Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lego League Jr

    Yesterday we started our journey in FIRST robotics. I say we because William is finally on the team. We are on a Lego League Jr team that is hosted at William's school. William is very excited about being part of this and I can't wait to see these students learning. There are three areas that this program focuses on. Research, speaking and building and idea. Each week the students will have to go home and do research. They will have to bring their research back the next week and talk about what they found. Then we will build and idea and make it come to life with robotics. 

    We had our first meeting yesterday. We unpacked the Lego kits and sorted all of the pieces. That was a lot of fun actually. We were able to see all of the potential for what our imagination can accomplish just sitting there in front of us waiting to be explored. What will our first project be? Will a future engineer or scientist come from our group? I would like to hope they do. There is an amazing journey that we are about to embark on and I am glad that I get to be a part of that.

Here is to exploring with you,

Your Loving Dad

Friday, September 9, 2016

Working on the House

    We started working on making a few changes around the house. The house is 21 years old and has seen the wear and tear of all of the people living in the house. It is time for changes around this place. We started with cleaning out the flower beds and getting rid of the old bushes. There was one really big bush that had died or was murdered, you be the judge. There where rabbits living in it when we got out dog Lucky a few years ago. Lucky did not take to kindly to having rabbits living in his yard. With this in mind, he started peeing on the bush to get rid of the rabbits. It was even better for him in the winter when the snow would fall and would pile up next to the bush. This allowed Lucky get on top of the bush and pee directly down on the rabbits. If he couldn't get into the bush to get them out he would pee them out. He was successful. He killed the bush in the process but the rabbits don't live there any more. I guess Lucky won. : ) So this week I had a landscaper come in and remove the old bush and add new flowers in the flower beds. There should be a lot of color later this year or spring of next year.

Before and After
    Jen and I have also started refinishing the cabinets in the house to give them a face lift. I have never really refinished furniture before. This particular method is simple and we are getting pretty good at it. The cabinets were the original cabinets that the builder installed. They were looking every bit of the 21 years old. We decided to give them a new java finish. It is dramatic change. Jen found the article on Instagram or some other social media outlet. It told us how to do this and it was very easy to do. We spend more time waiting than anything else. It takes about a week to finish one cabinet. Most of that time is waiting for the coats of stain and poly to dry. Total work time involved is about 3 hours per cabinet with a total cost of about $50 for each room, which includes the new knobs and toilet paper holder. I need to replace the light in this bath room and get rid of the 1990's brass fixture. A paint touch up new molding and new floor will make it nice. 
Laundry Room

    The refinishing project was so easy to do we decided to continue on into the laundry room. Where the change was just as dramatic. We spent the same amount of time and money on this cabinet. Things went a little smoother on this set and Jen and I were starting to get a rhythm. After we put this back together we have now moved on to the cabinet in William's bathroom. We are trying to perfect our method before we try and tackle the kitchen. That is a much larger project and will take more time. 

    Over the next few months, I am hoping to have the floors on the first floor of the house redone. I also want to get the base boards replaced. Having three boys that were young growing up in this house made me realize why there are baseboards on walls. This house was well "Loved". There is chipped paint and the walls could stand to be freshened up. Over the next few months I hope to remove the dirt and replace the warn and well used parts of the house. All of these changes should make this house feel young again. I will try and post some pictures as we go to show the improvements. William's bathroom should be done this weekend. I will try and get some new pictures out next week. If the flowers start to bloom before the end of the year I will try and get a picture of that as well. It just makes me want to rip every thing out and make it new again. In a few more months we will have this house looking great. 

 Making the old house feel new again,

Your Loving Dad

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

We Started Third Grade

    We started third grade this week along with many others across the nation. There was not much that is new at this point. We get up and go to school for the first day. This year William was very excited to go to school. We were getting ready to go like we always do. I get him up. He gets dressed. We go downstairs for breakfast. He brushes his teeth and we get our shoes on and go.  This is the same routine we have been doing for the last four years. It works for us. This year William got up and went down stairs before I had finished getting a shower. He was waiting for me so we could hurry up and get done so we could go. He was ready a full 20 minutes ahead of time. He wanted to go right at that moment. I am glad to see him so excited about getting back to school.

    So how did diabetes do with the first day of school? I put a new continuous glucose monitor (CGM) on William earlier in the day before he went to bed. We calibrated as usual and things seemed to be going well. I checked him at 8:00pm for his normal snack. Then we went to bed and read. Around 10:00pm the Dexcom alarmed that he was a little low. I went up and gave him something to get his levels back to normal. At 11:00pm when I went to bed, I checked William and he was still low. I gave him more to correct his low. I stayed up for a while so I could keep an eye on his numbers. The Dexcom told me that his numbers were still dropping. after about 45 minutes I went back in a gave him even more to correct his nunbers. The numbers continued to fall. I must have fallen asleep for a few minutes because the Dexcom went off again at around 1:00am. It said he was very low now. I could not understand how this could be. I had given more correction than I ever had and it had no effect. This time I pulled out his meter and checked him. The meter said he was at 130 and steady. That made more since. I calibrated the meter again and went back to bed. At 3:30am William woke me up to tell me that he felt low. I looked at the Dexcom and it said he was at 108. That is a great number. Since I had seen the meter and the Dexcom so far off earlier I had him check his finger with his meter. He was at 58. WTH this thing is all over the place tonight. I gave him something to correct his number and back to bed again. 

    When we got up in the morning the Dexcom was reading around 170. When we checked with the meter he was actually around 120. This Dexcom was still off. I have never had a sensor that seemed so far off for so long. It was very disappointing. I wanted William to have a sensor on for the first day of school. I let it go and hoped for the best. When he got home from the first day of school the numbers were finally matching the meter. It has been good ever since. We had a really rough start to this first day of school for the Dexcom.

   Things where much better this morning. Everything went as planned and we enjoyed a relatively normal morning today, the second day of school. He was a little low last night. I had to get up to correct his low one time. Much better than the night before.  William is working to have a great week at school. Lego League Jr. starts next week for all of us. We are both excited. There will be a lot of that to come.

We make it through the long nights with no sleep,

Your Loving Dad

A Story by William

William's letter about Lucky     William sat down yesterday an wrote a letter about Lucky our dog. He wanted me to publish it. So ...