She’s FINALLY Here!

As I reached the end of my pregnancy, I started to get frustrated with my body and started to have serious doubts that I would be able to handle or deal with child birth this time around. When you get pregnant the first time, you really have no idea what giving birth will be like. You have no idea or even an inkling of what to expect. When the second time rolls around you have a general idea of what happens.  And when you have a traumatic experience the first time, you have fears and doubts about the second time. I had to keep telling myself to trust my body, and trust in God’s plan.

After reaching and then surpassing my due date, I was discouraged and uncomfortable, I thought she would never come out. I reached 41 weeks on Monday, August 1st, which coincidentally happened to be my son’s first day of full time pre-school. My husband and I woke up early, got him dressed and took him to school, where I was pretty much abandoned by my son as he walked (more like ran) away from me to play and yelled bye to me from afar. My husband and I went home to enjoy our FIRST and what would be our ONLY full day alone, to do WHATEVER we wanted.

2 o’clock rolled around and it was time to pick up my son from school and we also had a doctors appointment. My husband half jokingly told my father-in-law we would let him know if he had to pick up our son from the doctors office, and I added “…don’t worry she’s staying in, you won’t have to do that.” I was slightly nervous because of two reasons: 1) I had to see a different doctor because my doctor was out of the office, and 2) I KNEW they would be checking my cervix…WHICH (for lack of a better word) SUUUUCCCKKKKSSSS!!!

While in the exam room, I was talking to the doctor and telling her that nothing had changed and I was getting really discouraged because I was hoping to have that “natural birth” experience that I didn’t get with my son. Up until this point I had also denied a membrane sweep, 3 times, because I knew it would hurt, and because there’s no guarantee that it would work. There are stories of women who have to do it 2, 3, or 4 times before it works and really at that point you don’t even know if it worked because of the sweep or your body was just ready. If there is one thing I will always remember my Grandma telling me, it’s “follow your gut, you know what’s best for you, it’s your body.” During the exam, I felt a small gush and basically the doctor said that she thought my water broke so I should just go downstairs to labor and delivery. All I kept thinking was “Holy crap, she’s coming, I don’t know if I can do this again!”

I walked out of the exam room and told my husband what happened. So we went to L&D and anxiously awaited the arrival of our little one. The doctors and nurses were wonderful and I was able to labor on my own for about 4 hours. My contractions weren’t painful but they were really close together. Unfortunately they weren’t doing anything because I had only progressed about from 3cm to 4cm after 4 hours. I was induced the rest of the way and also had an epidural. I was able to SLEEP through my WHOLE labor which was AMAZING! When I gave birth to my son, I had the shakes the whole time so I was so tired when it came time to push. This time I was rested and ready to push!

About 11 hours in, I started to feel something coming after each contraction but I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling. So I just slept it off and went back to sleep.  After about 12 hours in labor, the doctor came in to check on my progress and can you guess what I had been feeling? the rest of my water bag and my daughters head pressing down. “Huh, so that’s what that was,” is what I thought.  The truth is I felt NOTHING with my son, so this was a completely new experience for me. Then the doctor looked up and said “Okay, let’s try pushing!” All I kept thinking was “Holy crap she’s coming! Holy crap 2 kids! Please don’t tear, please don’t tear, PLEASE DON’T TEAR!!!!”

After only 15 minutes of pushing, (and only second degree tears!) our little princess arrived on August 2 at 5:15am.

So to all you mothers and mothers to be: “Trust your gut, trust your body, only you know what’s best for you.”  After all was said and done, his plan was perfect and my body didn’t fail me. We are happy to announce the (better late than never) arrival of our beautiful daughter Tori. Here are a few moments from my delivery.

 

 

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Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both -- Inspirealoha.net

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both -- Inspirealoha.net

So you’re planning a trip to Disneyland? I’m so STOKED for you! Beyond excited! I’m so excited there isn’t even a word to describe it! Now that you’ve decided to go to Disneyland, there are so many questions. Where to stay? How long to stay? Visit other attractions? Where to eat? Why is it so expensive? How can I save money?  I’ve done it all from 1/2 a day to a week to lavish or budget. So, I’m here to help you break it down!

For this particular post I’m going to talk about cost of entry to Disneyland.  I’ve seen the prices rise significantly over the past 3 years alone and it’s kind of staggering.  Now, before you get angry, you have to understand that Disneyland IS NOT Disney World.  It is a much smaller resort area only spanning about 160 Acres while Disney World is….wait for it…27,443 ACRES.  Now that it’s put into perspective, annually Disneyworld welcomes over 52 million people and Disneyland welcomes about 22 million. Disneyland is about 0.6% the size of Disneyworld yet it welcomes just under 50% of the same amount of people as Disneyworld.  Don’t believe me? Disneyland has had to close its gates due to capacity and overcrowding a fair amount over the past few years and there is no signs of it slowing down.  Disneyland is an amazing place and I can understand why so many people come to this magical place!  That being said, Disneyland has a serious overcrowding issue and to make crowds more manageable the only way is to figure out how to thin those crowds, and since people are willing (and will probably always be willing) to shell out the money to visit the happiest place on earth, it just makes good business sense.

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both -- Inspirealoha.net

All 3people in this picture LIVE in HAWAII and are ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS!

I practically live in LA. Yes, it’s out of hotel rooms and suitcases BUT, I’m always there whether with family, friends, or solo.  I decided 2 years ago that I would invest in an Annual Pass for Disneyland.  It gave me something to do and honestly I’ve never looked back.  Until this year, I’ve taken pause to actually think about the feasibility of keeping my annual pass. So, this is helping me as much as it’s helping you.

When I first got my annual pass in 2013, I only paid around $650 for a Premium Passport.  The highest tier of passports available at the time, there were some excellent perks. No blackout dates, it included parking, 20% discount on merchandise, 15% discount on food, and a slew of other discounts. Fast forward to 2015 and the my Premium Passport is not available anymore, although I renewed a month before it magically disappeared.  When I renewed in September (and boy am I glad I did) it was $779. In October 2015 Disneyland rolled out 2 NEW passports and discontinued my tier of passport (fear not they are honoring it until it expires). Let’s review the Passport tiers shall we? Continue reading

Disneyland-Aholic

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Hi my name is Thalia and I am a self proclaimed Disneyland-aholic. From the time I was about 3, I started going to Disneyland AT LEAST once a year while I visited my uncle in California, I’m 28, so that’s AT LEAST 25 times, did I mention I’m from Hawai’i? Oh and I’ve been a Disneyland Annual Passholder for the past 2 years, that’s an additional 50 times (so far) that I’ve visited “The Happiest Place on Earth”.  I mentioned I live in Hawai’i right? If that’s not enough, it’s not just Disneyland, it’s Disney in general, I still have every single Disney Movie ever produced on VHS tape, Barbie Dolls of every Disney Princess, a drawer (or three) dedicated to all my Disneyland outfits, I dressed my family up in a Frozen theme for Halloween, for the past 3 years I have been trying to figure out a way where I can travel AND also work for Disney, my two dream jobs.  By work for Disney, I mean be a Princess….and I mentioned that I’m 28 and from Hawai’i RIGHT? I’m sure there’s more that I could tell you to prove my case, but, I’m going to end up looking like a weirdo…unless it’s already happened?

People who know me, know I LOVE all things Disney and Disneyland. In the 25 years that I have been visiting Disneyland I have watched it grow and change and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Magic Kingdom!  I’ve also been able to pick up a few tips and tricks along the way.  In just over 2 weeks we will be taking our son to Disneyland for the….3rd time. Yes, the 3rd time and we are from Hawai’i, and yes, I have every intention of getting him hooked on Disney.

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Here are 5 ways that I gear up for Disney Vacations with my family.

  1. Outfit Planning: It’s all about the outfit!  I plan all our outfits day by day for entire trip.  I make a list and about 3 days before our trip I make sure all the outfits are washed and cleaned.  The day before our trip (or the day of if we are leaving on a red eye flight) is when I usually get to pack and I will pack each outfit in gallon sized ziplock bags.
  2. Pre-Disney Shopping spree: I go shopping here at home! The sales tax in Hawaii is half of what it is in California. Since I travel for a living I also try to make a trip to a dollar store and bring things home. What do I buy? Anything Disney. Crayons, books, coloring books, toys, pens, containers, glow sticks.  Anything that will keep my son busy.  I also like to visit Target and Ross to buy my Disney shirts. They are usually anywhere between 25% to 75% off the price of Disney Parks merchandise and usually a lot cuter. I save some money and avoid the crazy shopping madness at the Parks.
  3. I create at least one matching outfit for the entire family.  It makes for such a great picture! This year I’m super excited to share with you what I created! Last year I sewed these really cute pocket tee’s with matching shorts and this year I got to use a serger to step up my sewing game!
  4. I binge watch Disney Movies. My son already watches an insane amount of Disney Junior. The sad thing is that there is no dedicated “Disney Junior” land so he can’t really interact with the characters that he really loves! (come on Disney what are you waiting for!?) So we watch and read books with the old school disney characters like Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, Mulan, Alice in Wonderland, Nemo, etc.
  5. Have a loose plan: If you have a plan for Disneyland and are hell-bent on sticking to it, no one will be happy.  The biggest thing to remember is that you are in the happiest place on earth and on vacation! It’s okay to have ice cream for breakfast for a couple days. It’s okay buy that $10 balloon.  It’s okay if you are eating at odd hours.  If you try to stick to a strict schedule, especially with young children, you will have an angry toddler and no one will be happy. Instead of planning minute by minute. I have a general idea of what I want to get accomplished over the span of the trip and then break it down day by day. Either way I don’t let it bother me if we didn’t get to The Haunted Mansion at 5:13 PM

Disney Fun

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What do you do to gear up for a Disney Vacation?  If you’d like for me to elaborate on any one of these please make sure you leave me a comment down below! Stay tuned for subsequent posts about staying safe at Disneyland, must eats, must dos, and more! I LOVE DISNEYLAND!

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Mini Pumpkin Pies -- Inspirealoha.net

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Remember how I said I don’t really care for pumpkin anything? It’s amazing how many recipes I’ve found lately that have really turned my palette around! Pumpkin normally grosses me out, I’m not really sure what it is…the texture or the taste. Or it could be the fact that I threw up and got incredibly sick after eating a pumpkin pie at a thanksgiving dinner about a decade ago…yes a decade ago…an elephant never forgets right?

Well today this elephant is bringing you yet another fall and thanksgiving favorite Pumpkin Pie! Not just any pumpkin pie, but MINI pumpkin pies.  You guys will be MIND BLOWN when you see how easy and FAST these little desserts are. Seriously, the cuteness factor of is at 100. I whipped these little guys out in about 45 minutes…NO JOKE! The only thing that takes a little while is the cooling BUT, you could totally eat them warm and they will still be just as amazing…if not better!

Continue reading

Baking Fails: Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookies -- Inspirealoha.net

Baking Fails: Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies

When I was about 15 and in high school, I thought I wanted to be a baker when I grew up.  I started taking cooking classes in school and LOVED it. Cooking is so much fun and a great skill to have for life! One thing that I learned was that baking is a science.  Baking requires precise measurements of certain ingredients or it all goes to waste!  Sometimes it requires increasing or decreasing amounts of ingredients to obtain the perfect result.  I just want to share with you some of my baking fails to SAVE you the trouble of making them yourself.

I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, recipes for making cookies from cake mix, specifically I saw a recipe for 2 ingredient pumpkin cookies. First let me say that when I think cookies, I think soft and chewy cookies OR crunchy cookies. Second, after I started making this recipe I instantly remembered my recipe for pumpkin cake, which is so yummy by the way! You can find that recipe HERE. Continue reading

Threenager? Myth or Reality?

Meltdowns are becoming increasingly common in our household. I’m not entirely sure what the reason is, maybe It’s that time of the month (all month long?), maybe I’m becoming a mom to a threenager. Did you know that was such a thing? A threenager? I had been hearing about it off and on for a few months now and I thought it was such joke. Why would you call your three year old a threenager? Well friends, I’m here to tell you that a threenager IS A THING, and it’s a BEAST.

My son seems to be a month or two ahead of the game, he’s been that way from, well before he was born! He tried to make his grand entrance into the world at 28 weeks, he crawled for a month and went straight to walking at about 10 months, he started speaking in crisp and clear sentences at about 28 months, and the list goes on and brings us to today. He’s negotiating, he’s screaming, he’s giving me rascal looks, he’s telling me to go away and leave him alone, he’s a THREENAGER! Continue reading

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Chips

Apples and Pumpkins are the epitome of Fall.  I have been searching and searching for an apple recipe to try and I decided to go back to this guy.  Apple Chips have been on my mind for a few months now, but I’ve been so afraid to try to make them!  Why? Because you have to leave them in the oven for so long!  Our house would turn into a sauna and with our erratic schedule, I’d probably have to stop baking or worse…forget about them!  It started to cool off a few weeks ago and I had a bunch of days off from work, so I decided to finally give this recipe a try. Continue reading

Picking Pumpkins — Waimanalo Pumpkin Patch

It’s not fall until you’ve picked a pumpkin for Halloween. Am I right? It’s pretty new thing here in Hawaii. There aren’t very many self pick farms here in Hawaii, unlike our mainland counterparts, pumpkin patches have only been around for maaayybeee the last 10 or so years? I could totally be wrong, but I know that I surely didn’t go pumpkin picking when I was little. The closest I got to carving a pumpkin, was getting those really, REALLY, tiny pumpkins from the market, and drawing a face on them with a sharpie.

Pumpkin Picking -- Waimanalo Farms Pumpkin Patch --Inspirealoha.net

Since the advent of Pinterest, pumpkin patches have been on my mind. When my son was born, I obsessed…I mean, I carefully calculated the opportunity to take one of those super cute pumpkin patch pictures that are splattered ALL OVER Pinterest. Wait, what I mean to say is that I really wanted to have a great time picking a pumpkin from a farm, instead of Sams Club. Who am I kidding, I just wanted a good picture. We took my son when he was about to turn 1, it was a horrible experience. The farm was dusty, little man was fussy, it was hot and humid, crowded, it was just not an enjoyable experience. So, last year we skipped it and went to Disneyland instead. #happymom Continue reading

Living in a Musical

I can’t sing a lick. Let’s just put it out there. I never have, and…..probably never will.  Has that stopped me from singing? Nope, not.at.all.  I sing in the car, in the shower, to my friends, on snap chat, I sing…horribly, and I am unashamed.  My little man, bless his little heart, loves to hear me sing.  I sing him to sleep and he thinks it’s the most beautiful music he’s ever heard…or he’s bored/tired of listening to me so he falls asleep.  I’m gonna go with the first one.   Continue reading

Toilet Training

There’s this video floating around on the internet about a unicorn pooping ice cream and how to use a “squatty potty.”  It’s pretty hilarious.  It reminded me about the not so distant past,  and that time when I thought, “When do I have to teach you to use the toilet?” which was immediately followed by “Oh shit, I have to teach you to use the toilet!” which was then followed by “How the ef do I teach you to use the toilet?!”

Luckily for me, my little guy told his grandma that he wanted to wear some panties while they were shopping, so she did what any good grandma would do, and bought him some boy underwear! (no not panties, although, in retrospect I would have been pissed but it would have been hilarious to think about)  That’s when the ball started rolling and we figured it was time to teach him how to use the porcelain throne. Continue reading