Saturday, May 30, 2009

Okay- here are the pictures of our trip north!  I didn't put in everything- but you'll get a pretty good idea of what it's like to drive the great Alaska- Canadian Highway- otherwise known as the Alcan!

This is the first night officially moved out of our apartment in Tulsa.  

Oficially on the road- heading north to Glenwood, IA for Jada's birthday party and to say good bye to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

I was able to meet my good friend and one of my college roommates for coffee!  One of the highlights of our trip for me!

This book- The Milepost- is a MUST for people traveling the Alcan.  It gives you details of every mile along the trip!

Happy Birthday Jada!  4 years old!

A stop at the famous Wall Drug in South Dakota.

Wall Drug again- notice it's snowing!

Snow in the Black Hills!

The Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming

Looking down on Billings, Montana!

Notice the look on Jada's face- yes- the look of a low blood sugar!

Our hotel in Great Falls, Montana.  We stayed here on our way down before.

Blizzard!  Yes- it was scary!

At the border in Sweet Grass, Montana.

Welcome to Alberta- in a blizzard!

Mary Beth rarely sleeps in the car during the day- she was obviously worn out!

Dawson Creek, British Columbia.  The official start of the Alaska Highway! At about 5 am!

Our hotel in Ft. Nelson, British Columbia had a waterslide!  It was a much needed break!

David wanted SO bad for me to get a shot of at the bottom of the slide- this was the best I could do!

The northern Canadian Rockies!  Beautiful!


Bison wandering along the road- we saw a bunch!

Jada and Mary Beth- my dancing princesses! At Liard Hot Springs- middle of no where British Columbia! :)
Liard Hot Springs- amazingly HOT and relaxing!
More mountains- in the Yukon Territory, Canada.

In Delta Junction, Alaska- the end of the Alaska Highway.  Yes- this picture was posed, but it IS how we really felt!

Worn Out

I do believe that I am just about as physically and emotionally spent as I have been in a long time.  It's been a tough week with Jada being sick and Jeff working extra long days and only having one day off.  Jada slept all night last night- the first night all week long and I didn't have to wake her to give her a snack.  She needed the rest and so did I.  However, I feel more tired today than I did yesterday and feel a sore throat coming on.  I'm really hoping I don't get what she had.
Jeff has been working his tail off.  He is the general manager of a national chain restaurant and it is one of the messiest situations he's ever stepped into.  He's somewhat "gifted" in trouble -shooting restaurants, so he's seen his fair share of bad and this is BAD!  It's also Alaska- which brings it's own unique set of issues.  For some reason, businesses up here seem to have a lower standard for the way they do things.  And- there is very little competition, so it's easy for them to get away with poor service.  There are a host of other issues besides poor service which I could go on and on about but had better not share on a public blog!  He is seeing a quick turn around in some areas- like the quality of service given to his customers but there are other things that will take longer.  So- he is having to put in a lot of time right now.  We knew that would be the case when we came, but it doesn't make it any easier to get through this time.  I am SO thankful that we have the support of friends here!
On a cool note- we had an EARTHQUAKE tonight!  It was a magnitude of 3.7 and it REALLY shook our house good!  I had just put the kids to bed and sat down to blog and I heard a very low rumbling noise and then the couch began to shake up and down!  The kids came running out of their room terrified- they hadn't figured out what it was and then when I told them- they were SO excited! LOL!    We had one last week, but it was in the middle of the night and it didn't wake me up.  As long as they are small quakes they don't bother me- nothing big please!
Well- the house is quiet.  The kids are finally falling asleep- that earthquake got them going!  I think I'm going to find a movie and wait for my hubby to come home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Swine Flu?

Fairbanks had it's first confirmed case of swine flu yesterday and since the discovery, I've wondered if this is what Jada has had.  I looked up the symptoms and really- it's hard to tell if she's had the regular flu over the swine flu.  One symptom I noticed that she did have that is common to the swine flu is extreme fatigue.  I asked the dr. on Tuesday if she possibly had the flu and he thought it possible, but didn't want to run tests for that.  I'm fine with that now, since she made it through 4 days of fever and terrible body aches. makes me wonder.  The Daily Newsminer (local paper) said that health officials believe that the swine flu has possibly been circulating in Fairbanks for a few weeks, but no one has been sick enough yet to cause them to run tests.  Our good friend's little boy is now sick with the same exact symptoms that Jada had and they may be taking him to the dr. today.  My guess is they'll run a flu test on him since this confirmed case.  We'll see!  So far, the rest of our kids haven't shown any signs of illness and I'm kind of surprised.  Hopefully, the rest of the family will steer clear of it.  However- with Jada being the first to get it, the others will be a piece of cake to get through this compared to her!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Latest Update

Jada actually slept most of the night last night- which was great, because she really needed it and I did, too!  She woke up at 6 am with a temp of 102, a BG of 302 and moderate to large ketones. Grrr........  However, I'm not surprised she woke up with ketones like that because of her fever and high blood sugar.  So, she had a juice box  and two crackers for breakfast along with a rather large shot and her blood sugar has slowly been falling.  Her temp was taken care of by Tylenol and then she went back to sleep.  I think she slept from about 7 am until 9:30- and has been acting almost normal!  Yay!  I'm trying to keep ahead of the fever with meds and a little bit ago, I had to pull her away from digging in the fridge!  I told her that she could eat whatever she wanted (she's eaten crackers and juice for the last two days) but she hasn't made up her mind yet.  The ketones are still at a moderate level, but coming down and they aren't making her sick.  
We've had a scary couple of days and it is such a relief to see her up and playing with her toys!  So much of her behavior these past two days have caused flashbacks to when she was diagnosed- not only for me, but Jeff as well.   I'm sure her temp will try to spike again this afternoon, but at least I can see our way through the woods now!  

Jada Update

Well- we spent what seems like the entire day getting Jada figured out!  We met a super nice dr.- who just moved here from Oklahoma a year ago and is familiar with Jada's endo in Tulsa!  That was a good connection- it's a small world!  After looking at her ears- which were a little red and her throat (which he couldn't see much of anything), and then listening to her chest - which- as he put it - were a little "rumbly" but not bad.  His conclusion was that it was most likely a viral illness, but wasn't 100% sure.  He recommended some blood work to make sure that her white cell count wasn't too high- which could indicate a bacterial infection.  I appreciated his awareness of diabetes and how he realized it could really complicate things.  We went ahead and did the blood work and the dr. called us this afternoon saying that her white cell count looks nearly perfect- indicating no bacterial infection.  He did go ahead and prescribe an anti-biotic more for preventive measures than anything.  
Tonight she has been a little better- still running a fever, but her cough has loosened up quite a bit and I finally got her to eat some crackers.  She had moderate ketones this morning and this afternoon when we got home, but they were all gone by tonight.
Something interesting at the dr.'s office today.  Jada had a low blood sugar- 45.  We were in the exam room when I checked her and proceeded to get a juice box for her.  The nurse asked me to wait until she took her temperature- I replied- no- she needs this right now.  The nurse gave me a blank look- like "really?"  So, Jada drank the juice (which took all of 30 seconds) and then the nurse took her temp under her arm.  At this point, I could see she didn't really "get" diabetes- but we weren't there to see her- right?  The nurse finishes her stuff and I decided to go ahead and give Jada a 100 calorie snack pack because I had a feeling that the juice just wasn't going to bring her sugar up.  The nurse asked why I was feeding her- then I explained to her that her blood sugar is very low and that she needed to eat to bring her up.  Then- she asked me if I needed insulin for her!!  ??What?? Aren't you a nurse?  She left the room after that and David looked at me and said- "Don't you think she needs a little bit of eduation on diabetes?"   I told him I couldn't agree me- that she ought to know a few of the basics!  
So- thanks for prayers for Jada today!  She's had a miserable few days and I'm thinking tomorrow wil be better!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Jada woke up yesterday morning with a slight fever of 100.3.  Checked ketones and she was showing a moderate amount in her urine.  Crap.  But- no tummy ache, which is always the sign of bad ketones for her.  So, we gave her ibuprofen and acetaminophen.  We changed our Memorial Day plans from driving about an hour away to spending the day at a friend's house just in case she got worse.  She did pretty well- her fever spiked again in the afternoon but after some ibuprofen, she was comfortable again.
Fast forward to last night.  Around 7 pm, she just took a downturn.  Her fever spiked again and we couldn't get her to eat or drink anything.  We checked ketones and there none (thank you God!) but she was miserable.  She started complaining about her ears and throat and started coughing.  We were up most of the night- checking blood sugar- which stayed high most of the night and she was feverish as well.  This morning we checked ketones and they again showed a moderate amount.  Her fever spiked to 103 and she was miserable for a while.  She's not hungry, but drank some juice and has asked for water a couple of times.  I'm thinking either ear infection or strep throat- but Jeff couldn't see any spots in the back of her throat when he looked last night.  Obviously, something is not right and I think she probably needs to be on antibiotics.  So.....we're headed off to the urgent care center this morning.  I'll post an update later!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Miss Munchy

"Jada- what are you doing?" 

"Nothing"  (refrigerator door closes)

Jada walks out of the kitchen with chocolate milk dripping out the corners of her mouth. 

"Jada- did you drink some chocolate milk?"


"Well, I was just firsty, Mama" (no- firsty is not a typo- "thirsty")

20 minutes later-  "Mama-   I want a drink of water. I'm REALLY firsty!"

"I think we need to check your blood sugar."

beep. !!399!!

Then, we have the talk.  You know, the one about how we ask before eating.  How we need to test  before we eat.  How sometimes, we have to have a free snack like cheese or a peanut butter sucker or a piece of lunch meat.  

I don't know if she's going through a growth spurt, but Jada has had the munchies for the last week!  I have had this conversation with her at least once, if not twice a day for the last week!  I've never had to put things up out of her reach, because she's been pretty good about not eating the things she shouldn't eat and usually pretty good about asking, too.  Well, not any longer.  So, here are a few things that I know I should do:
1. Make sure she gets plenty to eat at meal times AND keep her meal/snack times on schedule. (which, since moving, we haven't been too scheduled).
2. Not get angry with her for eating food that she shouldn't- the last thing I need to create is a battle over food!
3. I think I also need to put things up out of her reach and make sure everyone else does the same (wish me luck!).

Any other suggestions?  Over all her numbers are pretty good but she is just one hungry little girl!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Settling Into Life

We are settling into a very different way of life for us!  The last 18 months- from the time we moved from Alaska to the lower 48- in many ways were very lonely.  We didn't move close to family in Iowa- we moved to Houston- 17 hours away!  Then, to Tulsa where the closest family was 4 hours away.  We haven't been accustomed to people just dropping by or running into people that we know at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club or the gas station!  We were in Houston for about 9 months and about the same length of time in Tulsa.  Each time- we were just getting to know people and beginning to build relationships when we left.  What a difference moving back to a familiar place makes!
It's amazing to move back to a place where our family is known and loved by our Alaska "family".  Every time I'm out- I run into someone that I know.  And- it can make it difficult to get shopping done!  But I love it!  I've had a hard time getting boxes unpacked because we're BUSY already- and we haven't even been here for 3 weeks yet!  The kids have friends that they want to see and places they want to go!  And it's summer- the weather is gorgeous- we have over 19 hours of daylight (as I'm typing this at 11:30 pm the sun hasn't set yet!) and I am so GRATEFUL the Lord  has brought us home!
Pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

8 Things

I was tagged by Jill from Diabetes Sweeties to do "8 Things" some time ago!  At last- here it is!
8 Things I'm looking forward to.....
1. Getting to Anchorage to see my sister in law and family.
2. Getting the house organized and decorated.
3. My women's Bible study tomorrow night.
4. Planting some flowers!!!
5. Family coming to visit in August.
6. Jeff's next day off.
7. Getting a second vehicle.
8. Getting outdoors with the kids to do some hiking.

8 Things I Did Yesterday......
1. Grocery shopping
2. Had a date with my sexy husband at The Pump House- our fave restaurant in Fairbanks.
3. Picked up our new sofa!
4. Stopped at Beaver Sports to see if they had any cross country skis on clearance-nope- all the way out!
5. Had white chocolate raspberry creme brulee for dessert!
6. Taught our good friends how to take Jada's blood sugar.
7. Made dinner for the kids.
8. Talked to my brother in law on the phone.

8 Things I Wish I could Do.....
1. Find a cure.
2. Afford to fly all of my family to Alaska for a visit.
3. Get laser vision correction!!! (I'm as blind as a bat without contacts/glasses)
4. Buy a camper!
5. Fully fund my friend Kori's year long mission trip to Indonesia!
6. Have a date night with my husband once a week!
7. Have creme brulee every night!
8. Have the motivation to exercise like my husband does!

8 Shows I Watch.....
1. American Idol
2. Law & Order
3. 24
4. Biggest Loser
5. Seinfeld
6. Top Chef
7. The Office

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Trying to Get Caught Up! And.....Happy Mother's Day!

Wow- what a week it's been!!  Trying to get unpacked, connecting with friends, Jeff adjusting to a new job, sleep schedules being way off, trying to get used to this crazy sunlight.......the list goes on and on.  Where do I start?
On the Jada front, she's doing great!  We've had a few crazy moments over the last week.  On Tuesday, we went to Sam's to stock up on groceries and decided to have lunch there.  I had checked her about an hour before and she was in the 170's, so I hadn't been concerned about a nose dive.  Right before we got in line, I checked her and she was 24!  And once again- walking around like nothing was wrong.  Over the last two weeks her insulin to carb ratio has gone from 1:10 to 1:15 and then to 1:18 and still having problems with some lows.  I'm wondering if our eating schedule has something to do with it- but our schedule hasn't been horribly off either.  We'll see as we get into a more normal routine this week.
I've got an awesome recommendation for a doctor!  He's local- not an endocrinologist (have to go to Anchorage for an endo), but LOTS of experience with Type 1.  Three of his children have Type 1 Diabetes and he's the director of the Diabetes Clinic.  I've heard great things about him and am excited to meet him.  
I've left Jada twice in childcare for church events this last week.  One was for the women's Bible study and the other was for  "Queen for a Day" (a spa event held yesterday to celebrate Mother's Day).  David was an AWESOME big brother both times and helped me out by checking her blood sugar at some specific times and then calling me with the numbers.  I was a little nervous about leaving her because the child care location is about a 5 minute drive from our friend's house where both events were held, but David rose to the occasion and I had no need for worry.   She was away from me for four hours and NO problems at all!
Ahh....Queen for a Day.  Food, massages, facials, pedicures, manicures, friends and no interruptions.  Our church puts this event on every year for Mother's Day and it is absolutely amazing- and you don't have to be a mom to come- just a woman! :)  I met new people and had a good chance to sit and visit with old friends.  It was like the ultimate girl hang out time.  Already looking forward to next year.
We are starting to get settled in our house.  I will post some pictures just as soon as I can find my USB cord!!  I had it with me the whole trip up here and as soon as we moved in to the house I lost it! grrr....  We still need a kitchen table and will be getting a sofa and love seat this week.  We have folding chairs and a Cracker Barrel rocking chair to sit on currently! :)  
Well- this is just the beginning of getting caught up on my blogging.  I've been tagged twice the last couple of days and don't worry ladies- I'll do them! :)  
Oh-and last but not least- Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We Made It!

I'm laying on the floor of our new home in Fairbanks, Alaska at about 11:30 pm and I can still see across the street  and the trees in the yard two doors down from us.  The Land of the Midnight Sun is already working it's magic on me.   I'll be getting tired soon, because it will be completely dark soon.  I'm going to be in big trouble when the sun doesn't set at all!  Extra sun for me means extra energy- not a bad problem to have, but does cause lack of sleep! :)
So- you may ask why I'm on the floor and not at a desk or table or some other more comfortable piece of furniture??  I wish I could be sitting on something like that, but it's a little difficult when the trailer that you were hauling most of your worldly possessions broke down about 4 hours on the other side of the border in Canada!!  I didn't possibly think we could get any more drama last week than we had already had but we sure did!
As we were leaving Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, Jeff looked in the passenger side mirror an asked me if the mirror was bouncing up and down or if indeed it was the tire on the trailer wobbling back and forth like it was just going to fall off.  I confirmed his suspicions and we stopped.  The axel hadn't broken (yet) but the hub of the axel had (it's kind of like a "cap" that goes on the exposed outside part of the axel- it keeps things stable.  We drove to the nearest mechanic and ended up leaving it, because people typically don't keep those parts on hand.  So tomorrow my amazing husband and a friend of our making the trip to bring it home.  
Second thing that happened that day.  We had no cell service the majority of our time in Canada and had none until we arrived in Tok, Alaska.  We were close to 48 hours of no communication with our family and knew they could be worried about us.  As I try to make the phone call, I was re-routed to the "fraud department".  I passed the phone off to Jeff, as it's really his phone.  They had shut our phone off while in Canada- it's like a credit card- if they see "odd" activity, they shut it off.  So- naturally, they begin to ask Jeff "security" questions.  Not really a big deal UNTIL they ask him where he was living when he received his first social security card!! Some people may be able to answer this, but Jeff, during his childhoold, moved almost every year.  He couldn't answer it and they refused to turn the phone on!!!  So- they told him that they were going to investigate him for fraud- really???  It was a mess.  He ended up having to fax receipts of hotel stays/ fuel stops as well as proof of i.d. before they turned the phone on.  And in the end, they did apologize to us not only for refusing to turn the phone on, but for being so rude.  Sooo- if you're (Rocksee!!) traveling through Canada remember to tell your cell provider so they don't shut you off!!  We had told our bank what we were doing and had no problems with our cards getting shut off.  
It was quite the adventure and we had a lot more problems than anticipated, but obviously, the Lord was taking care of us.  Had we driven any further on that wheel- it would have broke the axel and it potentially could have caused an accident.  We just "happened" to catch it right after it happened according to the mechanic.  Furthermore-  we were beginning to drive a stretch of the Alcan where it is pretty desolate, and we discovered it less than two miles out of town and were able to turn around and go back.  God is good and I am so thankful for His protection.
It is good to be home.  The weather has been gorgeous and the day we arrived we could see Denali (Mt. McKinley) clearly!  That was quite a greeting for us!  We have spent time this weekend with close friends and I have more catching up to do this week- I can't wait!  
We didn't have a place to live yet when we left Tulsa.  The back up plan was to stay with friends, and hope to find a place quickly.  We weren't worried about it, because we knew that God would provide.  And indeed He did.  Before we left, we had inquired about a home that we had seen on Craig's list and the night we left, we received a response back saying that the home was available but that the owners knew our good friends (the ones we were going to stay with!) AND that he went to our church up here!!  We got his email as we were loading the car up, so we didn't get a chance to respond.  Well- our crazy week began and in the midst of it, I forgot all about his email.  When we arrive, my friend Kim tells me that there is a couple who wants to rent us their house and it was available almost immediately!! It was this same guy and come to find out- they had held it for us all week and put other people off who wanted to rent the house.  Long story short- the house is great- neighborhood is awesome- the view is amazing (Birch Hill is the view- for those not familiar with Fairbanks, it's the major local cross country ski area) and NO neighbors behind me!! Fenced in back yard for the kids and the dog and a very nice family living next door.  And all appliances were provided.  No worries here- the Lord had it covered for us. 
Well- it's past midnight and finally completely dark.  Time for bed.  The sun will be up in just a few hours- hopefully the kids won't wake with it! And oh shoot- I forgot to check Jada!! Better go!