Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Heavy hearts

At midnight last night, my husbands cell phone started ringing.  We were hoping that it was his parents, they often forget to look at the clock before calling.  I looked at Mark and said...It could be A.  When he got to his phone and saw that he had missed A's call, our hearts were heavy as he immediately called back and when he answered...we knew.

A was calling to let us know that his son N, their only child, had lost his 5 year battle with cancer.

Our hearts go out to them and what they are going through as well as the battle they fought for 5 years.

The husband of this family is my husbands best friend.  We went out to dinner with them a few nights before N was diagnosed, he had some knee pain that only presented when he was asked to do certain chores.  We were laughing and talking about kids and what they will pull to get out of work.  They had made a doctor appointment for him on Monday to get it looked at, but none of us thought that by Tuesday mom and N would be on a plane to Seattle to begin cancer treatment and their lives would never be the same. It's so unreal to think about...even all this time later.  They were the first to call when we found out Seth had D, we were literally in the doctors office when they called to tell us they were thinking of us and offer support.  We are so blessed to call them friends.

I posted a video on here a while ago that children at Seattle Children's Hospital had made.  This family loved it and hoped it would go viral.  Their son was already in hospice care when the video was made, so he was not in it.  But in honor of their courage, I invite you to watch and get a glimpse of some special children who are fighting everyday to live.  It is inspiring and heartfelt.  To the B family, you are in our prayers.  We watch this in honor of N and the many families who you met on this journey who were fighting the same fight...you touch everyone who's lives you come in contact with.

~The Dustins

Friday, July 27, 2012

Herbal Iced Tea

I have been bothered lately by my (an my families) soda consumption.  We definately have a strong preference for flavor in our drinks.  For a long time, my husband and I were comfortable being hypocrites and drinking our soda in front of the kids while telling them to drink water or crystal lite.  But lately my husband (non-verbally, so I am assuming) has been allowing the kids to drink 2-3 diet sodas a day...and it has bugged me.  ALOT.  Often, we are not on the same page when it comes to parenting.  I am wanting to move more towards a cleaner way of eating for our family and am looking into more natural sweetners and cleaner eating for our family.

I decided that I need to set an example and put my foot down.  I am no longer going to buy the excessive amounts of soda we have been consuming.  If I want a soda, I will go buy one and drink it, but I will not be buying the cases we always had in our garage (hanging head in shame).  Yes, I am making the decision for the kids and myself, husband will have to decide for himself.

However...I needed to find an option for myself and that I would feel comfortable offering to the kids as well on days that flavor is desired.  And who am I kidding, I'm going to need flavor for a bit while I go through my withdrawls.

For a long time, I have been searching for a good HERBAL iced tea recipe.  I've not found one that has worked for me...until tonight...and I am really excited about it.  I am hoping my kids will like it too, but even if they don't I see this is a realistic flavored drink for me...a soda replacement and that is HUGE!

I buy my tea from Adagio and I use their IngenuiTEA system.  It is a wonderful way to brew loose leaf tea.  If any of you are interested, send me an email and I will send you a coupon for $5.00 off your first order.

Anyway...just in case any of you are searching for a great iced tea recipe...here's mine:

Vanilla Peppermint Iced Tea
Makes 1 Gallon

1/2 C Green Rooibos Tea
1/4 C Peppermint Tea
Vanilla Stevia Drops
2 Cups Water
8 Cups Cold Water
Ice Cubes
Gallon Pitcher
IngenuiTEA Brewer

Put 2 cups water in the IngenuiTEA brewer.  Put in microwave for 5 minutes, until water boils.  Put green rooibos and peppermint tea in the brewer for 7 minutes.  While the tea is steeping, poor 6 cups cold water into your pitcher, fill with ice to about 2 inches from the top.  Once tea is done steeping, push the bottom of the steeper up with a spoon so that the concentrated tea pours into the pitcher.  Mix with a wooden spoon.  I put 3 droppers of the vanilla drops into the pitcher...you can obviously do to taste.

Putting the hot tea into the ice water stops the brewing process immediately so that it doesn't get bitter, and I love the mild vanilla undertone in this.

The recipe I adapted this from...and I am trying to find it again to give proper credit, my husband jumped on the computer while I was making this and closed it out...grrr.  :) Had the following ingredients if you don't want to use loose leaf tea:

1 family size tea bag
2 regular size peppermint tea bags
1/4-1/2 C sugar
2 cups boiling water
6 cups cold water
1t vanilla extract

Steep tea bags in boiling water for 5 minutes, remove bags and dissolve sugar in the water.  Mix with cold water.  Add vanilla extract, refrigerate till cold.

Rooibos tea is a powerful anti-oxidant, very healthy and good for you.  :)  Enjoy the recipe and wish me luck as I kick soda to the curb!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm afraid to say it

Life has been...normal.

I know I've been very quiet of late.  I looked at the calendar today and realized that I have just under two weeks until I go back to work for the school year.  Ack!  WHERE has the time gone?  We did take a little road trip family vacation to beautiful Homer...which was not as beautiful this year, weather wise. 

While we were there, Seth got to go on a 3 day kayak trip across Kachemak bay.  It was unexpected and unplanned for him to participate.  Once we made a family plan and Seth earned it by managing his own D for the 4 days leading upto it (and did so rather spectaclarly I might add) he got to go.  I typed up a 3 page list of instructions, added an emergency cell phone to our plan and Grandpa kept the boat hooked up to his spare vehicle so we could jump in and go across the bay at a moments notice to provide assistance or get Seth if needed.  Our instructions were for Seth to check in with us each night so we could go over numbers.  He also knew to call us at any other time if there were problems or we needed to troubleshoot.  He missed his first nightly phone call, but called the next morning.  After my talking to, no other phone calls were missed.  :)

The trip would involve a 4 hour paddle to get to their camp site, a 3 mile hike one day, a 7 mile hike another day, swimming in glacier water (uber cold), swimming in the inlet (cold), lots of carby food, staying up late, getting up early, no showers and then a 4 hour paddle back to the Homer Spit.  Sounds like a dream right?

I am happy to report that Seth rocked this trip.  There were so many opportunities for D to rear its ugly head, but it played nice and Seth...got to enjoy being as normal as possible...except for finger sticks and putting his pump in an aquapak to swim in the glacial water that 75% of the boys who went, wouldn't even wade in...but (in his words) he had to represent for North Pole, cause we have thicker blood.

On our way back from Homer, we put Mark on the train to Fairbanks...work calls.  Seth and Leah and I stayed in Anchorage for a couple of day and hung out with my mom.  Then on June 25th, we dropped Seth of for Boy Scout Encampment at the Palmer Fairgrounds.  There were close to 1000 scouts there.  Again we had our plan in place.  And again, Seth rocked it.  I was even getting ready to head out there on Thursday to change his infusion set, but he called me and said he had a dream early that morning, as he was waking up, that leeches were attacking his body and he ripped his infusion set out trying to get them off, so he got a new reservoir of insulin and a new infusion set and hooked himself up.  We've practiced him doing it before and when he told me everything he had done, I knew he'd done it right...mom was not needed...or wanted.  I could just pick him up on Saturday.

When we got home, I downloaded his pump and CGM readings and looked at every single one (yes every 5 minutes worth) while he was at camp.  Not one single low and only 15% of the readings were high and those were brought down within 2 hours.  Seth managed himself, there was medical personnel for emergencies only.  For all the junk food I saw out there, I would say that was rockin' it!

As a side note, we are now 6 months into this journey.  These are things that I couldn't even imagine Seth doing when we got the diagnosis.  Not because he couldn't physially do them, I just couldn't wrap my mind around how we would work out the logistics of it.  We made a decision that D would have to work around us and as often as we can, we stick to that.  That is what we are striving to teach Seth. 
For now things have been calm.  I am not naive enough to think we have this managed or controlled.  We are simply enjoying the lull that IS right now.  And I am trying to settle into my role as D co-pilot instead of pilot. Life goes on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New D Bud

While I was in Anchorage, I got to do something that I was super nervous about.  It was a little out of my comfort zone, but she her blog had helped me so much, I wanted to meet the person behind the words.  I was anxious and afraid that it would be akward.  I look back on it now and think, what on earth was I thinking?

I took the opportunity when I was in Anchorage to finally meet Denise, from the Blog: My Sweet Bean and her Pod.  After I was late because I went to the wrong place, we got down to the business of chatting and laughing and connecting and we had so much fun.  The food was great the company was fantastic and it was incredible to talk with someone who "got it".  Who understood my fears and my concerns, who lives with D 24/7 just like us.

Not all of our talk was D related...Denise...is a HOOT!  This was a time for connection, something I really needed.  I cannot wait for the next time I go to Anchorage.

So without further ado...I introduce you to my new D Bestie Denise:

The waitress couldn't get the picture right, we'll shoot for a better one next time.  :)