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.

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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.


Found…

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*

Evil Eye…

This weekend was Pridefest weekend. Busy and fun. Friday we got a sitter, only the second time we got a sitter who was not an immediate family member or friend in almost two years. We met some friends out at Pridefest and had a blast. Saturday it was sort of rainy so we ditched the plan to go to Pridefest with the kids and hung around the house until we went to a friends BBQ. Our friends are all licensed to be foster to adopt parents and are eagerly awaiting a placement. It is absolutely amazing how stressful it is to leave the protective bubble of your own home and spend time at someone elses house with your children. Our friends house is a death trap in our eyes or at the very least a toddler nightmare. They have depression ware everywhere, large cacti indoors and out, multi levels, a giant screen door (which provided hours of finger pinching fun!), a fire pit, a hot grill, a cooler filled with glass bottles, and 2 dogs who are not friendly to children. Sitting and eating a meal or talking with your friends at this type of function is impossible with kids. It is exhausting…

Sunday we woke up, had breakfast and packed up the kids for Pridefest. This was Z's first year and C's second…while C was old enough to really dig it…Z had trouble with all the loud music (she has sensory issues we are working on with an OT). They have a kids area with playground equipment, a train and a bounce house. C was in the bounce house, was all excited (since he LOVES to jump) but then the kiddie train came by…he evacuated out of that bounce house like it was on fire screaming "choo choo" he rode it three times by the end of the day. The real fun came when we took him to the splash pad. He was hesitant at first but once I took his hand and went with him he had a blast. It's amazing how much water a diaper can hold…I am surprised he could walk with all the weight from that wet diaper. Z hated it…so when we went home I filled up the kiddie pool for her instead…I put some hot water from the kitchen sink in it and then filled it up with the hose until it was a good temp for her. She is so funny, she splashed like crazy but stuck her tongue out the whole time. Got some great pics from the weekend, over 300!

Many people complimented us on our children, and I love taking them to things like this because everyone seemed so generally happy for us. Now that I am a mother everything touches me differently. The volunteers from PFLAG in front with signs saying "I celebrate diversity" made me well up. To see older people take their weekend to make a statement for us…I said thank you. One woman who looked a lot like comedian Margaret Cho said how beautiful they are and then said "May I touch them?" I and then as I was saying "yes" she quickly explained that in her culture they touch the children to take away the "evil eye" as to not give them too much energy. And she appeared to touch each of their foreheads and chins. Of course I googled it when I got home…I have been touched by her act of kindness toward my children all day…a perfect stranger looking out for my children, warding off the "evil eye" and misfortune. Such a weekend, full of a feeling of belonging.

Peace to you and yours!

Psychic readings…

so about two years ago Staci and I went to an "alternative Tupperware party". I thought there would actually be Tupperware there and I got my wish list all together. I knew there would be a psychic there but waited and waited for the Tupperware…alas, there was none. But what there WAS is a burping psychic one who told Staci and I on separate readings that we were going to have children and these children we were going to have were going to be "special". She quickly explained herself by saying special in a "not of this world" special. I am pretty certain she was right.

I know everyone thinks their kids are the greatest and I am exception to this rule but no matter where we go people stop and want to talk to our kids. Not only do they want to talk to our kids, but they want tot touch them, take photos of them. How weird is that? random strangers want to take their pictures. My mother says when she shows pictures of them to her co-workers they instantly smile. 

Case in point, today we left the house for an early morning stroll around our neighborhood to participate in the neighborhood rummage sale. People were in love with our kids. I continually heard people tell us that we were "blessed". Now, there are times when I see a cute kids and acknowledge so but to go further and gush about how "blessed" they are? 

On another note we did alright rummaging today. We had a strict mission of looking for Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Instead we spent about $40 total and got: 
$1 sit and spin
$12 little tykes climber with slide
$2 electronic keyboard
.50 Thomas the train lunchbox
$5 vintage Matchbox garage (the same exact one my brother and I had when we were little in the 70's!) Very cool to see my son play with the same toy over 20 years later.
$5.00 a huge plastic organizer filled with hotwheels cars (over 40 of them)
$10 little tykes purple and white toybox

So the kids scored and our yard looks even more kid like with a climber in it now. 

Disaster has struck!!!!

Thomas the Train, the diecast take along model that choo's…has gone AWOL! He cannot be located anywhere! I was standing right there when C wound up his pitching arm and launched him into the abyss. I did not see the exact trajectory but I swear it went forward…errr, well towards Z's crib to be exact…but I cannot find it for the life of me…First off, these damned trains are NOT cheap by any means…secondly, where is the damned train? I have a toddler running around saying "choo choo" while throwing up his arms in the air in the international symbol for "dunno"…it's the saddest thing. And the most disturbing and puzzling. How can things disappear into thin air like this? I used to know where everything was. Enter one baby and then another and I cannot find a damned thing.

Please Thomas, if you can read this come home!