As my husband would say… third time’s a charm. We are happy to announce we have a baby boy on the way!
This is exactly the type of news we needed during this chaotic time. While the mayhem of COVID-19 fills our social media platforms and news channels, we’re over here getting ready for our little boy. He has become the perfect distraction in our household.
But I’ll be honest with you all, never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d have a son. Not because I don’t want a son, but because I’ve always seen myself as a girl mom…like I’m wired to parent girls and deal with the sassiness that comes with parenting little ladies. So I was actually rooting for a girl all this time, but I am sure glad I was wrong.
Now he is all I can think about. But I’m even happier because two very important people in my life are OVERJOYED with this news.
My oldest daughter has been asking for a baby brother from the moment she found out I’m having a baby.
My HUSBAND has been waiting for a son since our first pregnancy.
This whole time I was over here thinking I knew exactly what was going to happen…we’d have another girl, and my husband would be a girl dad for life. But instead God threw this curveball at me, and I am feeling so blessed.
To share the news with our family and friends, we did decide to have a gender reveal party. And we are so glad we did because everyone else was hoping for a boy too! To see everyone’s reactions, check out our gender reveal vlog. So many priceless reactions caught on camera!
But even before the gender reveal, we decided to share the moment together and find out the baby’s gender by ourselves at home. The moment I realized my husband and eldest daughter’s prayers are answered seriously broke me to tears. Check out that moment here:
As a veteran mama and die-hard Disney fanatic, of course my answer is yes. I will admit that “pre-baby me” would probably tell you otherwise, but after having experienced Disney multiple times while pregnant, I’m all for it.
In a recent Instagram post, I shared that every time we’ve thought about not renewing our Disneyland Annual Passports (APs) and have ended renewing after all, we’ve actually gotten pregnant! The first time this happened, I was a little upset because I thought I would not be able to enjoy the parks. But I realized I was only upset for one reason – I couldn’t ride any “big kid” aka thrill rides.
During my first pregnancy, what I learned while visiting the parks was that there are so many other things you can enjoy! So today I’ll be sharing what you can do while pregnant at the Disneyland Resort.
1. Watch the Shows
What I noticed a lot of adults who visit Disneyland neglect are the amazing shows! Depending on the time of the year, between Disneyland (DL) and Disney’s California Adventure (DCA), you have at least a dozen shows to chose from. Yes some are geared more towards children, but they shows we cannot miss (especially while pregnant at Disneyland Resort) are:
World of Color (DCA)
Frozen – Live at the Hyperion (DCA)
Mariachi Divas (DCA)
Turtle Talk with Crush (DCA)
Mickey’s PhilharMagic (DCA)
Parades (DCA + DL)
Dapper Dans (DL)
Disneyland Marching Band (DL)
Enchanted Tiki Room (DL)
Mickey and the Magical Map (DL)
Storytelling at the Royal Theater (DL)
Tip: For large shows like World of Color or Fantasmic, there’s always a designated section for persons with disabilities. If you are unable to stand and wait for long periods of time because you’re farther along in your second or third trimester, let the cast member of that section know you are pregnant, and they will find a spot for you and your party.
2. Meet the characters
Whether you’re a Disney fanatic like myself, or it’s your first time at the parks, meeting the characters must be on your to-do list. If you’re visiting the parks with a group of adults, this is an activity I like to do while waiting for my group to get off a ride. If you utilize the Disneyland app, you can easily find out where and when characters will appear.
3. Ride the “Little Kid” rides
While many adults visit for the thrill rides, let’s not forget that Disneyland Resort is place for everyone of all ages. So of course, there are plenty of rides left to do even while pregnant. In each land, there’s a ride for you. If you’re unsure if you are able to ride, each ride does have a sign with ride restrictions. The same restrictions are also posted on their website if you’d like to plan before you go.
The warning for expectant mother’s will specifically say “EXPECTANT MOTHER SHOULD NOT RIDE.”
TIP: If this is your first pregnancy, just remember that all the rides you can ride now while pregnant are also the same rides you’ll be able to take your baby/toddler/little kid on later once you take them for their first visit to the parks!
Here’s a list of some of the rides I love to enjoy while pregnant at Disneyland Resort:
it’s a small world (DL)
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (DL)
Jungle Cruise (DL)
Disneyland Railroad (DL)
Pirates of the Caribbean (DL) – if you’re missing some thrill, this does have two small drops!
Haunted Mansion (DL)
Winnie the Pooh (DL)
Peter Pan’s Flight (DL)
Mad Tea Party (DL)
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind (DCA)
The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (DCA)
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (DCA)
Monsters Inc Mike & Sulley to the Rescue (DCA)
Toy Story Mania (DCA)
4. Try all the snacks
Ok so earlier I mentioned meeting characters while your friends are all waiting for a ride right? While that’s one option for something to do while you wait, my go-to “activity” while I wait is actually EATING. Specifically, eating all the snacks!
If your friends get Fastpasses for rides, chances are you won’t be waiting more than 20-25 minutes at a time. If they’re standing in the standby line, yes definitely go see a character. If they’re using a Fastpass, grab something to nibble while you wait.
Here’s a list of my favorite snacks to nibble on while pregnant at Disneyland Resort:
Cream cheese pretzels
Dole whip float
Mint Juleps & Beignets
Smoothie from Schmoozie’s
Jack-Jack’s num-num cookie
5. Plan sit-down dining reservations
I’ve already mentioned snacking, but let’s be real, the best thing to do while pregnant at Disneyland is eat. So on top of eating all the snacks, before you make your way to the Disneyland Resort, be sure to make some dining reservations. Of course you can easily do this when you’re not pregnant as well, but when you’re pregnant I feel like you have even more reason to make reservations.
Here are my favorite sit-down restaurants that take reservation. All of these restaurants are perfect for making a reservation while pregnant at Disneyland Resort.
Carnation Cafe (DL)
Plaza Inn Character Breakfast (DL)
Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)
Lamplight Lounge – brunch on the weekends only (DCA)
For Lunch & Dinner:
Carnation Cafe (DL)
Blue Bayou (DL)
Cafe Orleans (DL)
Carthay Circle (DCA)
Lamplight Lounge (DCA)
Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen (Downtown Disney)
Tip: You can make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance. Some restaurants like Blue Bayou fill up quickly on reservations so be sure to book early if you have a place you’re dying to eat at!
Tips for Your Disneyland Vacation While Pregnant
Other than what to do in the parks while you are pregnant, here a few tips that might be helpful during your pregnant visit.
Take a midday break.
Bring refillable water bottles.
Book a hotel walking distance to the hotel.
Fly into the Long Beach airport or Orange County airport, and use Uber/Lyft to get to your hotel.
If you’re visiting during the warmer months, go inside the Animation Academy (DCA) or the Main Street Cinema (DL) to sit down and rest.
Request a complimentary “First Visit” button for your new baby from a cast member inside City Hall on Main Street.
Take all the baby bump pictures!
No matter what you do, just listen to your body and have fun! Some ladies are discouraged to go do to Disneyland while pregnant because they think they’ll “miss out” on things or will get too tired, but remember Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. So just go and enjoy the magic!
And be sure to check out our latest Disneyland vlog over at our Youtube channel – @LivngwiththeNgs – where I also share some of these tips!
Sharing my #AsianStory for my Mixed Asian Children
Happy Year of the Rat! With it being Lunar New Year, I thought it would be fitting to share my #AsianStory. This is a hashtag that has been floating around the Asian Instagram community for the new year so I thought it would be perfect for my next blogpost.
At the start of the new lunar year, I actually shared a brief summary of mine and my husband’s #AsianStory on an Instagram post on our family account (@LivNgwiththeNgs). And for context purposes, here it is again…
“In honor of LNY, we want to share our #AsianStory. A lot of times folks get confused about our IG name, so to clarify it’s LivNG (like Living) with the Ng’s. Our last name “Ng” is pronounced like “ing” but often times we get called the “N.G.” or even “Nguyen” family. We are the Ng’s because dad is half Chinese & half Nicaraguan. Growing up he embraced his father’s culture by eating the food, spending time with his Chinese family, and celebrating Chinese New Year every year. He doesn’t speak Cantonese like his dad, but has picked up words and phrases that we try to teach the girls.
Mom’s #AsianStory is that she’s Filipino. As a first generation Filipino-American on both sides of her family, she’s learned to embrace her Filipino culture by learning the language, embracing the customs, and eating & cooking the food. Did you know the Philippines has a lot of Chinese influence on their culture? Because of this, mom has also grown up to celebrate Lunar New Year. Also having grown up in San Francisco, Lunar New Year has always been a large celebration in the community.”
While most Filipinos do not celebrate Chinese/Lunar New Year, this one does. Not just because my husband celebrates it, but because my family has Chinese cultural roots as well. Before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the Chinese had already been living there for many years. It’s both the Chinese and Spanish influence that makes the Filipino culture the unique Asian culture that it is. Growing up there were things I actually thought were strictly Filipino, and it wasn’t until I was with my husband that I realized some of these things were actually Chinese. (Like eating “tikoy” aka “lingo” aka “nian gao” is actually a Chinese tradition for CNY.)
In actuality, growing up as a Filipino was sometimes a little confusing because of this cultural blend. Often times my father and I would be mistaken for Chinese, and by middle school and high school I was often asked if I was pacific-islander. Yes the Philippines are made up of thousands of islands on water that some may think is the Pacific Ocean, BUT they’re actually islands that border the Philippine Sea and South China Sea in Southeast Asia. I’ll admit at one point I did claim Pacific-islander, but it was only because it felt like other Asians didn’t see us Filipinos as Asians. Like I said, confusing.
Now as a mother of mixed Filipino, Chinese, & Nicaraguan kids, one of my goals is to make sure my kids learn about where their ancestors came from and embrace the cultures that make them uniquely them.
A question I’ve asked my mixed husband and mixed friends in the past is “Do you identify more with one than another?” And one reason I ask it is because if I’m full Filipino and already have had a ethnicity identity crisis, then I imagine they definitely have. This is something I’m hoping my kids don’t have. Right now we do our best to teach them as much as possible of each language and regularly eat food from each culture. As they get older, I hope they learn to love these things that make them uniquely them.
I know it’ll be challenging with the world we live in, but I’m hoping as Asians and Latinos are becoming more and more prevalent in main stream culture, we’ll face less hurdles.
To kick off the start of Chinese New Year, we celebrated by checking out the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney’s California Adventure. We decided to dress the girls in traditional Qipao dresses since we saw Minnie Mouse was sporting one too. Our girls were so excited to wear their dresses. The day they wore them almost every Asian cast member we saw greeted us with a “Happy New Year!” I do wonder if they would’ve greeted us if they weren’t wearing the dresses, but I will admit it did feel special for them to get recognized in them.
I never intended my second post for the month to be this serious. But like I’ve said, life happens, and I just wanted to share what has been on my mind.
There have been two moments in my life where I’ve neared death…
The first was on Christmas Day 9-years ago. Our car spun across a 6-lane highway and was hit 3 times by cars going at least 70- mph. We came out of that accident in disbelief that we were alive, and that no one in the other cars were injured. But ultimately we were so thankful for another chance at life. I truly believe angels were watching over us in that moment, and the Lord sent them knowing He had more things planned for us.
The second time was after my second daughter was born. I gave birth to her via c-section, and a week after she was born I was having serious post-surgery hemorrhaging. When I started bleeding, we were already staying at the hospital due to our daughter being tested for an infection she had. So I am thankful the bleeding didn’t happen while we were at home. But it was so bad that I lost a little more than half my entire blood supply. I was given surgery to stop the bleeding, but during the surgery I had lost even more blood that I was rushed to receive an emergency blood transfusion.
I knew I already lost a lot of blood prior to the surgery so knowing I had lost even more actually made me worry. I remember I felt so weak lying there wondering if this was really how I would die. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, but in this moment, it had felt like life was literally being sucked out of me. Instead of pain, all I felt was weakness. At the same time, a dozen nurses were hooking me up to machines to get the blood in me, then one nurse started talking to me about my daughters and husband. She asked me how old my girls are and what their names are. And she asked how long I’d been married to my husband. And in that moment, I felt the Lord push me back to where I needed to be fighting for my life. I believe that nurse was an angel.
With the tragic event that happened earlier this week, I have had a lot of thoughts about life going through my mind, including thinking back on the times I thought my time on this Earth was over. This isn’t the first time these thoughts have flooded my mind, but it is the first time I’ve written the thoughts out.
There’s no time to for hate.
There’s no time for judgement.
There’s no time for caring about what others think.
There’s no time for grudges.
There’s no time to be angry.
With Kobe’s death, I have reflected on these moments of my life even more. After each event, I knew I had to do more with my life. Not that I felt that I was a bad person, but I knew I could be better.
If there’s one thing that Kobe’s death has taught me, it’s that we all need to be better. Yes, it also shows us that life is short, but I believe we must trust in God’s plan for us. We must trust in His plan and live our lives full of kindness and with no regrets.
I can only imagine how Kobe felt as he was holding his daughter in those horrific last moments of their life. But I like to believe, as a man of God, he and Gigi met our Lord with the same smile on their faces as they had on Earth.
Kobe was a hero whose legacy span among multiple generations so the impact of his death hits hard across almost everyone I know. But I also feel as a human race, we needed this tragedy to happen. Not to make us sad, but to make the world better. Kobe was a hero for a reason. He was admired for a reason. So I believe his passing is a reminder to us all to be better.
To be better children.
To be better parents.
To be better siblings.
To be better friends.
To be better strangers.
To be better humans.
As my daughter likes to say, “Mommy, we need to be kind to one another, right?”
We all need to be kinder and spread more love. And why? Because life is short. Because life is so short we need to use what little time we have on this Earth to be better.
I’ve always felt that my role/my calling/my vocation is to be a mother so I’m going to continue to raise my children with love and kindness so they too can spread it out in the world.
Let us be better. Not just because we need it now, but because the world our children will live in after we’re gone will need it.
I know I’m a few weeks late, but Happy 2020! It was a rough start to the new year in our household with everyone taking turns getting sick so you can say we’ve been preoccupied.
Oh…and I forgot to mention I’m PREGNANT! I had every intention of doing a separate post about announcing my third pregnancy on here, but like I mentioned, life happens. Between getting sick and constantly having “morning” sickness (it’s in quotations because I literally get sick almost all day), I’ve pretty much been struggling to function. So instead of a pregnancy announcement post, I’m going to start my year with a “goals & dreams” post.
2020 Goals & Dreams
Maintain my healthy lifestyle/ keep up with working out, especially during pregnancy.
Post 2 blog posts a month.
Pass the DRE Salesperson exam.
Have a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.
Cross off at least two places from our travel bucket-list.
Learn healthier, kid-friendly recipes.
Actually use the Instant Pot and Filipino Instant Pot cookbook my husband gifted to me.
On that note, cook and bake more Filipino food.
Monthly date nights with my husband.
And with another baby on the way, have more solo dates with each of our kids.
I hope you all are having a great start to the new year. And if you haven’t made goals for yourself for the new year, it’s never too late! There’s no better start than now to accomplishing your dreams.
Can you guys believe there’s only one full day left in 2019? I feel like I’ve said this a million times on my blog, but time is really going by so quickly. I feel like ever since I became a mom, every year has just gone by faster and faster. I can still remember Zayanna’s newborn days like it was yesterday so the fact that she’s already 4 and doing things like a “big kid” just blows my mind.
2019 was a big year for me. When I started the year, I decided to dedicate it solely to me and to my well-being. As a couple, my husband and I like to look forward at the year together so ultimately our goals are always as a couple. For myself, it has always meant putting my husband and his goals first. So coming into 2019, we both agreed – whatever happened in 2019 would mean changes for me.
And that’s exactly what happened.
I committed to my first workout program, and managed to make working out part of my daily routine.
I was able to change my entire mindset on nutrition all together. And instead of hating healthy food, I’ve learned to love it by making things I enjoy.
I became a stay-at-home mom. (It’s something I always wanted but never actually told anyone that it was a goal in life.)
I started studying to join my husband in his business. (But don’t think that means I won’t be at home with my kiddos. I’ll just shift to hustle-at-home-mom!)
And then there’s the reason you’re reading this… I finally started my blog!
And through all of this, I learned to love myself more. I learned to be nicer to myself. I learned the importance of mental health.
I feel like I accomplished a lot this year, but don’t think it all came easy. With great changes, comes great struggle. In my new roles and routine, I also had to learn balance and how to adjust to new things. And trust me, there’s nothing that drives me crazier than things being out of sync. But I learned to overcome. And I am thankful for every step I had to take to get to where I am today.
And at the root of it all, this year taught me the importance of manifestation and trusting your faith. I firmly believe all my years of manifestation and putting my faith in God, brought me to where I am today. So going into 2020, into the new year, into the new decade, I know exactly where my heart and mind need to be to accomplish what I hope to.
Hard to believe 2019 is almost over, but with it being December, we’re just running on the holiday spirit in our household. We’re actually one of those households that starts decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving so we’ve been physically ready for the holidays for a few weeks now. But that doesn’t mean we forget about Thanksgiving. Being the first Filipino-American in my family, I actually take it upon myself to cook up Thanksgiving dinner myself for my entire family.
I like to cook the entire dinner for two reasons:
I LOVE cooking for my family, and Thanksgiving is a good reason to do it.
Because I do the cooking for Thanksgiving, I take away any cooking responsiblities upon myself for Christmas.
By doing #2, I get to solely focus on my favorite past-time during the holidays: baking.
For the month of December, I’m hoping to do a couple of baking related posts. First up…
As a Filipino-American, I have to say that ube is probably one of my favorite things about being Filipino. Whenever I meet someone who has never had ube, I instantly become excited to share my love for all things ube.
Ube ice cream
Ube pan de sal
… I love it all. If it has ube in it, I’m likely an instant fan.
But before I even dive into the recipe, for anyone who is new to the world of ube, it is a pretty purple yam, and basically a staple ingredient in Filipino desserts. Most times, you’ll find ube in desserts in the form of ube jam (or “ube halaya”). So to create my cupcakes, I also had my first attempt making ube jam from scratch, although you can easily purchase ube jam in a jar from your local Asian/Filipino market.
Ingredients for the Ube Cupcakes
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 to 1 1/4 cups ube jam*, depending on how sweet your jam is
2 1/2 teaspoons ube extract
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the Ube Whipped Cream Frosting
1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ube extract
2 cups heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and line your cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. combine then set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and oil until well combined. Add in ube jam until smooth.
Add in ube extract, and mix until incorporated in the batter.
With a spatula, mix in dry ingredients from the medium bowl and slowly combine with wet ingredients in the large bowl. Do not overmix.
Scoop batter into liners. About 3/4 full per liner.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
While your cupcakes are baking, make your icing.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sugar, ube extract and vanilla extract until well-combined. If using a mixer, mix on medium speed.
Slowly pour in the heavy cream. And continue whisking until soft peaks form.
*Ube Jam: to make my own ube jam I literally followed the recipe on the back of this ube condensed creamer that I found at the Filipino market.
Now that I’ve attempted my first go on ube jam. I’m hoping to make more ube jam and tackle a few more ube related recipes in the near future. Stay tuned and happy baking!