Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

6 Pages A Day

Last night at dinner, I was thinking that I need to get involved with something to exercise my brain. I really enjoyed the Write Short, Write Quick writing workshop I took over the summer and thought something like that would do me good.

So while looking up courses on the New Hampshire Writers' Workshop Project I came across an event called the National Novel Writing Month.

If you're interested, you can still sign up as it starts November 1st. So from November 1st to the 30th, the object of the event is to write a 175 page-50,000 word novel in any genre. It doesn't have to be any good. So don't worry about content. The focus is on quantity, not quality. It's a great exercise for people who've always wanted to write a book, but were just too intimidated by the volume of work they'd have to produce. This allows you to dip your foot in the water without having to worry about whether you know how to swim. It's also good for accomplished authors to keep their writing in play when they have writer's block or whatever else is stopping them from writing the next novel.

I have a short story that I wrote for the writing workshop I took and got really good feedback from the other class members who wanted me to write more about it...sort of flesh out the story and reveal more about each of the scenes I wrote about.

If I am to accomplish this task, I'd have to write 6 pages a day.....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I often wonder what Brendon will be like as an adult. I imagine his personality will carry through until then, but I wonder how his personality will affect relationships with people, his job, his home life, his diabetes management.

Brendon is one tenacious kid. He never backs down, he holds his ground even when he's wrong about something, and he rides me when he wants something until I give in from sheer exhaustion or until I blow up at him because sending him to his room or taking away his favorite thing doesn't work.

When he comes home from school, he immediately wants me to help him with his homework and will actually perform extra tasks to supplement his homework. For instance, he'll take home 15 spelling words that he needs to practice. Perhaps the teacher will say draw 5 pumpkins and pick 5 words to write in the inside of the pumpkins. He'll instead draw 15 pumpkins to fit all 15 words. He told me he wanted to write a book about patterns because they'll be learning about patterns today and wanted to show the class his book. He wrote a 20 page book with a different pattern on each page. He enjoys every subject he's taught and does extremely well in all of them. Last year, his kindergarten teacher said that if they offered advanced classes in that grade, he would've been in every one of them.

He's certainly passionate about the things that interest him. He loves baseball. He loves to watch it on TV and to play it as well. He'll ask everyone, including me, to play catch with him or to pitch so that he can hit. I have to stop him after a while because he could literally play for hours without taking a break.

When it comes to managing his diabetes, he's enthusiastic. He lectures me about giving him too much junk food (no, I don't, but he feels the need to remind me). He loves to test his blood sugars and we play a game to see who can guess what the number will be. He's the most competitive person I've ever met and will proceed to dance around if he guessed the closest number, and then will proceed to rub his win in my face. He doses himself, and if there is something I need to do like cut back his basal rate, or give him an extended bolus, he wants to observe so that he can learn how to do it.

As a toddler, no more than 2 years old, there were instances that gave me a peak into his future and how relationships with people would work for him:

He and I were at the supermarket. He was sitting in the front seat of the cart and as I was checking out the dairy case, a woman approached us and started to comment on what a beautiful boy he was. She got close to his face to start coochie-cooing him. He reached out and started to caress her could see her melting under his touch. Then, to me it looked to be in slow motion, he reached back and slapped the daylights out of her. She stood ramrod straight with a big bright red spot on her cheek, her eyes wide, her face stunned. I was completely mortified and began to reprimand him, pretty badly considering he wasn't yet two. The woman smiled again and said "Oh don't worry, he's so cute he could slap me anytime." I thought to myself, "My god, this kid is going to get away with murder when he's older."

Another instance was when we were at a library story hour. Before the stories began, there would be play time. There was an area set up with paper and crayons and Brendon waddled over, layed on his stomach, and started coloring away. A little boy came over sat across from Brendon and was being pretty bratty...taking crayons away from kids, generally disturbing everyone. Brendon reached across and offered him a crayon, but the kid brushed his hand away, knocking the crayon out of Brendon's hand. Being the tenacious kid that he is, Brendon calmly, and slowly began to push the crayon toward the boy, inch by inch. Brendon would look at the crayon, push it, and then he'd look at the boy. He repeated this over and over until the crayon lay in front of the boy. Everyone, including the boy, watched this whole one said a word....we were mesmerized. The boy then quietly picked up the crayon and began coloring, calmly, quietly. I thought "Damn, this kid might make a great police negotiator (or whatever those people are called) to subdue a crazed maniac holding up a bank."

A third instance happened when we were at a play group. Typically toddlers, when they see something they want, just go over and take it, no matter where it is or who is using it at the time. Brendon saw a toy he wanted, but a boy was already playing with it. Brendon tried to grab it, but the kid held on and wouldn't let go. Brendon walked away and came back with another toy. He held it out to the boy and then pointed to the toy the boy held. The boy's mother exclaimed "Brendon wants to make a trade! I've never seen a kid do that before!" And the boy traded toys with him. I thought "He's going to make a good business man...getting people to do what he wants."

I don't know how many times perfect strangers would walk up to him to comment on his cuteness and every time, Brendon would offer his hand to shake. Interestingly enough, every stranger would say "This kid is going to be President someday."

I know that whatever he does, it'll be done because he's passionate about it and it will make him happy and that he'll be just fine.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

(Insert Creative Title Here)

I don't know what's harder....thinking of something to write about, or thinking of a creative title for the post. I'm not all that creative or clever when writing titles the way some other bloggers are. But I digress....

No gym for me today. Jacob has a cold which isn't much in and of itself...I'd send him to school today anyway, but he has diarrhea too. If he isn't puking on me, he's shitting on me instead. I didn't realize it leaked out of the side of his Pullup, so when I pulled down his pj bottoms, I dragged it down his leg and all over my hand.

6 years and counting of these nightmarish episodes.....

Luckily, the routine my personal trainer set up for me can be done at home too. I have the stability ball and some dumbells and an elliptical trainer, so I'm set. I copied down his list of exercises to bring home with me in case I couldn't make it to the gym.

No excuses!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Blog? What's a Blog?

It's amazing to me how many people in the world still don't know what a blog is. I just assume that if I know about it, then everyone else must know too (it's the egocentrist in me, I guess).

So when I mention, or someone else mentions my blog in conversation, the blank stare is given by the person receiving the info. The person nods their head, says "Hmmm" and then asks:

"What's a blog?"

"It's short for weblog."

"It's short for what?"

"'s an online journal. You write about whatever you want and you can post pictures and make the background really pretty if you know anything about web design, which I don't, so my blog looks boring. And then people can comment on what you've written. I've even met a few bloggers in real life."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah, they were really nice, and fun, and they weren't perverted or anything."

I then get into the how's and why's I started mine and the glazed look is given by the person I'm informing and enlightening. They've lost interest because they just can't envision what the hell I'm talking about.

And then I get all embarassed because I feel like "blog" is the worst word in the world (I really wish there was a better name made up). And that anyone who meets other bloggers are weirdos belonging to some underground pervert club who do unmentionable things with each other.

And then I change the subject and I mention how I found a great deal on Tupperware at Walmart.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Penny Earned is a Penny Saved

Or is it A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned? Sorry Penny, couldn't help myself :)

Read about our very own Penny on the Join Lee Now website.

I'm sure she'll post all about it on her own blog, but I thought it was so cool to see a picture of Riley on their eNewsletter.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Biggest Loser

Today marks exactly one month since I've buckled down on my eating habits. It hasn't yet been a month since I started working out at the gym, but it's close enough, so I'll just include it in today's date as well.

So far I've been taking in on average, 1500 calories, with some days where I went over. I've been going to the gym on average about 3 days a week with cardio at home during the in between days. Recently, I've started going to the gym 4 days a week because on Sunday I take a Spinning class.

My routine at the gym typically consisted of a 30 minute cardio workout on the elliptical and then a full body circuit on the Nautilus machines.

Now, I've been seeing a personal trainer once a week. He has me doing strength training using the stability ball as a main base which is what I now do during the other two strength training days. It's great because for instance, while I'm working chest, I'm working the rest of my body at the same time because I'm trying to keep my balance.

It's all about the core, people!

As for cardio, I've adopted a new favorite piece of equipment...the Stair Climber. It looks like an escalator and you can set it for different kinds of programs. I set it for a steady pace at level 4 and can only do 20 minutes on it. It's super hard and I'm mearly trying to get to 30 minutes as my ultimate goal. Here I was thinking I was in shape because I really didn't feel winded at all on the elliptical, but the Stair Climber is kicking my ass for sure.

As of today, with all of this work I've been doing, I've lost a total of 6.4 pounds. I watch the Biggest Loser and feel like a 6 pound loss in one month is so piddly, BUT, I must remember that a slow weight loss means it'll stay off!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blue Funk and a Shoutout To PB&J, Cottonballs, and the Pump

Yesterday I was feeling blue and very low-energy. I didn't eat much and I was just kinda moping around getting the kids ready for school. I wasn't in the mood for doing anything other than feeling sorry for myself.

I did go to the gym after I did the preschool drop-off, but after doing a set and a half of leg-lift thig-a-ma-jiggy exercises (I may know how to work the equipment, but don't ask me the names), I got up and left. My head wasn't into it.

I continued my day in an Eeyore kind of way, but there were a few things that got me through my funk. One was an email from my good, caring friend....another was a 7.2 A1C for Brendon and a good set of numbers for that day (all in the 100 range)....and finally Brendon telling me that he didn't feel the infusion set change AT ALL when it was time to change it!!! So those things made me happy for the moment.

I'm still in a bit of a funk, but I'm doing things to help get me out and today I vow to get a good cardio workout in to make up for yesterday.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to see my personal trainer and I know he'll work the funk right out of me!! LOL.

Here's my shoutout to the Trifecta of procrastination rescue:

1. Thank you PB&J for coming through this morning and causing lunch-making to be so quick and easy. I had 10 minutes before Brendon had to leave for the bus before I realized I never made his lunch (his numbers have been crazy so we're holding off the school lunches) and you didn't disappoint!

2. Thank you Cottonballs for wearing an extra hat and taking up room in the teddy bear I had to sew for Brendon for school. I know we just use you to clean up finger prick blood, but you mean so much more than that...and you know it ;)

3. Finally, thank you Pump for saving the day and allowing Brendon to show you off for Show & Tell when I completely forgot all about it and didn't set something up for him to show. Not only do you give him great A1C's, but you're fascinating for kids to gawk at.

Now that I've officially gone over the deep end, I'm going to work out.

Friday, October 06, 2006

MV (The Final Installment)

Let's recap the highlights of my stay at MV. First, Aunt Flo visits at an inopportune time, and then Jeff gets the once over, twice over, three times a lady over by the guy behind The Black Dog counter.

After the "luck" we've been having, you'd think I'd play it safe, stay in my B&B room and never leave. Well, no that doesn't happen. What happens is this:

We come back from our little shopping spree at The Black Dog and as Jeff is a little traumatized by the "encounter" he preoccupies himself with the distraction of figuring out what we can do next to fill the day.

Renting a moped and exploring the island is out...I don't need to crash and lay in a bloody heap. Jeff's driving scares me air on a moped will not protect my body parts.

The map shows that Vineyard Haven has a lot of shops and restaurants. We decide a change of scenery would be nice, so, we decide to walk to Vineyard Haven which, as the map shows, is a mere 2.5 miles from Oak Bluffs where we're staying. Easy. No problem.

I have my comfy flip flops that I had just bought at a boutique store. I also have on a nice cool cotton blouse, and a worn-in pair of jeans. I'm ready for anything!

"Will this map fit in your pocketbook?"

"No, too many tampons. We don't need the map. We just go here, here and then we're there. It's easy."

"Okaa-ay, if you say so."

"Let's just go already."

We walk up a side street rather than go through town like the map showed us to do, thinking we're taking a short cut.

We see very small, very old Victorian summer homes along tree lined streets. Ancient, weathered New England churches at nearly every street corner.

We see bridesmaids, and groomsmen, and guests in chicly tailored cocktail dresses waiting along the sides of every other street waiting for the taxis to come and pick them up. Apparently it was a big wedding day on the island.

It's a charming walk so far. Blue skies, temps in the upper 60's-low 70's. Breezy, but the sun warms us in between gusts. Jeff comments on what a perfect day it is. I reply that the weather couldn't be more perfect.

We keep walking, walking, walking and Jeff's "lost-radar" begins to flash.

"We've been walking for a while, maybe we should ask someone how to get to Vineyard Haven."

"Jeff, we haven't even walked a mile, we still have a ways to go. We're going the right way, dont' worry about it."

"Let's ask these ladies."

Two women are walking ahead of is pushing a stroller. Yes indeed, beautiful day for a walk.

"Excuse me, we're trying to get to Vineyard Haven. Are we going in the right direction", Jeff asks them.

"Yes, you just keep going straight ahead. You have quite a ways to go, but it's up there."


"See", I say, "we're fine".

So we continue walking. And we come to a residential part of MV. Not so charming, just a bunch of small houses. And the sun is getting hot. And I'm sweating. And my flip flops aren't so comfy anymore.

We come to an intersection and decide to hang a right thinking that we've walked too far West and need to take it in a bit. And then we keep walking.

"We've been walking a while, where's a goddamn taxi when you need one. They're all over the friggin island, but when you need one, shit, nothing!", I complain.

We continue walking and we come to a road that we recognize from the map.

"Aw, Shannon, this is the road where we saw those ladies. We just walked in a big fucking circle."

"That's it, who gives a fuck about Vineyard Haven. It's probably just like Oak Bluffs. I'm going back. I'm tired. I've had enough."

"No, let's keep walking. I don't want to give up."

Just as I was about to shout more obscentities in protest, a big white SUV pulls up to the corner and a woman asks us if we're OK.

"No, we're looking for Vineyard Haven."

"Oh, you still have quite a ways to go.", she says.

Really, ya think?

"Do you want a ride? I'm not going in that direction, but I can bring you up closer and make a turn so I can go to where I need to get."

"Yes, thank you! Anything to get us closer."

We hop in and rest our weary feet. I don't give a crap if she's a serial killer. As long as I get to rest, nothing matters anymore.

She says to us, "I saw the looks on your faces and saw you both looked a little lost."

She stops to drop us off and she then says "It's not Vineyard Haven yet, but at least I saved you a few steps."

I reply, "Yeah, and you saved us from a huge fight!".

She got a kick out of that one and laughed hysterically. Whatever.

Jeff and I continue walking, and walking, and walking. (Yes, the story ends soon, thanks for hanging in there and continuing the read).

We see a sign saying Welcome to Tisbury.

"What the fuck is this?", says Jeff. "What the fuck is Tisbury? Where the fuck is Vineyard Haven."

"That bitch lied to us! Maybe she was wrong about this road leading to Vineyard Haven. She did say she was bad with directions. Whatever. I'm hungry and maybe there's shops and restaurants in Tisbury. Who gives a shit if it's not Vineyard Haven. Fuck this. I hate walking!"

We trudge along looking at the beautiful water along side us, watching sailboats float lazily along the water, hating every minute of what we're doing.

FINALLY we see some people walking. Civilization!

"We must be close to something good if there are people walking around", I say half heartedly, hoping it wasn't a cruel mirage.

We come upon a store, then another, and another.

Ah, there's a sign for Vineyard Haven. We've reached our destination. My right foot is killing me and today, October 6th, it's still hurting.

We estimated that we walked at least 6 miles. So much for 2.5.

To top it off, as we walk the main street, we notice that every other store is basically the same ones we saw in Oak Bluffs. Motherfucker, we could've stayed in Oak Bluffs and not missed a goddamn thing here. Well, gotta make the best of it as we're here. Fuck.

We catch lunch, I buy a book for Jeff as an anniversary gift in a charming book store (Nasty Bits, by Anthony Bourdain) and we take a taxi back to the B&B.

Then we sleep for a few hours and do some more fucking walking into town for our anniversary dinner. Happy fucking anniversary in Martha's Vineyard.

I have some pictures to download still...having trouble with connection, so will try to post them later.

That's that.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

MV---Part Dos (Gaydar Malfunction)

Saturday morning we walked to town to explore the stores. One famous place is The Black Dog. There are numerous stores all over the island, and if you've ever been to The Vineyard, it is a requirement that you buy their crap.

If you observe people on the island carefully, anyone wearing a sweatshirt will have a black lab on the front of it.

Jeff and I walk into the store and begin perusing the rows of long sleeved t-shirts, short sleeved t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, regular sweatshirt, hats, windbreakers, flip flops, dog bowls, dog biscuits, leashes, collars, mugs, playing cards, basically tons of other crap you can stick a dog on.

As we're looking at a shelf full of sweatshirts, a man walks right in front of us, asks how we're doing (we say we're doing fine) and pretends to fix a perfectly stacked pile of sweatshirts, and then continues past us.

Weird, but we think nothing of it seconds later. If this were a book, that little scene would be called foreshadowing.

After pulling down a cornucopia of clothing for the two of us, the kids, and my mom and Jeff's dad (who were back home being run ragged by the kids), we take our armload to the counter and the man who fixed the perfectly stacked pile of sweatshirts walks over to ring us in.

Before I continue, let me just say that Jeff is a very handsome man...strong jawline, blond, All-American, lost a shitload of weight and now looks like when I met him. People can't believe he'll be 40 next May....they think he's in his late 20's. (note to Kerri, Julia, Nicole, and Lyrehca...he looks nothing like when you all saw wouldn't recognize him). We've gone to Provincetown, Cape Cod several times and anytime we've gone to a bar, Jeff is the one who goes up to get us drinks, because whoever is tending the bar is inevitably gay.

So anyway, we're standing there minding our own business when I notice the guy looking Jeff up and down. He starts at his stomach, his eyes roll up Jeff's torso and finally rest upon Jeff's face. This happens over and over as he rings in every other piece of clothing. He was so obvious about his gawking. I thought "this guy is gay and he's hot for Jeff!"

I looked over at Jeff to see if there was any indication that he noticed this blatant show of attraction, but he seemed oblivious to it. Then I thought "I have to tell Jeff that this guy was hot for him and that he was looking him up and down...didn't he notice?"

The guy was all fumbles...can't find a bag to put the stuff in, shaky hands trying to locate a free canvas bag because we bought x amount of merchandise. He explains why he's all's because he manages a Black Dog store on the mainland and is here for the day and isn't familiar with where everything is located.

I'm thinking, this guy is all fumbles and jumbles because can't contain himself and is all nervous because he's hot for Jeff.

He finishes ringing us up, and no sooner do we take two steps out of the store than Jeff says to me "Was that guy gay, and was he checking me out?"

"Oh my God!, I was totally waiting to tell you that!", I say incredulously. "I didn't think you noticed."

"Oh yeah, I noticed. Do I look gay?"

"Well", I say, "you have a refined look about you. You're handsome, and neat looking, so I guess you look attractive to a gay man. Don't worry, the guy was just having a gaydar malfunction."

"I can't believe he was so obvious about it."

Flash forward to later that evening as we're walking along a dock looking for a restaurant:

"Shannon, have you noticed any girls looking at me since we've been here?"

"No, I really didn't notice."

"I need a girl to look at me to counteract the visual assault that occured earlier."

A girl walks by and I didn't make note of whether or not she looked at him.

"OK, that girl just looked at me. It was quick, but she definitely looked at me. I guess she saw you with me and didn't want to offend you so she wasn't so obvious about it."

"You feel better now?"

"Yeah, a little."

To be continued.....

Monday, October 02, 2006

MV---Part Uno (note to men....TMI involved)

I didn't think I'd survive Martha's Vineyard, but somehow I managed. Yes, I realize how lucky I am to have had the chance to go, but nonetheless, I feel like I've been on the brink of hell.

It all started with a ferry ride from the Cape to MV. While we were on the ferry, a family straight from the pages of J. Crew came, dad, 2 little boys, and their English Spaniel. They were dressed casually, had their J. Crew MV outfits on as if to say "I know we didn't come on with any luggage, and I know we're so damned cute, but we're dressed in J. Crew clothes that we bought a year ago, so we're not pretentious or anything."

I watched this family the entire time. They were just so interesting to see. A man came over....a doctor whose wife didn't want to "accompany" him to the island....and started talking to them. Apparently they all knew each other and the JC family knew the girls behind the snack counter (they must make this trip alot!), so the kids got free snacks and smoochy kisses from mom who just "looooooved her boys soooooo much!" They were cute though.

The older boy, who was about 4 yrs old, starts showing what a nutty kid he is and starts telling dad that he's going to light him on fire, cut him into little pieces, and throw him into the water.

Hmmm. Could it be the boy is angry that his parents named him Standish? Hopefully his little brother, Crossen, doesn't have any issues with his own name, otherwise dad is a goner.

The ferry hits shore and Jeff and I gather our luggage and head out to catch a taxi which is in fact a van so that they can transport a bunch of people at once, depositing everyone at different points on the island.

It literally took us 30 seconds to reach our destined bed and breakfast. It was right down the road, but it was dark, and it was our first time there, so we had an excuse!

As we walk into the B&B, a red headed woman approaches us and with a sweet Irish accent begins to recite the information we need to know about our stay there. She's in the middle of her speech when Jeff gets a call on his cell. It's my mother asking if I have my pocketbook with me. I check and realize it's not with me. An employee from the ferry found it, used my cellphone to call the first person on my phone list and said we could pick it up the next morning when they come in at 9:30 am. OK, that's fine, no big whoop, hopefully they don't dip into the cash in my wallet.

We finish the tour of the B&B and Irish lady suggests we walk to town and go to a place called Seasons for dinner. We settle into our room and head out into gale like winds (B&B was on the beach) and walk into town which luckily was not that far at all.

The restaurant was a cozy little bar that served delicious food where I had the best calamari EVER! Light and crispy, not chewy at all. Along with a Corona and a lobster roll, I'd say I was quite satisfied with my first trip to MV so far.

With full bellies, we walk back and as I climb the stairs to our room, I feel not quite right. I pray that it isn't what I think it is and go to the bathroom to check....yup, I got my goddamn period!

And guess where I stashed a handful of lady products just in case my luck was shitty and I wound up getting it....that's my pocketbook which was on the ferry!!

And not only am I panicked because every store is closed therefore no feminine products could be bought, but I realize that whoever found my pocketbook had to fish through my enormous load of FP's to get to my cell phone to make a call to my mom!

I constructed a makeshift pad out of toilet paper....and let's leave it at that.

I would say I could've gotten a good night's sleep if it weren't for the enormous ruckus going on in the B&B next door. I rolled over, peaked out the window, and INSIDE of the next B&B, I saw a poker game going on with a bunch of and all! Needless to say, the walls are thin in these Victorian houses. 2 a.m. rolls by and they're still at it.

Who the hell knew people on "The Vineyard" partied like that?

Fast forward to Jeff getting my pockebook full of FP's and my subsequent enormous relief.

to be continued.....

Martha's Vineyard......

Stay tuned for a "this could only happen to me" episode.....