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By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I hate to be a blog hog, but I asked Richie if I could cut in line so I could write a brief update on Bill since he was diagnosed with diabetes.
All the test results are back and it's confirmed that my husband has Type 2 Diabetes
. His body makes insulin but it doesn't use or process it correctly.
He's on a really low dose of Metformin (brand name Glucophage). It lowers blood glucose levels primarily by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. And we've really started watching what food we buy and how we eat.
A breakfast of cereal is no longer an option — nor is any meal that is predominantly carbohydrates. Now he eats eggs with fewer yolks and hearty whole-wheat breads. We're now eating fake butter and we've banned cookies and ice cream, regular soda and fruit juice.
Three meals a day are a must. This can be tricky especially when you're traveling with a group of people. Fortunately for us, our recent trip to Austin was with great friends who understood Bill's situation and never complained when I said, "Bill's gotta eat" over and over again. Bill even earned the nickname "DiaBilly."
Before the diagnosis, Bill and I had already decided that we needed to eat better and had begun buying pre-made dinners from Supper Solutions.
These ready-to-cook meals are healthy and most are very low in carbs. Because we're so busy, these meals have been a lifesaver for us.
As a result of the changes we've already made in these two weeks, Bill's blood glucose has been very good, often falling into the "normal" person's range. Follow up meetings with the diabetic counsellor and our family doctor left smiles on everyone's faces as they were very pleased with his dramatically reduced blood sugar levels.
He's doing so well that with maintaining the diet and adding a regular exercise program, there's a chance he'll be able to control his diabetes without medication at all. It's a lofty goal but one we're hoping to achieve.
Margaret and I are adapting eating a carb-conscious diet, but we are total cheaters. My parents are visiting and they parked their dessert-filled RV right next to the house — so it's easy to sneak out there for an after-dinner goodie. It's going to be difficult for Mar and I once they go home.
Considering how difficult this disease is to manage, we feel very lucky that Bill is responding to it all the way he is. He never complains about having to test his blood over and over again throughout the day and rarely is bothered by having to forsake sugar.
Instead he's looking at this as a way to actually improve his health with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise.
So we thank everyone who called, expressed their concern and sent their well wishes. As we adapt to our new lifestyle, we know that it's all going to end up OK because we're surrounded by friends and family who are here to support us.
By Robin Dearing
Monday, March 19, 2007
Margaret spent the weekend in Denver visiting my mom's family. Even though I grew up in California, I have more family in Colorado than anywhere else. And I'm ashamed to say that I don't visit them often enough.
I jokingly say that I come from hearty peasant stock, but really I just come from good people. And Margaret just loves them and had a great time playing with all my cousins' kids and visiting with my aunts, uncles and my gramma.
Last time we visited with them, my cousins and I remarked how it used to be that we were the kids — now we're the parents ... and our parents are the grandparents and my gramma is the queen of it all — the great gramma (she's even great-great gramma to some).
Jeeps, we're the parents now? How did I get old enough to be of the parental generation in my family?
Old or not, I'm lucky to have the family that I do, especially for my parents who were willing to come all the way from California to watch Margaret for us while Bill and I flew to Austin, Texas for the weekend.
Even though I'm more of a "late-summer chicken" now, instead of "spring chicken," I'm not going to pull out the polyester stretch pants and clip-on earrings just yet.
played the Invasion of the GoGirls festival
which is just one of numerous unofficial showcases that go hand-in-hand with the famed SXSW festiva
l in Austin.
It was a quick trip — we flew out Friday morning and back in Sunday — but it was long enough for us to see more bands than we could ever imagine seeing in one weekend. It seemed that every musician in the country descended upon the uber-cool Austin for this weeklong festival.
There were literally bands playing in every imaginable space available. It was incredible. And there I was, this 36-year-old secretary/mother/wife, taking it all in. I almost forgot I was old — that was until the arthritis is my neck perked up to remind me of my "late-summer-chicken" status.
We opened the GoGirls.com's
line-up Saturday night and were beyond pleased (understatement) with the response we received from the generous crowd.
Two adorable girls greeted us as we ended our set. They were the singer and keyboard player for another GoGirls band, Waiting 4 Wyatt.
They are a plucky young band with a fun sound and a song currently being played on MTV. Their genuine enthusiasm was contagious and made me forget I'm old enough to be their mother — instead I just felt like another musician playing music.
Some moms scrapbook or play tennis. I play guitar.
Some married couples spend weekends away from their kids by relaxing on a beach or going out to shows. We go to music festivals and play rock 'n' roll.
I never thought that getting older could be so much fun.
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Friday, March 16, 2007
And so it begins...the terrible two's. I'm assuming it's plural because the behavior graph begins on both sides of the second birthday.
My baby boy has gone from "high needs
" baby to "spirited
" toddler in just a couple of months.
He's began testing me to see if throwing a howling tantrum while crumbling into a ball on the floor will make me cave enough so he can eat rocks in peace.
The "Book of Lies
" says to pick the toddler up when he's getting into something and distract him with a new activity. Yeah right! My kid will make a beeline right back to the thing he shouldn't be touching as soon as his feet hit the floor. He'll do this over and over and over again because he becomes fixated on things.
Any thing that seems off limits is his favorite thing to touch. Daddy's bike is a particular favorite. He'll touch the chain getting grease on his fingers and rubbing it in his hair. Lovely!
He'll turn the television on and off either via remote or manually, he really has no preference. He'll open cabinent doors and pull all the contents out. He'll take my folded stack of laundry and drop each piece off the side of the bed while erupting into 1-year-old giggles.
He'll poke the radio, poke mommy's eye, poke the light switch, poke the stove, poke the lamp. When he's not poking he's pulling...pulling the baby spinach sprouts from the garden, pulling his toys out of the toy box, or a particular favorite...pulling mommy's hair or biting my toes.
Sometimes the pulling backfires. A particularly strange cry came bellering from the living room. I rushed to find that a lightweight lamp had wrestled and pinned him by the back of the neck digging his face into the carpet. The lamp doesn't work anymore but the kid is fine.
He eats well enough and is starting to "fatten
" up, but he loves to throw food off the side of his high chair while watching my reaction. Or he'll spit milk into my face...my particular pet peeve.
Every single night, the howling begins at his bedtime. Then it stops and begins again around midnight. Then it stops and begins again around the time my eyes are too blurry to focus on the clock. This kid is never going to sleep...I've just accepted that being his mom is a 24-hour job!
And, I didn't even mention the head-banging!!!
Somebody pour me a glass of wine....oh wait....nevermind....
Thursday, March 15, 2007
It’s a scary world out there for parents of teenagers. And apparently it gets worse when they leave for college. There is an alarming new report
out about binge drinking and drug abuse. Although I might argue with myself about “new”.
College and drunken stupors go hand-in-hand. But I think the stakes are higher now, the drugs more addictive and dangerous and the consequences more severe. Or maybe it just seems that way because I’m on the other end of it now. Regardless, I don’t like it and it bothers me a great deal. What’s a mother to do? Or a father?
We talk to Alex frequently about the dangers of over-indulging in alcohol or recreational drugs. He's been told that too much is not fun and can kill you. And that death is a pretty permanent condition. I’ve told him about kids from my high school who drove drunk and one was killed and one is living in a wheelchair hooked up to machines that feed him and breathe for him. Not pretty.
And let’s face it. If you went to high school or college, chances are you drove drunk (or at least impaired) or were probably in a car with someone driving who was drunk or impaired. Statistically, you were just lucky if you made it home in one piece.
I think the statement in the article that college administrators say there is little they can do about the problem is total crap. Isn’t the legal drinking age everywhere in the U.S. 21? And aren’t most college students under that age until the year they graduate? I bet a couple of big busts would get their attention. And I’m not talking about the ones being flashed at spring break . . . that’s a whole other topic for another day.
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
My parents are here for a visit and to watch Margaret for us while Bill and I travel to Austin this weekend. Monday I took the day off work so we could make the gorgeous drive through Gateway Canyon and to John Hendricks' car museum.
Anyone who's made that drive knows its splendor. It is so beautiful. I love that drive. It so characterizes the Western Colorado landscape with its diversity and utter beauty.
Then there's Hendricks' Gateway Canyons.
I have mixed emotions about the development out there. I feel for the people who have lived their lives peacefully among the statuesque spires. But I also love having another reason to go out there to visit ... and believe me, the car museum
is a great reason to make the drive.
My dad has always loved cars and I developed a love of cars, too. The history of the automobile is a history of innovation and speed and glamour ... and I could go on and on.
The collection that John Hendricks gathered is exceptional, with the $3.24 million Olds concept car
being the cherry on an already delicious cake. Each car in the museum is special and the way that they are displayed is wonderful.
It's a great place for an afternoon getaway.
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
There are so many unmentionable uncomfortable aspects to pregnancy that I just have to look for the little positive and cool things. Here's one of them:
That sign is located in the K-Mart (Wait—is it called Big K now?) parking lot. There are two spaces reserved for pregnant mothers. How cool is that? I've never seen any other store that extends that courtesy. You would think that people would park there regardless of the sign but they really don't.
That parking space keeps me going back to K-Mart for my little stuff like cleaning supplies and nail polish on a regular basis.
I used it at Christmas, not really showing yet, and I felt a little embarrassed. But now that I have the rotund belly I intend to park there every chance I get for the next five months.
All stores should take note and add a few "mom of little people spaces". What mom couldn't use a little more room to drag the double wide stroller out of the trunk, unshackle the kids from the back seat, strap them in, search for the diaper bag, grab the purse, lock the doors, unlock doors to retrieve cell phone, lock the doors, unlock the doors to retrieve sippy cup, lock doors, and then finally get the stroller moving without getting hit by oncoming store traffic?
The WORST is when the occupants of the car next to you come up and stand there waiting to get into their car. I apologize but I can't really get out of the way fast enough much to my embarrassment.
I haven't seen that many businesses extend an extra courtesy to moms. My little City Market on First and Orchard insists I let them load my groceries for me when I'm pregnant or even toting Soren. That's pretty nice.
Motherhood Maternity offers a place for moms to breastfeed privately and without scorn or proof of purchase.
Anybody seen other cool "extras" put out there by businesses just for moms?
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sometimes I’m in serious need of a big-city fix. Grand Junction is a nice place to live, but we’re suffering more and more from big-city disadvantages without the corresponding advantages. We’ve got too much crime, too many drugs, burgeoning gang problems about which we seem to be in denial, traffic issues, growth issues, and on and on.
What we don’t have are the things I really like about big-cities that make all the other stuff tolerable. Lots of ethnic restaurant choices, upscale shopping, wide variety of entertainment options and people out and about on the city streets past 10:00 p.m. who are having fun legally.
Oh, boy - please don’t comment and tell me if I don’t like it here I can move. This is not a bitch session about GJ. I like living here. It’s my home for several more years at least. And yes, we have all the above-mentioned stuff, just not in large quantities.
It’s just that, cue the music, sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name. And you want to go to a stadium that seats more than half the entire population of GJ and happily plunk down $6.00 for a nasty Budweiser. And go to more than one mall on any given day, and go to the other three the next day.
Alex and I were born and lived in big cities. He is definitely a big-city boy. He likes the action, the options, and the eating of gyros, curry, dim-sum and cannolis. He is fun to travel with and likes to go to lots of places once the destination is reached. He is equally happy to just hang out and veg in that same destination.
So our mini-excursion to Denver this weekend was good for both of us. I went to the mall, he shopped for lacrosse stuff with his dad. We all went to the Pepsi Center Saturday night to watch the Crush play arena ball. I never heard of it until a few hours before we went - it’s indoor football played on a 50-yard field. It was fun and we had a great time. Then we cruised downtown. Did some other city stuff on Sunday and then I drove back over the mountains while Alex stayed behind to enjoy more of the front-range with his dad. It was a really beautiful drive back and I saw one helluva sunset. Honestly though, I could have used another day in the big-city. It was a lot of driving for a short break.
I find myself kind of homesick for big city life. I could be suffering from a bit of grass-is-always-greener syndrome, but I’m not looking for a cure anytime soon. Next stop . . . . Seattle? San Francisco? Chicago? D.C.?
By Robin Dearing
Friday, March 9, 2007
Earlier this week I told my fellow Haute Mamas that I wanted to write about this
story and the fact that my band
got its picture on the cover of the Out & About today.
But as I was writing that entry earlier this week, I got a call from my husband. Our doctor was admitting him to the hospital. His blood sugar was sky-high and he suspected diabetes.
After a two-day stay in St. Mary's, it's been confirmed. Our lives will never be the same. It's manageable, of course, but anyone who has this disease or who knows someone with this disease knows that it takes constant vigilance and dedication.
Now we're just trying to adjust and alter all those things that need adjusting and altering. And we're answering the phone which hasn't stopping ringing.
I'm so thankful to all our friends and family who have called with concern-tinged voices asking what they can do to help. Our dear friend and next-door neighbor was one of the many calls I fielded last night. As I talked about how I would be going on Bill's diabetic diet with him, she quickly chimed in, "And your neighbors, too."
It may not seem like it, but I guess you could say that we're lucky. We're lucky that we caught this before his out-of-control blood sugar caused him to have a seizure. We're lucky that we have lots of treatment options and the ability to easily and quickly check his sugar levels. We're lucky that Bill's home and ready to do what he has to do to stay healthy.
After all, it is what it is.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Some days you just can’t think of anything to write that’s worth the server space it takes up. So here are a few random things that are on my mind these days.
1. There should be some kind of law (of nature, even) that makes it illegal for PMS to coincide with a full-moon. And don’t even think of arguing with me about it.
2. I need to check into car insurance rates pending Alex’s 15th birthday next month but I’m too scared.
3. Why am I the only person in my family that likes leftovers?
4. Our school bus drivers deserve our thanks and recognition. They are up at dark to pick up our grumpy kids and drive them back and forth to school day after day. They do it with a virtually accident free record while dealing with more crap than you realize. On a paycheck that’s pitiful. Thank you school bus drivers!
5. I made really good BBQ ribs this past weekend and now I’m on a rib bender. Dry rubbed, slow baked, yum!
6. I love the spring shoe fashions at Nordstrom’s. Thank god we are so over that whole clunky, really bad, butt ugly, Doc Martin or whatever his name is thing. Alex and I are going to Denver this weekend and I plan on getting me a pair or two of those new shoes!
7. Why do I have to drive all the way to Denver to buy cute shoes?
8. This is the last week for wine discounts at Cottonwood Liquor store.
9. I had one of the best evenings last Thursday. There was an art show at Two Rivers Winery put on by Artspace. It was all local artists including school kids. Fantastic! Wonderful food and wine and lots of art work for sale. I bought the cutest lizard picture done by an elementary school kid. Best part of all - it was a crowd where Dan and I knew very few people so it was great not to have to talk shop and we met some lovely new folks.
10. I need to exercise more. Yawn.
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
The best way to let something go is unconsciously; by the time you realize it's gone...it's just gone.
Last week, a co-worker asked if Soren was still breastfeeding. I started to say yes, he still nursed at 5 a.m. but then I realized that I hadn't nursed him that morning.
The night before he hadn't wanted to eat dinner because he snacked all day. At 1 a.m. he woke up cranky and hungry. It took a couple of hours for him to finally settle back down into a fitful hungry sleep.
As soon as he woke, I sat him on a newspaper in the middle of the living room floor with a muffin and a glass of milk and hurriedly made breakfast. I was running late for work rushing to get out of the house on time.
I guess the thought of nursing never crossed either of our minds. The next morning at 5 a.m. I waited to see what would happen if I didn't rush to his side. Within a few minutes he was asleep again. At 7 a.m he was happy with his milk and muffin pre-breakfast snack.
He hasn't nursed since.
It's all done...just like that.
Despite what I said here
I did finally find the joy in breastfeeding. It changed from a chore I had to do 12 times a day to just a few times a day. After returning to work, I began to look forward to going home to hold and cuddle by baby boy. The feedings dropped off and I guess I started to really cherish those few minutes we had to ourselves in the pre-dawn hours.
I'll admit I've felt sad and weepy about it all week. I never knew that quitting...the moment I had looked forward to for so long...would make me feel so blue. Had I known the day was coming, I would have said goodbye the last time he nursed. Now the moment is just gone.