Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Disneyland Day Trip

Disneyland Day Trip! Well, I wanted to post a quick blog to recap our visit to Disneyland last Friday during the Lunar New Year celebration. We had overall a good day. I tried to keep our spending under $100, which I failed. But we had a good time and a memorable day trip. 

Albert remembers the treehouse; he's still talking about it 3 days later. While riding the teacups for the first time, he was brave but didn't enjoy Star Wars Smuggler's Run. He was scared because they locked us in the spaceship. He didn't like that they sealed the exit. He loves the Blue Milk and had fun talking to the droids outside the droid depot. 

Cars Land is still his favorite place but causes more meltdowns than any other place in the two parks. He's still obsessed with coin collecting. He didn't really register that Web Slingers is about Spiderman and isn't impressed with Avengers Campus in general, with the exception of the oversized pretzel. He's still not super into parades, but he had fun blowing bubbles with his bubble wand during Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. 

He danced like crazy at the Disney Jr Dance Party, although he complained that the music was too loud. He surprised me by having fun in Frontierland, pretending to shoot cannonballs over the fort. If you ever try to recreate the magic from a previous trip to Disneyland, that is a mistake. It's much better to go with the flow and let each trip show you something new.

5am leave house
6am arrive Garden Walk
6:30 walk to park
7am security
7:30 gate

$10.63 Coffee + cake pops
$9.68 chips + juice

8am Jungle cruise
8:30 treehouse

$20 pirate coins

9am Pooh Corner
10am Galaxy's Edge

$4.30 chips
$18.30 blue + green milk

11am Fantasyland
(carousel and teacups)
11:30 Small world

$19.38 two cars
$10.17 lunch stew

12:45 Lunar New Year Parade
1:20 avengers assemble

$12.60 pym pretzel 🥨

2pm Cars Land

$9.60 for Guido + Luigi

3pm walk around Pixar Pier
4pm Disney jr dance party
4:30 Frontierland snacks

$5.50 fruit popsicle
$7.53 cheese + ham croissant

5:30 shaboom
6pm park exit

$119.21 in-park spending + $30 Garden Walk parking

Packing List
  • ✨Spray sunscreen (didn't use)
  • Mickey Backpack
  • two hats
  • Minnie ears
  • two pairs sunglasses
  • ✨Albie change of clothes (didn't use)
  • ✨flour sack towel (didn't use)
  • Think sunscreen bag
  • phone charger / battery
  • first aid kit
  • 5 toy cars
  • Albie medications
  • 3 diapers
  • ✨wetbag for dirty laundry (didn't use)
  • glasses lens cleaner
  • bubble fidget toy
  • bubble wand + extra bubbles
  • ✨AA Batteries + screwdriver (didn't bring)
  • Diaper change kit
  • Tow Mater + remote control
  • ✨Photopass QR card (didn't bring)
  • extra ziploc bags
  • BOB stroller
  • Water bottle
  • Red Snack Bag
  • ✨raisins (didn't use)
  • ✨apple (didn't use)
  • ✨goldfish (didn't use)
  • ✨cheerios (didn't use)
  • ✨pretzels (didn't use)
  • Insulated Cooler
  • milk
  • juice
  • Cucumber
  • Blueberries
  • raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • plastic silverware + knife
  • reusable straws
  • string cheese
  • ✨three fruit pouches (didn't use)
  • Granola bars
If we had wanted to save more money, we could have brought a full-size bag of Lay's potato chips since we bought 3 small bags for $4 each.

Market House is located on Main Street USA on the northeast edge, near the Plaza Inn and the Little Red Wagon (aka Corn Dog Cart). I have never been in there because the line is always out the door, but this time, we rope dropped so early that we got in and beat the crowds. It was a waste, though, since I never drank the coffee and Albert never ate the cake pops. I wanted to sit there for a bit, but kiddo was on the go and wanted to leave almost immediately.
Troubadour Tavern is adjacent to Fantasyland Theatre, near Small World and Toontown. I got the Serengeti Stew with Roasted Chicken and Chermoula Sauce with Steamed Rice and Roasted Kale. It was perfect on a cold day. Warmed me up without being too much food. I shared the rice with Albert.
Maurice's Treats is adjacent to the Royal Theater, within sight of the Plaza, the Partners statue, and Sleeping Beauty Castle. I saw people walking away from it with something cheesy and warm, which made me curious. I had just eaten a pretzel, so I skipped the pretzel cheese bread and opted for the Ham and Cheese Croissant instead. It was something easy, quick, cheap and hot.
As Imagineer Alex Wright wrote, Main Street USA presents "fanciful flair" and gives you a sense of "overriding optimism." The right side (towards the castle) has things you might need in the morning: coffee, hats, and Main Street Photo Supply Co.. The left side (but on your right as you walk away from the castle) has more souvenirs (Emporium) and things you would do at the end of the day, like one last ice cream scoop. It's slightly uphill as you go to the castle to slow you down in the morning, and slightly downhill as you leave the park to give you the feeling of getting to the exit with your exhausted kids faster.  ~MousePlanet


Main Street USA "creates a sense of intimacy, an area that was less threatening but also communicated to the unconscious mind that this was slightly different than the real world. As a result, the guests' minds are already being prepared to accept the next level of fantasy presented in the other lands." ~MousePlanet

"You know the expression, 'A man's home is his castle.' So, in the end, this castle is Everyman's home, stated Imagineer John Hench." ~MousePlanet

We're about to enter our renewal window for our magic keys and it's time to let go. I have one more reservation on the keys booked, but time will tell if we actually use that reservation. Whether I bring Albert or go by myself. I had fun imagining it was Adventureland Day (Sunday, March 3rd, 2024) and wearing my military-style jacket with explorer patches on it and my ears with animal print. I lost those ears, but I also let them go.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

grand plans

It's February?! A short month. I wanted to fire off a post quickly before this month is going, going, gone! School has begun and we have had a lot of excitement. A strike! A flood! Will things ever settle down? Will Albert ever stop having a fever? These are the questions that don't have answers.

This month, Albert has an IEP meeting. What will come of it? Will we continue to get services? Will they say he's cured? I can't even be at the meeting so my husband will have to handle it. I will say that I've been taking him to his appointments since school started since I don't have class on Friday.

We have two more Disneyland trips on the books for just Albert and myself before our Magic Keys expire. I know one of them will happen during the Lunar New Year festival and the other will happen during the Food and Wine festival, but I don't think we'll be buying a lanyard this year.

I can say that I've been able to lose 10 pounds and that feels amazing. I haven't been able to lose ANY weight, not one pound, since my son was born nearly 4 years ago. I kept slowly and steadly gaining. It was excruciating going to so many workouts and just seeing the pounds keep creeping on.

I'm coaching a run club. It's been so fun to have a group to facilitate, learn from, and be inspired by. On the days when I want to give up, I remember that I have to lead from the front and it's important to see this thing through at least until March. We'll see where it goes from there.

I've got to schedule Albert's 4-year pediatrician visit. I am VERY MUCH looking forward to seeing my sister in May. I need to make a budget for my runcations. Until then, let's look forward to this:

LA Big 5k Mar 16, 2024

OC Marathon May 4-5, 2024

CdM Scenic 5k June 1, 2024

Disneyland Sep 8, 2024 

Run Riverside County Challenge (Mission Inn Run, Citrus Heritage Run, Palm Desert Run)

Triple 5k Tour of LA(Santa Monica Classic, Rose Bowl 5k, LA Big 5k)

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

mom rage

I don't know if it's PMS, weaning, perimenopause or mom rage. I just can't seem to calm down. It happens any time I am transitioning to being with my kid 24/7 to going back to work. I don't have the joy of being with my kid. I have to do work, which sucks. And then when my kid gets home, he's grumpy and desparately seeking my attention, which I can't give because I have to cram in all the housework that didn't get done while I was working.

Last month, I had about 8 days of misery before my period arrived, it was bloating and irritability. I am already there and my tracker says period expected in 7 days. I feel like a crazy person. I'm so angry. I'm snapping at family members, raising my voice and inside my body feels like toxic sludge. 

It doesn't help that my Versa 4 started acting up. I really like having a watch and a fitness tracker. I had to retire the Versa 3 and I thought the Versa 4 would solve all my problems but it's having the same issue as the previous one. I'm hoping I can get a refund, but it seems unlikely as it's more than 45 days past the order date. I did use it to track my runDisney training (at least some of it) and the race, but for the price I paid, I would have thought it would have lasted longer.

I can't put my finger on why this little thing causes me so much mom rage. I think it's the timing with PMS and going back to work and this labor strike and trying to start the Fit4Mom RunClub. Maybe I just have too much energy and I should go for a run or walk.

It's confusing because I'm not sure if I am supposed to be on campus right now. I don't typically do office hours the first week of the semester, but now I'm afraid that if I don't do them, our pay will be docked. I have so many little stupid tasks to do to get my classes ready. But it's so hard to calm down and start working on it. 

My husband accused me of leaving the kitchen sink a mess, which I did, but which he does regularly. He doesn't even rinse his dishes, he doesn't even walk them over to the sink. I did a calculation about my "green juice" that I've been making. I estimate that it costs $2 per serving, which is definitely cheaper than if I bought it pre-made. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092D2DFV5/

Sept 2023

Disneyland at home (late August 2023)

Kitchenaid attachments (early August (2023)

Cookbook project (July 2023)

We now have three small humidifiers that are aromatherapy diffusers. I ordered Pick 4 Fragrance Oils Jul 20, Aug 14, and Nov 5, 2023. The first time I ordered just 4. The second time I ordered 8. The third time I ordered 4 but I gifted them to my sister for her birthday.

  • Californian: fir needle, lavender; vetiver, patchouli, redwood, sandalwood, spicy leather, warm cedar
  • Tiki Terrace: sparkling lemon, toasted coconut, orchid petals, white cedar, vanilla musk
  • Pirate Life: damp ocean air, fresh rain, and salty-sea breezes
  • Flying Over Orange Groves: juicy tangerine citrus bursts, fresh floral

  • Banshee Flight: fresh ocean breeze, apple, melon, orange, bergamot, lavender, bois de rose, woody violet, musk
  • Hocus Pocus: white peppercorn, rich spices, cinnamon stick, ground clove, sugary vanilla, warm musk and birch twigs
  • Wilderness Campground: rich amber, touches of musk and sandalwood, lively top notes of jasmine, lavender and orange
  • Floridian: green clover and aloe, fresh Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Ylang

  • Haunted: cedar wood, classic vanilla
  • Little Old Christmas Shop: crisp pine needles, sweet fir balsam, citrus, warm cedar
  • Pumpkin King: creamy pumpkin puree, butter, cinnamon, vanilla cream
  • Contemporary: green clover and aloe, watery green floral
The only one I really couldn't stand was Hocus Pocus because it reminded me of the cleaner that Metro Los Angeles uses in the elevators that people pee in on the subway. Little Old Christmas Shop is pretty mild, I would have loved if it were a stronger pine scent.

Aug 2023

Wilderness Campground and Californian are kind of similar and very strong. I alternate them in my husband's room because they have a kind of masculine and cologne vibe. But the ones that he actually likes are Contemporary and Floridian.

Pumpkin King was great but also very strong. It was hard to get out. Once you introduce it to a diffuser, it is hard to switch to a different aroma. I washed and washed the diffuser, but it still gave pumpkin smell when I turned it on.

I just placed another order for 8 more oils. Since they are running a Valentine's day special right now, it was 25% off. These are great for one or two or three days, but soon I go "nose blind" and can't really smell it anymore. Therefore it's good to rotate. Also I bought a cute rack for them.
  • Polynesian, sun-lit palms, calypso citrus, wild hibiscus, teakwood, island fruit, warm musk and white sands
  • Pineapple Whip, fresh pineapple, soft-serve ice cream
  • Ice Cream on Main Street, warm waffle cone
  • Bakery on Main Street, sweet confection of butter frosting, yellow cake
  • Orleans Resort, jasmine, violet, gardenia, lemon zests, dry down of vanilla
  • Sea Salt + H2O, sea salt, water lotus, wild rose, sea moss, warm musk, teakwood
  • Walter's Office; rich, warm and spicy aroma with touches of honey, rose, violet
  • French Riviera marine, jasmine, white amber, cashmere musk, weathered driftwood
  • Pixie Dust, sweet berries, plums, pears, strawberries, citrus, sweet sugar crystals
  • Churro, delicious fried pastry, cinnamon, sugar
  • Mouse Waffles, warm batter, sweet maple syrup
  • Confectionery, sugary cotton candy, raspberry

Disneyland Cookbook project (Summer 2023) 
.pdf with Hyperlinks and Photos
Google Doc without photos and without annotations

I also bought a cookbook of official Disneyland recipes from Amazon.

So far, I haven't cooked anything out of it, but I enjoyed reading the history of different venues and menus that have come and gone in the park.

In conclusion, I feel my mom rage has passed now. Thank goodness. Although I did sit here and type this for 2 hours. I think the worst part about working part-time is exactly what Michelle Obama said about it. You suck at your job and you suck as a mom. You can never be fully present at either. You feel conflicted at all times by different things pulling you in different directions and it leads to madness.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

runDisney debrief

Arriving at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 5k in January 2024
This being our first runcation of 2024, with the added pressure of bidding farewell to our annual park passes (magic keys), we were bound to have some hiccups. The RunDisney 5k runcation also had lots of quality moments.

$108.99 per 5k x 2 adults +
$35 per kids run

$629.48 hotel (because I made the mistake of choosing flexible rate instead of pre-paying) which includes two nights of parking at $20/day.

We had the car packed the night before, except the coolers, which made it easier to get up and go. We left our house at 5am to avoid hitting traffic through downtown LA.

Thursday 1/11/24

  • 6am arrive
  • 7am security
  • 730am coffee
  • 8am DCA rope drop
  • Monsters Inc
  • Cars Land - Junkyard Jam
  • Bakery Tour
  • Little Mermaid 
  • Pixar Pier walkthrough
  • 1030 Baymax bread + mac
  • Grand Cal (nap fail)
  • Disneyland hotel + Expo (nap)
  • Check-in to La Quinta 
  • Target run
  • 6pm asleep

Friday 1/12/24

  • 3am wake
  • 4am security
  • 5am race
  • 6am finish
  • 7am Grand Cal to change
  • 8am Disneyland rope drop
  • Castle walkthrough
  • Carousel
  • 9am Coffee
  • Pirates
  • Adventureland Treehouse
  • 10am Beignet + mint julep
  • Canoes
  • Pretzel cart
  • 11am Alien pizza planet
  • 1pm Grey stuff
  • Castle photos
  • Disneyana
  • Strawberry popsicle
  • 2pm Character pics / hugs
  • 3-6pm nap at hotel
  • Dinner and walk to CVS
  • 9:30pm fireworks from room

Saturday 1/13/24

  • 6am wake
  • 7am breakfast
  • 8am pack car and checkout
  • 9am activities zone
  • 10am race
  • 11am Chicken nuggets

Next time we would make a box of macaroni and cheese and split it in half. We would take half with us and leave half in the fridge so that we can eat it on the trip and right when we get back. Having the pre-made meals with meatballs slider sandwiches and meatloaf made us very happy eating dinner in the room every night. We definitely could have split the pasta at Alien pizza planet, it was too much for one person. Our goal was to keep spending under $100 per day and I think we achieved it.

Thurs = $94.50
  • Coffee and cake pops $15
  • Garden Walk parking $28
  • Bing Bong candy $7
  • Bakery Mac lunch $12
  • Bread cart Baymax $12
  • Target fruits and cars $31.50
Fri = $98
  • Genie+ $24
  • Coffee $7
  • Fruit cart $4
  • Beignet all day $12
  • Pretzel cart $7.50
  • Pizza Planet $32
  • Red rose $6
  • Popsicle $5.50
Sat = $82
  • McDonald's $32
  • CVS $50 ($20 tip for hotel)

I will add our packing list here. 

Backpack/diaper bag (take it into the park)
  • three hats
  • three sunglasses 
  • change of clothes 
  • flour sack towel
  • Think sunscreen bag
  • five diapers x3
  • wetbag for dirty laundry
  • battery + cable
  • glasses lens cleaner
  • bubble fidget toy
  • bubble wand + bubbles (SUPER CLUTCH) I refilled this 3x
  • batteries + screwdriver
  • Tow Mater + remote control (SUPER CLUTCH)
Diaper change kit (take it into the park)
  • two diapers (didn't need as many diapers b/c potty training)
  • wipes
  • poop bags
Overnight Duffel Bags (leave it in the car or hotel)
  • first aid kit
  • 10 toy cars + cars book
  • vitamins/medications
  • phone charger
  • Ponchos (didn't use)
  • Stroller rain cover (didn't use)
  • Slippers / Flip Flops (ALBERT STOLE MY COZY SOCKS)
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Walking shoes (wear it)
  • Yoga pants or shorts
  • Comfy Bras
  • Jacket / coat
  • underwear, clean socks
  • PJs for mom, dad, Albie (MIKE STOLE MY PJ PANTS)
  • Eye mask / Earplugs Anti-snoring device (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • Toiletry bag w/ toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, face lotion, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, baby body wash, dental floss, deodorant
  • Albert Pajamas (3)
  • Albert Jacket / coat
  • Albert Shirts (3)
  • Albert Long pants (2)
  • Albert Socks (4)
  • Swimsuits (did not bring, but wish we had)
  • Pool floatie (did not bring, but wish we had)
  • Swim diapers (did not bring, but wish we had)
Running stuff (leave it in the car or hotel)
  • Running shoes
  • running socks
  • Running shorts
  • Running pants
  • Running skirt
  • Running belt (did not use)
  • Running jacket
  • Running watch charger
  • Sports bra
  • Tank top 
  • Ibuprofen
  • Bounce Back Bliss 
  • Winter hat and scarf
  • Gloves
  • Throwaway sweats
  • Fleece Vest (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • Running underwear 
  • Flip-flops aka recovery shoes
  • Ziploc bags, quart size (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • Arm warmers (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • Electrolyte tabs (did not use)
  • Kleenex (did not bring but wish I had)
  • Anti-chafe (did not bring, but would have needed if it had rained)
  • trash bag / mylar blanket
  • Extra safety pins
  • Foam roller (did not bring, did not need)
  • Bandaids (I put one on a toe but it fell off)
  • glow sticks (did not bring, did not need)
(non-insulated) Snack Bag (leave it in the car or hotel)
  • Ramen noodles
  • Easy Mac (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • cheez-it
  • Ruffles (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • raisins
  • milk (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • juice
  • goldfish
  • cheerios
  • pretzels 
  • three fruit pouches
  • Dish Soap
Insulated Coolers (leave it in the car or hotel)
  • cucumber, carrots (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • apple
  • bell pepper
  • grapes
  • hummus  (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • granola bar
  • protein bar
  • plastic silverware, knife  (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • reusable straw  (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • string cheese
  • hard-boiled eggs  (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • bagel + cream cheese (oops forgot to bring this)
  • Meatloaf  (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • Turkey meatballs  (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • Slider sandwiches   (SUPER CLUTCH)
BOB stroller (take it into the park)
  • Minnie ears
  • sippy cup  (SUPER CLUTCH)
  • 40 oz Hydroflask
  • 34 oz Ceres Chill
As you pack, consider the following:
  1. What foods do you need as fuel?
  2. Are your headphones and music devices charged with entertainment downloaded?
  3. Are your clothing items washed and ready?
  4. Do you have all of your water bottles?
  5. Are you going to be racing with your stroller? If so, have you checked it for needed maintenance?
  6. If you are racing with your kiddos, do they have all they need to be packed, such as snacks, water, and entertainment? 
  7. According to the forecast, do you need to pack any additional weather clothing for race day?
  8. Does your event require pre-registration?
  9. Are you familiar with the race path?
There were no snacks at the kids race. No food available for purchase. In the future I would have advised myself to bring snacks. Anywhere you take a toddler, you must bring snacks!

Here's a clip of me happily running 

If we're talking strictly money, it was a lot to spend on a runcation. Based on the cost, I think we can try other destinations and get by at a lower cost.

I will say that it was worth all the money to get me off the couch and back into training mode. I'm super proud of myself for the growth that I experienced through this process. I'm so grateful to RunDisney for providing a training plan. I'm so grateful for the Rise and Run podcast for keeping me inspired by interviewing a bunch of Disnerds that are also runners. It got me really looking forward to the event, which got me out training. It's about progress, not perfection. I didn't do every single thing in the training plan, but I did improve. And I'm motivated to keep going, so that says something.

I was able to get a new pair of running shoes. I actually had my foot assessed at Fleet Feet in Encino. The ones I bought last, my "winter whites," were great and got me through the Disneyland 5k. But I needed a second pair to start rotating in. I hope these can take me to the next finish line. I ended up with a size 9 instead of 8.5 and a wide instead of medium.

I put together an Amazon wish list of stuff that I like for running. 
I wanted to hit "publish" on this blog before February, so here goes... Woo-hoo!

Thursday, December 28, 2023

no resolutions

This year... I just don't have the tools to do a year in review. I would source that out to AI.

Some useful tools I found are listentoyoutube

Our year in review

CicLAvia the Valley Feb 26, 2023. We biked to it down the Reseda protected bike lanes. Changed a flat tire. Drank champurrado. Albert napped on the bike. Couldn't make it all the way back home. But it was exciting.

Amtrak to Disneyland May 14, 2023. We took the car-free vacation of our dreams. Got on a bus going the wrong direction in 90 degree heat with sleeping babies. Our strollers kept tipping over and spilled our luggage in the street. An IKEA bag was a lifesaver. We got sick of the train on the way home because it struck and killed a person.

Trainfest and Universal Studios September 12, 2023. This was an epic transit and walking adventure. We did train + subway + bus.

CicLAvia mini NoHo September 17, 2023. This was the first CicLAvia we didn't bring bikes to. We walked with a stroller and ate some doughnuts.

Holiday Lights Ride December 17, 2023. We decorated our bikes with a new set of Wheel Brightz. Albert scooted the majority of the ride and we ended up with hot cocoa.

It's been a great year and we are so blessed to have our health, our home, safety and job security.

Saturday, December 16, 2023


I see a runcation in our future. This is where your vacation is planned around a run. To extend the distance covered in my workouts, I mapped out possible courses.

CSUN runDisney training 5k - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1lRAyXTnYRC1nJS-4xYMXE9b5cCxG9rE&usp=sharing

Topanga runDisney Training 5k - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1VXMuw9fTsV56tawq7dtORRGs1_0Dgtg&usp=sharing

Mason runDisney 5k training - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1KzsxlSCtFftcqmGQaE1Q59eLsIy3sa0&usp=sharing

Chatsworth runDisney 5k training - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1qIv3rFuuqsAgwZriCePSGntBLbVy1xo&usp=sharing

Porter Ranch 10k runDisney training - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1rBG6BKEq64goG8jPOXmxxn6BTHBEj7Y&usp=sharing

I learned that what looks good on Google Maps maybe not practical, for example some streets have no sidewalks and some unincorporated areas don't have curb cuts for your stroller.

I want to go to REI to get some Clif Shot Bloks or maybe just order them from Amazon.

Mama bear hat on Browns Creek Bike Path

I learned that the Versa 4 doesn't create a map, nor does it connect to GPS, when you set it to "walk" unless you very quickly hit the "^" on workout and change the settings. So when I did the practice of the Mason route, it didn't use GPS to track distance so I'm guessing the distances on the route sheet are all wrong.

So I think the distances I tracked on the Cue Sheet for the Mason 5k are not correct because I haven't calibrated my Fitbit by walking or running on a track. I'm having trouble finding a track (whether indoor or outdoor) to use.

I feel the winter solstice coming. The days are oh so short.

We are planning to ride the Holiday Lights Ride with Walk Bike Glendale tomorrow. It's Mikey's birthday. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

fun month, boring month

Our new strategy for saving money is to have one month of splurge and one month of save. We call it turning the tap on and turning the tap off. But let me tell you, after a splurge it really hurts turning the tap off.

I think we got into this pattern during May 2023 (fun), june (boring), July (fun), august (boring), September (fun), october (boring), November (fun), december (boring), January 2024 (fun!). Extending that out, it tracks that Albert's birthday and the expiration of our Magic Keys falls in a fun month (March 2024). 

Fun = Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov

Boring = Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec

Well, it's hard to have a boring month in December because of Christmas and Mike's birthday, but we have been experiencing some staffing shortages here at work so this year we are definitely planning to stay locally here. It's interesting that September 2024 is a fun month, we'll see about doing the Disneyland race that month. Maybe we won't do it. Maybe we'll do some other one. Maybe we'll just train for it and then just enjoy running for the sake of running.

November 2023 was fun. We went to San Diego. But I'm too tired to write about it today.

runner in front of christmas trees and poinsettias

I'll leave you with these two photos. First one is a selfie at the Village after I did a run that felt like 5 miles but was actually only 1.5 miles. The second one is my official school headshot. I think the lighting captured my double chin perfectly but I'm trying to just accept that it's what I look like right now and that's why I'm trying to get back into running.

headshot of professor kayla kaiser of Cal State Northridge

I recently purchased a few items that I hope will be helpful for my return to running. 
I extended my training program through to the start of next school year 2024-2025. I don't know if I'm totally nuts, but I do know that I've been wanting to do a runDisney race for a long time.

an adult in a tutu speaking to a security guard in a safety vest
Tinkerbell Half Marathon Sun, Jan 20, 2013

I got my first pair of ears and sparkle skirt from Poshmark on Dec 27 and 28, 2021. I found my second pair of ears on the ground crossing the street leaving the parks. I got two more pairs of ears on Amazon in April 22, 2023 to prepare for taking my sister and niece to the parks in May 2023.

an adult woman with mouse ears and a sparkle skirt
First mouse swag Dec 29, 2021

I guess we got our first Imagine Key Pass on Apr 20, 2022. That year Albert was 2 years old, so we only needed one pass to get in both of us. When we renewed our passes it must have been in March 2023 because Albert turned 3 and he needed his own pass. Then our passes expire March 19, 2024 unless we renew them.

Our first Disney trip with Albert May 2022

Casey Jr Circus Train with Albert

Aug 22-23 2022 + Sept 12 (Dad had a 3-day SoCal resident ticket) 1 ticket = $249

Dec 14-15 2022 (Mike's 50th Bday Extravaganza) 1 ticket = $159

Couple in front of Main St USA christmas tree

Jan 12-14 2023 (Mighty Ducks Day)

child posing for hockey photo-op

Mar 20 2023 (Albert's bday + spring break + food & wine festival) lots of rain

family riding King Arthur Carousel

May 15-16 2023 + May 22 (downtown Disney only)

Aug 21 2023 (Hurricane Hilary)

Oct 2 2023 mom's day out
Nov 8 2023 (Veteran's Day)

and that brings us up to date. So I'm also too tired to do a financial analysis of whether we got our money's worth out of the magic key. the 2022 price was $400 and the 2023 price was $450 (we bought them on Nov 16, 2022) and the so-cal resident 3-day ticket was $249. We shall see.