Thursday, June 29, 2006

Smoky Mountain Highs

It was a long drive-- three days to get there, two for the return trip. Through the endless flats of Indiana (that included a reverent nod to French Lick, just fifty miles west); to a lush and very wet Kentucky; and finally on into the mountains of Tennessee and Western North Carolina...

Oh yes, we were up there.

Unfortunately, so were Joseph's blood sugars-- proving an almost mirror image of those mountain peaks.

Corrections, temp basals, larger meal boluses... it didn't matter. Once again, we found that just sitting in the car for many hours makes our son almost impervious to the effects of insulin.

He will go high.

Thankfully, however, blood sugars improved as we settled in for a fabulous visit with Ryan's brother and his wife that included: traipsing around downtown Chapel Hill;

hiking through woods and discovering both an astounding number of polywogs and a skirmish between an owl and two blue jays; ah yes-- the eating of grits, among other fine foods; spending a lovely afternoon by a lake that involved much talking, fishing, and throwing of a baseball; and really just enjoying being with family.

Oh yeah, the kids also loved the almost unlimited access to cable TV.

And hey, the boy caught a turtle.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Another Road Trip

We head out early tomorrow morning-- a drive only slightly shorter than our last road trip.

This time we're taking the older vehicle, the '95 Odyssey (more of a wagon than a van, really) with 105,000 miles on her. Oh and yes, she's still burning oil.

But she's a Honda, and the guys over at the shop have complete faith in her ability to deliver us safely to our destination.

And man, we could sure use the extra room.

In addition to the usual stuff, we're taking all of Joseph's baseball gear; my and Joseph's fishing rigs (you never know when you might come across a good fishin' hole); lots of music (Ryan is a CD junkie); toys and books for Evan... you get the picture.

Anyhow, we're all really excited.

You see, our destination is North Carolina. A place neither kid has seen, and one of which Ryan and I have many fond memories. We'll be visiting Ryan's brother and his wife.

We haven't seen them in three and a half years.

Not since Evan was five months old.

Before Joseph became diabetic.

They're just not gonna recognize these kids.

We'll be away ten days, so posting may be choppy, possibly non-existent-- but if I can, I will.

For a parting smile, I thought I'd share photos from a wonderful afternoon just two weeks ago.


(Click on any one of these to see more over at Flickr.)

Beautiful kids...

and many beautiful cows...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

And Now for Something Just a Little Different

Inspired by the numbers of D-bloggers who've made changes recently to the look of their sites, I've done some tweaking of my own.

It's been kind of fun, this messin' with my Blogger template.

And more than a little frustrating.

You see, there were times when I'd make a change, and it looked really good in preview, but totally messed up when saved and re-published.


Or worse, I'd get the thing just the way I liked it, and the site would look fabulous in Mozilla Firefox (my browser) and Netscape, but all kinds of weird in Internet Explorer (seems IE is not terribly fond of the equal sign (as in color= #931), it's got to be a colon or it just ain't gonna work.


Anyhow, here's what's new-- a slightly different color scheme with a softer background; web & site search in the sidebar, and no more Blogger tool bar at the top.

Also, I put a photo from an earlier post in the header-- seems to capture the general idea here.

So hey, nothing too drastic (I'm somewhat limited by what I can do within Blogger, and of course, by my own inexperience with this sort of thing).

If you have a moment, I'd love some feedback (i.e., I pretty much kept the same font size-- would you prefer it smaller? Colors okay? I'm thinkin' I'd really like to do more.).

And yes, I'll be posting soon about something a bit more interesting-- we had a recent incident involving food that wasn't too pleasant. Hopefully, I can get that post up before we leave for vacation next Monday-- more on that as well.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Once More Into the Woods

As the school year comes to a close, Joseph and all of his classmates prepare for their annual overnight field trip to the School Forest. Now, although Joseph and Ryan went last year and had a blast, I'm once again feeling anxious about this outing. There's just so many damn variables-- out-of-the-ordinary activities; foods with a mystery number of carbs; unexpected, and in many cases, unsupervised trips into the woods . . .

Add to these things the fact that Ryan can't do the overnight this year (he's got to work like a dog all week), and that Joseph's class will be joined by four other classes-- meaning many, many more kids than last time -- well, my stomach is in more than a few knots.

Oh and yes, I'm one of the chaperones (along with my trusty three-year-old sidekick, of course).

Did I mention we'll be sleeping in tents?

And that I've not ever actually pitched a tent?

Well, not until Sunday, that is-- when for a trial run, Joseph and I put up the one we'd purchased that day.

This would be the tent we went out and bought because the one that our neighbor was willing to loan us came with no instructions and was (as he put it) "a bit of a challenge to put together."

Uh huh.

After about 45 minutes we had the thing in place, and I must say it looked quite nice-- more like a small condo than the six-person tent described on the packaging.

Of course, Joseph insisted we sleep in our new tent that very night because "Mom, it's in the backyard and it'll be fun!"

And you know what?

It was.

It also put me right back to the one and only other time I'd slept in a tent-- Joseph had figured large then as well.

Two days after our overnight in the backyard, Joseph leaves for the forest by school bus with the rest of his classmates, while I load the car with our gear-- including the two large bags full of our new tent (no matter how much folding and re-folding, there was no way I could get the darn thing and all of its components back into its original small duffle).

When Evan and I arrive, there's no one at the camp site. However, under a nearby covered pavilion there are at least a hundred rolled up sleeping bags, duffles and backpacks strewn all over and under a dozen picnic tables.

The kids are definitely here. They're just all out in the woods.

At this point, I remember that there was talk of starting the morning with a two-hour nature walk. And now I begin to worry.

What if it's like last year's walk?

I try to keep my mind off what might be happening out there by playing catch with Evan-- missing the ball repeatedly as my eyes wander to the trees surrounding the large clearing where we'll be pitching our tents. We run around, playing chase all over the very sunny, very hot, open field.

Eventually, I convince Evan to walk a little way into the woods, but she quickly gets scared and runs back to the clearing.

Man, I wish I could just hear them.

Finally, after over an hour, kids begin spilling out of the woods-- just a few at first, then dozens of them. Among them are Joseph and his buddy, Sam. They're messin' around, laughing hysterically at something only the two of them seem to understand. I feel a tremendous wave of relief, smiling as I walk toward the two boys. But as I get closer I see right away that Joseph isn't just laughing at some inside joke.

There it is-- that big goofy grin, the extreme silliness.

And as I listen to his banter-- the slurred speech.

He doesn't seem to hear me when I ask him to check his sugar. He just continues to run around -- almost staggering, really -- with his friend.

I have to chase him down, and get him to look at me before he even realizes I'm there.

"Oh Mom, we're just havin' some fun," he says, swaying a bit and sounding drunk.

Oh God.

"Honey," I say, as calmly as I can. "You seem low. Please let's just check your sugar."

"But Mom, I felt low on the walk and took a few glucose tabs. I'm fine."

"How long ago was that?"

He looks at Sam, and they both agree-- about twenty minutes earlier.

We check his sugar-- he's 53.

And suddenly he's acting cold sober, sitting on the ground and eating three more glucose tabs. We wait 15 minutes and check again.

He's 52.

Christ-- why didn't I get here before they went out in the woods?

I fight back tears as Joseph takes three more tabs.

Fifteen minutes more and he's 75.

And from that moment on -- after a huge lunch; climbing on rocks with his buddies; playing soccer; two large slices of pepperoni pizza for dinner (several teachers "delivered" the pizza to the camp); snacks that included an indeterminate amount of "puppy chow" (Chex covered in peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar), chips, cheese curls; crazy skits and songs by the campfire; numerous card games; and, my God, S'mores... yes, after an extraordinary amount of fun --

Joseph's blood sugar never went over 150 or under 73.

Even overnight.

And believe me, I checked.

Several. Times.

While the sidekick slept.