Friday, 31 December 2010

Oedipus and I'm Wrecked

This scene on from our week sees Frank out for the count on the sofa and me wrapped in blankets, reading, feeling crap.
Hello all.

Here I am raising my head again and realising a whole week has gone by.

The sniff and the red nose turned into a full-blown cold with added extras of a fever and hacking 40-a-day cough.

I managed to get through cooking for nine on Christmas Day and then declared myself an official wreck.

Frank caught the lurgy too after wishing me better by kissing me repeatedly all over my face! It has thus been a lively week in terms of BG testing and insulin needs and sleep has been lacking for all of us.

The Mexican wave of lurgy continued to our lovely French guests, Severine and Louise, who left us on Tuesday with cheery waves and hacking coughs.

Now Mr Muffinmoon has it but declares himself "at 80%" (yes, he is a nerd with numbers, great for a D-parent really).

Frank has been sleeping in with us whilst our guests were in his room and the other night Mr M left us together in the big bed to sleep well and in peace in the spare room.

Frank declared, on waking, that it would be good idea for Daddy to sleep there all the time "because I just want to be with you all the time and you're not prickly".

Be still my heart.

That boy can floor me when he says things like this and as much as I love my husband, I could so easily go for this Oedipal scene.

I like hearing him breathe and sleep so much better myself when he is with us.

I am very much in favour of co-sleeping in general and defy any family to say that their children have never forced games of musical beds into their lives!

Now with us all ill it makes sense to sleep near each other because we can and the carrot of a little bit more sleep is a potent one indeed.

So, it is New Year's Eve and we are poised to enter our third year as parents of a diabetic child.

A child that makes my heart sing like nothing else.

A child I want to raise to engage with life and never let his diabetes hold him back from taking part in anything he wants to try.


Happy New Year to you all!

Much , much love and a big hug ( at arm's length, of course, in case I infect you).
And I leave you with a photo of what remains of the Christmas Cake.
Huge great chunks of it were given away to family and friends and Frank won't eat it, but it is still tasting great and looks so lovely with its hat of nuts.

My post seems to be weirdly spaced, a bit like me this past week! Apologies for that, will try to sort it soon.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Crimble - sniff!

Here's to a merry, happy and peaceful festive season to all of you, wherever you are.
We have nine people to feed tomorrow and two arriving this evening and it's going to be so much fun.
I only hope they don't mind me looking like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with the hacking cough and fetching red nose that Santa sent for me this morning.
I need a word with that guy ...
Love to all!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Phestive Photos

It snowed again yesterday afternoon and into the evening.

Big languid flakes fell for a long time and now and our little world looks amazing.

We took Frank out on his sled and to the local shop where we stocked up on milk for hot chocolates. Even the front door is all dressed up for the season with it's wreath.

We posted some cards for our elderly neighbours as they couldn't get out and the little post box near us looked so lovely all covered in snow.

And I finally photographed the three angels Frank and I made last week.

This first one is Andrew in angel form, complete with beard.

Then there is me with stars in my long brown hair.

Followed by Frank the angel covered in garish stickers.

And the Manly Apron is complete!
Here is the man himself modelling it. I needed him to try it on to get it right as I very much winged it with the shape and size.
Frank wanted in on the posing action too, so you get two for one on this photo.

We enjoy these quiet days of staying home and hanging out together.
Tomorrow sees us at an early Winter Solstice celebration with friends and on Tuesday we will have our own little family celebration based on some of the ideas I have been soaking up from the latest Rhythm of the Home.
If any of you are unaware of this heart-warming and inspiring online resource I urge you to take a look.
Happy Sunday to you all.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Nutty Tales

One teeny, tiny, individually wrapped snickers.
For breakfast.
It all began here:
Frank and I popped out last night to visit a friend and got back in time for a light snack and a little colouring before bed.
We had just taken ourselves upstairs when someone knocked at the door and we opened it to find Santa there with some other people collecting for local charities.
Behind him was a big sleigh, all lit up and playing music.
Frank was wide-eyed and when asked what he wanted for Christmas didn't know what to say.
He's four.
He doesn't get those conversations yet.
I am holding out as long as possible with the consumerism.
We told Santa we'd like Sev to come for Christmas and that would be a great gift for us and he said he'd do his best to make sure it happened.
He then, yes, Santa, that lovely, good and kind old man, passed my diabetic boy a box full of mini chocolates, Snickers included.
Frank took one and I did what every D-parent does, which is run through the list of a gazillion options for reacting.
Not just a "Thank you , Santa" for us, oh, no. We get the "how many carbs, no label, guesstimate it then, tell him we can't have it, no that would be pointless and awful for Frank, he really can't have it now, maybe in the morning, at least he chose the Snickers with the shadow of a nut and thus protein in it blah blah blah".
And all the while I must be, just must be, standing at the door with Santa wondering who this glazed and distant woman is and whether she's on illegal substances.
Because I know my brain is not in small-talk-with-Santa-mode when I am doing this.
In all honesty, I don't think my brain has a small-talk-with-Santa mode.
So, this morning Frank woke up and ran downstairs to see what was in his little sock for today. He finds a zoo ticket and a mini snickers (it's half the size of my thumb).
I tell him he can have it with his breakfast and that he can only nibble the end before I test his BG.
And the angels sang and the frazzled Mama smiled.
He was at 4.0!!!!
Wooo bloody hoooo!
And the boy ate it in tiny pieces and even offered me a nibble of the corner.
We then had our usual porridge and agave nectar and I asked him what it was like seeing Santa outside the door last night.
He ponders how to break it to me.
"I think it was a man in a suit" he says, "not the real Santa" and goes back to eating his porridge and talking about poo.
Normal service is resumed.
Another quick and satisfying project left the needles yesterday evening as I completed Frank's Christmas Pyjamas. The light here in Northern Europe, so close to the Winter solstice, is minimal and so the pictures look very gloomy.
I hope you can all squint a bit and maybe turn your heads sideways a tad to get an idea of how cute they really are.
I had been looking for cotton flannel material but couldn't find any that wasn't hugely "girlie" and so plumped for this Sqiurrel Nutkin cotton in green. I made the trousers by tracing around a pair that fit Frank loosely at the moment and bought a white cotton t-shirt so all I had to do there was add the star.
The hardest part of this project was finding a PLAIN WHITE COTTON T-shirt with NOTHING AT ALL on it.
Is it the same where you all are?
Everything seems to have awful slogans or the word "vintage" on it when it was made last week.

And here is a close up of Nutkin himself doing a bit of, well, I think he's "prancing"!

More sewing updates soon as I am making great progress with husband's manly apron.

And finally, a big thanks for yesterday and being my musketeers after the hit and run commenter.
All for one and one for all, hey?!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


This is all I can say.
Just finished breakfast and checking comments on my post from yesterday.
Found this.
Sorry to disappoint you but the way you feed the kid and your perfidious I heart insulin slogan is a premature death sentence. Do some reading if you really care about the kid. I'm pretty darn serious and know your reaction in advance. You are wrong. Insulin kills and this is a fact.
15 December 2010 01:58 "
How helpful.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

I "heart" insulin, oh, yes, I do!

On holiday in Dorset September 2008; one month before diagnosis.
Two years old and very thin.
Wearing clothes for kids about six months younger than he is. Notice the ever-present water bottle.
Two years later, at the age of four.
Rounded out and happy.
Wearing clothes that get too small before I can blink.
Energetic and sporting a full beard of toast!
Thank you insulin.
We love you.

Done & Dusted

Excuse the fuzzy photos but this boy just will not stand still.
And, before anyone asks, it's still all about having the tongue hanging out over here!
Today I coaxed Frank into wearing this hat as I needed to get it parceled up and sent off to Dorset to my sister's little girl, Nancy, who turns two this week.
Originally I made this hat for Frank but he refuses to wear it as it's "itchy".
Pure Michigan wool sent from good friends in Detroit and it's rejected within a nano second by the boy.
Ah, well, Nancy will look great in it with her red hair.
It's a weird project though. I like it very much, don't get me wrong, but it uses so very much yarn and most of that yarn hangs down the child's back. It seems a waste. I'm all for style and love little elf-like hats and stuff but this seemed over the top.
Can you see how far it hangs down Frank's back?
Almost as far as his tongue hangs down his front!

And here is the little button to hold it on.
I was struck by this picture of my boy's chubby four year old chops as I'd been chatting to a friend whose child was diagnosed just a few months ago. We were saying how gaunt our boys had been before they'd been diagnosed. And they had both been quite well, all things considered.
It has taken two years for Frank to go from skinny to normal and he is pretty average just now in terms of both height and weight.

And then onto another completed project : Boot Gnomes!
How cute are they???
I made fifteen of them today, some to give as gifts and some to attempt to sell as stocking fillers.

They are super easy to make and the idea is from this book (as is the knitting pattern for the hat).
They are used to hold wellies together at the top, particularly useful for a pre-school or family with lots of kids, I imagine.
We use them because they're gnomes and they're cute.

Now, Mr Muffinmoon is out at Pudding Club this evening and I am alone with my green tea and about to start making his Christmas present.
It's a linen apron that I intend to customise just for him.
I am entering this project most nervously as we have ten people here on Christmas Day and he will be opening it "in public".
It could all go tits up (nod to Reyna here for inspiring me to be colourful in my use of language!!) but I promise to post about it anyway.
Happy Tuesday all.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Chilly Days and Chocolate Pizza

Frank and I were out recently, on our way to the local library to pick up yet more Christmas books, when we stopped to look at our shadows and I took out my camera to capture the moment.
Lise recently posted about shadow dancing and that's just what Frank and I were doing in the middle of Prettygate!
Such fun.
The low Northern European sun makes us all long and lean these Winter days.
I look like I am on stilts!! The Boy Wonder decided that running with his tongue hanging out like a dog was his thing for the day.
And even standing with his tongue hanging out was good too...

Then we came home and made more gifts.
There is a lot of this going on at the moment and I am finding computer time elusive as I am so tired at night that falling asleep with Frank is my new pattern.
Ho hum. I clearly need the sleep.
Anyway, we made what we call "chocolate pizza" and here it is in all its yummyness.

We melted fours bars of Green & Blacks (2 white and 2 dark) in separate bowls over boiling water and then swirled it together on a baking tray lined with parchment. Onto that we sprinkled our toppings, whatever we have in and fancy sprinkling (for us that day it was cashews, sesame seeds, dried cranberries and raisins).
This is intended as gifts.
It may not last that long ...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Diabetes Toad

My cousin, Maggie, lives in Ottawa and kindly sent me a special feature from The Globe and Mail all about Diabetes.
She, herself, was diagnosed with Type 1 in her forties.
A huge shock and I happened to be over visiting when the doctor rang with confirmation of the diagnosis.
I remember her son, Jorin, hugging her and them both crying and I quietly left the room to let them talk and be together before I spoke to her later about what it meant and how she felt.
I was clueless.
She handled it then and handles it now with her usual, and enviable, forthright attitude and determination to look it in the eye.
With Frank's diagnosis, somewhere around fifteen years later, I was still clueless.
Maggie never made a big deal of it but just got on with it.
Nothing was hidden, but I never asked many questions either.
Now we see each other every six months and have so much to talk about.
Not that we ever struggled but the Big D does make an appearance in our conversations now more than it did before Frank's diagnosis.
Knowing what I now know, I feel ashamed of this, of not finding out more and being more supportive
So, Maggie ticks along managing her Type 1 brilliantly. She chooses to not have a pump and that works for her.
We want a pump for Frank to let his tiny body have less daily invasions.
We are all doing great.
And then I sit down to read the articles from The Globe and Mail supplement.
I read a few lines and this incredible physical, totally physical, feeling rises in me, like a submerged toad that has been in the pit of my stomach, rising and rising to my (now constricted) throat and I close the paper, and feel the hysteria subside.
What on earth is that?
It's the Diabetes Toad.
It lies there, watching and waiting and rising to strike when you let your guard down for a second.
All seems well and then all of a sudden up pops the freaky toad, all full of its own importance, and I am knocked for six again.
Like it happened two weeks ago not two years ago.
I have been pondering this post for a few days now and was interested (and relieved) to read both Meri's and Reyna's posts saying very similar things.
Sometimes the magnitude of DIABETES and not the numbers or the carbs or the exercise hits us all and we crumble a bit.
For a while.
And then, well, what are our choices here?
Let's be honest.
Are we able to say, "Nope. Can't do it anymore. Too scary. Gonna give it to someone else?". Ha!
We want to do it because we need to do it because we have to do it.
The momentary wobbles are about looking into the abyss and then going back to the coal face (crazy mixed metaphors, I apologise!).
And at the coal face is where we belong.
I certainly wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
So, day to day, the Diabetes Toad is pushed down by life. Everyday life.
And to lighten the mood here are some images and thoughts of this week so far:
  1. I've been sewing to YouTube of The Dick van Dyke Show. I love him so much. And I hear even porpoises love him these days. I've always said porpoises have good taste ...
  2. We've got snow and lots of it. Frank is a happy boy.
3. Snowmen have been built. This was the first one after just a night of snow. He's kind of small but the latest two are much bigger.
4. A Christmas Cake has been baked. I soaked the required tonne of dried fruit in brandy for a day and then made the cake. We don't normally have one but Sev and her friend Louise are with us over Christmas, along with my parents and aunt so a cake might be called to do service!

It gets wrapped like a parcel before going in the oven for three hours.

And looks like this when it emerges.
I will "feed" it with brandy every few days up until Christmas and cover it with fruit and nuts and then glaze it with apricot jam.
Traditionally it is eaten with a chunk of crumbly cheese but most people these days probably go for a cup of tea alongside instead.
I will happily post the recipe sometime if anyone is interested in cakes that are so heavy with fruit they could sink a ship!
It tastes great, I assure you.

5. Mr Muffinmoon is out at a Poetry Slam this evening, performing as Fred Slattern: Slum Poet. What have I planned? Tamari cashews and a gin & tonic, that's what! Oh, and knitting like a mad witch as it's already December and I've been slutty with my handmade promises ...
Much love and peace and great BGs to you all.