Discovering A’s T1D [Type 1 Diabetes]

I am in shock.  Complete disbelief.  I just needed somewhere to get my thoughts out, and here it is…  A was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last week.  How can this be?!?

For the past month or so, A has been famished and thirsty almost constantly.  Husband and I have been thinking she must be going through a growth spurt… she’s 3!  And on top of that, she constantly wanted water at bedtime, so our immediate first thought was that she was stalling.  Here’s how we found out…

  • Saturday morning (June 17):  A complained that her lower back hurt and asked for a bucket because she thought she was going to throw up.  Sure enough, she throws up right after drinking her milk.  The rest of the day she’s really tired, ASKING to take a nap BEFORE lunch time.  Very unusual.  We just assume she’s sick.  No more throwing up that day.
  • Sunday (June 18):  A seems back to normal, but needs to pee every 30 minutes.  No complaints about anything though and seems in good spirits.
  • Monday morning (June 19):  A complains that it hurts to pee.  My immediate thought is that she has a UTI.  No big deal.  Schedule an appointment with the doctor for 9:00 am.  Husband takes her.  They do the pee test, no sign of infection, but sugar level is high.  They follow up with a finger prick glucose test.  Sugar level is OFF THE CHART!  Doctor says A must be admitted to the hospital, she has all the signs of Type 1 Diabetes.  Husband calls me to tell me over the phone.  I’m in disbelief.  I keep telling him this must be a mistake.  The hospital is going to check her and then we’ll be sent home, right?
  • Monday afternoon (June 19):  We arrive at the hospital.  They immediately draw blood and check her urine for ketones.  All levels are high:  Blood glucose, urine glucose, ketones.  There is no doubt.  A must stay for 3 days for monitoring and husband and I must stay for “training.”  What??  Training?!?


I had no idea that T1D was going to be such a life-changer for our entire family.  I did not realize that T1D meant that my poor little girl would be forever dependent on insulin injections and constant monitoring of her blood.

I was ignorant of the facts about T1D, and now I must face the ignorance of others when they hear about A’s condition.  No, we didn’t do anything to CAUSE THIS.  No, it cannot be cured.  No, there is no pill.  Yes, she must receive insulin injections EVERY DAY for the REST OF HER LIFE.  There is no simple solution.  Every action she takes will have a direct effect on her glucose levels:  How much she exercises, how much she eats, how healthy or sick she is…  And we must be vigilant in checking her, and treating her, and feeding her.  Yet, we must also make sure that she does not feel alienated, or ashamed, or too “different.”  What a complex balance this life will be!

But A is a sweet and vivacious and smart and charming little girl.  And if anyone can live with this, I know that she can.  She is starting to come to terms with it.  She understands that before every meal we must do a check (blood glucose check) and a poke (insulin injection).  She tells me every night, “tomorrow I will have a waffle and yogurt and banana for breakfast but first we must do my check and my poke!”  And she doesn’t complain when I tell her she can only have peanut butter or cheese for a snack (rather than goldfish or cookies).  She still wimpers a bit before we do her poke, but she’s getting a little better about it.  And we ALWAYS do Rufus first.  Rufus is her little diabetic bear friend that we got at the hospital (thanks to JDRF).

Though these last 2 weeks have been quite the shock, we are doing the best that we can.  We are surviving, because that’s what we do.  And if anyone can do this, it’s us.

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Last year, we didn’t have a chance to decorate for the holidays since we moved into our new home on December 14th and we had like, barely any furniture.  So this year, we’re (or I should say “I’m“) super excited to decorate for the holidays, particularly since this will be the Bug’s very 1st Christmas!

On Black Friday, my Mom and I went out to brave the crowds and do a bit of shopping.  We stopped by Michaels to get some holiday inspiration and found that they were having some pretty incredible deals on holiday stuff!  Pretty much everything was 50% off, plus I got a really basic 9 foot garland for only $1.99.  So this post is dedicated to my first bit of Christmas decorating.

My Mom bought Ava a really cute embroidered quilt stocking from Pottery Barn Kids.  I decided that I wanted to hang it on the staircase banister since we don’t have a proper mantle to hang stockings from.  So this is where my garland is set up.

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The garland started out as a simple, 9 foot pine branch.  I wound the garland around the banister, through every 3rd banister pole.  Then I added the ribbon and bulbs to give it some character.  The ribbon is also from Michaels (It was 50% off too!).  If you’re shopping on any day other than Black Friday, you can get a coupon for just about any day of the week for 40% or 50% one regularly priced item if you go to the Michaels website on your smartphone.

I crafted the bow myself using the wire ribbon and hot glue to mold it into the shape I wanted.


Then I wound the ribbon around the banister loosely to create a flowing and effortless look.


I’m starting to really get into the holiday mood!  Next weekend we plan to get our Christmas tree and finish decorating the house.  There will definitely be more to come!

Ava & the ‘H’ … [another DIY Marquee Letter]

I am in LOVE with marquee letters.  And since the Hubs, the Bugs, and I have moved into our new home, I have been frantically trying to fill all the gigantic, blank white walls with art.  We started with the major living spaces… [ living room, nursery, master bedroom ] … But now that the Bug is 7 months old and learning to be more mobile, we wanted to set up the loft as a cool hangout spot for her to learn to crawl and for us to relax.  The only problem was that the room is so terribly dull and boring with nothing but a gray sectional couch and a piano.  So when I came across the idea of a marquee letter for wall art, I was totally excited!  But wait… they’re like, $100s of dollars!  But waittt… I can make one myself?!?

Yeah, I know… I’m a little late to the game.  This has been done over and over again in so many different ways… [ poster board, aluminum flashing, wood <–this last one being our biggest inspiration ] …But my method just might inspire someone else!  Due to the hard wood border, this method would really only work for letters that have “boxy” angles and no curves — Such as the letters H, I, or L.  I hope you like the finished product and that it inspires you to go for it!

I will say that this project took some time.  And patience.  And a loving husband and happy baby who were willing to put up with another one of Mom’s crazy projects.  Enjoy!

Tools & Materials

  • Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) large enough to cut your letter out of (0.5 in. thick)
  • Wood hobby boards (approximately 0.25 in. x 1.5 in. x 48 in. — enough pieces to outline your letter)  – (like these from Home Depot)
  • Paint and brushes
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer and nails
  • DAP acrylic (paintable) caulk
  • Hot glue gun
  • Jigsaw
  • Electric drill with drill bits for cutting out holes for the lights
  • Globe string lights (like these from Target)


Map out your letter and where you want the lights to be located in pencil on the MDF.  We found out (by chance) that MDF was a really great material to work with because it does not splinter when cut with the jigsaw (yay!).  That means less work for you trying to smooth out the cut edges.

Carefully cut out your letter using the jigsaw.


Drill holes.  Test out the size you need on a scrap piece of wood first to make sure that the lights fit.  Measure and cut the hobby board border (sorry…I didn’t get any pictures of this step!).

Paint all the pieces.  I decided to buy a tester size of wall paint for the primary letter color (tester size only costs about $3.95 and you can get pretty much any color imaginable).  I chose a yellowy-orange.  For the border pieces I used a spray can of Rustoleum paint and primer in one in a metallic chestnut brown.

Since the border is 2 inches in depth, I decided to use small pieces of MDF as spacers on the back side of the letter to create a hide-y space for the light wires.  These I attached with wood glue.

Assemble the pieces.  We found that a combination of wood glue and nails worked best.  Nails went easily through the hobby board and into the MDF.

Caulk the seams with DAP.  Since the letter was cut with a jigsaw, caulking will cover up any imperfections in the seams.

Touch up the paint.  Try not to kill the grass, ‘mkay?

Insert the string of lights.  If you bought the string lights that I used, you should be able to remove bulbs that you do not need and the strand will stay lit.  I used hot glue to keepthe sockets in place in the holes, but make sure to test out the lights beforehand to make sure that they do not get too hot!

Isn’t she a thing of beauty?

I’m so proud of the Hubs for learning how to jigsaw for me and the H.

I think I see a Bug in here!

Now onto the next project!

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