Our Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis

When I left you in our last post, we had just learned that Baby had Type 1 Diabetes, and our family would not be moving to Okinawa, Japan.

There was still a lot in the air, would Paul go without us? What would happen to us if he did? What did this diagnosis mean? What about the dogs (who we shipped to Japan in April)? And the stuff the movers just picked up to ship to Japan? We were scheduled to move out of our house in a few weeks, we had plans to sell our cars, we had potential buyers for both.

First I’ll start with Baby’s diagnosis. Type 1 Diabetes. It’s not something we could have prevented. It’s different from the diabetes that you develop later in life, often as a result lifestyle choices. This had nothing to do with what he ate, or how he spent his first year of life. It just happened. His pancreas stopped producing insulin. Likely his pancreas has been slowly dropping in this function for months. Some of the symptoms from decreased insulin are also symptoms that tie in with growing babies, like increased hunger, decreased sleep. These are things that you wouldn’t rush off to the doctor for. But even if we had, even if 4 months ago a doctor had told us that Baby’s pancreas wasn’t doing as well as it was supposed to be doing, there is nothing that would have ‘fixed’ it. This was pretty much inevitable.

So now we found ourselves in the hospital, trying wrap our heads around this diagnosis, and answer all the questions I listed above. I think the stress of figuring out all of the stuff about our move to Japan, sort of overshadowed the diagnosis. Not in a bad way, but in that we didn’t go straight into heartbreak, we weren’t devastated. Our first step was to swiftly go into action to try to deal with our move.

In short we were able to quickly get enrolled in EFMP, which allowed us to speed up the process of getting Baby officially medically disqualified from moving to Okinawa. This disqualification, although depressing, was vital to our goal of having Paul’s orders to Okinawa modified so no one would have to move. We also had to figure out the situation with the dogs. I haven’t talked much about it on social media, but in April we made the decision to send the dogs in advance to Okinawa, so they would be there when we arrived. Most airlines have a heat embargo during the summer from late May-late September. They do not allow snub nosed dogs to fly at all. This is because they overheat easier, thus it’s more dangerous for them to fly. I immediately got to work with our transport company to get the dogs back to America if we had time, because they had already embarked on the most expensive Japanese vacation any dog has ever had. Time wasn’t on our side though and we were only able to get one dog on a last minute flight before the heat embargo, so the other is being kept with the dog transport until she can fly again. It’s not a perfect situation, but it’s the safest for her.

By the time we got all of the above figured out, we had already begun to work on a routine, we had already had our ‘crash course’ in T1 Diabetes management. We were fast learning about insulin, glucose, testing Baby’s blood, checking for ketones, how to properly do injections, how to use an insulin pump, and how to count carbs. We had a few setbacks, we had some really high highs and some lows, but after 9 days we were discharged from the hospital. I really have nothing but positive things to say about the hospital. We had great doctors and nurses, we met some great people, and we are positive about Paul’s future. We have been told over and over, because he is so young, and we are able to establish his care properly, he will never know what life is like before diabetes. Although things seem difficult now, his life should be easier because this happened while he was so young, versus it happening in 5 or 10 years.

We are now home, establishing our new normal, and learning how to keep everyone healthy. We have had a few setbacks, but we are back on track this week.  We have been working on putting our home back together, it took a while but we were able to get our stuff that was packed up the morning of his initial hospital trip back, before it left for Japan.  Baby Paul had his first birthday a couple weeks ago, and he got more toys and clothes than he could ever imagine.

We are still learning, but we will continue to do our best.

We aren’t moving to Okinawa


We were supposed to fly to Okinawa next week. We had planned, gone through all the screenings, gotten passports and airplane tickets, we were ready. A couple of weeks ago, on a Monday morning, the movers came to pack our unaccompanied baggage, which is the stuff we wanted there when we got there. Before this we had all been sick, for about 2 weeks all 4 of us had been fighting a nasty cold. That day baby Paul was really fussy, but he was sick like the rest of us. As the day wore on, the movers came and left with about a quarter of our belongings, the baby seemed okay just cranky.

Later in the afternoon everyone was resting and I took the baby outside to play and I noticed he was randomly gagging, sort of dry heaving. I decided he should nap too. While trying to get him to sleep Paul noticed he was breathing rapidly, shortly after I couldn’t get him to latch on to breastfeed. This was the most concerning symptom because he’s never in his life refused the breast, but it was like he couldn’t latch because he was struggling to breathe.

I rushed him to the ER. I believe they thought he had RSV, he was immediately given a nebulizer, IV fluids and a chest x-ray, which came back normal. The next step was the doctor tested his blood sugar. At that point the doctor told me I needed to call my husband because my baby was going to need to be transferred to the pediatric ICU at the larger medical facility about an hour away. They said he was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis. I didn’t really know what any of this meant, except that he almost surely had Type 1 Diabetes, and if that were true everything was about to change.

Within a few hours we were in an ambulance being transferred to the hospital. Baby was stable but his blood sugar was still way too high, and he still had a huge amount of ketones in his blood, which were basically poisoning his kidneys and liver from what I understand. Once we got to the ICU we quickly met several doctors and nurses which told us there was almost no question he had Diabetes. We spent all night testing babys blood sugar hourly, checking the levels for ketones, and adjusting his insulin and glucose dosages. The first night they wouldn’t let me breastfeed him because they needed to be in control of his glucose and insulin while they rid his body of the ketones that were poising his blood. It was a very long night with pretty much no sleep.

The next few days are a blur. He was officially diagnosed with Type 1 (T1) Diabetes, and we rushed to get him enrolled in the military program that helps our family when we have a family member with special needs; EFMP– Exceptional Family Member Program, we needed to be enrolled so we could try to stop our move to Okinawa because they do not have the military medical professionals on the island to treat insulin dependent diabetes.  We knew right away, with Baby’s diagnosis the kids and I would not be moving, but we were desperately trying to make it so Paul wouldn’t have to go without us.

So that’s why we aren’t moving to Okinawa. I am still very sad, for a lot of reasons. I’ll write another post and finish the story later this weekend. I need to dry my eyes and drink some coffee right now. I’ll leave you with a picture of my precious little boy, being a brave dude with his little robot arm, that protected the only IV line that he didn’t blow out the first few days in the hospital.

Top 10 Things I like about So-Cal.


We’ll we’ve been here a year this month. Over the last year SoCal has really started to grow on me. There are things I like and things I don’t like. But today is a good day, so I am going to write about the great things here.

  1. Beach- Duh. I love the ocean. Although the waves are kind of strong here, and I’ve only actually been in the water once or twice, I still love going to the beach with my little family.
  2. Restaurants– Compared to Montana, where we could get burgers, Steaks, or mediocre Mexican, there are a lot of choices here. Unfortunately this usually turns into an hour long debate of what kind of food we want, then we have to narrow it down to a restaurant.
  3. Weather- I can’t complain about the weather. Yeah there is May-Gray and June-Gloom, but even then it’s still pretty nice. Like really nice.
  4. Travel Time- Not only do we have an airport that has inexpensive flights from the East coast where Paul’s mom is, but we are less than a days drive from my moms house in Arizona.
  5. Base services- We have a Commissary, Base Exchange, Hospital, Doctors, and even a few restaurants, right at our fingertips without even having to leave base.
  6. It doesn’t Snow- Okay this could fall under weather, but I can’t stress enough how much I am happy it doesn’t snow dozens of inches/feet here.
  7. Target- No target in Butte, Mt and the one in Helena was tiny. I am so happy we have a Target here.
  8. Microbrewery- We had some good brews in Montana, but there is such a huge selection of micro breweries here in So Cal. I seriously can’t get enough. Everyone has a good beer.
  9. Seafood- The Oceanside harbor is right outside the gate, With several seafood choices. Yum! I love seafood.
  10. Mexican food- I am so happy to be back in the southern part of the country where Mexican food is plentiful, Margaritas and Carnitas all day long.

Are you in California? What are your favorite things? How about where you live?

A day at the beach

I’ve lived here a month now and only been to the beach twice, and once I only got out of the car to take a picture. I think I need to remedy that, and go to the beach again. 
Evey loved it, she loved the sand, the cool water, the sunshine. 
We went over memorial day weekend, while my parents were here. We didn’t bring swim suits, we only went so we could say we had gone, and to let Evey have a little beachy experience. 

Thanks for the warm welcome California!

A couple of weeks ago San Diego county was all ablaze, like I think at one time there was 10 or 11 fires going at once. It was crazy. It was also all started the day we had our stuff moved into base housing. It was a bit scary, I won’t lie, I was a tiny tad worried for a day or two. Fire scares the shit out of me. But the wonderful firefighters on Camp Pendleton and San Diego County did a wonderful job of keeping us, and thousands of others, safe.

From Evey’s bedroom window

Out our bedroom window

Fire scares the shit out of me. But the wonderful firefighters on Camp Pendleton and San Diego County did a wonderful job of keeping us, and thousands of others, safe.

PCS Adventure Log Part 2

When we last posted, we had just left Virginia and we were on our way back West, working our way towards our new home in Sunny California! 
Our first stop was back in Albuquerque to rescue Aunt Andrea from all the animals! Because 3 dogs and 3 cats, makes her an animal hoarder. 

We then adventured back to Tucson, to spend a couple days with my family before we checked into California! 

Sadly here my camera stopped working correctly and don’t really have any pictures until after we got to California. 

Still Moving!

I have been updating regularly on instagram – AlanaMarie26 check me out! 

We are no longer homeless! #mccawleysmove2014 #camppendleton
I am still in the process of moving, we have done our cross country family visits, gotten our address at Camp Pendleton and we are back at my moms house for the weekend. We will be setting up at our home next week and if any of you are still here, I should be back to regular posting the week after. I have lots of posts in mind, traveling with a toddler, fun at the zoo, car friendly snacks for tots. So make sure you check back soon! 

On The Move


Moving physically, not bloggerly- Movers are coming this week and we are headed to Sunny California after we take some much needed personal time. I’ve tried to set things up so you don’t notice my absence, and I will try to post from the road periodically. We should be back to your regularly scheduled blogging in mid May. Until then have fun and find me on facebook and instagram and maybe even YouTube for more frequent updates!

Moving My Military Family (part 1, early preparation)

I can’t wait to cook at sea level again.
We are currently at about 6,200 feet, and I have to adjust cooking times, and I burn a lot of things. I can’t even grill right. As I write this I am trying to make dinner and my mac and cheese is taking for-ev-er.
We have finally accepted our fate that we are moving to Cali. Well I had already accepted it, but we tried to change things, to no avail. I am excited, I have been excited for a while, but now that we are about 3 months from moving I am really getting excited. Paul will only be working about 2 of those 3 months because he has vacation time that he has to use or he will loose it.
So this is our third PCS (permanent change of duty station), but our 7th move in the 8 or 9 years we have been together. So 3 states, 2 countries, 7 houses/apartments. I am by no means a moving pro, but I kind of know what to expect. We are a few months out still, so a plan is in place. The plan? Get rid of all the shit we don’t want to move.

Step One: Early Prep:

We have been planning what we want to take and what we want to sell/donate. We want to get rid of most of our big furniture, except baby stuff and some bedroom stuff (hopefully, if we can get decent prices for our stuff.) I have a running list of the things I don’t want to move, things that are broken, or well past their lifespan. Like our couch. We got it our first year in Okinawa, it’s been almost 6 years. Is that a long time for a couch? I don’t think so, but ours is breaking. The springs are falling apart on one side and it sags. It’s also covered in dog slobber because Renji licks it all the time. It’s so sad. It still works, it’s just a sad couch.

I would love to take a nap, but someone toot my pillow.
“it may be sad, but it’s tasty”
“am i really related to this guy?”
Since we moved to Butte a few months ago we have been downsizing, we moved from a 4br house with a garage to about half that, and no garage. We have stuff everywhere, all of our garage stuff is outside, well not all of it, but with winter here storing anything outside is a bad idea. Plus the stuff we have outside is subject to the elements, like our tent, which I am pretty sure is toast. We still have stuff that has no home, boxes piled everywhere, we are using the extra shower as storage, because oddly this house doesn’t have any closets besides the master bedroom, and that one is filled with clothes that don’t fit.

We have already gotten rid of 2-3 loads of stuff, clothing and housewares that we don’t use or need. But there is still a huge pile of stuff I need to go through this week. I have never really hung anything on the walls because I knew we were moving in 9 months so most of that is still in the boxes the movers packed in Helena, or we repacked in rubbermaid containers.

It feels like we have only made a small bit of progress in downsizing, but do you really want to sell your entertainment center, when you have nothing else to put your TV on? Part of me says do it now, part of me says wait until October. And our bed, I think we plan on keeping the mattress but we want to sell the bed frame. So do it now? or wait?  Well it looks like we are waiting, because I don’t want to deal with it now. Also part of me thinks that we are more likely to get better prices in Cali. Way more families coming and going, some new military couple looking to furnish their house may really want my bed, and my coffee tables, and my entertainment center, and my sad couch (which I will steam clean), and my clothes that don’t fit, someone wants it, right?

Just a friendly reminder, I was nominated for the top 50 Military Mom Blogs by VoiceBoks, you can vote for me here. Thank you for your support. 

How goes it in Montana?

We are still waiting on orders to Camp Pendleton. Hoping to get them any day now, but realistically since we are not moving until after October, we may not get orders until Augustish, or later.
We have not really done anything exciting this month.
WTF #winter #winterisnevergonnaend
Partly because it’s still cold as shit. This week we were under 34 degrees for about 6 days straight.
I would love to take a nap, but someone toot my pillow.
So we have been staying inside, where it is warm.
Frog legs #bostonterrier #ilovemydog #butteamerica
Hoping that May will bring warmer weather.
Just need to finish the stars! #crossstitch #crossstitching #nerdylittlestitcher
I’ve been cross stitching again. I sort of screwed this one up but I am hoping when I frame it that it’ll be okay. I didn’t center it correctly and I only have about 1/4 inch on the right side, vs about 2 inches on the right.
New glasses
Oh and I got new glasses, yay! 

Smiling at me from her bed. My heart just melts.
Little miss cranky pants has been taking up much of my time, and my hands, she prefers to have my undivided attention, and I haven’t been able to put her down much. When I do I try to use that time to do housework and cook, tis why I have been absent much the last few weeks. But today she has given me time to do things with my hands, and I cleaned the kitchen yesterday, so I am blogging today. I have several days worth of blogs for you, so stay tuned this week!