I couldn’t help but buying some of these cute items for Thalia. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing more of these Amazon hauls in the future. Thalia’s been wearing most of these outfits or is about to start. I love how light weight they are and most of all super affordable. Plus they are really easy to put on and take off. Something to keep in mind are sizes. Below I wrote some of the sizes to help you out. I had to buy 2 different sizes to get a feel for it : size 70 = 0-3m: size 80 = 3-6m ; size 90 = 6-9m
This Mother’s Day was extra special because we were able to enjoy it with our new addition, Thalia Abilene . Even though she is only 2 months old, I already feel such a sweet bond with her. It is slightly different than what I have with the boys. I wanted to take this time to share what life has been as a mother of 3 these last few months. More than anything, I feel like it would be more therapeutic for me to write it out and at the same time I hope that it allows someone to feel as if they are not alone in this postpartum season.
I know social media has become the platform for only sharing the good more than the bad, but that certainly doesn’t mean I have escaped those bad days. Its just something that isn’t shared as often because, lets face it, no one wants people to feel bad for them or think that they are playing the sympathy card. I guess, for myself, I haven’t found a genuine way to share “bad days”. Although I don’t share the bad days, doesn't mean I have the perfect life, because we all know no one has the perfect life, marriage and kids.
There are different levels of post partum depression and I would have to say that for me, I’ve noticed it has come in the form of anxiety. I feel it coming on when I feel a lack of organization in my home and life. I thrive on having a clean home and I consider myself a well organized person. Well, except for the garage, even though I’ve cleaned it out time and time again, somehow it becomes chaos within months. I’m sure many of you can relate. My wonderful house cleaner, also known as my life saver, helps me with the intense cleaning. I then focus on maintaining it clean, but with two wild boys it doesn’t stay as clean as I would like. That’s where my anxiety kicks in, which then seems to trigger my hormones into a slow downward spiral. Next thing you know, I’m throwing myself a pity party about how everything is going wrong. The thoughts of me not doing enough as a wife and mother, etc. There are more good days than bad, but those bad days seem to put me in a rut and it takes away all my energy. Its an anxiety of wanting everything back in its place immediately, but it isn’t getting done as quickly as I’d like. Then, all I hear is myself yelling over and over again. You know the battles with 5 and 7 year olds, right? In the end, I feel so guilty for yelling at my kids when I should just let them be. It’s so easy to just say “oh well, let the house be unorganized” but I really struggle with allowing myself to do that.
I am very aware that the anxiety I feel is caused by my hormones and with that awareness, I try to get a hold of it as often as I can by changing my tone of voice, or giving myself a time out in another room. Also, just crying it out can help so much to just move on with the day. Even in the bad days there is something I can learn and grow from. Something that always comes to mind is how things could be worse and and soon after I realize how grateful I am.
I didn’t come prepared with a list of all kinds of things that can help because I’m currently in the midst of figuring it out myself. One tip I will offer is this: meditate on God’s word though out the day. I will say that healing takes time and in the process of healing you must simply abide. There isn’t an express “fix it” way to get through it, simply abide. The word of God says “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4). Just know that God is already working it on our behalf and we must put our trust in Him. Remember this: “This too shall pass!”
I’ve visited Yosemite National Park many times in all seasons over the years. It’s a beautiful national park in California not too far away from the Bay Area (3 hrs away). As you know, we are an adventurous family that loves the outdoors and exploring. We’ve stayed in Yosemite in tents, an area called housekeeping (semi-camping), Yosemite Valley Lodge and also a near by Hotel (Yosemite Westgate Lodge) about 30 minutes outside the Yosemite entrance. Keep in mind there are other options to stay during your visit but these are the ones I’ve done. There is so much to see and if you love hiking there are so many trails that can be done with kiddos. I love how beautiful it looks in the winter while it snows. It’s like winter wonderland and it’s less crowded. In the snow season, there is a small area near the horse stables to sled. During the summer we like to spend a few hours at Senintal Beach, just be careful as the current can be dangerous. Be prepared for lots of traffic during the summer as there is 1 road and loop in Yosemite Valley. Take advantage for using the FREE SHUTTLES to visit many trails and attractions. I wanted to share how we’ve visited Yosemite.
*yosemite FB album
The most convenient one has been Yosemite Valley Lodge because it is located in the middle of the valley and it’s very suitable for families. It has everything a hotel would have and who doesn’t want to sleep in a comfy bed and have a hot shower after a full day of exploring. It also has a cafeteria, Starbucks and restaurant and pool.
This is an area that feels like a step above tent camping because it comes with your own cots, cemented table and benches and bbq pit. This works well if you want to cook your own food during your stay.
My least favorite is staying in tents but I have done it plenty of times. It just requires more planning especially with kids. Don’t forget to bring extra toilet paper. Haha!
*if you don’t have a budget check out Magestic Hotel it’s absolutely dreamy, we’ve visited but never stayed. We like to visit during the winter to sit by the gigantic fireplace and drink some hot cocoa or have lunch in their beautiful dining hall.
There are lots of trails that we have yet to do but the ones we’ve done have been pretty moderate for someone who isn’t trying to climb Half Dome. Also, we’ve done these with babies.
This one is 2.2 miles round trip and takes about 1-2 hours. It’s quite a climb up the granite mountain but so worth the view. You can see Half Dome from there. It’s about an hour away from Yosemite Valley on the 41. There isn’t much parking but you can park along the road. There’s 1 bathroom stall. Not stroller friendly.
Be sure to stop at Tunnel View on the way up or down from Sentinel Dome. It’s the view Ansel Adams made famous. It’s on highway 41 and lots of parking available. You can see Half Dome and Bridalveil fall
Lower Yosemite Falls
This trail is a 1 mile loop about 30 minutes and it has a paved trail for wheelchair and strollers. The highlight is to see the massive waterfall over the bridge. Major photo op so bring your camera. Its located in the Yosemite Valley and it’s shuttle stop #6. It’s walking distance from Yosemite Valley Lodge. I love how beautiful it looks when it’s covered in snow.
This one is quite the workout because it’s pretty steep and narrow. I’ve seen the light strollers go up but i wouldn’t recommend taking a big stroller because of how narrow it is. Its about 1 mile to get to the waterfall and you can see it on a bridge and that’s where we head back down. You can continue on the trail to the top of the waterfall. It’s walking distance from Half Dome Village and it has a shuttle stop.
We love to bring food to bbq for a day or two unless of course we are camping then more food is brought. But if cooking isn’t your thing, there are lots of places to eat at and a few small grocery markets. Check out:
Half Dome Village
Yosemite Vistor Center
Yosemite Valley Lodge
I like to bring an ice chest with waters, juices and milk. As well as an electric kettle for hot water to make cup noodle soups and coffee.
It was the first time that one of our babies was born on their actual due date. With our boys, they were late to arrive. So when I woke up at 5AM with what felt like menstrual cramps, I knew what was coming next… our sweet baby! Last Thursday, I had my 40th week check up and I was happy it worked out that way because it gave me the opportunity to tell her about the small contractions I had been having. At the time of my appointment the contractions were 25-35 minutes apart and were still pretty low on the pain scale. I found out I was only 1.5 cm dilated, so it left me feeling like I would be pregnant for a while longer.
Around 3PM, the contractions became stronger and they were timing about 10-15 minutes apart. Every time I walked, it seemed to speed up their time. I was running around running errands (yes, to some, I may be crazy) then it hit me, I’m going to have this baby today! Panic mode quickly ensued and I went back home and let Adam take over being with the kids and I suddenly went into cleaning mode, (I know, I know). In my regular day to day life, I am constantly trying to keep my house clean, because I feel that if I leave that one piece of Lego out or that jacket on the floor, next thing I know my entire house is out order. So, there I was picking up last minute toys and items around the house, vacuuming, cleaning the fridge and packing last minute items I needed. Let it be known, that I did all this stuff to distract myself from the increasingly painful contractions that were coming at me.
Around 7:30PM, I told Adam it was time to go to the hospital because the contractions quickly went to timing at 3 minutes apart and I couldn't take the pain anymore. We dropped of the boys with my mom and drove to the hospital. To me, the worst contractions seem to happen in the car because it’s uncomfortable and painful having to sit upright during a drive. When at home, its easier to be in a fetal position, which helps makes the contractions a bit more tolerable.
As soon as I got to the hospital and they checked me, I was at 6 cm dilated and they admitted me. Soon after I got the epidural, I was at 8 cm. I couldn’t believe how quickly everything escalated in less than an hour of just being at the hospital. Okay, so let’s talk about the epidural for a minute. I’ve gotten it twice before, but this time around it was the worst experience because the contractions at 8 cm felt like it lasted 2 minutes and I just couldn’t take a breath. On top of that, you can’t move and you have to pop out your spine so the needle can go in and not paralyze you for life (no pressure). So as you can imagine it took a while for me to get it and there was a small chance the anesthesiologist couldn’t give it to me.
Needless to say, I was terrified, crying and in so much pain. I of course had my husband and nurses helping me get through all of this but I couldn’t help to just call on Jesus the whole time and remind myself that there is nothing God can’t do and it was through Him that I was strong enough to push through. It’s stressful moments like these that force you to call on Jesus no matter who is around.
Life felt great after the epidural kicked in and I could finally relax. The doctor broke my water to speed things up and I quickly dilated to 10 cm. However, I waited a while longer so my body could do most of the work and allow the baby to start lowering down naturally. I ended up pushing her out in 15 minutes. For the women who have given birth, I’m sure we can all agree that it is such a relief when you feel your baby is out. All the memory of pain prior to leave the moment they hand her over to you to hold her for the first time.
Born on March 8, 2019 | 7.14lbs | 19 inches | 1:06am
Let me start off by saying how many compliments I kept getting from the nurses on my gown. My friend Karla Quiz has a line of hospital gowns that are well designed for an expecting mom. The beautiful modern prints don’t make you feel like you are lying around in a hospital but instead its a gown that is functional during your hospital stay and while at home the few days after birth while feeling more put together. I decided to wear mine right after delivery because I knew it would get too dirty the delivery. I like the conveniences of the buttons and the string in the middle to give you fitted look when needed.
Last week Adam and I spent the weekend in Carmel, Ca. It’s a small town along the coast next to the Monterey Bay. It has a European feel to it, with its style, decor and laid back atmosphere. This much needed weekend getaway couldn’t have come at a better time as we snuck in one last baby moon trip before our baby girl arrives. Our agenda entailed lounging and relaxing at the Hofsas House Hotel (in our master suite, which we will get to below) and strolling around downtown Carmel and all the lovely shops it has to offer. Carmel is filled with so many quaint boutique shops, cafes, art galleries and delicious dining options. It was not our first time visiting or staying in Carmel, but we still managed to find new things to do and discover new places to eat.
A few fun facts about Carmel I learned that weekend was:
There is not a single street addresses on any houses or business! (everyone has to go to the post office to get there mail)
There is not a single street light in town! (it truly does keep that small town feel without all the extra lights)
You won’t find a single retail chain or fast food spot in town either! (my kinda place)
Its a small boutique hotel with a Bavarian flair. The hotel was founded by Donna Hofsas and has been a family owned hotel for seven decades! It is now owned and managed by her granddaughter Carrie, whom I had the pleasure of chatting with during my stay. She filled me in on its rich history and the labor of love it received throughout the years. One of my favorite designs from the property is the one-of-a-kind mural near the lobby entrance. The decor has a subtle and classy pink hue throughout the hotel and its so pretty to look at and take a few snaps in front of (I have been known to take a selfie or two). We stayed on the 4th floor master suite with a breath-taking ocean view (highly recommend this suite). Every room has a vintage chic decor but a style all its own. Every morning you awake to a continental breakfast offered by the hotel to all its guests; which helps start your day on the right foot. I loved the in-room cast iron fireplace which added to the cozy feel on the crisp winter evenings. The hotel is walking distance to all the downtown shops which is so convenient because you don’t need worry about searching for a parking spot. We found our “go-to spot” here in Carmel at the Hofsas House Hotel and can’t wait to return for another much needed relaxing weekend getaway.
As true foodies that Adam and I are, we mapped out our dining highlights with some of the greatest hits Carmel has to offer.
FORGE IN THE FOREST - this cute restaurant has a lush outdoor eating area lined with heaters and fire pits. We opted for a spot indoors given the rain but were not disappointed. Dinner began with their award winning seafood chowder (a must!), Chinese chicken salad and ended with a steak “menage a trois” medley. We will be returning to the forest to enjoy the outdoor setting when the spring comes.
FIFTH AVENUE DELI - this family-run deli located on 5th avenue (around the corner from Hofsas House Hotel), was a perfect spot to grab all the essentials for a beachside picnic. We packed our basket with a homemade soup, steakhouse chili and some other goodies to go with our sandwiches. After much debate we ended up with the Harris Ranch Trip-Tip and Spiral Honey Ham specialty sandwich with all the fixings. This pregnancy has me craving sandwiches so this lunch spot was a must eat!
LUGANO SWISS BISTRO - this bistro is known for it’s fondue and it did not disappoint. We each ordered the Four Course Fondue Sampler which includes a salad, a Swiss cheese fondue, sliced chicken and beef to cook in Burgundy wine broth, and end with a Swiss chocolate fondue. If you are looking for a hearty meal, you came to the right place. If you love rich Swiss chocolate look no further.
THE CARMEL COFFEE HOUSE & ROASTING COMPANY - this charming little roast house was a bit tricky to find but well worth searching for (hint, it’s in the center of a group of shops, look for the small alleyway). Once you find it the alley opens up to a lovely courtyard and has you feeling like you’ve escaped to a little European village.
Things to do
There is so much to do and see in Carmel, you will need a full weekend to check all the spots off your list. Below are just a few things we’ve done while visiting Carmel that are worth sharing:
Carmel Beach - (walking distance from all the downtown shops) We took our deli sandwiches and enjoyed an impromptu beachside picnic. Keep in mind there aren’t many picnic tables to tuck away a small blanket along with your picnic basket and picnic must haves.
Carmel Mission - If you grew up in California, you probably did a few California Mission projects. There is so much rich history and culture in every mission and a great day trip to explore.
Point Lobos Park - If you are in an adventurous mood and up for a small hike add Point Lobos to your to-do list. The breath taking ocean views are the reward at the end of this trail. Make sure to bring a few bucks for parking ($10 fee) and the 9am-5pm hours.
*This is a sponsored post but all opinions and experiences are my own. Hofas House Hotel, 5th Avenue Deli and Lugano Swiss Bistro.