Settling In.

On one hand I am sad to see 2017 go. We had so much happen, some good, some bad, but it was quite a year for my family. It’s a little hard to let go of the year, I know we cannot go back, but part of me wishes we could.
On the other I am so glad to start a new year. A fresh start. Time to take back control of my life, my family, and our health.

So here we are, 2018, we are settling into our new year. From here on out I am going to focus on health. Mental, physical and emotional. For my whole family. I have invested in some crafting materials and I have been enjoying crafting in my spare time. It’s my “mental health break”. I have been working on a Bullet Journal, in an effort to keep track of the things I need to do, the things I want to do, and the other habits I have. I am hopeful that journaling will help me feel like I have better control over things. Also I can remember to do important things, like drink water and do the laundry. I also got an instant pot for Christmas, and I have enjoyed making delicious instant meals for my family, very excited to try more.  I am hoping to get back into blogging more regularly too. I want to share my family and my adventures and my creations with the world.


The end of our defunct PCS

Today we went over the last hurdle in our defunct move to Okinawa, Japan.

In case you are new here, my family was all set to move to Okinawa in May, the movers came to our house, packed up our first shipment and left. That afternoon my son fell incredibly ill and we took him to the hospital. Long story short, he was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Type 1 Diabetes. It’s different from the familiar Type 2 diabetes, because he did nothing to cause it, his pancreas just failed to do one of its jobs, and it stopped making insulin.

Before this happened we had shipped our dogs to Japan, so that they could be there when we got there. They are Boston Terriers and unable to travel in the summer months (June-September is no fly for snub nosed dogs). We were only able to get one dog on a flight before the heat embargo, in a very tough decision we decided that Renji would come home because we felt Aiko would be better in a multi dog situation.

As the summer wore on I began to feel a lot of anxiety when I would think about Aiko, I worried a lot about her, even though her caretakers loved her and treated her like family. I received frequent email updates with photos to reassure me of her being well cared for. I think Renji was becoming depressed too. I noticed he spent a lot of time just laying around, he wasn’t playful, he didn’t want to do things.  We babysat our neighbors dog a little while ago and Renji lit up with having a playmate, that’s when I realized how sad he has been.

Today we got up and drove to LAX and met with one of the wonderful ladies who fly for Camp Canine Okinawa, and we picked up our little girl.
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Camp Canine Okinawa, they have treated our pets like family, and they have been wonderful and patient with our difficult situation. Although our situation was really crappy, I am happy the way it happened the way it did, if it were not for Camp Canine I don’t know what we would have done.

It’s been a very long summer but Aiko is finally home. We can now put this behind us and continue to move forward.

Princess Aiko is back.

A post shared by Alana 🌺 (@alanamarie26) on


If you need to ship your pet to or from Japan I highly recommend Camp Canine Okinawa they can be found at-

I’m still coming to terms with the diabetes

Every day it’s a different inner struggle.

I don’t blame anyone, I’m not even that mad anymore that Paul has Type 1 Diabetes.

I mean it sucks, and if I dwell on it long enough I’ll get upset, or angry. But we are doing the best we can with the hand we have been dealt.

And really it could have been worse. I know it’s terrible to ponder upon how much worse things could be, but really, it’s not so bad. Paul has a life long auto immune disease, but he’s alive, and besides the diabetes he’s healthy and he’s happy.

I’m currently sitting up in bed, thinking of ways to procrastinate homework. It’s the middle of the night. My husband is at work. I have two kids and a dog in my bed. It’s not so bad.

I have spent the last 4 months, since his diagnosis, working on adjusting my dreams for our future. I have always had a loose set of plans for what I wanted, where I wanted to go, where I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do. Things have changed, my priorities have re-aligned. I need to make sure we are in a place that we can get the best care for Paul.

Right now, where we are is the best place we can be. We all, as a family, have great medical care, great doctors, and we have amazing resources for Paul. We are comfortable in our home, we are close to a lot of things. As shocking and upsetting as his diagnosis was, this was the best place for it to happen.

Anger Associated with Diabetes

My Baby was diagnosed in May with Type 1 Diabetes, we were literally about to move to Japan, Our movers had come the morning before we ended up in the ER. Because of this we went into crisis mode real quick, we had to stop our stuff, we had to deal with my husbands job (US military) and see if we could get his relocation canceled. We had so many people telling us we were handling it (his diagnosis) so well. But I think we were in shock, and trying to deal with canceling our move, and that overshadowed the feelings associated with the diagnosis.
Now we are a few months out and I am find myself getting upset and angry, not at my son, but at the lost opportunities. I am angry that he was dealt this. I am angry that it happened while he was so young. People say it’ll be easier for him because he isn’t going to know any different, he isn’t going to remember a time before diabetes. But I am angry because he never got the chance to not have to worry about his blood sugar, not have to worry about insulin. I’m angry because I worry about caring for him in the future, medical costs, diabetes is expensive, 1 vial of insulin is nearly $300, his insulin pump is like $8,000. We have insurance, but what about when he is on his own? I hope I am wrong, I hope he doesn’t worry about the things I worry about for him. Maybe we will get lucky and in 10 or 15 years they will have a cure.
I feel like our whole lives revolve around blood sugar now. Is he high? Should we take him out because he’s running high? What if we give him too much and his blood sugar crashes? What should we feed him? How many carbs are in that? Do we really want to drive that far, or go to that place, or do that thing, because we will have to deal with his blood sugar. I know we need to still take that drive, go to that place, and do that thing, because he needs to know that it’s okay. But it’s scary to wonder what could happen if we mess up, or if we are unprepared. I always keep his “diabetes bag” with me, it’s got his testing supplies, some snacks if he goes low, and his emergency low kit. But it’s still scary. 
Maybe it’s selfish. But I still find myself searching for a way we can move with the kids back to Japan. I am still very upset that we aren’t going back. I wanted the kids to have that experience, I wanted to take my babies to the places we went to, and eat the fun things we ate, to fully immerse them into the Japanese culture that I miss so much. Now I don’t know if they will get that. 

35 Weeks!


28 weeks

Thankfully this pregnancy has been pretty uneventful. I spend most of my time doing homework and caring for Evey. I’ve been very busy with school, I decided to pick up an extra class this semester to get as far ahead as I could before I take some time off for the new baby.

So lets see. I’ve had a lot of physical pain off and on, some days it’s terrible and I can’t get off the couch, and then there are days that I feel fine. But the headaches I was having a few months ago seem to have subsided, which is super because they were crippling. I’ve had sciatic pain off and on, I remember having it much worse with Evey, there were days I couldn’t walk. But I think because I go to school several days a week, and I have to walk all the way across campus things are less achy.


32 weeks and a fresh haircut

I have reached the point that rolling over in bed is a huge task, and usually involves sitting completely upright to shift my weight without throwing my hips out. Oh yeah, loose joints are totally a thing. As is pregnancy carpal tunnel. My hands don’t feel so bad this week, I suppose that’s another symptom that comes and goes, but for the most part my left hand just kills from my finger tips through my wrist. I wear a wrist brace about 80% of the time.

I just started getting stretch marks this week, and they aren’t too bad.. yet. But the baby is SUPER active, I don’t remember if Evey was this active, but he moves so much and so often that if I don’t feel him for a little bit I get worried. I’m not really craving weird things, But I am always hungry and can never figure out what I want. Or I want things that are totally obscure and unavailable to me. Like I keep craving Japanese fried squid. It’s different than fried calamari, it’s way better. I also really want a beer, I miss the cold, crisp taste of beer, I enjoy beer and I miss the flavor. I think to fill that void I have been drinking A LOT of soda. I never (rarely) drank soda before I was pregnant, now I am drinking about 3-4 a week, sometimes more if we eat out a lot. Which we seem to be doing because standing in the kitchen and preparing food is literally the last thing I want to do. So we’ve been eating a lot of shit food. Surprisingly my weight gain is not insane though. I weigh more than I did with Evey, but I started out higher too.


Untitleddecorating mommys belly with stickers

Overall things are good. I am looking forward to these last few weeks, getting through finals and having a baby, We still have lots of getting ready to do. We currently don’t have anywhere set up for him to sleep, and I need to sort though his stuff and put away the clothes that he wont wear right away. I’d also like to get though Evey’s stuff (because I saved everything) so I nee to get rid of most of it, and pull out the unisex stuff. Evey is starting to get excited about the baby, I think she understands, but we’ll know for sure when he gets here.


34 weeks, & Date night! 

We did have one teeny scare last week. You are often warned about abdominal trauma when you get pregnant, if anything happens to the belly, contact your doctor ASAP. Well last week Evey and I were upstairs and I was laying on the bed, she decided to jump onto me and slide off the bed on my legs. She didn’t jump on my belly but her full weight of her butt landed on my pelvis. The doctor said that counts as abdominal trauma and they wanted me to come in for observation. I didn’t want to, but it’s a good thing I did because about an hour after I got there I started having contractions, and they were getting stronger. After lots of fluids they stopped, but there was about an hour while I was there (of 8 hours total) that I was pretty sure I would be leaving with a baby in my arms. Thankfully they stopped. I got to go home at about 2 am. I’ve been taking it a little easier and working to stay better hydrated. 


Belly monitoring things

I also have been eating dates every day, because there is a scientific study out there that says it can make things easier when labor happens, and labor is more likely to happen on its own. So yay for dates! (actually I don’t really like them, but women do crazy things to have babies)

I suppose with that I will end this entry. I’ve got lots of Evey pictures on my camera that I need to upload, I’ll try to get to those soon! Thanks for sticking around!


Baby Number two 20 week Update


So here we are, half way through. We waited a lot longer this time around to make any announcements. It was hard at first, but once we were okay with the idea of announcing the pregnancy it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Not that the pregnancy wasn’t a big deal but, we were okay with not telling people, our families knew, and they had since we found out, but we didn’t need to tell anyone else. On Christmas we decided to make it facebook official. Things have been trucking along since then. I’m looking more and more pregnant each week. Evey loves to “see the baby” although I am not entirely sure she really understands what is going on. My neighbor had a baby last year and I have tried telling Evey she is going to get a baby like the girls next door. I can’t really think of another way to relate it to her.

I’ve not been sick in a while. I was having terrible headaches, everyday, and they were making me miserable. But I have started running a humidifier almost 100% of the time and I think that’s helping, I have had two headaches in about a week an a half, which is way better than my non stop headache for a month. I think that with winter, and running the heater on and off I have dried out the air in the house so much it was making my head hurt.

I’m not having uncontrollable cravings, but I wouldn’t mind eating appetizer food all day every day. Every time I go to the commissary, I have to restrain myself from buying the mega size box of mozzarella sticks in the freezer section. I have given in and bought a couple of small boxes though. I could eat my weight in Jalapeno poppers, french fries with cheese on top, potato skins, any kind of dip, especially cheese dip, nachos, fried pickles, and well just about anything fried, bonus points if it has cheese in or on it.

I have been very emotional too, I get sad a lot. Because of this I am trying to avoid facebook. Every sad story about some animal or child or anyone dying, brings me to the verge of tears. When I was having the headaches I was getting really angry too, I don’t know if I was angry because I had another headache or if my hormones were making me angry, but I was not a fun person for a couple of weeks.

I have only gained about 6 or 7 pounds, which is good for 20 weeks I suppose. But I am really struggling with my body image. I don’t know that I had this hard of a time with Evey’s pregnancy, but I can’t help but think I just look really gross.

We have the gender ultrasound next week. I am predicting a boy, just because I feel so different. We’ll see.

December has begun

We’ll it’s December.

This year seems to have flown by.

I don’t remember if I made “goals” for 2015, I’ll have to run back and check.

With school winding down I want to take some time this winter break and do some things for myself.

I want to drag my camera out and take more pictures of my family. I don’t remember the last time I used my Nikon for something other than food.

I want to get outside and have fun. I have been cooped up in the house all semester and I only leave to go to school and grocery shop.

I would love to find time to do some more geocaching. We had so much fun with it over the summer, and I don’t know when we will have time again after school starts in January.

I need to purge the house. Spring cleaning if you will. I want to get rid of so much stuff, maybe I’ll have a yard sale, or maybe I’ll just take it all to the thrift store. But I need to get rid of stuff.

I need to really clean too. Like down on my hands and knees, scrub the floor, clean. I haven’t done that but once since we moved in here… it was a long time ago.

I want to take Evey to the beach more. We live less than a mile from the beach and I’ve only been maybe a dozen times. Need to fix that.

I also mentioned on facebook that I would really like to sit down and fix broken links and poor quality pictures here on the blog. Some things got messed up when I moved here and I would like to fix what I can.

These are my December plans, now watch as I fail miserably at them.

A story of True Love

This week is Paul and my 9th wedding anniversary. On the same date will be my parents 38th anniversary, and my grandparents 62nd anniversary. Getting married on a certain date is a bit of a family tradition. With all the love in the air, I thought I would write a cute little story about how two cute kids met. I think my parents have one of the most romantic “how we met” stories that I have ever heard of.


A long time ago, in the middle of the 70’s two young ladies, Linda (my mom) and RoseMarie, decided to go to a concert. They got their tickets to see Electric Light Orchestra and Journey playing at the local concert hall. I can only imagine how excited they were, I mean they were going to see Journey! Actually I do believe they were going to see ELO, but still… JOURNEY! I bet as they were getting ready for the concert that night they took their time getting ready, braiding their hair, picking out the perfect outfit.

On the other side of town there were two guys Scott (my dad) and Mario, they were very excited to see Journey. They didn’t spend nearly as much time primping as the ladies, but they still put some thought into making their hair look good, and picking out the perfect big chunky boots to go with their wide collar shirts that were so fashionable in the mid 70’s. Also making sure to smuggle a bottle of rum in those big clunky boots.

me on guitar

The guys arrived at the concert and decided to try to score seats up front, but the concert was nearly sold out so they ended up in their assigned seats several rows back. Lucky for me those seats happened to be next to two beautiful ladies. During the show the guys chatted up the ladies a bit, but most of the time was spent consuming their smuggled alcohol and smoking… other things. At one point one of the ladies, Linda had to get up to use the ladies room, and upon returning her clunky 70’s style shoes tripped over Scott’s big boots, and she fell into his lap.  She claims it was the shoes, he says it was lust. But whatever it was, something sparked.

That night the guys walked the ladies to their car and they went out afterwards for a coke. They talked and learned my Scott was a student and Mario worked at a gas station. That night they learned a bit about each other but didn’t exchange numbers, the girls had to  hunt down my Mario at his work to score another night out with them. RoseMarie wasn’t really interested in my Mario, but she played a wonderful wing-man that night because Linda was able to give Scott her phone number.

I guess you could say the rest is history. They ended up getting together a few times and now here we are.

the dress


I asked my parents for their version of how they met, and my mom had each of them write their own version. It’s hilarious guys. My dad was such a rebel and my mom was such a good girl. You can see it in the writing.  If you are interested in reading their version you can find it here in the link below, I added it because I just can’t keep it to myself.

How They Met Google Docs

I don’t wear my wedding ring.

Amazing what a difference a cleaning can make!

A photo posted by Alana ? (@alanamarie26) on

I love my husband with my whole heart. But I don’t wear my rings. I actually stopped wearing them when I was pregnant in 2012 because I was all bloated and worried they would get stuck on my fingers and I would have to have them cut off. Then they didn’t fit because I never lost all the weight after E was born. I gradually stopped wearing any jewelry besides my lip ring. Eventually necklaces got taken off because Evey McGrabbyHands will yank on them, earrings are the same deal. I had one pair that worked great, but I lost the back and cannot find one that fits. Now the only jewelry I wear is my lip ring, which I can’t even get off right now, so it’s just stuck there.

I sometimes feel weird because I don’t have them on. Or I feel like people may be judging me because I don’t have them, maybe they are making assumptions about my marital situation. But the truth is I have gotten so used to not wearing them that they feel weird now. The times I do wear them I am hyper paranoid that I am going to loose them. I think I need to get a simple band, so I can have something on that finger, but nothing too fancy that I would die if I lost it. My wedding band from our ceremony is simple white gold, but it still doesn’t fit, maybe it will again someday.