Butterfly Kisses & Bedtime Prayers

"Butterfly Kisses after bedtime prayer. Stickn' little white flowers all up in her hair. Oh with all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right. To deserve a hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night". *** For parents of children with diabetes and adults who are living with Type 1 diabetes. We are looking to share stories, ideas, concerns, and laughter.***

Friday, December 30, 2005

Some facts about Hawaii from a "island feverish" woman

I thought in reflecting on some of my posts since I began my blog that some of you may wonder how in the world I could not like living in Hawaii. Or paradise as many call it. I thought that tonight I would let you all in on some facts of living in Hawaii you may not know. I too once dreamed of coming here. I would look at the ad for the Hale Koa resort. A military resort on Waikiki. I would just drool over sitting by that pool, sipping a Mai Tai ( I found out that Lava Flows are way better) Admittingly when the plane landed I was in paradise. Our first glimpse of the island was on Schofield Barracks which lies in the mountains in the central northern part of the island. It was beautiful. My first drive around the island, seeing the pacific ocean and its aqua green waters was breath-taking. Oh and the weather here is beautiful year-round. In fact this week alone is to be 84 by day and 65 by night. I have gotten to live out my day dream of that pool at Hale Koa. Military members can use the facilities even if we are not guests. The pool-side drink service tops out my fantasies of Waikiki and the beach and ocean are yards away from the pool. So why do I whine and dream of the mainland. Florida instead of Hawaii? Most people spend their life savings for a week here. Well here are some facts of Hawaiian living strictly from a military wife who loves road trips:

1. There are no road trips. The island is smaller than RI and its about 2 hours all the way around. 3 if you get stuck in traffic. I miss those days of hopping in the car and driving. Going new places, change of scenery and such. I miss overnight trips. Ok I could have gotten a room in Waikiki at any time BUT I could not see spending over $100 a night to stay 20 mins from home.
2. I live in military housing. NOT paradise. It is old, old housing. But we are lucky. I know families who have had the upstairs apartment fall into theirs. Or who have fallen themselves through to the frist floor. Or had rats in their yard because they live near the pineapple fields. I get to live in an extinct volcanic crater but I am in a single story and have surdy floors!
3. Everything is SO expensive. But I am sure you have all heard of that. We do have the commissary thankfully. Otherwise milk is $9 a gallon and cereal $7 a box. (I am not joking!)
4. They do not really meet you at the airlines with Lei's. It is only in the commercials. NO hula dancers either.
5. Beaches are nice BUT there are box-jelly fish warnings twice a month around the full moon. Plus dangerous surf in the winter. I am not a big salt-water swimmer anyway. We watch reports every night of poor tourists who ventured out into the water despite the warnings. Hey if I paid thousands to be here I might risk a jelly fish bite or a few big waves to get my monies worth. By the way the waves will be 25+ feet tomorrow. Great for watching.
6. Most of Oahu isn't even Hawaiians. Many different cultures. Which can be very nice but if you are expecting the images in the brochures it ain't happening. Maybe at the fakey luaus though.
7. Most of the locals do not care for the military so that in itself makes it hard here. I do like to go to Waikiki to be a tourist. Thats where you are treated very well. So if you come here just stay in the Waikiki/Honolulu area and it will be great.
8. It took us 2 years to learn how to pronounce the street names. try this one LIKELIKE Hwy. If you said (lik,lik with a long I sound you are wrong. It is leekay,leekay.) Or NUUANU. That one is (new-oo-on-oo). There are harder ones but you get the point.
9. I am not a fan of SPAM. Hawaiians love it. In fact spam,eggs and rice is a big hit for breakfast here. McDonalds even serves it.
10. FEET. I am not a big fan of seeing everyone's feet. Especially men's feet. There are a rare few people in the world that you would want to have to see their feet. I have seen enough ugly feet for a lifetime! Everyone wears flip-flops. Or as they are called here SLIPPAHS. They bike in them, run in them (which should really be an olympic event.) they come in high-heeled versions. I even had a hearing for SSI when we got here and the judge was wearing an aloha shirt and flip-flops with his black robe!!!
11. Crime, Crime, Crime!! They have a big crystal-meth problem here. Lots of cars stolen all the time. Left burned out on the side of the road. Many, many homeless live on the beaches and in the parks. Unfortunately many are on drugs. There are violent crimes every day in the news.
12. TRAFFIC. Every where you go all times of day. Lots of accidents and very bad drivers.

So island living hasn't quite suited us. I do resolve this year to whine less about where I am living. Ok especially since I am getting my wish of going to Florida. A dream that has taken us 6 years to achieve. But our adventure here in Hawaii hasn't been all bad. I would recommend a vacation here. Just come with lots of cash and stay in the tourist areas.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

It's going to be a Happy New Year!

Our journey is off to a GOOD start. (answered bedtime prayers!) First this week it came as a shock to find out that they are ready to cut our orders. In all these years I have NEVER seen the army work so fast. We should have them next week. We are estimated to leave Hawaii on February 1st. Hubby will still be in the army unil March 12 on terminal leave. Sounds like a bad disease but I assure you its a good thing. We still get a full paycheck for 40 days. Good thing we haven't gone too far or taken much leave these last 3 years. Not that we had far to go living on an island smaller than Rhode Island. (lived there for 29 years so I know).

Then my biggest relief came in an early morning phone call today. We got the apartment I applied for We are happily moving to Winter Haven Florida! I am so happy I could burst. It is a brand new place too. No more yucky, old, nasty military housing. **Believe me you have no idea the places they call adequate housing.** I even got to pick my carpet colors. Water view as well. In a couple months I can picture sitting on the balcony, over looking the lake, sipping bahama mamas. I am in a dreamlike bliss at the moment. The girls are jumping up and down.

Carylanne's numbers have been really good too. I guess the excitement is having a positive effect. This week was the HBA1C. Will know soon how that went. I am expecting in the 7.5 range. Her last was 6.7 which was a bit unexpected. We knew she had been doing well but didn't think it was that well. But we have had growth spurts the last 3 months so I am sure we are in the 7's. But I'll take that.

This is turning out to be a happy new year after all. After the year we have had boy what an ending. For the first year we are going to go into Honolulu for the fireworks and festivities. I want the girls to enjoy Hawaii in our last month. We actually got up for a sunrise last week. It's not as lazy as it sounds. It means driving across the island through the city traffic to reach the eastern shore. But it was worth it. I do have to learn how to post some pictures up here as I have some beautiful pictures of the sun coming up over the ocean. We could see Moloka'i off in the distance and there were whales playing off shore. That was so cool!!

Here's hoping that all of you have a safe and Happy New Year!! We will hit the ground running come Jan 2. Lots to do. But happily we will get it done and reach the promised land. (we promised the kids Disney).



Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Let the JOurney Begin!

Well today we got our answer from the army. It was not exactly what I hoped for but it is over and we are going home in about 30 days. Not much time to plan a new life. We will be homeless and jobless so that is very scary. But it was inevitable as hubby could no longer be a soldier with his injuries. Unfortunately we have to wait for 6-8 months for veterans benefits. They take their time and never make anything easy.

So our journey across country should begin in late Jan. I am trying to plan and think of everything we need to do Diabetes related. As well as child related, disabled husband related and harried, stressed mom related! Well lots of bedtime prayers for this one.

So stay tuned I am sure that our journey will be an incredible one. I may not feel that way until we get to the other side and get settled. But my girls have learned one thing in this life. It is that we can get through anything. I am sure they will think moving is a snap when they are adults!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Sibling Rivalry and Diabetes

Once again it's Friday. That blessed end of the week. For me the excitement this week is that Daddy will be home tomorrow and I won't be the only diciplinarian for a few days. I don't kow if its the excitement over Christmas or the stress of the upcoming move, but it seems both of my children lost their minds this last week. But I have another pressing issue that I am stumped on. I'm wondering if anyone can give me some advise about sibling rivalry with diabetes. Here's what I mean. I have it mastered that D child does not get away with things beause of her disease. Unless the behavior is proven to be related to a high or low. Then I corrrect the BG and the behavior usually corrects itself. If there is no hi or low punishment or a lecture still reigns supreme. But what I have a problem with is Non D child telling me "Carylanne gets more attention than me." I know that this is only something to say to try and push my buttons. We have talked about it before. Carylanne gets medical attention that is needed to keep her healthy etc etc. But she doesn't get more love, toys, or dessert. Then I always have the "everything needs to be equal or its not fair". I guess due to the closeness in age we have always tried to keep eveything equal but its really getting tiring. Especially when Carylanne goes low and her sister insists she needs food too. Usually she wants hers first! She is 8 she understands the whole thing perfectly well. Just lately she is trying to do everything to "use" her sister's diabetes as her excuse for behavior etc. Did anyone else have this as they were growing up or with their children now? How do siblings act in regards to the extra care that is needed. This is so hard because Christianne can be so helpful to her sister and caring when it comes to helping with lows etc. But lately the little green monster seems to have moved in and I don't mean its the Grinch. Then they just seem to be fighting more in general these days. I know that it is normal to compete with each other and have conflict. But I am trying to head it off before its gets out of hand. Plus we will all be in a van traveling in excess of 3,000 miles soon. I think I will have to invest in a good pair of ear plugs. This week we alked about friendship in school. They had read Charlotte's Web and we talked about unique friendships. Then the lesson I had was that Wilbur had to write out Charlotte's name and write one things he likes about her for each letter. I took this as an opportunity to talk about their friendship so I changed that to " write out your sister's name and write one good thing you like/love about her for each letter". Well being in a good loving mood each one was able to complete the task and write nice things about each other. So further more I told them to take their papers and put them in a safe accessable place. The next time they get in trouble for fighting or bickering excessively I explained that they would pull out their sheets and write down those nice things ten times to remind them of the things they like about each other. Hopefully it won't have to happen but I am trying to teach them better ways to resolve conflicts. Unfortunately the diabetes can sometimes get in the way. example: Carylanne gets argumentative when she is hi (meaning 200 or more). So sometimes its the sugars talking not her. Then I have to intervene instead of let them work it out. Then Christianne gets put off that Carylanne was arguing but didin't get in trouble like she would have. So I need to have some suggestions at this. I am trying to get her to understand its the disease not her sister so try not to blame Carylanne. But to an 8 yr old , its all the same. I am afraid that my family (extended) is a poor example. My sisters and brother no longer speak with my parents and I. Long horrible story but the long and short is that my family is divided now and it sets a horrible example for the children. I was not the reason for the split and stayed true to Honor thy mother and father. Which I felt did show the girls that standing up for what is right is nt always popular but is the right thing. However in cases of siblings it doesn't help build a good example for them. Hense why this issue is so important to me to work out and help them learn to work out themselves. Maybe we will just sit in the living room, hold hands and sing songs from the 70's until they give in . "All I we are saying is give peace a chance!"

Friday, December 09, 2005

WHAT!!!!

Its been a long week. Thank God it's Friday. I have lots of thoughts in my head but am too tired to write them tonight. But I do have a burning question....

Does anyone know WHAT?? I am asked at least 10 times per day. Mom do you know what? Honey do you know what? I have tried to find WHAT. Tried to learn WHAT. I have looked for college courses to take in WHAT. WHAT on the internet. Books on WhAT. But I cannot find WHAT. I have told the girls to stop torturing me by reminding me everyday that I just don't know WHAT. So if anyone out there can clue me in and tell me what WHAT is maybe I can finally answer my girls so they will stop asking me Mom do you know WHAT?????????????

By the way the more you type WHAT, it is an extremely weird word!!!!!

Thanks for all your help! Maybe next week I can have a peaceful WHATLESS week.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A good numbers day

Today was one of those rare days. Carylanne's numbers were good all day. I love those days. You know when you wake up and the BG is 100-130. Then all the other readings are great too. They are rare. Great rare. Like a husband remembering your anniversary, or getting roses on Valentine's Day.

Time is going so slow. We are waiting for the Army to decide on our medical disability pension and when our final date to leave will be. We have had enough Aloha to last a life time. Hawaiian Christmas songs don't cut it. Neither does Santa in Aloha attire and flip-flops. The girls don't remember what real trees look like.

Carylanne has been in much better spirits this week. Last Friday night I found Six until Me. I cried and cried when I read it. Then showed it to Carylanne. She has had the good fortune to talk to the author and has found a new friend. We are greatful. She handles all this in stride but about once every few months we have a breakdown of sorts. I know it is all going to take its toll on her eventually. She is 9. I can imagine it will get worse as she becomes a teen. Going home now is the best thing for all of us. That is why we are not unhappy with the Army's decision to discharge. He is hurt and cannot be fixed. Nothing can change that. So let us go home and start a new life. My girls need to connect with others in the civilian world. The do not know anything but the Army. Moving around the country. Always having to say good-bye just as you make a friend. It will be a wonderful thing to be part of a community that is home. But they will sure have some great stories and pictures to share of the life they have lived so far. They have stood at the base of an active volcano. Slept in a cabin on the mountain of Kilauea. Been to the top of Mauna Kea and to the best observatory in the world. Laid in the sun on Waikiki beach; and soon will get to drive across country. We have been given many opportunities.

But I go to bed and say my prayers. Prayers for a new life for us all. Prayers for my little girls. One so she can be healthy and happy. That she will be cured someday soon. Prayers my other daughter will be spared and that she will know that she is loved as much as her sister even though she sometimes thinks her sister gets more attention. And prayers for peace. We have lived this war in a personal way and we pray for all our soldiers and their families.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Our Story

Well here is our story. A good way to start I suppose. My 9 yr old daughter Carylanne has Type 1 diabetes. That is why I am here. She also has Hypothyroidism (diagnosed along with the diabetes), Enthesopathy(great topic for another post) and acid reflux. I think that's it.

I have an 8 yr old who thank God is healthy. She got the bad eyesight. I am an armywife of 13 years. But we are soon to leave the Army (about 60 days left) to embark on a new and exciting journey into civilian life. Oh we were there before but this will be new and exciting. My husband is now a disabled vet so we have more challenges than before. God must think I crave stress and challenges because I have them both up the wazoo!!!

I will not bore you with the whole story of our diagnosis etc. It was all pretty much the same as you have all endured. It has been 3 1/2 years now. Most days have gotten easier than back then but not always. We have our scary moments and monthly meltdowns but we are finding our way through it all. Carylanne has her pump and loves it. She has the support of her sister who is her best friend. Her dad and I take care of her and are teaching her to take care of herself. So she will never feel like she cannot do it or make the right decisions. Plus she knows her mom will always be her safety net if she does.

We are looking forward to moving back to the mainland. Starting a new life and connecting with other families like ours. Carylanne wants friends who understand being Hi has nothing to do with drugs and that Shaky is not a fun thing. We have felt removed from the world these last couple years. I belive there are support groups here but this island is complicated. It is hard to fit in if you are military. So we have learned everything we could and gone through most of it on our own.

We are in Hawaii at the present. Not our paradise. Oh it was nice at first. But it wears off with the price of everything. We are Disney fanatics and haven't been off this rock in nearly 3 years. (Ecept to another rock being the BIg Island of Hawaii to Volcano National Park. A great place that I may talk about at some point. BUt in Haswaii there are no Applebees or Sonics, no purple ice cream, and no bunny bread. It was not our choice to be here. The Army made that choice; and now they are sending us off. With a broken husband and a "Have a nice life" but they do not know that I am Supermom. I will get through this and we will survive. I hope that maybe though this blog I can connect to other parents, learn a little, help a little and share our new journey. We will be traveling across country to Florida. I have not traveled this long with her before. Not with the pump either. I am trying to work out the details and get all our supplies. The doctor is great helping me think of everything but I know I will need some help to get through this. I hope some of you out there will post and give me some of that help along the way. maybe you will find some of our trip amusing. I always have something amusing happen each day. Isn't that the way with kids!!!??? Plus I homeschool so we are always together. Well if you are still reading this I have not bored you with our opening story. Thanks for reading and hope you come back to share in our story some more.