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.

2014 Marine Corps Ball

We recently attended the Marine Corps Birthday ball.

This year it was in Las Vegas.

before the ball
This was kind of cool because 10 years ago I accompanied Paul to our first Ball together in Primm Valley, just outside Las Vegas. It’s crazy to think we have been together for 10 years.
I can’t find that picture from that ball, but here is one from 2007, we were in Massachusetts. it’s the oldest one I can find. 
But we had a great time in Vegas. Didn’t take many pictures. My mom flew up and stayed with us so we had a sitter, which was super awesome of her (thanks again mommy). One nice thing, our reservation got messed up, we were supposed to have two adjoining rooms, and there were none available when we got there, so we got upgraded for free to a suite and a room adjoining! that was very nice. 
our suite
the vodka was flowing
I got my own fake eyelashes on! 
This last one is kind of funny. I have tried numerous times to get my fancy schmancy MAC eyelashes on, and never been able to. I was watching a YouTube video and the girl had cut hers in half. I was weary about cutting those expensive-ass eyelashes just to put them on, but I figured what the hell. And I was able to put them on! 
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“Turn at the Rotary”

I was blog stalking Domesticated Combat Boots, and she is currently in Boston. It made me reminisce of when we lived in Western Massachusetts, in fact we lived there when I started this little blog. Paul was stationed at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, working with a reserve unit, as basically a guy who trains the Reserve Marines. We had lots of wild and crazy stories there, and lots of really good friends were made. But one funny memory that sticks out, was when we very first entered New England.
sunset at cape cod
It was beautiful a sunny day, and we were totally lost. This was before smart phones, and google maps. I had a list of directions printed out, and my trusty Rand McNally map in my lap as Paul drove. It was me and him, the Jeep and the U-Haul. Trucking along interstate 95. We were in New York City, and desperate to get to Massachusetts. Traffic was probably horrible and we were desperate for a short cut. The “Merritt Parkway” would get us off Interstate 95 and maybe even be a little faster! So we took our exit and ventured off our “Mapquested” path.
Somewhere around Greenwich, Ct we saw a sign on our little, beautiful, scenic highway that said something along the lines of no towing, or no trailers. This would explain people waving at us and giving us the finger, yelling from their cars, they were not welcoming us, We were not supposed to be there with our little U-haul. So we got off, unsure of where we were, and hoped for the best. We could not find our way back to the Interstate, and after, who knows how long (seriously, that was 10 years ago, I am surprised I remember this much) we stopped and asked for directions.
somewhere in our neighborhood in Chicopee
I remember it was a mechanic, some older guy, gave us directions. “Go blah blah blah, to the rotary, and blah blah blah”
So we drove off, and starting going over his directions, and looked at each other and said “So, What’s a Rotary?” We pulled over again, and started making phone calls, I think we called everyone we could think of and no one knew. Again this was before smart phones, so we didn’t have google at our fingertips. Finally I called my grandmother, thinking she has to know. Her best guess was an old pay phone, like a rotary phone. So we drove on, looking for an old pay phone. We never found one, but we did eventually find the Interstate. We arrived in Chicopee late that night and I think it was several days later when we saw a sign that said Rotary with a big arrow, this is how we learned that a rotary is a traffic circle, and not an ancient pay phone.
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Saving money with home hair cuts (or why sundays is my least favorite day)

I usually don’t tell people I cut my husbands hair. If I happen to give him a bad cut I don’t want people to know it was me. And after 6 years of cutting his hair, it happens every now and then, he gets a not so great cut.
When we got married he was spending almost $20 a week to get his hair cut. Being in the Marines, weekly haircuts are just a fact of life.
Shortly after we got married I got a pair of clippers, they came with an instructional video which I watched over and over again and then I started to cut his hair. I don’t even want to think about how bad they were in the beginning, because even now sometimes they are less than stellar, that first year must have been rough on him. But after all this time I have never done such a bad job that we had to shave it. And I think I have the fade down pretty good.
But I still hate it, and I dream about just sending him to the barber on sundays so I don’t have to do it. I secretly don’t mention that it’s haircut day in hopes he will forget, and just have to get it cut at the barber some time monday. But almost every sunday, at about 1 pm, I cut his hair. Taking into account deployments, other time apart and times that I did just send him to the barber, we have saved about $4,000 with me just cutting his hair. We take really good care of our clippers, and every few years I buy a nice new pair (that was before I learned you could get replacement blades) the last set I bought are really super nice and I hope will last us for a very long time.
So if you husband trusts you enough to let you try to cut his hair, I highly recommend it. Get a good video, check out YouTube, invest in a nice pair of clippers and have fun!
It’s just hair! It’ll grow back!

Where now, brown cow?

Cow-and-Calf-Montana

image has nothing to do with the post, but it goes with my title.

source


I started writing this post towards the end of August.

Things have been a bit “hurry up, and wait” around my house.
One thing about the military lifestyle that I really hate is how there is no certainty, until it’s happening. Sometimes you don’t know if your husband is going somewhere, for sure, until he leaves.

We experienced this three years ago, waiting to see if Paul would be leaving Okinawa for Recruiters School in San Diego. He had been trying to stay on island a few more months so he could complete a course. Well we found out on a Friday that he would in fact be leaving Monday for Recruiters School.
Strangely enough this was almost 3 years ago to the day and we are in a similar situation right now. Currently we are waiting to find out the opposite, will Paul be staying on Recruiting Duty another 6 months? will his follow on assignment change? Are we still going to Camp Pendleton?

As I am writing this I have no answers to any of these questions. But by the time I publish it I will have some answers.

In June Paul requested to extend 6 months here on recruiting duty, until spring, in hopes we could get a duty station we really wanted (Okinawa) we figured at almost a year out, they surely could find a place for us there. Well extending here has been so back and forth since June I had stopped talking about it to family and friends, one week we are extending, the next we are not. About a month ago I decided to keep my mouth shut until his orders actually changed. Part of that is because I am superstitious and I think that because every time I opened my mouth something changed that it would be best to just not say anything, and for the longest time things stayed the same. Then I made a blog post about prepping our move to California again, and everything changed. We were told pretty much that our extension was a possibility and his command wanted us to stay on a few more months to get through the winter, someone was going to make some phone calls and see what they could find out about the status of his extension request. This was about a month ago. Then it was silence again. 

Well today we got our answer.
We are staying in Montana until April/May-ish.
We don’t know yet if we are going to California then, or if we will be going somewhere else. I have spent the whole day analyzing every possibility.
I don’t know how to feel, we wanted this as a chance to get back to Okinawa, but we don’t know if that will happen because it’s such short notice again (short notice for overseas move). Perhaps we could go somewhere else like Hawaii? Or we could still go to California, or we could go somewhere we don’t want to go. But it’s a risk Paul was wiling to take, he has done his time here in the arctic north, and we are taking a risk to try to get what we want. Although it’s probable we’ll just move to California in May. I was really getting used to the idea of Cali, scouting out the shopping, food, attractions. Making plans with a blogger friend to get together and go to Daiso. When we got our snow last week I was sort of thankful we hadn’t heard anything and in my mind was preparing for a sandy SoCal Christmas. I have been going over the layout of the base housing we would be moving into, decorating and placing furniture in my mind.

But instead of moving, I’ll be going to the Marine Corps Ball the week we would shave been leaving here, and then hunkering down for another winter.

Speaking of winter, we are having another winter storm warning tonight, we could wake up to snow again tomorrow…..

An Update on Me and a Link-up

Bloody Marys Count as a Salad

Things have been a little busy here the last few weeks and blogging has obviously taken a back seat.

Our PCS plans have been nothing short of nerve wracking. I’ll elaborate more on this, eventually, but now is not a good time. It’ll get it’s own post, maybe next week.

You may remember my post last week about snow, we ended up with about 4 inches. It has since melted, and warmed up and it’s fall again, but I am ready to go somewhere warm, for the rest of my life. I’ve experienced enough winter to last me for a while.
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P and I have been working out quite a bit, You may remember we started Focus T25 about a month and a half ago. Well Paul went on vacation for a month, two weeks after we started, so we ended up taking a two week hiatus. We started up again two weeks ago, and we are sticking to it. It’s hard to workout every day when you are as lazy as I am, but it’s only 25 minutes. So progress? well Paul is loosing inches, but not so much pounds, and I am loosing pounds but not so much inches. haha, it makes no sense to me, but whatever I am only about 10 pounds from pre-baby weight, So it took me 10 months to loose 20 pounds >.< but I have lost about 10 of those pounds in the last two months. I have really struggled with the baby weight. I think part of that is because I wasn't really fit before I got pregnant. It's discouraging when you see or hear about moms who have the weight just melt off, and you are not loosing anything. I am part of a mom group of first time moms who were all due in December last year (about 80 in the group), and so many of them the weight just came right off, pre-pregnancy weight was achieved in weeks after pregnancy. Not just the ones who were slim before pregnancy either, even some of the ones who have struggled with weight loss were just dropping baby weight. Nursing is supposed to help loose the weight, not for me. I am still Nursing E on demand and I am still struggling, even with eating better and working out daily, it's still a daily battle.

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Evey is a little handful. She is crawling, and trying to walk, and getting into everything. Our layout is weird so we have a mess of baby gates and furniture built into a big baby jail, so she has free space in our common living area to play and get into shit. She manages to  escape all the time and we “chase” her through the house, she loves it. She is learning things, we are working on “peek a boo” and she knows “I’m gonna get you” means she is about to get tickled and she screams out laughter. She loves the dogs and they love her.
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On one of our road trips while P was on vacation we ran into some car trouble, my 2010 Jeep Patriot had the transmission go out. It’s sort of a complicated story but after it cooled down it started working again and we weren’t stranded in the middle on no where, but it’s been shitty. It’s still under warranty, but the transmission is on back-order. I have a special transmission on mine and from what the dealership says mine isn’t the first that they have had fail, and I live in a small town. But they let me take it home and I am still driving it, I have been advised to avoid highway driving because it could fail again and not come back to life.So that’s it, that’s why I’ve been missing. I’m working on finding more time in my day to be here though, at least a few more times a week. I know you miss me desperately.

Go link up with Kara, Erin, a Girl, and this weeks special guest Organized Chaos!
Bloody Marys Count as a Salad

Moving My Military Family (part 1, early preparation)

I can’t wait to cook at sea level again.
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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. 

Time For Change

With Paul returning to the fleet (regular Marine Corps) in 3.5 months we need to make some changes in our bodies. We have both become lazy and out of shape, and though he isn’t that bad, he needs to be able to keep up with younger Marines, especially with cutbacks, The Marine Corps is about to get even more competitive. And me, well I am needing to cut the baby weight, and then some, I know I have said it before but I don’t want to be that fat wife, the one people make jokes about because she doesn’t work, she’s just fat. I just want to feel comfortable with myself, I am not looking to be a size 0 or even a 4, I just want to look in the mirror and like what I see. I have been (slowly) loosing weight with weight watchers, but I know if I had a regular workout routine I could loose weight and tone my body. One of the big steps we have taken is we have decided to try to not eat out for the rest of the month! That’s a big one, because we eat out at least once a week, if not two or three times. So at roughly $40 each time we are looking to save at least $200 if we can do it. I decided to spend part of that money that we will be saving on getting ourselves fit. We don’t really have time for a gym, it’s hard with the baby for me to be away from her since I am still exclusively breast feeding her, and I loathe pumping. Another blog I read A New Beginning Posted about a new Beachbody program that was just released, It’s a 25 min workout that promises great results. I’m a sucker for a good gimmick, but this really intrigued me, it’s a 25 min workout, and one of the reasons I slack on workouts is because even an hour is too long sometimes. I can’t just put Evey down and workout for an hour straight. But 25 min, I can do that, easy. So I got suckered in, and ordered it yesterday. I hope that because of the cost we will use it (total about $140 with shipping, but i’m doing payments). I’ll certainly have to keep you updated on my progress, it should be here early next week, so stay tuned. Maybe you’ll even get some before shots out of me, because maybe the accountability of showing the world what I look like half naked is what I need to stick to it? We’ll maybe not, not yet at least. 
  [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfi80Wf29_M]
Today I am linking up with Kara at Ramblings of a Marine Wife and the other ladies for 
Bloody Marys Count as a Salad

because they do, right? 
Well as far as my diet is concerned they do….

Challis 2013

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If you want you can read about our previous years (Challis 2011) and (Challis 2012).
This was our third, and last year at Challis.
Challis is an annual camping trip that “Recruiting Station Salt Lake” (who Paul works under) has each year. It’s partly for training, because the Marines are spread all over several states and rarely can get together for such, and a little bit for fun and camaraderie. When we arrived in Montana Paul worked under Great Falls, so we always camped with Great Falls. The first year I was the only wife in our camp, The second year there was two other wives and a female Marine, along with all the guys, and I was 4 months pregnant. This year all the 4 Marines in our camp had wives, and three of us had babies, AND.. two of us had babies that were born only 2 weeks apart!
I think this year was the most fun of all the Challis’. Yeah the first year we (i) partied harder, but I was hungover more too, and I think last year was just way hotter, this year was hot, but not horrid, and we partied, but not too hard. We even played cards against humanity!
Evey likes the Q
This year we did get rained on the first night, it rained a lot, maybe not as much as the first year, but enough to make the tent leak and to piss me off.
hanging out in the shade under moms clothes line, to dry all of our wet stuff
High five Renji!
Too hot, must sleep
Hawk
baby party
S’mores for lunch? Don’t mind if I do!
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morning snuggles with the pooches
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Evey and her BFF Emma
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Keepin cool with our frog toggs
Aiko shared her frog togg
Aiko in the Salmon River
Aiko and Renji in the Salmon
There’s an Evey in that pouch
“What? we can’t play in the mud?”
Best S’mores on the planet!
We partied a little
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There is a baby in a Ergo Carrier under that blanket.
I know.. I’m so mature
Packed up to go home!
All in all it was a great time and we all made new friends. We laughed and shared stories. I am a tiny bit sad that this was our last year, but the Marine Corps has a new adventure waiting for us.
– Alana
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On the move!

Well we lost the house that we had found, the one that was perfect. But we finally got funding to move so we spent last week on the house hunt again, and we found one. It’s small, smaller than we had planned, but it’ll be worth it. We can save some money because it’s way under our housing allowance. So it’ll give us a chance to pay off some bills. Plus it’s kinda cute, and has a big jet bathtub. 
Everyone to my house for a tub party! Or not, actually you stay out of my tub, it’s mine. 

The house isn’t in Butte, but in Walkerville. A small town, connected to Butte, about the size of the neighborhood I grew up in. It’s a tiny little place that was a mining town. 2.2 square miles and in 2011 it had a population of 675. It’s also about a mile from Paul’s office. But it may as well be part of Butte. It’s closer to Pauls work downtown than any of the other houses we looked at. 

I am so happy to just be moving. As much as I want to stay here in Helena, where we at least have a Target, I want to get to Butte so Paul can not have to leave at 330 am to get to work. And he can come home for lunch sometimes, and be home early. And not have to commute through snowy weather through a shitty mountain pass. 
Other than that not much is new. I am fighting a cold, My throat feels like I swallowed razorblades. I just hope whatever it is Evey doesn’t get it. I know when you are breastfeeding the baby shouldn’t get sick because she gets your antibodies, but I would feel terrible if I got her sick. 
Oh and it’s cold, like holy shit, I live in the Arctic circle, No one should have to live here in the winter, Cold. I think the high today was 11. And we’re about to move to Butte where it’s colder? I heard it was -22 there this morning. That’s insane. But I’m okay with being a hermit so no worries. 


no, no paparazzi please

Okay, just make sure you get my good side. 

I just realized that I haven’t taken a picture of anything other than the baby, or dogs in the last month… 

Monkey toes, just like her mama


– Alana

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