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.

You know what’s hard to do?

It’s hard to be a full time student, and stay at home mom of 2 kids (the youngest of which has just found himself mobile!), and take my daughter to school 3 days a week, and keep my house in some sense of liveable, and keep meals prepared, and sleep…

and blog.

I have been sucking at it.

For that I am sorry.

But if you are still here….

I have an exciting announcement.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already may know.


New adventures are on the horizon.

I am going to do my best to write about the experience. I also have been making some videos lately if you find yourself on Youtube you should check me out!


Wanderlust Wednesday

 Go find Mr. & Mrs. O for more Wanderlust fun!
If you’re going to be cold in the winter, Wyoming is the place to do it.

The first 2 years we were on Recruiting Duty in Montana, we had the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Jackson Hole Wyoming. It snowed every year, but it was so beautiful.

Wyoming 1
I think this is the Grand Tetons covered in snow


The resort we stayed at every year was beyond spectacular.


viewing the Grand Tetons from the East


snowy drive


light snow





Although I am not a huge fan of the Great White North, I wouldn’t object to a short visit, if it involved a nice resort with spectacular views, room service, a fireplace and a big bath tub.



Wanderlust Wednesday

Can we talk about food today? I miss the food in Japan.

Yakiniku meat
Yakiniku meat


Yakiniku Grill
Yakiniku Grill & a delicious beer


Sushi Zen
Sushi roll from Sushi Zen


King Taco!
King Taco! Best Taco Rice on the island


Sushi lunch set
Sashimi lunch set


Unagi Lunch Set


CoCo Ichibanya curry!


Ramen and Gyoza


Beer vending machine. Best idea ever


Garlic fried rice


Sunabe Gyro

Le Sigh* I really miss the diverse food in Okinawa. It’s weird, I am in North San Diego, you’d think I could find all kinds of foods to suit my every craving whim. But there is so much that I cannot find. Maybe a huge part of it is my love for Japan, and how I long to return.

Paul and I were talking the other night and one of the things I miss the most is izakaya food. They are these little bar/restaurants that have basically an extensive a la carte menu. You can get some meal sets, but most of the food is single serving. You can spend about $3 and try some squid, if you don’t like it, it was only $3, if you love it, eat 6 more orders. We could easily go out and spend about $50, eat lots and lots, and throw back a few beers, leaving full and happy to walk home. I really really miss that. The one by our house was also very family friendly. People were in there with kids all the time. Everyone was very social, it was a very open area, with a bar area and a large tatami mat area with lots of tables in a big open floor area. You’d sometimes find a group of kids playing in one corner quietly while their parents sat with their friends enjoying a beer and some sashimi. It was quite a bit of fun for everyone.



Wanderlust Wednesday

Fall is finally in the air here in sunny California and it’s making me think of when we lived in New England. Paul and I spent three years in Chicopee, Mass where Paul worked out of Westover ARB. It was my first introduction to Military life. It was a great start, tiny base, Paul and I both worked on base, everyone knew everyone. We still have some great friends from there.

One of my favorite times of the year was the Big E, or the Eastern States Exposition. It’s more or less a county fair, but it was HUGE. The Big E goes on for 17 days, and we would go numerous times and still find stuff to do. There was always neat things to look at, cute little shops selling local wares, rides, beer, and food. Oh god the food. I now remember why I was at my highest weight ever while we lived there; New England has some amazing food. Every year, at the end of the night I would track down one stand in particular, the lady sold pickles, straight out of a huge wooden barrel, and I would buy as many as I could fit in my purse. I brought sandwich bags to take pickles home in, that’s how serious her pickle game was. Those pickles were the best pickles I have ever had, and I would sell my big toe to have her recipe. Damn good pickles.

Although I have much love for the Big E. I don’t have any pictures. This was before the time of camera phones and I rarely carried my point and shoot, that still used film. This was like 10 years ago folks. So all these pictures I have snagged from the Instagram page of the Big E.

I hope you enjoy, and if you happen to be near Springfield, Mass in September you should pop on over and find the pickle lady!

Go over and link up with her too!



A photo posted by The Big E (@thebigefair) on

A photo posted by The Big E (@thebigefair) on

#FiberFact: More cotton is grown globally than any other non-edible crop. @NEFiberFestival is Nov. 1 & 2 at ESE! A photo posted by The Big E (@thebigefair) on

It’s feeding time at Farm-A-Rama! #BigE14

A photo posted by The Big E (@thebigefair) on

Heaven. ? What’s your favorite baked potato place at the Fair? Photo cred goes to @sarlizbeth_ A photo posted by The Big E (@thebigefair) on

Absolutely awesome picture of Midway at night! #BigEMoments Photo cred goes to @mds1004!

A photo posted by The Big E (@thebigefair) on

Wanderlust Wednesday

I have been sort of CRAZY busy with school. But things are winding down. I’ve got a class that ends Sunday and I will be down to one 8 week university class and two full semester community. college classes. I’ve got a big paper to put together this weekend and then I am hoping it’ll be easy going through December.

But being so busy in school has given plenty of time for my mind to wander about places I’d rather be. So of course my  heart goes back to Japan.

DSC_0039 (2)
American Village Ferris Wheel 2010
Paul walking Aiko down our street
Kokusai Street
Sunset in the Road Mirrors
Vending Machine Heaven!

Someday I hope we are able to wander back to Okinawa again.

This week I am linking up Wanderlust Wednesday  with Kassie at Mr. and Mrs. O  Go check her out! 

San Diego Safari Park

We recently made a very fun day trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We had a total blast. I didn’t take too many photos but I’d like to share what I have with you:

We started the afternoon at the beer hut. The Evey was asleep in the TULA backpack, so the obvious choice was to get a brew. The sizes were small and large. We did not know that large was 32 oz. These were some big ass beers.

Of course shortly after we retrieved our beers, just about the second I shot the above photo Evey woke up. So instead of sitting down to enjoy those beers we started walking. We quickly came upon the Bald Eagles. They were very cool, there was a pair of them, and one was very interested in making a racket.

We ventured through the park and saw a lot of really neat places. Including a waterfall and a cool tiger statue:

Soon our little Evey got antsy and had to get out of the backpack, we spent the rest of the trip trying to keep up with her.

She pet some bronze elephants, they were much more interesting than the real ones.

It didn’t take long for the sun to come out from the clouds, and it got hot, someone got a little bossy and took a hold of the map.

This way
Lets go this way
No this way
No, wait, this way
Follow me
Follow me, I know the way
Lets Go
Come on mom! Lets Go!
We May be lost
On second thought, we may be lost.
Maybe we should consult the big map
Maybe we should consult the big map
San Diego Zo Safari Park
Just follow me, I’ll figure it out

I shot a little video footage watch closely for the wild toddler at the end

Afterwards we went and had some very sup-par sushi at a place called Hana in Vista. Very mediocre.

All in all the day was very fun, But in my expert opinion the actual Zoo is more fun, but also much more crowded.

Wanderlust Wednesday

Researching this post, looking at pictures and campsites, has made me want to go camping so incredibly bad. We can’t seem to find time to do it though. I hope we get a chance soon.
We ditched our tent when we moved here from Butte, and I am now fighting the urge to go buy a new tent right now and run away for the weekend with my family.

sequoia national park...
Flickr User: asim choudhri

Tunnel Log, Sequoia National Park
Flickr User: ladigue_99

Hitchcock Lakes, Sequoia National Park
Hitchcock Lakes, Sequoia National Park
Flickr User: Steve Dunleavy

Sequoia National Park
Flickr User: Sankar

His Majesty General Sherman
General Sherman
Flickr User: Norbert Trewin

Snowshoeing among the Big Trees, Sequoia NP
Flickr User: Niall Fritz

Sequoia Forest - 2
Flickr User: cloudbi

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.