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October 31, 2007

Change Your Workout.

"Change your workout."

This is our mantra.  It applies to all things.  When Chris is feeling like he's not seeing good results at the gym, he changes his workout.  When I feel like my fiction writing is starting to become repetitive, I start the chapter fresh and start doodling on the notepad by my desk - "Change your workout."  When he and I feel like our lives are stuck in ruts, we mutter to one another "Time to change our workout."  (Yes, this is similar to the "Time to make the doughnuts," commercials from Dunkin' Donuts a few years ago.)

Change your workout to see results. 

So I was feeling completely bored at the gym.  Bored as in I changed the music on my Shuffle daily and I was still struggling to stay in the game for 50 minutes.  Felt like a hamster going around in the same wheel every day. 

"I'm bored at the gym."I was starting to feel like this.

"Time to change your workout."

A few days later ...

"I'm bored at the gym."

"Time to change your workout."

After I've mentioned my gym boredom a few (read: billion) times:

"Baby, I'm bored at the gym."

He stops as he's pulling his sweatshirt over his head.  "Kerri, I'm going to show you a few things at the gym today.  It's time to change your workout."

For the last few months, I've been doing a variation on this routine:

30 minutes on the treadmill on an incline of 7.5 and a speed of 3.8 mph.

20 minutes upstairs in the weight room, doing an ab workout that varied every three weeks.

This routine had me leaving my pump at home, kept my sugars relatively stable, and helped me reshape my body.  But now that I've reached a certain level of physical capability, the workout continued to keep my sugars stable and maintain my shape, but it didn't produce any new results.

So Chris showed me a routine that worked through a resistance training circuit quickly enough that it also became a cardiovasular routine.  When he was doing it, it looked relatively easy - intervals of jumping rope, box jumps, planks, push ups, lunge presses, and split squats.  Max reps on each one.

Ah, but it always looks easy when he does it.

I gave this circuit a whirl on Saturday and it was a disaster.  Maybe it was because I was starting to feel sick, or maybe because I had never done some of these exercises before, but I was in crisis mode the entire time.  My blood sugars were swinging (hitting highs of 300 mg/dl and settling back to 125 mg/dl), my balance was shaky (oh awkward Kerri), and my frustrations were mounting as I forced my reluctant body through the circuit three times.

The next day, I could barely walk.  The box jumps, coupled with the split squats, made my calves into mushy pockets of oatmeal.  I walked up the stairs to my office and my legs begged me Attempting to be fit.repeatedly to take the damn elevator.  Using the bathroom was tricky, as my legs were so sore that I almost toppled directly into the toilet.

It was brutal.  And then I came down with a cold, as well as with a Sausage.  (Frigging cat.)  So I took another day off from the gym.

Last night, I gave it another go.  A few insulin tweaks.  And it was oh so slightly easier.  My body was not pleased with my decision to try it again, but I'm hoping that this workout change will show me more results instead of maintaining the progress I'd already made.

Hopefully tomorrow I don't fall into the toilet.

October 30, 2007

Sausage Opera.

The music swells, but in that quiet way.  (So maybe it's not swelling.  Maybe the music is pretty quiet, but I want complete silence because I feel like garbage and I just want to take a nap.)  Small smidge of a fever, trace ketones, and a lethargy that made me test to confirm I wasn't 348 mg/dl (and I wasn't - 146 mg/dl instead).  Instead of going to the gym, I toddled off to bed. 

As my head rested against the cold pillow, I sighed deeply and welcomed the coming nap.

Instead, it was time again for the Sausage Opera.

The Sausage Opera, now playing.  Every freaking night.

She comes bounding in, trilling and purring, walking all over my face.  "Meow ... meowmeowmeow -Wake up!"  No sleep for Kerri, who feels sick and feverish and Crumbs Morrone-y. 

That foolish gray cat has been a complete menace for weeks now.  Earlier in the month, she was making her home on Chris's face, putting her nose in his ears, paws on his head, and occassionally trying to sniff his mouth.  This did not go over particularly well with my husband-to-be, so we started shutting the bedroom door during the night.  This should have been a good arrangement, as the cats were given 3/4 of the apartment to themselves, including the food supply, litter box, and a smattering of things to play with. 

However, this was not enough for young Sausage.

She has taken to camping herself outside of the bedroom door and singing.  Yowling.  Picking at the floor with her paws and throwing herself against the door.  Purring loudly.  Singing her little gray head off.

"Oh my God, what is she doing?"  I mumble in my sleep, fussing around and putting my hand on Chris's shoulder.  "She's singing again.  Make her stop!"

Automatic Response Chris reaches beside the bed, where he is stashing a supply of balled up socks to throw at the door.  Mumbling incoherently, he fires one off, the door booms, and Siah stops mid-chirp.

There is a blessed 15 minutes of silence.  We start to edge back towards sleep.  Until ...

"Oh so la MEEEE-OW!!!"  Siah throws her little six pound body against the door and belts out a second chorus.  "Meow!  Meow!  MEOW!"

We have tried filling the food bowls to capacity.  We have tried petting her before bed.  We have even put a suitcase in front of the bedroom door to keep her at bay.  Nothing stops the Sausage.  This little bugger always has her way, from chewing on insulin pump tubing to leaping all over our heads at five in the morning.  Now she's made the move to opera.

And we're not sleeping.

If you have any suggestions, we're all ears.  HELP!

October 29, 2007

Relaxed and Groovy.

For the first time in many, many, MANY weeks, Chris and I didn't have to be anywhere.  We didn't have a wedding to attend, or a fundraising walk to host, or an event to make an appearance at.  There were no timetables, no pressures, and no stress.

Oh man, it was awesome. 

After a Saturday of a new workout at the gym (more on that later), some relaxing at home, and a night out on our little town enjoying dinner, a few beers, and Game Three of the World Series, we were feeling very well-rested and ready for a jaunt into NYC.  So on Sunday, we ventured off to Ellis Island

Checked out Lady Liberty.  (I waved.  She didn't.) 

Chris took this picture.  I thought it was lovely.

We also had some of the most delicious fudge at the museum on Ellis Island.  After some time in the museum, we hoofed it back to the ferry and rejoined the mainland in Battery Park.

"That fudge.  Dude, I'm feeling all sorts of squishy."  ("Dude" - interchangeable with "Baby" or "Chris/Kerri.")

"Me, too."

"Do you think we can make it back to Grand Central by foot?"

"Let's do it!"

With the sun at our back, we found Broadway and made our way up the island.  We stopped so I could check out some makeshift kiosks on the side of the street - and I scored three very nice, very fancy, very three-for-ten-dollars pashminas to shield myself from the cold that was setting in.  I didn't realize until later that I had chosen navy blue, gray, and pink - the three colors from my SUM stylesheet.  What a geek.

Gold-tipped building on Broadway.

Dinner at the Corner Shop Cafe on Broadway (fantastic chicken noodle soup, and the three-cheese macaroni was seriously awesome) was romantic, despite the treacherous trek to the bathroom in the bowels of the building.  Every subway that roared by sounded like it was coming up the drainpipe.  But all things considered, we had a nice little meal.

After a meal of so many carbs, continuing our walk to Grand Central was a welcomed activity.  (One bottle of grape juice was drained - I forgot to tone down the bolus to account for the walking.)  By the end of the trek, from the new workout on Saturday and the 5.5 miles from Battery Park to GC, our calves were on fire and we were grateful to settle into our seats on the train and nap our way back home.

Where we watched the Red Sox friggin' sweep the World Series.  And I'm proud to say that Julia had the update on her site before Yahoo! did.  If they don't renew Lowell, I'll be pissed.  And Pappelbon, as always, was lights out.  Every time.  Even though he did throw wild for those last few pitches, but who wouldn't?  IT WAS THE WORLD FREAKING SERIES.  I would have thrown up.

Would have loved a good night's sleep after that full day, but no, Sausage wouldn't have it.  That story for tomorrow, but suffice to say that Siah sings opera at four in the morning.  Loudly.  I'll tell that story once I wake the hell up.

Go Sox! GO SOX!!!!

October 26, 2007

World Series Six.

It's been a very busy few weeks around here and I'm hoping things are starting to settle down for a bit, before the November's storm of NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo -- wasn't someone supposed to tell me not to do that again this year?

Welcome to the World Series Sox (not yet - patience) Six:

Go Sox!Oh the joy of taking the first two at home -- Boston sports teams are lighting it up lately, and my beloved Red Sox are no exception.  As one of two Red Sox fans in my office (we are the lone wolves in this sea of pinstripes), my glee is somewhat contained, but he and I share quiet high-fives when no one is looking.  The Yankees fans in my office spout off about "the rings!  Count the rings!" but what they fail to realize is that I'll be grinning about the 2004 victory until I'm about 80, regardless of the wins or losses in between. 

Go Sox!I must admit it - I'm addicted to reading the posts over at Blogabetes.  Even though I have my editor hat on (it has horns, too), I can't help but end up immersed in their words.  If you haven't checked out Blogabetes, you need to scoot on over there and see what some of your favorite d-bloggers are writing about these days.

Go Sox!Speaking of writers, I'm in search of a guy with type 2 diabetes who may be interested in contributing to a dLife project.  Must like long boluses, fresh lancets, and the occasional cookie.  ... In all seriousness, if you are a fella with type 2 diabetes and you would be interested in a dLife project, drop me a line

Go Sox!My iTunes are jammed up with new songs, but the albums I can't stop listening to this week are the soundtrack for Into The Wild and the new Foo Fighters bit.  Chris and I went to see Into the Wild a few days ago and it definitely sent my brain into a self-preservation Go Sox!!tailspin.  Recommend the album if you're looking for something that includes the occasional banjo.  I went on a spending spree at Newbury Comics the other day (there isn't one in CT, therefore making CT suck a bit), but I'm always game to check out new bands.  If you have a recommendation, I'm all bloggy ears.

Go Sox!I have no idea when the clocks change.  This just dawned on me.  I need to start reading a newspaper or something - the internet is causing me to scale back on brain cell use.

Go Sox!And lastly, if you haven't checked out the Diabetes365 project, it's now officially time.  Beth has created a terrific website featuring the participants in the project.  It's a full year of what life is like with diabetes, aiming to raise awareness and inspire.  I'm proud to say that it's accomplishing both goals.

October 25, 2007

Meeting Schuyler.

I've been admiring Robert Rummel-Hudson's pictures on Flickr for quite some time now, enjoying looking at the world through his lens.

I came across Rob's work first through a diabetes-connection, as he's a recently-diagnosed type 2 diabetic, and started reading his blog.  He writes rawly and eloquently about his daughter, Schuyler, who lives with bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria

Here is where I could insert a furrowed brow sort of serious paragraph about diseases and disease management, about the intricasies of a specialized condition and how it can affect a life adversely.  I could talk about different medical devices that are necessary and what kind of challenges a child may face when diagnosed with this condition.  There are many serious words I could use, and many serious discussions to be had.

We played with these jelly bracelets like it was our job.  And it should be - we were that good.

But.

It's very hard to see a disease or a disorder when I looked into the eyes of this beautiful little girl and saw her smile. 

Thank you, Rob and Schuyler, for making a drab Tuesday into something magical.

October 24, 2007

A Citizen.

Credit to the good ol' Boston Dirt Dogs

No time to blog today.  Too much going on at work and with everything else.  (Oh, but there is a new Generation D column about the ridiculous highs I've experienced over the last week.  Glad that trend has subsided.) 

Tomorrow, I will have to vent about some things I've been mulling over, but for today, it must be this:

Tonight, it's all about Red Sox Nation. 

Bring on Game One!

October 23, 2007

Expressions.

Picture an ass over this, okay?"Because then you'd go ass over teakettle and you'd be ..."

Their looks stopped me.

"What?"

"Ass over," my voice started to trail off.  "Teakettle?   You know that expression."

A collective, "What the heck are you talking about?"

My stammered response:  "My mom says this all the time.  About falling down or something?  My Grammie used to say it, too."

I am not the only one who knows this phrase.  Plenty of people know this phrase.  My mother knows this phrase, so I pick up the phone and call her office.  Her co-worker answers and knows who I am, as there are only three people that work in her office.

"Hi, Brian?  It's Kerri.  Is my mom there?"

"No, she's not.  Just stepped out for lunch.  What's up?"

"Okay.  Well I bet you can confirm something for me.  Does she ever use the phrase 'ass over teakettle?'"

"Oh sure she does.  There was that time she had us all doing cartwheels in the office breakroom and she said it then."

I put my hand over the mouthpiece of the phone and address my co-workers. 

"He said that my mom used that very phrase when they were doing cartwheels in the breakroom."

Co-workers start to chuckle at me.

"Of course she does cartwheels in the office."

I thank Brian, hang up the phone, and am instantly hit with the realization that the apple does not fall far from the tree. 

But if it did, it would tumble ass over teakettle, damnit.

October 22, 2007

Chris vs. Siah.

I watched this video and laughed until I almost fell off my chair.  Chris came over to see what I was laughing at.  I whispered, "It's like they're spying on you."

This is the battle between Chris and Ms. Siah Sausage every single morning.

The original video can be found on Tandem Films under Simon Tofield. Oh my goodness do I find this clip entertaining.

Walk in My Shoes.

I walked with the October sunshine warm against my back.

Kerri, Nicole, and Shannon.

I walked with Shannon, whose son knows what I know.  She shared moments with my mother that made me feel like my mother was less alone now, too.  I walked with Nicole, who shared orange slices with me as we treated simultaneous lows.  (I also wore the hat of a viking warrior princess, but that's an entirely different post.)  These were my fellow bloggers, my friends with diabetes, folding me into arms that know what it's like to have fallen down the well of a low.

I walked past toddlers in their strollers who offered their chubby fingertips to their parents for a quick blood sugar check.  I saw children holding hands with their parents, passing glucose tabs between their fingers.  I saw a group of teenagers and scanned their hips and their hands for evidence of their diagnosis, but I couldn't tell which one had it.  I walked past children with bright blue pumps clipped to their bodies, smiles even brighter.

I walked with my aunts and my cousins, who have always made sure there is diet soda at the family picnics and a sugar-free dessert after a holiday meal.  I walked with one of my best friends, who has learned about diabetes in the same breath that she's learned about my favorite bands.  I walked with the support of my other best friend, who is as quick to make me laugh as she is to count the carbs.  I walked with my fiance's sister, who by just showing up makes me feel like she understands.  I walked with my future niece, who knows I wear my medicine on my hip, but that I will also play teddy bears with her. 

I walked with my fiance, who loves me not because of or despite this disease, but simply because he loves me.

I walked with my mother, who was there the day I was diagnosed and who has lived with this disease as long as I have, only she feels the sting of a high without needing insulin, the tears of a low without needing juice. 

I walked proudly, surrounded by friends and family both new and old, taking steps towards acceptance, towards progress, towards a cure.

Team SUM, 2007.

Team Six Until Me.  2007 edition.

(Missing from photo:  My aunts, cousins, Jeff, and Superman.)

October 19, 2007

The Sleepy Six.

Exhausted.

ONE:  Do not book a flight from LA to Newark, then Newark to Providence when you live in western CT.  This is foolish because as you take off from Newark, you actually fly over your house.  Even though we saved over $400 with this arrangement, it's still ridiculous.

TWO:  If you are an east-coaster visiting the west coast, do not spend your mornings on east coast time and your evenings on west coast time.  This will be fun, but will not lead your head to a pillow for 20 hour clips.  Currently, I am using test strips to prop open my eyelids. 

THREE:  We went to the LA Zoo yesterday afternoon and wandered around for hours.  We saw judgemental koala bears, huge tigers, and the biggest damn alligator I have ever seen.  I added a pile of pictures to my Flickr account if you want to poke around.

FOUR:  While we were at the zoo yesterday, there was a group of art students who were sketching the regal lion.  Their drawings were excellent, and Chris and I found ourselves in the middle of their artistry pack.  Feeling a bit foolish for not having a lick of artistic talent but never to be outdone, Chris whipped out his trusty notebook, borrowed a pen from my purse, and joined the fray.  The girl on our right was effortlessly sketching this:

Impressive!

And my fearless fiance, utilizing precisely 2% of his actual drawing skills, created this masterpiece:

Chris's lion.  Note the fancy ... beak it has.

FIVE:  The JDRF walk is Sunday morning in RI and we're traipsing back to RI for it.  I'm excited to see my new hat (aLOL, Nicole) and to have my bridal party start their bridesmaid dress fitting process on Sunday afternoon. 

SIX:  The Sox are still in it.  I can't say much more, because then I start to get nervous.

Another whirlwind weekend, but after this one, I'm doing NOTHING for several weeks.  Except sleeping.  And going to work.  And blogging.  And gearing up for some exciting things that are looming on the horizon. 

But sleep is a friggin' definite.

October 17, 2007

Me and SuperG.

From the moment he came into the coffee shop, I couldn't keep the grin off my face.  His smile takes up his whole face and it's impossible not to return it. 

"Hi, George." 

"Hi!  it's so great to meet you."  He looks around the Starbucks and barely takes a breath.  "I never come here.  I have no idea what to order.  Hi!"

Having read his blog for almost two years, I had a strong sense of what SuperG would be like - funny, charming, and friendly.  And I was right on all counts.  George is one of those people you hope there are more of.  Aside from being very, very funny and completely silly and entertaining, George is one of the most genuinely warm people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

And he knows stuff.  Like phrases I've never heard before, but will make considerable efforts to implement.  Like "trip on this."  And "honking."  And making my voice drop, a la Vera DeMillo from "In Living Color," when I say we're "writers."

He made me laugh.  He made Chris laugh.  And I think he made himself laugh a few times, which made me laugh all over again.  It was a cycle of giggles, serious discussions, jokes, and grins that went on for several hours underneath the palm trees in Burbank.  We compared pump hiding spots. (I revealed that mine was tucked into my sock and George said that Master P was in his pocket, causing Chris to raise an eyebrow in alarm until I turned to him and said, "No, Master P is his pump.") 

I laughed so hard when Chris realized that George was the "ninjabetic." 

"Oh yeah!  You're the guy in the meter, too, right?"

We talked about George's band and how they're not named The High Fives, as I had thought, because, as George stated - "We're not a boy band."  We talked about dLife and Blogabetes, about our health goals, our diabetes fundraising walks, and I confirmed that Nicole is, indeed, as wicked cool in person as she is in her blog. 

Reading someone's blog on a daily basis and identifying with what they write and how they feel about your shared medical condition creates a bond that reaches beyond your basic, "Hi, nice to meet you."  It's like meeting someone for the first time that you've known forever. 

SuperG and Me.

Trip on this:  George, it was honking cool to meet you and you are such a wonderful guy.  Oh snap!

October 16, 2007

High Fashion.

The fur hat.

She walked into the cafe on Ventura wearing this lovely brown fur hat. 

The brown parka.

She also wore this tasteful fur parka (yes, in LA.  Yes, in October.)

The brown boot.

Brown boots lined with fur accented her fashionable feet.

Messenger bag.

And a messenger bag across her chest completed her outfit.

Making her accomplish her goal: 

High fashion.  Sucka.

To look like Chewbacca.

(I do not understand fashion.)

October 15, 2007

From Manhattan to Manhattan.

The shadow of our planeAside from the fact that our journey started at 4:30 in the morning on Sunday, Chris and I have arrived safely in Los Angeles.  (According to Chris, it was the calmest he had ever seen me on a plane, and this was without medication.  Only one little Xanax pill crossed into my system just before the plane left from NYC.  The rest of the day, I was fine on my own.)

I took a ton of pictures from the plane, of craters in the earth, various shots of the desert landscape, and the sun reflected in the wing as it rose.  The American landscape is remarkable - I found my nose pressed against the window of the plane for hours on end as we traveled so I could get a better view.  I also caught a photo of the shadow our plane cast as it approached LAX. 

Blood sugars have been miserable for the last few days - more 300's than I've seen in a long time, and I experienced a very uncomfortable 46 mg/dl on the airplane.  The bounce between very high and exceedingly low has left me feeling lethargic, sock-mouthed, and a little grumpy.  Again, another example of stress having its way with my blood sugars.  Thank goodness for fast-acting insulin, constant glucose checks, and the unending patience of my husband-to-be.

After we landed, we picked up our rental car.  Which is a PT Cruiser in this obscene orange flame color.  This thing is IMPOSSIBLE to lose in a parking lot.  And because we're ridiculous and refuse to acknowledge the fact that we have already been traveling for 10-plus hours, Chris and I took our Rental Flame for a jaunt to Manhattan Beach.

Kerri at Manhattan Beach.
(If you look closely at the left-hand side of the photo, my insulin pump is tucked tightly into the waistband of my pants.  Not that you want to look too closely, because then you may notice my hair is all over the damn place, my necklace is making a run for it, and I'm sloppy from hours on a plane.)

The houses that line Manhattan Beach are tremendous, boasting a blooming garden of exotic flowers in each front yard.  This one looked exactly like a bird.

I'm such a sucker for something that looks like an animal but isn't actually an animal.  Like rocks that look like squirrels.  :)

And roses bloomed by the dozen, with the salt spray of the Pacific Ocean as their backdrop.

Roses on the beach.

With today being Blog Action Day (and my sister's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COURTNEY!), the focus is on the environment.  Looking at these beautiful moments, I hope they are around for my children to "ahh" over, as well.

October 12, 2007

Six Things Before LA.

It's been a very silly week so far here on Six Until Me ... may as well close it out that way.  Here's The Friday Six:The Friday Six:  October 12, 2007

One.Oh for pete's sake ... we open with the LOLCat Bible.  For some strange reason, I'm surprised this exists.  I clicked around and despite the fact that it's extremely silly and completely foolish, I almost spit out my tea laughing.

Two.Now that the dress has been ordered (yay!) and my bridesmaids are all getting together next weekend (minus my wonderful sister, who is in VA, but she'll be fitted down there) for their first dress fittings, it's time to start thinking about invitations.  I've seen a few websites where you can order invitations, but I'm looking for some referrals.  If you used an online service for your wedding invites, can you send me a link?  (And we've chosen ivory and green for our colors - a very Irish wedding!)

Three.Okay, this guy had an ear grafted to his arm.  What a freak.  This is the first literal application of "talk to the hand."  Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with diabetes, but it made me laugh out loud and force co-workers to watch it with me.

Four.The highs have it, apparently.  This week has sucked as far as diabetes control goes.  Despite the fact that my A1c was decent and my blood sugars have been relatively in-range for the last few months, I hit some big highs on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I spent much of the day with sweaters on my teeth and lethargy wrapped around me like a blanket. 

Kinked cannula?  No.  Over-zealous eating patterns?  Not really.  Looks like I gaffed up my workouts and did a fancy combination of overeat/under-bolus to keep my sugars from dropping during my workout.  Of course they didn't drop, like they normally do.  For some reason, they orbited instead, hitting a cruising altitude of about 300 mg/dl.  It appears to be over now, but it sucked for a few days, to the point where I convinced I was piping in maple syrup instead of insulin.

Five.YAY!  SUM has cracked into the Top Three for the Blogger's Choice I love this little guy.Awards for Best Health Site.  Thanks for all of your support!  Voting closes on October 19th, and I'm excited to see the outcome.  Right now, they've made the results blocked out for the top three sites, so I can't tell where I'm at.  All I know is that I like the little yellow guy icon.  :)

Six.And on Sunday morning, I'll be heading out to LA for the week and working from the sunny west coast for a few days.  I have my clothes packed, my laptop at the ready, and a bottle of Xanax for the damn flight.  (I still don't like flying.  Not even a little bit.)  I'm hoping to see some buddies while I'm out in LA - including one Mr. SuperG himself! 

Have a good weekend and I'll catch you on Monday!

October 11, 2007

Grimace.

SuperG, because your comment made me laugh so hard I almost dropped my coffee mug on the floor, this is for you:

Grimace is mad fine.  Look at those gams.

According to Wikipedia, "Grimace (pronounced /ˈgɹɪməs/) is a character in the marketing campaign by the McDonald's restaurant chain. Large and purple with short arms and legs, he is known for his monotonous face and slow-witted demeanor. His most common expression is the word 'duh'.

In the first campaign of McDonaldland commercials beginning in 1971, Grimace was the "Evil Grimace", with two pairs of arms with which to steal milkshakes. After that first campaign, the character was revised to be one of the "good guys", and his number of arms was reduced by two. Today, Grimace is generally portrayed in McDonald's commercials and merchandise as a well-meaning simpleton, whose clumsy antics provide a comic foil to Ronald McDonald."

SuperG, here is a photo of Grimace in his early days, when he was "Evil Grimace" with four arms: 

Evil Grimace.  Before my co-worker thought he was cute.

Now Grimace is a round fella who toddles around drinking milkshakes.  According to my extensive web research, Grimace wanted to create a blueberry-flavored milkshake.  He also had an Irish uncle named Uncle O'Grimacey.  (Note:  Another fictional food character with an Irish relative?  This feeds into my issues with Cookie O'Puss.) 

He's a happy-go-lucky guy who looks like a big purple gumdrop.  He's part of the McDonald's subculture and I remember collecting the toys from my Happy Meals when I was little. 

George, here is your wrap-up quiz:

1.  Grimace : ______________ : as McDonalds : Spongebob. 

a.  Falcore the Luck Dragon

b.  Patrick

c.  Brett Michaels

2.  True or False?  Evil Grimace had three arms.

3.  True or False?  Grimace loves a good milkshake and, if he could create his own flavor, he would chose blueberry.

4.  The candy Grimace most resembles is ____________________.

Bonus:  "Nothing can kill the Grimace."  Where did this quote originate from?

Answers later today.  :)

October 10, 2007

The Cake Wars

I am not the only engaged girl in the dLife editorial department - my fellow dLifer Z is also engaged to be married.  This has our little editorial department all a-twitter about reception halls, wedding favors, My cake in the Great dLife Cake War.invitations, and bridal gowns. 

And because Z and I are having our weddings a mere week apart, we're stressing about the same stuff.  Both searching for photographers.  Both on the hunt for a reasonable DJ.  Both scouring bridal shops for the perfect gown.  Both with desks piled high with glossy bridal magazines.

Therefore, we've established The Cake Wars.

We first thought about having the tortoise and the hare, but neither of us are blazing through the timeline. 

"The tortoise and the tortoise?"  I suggested.

Z looked at me very seriously. 

"I would like to be Grimace."

I couldn't help but laugh.  "Grimace?"

Dead serious.  "Yes.  I think he's cute."

Okay, so my cake is topped by a tortoise (aka Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Z is represented by her cute pal, Grimace.

Each tier of the cake represents a completed task.  (We already have a few tiers pre-labeled as "stress out.")  At the top of the timeline there are wedding bells with our respective wedding dates.

Every time a bell rings, I test my blood sugar.

Here's how Grimace and Donatello are battling it out.

Grimace vs. Donatello

The Great dLife Cake War has begun.  Onwards to May!  (And tomorrow I'll stop making this into a wedding blog.  Besides, I already write for one of those.)

October 09, 2007

Found.

"Just lift your arms up and ... okay, dive in!"I can't wait to post a real picture here!  (Only not for 7 more months.)

She held the seemingly endless yards of flowing fabric above my head, with her arms through the middle to guide me to the top.  The rustle and shuffle of silk and taffeta undulated by my ears until I had shimmied into the dress.

And I walked out to where my mother was waiting, the train of the dress following patiently. 

"Oh, that's the one.  That's it."  My mother started clapping softly, then realized it was an odd thing to do, so she just folded her hands in her lap and grinned.

I turned to face the mirror and, despite the exhaustion from the whirlwind weekend and the day of working remotely and the strong scent of Starbucks coffee, I felt pretty.  All in an instant, I didn't want to wait another seven months to be his bride. 

"Oh, that's the one."  My bridal consultant had patiently helped me try on over two dozen dresses and she showed no signs of slowing down.  But this one was it.  Hands on her hips, she followed the lines of my body with her eyes and nodded her approval.  "It fits you perfectly."

I nodded in agreement.  She leaned in to my mother.

"Let's get the pump and I'll get the seamstress, so we can see how we'll work with this."

My mother unearthed the pump from the depths of my purse, where it had been stashed during this dress-session, and handed it to me. 

The seamstress came out and gave me a coo of approval.  "Oh honey, you look beautiful.  Now what are we looking at here?"

"This is my insulin pump.  I need to have a pocket or something created in the dress so I can access the buttons here," I gestured to the front face of my pump, "and then the tubing needs to funnel through the dress layers to a port on my outer thigh."

"No problem, honey.  No problem at all.  Let's see this."  She reached out her hand and I placed the pump on her palm.  "Not too heavy at all.  We make a little pocket along the seam here," she pointed to the side of the dress, "and then we'll just tunnel through the layers to meet up with your leg.  A small bit of velcro to keep the pocket shut and viola!  You're a bride with a beeper."

"A pump."

"Pump."

The seamstress patted me on the arm.  My bridal consultant helped me slip out of the dress and I put my own skirt and shirt back on.  I looked at some options for my bridesmaids and ooohed over dresses for my flower girl (little MP).  We talked about when the dress would be ordered and how long it would take to come in.

And if I closed my eyes, I could still feel the weight of the train and the way the beading felt underneath my fingertips.

I can't wait until May.

October 08, 2007

The Blur

A weekend crammed with weddings - the first for our friends Matt and Emily at Astra on the 14th floor of the Design and Decoration Building on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.  It was an intimate black tie affair, with cocktails on the balcony.  (Fancy!)

The view from our balcony on the D&D Bldg.

Sunday night was the wedding of one of my college roommates, Mary, and her now-husband Tim.  This was a wedding with countless tables of loved ones and laughter. 

Me and Chris at Mary's wedding.  Insulin pump tucked discreetly into my bra.  :)

As a bride-to-be, I view weddings with more of a window-shopping eye than I ever have before.  Each DJ or band is enjoyed and then Chris and I whisper to one another, "Should we go talk to them about our wedding?"  We kept watching the photographer and noticing how professionally and efficiently she was handling the wedding.  She seemed terrific - to the point where I accosted her in the bathroom as she was washing her hands.

"Hi."

She looked at me.  "Hi!"

"Listen, I know you're busy with this wedding tonight, but my fiance and I are getting married on May 18th next year and we're really impressed with your work tonight."  I grabbed a paper towel, doing my best to not look like a bathroom stalker. 

"Oh, thanks!  I have my business cards here with me, if you'd like one."

"Would love one!"

Fantastic.  Chris and I spoke with her briefly and took her business card.  Weddings have become one-stop-shopping for both a celebration with friends and potential vendors for our own wedding.

And this afternoon, my mom and I are going to a few bridal shops so I can start trying on wedding dresses.  :D 

I. 

Can't. 

Wait. 

October 05, 2007

Another Friday Six.

The Friday Six --- a day late, according to my fine friend Christi.  ;) 

WON:  Chris recently stumbled upon the Chuck Norris internet phenomenon, where Chuck Norris is granted superhero status online.  (Bizarre stuff.  I found it a number of years ago and laughed myself silly.  Chris found it the other day and was in tears from laughing so hard.)  He's created a list of Chuck Norris Facts with a diabetes-flair.  I have a few of my own to add, but that's for another round with the ol' Photoshop.  If you have any "Chuck Norris Diabetes Facts," I'd love to hear them.  (And I'll most likely ALOL <--- that's for you, Shannon and Jamie.)

For more, visit www.loldiabetes.com

TOO:  SUM is up for the Best Health Blog award at the Blogger's Choice Awards - and voting closes on October 19th.  This is some shameless blog promotion, but if you feel comfortable casting your vote for Six Until Me, I'd really appreciate it.  Click here to vote!  I'm hoping to make it into the Top Three. 

TREE:  This weekend is already making me exhausted to think about - more weddings than I know what to do with.  We have one in Manhattan on Saturday night and another in RI on Sunday evening.  Plus, the dresses I have for these October events aren't exactly matching the freakish 80 degree weather.  Oh blast!  I can't wait until the only wedding I have to fret about is my own.

FORE:  I have never played golf, but I swing a club like it's a hockey stick.  (Only with far less power than Happy Gilmore.)  This tidbit is irrelevant, but correlates directly with the "fore."

JOHNNY FIVE:  Now that the CT JDRF walk has passed and the RI walk is on the horizon, I'm gearing up for Team Six Until Me's third appearance for the JDRF RI Chapter on October 21st.  The emails are out, the team is growing, and the hours I spend actually sleeping are waning to a miniscule little smidgy bit.  Mark my words:  after October 21st, I am sleeping for three days straight.  And not attending any weddings.  Or walks.  Or events that require thought. 

SIX UNTIL ME:  And on the cooking note from October 5th Friday Sixyesterday, I do have a crockpot.  It's red and fancy and Batman gave it to me last year but I haven't even plugged the damn thing in yet.  I'm on the hunt for crockpot recipes that are low-carb and very veggie-heavy (because I love me some vegetables).  Also, do you really leave a crockpot plugged in all day long?  That sounds like a fire hazard.  I'm going to bring mine to work and plug it in here until someone asks me what the hell I'm doing.

Have a great weekend, F.R's!  I'm off to finish work and look forward to Date Night with my handsome fiance.  (I hope it includes cheesecake.) 

October 04, 2007

Chef Morrone

There are several reasons why Chris loves me, but my ability to cook is definitely not high on my list of assets.

I know how to eat well.  In a restaurant situation, I can order a meal that satisfies my taste buds, contains healthy ingredients, and keeps my blood sugars from orbiting.  When it comes to food, I know what I should be consuming to stay fit and healthy and I keep careful tabs on what I'm eating.

Unfortunately, none of those items should be burnt to a crisp.

My kitchen is generally very clean because I don't cook much.  My culinary prowess is very limited, including scrambled eggs, homemade chicken soup, preparing and seasoning a whole chicken, and banana bread.  According to Chris, I make the best scrambled eggs ever.  And my chicken soup is pretty slammin'.  But everything else I cook becomes an unrecognizable disaster.  I'm too distracted to cook anything!

This becomes a point of contention between me and Diabetes, because Diabetes is always demanding these carefully calculated and prepared plates. 

"Make me something healthy.  And low-fat.  And low-sodium.  Oh, and low-carb."  It crosses its arms over its chest and stares me down.

"Dude, listen.  I bought you those green beans for snacks.  And walnuts.  We have our coffee with equal instead of sugar.  Didn't you like those sugar-free, all natural popsicles Chris picked up?  And how about the tasty soup I made the other night, which we only needed about 1.5 units of insulin to cover.  Huh?  Wasn't that nice?"  I fold my arms over my chest and stare back.

"Nice?  Kerri, that soup had about eight pounds of salt in it."

"Yeah, but it tasted nice, right?"

Narrowed eyes.

"I'm trying, man.  My blood pressure is under control.  My kidneys are healthy.  And my A1C is nothing to sneeze at."  Siah walks by and sneezes daintily.  "Things are okay.  Can't you just be content with the eggs and the soup and the chicken?"

"I'm bored.  Make me something nice."Oh goodness, I definitely can't cook cartoons.

I try and keep my palette entertained.  Alternating between snacks like walnuts, almonds, fresh fruit, green beans, protein bars, and sliced vegetables, I'm eating well and feeling pretty damn healthy.  But I am a little bored and looking for some snacky/meal alternatives.  Ones that I am able to make without too much effort or time, as I'm so short on time these days it's suffocating, and I'm so short on kitchen talent that I'm surprised I'm still alive.

I did, after all, light the kitchen curtains on fire when I was a kid as I attempted to make toast. 

October 03, 2007

Delurk Thyself!

Delurking!Well well!  I found this tidbit on Julia's blog, albeit at the end of the day:

Today is apparently DeLurk Yourself day!

Faithful Readers, I appreciate you to the very Nth degree.  ("Nth" means "to infinity," according to my old Highlights for Children magazine from 3rd grade.  Even though, to me, it would make more sense to have it be the Zth degree, it being the last letter of the alphabet and all.  But I've digressed yet again.  Imagine that?)  If you are feeling bold, delurk thyself and say hello.  Or whatever word strikes you.

I'll say the word "Oatmeal."  Because I'm about to eat some before I head off to the gym.  ;) 

3,063 Words

Autumn leaves at a park in Darien.

We visited a park and the leaves were just starting to turn.

Wickford mums

The display of blooming mums in Wickford Village a few weekends ago were beautiful against the late summer sky.

Chubby little Abby

And Abby fell asleep in the suitcase and was snoring as I finished writing an article yesterday afternoon.

Sometimes I just need to take a few minutes and appreciate these moments more.

October 02, 2007

Sad Robot.

I was 48 mg/dl after dinner.

I thought I had over-estimated a bit for dinner and when his words started swimming in the foreground before they slammed into my ears, my hands unzipped the black meter case without thinking.  Grape juice stained my mouth but the moment ended with a sheepish smile and a "I think I over-bolused a little at dinner."

Before bed, I was 107 mg/dl.  Safe.  I curled against Chris, said a silent prayer for the cat to remain off my pillow, and fell asleep.

At 4:07 am, I woke up with the lamp on. 

Then I remembered that I had woken up about 20 minutes earlier and turned the lamp on, like I was trying to wake up in stages.  Shirt was melted against me, my face was cold with sweat.  My meter case was open and lying next to me, but I couldn't remember testing.

Siah hopped up on the bed and purred loudly. 

Moonlit lows had been leaving me alone lately, letting me cling to the few hours of sleep I was able to catch.  But this one must have been hiding under the bed, knowing full well that my earlier low had sapped my liver of its glucagon storage.  My thoughts were unraveling like a scarf.  Did I test earlier?

Chris stirred next to me.  For some reason, I was determined to let him sleep.  I pressed the "on" button on the meter to recall the last result, my brain stuck in a routine of "test, then treat," even though I knew with every breath that I needed juice now.

Last result was the 107 mg/dl before bed.

Click.  5 ... 4 ... 3 ...

Siah put her little gray nose over the meter screen and pawed at my wrist.

42 mg/dl.

Nodding to myself almost matter-of-factly, I swung my shaking legs over the side of the bed and put my feet on the floor.  I felt like I was made of yarn.  My feet wouldn't plant themselves in place but instead they kept staggering, one after the other, throwing me into the wall.  I tried to take a step forward and crumpled to the floor.

My brain is fully functioning.  I know words.  I know sounds.  I know exactly what I need to do and what the number 42 means but my body has betrayed me and won't move as I have asked, like I was a robot who had been over-oiled.

Crawling back into the bed, I meant to tap Chris on the shoulder but instead my hand took on a force of its own and whacked him solidly in the chest.

"Help me?"The sad robot.

He woke up instantly.

"Sit down."  In a matter of seconds, he was back with a bottle of juice, despite the fact that there were two juice bottles resting on the bedside table.  Autopilot for both of us.

Again with the grape juice.  Wiped my shirt against my forehead.  He held my arm and kept me steady.

Drained the bottle.  Rezippered the meter case.  Routines, routines, robotic routines.  Turned off the lamp.  Collapsed against my pillow and listened to the sound of my labored breathing, aware of the hurricane of juice in my stomach and the tears in my eyes even though I didn't feel sad.  I just felt low.

"It's okay.  You're okay." 

And I lay there, at the bottom of the well but slowly coming back up to the surface, like a sad robot.  Wishing I could tell him "I know," but instead these tears fell out and my mouth wouldn't make the words.

October 01, 2007

Team dLife

Team dLife

Team dLife!

Our team was small but dedicated to the cause, doing our part to raise awareness for diabetes.  It's a remarkable experience, being part of a company dynamic that serves to better the lives of people living with diabetes.  A big THANK YOU to everyone who supported Team dLife, from the walkers to those who donated to the people who tolerated my silly "troop rallying" emails.  (Note to self:  Pictures of sad kittens in teacups = good donations.  It's a proven fact.)

On a completely non-diabetes related note, we also saw Batman and Spiderman wandering around the walk.  Only there was something a bit disconcerting about the footwear.

Chris's voice murmured in my ear as he walked by.  "Does Batman always go barefoot?"

Barefoot Batman and Gym Sock-Clad Spiderman

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