“Why Not Me?” By Mindy Kaling Review

As I sit here, reading “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling, while watching The Office in the background, I can’t help but think, “I’m so meta.” And if you don’t know what that means, I don’t really either, but it sounds cool, right? Anyway…

Mindy Kaling is a TV writer and actress, who you’ve definitely seen on The Office as Kelly Kapoor, or as the star/writer on The Mindy Project. If you can’t put a face to the name, then get out. Just kidding! But you might want to flip on The Office and revel in the amazingness.

“Why Not Me?” is a perfect combination of hilarious retellings of anecdotes from Mindy’s past, a front row seat to her inner monologue, and an inside look at her daily, whirlwind lifestyle.

Mindy’s voice is so vivid, it was like we were hanging out at my house, on a random Thursday night, sipping on Moscow mules, Grey’s on in the background, and she’s just rattling off these hilariously wild stories to me. Because we are best friends.

The most memorable chapter for me is when Mindy described a friendship she had with a charismatic, well-connected LA native. I was incredibly drawn in by Mindy’s truthfulness about the relationship, and her ability to evaluate her own actions honestly. Mindy tiptoed around outright naming people, but I was so hooked, I went deep into the Instagram archives to find everyone mentioned. I didn’t actually find them.

Mindy spills her secrets to success, and it starts with hard work and ends with believing in yourself. I would be proud if my daughters chose her as their role model. Heck! She’s MY role model! And her book is the perfect read for anyone who needs a laugh, or some motivation, or wants to relax. Honestly, any adult, at any stage in their life would enjoy “Why Not Me?”

So, we’re kicking off The Year of the ASM Book Review with a bang! “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling, is getting a big ☕️☕️☕️☕️ on the ASM book review scale!

ASM Book Review Grading Scale:

☕️☕️☕️☕️- Top notch! Must read now!

☕️☕️☕️- Really doing it for me. Highly recommend.

☕️☕️- There was good. There was bad. Read it, or don’t. Whatevs.

☕️- Not my cup of coffee. Read at your own risk.

Double Up Double Up

About once every month, the T1D stars align, and we are forced with the awful task of a double site change.

“What’s a site change?” I hear you ask, because I can read your mind. Well, I’ll tell ya!

Piet wears two devices on his body 100% of the time. And by “wear on his body” I mean, there are whisker-like cannulas inserted into his skin, that either read his blood sugar or deliver insulin into his body.

One device is an insulin pump, or Omnipod. Type 1 diabetics are completely dependent on insulin, so this is literally Piet’s lifeline. His pod needs to be changed every three days, but occasionally it fails, and I will need to change it sooner.

The second is a continuous glucose monitor, or Dexcom. Dex tracks Piet’s blood sugar, and sends the information to his iPod and my phone. We change out the Dexcom sensor every 10 days.

One site change is rough, but two? That’s a recipe for a diabetes disaster.

Here’s how it goes.

1. We start by deactivating and taking off the old pod and Dex sensor. Some parents are nice and use Uni-solve to gently peel the medical patches off. We are not some parents, so we just rip the patch off. Quick like a bandaid.

2. Next, we prepare the new device. We fill the Omnipod with insulin, and input the new Dex sensor info into his iPod.

3. Now it’s time to sanitize the new site locations using alcohol swabs, let the spot dry, and stick the devices to him.

4. The next part is the worst. Insertion. With Dex, I physically push a large, orange button that releases the sensor, and shoots a long, thin whisker into his body. Dex isn’t to bad, because he wears it on the top of his butt, where it’s pretty fatty.

5. Inserting the Omnipod is the most heartbreaking. The first couple times, we both cried. He wears his pod on his legs and arms, and screams/cries pretty much every time the cannula inserts into him. The arms are especially sensitive.

6. After some kissing, loving, and consoling, we place a medical patch over both sites to ensure they don’t get ripped out. We use StayPut Medical, and it is by far the best patch we’ve tried.

And then, he’s off and running, without a chronic illness care in the world, wearing his devices like badges of honor.

2019 New Year’s Resolutions

I have two New Year’s resolutions. The first is all about self care. Every Wednesday for the entire year, I’m going to do a face mask after the kids go to bed. Face mask Wednesday, or FMW, because who doesn’t love a good abbrev.

People are always saying to me, “It’s important to take care of yourself,” or “Pamper yourself, girl!” I’m just kidding. No one actually says that to me, but if I ever interacted with people in real life, that’s what I imagine they’d say. So, I thought this would be a fun resolution that I could look forward to!

(First FMW and it was terrifying, if I’m being honest)

Ok, here’s my second one. I’m going to read one book every month. Maybe you’re thinking, “Erin, that’s pathetic. That’s like 10 pages per day! You can certainly read more than that!” Or maybe you could be like my husband who said, “TWELVE BOOKS IN ONE YEAR? I haven’t read that many books in my entire life!” *Stay back, ladies. He’s all mine.*

But here’s the really fun thing! I’m going to review each book I read! Maybe that’s not your idea of fun, but it’s a raging good time for me!

Guys, this is like, my dream job, so I hope you’re all on board. And if I only say good things about every book, don’t get mad. It’s just who I am as a person. I like all the things.

I will follow this up with, I probably wouldn’t pick a book to read that I won’t like, because, unlike you, I am really great at judging a book by it’s cover. That was mean. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it! Please, please forgive me! (See, I can’t do mean)

All this leads me to tell you… I’m changing the blog up. I know, I know! The Type 1 Tuesday and the Funny Mommy Friday. We had good times, but it’s been a year and we need to mix it up.

Every Tuesday is still going to be about bringing awareness to type 1 diabetes, so no real change there. (Go ahead. Breathe a sigh of relief. I know you don’t like change.)

But Funny Mommy Friday? Isn’t every day Funny Mommy Friday??? I’m still going to write mom blog posts throughout the year, but it’ll be a surprise when! Maybe when you least expect it. Maybe when you most expect it. Isn’t this fun already?!

And lastly, you can expect a book review the last week of every month, and that’s exciting, right?

I’m really looking forward to the year ahead. I have a ton of other goals that I can’t tell you about, because I’m too scared. But, honestly, I’m so thankful for all of you. You made my wildest 2018 dreams come true, and I can’t wait for 2019 to be just as amazing!

Merry T1D Christmas

When Christmas and Type 1 Tuesday collide, of course I would have to call Dexcom support!

Background: My 3yo son, Piet(pronounced Pate), has type 1 diabetes. We are constantly monitoring his blood sugar, making sure it isn’t too high or too low, dosing insulin when he eats carbs, and pumping sugar when he goes low.

To help us out, we have a continuous glucose monitor(Dexcom) which allows us to read his blood sugar from our phones, instead of constantly finger pricking him. We change out Dex every 10 days.

WELL, this morning was a Dex change, and that means a 2 hour warmup period, where we don’t see his numbers, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but it’s painfully long when you’re so reliant on it.

Thirty minutes in, it gave us an error message and said we needed to replace the sensor. No big deal, right? WRONG! We literally insert a small, whisker-like device into Piet’s body, and it stays there for the full 10 days. Every sight change means us holding him down, there is crying, and anxiety about it from him and me.

So, now we have to REDO it. More holding down, more screaming, more stress. Not to mention, a sensor was wasted, which is basically gold to T1Ds.

As always, Dexcom support was awesome. They helped me with the issue and sent a replacement sensor. We were on the phone for maybe 10 minutes, and they were amazing.

Today is a good reminder to be thankful for the amazing technology that helps us manage T1D on the daily. But also to remember, that although the world stops on Christmas, it doesn’t for type 1. There’s no holiday, break, or vacation for type 1 diabetics or T1D parents.

Merry Christmas and I hope T1D takes it easy on everyone today!

Leighben the Elf

We have an Elf on the Shelf. Our kids are in prime-time, elf-lovin’ years. His name is Leighben, and he’s been pretty chill.

I’ve heard some elf horror stories of flour snow angels, elf meets oven mishaps, and elves forgetting to move.

Leighben doesn’t do anything fancy. He’s your run of the mill, bounces from surface to surface(sometimes repeats a spot) Santa’s little helper. He perches on shelves, hangs on curtain rods, spies from door frames. He’s been a pretty cute addition to our Christmas decor.

The real magic is every morning the littles run from room to room searching for him. Their faces are so excited, so full of holiday cheer! Until one of the them finds him and the other two have full blown meltdowns, because “I WANTED TO FIND HIM!” But that’s the beauty of Leighben. A quick, “He’s watching!” and the tantrum fixes itself right up.

Sure, I forgot about him once. I needed to think fast, “It’s the middle of the night! He hasn’t had a chance to move yet. You need to go back to sleep.” And since the kids were up at 5:45am, it bought me some time, and an extra hour of sleep.

I can’t say that I’ll be sad to see him go on the 26th of December. For right now, we’re coexisting, but who knows? Maybe there will be a cold, dark night in January, when the kids are acting like feral animals, and I’ll wish I had that creepy, little guy backing me up.

Happy T1D Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is coming, and that means family, fun, lots of eating, and making memories! But a holiday that revolves around food can be a daunting when you throw type 1 diabetes into the mix.

Last year, we traveled about an hour away to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. We didn’t have the technology we have today, and were giving Piet insulin shots manually, along with testing blood sugar with a glucose meter and finger prick. I’m looking forward to an easier meal this year, with our insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor!

The real craziness comes from guessing how many carbs are in everything. When we are at home, I calculate carbohydrates in everything when I cook(hahaha just kidding, I mean microwave). But when we are somewhere else, it’s not common practice to note nutritional facts on dishes. So, momma’s gotta SWAG.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know what SWAG stands for, and if you’re new around here, it means “Scientific Wild Ass Guess.”

So, Thanksgiving is one big SWAG-fest, and that can be scary, because too much insulin can mean low blood sugar(which is dangerous) and not enough could lead to high blood sugar(which is also not great).

But this year, I’m coming prepared with a Thanksgiving carb list, shown here.

Here are a couple tips I have for any newly diagnosed families:

1. Maybe low ball carb estimations. With all the fun and excitement, blood sugar might be running low to begin with. And how many times are our eyes bigger than our stomachs on Thanksgiving?!

2. Take it easy on yourself. Enjoy the holiday, and if blood sugars are running a little high, just correct them.

3. When a type 2 relative gives you advice about managing or curing diabetes, politely accept their suggestions, AND THEN EDUCATE THE CRAP OUT OF THEM! We have to advocate to lessen the misconceptions out there.

4. If you have ANY questions or need someone in your corner, don’t hesitate to reach out to your T1D community. Someone will be there to help, at any time, because ya’ll know we don’t sleep! If you haven’t found your community, message me!

5. YOU’VE GOT THIS! Be confident in yourself and your decisions.

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy a wonderful day of family, fun, and making memories… oh, and eating LOTS of food!

Piñata Fiasco

We always give Ceci and Piet a joint birthday party, because they both celebrate birthdays in October. It’s easier for friends and family to make one party, and BONUS, less work for this momma.

October is a really fun month to plan a party anyway, and we have done costume themed parties in the past, but this year we decided to go a different direction. The kids are both really into the movie Coco right now, and so a festive Dia de los Muertoes party seemed really fitting! Plus, Target’s Dollar Spot is swarming with Day of the Dead goodies.

Fast forward to the shindig. Everything was moving along smoothly. Food was a hit, because who doesn’t love tacos, nachos, and margaritas? We knocked out the cake and presents, which meant there was only one thing left to do.

I was overly proud of myself for purchasing a $12.99 piñata on Amazon, and stuffing it with both candy and party favors. There were Reese’s and bubbles and Twizzlers, and I even went against my no instrument rule, and shoved little maracas in there.

I was a little hesitant about giving a dozen toddlers bats, but then some one pointed out it was a pull-string piñata! What a happy accident!

There was a plastic loop on the back of the piñata’s neck for a rope to go through, and Jacob began hoisting it up onto a tree. With one last jerk of the rope, the plastic loop ripped out, and the piñata slammed into the ground.

“That’s fine! Loop the rope around it’s neck!” shouted sister-in-law Erin. “You mean like a noose? Yeah, let’s really hang this thing.” I couldn’t help it.

Now the piñata is literally hanging in our tree, and the kids are wildly eager to bust this thing open. But, they did a great job taking turns pulling the streamers at the bottom, hoping they would be the one to unleash the contents.

We went until the very last streamer. What are the odds!? With one swift yank, my niece ripped the last string out. Nothing.

“Get the bats!” Jacob yelled.

“And the helmets!” I didn’t want a lawsuit on our hands.

These kids were just smoking the piñata. These weren’t just some little swings. Full blown pro baseball swings at this thing, and NOTHING happened.

“Just let Jacob finish it off!” Guys. I’m going to be honest. This was probably the moment Jacob has been waiting for his entire life. A chance to prove he’s still got it, because, I don’t know if you know this, but he used to play professional baseball… and he’ll be the first one to tell you that after he’s had 1.5 beers.

But, before I could fully process that I was crushing his dreams, I ruined his day by just ripping that crepe paper bastard in half. Out spilled the brightly colored innards, and a wave of relief washed over me. Sorry, Jake!

As the kids scurried around, collecting treats, I shouted to our guests, “I hope everyone enjoyed this, because we are NEVER getting a piñata again!”

Empowering Women

Now more than ever, it’s important for women to empower, encourage, and strengthen each other.

This made me think, where do I get my strength from? Why am I the encouraged woman I am? And it’s simply because I am surrounded by incredible women, who have taught me what it looks like to be, not only a good person, but an empowered woman.

Listed below are 11 women who have molded me into the person I am today, and what invaluable lesson they have each taught me.

Andrea(my sister): Thoughtfulness. If there is a new neighbor moving in near Andrea, she brings them fresh baked goods. If one of my kids has a doctors appointment, and I told her about it weeks before, she remembers, and calls to see how it went. When Piet was diagnosed with diabetes, she brought him presents of t-shirts, insulin cases, and a medical ID bracelet. She inspires me every day to think of the people in my life, and what I can do to make their day brighter.

Allison(my youngest sister): Humor. Allison has been given the gift of quick wit and good comedic timing. Of course, so much of what I write relies on making others laugh, and she helps to cultivate my sense of humor.

Mom: Intelligence. My mom takes pride in her teaching profession, and continues to further her education. The example she has set for me, to embrace my intelligence, has been a huge part of who I am now. Not being embarrassed about loving Historical Williamsburg and Thomas Jefferson, but sharing my love with everyone!

Megan(my cousin): Determination. Megan is the most dedicated and determined person I’ve ever met. She is my oldest friend, and forever role model. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be just like her. I have never seen her fail at anything she’s attempted. She makes me want to achieve my dreams, like I watch her do every day!

Anny(my grandmother): Selflessness. My Anny does not have a selfish bone in her entire body, which goes against human nature 100%, but it’s the truth! Nothing brings her more joy than watching the people she loves, doing what they love. She has always been our biggest cheerleader, and NEVER misses anything. If it’s important to her kids or grandkids, then it’s a number one priority for her. She is a true angel on earth.

Grandma: Strength. I watch as my grandma lives her life as if she’s in her 30s. She loves socializing, exercise, playing cards, gardening, and the list continues. And my grandma is not only physically strong. She taught me it’s ok to deserve better, and push through hard times to find your happy ending.

Erin(my sister-in-law): Confidence. This is a lesson I still struggle with, but Erin inspires me to be better at it every day. She is unapologetically herself, and thankfully so, because she is an unbelievable woman. She has taught me to treat my body right, and to love it, no matter what stage of life it’s in.

Amy(my sister-in-law): Kindness. Amy thinks of everyone’s needs before her own, and maybe that’s why she’s a loving mother of 6. She is sweet to everyone, and would sacrifice her own happiness for someone else’s, in the blink of an eye. She inspires me to show kindness to everyone, as she does.

Lyz(my sister-in-law): Courage. I’ve watched Lyz pursue her dreams since I’ve met her. It has always seemed like there’s nothing she’s afraid of, and I am quite nearly the opposite. But since I began writing, she has been pushing me along, behind the scenes. She encourages me to step out of my comfort zone, and continue reaching for my dreams. She cheers me on, while achieving goals of her own. Incredible.

Margie(my mother-in-law): Unwavering Generosity. If at this very moment, I called my MIL and told her I needed her, while she was having tea with the Queen of England, she would say, “Sorry, Lady. My DIL needs me.” Zero hesitation. I’m 100% sure. The other night there was a tornado warning. She drove to our house to help me with the kids. In a tornado warning! This kind of generosity is exactly what I needed after leaving my family, and moving to a new place. Just whole-heartedly embracing me as one of her own children, from day one.

Amy(my best friend): Unconditional Love. The kind of love this woman has shown me, through all my bad decisions, life changes, horrible wardrobe choices, questionable Halloween costumes, and scary first mother moments has been life changing. She is the definition of a true friend, and I cannot believe I am lucky enough to have her as mine. Family has to love you, but friends can come and go. Sorry, Ame, but I’m not going anywhere, and it’s because you taught me what it means to love someone no matter what.

It’s so easy to compare yourself to the women around you, and feel envious of their strengths, but instead, try celebrating those qualities! The cultural winds are changing, and women need to band together, by lifting each other up, and loving one another.

The Surprise Ingredients

It’s been awhile since I reflected on being pregnant. Probably because I was pregnant for 31 out of 41 months. I tried really hard to be one of those women who loved carrying a baby, and embraced every second, but I just couldn’t do it. I had kidney stones, cholestasis, morning sickness, and my last kid almost ripped through my uterine wall.

But, I have one story that tops all the crap luck I had when I was with child. Let me set the scene.

I was pregnant with baby number one, just 14 weeks along. I was having a real meat aversion, and even the smell would be enough to send me into a gagging frenzy. At the time, we were living in a split level home, just the two of us.

One afternoon, Jacob generously offered to make us lunch. I wasn’t feeling great, so I quickly accepted, and I crawled back into bed.

After about 20 minutes, he shouted that lunch was ready. I could tell he was proud of himself, by the sing-songy voice he used.

I sat up, and gingerly walked down the hall. As soon as I hit the top of the stairs, an ungodly smell overcame me. I gagged, tripped, fell on my butt, and slid down the stairs.

Let me take this time to remind you, that it was only six stairs, and it was the most padded carpet ever installed. But I went into full blown, meltdown mode, immediately.

“You did this! The smell made me fall! This is your fault! What if the baby is hurt? I can’t believe you did this to me!” (High dramatics are kind of my thing when I’m in an even mildly stressful situation.)

Jacob, being the angel sent from Heaven that he is, took full responsibility, and catered to me, while I wallowed in self pity. “I’m so sorry! I just wanted to make you lunch. Did you fall too hard? Are you ok?”

How could I possibly still be feisty now? “I’m ok. The baby is fine. But I really need to know what you made for lunch. It smells like simmering vomit.”

The answer he gave still chills me to the bone, and it instantly takes me back to the feeling of becoming violently ill. “I made Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper, and the back said if I added mustard and relish it would give it some extra zing!”

Friends. He added mustard. And relish. To HAMBURGER Helper. Hard pass, my man. Hard pass. Needless to say, that’s the last time we followed the “extra instructions” on the back of a Hamburger Helper box.

Now, I want to hear from you! Tell me all the pregnant food aversions, funny food stories you have!

The 1st Annual Strike Out T1D Softball Tournament

This Saturday, Jacob and I hosted the 1st Annual Strike Out T1D Softball Tournament, and we were completely blown away by all the excitement and generosity of the participants and spectators.

Our son, Piet(pronounced Pate), was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was just 21 months old. T1D is a chronic illness, which means he will have it for the rest of his entire life. His immune system attacked the insulin producing cells in his pancreas, leaving his body unable to breakdown carbohydrates.

To combat his body’s inability to produce insulin, we inject insulin into him via shot or an insulin pump. Piet currently has an Omnipod insulin pump, and we input the number of carbs he consumes and his current blood sugar, and it releases the correlating amount of insulin.

Sounds pretty easy, right? WRONG! If Piet’s blood sugar is too high, that’s dangerous. If his blood sugar is too low, that’s scary dangerous. If he runs around a lot, his blood sugar drops. If he has a cold, his blood sugar skyrockets. It is a constant guessing game, with zero consistency or vacations.

Ok, now that the educational portion of this post is complete, we can get into the awesome tournament this weekend!

Seven teams participated, with players traveling from all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The tournament started at 9am, when Jacob thanked everyone for coming and explained why this fundraiser was so important for our family. While he spoke, Piet kept his head down on Jacob’s shoulder, too shy to meet eyes with the growing crowd.

But it was his turn to throw out the first pitch. At first, he wouldn’t let go of Jacob, but then heard his Uncle Luke calling from behind home plate. “Piet! I bet you can’t throw that ball the whole way to me. I bet you can’t even reach me!” It worked! His competitive spirit kicked in, and he was all business throwing the softball with all his might. The crowd erupted with cheers, and Piet immediately curled back up in Jacob’s arms.

Now it was time to play ball! The weather was perfect, and games moved effortlessly along. People were not just generously donating money. When a team was short players, others jumped in to play, without hesitation. It was incredible to watch.

Piet wasn’t the only T1D in attendance. Jacob and Kevin met when they played baseball together in college. They have maintained an incredibly close friendship. And because I’m in the business of busting myths, type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes, but that term is not used any more, because it misleads people into thinking only children are diagnosed with it, or someday they’ll outgrow it. Kevin was 27 when he was diagnosed with type 1, and this Saturday, he played on Jacob’s team.

At the end of the day, The Wampus Cats took the trophy home. The team largely consisted of baseball players Jacob coached when they were in high school, and we are so proud of them!

We will be collecting donations through the end of the week, and then donating all funds from the tournament to Faustman Labs, and her current pediatric efforts towards finding a cure.

We are still emotional thinking about Saturday. It was such an unforgettable day, seeing all of our friends and family come together, and fight right beside us for a cure to this devastating disease. We want to thank everyone who participated, bought t-shirts, came to watch, and helped with the concession stand. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We love you!