Back to Rufus Ruby Visits the Heifner Family

The Heifner Family, Portland, Oregon

photo Saturday, Dec 15, 2001
Ruby arrived on our doorstep just as we were headed out to see Santa Claus. Makaila was ready to go, so we unpacked Ruby, did our introductions and took Ruby along. There is a dairy not far from our house called Alpenisase. Every year they decorate the dairy for the holidays. They have a "Storybook Lane" which is full of small animals and festivities for the kids. Mikaila just loved it this year. She is really talking well and knows all of the animals, so it was really fun. The dairy also has sleigh rides for the kids. The sleigh was pulled by the Shetland ponies.

Then it was off to see Santa. For Mikaila this was serious business. It's also the first time she agreed to sit on Santa's lap. She did a great job. When he asked her name, she told him she was a girl. When he asked how old, she said she was 6. She is 2 yr. and 8 months. When he asked what she wanted for Christmas she said a "Barbie House." She nailed that one! Ruby sat on Santa's lap, too. We explained to Santa who Ruby was and why she was with us. He thought it was great, and then he offered Makaila a candy cane.

It reminded us again about the need to educate people. We let her have a small piece, which drive her blood glucose high in the afternoon. We figured, what the heck, it was only temporary. At her age, it doesn't take much to drive her blood glucose high. The thing we have a hard time gauging is how much activity she will have in a given day. The best thing for us seems to be a regular routine as much as that is possible, and regular healthy meals. We try to minimize any sweets, but for Santa we made an exception. Makaila had a great time, and we enjoyed spending our time together as a family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2001
This is a very busy month for us. Besides the holidays, we have several doctor appointments, including an eye appointment for Makaila. This is the second time she has been to see an eye doctor. Her first tests were done just after she was diagnosed at 17 months. At that age, it was pretty hard for the Doctor to accomplish much. She basically just looked in her eyes and made a few notes on general observations.

Today was much different though. Makaila was excited to go to the doctor's office. She goes regularly with her dad who is also a Type 1 Diabetic (diagnosed at the same age-17months). She associates the doctor's office with new toys to play with. Dr. Stoumbos had Makaila read the eye chart. For kids her age they use pictures as opposed to letters. She checked each eye. We took Ruby along to the appointment as well. The doctor would first check Ruby to show Makaila how it was done. She then put a drop in Ruby's eye, and then it was Makaila's turn. She didn't like it very well. The doctor said it stings. Makaila only cried for a minute. She had Ruby there for comfort, which helped alot.

When the appointment was done, Dr. Stoumbos said that Makaila had 20/30 vision, which is perfect for her age. She said kids don't develop 20/20 until they are older. She reminded us of the importance for diabetics to have their eyes checked regularly. We know that good control will prevent or reduce future problems. We're good for another year!

Saturday December 22, 2001
Today Makaila and I went Christmas shopping. She was quite a trooper. We went to a couple of stores and then to downtown Portland where we have an open air craft market. It's a great place to shop and see people. We ran into Makaila's Aunt Karen while we were there. Of course, Ruby came along. We got a really cute picture of Makaila and Ruby standing on the Burnside Bridge in downtown. The bridge crosses the Willamette River. The market is directly below. We especially like this particular picture because it has the "Made in Oregon" deer in the background, and he dresses up as Rudolph for the Holidays.

By the end of the day we were both worn out. Makaila missed her nap, which didn't help. The difficult thing about having a 2 year old with diabetes is that when they start getting cranky it's hard to know if it's because of her blood glucose, her age, or not getting a nap. Sometimes it's all of the above!

Wednesday, December 26, 2001
It's time to pack Ruby up and send her on to the next family. I would have done it sooner, but because of the holidays we didn't get her in the mail. I added a pin from our JDF walk in Portland that took place in September. Our walk team was made up of 10 friends and family members. It was a great day. Anyhow, we wish Ruby all the best in her travels as she heads off to the Netherlands. I'm guessing with the holiday mail it will take longer than usual to arrive.

We really enjoyed having Ruby stay with us over Christmas. I know that the next family will enjoy her as well. Wishing you all peace and good health.

Jackie Heifner (mom of Makaila Heifner-Age 2 years, 8 months)

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Copyright Notice:
Rufus and Ruby, the bears with diabetes, is the creation of Carol Cramer, who owns the copyright to Rufus and Ruby. The graphics of Rufus are from Rufus Come Home, written by Kim Gosselin and illustrated by Terry Ravenelli, and are used by permission of the author.

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Last Updated: Monday March 10, 2003 15:03:42
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