Day Out With Thomas 2010

Day Out With Thomas 2010 the Celebration Tour! Thomas’s 65th Birthday

Our son has been into Thomas the Tank Engine since he was a little over 1 year old. Last year I found out about Day Out With Thomas (DOWT) after the fact and we were crushed. Well, this year I jumped on the opportunity. For those of you not in the know, DOWT is an event where an actual Thomas the Train, life sized, real working engine makes stops at area railroad stations and museums for a week long event. For a measly $18 (kids under 2 free!) you get to ride in a train car pulled by Thomas. You get your picture taken with Thomas and there are tons of other fun Thomas and train activities to do.

Whoever thought of this idea is a God! Imagine, having a literary character you love come to life! Thomas is about so much more than the toys and videos. Thomas started as a story between a father and a son. This grew into published books, then a video series, then wholesome wooden toy trains…

Thomas is void of violence. Thomas is now being used for children with autism, as they learn about feelings and emotions by watching the emotions on the different trains faces as they learn to identify what those faces mean.

Thomas is filled with great storylines about being a good friend. And I use some of the other phrases heard over and over again to motivate my son:

“Be on track and on time” helps to get him going

“You’re a very useful engine” gets him to help put toys away, help his sister, help us…

The day was beautiful. When the kids saw Thomas Zoe lost her mind, Carter just was blank in the face…it was all too much for him to comprehend as he tried to take it in. I was surprised at my own reaction as I choked back tears. Tears knowing what a special day this was for him, tears knowing how much we have gone through to have this special little boy we can give opportunities like this to. Tears for every little kid who was seeing their shiny, blue friend.

Think back to footage you have seen of teenagers loosing their minds, fainting when they saw the Beatles…now picture nearly the same thing with a bunch of toddlers over a blue engine with a cheeky smile.

I know he may not remember this early memory forever (although we do plan to go again) but so far, he has talked about it every day since.


Wild Rice & Chicken “soupy” Dinner”

This is the soup my son loves! It’s a total cheater soup, a recipe from Trad*r Joes. In all, it takes maybe 20 minutes to make and makes a ton of soup.

1 Package T.J.’s fully cooked Wild Rice

1 Package T.J.’s Just Chicken

1 Box T.J.’s Chicken Broth

1 Cup diced onion

1 Cup shredded carrots (or a container of the T.J.’s Mirepoix)

1 Package T.J.’s Broccoli flowerets (or lately I have been using frozen broccoli)

1 Pack Goat Cheese

Place chicken broth and onions in saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes and add carrots and broccoli (or if frozen add broccoli a little later) Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add rice and chicken (cut into bite size pieces), reduce heat and simmer until rice is heated through. Slice goat cheese and stir into mixture until melted.

Enjoy. I’m telling you it is so good and the easiest thing in the world. I love Trad*r Joes for this recipe and several other easy ones that I make on a regular basis.

Adoption in PBS show for preschoolers…

I just caught on to this great show while Carter was in the hospital. It is called Dinosaur Train and features…uh well…Dinosaurs AND Trains! What a toddler boy dream! But what I really like about this sweet little show is not only how educational it is (man, have I learned A LOT about Dinosaurs) but also because it has a central theme of adoption. Buddy, the T-Rex, is adopted as an egg and raised by a Pteranodon family. Buddy doesn’t even know what kind of dinosaur he is for awhile and then they find out in a great episode talking about differences. If you haven’t caught it yet, set your DVR’s to find it on PBS, you won’t be sorry.

DINOSAUR TRAIN begins when Buddy is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon and brought to their nest to hatch at the same time as his new siblings, Tiny, Shiny and Don. Buddy and his new family have an insatiable desire to learn all about the different types of dinosaurs, so they board the wondrous DINOSAUR TRAIN, which allows them to travel and explore the world inhabited by these amazing creatures.


one missing Thomas the Tank Engine! After what seemed like an eternity, as I was digging around in my daughters bottom dresser drawer, there he was in the sock organizer. So that means the bottom drawer was slightly open when my son hurled him into the abyss. Good shot! And here we thought he ended up in the garbage pail and got mistakenly tossed out with the stinky diapers. Reunited and it feels so good! *breathes sigh of relief*

Toddler Addicted to Thomas

I am dedicated…yesterday I bought a set of Thomas sippy cups, we have plenty of sippy cups but I could imagine the joy on his face when he would see the Thomas cups so how could I resist. Sure enough, when he came home from school, I filled it with milk and and handed it to him…oh the smile…well tonight when he went to bed and it was time to take his cup from him he said, "no, no"…he didn't want the cup because he wanted milk, he started hugging the milk…kissing the cup…saying in this sweet voice, "no, no"…so tonight I started my internet search for a soft, plush thomas that he can take to bed with him…easy right? Hell no!

Turns out the damned thing exists but is being discontinued…I found it on many sites but it was sold out…I finally tracked it down and now I eagerly await his arrival!

Choo Choos and Buck a Buck…

We had a fun filled day in East Troy at a tiny, small town Electric train museum. C loved it. He saw several trains and got to ride on them twice…and it was a pretty decent ride as far as length goes. The ride went from the depot to the Elegant Farmer, home of the apple pie in a bag…so we shopped a bit, had some lunch and then headed back. He was so excited and happy he couldn't stop jabbering about all the Choo Choos. I love finding things that get him so excited.

On the way home we tried our hand at some Geo Caching but the kids were sleeping in the van so only one of us could head out to a site at once. We found one today and that is all. But we are excited and determined to try again.

So I love the language explosion that happens at this age. There are words that are clearly mimicked and come out clear and then there are words that are an attempt and then there are words that are alien. C says Banana as "Buck a Buck". We think it's adorable.