- Publish my book called Blueberry Juice. That is how this whole blog thing started in the first place. I wrote a book during my infertility years. It is real, raw and funny. I was in my 30's when I wrote it and it is basically a diary of going through the darkest time of my life for five years. It contains much more daring writing than my blog which people have told me helps them get through their infertile days. I have been holding onto it for almost ten years now and have only let my close friends and family read it. I never wanted to throw it out there haphazardly because I knew one day if it found the right publishing house, it could help thousands of woman get through their darkest days. Now I know I am ready. I am going to find a great agent and publish it. Finally! Of course, as soon as I get any information, I will share the news!
- Figure out Pinterest. I need to just take some time and see what it's all about. It seems super fun!
- Advertise. Great news! We got accepted to have Target advertise on our site! They will send out special weekly deals that you can only get on the blogs where they advertise. So, I need to figure it all out and bring you guys the deals! So far, I have seen 50% off a Canon SX 150 14.1 MP camera! Look for great deals all year long from Target and other great retailers.
- Get a puppy! I miss having a dog in the house and since I am not having any more babies, this is the next best thing. I promise to get a super cute one and send lots of pics.
- Get at least 100 freelance writing jobs! I love doing freelance. Putting a number out there like 100 pushes me to network within newly discovered channels. I hope to write something for Parents magazine. I love that one. I am also going to submit tons of stuff to Circle of Moms in the blogger section and the Round Up! Any time one gets published, I will attach it here also.
- Learn how the big dog, bloggers do it. I have to read, read, read. There is a whole world out there that includes branding, guest bloggers, back links, vlogging, HTML codes, hashtags and twitter/Facebook advertising. I have research and decide what is best for us.
This year was about being normal but vigilant, mixing with family and friends and mostly doing a good job in maintaining Rocco’s blood sugars within a reasonable (but not always perfect) range. Fingers crossed. I hope this sets the tone for the New Year.
With diabetes now being in the background of our days and not the forefront, it got me thinking. I think we can check Diabetes 101 off the list! Since most of my days feel like "been there, done that" instead of "HOLY CRAP! WHAT DO WE DO NOW?" I feel like we can truly say that we’ve arrived at a more advanced “Diabetes 201” phase.
Now, I know I will still need to contend with raging growth hormones, "starving" pre-adolescents, playing video games while mindlessly eating junk food and the odd teenage addiction to slurpees, but I figure that is more like Diabetes 301. No rush!
I wonder what Diabetes 401 is? Probably "letting go" for the college years. Ugh... Makes me want to snuggle my little guys right now, thinking about those days ahead. Wonder why it is so hard to appreciate the moment? Another thought for another day...
For now, I will concentrate on routine Diabetes 201 living, such as watching Rocco’s blood sugars at basketball practice, when he’s playing with Zeke in the snow and after eating treats at school parties. All the while ensuring that both Rocco and Zeke feel secure and normal.
As you might gather, school holiday parties are just not my thing.
First, there was the Valentine's party last year. Click here to read how that went.
Then there was the Mother's Day party. Click here...
So, having a twin with diabetes is challenging when it comes to school parties.
So this year, I finally listened to my friend, who also has a son with Type 1 diabetes. "I just don't give anyone a choice. I sign up to be the food mom for every party. Then I plan the menu and assign the snacks to each of the other moms."
She doesn’t care that she seems like a control freak, which has always been my worry. I never want to be the mom who requires that everyone else must cater to my requirements. My brave friend doesn’t worry about these things. She jumps right in and does whatever it takes to care for her son. I was inspired by this, so I decided to do the same for this year’s school Christmas, opps! I mean holiday, party. I signed up to be the food mom, planned the menu, assigned healthy snacks to the other moms and assigned myself to bring the sweet treats, so I would know ahead of time exactly how many carbs were in each treat!
Here are the two things I brought.
I know! Cute, right?
Each of these snacks has only 10 carbs. These snacks are peanut-free (we have two peanut allergy kids), politically correct and low carb! Go me!
To the other mothers, I assigned fruit kabobs (10 carbs), cheese and crackers (10 carbs), a veggie tray (0 carbs), and mini waters (0 carbs – no 24 carb Capri Suns). I know, it seems lame, but I had to do what I had to do! The Capri Suns could wait until the kids get home.
So, the total for everything on the table was about 40 carbs per kid if they took one each! Yay! I felt so proud.
As the party started, I looked over the food table as I did my calculations. Yep, everything was right on track! I was so excited, I decided to tell Rocco, "Hey! You can have one of everything on the table!"
He got the biggest smile on his face then said, "YES!"
Then he got so excited he told his best friend, "I can have one of everything on the table!"
His best friend said, "YES!" and they high fived! It was sweet. He has nice friends.
I was feeling proud of myself until one of the moms, who came late and had never answered any of my emails, added these to the table!
Plus juice and a bag of pretzels!
Um, helllooo mystery mom who never reads her emails! Do you not understand that I am trying to raise a kid here who shouldn't eat your high carb, fast acting treats? I know I am being mean and I am sure she had no idea what she had done, but I was so excited to have it be just right and in one fell swoop, it was ruined! Grrrr!!!
I felt deflated as I looked over at Rocco. He was having so much fun. I brought him aside and asked him if we could make a plate with the original snacks and bring the super-sugary treats home to have later.Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, "But you said I could have one of everything on the table..." I was suddenly realized he was genuinely going to start to cry in front of all of his friends.
So....I caved. "All right. Go ahead."
This, of course, pleased him no end and he ran off to play the next game.
While he was playing though, I got mad. I grabbed a plastic knife and cut the pieces of that chocolate cake into the smallest slivers you have ever seen! Was that appropriate? No! Was it fair to all the other kids? No! But I didn't care! They can have all the sugar they want later.
Nobody ever said that a mama bear had be polite while protecting her cubs!
In the long run, I am not sure anyone noticed my secret attempts at a fun but low-carb party. None of the kids ever did complain about the size of the cake servings. But one little boy did keep coming back and asking for more fruit kabobs. Ha ha!
As for Rocco, at one point I looked over and saw him happily eating two treats at the same time.
He had a good time, although his blood sugars ran from 300 to 400 for several hours. Ugh..
Look at these cool ideas! Hope I remember them for next year!
To my doubting son:
Is there really a Santa Claus? I guess that all depends on how you look it at. I believe with all my heart and soul there truly is. I think of him more like a ghost or a spirit, like in the story the Christmas Carol. I think he is like Christmas past, present and future all in one.
I tell people that I hate the holidays. The reality is that I love them so much it breaks my heart to know that they come and then they end. It is sad to know that strangers have the potential of being so kind to one another, but only live up to that potential for a brief time each year. Remember that you have Christmas kindness and charity in your heart all year.
Always remember to enjoy the holidays. I mean this. Stop every year and absorb the smell, sights and sounds around you. You will treasure the memories especially as you get older. The memories are priceless and all of the money in the world couldn’t buy them. These are the gifts.
Santa is the magic of the way Christmas makes you feel. As you get older Christmas with be wrapped with memories and those memories are the true magic. You will remember the way the house smelled when cookies were baking. The way the tree looked lit up in the window of your childhood home. You will remember your Grandmother’s dinners and the way everyone laughed around the table. You’ll remember smells, songs and special people. 30 years from now you will remember only a handful of actual presents that you got for Christmas. You will remember the great gifts you gave people and the way it made you feel when they were pleased.
I know that you know Christmas is about Jesus’ birthday and that is the true meaning, but it is hard to remember that with all of the commercials and focus on Santa and the presents. I just want you to know what the most important presents really are. You and Megan give me the greatest gifts that I could ever get and you give them all year. You give me the gift of laughter, pride and purpose. Even to worry about you is a gift. It reminds me that I have very important responsibilities in my life and a wonderful reason to be here. There is nothing that could go under a tree as valuable as that.
Yes, there is a Santa. You are Santa, I am Santa, every person with a giving spirit is. It is that spirit that keeps the tradition alive year after year. You have a very mature responsibility not to spoil the idea of a jolly elf in a red-suit for younger kids. It is a brief and exciting time for little ones. You also have the huge responsibility of carrying on the tradition of giving.
It makes me a little sad that you don’t believe in the red-suited elf, but never doubt what Santa symbolizes. The magic is always in the giving, not the gift.
Each year, when my little boys would come home from pre-school, kindergarten and first grade, I would show off additional kid ornaments that they had made or was purchased. As I put them on the tree, it seemed some of my adult ones would come off and be stored away in the box. I eventually turned the white lights into colored lights. Now seven years later, there are no more silver or blue snowflakes on the tree. I only realized it this year, after I finished decorating and looked down at what was left unused on the floor.
I once again giggled when I realized that actually NOW I have real grown-up, beautiful, perfect, Christmas tree. Except this tree is the type found in Parents Magazine and not Better Homes and Gardens!