Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Connor's Story


I cannot believe I haven't posted anything since September!  I am going to try really, really hard to post a lot more.  I wanted to share a story that Connor created in his kindergarten class for his Author Party back in December.  He is very proud of his book and I thought I would share it with you.  He wanted to write a story about his brother's diabetes.  This is his interpretation of Bradley's diabetes and he created this all on his own.  It is such a sweet glimpse of what Bradley and our family go through every day.  When Connor was reading this story aloud at school, it brought tears to my eyes.  It is amazing how much he understands about diabetes.  I love how much he loves his brother and how it comes across in his story.    Enjoy!!














Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Walk to Cure Diabetes



On Saturday, November 2nd, we are going to participate in the Walk to Cure Diabetes for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  It is a fundraiser to help support kids with diabetes and to advance treatment and find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. You can visit our JDRF Walk to the Cure Team Page  We are asking for for friends and families to help support us with whatever you can. You can either donate to our team or even join us for the walk! A small amount from a lot friends will add up quickly. I truly believe that Bradley will have a cure for his diabetes in his life time. 40 years ago Bradley would have not have had the same treatment he has today because of research. He would have expected to have serious complications such as blindness and amputations. But, thanks to advances in diabetes care he can live a full and healthy life. Before 1969, there was no way for a person with diabetes to test their blood sugar levels. Now we have blood glucose meters that are affordable and very accurate. In the 1980s and 1990s genetic engineers created new types of insulin that are identical to what is in your body. Without these advancements my son would have had a very different life and I am so thankful for these amazing advancements. Please help us support the #1 foundation that supports diabetes research and treatment.


Thanks for watching! Here is the link to our Team Page

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Type 1 Diabetes 101




Today at the zoo, making silly faces 



I made it to the zoo today with the boys- by myself! You're probably going- okay, so what? It's hard to understand, but the easiest way to explain how it feels taking Brad out is to compare it to taking a newborn home from the hospital for the first time or your first trip to the store with your week old baby.  It's a little scary. You worry about something happening to them. Do I have everything before I leave the house?  Do I have his meter, test strips, insulin, syringes, juices, glucagon, etc... That is how it feels to take him anywhere. Connor was so excited to go to the zoo. He thought we were treating him since he has been the great, big brother.  The trip to the zoo was a success and we even ate lunch at the pond together! It was Bradley's first meal outside the house since we have been home from the hospital except for eating at my mom's house once. We are doing great! A lot of adjustments and mixed emotions but we are also feeling very blessed that Bradley is doing very well.

One of the biggest things that I have become aware of since Brad's diagnosis is the misunderstanding about what he has and what has caused him to have diabetes. I saw this really simple chart on Pinterest that gave some great information about type 1 diabetes and not confusing it with type 2. Bradley has TYPE 1 diabetes. I know we will constantly be educating people about what he has and helping people understand the differences between the two. Don't feel bad if you are one of the friends or family members that confused the two.  I didn't have NO idea what either one of them were a few weeks ago. My only knowledge of diabetes came from Steel Magnolias and that was no help!  



But here is a little TYPE ONE 101 to help you understand what Bradley has.  Most of this is from a pin on Pinterest. I tried just inserting the actual pin but it wasn't working for you to read it well. If you want to see the real pin go to my Pinterest board :) 

This is what I hear almost every day "My grandma has diabetes too. She can't have any sugar, but can cure it with diet and exercise."

No, that is not what Bradley has. Brad has Type ONE diabetes. It sounds likes your grandma has type two. 



What is Type ONE diabetes??

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops making insulin. You need insulin to get energy from food. 

How does this happen?
Bradley's body immune system attack and destroyed the cells that produce insulin in his pancreas. 

Is Bradley unhealthy?
No- it has nothing to do with his diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent Type 1 Diabetes and nothing you can do to get rid of it. 

scary faces


BIG EYE OPENER:  
26 million Americans have diabetes
3 million have Type 1 Diabetes

Here are a lot of misunderstanding about diabetes

* Taking insulin is not a cure, but it keeps Brad alive
* There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes
* Obesity has no relationship to the cause of Type 1 Diabetes. Eating too much sugar is not a factor either.
*People with T1D can eat anything, but need to eat a balanced healthy diet. ( how everyone is supposed to eat)


Bradley's hero


Saying 'hi' to strangers at the zoo









Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Beginnings

My little trooper playing at the park after being in the hospital for almost a week.


They say that your life can change in a split second. Late morning on Friday, August 9, 2013 has been the most tragic and shocking day in my entire life. That day we were told that Bradley has Type 1 Diabetes. Bradley was rushed in an ambulance to University of New Mexico Hospital, because his sugar levels were so high that he could have gone into a diabetic coma.

How did we find out he had diabetes??
I thought I was going to the doctors to get some diaper rash cream for a rash that would not go away and to discuss why my son have developed a habit for drinking too much water and minutes later I find out that my son has diabetes. For about a month, Bradley has been drinking non-stop. He could drink 2 sippy cups each hour all day long. He was also wetting his diapers insanely fast. He could pee out of his clothes in 45 minutes if I didn't change him quick enough. I thought that since he was drinking so much it was causing him to pee more. But it was much more than that. His blood was so full of sugars since it could not convert it into energy. His body was not producing insulin so his body was trying to flush out the sugars with water. When we arrived at UNMH, we also found out he had Ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis means your body starts to breakdown the fat and protein storage in your body since his body wasn't receiving enough fuel (sugars) which caused him to have a high level of acid in his body.  It can be very dangerous and has to be closely monitored in intensive care.
 Playing at Pete's Playground at UNMH
Playing at UNMH
How did he get diabetes?
Type I Diabetes is an auto-immune disease. Bradley was born with the gene and something triggered his body to attack his pancreas. It could have been a virus or environmental triggers OR this was just his time to get it. He did not get diabetes because he ate too many sugars. He did not get diabetes because he is unhealthy. No matter what my son eats or drinks he will still have diabetes.

What is Type I Diabetes?
Type I Diabetes is disease where your body does produce insulin. When you eat anything with carbohydrates your blood absorbs the carbs and then uses insulin to convert them into energy. Bradley's body stopped producing insulin so his blood was just full of sugars that wasn't converting into energy. When you have Type 1 diabetes you become insulin dependent. Which means we have to inject insulin to help his body convert his sugars to energy. With that, you have to worry about them getting to much or too little insulin (hypergylcemic and hypoglycemic). You determine how much insulin to give them based on their current sugar levels and how many total carbs they consume for each meal. So, Brad cannot eat something with carbs without insulin (unless it only has a few grams of carbs).  There is no cure for Type I Diabetes. Bradley will have to manage and be aware of his diabetes for the rest of his life or until science make a breakthrough.

 How do we manage his diabetes?
Since he is very young, managing his diabetes is very challenging. His body is so little that the amount of insulin that he receives is insanely small. His gets half a unit of insulin for each 20g carbs that he consumes. A half unit is about the size of the tip of a pencil. So it is very easy to give too much or too little.  You have to be extremely careful or he could die. His body is also sensitive to the insulin since his body also decides to occasionally make insulin of its own sometimes which throws his levels off too. This will eventually go away, it is not a cure. We are checking his blood sugar levels every 2 hours during the day and several times during the night time. Diet is extremely important. He has to make sure and eat very healthy all the time. It can cause many problems if his blood sugar spikes too high.  His goal is to eat 30 grams of carbs for each meal, and a no carb or light carb snack. He is not allowed to have any liquid sugars except if he has low blood sugar.
Having fun with daddy yesterday at the park

How is he doing?
Bradley is doing amazing with his insulin shots and blood sugar checks. He does not even cry anymore when we have to give them, except when he is sleeping. The hardest thing is that he is not allowed to graze on crackers or have a second helping of mashed potatoes but that will come with time. His levels are still up and down but that is very common in early stages of diabetes, especially for very young diabetics. We are very optimistic that since he got it at such a young age that this will be very normal to him and he won't feel any different than anyone else. This will just be something that is a small part of his life that he has to manage but that does not define who he is.

How are we doing?
Right now our #1 goal is to become educated all we can about diabetes. A week and half ago I didn't know ANYTHING about diabetes. UNMH did an amazing job educating us about diabetes. They did not let us go home until we were ready and comfortable. My emotions are all over the place. Sometimes I am fine and other times I am complete mess. I have no choice but try to hold it together since his life depends on our composure.

Brotherly fun at the park 
How is Connor?
Connor is also doing very well with it. He has had a couple of meltdowns but for the most part has done a great job being a strong, big brother. We've had many discussions about the changes and what is going on with Bradley. He seems to understand pretty well what is going on and why things are different. He is very excited to start school and soccer soon.  

If you are still reading, I want to thank all my wonderful family and friends for all the support, prayers, and offers to help. We appreciate it so very much. We are very lucky to have such amazing friends and family. Thank you for everything. It means a lot to me and my family.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Our Trip to Pagosa Springs

Here are some photos of our family trip to Pagosa Springs.  We camped in Pagosa for 5 days and we visited a lot of neighboring towns, such as, Creede, Durango, Wolfe Creek, and South Fork.  I loved Creede. It is a cute historical mining town and we ate lunch at the old firehouse that they have in town. We also went to a mining museum and we also got special VIP treatment! Since Josh is a firefighter, they took us to an old mining firehouse which is not open to the public.  Wolfe Creek was also amazing. It seriously is one of the most prettiest places I have ever been. We also spent a day in Durango. I had to visit Durango- it is one of my favorite towns ever! I always tell Josh I could seriously live there.  We ate lunch overlooking the train station and then cruised through all the cute shops. We had a great time and I cannot wait to go back camping!!


We love camping!!

 Feeding goats at the Pagosa Springs Wildlife Park

Trophy picture

 An elk at the wildlife park

 Bradley feeding goats for the first time!

 Wow- what big antlers you have!

 Feeding chipmunks in Creede

 At the Mining Museum in Creede

 More chipmunks!

 At an old one room schoolhouse in Pagosa at the 
Fred Harman Museum 

 Some of Josh's scenic photos

 We saw so many of these guys!







 Inside the mines in Creede

    Our banana split from The Malt Shoppe in 
Pagosa Springs

Sunday, July 7, 2013

25 Things You Didn't Know About Me TAG

Hi Everyone!

If you visit my blog often you know that my blog is mostly about my kids and most of my pictures are always of my kids.  You may have even noticed that very few pictures are actually of me on my blog.  I actually hate pictures of me and really avoid it.  I saw this tag on some of the YouTube channels that I watch and I thought it would be fun to do one of myself on my blog. You are supposed to come up with 25 random things that others do not know not about you.  Some of you may know some of these things about me, but most of them are things that my husband and close family and friends only know.



So here it goes- 25 Things You Didn't Know About Me!

1.  I am terrified of heights- I even have trouble sitting on bleachers at a stadium.  I get very dizzy and my legs get very shaky when I am even remotely high.

2.  I love nail polish! I change my nail polish almost every day and I have almost 100 different colors of nail polish.
Some people ask me "how do you find time to paint your nails every day?" I always tell them it's relaxing and I usually do it after the kids are in bed and we are just watching TV.

3. I have one tattoo! I love it and I have no regrets.  I have had it for about six or seven years (not sure). It is an ichthus on my lower back. One day I hope to add something to it, maybe flowers.

4.  I am a worrier. I worry about everything and sometimes it makes me sick and it even gives me nightmares.  I try to work on it and I know it does not accomplish anything but it is really hard for me.

5.  I have a very hard time making decisions and get very picky about certain things especially when it comes to home decorating.  I have a lot of bare walls and spaces. Not because I don't like decorating but because I cannot make up my mind on what I really want and can't quite afford some styles that I do like so I end up with nothing.

6.  I hate whistling!  It is so annoying and drives me CRAZY!  Josh thinks it is quite funny and likes to annoy me with his dreadful whistle. He also has taught our bird to whistle like him.  The only person that I can stand to whistle is my dad.

7.  I am a detailed oriented person. If you changed your eye shadow color, if you are wearing a new foundation or shaved your sideburns slightly different, I probably noticed.

8.  I am very hard to get along with. I get very grumpy and I think my hard decision making and pickiness can get very annoying to others.  Luckily, Josh is very easy going and complements my difficult personality.

9.  I hate the smell of Corn Nuts! They have the worst smell in the world.  I don't know how anyone could put them in their mouth and eat them.  I feel like I am going to throw up just thinking about the smell. Yuck!

10.  This is really gross.. and I cannot believe I am actually telling you this, I like the smell of cow manure.  Not when it's overwhelming and really strong, but just a light breezy smell of cow manure.  I think it brings back good memories of my childhood at my grandfather's ranch.


11.  Before I decided to become a teacher, I wanted to be a doctor.  I actually took a lot of career enrichment courses in high school for PreMed. While everyone was reading Romeo and Juliet I was reading Gray's Anatomy. I had an internship at UNM and even flew to Houston with my class to observe an open heart surgery.  It was a dream of mine for a long time, but I decided it wasn't for me.  I knew I still wanted to help people. But, not as a doctor, instead I decided that being a teacher was a better fit for me.  I think I made a great decision!

12. If I wasn't a teacher what would I want to be? I think I would really enjoy being a photographer, being a book reviewer or even something in beauty. I love nail polish and most recently makeup!

13.  I am obsessed with people's eyes.

14.  I LOVE reading and sometimes I can get too lost in my books.  I have to make sure and not be consumed in my reading and not shut out the real world.  I try to mostly only read at night when the kids are already in bed and mostly only on the nights that Josh works.

15.  When I was little, I could drink a glass of water and then shake my stomach and you could actually hear the water sloshing around in my stomach!

16.  I get extreme motion sickness. I even have a hard time riding in the FRONT seat of a car!  I am the worst person to go with to an amusement park because I don't ride anything exciting.

17.  I have a fear of flying.  I always think the plane is going to crash and it doesn't help that I am terrified of heights.  I get very paranoid even with the slightest turbulence.  Plus, I get sick!

18.  I love blankets- even it is 100 degrees, I have to have a blanket on me.  I always have one if I am sitting on the couch.

19.  I am allergic to cats very badly. I also have a slight allergy to melons but I can still eat them.

20.  I hate chinese food and don't know why chinese buffets are so popular. Connor loves chinese buffets and so do my in-laws and I just don't get it. They are so disgusting! Disclaimer: I eat PF Changs and Pei Wei. :)

21.  I hate coke and never drink it.  I only drink water, tea and Starbucks!

22.  I have never been on a train, not even the rail runner.

23.  I am obsessed with adventure films like Troy, Gladiator and The Lord of the Rings.

24.  I have read the Harry Potter series about four times.  I know I am a nerd!

25.  I hope to one day have my own YouTube channel reviewing books. I actually already have one made but I do not have any videos on it yet.  I have one million excuses why I haven't started it.


Well, hopefully you learned a little more about me and I hope you will also do this tag!  I didn't think I was going to come up with 25 things but it was actually easier once I started my list.  If you decide to do this tag, let me know! I would love to read it!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!


I hope everyone has a great Independence Day!  I decided to take some pictures of the boys this morning at the park. I was feeling a little down yesterday and I thought no better way to cheer me up then to take some pictures of my adorable boys at the park.  I am sure Brad was anxious to get out of the house this morning too. He was inside most of the day yesterday. On Tuesday, he fell and cut through his lower lip. He had to get four stitches on his inside lower lip. He is doing very well today. He is still having trouble eating and drinking but he is getting better. Hope everyone has a great day! Enjoy your day with your family and friends!  We are excited for a day at the grandparents and a firework show in the evening!


Doing much better!


So sweet and handsome!


My little rock star!


He was very photogenic today! No cheesy smiles today!


Look at those beautiful eyes!


What you see Bradley?


All of the pictures of Bradley are on the slide! 
His favorite. 


He is always sticking out his tongue!  It helps him concentrate. :)
If you look closely you can see one of his stitches in his mouth. 


Handsome boy!


My little monkey.


Happy 4th!!