that Bryan and I are taking our girls to Disney World for 8 days at the end of this month - can't wait to regroup and relax (oh, and hang out with Mickey of course).

Blood sugars through all of this have been AWESOME!! We are still actively raising money for the JDRF walk this summer and we also want to say thanks for the generous donations we have received already! If you want to contribute to our walk team, just click on the icon at the top left side of our blog page :-D! I'm also looking forward to catching up with my fellow bloggers by the end of the weekend - I've missed checking in with you - can't wait to see what you are up to!
God is Good



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mouse Has Many Friends


I’m admitting -- right now -- that I’m totally addicted to my iPhone – I mean it has to be the coolest toy I’ve ever had! So tonight I’m sitting here on my computer, downloading APPS for my iPhone when about 3 LOUD LOUD LOUD girls come running through my front door--not a single one of them was mine – the weirdest thing is I really didn’t pay attention to that fact. Well, until one of them made a complete circle from Nikki’s bedroom to the kitchen and back to me in the dining room saying “Nikki needs her meter, where is it”. Now I know I’ve written many times about Nikki’s 3 best friends – but these young ladies are a completely different set of friends. One of the girls was standing by me, one still looking for the meter and one was in my refrigerator looking for ‘a 15 carb juice’. I was almost speechless and then I remembered I actually needed to get Nikki’s meter.

She was fine, they had all been playing (and let me tell you girls have nothing on boys when it comes to playing rough and hard outside) in the front yard and Nikki said she felt a little low – so all 3 friends came flying into the house and knew what to do. I am always touched by how much her 3 best friends know about T1; these girls are not in her ‘inner inner’ circle, but she’s been friends with them since kindergarten ; however, to suddenly realize just how many true friends my Nikki Mouse has (people that aren’t grown-ups) is more than a little touching. A definite “my cup runneth over” moment.

As of now, they have all had a ’15 carb juice’ and have resumed playing a very LOUD and ROUGH game of 4 square. God is Good!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weepy Me




What a crazy, busy week. First, I am done with finals and have about 3+ weeks before I start my summer session at WKU AND this time next year I’ll be done! I’m winding up this semester with three A’s and one B – not too bad. I’ve been teaching a lot lately, which is a good thing because I truly enjoy that part of my life. Nikki has had a great couple of weeks – and awesome health for more than a month – Thank You Father God!

Now for the weepy part … for many reasons, I pride myself on my strength and ability to handle most situations without falling apart. I think that strength sort of finds you when you suddenly have a child with any kind of a chronic illness; which is all I can speak to. Anyway, I also don’t like to cry in public, another ‘issue’ that has roots in many places. However, lately I seem to cry all the time. My children are growing up way too fast, and let me say that I have enjoyed every second, of every single day of being a mother and the fact that my girls are turning into young ladies at the speed of light is really getting to me. I am very proud of their independence and strength, but the selfish part of me wants them to go through a ‘clingy’ phase just one more time :-D. In about 2 weeks Amber will graduate from middle school and Nikki will graduate from elementary school. Ugh. THEN on June 9 we are losing some friends that are a very important part of our lives, but Amber will be especially hit by the loss.

Because of government flaws our friends will have to leave the United States, for good, and return to South Africa – that’s it, they most likely won’t live in our country again. We’ll keep up with them through facebook, myspace, email, phone calls, etc. etc. but that just can’t replace the fact that my daughter is losing one of her best friends – one that she’s been friends with since age 4 – and I can’t fix this for any of them. So there it is, the 3 things that have me crying on a daily basis: I suppose there are times in our lives that we just have to accept that part of ourselves, but I sure am tired of walking around with a Kleenex in my hand.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Freaky Friday


Here is my list of things that need to get done between now and June 9: Nikki’s 5th grade recognition, Amber’s 8th grade bridging ceremony, Briana’s college graduation, Amber’s play—2 nights, Nikki’s dance recital—2 nights; chorus competition at Kings Island, 5th grade picnic, WKU Finals, trip to Lexington for Mother’s Day, family wedding, going away party and that’s just the extra stuff – so I’ve been feeling a tad overwhelmed and probably because a lot of those events are going to be rather emotional (and we all know how low key I am, I never let my feelings get the best of me ---see how I can make myself laugh).

Today was an interesting day -- Freaky Friday as it were. I was teaching 1st grade (now if I had just a touch of their energy I could do it ALL). CATS testing is going on this week and next week, so I was surprised when I looked up to see my daughter and the Assistant Principal standing in my classroom doorway. It seems Nikki started ‘beeping’ in the middle of testing and realized she had a low reservoir (T1 talk which means she was running out of insulin). I check the pump – she’s only got 11.1 units left. However, it was around 10:30 (I think) and I calculated that she had enough insulin left to last until I took my class to lunch – then I could run (call me Speedy) home, grab her insulin, reservoir and new site and get back almost in time to pick up my kids after lunch. So that was my plan; I asked another teacher to cover for me just in case I hadn’t completely gotten Nikki’s site changed (I had a whole 25 minutes to do all of this) – and that’s what I did – I was only 10 minutes late getting back to my class.

THEN – of course that’s not all – at the end of the day I was reading to the class just before the bell rang and Nikki shows up. She announces “MY SITE CAME OUT”. Here we go again. Oh well, at least this time it was the end of the day. I had her test her blood sugar while I walked my kids to the buses – she was 145 so it must have happened just before she noticed it was out. We got it changed again before I left for the day and now I’m sitting here on the couch telling you all everything :-D.
Don't forget we are still fundraising for the JDRF walk - you can go to our blog and click on the JDRF link at the top left of our site and it will take you right to our team donation page! Thank You!

So that’s my crazy, busy, annoying, exasperating, freaky, wonderful life at the moment. Can’t wait to see what will happen on Saturday (hee hee)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

LARGE Ketones


There are some days that I can say, in a very un-ladylike fashion, DIABETES SUCKS. Nikki has had a run of really great health, fairly good numbers and perfect school attendance. Today is the first official day of CATS testing, so of course, we hit a bump.

Sometime between my 2 a.m. blood check and ‘time to get up’ this morning at 7 a.m. she had a site or pump issue (it’s honestly a mystery at this point) all I know is that her pump ‘said’ “delivery stopped” and my heart along with it. I grabbed her meter, blood sugar was 476. I got her awake enough to go to the restroom to check ketones – LARGE. *@%#!!!!!

I changed her insulin cartridge, changed her site, changed the battery, called school, cancelled my sub job for today (sorry Jenny) and proceeded to hover over Nikki. We are finally down to TRACE ketones – it’s 2:45 p.m. -- and her blood sugar has been back down to about 120 or so since around 10:30 this morning. What a frustrating day; but things seem to be back to normal now, that’s pretty much how diabetes works. It tends to semi-hide for a while then swoop in, screw things up and go right back to its semi-hiding spot.

Now we focus on tomorrow, which WILL be a great day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

YEEEE HAWWWW and PRAISE THE LORD!


Yeeee Hawwwww! Many of you know that Nikki has struggled with an incredibly low immune system for the last few years, which is complicated (not caused) by T1. This past February she had her tonsils and adenoids removed in hopes that their removal would help with the chronic sinus infections; in turn help her overall immune system.

I am very PROUD to report that for the first time since kindergarten -- the first time in 5 years -- Nikki just completed her first MONTH of PERFECT ATTENDANCE!!!!!!!!! She is so proud of herself. She's always known that her continuous illnesses were not caused by T1 but she is a kid and sometimes she just felt like she was always sick because of diabetes and then she would be worried she would always be sick because she was always going to have diabetes. Today, her T1 Giant shrank a bit in Nikki's mind and I couldn't be happier!

Seems like a small thing to many people, but for Nikki this was one ginourmous hurdle and she tackled it head on like she does everything else. Like I said YEEEEE HAWWWW that can also be translated to PRAISE THE LORD!!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh, The PASTA-bilities!



I was told about the following company and its food by a friend of mine; she happens to be a Diabetes Nurse Educator and Author, so I have confidence in her recommendations but like always, consult with your own nurse educator for specific advice. The article is taken directly from the company’s website Dreamfields Foods and it’s definitely worth reading and exploring. Thanks Tammi!


Diabetes and Dreamfields? Discover the Pasta-bilities.

One of the most prevalent myths that comes with a diabetes diagnosis it that you will never be able to enjoy many of your favorite foods again, pasta being one of them. That’s simply not true! While you do need to control carbohydrate, calorie, and fat intake, and make sensible food choices, Dreamfields pasta can be part of your healthful eating plan.
It Really Is Possible For People With Diabetes To Eat Dreamfields Pasta...
Dreamfields has per serving (2 ounces dry, about 5 ounces cooked):

All of these qualities translate into a lower blood glucose rise after eating Dreamfields as compared to eating the same amount of traditional white pasta. You can truly have your Dreamfields pasta and enjoy it too...without feeling guilty or compromising blood glucose control.


Carbohydrate: Back to the Basics.
People with pre-diabetes and diabetes pay a lot of attention to carbohydrate because it is the primary determinant of post-meal blood glucose levels. Carbohydrate is one of the three building blocks that make up all the foods you eat. The other two are protein and fat. Whether or not you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, carbohydrate is an important part of a healthy eating plan because carbohydrate-rich foods provide energy, fiber and important vitamins and minerals. Everybody (even people with pre-diabetes or diabetes) needs to eat some carbohydrate each day. In fact, the average minimum daily amount of carbohydrate recommended, or the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), is 130 grams/day.With only 5 grams of digestible carbohydrate per serving (2 ounces dry, about 5 ounces cooked), Dreamfields pasta can easily fit into most meal-time carbohydrate goals.*


*Whether enjoying Dreamfields pasta or other foods, consumers with diabetes must carefully monitor blood glucose and have frequent contact with their physician to maintain good health.To create a healthful eating plan for your individual needs, consult with a qualified educated dietician.