Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tis the Season!

Love our little lamb in the Church Christmas Program.

 Rhett was a in the chorus of the play.
 Cousin Sam, so pretty as a bible time tourist.
 The performers
 Kolby's choir concert
 Her 7th grade girls Choir was amazing!
Rhett's 3rd grade from Spring Valley provided music for the Hewitt Tree lighting.
It was cold out there!

Our Elusive Elf!
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Jammies and cousins, Oh what fun!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

American Girl and Gi trip

Ella Kate loved our hotel with the hot pink chair.
We matched the black, white and pink Christmas decor.

The Tree at the Galleria
Lunch at the American Girl Store with Mama K, Sari, Mom and Kit!

Mama K made her day by giving her Lanni as an early Christmas present. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving thanks

After a rough Fall, I am grateful for many things.
I have never been more grateful for the health of my children, my husband and myself as I am this Thanksgiving.
I am thankful that despite her diabetes, Ella Kate is considered healthy.  Sometimes that is hard to wrap my mind around as the insulin she gets 6 to 8 times a day is basically her life support. But Ella Kate is thriving and has met or exceeded every physical, emotional, mental and developmental milestone for her age and that is truly a blessing!
Ella Kate is a joy. She is a whirl wind and a mess too, but she has been so brave and so strong facing diabetes and all the changes it has brought to her little life. Being just 4 years old, I could see how Ella Kate could let diabetes define her... But not my little girl! Ella Kate's personality is bigger than life and nothing, not even diabetes, can take her spunk and zeal away! When I am most down about this, it is Ella Kate who reminds me that diabetes isn't going to stop her from being who she is and doing whatever it is God put her on this planet to do.  I did nothing to deserve this child, but I thank God for her everyday.

Actually I don't deserve any of my kids, but I love them all more than life itself.  This year I am especially thankful that Kolby and Rhett are healthy and seemingly resilient.  They have shown true bravery, love and compassion this year. Kolby is one of the most considerate little souls I have ever met.  She loves deeply and is loyal to a fault.  I could not ask for a sweeter daughter.  Rhett is a little trooper.  He isn't the extroverted communicator his sisters are, but I am convinced his heart feels deeper and his thoughts are wiser than many grown men I know. And he is funny!  Rhett makes me laugh everyday.  I am blessed, and at times even a little awed, at these little people living with us. I am so blessed and grateful to be the mother of these three great kids!!!
I am thankful that my husband has not lost his mind with all the drama we have endured, and the extra girl/mama drama I inflict on him daily! :)
Rob is a rock. I truly don't know how he does all he does and still has a smile on his face. No one would ever believe all that guy has had to deal with and put up with this year! Yet he still is on target to graduate with his MBA this December. He still works 40 to 60 hours a week at work and has so much vacation left over that if he didn't go to work for weeks,  he would still have time off left over. He coaches or helps coach every team my kids have ever been on, plays with the dog, keeps up with the yard, helps my parents when needed, and tells jokes so corny that you can't help but laugh. He doesn't take life too seriously, which annoys me and saves me all at the same time.  I love him more than I ever thought possible and am so thankful for his good health and great outlook on life. I am very blessed to have the husband I have and I am so very, very thankful for him!

I am grateful that I have parents who live across the street and who do everything they can to help us keep it together and keep us going.  We could not have made it through the last three months without my Mom.  I am so, so blessed that she retired last year and has been able to be there for us!  We don't get to pick our parents, but I am very grateful God blessed me with my parents!

Actually I am blessed beyond my parents, my sister is the best aunt and sister! Even though she travels 90% of the time, when she is here, she helps out and gives my kids experiences and wisdom I never could.  I wish we were more in the same stageof life, but i know that will come. Sari is a bright spot  no matter where she is and i am blessed to have her as a sister. We all love our Sari!

I am grateful to have an extended family!  When we moved to Waco I knew it would be great to be around my aunt, uncle, and cousins more.  We didn't know how hard life would be for us here at times, but then I guess that is just life.  But from every dark day to every joy and celebration, my family has been there for us.  I have always loved my cousins.  We were raised to be close.  But now that they are in our daily, weekly lives I appreciate them so much more.  My little family and I are so blessed to be a part of this big family!

Most of all I am thankful for a God who loves me no matter what. I have to be honest, I haven't always been real happy with God this year.  I have wondered why he let things happen to us. I have even questioned whether he was there at times. It is hard to know He can do something and not understand why He doesn't just do it.  But through every question, every doubt, every angry thought, God has faithfully reveled himself to me.

He has made his presence known in undeniable ways. He has never abandoned us or left us to wither.  He has loved me in times when I was most unlovable and blessed me by his grace, goodness and love.  I don't talk about my inner faith struggles very often, but I have to acknowledge God for the ways he has worked in my life this year.  He truly is good all the time. It doesn't sound like enough, but I am so thankful for his love and grateful to him. Truly grateful.  So THANK YOU God for my life, my family, and all the countless ways you bless us every day. Thank you!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy Fall

I will not lie. This has been a tough Fall for our family. Ella Kate's type I diabetes diagnoses on September 8th rocked our family's world.  Then in the middle of October I had my gall bladder removed. I either had or developed a pretty nasty urinary tract infection and ended up in the ER two days after surgery feeling the worst I can ever remember.  Later we found out I also had bacterium... bacteria in my blood which is not good. So after a tense 10 days of antibiotics I was finally well.  That afternoon I sprained my ankle and fractured a bone in my foot.  That night Kolby found out the hard way what carrying all you books in a bag on one shoulder can do and ended up at the medi-clinic with her Dad after her shoulder gave out during dance. DId i mention Rob is in the last semester of getting his MBA and working 60 hour weeks? OY! It has been one heck of a Fall. We are also trying to get used to the diabetes routine, but so far it changes everyday. I am beginning to think you just don't get used to it.

Of course it hasn't been all bad! Never is! We all appreciate each other and everyday a little more. We laugh a whole lot. And after getting rid of that gall bladder I am starting to feel like myself again! So there have been some very bright moments. For instance... How about those Rangers! No matter how they do in the World Series it has been a geeat ride watching them. Our Midway Panthers are undefeated and headed for the playoffs, Baylor has the best record in the big 12 South and Rhett's soccer team is so great this year! :)More later...not enought time to finish today! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Where we are...

Two weeks ago tonight I was trying to wrap my brain around the 12 hours I had just lived through. Being told EK has Type 1 diabetes, rushing home to pack for the hospital, pulling my kids out of school to tell them and then have to leave them, the nightmare traffic jam in Hillsboro, the cries of Ella Kate because she did not understand what was going on, the precious sweet ER angel nurses who got the "noodle' in her arm with very few tears and trauma, my Aunt and Uncle meeting us at the ER in Fort Worth with at least 5 bags of presents for EK, that first shot of insulin....

Wow! It seems so long ago, but then again, this still all feels so new. I am past waking up every morning hoping it was all a bad dream. Now I wake up and wonder what EK's blood sugar is.  It is my first and last thought every day. I hope as we get further into this that that will fade some, but I am doubtful.

Ella Kate is past running, screaming and fighting every prick and stick. She still doesn't want to "go" as much as she used to. She just feels safer at home. But with coaxing and a little bribery she did go to Mothers Day Out on Tuesday and had a great day. I stayed at the school with her and monitored her  pretty closely.  As long as I go with her, I think she is feeling a little more secure at school at least.

Ella Kate has gotten in a very bad habit of grumping. Today I had to call her on it and insist that she not talk unless she could speak with a pleasant voice and say things in a happy way. It wasn't pretty for a while, but I think she gets it. It's not that I blame her for being grumpy. Heaven knows she has felt awful and deserved a few grumps! But she may always feel a little bad and it won't serve her wellfor her to be grumpy, rude, or ungrateful every time she feels bad. It's a hard lesson to learn at any age but, 4 is where she is, so we might as well tackle that giant before it gets bigger. Rob and I don't want  diabetes take anymore away from Ella Kate than it has, so becoming negative and grumpier just isn't an option.

Rob is trying to get take care of everything else because he knows I have my hands, heart and mind full with being Ella Kate's primary caregiver right now. He is getting past the worry over the enormous hospital and medical bills... We are praying insurance kicks in with no hassles and a raise is somewhere soon in our future. Rob still hopes to finish his last two MBA classes this fall and graduate in December, but he knows that might not be possible. I won't talk for Rob much more that that, but he too is adjusting.

Rob and I are trying to hang on tight to the blessing we have and be positive. We still tear up from time to time. The weight of this being her life and our life, with no breaks, no vacations, no end in sight is settling on our shoulders and we are learning to stand it.  There really is no alternative but to make the best of it.

Ella Kate has had her little realization moments too. She asked me if she still has to take shots when she is Kolby's age.  I said probably so, unless we find a cure. She quietly said that that was a very, very long time and wanted me to rock her. She also has had fits where she asked why we let this happen? "Why didn't you take care of me so I wouldn't break inside and have to get shots all the time?" That was hard to hear at first but I know it's only natural.  She needs to blame someone and we are the natural target. But we tell her it wasn't her fault or our fault, it just happened. Not sure she buys it. She has even said she isn't sure she trusts us anymore. I hate it, but I can see that. She has been feeling bad off and on for months now and we didn't make it better. Bless her little baby girl heart! I would gladly take this for her. Sometimes I wonder if my heart can take any more breaking for my baby girl.  I try not to wallow in the heartache or to let her wallow in it either.  At this point the "what ifs" and "if onlys" won't change anything or do anything to help anyone.

So now it's "buck up and accept it" time. Diabetes is a part of our lives from now on. We have to respect it and adjust to it, but we can't let it take over. I keep telling myself that there are much worse things than diabetes and to be grateful for all the advancements they have made in it's treatment. We also have to believe there will  be a cure someday, or at least a treatment that is almost a cure. We also have to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have the support, wisdom and example of good friends who have dealt with this for a long time.  We have extended family willing to go through it all with us. We are not alone. That is priceless.

As a Mom, I take great comfort in knowing that in a year or so Ella Kate will not remember life any other way. Pricks, sticks, and counting carbs will be all she knows. At first that made me really sad, but now I realize how much easier this will be on her mentally in the long run. She won't have as many habits to break or hard eating adjustments to make.  She won't mourn a lost lifestyle because she won't remember life any other way. Of course she will have to grow and develope with this disease. in that respect the later the better. At least she had four years.  Some kids are much younger. The  hardest part of this for me now and looking into the future is knowing that even if we do everything just the way we should, EK's blood sugar levels will still spike and dip. Right now the nurses tell us that we are doing great and so is she for being just 2 weeks into this. But it doesn't change the fact that I know when her blood sugars go all "roller coaster" on us, Ella Kate feels terrible. I have been around enough kids with diabetes to know that those spikes and dips are an unavoidable part of this disease, no matter how well we take care of her. That is really hard. Like every other Mom, I just want my little girl to grow up healthy, strong and feeling good. I don't want her to hurt or feel lousy. This makes my pleas to God for a cure even louder.

All in all I think we are doing OK.  Rob, Ella Kate and I are still physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally worn to a frazzle at the end of each day. As for Kolby and Rhett... It has not been easy, but they are really trying and doing a good job of talking this out and going through this with us.
Rob and I have not had to wake up either kid for school since all this started. They are both up and dressed every morning all on their own without us even asking. They get their own breakfast and make their own lunches.  That may seem small, but to me, it's huge! I know they are both really trying to make life easier..well to the extent that a 9 and 12 yer old can.

Rhett is concerned, and truth be told, a bit agitated with all of this. He hasn't let himself say that out loud, but you can tell. He loves his little sister so much and he knows what a toll this has taken on us so he tries to be a good little trooper and just do his best. But he gets frustrated with how much Ella Kate cries. He has hugged us a lot more and talks more to me about my day and his day. He is worried about his parents and his sister.  Rhett also prays for a cure for his sister every night, sometimes to the point of tears and begging. It breaks my heart and makes me so proud of him all at the same time. Rhett will be a better person for this. As terrible as this is, I believe we all will be better.

Kolby is also trying to just carry on and not cause us any grief. She is so easily distracted and so almost-teenager-emotional that it is hard for her. She swings between feeling awful for Ella Kate to resenting this thing that has taken her family by storm. She gets so angry at us, then gets angry with herself for being angry. She wants to help but then she just wants to get away from it. It is really hard on her to see her baby sister have to deal with this. In ways I think she has taken it harder than anyone.  Kolby understands diabetes in a way I don't because she watches three friends deal with it everyday and she has watched these friends deal with it for as long as she can remember. She gets that it isn't going to go away and that there are no breaks or vacations from diabetes. She also knows her friends are happy healthy well adjusted kids who do well in school and are well liked. But these first two weeks have been really rough... All this and just trying to survive 7th grade!  It's a lot for her, but in time I think she will work it out and emerge stronger and braver.

More than ever, I wish I could make several clones of myself. One for each child. One for the house and one just to run errands and make phone calls. I have resigned most of my outside commitments for now but still feel that guilty tug when I can't be there for something for Rhett or Kolby. We won't even talk about the shape of this house.  When you see us on hoarders in a few years, know it all started in the Fall of 2010. And sleep? When do parents of diabetic children sleep? Every time I lay down my mind starts going over all EK numbers for the day, wondering why she went high or low, wondering what I need to do about this, how many carbs are in that, how to handle this person/ Holiday/dessert/ favorite food etc. My mind won't shut down. And then we need to check her at 12 AM and 3 AM.  Most nights I don't go to sleep until after i check her at 3Am. I am exhausted. But taking something to sleep might make me miss a blood sugar check and that is not an option at this stage in the game. So I would like a clone to just sleep for me. :)

This is all I can type for now. This post is more for me to look back on than anything else. I am hoping and praying that a year from now I will be able to read this and see how far we have come. As hard as this is, I know in my heart that we will be ok and we can do this because we love Ella Kate, because we have hope that there will be a cure, because our baby girl needs us to and quite simply, because we have no other choice. I pray constantly that God will give Rob and I the strength, stamina and means to do what we need to do for Ella Kate, and for a cure. Always for a cure.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First Day of Preschool

September 7th 2010 Ella Kate started preschool at our church. She loves her school, teachers and friends.
Sporting her Gymboree Girls Rock outfit, Hello Kitty back pack, and Sketcher light up shoes, EK said she looked like a Rock Star!
Ella Kate is excited about my friend Ms. Susan being her teacher and meeting her new teacher Ms Brittany.
About 24 hours after these pictures were taken, Ella Kate was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. We haven't made it back to school for more than an hour or two since. Hoping we make it tomorrow. But this time Mommy will be going with her. Too many new things to get used to with snack and lunch. Hoping I will feel like I can leave her some day... but that day seems very far away right now. Pray for us both. :)