Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our GF Journey Begins...

The girls have been gluten free for 4 days. So far, so good...at least they think it's good. Can I just say how blessed I am to have such positive and optimistic children? The Celiac Sisters are enjoying the new variety. At this point, we haven't all gone GF simply because of the cost. It is so darn expensive. A mini loaf of bread (and when I say mini, I mean mini) is $5 at Winco? Crazy...

We tried eating out with the Celiac Sisters for the first time this weekend, as GF. Let's just say, our first attempt started out quiet depressing, but ended well. I had checked for Godfather's Pizza locations that had GF options and one near us came up. We went there only to find out that the location did not offer GF options. My parents and sister had already ordered, so we had to go while they stayed to eat (I know they felt terrible about the whole situation, too). Chalk that one up to a learning experience...call first! On the way home, however, we passed a Bellagio's Pizza. We had never eaten there, but they boasted a GF pizza, so what the heck! At this point, we're depressed and starving. The girls were super excited because they had really been looking forward to pizza. We took one to go and the girls loved it...yeah for Bellagio's!

So, thus begins our journey with the Celiac Sisters!

So grateful we live in a time and place where GF foods are readily available (even if they are ridiculously expensive)!

So happy to have such great company along the way!

The Celiac Sisters highly recommend...

Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix
Bob's Red Mill GF Chocolate Chip Cookies (supplemented with Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips)
Bellagio's GF Cheese Pizza

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Celiac Sister(s)?

Last Friday (the 20th), we "celebrated" Kelsey's 2nd Diaversary...so bittersweet! I love that we have grown so much individually and as a family over the past two years. I love that JMonkey's responsibility is recognized and celebrated. I love to see how her sisters show their love and concern for her. I love that my walk with the Lord has deepened. There is so much to celebrate. And yet, such growth comes at great cost. I think this cost is what reminds us not to take the things we have learned, or are learning, for granted.

Life has thrown a new curve ball at us, though its one we've been anticipating. JMonkey's endoscopy biopsy was positive for Celiac Disease. We've known for the past couple weeks, but have not had to go on the gluten-free diet because her case is so mild at this point. The GI doc felt it would be fine if we waited for Social Butterfly's biopsy results before changing everything...that was very welcome news!

Social Butterfly's endoscopy was yesterday. It went well and we should know the "official" results by Tuesday. However, because she is symptomatic, we will begin the diet this weekend. So, the Celiac Sisters have one last gluten meal to enjoy together. We'll "celebrate" this as well. After all, God will use even this to grow us. Just wish I wasn't feeling the growing pains...ouch!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Joyful Monkey's Story

Saturday's Topic: Saturday Snapshots

So, I'm gonna cheat a bit for today's topic (not really, but kind of). I've chosen to share the power point presentation I created to educate JM's class at school. There are many pics, but it's kind of a story, too! When she finally decided she wanted to share with the class, she helped me to come up with this. 
Hope you enjoy it...

*You'll want to select the full screen button in the bottom right hand corner if you want to read the words.

Friday, May 13, 2011

11 Things I've Done Because of Diabetes

Friday's Topic: Awesome Things

We wanna look on the bright side, right? We want to choose joy over anger and despair. I figure since I ranted about 10 things I hate about Diabetes, I should try to come up with 11 things I've done because of Diabetes for today's topic. The surprising thing is that I was feeling kind of guilty for my 10 Things I Hate About Diabetes post for Thursday's D-Blog Week and then when I logged on today (after the crazy blogger maintenance stuff yesterday), my post was gone. Well, that took care of it.

11 Awesome Things

11.   I've become acquainted with many of you in the DOC and it's been a privilege to do so!

10.   I've also met many other incredible T1D-Moms outside the DOC!

9.     I've learned more carb counts for food than I ever thought would be important!

8.     I've learned to pay attention to nutrition labels (even more so now, with the Celiac diagnoses)!

7.     I've become a more frequent blogger.

6.     I've learned to have more compassion because everyone has their own story.
5.     We've won a couple Sugar Boluses! =)

4.     I'm reminded each and every day what is truly important!

3.     I spend more quality time with my children!

2.     I rely on the Lord's strength each day, and especially each night.

1.     I feel the Lord's hand on me now, more than I ever had before! He constantly reminds me that I am his cherished child.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WILDCARD - A Prayer for Joyful Monkey

Wednesday's Topic: Diabetes Bloopers

As I apparently have no humor when it comes to Diabetes =), I chose to submit a post for the "Step Outside the Box-Wildcard". This may not be too far outside the box, but it definitely isn't an every day post, so here it is.

My Prayer
to my Heavenly Father,
for my daughter...

Heavenly Father,

You are the Beginning and End. You are all-powerful. Your mercies are new every morning. I see that every morning that Joyful Monkey awakes with a smile. I praise You for all these things, and more. I praise You for being the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2).

Father, I confess that I don't often exude the joy that I should. I confess that my attitude does not always reflect You, nor does it glorify You. I confess that I sometimes get upset that Your plan for her life is not what I want it to be. I am so thankful for Your forgiveness.

Thank You for loving us. Thank You for the wisdom to recognize that JM is your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which you have prepared beforehand so that she would walk in them (Eph. 2:10). While we never saw Diabetes coming, You did. You know all things...past, present, and future. Thank You for the peace You gave us throughout her diagnosis. Thank You that Diabetes doesn't change the path You have set before her. Thank You for the unique opportunity that JM has to be a witness for You to others who may be along this same T1 path of life. Thank You that you have a plan for her to do good works and please you. Like Paul, I am confident of this very thing, that You will continue to perfect that good work you have begun in JM (Phil. 1:6). Thank You for always providing for us and protecting us. THANK YOU FOR HER JOY!

Father, I ask that You give her, and our family, courage in the days to come. Please give us strength and persistence. Diabetes never takes a break, and neither can we. We know that "tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Rom 5:3-5). Please help us to keep this perspective so that we may bring glory to You despite the ugliness of Diabetes. I pray that the perseverance she shows in testing blood sugars, administering insulin to correct highs, treating lows, counting carbs, and the mental exercise of figuring out how all of these things effect each other, would develop a character that reflects Your son Jesus. And in this process, may she continually rely on the hope that she has in You. May she feel the power of Your Holy Spirit within her each and every day.

Father, we ask that You guide the hearts and minds of those who are searching for a cure. We ask for a cure to Diabetes for JM in this lifetime. And whether or not a cure is found in her lifetime, I thank You that she will have a Diabetes-free body someday, whether here in this lifetime, or when she is with You.

Thank You, again, for all the ways You have provided for us and protected us. Please continue to do so, as we know that You are sovereign, and You hold JM in Your hands. May all of these things be done for your glory!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Letter of Love

Tuesday's Topic: Letter Writing Day

Dear Joyful Monkey,

You are such a JOY to our family. Your humor and love for life are intoxicating. Your bravery is second to none. I can't think of a single person with more joy and courage than you.

I am so thankful that God has given you these precious gifts. I know that He gave you these characteristics because He knew the path you would walk in this life. Cling to Him, when life gets tough. Wait on Him for strength. You will not be disappointed when you seek Him. Isaiah 40:31 tells us "Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary". Remember this when the weariness of managing Diabetes has got you down. Wait on Him to be your strength.

Daddy and I love you so much. We are honored to be your parents; D and all! We wish we could take this disease from you and bare it ourselves. It hurts us to see you hurt. And yet, we know that you will develop a character of immeasurable worth as you battle this daily. We'll be there for you, to help you along the way, as long as the Lord gives us breath.

I want to share the following verse with you because it acknowledges God's strength & protection, along with the joy you so freely exude, because your heart trusts in Him. I could easily see this as your life verse...

Psalm 28:7 "The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him."

I love you more than words can even begin to express! I admire you. I thank God for you. Always seek Him!

With Love, Forever & Always,

Monday, May 9, 2011

CWDs & PWDs: Insights to an Incredible Future

Monday's Topic: Admiring Our Differences

 "Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people" — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to high sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." Peter F. Drucker

Some CWDs and PWDs take on a monumental role of leadership within the Diabetic community. These people lift the vision I have of JM's future to higher sights. It motivates me to care for her the best I possibly can. It also encourages me to teach her how to manage her Type 1 Diabetes so that she can take her diabetes by the horns and conquer whatever she chooses.

It excites me to see others with T1D do such amazing things. I think of Nat Strand; not only did she win the Amazing Race, but she is a physician. What an incredible role model of someone who doesn't let her diabetes dictate her dreams.

I think of Haley Van Schaick. Here is a teenager who blogs about life with D in high school. She is sweet, real, and her attitude is phenomenal. She shares so much with the DOC; insights that D-Parents need to hear. She inspires both my daughter and I.

These are just 2 people with diabetes that I admire greatly. They give me a picture of all that JM can do WITH her T1D, and I have to say, I'm excited to see just where God leads her!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

 It's Mother's Day...a day to celebrate! Why, then, do I feel so melancholic? Maybe because motherhood seems to have so much more pressure than it used to. How I long for the days when my troubles consisted of dirty diapers at inconvenient times, lugging around extra clothes/diapers/bottles/burp rags/snacks/and everything else you could possibly imagine in that huge diaper bag, children who would only go to sleep when rocked, a child that said something embarrassing, crying in a restaurant and everything else that made those early years "stressful". At this point, I think I could handle all of that with an infinite amount of grace and patience. Although, I know its easier said than done...especially when you're not currently in the midst of it.

These days it seems that I'm starting to see the results of my labor, good and bad. Not only am I seeing good  behaviors the girls have been taught from the beginning, but I'm also realizing things that I haven't addressed from the beginning that I should have. And to top that off, throw Diabetes in the midst, and now Celiac. Now, I not only subjectively judge my parenting by the behaviors/attitudes of my children, but my parenting is judged almost hourly by the objective numbers that consume so much of our life. And soon, my parenting skills will be judged by the reduction of the Celiac Sisters' TTG Iga blood tests. I guess right now I feel like I'm breaking under the pressure. Don't get me wrong, I have some pretty sweet children. But they're not perfect. I don't expect them to be perfect, but I somehow expect that from myself. It's funny that I didn't really realize this until I just wrote it. I guess I feel like I should have everything put together just perfectly for my family...and I feel guilty when I don't.

JM's A1C came back Friday at 7.9. Is this bad? No. And honestly, I was pretty happy because we'd had about a month of high BGs that I just couldn't seem to tackle well enough. Do I feel like I'm a good Mom because of this A1C? Not particularly. In fact, I feel like I should have done a better job as a pancreas for my child. I know with my head that I shouldn't judge myself this way, but my feelings don't always follow my head.

I so desperately want to set JM up for a long and healthy life, but I'm thinking right now that I may be judging myself a bit too harshly.  Besides, I'm not the one who holds her future. I need to remember that I'm not a finished work either. The Lord has been pruning me in so many ways this last year, and hey, that means I'm ready to grow.  I know that I will grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control if I seek to abide in Him.

John 15:1-4
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

Why do I so often seek to find perfection in my own strength? I think writing is cathartic for me, because I already feel much better. Maybe I should have done this at the beginning of my Mother's Day instead of at the end? 

Thank you Lord, for the image of the vine, even as I was writing this out. I am encouraged to know that as you prune, I will bear fruit as long as I remain in you. Help me to always abide in Christ. I know that you will be faithful to complete the good work you have begun in me!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Here it Comes...

You'll notice by the banner above, that some blog posts are comin'. I've decided to take part in the 2nd Annual Diabetes Blog Week and I can't wait. I'm looking forward to taking each day's topic and relating it to our lives in an effort to share with the DOC. I'm totally excited to read all the other posts created by so many others in the DOC. It's gonna be a great week...something to look forward to, for sure!

The topics to come...
Admiring our differences w/i the Diabetic community
Letters to fictional characters/diabetic devices/our child/etc.
Diabetes Bloopers
10 Things I hate about you, Diabetes
Awesome Things
Saturday Snapshots
What we've learned

There are also 2 wildcard topics:
1. D-Myths
2. Step outside the box

We'll see what happens. Looking at these topics, you can assume that I'll use a wildcard for Wednesday as I can't think of a single, funny diabetes blooper...perhaps I need a better sense of humor where Diabetes is concerned?

If you'd like to join me in blogging about D this week, click on the button to the left for more info. See ya soon!