Category: Preschooler

Easter at Schnepf Farms

We woke up early on Saturday morning to load the kids into the car and head to Schnepf Farm.  Our FIRST Easter Egg Hunt(outside of the backyard bonanza) and we were ALL excited for an adventure! I loved picking out the kid’s outfits and brought “back-ups” in case there were any accidents.  Usually when we are at the farm we are clad in low-key attire(hello yoga pants and tank) and I was more than happy to dress them up!


Emma Marie wore a fabulously soft light teal number from the Target Sale Racks of last year- #TargetForTheWin.  And I am all for cute clothes for girls(and boys) but BOY do they have to be comfy.  Some of the girl’s clothes I’ve found are awfully scratchy… no such thing as cute if it’s not comfy.  She wore these adorable white bloomers under(because she’s a lady) and loved twirling around in it.  She was given a choice between two and picked this one.  The one not chosen was the back-up.

Raymond loved his bow-tie.  I about died from the cuteness.  Usually when we are out Em will reiceve some complements on a dress/romper but this time was his time to shine.  He would bashfully lower his head and say, “Thank you,” each time he received a sweet comment.  Such a sweet boy.




The two were astounded with how many people turned out.  So many more than on our usual outings where we barely encounter ten people.


Raymond asked if we could sit in the back of the train and we were more than happy to oblige.  Loved that the clouds gave us a little cooler weather this year.

We were told that the Roller Coaster was going to be closed the night before the event and Raymond was a tad bummed because we had talked about that he could finally ride his first coaster.  All he wanted was to ride, “A REAL one, the big one, the one with large hills!” and to my surprise as we headed to the back of the farm to explore before the Easter Egg Hunts we found a nice young man who turned it on.

So there we were running toward the roller coaster and suddenly I got this feeling of… maybe it was too soon?  Height requirements were not a problem-they were 36 inches and he is a cool 42 inches(perhaps 43 now?).  But he was yelling out in glee that we get to ride the real roller coaster… so we did.



Definitely love his thirst for adventure.  A boy after my own heart.



After the roller coasters, the slides, saying, “Hi” to some animals he was off flying.  Last time he rode these planes I was more than nervous that he was alone in it.  This time I buckled him in and just walked away.  He has grown up so much since November.



Don’t you worry.  Emma Marie definitely had her fill of rides too.  Little Lady wanted to go on the Bumble Bees and we yelled, “Ye Haw,” the entire time.  No correlation.  She just really thought she was a flying cowboy.



The Larkspur flowers on the grounds were gorgeous and I am kicking myself for not remembering to grab some to bring home.  Will be heading back there soon to grab one for a bouquet on the table.



Oh, this shows their personalities right now.  We were waiting for the first Egg Hunt to begin.


Self-control for the win!  Seriously, so many eggs.  Such a small deterrent.



My baby girl.  I am more than thankful that there were age-groups.  Emma Marie was anxiously waiting and as soon as they yelled, “GO!” she froze.  Took her awhile to start up and she just casually walked up and gently put eggs in her basket.  She found two stuffed animals and called it a day.  Surrounded by eggs she snuggled up to those two babies and just smiled.  Pretty priceless.



Raymond’s age bracket was much more cut-throat.  There were parent’s giving game plans and kids in a track starting position.  And here my kid is just happy to be there.  Yep-this was his first real Egg Hunt as most contain nuts/gluten in our community.  I loved that he got to experience this.



He knew JUST what to do when they yelled, “GO!” and took off at a nice slow jog.  He found a couple treasures and picked up some empty Easter eggs(that had already been picked over) and called it a day.  The simple things folks.



Showing off their favorite finds.  Emma Marie is showing her baby Easter bunny and Raymond is showing off a water toy.  After hours of rides and festive Easter Egg Hunts we were famished and headed back to eat some BBQ.  Raymond and Em went through their baskets as I waited for lunch.  Since the line took awhile I was able to notice that there wasn’t anyone with the Easter Bunny when I brought the food back.  So I asked if they wanted a picture(it would be their first by themselves) and Raymond took off in that direction.  Well Em never, ever wants to be left behind and started hop/jogging after him.



She waved at the Easter Bunny but when I asked if she wanted to stand next to him she let out a firm cry.  So she stood next to me blowing kisses while I plopped Raymond up next to the bunny.  Not until I was actually looking at pictures did I notice that he had half a hamburger in his hand(while the other half was probably in his mouth-big cheeks).  Keeping it classy.


I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your family!


Do you go to community Easter Egg Hunts? Or do you prefer the classic backyard scramble?  

I grew-up with the backyard(and whole house hunts) and can say that we definitely enjoyed those-my mom was an expert hider.  So much so that we usually couldn’t find a couple for the next few weeks.  So many fond memories.


Throwback: Easter 2014

Locked Out of the House


TRUE STORY: I was locked out of the house by my three year old.

After a rather wonderful morning at the Phoenix Zoo we were able to avoid the dreaded car naps and make it back just in time.  Those two hours of bliss are rare.  I thought that surely after running around and hitting the slash pad that we were headed toward the golden ticket =  duel naps.

As always I let Raymond out of his car seat and place my backpack(with keys and cell phone) down on the kitchen counter a mere two feet away from the garage door.  He was looking awfully tired so I told him to go upstairs to use the bathroom and that Em and I would meet him up there to get ready for nap time.  I turn around to grab Em and heard that awful noise of the deadbolt locking into place.

Surely my ears were playing tricks on me so I grabbed Em and went back to get her inside.

Well, as I hear his tiny feet thump up the stairs I find that NO that was the deadbolt.  The deadbolt was locked and my son is now upstairs proving that he did listen… except for the mere fact that HE LOCKED US OUT OF THE HOUSE.

In true form I shared the below after successfully getting back inside the house on my Facebook Page.


Was just LOCKED out of the house with Em without a phone in the garage for 45 minutes.

After getting back from the Zoo.

Raymond dead bolted the door walked upstairs used the bathroom and then waited for me to tuck him in for nap time. Good news(?!?) is our house is impossible to break into without breaking a window.

I could hear him calling for me to tuck him in outside-yet the constant doorbell ringing and banging on the door didn’t appear to be something he should check on.

Em and I were sweaty and pissed when Raymond FINALLY after screaming/ringing doorbell/ kicking door for 45 minutes meanders his way downstairs and unlocks deadbolt and asked where we’ve been.

Like, no big deal.

I’m done.

Raymond:1 Mom & Em: Negative Bazillion

Apparently we live in a fortress.

A FORTRESS ruled by a threenager.

I will never get locked out of the house again. Promise you. But? That was a serious MOM FAIL.  There are so many bad things that could’ve happened.  I could hear him calling for me to tuck him in THE ENTIRE forty-five minutes we were stuck outside.  Had he been quiet, I would’ve thought of the numerous bad things that could be/are happening and would have sincerely broken a window.  I am thankful that he finally started listening and came down to see, “Where we’ve been.”

You can’t make this stuff up.


So there, I’m sharing a definite mom fail today.  Please tell me I’m not alone.  Would love to hear any stories you have about possible “face palm” situations.  I know we’ve all been there.

Preschool Sign-Up

Today brings a wash of emotions.  Today we signed up Raymond for preschool.

He is more than ready and all things considering should have been enrolled in a preschool this past fall.  Unfortunately we could not find a preschool that we were comfortable with their safety regulations for food allergies.  Peanuts and Gluten are life threatening.

Life or Death in under five minutes.

Stark picture and not one that I was willing to wager with the lack of health standards in our surrounding communities.

Just a reality of the daily struggle.




Upon finding our preschool we let out a resounding sigh.  He will be in a safe environment conducive for learning and socializing with kids his age.  Something I think every parent wants for their own children.

As we were filling out the forms this morning there was a line that made my skin crawl.  Who is NOT allowed to check out your child from school.

The mood became ominous as we realized that we didn’t have enough room to fill in all of the names.  Evil exists in this world.  Our evil can be named.

The threat is real.  The threats have been written down and sent to us.  They have been notarized and filed with our local police department.

The problem has already been remedied and our preschool has a list of all aliases of those known persons.

I sit here in silence.  Listening to the noise machines through the baby monitors.  Trying desperately to shake the feeling of uneasiness that comes with such a tragic truth.

I am my son’s advocate.  Through food allergies, heart problems, and even Pure Evil.  I will never stop fighting and making sure that he grows up in a safe and healthy environment.  I will do everything in my power to secure his future in this world.

Today was just a slap in the face.  A truth we don’t talk about.  A pain we bear silently.

To my son, today is the day that he got to see his preschool.  The day he has been anxiously waiting for.

And I am beyond grateful that for him, it was a joyous occasion met with giggles and the happiest of happy dances.

Happy dances do conquer all.




Our little family got to take a peek at the new exhibit at SEA LIFE Arizona this past week.  Octopus Hideout is PRICELESS. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest we were lucky enough to go to our local Aquarium at Point Defiance Park weekly with my mom.  I have never seen such an active octopus nor have I been able to see one so close before.


Thankfully no wild encounters at the Narrows Bridge… where the world’s biggest octopus lives… but I have been stung by a jelly fish.  Those babies burn, burn, burn.  Those “cures” you hear about don’t help like you would think they would.  I ran around like my leg was on fire… because it was, essentially.

Well living out in the desert I don’t want to deprive my kids of growing up knowing about the ocean-so thankfully we can venture out to SEA LIFE Arizona to escape the heat and enter a world of it’s own.  The lay out is quite impressive when you think of the fact that the Aquarium is at a mall.  You weave in and out of rooms- through tunnels-gang planks-and are always surrounded by sea life.  I LOVE how everything is kid-friendly, touchable, and the DIVE LOG BOOK stamp adventure.  Ever since my little man turned two this has been a favorite.  He proudly finds the next station and stamps his book.  At then end if they recover all of the stamps they receive a cute little prize.  But honestly the independent adventure is a prize in itself.

There were quite a few, “Yo-Ho’s” and of course I added in a couple, “Shiver me timbers” just for good measure.



Fish are friends, not food.

I definitely enjoyed quoting Finding Nemo.  Thankfully my husband just chuckled along and joined in the chorus of, “Shark Bait-OO-AH-AH”.



The new Octopus Hideout exhibit features five tanks of cephalopods: Common Cuttlefish, Dwarf Cuttlefish, Nautilus, Mantis Shrimp, and the beautiful Giant Pacific Octopus.  Raymond’s favorite were the Common Cuttlefish as we were able to watch them eat breakfast and it was pretty incredible how they used their two tentacles to catch the food… looked like a frog catching a fly!  Emma Marie was enthralled with the octopus!  She was definitely unsure about being so close to her, but she just couldn’t walk away.  Loved that we could put our hands on the tank and she would use her large tentacles to check us out.  Never have I ever been able to see an octopus travel around their tank.  She did multiple laps around and checked everyone out.  Pretty cool for this Pacific Northwestener.




Emma Marie would not stop talking about the octopus… you can see her little hands trying to explain what she was talking about.



The BEST part of SEA LIFE Arizona are all of the tunnels, look outs, see-through floors, and these fabulous little fish eyes.  You get right in the action. Love being so close to the sea life!



I whole-heartedly recommend checking out SEA LIFE Arizona!  Throughout the year they have different events you can attend like Santa in the Dive Tank and coming up the Octonauts are going to be visiting this summer!  My two nieces are in LOVE with the Octonauts and I am hopeful we will be able to take them to the event to meet their favorite Sea Life Helpers.  For moms with little ones I recommend bringing a carrier-and not a stroller.  We used a stroller once and the tunnels(which makes the experience that much cooler) are not stroller friendly.  I used an Ergo last time with Em when she was 10 months and have just let them roam free after she turned one.

For more information about events you can check out SEA LIFE Arizona: HERE.

Did you grow up going to an aquarium?  Have you been to SEA LIFE Arizona before?

I definitely took it for granted when I was little that my mom took all three of us to the zoo and aquarium ALL. THE. TIME.  I am tremendously thankful that she did and am trying my hardest to give my children life experiences out here in the desert.




#DisneySide @Home Celebration Cars Kit Unvieling

My two little one’s knew that a box of pixie dust was on the way yesterday… which may or may not have been the reason they were nap evaders- mom fail.  On a much happier note- we are beyond excited about being chosen to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration in February!  Our box featured goodies for preschoolers featuring Cars- Raymond’s MOST FAVORITE THING.


We consider ourselves to be Disney Lovers.  We saved up and last summer were able to show our two little ones the true joys of Disney when we went to Disneyland.  Two toddlers under two at the Happiest Place on Earth for seventeen hours and not one tear shed.






We are saving, saving, saving so that we can hopefully purchase park-hopper tickets this year so that we can visit the infamous Cars Land… that would be such a treat for Raymond! Of course we plan on eating at the same allergy-friendly restaurants as we did last year- Plaza Inn for breakfast and pictures with some favorite characters(waiting in line for pictures in the rest of the park is just too much for our little ones)- the head chef came out to ask what Raymond would like to eat-it is a buffet but as he is deathly allergic to SO, SO MANY foods Disney makes sure to accommodate you as long as you book reservations two weeks in advance(so they can ship in the right food for you-special and sweet).  Raymond received fruit that he could eat(that hadn’t touched the numerous ones he can’t), chocolate milk, and the head chef made him gluten, egg and nut free waffles in the shape of Mickey Mouse. To this day-that is the happiest I’ve ever seen him at the table with food.  Pure Joy.  Waffles are the way to his heart.

We brought plenty of snacks and ate lunch on the road(in the stroller), with frozen yogurt and allergy-friendly Mickey Mouse Ear ice cream as dessert.  Dessert at all three meals? Why yes. Happiest Place on Earth-my stomach would agree.

For dinner we made reservations early-4:30PM at the famous Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. We eat dinner at home around 5PM and thought that since both of them probably would miss their nap(or nap on the run in the stroller) that an earlier dinner would be perfect.  Our babies get cranky if they are hungry and we wanted to avoid any and all meltdowns.  It is tucked away, far from the hustle and bustle.  A fabulous place to sit outside, relax in the fresh air, the smell of the pine trees, and eat the best BBQ buffet known to man.  Emma Marie easily ate 6 ears of corn, three chicken legs, and a big bowl of beans(at just 10 months old).  Raymond was able to eat their chicken, and he probably put away 4 legs and 8 ears of corn. NOMNOMNOM. The cornbread and ribs melted quite nicely  together for me and we were able to stay away from the crowds of the parades and enjoy a long- hour and a half- meal.  Mason Jar drinks? Diet Coke flowing? They know the ways to my heart.

My husband and I already know our route, what worked for us, and what our kid’s would like to see at Disneyland.  But throw in California Adventure? We are lost… we went once when I taught eighth grade and we took our entire eighth grade to the parks… but that was before Cars Land had been built.

So any and all recommendations for that park with an 18 month old and a three year old would be most welcome!


Now onto the fun unveiling that took place last night!  Miss Emma Marie is clad in her baby Storm-trooper Shirt and Raymond is in his beloved Mickey Mouse shirt from Disneyland.  Very thankful for Maria Bailey, her team at BSM Media, and Disney Parks for sponsoring this party!



Now onto the planning! Valentine’s Day Crafts and baked goods(allergy-friendly)! Woohoo! Excited to show our #DisneySide!


Do you know of any Preschool Valentine’s Day Crafts that we could instill some #DisneySide pixie dust into? Please share!

Plus any tips, tricks, posts on California Adventure and Cars Land would be much appreciated!


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