Thursday, December 9, 2010

Aiden's 4th Birthday Extravaganza!!

Happy 4th Birthday, Aiden James!! We love you and you have been our super hero this year and always!
Oooooo... the claw... (23g carbs each!)
Pizza Planet (29g carbs per slice or 20ish if you eat it Aiden style - minus the crust and the top 1/3 of the slice)
One happy birthday boy!
Pre party blood sugar = 88. Score! He wanted to hide in the closet. ;)
I got to hold baby Yunice!
How excited was this boy to eat a cupcake? VERY!
This is a trick picture. He didn't actually blow out the candle. He immediately got shy and hid behind the curtain right after this. So I blew it out and no secrets here... I wished for a cure!
I am pretty sure it was the best 23carbs he has had since August 18.
He was so excited to get his own Elf on the Shelf from Nana! Welcome to the family, Buzz!
Swimming was a key to the party. We really wanted to make sure we had LOTS of physical activity to balance out those cupcakes! And it worked! Ending blood sugar of 102! Yay!!
We also had a balloon release to include Nana, Aunt Mary, Kyle, Hannah Grace, and Randy in our party. We miss them so much! So hopefully they were partying in Heaven right along with us. :)

On Aiden's birthday, he opened his presents from us and Emma. Daddy was super excited to get him a "Gas Powered Remote Control Truck" and you have to say it all together like that! HA! But Aiden loves it and it fit right in with him wanting EVERYTHING "mote tentrol" (i.e. remote control). He is obsessed!

Emma was very specific about what she wanted to get him. She picked out a Fossil wallet with Razorbacks all over it. This boy loves dollars so it was prefect! What a good sissy!
Then we headed to Chuck E. Cheese and celebrated some more. I have NO idea the number of carbs on this cake and that turned out being a big ol' fail. BG = 345!
But we had fun and got it right down with some Humalog so it was all good! :) Overall, it was a good birthday!


We knew that August 18, 2010 was a big day for our family. It was the LAST day before Emma started Kindergarten! I was off work and we had a full day of fun planned to celebrate our last day of freedom! Little did we know that our 3 and a half year old litte boy, Aiden, would be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that afternoon and we would spend the next week in the hospital getting his blood sugars leveled out, learning how to check those blood sugars, give shots of insulin, and properly count carbohydrates; we learned words that we had never heard before like ketoacidocis and endocrinologist; and we cried after having to poke our baby boy with numerous tiny needles. It was overwhelming to say the very least. But I have to say, that the stress and anxiety that we felt that first week, was nothing compared to the stress of going home and dealing with the trial and error of learning to take care of him on a daily basis. Compounding that, was a "poor me" and grieving period that I have now learned affects many parents of newly diagnosed T1 kids. I was not only grieving the loss of our son's working pancreas, but also the loss of our "normal" life including the baking and party planning that the kids and I love so much!

Over the previous months, baking had become my connection to my Nana, who we lost unexpectedly earlier in the year. Now I was losing her all over again. But through a network of other D-Moms and D-Dads, we quickly learned that many of the stereo types out there about Diabetes are just that - stereo types. We would still be able to bake and enjoy our parties!

Some of the facts that have been most important to us are that:

Aiden didn't get diabetes because he ate too much sugar. He experienced an autoimmune attack on his pancreas which killed off all the insulin-producing cells in his body. This was important to me because, I'm not gonna' lie, Aiden is a sweet tooth and he comes by it quite honestly. I had a lot of guilt that I caused him to have diabetes because I allowed him to eat so many Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! It was really a relief that it wasn't my fault. That said, our family diet underwent an overhaul. However, it wasn't drastic changes. The changes we made were things that we should have been doing anyway. We try to make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes lots of protein, dairy, vegetables, some fruit, and a lot less sweets.

Although we cut back on the excessive amount of sweets that we did eat, children with type 1 diabetes can eat sugar—we just count the amount of carbs and give the proper amount of insulin to cover it. Of course, too much sugar isn’t good for anyone—with or without diabetes.

There are three things affect Aiden's blood sugar: insulin, diet and exercise. This is one of the first things that we learned in the hospital. And we think about it frequently. It really is a balancing act. And it was a key factor in planning his 4th birthday party.

Planning birthday parties has always been huge deal to me and my family. I learned from my Mom and my Nana to celebrate big and celebrate often! This year was no different except that I knew the exact amount of carbs in everything we had and I worked hard find things that wouldn't be too high in carbs so we could partake in those all-important birthday cupcakes. We were even able to find a sugar-free cup cake mix to that helped too. (Let me take this opportunity to mention that sugar-free does not always equal carb-free, so we had to watch that, but the sugar-free cupcakes were less carbs than the regular variety.)

We started with the theme and it had to be Toy Story! Then we had to find the location. It was very important to us to find a location that would have a pool or some other activity that would permit a generous amount of exercise to help keep his blood sugar in range. The Courtyard Marriott in Fayetteville was more than accommodating for all of our needs! Next, we had to plan the food. Aiden is currently a big fan of pizza. One slice of thin crust cheese pizza was 29 grams of carbs and within the amount of carbs that we like for him to have for a meal. Toy Story apples and carrots rounded out the meal. We used sugar free mixes for our punch, so there were no carbs in the drinks.

So the milestone of his first birthday with Diabetes is behind us! For that we are thankful, but we learned that it wasn't all that different than his birthday parties before, except that he only ate 2 cupcakes (and not at the same time!), we had to give him some insulin before the party, and we had to test his blood sugar a few times. His pre-party blood sugar was 88 mg/dL and his post-party blood sugar was 102 mg/dL. Both numbers were within the normal range! Yay! We would call that a successful birthday party with or without diabetes!!


  1. We just went to a birthday party with the exacted same cupcakes :) Happy Birthday Aiden :)

  2. SO CUTE! Those cupcakes are too cool! It looks like you had a wonderful time! We LOVE birthdays around here. Sweets has been planning her for MONTHS. And it's in March. :) Glad you guys had fun!

  3. looks like so much fun and you rocked the bg! Woo-Hoo!