A Waking Nightmare (It Wasn’t So Bad)

Just a few days after I brought now eight-year-old home from the hospital with her type 1 diabetes diagnosis, I had a very vivid dream.

In this dream, I was at a hometown buffet. I was looking around the room at all the different food options. I started to sob, “How can I possibly count the carbs on this? I can’t do it!” Then, in my dream, I collapsed in a sobbing heap to the tile floor while diners around me blithely picked up their plates, filled them, and simply walked around the distraught woman on the floor.

Fast forward six months. A good friend was in town from Florida. For some reason she wanted to go to hometown buffet. I think she associates it with the state we live and her time here.

Let me just say, I have never really liked hometown buffet. In my opinion, they overcharge for mediocre food. I would rather have a reasonable portion of excellent food than all I want of so-so food for the same price. My kids and other extended family members disagree. Regardless, we were headed to the buffet.

Before we left, I looked at hubby and said, “I don’t know if I can do this. Counting carbs for eight-year-old when she has unlimited food choices will be really hard. It will be just like my nightmare.”

Hubby said, “Well, just do the best you can. Eight-year-old will be fine.”

So off to the buffet we went. I had eight-year-old fill up her plates (yes, plates plural) with exactly what she wanted to eat. Then, and here is the amazing part, I looked at it, estimated the portion size, calculated the carbs in my head and accounted for the glycemic index of the food. All in about 2 minutes or less. Then, I gave her the insulin shot and she ate a mostly normal meal. Well, except for the fact that it was more carbs than I have ever dosed her for before. And, she had to get all her food at once, instead of deciding whether to go back. And she had to test her blood sugar before so I could take that into account, too. Meal times are really not so “normal” any more.

It is amazing what you can learn in six months when you have to. I never in my wildest dreams, or worst nightmares, thought I could actually look at a plate of food, tell you the carbs, take the glycemic index of the food into account, and then just know how much insulin was necessary. But I did pretty well. She was in the perfect range where her blood sugar should have been that night at bedtime.

Score: full-time pancreas:1, buffet nightmare:0.

So, take that, buffets. You can’t scare me anymore! I lived one of my nightmares, and I survived. Let’s just hope I never have to actually live the naked while speaking in church nightmare. I think that one may just kill me.


Hot Tub from Hades

My hubby and I stole away for a romantic pre-Valentine’s weekend. We had it planned pre-diabetes diagnosis for our seven-year-old, and my wonderful mother agreed to still come and tend all the kids and take on the duties of being a pancreas. She is amazing.

With everything that has been happening, the hubby and I needed to relax, recharge, and rediscover the love that had led to the creation of the crazy fun family from which we were getting a break.

Now, gentle reader, lest you think this post will delve into intimate details, let me reassure you that I will write nothing of the kind. However, if you are adamantly opposed to the idea of a married couple getting into a tub together, skip this post and read another. If, however, you can handle the notion, read on for quite possibly the most unromantic, yet entertaining, hot tub experience that has ever happened in the history of hot tubs.

The bed and breakfast in which we were staying was equipped with a jetted tub for two. Not knowing how long it had been since it had been cleaned, we turned on the jets before getting into the tub ourselves to flush out any impurities.

Impurities we got, in spades. When we had filled the tub up somewhat and turned on the jets, disgusting brown and grey flakes shot out along with the water. I don’t want to speculate on what they were. I prefer to think it was hard water deposits and leave it at that. Otherwise, what happened next is more horrifying than hilarious.

When we saw the flakes come out of the tub, we exclaimed, “Gross!” and attempted to find some sort of cleaning agent we could flush through the system. Nothing was at hand, and while we were searching, the jets really started ramping up their power. What started out as a powerful but tub-bound stream of water soon grew in intensity. It grew so rapidly, we had our own World of Color, right there in our room.
Disneyland 2010 160
Jets of water were shooting first four, then six, then eight feet out of the tub. The carpet around the tub was soaked before we even registered what was happening. “Turn it off!” I yelled!
“I’m trying!” my poor husband shot back, “the button is stuck!” And stuck it was. Not just sort of stuck but completely, not-moving-at-all stuck. We could not turn off the jets.

“Quick, get me some towels!” my husband yelled as he attempted to cover the geysers shooting from our tub. While he covered the jets, I turned on the water so the level would eventually cover the jets.

After about five long minutes, the water filled enough to keep the jets from shooting out of the tub. But by that time, the footboard of our bed was soaked, along with the clothes that were hanging off the end of it. The bags we had packed, even though they were zippered shut, got soaked enough that the clothes inside were wet.

You may ask why we didn’t simply call the front desk as soon as we knew the jets were stuck. Good question. Why? My husband had already disrobed. We were, after all, planning on getting in the tub.

Yep. I still have the perfect image of him getting sprayed all over, attempting to hold back the Niagara Falls of jetted tubs with a couple of bath towels. All while wearing only his birthday suit. I had not yet taken off my clothing, but I wish I would have since it got soaked during my failed attempts to help him. A small (OK, more than just a small) part of me wanted to simply get out my phone and snap a pic of the hubs bending over with arms spread wide, towels somewhat effectively pressed on the jets all while naked as the day he was born. I resisted the impulse however.

Hopefully, you weren’t just drinking, or your beverage may have shot out of your nose as powerfully as the jets shot from our tub. Sorry, I won’t be responsible for any damages.

After finding clothing way at the bottom of my bag that was sort of dry, I went down to the front desk to tell them what had happened. The lady was super nice, said she was, “horrified and so sorry” and then proceeded to say she would come up to clean the tub “right then.”

Swallowing the giggle that had momentarily escaped, I told her to let me give my husband some warning, ran upstairs and told him to put on the driest thing he had (a robe and a pair of sweats that came from the depths of his carry-on that were still pretty wet).

The front desk lady came in, proceeded to start cleaning the tub and actually said, in what was an attempt, I’m sure, to lessen the emabarrassment for all of us, “Just pretend I’m not here.”

Hmmm. If she had really thought about that statement, I’m sure she didn’t mean it. After 20 minutes of scrubbing and using W-D-40 to get the jets switch unstuck, she finally left, telling us that the owners wanted to comp us a future stay.

Being the frugal people that we are, we took them up on it. But, I don’t think we’ll be using the tub during our next stay.

The Elephants in the Duct Work

A few days ago, four-year-old was on the vent in the morning, getting warmed up as the heat blew in from below. She loves getting a blankie, throwing it over the top of her and having the warm air blast her all around.

Four-year-old was enjoying the moment until the air turned off. “Mommy,” she frowned, “the elephants went back to sleep!”

“What?” I asked, certain I hadn’t heard her correctly.

“The elephants stopped blowing,” she repeated. “I guess they went back to sleep.”

“Oh, what do the elephants do?” I asked.

“The elephants live in our vents. They blow their trunks to warm us up. Sometimes they blow cold air and sometimes they blow warm air, whatever we want.”

“Oh, I see. And how does it all work?” I wondered.

“Well, they blow when they aren’t asleep, or eating or playing. And if I sing to them, they will blow their trunks and keep me warm.”

“Ah,” I smiled, “that makes sense.”


Seven year old, listening to the whole exchange, was stage whispering to me, “Mom, why don’t you just tell her? Isn’t there some kind of fan or something that blows the air? It is not

I took seven-year-old aside and exclaimed, “Sorry, but I’m not going to tell her. That idea is just too cute. Let her believe there are elephants at her beck and call, waiting to blow their trunks just for her. It’s adorable!”

Seven-year-old rolled her eyes at me and huffed, clearly exasperated that I would let such a fallacy stand.

But really, elephants blowing their trunks to keep her warm? And when she sings to them? Could it get any more imaginative and endearing?

I like the idea. Elephants.

Of course, if elephants actually were in the duct work, I’d have to have my ducts cleaned a bit more often.

Sharing is Caring

I had a birthday last week. It was a fun day filled with presents and time spent with family. My hubby and I went to go see Mockinjay Part 2, so I wasn’t at home when my wonderful neighbor and her daughter came over and brought me cupcakes and a sweet card.
The cupcakes came in a fun container of six. I was surprised and delighted with the meaningful gesture, just perfect for my family of six. I looked at those cupcakes and smiled, amazed that my kids had managed not to eat them while I was away.
The first words out of four-year-old’s mouth when I got home weren’t happy birthday. They were, “Mommy! Someone brought you cupcakes, and you can share them if you want to!”
I laughed and didn’t give more of a response. Four-year-old persisted, “Do you want to share them, Mommy, or are you going to eat them all by yourself?”
I looked into those sweet eyes and said, “What do you think I should do?”
She turned back, looked at the ground and said, “Well, I guess whatever you want to do.”
Then, I asked, “What do you want me to do?”
Beaming up at me, she jumped in the air and yelled, “Share!”
“Don’t worry, I’m going to share them,” I assured her. Even though they looked delicious, I wasn’t going to eat all of them myself. How could I when four-year-old was so excited, so happy to have me share a cupcake. And really, birthdays are all about sharing joy with those you love. Happy Birthday to me.

Gas Pump Boogie

I am guilty of doing some strange things while I pump gas. No, I haven’t tried to see if I can actually use static electricity to start a fire though I’ve been mildly tempted. But, I guess I get bored when I’m pumping gas.

My obsession with being a little off normal at the pump started when my kids were little. I would put in the pump, stare off into the distance, then randomly make faces at them through the window. Turn away again, turn back and have a different funny face at the ready. Lots of giggles and smiles came my way, so I still keep it up. My seven-year-old and four-year-old still laugh. My older two either roll their eyes or try to come up with a face that will outdo mine. Pumping gas is entertaining.

But, the other day, I found myself with no one in the back seat to make faces at. I only had my oldest in the front seat, and he couldn’t see my face, so my usual form of entertainment was not an option. Apparently, I can’t just hold a gas pump and just stand there. So, I found myself listening to the the gurgling sound as the gas whooshed into my tank.


The next time you pump gas, listen to it come out. It actually has a nice rhythm. One I couldn’t help but dance to. I found myself swaying my hips back and forth, and nodding my head up and down to the sic beat of the gas pump. My unoccupied hand might have even gotten in on the action, though I won’t confirm or deny that.

I guess I forget when I’m in public everyone can see me. Three men in a pick-up truck pulled up behind me and doubled over laughing when they saw my sashaying behind. Luckily my tank was filled before any of them could get their phones out or I might have been the next youtube sensation.

I only hope you can also appreciate the subtle rhythm of the gas pump; it will amuse you, and those around you, if you can.

Too Much Studio C?

My hubby and I took our girls to a great musical, White Christmas, at the local high school. My niece is in it, as is one of the neighbor girls whom I have the privilege of working with in my church. It was a visually dazzling production, with great sets and costumes, along with a talented, hard-working cast.
Four-year-old was having a hard time sitting still and paying attention. She did pretty well. She only got her shoe/foot stuck in the folding auditorium seat once (though she loudly proclaimed that fact), and she only asked me when it was going to be finished three times. For a two and a half hour show, that’s pretty great. She really only got bored during the dialogue. When all the songs were going on, she sat up, swayed to the rhythm and even tried her best to sing along. My apologies to the people directly in front and behind us. I did my best to quiet her, but sometimes, I guess, you’ve just got to sing! Even when you don’t know the words. Or the tune. Or the rhythm. Yeah. Sorry.
So, I was rather surprised that she was paying enough attention to know when adorable neighbor girl got stage kissed by her leading man. I was equally surprised that she had a certain Studio C skit memorized. She stood on her seat and yelled out in a perfect Mallory imitation, “Aww Yeah!” The people around us cracked up, at least the Studio C fans did. Luckily, enough other people were whistling and cat calling in the auditorium that her comment wasn’t heard by all.
Still, maybe it’s time to limit the amount of Studio C watched in our house. Ah, who am I kidding? I love that four-year-old yelled it out. I would have done it myself if adults weren’t expected to have a filter. Check out the hilarious sketch that inspired my four-year-old’s outburst here. And go see White Christmas at local high school. And yell out “Aww Yeah” for me.