Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raising Girls, Love This...

I recently came across this empowering commercial on the world wide web a few days ago & loved it. I have the wonderful honor & responsibility of raising 4 lil' ladies myself & from day 1 have definitely done my best to help them be individuals & like whatever they want & not feel limited by the boundaries the world tries to put on them sometimes. They are who God made them & that is such a beautiful thing!

Its amazing how early kiddos are "told" what names are for boys or girls, what colors they are allowed & not allowed to like, the way boys should behave & girls should behave, the type of way they should dress, & what things are deemed as "boy stuff" & "girl stuff". I mean, I noticed, but once I had kiddos of my own I REALLY noticed. I knew my ladies were going to be drawn to a lot of the girlie things out there, there is some awesome stuff, but I also never wanted to feel like they were being "put in a box".

From each of their births, we named them what people would typically call "boy names" that start with "A". All of them started out with a primary color ABC themed nursery filled with all types & colors of toys. From there, my husband & I did our best to refrain from saying things like "boys this...." & "girls that..." & just watched them go towards whatever things they found interesting in life.

Years later, I am absolutely in AWE at how different they all are. My most "girly" is probably my oldest girl, but she can throw down with the very best of them when it comes to sports. Ashy (the 2nd), absolutely adores planes, trains, & automobiles & building is a huge passion of hers, but she can also sing every single song from "Frozen". Its just funny. Their different fashion senses are also starting to come out & that is definitely something amazing to see. I'm not going to pretend I have mastered "the balance", but I just want to raise strong women who aren't afraid to step up & lead & stand up for the things that they believe in. I want them to like things because they actually like them, not just because they are the latest style or trend they feel like they have to follow. Its funny, now they have a boy in their life & we didn't have to rush out & get a lot of "boyish" things because our kids like to play with everything already. I just think its fun & healthy. I think Dr. Seuss said it best "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"

Have a wonderful week!

-M&M Momma

Tried writing a post real quick while
this one was waiting on the couch.
Took me a minute to realize she had grabbed
a computer & was mimicking me.

Apparently, I just walked in on some mermaids.
(Stuffed their feet into their pillowcases, lol)

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Sunday Funday With The Dinosaurs!

What a wonderful weekend full of painting, church, & dinosaurs-Ahhhh!

-M&M Momma

Church painting fun!

Sunday FUNday!

Ready for a dino party!

Make your own dino craft

Fun favors!
Who wouldn't want to erupt
their own personal volcano?

The finale of the party,
an erupting paper mache volcano

Decorating their paleontologist hats

They got to hunt down dino eggs

Digging for dinos

Ready for the eruption!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

An Arizona Gem

This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of discovering a somewhat hidden "gem" right here in Arizona, The Toy & Play Oasis. I am always on the hunt for fun, new, & educational activities & places to go with the A2Zteam. Well, a few weeks back I happened to come across an event being in some magazine about meeting Ariel. I had never heard of the venue it was being held at, but being the venturous family that we are, I knew we were all in to give it a try. My Ariel enthusiast was especially excited to meet her absolutely favorite princess! So, this weekend the ladies dressed in their princess best (Zye sported a shark shirt to help Ariel feel right at home, lol) & we set off on the new adventure, approximately an hour drive from our house.

We arrived at the toy store a half hour early. I knew the kiddos would be so excited to look around the "prestigious" toy store before everything began (...and I needed to leave a window for us to book if it looked like it was going to be a total bust-lol). As soon as we pulled up to the toy store, I knew that I was in love. It could not have been more my taste with the sky high ceilings painted...well, like a sky & Dr. Seuss flare on the walls. We were immediately greeted by 1 of the owners who was so sweet she could give you a toothache. I loved the intimate feel you got from the place, so far from places like Toys R' Us & the other commercial toy stores out there.

The girls slowly made their way down the aisles looking at each & every toy in detail. The store had more unique, creative, & good quality toys than you typical see these days. The girls were especially taken back by all the diy dollhouse stuff in the back of the store. All the details from tile, wallpaper, light fixtures, & everything where right there at their fingertips (for daddy to buy & make for them lol). Once we turned the last corner, the girls finally got to see the main highlight this store is known for-The Play Oasis!

This little play area could not have been more jaw dropping. The walls were decked out in Dr. Seuss mural & a chalkboard wall area where kiddos were free to color. It had everything a kid could dream of playing with from a fully stocked toy kitchen, to a play workout equipment, to a train table, to a baby area, to a magnet table, to.....EVERYTHING. And the cleanliness? I was beyond pleased.

The ladies quickly put on their socks & immediately entered the play area grinning from ear to ear. The owner had bought each child a special mermaid mosaic craft  as a gift that they could do at any of the kiddo sized tables that were scattered about. There were also beautiful mermaid cupcakes, organic juice, & water set out for the kiddos to enjoy with Ariel later on.

The ladies immediately scattered across the large room to begin trying out everything. Zye chilled with daddy for awhile, but eventually even he got in on the action in their colorful area set aside for babies. After about 45 minutes of play, Asher spotted Ariel in the parking lot. How did I know? "Mommy, mommy, Ariel knows how to drive!?", she shouted at the top of her lungs all the way from the other side of the room.

The Ariel character came in & immediately began to greet all of the shrieking princesses, admiring their dresses & giving them hugs. She taught them some fancy princess moves (twirling, waving, etc), took a group shot, & then read them a fun mermaid story. After that she serenaded the girls with "Part of Your World" & sent them off for cupcakes. She took the time to come around & greet every single child & look at the artwork they had created with their mermaid craft. Aidy & Ashy had brought her special gifts from home & she enthusiastically received them. After all the cupcakes were devoured, Ariel finished up the fun play date by actually getting in on the toy action & playing with the kids.

All in all it was an absolutely wonderful time & the ladies did not want to leave. We enjoyed the experience sooo much & will definitely be back for 1 of their normal play times. It was more than worth the drive! I believe the every day price for the oasis part of the store is $6 normally & you must wear socks.

I highly recommend paying this place a visit if you got younger kiddos.

-M&M Momma

Sunday FUNday!

Splash pad fun...Always!

What a cute little photo bomber

Sticky wall? Yes, please.

contact paper + construction paper= HRs of fun!

Ready to meet Ariel



Ariel, "The 1 with legs, Mommy"

Ariel with the fin in the back

Don't cry, we will find you a prince outfit

Ready to party!

Everything was amusing

Peeking at The Oasis

Sooo excited, but socks 1st!

Working on their mermaid crafts

My princes

Feel the burn

Addie's favorite spot!

Ariel noticed Aidy's gown.
If you wanted to make a 5 year old's day,

Thanking Ashy for the gift

Mesmerized by Ariel's voice

Teaching them how a princess waves

Magnet fun!

Why can't every day end with
a pj run to the Red Store, lol
(Where is Aussie's other shoe?)

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