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T1d is a Beach

I almost thought we weren't going to make it

to the beach the other day. I had to finish up some last-minute things, go to the post-office, and get gas before we headed towards the coast up to County Line. Most parents can understand how difficult it is just to get your toddler and dog ready to leave the house. Well, it's even more difficult to get a Type diabetic toddler ready to leave the house because you have to make sure her BG is stable before driving (among many other T1d things). Although it's possible to hand your three-year old a juice box or candy to treat a low while driving, I don't advise it (I've tried it and it's just stressful). It's also annoying to be driving while her Dexcom CGM alert is beeping for a high BG.

Thankfully, that wasn't the case as we made the 35 minute drive towards one of my favorite surf spots back in the day. We didn't get there until a little after 1:00pm. I originally planned to setup our beach tent at Leo Carillo State Beach, but the tide was super low and the sand had literally washed out to shore leaving nothing but a cobblestone shoreline due to the super blue moon last night and erosion. There was still sand on shore at County, but trying to carry all our bags and the beach tent and her crying, "Carry me! Carry me!" was a challenge headed down the dirt slope to the sand. I wish the City would just add wooden stairs there. It'd make it a lot easier for everyone. Especially, since it's such a popular surf spot.

The waves were clean and glossy, about 2-3ft faces, and mildly consistent. If I had a T1dbabysitter, I would have loved to catch a couple waves. I quickly set up our pop-up beach tent from Costco, laid out our nylon beach blanket, set our bags inside and let her play with her mini sand toys. Excited by the next set of waves, I reached for my Canon Rebel T6i and started snapping some pics. I managed to get a bunch of shots until the battery died. Bummers.

Coral hates stepping near or on the seaweed and bulbs of kelp that washes up the sand and dries to a stinky crisp here. We surely do miss the clean oceans of Hawaii, but still glad we can still get a tan, watch the surf, and listen to the waves rolling. I turned her basal down at this point since I knew she wasn't going to eat anything until I insisted for the tenth time.

"Fill my bucket with water Mommy," She demanded and I did in exchange she eat some apples and yogurt. I held her hand and walked her as far she would go near the high tideline. She cried a little and begged me to pick her up since the water was "too cold." I stood in the chilly water up to my shins for less than a minute and felt my toes turning numb. Yeah, I'm a local Hawaii girl fo sho!

Her tiny bucket only holds about 6oz of water. I dipped it in a tide pool, grabbed her hand and convinced her to walk back to the tent with me. She made it all the way and I cheered for her. Joey, my Miniature Pinscher mix, is always right by my side and remains even when off-the-leash. He's also my mascot and model for my small biz of handmade dog accessories


She ate another yogurt and then tanked half a Pure Protein chocolate shake while I was gathering our things to get ready to leave. It would've been nice to stay for the sunset, but I'm reluctant to drive through any of these canyons in the dark with her in the car. I had to bolus her on the way home at a stop light with her pump remote (likely due to the slow gradual protein rise and decrease in activity). It's the best feature of the Animas One Touch Ping and I'm so bummed no other pumps offer it accept OmniPod. We'll talk about pumps later.

She napped on the way back and awoke when I put the car in "park." This mama was definitely exhausted. It was a beautiful day and I'm so glad we got out of the house to enjoy it. When I tell my self, "We're going to the beach!" I make sure we get there. Once we finally do, it's so rewarding to see the joy on her face.

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Here are some tips and some of my favorite items for beach trips:
  • Pack light - get a spacious lightweight beach bag that's also water resistant like my Aloha Collection "Coco Palms" zippered beach tote. It easily folds flat which is why I bought it so I can place it at the bottom of my suitcase the next time we go back home to Oahu for a visit. It literally fits everything (like what I'm about to list next)!
  • Diabetes Kit or "D-Kit" - I use a plain black zippered pouch with multiple pockets for her Humalog Luxura HD pen (insulin), a few syringes, TiniBoy lancets, Genteel lancing device, Freestyle Lite glucose meter, Freestyle Lite test strips (bottle), a few alcohol swabs, a couple IV prep and Unisolve wipes. It also has a inner pocket for a slim ice pack. Find it on Amazon. Total dimensions are 8.25"L x 5.1"W x 1.15"H
  • Get some Turkish towels already! I love anything tropical printed and am all about supporting fellow Hawaii designers like these Turkish style towels from Hoa Kai made in Kauai. They fold pretty compact and dry a lot quicker than the typical terry cloth bulky beach towels. You can also find some Turkish towels at Wal Mart (if you're lucky - I spotted 'em once last summer) or Nordstrom. Well worth the price and convenience of being able to pack two towels in one bag with less weight. Hang 'em over your beach tent with clothespins and they'll dry before you have to leave.
  • Use two different types of sunblock - one for your face and one for your body like Sunbum. It smells great and is non-greasy. It also doesn't make me break out afterwards.
  • Hydrate - get an insulated bottle like that from Hydro Flask, S'well or it's sister brand Sip by S'well (more affordable) and fill with a bit of ice on a hot sunny day. My 16oz Sip bottle fits neatly tucked in the corner of my Aloha tote. To my fellow surfer buddies, buy the biggest Hydro Flask bottle available, fill with warm tap water, and use this to rinse off post-sesh for those spontaneous surf days.
  • Tunes - I have a water resistant mini bluetooth speaker (no longer available, from Brookstone) that I love to bring to the beach and listen to either my Amazon playlist, iTunes, or Pandora music. A similar speaker is the SoundBot. Just buy it in a bright color so you don't accidentally leave it behind.
  • Juice boxes - less likely to puncture in bag than juice pouches like Capri Sun. We like Honest Kids juices since each 6oz box only has 8g carbs and Coral will just snack throughout the afternoon anyways.
  • Mini cooler bag - for other perishable food items like yogurt, berries or prosciutto which you'll need to keep you going when it's hot outside to prevent hypos. Be sure the cooler bag is any color but black - which retains heat, like this one on Amazon.
  • Snacks - get some freeze-dried fruits like Crispy Green or anything in a resealable bag like Nature Box.
  • Beach blanket - get a packable, sand repellent beach blanket made of nylon for quick drying like this one on Amazon under $25.00 USD.
  • Beach tent - the one we currently have (pictured above) is the best we've ever owned and another mom told me she got it at Costco. Low and behold, I went shortly after hanging out with her and bought one for ourselves. The Lightspeed Quick Draw Sun Shelter tent is a cinch to set up and take down. It also fits nicely into it's own bag and is lightweight (under 15lbs total). Costco no longer carries it, but you can find a very similar brand, Pacific Breeze, on Amazon. This Arcshell pop-up beach tent is pretty cool too.


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Aloha Kakou

Aloha Kakou!
"Welcome everyone" (in Hawaiian) to my blog where you'll find useful information on managing Type 1 diabetes in a fun, honest, and practical way. Life is already complicated as it is and having T1d or a toddler with T1d makes it 10 times more challenging. I'm a realist due to all the hardships I've dealt with in the past and that definitely sets the tone for this blog. However, you will also see other cheerful influences from my Hawaii upbringing and passion for design and surfing in some of the content featured. Read more About Us.

We are a family of three currently residing in Los Angeles, CA as of August 2016. It was a big and reluctant move from Oahu, but you gotta go where the money's at to survive. Jobs in Hawaii don't pay enough to compensate for the cost of living. Diabetic supplies are a recurring expense and T1d's are insulin-dependent for life - no known cure available because big pharma's suck. After you get hit with the …