market day

Today Maddi and I woke up, grabbed the market cart and headed to the downtown Farmer's Market.  It was rainy and a little chilly, but that certainly didn't keep the crowds away.  The vendors are full of fresh spring veggies and beautiful flowers.  The smells of hot skillets full of breakfast goodness wafted through the air as we made our way down the middle of the court. 

new t-shirtapron, goat cheese (chive feta, roasted red pepper and chipotle chevre), eggs (not pictured) and pak choi from BGF, and finally; radishes, spinach, onions and carrots from another vendor (oops, forgot to take notice of name)

After getting soaked by the rain, Maddi and I scooted up close to some buildings for shelter and were pleasantly surprised to find Market Days had moved! (inside the Kirkwood Hotel Building for local folks - across from Farm Boys Breakfast Burritos)  

Mads and I skipped into the building and enjoyed browsing the 20+ artisan booths.  I wish I could put into words the fabulousity of the creative ideas on display for sale in this building.  You simply must visit if you are in town and check it out for yourself. 

Remember this photo from last year?:

Just the most awshumness costume e-v-e-r!!!!  Mads and I walked over to a booth and after looking at the artist's creations, I just had to ask her if she was the woman behind the granny square monster creation . . . . YES!

May I introduce Meg Corcoran of scribblenest (the beautiful lady in black)

I absolutely love meeting and chatting with these one-of-a-kind artists.  I told Meg I wanted to spend a couple of days just hanging out in her brain so I feel what it was like to be so creative.  She laughed and told me it would be nice to have the company ;)

I have to admit, I was not completely in the mood to go shopping with my girl today.  Once I caffeine'd up and got in the car my spirits lifted.  Maddi started talking about how excited she was to see all the booths so she could get inspiration for new ideas.  Hanging out with Maddi is like a big blast of sunshine . . . . . you can't help but smile, nod and play along.  I am grateful to have spent the day browsing, buying, laughing, skipping and road-tripping along with my Maddi girl.


good friday

I am feeling more sappy than sassy this Friday morning, so my three favorite moments of the week will reflect my PMS mood.   Hop on over to Diapeepees to read about the creation of Good Fridays!

1.  My baby.  My first born.  My wise little woman of 13 years.  I am overwhelmed with love and respect for my Jesus loving girl.  Your gift for creative thinking and compassion for those in need is just awe-inspiring.  Pictured here on your last day of 7th grade, you are smiling and anticipating our homeschool adventure next year.  Maddi girl, I promise to help you spread your wings and take your ideas to new and uncharted territory.  Thank you for being always being 'you'.

2. My sweet giggly girl.  My second born.  My life-embracing little warrior who plows forward with gusto.  I love that you woke up on your last day of 3rd grade and put together this bright and funky ensemble to represent your sparking personality.  Your strength amazes me.  I hope you carry the love of the Lord in your heart and never feel alone.  I promise to work with you to find a balance between blood sugars and your love for learning as we embark on education at home. 

3.  My busy boy.  My third born.  My gravity defying, bouncing bundle of joy.  I didn't catch a photo of your 'full length body' on your last day of 1st grade because you just can't stay in one place too long.  Your love for motion and simultaneous sponge-like soaking-up of new information inspires me.  I love how the word of God makes you question who you will be as His son.  I promise to lift the boundaries of what traditional learning looks like for you.  May you thrive in an environment where you can read upside down, write stories standing up, and practice math facts while jumping on the trampoline.

Sappy?  Yes.  But this Mama is one proud parent of her fabulous kiddos.  Sometimes you just have to take a moment to share the joy you hold in your heart and write them out so you can savor the moment.

Have fun and stay safe this Memorial Day weekend.  Let summer begin!!!


holy information overload, batman!

My. Brain. Is. Fried.

Yesterday Ellie, Dave and I attended an insulin pump class.  Insulin Pumping 101.  Three and a half hours of T1D fun!  Thanks to the Diabetic Online Community I was able to sail through most of it with a nod of the head and minimal note taking.  I loved that I knew so much because all of YOU have shared your stories.  What a blessing!

We went into the class a little biased.  Okay, a LOT biased.  We had already ordered the OmniPod demo pod off their website and Ellie wore it for 2.5 days, declaring it 'awschum'.  Going tubeless is Ellie's main criteria for an insulin pump and we are 100% in support of her choice.  

Part of the class, however, was meeting with and listening to a demonstration from three major pump companies.  Minimed, Animas and OmniPod were set up with impressive information booths and each brought a large sampling of their pumps and accessories.  We were able to get our hands on the pumps, practice a bolus and push as many buttons as we wanted.  The Animas rep even encouraged the participants to try out their infusion set.  Ellie and I stepped right up and offered up some skin (my arm, her tummy) to attach some tubing.  Ellie and I both found it to be pretty painless, but after an hour or so Ellie wanted that thing OFF!  I told her she needed to give it a couple of days in order to truly compare it to the OmniPod if she wanted to move on to a saline trial with the Animas.  She didn't have to think twice . . . . . she ripped that inset right out.

Our timeline for the insulin pump is as follows:

* Early July - one week of saline trial with the OmniPod (the pump will be filled with saline water so we can practice using the pump with a safe(r) learning curve.  Injections will continue during the trial)

* Mid July - place the order and wait (cross fingers and toes) for insurance approval

* Mid August - receive pump and schedule appointments with the Endocrinologist to begin first stage of pumping with insulin

* Late August - follow up appointment with Endo to learn more specifics about using the pumps full functions

* Early September - pumping for realz!!!!!

We have been told by the diabetes educators, as well as actual pump users we know, that the beginning stages of using an insulin pump are comparable to the first few weeks of diagnosis.  Knowing this, we are still full-speed ahead with the pump process.  WHY?  Because Ellie wants one.  Simple as that.  This is HER T1D and we will allow her to call the shots (hehe, get it?  Totally punny) when it is appropriate.

Speaking of being newly diagnosed, Ellie came home today with a big pile of end-of-the-year crappola school classroom memorabilia.  Most of it went into the recycling bin or into her room to 'play school' this summer (Hahahahahaha.  yeah, she's a gluten for punishment . . . . just wait until homeschool!).  One piece, however, is going in my SAVE FOREVER pile. 

It is a paper pendant, decorated on the front with school colors and designs, and the back is filled with personal GOALS for the 2010-2011 school year. 

I smiled as I read what she goals she had for herself last September. 

But, I cried when I looked at the photo. :

This was Ellie taken a week or two before her T1D diagnosis. 

How did I not see it?

My baby was starving . . . just look at her collar bones.  Her eyes are sunken and lined with shadows.  Even her hair is limp.  It is hard to see in this fuzzy copy, but her eyes are dull.  Ellie NEVER has dull eyes.  Her eyes sparkle and shine and glitter . . . . always!

My baby was sick and I had no clue.

I try to keep upbeat, positive and forward-moving; (WYKBYDB = when you know better you do better) which is why I didn't dedicate an entire blog post to this photo.  I could have.  It would have been filled with grief and hatred and naughty language.  What mother wouldn't be angry at a disease that does this to their child?

I am angry . . . but I am mostly grateful.

Grateful for all the tools available to treat T1D.

Grateful for all the information available to tailor-fit a plan for each family.

Grateful to have health insurance and the ability to pay for all Ellie's medical needs.

Grateful for all the friends I have gained through a wonderful online community.

Grateful for my family and how each and every member plays a supportive role.

And, when my baby girl is crying in her bed last night because; "Today was just too much, Mom.  Too much of a reminder that I have diabetes and I am different."

On a night like that I am most grateful I can bend down close to her ear and tell her I am grateful for a God who promises a purpose, a purpose greater than we can ever comprehend.  And when we feel like we just can't handle not knowing?  He promises to never leave us and will carry the weight of our fears in his all powerful arms.

My brain may be fried, but my heart is filled with gratitude.


featured d-mom

Good Monday morning!  I am happy to report that Leighann, over at D-Mom, is featuring "ThreeThirtyThree" (that's me!) on her blog today!  Hop on over and read the interview!

D-Mom Blog Featured D-Mom

While you are over there, enjoying your coffee and cruising around Leighann's fabulous website, we will be attending our insulin pump class at our local endocrinologist's office.  Cross your fingers and toes we are able to convince the CDE's and Dr.'s that the OmniPod is the pump for us!


good friday

Happy Good Friday!!  It may be raining, and the rapture may be upon us, but I am in a great mood and not too worried ;)

1.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to work the Scholastic Book Fair Warehouse sale today.  In exchange for 4 hours of labor, I receive a voucher good for $40 worth of clearance materials.  Woo-To-The-Hoo!!!

2.  I was thrilled to find a fabulous post by one of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, about homeschooling.  I found at least 20 links leading to some great resources for next year's homeschool adventure.  More importantly, I found words that spoke to my heart and soul that solidified our decision to offer a different path for our children.

3.  I eeked out some 'me' time this week.  Wednesday was a beautifully sunny and temperate day so I took a couple of hours to sunbathe out on the trampoline. The weave of the surface provided a welcome breeze and a slight up-and-down movement of my foot gave just enough bounce to feel like I was lounging on a raft in a pool.  I loaded up my iPod with a couple of sermons, bathed in the Word soaked up some much needed vitamin D.

Enjoy the weekend and I hope you all have a GOOD FRIDAY!


moving target

Moving Target = according to Macmillan Dictionary . . . as a phrase:  an idea or situation that continuously changes as you are trying to deal with it. 

Or, in our house:

Specifically, Ellie's blood sugar numbers are the moving target and insulin is the pointed arrow.

Some days the acting pancreas (me, hubby or a well informed friend) is able to take all the variables into account:
  • activity
  • carb intake
  • weather
  • emotional status (crazy excited or even steven)
  • current growth rate (is she in a spurt or lull?)
  • carb type (not all are alike!)
  • current carb:insulin ratio
  • age of insulin
With all of the above considered and properly dosed, will the acting pancreas be able to hit the moving target?

Only a prick of the finger and a drop of blood onto the meter strip will reveal. 

3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . = will the number be in range?  (80-150)

If yes, then the acting pancreas may do a victory dance.

If the meter reveals a number outside of the range, the acting pancreas may throw a hissy fit.

Both are completely acceptable reactions, but the acting pancreas must get over it quickly because this scenario will play out multiple times a day, every day, until a cure for T1D is discovered.

Until then, Ellie's blood sugar numbers will continue to be a moving target.  

May I (or the acting pancreas) always shoot with Love, lOve, loVe, lovE.


new bling

I am not a jewelry person.  I wear my wedding ring and that is about it, unless I put on one of my three pairs of earrings.  I do like the idea of jewelry, just not so much on me. 

My ideal adornment would include my wedding ring, a pair of diamond studs and a signature everyday necklace.  I now have two out of the three thanks to Lisa Leonard Designs!

the front of the necklace has my beloved's name along with my kiddos - the back is inscribed with 'hope for a cure T1D'

Now I just need a pair of diamond stud earrings to complete the look! ;)

something like these, perhaps?

Next up is a replacement for Ellie's medical id bracelet.  I wrote about her Shain's bracelet here, and was thrilled with the whimsical look and unique options.  In practice and 8yo busy kid life, however, the bracelet did not hold up.  The ink on the individual plastic elements began to wear off and the part where the bracelet 'plugged' into itself became stretched out.  Two things we just could not have in a medical id bracelet.

When thinking about a replacement, Ellie wanted something "cute, fun and waterproof" while I wanted something durable and noticeable.  I think we found the perfect piece.

A waterproof jelly bracelet from Lauren's Hope

The bracelet is a perfect fit with the 'watchband style' closure and the metal medical id part is attached like a watch face to the bands.  Very durable.

We had the option of engraving the back of the metal i.d. tag:

Ellie Berger
Type 1 Diabetic
Insulin Dependant

I love a win-win situation and this bracelet is perfect. Ellie gets to wear a fashionable piece of jewelry and I get piece of mind.

A big T_H_A_N_K  Y_O_U  to all of the fabulous people of the DOC for all of the fabulous posts in the 2nd annual DBlogWeek!  While I did not participate in writing, I certainly enjoyed reading all of the daily entries.  Last week was a big reminder why I am so grateful to be part of such an awschum community!!!!


good friday

It's F-R-I-D-A-Y; and yes, it is good.  Here are my favorite three moments from the past week:

1.  Mother's Day family bike ride.  This was the first year since having children that the ENTIRE family rode independently . . . as in no bike trailer or trail-a-bike . . . everyone rode their OWN bike.  We packed the van with all five bikes and all five Bergers and drove to a nearby trail.  From there we rode about 45 minutes and then stopped along the river to skip rocks, rehydrate and relax.  We hopped back on the bikes to ride back to the van and THEN realized Ben left his new biking gloves back by the river.  Ugh.  Daddy got an extra ride to retrieve the gloves while the kids and I drove to meet him at the other end.  All in all a great day!

2.  The spring gifts we ordered for the kids arrived this week.  My siblings and I each received a small amount of insurance money left over from my Mom's burial fees, and I decided to spend the money on my kiddos as a belated gift from their Grandma.  All of the gifts are outdoor toys and the weather this week did not disappoint!  A trampoline, jump ropes, parachute, wiffle balls and a stomp rocket were just what the Dr. ordered for Spring Fever.

3.  My good friend Sara invited me over to look through her old homeschooling resources and books.  This was just the thing I needed to jump start my mojo back into researching, organizing and gathering mode for our upcoming year of homeschooling adventures.  I need to put pen to paper and figure out a rough draft of the subjects we want to cover and then start acquiring what we will need to make it all happen.  I simply cannot put into words how excited we all are about this new chapter in our lives!

What are YOU excited about today?



Today is the first Mother's Day I am without my Mom.

Today is the first Mother's Day I am a D-Mom.

Today is the first Mother's Day our entire family rode their own bike.

Today is the first Mother's Day Ben and Ellie made me pancakes.

Today, this Mother's Day, I am grateful I get to be a daughter, a wife, a mother, and friend.  First things first . . . . eucharisteo.  May I always have days filled with firsts.


how is that demo pod holding up?

See that Pod on the back of her arm?  It's a demo OmniPod insulin delivery system.  Just a blank trial to see how Ellie likes wearing one.  So far it has survived 2 days of:

- sleeping on her side
- showering and scrubbing
- hiding it under a longer sleeve the first day, not wanting people to notice
- talking about how T1D is a part of her and nothing to be ashamed of to:
- showing it off (notice the short sleeves for today at school!)
- bouncing on a trampoline
- running from her brother
- lounging on the couch
- and silliness all around 

Yep.  So far we are loving the Pod.  Were are Pod people.  A Pod of a family.  Girl powered Pod.  Podilicious.  Woo-to-the-Pod.  Awschum Podness.

good friday

Keeping on track with the 'good friday' posts certainly make me realize just how fast the week passes!  This week was no exception with the school year winding down and the Alaska trip inching closer and closer.  So many things and moments for which to be grateful.

1.  This springy week has brought the buds and blossoms out in full bloom.  Not only are things 'greening up' around here, but the moderate temps have allowed us to open our windows and have fresh air blowing throughout the house.  The stale and musty smells of winter wafted out the windows as the smells of fresh cut grass whispered in through the screens.

2.  The energy of the air in the house energized me to do some spring-like cleaning and organizing.  Not a full-fledged bleach fest, but a dusting off and re-arranging sort of cleaning event.  I even made an appointment to clean up myself by making an appointment to get my locks prettied up.

3.  I am sooooooo excited the Des Moines Farmer's Market opening day is set for tomorrow morning!!!!  I realize this is a gratitude statement made for a future event, but I say it fits because I have been waiting ALL WINTER for it's return.  I will be up at 6am and at the ready with my shopping cart and travel buddy (Ellie) to be one of the first of thousands who will shop the market.  Woo-To-The-Hoo!!!

Who knows what kind of fun we can get ourselves into THIS year!

Happy and GOOD FRIDAY to everyone!  What are you grateful for?


demo pod

Demo Pod  *  Pump Class  *  Stacked Combo Bolus  *  A1C  *   Carb Ratio

These phrases were NOT in my everyday vocabulary 8 months ago.  ::sigh::  T1D certainly packs a full bag when he moves in to the house.

So . . .  it's time.  Time for Ellie to begin her journey with a different insulin delivery system.  The multiple shots a day are working, but there is another option to getting her life saving medicine into her body.  A magic pill!  Ah, sadly no.  Insulin in pill form will not work because the digestive juices will mess with it and make it worthless.

We have been researching various models of insulin pumps ever since Ellie's diagnosis, but have waited on making the jump to the pump until the honeymoon was over.  We are scheduled for a pump class offered by our endocrinologist's office in a couple of weeks.  Reps from the various insulin pump companies will be there to talk to us and show us their equipment, but we are already biased.

Ellie doesn't want tubes . . . . or to have to carry around the attached pump.  Despite the cute belts and totes we could buy (or even make), Ellie wants:

The Omnipod.

We ordered a free demo pod (just a dummy - no insulin or saline) off the website and it arrived in the mail today.  Ellie will have the opportunity to see it, touch it, and place it on her body with the adhesive so see how it feels.  According to the directions, we will fill the pod every three days with both of Ellie's insulin types (basal and fast acting) and the infusion set is built into the pod.  A separate PDM will operate the pump, but from a-f-a-r.  As in up to 5 feet away.  As in she can carry it in her D-bag.

The PDM . . . and Ellie can accessorize with a colorful skin!

I hope we all love it as much as we love the idea of it.

Much more to come as we begin the journey to pumping!!!