Monday, November 10, 2014

Crushing Irony

For the first time in my children's lives, the United States Congress is, or rather will soon be, in Republican hands.

That is a most excellent sentence to type.  I just reread it several times.  Most of you reading don't know the strain of twice bringing a child into the world with Barack Obama sitting in the White House while Harry & Nancy wreak havoc on the Hill.  Before I fully revel in election glee, I'm going to back up a week as there is considerable fall merriment that I've neglected to blog.

One of my first thoughts when I learned of Reagan's diabetes was, Oh, Halloween.  If you're the parent of a diabetic child, or a parent who pays a little bit of attention to what your child consumes, you know well that our cultural standards are unkind to the growing bodies of children.  We're conditioning them to be sugar addicts, y'all know this, right?  They attend birthday parties & are bombarded with cake, ice cream, & a Capri Sun, all of which totals around seventy carbs, & if there are edible party favors, the carbs just keep on coming. The recommended carb count for an entire meal for a child Reagan's size, diabetic or not, is forty-five.  Every holiday is a chance to shove candy in their tiny palms, & Halloween is perhaps the worst offender, & so I've been mentally, silently talking to myself about Halloween since January 16 of this year.  Thankfully, we did not experience a Halloween post-diagnosis without our trusty insulin pump, which is, along with my Keurig & my flat iron, one of my favorite inventions of all time.

I did a little reading, a little consulting with other Type 1 moms, & when the big day finally dawned, I had a plan.

Phase one of the plan was keeping Reagan's number nice & low all day in preparation for the big event. My threshold for correcting her was considerably lower than usual.  If she drifted much above 150, I'd send her back down, safely, which the pump allows me to do because I can dose such small amounts of insulin.

Phase two of the plan was tucking this trusty sheet in my purse when we set out to fill our plastic pumpkins with carbs.  It's a list of all the usual Halloween suspects, along with their carb counts.  Trust me, you do not want to see this up close; it will ruin the fun of staying up late & eating your kids Halloween loot.

Phase three of the plan was to suit up the kids & haul them to my parents' house, as, after much thought & strategic analysis, I'd decided we would participate in a trick-or-treat event in my parents' neighborhood because it promised considerably lower candy yields than all other options. 

I present, Princess Anna of Arendelle & Olaf, or the scarier version of the costume Trey suggested, Olaf eating Henry:

Some pre-candy collection snacking:

Procuring the carbs candy:


Overall, the night was a big success.  As I'd predicted, Reagan didn't end up with too much candy, & she was happy as a lark because I let her eat a few pieces of it right away . . . which I planned on & had adjusted her pump accordingly.  It seems success (or failure) is measured numerically in every area of my life, & when Reagan went to sleep that night, her number was 92, which is always a welcome number, but particularly after the onslaught on Halloween.  I gave Reagan another piece of her candy as 92 is a little lower than I prefer her to be at bedtime (due to fear of overnight lows).  Then, I got in bed & contemplated the irony of a day with origins in the celebration of the dead, which we commemorate by shoveling sugar-laden candy into the waiting hands of children who don't know how horrible it is for their developing bodies.  You know what will hasten death in about hundred different potential ways?  Excessive sugar.  Happy Halloween.

With Halloween (victoriously) behind me, I turned my attention to election week.  The week of mid-term elections began ominously.  It started with a simple Sunday lunch at Red Lobster.  Innocent enough, right?  Reagan had been given a bag of goodies in her Sunday school class that morning, & one of the items was this small, plastic, purple thing.  I am not even sure what it was.  A bookmark, maybe, but really, I am not sure.  She thought it was awesome & insisted on taking it into Red Lobster with her.  I suggested that was a bad idea, as I always suggest in these instances because of the high probability of desired items being lost.  She persisted, & my hunger got the better of me & I allowed it.  Halfway through our meal, guess what?  Reagan realized she was no longer in possession of her mystery plastic purple item.  Cue the pouty lip, tears, etc.  We looked around as best we could without drawing the attention of everyone in the restaurant, but had no luck.  The situation was escalating.  I knew what was coming, but Trey, who doesn't venture into public with the children as often as I do, did not. 

While we were all still seated at the table, Trey gave Reagan, whose sad face was breaking my heart, a lecture about keeping up with our belongings.  When we all got up to leave & Reagan realized she would be leaving Red Lobster without the missing plastic purple thing, everything fell to pieces.  Anyone who hadn't noticed us poking around on the floor for the purple thing definitely noticed us as we exited.  Legs were flailing, which is very noticeable because Reagan's legs aren't short. 

Here's the best part, the silver lining, if one is to be found in this sordid tantrum tale.  After lecturing Reagan about being responsible & keeping up with her belongings, in the chaos of her epic fit, Trey left his credit card at Red Lobster.  I am still laughing about it as I type.  

After Sunday's lunchtime irony, election week improved significantly.  I didn't sleep much Monday night. At least, I don't think I did, but I couldn't tell by the way I felt Tuesday, which was wired.  Though I didn't need the caffeine jolt, this was my first cup election morning:

I drank the coffee & readied myself to go teach, donning a bright red vest to show my solidarity with others hoping to bloody the electoral map & to send a subliminal message to any undecided voters I might encounter.

I taught, I voted, & I went home for a few hours before heading to my parents' house, where cable news channels can be found.  I genuinely do not miss FoxNews . . . except on election night.  I had to spend a little time with Uncle Brit.

Henry spent his first election night eating ice & making a big mess in my mom's kitchen because, truth be told, no one was watching him all that closely.  

Reagan ensconced herself in a fort on my parents' bed for the duration of the evening.

I never thought I'd be excited about Mitch McConnell's reelection, but I was.  They called his race early in the evening, almost the moment the polls closed in Kentucky, & the evening's joy only multiplied after that.  I'm breathing heavy again just sitting & typing all this out.  It's difficult to sum up the epicness of it all in words.  But, I will try.

I suspected the Republicans would take the Senate, but I was unsure if it would be decided Tuesday night given potential runoffs in Georgia & Louisiana.  So, I'll start there with my list of things that made me squeal Tuesday, (1) No runoff needed in the Georgia Senate race.  No. 2 on the list: the first Senate seat to officially fade from blue to red was the seat soon to be held by Shelley Moore Capito (R), the first woman to be elected to the Senate from West Virginia.  Her election is, in my opinion, a sign of great things to come given that for years & years, the West Virginia electorate sent former KKK member Robert Byrd to the Senate.

 No. 3 on the list: Iowa elected Joni Ernst (R), the first woman elected to represent Iowa in the Senate.  No. 4 on the list: very, very pro-choice Kay Hagan (D) lost her bid to represent North Carolina, recently a deep dark blue state, in the Senate.  No. 5 on the list: Wendy "I am so proud of the abortion I had" Davis (D) lost her bid to serve as governor of the great state of Texas.  No. 6 on the list: Nikki Haley (R) was reelected governor of South Carolina in convincing fashion, despite her Democratic challenger using the clever tactic of calling her a whore in the weeks before the election.  No. 7 on the list: Republicans in New York's 21st district are sending Elise Stefanik (R), who, at thirty, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, to represent their interests in the House.  No. 8 on the list: the election to the House of Mia Love, Republican from Utah who is, get this, not an old white man.  You know, those Republicans, they're a bunch of old white men.  Except for young Tom Cotton (R), Senator-elect from Arkansas & the first Iraq War veteran elected to the Senate.  Except for Joni Ernst.  And Nikki Haley.  And Shelley Capito.  And Elise Stefanik.  And Mia Love.

Continuing this most glorious of lists, coming in at No. 9: Oregon voters rejected the idea of giving illegal immigrants a driver's license.  You read that right; someone thought this needed to be put to a vote.  This is what I call the OLT, or the Oregon Lunacy Test.  Whatever lunatic idea some Democrat has, put it to a vote in Oregon, & if the lefties in Oregon shoot it down, it is a really terrible idea that needs to die in Oregon.  I use the term shoot metaphorically of course, as there are, as I understand it, no guns in Oregon.

I'll stop now.  Except for one more item, No. 10: the deep blue states of Maryland & Illinois elected Republican governors.  Oh, also in gubernatorial news, Charlie Crist lost, which is especially wonderful for me because I spent my week at the beach in October watching & listening to his incessant ads.

By the time the Senate was firmly in Republican hands, I was back home & the kids were in bed, which meant I was without Uncle Brit.  I realized, sitting in my bed, checking Drude & refreshing, refreshing, refreshing my Twitter feed, that what I wanted most was to watch a little MSNBC.  I watched a few minutes of local news & then turned everything off, a wide smile plastered on my face thinking about the "War on Women" the Democrats insist Republicans are waging, only to have the Senate yanked from their hypocritical hands by . . . women.  I can hardly stand it.  Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, & I can all hardly stand it.    

As with any election cycle, there were a few disappointments.  I do wish the voters of Louisiana could've put Bill Cassidy over the 50% mark & avoided a runoff, but hey, it might be fun to watch Mary spend another few weeks putting her foot in her mouth.  I closely watched the returns for LA's 5th district, & it was a tight race to the finish to see who would make that runoff.  In the end, Zach Dasher came in third, by, I believe, a few hundred votes.  Zach ran an admirable campaign, & I fervently hope it was not his last.  Zach is young & Republican, two traits that have proven highly popular with the nation's electorate.

Wednesday morning, sleep deprived but oh-so-happy, I tried to shake my election hangover & ready Reagan & myself to travel to Jackson for her doctor's appointment.

Reagan's A1C was a 7.1, which is right on target for a diabetic child her age & size.  Obviously this post is way too long as is for me to now go into the details of an A1C test, but if you're curious, read more here.  To sum up, her A1C is the best numeric indicator of the control I have over Reagan's diabetes.

To celebrate the A1C news, we carb loaded at the Starbucks inside her favorite Barnes & Noble in Jackson.

Then, she searched for a few souvenirs (including some new bookmarks to replace the tragic loss of the plastic purple bookmark-ish object lost at Red Lobster).  So the moral of the story is: lose treasured personal item, pitch a loud, horrible fit in public, & select newer, better items a few days later.  We're going to have to reevaluate before we unwittingly raise a Democrat.    

If you're wondering, Trey retrieved his credit card.  In fact, it was used to purchase the new bookmarks a few days later.  Isn't that delicious.

So, I'll address the elephant lurking on the blog.

It would've been nice to beat Alabama.  I got over the loss pretty quickly.  I didn't expect a close game, so not being blown out was a pleasant surprise.  When it went to overtime, I was strangely calmer than I had been during the final quarter of regulation because I figured, hey, win or lose, we took them to OT & made Nicky boy sweat it out.  Between the stress & the tanning, Botox is calling his name.

If I were a betting woman, I'd have bet a lot of money against LSU beating Bama in OT, even on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, because while LSU has improved over the past few weeks, they're young & inexperienced & neither their QB nor their coach fair well under pressure.  More than anything, I guess I have my answer to the age old question, If I had to choose, whom would I rather see experience crushing, humiliating defeat, Nick Saban, or the Democrats?  The answer is, without a doubt, the Democrats.  I don't like Saban, but win or lose, his football program has little to do with my children's future (or how much I pay in taxes, or how much we owe China), & his victory on Saturday evening did little to dampen my high spirits.  Ten minutes after the game I was over it & making decaf, totally surprising myself.  When I was tempted to wallow in the sorrow of defeat, again yelling (in my head) at Anthony Jennings to SEE the open field in front of him & RUN for the first down on 4th & 10 rather than throwing another incomplete pass, I'd remind myself that Nancy Pelosi will soon be relieved of her duties as Speaker of the House, & I'd smile, & sip my decaf.  Really, how horrible can these Alabamians be when they keep sending Jeff Sessions back to the Senate?  I now join most of the SEC nation & all college football fans who're tired of Saban & Alabama & the announcers who slobber all over them (I'm looking at you, Verne & Gary!) in saying, MORE COWBELL!

Oh, also softening the blow of LSU's overtime loss: Notre Dame, private, Catholic, too-pious-to-play-in-anyone's-conference Notre Dame, lost to the Sun DEVILS on Saturday because, IRONY.


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