Posts by christy:

Bubblefest XIX at Discovery Cube OC


Our family was lucky enough to be invited to attend Bubblefest 2015 at Discovery Cube complimentary to share our experience with you. 
Bubblefest 2015

What an event!  I am excited to share about my family’s experience at Discovery Cube OC’s Bubblefest XIX – their amazing annual spring bubble extravaganza that features everything bubbles, now through April 12th, 2015.

Not only do bubbles bring total delight to kids of all ages, I found that my kiddos were actually learning about some of the science behind bubbles (which was an added bonus)!

There are lots of bubble events and activities to see and do. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect…

The Mega Bubblefest Laser Show

This is a must-see show!  We found it to be the highlight of the event.  Get ready to be blown away with the “Bubble Scientist,” Deni Yang, and his world-famous “Mega Bubble Show!”  We learned that Deni travels all over the world performing his bubble show, and actually holds two World Records in bubble-making.  Pretty cool.

My hubby and I were secretly wondering just how many different bubble tricks could really take place in 45 minutes – and let me tell you – A LOT.  It seemed like parents and kids alike were all oohing and ahhing over the bubbles, lasers, music, lights, and special effects – a professional show worthy of any family-friendly Las Vegas spectacle.  It featured exciting tricks like smoking bubbles, spinning bubbles, bouncing bubbles, human-sized bubbles, and more.

Mega Bubblefest Laser Show_2

My favorite bubble sequence was when Deni crated an underwater bubble and laser masterpiece, where the audience really felt like they were floating and swimming in bubbles under the sea.

My kids loved the “snow” show where thousands of bubbles were released, making it appear as though we were playing in the snow.  You could hear squeals of pure delight and giggling from all areas in the theater.

Speaking of the theater, it is a newly renovated 10,000 sq. ft. gorgeous venue space that is a first-of-its-kind in the museum world, with the ability to transform from a world-class exhibit hall to a 500 seat theater.

Mega Bubblefest Laser Show Times:

9:30 a.m.*, 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

*Member show – Members, get your tickets for the 9:30 am show for just $4!

Check Out These Fun Outside Attractions

Bubble Spheres

You can climb inside a giant bubble sphere and see what happens if you try to walk, crawl, sit, or lay down. My little Nathan was in heaven!

Bubble Spheres

“Me” In A Bubble

‘POP’ a pose inside a giant bubble and have your photo taken – the kids thought this was hilarious.

Me in a Bubble

Hexagon Bubbles

Kids can practice making different shaped bubbles with this interactive exhibit.

Giant Bubble Making

Bubble Wall

You can learn how heat and dryness affect bubbles and try to put your hand through a bubble wall without it popping.

CO2 Chamber

Kiddos can blow bubbles through a chamber of carbon dioxide and see if their bubble floats or sinks through the CO2. Keep an eye on the bubble to see if any changes occur!

Flow Patterns

You can learn about fluid dynamics and flow patterns by placing different types of objects in flowing water. Try turning the objects and using different angles to see how the flow patterns change.

Cube Jr. 5 & Under Bubble Zone

Bubble enthusiasts can create giant bubbles and learn colors and shapes in this 5 & under Bubble Zone. Perfect for littles.

Food Options

A variety of yummy food trucks will be available daily during Bubblefest for breakfast and lunch. Additionally, 5% of all food truck purchases will be donated to the Cube!

The Details:

Bubblefest is an additional charge of $5 for members and $7 for non-members on top of general admission to Discovery Cube OC.  General admission prices are as follows: adult ($16.95), senior ($12.95), and children 3-14 ($12.95).

Children 2 & under do not need a Bubblefest ticket, however they must sit on an adult’s lap during the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show. Any child that requires their own seat must have a Bubblefest ticket.

Your Bubblefest admission fee will cover the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show, water spheres, and all outdoor activities.

Need Directions?

Discovery Cube Orange County
2500 N. Main Street
Santa Ana, CA  92705

For directions and parking information, click here.

My Favorite Pregnancy Apps

Fun-Pregnancy-Apps

Today I want to talk about my favorite pregnancy apps!  When I was pregnant with my first 7 years ago, I don’t think I downloaded one pregnancy app.  Not one!  By the time I was pregnant with my son 4.5 years ago, I think I graduated to downloading a “contractions counter” app. Nothing fancy.  Now there are TONS of pregnancy apps out there, and I want to share a few of my top picks.

My Pregnancy Today/Baby Center – This helpful app tracks your pregnancy week-by-week, gives you nutrition tips, specialized tips for mamas, and also gives detailed explanations about what’s going on with your baby on a weekly basis. Plus, a kick tracker, contraction timer, tips for creating your baby registry, and a cool feature – a “browse” products section, where you can search for baby products by brand name and reviews.

Sprout – This is one of my favorite apps because it shows your baby’s progress in 3D images (which I think is really cool!).  It also gives weekly overviews, has an “organizer” tab (a place to type questions for your next doctor’s visits, weight tracker  – my least favorite feature, lol! – kick counter, a place for your to-do lists, etc.), and a place to journal.

MyBabyBeat – Okay, this is a pretty cool app that my mom told me about!!  It’s a fairly new app that allows you to try and find your baby’s heartbeat with your iPhone.  Confused?  Read the app’s description…

“All you need to do is take your iPhone out of its case, make sure your headset does not have an embedded microphone, switch to airplane mode, set the iPhone volume to the maximum level, and start listening to your baby!”

Disclaimer – this is absolutely not a medical app!  I am obviously not a doctor, and I recommend that you ask your doctor, if you’re worried about trying this app.  And obviously, if you can’t find your baby’s heartbeat with your phone, that’s not a definite medical indication that anything is wrong!  This is purely for fun…not to stress pregnant mamas more.

I will tell you…now that I’m 20 weeks (where is the time going???), I can actually pick up my baby’s heartbeat sometimes with this app.  And, it’s magical! The app walks you through instructions, and also lets you listen to a sample mom’s heartbeat, as well as a sample baby’s heartbeat, so you know what you’re looking for.  You can also read more FAQs here (just scroll down on the page).

Photofy – This is such a fun photo editing app!  I’m kind of obsessed.  I know there are a lot of photo editing apps out there, but I love the baby and pregnancy “stickers” and frames with this one…especially the adorable stickers that help you count your pregnancy weeks with the size of the baby (i.e. the baby is the size of a tomato, sweet potato, etc.).  Super cute.

WebMD Pregnancy – This app is great because it shows a 3D image per week, what you can expect at your next doctor’s appointment, tips of the day, a symptom tracker (heartburn, anyone???), all sorts of pertinent checklists to keep you organized, and a place to journal…just to name a few.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – A classic book, and now a classic app! I use this one on a weekly basis, too.  You have your weekly report on how baby is doing and developing, a video explaining each week, a place to read different week-related pregnancy articles, access to community “bulletin boards” and forums, and a place to journal.

On a side note, I also used the What to Expect When You’re Expecting Fertility Tracking app before I got pregnant, and found it very helpful.

Full Term – This app is mainly meant to help you time contractions (but is also a “kick” counter, too).  Obviously I haven’t used it yet (still too early!), but I’ll give it a go once the the time comes.

And, this isn’t an app, but it is just too darn cute not to share!  It’s a little video cartoon clip of a baby growing in their mama’s tummy.  I saw it floating around on Facebook, watched it and loved it so much, I let my kiddos watch it.  And, they want to watch it over and over and over again.  It’s one of the cutest pregnancy sequence clips I’ve seen that I think is pretty kid-friendly.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Do you have a favorite pregnancy app?  If so, please share below!

Local Love: Spring Break in the OC

Spring Break in Orange County

With Spring Break right around the corner, this post is dedicated to enjoying Spring Break in Orange County…and how fun a “staycation” can be!  Here’s my list of fun things to do, and I would love to hear from you – please comment below, and let me know about your favorite things to do with your kids around town!

Tiny Oranges’ Recommendations

Let’s kick things off with some of Tiny Oranges’ recommendations and favorite things to do with kids in Orange County!

– I wrote a blog all about fun activities to do in warm weather – and how to keep cool!

– Jen wrote a blog about her favorite OC outing ides for kids – check it out!

– Read Jen’s blog about this fabulous Plan a Day Out website – a site ALL OC moms should know about it!  Check it out here – “Whatcha Going to do Today?” This is a great tool to use over Spring Break!

– Interested in being outside in the fresh air?  Read Lisa’s blog all about where to take some beautiful OC nature walks.

– Want to just “keep it simple” this break?  Read my blog about fun, easy activities to do with your littles – “Keeping it Simple with Kid Activities.”

“Beach Therapy”

People come from all over the country to vacation at our beautiful beaches…and they are just a hop, skip and a jump away from us here in OC!  Here are some of my favorite beaches to take the kids to…and I’d love to hear about yours.

Baby Beach (Dana Point)

Aliso Creek Beach (Laguna Beach, has a playground!)

Corona Del Mar Beach (Corona Del Mar)

Balboa Pier Beach (Newport Beach, has a playground!)

Jen also wrote a blog about her best kid beaches in the OC – check it out!

Bouncy Play

Let them bounce out their energy!  I love taking my kids to any place they can be in a safe, enclosed (air conditioned!) kid’s bounce house.  Here are some Orange County bouncing options:

Jump ‘N Jammin (Mission Viejo)

Pump it Up (Lake Forest, Irvine)

Scooter’s Jungle (Aliso Viejo)

Big Air Trampoline Park (Laguna Hills)

Frogg’s Bounce House (Fountain Valley)

Jump Sky High (Costa Mesa)

Museums, Zoos and Parks

Oh my gosh, Orange County has TONS of super fun places to take your little ones!  Here are some of my favorites:

Balboa Fun Zone

Pretend City Children’s Museum

Discovery Science Center 

Irvine Park and Orange County Zoo

Santa Ana Zoo

Mission San Juan Capistrano

The Queen Mary

Zoomars

Bowling Fun

Take your kids bowling!  Mine have never been, and I think they would have a blast!  Look up the bowling alley closest to you, and watch for fun theme days or kid-specific hours.

Irvine Lanes

Saddleback Lanes

Tustin Lanes

Theme Parks

This is a no-brainer – we are a mecca of theme parks here in So Cal!  So if you want to take your kiddos for a special treat, take them to one of these awesome theme parks in our area.  Just make sure to do your online research to check out any possible ticket discount and hours of operation.

Disneyland

Disney California Adventure

Legoland

Knotts Berry Farm

Six Flags

Sea World

Universal Studios

Movie Time

With our recent heat wave, a nice cool, air conditioned movie theater sounds amazing!  Look up your local movie times and take your kiddos for a theater treat.  Keep an eye out for those dollar movie theaters, too!

Check out the OC Weekly for a great list of Orange County movie theater options.

And if you have little ones, I also encourage you to read my blog on “Tips for Taking Little Kids to the Movie Theater” – hope they help!

Day Camps

Another idea is to check out local Spring Break day camps – think about your local gymnastics gyms, martial arts studios, swim places, YMCAs, community centers, etc. – many times these organizations will offer half day or full day camps during Spring Break.  It’s worth looking into!

A Pajama Day at Home

Sometimes my kids just want to stay in their jammies, play Legos, and zone out to Disney Junior.  And that’s totally okay with me!  I try to plan at least one day out of their Spring Break vacation to have a pajama day – planned down-time, if you will.  Our schedules are so crazy during the school year, sometimes we all just need a breather.

I let them build good old fashioned “forts” with blankets, have a picnic in the backyard, watch movies with popcorn, and just veg out.  They love it, and so do I!

 

Okay mamas, let’s keep this list going!  Where are your favorite places to go?  Favorite things to do with your kiddos?

All of us at Tiny Oranges wishes you a fabulous, fun Spring Break!!

Photo credit: FlickrCopyright All rights reserved by Talo66

Cute Saint Patrick’s Day Traditions

St. Patrick's Day Traditions for Kids

This past weekend, my daughter announced that we needed to start working on our leprechaun trap for Saint Patrick’s Day…and buy a box of Lucky Charms so when we trap him, he’ll feel at home with a nice breakfast treat.

But to begin, I have a confession – I had never really planned to start Saint Patrick’s Day traditions with my kiddos. Although I love the holiday, I usually put up a couple of cute decorations around the house, buy the kids some adorable green T-shirts to wear at school and call it a day.

That is until my oldest was in kindergarten last year.  And was introduced to the concept of leprechaun traps…in fact, it was a school project for all of the kinders.  And that’s when the questions started…

“Mom, why doesn’t a leprechaun visit our house each year?  Why doesn’t he turn our toilet bowl green? (Ummmm, time out.  Excuse me?!)  What kind of treats is he going to leave for us…real gold???”

Whoa there, cowgirl!  Let’s take a breath.  Green potties?  Real gold???

First, I explained that just like our Elf on the Shelf, Jingles, that leprechauns are all different too…and get into different types of mischief at different houses …and may not even visit some houses.  (Unfortunately, my daughter was SO adamant about a leprechaun visit that I wasn’t getting out of this.).  It was time to put together some new Saint Patrick’s Day traditions – stat.

St. Patrick’s Day Traditions for Kids 

1. Don’t Get Pinched!

First and foremost, I make sure each kiddo has a new green-themed T-shirt or outfit to wear to school.  I usually raid Target, Walmart or The Children’s Place, and find pretty cute stuff.  It’s always fun to get something new as a kid, and it helps them get into the spirit of the holiday.

2. Leprechaun Traps

Yep, we are now a family that has a leprechaun trap each year (because apparently, it really is a thing nowadays!). Actually, it’s a pretty fun project to do, especially if you like crafting with your kids.  I kind of fudged it, and started with a Saint Patty’s Day felt hat I found at Michael’s craft store…and just cut a small piece of the top off.  Then I let my daughter figure out a way to “trap” the leprechaun – you can use small toys around the hours, stickers, pipe cleaners, etc..  There’s really not a right or wrong way to make a trap – and if you Google it, there are hundreds of ideas!  Jen actually wrote a great blog all about easy-to-build leprechaun traps!

Here’s a picture of our trap last year…

Leprechaun Trap_FINAL

We left our “trap” on the kitchen table the night before Saint Patrick’s Day.  And wouldn’t you know…a leprechaun actually found his way to our house, walked all over the table, leaving tiny green footprints (I used a super small green frosting tube from the cake decorating section, dabbed some on each of my pinkie fingers, and made “footprints” all over the table.

Unfortunately, our trap didn’t quite work, because the leprechaun was gone before the kids woke up.  But, he did leave them one chocolate gold coin each.

And no, he did NOT turn our toilet bowl green.  I had to draw the line somewhere…and that was it!

3. Make Gold Coins

I get out lots of yellow contraction paper and have the kids draw all sizes of circles (to represent gold coins).  Then, I have them cut all of the “coins” out.  We left these around the trap as bait.

This is also a stealthy way to practice fine motor skills!

4. Special Breakfast

Speaking of Lucky Charms, yes, I totally let my kids enjoy a nice big bowl of sugary, marshmallow goodness for breakfast on Saint Patrick’s Day.  Teachers = you’re welcome (cringe).  I swear, every other day out of the year I make them eat something healthy before school (okay….most days).

5. Cutsie Crafts

Now that my kids have moved onto leprechaun traps, that tends to take up most of our crafting time.  But, there are SO many adorable craft ideas out there for Saint Patrick’s Day, especially for littles.  Here are a few super cute ones I found on Pinterest.

End of the Rainbow Twirlers
From www.craftymorning.com  – End of the Rainbow Paper Plate Twirler

End of the Rainbow


Alphabet and Number Saint Patrick’s Day Matching
From www.iheartcraftythings.com – Alphabet and Number Saint Patrick’s Day Matching

ABC and Number Match Shamrock


“Fruit Loops” Rainbow & Marshmallows
From sortingsprinkles.blogspot.comSaint Patrick’s Day for Preschoolers – Part 1

Fruit Loops Rainbow

 

Do you have any fun Saint Patrick’s Day traditions to share?  Do you do anything special for this holiday?  If so, please share below!

 

Top photo credit: Flickr,
Copyright All rights reserved by jciv

Pregnancy Brain

The Joys of Pregnancy Brain

The Pregnancy Diaries…

My newest reality check – “pregnancy brain” is no joke!  Who’s with me, mamas??

Whether it’s been awhile since you’ve been pregnant, or are currently pregnant, I think that every mom can relate to that crazy pregnancy brain phenomenon.

Like, my husband is now reminding me about things I didn’t even realize I’d forgotten.  And just pats me on the back and sympathetically smiles each morning when I ask him for the fourth time in 10 minutes what he has planned for the day and if he fed the dog.

As you probably know by now, I am a Type-A, very organized, and (usually) very efficient mama.  Well, I was…until I took a positive pregnancy test…and within three weeks…pregnancy brain set in. (Insert heavy sigh.)

A note to my third child – I love you more than my own life…but for mama’s sanity and for the sake of your daddy and big brother and sister, can you please stop sucking up my brain cells???

I knew it was going downhill fast when I stopped and started this blog about six times.  And I had to call my husband and ask him to remind me about one of my funniest pregnancy brain moments for the blog…to which he replied, “Oh honey.  This is one of them.”  (Thanks, love.)

To moms’ credits everywhere, pregnancy brain is actually a thing.  Yes, I’ve researched this.  Take a look:

 From What To Expect When You’re Expecting – Forgetfulness During Pregnancy or Pregnancy Brain

 From WebMD – Pregnancy Brain: Myth or Reality

From parents.com – Dealing with Pregnancy Brain

 From todaysparent.com – Pregnancy Brain – It’s Not All in Your Head

Okay, this makes me feel a little bit better.  At least we can all rest easy knowing that this is perfectly normal…and we’re not alone.

So for now, I’ve decided to embrace it, accept it, and do the following to help me stay sane…and I bet all of you pregnant mamas out there can relate!

– I write everything down.  Sticky notes, taped notes to the fridge, notes left in my car…can’t have too many reminders laying around.  If I’m out and about without anything to write with, I text myself.

– I set my phone alarm multiple times a day.  Especially when it comes to kid pick-ups, or appointments that I have to be at.

– As soon as I receive information that requires a “to-do,” I try to get it done asap.  No time like the present.  If I let it sit too long, it will most likely float off to pregnancy Never Neverland.

– I’ve asked for a lot more help this pregnancy.  From my husband.  From my two older kids. From my mom and mother-in-law. From my friends. Between the exhaustion and fatigue, the all day sickness (yep, this little precious munchkin is keeping me on my toes – all.day.long)… and then add in this lovely pregnancy brain…I’ve recognized that I just need more help.  And thanks to my amazing family and friends, they are giving that much needed support.

I’m still holding out hope that the second half of my pregnancy will be a little easier than the first.  Meanwhile, I am so grateful and excited to share that my beautiful little babykins is growing, healthy and right on track!  Thank you for reading along and sharing this pregnancy journey with me!

Anyone else out there in pregnancy-land dealing with pregnancy brain?  Any tips or funny stories to share?  Comment below and we can giggle together!

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