Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chips & salsa, shrimp chimichangas, and fried ice cream

YUM!  This evening the older three girls had pizza and game night at church, so hubby and I decided to take the younger two out for dinner.  We decided to go to a sit-down Mexican restaurant.  I really enjoyed the chimichangas, especially since I couldn't eat them when I was having gall bladder issues.  I still have some complications since having my gall bladder removed, but those are getting less frequent.  After my A1c result last week (6.4 up from 6.2), I half-jokingly swore off carbs.  After getting a concerned look from my husband, I promised that I would be smart about my eating.  Realizing that there are times I really want foods that are higher carbs than what would be ideal for me, I decided to have one day per week that I could eat something a little carb heavy.  Mind you I'm not going to go hog wild and eat a thousand carbs in one meal, but I'd like to have an occasional treat that doesn't make me feel guilty.  So tonight's dinner consisted of some chips & salsa and shrimp chimichangas followed by an order of fried ice cream shared between the four of us. 

We had a lot of fun going out to dinner with our two youngest who were very well behaved.  Our older three, two of which were reluctant to go for the game night, got home almost 1/2 hr after the event was scheduled to end.  All three were laughing and smiling when they got home (howling at the moon as they came up the walk, goofy girls!), so I think they had even more fun.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Me exercise?

I'm sitting here with my husband, watching the Olympics on tv.  It amazes me how these athletes can excel at sports that I can't even imagine even attempting.  No, I wasn't into sports growing up.  Actually, I took JROTC in high school to avoid taking physical education.  Now mind you, I was not trying to get out of P.E. because I was overweight.  On the contrary, I was underweight when I entered high school.  At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was 5'8" and 113 lbs.  I could eat anything and everything.  I didn't need a lot of exercise. 

Now I'm a little older, a little heavier (though thankfully a relatively healthy weight), and believe it or not - I'm exercising!  I can actually walk the treadmill for an hour, participate in a full class of Zumba, and many other physical activities that I never imagined that I'd do, let alone enjoy.  This last Wednesday during Zumba, I was shocked to find myself actually disappointed that it was time for the cool-down.  Yes, part of my enjoyment of exercise is "faked" as I strive to control my diabetes with diet and exercise for as long as possible.  But I'll have to be honest and say I really do enjoy working out.  I enjoy the satisfaction of getting through a full work-out without giving up (or passing out). 

Now that I'm actually enjoying exercise, I just need to do it more often.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I remember when I was a kid.  If I wanted an evening snack, I typically got a big bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.  Now as an adult with Type 2 diabetes, tonight's evening snack consists of a glass of Soy Slender chocolate soy milk and a Kashi oatmeal dark chocolate cookie.  Not a tall glass of regular cow's milk and a pile of cookies.  That sounds delicious but the feeling I'd have later is not something I want to deal with anymore.  My special snacks cost more than what I used to pay for my B.D. (before diabetes) snacks.  However, I only eat one Kashi cookie per sitting and I limit myself to one carton of Soy Slender (chocolate or vanilla) per week.  If you look at the price per serving (and you know that no one eats the recommended serving size with Oreo cookies, so let's be realistic here), my expensive snacks wind up costing less. 

Oh how I'd love to be a spokesperson for Kashi.  Their products as so yummy, low in carbs, high in fiber, and did I say YUMMY!  Soy Slender has allowed me to have a nice tall glass of chocolate "milk" without the guilt.  Yes, the flavor takes some getting used to at first, but when you're really in the mood for something chocolaty without the extra carbs, you quickly get used to it.  The vanilla is also yummy on Kashi's Go Lean Crunch cereal.

Most people I know who have a dietary restriction seems to crave the things they're not supposed to have now and then.  I'm not sure which foods would be the hardest to resist, but from personal experience I'd have to say carbs.  As the mom of five kids, I've found that budget friendly meals are usually carb-centered.  Our plan is to grow a large garden with plenty of low or non-carb veggies that I can indulge in as much as I'd like.

For now, I'm going to get the last few drops of low-carb chocolate soy milk from the bottom of my glass...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My blood test results are in.  The nurse called and told me that my triglycerides are up a bit.  My fasting was "good" at 116.  The most frustrating part is that my A1c went up from 6.2 last summer to 6.4 yesterday.  Yes, I know that many diabetics would love to have a 6.4, but I'm still frustrated.  My goal was to be at 6.0 or lower by this blood test.  I go back in six months for another draw plus my yearly physical, so I'm hoping to make a difference by then.

Of course my hubby is going to keep a close eye on me right now, especially since I jokingly(?) swore off carbs at lunch.  I go through almost a binge-purge cycle with carbs, sometimes going very low carb then to the extreme of eating every carb in sight.  The up and down glucose levels are more dangerous than if I had a constant high level. 

It's also frustrating dealing with people who have no idea the ins and outs of diabetes.  Society is so misinformed.  I admit I'm a little vocal about being diabetic.  My main reason is because I don't fall into the stereotype of a Type 2 diabetic.  I am not old and I am not fat.  Yes, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I'm at the top edge of healthy weight for my height.  I feel called to educate people that Type 2 diabetes isn't always a disease of lifestyle.  Sometimes genetics plays a part. 

I also want to raise money to find a cure since my children have such a high risk of becoming diabetic through their family history (me, my mom, my mom's dad, and hubby's dad).  Every day I pray that a cure is found not only to avoid my children getting Type 2, but for their friends who have Type 1.  Some days I feel helpless trying to do what I can only to hit one brick wall after another.  Some day I hope to be able to say I *had* diabetes!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Are there other Type 2 bloggers out there?

Some days I feel alone.  There are lots of blogs written by Type 1 diabetics or the parents of children with Type 1.  As much as I love reading about their lives, I feel the need to read blogs from other Type 2s.  Unfortunately,  I'm having a hard time finding them.  If you're a Type 2 blogger, or know someone who is, could you please post a comment with the url?  I'd like to add some to my blog roll.  So far I have two Type 1s and one Type 2.  Thank you so much!

(I had my blood work today and I'm hoping to get my results tomorrow.  According to my meter, my fasting was good.  Not non-diabetic numbers good, but good for me.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Corn chips, why do you taunt me so?

One of my favorite snacks would have to be corn chips.  Looking at the nutritional value, 1 oz (about 3/4 cup) is 16 carbs.  My typical snack is around 15 carbs.  That almost seems like torture to taunt someone like that.  Yes, you can have some, but somehow that small amount almost seems unfair.  Oh how I remember the days when I could sit down with a bag of corn chips and eat as many as I wanted.  Long gone are the days when I could eat chips until my stomach hurt or my lips felt almost preserved from all the salt. 

My husband was sweet enough to put some on a plate for me to help me with portion control.  Both of us know that if he handed me the bag, that would just be asking for trouble.  I try not to let it upset me that he can then sit and eat as much out of the bag as he'd like.  Acting like it doesn't bother me, I tell the youngest two that they can share some of the bag when hubby was done. 

Whenever things like this bother me, I kick myself and remind myself that I have it good compared to others.  My diabetes is diet and exercise controlled.  I'm not on oral medications or insulin.  There are so many other medical conditions that could be so much worse.  I read the blog of a friend with cancer and realize how "easy" my life is.  There are some days she hardly has the energy to play with her children and here I sit complaining that I can't stuff my face full of salty corn chips.  The reality check hits me hard and I thank God for my health and my family while praying for others.

Though I do have to be honest - I still want more corn chips!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Glucose-induced mood swings

Sometimes I wonder which is worse: PMS or high sugar moodiness.  At least with PMS, I can look at the calendar and give my family some warning.  When my sugar is messed up, that type of moodiness *WHAM* comes out of nowhere.  After school I was a wee bit cranky.    I think within 30 minutes I had gotten upset with each of my five children, even if they didn't know it.  Unfortunately those that knew it, well let's just say they were avoiding me for a while.  Sometimes I think it's glucose related, but other times I have no idea. 

I was telling a friend today about my blog.  The main reason I write here is to keep the whining to my family to a minimum.  I know I need to let out my emotion and frustration, but they don't need to be weighed down by that all the time.  I want my children to know the truth about diabetes (what I have to go through, what my grandpa went through, etc.) enough so they'd be advocates, but I don't want them to be in constant fear for me, my mom, and their dad's dad. 

I need to replace the battery in the meter I carry in my purse or get a new meter.  The battery indicator is on and it's been reading about 20 pts higher than the newer meter I carry in my gym bag.  This morning I scheduled my next blood work - fasting general wellness panel and A1c - for next Tuesday morning.  Hoping for some good results!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wiggly worms

This weekend we set up our first ever worm farm.  Several people have asked me, "What's a 'worm farm'?"  Basically it's a plastic storage bin with some dirt, some kitchen scraps, and some red wiggler worms.  Indoor composting!  We've been wanting to do this for a long time and finally took the plunge.  First we lined a plastic storage bin with torn up newspaper that we misted with water, added a little bit of straw, some dirt, and a few kitchen scraps and we have a worm farm.  Don't forget to drill holes in the bin's lid for ventilation.  Also, worm farms needs to be vegetarian, though not vegan.  Egg shells are great, but meat and fats are not.

At first the worms wanted to explore.  I'd open the lid to find several toward the top.  We put the bin on top of a table with the lid off and had my floor desk lamp shine on them for a few days.  Of course they don't want to be by the light, so this makes the worms dig down into the bin to avoid sunburn.

What does this have to do with parenting or diabetes?  Well it was a great family project and educational experience for the children.  The youngest three had a lot of fun playing with the worms until I told them the wigglers needed a nap.  Diabetes?  Ok, this one is a stretch, so let's see if I can pull this off.  To keep my diabetes in check, I need to eat healthy foods.  We're working on planning out our garden that will have plenty of non-starchy vegetables - perfect for a diabetic wanting to be in control.  The worms will make us some great fertilizer that will go into our garden and help us to have a great veggie harvest.  Does that work?

We're looking forward to watching the worms turn our kitchen scraps into something useful for our garden.  If you'd like to make your own worm garden, here are some links I have found useful (search for "worm farm," "worm composting," or "vermicomposting"):
Making a Worm Farm
Setting up a basic worm bin (YouTube video)
Worm Composting
Plastic worm bin

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another stage...

Our youngest is five years old, not yet in kdg, but has her first loose tooth.  How bittersweet is that?  I've been trying to hold on to her "babiness" as long as possible since she is my youngest and our last child.  It's hard enough right now to admit that she'll be in kdg this coming fall (as well as our oldest being a senior in high school in the fall).  It's so wonderful watching them grow yet at the same time I am saddened that this day will never be here again.  My oldest has no more baby teeth to lose.  My youngest will never again shout in excitement at the initial discovery of her first loose tooth.

I've learned through these oh so quick years to savor each day and not to wish away the days.  When I meet a new mom who says something like, "I can't wait until they're crawling" or "I can't wait until they're old enough to do {xyz}" I try to remind them how quickly each phase goes and not wish the time away.  There are days I'll look at my oldest, 16 yrs old, and long for the days of holding my infant first born.  Then I look at the person she has become and I beam with pride. 

My babies are growing up so fast, but I'm enjoying the time I have with them.  It won't be long before they have babies of their own.  I am looking forward to that time, but not too soon - I want to hold on to this day while I can!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A step back or still ahead?

Copied from my blog on SparkPeople.

Last year we had some stress that knocked me off my exercise and nutritional plans. I had been doing great and was less than 10 lbs from my goal. However during this time of stress (strongest from early February though late March 2009), I gained 15 lbs. Once we got through this rough time, that initial stress was replaced with the stress of weight gain and elevated glucose levels. I was almost certain that my summer doctor appointment would bring me a higher A1c and possibly medication for my diabetes. To my surprise, my A1c was actually lower. What a relief!

However I still had the issue of the weight gain from earlier in the year. I'm definitely one that wants instant gratification. I don't like waiting for anything! Then I looked at the big picture - I was still 20 lbs lighter than my heaviest weight. Wasn't that something to be proud of? Yeah, my jeans were snug, but they were still a few sizes smaller than what I had been wearing.

I'm down five pounds from last year's high. I'm frustrated that I'm still about 10 lbs heavier than I was a year ago, but I'm about 25 lbs lighter than where I was two years ago and I only have about 20 lbs left to go. Isn't that something to be proud of? Hubby and I are trying to get back into a regular exercise routine. Tonight we both went to our local YMCA. I have been participating in a Zumba class while he has been riding the stationary bike. I love when we work out side-by-side, but it's also great that we encourage each other to do the exercise the other enjoys even if it's not the same thing.

My goal is to get back to where I was last year by my 40th birthday in two months. With the support of my family and with help from God, I should have no problem reaching this goal!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Too cute to be mad

This last Sunday in church, after the children's moment, the youngest wanted to go into the nursery.  I took her down during the readings and made it back to hear the sermon.  After the sermon and a hymn, it was time for the offertory.  The bell choir I'm in played during this time.  Shortly after we started playing our song, I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye - or should I say someone.  Yes, my cute little blonde five year old decided to come back into the sanctuary and wanted to be by Mom.  She stood behind me for a little while, then decided to sit on the steps.  Our pastor tried getting my little one to sit by her, but my child wanted to stay put and watch her mom play.  Thankfully she sat there quietly.  My biggest fear is that she'd be disruptive and interrupt our song.  Luckily it only messed me up for a measure or two when she first came down. 

After we finished playing, I scooped her up and we walked back to the pew.  I had a nice little talk with her, explaining that if Mommy is playing bells, she is to sit in the pew with her sisters until I'm done playing.  I couldn't get mad at her - it was too cute and no harm done.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What makes it worth it to me to take care of my diabetes?

This is a question that someone posted on her blog (that she got from another blog).  It really got me thinking.  She said not taking care of herself was a type of "passive suicide."  That really got me thinking!  My comment to her blog post was:
I think about what motivates me on a daily basis. The main thing for me would be the other six people that live in my house – my husband and five children. However, your blog has me thinking… What else motivates me? Shouldn’t I be doing this for my own health just as much, if not more, than for them? Your “passive suicide” comment really hit home. If I want to live a long, productive life, then I need to take care of myself. Hmm, I think I might take on this question for my own blog post tonight. ;)
So here I am, posting this on my own blog.  Whether you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other medical condition, think about what motivates you to take care of yourself.  When times get tough and you just want to throw up your hands (oh you know you've been there!), knowing your motivators ahead of time will help you get through those times a lot faster. 

One day I was trying to talk my youngest into going home after dropping her sisters off at school instead of heading to the YMCA.  To my surprise, she wanted to go to the nursery instead of going home and watching TV.  Then I found out why.  I am honest with my children about complications of uncontrolled diabetes.  My grandfather lost both of his legs to diabetes.  My sweet angel looked at me and said, "Mommy, I want you to go to the Y so you don't have to get your legs cut off."  That was enough motivation for me!

What motivates you?
Testing mobile blogging.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Step Out 2010

This past fall, I participated in a local Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes through the American Diabetes Association.  I went alone, not knowing what to expect.  The event was so empowering!  I saw all the people there walking for me and everyone else with diabetes.  Tears were ready to flow but I held them back. 

After that event I was determined to do more.  This year I plan to get a group of local friends to drive together for the walk.  I want to do what I can to find a cure for diabetes so my children don't have to experience this disease first-hand.  I want the Type 1 friends of my children to know life without injections or pumps.  I want the meter companies to come up with a recycling program for all the meters that can be tossed.

I'm looking forward to the start of my 2010 fund raising to help stop diabetes!

Monday, February 1, 2010

February is here!

Before you start to wonder, no I have not yet made my monthly menu.  The day isn't over yet, so I still have time.  Last week I was at a Hallmark store in town and they had boxes of kid Valentine's for $1 each.  Of course there was a limited selection, but for that price I couldn't pass it up.  I called my two school age Valentine giving children and asked them which of the four choices they wanted (Cars, Spider Man, Disney Princess, and Barbie).  They both picked Cars.  (A cool choice for two girls, I do have to say.)  My youngest overheard the conversation and of course wanted a box.  For just a dollar, why not, right?  So she picked Disney Princess and plan to give them to some of her friends as we run into them the week before Valentine's Day.

Hubby and I usually don't do much for Valentine's Day as we see it as a commercialized day full of overpriced flowers, candy, jewelry, and pressure to buy that perfect gift.  Honestly, I appreciate him not tempting me with chocolate confections that would be more unhealthy for me than the sweet sentiment intended.  I may get a date night out of him this month, but I think I should get that every month. *snicker*