Rebel, Rebel

O: Why is mommy going over there?!?! She is not supposed to go over there.

J: It's ok, O. Your mom is just a little bit of a rebel. 

P: Daddy, is rebel-ing ok?

J: It is, Pen. Sometimes, it is ok to do some rebel-ing. 

I hopped a fence. Well, that is not really fair or accurate. I shimmied through a gate, and, for context, it required virtually no actual shimming. The gate on the hip high enclosure was locked, but locked so loosely most adults could easily pass through the opening. It was left more than ajar. What would that be? Open. 

It was open. It was essentially open, but I wanted to take a picture inside the burnt-out, century-old house, so I shimmied through the gate, much to the horror of my oldest daughter. Jim, who has been at this for over a decade at this point, knew better then to be horrified and just looked on bemusedly. 

I shouted over my shoulder, "Anyone want to come do some rebel-ing with me?"

O and P, in unison, "NO!"

But, I as I turned around, I saw her, just past the gate, venturing barely past the threshold of the old stone structure, my not-so-tiny P. She skittered back quickly, but not before she stopped and touched the cool stone of the decaying structure. 

It is tough. We want our kids to follow the rules and be good citizens, while at the same time, we hope to teach them to trust their judgment, and recognize when a rule is worth breaking, either because the reward out weighs the risk or, more pressing going forward, that the governing body that is creating the rules has overstepped and requires challenge. 

Side note: I hereby, acknowledge all of the very sound research about prepubescent and pubescent humans lacking the neurological ability to adequately asses risk. Please see here.


Regardless, it did my rebel heart good, to see my Tiny P creep past that barrier, challenging herself to take a risk and to venture into the unknown. It is something all civic minded people are going to need to engage in going forward. Sometimes, even the rebels among us might need a little inspiration. 



You guys, Q is awesome. There is some third-baby-magic stuff happening over here. He eats when he is hungry. He sleeps when he is tired. He laughs so hard he gives himself the hiccups, and then his hiccups make him laugh, which makes me laugh and pretty soon the two of us are laughing so hard that we look like crazy people. His pancreas works, for now (more on that later). He is always happy to see me. His needs are concrete and his problems are solvable. I swear, he understands me in a way I have never been understood before. He is my buddy, my buddy who just wants to nap and cuddle. It is so much good, an island of good in a rough sea of big, hard things, a respite that I so desperately need. 


His birth was fast and furious and before T1D, I would have had a lot to say about it. I might have more to say later, but in the weeks that followed, the play-by-play of November 19th has grown fuzzy and inconsequential. I do remember that one minute I was waddling down the hallway being admitted and the next minute (no, but really, like the next minute), he was here, ushered into this world by an indomitable midwife named Felicia, who at the moment of truth, locked eyes with me, told me to close my mouth and bear down. He weighed over 9lbs and other than some initial issues with low blood sugar (more on that later) was the picture of health. In the past three and half months he has grown and bloomed into the most reasonable human I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I am so glad that he is here. 

New Normal, Part One: We Knew

We knew. On some level, we knew months ago that something was wrong. Jim and I had even talked specifically about it, one night on the couch, after she had wet her bed, again.  I believe my exact words were, "Shit, man. That would suck," but it couldn't be that. 

I was 37 weeks pregnant, and she couldn't have it. I was being a hypersensitive mom. I wasn't sure what the exact odds were, but they were small, so it wasn't that. It was no big deal. She was drinking more water, but so what. We all were. It was hot, the hottest October and November on record. She was wetting the bed, but she's three. Three year olds wet the bed occasionally, even ones who have been out of diapers for over a year. She had lost a little bit of weight, maybe. I couldn't be sure. I don't regularly weigh my three year old. She was melting down at the smallest thing, dissolving into hysterics, but again, she's three, with a new sibling on the way. I could explain it all away, but I knew. 

Two days before dx. 

Two days before dx. 

The day we came home from the hospital with Q (more on that here) I called and made a doctor's appointment, nothing urgent, just a standard check-up. She was months overdue for her 3 year old visit any way. I would ask the pediatrician to do a urine analysis. P would pee in a cup. We'd all have a good laugh about that. Our kindly pediatrician would smile at my overabundance of caution. I would be wrong and I would feel better. I was so ready to be wrong. 

We ended up having Q's two week visit and P's check up on the same day. I took Q in the morning and Jim was going to run P back in the afternoon, while I did after school pick up for O. It would be fine that I wasn't there, because nothing was wrong. Repeat after me: nothing is wrong, nothing is wrong, nothing is wrong. She was a happy, active three year old, who was adjusting to a new baby in the house. Jim called from the appointment and told me the pediatrician had told him the urine analysis looked odd, but they often get strange results from the in-office test. He would send it to the lab and call us later with the results. She looked fine to him. He sent Jim home with a packet of info on bedwetting and another one on how to help kids adjust to a new baby. I didn't feel better. 

That evening, after everyone was fast asleep, we sat on the couch waiting. I couldn't tell you what we were waiting for, but we both felt heavy and expectant. Jim decided to try to log on to P's online medical record to see if the lab results were in.  When we saw that her ketones were over 80, we knew. We knew we'd be going to the hospital soon. We knew we were in for a lifetime of blood tests, needles, and endocrinologists. We knew this was T1D. We knew because, over the past month, we had both been separately researching and reading about what happens after a T1D diagnosis, because somewhere inside of us, we both already knew. I looked up at Jim and said, "I can't go. They are going to need to keep her for a few days, and I can't go." He just held me, the same way I knew he would hold her. 

Within twenty minutes of Jim finding the lab results online, P's pediatrician called. Within the hour, Jim and P were on the way to the hospital. They had a room ready for her and the charge nurse knew we were coming, no emergency room, no wait. (Shout out to Kaiser) Watching Jim pull out of the driveway to take one of my babies to the hospital was one of the worst moments of my life, but I was only two weeks postpartum and Q wasn't allowed at the hospital over night. After they left, I ugly cried and cleaned. 

In the following weeks there has been a fair amount of ugly crying, it sneaks up on me sometimes, and significantly less cleaning. We are on a pretty steep learning curve, but we are figuring it out, one poke, one reading, one syringe of insulin at at time. Jim and I are a great team, and I feel supremely lucky that we are doing this together. Somehow, in the middle of all of this, Q is a month old, Christmas happened, and we've laughed together more than we've cried. The rules about who sleeps in what bed are just about out the window, but who needs rules about silly things like that. Right about now, I need all the snuggling I can get. 

Two weeks after dx.

Two weeks after dx.

Still, not sure how today ends, but sure that we all end up together. 

Sunday Guest Blog: The Woman Behind the Mug

Kate's birthday is this Tuesday. She's the woman behind the mug.

A typical Sunday morning out

A typical Sunday morning out

She's an actor, a producer, a director, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a mom, a wife, and the most amazing person I have ever known. The first birthday that I celebrated with her was nine years ago. At the time, I thought I loved her, and I did, but nine years later, I love her more deeply and more fully than I could ever have known all those years ago. From tropical vacations that included nothing but the two of us and an empty beach, to sleepless nights with sick kiddos, we have been together. The good times and the bad times have brought us closer. We get tired, we get frustrated, and we turn to each other for support. I still get caught breathless when I look at her and realize she chose to spend her life with me, and I wonder how I got so lucky.

I could ramble on, but I won't here. However, if you ever want to know more, just ask me, and if you have a few days, I will tell you more about how amazing she is.

Happy Birthday, Kate!


Project Family Dinner: The Who

The Who

Code Name: Tiny P

Special Skills: Will try anything once. Will spit out anything that she tries and doesn't like. 

Code Name: O

Special Skills: World class table setter. Vigilant against all things green and leafy. 

Code Name: Momma

Special Skills: Makes people. Makes dinner. Makes those people eat dinner. 

Code Name: Dadda

Special Skills: Everyone's favorite sous chef.  Always home when he says he'll be, especially when there is food on the table. 

Code Name: Big Brown Dog

Special Skills: Floor clean-up. 


The team is assembled. Stay tuned for Project Family Dinner: The Howcoming soon.

Crazy Train

O: Mom, the Easter Bunny is just a suit, a bunny suit, with a bunny in it, right?

K: Exactly. 

This past weekend was a whirlwind of excitement: egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, time with family, and a trip to the Getty.  

The Getty is one of my happy places.

The Getty is one of my happy places.

There has not been a lot of time for writing or quiet reflection.  This week I have taken on more than I should have and am learning several important lessons from riding this self-inflicted crazy train:

1. Ask for help. I have a wonderful community of people.  All of them would love to help me out, if they can.  I try to imagine how good I feel when I can really help someone who needs it. That seems to make the asking easier.

2.  Prioritize. There are a million things that need doing, but only two of them need doing today.  Some of them can wait until tomorrow or even next week, and some of them are just never going to get done. (see below)

3. Triage. Some things aren't going to get done.  This is a fact.  Take a breath, deal with it.  Release the desire for perfection, or more to the point,  the desire for the perception of perfection.  I had some grand plans for O's 4th birthday party this week.  Instead, she is getting store-bought cupcakes and a couple of balloons, and it is going to be okay.  

No, seriously. It is going to be ok. How can it not be?

No, seriously. It is going to be ok. How can it not be?

4. When in doubt, there are always cookies. Because sometimes I have chocolate-flavored feelings.  I'm not proud.

C is for Cooooookie. That sure as heck is good enough for me. 

C is for Cooooookie. That sure as heck is good enough for me.