family · kids · mommyhood · oc living · socal living · stay at home mom life · toddlerhood · Uncategorized

Ruiz Famille Adventures at Adventure City & Knott’s

We were confined to stay close to home over Spring Break due to my high risk pregnancy, but I wanted to make sure the girls had a fun Spring Break. So we took the girls to two theme parks over the last weekend of Spring Break (the first weekend was filled with birthday and Easter celebrations).  Saturday we ventured out to Adventure City in Stanton and Sunday we ventured over to Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park.  After living in Orange County for over five years, we had yet to experience either, so we were pretty excited and had no idea what to expect.

Saturday: Adventure City

We chose to do Adventure City on Saturday because our 5 yr old had Jiu Jitsu in the morning and I had read that this theme park wasn’t very big, so we figured a few hours ought to be enough.

It was very busy when we arrived; hello! Spring Break!

However, the ticket line wasn’t too line and we even got a discount on my ticket for being pregnant (because I couldn’t really ride anything).  At $19.95 per person (ages 1-54), we felt the price was very affordable for the fun packed into this little theme park.  We also opted to purchase the fun card for the arcade.

The Rides

This IS a really small theme park.  However, there is so much packed into it! The girls were able to ride all but two rides together; even our 2.5 yr old got in on the action- (she’s tall for her age, but most are 42″ minimum to ride alone or must be accompanied by an adult). The only rides our youngest was too short for was Rewind Racers and the Drop Zone. However, while the Hubs took our 5 yr old on those, I took our 2.5 yr old for a few turns on the Carousel.  My favorite moment has to be when the girls experienced the Freeway Coaster; our 5 yr old was over the moon about being able to ride alone “like a big girl,” and made a friend in line to ride with.  Our 2.5 yr old was excited to experience her VERY FIRST roller coaster with Papi like her big sister.  Their faces filled my heart with delight.  I honestly didn’t even mind having to sit out because seeing their joy was all I needed.

Just look at these faces!

Another perk at this park that I really appreciated was that there is a plethora of seating scattered throughout the park for pregnant mommas, grandparents, or other non-riders so they can watch and enjoy their littles on the rides.  There’s also plenty of shade and restrooms are conveniently located as well.  If your child loves trains, I highly recommend the Adventure City Express Train that you can all enjoy as a family- it circles the entire park and goes through some fun areas like the birthday party rooms.

 

Additional Fun

In addition to the rides, there is also a little petting zoo, an arcade, a rock climbing wall, and a Thomas & Friends area. We didn’t make it over to the Thomas & Friends area or the rock climbing wall but my girls loved the petting zoo, especially our 2.5 yr old.

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The arcade was also pretty great; even though we did have one incident of our tickets getting jammed after a game, the staff took care of it quickly and efficiently.  I found that the games were really kid friendly and it was pretty accessible for the girls to earn tickets- much more so than Chuck E. Cheese.  Our 2.5 yr old loved the fish bowl game and the feed the dog game, our 5 yr old loved them all!  I highly recommend getting the Fun Card if you plan on hitting up the arcade; it’s definitely worth it and more than enough to split among two kiddos!

 

If you haven’t been to this little gem of a theme park, I highly recommend you check it out! Parking is free (although when busy you do have to go to the lot that’s a short walk further away.) They offer re-entry, stroller rentals, locker rentals, wheel chair rentals, there are plenty of food, snacks, and treats to munch on, and you can purchase gift cards for loved ones! Their hours vary and can be found on their website where you can also purchase tickets in advance:

Adventure City

If they offered annual passes, we definitely would buy!

 

Sunday, Knott’s Berry Farm: 

We went to Knott’s the last day of the Boysenberry Festival and we opted not to try the Boysenberry goodies (though they smelled and looked delicious) because the lines were insanely long and the girls were already anxious to get on the rides.  By the time we arrived it was lunch time (we had church in the morning) so we fueled up at Johnny Rockets because milkshakes and fries are the lunch of champs, right?

Our 2.5 yr old crashed on my lap on a bench while Papi and big sis’ rode two of the rides on the Boardwalk area next to Johnny Rockets. It turned out to be the perfect arrangement as by the time they were done, our little woke up and was ready to head to Camp Snoopy.  I will say it was very crowded and I overheard a passholder say that it was due to the Boysenberry Festival.   Regardless, our girls were very patient in line and I made sure to walk over to buy drinks and snacks for them while they waited in line. It also worked out that I couldn’t ride with them because I became the designated “potty-taker” for our potty training little!

The first couple rides took a good while due to the length of the lines.  But they were well worth it as our girls LOVED them.

Again, look at those faces! I think even Papi was a kid again!

While I was accompanying our 5 yr old in line for the Linus Launcher, on which she could ride alone, I got a call from the Hubs that our 2.5 yr old had injured her finger and he was running her to First Aid.  He told me to let our 5yr old ride the Linus Launcher (she was up next) and then meet him at First Aid.  Our 5 yr old loved the ride and mommy did her best not to show my stress and worry.

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So excited to launch!

Your daredevil little will love this ride because they’ll feel like they’re flying since they get to lay on their belly!

As soon as the munchkin got off the ride, we high-tailed it over to First Aid to meet up with Papi and little sis’.  It turns out our 2.5 yr old had put her finger in a hole in the wooden fence at the Ferris Wheel ride and it had gotten stuck.  My husband was unaware and went to pull her off the fence when the line moved forward and hear a “snap.” He was worried and convinced that her finger was broken.  Luckily, First Aid had an ER nurse available and upon examination deemed that as she could bend, wiggle, and move it; it wasn’t broken.  We applied ice for the swelling and we were good to go.  The EMT and nurse were so patient and kind with our little and told us what to look out for as we kept an eye on her finger.  Furthermore, the EMT asked us what rides we wanted to go on that we hadn’t yet had a chance to experience and called in express passes for us to each ride! So for our last hour in the park we got to speed through 5 rides plus a bonus one that had no wait time! It was very nice of them and thanks to them, the girls still had a great time!

 

I’m not sure that I would invest in annual passes at this stage in our little’s lives yet as they can pretty much only do Camp Snoopy.  It felt really pricey for what it was.  However, we do feel it was a great Spring Break surprise and the girls really enjoyed it!

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What did you do over Spring Break with your kiddos? Share in the comments!

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family · mommyhood · oc living · socal living · stay at home mom life · Uncategorized

Ruiz Girls Flower Fields Adventure

Since we had to cancel our spring break travel plans due to the complications in my pregnancy; I had been determined to find fun day activities to do with the girls over their spring break last week.  To my surprise, I discovered that I hadn’t missed the Flower Fields in bloom this year! Jack Pot.  I also made weekend plans for the four of us to go to Adventure City and Knott’s but more on that later.  Without hesitation, I packed us plenty of snacks and changes of clothes for the potty training little.

Having never been there before and only having seen photos, I had no idea what to expect.  For the record, there are bathrooms located conveniently throughout the fields and port-a-potties in the most remote parts of the fields, so I wound up not really needing to use our portable potty.  Also, they sell delicious fresh squeezed lemonade, ice cream, and other delicious treats and snacks as well.  We stuck to our packed snacks due to my GD management and because we had lunch plans, but next time you bet we’ll at least munch on some funnel cake!

We bought our tickets online so we were able to proceed straight through the entrance; gotta love mobile ticketing!

As soon as we arrived, we ran toward the fields (the girls ran, I waddled behind lol) to get some photos. The fields have convenient little bridges to cross over the water ditches and designated photo op areas.  It’s important to remember that you are not allowed to go into the flowers or cross over the green tape; the flowers are blocked off to protect them and the people who ignored this rule were caught- there are staff patrolling the area in golf carts ensuring the flowers are left alone.  So, don’t be that person 🙂

 

The flowers are quite an extensive walk, so I opted to get us the wagon tickets which are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3-10.  You can buy them at the entrance with a card, or at the wagon waiting area in cash.  They also have an ATM located at the entrance for your convenience.  I’m so glad that I opted for the wagon ride into the fields; the girls loved the ride and we were able to see and enjoy more after since we weren’t too tired from all the walking.

Even though we got an overcast day, the girls and I had a blast and we got some awesome photos.

Not to mention the girls got many a compliment on their Latinx tees from Chiquitin Clothing!

After we finished our wagon ride and taking photos in the fields, we began the girls’ scavenger hunt.  They each had been given a “stamp passport” and told to look for the orange flags throughout the fields; when they collected all 8 stamps they could turn in their passports to the Mining area for a dollar off the mining fee ($4) where they can pick a pail of sand and sift through it themselves to discover gemstones which they get to take home!  The girls are still very excited about their gemstones and jealously care for them a-la “My preciousssss.”

 

 

As we went along collecting stamps and exploring, we found a couple more beautiful photo op spots, a little aviary with some interesting birds which the girls stopped to look at, and eventually came across this awesome little play area, “Santa’s Playground.” It was the most darling little playground!

 

Just look at how darling and fun this little playground is!!! AND there are benches where parents can just sit, relax, take pics, observe, enjoy their lemonade, etc.

 

We also really enjoyed running, (again I waddled), through the Sweet Pea maze- and oh so fragrant!

 

Even though it was a cloudy day and we got surprised by some drizzle, the day trip down to the Carslbad Flower Fields was a fun and successful one.  At $16 per adult and $8 for kids 3-10 yrs old, the trip was not only worth it but truly memorable.  And who doesn’t love taking pics of flowers?!  The flower fields will continue to be open to the public for the season until May 13th, 2018.

 

 

 

family · Father's Day · holidays

Spoiling Papi

Father’s Day Gifts & Crafts

Disclosure: This post is purposefully a few days late because my wonderfully supportive hubby follows my blog and IG accounts, so as to not spoil the surprise, I refrained from sharing ahead of time.  That said, I’m excited to finally be able to share with you all how we spoiled Dad this year.  Luckily, these gifts and crafts would work well for birthdays too!

 

Dad Tees

My husband LOVES tees.  He’s always most comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt.  I suspect that this has something to do that his profession requires him to be in a suit and tie more often than not and therefore, when he arrives at home or isn’t at the office; he goes for laidback comfort.

Every Father’s Day I try to find him unique and fun tees that fit his personality.  This year, I scored two original finds along with two ‘commercial finds.’  My ‘original finds’ were the “I heart Disney” tee from AMK Creates, the Maui Demi-Dad tee from Tee Chip, and my ‘commercial finds,’ were this “All Men Are Created Equal Then A Proud Few Become Dads” tee from Target and a Kylo Ren tee from the Disney Store (not pictured).

 

 

Safe to say; he’s set for our Disney outings for a while!

A Special Book for Dad

Most of you who follow me know that reading is a big part of our family life.  The girls own more books than I can count and I too have far too many books…and counting…(and not enough time to read them all!)  Story time at bedtime is a very special bonding time for us and our girls and the girls enjoy having their Papi read to them at bedtime.  So this year I opted for personalizing a book that he could read to the girls anytime or bedtime.  I had several companies that I could’ve used (and I’m STILL on the search for one that allows me to write my own story and just provides a catalog of illustrations- like a “build your book” type of service). However, given that we are a bilingual household, I chose to order ours from Mi Cuento

I’m so happy I did! Our storybook turned out great! The girls helped me pick the details that make Papi special like his glasses and nose and Mi Cuento ensured that our book arrived in time for Father’s Day even though it came all the way from Spain!

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Enjoying his personalized book with his two Corazones.

Crafts for Papi

Ok. Full disclosure; I don’t do crafts.  Seriously, ask my close friends; I’m not apt at anything that involves glue guns, scissors, painting, etc.  Pinterest and I have a love-hate relationship.  As in I have over 30 boards and over 400 pins of frustrated dreams that I’ll never realize.  Gourmet, magazine-worthy meals that I’ll never pull off because I burn fish sticks.  Yup. You read that right; fish sticks.  And every Pinterest craft I attempt usually ends up being a “Nailed-it” meme-worthy failure.  Nevertheless, I found a couple cute Father’s Day or really any-time-of-the-year crafts to gift Papi that even I couldn’t mess up.

To make either of these crafts all you need is:

Cardstock

Non-toxic crafting paint

paint-brushes

scissors

markers

package of wipes (to quickly clean little hands and feet)

Significant Other’s work boot or shoe (that he won’t mind a little paint on!)

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Et Voila!
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So proud of what they made for Papi

Father’s Day Annual Photo

This idea I wish I had stumbled upon when 4 years ago for Sia’s first Father’s Day with Papi. But, I didn’t know about this awesome idea then.  Nevertheless, we will be making this an annual photo from here on out.

Take an annual photo of your kids dressed in your S.O’s dress shirt and tie every year for Father’s Day.   You may tailor this to whatever your S.O wears to work.  This makes for a fun photoshoot, a lovely gift, and a fun way of documenting how your kids are growing every year!

 

The Spoils…

All in all, I think my wonderful, hard-working, patient, loving, and ever-so supportive Hubby had a great Father’s Day including two tickets to go see the Marvel Super Heroes Live show in July with Sia and a family beach day.  I’d say it was a success.

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Do you have any fun and unique Father’s Day or birthday gifts for him that you want to share? I’d love to hear in the comments!!

 

 

 

Disneyland · family · mommyhood · parenting · toddlerhood

Our Disney Escapade

This past weekend we decided to spend the day between the Disneyland and California adventure parks; it was Dad’s bday weekend and he wanted to go. Since the munchkin and I frequent the park with our friends (we’re AP holders), we decided this day would be all about what Dad wanted to do. We caught all the shows we could squeeze into one day and even visited the Animation Academy in California Adventure since we’d never been in there before; by the way, this is an excellent place to hideout from the heat! 
(Heading out to Disneyland with Elsa and Winnie in tow)
(Let’s not forget the Elsa & Anna tee and Sofia the first sneakers!)

Our first stop was one of my husband’s favorite shows, (and it helps that our munchkin is obsessed with it too); Aladdin the musical. This show never gets old, and we snagged incredible seats this time; fourth row center and isle seats! (See photos below)

Up next was the Mickey & The Magic Map show at the Disneyland park followed by The Beauty & The Beast show at the Royal Theatre, (which my husband can’t get enough of. These guys are the kings of puns and one liners)
As we were leaving the Royal Theatre we noticed the Reception Hall wait was only 10 minutes, since we’ve never gone in, we decided to check it out. I knew this was where you meet the princesses; that particular day they were Snow White, Ariel, and a surprise royal guest (Cinderella). Now, I didn’t think Our munchkin would really care about them because A. She’s only seen The little mermaid and Beauty & The Beast out of the classical princess movies and B. She’s never shown much interest in any aside from Elsa and Sofia the First.
Now, if you don’t know me, you might now know that I’ve spent a significant amount of energy resisting introducing my toddler to the classic Disney princesses world. In fact, she saw The Little Mermaid while I was away.  My reasons are that I want her to see those movies when she has developed a little bit more of a criteria for herself on the princess stereotype. I want her to strive to be more than just a princess. I want her to know that she’s strong enough on her own; she need not wait for Prince Charming or a fairy godmother to rescue her or change her circumstances. And I acknowledge that Disney has taken significant leaps in the direction of changing with the times and writing princesses that are more self-sufficient, multi dimensional characters that little girls can look up to. Still, I resisted the princess thing until I couldn’t; it started with Sofia the First. I figure, at least Sofia teaches young viewers strong morals like how to handle challenges in friendships or staying true to your moral compass in spite of outside pressures, being yourself, and (my favorite); just because you’re a princess or a girl doesn’t mean you can’t compete in derby’s or participate in outdoor activities. 
Where was this going? Oh yeah:
So here we are about to meet three Disney classic princesses.  I couldn’t have imagined my munchkin’s reaction:
She was shy but in complete awe. It was as if her facial expression was saying, “you’re real!”
If there’s an equivalent of starstruck for toddlers, this was it. (See pics below).

Cinderella even told her how she was friends with Sofia (after seeing her Sofia the first sneakers) and our munchkin also showed her her Elsa doll. 

So yes, I’ve fought the good fight where the princess thing is concerned, but I must say, after seeing our munchkin’s face light up and witnessing what a magical moment this was for her; there’s not way I would trade that in. I figure she’s getting plenty of “more than just a princess,” toys, books, and empowering messages from me at home 😉
After our royal Disney encounter, we crossed back to catch the Disney Jr. Show but our peanut passed out so we decided a late lunch break was in order before the Pixar Play Parade. Let me tell you, the water spraying features in that parade were very welcome. In fact, I would say the soldiers guns, the alien’s laser blasters, and the gas nozzles the dancers carry in cars could all be additional soakers. Just sayin’.

(Knocked out for exactly one hour, she awoke when the Pixar parade music started!)

After the Pixar parade we crossed back over to Disneyland to catch the Frozen float and the Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. Our munchkin’s Elsa doll caught sight of Elsa (see photos) and she waved at her and made an “I’m flattered” gesture. Our peanut was elated!
(“Elsa! Elsa!”)
(Elsa spotted her doll!)

(“Bye bye, Elsa!”)

We crossed back over, ventured into the Animation Academy where we learned to draw Minnie Mouse in Steamboat Willie and took a break from the blazing heat 🙂
We ended our night with a prime viewing spot of the World of Color show; courtesy of our fast pass.
It was the perfect family birthday outing that my loving hubby wanted and deserved 🙂 Yay for APs! 
What has been your favorite or most memorable Disney visit?