Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Everyone

May you have more happy days than sad.

More sweet days than bitter.

More successes than failures.

And may we be ever closer to receiving a cure.

I Spent A Week In Dinosaur Times. Like 5 Days, 4 Nights.

This is not like The Land Before Time with Littlefoot and shit.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Time Traveling Demon

I almost spit orange soda on my computer screen when I saw this video:

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gooooo GIANTS!!!!

I'm excited.

UPDATE: The Giants lost. But, they're in the playoffs anyway, and Brady is hot, so, it's OK....I don't mind.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Flying Solo

It was time to kick baby bird out of the nest, so to speak.

Today, Brendon attended his first birthday party by himself. I wasn't there to chaperone as usual.

Jeff dropped him off, talked to Brendon's friend's mom about when to call us so that we could tell Brendon what to do, and that was that. Jeff tested him before he left, caught him at about an 80, and cut back his basal in preparation for the festivities.

He had pizza. The mom called us, put Bren on the phone, and Jeff told him how many carbs to dose himself for. Luckily they had a scale so they could weight the pizza for him.

He and the other boys played some touch football outside. Brendon tested himself, was in the 50's, so he drank a juice.

He had a great time.

And we've successfully passed a threshold that I was anticipating and nervous about for the past 5 years.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My name was Veronica.

But, now it's Melissa.

I am my daughter's babysitter.

I'm not even the grandmother.

But, she still thinks of me as mom.

"Mom, help me get dressed."

"OK, after I finish my coffee."

"Help me get dressed now!"

"I will when I'm finished."

"I'll make you babysit her all day long."

If Baby Alive were really alive, I believe I would've been afraid of that threat and jumped up to help her a lot sooner.

The Butterfly Effect

I took this photo in France inside the cave where Mary Magdalene lived out her last years.

The phrase refers to the idea that a
butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.

From the day Brendon was diagnosed 5 years ago, I went through a majorly stressful period of time. Over the course of those first 2 months of his diagnosis, I was managing my son's new disease while pregnant with my third child, taking care of tiny, unassuming Jessica, looking for a new home to live in several hours away from family and friends, and, for eight months previous to Brendon's diagnosis and for another month after, seeing Jeff only on weekends since he was working out of state. To top it off, my mother-in-law was living with us due to her chronic emphysema.

Ironically enough, diabetes is the butterfly. This disease had effects on my life later on that I never imagined would occur.

The tightly woven series of events during the time Brendon was diagnosed showed me that I could survive just about anything.

But that was all I was doing: surviving.

Growing up, I had to live through some challenges, I've seen some bad things. I knew life wasn't fair and never saw cause to see life through rose colored glasses. It made things easier for me to cope with somehow. And I was always resilient.

I thought I could hold out over the course of the first 4 years, find myself again and return to my resilient self. Yet, I couldn't find the energy and strength to be the mom and wife I hoped to be. I was pouring myself into managing Brendon's diabetes which left little energy for anything else. As much as I wanted enthusiasm for all the good things in my life, I couldn't gain it. It ebbed and flowed on a daily basis. Just when I thought I was satisfied with my life, I'd find reason not to be.

For the first time, I had to beg for mercy.

My marriage was suffering.

We sought counseling for several months.

Afterward, I continued sole counseling for a few more months in order to fix my own problems.

Still, I had some choppy waters to personally get through in order to improve what I could offer my family, as well as myself.

I finally feel like I've turned a corner. In 2008, I've found the resilience I once lost.

I'm keeping my resolutions simple this year:

1. Get into the best shape I've ever been. Drop the last pounds of pregnancy weight and become lean and strong. This will give me the energy my family needs from me.

2. Go back to school to get myself ready for the working world....the one that actually makes me some money. This will improve our opportunities and will only add to what Jeff is doing so well with providing.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2007

List Of Things To Do By Christmas Day

Mind you, we will be home by ourselves with us visiting no one and no one visiting us for the entire weekend and Christmas holidays:

  1. Bring Jessica to gymnastics.
  2. Send out one more Christmas card.
  3. Get my hair cut and colored.
  4. Finish buying gifts.
  5. Wrap gifts.
  6. Make cookie dough
  7. Check Brendon
  8. Make gingerbread men for Santa.
  9. Check Brendon
  10. Buy groceries for Christmas Eve dinner.
  11. Make Christmas Eve dinner.
  12. Check and bolus Brendon
  13. Track Santa.
  14. Convince Jessica that Santa does exist.
  15. Track Santa.
  16. Leave cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer.
  17. Track Santa.
  18. Break up fight between Jessica and Brendon about Santa existing (Bren still believes).
  19. Track Santa.
  20. Look out for Rudolph (you can see a red flashing light on the horizon of the mountains near our's a radio tower)
  21. Tuck kids into bed (hopefully by 6:30 p.m. like last year) after they spot Rudolph.
  22. Check Brendon
  23. Wait until kids are sound asleep.
  24. Hope that Jacob doesn't wake up and look for us as he does every night.
  25. Put gifts under tree.
  26. Check Brendon.
  27. Go to bed.
  28. Christmas Day.
  29. Be lazy
  30. Watch kids play with toys
  31. Order Chinese takeout for dinner

Christmastime advice:

Do not do this at home. Not safe:

Have a Merry Christmas :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Heavy Confession

When I was a little girl, I thought Doug Henning was a hottie.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Second Coming Of Kathie Lee Gifford

Remember how Kathie Lee used to bring Cody-stories to the table during her and Regis's opening dialogue just about every morning?

Well, here is yet another story about one of my kids.....

Tonight, Jeff finally sat down to dinner after snow-blowing the driveway and shoveling the walkway. He complained he was hot, so he went upstairs to change into shorts and a t-shirt.

Jessica: What dad really meant when he said he was hot was he is HOT and HANDSOME, tee hee hee hee.

Is Translation Needed?

Jacob: Can you put on my glubs cuz I wanna go outside and shubble.

(Oh yeah, he's talking about the brand new glubs I bought him yesterday)

Are you sick of my kids yet?

(It's a snow day today....sigh)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ghetto Mittens

(Missing from picture: Jessica, who was crouched down out of the way avoiding the camera's line of sight, sporting her own pair of ghetto mittens).

I guess I had suppressed this memory way down deep into the nether-regions of my grey matter because it's been about 32-33 years since I thought of those mittens since Jessica came up with the idea to wear them yesterday. I was transported back in time and the memory surfaced.

When I was around Jacob's age, living in the worst section of West Orange, NJ, my mom used to make me wear socks on my hands in the winter (we were poor). Nothing like being humiliated as a child.

Frustratingly enough, my own children never put their gloves where they belong and they get lost. Jessica knew it was shameful to wear the ghetto mittens, but she wanted to stay outside in the baddest way. Jacob seemed to think it was cool. I worry about that.....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Whaddup, George Washington?

This is the funniest. To see the founding fathers give gangster signs makes me want to cry...with laughter:

Monday, December 17, 2007

He Bows To No One

Jessica has Jacob in a headlock:

"Say I'm beautiful and sweet!"

"You're beautiful and a poopy head."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Asian Experience

About as close to Asia as I'll ever get is the Asian market in Manchester. I found it when I took a wrong turn one day. The place smells like a dirty pet store (because of the $1.99/lb. fish on ice), but it has some cool and cheap stuff in it. The most exotic thing I bought on that first, fateful day was brown rice that came out to be a gelatenous goo (but was good, nonetheless), and edamame.

This time, I spread my wings a bit more and bought the following:

I plan to stir fry some vegetables, and make peanut satay chicken to be served with these pancakes.

These tasty morsels will be steamed, and salted with some sea salt. The soy beans will be plucked from the pod with my teeth :D

I'll make some broth with this shaved fish to make dashi soup stock to which I'll add miso paste (not shown) to make miso soup.

And to the miso soup, I'll add some noodles.

Special guests get to use these chopsticks!

And finally, I bought some rice flour (I'm sure I'll find something to make with it) and Jasmine brown rice....Asian best!

There were all sorts of spices from Mexico that I had never heard of, and other assorted, exotic treats that I'll get to on my next round to the market.

Next stop: a European food store I discovered on my way home from the market.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Winter Sky

A Post About Nothing

  • Brendon called me from school this morning asking me to drop off his sneakers at school because he has gym today. Plus, he wore his boots to school, so sneakers would be nice to wear during the day.
  • As soon as I heard his voice, I thought it had something to do with diabetes.
  • I had to go to the school dressed in the sweats and t-shirt I wore to bed and my hair was up in a ponytail. I have no makeup on, either.
  • I don't have a winter coat. Crazy...I know.
  • On my way home, I pressed my remote garage door opener to see if I could open my neighbor's garage doors.
  • Apparently, I have a unique remote garage door opener code.
  • Snow dumped on us last night.
  • Brendon was 2 hours late getting home from school.
  • A neighbor walked him home from the bus stop in the dark.
  • I'm going to an Asian market today and plan to be adventurous. I'll buy something that I have no clue about and see if I can use it to make something that tastes good.
  • Hopefully I won't buy something like this though. I don't need hairy balls....not that I have balls to begin with.
  • I joined Flylady.
  • They want members to be anti-procrastinators. I'll get to being one, later....I'm not in the mood now.
  • I'm sick of eating egg white omelettes for breakfast.
  • NH drivers STILL don't know who has the right of way at an intersection.
  • I just figured out a couple of days ago that I can write a post without using the HTML option.
  • Hence, my use of bullets, and multi-colors.
  • I read a blog that had a post about small-time bloggers.
  • I'm a small-time blogger :(

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Department-Store-Santa Dares

Submit your own dares! See the bottom of this page.
(lifted from

One-Point Dares

1. After your child has finished itemizing everything he or she wants for Christmas, press a dollar into Santa’s hand and say, “For your trouble.”

2. Tell a mother and child waiting behind you that Santa’s throne is made of Blitzen.

3. Rehearse your child so that when Santa asks what the tyke wants, he or she bursts into tears and says, “I just want Mommy and Daddy to be married again!”

4. Using both hands, foist a squirmy toddler upon Santa while saying in an Eastern European peasant accent, “I bake just for you … I bake just for you … ”

5. Wearing an airport-security badge and holding a Rubbermaid tub, stand at the head of the line and announce, “Nobody gets to see Santa unless they take off their shoes, take out their laptops, and dispose of all liquids that aren’t in three-ounce bottles!” Repeat every 30 seconds.

Three-Point Dares

1. Scrutinize Santa up and down, then ask witheringly, “Why do you have to dress like such a whore?”

2. Show up in a rented red suit and false beard and announce to Santa, “You’re out, fatso. Manager’s making a little change.”

3. Show up in a rented elf suit, pass Santa a résumé, and plead, “I really need this gig.”

4. Get on both knees and snort the fake snow.

5. Hold up a copy of Paula Deen’s memoir, It Ain’t All About the Cookin’, and say, “Don’t get me wrong, Santa, I admire you, but you did some bad shit to Mrs. Claus.”

Five-Point Dares

1. Tug down on Santa’s false beard, point at him in alarm, and scream, “Megan’s Law! Megan’s Law!”

2. Sidle up to Santa and say conspiratorially, “Hey, I got the stuff.” Then drop a dime bag in his lap.

3. Bow your head, perform a sign of the cross, address Santa as “Father Christmas,” and confess to having impure thoughts about someone within earshot.

4. Dressed as a character from Pasolini’s 120 Days of Sodom, step up to Santa and announce, “I’ve brought the children, Master Claus, just as you requested.”

5. Tell the gathered children that Rudolph is dead—his nose turned red because Putin poisoned him with polonium.

Submit Your Own Dares

Got your own Department-Store-Santa Dares? Send them to us at, and we’ll run the best submissions here on The magazine reserves the right to edit submissions, which may be published or otherwise used in any medium. All submissions become the property of Vanity Fair.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

...Then Put Your Little Hand In Mine...But, Please Wash It First

Jacob, a tender 4 years old, is the baby of the family and wants to grow up so fast. He wants a driver's license and he wants me to buy him a truck.

On one front in particular, he can't grow up fast enough, though.

Today, he steathily wiped his own butt after dropping a deuce and came out asking if he did OK.

I of course came running over, cringing, hoping I wouldn't find a hot mess in the bathroom.

Luckily he did pretty good, but I'm not ready to give him the ultimate responsibilty bestowed to children when it comes to taking care of their own hygiene.

"Mom, when I'm older like daddy, can I wipe my butt?"

Tell you what bud, you can wipe it about 35 years sooner! How does that sound?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Life Lessons

(Wilco is awesome)

If you feel like singing a song
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

And if you're trying to paint a picture
But you're not sure which colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

And if you're strung out like a kite
Or stung awake in the night
It's alright to be frightened

When there's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)
Inside of you

If you think you need somebody
To pick you up when you drag
Don't lose sight of yourself
Don't let anyone change your bag

And if the whole world's singing your songs
And all of your paintings have been hung
Just remember what was yours
Is everyone's from now on

And that's not wrong or right
But you can struggle with it all you like
You'll only get uptight

Because there's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)
There's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
Inside of you

I Need A Wintertime Challenge, And I Found One

Tosca Reno, author of the Eat-Clean Diet and the Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook, is a mother of three and found herself at over 200 pounds. Her weight fluctuated over the years, but she never really took off the excess weight and kept it off until she started eating clean.

She also suffered from hypoglycemia, and since starting on the Eat-Clean regimen that she designed, her blood sugar levels have stabilized and her blood stats were so healthy there was no place to record them.

Unlike The South Beach Diet, The Atkins Diet, and other diets, the Eat-Clean diet is one that can be followed for the rest of your life without cutting out food groups, or performing gimmicky tricks to get you on track. The only things you cut out, which your body doesn't need, are overly processed foods. You eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible. The less ingredients in a product, the better.

Also, it's not only about losing weight, it's about feeling energetic, and looking healthy with glowing skin.

Eating clean means eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, combining complex carbs and lean protein at every meal. It also means fueling your body throughout the day by eating 6 meals daily. You will never go hungry, although it requires planning your day so that you are never without food even when running errands. Carrying a cooler containing the foods you need during the time frame you'll be out and about is encouraged. Planning meals ahead of time is also encouraged so that you aren't caught in a situation where you need to rely on fast food or convenience food to make up for the meal you missed. The recipes are quick and easy to make though, so it doesn't take a great amount of effort to maintain this way of eating.

You can order takeout or go out to eat at restaurants, but take care to order according to the Eat-Clean guidelines like ordering food that is grilled, baked, etc.

Physique athletes such as body builders have eaten the "clean" way for decades. Weight training is also an important part of losing weight and getting in shape using the Eat-Clean regimen. Cardio exercise is important, but weight training is emphasized as the main way to boost your metabolism and burn calories.

The recipes in the Eat-Clean cookbook happen to be delicious and require only simple, natural ingredients. Because of that, eating this way is cost effective!

My family is currently eating the Roasted Root Vegetable Soup as I write this and the kids are asking for seconds already.

Last night, I made the You-Build-It Lasagna and everyone gave it a thumbs up which is a rare occurance. Usually one person likes what I make, and the others don't like it. So, now I have a tried and true dinner I can make without dinnertime whine fests.

Because of the sensible principles of the Eat-Clean diet, and the fact that the recipes are really good, I'm going to put myself through a 90 challenge to see how much weight I can shed and whether I have the same success Tosca Reno had. In the past, I've followed the South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers. I don't think I got past Phase I of the South Beach Diet, and it took me one year to lose 30 pounds on Weight Watchers. While Weight Watchers is a terrific plan, it gave me too much leeway in what I could eat, so 22 points worth of Twinkies was a reality for me one day....and 22 points was all I was alotted for each day.

My weapons of choice this winter in my Battle Of The Bulge are the Eat-Clean Diet, weight training, and cardio. Can this mom of three stick with it? I'll let you know here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Really Don't Know What To Title This Post

Jessica was sitting on the edge of the kitchen table watching me cook dinner:

"Mom, I'm happy you are who you are and daddy is who he is. We get to celebrate Hanukkah because Daddy is Jewish. And we get to celebrate Christmas because you're human."

All Of Those Lows Finally Paid Off

Over the years, we've had waves of good numbers with the hope that Brendon's A1C would come out really good (under 7.0), only to have the hope dashed my mega trends of high numbers. Murphy's Law dictated that the highest of highs would occur days before his checkups.

Although he hasn't been above a 7.9 since his first year of diagnosis, we always hope for an A1C in the 6 range.

Well, today during his checkup, we finally got what we hoped for: 6.6


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Just Desserts

It was a snow day. Instead of being at school, the kids would've been in and out of the house asking for hot chocolate and something to eat. And they were.

I needed something to do, plus I needed something to subdue the wound up, snow laden munchkins. What better way to occupy myself and the mouths of noisy children than with dessert!

Particularly, desserts from The Big Book Of Diabetic Desserts, by Jackie Mills, MS, RD. The book's author created recipes that are "delicious compromises between often disappointing sugar-free, fat-free dessert and sugar-laden, high calorie sweets that should only be a very rare treat."

There is enough real sugar in the recipes to make them delicious, but not so much of it that it provides too high of a carb count.

Many of the recipes are anywhere between 15 carbs per serving to 33 carbs per serving (plus or minus). Each recipe is provided with an exchange and a nutrition listing. The serving sizes are as detailed as possible, but I think a little more precision could be given in that avenue. For instance, cakes are described as having 8 servings and some have 12 servings with a serving size being one slice. Hopefully the cake will be cut precisely so that one piece isn't bigger than the other, throwing off the carb count listed. But, other recipes are more precise with measurements given for a serving size. For instance, the Cocoa Brownies are listed as one serving being a two inch brownie.

I made the Cocoa Brownies. Now, I have two major personal criteria for what I consider to be needed for a brownie to be a good one. The first is that a brownie needs to be moist and fudgy, particularly in the middle. I don't like cakey brownies. The second is that the edges of the brownies must become crisp with a bit of a chew to it.

I set out making the brownies with high expectations that I hoped the recipe held to. And guess what. They did. They were exactly what I expected. Fudgy with a crispy edge on the outside pieces. The recipe was easy to follow and provided the perfect after-sledding snack at 16 carbs per brownie for my son who has diabetes.

By the end of the day, the entire batch was gone.

The next recipe I made was the Tropical Cloud Pie. I thought it would make a nice refreshing dessert for after dinner. It's described as being "Like a piña colada in a crust...." It was more like a mushy mess in a crust. The filling contained unflavored gelatin that was supposed to set it to become firm enough to slice through. I followed the recipe exactly, yet the filling never set as firmly as it was supposed to. To be fair, I will make it again to see whether it's a flaw in my cooking skills rather than a flaw in the recipe. But, for now, it remains to be seen.

Lastly, I made the Crispy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies. They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. I tossed a couple of cookies (no pun intended AT ALL) in the kids' snack bags for school and have repeatedly caught my youngest son's hand in the cookie jar. I would say that this recipe was a success.

I look forward to making more recipes from this cookbook. There are plenty of desserts that fit into the 15 carb perameters that a lot of adults and children have. Also, Jackie provides plenty of recipes that contain fruit so that you don't have to feel too guilty about having her decadent, yet healthy desserts.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

This picture was taken in a little shop in Aix en Provence.

I was brashly told by the shop keeper "NON!! Impossiblé!!", as he wagged his finger at me. He didn't like that I took a picture of his home décor items.

I apologized in English because I was too flustered to think of an apology in French. I don't know if I even knew how to apologize in French. Actually, I don't.

I walked over by Corey, feeling self conscious like a berated child. She slowly perused the other items. She observed each and every item starting from the front of the store, and made her way to the back.

The shopkeeper kept glaring at us. He wouldn't dare tell us to leave, but it was obvious he wanted us to.

God, Corey was taking her own sweet time looking at everything.

She finally made her way to the front of the shop and we both walked out much to my relief....

And much to the relief of the shopkeeper who slammed the door shut behind us nearly hitting us in the ass, and immediately locked it.

I told Corey what he said to me and she said she heard everything he said. She knew that he wanted us out of there which is why she took her time looking through the store.

She knew it would piss him off.

And I knew she was a true friend ;)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

We celebrate dual holidays in our household. This is Brendon's gift to Jessica for the start of Hanukkah coming up in a couple of days. Gotta love a good misspelling.