I haven’t liked the holidays since I was a kid!

Holiday season is upon us. Gerrrr…

Call me Scrooge all you want, but I haven’t been in the holiday spirit since I was a kid and on the receiving end of everyone’s holiday gifts. I know, it is sad. But once I was old enough to live on my own and had to purchase gifts for everyone on my list and visit with everyone so no one would have their feelings hurt, I realized it was all a load of crap. Just the amount of time and money spent to make the majority of your family feel loved is nuts. I mean seriously? If I spent that time/money on you through out the year, wouldn’t that have more meaning? I am not so superficial that I think one must spend money on you to show how much they care, but we are talking about the holidays – you know the 3 months at the end of the year when most Americans spend the most money. FYI – Americans spend $42.3 Billion dollars from Nov.1 – Dec. 31st of 2012 per comscore.com.

So my distaste for the holiday season started about 10 years ago. I was living on my own making $10 an hour and I had about $200 to spend for Christmas. Being the frugal person I am, I knew I had about this much to spend heading into October. When the Halloween decorations came out right after back to school stuff was taken down, I knew to start planing then.  But, by mid-November I knew I wasn’t going to be able to purchase gifts, instead I had to make them. And so that year everyone got a fleece blanket from yours truly. I felt so ashamed because they weren’t that well made and I wasn’t able to buy my family members nice things. I vowed to do better next year. But as the years have gone on I have become disillusioned with the whole idea of Hallmark Holidays, as some people call them. Each year it gets worse. I cringe when I see Halloween stuff of display as early as August because I know I am about to be inundated with Thanksgiving and Christmas crap.

At my house the holidays pass with out much fan-fare. We do have a tree that we put up, but that is only because I think it looks pretty in hour living room. My boys and Husband do get gifts, and I do purchase myself something for them to give me (oh the joys of being a mother in a house full of boys). However, our gifts aren’t extravagant. Mostly needed items with one or two “wishes”.  I am sure my kids think they are getting the bad end of the deal, but I don’t see it that way. We enjoy our time with family and all the food. We have such a blended household that it seems like Thanksgiving takes 2 or 3 days, and Christmas can take almost two full weeks!

I would really like to get back to the basics when it comes to Holidays. Gather around for Thanksgiving and eat until you can not move. Spend time with family and watch some football, if that is what you want to do. Pick a house to visit, do the deed and then head home with way too many left overs. As for Christmas, if you are religious then go all out and do your thing. If you aren’t religious, like my house is, skip the whole darn thing. Christmas is for Christ, not greedy hands. Enjoy the day or two off from work, visit with family if you can, or just relax. Stop making it about how much you spend.

No wonder the youth are they way they are. No one loves them unless the buy them something.

Bah humbug!

 

Exit soap box – left

I’m a parent for real!

Soooo, this past weekend was an eye opener of sorts or me. I had a couple “oh-my-gosh-I’m-a-mom” moments. First, on Friday my youngest son had an art show to attend. It was really neat, actually. The teacher had it set up like a real art gallery showing with art work displayed, music from the school jazz band, and even snacks! I was very proud standing next to my baby. His Dad and I talked about how weird it was to have teenage children when we are just barely 30 (I’m still 29 for a few more weeks). As his father and I visit my eldest son comes and taps me on my shoulder. I turn around and there he is with this beautiful young lady by his side. He introduces me to her and I am sure the look on my face was priceless. It went from who is this chick? To oh, her! I finally get to meet her. This girl has been a good friend of his for a few years now, but he wants to date her. He is stuck in the friend zone, poor guy. So I start asking her general questions like if she had art work in the show and she was so polite and kept calling me ma’am. My youngest son’s father started to crack a smile and pointed out the ma’am reference. I told her she really didn’t need to call me ma’am. So she replied, “ok, ma’am.” Really?!?! So there I was in the middle of an 8th grade art show having my “oh-my-gosh-I’m-a-mom” moment, ex laughing at me, oldest son wanting to run from me, and (thankfully) the youngest son talking to folks about his art work. I am pretty sure the room started to spin but I am not sure I remember the rest of the evening.

Then came Sunday……

Sundays will never be the same for me……. EVER!

On Sunday my youngest son calls to start coordinating his returning home from his Dad’s. He isn’t good at being the middle man on phone conversations so he hands the phone to his Dad. We iron the details and I am about to hang up when he tells me he has something else he wanted to “just let me know.” My ex and I get along fine so I was sure it wasn’t anything we would argue about so I tell him to go ahead. He informs me that he had busted my baby with porn. SAY WHAT? He explains the whole story to me and I don’t say anything. He repeats it again, two more times, and all I can say is, “ok, got it.” I hang up the phone and look at my husband and oldest son for a second and then return to trying to teach myself to knit. They both ask what is up and I just tell them I’ll tell ya later. When I get to the meeting point to switch off my son, his father apologized profusely for just rambling on. I tell him no need, I was just in shock and couldn’t form a sentence. I am sure I didn’t do a good job of explaining myself, nor am I doing the story justice on here, but I am still in shock. I mean I knew it was coming, but a parent is never really ready. On the way home my son and I talked about it. He says it is easier to talk to me about this stuff, which made me feel good. He says I have a way of making an embarrassing situation laughable. Score one for Mom! I tried to give him some advice on the situation, as best I could. We will see how it goes.

On a side note, I seemed to have picked up knitting at the right time. I associate knitting with older folks and originally thought I would look ridiculous knitting. I don’t think that anymore, or maybe I have come to terms with getting older? Heck I don’t know. All I do know is that my kids are growing up and I should start acting like an old lady with grown up kids.

 

Augh! Never did I think I would have things like this happen to me when I am only 29!!!! Can I go back to my 21st birthday and just hit the repeat button? Please, I promise I’ll be a good girl.

Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Love / Love-Not-So-Much

My youngest son, Tyler, has been using his Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for about a month now. I have stated before that I love it. I still love it, but some times not so much.

I love the fact that I can “peak in” on his blood sugar levels without having him poke his finger.

I love that it lets him know he should check his blood sugar because his levels are either too high or too low.

I love that I can keep the receiver in my room at night and it will alert me for the same reasons. This way he can stay a sleep and not be bothered by it.

I love that it will keep alerting me until I do something about his sugar levels.

I ultimately love the peace of mind it affords and the tighter control we have on Tyler’s glucose levels.

But some times it makes me no so happy…..

I don’t like it when it alerts that his blood sugar is low/high when in fact it is the opposite.

I don’t like it when it alerts me all night long, even though I know it is only doing its job and the real problem is I can’t get Tyler’s glucose in range for whatever reason.

I don’t like that he has to have another device stuck on him and the he has to carry around another electronic device. He already has to carry his pump and meter with him all the time.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this new tool will keep his numbers under better control. I know that this tool is helping him with his “Duh – I’m a teenager” moments, and me with my “diabetic care team blues”. It is just too much info at times.

DIABETES SUCKS

Don’t let my little rant discourage you from trying out this new tool. It really has changed our lives for the better. I do sleep better at night, when it isn’t alarming. The alarming is a good thing. It is letting you know there is an issue that needs to be resolved.

Any advice on raising a teenage boy with T1 diabetes? Or experiences with CGMs that you would like to share?

Teenagers…. oh my!

So I have two teenage boys who I am sure are becoming less mature each day. So last night I chose to leave the boys at home so I can visit a friend. I thought this would be an easy event, but I was wrong. When the boys and I got home I instructed them on what needed to be done. I didn’t need them to do much in the way of chores but I did need them to pack everything for our quick trip this weekend. I stayed until the chores were done, since I figured this particular item on their to-do list would most likely not get done. Once I was satisfied with the vacuuming and sweeping they had done I grabbed my things and headed for the door. I reminded my oldest that his laundry had to be finished so he would have clean clothes to take on the trip. I let him know that my clothes weren’t quite finished in the dryer and to please leave them in the near by basket when he moved  his over. The last thing I said before I shut the door was that they needed to eat in an hour, which would be right around 6 pm.

Then I high tailed it! I wanted just a couple of hours of kid free adult time. The last little bit I could get before we head out today. I love my boys but they have really been working my nerves lately. I thought I would do us all a favor and get some separation before we to spend the next 71 or so hours together.

I am here to tell you that they must have really enjoyed my idea and used the free time to do absolutely nothing. I had to call my diabetic son around 6:45 pm, to make sure he had eaten and to find out how his blood sugars were doing. He hadn’t even thought about eating. I instructed him to immediately feed himself and let me know what his blood sugar was before he ate. I left the conversation at that since I could already tell I would not be a happy person when I returned home. If the boy could be bothered to feed himself, then him and his step-brother must be occupied with doing something they aren’t supposed to be doing, like watching TV. You see, both my boys thought it would be a great idea to bring home progress reports with C’s and D’s. How did they get those C’s and D’s you ask? Simple, they just didn’t feel the need to turn in some of their assignments. Zeros are never tolerated in our house. C’s and D’s are only acceptable if they are having a hard time in a particular subject, but only after going to tutorials and studying. None of those applied to either child for this particular progress report.

When I returned home I found that my oldest hadn’t moved any clothes around in the washer and dryer, my youngest hadn’t packed his bag with the clothes I had already approved earlier, and I could tell the TV had been recently on. I let them know that I was completely disappointed with them for doing NOTHING while I was gone and that they will continue to be under 24/7 adult supervision for the rest of their lives.

The trip is today and I am dreading it. I do not understand why I have to hold the hand of a 13 and 15 year old in order to get them to do what they are told. At this rate I am afraid they will never be able to move out of my house when they become adults. It will not be from my lack of instruction, but from their complete laziness.

I know I can not be the only one with brain-dead teenage boys…… am I?  Anyone…….anyone…