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.

Birth Story

I suppose I should jot this down before I forget. This will get a teeny  bit TMI, sorry.


I would say my first signs of labor started on May 24th (my due date was the 28th). I was up early (about 6am) and I realized I had started to lose my mucus plug. So I called my mom, she was set to come out the following week, so she could watch Evelyn if I went into labor. I was more calling her out of excitement, but I was also a little panicked because I was afraid I would go into labor that night and we’d have to take Evey with us. By noon my mom had made the decision to head to us, just in case. Unfortunately I just had mild contractions, and mucus for the next few days. But we got a lot done, got the house picked up, had a nice time visiting. On Thursday and Friday mom and I went and got acupuncture, her for neck pain and me for labor induction. It was really one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a long time. I fell asleep during my first session. I am not sure if it helped, but it sure felt good.

Friday the 27th I was so sick and tired of being pregnant. I was having intermittent contractions, I was peeing myself every time I coughed or sneezed, I was so incredibly uncomfortable, and I was sick with toddler cooties. I cried to Paul that night. I told him I was worried about ruining Memorial Day weekend, I was worried about having the baby and not being ready, I was worried about him not being ready. He had jokingly been telling me that he wasn’t ready all week. I took everything he was saying to heart, so that night I cried to him. It sounds silly now but I was asking him for permission in a way, to tell me it was okay for me to go into labor. He reassured me he had only been joking and he was ready for me to have our baby. I cried myself to sleep that night, I was so hot and uncomfortable.. and ready.

I awoke very early the next morning, on the 28th with contractions again. But this time they were more serious. They continued to get more and more serious throughout the day. I spent the day moving from the couch to my bed, trying to rest, having serious contractions, timing them, and wondering if it was real. I really think  until we left to go to the hospital I thought it was false labor. But that shit was real. And it really hurt. Through the day since I was still unconvinced that I was really in labor, between contractions I told Paul to go ahead and make dinner, he was going to smoke a tri-tip on the grill, a several hour process. My mom had to take it off the grill when it was done, because we were already gone by then.

Shortly before we left for the hospital. I’m mid contraction, this one I think came as a surprise because I am on the floor, leaning on the couch, holding Aiko, while Evey holds me. I am pretty sure I am crying too.

I was a champ though, I think so at least. I labored at home all day, it wasn’t until about 3-4 pm that I couldn’t take it anymore and I wanted to go to the hospital. We got there and I quickly was evaluated and placed in a room. I was already at 5+ centimeters. I got settled into my room, got my monitoring set up and continued to have contractions for a little while, within about an hour I gave in and asked for pain meds, I just couldn’t take it any longer.

Our hospital has recently introduced nitrous oxide as pain management for labor. But there’s a trick to it, You cant just strap it to your face and breathe, and you can’t have anyone else hold it to your face. You have to be able to hold it to your own face, with your hands and you need to remove it between contractions. Also the timing is tricky, you have to start breathing it in just when the contraction starts, or it doesn’t really take full effect during the contraction. It doesn’t fully eliminate the pain, but it dulls it. Through my tears I requested to try the nitrous for pain management.

This only lasted a few hours, by 7 I requested an epidural. Looking back the laughing gas would have been great in early labor, like while I was at home, and when I first got to the hospital, when the pain sucked but was still barely bearable.

Unfortunately by the time I requested the epidural, I was already having contractions that were very close together, and for an epidural you need to sit completely still long enough to get a needle shoved into your spine. I was also already 8 centimeters and I was getting close to time to push. But we went for it, it took two tries and the guy did a spinal block first, but he got it in. within moments I was completely numb from my belly button down. Also shortly after the epidural they ruptured my water sac.


The numbness was pretty awesome, I couldn’t feel anything, which also meant I couldn’t feel my contractions at all, so I couldn’t push when it was time. In hindsight I should have either gotten the epidural earlier, or just gotten the spinal block and no epidural. I had to wait over an hour to get feeling back in my legs enough that I could start pushing. During that time we just laid around waiting, and resting, at one point all the staff came rushing into the room because Baby Paul’s heart rate had dropped, they moved me onto one side, and then the other, gave me a shot to temporarily stop my contractions, this shot gave me horrible, uncontrollable shakes, it felt like I was shivering uncontrollably, this let up after about half an hour or so, but I continued to have short bouts of trembling through the night. But they got his heart rate back up and soon it was time to push. And at about 10 pm the nurse came in and I started to push.

I really enjoyed my experience at the Navel Hospital for the main fact that when I was in labor, it was just Paul and I. We were checked on periodically, but it was just us, quietly experiencing labor, you know quietly… except for my crying out in pain every 2-5 minutes with my contractions. Also when it was time to push we had one nurse (midwife?) come in and assist. It was her, Paul and I, she was helping and coaching me, as was Paul. All the way until it was time for her to get the doctors to “catch the baby”. When he was ready to make his appearance she went and got my doctors, who more or less caught Baby Paul.

He came out perfectly. 9 pounds 9 oz and 20 ish inches long. Just before 11pm.

Baby Paul Wk 1


And now we know!

Our next teeny terror will be a boy!

To say we were shocked would be an understatement. I know I said in my last post that I felt like it was a boy, but that was wishful thinking. It would explain how my symptoms have been increasingly different than last time. But going in to that appointment I was sure it would be a girl. I mean I have 6 Rubbermaid tubs of girl clothes stored away, expecting another girl.
But alas, nature has other plans. And now I have 6 tubs of baby girl clothing I need to sort through and sell. Because we aren’t going to need them any time soon.

I am getting more and more excited as each day goes by. We are working on getting Evey used to the idea of a brother, for the longest time she was convinced I was having bunnies. Multiple. Or at least multiple babies. We have her just about convinced there is only one. Now we are working on “it’s going to be your brother” to which she replies “no, my sister.”
It’s okay we will work it out eventually.


Sometimes I get my best blog ideas while I am lying in bed at night, just before I fall asleep.

You tell yourself, man that’s a great idea, I wont forget it!

The next morning it’s gone.

Thankfully I’ve started writing those ideas down. So now you can know what I think about when I lie in bed at night.

#FroYo date with my girl.

A photo posted by Alana ? (@alanamarie26) on

Last week I had the rare opportunity to go to Target all by myself. I don’t think I’ve been to target alone since last Christmas season. It was strange though. I still felt rushed. I had to get in and get out, no screwing around. Even though I really did have plenty of time. I am so rarely alone now that I have conditioned myself to just get done what I need to do so I can get out of the store before little miss throws an epic tantrum, or takes off running.

6 not so long years ago, while Paul and I were living in Okinawa, he was deployed to Afghanistan. I was alone. All alone. For the better part of 9 months. I had my sister visit for a few months, and I had friends. But I lived alone, I woke up alone, I went to the store alone. I could go a days without speaking to another human if I didn’t go anywhere.

Now I wake up with, and spend my whole day with a little person. I am rarely alone. You see lots of funny cartoons on the internet of parents hiding in closets to eat chocolate, or begging to be left alone just to use the bathroom. This isn’t a joke. That’s real life.

I’m not complaining. Well not right now. I don’t really mind being with Evey most of the time. But sometimes it’s nice to be alone. I often get a quick trip to the commissary, or the corner store, not very long, but that’s about all I really need. Just about an hour of me time. With no one yelling at me, screaming or crying, or begging for things.

It’s strange to look at how much things have changed, and so drastically. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Solo Road Tripping with a Toddler In 7 Easy Steps

I recently hit the road to drive from San Diego to Southern Arizona to visit my family. Paul had to work so I decided to go solo. I haven’t driven this far alone in a very long time, 10 years maybe. This time I had a toddler in tow. So I had to find some way to make the 6 hour drive bearable for the two of us.

(not the view from our drive)
  1. Pandora- I am a huge fan of the kids songs stations like Raffi and Disney. Pandora has plenty of kids stations. But there are about two separate stretches, about an hour each, that I don’t have cell service, that means no Pandora. Evey also really enjoyed the music when I was singing along, so we listened to a lot of disney, because I know the words to those.
  2. Books- Especially books that have never been seen before. Target has a great selection of books for a dollar usually. I was very lucky that we got a package from my Mother In Law the day before we left and it had some books in it. The new books kept her attention much longer than the books that I had in the car already.
  3. Snacks- I tried to keep it healthy this trip. I sliced up a bunch of strawberries and raspberries, I packed fresh mandarine oranges and bananas. I also had several flavors of granola bars and pouches of applesauce. But the only thing she wanted was the peanut butter crackers, which I ran out of pretty quick. I also had some lunchables and Red Bull, but they were for me.
  4. Nap Time- Driving in the middle of the day works for us because when she naps it’s around noon, and she naps best in the car. So As soon as she started getting cranky, I turned on my radio (podcasts) and handed her a book. She fussed a little, for about 20 minutes, but she soon fell asleep. Unfortunately she only slept for about an hour.
  5. Plan stops- I get really nervous traveling alone, and on the way out I only stopped for gas. I didn’t use the restroom. When I arrived I had to pee so bad my head hurt. On the way home I wished I had planned gas stops better. I didn’t stop in the usual town and moved on to the last town before a hundred of nothingness, This town I could not find a gas station that allowed credit cards at the pump. I still don’t understand the logic, but whatever. Dragging a todder into the store to pay for gas was a huge pain in the ass, but now I know to gas before I get to that town.
  6. Baby Backpack- Tula, Ergo, Kinderpack, Any of these can make a bathroom trip easier. Wearing E would allow me to quickly go into the bathroom, do my business and get out, without her running around and touching things, or getting into nasty bathroom cooties.
  7. iPad- I tried to not go digital, but there comes a point when you can only pay attention to a needy toddler so much, and you need to focus on the drive. The iPad can be a lifesaver. I keep mine loaded with Wonder Pets and Dora, and some apps that don’t require internet access because my iPad is the Wi-Fi only version.

The End of CoSleeping

Since the day my daughter was born she has slept in my room, on my bedside. Every night for 2 years and ninety four days she slept either with us or in her bed, next to mine.
When we brought her home from the hospital she started out in her bassinet, that lasted for about 6 months. I don’t remember exactly when, or why but she ended up in our bed, and she just stayed there. Until last year, after we moved here to California, I set her crib up as a toddler bed and we slowly transitioned her into it. First I had her bed set as a side-car. This allowed her to move back and forth easily. After I got her accustomed to sleeping in her bed I moved it about a foot away from our bed. I put a neck pillow along the edge to prevent her from rolling out, something I’d seen done on pinterest with pool noodles. It wasn’t perfect, and she still rolled out a handful of times, but it worked good enough. She got to the point of mostly sleeping in her bed sometime last fall. But I was still breastfeeding her so she moved into our bed every night at some point. It was still convenient to have her in our room.
Just after the first of this year I got a cold, and partly due to cold medicine and partly due to it just being time, Evey weaned. With her no longer breastfeeding she was sleeping almost the entire night in her bed, only climbing into our bed to wake me up in the morning. At this point the only thing keeping her in our room, was the fact that I liked having her there, I was comforted by the fact that I can check on  her any second of the night.
She has this beautiful room.
(I lost the sheet to her bed, so I need to make a new one, or go to Ikea to buy another.)
The last thing I needed to do was to attach her dresser to her wall.
It weighs about a billion pounds and it’s unlikely she would be able to tip it over, but the chance that she did, it would surely crush her if it fell on top of her.
Yesterday I put about 30 holes in the wall trying to find the studs, but I found them, and I got this sucker attached to the wall, it’s not going anywhere.
So last night she slept in her big girl bed. For the first time in two years and ninety four days she didn’t sleep next to me. I had a hard time with it at first. I checked her on the monitor about 400 times. But she slept all night, until 8 this morning. When I woke up to the sound of her whispering to her bunny “hop, hop, hop”
“hop hop hop”
When I remotely moved the camera she looked up at it so I was able to get these cute shots of her face. Then she went back to playing with her bunny. I laid and watched her for about 15 minutes before she called for me.
I am so proud of her for making it the whole night in her big girl bed. And I’m very proud of myself for not moving in there with her, no matter how badly I wanted to.
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My journey to finding a babysitter.


Last week I needed a baby sitter for the first time since Evey was born. Besides once or twice being left with immediate family, she has never been left with anyone. I wasn’t looking forward to it, and even with a few weeks notice I was still unsure how to go about it.Paul came home from work with  bad news, shortly after I gave him my school schedule, telling him the nights I needed him home, he found out he was going to be gone for an entire work week. Not that big of a deal, I can miss two days of school. Wait…. Nope.,… Midterm that week. If I miss it, it can seriously negatively impact my grade.

Panic set in. What am I supposed to do? I need to go to class? First I asked my teacher if I could bring my daughter to class with me. HA HA HA! Yes I’m crazy. I can barely even get homework done with her around, let alone focus on a midterm. My Professor (obviously) said no. I was very concerned. I don’t have many contacts here in California. I knew my parents were coming to visit the weekend before, but I didn’t want them to delay and screw up their vacation by asking them to stay an extra 4 days.
So I turned to Facebook I know how crazy that sounds, and I didn’t post in an open forum “hey what stranger wants to watch my kid”. I have a group of ladies I really trust, we have similar parenting styles, and they are local. So I asked for recommendations. Right away I had a girl recommended to me. She is a Marine Wife, she previously worked in child care, and she was really close, like I could walk there close. Also she has her own baby, so Evey would have someone to play with. 
I had her come over for an interview, I let her play with Evey and she told me about herself. It actually worked out perfect, she showed up just as my washing machine started to vomit foam, so I was able to see her occupy Evey so I could handle the disaster in my laundry room. Okay, maybe that’s not perfect. But it worked out anyway. I really like her, and I could even see us being friends, because we both have similar parenting styles. So I scheduled her in. 
The week of babysitting was stressful, not only did I have a heavy workload for school, and a midterm, but Paul was gone from Monday morning to Friday night. But despite all of the stress and anxiety, Evey’s first (and second) babysitter experiences went off perfectly. Neither of us cried. I really didn’t expect her to, but I was pretty sure I would, if I hand’t been so distracted by school I probably would have. And I am going to schedule Evey for a few more days, during the day, for weeks I have papers due, so I can focus without her getting into shit and distracting me. We are also probably going to have a play date so Evey doesn’t think every time we go the sitters house she is being left there. Only time will tell, but I may have gotten a friend out of the deal too!

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Toddler Tantrum

Things have been rough around here the last weeks or so. Can terrible twos start before two? That’s the only explanation I’ve got.
We have had some pretty terrible tantrums here. It breaks my heart to watch my little girl get so upset because her cartoon is over, or the carrots got yogurt on them, or the dog (who is 12 pounds) stepped on her foot. We are also trying to work on enforcing rules, like you can’t just dump out the cheerios if you don’t want to eat them. Trying to enforce rules, also normally results in a tantrum. I don’t want to raise a spoiled brat, but sometimes it’s just easier to give in to her, because she doesn’t understand. Yesterday I cried with her, as she cried, I don’t even remember why, she cried a lot yesterday. 

The hardest thing about her tantrums is how she acts, She often starts thrashing about, and will intentionally hit her head on the floor,or on you if you are holding her. According to Dr. Google, this is normal because she is experiencing all these new emotions and becoming aware of them, but doesn’t have the verbal skills to express herself, so she throws herself around or smacks her head into things. These are really the worst, I try to hold her so she doesn’t hurt herself, but usually the tantrum then gets worse for a few seconds (minutes? feels like an eternity) before she starts to calm down. 

Parenting seemed relatively easy until now, the baby cries? Hold her, feed her, change her, one of the above was the answer, now there is no answer. I don’t even think she understands why she is so upset, which makes it so much more frustrating for her, and in turn, me. I am doing the best I can, and I am doing what feels right to me, but sometimes it feels like I am not doing anything right. Like yesterday, I think my neighbors (who were outside) we’re probably about to come check on us, because Evey SCREAMED for about half an hour as I tried to get her to pick up the cheerios she dumped on the kitchen floor, (or at least sit with me while I pick them up) and then we sat in Time-Out, while I counted to 10, the first time and 30 the second time, her screaming and thrashing around the entire time. But I didn’t back down, and in the end we got the cheerios picked up and we made it through 30 seconds of time out. and she quieted down and we played with blocks. 
How do you handle tantrums and terrible twos? How do you help your toddler find their way back to that happy place? 

The Battery Kid

Sometimes I think twice about posting things. Do I really want to share that with the world? Yeah, I’m an open book here and if one person can learn from my fail, I may as well share. Even parenting Fails (Example A)
We just can't catch a break in this house. Teething, super fussy, no sleep, and now a weird rash. Poor peanut. At least it doesn't seem to be bothering her, and she doesn't have a fever.
Baby Roseola 
So without further delay, our most recent parenting fail-

Weekends I get to sleep in, Well a few weeks ago Evelyn had gotten up with Paul at about 9. At some point while he was in the bathroom she climbed onto a table and he found her with a battery, a AA battery. When he told me about it an hour or so later I mentioned that there had been two batteries there because I had just taken them out of something. We frantically searched the house and could not find the other battery. So off to the ER. The nurse came out to get us from triage and asked “is this the battery kid?” … yep, we have the battery kid. We told our story half a dozen times, and yes we are missing a AA battery, I know how unlikely it is that she would be fine, and not have choked if she did try to swallow a AA battery, but we  could not find it, don’t want to risk it. After a quick x-ray we still had no battery. But at least we knew it was not inside her.
I did end up finding the battery several hours later under some toys. So at least we don’t have to worry about that anymore.
All of this after a week of her getting molars and getting a mysterious rash, that was later discovered to be Roseola.