Sunday, June 24, 2018


Good Sunday evening.

This is going to break down beautifully (& alliteratively) into the following categories: a hair update, a health update, a house hunting update, & a home front update. Now you're so excited.

I begin with some important news. I think I am going to stop highlighting my hair. I am not sure about this, but this is the direction in which I am leaning. Some history for you: When I was in college, I occasionally had some highlights put in my hair. At some point after I graduated from college, I quit doing this. I don't even know if it was a conscious decision. I know I didn't even bother having highlights done when I got married, because look at the hair in this pic:

I don't particularly adore my hair color in this picture, but it was maintenance free. I guess I didn't bother highlighting it then because, you know, even though I didn't have kids I was very busy taking care of my dog & reading the Twilight series or something. 

I like the highlights, but I hate the maintenance. I think my natural color has darkened some after having my kids, except of course for the gray hair(s) sprouting near my temple. What inevitably happens is I decide to quit highlighting my hair. Then, the roots bother me, so I highlight it again. I have to break the cycle. The first step is to talk about the problem. The options are to just let it grow & grin & bear it while the highlights grow out, or color it all to closely match my natural color. I don't love either of those options. If you have hair suggestions, do leave them in the comments. For those of you still awake, we'll move on now. 

On the health front, we'll begin with the good news. No one had any cavities filled last week. On the maintenance end of things, I reordered Reagan's pump supplies. This was the first time I've had to reorder since we switched to the new pump a few months ago. Since pump supplies are coded & billed as medical equipment (& have their own very special deductible), insurance allows us to reorder every three months; I believe it is every eighty-one days to be exact. 

For now, we're reordering directly from the company that manufactures the pump, Medtronic. I am a bit nervous about this because formerly we used a medical supply company out of New Orleans, & while they gave me fits about things at times, they were great about calling & emailing & texting to let me know the status of my current order. They were total stalkers when we had an order in transit, & I loved them for it. A pump is of little use if you don't have the supplies necessary to use it, so the timely delivery of these supplies is something I sort of harp on & sit up at night & think about until they're safely at my doorstep. I will be making some follow-up inquiries early this week, naturally. 

At present, Reagan is taking medication for a minor skin infection at the site of the sensor she wore all last week. At least once a week, I check Reagan's skin for any anomalies. If you understand the basics of germs, you know we all have a variety of things regularly on our skin that are just fine so long as they don't enter our body. The thing about diabetes is that whether you use shots or a pump, you have no choice but to routinely stick yourself. Diabetics stick their fingers throughout the day, & they either inject themselves with needles throughout the day or hook themselves up to a pump every few days in order to receive their insulin. Reagan usually has two insertion sites now, her pump site & her sensor site. We always use alcohol wipes, every time we change a site & every time we prick her finger. Still, infections are possible. I know to be on the lookout, & thankfully I was giving her arm a good once-over after her bath last night & saw something concerning. 

I called my mom & after compiling the results of my googling & my dad's googling, we decided we didn't need to head to the after hours clinic. I put some antibiotic cream on her arm. Once she was asleep, I marked the margins of the redness with a sharpie so I would know for sure whether or not to freak out the next morning. Thankfully this morning when she woke up her arm looked much as it did last night. 

We saw the doctor this morning. Her pediatrician's office has a doc in the office on Sunday mornings until eleven. Reagan's pediatrician happened to be the doctor on weekend duty this weekend, & I was SO HAPPY to see his face. I think it's somewhat of a Pavlovian response, honestly. After both of my kids were born, he was the one who came & saw me in all my post-delivery glory & told me my babies were perfect. I didn't sleep much last night because of course I had to go look at Reagan's arm every ten minutes & google all manner of ridiculous things, so it was reassuring to see him this morning after little sleep, one cup of coffee, & a lot of worry. 

I have to get off the Internet, y'all. Truly from politics to medical issues, most of what you (& by you I mean me) encounter online isn't representative of reality. Diabetes is scary. It puts a mama in a heightened state of alertness that, I imagine, is her new normal forever & ever. You have to be vigilant, but you also have to talk yourself down from ledges on which you've needlessly placed yourself. Ideally you need to learn to keep your head, get some perspective, & stop looking at worst case scenarios online. It doesn't help that I was once hospitalized for a MRSA case of mastitis, so I know how bad things can get if what is initially a seemingly minor issue languishes, is misdiagnosed, etc. My mind leaps, as I suppose most mama's minds do, but usually the places we land when we leap are irrelevant to the issue at hand & only serve to mentally incapacitate us at a time when our child needs us to be strong & confident about how things will play out. 

Diabetes is all about balance. It is an unending game of keeping the blood sugar in a healthy range, not too low, not too high. You're walking a tightrope, & many days things are being thrown at you that make the balancing act that much harder. A cold. A stomach virus. A skin infection. Stress. Puberty. Growth spurts. 

In addition to the numbers game, there is a second balancing act you have to teach your diabetic child. You have to demonstrate for your diabetic child how to be watchful, to check for skin issues, to stay on top of her numbers, to check for ketones when needed, but to also, well, live. There are some days diabetes will consume the day, & these days make you all the more thankful for the days when things seem almost easy. 

When I say I need to get off the Internet, what I mean is I need to redirect my Internet activities. The Internet is far more than scary rash pictures & political bickering. For example, exploring local real estate & buying furniture are both worthwhile Internet activities. I should update you & let you know the house I love so much was interested in buying is under contract. Someone else made an offer before Trey & I did, so unless that contract falls through, our current home will be our home for the foreseeable future. On an unrelated note, next week we'll discuss the ethics of praying that a real estate contract falls though. Oh, I am kidding. The offer Trey was planning to make may've made the home owner laugh loudly anyway, so our buying the house was far from a sure thing. 

Finally, on the home front, I am in the middle of what inevitably happens when I spend a lot of time in my house after a busy period during which I could have passed a dead person in my entryway repeatedly & been just fine leaving him there on the floor to enjoy his eternal rest. We've been rearranging furniture & cleaning out closets &, you know, hanging up my sweater that's been on the floor since last December. 

I'll cut to the chase. Reader, I bought a dining table. It's not actually in the house yet, so I don't have any pictures & will save a lengthy discussion of it for another day. Even though we won't be buying the house I wanted, it did me good to walk through it. I have thought long & hard about what I like about the house, & why. I am using that knowledge to make some changes in our current home. We'll talk a little more about those changes once my new table is here. I am also pondering new curtains for the kitchen & dining area. Some rug decisions will be made soon as well.

Finally, I suppose I'll add another H to the list: a heart update. A handful of things that make my heart sing are worthy of a mention. First, Trey & I saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Saturday afternoon. I'm just going to paste my Facebook comments here:

Well. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a great movie. It is not as good as 2015's Jurassic World, but it is, to quote Trey, "a worthy successor."

The film has everything you expect: It opens with a dark & eerie scene that makes you squirm & pause to reflect on the amount of popcorn you've already consumed. A handful of folks are eaten almost immediately. Throughout the film humans make highly questionable choices; sometimes these choices lead to the humans being eaten by dinosaurs. There are nefarious characters pretending to care about the welfare of the dinosaurs when truly they just want to turn a profit. There is occasional discussion of the ethics of, you know, playing God. Random children are thrown in the mix, but you know they won't be the ones to actually be eaten by the dinosaurs. A couple whose relationship is initially unclear pauses momentarily to flirt &/or cling to/sleep on each other during a handful of pivotal, often sweaty, scenes. There remains uncertainty about the couple's relationship status as the movie closes, but you don't think too deeply about it because you've just watched so many people die in the clutches of dinosaurs. You go home & half expect a raptor to leap from your closet.

One of the (many) things I love about Jurassic World is that it seemed to revive the franchise after many dormant years (& two Jurassic Park sequels that are kind of meh . . . but meh is okay with me when it comes to dinosaurs). Jurassic World pays tremendous homage to the original Jurassic Park; it is, after all, set on the original island. This film doesn't have quite the same nostalgic feel, but I expected that. They do return to the original island, but they aren't there as long as I'd thought they would be.

By far the best parts of this film are the return of Jeff Goldblum who has a cameo as the fantastic Dr. Ian Malcolm &, yes, Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, the Raptor Charmer. Blue is back, & she is fabulous. I do love that in these last two films they've managed to endear audiences to a raptor named Blue.

My final thought is a personal one. When the planned third Jurassic World film releases, I will, the Lord willing, be forty years old. I was twelve in the summer of 1993 when Jurassic Park was released. Cheers to what is one of my favorite film franchises. Thank you, Mr. Crichton.

I'll see it again, naturally. Many years ago some genius decided that what Americans need to break up the stifling monotony of a sweltering summer is to sit in a darkened theater & watch dinosaurs eat people; I don't dig too deeply into the psychological reasons as to why that is true, but I do love my dinosaur movies.

Tomorrow night the book club meets. Rejoice. Our June book is Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel for a variety of reasons. 

There is a wonderful little romance, but it doesn't consume the novel (though fyi: I am also fine with novels in which romance does consume the novel). There are letters; in fact, with a short exception, the entirety of the novel is composed of letters the protagonist, an orphan, writes to the mysterious man funding her graduate education. She doesn't know his name, & he asks to be identified as Mr. George Knightley. If that name rings a bell for you, well good. It should. 

A final note about this month's novel: Sometimes I think God doesn't much involve Himself in my book club. I don't know that He cares what we read, you know. Sure, He might raise His eyebrows if we start reading smut or something, but otherwise, He likely is indifferent. 

I have at times in my life felt it was serendipitous I was reading a particular book at a particular time. For example, on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, I finished reading The Book Thief. The next night, as the book club met to discuss that book, I was in Reagan's hospital room in PICU grappling with her diagnosis. At the time I was thankful to have just read The Book Thief, to have taken such a dark journey, seeing Nazi Germany through the eyes of an orphaned girl & her Jewish friend, cognizant that it was reality for many. It gave me some much needed perspective. 

As I mentioned, the protagonist in Dear Mr. Knightley is an orphan. Most everything about her past is disquieting, both her relationship with her biological parents as well as her unsettling experiences in foster homes. Lately I've thought a lot about children who, for various reasons, are separated from their parents. Via Facebook, I've watched a handful of friends document the process of becoming foster or adoptive parents. Trey & I have never discussed parenting children other than our two lovelies, & between Reagan's medical needs & how often I've had to take the dog to the vet lately, I don't know that it would be in the best interest of our family if we attempted to add names to the Zeigler roster at this point. 

A friend of mine & her husband have been fostering newborn twin boys since early this year. Last week, as I was finishing Dear Mr. Knightley, I logged onto Facebook & lo & behold, my friend & her husband were called upon to take in the older brother of the twins. They now have four children in their care: their daughter, who is Henry's age, infant twins, & a three-year-old boy who was just taken from his mother. I really can't wrap my mind around all of the dynamics happening in their home right now. Instead of ending by linking you to pictures of my new table or the curtains I'm considering buying, I am going to share a link to their Amazon wish list --- > Click here. 

Last week I blubbered for a bit about the sermon I'd just heard my preacher deliver. I am certain part of the plan for the utopia God created (that humans proceeded to immediately destroy) was happy family units. One of the many dominoes that fell & became immensely vulnerable to Satan's attacks  when Adam & Eve sinned was the family structure. In the New Testament, Christians are instructed to care for widows & orphans. Widows & orphans are the result of the fall in the garden; they are part of the collateral of sin & death. If you feel so led, consider financially helping a couple currently welcoming three little boys into their home. 

I close with an announcement perhaps more important than the announcement about the future of my highlighted hair. For the foreseeable future, I plan to post on Mondays as I did back in ye olden days of blogging. This is the last Sunday in June, & so we will plan to meet again on the first Monday in July, the Lord willing. Please note this change on your calendar, & have a great week. 


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