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9 Fun and Interesting Reindeer Facts

Did you know that Reindeer have beards? Yep, they do! My family and I learned all about Reindeer last night at the holiday Christmas celebration at SeaWorld San Diego. It's all they could talk about all the way home. Here are some more fun and interesting facts about reindeer from the caretakers inside Santa's Village at Seaworld San Diego.
  • Reindeer are part of the caribou family of mammals.
  • Reindeer are herbivores and eat a variety of vegetation including pine branches, moss and wild mushrooms.
  • Reindeer have "beards" of tufts of thick hair that protect their neck from the cold.
  • The hair on a reindeer's body is hollow, which helps with insulation.
  • Reindeers have furry noses. This helps protect their nose from the cold. If their nose was wet like a regular deer, it would freeze.
  • Reindeers hooves click when they walk, this helps them find their way back to their herd and where the Christmas song line "Up on the housetop, click, click, click" comes from.
  • Reindeers shed their antlers every year and it doesn't hurt them.
  • Reindeer antlers are made of boney calcium rice substance, but they are missing the marrow that is found in mammal bones inside the body. 
  • Reindeer are quit docile animals and can be trained to come when called.

Thanks to our friends at SeaWorld San Diego for the sneak peek of all the fun that can be had at the San Diego theme park over the Christmas season including visiting the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolf!


Our Favorite Christmas Movies on Netflix

Our family loves Christmas movies. We try and sit down together and watch a fun Christmas movie at least once a week during the holiday season. We snuggle up with a blanket, popcorn, and usually a streaming movie. Here are our favorite Christmas movies on Netflix streaming.

White Christmas (G) - This old time favorite from the 1950's is considered a classic. Two WWII buddies fall for two sisters and enust the help of their friends to honor their former commanding officer. Starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny Kay.

Miracle on 34th Street (G) - This charming reboot of the 1947 classic is a heart warmer. When Starring Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott and a young Mara Wilson. Wilson as Susan and Richard Attenborough as Santa Claus steal the show.

Christmas With the Kranks (PG) - Tim Allen and Jamie Curtis in a hilarious take on what happens when Mr . and Mrs. Krank attempt to skip Christmas. We haven't watched this in a while, not sure if it is suitable for very young ones - but probably good for preteens and up.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (G) - Kelsey Grammar narrates this modern Disney classic. The Gift of the Magi with a Mickey spin and two other stories that a perfect for kids and adults who love Disney.

Journey to The Christmas Star (G) - This sweet and little known Norwegian christmas movie follows a young 14 year old girl named sonja as she seeks to find a missing princess and along the way finds herself.

Snow Day (PG) - What happens when the town shuts down for a snow day and all the trouble kids can get into along the way. We haven't seen this one yet, but we are adding it to our Christmas movie list for this year.

Joseph and Mary (TV-PG) - A little bit of twist on the nativity Christmas story in this faith-based Christmas starring Kevin Sorbo.

While You Were Sleeping: What happens when Sandra Bullock saves a man after he hits his head on the subway tracks. She falls in love of course. Not your typical Christmas movie, but a great rom com.

Did I miss any of your favorite Christmas movies on Netflix? Which ones would you add to this list?


New Pokemon Games For Kids on Nintendo 3DS

If you ask my son, he will tell you that the best Pokemon Nintendo 3DS game is Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. That is, until Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon come out in just a day or so. He's made it crystal clear that what he wants for Christmas is the Nintendo 3DS game Pokemon Sun. Pokemon is his jam. Nintendo 3DS is his jam. He's definitely a gamer. 

He even won a Nintendo 3DS battle at the Nintendo #3dsKidForaDay Party during ComicCon.

He really wants the Pokemon Sun for Nintendo 3DS which releases November 18th, just in time for Christmas. He keeps calling me over whenever he sees a commercial "That's the one, Mom!" He knows all there is to know about Pokemon, or at least it feels that way. For Pokemon Sun and Moon, Nintendo brings the Pokemon world to life with dual worlds and dual epic Pokemon battles - each with their own unique set of pokemon characters with exclusive moves!

And if your gamer doesn't have a Nintendo 3DS or you are thinking of upgrading for Christmas, you might want to check out the new Nintendo #DS XL Pokemon Solgaleo Lunala Black edition
The 3DS XL comes with so many great features like face tracking, new controls, built in Amiibo support, faster processing power, easy data sharing, upgrade ability and more. And I'm pretty sure if you have a little Pokemon fan they will love it for the sole reason to have more ways to experience and interact with their favorite characters through Nintendo's array of Pokemon 3DS games. Click over to see the details on the new games and have the kids watch the game trailer.

Disclosure: We were given a Nintendo 3DS game system to review and play the Pokemon Alpha Sapphire for 3DS in exchange for our thoughts. All opinions are my own and yes, my son really does want Pokemon Sun 3DS for Christmas. And p.s. we just love Nintendo. 


Get Faster Internet with Gigablast from Cox

(This post is in partnership with Cox California.) 

How important is fast, reliable internet service to you? This week I was invited down to the penthouse suite at the Pinnacle building in downtown San Diego to find out just how much Cox's new Gigablast internet speed can handle inside the Cox Smart Home. You might recognize the name Gigablast from Cox's well-known poignant television commercials.

My tour of the Cox Smart Home featured a variety of high-tech experiences:

  • Food blogger Whitney Bond making some delicious bites.
  • Professional violinist, Jason Yang giving a virtual violin lesson to some students across the globe via Skype.
  • Telemedicine via a demonstration of a virtual physical therapy module.
  • Gamer and college student Tyler Burnette playing on a customized PC with ultra hi-def graphics.
  • Meat slow cooking in a Char-Broil WiFi enabled smoker.
  • Smart Pet Feeder with a built in webcam and connected via Wi-Fi.
  • A virtual golf swing simulator and demo.
  • STEAM Education - A young student learning via virtual reality goggles about science and STEAM based interactive projects.
  • Cox HomeLife 
  • Cox Contour Smart TV

So pretty much every lifestyle that depends on fast reliable internet was represented and they were all simultaneously accessing Cox's highest speed internet, Gigablast. That's a lot of devices, consoles and appliances using the same data without a single interruption. I was surprised and seriously impressed by what I saw.

Gigablast, with it's 1 Gigabit of power per household, boasts impressive download speeds up to 100 times faster than the average broadband.
That's comparable to:
  • 1 next-gen video game in 3 minutes
  • 10 HD movies in 7 minutes
  • 100 itunes downloads in 3 seconds
  • 1,000 photos in 16 seconds
I'm intrigued by what Gigablast can do. We use internet for homeschool, work, and leisure. Our download speeds could use a boost and I'm wondering if we need an upgrade.

Gigablast is rolling out into Southern California (as well as some other areas where Cox is available). You can find out more about Gigablast and check availibity by clicking here.


One Year After Finishing Chemo

Today marks the one year anniversary that our son finished his chemotherapy treatment for Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. He endured 26 rounds and a total of 47 individual doses.

It's hard to believe a year has gone by, a year of ups and downs just like any other. A year of healing and of moving forward. A year marked with so many new adventures and freedom from IV poles and hospital beds.

That last hospital stay was full of visits from our favorite nurses and doctors, family and a few pet therapy friends like this adorable King Charles Cavalier who was so snuggly.

His hair has grown so long in that year. We haven't cut it yet. He doesn't to ever want to cut it, but I suspect there will come a day when he will want it cut, until then, it grows out freely. It grew back darker and curly! This is him today.

Here's to another year cancer free and full of adventures!