#IHadaMiscarriage – My Miscarriage Story

Today, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and the month of October is designated Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. President Ronald Reagan first dedicated this month in October 1988. 

October 15th is a day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death which includes, but is not limited to, miscarriage, still birth, SIDS or the death of a newborn. Each year this day is observed with remembrance ceremonies and candle-lighting vigils.

My Miscarriage Story

In April 2016, I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks, 2 days gestation. It had been 1,208 days since we started trying to have a family, that is 3 years, 3 months and 22 days. It was the first time in my life that I had ever been pregnant, and my heart broke into a million pieces.

After trying to conceive naturally and with medical assistance, we decided to begin the IVF (in-vitro fertilization) process as our last resort in 2016.

We had a successful egg retrieval and decided to transfer two frozen embryos, the two highest quality, on March 8, 2016.

2016-03-08-07-31-42.jpg
Babies’ first photo!

After a few days of bed rest, I went back to normal life. Nine days after my FET (frozen embryo transfer), I was scheduled to get a blood draw to see if I was pregnant. I know lots of women start taking home pregnancy tests every day after their transfer, but I refrained from doing this since I knew it would drive me nuts. However, while I was waiting for my blood results to come back, I could not stand it any longer and took a home pregnancy test. It was POSITIVE! My blood draw also confirmed that I was pregnant!

2016-03-17 15.07.17
My first ever positive pregnancy test!

I took another home pregnancy test two days later, and then had my second blood draw two days after that. Still pregnant! However, my blood test results did not have the numbers my doctor was hoping for. This was the first sign that things were not progressing as it should be.

Two weeks later, I returned to my doctor’s office for our first ultrasound. This was super exciting for me because we should be able to hear a heartbeat. Look! It’s my old friend Wanda!

2016-04-04 08.37.35

We found out that only one of the embryos stuck. The other one did not make it to implantation. We were able to hear a heartbeat but the doctor pointed out that the ultrasound was also not as expected because the area around the embryo was so small. If you look at the ultrasound, the black area surrounding the embryo is usually much larger than this.

2016-04-04 10.02.11
First ultrasound

I headed back home after and carried on. There was nothing to do but see what happens. Although my doctor did give us an indication that the pregnancy might not progress normally, all we could do was hope for the best.

Hubby took my very first baby bump photo for me at 6 weeks gestation.

2016-04-07 20.28.34
6 Weeks Pregnant

Two weeks after my first ultrasound, I was scheduled to see my OBGYN who would be taking over care of my pregnancy. We had a long conversation about what to expect in terms of my prenatal care, and at the end of my appointment, she wanted to look at the baby with a portable ultrasound machine. I knew something was wrong because there was no heartbeat coming from the machine. She didn’t show me any pictures of the baby and then she said she wanted to send me to the high-powered ultrasound machine. I waited and was taken to the ultrasound room later. The ultrasound tech did not really say anything to me and again, I heard nothing from the machine in terms of the heartbeat. The tech sent me back to the exam room, and I was told to wait for the doctor.

That is when I finally got the news. The baby had basically stopped developing right after my first ultrasound and it had no heartbeat. It was shocking and crushing to hear this. Even though we had been warned and I kind of knew something was off today, I was so sad.

Going through something like this is so difficult but then to have to decide what to do next is truly the worst. The doctor gave me three options: wait, undergo a procedure or use medication. For me, I could not fathom walking around with my dead baby inside of me for an unknown time period and I would rather try the noninvasive approach first before undergoing another procedure.

I left the office with a dose of misoprostol to induce miscarriage at home. I remember having a number of events that weekend including my friend’s bachelorette party and bridal shower. I decided to wait until I came home from the bridal shower to medically start my miscarriage. It happened relatively quickly and I felt pretty normal physically later that day, but the mental effects of having a miscarriage stayed with me.

For me the worst part of having the miscarriage was how it affected my second pregnancy. I came to terms that my first pregnancy was not viable, but the prospect that something could go wrong at any time haunted my second pregnancy.

Every time I entered an ultrasound room, I had a deep fear that there was not going to be a heartbeat. I bought myself a pregnancy journal but could not bring myself to write in it out of fear that the pregnancy would not make it to term. I did not buy anything for my twins until after my baby shower because I was afraid that there would not be any babies to use the items.

I went through my entire pregnancy with fear and I wish that my miscarriage had not robbed me of the joy that being pregnant should have given me.

Miscarriage is so, so common. In fact, one in four pregnancies result in a miscarriage, but it is seldom talked about. I hope by sharing my story that we, as women, can be more open about this issue and support each other through the difficulties of pregnancy loss.

Advertisements

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch 2018

San Diego is having a hard time deciding if it wants to be fall or not, but since it is, we decided to get started on some seasonal activities this weekend before it is too late. Hubby was gone all week for a work conference, so it was nice to do a special activity as a family when he returned.

2018-10-06 10.49.45

We headed to Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center, California on Saturday for their pumpkin patch! Last year was actually the first time I had ever been to a pumpkin patch. When I was growing up, it was just not something that we did, but now that I have children of my own, we get to decide as a family what traditions we want to have. I hope we can continue our pumpkin patching tradition, as long as the twins will tolerate it!

Bates Nut Farm is located about 45 minutes from our home in North Coastal San Diego County. We arrived at the farm a little after 10 AM, and let me tell you, am I glad that we did not arrive later in the day! It was insanely busy already.

Unbeknownst to us, there was a lot more than the pumpkin patch going on this weekend. There was also a Safety Expo and a Crafts Fair happening. Additionally, there was live music later that afternoon. Needless to say, there was a lot going on at Bates Nut Farm!

Bates Nut Farm also has a bunch of activities, including hayrides, a straw maze, petting zoo and pony rides. There is also plenty of food and snacks available.

2018-10-06 11.13.40
Wagon Ride

We were honestly a little overwhelmed when we first got there and kind of wandered around to get the lay of the land. We saw some corrals with animals in them, so we headed over there since our sons LOVE animals. There were ducks, chicken, geese, pigs, cows, sheep, goats and, my personal favorite, alpacas!

2018-10-06 10.31.02
Alpaca

Then we swung into the General Store, where you can pick up candy, fudge and knickknacks.

2018-10-06 10.36.22
Bates Nut Farm General Store
2018-10-06 10.38.35
Bates Nut Farm General Store
2018-10-06 11.03.39
Wheelbarrows for collecting pumpkins

It was starting to get a bit drizzly so we headed over to the pumpkin patch to let the kids run around amongst the Big Mac pumpkins and take some photos.

2018-10-06 10.59.18

2018-10-06 10.53.44
Exploring the Pumpkin Patch

2018-10-06 11.00.372018-10-06 10.53.58

Then we picked out our pumpkins for this year before saying good bye to Bates Nut Farm.

2018-10-06 11.04.51

Now that we know what to expect from the Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch, I think we will be much more prepared to spend a whole day there if we decide to return next year! We had a great time. We just weren’t expecting there to be so much to do!

There is still time to visit Bates Nut Farm’s Pumpkin Patch

It will be open until Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Hours: Monday to Friday 9 AM to 5:30 PM
Weekends 8:30 AM to 6 PM
Fridays October 12 and 19th 3 PM to 8 PM

$5 Parking fee on October weekend

Check their calendar for a schedule of events, including Scarecrow Contest, Costume Contest and Parade, Dog Costume Contest and live music performances

 

Five Ways to Save Money on Balboa Park Admission

2018-02-15 13.49.58
Entrance to the San Diego Museum of Art

One of our favorite places to go to in San Diego is Balboa Park. It also happens to be ranked the #3 Thing to Do in San Diego on TripAdvisor.com

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre park with open spaces, gardens, walking/hiking paths, theatres, the San Diego Zoo and museums. The park was established in 1835 and is one of the oldest recreational parks in the United States. It hosted international expositions in the early 1900s, which left many architectural landmarks. Today, many of those buildings house Balboa Park’s museums.

2018-07-15 13.40.29
Museum of Man

Balboa Park is currently home to 16 museums. They are:

  • Centro Cultural de la Raza
  • Fleet Science Center
  • Marston House
  • Mingei International Museum
  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • San Diego Art Institute
  • San Diego Automotive Museum
  • San Diego History Center
  • San Diego Mineral and Gem Society
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • Timken Museum of Art
  • Veterans Museum and Memorial Center

Now that we are a single-income household, we are always looking for inexpensive, fun and creative things to do as a family and being new to San Diego, I have had to learn as we go. For that reason,  I wanted to share the five best tips and tricks I have discovered for saving money on admission to the museum’s of Balboa Park.

#1 Get a Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Purchasing the Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass is a great way to save money on admission to the museums in Balboa Park. This pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and includes admission to 16 museums. It costs $129 for one adult and $229 for the Family Pass (two adults and four kids).

For more information and to purchase, check out the Balboa Park Explorer Pass site.

#2 Visit on a Tuesday

Balboa Park museums offer free general admission on a rotating basis throughout the  month to residents of the City and County of San Diego and to active military personnel and their dependents. Proof of address may be required.

The current schedule is as follows:

First Tuesday

  • Fleet Science Center
  • Centro Cultural de la Raza
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  • San Diego Natural History Museum

Second Tuesday

  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • San Diego History Center
  • Veterans’ Museum and Memorial Center

Third Tuesday

  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • Japanese Friendship Garden

Fourth Tuesday

  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • San Diego Automotive Museum
  • SELECT House of Pacific Relations International Cottages
  • San Diego Art Institute

If there is a fifth Tuesday in a month, regular admission prices will be in effect.

For more information, check the Residents Free Tuesday site.

#3 Check Out a San Diego Public Library Museum Pass

San Diego Public Library card holders can check out 14-day passes to either the Museum of Man or the San Diego Museum of Art. The passes are valid for up to two adults and four children. Additional fee may be required for special exhibitions. To check it out, sign on to your San Diego Public Library account, place a hold on the museum pass, and then wait. Currently, there are over 500 on the hold list for the Museum of Art pass, but if you are not in a rush to visit, this is definitely worth trying!

We were able to use the Museum of Man pass to visit with the twins over the summer, and it was a lot of fun!

2018-07-15 13.32.16
Monsters! Exhibit at the Museum of Man
2018-07-15 13.05.08
Monsters! Exhibit at the Museum of Man

#4 Kids are Free in October

Kids can get free admission to over 40 San Diego County museums, including many museums in Balboa Park, thanks to the San Diego Museum Council.

Check out the San Diego Museum Council website to download a coupon and see the list of participating museums.

#5 Get Half off Admission for Macy’s Museum Month in February

During the entire month of February, local San Diegans and visitors alike are able to take advantage of half-off admission at more than 40 San Diego museums. This program takes place annually through Macy’s and the San Diego Museum Council.

To take advantage of this promotion, just stop by any local San Diego Macy’s store to pick up your Museum Month pass.

Check the San Diego Museum Council website in late-January to view a list of participating museums and to find out where to pick up your museum pass.

Bonus: This Museum is Always free

The Timken Museum of Art is always free!

Bonus #2: Free Admission for Youth

The different museums have vary widely on the cut-off for free admission for youth under a certain age. For example, the San Diego Museum of Art offers free admission for youth 17 years and under. The Museum of Man is free for children under 5 years old, while the kids two and under are free at the Air and Space Museum. Make sure to check these age limits and visit before they hit the upper limits to save even more!

7th Annual Celebrity Red Carpet Safety Event

2018-09-22 15.49.11-1

On Saturday, we attended the 7th annual Celebrity Red Carpet Safety Event, held on the Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Culver City, California. This fun, educational event is hosted by Ali Landry and Saarah Samadani (aka Beauty Momme) and aims to spread awareness on keeping our children safe, especially in the area of car seat safety.

2018-09-22 14.54.09
So much to do at the Red Carpet Safety Event

There was so much to do! There were car seat safety checks, an art and coloring station, flower crowns, car seat safety demonstrations from Diono, UPPAbaby, Nuna, Cybex and DOONA, a ton of high-end brands to learn more about, including Munchkin, OXOTot, Babyganics, ergobaby, Happy Family and so many more.

2018-09-22-15-11-03.jpg
Checking out products from Munchkin

Honestly, we spent the majority of the time playing! Step2 had a huge set up at the event with coasters, play houses, kitchens, workshops, a ball pit and push cars.

The boys loved the play kitchens and coasters. They could have stayed there all day long and had so much fun! There was also a bunch of water tables set up for play time, but we didn’t want to drive home with soaking wet twins!

2018-09-22 14.38.21
Having fun in the ball pit!
2018-09-22 15.07.08
Exploring one of Step2’s Kitchens
2018-09-22-15-22-21.jpg
Little brother getting his workshop in order
2018-09-22-15-23-32.jpg
Coaster!!!

As I mentioned before, this event occurs annually. Ticket prices depending on what level of ticket you purchase. We paid around $85 for our ticket, which included admission for the entire family, a gift bag and the Step2 Metro Modern Kitchen. Amazon is currently selling the same kitchen for $152, so the fact that our ticket price included the kitchen makes the ticket ridiculously worth the price.

Now, for the gift bag. It is seriously loaded with stuff! There is too much to list it all, but a few of my favorites are the Munchkin stainless steel 360 cup and the OXOTot roll up bib.

To be honest, this event was one of my favorite family events so far and we are definitley going to make every attempt to attend again next year!

 

 

Visiting Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Escondido

Last week, the boys and I went on another one of our weekly adventures. Queen Califia’s Magical Circle had been on our radar for a while now. In March, we saw an exhibit on Niki de Saint Phalle‘s work at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.  That was when I first learned about Queen Califia’s Magical Circle and decided that I had to take the boys to see it when they were older.

Model of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle from the Niki de Saint Phalle: Mythical California exhibit

Incidentally, I had previously been exposed to another one of Niki de Saint Phalle’s works when I last went to Paris in 2011 and stopped by the Stravinsky Fountain.

IMG_4168
Stravinsky Fountain in Paris, France

About Queen Califia’s Magical Circle

Opened to the public in 2003, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is a sculpture garden located in Kit Carson Park in Escondido, California. It was one of the last works of Niki de Saint Phalle, a Franco-American sculptor and artist, whose later years were spent living in La Jolla.

The garden is named after Califia, a mythical warrior queen from the Island of California and inspired by California’s history and culture.

The Magical Circle includes a circular outer wall and maze entry, ten large sculptures and is surrounded by plants and trees.

img_8172.jpg
Entering into Queen Califia’s Magical Circle
Once your enter the Magical Circle, you make your way through a wall maze until your reach a courtyard, which features 10 large sculptures.
2018-09-13 09.37.26
The central piece is a sculpture of Queen Califia standing on top of an eagle and holding a bird above her head.

IMG_8141

Visitors are able to walk underneath the sculpture to view a golden egg.

2018-09-13 09.44.13

The remaining sculptures were designed as totems that were influenced by Native American and Mexican traditions.

2018-09-13-09-49-42.jpg

2018-09-13-09-51-24.jpg

2018-09-13 09.52.06

2018-09-13 09.52.39

How to Get There

As this was my first time visiting Kit Carson Park, I had a difficult time locating Queen Califia’s Magical Circle and had to ask someone for directions. I entered Kit Carson Park from Bear Valley Parkway and turning left onto Entrance Drive. Follow the road and if you see the snake sculpture, you are getting close.

IMG_8137

Drive past the snake sculpture on your left and then turn left after the Maintenance Building. Once you reach the next parking lot, park and then walk straight into the park. You will see a sign for Queen Califia and then it is just a short walk to the Magical Circle. The path changes from paved to dirt, so if you are pushing a stroller, keep this in mind. I used my BOB stroller with all-terrain wheels and had no problems. I am glad I brought it with me instead of our Maclaren umbrella stroller, which would have made it difficult to make it along the dirt path.

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is completely surrounded by a security gate and there is one entrance into the garden that will give you access.

I was allowed to push my stroller through the maze and parked in by the wall inside the courtyard. This was a life saver for me since I have twins and it would be near impossible for me to walk through the garden without the aid of a stroller.

How to Prepare

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle has very limited hours of operation and they can change at any time. Currently the hours of operation are as follows:

Tuesday, 9 am to noon
Thursday, 9 am to noon
2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, 9 am to 2 pm

The garden is closed for rain or when there is puddling from rain within the last 24-48 hours.

Docents are available during all open hours to answer questions.

Be sure to wear sun protection when you visit as the only shade that is available is underneath the central sculpture by the golden egg. All other areas of the courtyard are exposed to the sun.

We arrived around 10 am and there was only one other group of people there. I recommend arriving early if you want to get photos without a lot of strangers in them or want to enjoy the garden alone.

Kid-Friendly

The garden was a hit with the boys. They especially loved running around the open courtyard and exploring underneath the Queen Califia sculpture. We will definitely be back later this fall!

Hike It Baby – La Jolla Murals Urban Stroll

What is one of the best things about living in San Diego? Enjoying the outdoors year round, of course! While a lot of the country is suffering through 100 degree days, we are highs in the 70s/80s! Last week, I went to my first Hike It Baby San Diego meetup for an urban stroll to view some of La Jolla’s murals.

Mural 1

2018-07-17 09.27.16-1
Roy McMakin – Favorite Color (2010)

In total, we saw about 10 murals and walked 2.5 miles. Since this was my first meetup, I did not know anyone, and that is often the case when I go to things, as a new San Diegan. My desire to do new exciting things overpowers my introvert temperament. I often just show up by myself or with me and the boys and just hope for the best.

This day, it was me, the boys and my BOB stroller, which I love by the way. I got in a great workout, saw new things and met new people.

I was not really paying attention to the route we took, but I am posting the photos of the murals in the order in which we visited them, in case you want to retrace our route.

Mural 2

2018-07-17-09-33-51.jpg
Mark Bradford – Sexy Cash (2015)

According to the Murals of La Jolla website, “Murals of La Jolla was conceived in 2010 as a means to enhance the civic character of the community by commissioning public art projects on private property throughout La Jolla. It is a project of the Athenaeum initiated by the La Jolla Community Foundation.”

Mural 3

2018-07-17 09.40.40
Byron Kim & Victoria Fu – Suns (2016)

In addition to people, we met some furry friends too. This guy or girl is so adorable and was so sweet!

2018-07-17-09-42-05.jpg

Mural 4

2018-07-17 09.41.04
Marcos Ramirez Erre – Is All That It Proves (2015)

Mural 5

2018-07-17 09.49.08
Heather Gwen Martin – Landing (2016)

Mural 6

2018-07-17 10.01
Kelsey Brookes – One Pointed Attention (2014)

Public art can be seen on other objects throughout La Jolla besides the sides of buildings. For instance, this garbage can with a puppy on it.

2018-07-17-10-11-22.jpg

This next set of murals is not listed on the Murals of La Jolla website, so it appears to not be a part of the project.

2018-07-17 10.14.12

Mural 7

2018-07-17-10-14-41.jpg
Kota Ezawa – Once Upon a Time in the West (2017)

Mural 8

2018-07-17 10.22.32
Raul Guerrero – Raymond Chandler at the Whaling Bar (2018)

Mural 9

This was the only mural that I had seen on a previous occasion. Hubby and I celebrated Valentine’s Day at George’s Level 2 and had a perfect view of the John Baldessari mural. To see it this time, we had to trek down to La Jolla Cove, which was fine by me because….

2018-07-17-10-30-37.jpg
John Baldessari – Brain/Cloud (with Seascape and Palm Tree) (2011)

We got to see the beautiful beach and

2018-07-17 10.35.15

its resident sea lions!

2018-07-17 10.38.19

It was my first time seeing the famous La Jolla Cove as well so I would say this excursion was so worthwhile for all of us!

2018-07-17-10-38-48.jpg

2018-07-17-10-38-58.jpg

I am hoping to come back to La Jolla again soon to view some more of the murals that are listed on the Murals of La Jolla website.

38th Birthday Weekend Recap

There was a time long ago when hubby and I would jet out of town for our birthdays. One year, it was a weekend in Bermuda. Another time, it was a hiking trip to Acadia National Park. Things have changed for us now that we have kids.

This year was significantly lower key and more oriented around kids’ activities.

Flower Hills Maker’s Bazaar

On Saturday, we headed to the Flower Hill Maker’s Bazaar in the Del Mar‘s Flower Hill Promenade.

The event had so much to do for the kiddos! There was Pam’s Farm, a petting zoo with a sheep, goat, pig, ducks, chickens and a shih tzu pup!

2018-07-14-10-57-59.jpg

2018-07-14 21.26.04

I understand this pig so well! Sleep is nice.

2018-07-14-13-05-32.jpg

Pam let the little guys get on top of the sheep. So adorable!

2018-07-14-21-25-59.jpg

2018-07-14 10.54.21-2

There was a little area for lounging on blankets and pillows with a ping pong table and corn hole.

2018-07-14-11-13-59.jpg

My mom took part in the charity cake walk, and she won a cake in the first round! It was funny because this wound up serving as my birthday cake.

2018-07-14-11-27-14.jpg

Flower Hill Promenade has a little playground, and the twins really enjoyed climbing and running around before lunch.

2018-07-14-11-37-18.jpg

We also got two amazing balloon animals created for the boys. Big Brother also got his face painted! That’s a little hippo on his cheek.

2018-07-14-13-37-43.jpg

2018-07-14-13-37-50.jpg

Wow, I cannot believe how fun this event was. On top of what I have shown you, there was also live music by Kathryn the Grape and a choir group as well as succulent and painted picture frame make-and-takes. We were pooped after about 4 hours at the bazaar.

Dinner at Giovanni’s

That evening, we had dinner at Giovanni’s in Linda Vista with my parents and my brother’s family.

2018-07-14 18.45.40

2018-07-14 18.44.02

Balboa Park

On Sunday, we all met up again at Balboa Park to visit the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre.

2018-07-15-10-56-17.jpg

It was the boys’ first time in a theatre, and they got to be big boys and sit in their boosters all by themselves. Big Brother really enjoyed the puppet show, while the other two lost interest after awhile.

2018-07-15-11-03-07.jpg

After the show, we got to pet the puppets and take photos with them. Hi, Baxter Bunny!

download_20180715_232511.jpg

We had lunch at the Home Plate Cafe and then continued on to the Museum of Man without the rest of the group. My parents and brother had to leave.

I checked out the Museum Pass from the library which provides admission for 2 adults and 4 children, so we were able to visit for free!

Our favorite exhibits was the Monsters! exhibit and Adventure Kids in Egypt.

2018-07-15-13-32-14.jpg

2018-07-15-13-03-43.jpg

That evening, hubby took care of the kiddos so I could go have a massage and cupping session! Woohoo!

It was such a fun-filled weekend and I am so happy to have spent it with my family.

Reducing Hair Breakage with Desert Essence Haircare Products

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

desertessenceantibreakage

There are so many things I did not know about pregnancy and postpartum. For one, I did not know how amazing my hair would be when I was pregnant. For as long as I can remember, I have lost so many hairs on a daily basis, but when I was pregnant, it became shiny, gorgeous and did not fall out much.

Currently, my hair seems to have returned back to its normal state. There’s a lot of it and I have problems with oiliness on my scalp and roots.

Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner

I was recently invited to try out Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask. The products feature:

  • An exclusive blend of Country Life Maxi-Hair vitamins plus Biotin that helps reduce breakage by up to 61%
  • Jojoba and coconut oils, aloe and saw palmetto that smooth and fortify hair cuticles and revitalize hair strands to reduce breakage
  • Botanical oils and radish seed extract that provide shine
  • Aloe and moisturizing shea butter that help detangle and condition hair

How to Use Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Products

Shampoo – Apply a quarter-sized amount to wet hair, lather and rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Conditioner – Apply to wet hair and massage gently. Leave on 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse

Hair Mask – Apply to wet hair after using Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo. Since I have oily hair, I applied the hair mask only to the body of my hair and not to the roots or scalp. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

I noticed that my hair was super smooth, shiny and moisturized after using the Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask for several weeks.

img_8067.jpg

In addition to the Anti-Breakage products, I also got to try Desert Essence’s Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner and Primer. I loved how these worked with my hair type.

Special Discount

Take 20% off Anti-Breakage and Smoothing Hair Care Products on desertessence.com with the promo code DELovesMomsMeet

Desert Essence is sold at Natural Grocers, Luckys Market, MOM’s Organic Market and other natural food stores. To find Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner near you, visit desertessence.com/store-locator

 

July 4th Recap – 2018

Hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July! We had a relaxing day of fun with the kiddos and enjoyed the gorgeous San Diego weather. It was actually one of the more relaxing days I can remember since becoming a mom. This was our second 4th of July as a family of four.

We started off the day by visiting a local splash pad. We met up with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew, and we let the boys run around and play.

splashpad

splashpad

They were having a lot of fun running around freely, but I don’t think they appreciated getting water in their faces. They also looked ridiculously cute in their swimming outfits.

After they seemed to have their fill of water play, we headed over to Breakfast Republic for brunch. They were so busy but were able to accommodate our party of seven quicker than we excepted. I had a feeling that service would be slow and I was correct.

breakfastrepublicmichelada

I don’t drink much anymore and haven’t for years, but I thought that I deserved a drink this holiday. I ordered the michelada, which is basically a bloody mary with beer instead of vodka. It was actually quite tasty.

For my meal, I got the chilaquiles and I was pretty disappointed with them. They came out barely warm and weren’t great.

2018-07-04-12-02-07.jpg

After brunch, we headed back home to rest and let the kids nap. I also wound up taking a nap. We decided at the last minute to invite my brother and his family over to barbecue, so hubby had to run to the grocery store to get supplies. The pool in our community opened back up after renovations that day, so we were going to hit the pool and grill up some burgers.

We headed over to the pool at around 5:30 pm. It was still busy, but we were able to grab some lounge chairs all together and share one of the grills with another party.

One of our neighbors brought their pet bird with her and it was very interested in the babies.

2018-07-04-18-04-35.jpg

This was the boys’ first time in the pool and they were a little frightened to say the least. Hopefully, they start to feel more comfortable in the water once we start going to the pool more often.

2018-07-04-18-26-40-5.jpg

2018-07-04-18-56-30.jpg

The guys grilled up some delicious homemade patties. They were half regular beef and half wagyu beef. So juicy and tasty.

2018-07-04 18.38.46

I also baked some boxed Funfetti cupcakes! That was all I could manage with the two guys on my hands but they actually weren’t bad.

2018-07-04-18-57-52.jpg

Once we finished dinner, it was already past the boys’ bedtime and we still had to give them baths and get them ready for bed.

I was hoping to watch some fireworks on tv, but our tv decided to have issues this week and we basically had to reset the whole system and have not had time to reprogram it yet. We also could not see any of the fireworks from our place, so none for us this year. One of the things I am thankful for about not living in New Mexico anymore is that fireworks are illegal here for regular folks to buy. Woohoo! So no more weekend after weekend of fireworks in our neighborhood.

Hope you all had a fun, safe and relaxing July 4th!

Visiting the San Diego County Fair with Twins

This week, the boys and I visited the San Diego County Fair for the first time. This annual event is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and is the largest county fair in the nation!

The fair has a different theme each year, and this year’s theme was “How Sweet It Is!” Such a fun, happy and colorful theme, which gave us plenty of opportunities for photos.

2018-06-27-11-45-24.jpg

I honestly think this has been our most ambitious outing to date, and I was quite nervous about how our day would turn out! Along with our double stroller, I made sure to pack hats, shoes, lunches (for them), sunscreen and water for the whole family. The boys wound up spending the majority of the time in the stroller, just taking things in. They did not really complain at all throughout the time we were at the fair.

We arrived just after the gates opened at 11 AM, and by the time we parked, walked over, got through the gate and lathered up with sunscreen, the first Pig Race of the day was about to go down!

Pig Races

I managed to get the boys out of the stroller and find us seats in the bleachers on my own. A twin momma’s gotta do what a twin momma’s gotta do! The race was hilarious because only one pig ran to the finish line!

2018-06-27 11.32.50

Livestock Viewing

My boys absolutely love animals and so do I, so we made a stop to some of the livestock viewing areas and saw goats, sheep, cows, chicken, turkeys, bunnies and more!

2018-06-27 11.42.02

2018-06-27-11-42-56.jpg

Theme Exhibit

Because of the “How Sweet It is” theme, this year’s fair featured a candy-themed exhibition with the history of candy-making, a candy-themed performance, shopping opportunities and photo opps! It was so cute!

2018-06-27-11-58-52.jpg

I’m actually not a huge candy person (chocolate for me!) but I thought the whole set-up was ridiculously fun!

2018-06-27-13-21-56.jpg

2018-06-27-11-55-41.jpg

2018-06-27-13-20-02.jpg

2018-06-27-13-22-33.jpg

2018-06-27-11-55-58.jpg

Fair Food

After walking around for about an hour, it was time to settle in and find some food. I have visited the Texas State Fair a number of times, and the fair food is a big deal at that event every year. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of information on the fair food at the San Diego County Fair. I had no idea where to go, what was new this year or what was available except for what I could see from walking around.

2018-06-27 12.57.44

I really wanted a corn dog, so I stopped at the first stand that I saw that had them. Big mistake. I wound up with a corn dog the size of my forearm that cost $12. I was only able to finish about 1/3 of it and it wasn’t even tasty! Ugh!

2018-06-27-12-05-55.jpg

I was pretty annoyed by my fair food fail for the rest of the day because I did not have room to sample anything else. Boohoo!

Besides this unicorn leg, I did not see anything else that seemed “special,” in that all of the food was standard fair food. I did hear that there was a ramen burrito somewhere but I did not see it. I was hoping to see more interesting and strange food. Maybe I just missed it. Oh well.

2018-06-27-12-32-29.jpg

2018-06-27-12-46-27-e1530509201495.jpg

CA Grown Exhibit

The California Grown exhibit focuses on the important place agriculture has in California and San Diego. We found the exhibit to be informative and interesting for both the kids and I.

There were more animals to see, including chickens, cows and llamas.

2018-06-27 13.30.46

The boys got to play in a corn sandbox too! Only problem was that they kept trying to put the corn in their mouths!

Flower and Garden Show

The Flower and Garden Show was the last place we visited. They boys loved the model train set, which was also candy-themed.

2018-06-27 13.07.36

They also did not seem to mind that I wanted to check out the ribbon-winning flowers and displays.

2018-06-27-13-00-06.jpg

2018-06-27-13-02-08.jpg

In total, we spent about three hours at the fair and did not come close to seeing everything, but that was okay. Rides and games are not the top priority for me when going to the fair, and since the boys are so young, those are things that we can save for when they get bigger.

As we were leaving, I had a difficult time finding our car, so we wound up wandering the parking lot for about 10 minutes before we were able to leave. Despite the couple of hiccups that we experienced, I had a really good time at the fair! Hopefully, we can make it back again next year.

Tips:

  • Prioritize what you want to see and do. The fair website has of good information on how to plan your visit.
  • There is a lot to see, so don’t expect to see everything in one visit, if you are like us and only plan to spend a few hours versus the entire day and night at the fair.
  • Remember what gate you entered through and where you parked. The parking lots don’t have section markers, so I suggest counting the number of rows back you are in and finding a landmark to remember where you parked.
  • Bring lots of sun protection! Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Also, unopened water bottles are permitted, and empty reusable bottles and sippy cups are permitted. I bought bottled water before we got to the fair and filled my bottle and sippy cups once we got through the security gate.
  • Bring wipes and hand sanitizer. You will come into contact with lots of germs, especially if you visit the livestock viewing areas. While there are hand washing stations around the fairgrounds, having wipes and hand sanitizer on me made me feel better, especially since the boys are still putting their hands in their mouths a lot!