Water Rules!

Britta Love

We are lucky in this family. We don’t like soda pop. We like water. I’m not even pulling your leg. If you gave us a choice between the best-tasting carbonated juice from heaven and a tall glass of ordinary cold tap water, we would choose water every time.

Bug is even more picky than I am about it. Her dad will take her out to a fancy restaurant and order her some kind of super delicious tea or juice with multiple layers and some kind of fruit-kabob on the side and Bug will totally turn up her nose and whine that she just wants water instead. I know. What a spoiled brat, right? It drives Toby crazy. Two dollars and change totally wasted.

hydrating

I don’t expect anyone to be freakish about water like Bug and I but I would love to preach about how great it is to get your kids to like the taste of water early on. Maybe it’s impossible for some kids. I know I’ve babysat kids who acted like drinking plain water was like drinking out of the toilet or drinking regurgitated spit or something. They think it’s bland or has no taste at all. But that’s not true, water tastes great. You just have to get used to it. Don’t shell out a ton of money on flavorings or carbonation machines, just force yourself to drink water straight for a week and eventually you will come to like it. At least that is my theory.

Because water is better. Yes, I’ll agree that there are some pretty tasty drinks out there. I’m not going to just wipe out the whole beverage industry just because I like water so much. But if you can get your kids to like that taste of water early on, they will pass on all those sugary drinks that they don’t really need and hopefully not develop bad habits that will be terribly hard to break as an adult later. Drinks are a treat. Water is necessary.

Okay, I’m stepping off my water soap box (sort of) (for now).

I said all that above to lead up to the water bottle situation in our house. Since we like water so much, I have to pack it in Bug’s backpack every day. She needs it for eating her snack and lunch at school and just normal hydration. It’s been hotter than dog’s breath lately and we can’t go anywhere outside without water. So we pack it.

good on a hot day

I’ve tried a lot of different methods. I’ve bought bottled water in tiny bottles and big bottles. I’ve tried every kind of sports top and screw top. They work but it kind of bums me out that we don’t have a better recycling system in our neighborhood. The city waste management system sorts the trash at the dump site and they recycle all plastics city-wide but it still bugs me to fill up my kitchen trash can with empty bottles. I’ve recycled myself but it’s a lot of work to collect bags and bags of bottles that fill up my entire car and then I barely get enough money back to cover the gas money it took me to drive to the recycling center in the first place.

I’ve bought just about every kind of reusable water bottle on the market. All of them have one problem or another. Some are better than others but most of them either leak or they are too hard for Bug to open. That seems to be the most important deciding factor for us when it comes to water bottles. They can’t leak and a six year old must be able to open them without asking for help—because teachers don’t have time to open thirty-two water bottles every day.

You can imagine my pleasant surprise when Brita asked me to review their Brita Bottle for Kids and we actually liked it. Neither Bug nor I loved the color choices (Pink Butterflies, Navy Blue with various sports balls etc or Green Squares…What? No black Hello Kitty?!!) but it actually turned out to be the perfect kid-friendly water bottle. Bug loves it.

easy top!

It’s just the right size for her to carry (13 oz.) in her backpack without weighing her down too much. Yet it still holds plenty of water for her day at school. Most importantly, she can open it by herself and it doesn’t leak!! Woo Hoo! That gets the mom approval right there. I hate unpacking soggy lunch bags. Cleaning cracker scum out of zippers? Not my favorite way to spend a busy morning.

sporty

It’s made from BPA free recyclable plastic and it has a filter built into it. The benefits of the filter are sort of lost on us because our tap water tastes pretty good already but I know in some cities that is not the case. I grew up drinking Colorado River water myself as a kid and I can agree that it was pretty nasty. A filter would have been great, especially since my parents couldn’t really afford to buy water for us. So, I recommend this water bottle with flying colors! My only suggestion? How about some new designs? I’d gladly lend Secret Agent Josephine or Little Hoo to the cause!

lunch

I’m also really happy to support Brita because they are teaming up with a non-profit called Alliance for a Healthier Generation to encourage kids to swap out sugary beverages and drink more water. You know how I feel about that. As part of their partnership with the Alliance, Brita will donate more than 4,000 Brita Bottles for Kids to schools across the country to encourage healthy habits in their students. Pretty cool, right?

As part of this promotion I get to give away FIVE bottles to you guys! Well, five of you readers get to have a bottle. It’s not 4,000 but it’s still pretty cool. You can test it out and tell your friends and that will help. Never underestimate the influence of a well connected mommy-blogger. We can win this battle one water bottle at a time! Water rules!!!

super athlete

Just kidding around. But please comment below and let me know what you are doing to encourage your kids (or yourself if you don’t have kids, or your dogs…whatever!) to make healthy choices at home and on the go (or feel free to lambast me for my water snobbery, I’m cool with that too). I will pick five random winners on Tuesday the 16th of October and announce them here.

Clorox (the parent company of Brita) is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me.

Knotts Berry Farm: The Best All-Together Family Outing We’ve Had in Ages

We're here! Let's go in!

Way back in May my Dad was in town and we decided to take advantage of some free tickets from BlogHer and the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company to go to Knott’s Berry Farm. It was awesome. Best decision ever.

I haven’t been to an amusement park with my parents since Bug was one. I haven’t been to many amusement parks at all really, but I’m adding them back onto my list of fun things to do together as a family because we had the best time.

It could have gone really wrong. I was worried. As you know, Toby and I are divorcing but we’re still friends. Toby loves amusement parks about as much as he loves getting his fingernails peeled off and my parents, well they have different interests.

Could we all hang out all together for a whole day and have a good time?

The answer is yes and it’s because of this little girl and the fact that Knott’s really does have a lot to offer for all ages.

Papa Hug

It’s amazing how you can put your differences aside and focus on what is really important when there’s a cute little toothless six-year-old in your presence. She makes our world go ’round and she’s spoiled rotten to prove it. But that’s not what this post is about. This is about how Knott’s Berry Farm brought a family together and against our expectations we had a really good time. All of us.

In case you’re not familiar, Knott’s Berry Farm is 160 acres of world-class rides, live shows and attractions here in Southern California. Knott’s prides itself on providing thrills of all sizes and fun for families, children and couples alike. The attractions vary from sky-high roller coasters to panning for gold!

planning the route

We planned our route over a delicious lunch in the Fiesta Village.

not so photogenic but pretty tasty

My tacos were not photogenic because of the funny green jalepeño relish, but they tasted delicious. Even Bug ate her whole lunch which says a lot. She never eats.

here we go

We rode trains.

9 looptiloo

We gawked at the crazy roller coasters.

loopty loopiness

We made the mistake of making Bug go on the log ride. I thought she would be fine because she loves Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland which is way faster and scarier and personally, the log ride is one of my all-time favorites. What’s scary about riding a log down a lazy river?

I think I remember loving it as a kid but maybe my memory is failing me because after we made her go on it and she about lost her lunch, I looked it up in the little map they give you at the entrance and sure enough it was graded as a black diamond thrill ride. Who knew?!! Consider me schooled.

Bug didn’t forgive us for quite a while after that. Good thing Knott’s Berry Farm has a lot of trains and horses to ride and shows to watch or we would have been stuck twiddling our thumbs. There was NO going on roller coasters after that.

Needless to say we didn't go on THAT ride.

It was actually fine by me. I used to really love roller coasters but now I just think about my neck getting jerked around and somehow the thrill isn’t quite what it used to be.

crazyness

This ride looks like chiropractor city to me but maybe I’m just old. They were fun to watch though.

she is NOT going on that ride not for me, she says emphatically

Even more fun was watching Bug’s reaction to the thrill rides. She was having none of it. No way, José.

giddyup toothless on toothy

Which is fine because there were lots of kiddie rides she did like.

here we go

red baron

driving with Papa

Driving with Papa in a truck was a highlight.

halo

Pretty much all of Camp Snoopy was the highlight of her day. She could have stayed there all day.

whee! just her speed Timberline Twister

totally brave Bug-sized roller coaster Untitled

Getting a stuffed Snoopy definitely helped. See what I mean about spoiled? I’m such a sucker.

Domo Teeth

No, I didn’t buy her a Domo. I was tempted though. Look how well they match her.

round 16

Of course Toby had to one-up me by letting her take about fifteen zillion throws at the ping-pong fish bowl arcade game. It was fun though. We were all rooting her on.

there's nothing like winning

Thankfully she did finally make one in and boy was that win sweet. There’s nothing like winning your very own cheap imported stuffed neon parrot that probably cost fifty cents to make. It’s all about the build-up.

nothing like a cheap imported toy from China Me and Ping Pong

She promptly named him Ping Pong and sent him off to live in my purse.

cruising with Grandma Sugar Calico Saloon

But I have to say, rides and arcade games aside the best part of Knott’s Berry Farm was the shows. I did not expect this at all. I thought they were going to be cheesy and I worried we’d lose Toby to a six-hour long smoke break, but he stayed with us the entire time and seemed to really enjoy himself. Of course my dad laughed his head off but then my dad looooves all corny jokes. But everyone really loved them. Even Toby.

Two of these girls are not like the others. Silver Bullet Trading

I don’t have any photos of it but at the end of our day, when the sun was sinking and my camera battery was long dead, we ducked into Marshall Purdy’s one man show. It wasn’t that crowded but slowly people trickled in. I had no idea what to expect. Would it be can-can dancers or just one guy with a banjo?

It turned out to be one guy with a banjo, but he had us rolling with laughter. He put together a ramshackle band with members of the audience and really crazy funny instruments made out of mops and wash buckets, knee cymbals and some kind of stomping paint roller thing that I can’t even begin to describe.

He called my dad up on stage and made him wear a girl’s mop hat and play the washtub bass and that just killed us. I was crying it was so funny. My mom tried to video it but we were all laughing so hard none of the footage came out from all the camera shaking. Thankfully my dad is a really good sport and enjoyed every minute of it.

family

It was the best way to end the day. We finished it up with a nice quiet dinner in the Ghost Town and went home tired and happy.

When you go to amusement parks are you a thrill seeker or a show watcher?