Sunday 30 January 2011


Yup, you read that right.
We are reeling.
None of them awful or scary but on the whole I am wondering what on earth is going on.
On the up side Frank has told us about around eight of them and says he feels something in his tummy.
A weird kind of progress, I suppose.
And talking of progress
His Milo vest is now complete (details here) and I had a great time doing the cables. My first cables ever. But not my last as this pattern has instructions for four more types of cable and I intend to try them all!

Now just to get those hypos sorted.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

At My Table

Last Autumn I went to the wonderful (and oh-so-bad-for-the-bank-balance) Knit and Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace in London (affectionately known as Ally Pally).
I left many pounds lighter in terms of money and many pounds heavier in terms of great fabrics and yarns.
Three of those fabrics were small pieces of end of roll cuts that I wanted to make something for each of us with. I thought about tote bags but we have lots of those and I wanted these fabrics to be seen regularly.
So, last week, on a rainy day and with the sewing machine out and ready I decided to involve Frank in some fabric stamping action and make personalised place mats for our meal times.
I had some leftover linen and we stamped our names on small pieces of it with our new alphabet stamps and once they were dry I ironed the letters to fix the ink.
Frank then chose the stitch pattern to attach the labels to the place mats and helped me press the right buttons on the sewing machine.
An hour later we had three funky place mats for each and every meal.
We see these mats three times a day.
Or rather, whenever I lay the table. Husband forgets them, much as he has forgotten to wear his apron since Christmas.
Hmmm ....
I love these!
They cheer me so much but I am also beginning to understand the issue of lovingly slaving over things that others don't value. I don't expect people to weep with joy at every meal but to put things to use would be good.
Having a child with Type 1 is like this.
I can tell a hundred people Frank's cool HbA1c and only one percent will have any clue of the work that went into it!
But, being creative in any way (writing a blog, poetry, knitting, cooking, sewing, eyeshadow colours, basal tweaking etc etc) is so good for the soul.
I now recognise that I NEED it.
In some form or another a day does not feel right and my spirit does not feel sustained unless I have gone some way towards creating something.
I truly believe we humans are driven to do this in some form or another.
So, here is Frank's place mat with the fabric he loved as he loves camping.
This is also a typical meal for him, by the way. I might bake and make carb-bomb foods sometimes but more often than not he won't eat them unless it once moo-ed or bleated or clucked or oinked or it's bread or potatoes!
He didn't eat his carrots this day as they were grated and not whole.
And here is Andrew's place mat.
He's not on a strict diet but hadn't got home from work before I took the pictures!

And mine is Red Riding Hood.
I love the fabric even though as a little girl (and even now) I found the story highly suspicious with all the "little girls shouldn't strike out alone in the woods or the wolf will get them and they'll need a big man with a big axe (yeah, right) to save them" nonsense.
I was an early developer as a feminist, clearly!
Maybe I love this fabric because she is looking at that wolf as though she's about to slap him on the nose and tell him to behave himself!
Thank you to all of you who sent positive and encouraging comments about the pump. We are looking forward to getting to grips with it and are suitably scared too.
We have had a few too many mild but still scary hypos this week and whilst it's good to see lower numbers, too low is not good.
Time for some creative basal tweaking (is it me and my addled brain or does that sound like a euphemism? As in "Hello darlin', fancy coming back to my place for a bit of basal tweaking?"!!).
Love to all and happy Wednesday.

Friday 21 January 2011

Riding the Dragon Tree

Frank and I headed out to Cudmore Grove on Mersea Island this week.
It was a balmy January day and, after what felt like weeks inside, sunshine on our skin and the sea air did us all power of good.
As you can see, East Anglia is flat and I just love the big skies.
Look at that blue!
So healing. Once on the beach we found this fantastic dried piece of wood and Frank flew it up into the air like the children in one of our favourite books.
Then we larked about on the beach.
I have seen seals off this beach and love it here.
This day we saw all of six other people.

Bliss is a wooden dragon ride with a view ...

Thanks for all your positive comments about the pump arriving.
We got all excited, took photos and then saw the size of the manual.
It's now all back in its box waiting for training day.
I will look at the manual before that but it feels like being given a space ship and a manual and being left to work it out.
I know, from my years as a teacher, that I am intrinsically a team player.
I like to discuss and confirm and learn best that way.
Bring on the training!
Back very soon with crafty updates.
I've been sewing and have even been knitting cables, yes, cables baby!

Thursday 20 January 2011

A post about the post

I was home alone an hour ago when the door knocker sounded and I opened the front door to receive this parcel.
Any guesses?
Here's a clue.
Woooo Hoooo!
Just have to wait for the training sessions to come up at the hospital now.
Am nervous and excited but, really, how hard can it be?
I bet it'll be like a balmy day out on the coast off California watching whales.

Oh, wait a minute .........

Thursday 13 January 2011


This week has seen some great pronouncements from the Boy Wonder and I just had to share these two:
"Mummy, when I'm with you I feel like... (he pauses for dramatic effect)... like I have a heart, like I am in love".
Wow, I think. I will never forget he said that.
"I feel the same when I am with you, Frankie", I say.
A few minutes later he says,
"Mummy, do you want a poo on your head?" and smiles at me sweetly.
And, try as I might, this is an image that is proving difficult to get out of my head.
Life with my boy.
Never a dull moment.

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Some (Christmas, ahem) knitting finished

Yesterday saw me completing two knitting projects.
Frank's sheep jumper that was intended to be opened Christmas Day but I just ran out of time. I made a real mess of the sheep (think knitting road kill) first time and as anyone that knits knows, unless you are sending the item a long way away, those mistakes will annoy you and you will focus on them every time you see them. So, I ripped the bottom half of the jumper out and did the sheep again.
Laughingly, and in spite of being a whizz at carb counting, the sheep ended up on the other side on the second go! I couldn't work out the pattern upside down without the reversal, it seems. How dim-witted am I?! Here is the boy himself.
I asked him to try it on today for a photo and he said it felt lovely and warm and kept it on all day.
A thumbs up indeed.
And I had to add this weird, kind of Karate Kid pose.
No idea what he was thinking but you can see the sheep better.
And I also completed my FGM item as we meet up to hand in our "homework" tomorrow evening at The Fat Cat.
Hope that guy is there again, but I imagine he has emigrated by now!
This was knitted in one hour in front of the "Eat Pray Love" DVD lent to me by a friend. Always good to see Javier Bardem.

Anyone new to this blog or just passing through might not know about this second item. The previous posts might help.
It's a serious issue and one I feel strongly about but I don't feel my blog is the forum to go into a huge amount of detail.
If you are interested in finding out more look for the crafting group called "Stitch This" on facebook and check out wikipedia.

Monday 10 January 2011

The Holy Grail

OK, silly title but there is a giveaway over on Penny's blog that made my heart go all fluttery.
Hold onto your knickers, it's not a free fully-functioning pancreas!
It is, however, the new Holy Grail of lancing devices.
The Delica lancing device has been mentioned on D-Bogs before and I decided to request one at our next hospital appointment.
It hurts less, is quieter and leaves little children with less noticeable holes in their teeny tiny fingers.
We all need kit like this.
We were there last Thursday (HbA1c a bit higher than last time but I REFUSE to feel bad. I accept it and move forward) and I asked about the Delica.
No one had heard of it.
I intend to change that as soon as I can.
In the meantime thanks to Penny and the rather gorgeous Grace for this opportunity.

Sunday 9 January 2011

Not sure what the question is ...

... but I know the answer and mostly the answer is to get out in nature.
Frank has had Type 1 Diabetes now for exactly half his life.
He was diagnosed at 27 months of age and we have now enjoyed the company of the badly behaved house guest T1D for 27 months.
The weather here has been cold and grey but yesterday saw us heading out for a little family trip to Friday Woods near our home and stomping about in the mud.
We ran around, got very muddy, jumped in the many puddles and then wandered back to our camper van for homemade hot chocolate (milk and chopped up 70% chocolate plus a little raw cocoa for sprinkling - I figure if the boy won't eat spinach he can have raw cocoa for iron instead!!) and ginger biscuits. It was very healing and calming.
I have been feeling a bit blah for a couple of weeks and am only now beginning to come out of it.
Stomping around in mud helped a great deal and I would highly recommend it!
Another great puddle awaiting its fate from the Boy Wonder.

The hills are alive with the sound of stomping.

Friday Woods.

My boys.
On another topic, thank you to everyone that commented on my post about our wet nights.
I had really thought we were alone on that one as I know no one else going through it.
Should have asked you guys months ago, hey?
Big British hugs to all (that's with a cup of tea in one hand and wearing a bowler hat. We all wear bowler hats ...).

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Smugness Comes Before A Fall

Two and a half years ago I was the smug Mum of a child that slept really well. I distinctly recall chatting to a friend around the time of this photo and she was telling me how often her two year old woke up in the night.
I suggested a sippy cup of water as that seemed to help Frank sleep through. I felt happy my child drank water and thought he was just like me as I always have a glass of water by my bed.
One sippy cup became three all lined up in his bed and he needed them topping up at 1am, 4am and then woke for water early in the morning.
His nappies were flooded.
His cute sleeping bags soaking wet.
In Dorset, visiting my sister, in the May before diagnosis in the October, one of the requirements of the holiday cottage was a washer dryer as we always had so many PJs and so much bedding to wash.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, eh?
It's all so clear, all the signs when I look at it now.
But with no history of diabetes in the family and no real idea that it was even a possibility for tiny children, we staggered on washing and drying more than any family I know.
Scroll forward to now, or rather last night to be specific.
Frank is in our room on a camp bed and we are all happy with this.
He came in at Christmas and is staying there for a while.
Last night his BG was good before midnight. But the habit of drinking water in the night is now, it seems, so ingrained in him that he needs it all the time. Last night saw me changing his nappy four times and his PJs as many too. His sheets were wet and I put him on a towel as I had no energy to strip the bed too.
I hate this aspect of the D for us. I can't bring myself to deny him water.
It's water.
He seems to really need it.
He now has a safe sippy as I got concerned about him having drinks from plastic for so many hours of each day. He has a Klean Kanteen for daytime and he drinks a lot. Even when the numbers are good he likes to drink water.
But I am tired.
I am so gentle with him. Always. I will never complain to him about needing water or peeing a lot or having to change his bedding three times a night and his PJs four times and his nappy five times.
I can't imagine the time when he is dry at night and as he gets bigger and his bladder capacity even greater I may have to fashion some kind of super nappy by sewing loads of them together.
I fear we are alone with this one.
It is just what Frank is like and we have to deal with it day in day out and night in night out.
I see no end to these nights of BG testing, nappy changing, PJ changing and washing and drying each day.
I have no conversation left. Jen's post the other day about going to a New Year's party and not blurting out that Addison has diabetes as a conversational opener for the first time has really struck a chord with me.
I admit I cried when I read it.
I want this day to come.
I am not there yet.
I am lost in the eye of the storm of this disease.
I have nowhere else to be and nowhere I'd rather be. But there are long days and longer nights when I realise I have lost all sense of myself.
I am avoiding socialising sometimes because all I can think about is diabetes.
If I stay home with my boy and we dig the garden and go to the library and bake biscuits then I can almost forget the D because it is so automatic and we are not weird to each other!
So we bake and cycle and walk and dig and I knit and we paint and we watch Toy Story for the billionth time and I blog about knitting and sewing because it's all I do that isn't D.
And what sustains me is seeing my boy grow and develop.
What sustains me is reading other D-parents' blogs and knowing their hearts like I know my own.
And boy, that feels good...

Saturday 1 January 2011

2011 ...

... is a year of plans.

There will be more
  • knitting and a mastering (or should that be mistressing) of cables
  • sewing (of our own clothes)
  • learning new things (crochet for starters)
  • planting veggies in the garden and eating them (that means you too, Frankie Boy)
  • trips (to the Isle of Mull, the Cotswolds, Finland, the beach (lots) and Dorset are being planned)
  • exercise & fresh air
  • embracing of the moment
  • music in our lives, both live and just around us at home
  • art
  • locally sourced food on our plates
  • blogging and photos
  • comments on blogs and yet no guilt if I don't find the time
  • sleep ( a girl can dream ...)

There will be less

  • screen time
  • guilt
  • worry about what others think
  • fear of the future
  • "responsibly sourced Madagascan prawns" on our plates (oh, yes, I fell for this one a month ago and hubby is still laughing at me!)
  • time spent with people that don't sustain me or "get it" with regard to the D

Are you planning more or less of anything this year?

Happy 2011 and I look forward to sharing this year with you.

My husband posted this the other day (it's a friend of his) and I wanted to share it with you today, at the beginning of a new year.

It's raw beauty brings me to tears and it feels such a privilege to hear it each and every time.