Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time To Brag!

Ok I just can't help myself! Nikki has a style that is unique to herself. Since she was a little girl she would insist on matching and selecting her own clothes. Let me tell you that i would cringe when she picked the orange stripe pants with the pink poka dot top! (and i am not kidding). When you have a child with diabetes I sincerely believe that you have to pick your battles and what she wore was not a battle i felt I had to fight. If she was happy wearing these bright, different outfits who am I to try and change her.

Through the years (the past 3) Nikki has done some things that really have made me think that we might just have a designer here. For example, one day I came home to find that she had taken several shirts out of her closet that she didn't care for and cut them up, making them look like tube tops that she than paired with other shirts. (I didn't think these looked like anything I would want to wear) but she soon had her friends swapping out there nice looking cute shirts for her new shirt versions. This is just one of the many creations of Nikki Tyler.

A couple of years ago Nikki expressed a desire to learn to sew, now i can't sew a straight line and I really do not have the knowledge to teach anyone how to go about sewing. Sewing is a lost art, it's become expensive to sew and you have to really love the whole process. Fortuately we have someone who is an excellent seamstress and she offered to give Nikki lessons. Now as many of you parents probably know our children may take lessons for music, band,sewing, drama etc, wheter they ever really end up using what they learn is another story.

Well since Nikki has been learning she made her Halloween costume last year by tracing out what she wanted and her teacher taughter her how to take different parts of different patterns to form the princess costume she had drawn, complete with an insulin pump pocket for her pump.

This past summer we did several shows, one at a local park. Since Nikki knew she would be spending several hours with me at this fair she gathered about 6 of her webkinz, without me knowing it she took one of our bins, put a sheet over it and set up her webkinz all decked out with little shirts, coats and hats that she had put together herself, now were there threads hanging absolutely, where hems uneven? absolutely, but you know what she sold all of the webkinz clothes that she had with her and had enough money to purchases some items at the fair with (she is not a big saver!).

Well I just picked her up from sewing class the other day and she had just finished a top she made, I looked at it and it looked cute, this morning she put it on and I was totally amazed at how really nice it came out. It nice when everything they have been learning starts to come together. She was so proud of herself. Her teacher even helped her do a label that says Nikki, so she proudly stitched this into the back of her shirt so if someone didnt believe that she made it she could show them!

So I now look back at all of those crazy outfits and think, you know what you are right to pick your battles wisely you never know some of the crazy things our kids can come up with might truly be a path they are destined to take!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nikki Tyler is Stylin!

Here is our darling, Nikki Tyler! Nikki is wearing our new pump pouch,with a matching watch and my New York Sweatshirt!

I recently went on a trip to PA, for our annual shopping trip, (not so much shopping as get together of friends). We do this every year about 80 ladies pile onto 2 buses for our annual shopping trip. We leave at 5:15 a.m. sharp and arrive in reading Pa at about 10:00 a.m. As the store doors open we are all set to tackle the day.

I really enjoyed this years trip, for some reason it really seemed much more relaxed people were so friendly and all willing to share their great bargains. We New Yorkers get the added bonus of "No Sales Tax" when shopping in PA. At about 5:00 we all pile back into our bus and go to the hotel. Where this year we waited for the 2nd year in a row 45 minutes to an hour for our hotel keys. (luckily we got to watch a movie while we waited). We can't figure out why there seems to be an issue with the hotel and hotel keys every year. But even this did not phaze us at all, our groups broke off to many differen eatery's. We decided on a restuarant real close (i won't mention names) because it was close to the hotel, easy to get to and would give us time to get back to use the hot tub (love the hot tub its the best part). The service was not the best, in fact we were all kind of in shock that the waitress was sitting down having a soda with at least 6 unclean tables near by. Actually seemed put out that she had to clean a table for us. Well it was still fun and we did eventually get our food, made it back to the hotel for exactly 15 minutes of hot tub time.

Our next day was another beautiful sunny day, calling home everyone was doing well, dad was holding down the fort! (i do believe Nikki was giving him a run for his money) Patrick is pretty self sufficient so he just did his own thing (It hurts to have them grow up and see that they really can take care of themselves.)

On the way home I found this really great sweatshirt in my favorite color green, i found it at the rest stop on the way back into New York. Well I have not been able to even wear it, Nikki saw it on the table and has been using it ever since. Which is pretty surprising seeing as it is a womens Large. It matched her new pump pouch and when she saw that matching watch (yes you are going to be able to get matching watches to the pump pouches coming out) she loved the look! Now she wants several pouches with the watches to match. Personally I really like the watches myself and i'am using the larger pump pouches for my black berry so we are actually matching each other.

I think I better be prepared for a long road of daughter borrowing my clothes, I only wish I was her size and could borrow her things!!!

Hope you all really enjoy this Halloween week, and Fall Season!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

In Honor Of Diabetes Awareness Month "I Test & I Pump Shirts

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day. So we thought what can we come up with that would get people talking and asking questions about diabetes. That's when we thought what if we came up with some cool shirts that said "I test" and "I Pump"? Would those two words on shirts bring a response of what does it mean? We think so! When wearing theses shirts you have the perfect opportunity to bring out information about diabetes and the need to find a cure. The shirts are beautifully done in rhinestones and we have some other cute white t-shirts coming also. The are located at look under the new products page.

We hope that people will ask alot of questions about them. But most of all we hope that you enjoy them. For the month of November remember to try and bring out as much information as you can about diabetes and why we need a cure. What I like to do is let the schools and city know that November is National Diabetes awareness month so that they can post it on their calendars. On November 14th I will send in a charm croc to each of my children's teachers, as a thank you for all that they do to help us manage diabetes and to also generate more talk about diabetes.

I know in my heart that some day we will find a cure and that our children and adults will experience life without daily pricks and worries. I still remember the first year Nikki was diagnosed we did our first Walk to Cure Diabetes. I remember telling Nikki that we were walking to cure diabetes and she would get to meet lots of new friends as we all joined together to raise money for the cure. The next morning she woke up and wanted to know if we had done it? Not knowing what we were suppose to do she responded as only a then 3 year old could "the Cure " you know we walked to cure diabetes, did we do it? Of course tears came flowing and lots of hugs, how do you explain that no we didn't do it yet, but I know that we will find the cure, and I know that we will find it so that our children and adults can know life without diabetes. So as November is the offical month of bringing awareness to diabetes lets spread the word in everything we do!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Halloween Is In The Air!

This week has been a truly crazy week! Everyone's blood sugars have been running on the high end. (do you think that they have all gotten into the bags of candy I have purchased in anticipation of Halloween)? Either that or there is something in the air. Patrick had to leave school today to come home and change his site. He's 16 and now prefers to change his site at home verus going to the nurse. Luckily we only live a minute away so he can easily do this. Nikki's blood sugar has been all over the place, She has been better about texting me her blood sugars at lunch time, but even with waking with a good number today she came out at a 296 pre lunch. so we have been correcting it all day. I am finding that as they get older we have less and less control on what goes in their mouth. And even though they tell you they haven't eaten anything that would explain the high blood sugar I keep finding empty wrappers from candy and empty bags of cheetos (Nikki's favorites). If you are like us, we tend to have a couple good days and than everything changes, its a constant struggle to get everyone checking and bolusing (before) they eat.

I need a better way to explain to all of my children that the goal is to bolus "before eating". This is a common thread with all three of our children, they eat than they remember to test. If we are with them, than everyone tests first, we count the carbs and than they bolus. This makes the numbers even out and stay within range. All it takes to throw the whole day off is for one of them to eat something and either not bolus or bolus afterwards.

With Halloween approaching I dread the day of highs that usually takes place, even with careful planning it is a difficult day to monitor. This year Nikki is in the middle school so the class parties are done (i hate to say it but i am glad to be done with those). Now its just the after school trick or treat we will have to deal with. For Halloween we usually ride the roller coaster of numbers, because of the activity level and the candy that everyone eats we are all over the place. This year I am determined to conquer this monster of a day. So i will wish you all the best of luck on conquering this. As parents we want our children to be able to enjoy this day like everyone else, I find although a hard day to control even with all of the carbs listed for candy, its well worth the effort to let them just be kids. So we will continue to work hard at trying to maintain normal numbers (does anyone ever maintain normal numbers?)if you don't you are not alone. Some times I think I live on a different planet! I am a constant broken record, did you test, did you bolus, let me see your meter, let me see your pump, how many carbs did you use? Sound familiar? Well Halloween I am going to put it all aside and just do the best we can!

Hope everyone has a very Happy Halloween! Nikki is going to be a witch this year! Last year she made her very own princess costume including a pump pocket for her pump! This year she bought tights that she cut up (she loves to cut up clothing), a mariyln monroe dress and wig with a witch hat? she created the whole thing,so i think we are a Marilyn Monroe Witch! Happy Happy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spending Accounts

Spending Accounts. It’s hard to believe that we are already entering the month of October! Just 3 months and 2008 will have ended and 2009 will begin. If you are like me you might be looking at your spending accounts and trying to make sure that you have submitted all of your co-pays, bills and anything else that will amount to getting you the refunds you so diligently have set aside.
For those of you that might not know what spending accounts are here is some information about them:
Flexible spending accounts
Health care flexible spending accounts are employer-established benefit plans that reimburse employees for specified medical expenses as they are incurred. These accounts are allowed under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code and are also referred to as "cafeteria plans" or "125 plans." The employee contributes funds to the account through a salary reduction agreement and is able to withdraw the funds set aside to pay for medical bills. The salary reduction agreement means that any funds set aside in a flexible spending account escape both income tax and Social Security tax. Employers may contribute to these accounts as well. If you do not use the amount that you have set aside “You Lose it”. So it is important to make sure that you take advantage of all the options available to you to gain reimbursement.
I have been amazed at how much we as a family have gone through every year in medical necessities, co-pays and day to day essentials that deal with diabetes. I gather everything that I can and submit monthly for all of our expenses. I include all of my documentation, receipts and forms. Doing this allows us to gain reimbursement for something that is draining on our expenses and lives. Even with the use of spending accounts there are still many things that we as parents of children with diabetes do not have the luxury of being able to be reimbursed for. Can you see me submitting for the 14 pencil boxes that I have so patiently filled with drink boxes, cake gel, test strips, fast acting candies and gluco tabs. Are these a medical necessity? When you have children with diabetes that are in school they travel from class to class and kids being kids they don’t always remember to replenish their test strips or replace the drink box they drank the day before. It’s essential to make sure that each classroom has the necessary supplies just in case there is a need. Yet I hardly think that receipts for all of the supplies I hand out at the beginning of each year would be covered. Nor to I believe that the cases of drink boxes and gator aid would be approved either.
So as I finish with this months whooping total and seal the envelope with all of our receipts I wanted to take this time to remind everyone that our pump cases, pump packs, pump pocket t-shirts, pump bands and specialty clothing are used to hold your insulin pump. We are happy to supply you with letters stating what the use is for. We cannot guarantee that you will be approved but many of our clients have gotten reimbursed. And why not submit what we can to help elevate the draining on our finances. If you are just learning about spending accounts be sure to start the new year of 2009 off with one. You will be amazed at the savings. I’ve used spending accounts for years and what really amazes me is that even with deducting this from my salary its hardly noticeable because of the savings I gain on the other end.