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Friday, October 14, 2011

Spirit Week

When she was in preschool, it seemed to take me all morning to prepare to drop her off on time. I had a nursing newborn, a mischievous toddler, and a (barely) 4 year old with diabetes. I spent almost every other minute thinking about what direction her blood sugar was heading, and worrying about all the scenarios that COULD happen while she was not in my care.  I carefully planned out meal and snack times to make sure there wasn't active insulin on board when I dropped her off.  I was exhausted from managing her diabetes all night and being up with both other girls, who were horrible sleepers.  Days just rolled into each other, and I felt like a zombie all the time.  Most days I made it to the school in my pajamas, completely frazzled, with a toddler having a tantrum.

There were some issues with her 504 Plan, and her insulin pump created a ton of questions for the nurse.  As a result, I packed a lunch for Tiara, strapped my littles in a double stroller, and sat in the front after day...for about 2 months.  Tiara would fall asleep after she ate, and I was able to nurse Tink down for a nap.

Then I'd stare at a wall, and wonder if this is how our life would be forever.

I remember sitting there, watching all the smiling moms bouncing in and out of the office. Oh, they were volunteering, bringing cupcakes, and talking about the Book Fair.  I distinctly remember sitting there during Spirit Week, watching them all dressed for the day and laughing with each other while their children wandered the hallways all dressed up too.  They were cute, and fresh, and well manicured.

And there I sat.  With my wall, my anxious thoughts, and my 2 babes napping in a stroller.

I know it sounds silly, but I silently vowed that, one day, my girls would have a smiling mother who dressed them up for Spirit Week too.

The years have passed.  I still have children who don't always sleep through the night, a growing child with diabetes, which can wreak havoc after bedtime, and I still work 3 late evenings a week.  Most mornings, I'm still making it to the 1st bell in the nick of time.  Spirit Week has come and gone, and we've participated randomly on an easy day here and there.

But, this year, we did it.

We only had 4 days of school this week due to a holiday.  Since Tink is in preschool, she didn't have class each day, but each Rose Girl going to school (and who wanted to participate) was ready for
Fall Spirit Week 2011.

Now, I'm not a crafty gal.  Sometimes I wonder how I'll successfully raise 3 daughters when I could care less about craft projects, but we're getting by.

That being said, I did pull out some scissors and a hot glue gun this week.  Since it's such a rare occurrence, I thought I'd share...

1)  I decorated Tshirts.
Cupcakes are a popular treat in the Diabetes Online Community, so I couldn't resist.

And, check out the ribbon for their hair :)

Twin Pumps!

2)  I made "Poodle Skirts".

Well, I made the poodles, anyway.

And, since we wouldn't want to repeat this crafty chaos unnecessarily, 
I even made the poodles removable, so we can attach them to different skirts as they grow.
(Feel free to applause.)
PLUS I made three of them.
Thinking ahead, because Tink will be in Kindergarten next year.
Just call me a brainiac.

Sometimes I still feel like that mom who used to stare at the wall.  Sometimes I look around, and wonder if I'd be a better mother without diabetes in our lives.  Sometimes I worry that my children have been robbed of precious memories with their mother, because she was too overwhelmed to enjoy the days together.

But then I remind myself that we're doing it.

We're making this life work.

Over the years, our spirits have been stomped on, broken, and challenged.  They've been pushed to their limits, hidden by anger, and forced to face a harsh reality.    

But our spirits haven't been defeated.  

Now drop the glue gun, because things could get dangerous around here if this keeps up.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this Wendy. It touched my heart because my younger daughter was Dx during my older daughter's spirit week, and I was in the hospital the entire week. My poor husband had to flounder his way through the week trying to follow my directions over the phone. So, I've always found spirit week to be bittersweet for us, glad we're stable and well now and they can participate, but it also reminds me of that hard time.
    Way to go the craft stuff, especially the pump for Sugar's twin!! I'll have to remember that one! :)

  2. Somehow I think your girls will know how much you love them, bleariness aside! :)

  3. thank you for sharing this! You are an incredible Mom and I know that your girls know that and love you immensely. I can totally relate to getting them to school as the bell rings too by the way...:o) not a morning person over here!

  4. You DO have a crafty side! You just haven't tapped into it enough! If you can make those cute cupcake shirts, the fabulous fake pump pouch AND those amazing poodle skirts with the removable, reusable poodles (!!!), then you can weild a glue gun with the best of the crafters!!!! :)

    You hit on one of my biggest concerns with this: "Sometimes I look around, and wonder if I'd be a better mother without diabetes in our lives. Sometimes I worry that my children have been robbed of precious memories with their mother, because she was too overwhelmed to enjoy the days together." I struggle big time with this, try my hardest and pray that I'm doing well enough.

  5. The love you have for your family is one of the first things that I saw right away when I found your blog when my little guy was diagnosed...and that was definitely an inspiration to me! Thanks for sharing what has been in my heart lately about my mothering skills since diabetes, it makes me feel like I am not alone in these thoughts.

  6. Love it! Your girls look like they really enjoyed Spirit Week. And way to go you crafty mama!!

  7. Ohhhh my goodness you say you aren't crafty??? Those are adorable projects!!! Right now I'm that mum blending into the wall...watching life. One day I hope to be like you making poodles!


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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.