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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dear Mother of a Tomboy

Dear mother of a tomboy,

I see you there, in the grocery store, with her trailing a few feet behind you. Her straight brown hair touches her shoulders, blue T-shirt, knee-length plaid shorts, and converse sneakers. Her soft blue eyes catch mine. You give her a look as if to say, "Come on, already!" I can tell you're frustrated, because you wish she was just a little different. A little more feminine. You may think she is being defiant by her clothes and lack of makeup and hair products. But she is just being herself. I know, because I am her.

I am the younger sister to a much older brother, the long awaited girl in the family. However, I looked up to my father and brother and wanted to be just like them. So I swore off all things feminine, pink, and seemingly "girly". My mother and I had our fair share of arguments over lace blouses, permed hairstyles, and wearing jeans to church. That side of being a girl never appealed to me. It just didn't. I found my feminine strength on the softball field, scraped knees, and combat boots. I didn't want to be just like the boys. I just wanted to be me. So let me give you some advice from a grown tomboy, one who seemingly has it altogether now.

Let her choose her clothes. As long as it's modest, don't say a word about the constant T-shirts, pony tail, and faded jeans. She is finding her own style and eventually she'll be comfortable in her own skin. Until then, let her find her confidence in her comfort.

Let her play/do whatever sport/activity she chooses. She may want to play lacrosse. Let her. She may want to try out as a kicker for the football team. Let her! You have no idea how much confidence a girl gets through being good at athletics. Even when I had no self-esteem about my looks, I found it on the field. And when she's ready to stand in front of a mirror with a pretty dress on, her confidence from the field will be her foundation.

You may question her sexuality. Don't. She wants to be loved and get married (to a man) someday, but she just wants to be loved for who she is. She may want a low key wedding and refuse to wear a tiara. Please accept that, it will be best for both of you. And don't be surprised when she plans her wedding around the college football schedule (I did).

You may think you failed as a mother because she's a tomboy. You didn't. She is independent and creative, probably just like you. I've realized that although I fought with my mom over not being girly enough, it's because we're both very, very stubborn. I admire her and love her. I am the strong woman I am today because of her. She loves you, promise.

Above all, don't lose hope in her. I have my feminine days when I don makeup and fix my hair because I want to. But for the most part, I'd rather wear jeans and my favorite baseball shirt. She is no less a woman. She'll grow up, go to college and find even more confidence in the classroom than she did on the field, marry some cute engineer who loves her natural style, and have her own daughter one day and once again swear off the "pink explosion" that seems to come with baby girls. She is unique. She is her own. Cherish her.


Grownup tomboy in aisle 3

Monday, October 1, 2012

Halfway There!

As of last week, I have officially lost half of my baby weight! I'm down 7.5 lbs, and I feel great about it! I got on my first pair of pre-pregnancy jeans this past weekend. I had a huge muffin top and the button felt like it was about to pop off, but they were buttoned (dangit)!

I'm losing weight at a rate of half a pound every week, which I'm happy with. I'm mainly sticking to strength training using the Total Gym because it doesn't cause my blood sugar to drop and I'm increasing my metabolism. I sneak in a 30-minute workout in the mornings while monkey takes her nap. She usually won't give me much more than that. If Trey is home or the grandparents are visiting, I will go out for a run around our neighborhood.

I'm glad that I am losing weight, but I do wish it would come off a little faster. At this rate, I'll hopefully lose it all by January--that is if the holidays don't totally mess me up.  I just wish it didn't take so much effort! I am working out almost every weekday and sometimes on the weekends. I've tried cutting back on my diet, but it never seems to be enough to warrant more than a half pound/week weight loss. I just keep telling myself that slow and steady will win the race, little turtle.

I know not everyone can lose the baby weight, so I am grateful that I've lost even this much. I just hope losing the 2nd half isn't harder. Even if I get down to my pre-pregnancy number, my body will never be the same. I'm still getting used to having a tummy, which I have never EVER had. But all this working out will mean that even at my pre-pregnancy number, I'll be much more toned than I was before monkey was here. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

What I'm Doing for Her

Today we had Monkey's 2 month checkup, and she is growing along famously!  She is 13 lbs 13 oz and 24.5 in long, above the 95th percentile for weight and height.  She literally is a chunky monkey!  I'm still exclusively breastfeeding her (And by exclusively, I mean ONLY breast-feeding!  Kid will not take a bottle to save her life.), which makes me feel good that she is getting a great source of nutrition from yours truly.  I know that breastfeeding is not a 100% guarantee against her getting type 1 diabetes, but it definitely won't be from lack of source from me. 

Since she is literally breast-fed only, it makes it difficult to do certain things because she has to be where I am or at least not longer than a 2-hour timespan.   I still haven't made it through a church service without having to go to the nursery and hide in their nursing room.  And if I have somewhere I need to be by myself (like my own doctors' appointments), I have to strategically time my departure to where I feed her right before I leave.  It's a little inconvenient, but this is a small portion of time in her life that we'll have this bond, and not everyone is blessed to be able to breastfeed.  So I'm just going with the flow (literally, ha!) and making myself available to her whenever she needs me.  Soon enough, I'll be able to leave the house without worrying about my outfit being nursing friendly. 

Also, we have decided as parents to spread out her vaccine schedule in hopes of avoiding the genetic bullseye on her back.  There is plenty of research out there about whether or not a culmination of vaccines can lead to a diabetes diagnosis later in life (so do your own googling), and I feel more at peace with introducing vaccines to her minimally rather than 3 or 4 at a time.  So for her first round of shots, she only got the diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis combination shot and the rotovirus oral vaccine today.  She'll get the pneumococcal vaccine in 2 weeks, and our pediatrician is comfortable with delaying her hepatitis B vaccine until she's a year old.  This decision was made after doing my own research and discussion with our pediatrician.  Plus, with her only getting one vaccine at a time, we avoid her getting fussy and needing any baby Tylenol and can save her from possible liver damage. 

In addition to breastfeeding and a turtle's pace vaccine schedule, we are joining the ranks of several type 1 parents and avoiding introducing gluten for the first year.  My hope is for her first solid foods to be at Thanksgiving, when she'll be almost exactly 6 months old.  There is some research to indicate that postponing gluten can make sure her immune system doesn't treat it is a "bad thing" later on and attack her pancreas--much in the same way parents with peanut allergies avoid exposing their child to peanuts until they're toddlers, only my "peanut" is glutenous carbs.  In my perfect world, I would love for her diet to be breastmilk, vegetables, and fruit until her first birthday.  As long as it's what's best for her.  

But when I'm not planning out her diet and vaccines for the next year, I get to enjoy her precious smile every morning.  She has also starting cooing and making consonant sounds in her own baby language.  The next few months should be interesting for us because we'll start to see her own personality develop.  I'm so excited to see these changes, but at the same time I would love a "Pause" button.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Keeping Up with the Regular Stuff

Last week, I had an appointment with my General Practitioner to update some of my non-diabetes prescriptions (yes, I have some of those!) and to talk about my post-pregnancy body.  Some things came up towards the end of my pregnancy that I wanted to talk to someone about, so I made an appointment a month after I had my baby girl.  

First, I have a mole on my stomach that I've had my whole life, and at the height of my pregnancy it started to change colors on one side.  I think it had something to do with all the hormones going through my body, but I knew something changing color was not a normal thing.  My GP didn't take any chances and scheduled a surgery appointment to have it removed in 2 weeks.  She doesn't think it is anything to worry about, but she'll send it off to be tested after it's removed.  And now I can say that I've talked about the grossest thing on my body.  

But wait.  There's more! 

During the last month of my pregnancy, when my feet were so swollen that all I could wear were flip flops, I developed a wart on the bottom of my foot.  Pretty sure I exposed my foot to some yuckiness during the warm, spring months.  And flip flops are still my footwear of choice as a stay at home mom.  I tried freezing it off with that OTC wart remover stuff, twice, but it's still there.  So I brought it up to my GP, and instead of attempting to removing it herself, she referred me to a podiatrist.  I know it's one of those doctors that I should see as a type 1 diabetic, so might as well kill two birds with one stone.  

So from one appointment, I leave with one prescription and two more appointments.  I thought I was done with the plethora of doctors' appointments when my pregnancy was over, but such is not the case with this body of mine.  Hopefully the mole is just an appendage I can be glad to part with, and the podiatrist is nice to me and my ugly feet.  And now you know there's more to recover from in the wide world of pregnancy than stretch marks and sore abs. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Losing It

Two weeks ago, I had my 6-week pp appointment with my OB. I have been cleared to resume my normal physical activities, including working out. When I was pregnant and watching the scale continue to increase, I said to myself I wouldn't worry about the number as long as me and baby were healthy. Well, now we're on the other side of pregnancy, and I'm staring at a closet full of clothes that I still can't wear. 

Officially, I gained 40-45 lbs (depending upon the scale) by the time my daughter was born. By my 6-week appointment, where I officially count my "need to lose weight", I was +15 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight. And considering I wanted to be 15 lbs lighter than that to reach the "healthy" range, I have about 30 lbs to lose all together. 

Losing that much weight seems like a lofty goal, but I'm not planning on any crash diets or exercise regimen to get me there. I figured it took me 9 months to put it on and it will take at least that long to take it off. So I'm tracking my progress using the MyFitnessPal tracker up there at the top of my blog. This is basically my way (weigh?) of keeping myself accountable. I like MFP because they have a huge database of food to track, plus they add in calories based on exercise. So I won't go hungry because I'm starving and just ran 2 miles; I can eat those burned calories if I want. 

I started working out again last week using the Total Gym. I've said multiple times on here that I loathe going to the gym and much prefer working out at home. Plus, with a little one with me, I feel better about working out while she is in earshot. So I'll be utilizing the Total Gym, some Wii software, and some workout videos on Netflix as my arsenal for toning this flabby body. And once the weather cools down outside, I'll try to start a running routine with the jogging stroller (because neither one of us enjoy being outside while it's 90+ degrees Fahrenheit). 

As far as dieting, I'll mainly be trying to limit my carb intake as much as I can handle and upping the protein. I'll have my splurges now and then, but that keeps me sane rather than trying to go cold turkey (hey protein!). I enjoy food, and I see no reason to completely cut out a food group. Everything in moderation, right? 

I hope to find some routine that works and can be enjoyable at the same time. Because regardless of the number on the scale, I need to enjoy what I'm doing while I work out. Maybe I can enjoy my gym time as much as my daughter does:  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Lifestyle, New Basal Rates

Before I got pregnant, my basal rates were dictated by my schedule.  When I got up, how busy my work was, when I tried to work out most days, when I went to bed, etc.  So I had several basal rates throughout the day.  When I got pregnant, I stuck with one basal rate for the whole day, mainly because my rates changed so often that it was useless to try and nail down a change for every hour of the day.  

I ended up being way too aggressive with my rates, giving me a lot of lows, but I justified it with the little monkey growing inside me.  But now that my daughter is on the outside and it's been 5 weeks since my surgery, I'm finally starting to nail down some basal rates that actually mirror my new life.  

And what a life it is!  My new life revolves around this sweet little girl napping next to me.  Instead of going to meetings and spending most of my day in front of a computer, usually programming something in MATLAB, I go back and forth between changing diapers, feeding my daughter, burping her, and trying to do some housework while she naps.  And that changes everyday as she gets bigger and sleeps less during the day (but she's currently starting to sleep 6 hours at night, which I can function with).  

One disadvantage to being at home all the time is that there is an abundant source of snack food at my disposal, whereas when I went to work I would only pack what I needed to eat for lunch and a few snacks.  So I'm noticing that I tend to go high around the afternoons when my snacking tends to get the best of me and I may miss a bolus or two.  Plus, with breastfeeding I tend to stay hungrier all throughout the day.  It's like I have to eat right after she eats.  

Immediately after her birth, my endocrinologist instructed me to go back to my pre-pregnancy basal rate, which I tried to remember to the best of my knowledge.  But it looks like I need about 80% of that rate right now, which is mostly due to breastfeeding because I'm still +15 lbs from before pregnancy.  This rate is perfect overnight because I usually wake up around the 80s, but I definitely need more during the daytime.  

So now that monkey and I are starting to get into a routine, I'm finally starting to make some changes to even out my numbers.  Of course, I'm sure this will all change in a few months, because diabetes likes to do that just because.  Next week is my 6-week follow up with my OB, and that means I'll be able to released to exercise.  And that's a whole 'nother post altogether! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

We Did This!

Today is a very special day for my friend Kim who started the You Can Do This project on this day last year.  YCDT is a movement for members of the DOC to post videos of their journey with diabetes for other people with diabetes to relate to, be inspired by, or simply not feel alone.  It's a great website to visit for those days when diabetes becomes too much to handle.  I know a lot of people will join me in thanking Kim for this awesome movement and what's meant to all people affected by diabetes.  

I've yet to make a video, but my idea for one is in the works.  First, I need to by some shotgun shells and a movie poster to "Steel Magnolias".  You feel me? 

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.