Thursday, February 28, 2013

It started with an innocent hand-me-down

how it all got started 

As I have mentioned many times in this blog Bear is Thomas obsessed! And for the sake of humor but mainly to capture these memories for myself I will try to explain in better detail how this all came about. It all started with a hand-me- down train table given to us by an amazing family at the preschool I use to work at. B wasn't even walking yet but he would cruise around the table to play with the trains.

 Fast forward to when Wolf was born and we had just moved to Oregon. We had yet to have Bear ever watch TV and we started letting him watch 5-10 min clips of Thomas online. Still hesitant from letting him have too much screen time this continued for a few months when I was really in need of time.  Well 5-10 minutes a few times a week was enough to get that ball rolling and soon the word "Thomas" was in our vocabulary. When he turned 2 I started letting him watch full episodes a few times a week. This just created a snowball affect on what had already started. When he wasn't watching it he was playing, talking or reading about him. The characters started becoming daily names mentioned in our household. More Thomas gear started popping up from who knows where (FYI Grandparents LOVE when their grand kids are into something it makes it easy to spoil them). Which brings us to present day. Though we try to keep screen time to a minimum there is a guarantee that if the TV is on it's on Thomas. Thomas and all his friends are still part of our playtime routine and conversation and we have  even adopted a few of the slogans to help praise our kids "Bear you were brave and bold, nice work"

Before kids I thought I was never going to get my kids commercialized toys. They were never going to wear character clothing (for the record Thomas is the only one that has slipped through the crack of that rule) I snubbed my nose at any of that. And yes as a parent I could have chosen to not allow that to happen but honestly it happened in such a slow progression that by the time I noticed it did it was too late. And at that point are you really going to yank your kids prized possessions out of their hands??? C'mon that is just cruel! Plus the old shows aren't half bad, I mean  Ringo Starr is the original narrator and the morals lessons are good. So if I had to chose a show and character for him to obsess on I am kind of glad it's Thomas.

Think your kid might be Thomas obsessed take the quiz

  1. your little one refers to colors by characters "blue like Thomas, green like Percy etc."
  2. despite having other toys all their games are played with their trains (ex my son plays babies with them he will put them to bed and feed them)
  3. they have a type of character toy or accessory for any part of the day. Bath toy, dinner plate, pajamas
  4. they pick out Thomas pajamas for bed
  5. they change into their Thomas shirt or underwear in the morning
  6. You yourself have a favorite narrator. Mine is Ringo Starr, husbands is Gorge Carlin 
  7. You have a preference between the live model original shows or the CG shows
  8. you have had a Thomas/ train themed party (2x points if you had it for more than one year) 
  9. All your family member know about it and buy or send thing because "it made them think of you guys"
  10. Your little one adds the characters to your nightly prayer list. 
  11. Your kids know all the character names even the random ones that have only been on a few episodes. 

If you have answered yes to anyone of these questions, chances are you are on the road to Thomas mania. Enjoy the ride and let your kids have fun. 

Monday, February 25, 2013


The weather man did us wrong with weekend. Husband had a weekend off which is really rare. Friday night we searched online for something to do over the weekend perhaps a trip to the coast or camping, or anything that involved us leaving the house for a whole weekend. Then we heard about a storm that was coming in for the next week. The coast had a major wind advisory and camping in the rain sounded horrible so we opted to stay in.

We were pretty upset when Saturday rolled in with only a few light showers and the sun actually making an appearance. Do you know how rare sunlight is in the Northwest in February?!!! We decided to get out on Sunday for a day trip up to Mt. Hood. Being a California native, snow makes me giddy. I have actually never been in snow that is more than a few inches tall. So seeing snow piles on this trail that were as tall as me was incredible.

The boys had a love hate relationship with the snow. It was so fluffy that their boots would get stuck and cause them to fall. Once they mastered staying on the trail they loved it. Bear kept talking to us about snow plows while W enjoyed picking in up and crushing it in his hands. I am so happy we decided to get out on Sunday. Next time we might have to take a chance against  the weather man.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


                                                                               " A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2013 "

A Bear and a Wolf in their natural habitat.

                                                      **linking to Jodi's 52 week challenge**

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

inside looking out

I have a confession to make. I am a hovering mother when it comes to the boys playing outside or at parks. In my defense Wolf is a dare devil and I have saved his life a few times thanks to being at arms reach. But in our tiny backyard? Is that really necessary?  I have a clear view of the entire yard from my glass door that faces the kitchen. The topic of instilling independence in your toddlers within a safe setting has come up in a few books I have read. So I have made a conscious effort to taking more of a back seat approach to letting them play outside.

At first it was hard. In fact these pictures are from the first few days while I sat at the dinner table that directly faces the yard and took pictures of them from inside. (okay, this in a mini step from still hovering) I was surprised at how well the boys did. They still look back from time to time to check if I am watching them, but they have enjoyed and explored the yard more than ever. And I have had a great time watching them play together and communicate more to each other. Of course there are times when I still have to get in there and set some boundaries,  like there is no throwing sand at each other. It has now become a daily part of our routine. I think the biggest key to success in this is, you have find a place that both you and your toddler feel comfortable in. And of course this doesn't mean no supervision, it simply means not hovering and letting them explore more freely.

Monday, February 18, 2013


    " A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2013 "

Art time with Bear and Wolf

                                                      **linking to Jodi's 52 week challenge**

Friday, February 15, 2013

Don't Over Think It

 Sometimes I think too much. About what a should be doing with the boys being more productive, challenging them enough. And sometimes I have to stop listening to that voice in my head and get some play-doh out and let them go at it.

 This was the first time Wolf didn't try to eat it or throw it on the floor.
In fact they both sat there fully engaged, entertained and very intentional with their play. Best of all they were actually doing something productive without me having to over think it.

Sometimes child education can be a little mind boggling and overwhelming and other times it really is simple and that's okay too. Simple doesn't mean easy or not challenging for a child. I have to remember that my boys  will often times learn as much from some play-doh  than from elaborately prepped activity. So whip out the play-doh and have fun

**I also want to give myself a pat on the back for acting 100% okay with the mixing of the play-doh colors, it's actually been one of my pet peeves since I was a child. No need to make my kids as neurotic as me... mix on kids**

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


                                                                        " A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2013 "

Bear: The most genuine expression of surprise ever
Wolf: The expression he makes when the light is  too bright.

                                                 **linking to Jodi's 52 week challenge**

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Cloud Dough Conundrum

Cloud Dough has been a popular topic on many blogs. I first heard of it on Tinkerlab,  it sounded like so much fun. Since then I have read a few posts about the not so pretty things about it. They had me laughing and slightly scared about the whole experience. I decided to face my fears and give it a try.

The recipe is easy

  • 8 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of oil (it calls for baby oil but I substituted with olive oil to make it safe in case the boys tried to eat it) 
  • mix ingredients together add a few drops of essential oil if you would like 
  • ENJOY!
*note I did not make all 8 cups just rationed accordingly *

Here are the the super great things about Cloud Dough

  1. It's super easy to make with things that you probably have at home
  2. It's fun, the texture is great 
  3. It entertained them for longer than most other activities we have tried
  4. Bear is asking to play with it again
Here are the the things that are not so great

  1. It's greasy, flaky and overall a big mess
  2. I found myself sweeping in circles trying to contain it
  3. It drove me a little crazy
In conclusion, would I recommend it to another parent? YES! They loved it and who can argue with something that entertains the boys for almost an hour. I would suggest to be ready to roll up your sleeves and know that it's going to be a bit of a clean up. I know some bloggers suggest playing with it outside. Either way this is not to meant to be a discouraging post just a little truth before diving in.

Here are a few humorous posts on the truth of Cloud Dough
Crayon Freckles 
Critters and Crayons 


                                                 " A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2013 "
Bear: Sharing a snack with his bear
Wolf: Sweetest face ever

Woohoo!!! I am officially caught up on my challenge. 

                                                 **linking to Jodi's 52 week challenge**

Sunday, February 3, 2013


   " A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2013 "

Wolf: Look mama I have your phone... I am going to make this cute face so I can keep it.
Bear: My sweet big boy.  Potty training 101 

I am a week behind on my challenge but a catching up today. Here are last weeks pictures that I didn't get around to posting.