Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why I almost didn't make cookies this Christmas

I love to bake, mostly because I love to eat the end result of said baking, but I also enjoy the journey to those results. When I was pregnant with Elise, I had wonderful visions of the two of us, mixing it up in the kitchen and creating delicious concoctions to fatten Fred up with.

She would have her own little apron, and steal bits of cookie dough when she thought I wasn't looking. I would let her lick the beaters, and try hard not to scrape all the batter out of the bowl, so she could sample that, too.

So when she was diagnosed with diabetes at 12 months, that dream died for me. And it wasn't until this Christmas that I realized that I was still in mourning.

Elise's first Christmas with d, she was only 15 months. Too young to really get caught up in the wonder of the season. But this year was much, much different and she was on a constant diet of Santa, the tree, ornaments, stockings, and of course... presents. But the one thing lacking, was all the yummy Christmas treats that flow endlessly as the calendar marches towards December 25.

Fred and I always had the fun tradition of decorating a gingerbread house every Christmas. I would make all the pieces from scratch, and we would pile as much candy, cementing it to the house with royal icing, as we could.

But I told myself I was not going to do any baking this year. It just made me too sad to even try. And even if I did make something, how much of it could she even eat? And what would it do to her BG? She's so little, that one cookie would take up over half of her dinner carb amount.

So up until Dec. 23, I didn't do anything but grieve that little dream that I had held in my heart. Until I decided to shed my black clothing for something a little more festive.

A big deciding factor for me was the fact that Elise LOVES to help in the kitchen. When she sees me in the kitchen, she'll ask, "What making?" And then exclaim, "wanna help Momma!"

We bought her a little step-ladder that she pulls up beside me, and I give her her own cutting board, "knife" (a rounded spatula with no sharp edges), and some food that she can cut. I love how proud of herself she is when she "makes food".

So together my daughter and I made gingerbread cookies. And because I am who I am, I measured, weighed and calculated every carb that went into those cookies. And then I even weighed each cookie so I knew exactly how many carbs were in it.

And then we even decorated those cookies with a dab of royal icing and one M&M. And when I say dab, I mean the tiniest, most microscopic dab of icing you ever saw, because that stuff is potent. After helping myself to several scoops of it (while Elise wasn't looking, of course), I checked my BG about 30 minutes later and rang in at a whopping 168!

So what if my daughter didn't get to lick the bowl or the beater, or sneak bits of cookie dough behind my back? So what if it isn't exactly how I had pictured it in my head?Who cares that baking now takes a little more effort and hard work? It was totally worth it.

My daughter and I made cookies together. Even more than that; we made memories.


  1. That's great!! I think it's all about finding our new normal and how to do things the T1 way...great job with your memories!

  2. I am glad you got to make these memories! I made cookies with Zane for the first time this year and I LOVED doing it together. :)

  3. I feel the same way too a lot. Honestly, what is the point of putting candy in their stockings if they can't eat it right away. They got one piece this year...and it was almost a week before they got to eat it. Having all 3 boys at a place where it was right wasn't easy.

    On the other hand, my hubby and my sis in law baked up a storm...at my in laws house. All the fun, but we left all the cookies there. And got one at each visit. (YOu know we are there a lot! So we got to sample them all!) I'm glad you took the plunge! What a great memory for Elise. Traditions are so important. AND now, you have it all figured out. Next year you'll have the full batch carb amount and you can just weigh the cookies when your done! SA-WEET!

  4. You are a great mom and you totally rock . and yes elise will remember those moments the most .

  5. That's cute. As she gets older, she'll understand that it's all about making memories. Making cookies for other people is fun, too!

  6. Way to go, Jo! I'm proud of you! You can't let D steal your joy. I know it's hard- I feel the same way. Last year we made dozens of different kinds. This year - we made ONE kind that was easy to measure and count. And she didn't care - it was fun for her. It was ME that had to let it go. It's hard. They may not know difference but we do. I'm so glad you did it anyway! And even more happy that YOU are glad you did!

  7. I know..things are different and hard for me too! This is our second year and I just couldn't get myself in the mood due to the D. We ended up making cookies on Christmas eve and the kids had so much fun. We've all just got to figure out the new normal...different isn't bad...it's just different!

  8. When Addy was dx, I remember sitting in the PICU mourning -- literally MOURNING!!!! -- the loss of baking together in the kitchen.

    What a difference nearly 5 years makes!!!!

    Way to go, Jo!!!! Enjoy those memories, your sweet family, and that precious little girl ;)

  9. Sooooo sweet!!! :) Glad you didn't let D get in the way of making memories with her. You know, your memory of baking in the kitchen isn't her memory. She doesn't know what its like to do all of those things like licking beaters and stealing cookie dough...but what she DOES know is shes got a wonderful Momma that baked cookies with her and then let her put her favorite topping on them ;)

    It gets easier, I promise! I still bake with Kacey and we pray for good blood sugars after she grabs a pinch of cookie dough but you learn to roll with it and BOLUS! She made her first gingerbread house since being diagnosed and it was SOOOOO much fun for her! She had one piece of candy while she was decorating it and it sat on my table as a beautiful centerpiece for a week before she finally had a taste of it. Once she saw what it did to her blood sugar and it made her "sugar sick" then she didn't want anymore but most importantly she didn't miss out on the chance to make it ;) I let her throw it away and she enjoyed smashing it in the trashcan!

    You're doing great and you WILL have those days when shes older and baking along side of you. She'll be doing the measuring and weighing...and....it will be "normal" for her!


  10. I think I mourn again every holiday season...or I imagine I will. I love to bake but you are right it just isn't the same with diabetes.

    Your thoughts were almost poetic to me. I needed to hear that. I need to find that new normal again.

    Thank you!

  11. Thank you for sharing this. I am glad you were able to change from black to something more festive. ;)

    My daughter was diagnosed 4 months ago, so this was our first Christmas dealing with everything that comes along with it. Since she's 10, she was able to understand the restrictions. The main difference for us this year was that along with the snowmen and star shapes, she also made a few in the shape of the WDD logo, and decorated them with blue icing. :)

  12. What a wonderful and fun tradition you continued. It all about making adjustments and not stopping what you love to do!

  13. My daughter and her grandmother bake each Christmas Eve and this has not changed. She loves the process of baking and decorating. And yes, she is allowed to eat some of it over the next week. And gingerbread houses...those are decorations not to be eaten so she can decorate away.

    Don't let diabetes get in the way of your traditions.

    Leighann of D-Mom Blog


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