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.

Open Letter to the Bit_h In Front of us on the Plane…

You had the roomiest spot on the plane that is available in coach…you were in the exit row….you could stretch your legs completely straight in front of you…BUT you thought it was ok to RECLINE your seat? AND THEN have the audacity to be upset when my under two year old toddler kicked at your seat. REALLY? REALLY?!

It's not like I got on a plane with an unruly toddler with nothing to occupy him and let him kick the crap out of your seat.
No, on the contrary my son was pretty decent on the plane…until you shoved your seat in his space making it perfectly available for him to kick.
And lady, I consider it a successful flight if the majority of the plane is happy and cannot feel our presence, I don't give a hoot if your flight sucked…bottom line, you started it you big poopy head!

Nothing says “Happy Mothers Day” like…

a box of 3M Masks…

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I suppose I should explain because it is funny and sort of sweet. I am known for my over preparedness. I am what my partner calls a "lifeboater". I cannot leave the house without many things "just in case". For example, this is what you would find in my diaper bag on a given day.

Diaper Bag Contents on your average day:
3 diapers each size (total 6 diapers)
Some type of butt ointment
2 Bibs (one each size)
Children's Tylenol
Ora-gel
Baby food & Rice cereal
Toddler snacks (raisins, crackers, peaches, granola, etc.)
Gluten free snacks (for Z, crackers, rice snacks)
Keys, rattles, teethers, etc. (toys for Z)
Hotwheels, rubber snakes, beaded necklace, train (toys for C)
Shelf stable box of milk
Bottle prefilled with water 
Container of formula
Toddler & infant spoons/forks
Changing pad
Wipes
Clorox wipes (have you seen some of the places you are expected to change your child, discusting…namely airplanes, and gas stations are the worst)
Sunscreen
Lotion
Mommy things (snacks, immodium, chap stick, tampons, antacid, aveda blue oil…)
Children's nail clipper
Coats/sweaters
Cars bandaids
Sippy cup
Leashes for cups
Burp rag
Wipe off books and crayons
and I am sure I am leaving things out that I also add in there…
So as you can see, quite a bit of stuff…however, everyone I know gives me crap about how much I lug around…but everytime we go out people need something, ask me for it and I have it. SO there!
So, in addition to being a lifeboater, I am an emergency preparedness freak. We live in tornado country so I make sure we have an emergency backpack to take to the basement "just in case". So Staci getting me a giant pack of 3M face masks "just in case" I am near H1N1 people makes perfect, loving sense. Really it does. And she assures me they are "top of the line" masks. 

Baby Products I Love Part 1…

So today I was out shopping for a few odds and ends for a friend who is having a baby shower and as I read from her registry I thought to myself, “What the heck is she thinking registering for some of these items?” She clearly did not take an experienced mom friend with her and that was a HUGE mistake. That is why I think I should share my baby product knowledge with everyone from now on. God knows I have gone through enough products. Some products I love/tips, in no particular order:

  1. Bumkins bibs (www.bumkin.com): Odor resistant, water proof, lightweight, AWESOME!
  2. Skip the diaper genie like products, go with the Baby Trends diaper champ. It does not use expensive, hard to find cartridges so you can use any garbage bag. For eco-conscious me, I like to use a recycled garbage bag. It makes me feel better about using my earth killing disposable diapers. Speaking of diapers…
  3. PAMPERS Swaddlers and then Cruisers. Both of my kids have been on Pampers since day one and have NEVER had a single rash on their bottom. And with their sensitive skin that is amazing. Plus fewer leaks, etc. I have friends who have diaper blow outs frequently, not in this house. We have dried may eco diapers and they did not live up to our expectations. PLUS, Pampers has rewards points on the wipes and diapers. You enter the code online to receive gifts. I have already gotten 3 $10 gift cards to BabiesRUs with my rewards. And I started collecting the points late. http://www.pampers.com
  4. Little Giraffe blankets. Expensive, but so soft and worth it. I still have my baby blanket from when I was little. I think certain keepsakes are worth a little extra $.
  5. California Baby skin care products. Natural, organic, gentle…smell great.
  6. The Baby Book by Dr. Sears. Forget the whole “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” Dr. Sears keeps it real and tells it in easy to understand language. Any book by Dr. Sears is a good buy.
  7. Lets talk music. If I am going to have to listen to lullabies, I want it to at least be something good. Two favorites here: Vitamin String Quartete and The Rockabye Baby Series. Vitamin String Quartete is more instrumental versions of hits you love like “Brown Eyed Girl”. Rockabye Baby features “tinked” out versions of classics, my fave…The Cure! Rocking your baby to sleep will never be the same.
  8. Itzbeen baby timer. www.itzbeen.com. The first week we had our first child, Carter, we were frantically writing down every diaper change, indicating if it was wet, dry or poo as well as every  ounce drank and sleeping durations. We desperately wanted to find a schedule. Then along came Itzbeen and our life was easier. You simply hit a timer that counts up. There are buttons for diaper, bottle, sleep and medicine. There is a flashlight mode as well as a nursing indicator so nursing moms can remember which breast they last fed with. This device is a life saver. We have one in each of the kids rooms as well as downstairs. We mostly use it for meds now which really helps since we rarely remember  a thing anymore.
  9. Munchkin formula dispensers. For formula fed babies these are a must. And Munchkin makes the better of the models. Sturdy and decent sized portions. Not all dispensers hold enough for more than a 4 oz. bottle.
  10. The No Throw Cup and Bottle holder. www.nothrow.com Yes, it’s a leash for your toys or bottles/cups. And let me tell you, after the 10th time of picking up your kids cup at the mall or retracing your steps to find said cup at the mall, you will thank me for having this. You simply strap the leash around the toy/cup/bottle and then secure to stroller strap or highchair. They have saved us on the airplane as well, where we all know that if you drop something in mid flight, good luck being able to pick it up again. We simply strap the cup to our sons seatbelt on the plane….oh speaking of plane, remind me to talk about the C.A.R.E.s harness next time.