Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Knitting

All the hand-made goodies for CA have been finished, wrapped, packaged, and shipped. Yay! Here are a few more pix...

Prairie Grasses Scarf

Mountain Man Scarf and

Mountain Man-About-Town Scarf

Mountain Man Hat...Jr.

Tie Dyed Cafe Apron, ready to wrap

Pretty little packages

Last year Grace wrote about eliminating "boughten" wrapping papers and ribbons to reduce waste, so I'm keeping the wrapping for my handmade gifts simple. Just white tissue paper, and I'm using the same yarn the item is made from to tie up the bundle. No tape, so the tissue paper can be reused. No metallic bows and ribbons and paper to be thrown away, and no bows to get squished in shipping.
Simplicity rocks!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Today was T-Bear's quarterly checkup with Dr. A, our pediatric endocrinologist. Everything looks a-okay. Weight and height are in the 80% percentile. Eyes, ears, throat and feet all look good. And his A1c was 7.6. Not bad at all, considering he's been consistently a bit high the past several weeks. So, we're tweeking his calculations a bit. Upping Lantus from 17 to 19 (which should fix his AM highs), and adjusting his correction factor from 40 to 35 (which should bring his highs down to normal range a bit better). Carb/insulin ratios are staying at 1:8.

So, confession time. I'm a Low Wimp. I hate lows. I hate even the idea of lows. They scare the poop out of me, and I want to avoid them just about at all costs, because a severe low could kill him. Even moderate lows are very unhappy making. So, rather than adjust his Lantus to bring his "mild highs" more in line, I tend to leave it where it is and give corrections as needed.

Because, really, every time we increase his Lantus, it makes me nervous. More chance of lows. Have to be certain we're testing EXACTLY two hours after the last dose/meal. Nighttime BG checks for a few nights. And often, more tweeking of the other factors.

So, I was relieved T-Bear's A1c was 7.6, because that's a pretty good number (it indicates average BG of 150-180 over the past three months or so).

But, I need to get over being a Low Wimp. Because the highs, even the mild ones, are not good for T-Bear. They do the quiet, hidden damage. The stuff he'll have to deal with for the rest of his life.

Putting on my Big Girl Panties and bumping up the Lantus tonight. And setting my alarm clock for about 3:00 am.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Five Boys

We had the pleasure of temporarily adopting KitMama's two older boys for a few days. Yep, five boys for four days. They all get along so well, and enjoy one another so much, it's almost quieter in the house with these five!

Four out of five boys.
Thanks, Kit, for the loan!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Birthday Bounty

I'm not sure which birthday gift I'll get the most use out of...

The wine goblet from my adorable MIL....

....or the brand new sewing machine from my hunka-hunka-hubby....

Okay, who am I kidding? The wine goblet, obviously. Oh, and the new wine glasses from the boys to replace all the ones that have been mysteriously broken ;)
But, coming in a close runner-up is this beautiful little zippered pouch G made for me, which I'm now using to hold all my sewing notions for my new sewing machine! How perfect is that?!?

Yeeeeeesssss, I did break in my new sewing machine today. We're going through a "getting to know you" stage. And, I am sure, we will settle into a mutually productive relationship in short order. I'm pretty sure. There are a lot of buttons involved.
BUT, the absolute BEST part of my birthday yesterday...
*I got to see Harry Potter 7 (part 1) with my hubby and eldest son. It was awesome. And why, oh why, do I have to wait six months for the ending?!?
*A whole lot of my most favorite people in the world were standing around in my kitchen when we got back from the theater, having brought food along with their own lovely company to celebrate my 44. And, hubby ALMOST pulled off the surprise! Yay!
*I didn't get a bunch of stuff I didn't need or want! Yeah, I know that sounds really cynical, but, shoot, at my age, I've really got just about everything I could possibly want or need. And, really, what matters most to me, is YOU.
Thank you all for the gift of your friendship. And, a special Thank You to S for all of your behind-the-scenes arranging. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Busy Hands

Can't blog now. I'm knitting.

Chocolate Nummies Bundle-Up Scarf
Pink Dream Angel Hair Scarf

Dreams of the Desert Scarf

Krazy Kristmas Kandy Scarf

Blue Angel Scarf

Emerald Blue Highlights Scarf

Custom Holiday Stocking
Hopefully, after the holidays I'll be able to stock up my Etsy store and start taking orders for custom holiday stockings.
For now...back to knitting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 22 - Can't. Keep. Up.

I have to admit that this month’s "DAM –n- NaBloPoMo" has been a challenge for me. From the standpoint of finding something about diabetes to write about each day…well, that’s not that hard when you think about it as much as I do, just as every caretaker of a “special needs” child thinks about “it” for a good chunk of the day. Most of the time D hovers in the background of my consciousness until an alarm (either my watch, or my phone, or my Mommy alarm) goes off and something needs to be tended to.

But, making myself think about it when I don’t “need” to think about it…that’s been a little more challenging. This month, D has helped itself to the forefront of my consciousness more often throughout the day than I care for. “What, oh, what shall I write about today? Oh, yeah, D! Of course!” And, honestly, it can be a little depressing. So, I’ve missed a couple of days already, and I’ve back-dated a couple of posts trying to keep up. But, I figure that happens to newbies their first time around. Right?

But, what I really can’t keep up with is EVERYONE ELSE’S BLOGS! There are so many fabulous folks out there participating in NaBloPoMo, whether DAM-related or not, that I love to read, who don’t usually post EVERY day, and now they are. And, I just don’t have the time read them all! Darn!

But, (and, yes, I am aware that I’m not supposed to start three paragraphs in a row with “but”, but I’m doing it anyway), we’ve got a long holiday weekend coming up. Hubby does all of the Thanksgiving cooking (aren’t you jealous?), and we’ve got a relatively small crowd coming for dinner. So maybe, just maybe, after cleaning the entire house top-to-bottom (with the help of my lovely friend, S), I can take a day and catch up with all of my lovely blog friends (including S who has two blogs!). I promise to leave comments!

And, while I’m on the topic of posting every day, I have to just say I am completely in awe of my friend, Grace, who took on the challenge of writing and posting one Haiku every day for the entire year of 2010 on her blog, My Year In Haiku. I don’t think she has missed a single day, and every day is a treasure of words and fabulous photos. You really have to check her out. And, leave a comment!

And, (there I go again), I will do my very best to catch up with EVERYONE in My Blog World this week! It's been lonely without you all!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 21 - No Pudding For You!

I felt like The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. Isn't it adorable? And, no, you can't eat it right now!

We do our best to let T-Bear eat “like other kids” as much of the time as possible, at the same time keeping fairly healthy and balanced foods in the house so there are healthier foods to choose from. But, sometimes, you’re just not in a position, as a D-Parent, to channel “carb moderation” in your diabetic child’s direction, and today was one of those times.

Birthday parties. I feel every D-Parent out there cringing. I know you slap on your game face and support your child in their child-ness, and do your best at birthday parties. And, I also know how challenging they can be.

So, birthday party. Pizza. And cake. And ice cream. And soda (no diet!). And goldfish. And pudding! It was a D-Parent’s carb overload nightmare. The perfect storm of “spike carbs” and “difficult carbs”, and so many of them all at once. It’s hard to be a kid with diabetes at a moment like that. Especially when you have to wait to eat, when all the other kids are digging in. Whenever they want. And I hate that I have to be the “Mean D-Mommy” and not let T-Bear dig in to his heart’s content.

Because the invitation said “cake and ice cream and play” and was at 2:00, I assumed a “dessert-based” party. My bad. I should have asked when I RSVP’d, but I hate coming off as the over-protective, overly-controlling mom of a “special needs” kid, and I’m willing to punt when necessary. So, I fed everybody before we went to the party.

And walked into a pile of pizzas. Ooops. So, while BroBear immediately grabs a plate and digs in (after woofing down two sandwiches and a bowl of soup at home because he’s gearing up for yet ANOTHER growth spurt!), T-Bear has to wait another hour to test. And, he’s so patient, it breaks my heart. Puberty is really going to suck for him.

So, by the time T-Bear was good to test again, and was ready to eat, it was time for cake and ice cream. He was high (205). Really NOT a good time for pizza and a big dose of sugar. So,I limit him to one slice of pizza (he wanted two). Plus cake. And ice cream. NO soda. And NO pudding. And, still, 13.5 u of insulin. That’s just so much to be injected into his little butt at once. And, he sucked down his 90+ estimate carbs in about 10 minutes. And, really, I was just guestimating the carbs to come up with his insulin dose. Which always makes me a wee bit nervous. Okay, makes me really nervous, because my son’s life is ENTIRELY in my hands at moments like these.

But, I slapped on my game face. I was as subtle as possible when I had T-Bear test his BG. And when I counted up carbs and estimated a dose. And drew it (needles tend to make some folks a little uncomfortable). And made sure T-Bear closed the powder room door entirely before pulling down his pants to give himself his insulin injection (after all, there were girls around).

The kids had a great time, and so did the parents. Despite my own “behind the scenes drama”, I gotta give total heart-felt kudos to today’s hostess/mom for pulling off the most relaxed, low-key, enjoyable kids’ birthday party I’ve been to since….well, probably ever. Which is probably why T-Bear’s BG was a very rockin’ 161 at dinner time, instead of the 300+ it would have been if he’d been overstimulated and/or stressed during the party (which he usually is). Woohoo! Thank you, Mama A!

And, the adorable little pudding cup the girls made was T-Bear’s bed-time snack. A nice balance of carbs, protein, and fat.

Shoot. How many carbs do you suppose are in that?!?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 20 - A Bit Worse For The Wear

Rufus has been through quite a bit since he was adopted by our family a year and a half ago. Just take a look to the right to get an idea of how clean and fluffy and unruffled he originally was when he showed up at the hospital to keep T-Bear company after his diagnosis.

Since then he's been washed several times, been lost a few times (but always found again, obviously), and has been on a number of family trips and camping (including our Tour of America last summer). His little white shirt, I am certain, will never be white again, the "JDRF" logo is permanently faded off, and he's got a ridge under his chin where T-Bear tucks his forearm to carry him around.
But, Rufus is still around. He still accompanies us when we go places, still shows up here and there around the house, and still sleeps with T-Bear at night. He's a little worse for the wear, but he's still hanging in there.
Some days, I feel kind of like Rufus.

Friday, November 19, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 19 - No Prescription

There is no prescription for managing Type 1 Diabetes.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. There are a lot of prescriptions that need to be filled to help manage diabetes. When T-Bear was first diagnosed, we paid $250 just in co-pays to fill every prescription on the prescription order. It was a lot of stuff.

But, there’s no prescription that says “Take one pill three times a day, preferably with meals.” Or even, “Give 6 u of Insulin A with each meal and 11 u of Insulin B at bedtime.” Its way more complicated than that. There are carb-to-insulin ratios, which can differ from meal to meal, and there are corrections factors than differ depending on the time of day, and these formulas are often adjusted from week to week. Then there's the basal inslin, which can also change from week to week. And then there are the “other” factors that affect blood sugar, like exercise and stress and growth and heat and whether or not it’s raining (I just threw that one in to see if you were paying attention). And how long, exactly, does insulin stay in your system, and do you do an IOB adjustment only for corrections, or for boluses as well? Because if you get the calculations wrong, it could be disastrous.

Meri at Our Diabetic Life spelled it all out for us recently, taking us all through ONE bolus calculation for ONE of her sons with Type 1, with the help of a smart pump. Go check it out and decide for yourself how "close" your bolus calculation would be to what was needed.

Every Type 3 Diabetic wishes for two things. 1) A cure. 2) That managing our loved one’s blood sugar, keeping diabetes under control, and staving off complications were as simple as “Take one pill three times a day, preferably with meals.”

If only it were that simple.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 18 - Type 3

I'd never heard the term "Type 3 Diabetic" before, but that's me, and Papa Bear, and BroBear, and BooBooBear. And every D-Mom and D-Dad out there. We are all there. Every day. Every hour. With only the slightest glimmer of hope that it will end anytime in our lifetimes.

Yeah, The Georges made me cry. But, I think my friends are getting used to that.

Check out NinjaBetic. I think you'll like him.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 17 - Take Me Instead

Dear Diabetes,

On May 13, 2009 you made your presence known to my family. You’d been sneaking about, lurking in silence and shadow inside my son’s body for … I don’t know how long …. doing your evil and trying to kill him. The day you made your brazen announcement was one of the worst days of my life, and of our family’s life.

I want you to leave my son alone. If you have to have a hostage, take me instead. Leave my son’s body and come snuggle into mine. I’ll do all of the finger pricks on myself every day for the rest of my life. I’ll do all of the injections on myself every day until you kill me. I’ll go to the endocrinologist every quarter, and to the eye doctor every year, waiting for them to tell me that the complications have begun. That I’m beginning to go blind. That my kidneys are beginning to fail and I will have to go on dialysis treatments. That the sore on my big toe from when I stubbed it is never going to heal and they have to cut it off.

If you have to pick on someone, then pick on me. ‘Cause I can take it. If you have to take someone, then take me.

Just leave my son alone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 13 - Another Video

Can't talk about this video without getting all sappy and crying, and y'all know how much I dislike that. So, I'll just show you the video.

Thank you, Lorraine.

Friday, November 12, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 12 - So Close

We're close! We've got 91,000 views, and only need to get to 100,000 for the full $75K to be donated. And we only have 2 days left!

So, if you haven't already watched it, then click and do it now. Right now! Hurry! Shooo! Off you go, now!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 11 - No Words

Okay, maybe only one word. "High".

Okay, may be only two words. "High", and "Damn".

If only I were a real pancreas.

And he never blames me. Ever.

It breaks my heart. Every time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 10 - Clocks

Time Changes. Bugger.

Yeah, I know the time change was four days ago, but I’ve been dealing with it each day since then.

I hate these twice-a-year time changes that are supposed to increase productivity. Even in the autumn when we’re supposed to “fall back” and get an “extra hour of sleep.” It just ain’t worth it to me. Why? Because T-Bear’s biological clock does not reset itself just because I run around resetting all of the clocks in the house. T-Bear’s biological clock does not recognize the difference between Eastern Standard Time and Daylight Savings Time, so twice a year I have to bruise my brain figuring out how to adjust his Lantus dose.

You see, his Lantus is supposed to be given within the same 15 minute window of time each evening. If you give it too early, you get an overlap and might get an unexpected low in the middle of the night. If you give it too late, you get a gap and might get an unexpected high in the middle of the night.

So, I have TWO alarms set to go off to remind me to draw his Lantus dose and have him take it at 7:00 pm. At PRECISELY 7:00 pm every night. But, suddenly, on Sunday last, my alarms were telling me it was 7:00 pm, but T-Bear’s body was telling him it was 6:00 pm. Inconvenient.

Sunday it’s 7:00 pm Clock Time, and 6:00 pm T-Bear Time. I can’t vary his Lantus dose time by more than 15 minutes, so I give it at 6:15. On Monday, I give it at 6:30 pm. On Tuesday, I give it at 6:45 pm. On Wednesday (TODAY!), we’re back to giving Lantus at 7:00 pm.

At least for the next six months. You can imagine what a nightmare this was when we were jumping a time zone every day or so on our trip this summer.

Curse you, Benjamin Franklin, for even suggesting this nepharious scheme! (Not really, because I totally adore Ben).

I take my hats off to all those D-folks on pumps and CGM’s who have to try to tell their equipment about this little “adjustment”, and accordingly fix all of the settings and segments and ratios accordingly. Tech-supported D-management is way more complicated than MDI management. It must take weeks to make the adjustment. May the force be with you all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 9 - Nutrition Lables

Three different flavors of popcorn. One nutritional label. Because, apparently, plain 'ol popcorn, cheese-flavored popcorn, and carmel-covered popcorn all have the same carb count. 21 g for 1.25 c of popcorn. Right?

Or, maybe it's an average?

Any ideas?

Monday, November 8, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 8 - Not Funny

Dear Onion Editors,

It’s not funny. Not even remotely. Children dying, under any circumstances, is just not funny. The death of a child is an incredible tragedy, every time, and should not be made light of. It should not be used as the punchline of a joke. It should not be used to poke fun at a public figure who is working to increase awareness about a serious disease and give support to children who suffer from it.

Children being hacked to death with machetes in Rwanda. Children starving to death in Etheopia. Children dying of AIDs in Africa. Children being shot to death the cross fire of gang wars. Infants dying of SIDS in their sleep. Children dying in car accidents. Do you find humor in any of these deaths? Are they also a joking matter to you?

Type 1 Diabetes in an incurable life-threatening disease that requires constant vigilance to keep at bay. Those children who survive to adulthood face a lifetime of possible health complications including blindness, heart disease, kidney disease, amputations, and death. With the help and support of their families and communities, these kids battle for their lives every single day. Their dying, of any cause, even in jest, is not funny. Ever.

You should immediately remove the article and publish an apology. I don’t expect you will, but you should.


A Mom

Note: This is not the actual letter I sent to the Editors of The Onion. That one I won’t reprint here, because I was not very polite.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 7 - Paint Job

I don't usually paint my nails. Not enough time, patience, inclination, etc. most of the time. But, for the month of November I will be sporting blue nails (the color of both Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day) with red dots (you can probably figure out what those represent). Kinda clever, huh?

Are you sporting blue this month?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 6 - SPIBelt Unzipped

This is T-Bear's SPIBelt, which is attached to his person each time he leaves the house.

The SPIBelt itself is a very cool little gizmo for folks who want to carry a few small items discretely, and is becoming popular among diabetes for carrying testing supplies and/or pumps.

T-Bear's SPIBelt containes:
* Freestyle glucose meter.
* Freestyle test strips.
* AccuCheck MultiClick lancet device.
* Alcohol wipes.
* Glocose tablets.

Everything you need for a carb-free outing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 5 - Posting Frustration

No, not blog posting. Package posting.

I had several packages to post today. Eleven to be exact. One needed to be shipped FedX, and the other 10 by the postal service. All packages were sealed, labeled and ready to go this morning when I set off to post them. The one for FedX even had a pre-paid label, so I really just needed to drop it off.

It used to be you could go into a ship-it place and take your pick from all of the major carriers – FedX, UPS, DHL, the postal service, or whatever. They would even tell you when each option would arrive and which option was cheapest. Now, they’ve all gone specialized. The UPS store only ships UPS. FedX Office (formerly Kinko’s) only ships FedX. USPS, of course, will only do USPS. But, Office Depot is all wild and crazy and will actually do both UPS and the USPS. But I can’t find any place near me that does all of them. So, I had to make at least two stops to ship my packages. FedX wasn’t bad…at least once I found the place. Then I had a choice between Office Depot or the Post Office for the rest of my packages. I went with Office Depot, because they usually don’t have much of a line, and Post Office almost always does. Besides, the PO is another 10 minutes away.

I won’t make that mistake again.

I’m used to doing UPS at Office Depot, and kind of prefer it over the UPS store, simply because I can enter the shipping information in the computer myself, rather than write everything out by hand and then stand there while the clerk enters the same information into the computer (seems kind of inefficient to me). But, I wasn’t shipping UPS, I just needed postage slapped on each of my already-labeled packages.


I was told I had to enter all of the shipping information on all ten packages into the computer. Really? Just to get USPS postage? So, it took me ten minutes to enter all the shipping information into the computer. I was mildly irritated by this, but what the heck.

Then, the clerk had to take each package, weigh it, measure it, and answer at least 30 other questions on the computer about each package (nine of which were identical). Then print out a label. FOR A PACKAGE THAT WAS ALREADY LABELED. And get the little plastic sleeve to put the label into. This process took another 15 mintues. By now, I was more than mildly irritated.

Because my alarm went off. It had been 2 hours since T-Bear had tested his BG, and he needed to test again. He hadn’t eaten breakfast, and I was concerned about him dropping before I could get back home with lunch. I had timed my morning, I thought, so I could get the packages shipped and pick up lunch and be home in time for that 2-hour mark.

But, I was still standing there, waiting for the clerk to finish printing out labels FOR PACKAGES THAT WERE ALREADY LABELED so I could get postage applied and mail the damn things.

When the clerk took the first package on the stack, and opened the plastic sleeve, and slipped the label into it, and carefully sealed the sleeve, and carefully applied the plastic sleeve with the label in it to the back of the package – that would be the package THAT WAS ALREADY LABLED ON THE FRONT – I must have started turning purple thinking I would have to stand there and watch her do this to all ten packages before I could check out. So, when she asked if I would like her to check me out now, I probably had a bit of an edge to my voice as I responded, “YES. PLEASE.”

It took another five minutes to print out each bar-coded entry, then scan those entries into the cash register computer, then run the transaction, then print the receipt both for me and on the back of their documentation.

All so I could get postage on my little packages.

And, what does all of this have to do with diabetes, aside from my usual concerns that T-Bear’s BG may drop before I can feed him if my timing does not work out perfectly?

All of the packages, all 11, were diabetes related. The FedX package contained a three month supply of Pods that needed to be returned to Insulet because they – oops – sent us a shipment after I had told them we were no longer using their pump. For a second time. Since they only use FedX, they sent me a prepaid return label.

The other 10 were JDRF Walk t-shirts that we were sending to some of the folks who sponsored T-Bear in this year’s Walk.

Next time, I’ll just drive the extra 10 minutes, and stand in line for 10 minutes, to get postage slapped on my already-labeled packages.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, I pulled into a drive-through for some “fast food” trying to make up some lost time…and had to sit in the parking lot for 10 minutes waiting for my box of tacos.

I give up. At least for today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 4 - Our Diabetes Counter

This is the sideboard in our kitchen/dinnette area, where I keep everything we need for T-Bear's day-to-day D-care. Our "backup" supplies are in the pantry.

So, starting from the left, we've got:
* A mug for holding new syringes. Sort of like a pencil cup, I find it easier to grab one when they're all standing up.
* Our black D-bag which holds everything we need (except for the test kit) when we go anywhere.
* Poking out of the D-bag is the blue Poucho which holds and keeps the insulin cool during the hotter months. It's a pretty clever little gizmo, activated by water so you don't have to carry an ice pack around during the summer.
* Also barely poking out of the D-bag is the rocket (Inject-Ease device) that makes T-Bear's injections a bit less painful.
* Not poking out of the D-bag are alcohol wipes, glucose tablets, spare test strips, and spare lancets.
* T-bear's flame-colored SPIBelt that contains his testing supplies and glucose tablets.
* Log sheets and pen.
* Two vials of insulin in their protective cases (so they won't break when I drop them on the tile floor). Blue is Lantus, pink is Humalog.
*T-Bear's vitamins and supplements, and the fancy little glass we put them in.
* Spare test kit (the SPIBelt is often floating around the house).
* Calculator for adding up carbs and calculating doses.
* Empty milk jug for collecting used sharps.
* Nutrition scale for weighing foods and determining carbs.
So, that's about it. Everything we need to calculate and prep a dose of insulin as quickly and easily as possible. And, it's easy to load up the D-bag with whatever we need when we are heading out the door.
Where do you keep your D-stuff?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo Day 3 - Naked Diabetes

Most of us in the D-World don't really get detailed about how we manage D on a daily basis. But,
Reyna at Beta Buddies has issued the “Naked Pancreas Challenge”, and I’m stepping up. Here's the naked truth about how I manage T-Bear's D on a daily basis.

1. What kind of insulin management mode do you use? T-Bear does Multiple Daily Injections of fast-acting, combined with a daily basal insulin.
2. How often do you inject/change pump sites? He does 4 – 6 injections per day depending on how often he eats.
3. What type (s) of insulin do you use? Humalog and Lantus.
4. What are your basal settings ? 17 u Lantus at 7:00 pm.
5. What are your correction factors ? Full correction (with meals) is (BG-100)/40. Half correction (without meals and at bedtime snack) is (BG-100)/80. Bedtime correction with no snack is 1/4 normal correction with meals.
6. What are your meal ratios ? At the moment, all meals are 1:10 except bedtime snack which is 1:30. Gonna have to change that soon. Again.
7. What do you do for activity and/or PE? Being homeschoolers, our PE is playing outside, Park Day, or the WiiFit when the weather is not cooperating. Because T-Bear’s activity levels are pretty consistent from day to day, it’s pretty much incorporated into our current D-routine.
8. How do you manage Pizza, Macaroni and Cheese, or any other "difficult to manage" foods? Per instructions during our last endo appt, we give a normal bolus before the meal. Two hours after eating, retest and give ½ correction as needed.
9. How do you prefer to manage your logs/data? Write it out manually as we go. Transfer to a computer file and e-mail to the endo when we need to report or get adjustments. I find it really helps to have the times of each test and bolus listed, especially when trying to determine trends.

So, that's it. Pretty simple, eh? Not. It's all guess-work, guts, and input from the pros to keep T-Bear's A1c in line.

But, tomorrow is another day....and all these numbers will change...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DAM -n- NaBloPoMo

Ain’t that a mouthful?

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s also National Blog Posting Month. Sounds like a natural combination to me, as well as to many D-bloggers out there.

Yeah, I know I’ve been a slacker the past few months and haven’t been posting consistently. Honestly, our Tour of America kind of did me in…taking pictures, writing about and posting about EVERYTHING we did and saw, EVERY DAY kind of sucked out all my blogging juices. And, as hubby has pointed out, we apparently never made it home, since my last ToA post was about Tombstone, AZ. “The Town That Wouldn’t Die” was just about the death of our blog.

But, I’ve turned a new leaf. I am ready to take on the NaBloPoMo challenge – post on your blog every day for the entire month of November. And, like many D-mamas and D-papas out there, I’m doing it for a cause…Diabetes Awareness Month (DAM!). Every day in the month of November, I’m going to post SOMETHING about diabetes. I’m going to bore you to tears, endlessly droning on about diabetes and how much is sucks. Hopefully, sometimes, I’ll bring you to heart-felt tears, because tears are a big part of caring for a child with diabetes.

And, when I can’t come up with anything to say, I’ll just post a picture. Because every day is a series of pictures for me. T-Bear pricking his finger for a BG check. T-Bear waiting patiently to eat while his brothers can dig in whenever they want to. T-Bear holding his breath and puffing out his cheeks, steeling himself for the pain of that needle stabbing into him. Every day. Five or six times a day.

So, in the month of November, I’m going to post about diabetes every day.

Because…Diabetes IS Every Day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Big Blue Test

Quick! Watch this video! Right now! Do it!

If you watched this video, you just bought a week's supply of life-saving insulin for a child who would not otherwise have it. Wasn't that easy?

I found out from D-Mom that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and November 14th is World Diabetes Day. And, that Roche has committed to donate $75,000 to two organizations which provide insulin and diabetes education to those who need it, Life for a Child and Insulin for Life. But, the donation will be in proportion to the number of views the video receives. We need 100,000 views between today and November 14th for the full $75,000 donation to be made.

So, spread the video! Let's get insulin into the hands of kids who need it! Thanks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pix of our Walk

My good friend, S, took some great pictures of the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, and posted them on her blog, here. Go take a look!

Thank you, S, for being our Team photographer, and for being such a good friend! Muah!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Our Walk

Yesterday was our first JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. Yes, I cried. Only once. Okay, I also teared up another time. My friends were a little worried about me because they're not used to seeing me get emotional, but hubby knows I am capable of opening up the water works - even if it's a just a little drip - every once in a while. As a D-Parent, it can be a little overwhelming to be surrounded by thousands of people who, in one way or another, live with Juvenile Diabetes every day.

But, to be completely honest, what got me choked up was seeing all of the apples and bananas and crackers - boxes and boxes and boxes of them - sitting out for anyone to grab. Yeah, lots of folks grab 'em because they appreciate a free snack, or their littler ones are a bit peckish and need a snack. But, these, really, are "low stations"...quick carbs set out for any diabetic who may be getting low and needing some emergency carbs (not that any parent of a diabetic child would ever leave the house without an emergency snack). But, in this particular gathering, carbs are love, and there was plenty of love to go around. Oh, and there were free sugar-free treats as well :)

The Grand Stand....
"THANK YOU" to all of the sponsors and volunteers who made this happen!

So, after checking in and picking up our bushel of t-shirts, we wandered around a bit. They had a zumba instructor lead our warm-up.

"Let's all Zumba!"

T-Bear, Miss Christin, and Sydney Zumba-ing.

Big J: "Nope. Ain't zumba-ing."

One of the greatest things about this event was seeing all of the team t-shirts. Some teams were little, like ours (we didn't have t-shirts this year). Some teams were huge, and all coordinated and everything. Most team shirts were pretty straight forward, but some were really clever.

One of my favorite t-shirts.

I wasn't able to get a good shot of my other favorite; the "periodic table of diabetic elements" on the front...and "The only Matter that Matters is a Cure" on the back. Also, the "Pirates of the Cure-abean" was kind of clever. Though, I'm thinking "Pirates of the Cure-a-'Betes" might be our team motto for next year...
So, once we noticed a huge hoard of folks all walking down the road, Team Thunder Bear joined in and pulled up the rear.

Papa Bear pulling Sydney in the wagon, BooBoo on his cycle, Nic hoofing it, and BroBear on his scooter.

The Walkin' Crowd.
Gets me all weepy.

T-Bear scootering.

Papa Bear scootering.

Our official Team photographer, S.
One of the other things that got to me was S's comment, something to the effect that, with thousands of people showing up to this event, "You can't tell which ones have diabetes, and which ones don't. They all look so happy and healthy." In some ways this is a really great thing. Our kids with Juvenile Diabetes are, for the most part, happy and healthy, which every D-Parent is incredibly grateful for. And, at the same time, this appearance of health makes it difficult for others to understand how much time, effort, and heartbreak goes into keeping each one of these kids "happy and healthy" on an hour-by-hour basis. It's exhausting. At times it's all-consuming. And, we do it every single day, day after day, hour after hour, while doing our best to maintain a semi-normal family and personal life. But, all of us are doing it every day. Every single day. And knowing that there are so many of us trudging along in the same direction...well, that makes a world of difference to this particular exhausted D-Mom.
But, back to the Walk. All of the kids did really great. T-Bear started getting overheated in the second half, which always makes him spike. We pulled off on the side, sat down in the shade, and took a number. He was high - in the 250's - so I gave him some water and we rested for a bit. Giving him insulin at this point, on the tail of physical exhertion and without a high-carb, fat-and-protien-balanced meal would be dangerous, so we had to wait it out and hope to flush out the excess glucose with lots of water. Being at the very tail-end of the Walk Dragon, we had a couple of police officers following us close behind. Since we were clearly having some difficulty, the officer in the car asked if we needed a ride.
Heck yeah! So, T-Bear, Christin, Sydney and I piled into the back seat. Wow. That's really not a pleasant place to have to ride. It's tighter than flying economy class, and the seats are hard formed plastic. So glad we weren't handcuffed.

View from the back seat of the squad car.
Yes, T-Bear was asking all about the video screen.

Once we caught up with Jeff and the wagon, we all piled out of the police car (having someone else opening the door from the outside), and were able to finish the walk.

Portions of Team Thunder Bear at the finish.
Okay, not technically at the official finish, but only a few yards from it.
While some of us rested in the shade and rehydrated, the kids wanted to visit the bouncies again.

T-Bear on the bungie bouncie thingie.

BroBear on the bungie bouncy thingie.

I really don't know how to wrap up this particular post, except to say that we definitely want to do it again next year, we definitely want a bigger team next year, and Papa Bear will be in charge of our sure-to-be-brilliant team t-shirts next year. We may not be the most glamorous, well-put-together D-Team among the hundreds (thousands?) of Walking D-Teams across the country, but, hay, we all showed up and participated. And that means EVERYTHING to this very tired D-Mom.
So, I have to send out one more HUGE "Thank You" to everyone who supported us in this year's walk. And, I'll try to be a much better fund-raiser and Team Captain next year...I promise!
Many, many blessings to all of you,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Two Weeks

The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes is in two weeks. Our first walk since T-Bear was diagnosed. I’ve already written about why we’re walking. And I’ve written our diagnosis story, and about what it's like to live one day Diabetes. Now I’ll let someone else talk about why we’re walking. Why we’re ALL walking. The thousands of people all over the country who have signed up and raised funds and showed up to Walk together. Take a minute to read “Working with Superheros” by Jilsinger8 (thanks Hallie for posting this!). And, if you haven’t already, please consider sponsoring a member of Team ThunderBear in our upcoming Walk (see panel to the right).

Working for Superheroes

I’m starting to feel that I chose my career because of I’m in awe of superheroes.

So, tell me, Reader…when did you last talk to a superhero? I mean, the real deal? And I mean superhero. Those with powers beyond human. Well, I work with superheroes every day.

As an employee of the Juvenile
Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), I have the unique opportunity to work for people who spend every minute working to save lives. And they have powers.

As an outreach manager, it’s my job to support these heroes in their super endeavors. So, I come to work, I learn something, I share what I’ve learned, I speak to groups, I speak to individuals, I host meetings, I go to meetings, I plan events, I execute events, I create materials, I get on the phone, I write countless emails, I go home and read, read, read. I read on managing type 1 diabetes, on clinical studies, on historical research data, on this and on that. What I read tends to repeat itself in different publications, but I still won’t remember everything I read. I read and try to keep everything locked and loaded for the next phone call or email from a superhero, but I can’t. And other things are starting to fall out of my head. I forgot my phone number the other day. See, I’m just human.

A parent of a child with type 1 diabetes is a superhero, and I have accumulated some hard evidence to prove this. First of all, they save lives. And not like a doctor or soldier saves lives. Every day they wake up and must save their child’s life. They must keep their child breathing every day. I can’t imagine how exhausting this is. And they don’t get vacations. They don’t even get sleep!! Diabetes (the villain) never sleeps! So parents can’t either. They don’t even get to rest at night. They gotta keep working.

And like superheroes, they get plot twists. Except, some fictional superheroes have the luxury of having a stupid arch-enemy, one who spills the plot and their whole evil scheme because they think they’ve won. Diabetes is a smart enemy. Parents are always guessing what diabetes will do next. And the formulas they have learned to battle diabetes with might not give them success all the time! Diabetes can hit them with its weapons of high and low
blood sugars at any time no matter what they do! But they keep on working, adjusting their tactics. No matter what.

And these formulas! That is why they have superpowers. I have read all about carb ratios, and insulin sensitivity, and bolus doses and basal rates. I have read about all the factors that can attribute to high and low blood sugars. I read about effects and phenomenons. But to remember ALL the ratios, ALL the factors, ALL the rates, ALL the carb counts…AND…ALL AT ONCE?!?!? ALL THE TIME?!?!? Ya gotta have superpowers. I’m not just saying it because math and I don’t get along, I’m saying it because you seriously, have got to have superhuman capabilities.

So how can I work for superheroes who have superpowers? If I can provide them any weapons to use against the enemy, I’ll do it. The greatest weapon available is knowledge and each other, and both go hand in hand. Every family diagnosed needs a medical team to give them tools, to guide their moves and to teach them how to develop their powers. Then, superheroes need other superheroes to share trade secrets and to motivate each other. If I can bring superheroes together, or I can give them information they didn’t have before, I have done my job. But, parents shouldn’t have to have this burden of having to fight every day forever, and as a child is diagnosed in our JDRF Chapter every day, another parent must take that burden on. So, I will work to vanquish the enemy for good and throw weapons to our superheroes in the meantime.

Also, as cool as being a superhero may seem, they got their powers for awful reasons. An enemy attacked, and they had to either work at developing their own powers or lose what is most precious. So, these parents have had to learn things they would never wish for other parents. Like how to hold your young, newly diagnosed child tightly and in just the right way so they can’t squirm out of your embrace while you steady the needle and try to block out the pleas of “Don’t do it, please don’t do it, it hurts, it hurts.” Or looking at your teenager with weariness of heart in their eyes whisper under their breath, “You don’t get it ” all the while you pray they never, ever have experience your kind of fatigue. Your fear.

Just like Superman gets his strength back from the sun, so do parents get their strength from good days, from the successes. When their kid gets to play with their friends and enjoy a sport. When they ace that test! When they see their seven-year old show another kid how they test their blood sugar. “See, and then I put a drop of blood on here, and it tells me how much sugar I have! Cool, huh?” When they give themselves a shot or change a site by themselves. No tears. When parents witness how mature their child has become, how strong, they often tell me, “I don’t know how they do it! I know I couldn’t do it.” But I’ve figured it out, yes, me, the layman. These kids, wise beyond their years, are strong because like all kids, we emulate our parents. Parents DO do it. They live with diabetes every day and the strength they have as superheroes is copied by their kids. So superhero parents – they get it from YOU.

So, yep, I get to work for superheroes. It’s a pretty awesome job. Just yesterday I was on the phone with a superhero mom telling me how awesome her daughter is, and how strong she has become. I know I’ll never get it, I mean really get it. Unless sometime in the future a doctor comes out to the waiting room and tells me my child has type 1 diabetes, or tells me that I now have type 1 diabetes, I won’t truly understand this brand of superheroism. But, I’ll go home tonight, I’ll pick up one of two books I have on type 1 diabetes, one published in 1994 and one this last year and read up. Maybe I can find something of interest to superheroes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Classic Moms

Last night was the first FTF meeting of our new Classic Moms Book Club.

The "locals": me, S, Grace, Kit, J, and C.

Photo courtesy of Papa Bear (which is why we're all laughing).

Because I had nothing better to do with all of my free (not) time (snort), I decided to see if there were enough homeschooling moms in my own little Circle (which, by the way, extends as far as Australia and New Zealand...go figure) who would be interested in reading classic book together and discussing them, that I started a Yahoo Group (with my intrepid partner-in-crime, S) for said purpose. Wonder of wonders, a bunch of lovely, smart, savy, brilliant ladies signed up, and we got a great start on the on-line portion of our discussions.

I borrowed our format from Melody. For our first month (September), we stuck with one classic. Hencenforth, we will have two classics each month, discuss one or the other or both or neither as each is inclined or able. Post comments, observations, questions or criticism on a chapter-by-chapter basis as each progresses through the book, and everyone joins in on the discussion.

Our first book was Emma by Jane Austen, and we managed to wrangle up some interesting conversations on this tried-and-true classic between those who've read it several times, those who've read it and don't quite remember the details, and those who are reading it for the first time. What an awesome blend of perspectives it turned up!

Then, several of those who are "local" showed up at the Bear Residence for a face-to-face discussion and viewing of one of the several film versions of the book. It was pretty much agreed that my A&E version was not really up to snuff, but S's version was too long (4 hours) to watch in one evening sitting. So, we opted for the A&E version, and have planned a "follow up" viewing on Tuesday (generally Park Day) for S's favored extended version. I can't wait!

BTW, a big, huge THANK YOU to the hubbies who showed up (and Papa Bear who stuck around) to wrangle all of the children (there was at least a peck of them....children, not hubbies) while the ladies chatted and viewed and discussed. And, an extra special THANK YOU to Uncle E for 1) trying to RUSH Papa Bear off for the evening, and 2) rolling with it and taking all the Bears to dinner. It was incredibly awesome to see you again!

And also BTW, the Classic Moms is only one of three book clubs our family participates in. There's the Kids' Book Club which has been reading, meeting and discussing for a couple of years now. And the more recently formed Jr. Book Club for the younger set of kids (that's T-Bear reading aloud to the group).

Up next for the Classic Moms Book Club: Frankenstein and The Legend of Sleepy Hallow. (Oh, BTW, we are reading unabridged versions). Can't wait for the discussions to begin!

So, if you love reading great books and lively discussions as much as we do, come join us!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

U/ME Day - Brother Bear's Birthday by Papa Bear

We woke with our hearts pounding – with the kind of excitement typically reserved for Xmas morning, we both rose this morning with you eagerly ready and me quietly reserved to watch you pass through one the greatest milestones any young man can. Today you’ve just turned 11. Today we’re going to the shooting range. Today, you’re going to learn how to shoot. Today we start with a semi-automatic pistol – a .380 (thank you Mister J).

You and I have been talking about this adventure for months now. We’ve spent hours talking about each aspect of the experience; from how to take the proper precautions to keep you and those around you safe, to techniques necessary to ensure you score well.

I couldn’t tell which of us was more excited and nervous . . . but we managed to contain our enthusiasm as we entered the shop. With safety, loading, handling lessons all behind us, it was time to demonstrate. You watch me shoot first before you take your turn. Got it? Ready???

Okay now, target up and in position (15 yards) . . . load the clip into the gun like I showed you; that’s it, now feel the weight. Remember right hand for control and left for stability. Okay, now release the slide latch – do you have your site alignment & site picture? Remember aim center mass? Okay then, release the safety and ONLY when you’re ready I want you to feel the weight of double action -- gently pull the trigger . . . steady now Son – that’s it . . . now breath and squeeze . . .

. . . aaand,


Nice . . . very nice, indeed. Hey, nice hangin’ on after the first shot! Okay, now three full clips and (1) hour later; with almost all rounds spent with reasonable proximity of vital areas – you’ve done it, my boy. Way to go . . . I’m proud of you! :)

And, of course, there is only ONE WAY to round off this experience . . . we must get you (3) scoops of your favorite mint chocolate chip . . . oh, and sprinkles and; oh yeah, gummy worms too . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just Friends

This is me with some of my “just friends”. Not my “mommy friends”. Not my “homeschool friends”. Not my “girlfriends”. Just…my friends.

I haven’t had “just friends” since I’ve had kids. Somehow, once I stopped working “in the real world” and started spending all of my time with little critters that need constant attention, I stopped having friends that were not “attached” to one aspect of my life or another.

First it was other moms who I befriended because…well we had something pretty significant in common. We mostly felt completely isolated from the real world because we had an infant and suddenly lost our “work” friends and “not parents” friends seemingly overnight. And there was always nursing and diapers and poop to discuss, so conversation flowed pretty easily. But often I found myself being “friends” with people who, under other circumstances, I would never have thought to befriend. It was a different kind of “friend” for me.

Then came homeschooling. Here, at least, were people I had more in common with. All of them chose to stay home for the long haul and educate their children themselves rather than send them to school. And, the homeschool group I joined up with was a lovely, eclectic, very open group, both in world view and in educational style. But again, despite this commonality, they were not necessarily people I would have thought to befriend otherwise.

Then came my on-line TJEd friends. And, boy, talk about small band of commonality. Just about the ONLY thing we had in common was our taste for TJEd, we mostly came from very, very different backgrounds and had vastly different world views, but we became friendly anyway.

Most recently, I've added a gaggle of D-Mom friends. Women with whom I have in common one overwhelming thing; we all have one or more children with Type 1 Diabetes. And, we all blog, which is how we found one another.

I read an article recently extolling the virtues of living in a small community where everyone knows everyone else, and you are pretty much forced to learn how to befriend, or at least get along with, people you don’t necessarily like or have anything in common with except that you live in the same small town. The same might be said for schools in which children of the same age and from the same area are all placed together and expected to befriend one another, or at least get along.

I don’t know if I would be able to make a new friend outside of my “categories” any more, and that’s kind of a strange realization. But, more poignant for me is the realization that my current friends are not longer “category” friends. They’re all Just Friends. And that’s how I like them best.

P.S. For those who've never met me in person, I'm the tall old lady...with my cute, young, short friends ;)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tombstone for a Dead Chimpmunk

We had a modest burial today in the front yard. Our cats, Baghira and BooBoo, brought a live chipmunk into the house this afternoon. Just one of their usual, unpleasant offerings. Thankfully this one was alive and in one piece, unlike the last five lizards we have found in the kitchen.

Said chipmunk was rescued by BooBoo (the son, not the cat), who happened to turn six today, and who released said chipmunk in the front yard (after feeding it some pecans) to scamper away and be on his merry way.

Just before dinner, said chipmunk was found on the front walk in a less-than-live state of being. Yep, the cats had found him again, and finished their work. BooBoo (the son, not the cat) got out the shovel and dug a grave, buried the unfortunate chipmunk, and made up a gravemarker using a paving stone and a sharpie marker.

Grave marker under the magnolia tree.

"Here lies a chipmunk that died from my cats."
No, I didn't help with the spelling...he worked it out on his own.

One of the guilt-less culprits.
Life goes on in the Huey household.

Happy birthday, BooBoo.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Numbers and Pumps

T-Bear had is quarterly checkup with Dr. A today, and all seems to be well.

These appointments always make me nervous and edgy, like my performance for the past three months is going to be judged by that one little number. You know the one. The A1c. The one that tells The Boss of your child's Diabetes Team whether or not you've been a good Diabetes Mom for the last three months. Have you been doing your part? Have you been doing your best? What grade are you going to get for all of the time, effort, worry and anxiety you've put into keeping your child alive and well for the last three months? Well, at least that's what it sounds like inside of my head. The voices inside your head may vary in their whisperings.

So, by some miracle that I can neither fathom nor find logic in, T-Bear's A1c today was a solid 7.0. That, my friends, is a beautiful number for a kid T-Bear's age. Yeah, it could be a little lower, and I'm hoping it will be in December when we go back. But, considering all of the crazy highs we had while pumping, plus all the crazy (and often uncorrected) highs we had while traveling on our Tour of America, I'm pretty much stunned more damage was not done. Frankly, I'm bowled over. Incredibly grateful, but also bowled over. I didn't completely screw up the last three months! Yeeehaaa, cowgirl!

Our appointment today was also confirming in another way, which I deeply appreciated. I half expected to have to explain in detail why we are no longer pumping.

Yes, we are now, officially, pumpless. Not that we don't have the pump, because we do, because we can't return it (plus all the Pods that were automatically shipped to us while we were gone). But T-Bear had decided the he will IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS NOT be pumping anytime in the near future. Or his life time, whichever comes first. 'Cause he was THAT frustrated with the entire process for the whole two months we gave it a shot. And that sucker was really expensive for our insurance company (who I love, by the way, for unquestioningly paying for T-Bear's care with the massive premiums we and Hubby's employer pay each month). So I was half expecting I'd have to explain our decision to Dr. A.

At any rate, being accustomed to annual visits to doctors and pediatricians who only glance casually at your file as they wander into the exam room, I was not really expecting Dr. A to be fully briefed on the trials we had endured over the past four months, and the reasons why we chucked the pump. But, being the extraordinarily fabulous person that he is, he was absolutely, completely and in all ways fully aware of the circumstances, and fully supportive of our choice not to pump. Go figure. He even went so far as to say, "Pumping does not work for everyone." (gasp!) Awesome! 'Cause, you know, I'd just about figured that out on my own, and now Dr. A is sitting there telling me the same thing. Go, Dr. A!

Pumping just did not work out for T-Bear. That's it. End of story. I know it works great for lots and lots of folks, and it's a blessing for them. But, it just did not work for us.

Maybe we'll try again in a few years. Maybe not. But, for right now we've got way better control over his BG (and his health) on injections than we did on the pump. And, I don't have to get up two or three times in the middle of the night every night to check his BG, because I know he's going to be stable overnight. MDI's are working for us, and we're sticking with 'em for as long as T-Bear and Dr. A say it's working.

And, I may as well take this opportunity to say that Dr. A and our Diabetes Team are the most spectacular, fabulous, wonderful, extraordinary human beings on the entire planet, because without each one of you, our precious T-Bear would be lost to us. Every single on of you, from Dr. A, to the CDE's who call me with corrections, to the intake nurses (especially E who took care of us today!), to the gals who make our appointments and the ladies in the front all ROCK! Unquestioningly, spectacularly, ROCK!

"That's all I've got to say about that..."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tubin' the Hooch in Helen

Yesterday we went tubing down the Chattahoochee River with some of our homeschooling friends. We usually meet at the park on Tuesday afternoons, but opted for something a little different this week. Papa Bear was able to join us, and this was the first time the Bears had been tubing.

The gang.

We met up in Helen at the water park, and hopped on a bus that took us to the drop-in point upstream. Riding the bus was very excited for the Cubs, since they don't do that very often.

The bus.

We opted for the “long” run, which took about three hours from drop-in to exit point, and everyone rode in hot pink tubes. There were “open” tubes for the bigger folks, and “closed” tubes with bottoms for the littler folks. The river was running pleasantly slowly, with just enough quick spots for a little mild excitement. I opted not to take my camera along, since it’s not water-proof, but stay tuned to KitMama’s Pensieve for possible pix in the near future.

By the time we reached the end of our ride, the kids were turning blue and ready to get out, but had had a great time. We all invaded the Troll Tavern for some dinner, where the serving staff was very patient and friendly, and the food was tasty.

Thunder Bear eagerly awaiting his chicken strips and fries.

Brother Bear and his hat.

Then, down the hill toward home. It was straight to bed for our tired Cubs. As he drifted off to sleep, BooBoo summed up the day perfectly, “I just love Helen.”