A Blend of Life, Family, Awareness & Tales

Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

Pedicure.

“I want to polish your nails, Mom.”

For just a second I flinched. It was the beginning of summer, flip flop season and I didn’t really want to walk around with toes like that… Wait a minute, I thought to myself, Toes like what?

Toes painted lovingly by my 10 year old daughter? Toes with slightly crazy colors? Toes with designs I would never think of or dare to paint?

What would people think of a 44 year old woman wearing such a pedicure? Suddenly I realized who was going to see my toes; a bunch of moms like me at Target on a Tuesday morning, or maybe at the school gym during my son’s basketball practice. Who cares what they think? (Well, I did.) But I realized I cared more about what my daughter thought. Weren’t the thoughts flowing through her head and heart more important than what a bunch of strangers think of my polish choices? And again, who really cares what someone thought about my nails, if they even noticed them at all.

I had quite an “aha” moment right there. Since when was worrying that someone may find me a little eccentric more important than allowing my daughter the joy of doing something special for me? How often had I said no to her doing my hair or makeup or makeup because I might leave the house later? The time we spend together is so much more important.

Right then and there I had an attitude adjustment.

“I would love for you to do my nails, sweetie.”

“Really?” She sounded astounded. “You’re sure it’s ok?”

She ran to get the polish and by the time she returned, I decided she would do my nails the entire summer.

This was the first, and I thought it was marvelous!

This was the first, and I thought it was marvelous!

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And the second also very fun!

Fun for a vacation to the North woods.

Special for a vacation to the North woods.

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Photo pre-clean up, but you get the idea!

So I have to say, I was a little self conscious of this one, only because it was worn to my Grandma's funeral. Grandma would have loved the artistry though, I am sure.

So I have to say, I was a little self conscious of this one, only because it was worn to my Grandma’s funeral. Grandma would have loved the artistry though, I am sure.

Probably my favorite!

Probably my favorite!

Although this one was awesome too!

Although this one was awesome too!

 

Geometric!
Geometric!
And lastly, the one my daughter calls the

And lastly, the one my daughter calls the “Galaxy.” It was a beauty.

I’m going back to boring old single-color nails for the fall. They hardly ever peek out anymore now that the weather has gotten cooler, but they had a good run. If I am lucky she will offer to do my nails again, and you can bet there will be no hesitation from me.

Run!

gotr1

About a year and a half ago, my daughter asked if she could join our local chapter of Girls on the Run (GOTR).

What is Girls on the Run, you ask? GOTR is a fantastic organization, and if you haven’t heard of it, here is a quick down and dirty right from the website:  Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. In other words, an awesome program that helps girls build character and confidence, culminating with running a 5K.

So, as I said, she asked me if she could join this great program.

My brain froze. “How is she going to do this with Type 1 Diabetes. I can’t run with her, how will I know she is ok? She’s only in the 4th grade, I can’t expect her to take care of this on her own.”

Then the voice of reason reminded me of something our endocrinologist always says, “What would you do in this situation if she didn’t have type 1? Whatever that answer is, that is what you should do.” I took a deep breath and realized that if it weren’t for type 1, I wouldn’t have hesitated. What gave me the final boost is that a friend who also has type 1 was a coach.

My daughter loved the feeling of freedom she gained from GOTR. She loved running. She loved being with her friends without me lurking in the background.

Fast forward a few weeks. My daughter asked me to be her running buddy for the 5K. My brain froze. “I don’t run. My daughter runs, I have friends who run. I don’t run.” My best friend (a runner) offered to run for me, but when I sat down and really thought about it, I reasoned with myself. “I should run with my daughter. What a great bonding experience. How hard can it be, I mean she’s only in 4th grade.”

We had a practice 5K. My daughter left me in the dust, but I was able to slowly jog about half of it and walked the rest. The real GOTR 5K was next, and I was so inspired by GOTR that half way through the run I committed to coach the next season. (The endorphins made me do it!)

Last fall I helped coach my daughter’s GOTR team, and what a great experience that was. We started as a group of girls and women who may or may not have known each other. We had some girls who had never run any distance before. We had girls who were shy or maybe had only a few friends. We had girls who had no confidence in their ability to run 3.1 miles. Over the ten weeks we became a group of friends. A group of girls and women who supported and cheered for one another. A group of girls who, no matter what age or grade they were, had something in common with one another.

Our fall practice run was on a crisp autumn afternoon. We had some veterans on the crew, some 4th or 5th graders who knew what to expect, but we also had girls who had never run as far as we were about to. We set off and what a sight to behold, girls who had just weeks before, never run more than across a playground, were completing their goal of running a 5K. One by one they crossed the finish line, breathing hard but with smiles on their faces. They had done it.

Days later, we completed the GOTR fall run, and those darn endorphins took over again. I volunteered to be the head coach for our GOTR chapter for the spring session.

Yep, you heard that right. By the time the race was over, I was convinced I had what it takes. I still couldn’t run an entire 5K, but somehow I felt moved to be a bigger part of this organization.

I never regretted that decision. It was a little bit of extra work, and a little bit of extra worry for all those girls, but what I got back was something so fulfilling. I felt like maybe I’ve made a difference in even one of those girls lives. I like to think that the support that I gave helped them in some way. And I hope that my involvement made my daughter proud.

I was my daughter’s running buddy again last Saturday, and again she left me in the dust. But you know what is cool? My son was inspired by all this running, and he entered the run too. He’s nine years old, but that day he was my support system, my running buddy. He kept me running, he kept himself running, and the three of us all reached our goal. We all were able to run the entire 5K without any walking, some of us slower than others, but we ran. I am so proud of both of my children, and I am proud of me.

Nevertheless, the time has come to hang up my coaching sneakers, as my daughter has come to the end of her GOTR career. I will always look back fondly to the miles I shared with her and all the girls on our team.

 

One Wish.

One Wish.

If I had one wish, it would be a wish for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). It would allow my daughter to go to the park, or school, or wherever she wanted without worrying if she brought her test strips, her ‘poker,’ insulin, fast acting carbs, and extra supplies of all kinds. It would allow her to go to a sleepover without her mom. It would allow her to go to college without us worrying that she will check her own blood sugar at two in the morning or worse yet, not wake up. It would allow her to have a baby without constant monitoring and worrying about her unborn child. And finally it would allow her to grow old some day without the worry of heart disease, blindness, kidney failure or any of the other complications that are often caused by T1D.

One Wish.

It might be selfish, that if gifted one wish, I would spend it on my daughter. But this one wish is for the eighty people in the U.S., half of them just children, who are diagnosed each day with T1D. Nearly 30,000 people in our country alone each year are added to the 3,000,000 U.S. citizens that are testing, injecting, counting and treating all day every day. A cure would potentially eliminate the nearly $15 billion in T1D healthcare costs racked up in the U.S. each year. (JDRF)

Just this past week, I was put in touch with a mother hours before her son was diagnosed. They had not yet gone to the doctor, and after communicating with her I was 90% sure her son had T1D. I imagine she still had hope that what she had read, the signs that her son was showing were simply coincidences, it couldn’t be something that would happen to her son. Truly I wish they hadn’t been added to the T1D family.

One Wish.

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It was the theme of this year’s JDRF Gala in our chapter. I didn’t come up with the theme, but what a beautiful one it was. I am a member of our Gala planning committee, so I can say I am proud of what we accomplished again this year.  Our one beautiful evening, with the help of countless volunteers, donors and bidders, raised

$450,432

Yes, you read that right, nearly a half a million dollars that will be used to not only improve the lives of those with T1D with better working technology and insulin, but also used for research that will one day lead to a cure. These dollars were the result of a collection local people and businesses and their generosity. The gala committee itself is diverse, and what an honor to be included. It was so fun to see one another at this grand event after months of planning. The donors, which ranged from local firefighters to a coach that lead our university to the Final Four this spring, are heroes in my book. We even had a beautiful young woman willing to share her T1D story with all of us, and I can say that more that once my eyes filled with tears with not sadness, but with all the hope that came with this evening.

One Wish.

So yes, I have one wish. A wish that we could all come together some day and say, “Remember when we used to plan that big party to raise money for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes,” and maybe someone new in the crowd would say, “Diabetes, what’s that?” That is my wish.

I really enjoy this video, and was so pleased to see it at the gala last night.

Thank you to all the Gala Committee members. It has been a true pleasure working with all of you, and look forward to next year. Plus last night was a blast!

 

Sleepover.

Since my little girl was old enough to make friends I have been dreading the tear-filled conversation we were going to have when she wasn’t invited to an overnight party because of her diabetes. My concern that some Monday morning all of her classmates would be reminiscing about staying up all Saturday night, and then asking her why she wasn’t there.

Little did I know this was an unnecessary worry. My little girl is giggling in another room with eight other girls,watching movies and slowly settling to sleep. Little did I know how open and accommodating another family could be, allowing me to crash their party, eat their pizza and even sleep on their couch (and drink a little of their wine too!). I so appreciate the kindness of this family to not exclude our little girl just because it might have been difficult, just because they knew that I might have to tag along for the night.

Tonight’s act was one I might expect from family or my closest friend. While we know this family whose house I am in tonight, I am sure it is a bit uncomfortable having me stay in their living room! Tonight reminded me that our actions, no matter how simple, may have a profound effect on others. This family invited our daughter to a sleepover. I wonder what effect we can have on someone tomorrow?

Proud.

Two weeks ago we became the very proud parents of a daughter who earned her first belt in Mixed Martial Arts, the White Belt with Gold Stripe.

As proud as we are, no one is prouder than our little lady herself. In September we signed her up at our local Martial Arts school on the recommendation of several current students. We knew it was a good school, as we had heard good things. What we had no idea about was how great this school for teaching not only Martial Arts, but just teaching about life itself. Our little girl has always been a fantastic kid, but it is so cool to see her embrace the respect and attention that this has required of her.

“Graduation” night came and she was so nervous. My Mom ironed her uniform(I don’t own an iron. I suspect my Mom is appalled by this). Grandma, Grandpa, Brother, Dad and myself squeezed into the very crowded room. As I watched our little girl(with a pack of Smarties in my hand just in case her blood sugar went low), I thought about how awesome it would be if she continued her training. I daydreamed that she would earn her black belt someday. Thought about how one day in college she might encounter a less than desirable young man who would quickly learn his lesson if he tried to be too aggressive. I pictured her competing Karate Kid style, in front of a large crowd chanting her name. Heck, maybe she could even be a role-model for kids with Type 1 Diabetes…

I came back to the moment. I have a tendency to dream big, but that night I realized that what we had right there was enough. We have a great daughter, a daughter with a “White belt with Gold Stripe,” and you know what, she already is a role model for other kids.

We’re proud of you Pumpkin. And you should always be proud of yourself too!

Back to School Blues

School is starting in just over two weeks, and for the first time in seven years, I am going to be home alone all day, five days a week.

What will I do, you ask? Well I have big plans. But that is not what this post is about. These past few years I have been getting together with other moms in town. One mom in particular has become a very close friend of mine. But never have any of us gotten together during the week just as grown-ups. Nope, we get together because “the boys want to play,” or because of a playgroup I am part of.

The boys will be at school this year, and my excuse to go to the library for storytime, the park, open gym or even McDonald’s playland, is gone. Truthfully, I didn’t do all those things simply because the kids enjoyed them, but because I did too. We get an hour where we can’t do housework or laundry. We get an hour where we can chat guilt-free and even gossip a little. I will truly miss getting together with you this fall, and though I know we may still chat, I fear it will not be the same.

Will I be kicked out of storytime if I don’t bring a kid?

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