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Archive for February, 2008

Right now I’m staring at a yellow piece of paper. It’s a sign-up sheet for spring soccer at the local YMCA. No. 1 has already expressed no interest in soccer. No. 2, though, has said she wants to play.

I try not to discourage my children from doing anything, especially anything new. But I just don’t know how dedicated she’ll be to soccer, which she has never seen played nor ever played. I’m not even sure she knows what a soccer ball looks like. Is this a sad commentary on my mom skills? No, football and baseball are more popular in our house.

If she had asked me to sign her up for a daily ballroom dancing class, I would have no question that she’d be able to stick with it. But soccer?

OK, so I can hear you saying, but Michelle how will she know if she likes it if you don’t let her try? You’re totally right. And this is part of the cunundrum that I’m in. No. 2 is five and I feel like in this point of a five-year-old’s life there is (on one hand) a ton of learning to do and (on another hand) too much concept and strategy in organized sports.

Last summer, when No. 1 was 7, was the first year we allowed No. 1 to play organized sports. Baseball. Ah how we love baseball in our house (go Cards!). Living in a small town, we went with the only baseball league around. The kids on No. 1’s team were roughly between the ages of 7 and 9. Some of these kids had years–YEARS!–of experience. My son, however, was the one in right field picking daisies.

He loved it and I felt like it was a wonderful experience for him. The whole point, I thought, was to have fun. They’re first graders–save the competition for high school. But I couldn’t help but wonder if he missed out on some crucial learning because we didn’t sign him up for T-ball when he was 3 and let him work his way up.

So here I am, with No. 2 at 5, wondering if I can offer more sports structure to my daughter by starting earlier. She already goes to ballet once a week, and, frankly, would go eight days a week if there were such a thing here for five year olds.

For a while, we had a rule in our house: No organized sports until first grade because they can’t grasp the concepts nor do they have the attention span at any younger age. I think I’ve talked myself into ditching that rule.

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Shaping the Future

I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’ve had to create a points-and-reward system for the kids. And I hate that I have to do it.

I am a responsible person and believe that I’ve always been that way. I’m sure there were times in my childhood when I didn’t do what I was supposed to, but for the most part I think I’ve always been the kind of person who could be counted on. I believe I’m one of those people who gets things done because they have to get done not because I’ll get something (other than the satisfaction of a job well done) in return.

No. 1 is 8 and No. 2 is 5. They are old enough to incur some responsibilities around the house. I believe that these are crucial ages to instill responsbility in the kids and to let them know that there is no free ride. Perhaps I’m old fashioned or too strict, but that’s the way I am.

I’ve struggled for a long time with how to separate chores you do because you’re part of the family and they need to get done and chores you do that you can get paid for. At this point, their chores are all the ones that you do because you’re part of this family. I couldn’t justify giving an allowance when (a) we buy the kids nearly everything the need and (b) when the things I ask them to do are pretty easy and age-appropriate.

At the same time, they need to be recognized for their efforts so they do understand the value of a reward and a job well done. So I’ve lamented and created a system that awards points for certain jobs; a certain number of points earned equals a reward. For No. 1, who seems to be having some issues at school, he will have a separate points system for the classroom.

I feel almost like a failure as a mother because it has come to this, but reality tells me that I’m actually a good mom for realizing that this system needs to be implemented.

What do you do for your kids? How do you encourage them to be responsible little people?

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Watch Your Mouth!

I must be getting cynical. I got one of “those” comments on Friday night. Read about it here.

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Yesterday on Blogabetes, I contemplated my mortality. Read A Diabetic Centenarian?

Also yesterday, I looked back on my first month as a pumper. Read Reflections on a Month of Pumping.

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Write On

It may be trite, but sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take a step forward. Often, though, that “backward step” isn’t even backward, just a different kind of new start.

OK, I’m being horribly vague, so I’ll explain. As a writer and editor, I am always on the hunt for freelance writing. For two reasons: the extra money is sweet, and the exposure and experience are such a bonus. I’ve gotten to the point in my professional and freelance career where I can be slightly selective in the projects I choose to accept. It can backfire and can be counter productive, but quite often if compensation sucks I say no. And when I say sucks, I mean $0.10 a word. I’m not fresh out of college and desperate for the experience. I’ve got a solid resume and I’m proud of it.

But I digress. Slightly.

I’ve found myself in a position to bid on some writing projects. Some book writing projects. As I browsed through the available projects–some new titles that a publisher needed to be taken on from the ground up and some projects that needed to be completed–I got excited about several topics I knew about and was pretty interested in.

At the same time, I got scared. I had never placed a bid on anything–even at an auction–how was I possibly going to figure out how to bid on a book project? This was such new territory. If you bid too much you’re cocky, and if you don’t bid enough then you don’t value your skills. What a pickle.

Then, to my surprise, the publisher gave a dollar figure budget range for each project. Well, that made things much, much easier. And then, after getting the calculator out, I realized the compensation was way, WAY below the projects I usually ignore. Not to mention the time frame was pretty tight. I looked past my standards for other writing projects and placed bids for five projects. This is sort of like the ultimate foot-in-the-door experience.

It’s not like I’m taking the ultimate step backward, it’s not like I’m settling for inferior work and pay just to have some extra cash. I have to have the kind of experience I have in order to be at the bottom somewhere new. There’s a hierarchy, a natural order of things that has to be met. If I ever want to move forward in my career, in my life, in my writing, I have to keep searching for new things. I’ve completed one level and am (hopefully) starting out on the bottom step of the next.

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A Fresh Perspective

As a writer, I can focus well on one subject. But I can’t always write about the same thing in two different ways for two different places. That’s the struggle I found myself in when I started writing for Blogabetes. All my diabetes-related writing energy went there. I wanted my readers to read what was going on in my diabetes life, but I couldn’t figure out how to fit it in to Blogabetes and my personal blog.

Now I know how.

My plans for this blog are concrete and fluid at the same time. I wanted a new look, a new name, a different atmosphere to reflect changes that are going on in my life, as well as anchor a new blogging platform for me.

 So welcome.

That’s the first big change.

If you’ve been keeping up with me on Blogabetes, then my next change won’t be news to you. In a nutshell, last year I tried Byetta and failed miserably; I went back to Novolog with my endo’s blessing. At a follow up appointment, he suggested that if I continued on the MDI path that I would be a candidate for a pump. I thought he was insane for suggesting to a person with type 2 diabetes, who was only three years into her diagnosis, that the pump was the ultimate therapy for her. Read about that visit here.

I got to thinking about it, though, and realized that the pump was a really good idea. So late last year I started on the get-Michelle-on-a-pump campaign. I decided that I could wait until Jan. 1, when my company’s new insurance policy kicked in, to really get the ball rolling. I just didn’t feel there was an urgency at that point. The first week of January I went for some blood work (specifically a c-peptide test) as a prerequisite for pump approval from the insurance company.

It took me close to a day to realize something wasn’t quite right when my c-peptide result came back at <0.1. I didn’t know what that meant at first, but soon learned that I have type 1 diabetes, not type 2. Another big change. You can read about my reaction to the blood test here.

Since then, I’ve gotten hooked up to my purple MiniMed 722, whom I affectionately call Toohey (like Pancreas II), and trialed a CGMS.

There’s more to know. Today’s Blogabetes post is about not wanting to get out of my warm bed last night to boost my sugar just a bit so I wouldn’t be going to bed in a lowish state. Read it here.

Again, welcome. Have fun reading!

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