Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Things to do on New Years Day

It's New Years Day, Christmas, Hanuka, and Kwanzaa festivities are over and countdown is complete with the last glass of champagne served.  Now, what to do?  There are many things a family and singles can do to start their 2016 memories.  Here are some of our favorite ideas.
  • New Year's Day is a typically a slow admission day at most Southern California theme parks.  Most will be sleeping off a late night or nursing a really good hangover while you can get an early jump on the rides at places like Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm, Legoland San Diego and Universal Studios Tours.
Legoland
  • Be part of the Venice Beach Penguin Swim, held annually on January 1st.  Registration is free but require calling 310-390-5700.  The swim starts at noon.  Learn more by going to Visit Venice.   If jumping into the fridged waters of the Pacific is not your thing, there are plenty of great bars and eateries off the boardwalk like Danny's Place, The Sidewalk Cafe and much more.  See some photos of the previous years' fun at Penguin Swim.
  • San Francisco offers an ice skating event at Union Square called the Polar Bear Skate where bikini clad females and chiseled Speedo sporting males strap on their ice skates and enjoy the day on the ice.  In Los Angeles, they hold their version of this event at Pershing Square.  For more information go to Polar Bear Skate.
Pershing Square

Photo Credit: Unionsquareshop.com
  • Take a walk down the streets of Hollywood where visitors can enjoy amazing sites such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a movie at El Capitan Theater or TCL Chinese Theater, or take photos opportunities with dressed characters lining the street.  Lay on the sidewalk where your favorite actor and actress have imprinted their signature, hand and foot prints into the sidewalks of Hollywood for a unique social media photo opportunity.
Photo Credit: Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images
  • Gather the family and camp out to watch the Rose Parade live and in person.  Tickets for the grandstands are still available at Stub Hub and Ticket Office Sales or Google Rose Parade Tickets 2016.  Don't forget, you can also view the floats up close after the parade.  Located at E. Sierra Madre and E. Washington Blvd, the Tournament of Roses parks all of the float entries so that you can see the detail up close.  Tickets are $10 per person and children under 5 are free.  Bring cash for the food vendors and your walking shoes and arrive early because it gets very busy.  To learn more visit Tournament of Roses
Photo Credit: Google Maps
  • Visit the Baby Beach at Dana Point Harbor.  This ideal location is great for picnics and simply playing in the sand.  Located off the Harbor, the bay has a very gentle wave motion that is perfect for toddlers just starting to walk.  Shelters and BBQ grills are available as well as many great Harbor eateries.  Take a bike ride, a stroll along the beach, play Frisbee or just dig in the sand.  The weather is scheduled to be sunny in Southern California, pack up and enjoy a day out.
OC Beaches
Photo credit: Google Maps

  • Get a jump on your spring cleaning.  Take down the Christmas Tree, put away the holiday lights, throw out all of the old broken ornaments and pack away the stockings.  The New Year is always a great day to spend cleaning out the old and replacing with the new.  Go out into the garage with a great play-list on your I Phone and purge those items cluttering up your life.  The golden rule, if you haven't used it in a year...ditch it.  There are many people who can re-purpose items that you are not using.  Take your stash to your local Assistance League or Salvation Army and get a jump on your 2016 tax deductible donations.
Pozole


  • Nothing cures a hangover better than a bowl of Pozole or Menudo, a Mexican staple with beef, pork, chicken or tripe.  This soup has long been claimed as the cure all for the hangover.  Served in a red chili broth or in a white broth, the soup has hominy, onions and the meat of the chefs choice. You then garnish your dish with cabbage, onions, oregano, red chili flake and all the hot sauce you can handle.  So good...my mouth is watering thinking about it.  Try Corazón Cocina Mexicana in Garden Grove or go to Yelp for places serving near you. 
New Years Day is a great time to get out and play, dine on delicious food that will help with that incredible hangover, or simply start the New Year off clean and tidy.  We would like to wish you a very happy and safe Happy New Year from the Field Trip Mom family.

Southern California Museums "Free-for-All" Day

Over 20 Southern California Museums are offering free admission on *January 30, 2016.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to visit some of the most amazing places in Los Angeles and Orange Counties for free.  While the admission is free, please keep in mind that special-ticketed events, parking or IMAX is not included in this special offer.  Plan to take cash for food, incidentals and souvenirs.
A few museums will be closed on January 30th, for this reason they will extend the offer on January 31, 2016 to help you take part in the 11th annual Free-for-All Museum Day.
SoCal Museums' website is putting this event on.

free admission

List of the museums that are participating in the event. 

  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • Armory Space for Photography
  • Autry Museum of the American West - Includes free admission to the Autry in Griffith Park and the Autry's historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington campus
  • The Broad
  • California African American MuseumCalifornia Science Center-Offer valid for general admission only. Does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions or IMAX films. Timed reservations are required for space shuttle Endeavour.
  • Craft & Folk Art Museum 
  • Descanso Gardens
  • Fowler Museum at UCLA
  • Getty Center
  • The Getty Villa -Timed tickets are required. Visit www.getty.edu.
  • Hammer Museum
  • Laguna Art Museum
  • The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum- Does not include Ice Age Encounters or 3D Theatre
  • LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) -Offer valid for general admission only. Does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions
  • Japanese American National Museum
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
  • Museum of Latin American Art
  • Museum of Tolerance
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Orange County Museum of Art
  • The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
  • The Paley Center for Media
  • Pasadena Museum of California Art
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • Skirball Cultural Center -Offering free admission on Sunday, January 31, 2016 as part of Museums Free-for-All Noah's Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served
  • Sunnylands
  • Torrance Art Museum
  • USC Pacific Asia Museum
  • William S. Hart Museum
  • Zimmer Children's Museum -Closed Saturdays, offering free admission on Sunday, January 31, 2016 as part of Museums Free-for-All


Disclaimer:  Although we complete trendous amounts of research to ensure the information we share with our readers is accurate; we encourage you to always call ahead and confirm hours and dates of any events posted on Field Trip Mom.  The vendors, museums and third parties have the right to change their event without notification.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Graham Cracker "GingerBread House" craft

The Holidays are a fun time to bake cookies and build Gingerbread houses.  At the Bosek house, we enjoy easy and fun ideas.  This easy to make Gingerbread house idea will help kids get creative and have loads of entertainment.  All you need is a few ingredients that might already be in your pantry.  Here are some of the items we gathered from our pantry and Christmas candies.
Gingerbreadhouse photo grahamcrackerhouse700_zpswvjn9jqy.jpg

Supplies:

Graham Crackers (I used 4 for the walls of the house and 2 for roof. I also had two boxes on hand just in case we had broken graham crackers)
Icing - Betty Crocker frosting
Jelly Beans or M & M's Christmas (red and green)
Christmas Sprinkles (Green and Red)
Christmas candy (Peeps)
Mini Marshmallows
Candy Canes
Gum drops or other small candies of your choice for decor
Optional: Food Coloring to paint your gingerbread house a themed color


Ensure the (6) Graham Crackers that are not separated, cracked or broken. Design the house with these pieces. 
Grab two graham crackers and position the long edges vertically.  Cut two crackers, one at a time, so that you form a triangle at the top of one end. Your cut should be from the mid point of the short end of the cracker to the mid point of the long end.  Use a gentle "sawing" motion with a serrated or butter knife.  Helpful hint: use gentle pressure when sawing.
(See photo to use as a guide.)  
 photo buildingagingerbreadhouse_zpsroq95vf8.jpg

Grab two of the other four unbroken crackers. You will then have the four walls on your cookie sheet.  It is now time to secure the walls together.  Once you have all the house pieces, you can start adding frosting to secure all of the wall pieces together.  The frosting should secure the graham crackers nicely once you add some gentle pressure.  Be careful when putting it together because the graham crackers can break easily.  

You can fill a Ziploc sandwich bag with frosting, squeeze it to one corner of the bag and cut the tip of the bag off to pipe the frosting onto the graham cracker. Another method is to use a butter knife to gently spackle it on your pieces. Ensure the end pieces with the triangle roof cutouts are placed inside the other side walls, otherwise the rooftop will not fit correctly.  

Pipe out the frosting to the inside edge of the short end of the sidewall cracker and the edge of the bottom half of the triangle cut piece and push together. Repeat with the other triangle cut piece and side wall.  See below.
You should now have two halves of the walls secured together. Then, pipe frosting to their edges to bring these two halves together to form the completed exterior house structure.  Next, pipe frosting across the top edges of the walls and gently attach the rooftop to each side.  Apply as much frosting as is needed to secure your pieces together.  
howtomakeagingerbreadhouse photo gingerbreadhouse700_zpsylpsjnp2.jpg

Sometimes letting the frosting dry out a bit helps keep the pieces in place.  Lastly, apply colored frosting to your walls and rooftop, then place frosting on your candy pieces. Gently place them on your completed house to decorate as you wish.  Use your creativity, think of a theme and make your design amazing!
gingerbreadhouse photo ggbdhouse_zpslamp2xto.jpg

Our family played together making this gingerbread house that looks very shabby chic. Making this Gingerbread house brought out love and laughter because it's so much fun eating sugary treats.  Enjoy making your memories!

Monday, December 21, 2015

44 Things To Do On Christmas Day in Southern California.

Winter break is here and the kids are home restless. Wait, its Christmas Day and the family wants to explore the city!  Okay, you want to get out and explore the city because the kids are driving you crazy.  Christmas Day is a holiday that not every business and store is open.  Southern California offers many indoor and outdoor opportunities.  To help you find the one for you, we have broken down the list into categories: nature, theme parks, food, entertainment, crafting at home, local churches and volunteering in your community. *By the way do not forget to use your AAA card or look for special offers in your area. 
Christmas

Nature is open 365 days of the year; find a regional park or beautiful beach to play in the sun.  Discover which theme parks are open on Christmas Day as not all of them are.  Hungry, tired of turkey and don’t want to cook?  Find out where you can go for a delicious meal.  Take a drive through a “Candy Cane Lane” and be amazed by your neighbor’s exterior elumination talents. Building a gingerbread house with the family can be exciting in the comfort of your own home.  Attend mass at a local church and discover some history.  Help others through volunteering your time or talent.  Keep reading to find out more about some incredible things to do.
California


Nature

Beaches are open all year long and can be a great place to relax, play and enjoy the outdoors without spending too much money.  Find a local beach with a fire ring and take your S’more makings, hot dogs and hot cocoa in a thermos to enjoy the cool, ocean breeze and the gentle crash of the waves.  Danger, you may get sand laced throughout your shoes and car.  This is just part of the California lifestyle. Some of our recommended beaches include Belmont Shores, Crystal Cove, Huntington Beach Pier, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Paradise Cove, Aliso Beach, Salt Creek Beach Park, Baby Beach at Dana Cove, Correnado, San Clemente Cove, South Carlsbad State Beach, La Jolla Cove, and Mission Beach Park

Visiting a local park is another fun way to spend the day with your family. You can also go on a nature hike, bicycle ride or just picnic in the park. Living in California you have amazing parks that you camp for the day and reconnect with nature.
Legoland

Themed parks

Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland, LEGOLAND San Diego and Sea World are all opened on Christmas Day.  While the extended family members are all in town, take this opportunity to join in some good old fashion family fun while riding “It’s a Small World”, “Minion Mayhem”, “The Dragon” or watch beautiful dolphins dance for their guests. Book online and find deals or discounts on tickets to your favorite theme parks. Here is a link to the latest deals for Legoland: mousesavers.com

California Travel

Food

Venture out for a non-traditional Christmas turkey or ham dinner by travelling internationally to experience new customs and traditions with Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian and Mediterranean food.  Try the following restaurants which have been visited by or recommended to the Field Trip Mom family.  Dim Ho in Lake Forest, China Palace in Tustin, China Station in La Habra, Benihana in Anaheim, Newport Beach, Puente Hills, Noodle World in Alhambra, Downey, Pasadena, Westwood, Upland and Hollywood, Doner G in Irvine and Anaheim, Luna Grill in Irvine, Lake Forest, and Aliso Viejo, Shogun and Wabi Sabi in Corona, China Garden in Irvine, Annapoorna Indian Cuisine in Irvine, and of course don’t miss Cielito Lindo on Olivera Street in Downtown Los Angeles. World renowned for their rolled tacos with avocado chili salsa and the chili verde burrito!

Entertainment

There are plenty of new movies out this holiday season.  Go to Costco or Sams Club for discount tickets or check your local theater for matinee prices.  Edwards Irvine Marketplace 10 offers $6.00 tickets for all show running prior to noon. Visit Pirates Dinner Adventure, Medieval Times Dinner & Show for a great dinner and show.  Drive to a Candy Cane Lane in your neighborhood, just Google “Candy Cane Lane near me”.  One specific is Lake Forest Christmas Lights located at 22981 Belquest Dr. Lake Forest, CA.  Looking for more fun on Christmas Day, visit Catalina Island, Queen Mary - The Chill in Long Beach, the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, the San Diego Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, or Harbor Breeze Cruises and Whale Watching.  Go to their websites for more information.  Go to the snow at your local mountains for sledding, skiing and snowboarding.  Take a walk through Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles where plenty of shops, bakeries and restaurants are open on Christmas day.

Gingerbreadhouse

Crafting at home

Build a gingerbread house with white frosting.  Bake chocolate chip cookies and eat them with a glass of milk.  Invite neighbors and host a small party.  Take up crochett and make yourself a scarf or beenie for the upcoming winter chill.
Travel

Churches

We want to encourage you to visit a Catholic Church on Christmas day.  Most Catholic churches offer beautiful architecture designs.  The Christ Cathedral of Garden Grove, Cathedral of our lady of Los Angeles, Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano and Mission San Fernando all offer a look at the history of California. While at the church light a candle and say a prayer for the ones you love.

Volunteering


The Christmas spirit is about giving to others and expecting nothing in return. Volunteering in your community could be as simple as delivering cookies to the local fire house.  There are so many opportunities this time of the year to serve food to the homeless or visit the elderly in a retirement home.  Any form of giving back to our community is very much appreciated by the person you are serving and the community.  Doing so benefits all of us in the end.

homeless kit
photo credit: Convoy of Hope
ICE Skating

MoonLight Rollerway, LA Holiday ICE and Ice Skating Pasadena, dust off your skates and go out to the ice rink to have some fun.  Not all ice rinks are open. Here are a few that had open hours online.  Check your local area for other similiar places. 

Southern California offers so many opportunities to explore and experience.  To help you have a great holiday season we have a few suggestions.  We recommend you get out and explore the city in comfortable shoes.  Friendly reminder to always check weather conditions before going on a family field trip.  We suggest that you contact the vendor, business or church to confirm their hours of operation.  Our research on this subject reminded us to always call ahead.  Social Media and online websites sometimes do not reflect correct times or dates.
Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How to Create a Rube Goldberg Science Experiment.

** UPDATE - HE WAS CHOSEN TO GO TO THE DISTRICT SCIENCE FAIR!!!

A few months ago, we wrote about our Sunday afternoon adventures designing a Rube Goldberg science experiment for our son's 6th grade project.  Now, with time, practice, note taking and some blood, sweat and tears, we are happy to share our story to help others with their future projects.  We want to walk through the steps involved in scientific experiment to help you better understand the process.  However, as with all scientific experiment, the learning process can come in small successes to sudden large advances.  It takes, time, patience, collaboration and the will to try alternative solutions to prove your hypothesis and we will help you walk through it.

Your first step is to come up with a question that requires testing through research and controlled tests.  Next, the student will need to come up with a sound hypothesis where there is a clear defining "True or False" response when the experimental test is complete.  Then, the student must design the experiment where all inputs can be held constant in order to control the results.  After the design is constructed, the experiment is tested where the results and findings are analyzed and documented.  Single and independent changes are made and retesting takes place so that the student can document and analyze the new results.  Continued changes, trial tests, documentation and analysis is completed until the student can ultimately prove or disprove the hypothesis with that"True / False" response.

For our son's project, he wanted to make a volcano erupt using several simple machines in Rube Goldberg fashion.  These tools include a wedge, inclined plane, pulley, lever, wheel and axle and screw.  Once he determined his goal, the question, he developed a hypothesis in order to prove his experiment.  Next, he documented ideas for completing his experiment where the rules included a mandatory 6 steps of energy transfer while using a minimum of 3 simple machines.  He documented and rough sketched a design to show the six energy transfers.  After completing the rough design, he needed to write down the simple machines he would use in his experiment while developing a list of materials needed to complete the test.  We then took him shopping and starting building the test model.  Finally, tests started and he documented the results of the tests while coming up with ideas on necessary changes that would impact the outcome to the desired result.
Rube Goldberg
Volcano Construction
He learned many new skills while working on the design phase of his project.  He first needed to make a volcano.  Through his research, he determined that spray insulation foam and an empty water bottle would be the easiest, lightest and least expensive method for building this feature.  Working backwards from his ultimate goal seemed easier to ensure the simple machines were completing the necessary actions to achieve the goal.  He then had to learn how to use power tools to cut, drill and screw pieces together after placing items strategically in place.  His experiment was using 3 simple machines however with design changes in order to make the volcano erupt; he quickly found new ways to include additional tools through some guidance and critical thinking.  When placing his inclined plane, he discovered the need to elevate one end of a Hot Wheels track to keep the energy in motion.  Lastly, he discovered how outside forces can impact your results if you do not have a good controlled model in place.  From the wind blowing over his levers to little brother's accidentally kicking the table leg to being too excited when the step up and first test was ready to run, there were many learning opportunities.
Rube Goldburg
Designing the test
As for his project, a theme started to take shape as test after test were run. His project starts with a lever that drops a weight off an elevated surface. This weight pulls off a clothes pin which is holding a marble taped to a string and wound around a pole acting as a screw. The marble unwinds from the screw knocking over strategically placed dominos which are acting as levers. The dominos fall and push a Hot Wheel fire engine down the inclined plane. Attached to the fire engine is a string that is wound around a wheel and axle to change its direction and which is tied to a cotter pin that is acting as a wedge. The cotter pin is pushed through a hole drilled into a PVC pipe fastened above the volcano. The premise is to have these 5 simple machines transfer energy in order to release Mentos (candy) into Coca-Cola (soda drink) inside the volcano to complete a chemical reaction which allows the volcano to erupt.
Rube Goldberg
Final Stages

This project required hours of documentation, design, project testing, redesign and retesting and ultimately documentation and communication of the results. Photos and video of the design and experiment were taken to help document the overall project. With nearly 60 days of work consisting of 5 minutes here, 2 hours there and 20 minutes then, our son developed a masterpiece that was truly amazing. The results of the test, "Can you erupt a volcano using simple machines?" You will have to watch the video below to find out! Are you ready to start your Rube Goldberg science experiment? Have questions or want help with your tasks, leave us a comment and our young scientist will provide you with some feedback. Get out there and answer questions you have with science!


Find more stories on Rube Goldberg: http://www.fieldtripmom.com/2015/11/rube-goldberg-science-project.html

Hurry to the Discovery Cube OC - Winter Wonderfest is on for a limited time.

For a limited time, the Discovery Cube is offering the science of snow, "Winter Wonderfest."  Go tubing down a 70 foot slope, play in the snow, go sledding, learn snow science and so much more under one roof.  I should warn you that you will need snow gear: gloves, hat, warm clothing and closed toe shoes to play in the snow.  If you forget your gloves just run to the store inside the Cube and purchase them.  The Winter Wonderfest is only $5.00 plus the purchase of general admission.  You can play in the snow from December 19th through January 3rd.  It is a great way to experience the science of snow with the family. 
winter wonderfest
We received a chance to experience the science of snow at Discovery Cube Winter Wonderfest during media day.  Our kids were so in love with the 70 foot slope and the snow sledding.  We could not get them to take a break.  The experience made them feel as though they were far away from the big city on top of a mountain.  My husband was a big kid too.  We all had fun sledding and snow tubing.  The day was very memorable for all of us. 
winter wonderfest
We spent most of the morning playing outside.  Sledding and tubing brought such joy to our kids that we stayed until they were exhausted.  We cancelled all other plans for that day and played at the Discovery Cube Winter Wonderfest until the early afternoon. We were all tired, but extremely happy.  

This winter break visit the Discovery Cube and experience a whole lot of fun in the snow. Inside the Cube, The Hot Wheels exhibit will make the kids want to see under the hood of a car.  Stop by the Science of the Gingerbread to build a car out of candy and graham crackers.  Stop for a quick bite at the Bean Sprout restuarant while you take a quick rest.  After your healthy eating experience, continue exploring over 100 hands-on interactive exhibits that promote fun and educational value.  Both you and your children will enjoy a memorable day at the Discovery Cube. 

Happy Holidays,

Alma

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars - The Force Awakens Movie

The Force Awakens - Star Wars trilogy is out today.  People have been waiting in lines for days to see it.  The series has been around for over 30 years.  It is part of the American culture to go with the family and watch it.  It all began back in 1977 with the release of "A New Hope."  Since then, thousands have become fans of the Star Wars Series.  Now, it is my turn to share with my kids this American cultural moment.
star wars

If by chance you don't know much about this series, then I recommend that you watch all six movies after you read the books. This way you will understand the creators vision.  I leave you with the order of the movie releases to help you get started. 
Star Wars

Star Wars (A New Hope) (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983), The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005) and today the release of "The Force Awakens" 2015 is the latest in this trilogy. "The Force is strong with this one!"
We can not wait to see the latest addition to the Star Wars series.  In the meantime, we are sharing a trailer and a fun photos. 


"May the force be with you!"

The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources | Edutopia

This is just in from Edutopia website a large list of grants and resources. Edutopia was founded by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Their vision statement:"Our vision is of a new world of learning based on the compelling truth that improving education is the key to the survival of the human race." 

Please go to the link to get information on grants and resources for teachers and students. 
The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources | Edutopia


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Surviving baby's first flu.

No one can ever explain to you how to prepare to be a great parent.  Each child is different and every home has different needs.  One thing that is for sure is that love will guide you to do some awesome things.  I am sharing my personal story of parenting a child with the flu. My husband and I survived our baby's first flu. 
beautifulbaby photo beautifulbaby_zpsp2gqj1ea.jpg


When my son was 9 nine months old, I had to take him to the ER.  Early in the day, he had been very fussy and not his normal happy self.  We thought he needed to be outside in the fresh air.  We packed him up and took him shopping.  As we put him in the shopping cart, I remember him wiggling and being fussy some more.  He began to cry as he sat in the store's metal shopping cart.  I reached to console him, when I saw him hit his head on the metal piece of the cart.  A few seconds later, he threw up.  As a new parent, I thought he had injured his head.  I urgently called my husband and we dashed to the Children’s Hospital ER.  Both my husband and I were scared and upset over our only son being so sick.  The tough part was our baby could not tell us how to help him.  My son did not have a fever nor had he thrown up previously to hitting his head.  There was nothing that would suggest that he had the flu.

In the ER, the nurses and doctors seemed very concerned over the baby. They quickly admitted him and shortly thereafter put him through a MRI machine to scan his brain.  What they had to do to make sure they captured a good photo was unimaginable to any parent.  They had to tie him down, restrained in a straight jacket?  I could not help them to do that so I sent my husband in to help.  Crying in the hallway is where I stood waiting for the doctors.  My thoughts were racing and I could not imagine what was wrong with our tiny baby.  As a new parent, I had no idea that he was suffering from the flu. A few hours later, the doctors released our baby with no real diagnosis other than possibly the flu.  The flu?  Could the flu cause such a violent sickness in a short time?  They recommended we keep an eye on him and bring him back if anything else occurred.  They also instructed us to see his regular doctor on Monday for a follow-up.  Monday was two days away.  Both my husband and I had to go to work.  With a heavy heart and new parent fears, we left the hospital.
banner-whe1.0-pedialyte-family.png
At home, both my husband and I took turns not sleeping.  We did not want to fall asleep at the same time just to make sure we kept an eye on the baby. We watched our baby sleep in our arms.  The whole time, his little body tilted slight upward with a pillow.  This was before the baby wedge was sold at Babies R Us.  Monday came and I took the day off to make an emergency appointment with our pediatrician, Dr. Akey.  Dr. Akey is the most wonderful doctor in the world.  He allowed me to come as soon as possible and saw my baby first.  He checked him over and found that he had an ear infection but no fever.  According to  Dr. Akey, our baby should have experienced lots of pain and uncomfortableness.  Our baby would have been wiggling, crying and most likely would have been fussy because of the pain.  This is something that the daycare provider might have experienced and should have mentioned to us. After talking to the doctor, I realized that our baby got sick at daycare.  He most likely had had a fever while my husband and I were at work.  The daycare had a high volume of kids and perhaps did not check on him enough.  Once I had all the information from the doctor and hospital, I realized that our baby had had a terrible flu.  The head scan was unnecessary and my daycare provider was overcrowded.  I left the doctor’s office with concerns over the caregiver and my role as a working mother.

Not trusting my instincts and having a mortgage to pay for, I continued to work a full-time job and taking my only son, at that time, to daycare.  The daycare was close to my work and it had been recommended by a co-worker. She was pleasant and kind to me for the five minutes we saw each other Monday through Friday.  I was new a parent and I did not know much about parenting or caring for a baby.  Our lack of experience forced us to trust other parent recommendations.  It would be another 9 nine months and several more illnesses to push me into quitting my full-time job and becoming a stay-at-home-mother.  

There are two things I want you to take away from this story.  One is that if you have the flu, please stay home.  Babies, pregnant mothers, the elderly and people with weak immune systems suffer much more than healthy adults.  Two, trust your instincts.  Visit your daycare provider unannounced frequently and if your child gets ill often it’s time to look for a better place. Finally, know that you should error on the side of caution. If you have new parent concerns, please email us fieldtripmom@gmail.com. 

If you have the flu then try to stick to the BRAT diet. Drink lots of fluids and stay away from others.  BRAT Diet - Banana, rice, applesauce and toast (saltine crackers) 
Prevent Dehydration with pedialyte

Friday, December 11, 2015

Legoland California is a fun place to play with your family.

Welcome to Legoland California: Velkommen, Welkom, Bienvenue, Ahlan'wa sahla, ようこそ (yōkoso), 환영합니다 (hwangyong-hamnida), Bienvenido, Mabuhay, Shalom, Καλώς ορίσατε (Kalōs orisate) LEGO®.  It is a great place to bond with your family or friends. The visit will give you a  STEAM experience (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) that you will not soon forget. 

Legoland
Disclaimer: We are huge fans of LEGO®. We were invited as media to the theme park. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

Southern California is home to one of the most creative and exciting places for Lego fans.  Legoland is a theme park filled with hundreds of models, statues and wall art pieced together and made from Legos.  This 128-acre park is made for true Lego fans of all ages.  The park offers 60 family rides with "hands-on" opportunities to create and build Lego toys throughout. Check out Adventurer's Club, the Legoland Factory tour and Snow Days during this holiday season.  
Legos
Entering the park, you will find Lego models that will capture your eye. Some of them are super colorful, others have cute themes that will make you wonder and sparking your curiosity.  Adults, as well as kids, will point to works of Lego Art that can be seen when you enter the park.  All of the Lego models are very creative and awestruck because of the manual labor it took to bring them to life.  We pointed and chatted about them before we enjoyed the the first ride at the park.
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In plain sight, there is a museum-like walking tour.  The Adventurer's Club is located right across from Snow Days activity area.  This is a gem of a place, the Adventurer's Club, cleverly displays the Amazon, Ancient Egypt, the Rain Forest all as LEGO® art.  The kid's eyes were big with surprise that anyone could build these art pieces.  This is a must see with your own two eyes.  
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Snow Days are now happening at Legoland California.  When we visited, we saw happy parents and children playing in the snow.  A snowman hangs out waiting for parents and kids to play in the snow or take pictures with.  We just hugged him and wished him well while we through a few snowballs at one another.  What a great place to play with the family. 
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We followed the Lego road to the roller coasters, the boat rides, food adventures and some games.  Our kids stopped at Legoland's Tree House, "Hideaway". They offer a play structure that is every kids dream come true.  It is multi-level structure with slide opportunities and much more.  Burned off a few calories there climbing, sliding and hiding from each other. 
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Near the Knights' Smokehouse Barbeque restaurant, there is this cute game station.  This station is a game of chance that gives you an opportunity to win a plush unicorn.  "It's so fluffy!"  Well, of course, we had to play and win it!!! Buttercup, the unicorn, is doing well.  With the fun we had, it was so worth it. 
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Don't forget the delicious food at Knights' Smokehouse Barbeque, located in the Castle Hill theme area of the park.  The food selection is delicious and smokey.  There are many items to choose from including slow cook roasted pulled pork, beef brisket, pork ribs and chicken. Other offerings are roasted corn, fresh brazed veggies, fruit salads, Texas chili, specialized kids meals, and desserts including brownies.  The restaurant is comparably priced to other outside BBQ restaurants.  The quantity of food provided was straight out of Texas and delicious.  For example, a standard plate at our local BBQ hotspot runs $24.99 per person however has enough food to share between two adults. For our family of 4 with drinks, we will spend $70 plus tip.  At Knights' Smokehouse, we ordered one Adult meal, 3 sides, 2 kids meals, dessert and drinks and only spent $83.  Still very reasonable comparatively speaking.  But your visit doesn't have to include BBQ because the park is host to many other food options like burgers and fries, hot dogs and more, all at very affordable prices.   
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Our final destination was the Miniland USA Legoland. It is the most popular place to be in the park because of the 20 million Legos that reproduce (7) areas of the United States. The Lego models make you feel like a giant. It is unreal how a Lego can bring a city to life. Any Lego fan will be in great wonder because of the construction of the buildings, people and cities. 

We had such a great time riding the roller coasters, playing games, pretending to be giants in Miniland and eating good food. We highly recommend that you visit our sponsor Legoland California and make memories too. 

Merry Christmas,

Bosek Family
Visit our Instagram to see more pictures from the days events @fieldtripmom
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Our Gift to You December 26 - January 3, 2016Receive a FREE ticket to return when you visit LEGOLAND between December 26 - January 3, 2016. Present any paid admission ticket at the Our Gift To You kiosk inside the Park, and receive a ticket to return to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium between January 4 - February 29, 2016.* * You must request your free return ticket on the day of your paid visit. Free tickets valid only between January 4 - February 29, 2016. Additional restrictions may apply.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Top 4 Southern California Places to Buy a Fresh Christmas Tree

Buying a Christmas tree can be a wonderful family field trip.  Pack your family in the car and find a farm or memorable place to pick up your Christmas tree. Locally, we have some of the greatest places to get a beautiful tree including Irvine Park Railroad, TanakaFarms, Peltzer Pines (Brea & Silverado) and Richfield Pines.  These places offer great photo opportunities, beautiful trees and some even have Santa Claus waiting for you.  The prices might be a little higher than your grocery store, however, visiting these places offer a more memorable family moment.  Create your family traditions this holiday season.
Tree Farm

Irvine Park Railroad offers fresh Christmas Trees for a limited time. Jump on the rail for train rides, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy some cookie decorating.  The park is gorgeous, filled with 475 acres of acorn trees, wild life and activities.  Inside the park, you can find a lake and the OC Zoo.  There is a lot to see so plan to stay a while.  Bring a picnic lunch and wear comfortable shoes.  There is a parking fee to enter the park.
Location: 1 Irvine Park Road, Irvine, CA 92869
Tanaka Farms is a working farm that offers tractor rides and organic fruits and veggies.  Families visit the farm to experience a day of fresh eating and walking. The farm is filled with plants, flowers and a boutique of handmade items for the home.  During the holiday season, they bring in fresh Christmas trees and decorations.  Expect to shop, eat and walk the farm with a grateful heart.
Location: 5380 3/4 University Drive, Irvine, CA
Tree Farm

Peltzer Pines offers a cut your own tree farm.  You will see with your own eyes how a Christmas tree grew.  Cut and carry the crop of the farm and make your home smell wonderful.  These trees have been grown from seeds that were flown in from New Zealand.  You will get to experience the wild life that has supported the growth of these wonderful Christmas trees.  Peltzer Farms is family owned and operated for over four generations.  Ask questions about your purchase to learn more on their farm operation.  This is a great place to learn about nature and its beautiful products.
Locations: 3400 Rose Dr, Brea, CA 92823 & 7851 Blackstar Canyon Rd., Silverado, CA 92676
Richfield Pines is 10 Acres of live Christmas Trees. The farm has been selling trees since 1977. The average cost of the trees at this farm is $8.50 per foot. Monterey Pine grows beautifully on this farm. Choose the perfect tree that will make your holiday special this season. 
Location: 5392 Richfield Road, Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Why you should buy a fresh cut Christmas tree: They offer a teachable moment for young kids.  Explain to them the cycle of life through your purchase.  The fresh Christmas tree offer a great pine smell and organic feel to your home. There is no need to worry about storing the tree after the holidays. Every fresh cut Christmas tree supports a working farm and it’s community through its sales.  This purchase is filled with benefits to our local economy and the farming industry.  These trees, before they arrive at your home, have been working hard to emit fresh oxygen.  Buy fresh this year.

To find more Christmas Tree Farms in your area, check out these local farms we found for you.

San Diego County 
Family Christmas Tree Farm - El Cajon 
300 Pepper Drive 
El Cajon, CA 92021
619-448-5331
Tree Varieties: Monterey Pine trees

Highland Valley Christmas Tree Farm - Ramona
18425 Highland Valley Rd.
Ramona, Ca 92065
858-336-0663
Tree Varieties: Monterey Pine, Leyland Cypress

Los Angeles County 
Nancy's Ranch - Santa Clarita 
25039 Magic Mountain Parkway 
Santa Clarita, CA 91355-4675
Tree Varieties: Monterey Pine
661-255-6943

Frosty's Forest Christmas Tree Farm - Santa Clarita
25235 Orchard Village Road
Santa Clarita, Ca 91355
Monterey Pine
661- 259-6450
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(909) 626-0243
3436 Padua Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
Tree varieties: Monterey pine, Leyland cypress

Quote from the California Christmas Tree Association:
“Living trees emit fresh oxygen. In fact, every acre of Christmas trees grown produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people. In North America at any given time, there are between 500,000 to one million acres of Christmas Trees, which produce enough oxygen for between 9-18 million people each day! The Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association adds that "a one acre Christmas tree plantation can remove up to 13,000 kg of airborne pollutants per year".

Real Christmas Trees are a renewable resource. The trees are not simply removed from natural forests, but are grown on farms just like any other crop. To ensure a constant supply, most Christmas tree growers plant one to three new seedlings for every tree harvested.

Farms that grow Christmas Trees help to stabilize soil protect water supplies and provide habitat for wildlife, while creating scenic green belts. Often, Christmas Trees are grown on soil that cannot sustain other crops, and much of the farmland used to grow Christmas trees would not be used agriculturally were it not for Christmas Trees.

Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All thoughts and ideas are all my own. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

5 Reasons to celebrate your birthday at Knott’s Berry Farm.

All birthday babies have (5) great reasons to go to Knott’s Berry Farm for their big celebration.  The theme park is budget friendly.  The hours of operation are flexible.  Their rides, shows and attractions keep the fun going throughout the day.  Setup for the birthday means only having to buy tickets in advance.  There is no clean-up after the big event.  Take a look at some more information on these great reasons to go to Knott’s for your birthday.
Snoopy, Charlie Brown,
Budget: We have 10+ years’ experience hosting birthday parties at our house, jumping centers and restaurants with kids and for kids.  They all on average cost $425.00 for a group of 10 kids.  This breaks down to approximately $40.00 dollars per guest.  Admission to Knott’s for children ages 3 to 11 years is only $33.00.  Don’t forget, many times during the year, Knott’s partners with local grocery stores and fast food restaurants offering discount tickets.
Time: Knott’s is open from 10am until 10pm on weekends.  Hosting a party at your home means you need to include setup time and clean-up time.  For this reason, you will only be able to host a 3 to 4 hour party.  Bounce house businesses place a time limit of 2 hours for the above price. Restaurants will only give a maximum of 2 hours for an event at their facility. 

Fun rides and Shows: Knott’s Berry Farm offers many rides and shows to enjoy throughout the day.  Roller Coasters, train rides and Snoopy shows will make your special day extra special.  It is all included in the price of admission. Compare that to hosting a birthday celebration at your home, jumping facility or restaurant and you can clearly see the value Knott’s Berry Farm offers.
Setup and Clean-up:  If you go to Knott’s, you do not have to setup or clean-up. Just drive over to Knott’s and after a day’s worth of fun, come home to your clean house.

Great photo opportunities:  The theme park has so many great photo spots. Take a photo with Snoopy and your friends or snap a picture with the cowboys or Native American performers.  Use your creativity and the possibilities are endless to the photo opportunity.
birthday
Lastly, Knott’s Berry Farm offers so many incredible food options for your party in the park.  Whether you choose each party goer to bring a sack lunch, twenty dollars for their meals or hosting them as part of your party package, there are many places to eat and enjoy.  Grab a bucket of Mrs. Knott’s Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and a side and grab a seat at the picnic tables outside the park.  Run over to Panda Express, Johnny Rockets or TGI Fridays for a bite to eat while you plan the remainder of your day.  Or simply, snack your way through the day with popcorn, hot dogs, tacos, burritos, French fries, funnel cakes and boysenberry punch.  There are so many options available for your birthday celebration, why not check out the greatest new way to celebrate….at Knott’s Berry Farm! 

Disclaimer: Sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 
Tags: Knotts Berry Farm, Birthday, Gary Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk Jr.,