Monday, January 28, 2008

Diabetes mentoring

The local JDRF put on a workshop this weekend on mentoring other families that have recently received a diagnosis of a child with diabetes. I went.

When we first received the diagnosis - I was desperate for someone to talk too. I craved information. I tried calling the JDRF and they said they'd look into finding someone local but I never heard back (I now know this is because they had no program in place!) I spent hours reading on the Internet. I called our friends back in Edmonton who had a son with diabetes. I called other friends who had experienced the unexpected (so to speak) with a child. I needed someone to listen. To say "it'll be OK". I had NO idea. I was scared shitless. I am thankful to everyone that listened to me. I am thankful to everyone that said "it'll be OK". I am thankful to the Internet for letting me find people who talk about it and how it affects them and their children.

I hope that I can give back to a newly diagnosed family what I received and continue to receive.

At this meeting was a lady (22 years old) who is preparing to run with a diabetes group the 26.2 mile (42 km) marathon in Rio de Janiero, Brazil later this spring. (How cool would that be!). Her mother had planned to attend the meeting but ended up not being able to make it so she sent her daughter who has diabetes. She had many fascinating things to say:

- She used to hate being with other kids with diabetes because it made her realize she was different than her day-to-day friends.
- Then she loved having other friends with diabetes because she was the same as them.
- She didn't like learning about people who accomplished so much and had diabetes - Inspirational people - because it had never occurred to her that she couldn't do whatever she wanted to do because she had diabetes. By meeting these people she began to think that maybe she could NOT do whatever she wanted.
- Now she is preparing to run the marathon to prove that she really can do whatever she wants - and if it wasn't for diabetes she said she can guarantee that she would never be running a marathon.
- Oh ya, and like 1 in 20 with Type 1 D. she has Celiac Disease (no gluten).

I learned from her that our children our normal and diabetes can make them do inspirational things but we need to focus on helping our children do what they want, regardless.

However, as a parent who is still scared about having a child with diabetes and still craves information to know that everything will be OK, I am thankful that I continue to meet inspirational people.

P.S. I am very tired and typing this so I hope it makes sense! G'night!


Toria, Toria, Toria

The scenario: Toria is in her bed - it is bedtime - and I hear:



(Expected question:) Can you get me some water?
(Backup expected question:) You forgot to give me 6 kisses?

(Actual question:) Did you know that they are called eyeballs because they are an eye and in the shape of a ball so that's why it is ball after 'eye' and because there are 2 of them they put an 's' on the very end of the word. So did you know that is why they are called eye-ball-s?


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The boy loves hockey

DISCLAIMER: Tomas wants everyone to know that he is only wearing his spiderman pj's because both pairs of his NHL pj's are in the laundry.

A straight-on shot!

A deke!

A save!

The champion!


When you give a girl the camera


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sports Sunday

What an awesome day we had on Sunday. First up was a game by the local hockey team - Victoria Salmon Kings (ya ya, I hear ya 'that is the dumbest name I have ever heard for a hockey team'.... BUT get this - they live on the west coast and play in the ECHL... Eastern Canadian Hockey League). Oh well, never mind. The point is - they won!

YES. She put THE TATTOO ON HER FOREHEAD! She's only 5 - what am I going to do when she's 15????? Note to self: Start looking into convents.

The Beavers and Sparks (5-year-old Girl Guides/Girl Scouts who wear pink!) were the special invited guests so, of course, that was us! Tomas sat with the Beavers (unfortunately, Todd was sitting in row 12, aisle seat, of a plane and had to miss the game) and Toria & I sat with the Sparks. I dashed back and forth to make sure everyone was OK - and I gave Tomas a walkie-talkie to call me if he needed anything. He totally did not. "He did awesome" says the mother as she wipes away the tears from her cheeks... her little boy is growing up.

Fortunately, there is still a little tattoo-wearing girl who needs me.

But the most coolest part was after the game when we got to skate on the ice with the Salmon Kings.

Toria had the Salmon Kings diaper-wearing mascot... a MARMOT! (true story - I guess the same drug-induced haze that led the 'suits' to name a western team playing in the ECHL the Salmon Kings also thought it was OK to put a diaper on a mascot . (OK - totally digressed there) ... Toria had the diaper-wearing mascot, err, Marty, the Mascot sign her helmet! Tomas opted to have the players sign his mini-hockey stick.

AND as is if hockey and skating wasn't exciting enough we then dashed to the pool where there was a JDRF function. We had skated too long and missed the swim but we got there in time for the supper and event thingmagigy. [Clearly the JDRF employee who organized it has no diabetes relative because for a 6:30 Sunday-night dinner she ordered big, gooey, thick crust pizza for the kids... oh ya!!you diabetes parents out there totally get that. 1-hour swim then pizza. At 6:30pm! Yep! (To non-diabetes readers - Pizza's does totally crazy things. It generally makes blood sugar go really really low and then BOOM it is sky high. And in this case, that would happen in the middle of the night when we should be sleeping. That is why - Tomas has pizza at lunch times. Except Sunday night when I got up twice in the middle of the night to check his sugar levels].

However, it was yummy and I was announced as the Family Chair for the Walk to Cure Diabetes. I have no idea what that involves but I guess I'll find out. Yack yack, yack, I'll get to ...
the guest speaker ....

Chris Jarvis who is an Olympic rower (competing this summer in Beijing) who has type 1. He was an awesome inspiration for the kids (and a reminder to us parents that these kids survive diabetes and they can do anything).

The most interesting thing he said was when he was telling us a story about his semi-final race at the Athens Olympics. Apparently, Canada was in 1st place with only meters to go and they were accused by the South Africans of hitting their boat. Eventually, Canada was disqualified and the South Africans won bronze in the final. What he said was that that diabetes actually HELPED him to make sense of this tragic situation... he thought about all the precautions and care he takes to manage his diabetes and the reason he lost his chance at Olympic gold had nothing at all to do with diabetes - it was a total fluke. And that is sorta what life is about. Living life with diabetes not letting diabetes decide your life.[And he's planning on getting gold this summer in Beijing].

And finally in my long-winded blog today... My snowdrops are blooming!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

North South East West

Tomas to his dad: "Next Christmas I'm going to ask Santa for a trip to Paris so I can see the Great Wall of China."

Huh? (OK, so maybe geography needs a little bit of work but I'll take either destination! PLEASE SANTA! And then Toria had to get her 2 cents in...)

Toria to Tomas: "Tomas, ya know how Santa brings presents, maybe the Easter Bunny does too and you can just ask him for the trip!"

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The skating pics...

Posted By Todd.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ice ice baby

OK. So exciting! We went skating on an OUTDOOR ice rink. Now, I'm sure that my family on the prairie is saying "Yeah, so? Clearly that ocean air has fried your brain Carmen because everyone skates on outdoor rinks in the winter." In fact, my dear dad used to make one every winter in our backyard and I used to skate from the back step down a little ice path to the hockey rink he'd make. And if for whatever reason he didn't make one then you'd skate on the rink at school or you'd go to the creek and skate on it. There was always frozen ice SOMEWHERE.

Alas, not so where we are. There are usually no outdoor rinks in Victoria because we (a) very rarely freeze and (b) are even less likely to get snow.

However, the Butchart Gardens works 24-7 for for 1 month to provide an outdoor skating rink. It is a teeny tiny rink and, during the day, they have to constantly squeegee it to remove the melting ice (or rain when we tried skating on).... Although the rain added an interesting Zamboni-like effect.

Anyway, what fun we had. I have pictures but until Todd moves them I can't post them because they are on the other computer.

In related news... The kids are begging for snow. Each and every day they talk about it snowing and how much fun it would be. I asked one of Tomas' friends (who flew out east) what his favourite part of Christmas was and he said "seeing the snow". AHHH. I am sorry but I have not been away from the cold freezing prairie winters to even consider going on vacation somewhere where it snows. Next stop. Florida.... does it ever snow there?


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Odds 'n Ends

- from our family to yours!

(Many Thanks to Uncle G. & Aunt N for the gift certificate to the Keg. Todd & I were planning to use it alone but we ended up visiting Granville Island in Vancouver and they have the great Keg right in the middle- so we used it as a family and had a fantastic time!)
In other news,
On the Christmas blog I forgot to show this classic Christmas picture: Tomas writing the letter to Santa (& Toria supervising)! This is the first year Tomas been able to read/print well enough to write it on his own. They left cookies and milk for Santa and oatmeal, sprinkles, and coconut for the reindeer!... and to write the letter he had to use a red pen, of course! Too cute.

Now - it is time for a science lesson. You've always heard that we lose 80% of our heat through our heads and through the seams on clothes but did you really know???

Well, we went to the Telus World of Science in Vancouver and they have this infra-red camera that shows heat! Way cool! In the first picture Todd is in the middle and he's wearing a big puffy vest. If you look closely you can see the seams on his vest (forming rectangles). The seams show up as hot red lines indicating that is exactly where the heat loss is! On the 2nd photo - he opened up his vest and he's one hot dude!

And finally, Tomas is watching the history channel, Toria is cutting up more Christmas wrapping ribbon decoration and taping them to her bed spread so she can have a bed spread with fringe. Yep, it is a normal relaxing-only-4-more-days-until-school-starts-day in our house.

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