When my little boy likes something, well, he likes it.  A LOT.  We went though an elevator phase that lasted about three years.  Then we went through a Scooby Doo phase that started last year and is still in the forefront.  Now we are in a train phase.

The train phase started when Little Lewie was three; we had a choo choo birthday party and bought him a train table.  Just when it seemed that Scooby Doo was about to surpass his train obsession, he was introduced to The Polar Express.  After one simple 90 minute movie, his life was changed...forever.

Since that fateful November day of watching The Polar Express, my son has been obsessed with the movie, the book, and the soundtrack.  Our house has also become train-o-rama.  In addition, to his train table, which takes up a good portion of our living room, we have train tracks and trains set up in his room and our bedroom.  Thomas the Train has also become a popular TV viewing alternative.

Since our house has been converted to a railroad station for dozens of two-inch miniature trains, we took a guess that he might actually enjoy going to a real train station. So, last week and this week, we went to the Danbury Railroad Museum, a former train station that houses many historical trains, train cars, train memorabilia, and working model train layouts.  Of course, we've been there twice now within the past two weekends because he begged us to go back on a daily if not hourly basis.

Inside the train museum...of course.

Looking at miniature working trains.

Posing in front of trains...Can you tell my son is saying, "Choo, Choo?"

Playing trains...

A steam engine similar to the one in The Polar Express.

Lewie insisted this was The Polar Express train.

Inside The Polar Express train...

All the gears to run the train...definitely not an easy job.

A 1970's caboose...probably around my age...

Sitting up high in the caboose.

A US Railway Post Office Mail Car...

Inside the car, where all the employees had to sort the mail...

I've been told that children are known for becoming fixated on something--a movie, a cartoon character, a superhero, etc.  So, we are preparing ourselves for many more trains in the next few weeks, months, and years to come...



Last weekend, we went to the Discovery Museum and Planetarium for a day to explore science.  Lewie had been there once last year and immediately remembered the planetarium, which he aptly calls, the space room.  Surprisingly, he also recalled the museum had an elevator and a pretend school bus he could drive.  It's funny what kids remember!

This year, for whatever reason, it felt like all three of us got the case of the sillies.  From the minute we arrived, we laughed at everything and acted goofy.  We were able to contain ourselves for the planetarium show, but other than that, we ran around the museum giggling.  It was no surprise that the same things that entertained little Lewie last year continued to entertain him this year.  He enjoyed the elevator, the school bus, the train exhibit, and the Lego area (because that too had a train).  I enjoyed the musical instruments you could play by waving your hand over a sensor.  My husband enjoyed the basketball hoop area, which didn't seem to have a science component at all, but hey, it's a kids museum, so I guess anything goes...

At the end of our visit, we went into the toddler play area that has large, human-sized blocks for the kids to enjoy.  Since we were the only ones in the play area, Mommy and Daddy quickly joined the fun and, probably to an outsider, looked like complete jackasses.  We moved around blocks to construct forts, make obstacle courses, and to play battle each other.  Of course, Lewie didn't seem to mind that his parents were breaking the rules by playing in there...

All in all, the museum gave us a chance to explore, have fun, and make the most of a cold, drizzly Friday afternoon.  We'll have to do it again soon.

Lewie slipping into his play fort.

Taking a break from defending my fort for a picture.

Naughty Daddy.  He's conquered Lewie's fort!



This Saturday we got out our snow gear and headed for the slopes.  Okay, it's more like we got out the most water resistant coats, hats, and gloves we could find and drove to our local park at the bottom of our street.

The sun was out and with 40+ degree temperatures, we knew the snow wouldn't last long if we didn't try to enjoy it right away.  I must say, the temp was perfect for making snowballs...

Here are a couple of pictures of our adventure:

Daddy and Lewie on the sled.

Lewie attempting to go down the steep hill.

It's funner going down on your butt!

Can you tell that he really, really, really loves the snow?

Caught in the action...making a snowball to throw at one of us.

I love this picture.

We're such posers.  This is not our snowman.  In fact, when we went to give him a
nose, his head came off.  I quickly tried to repair it for this picture.

My attempt at a snow angel.  

Hey, where are you going?

And back again...with another snowball.

Just a day of simple fun--the best kind, if you ask me.

New Year's Resolutions for 2013


We welcomed 2013 this year by having some close friends come over the house.  The two boys, Lewie and Landon, made time capsules, played with toys, and watched some Scooby Doo mysteries while "the adults" wrote down New Year's resolutions for themselves and for each other in the group.  The fun part was trying to guess who wrote each New Year's Resolution and then trying to guess whether the resolution was for that person or someone else in the group...  (While all of this was going on, we had a precious one year old that kept us entertained as she explored everything...thankfully we still had Lewie's old baby gate to keep her away from the stairs...)
This year I came upon the following quote:
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours. -Swedish Proverb.  
Interestingly enough, I saw this quote at someone's house; each part was neatly stenciled on each tier of a wooden staircase where the top stair started with "Fear less, hope more."

I was instantly drawn to this saying and within the last few weeks, I decided to make this my New Year's Resolution.  Lately my days have been fearful...I find that I worry obsessively over both big and small things--things I can't control.  I also spend too much time rushing around frantically to get things done.  Instead of savoring moments, I find that I forget everything (even things that were done a minute ago) because I live in this perpetual "to-do list" fog.

This year, I'm doing what this proverb suggests--I'm changing my worry to hope; I'm savoring moments by looking at quality instead of quantity, and I'm loving more.  It won't be easy, but when I'm worrying or rushing around, my goal is to stop myself and change course.  After all, how can I be happy if I'm too busy worrying?  How can I enjoy life, if I'm too busy rushing through each day?

I wish all of my beloved family and friends a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.  To all, may you "live every moment, laugh every day, and love beyond words" (another favorite quote of mine).  What's your New Year's Resolution?