Sunday, November 17, 2013

Back on Track

You might remember that when Ben was little, he kind of had a thing for trains.  Every birthday and Christmas, he would request another item to go with his Thomas wooden railway, and after a few years he had quite a collection. 
 
 
When Ben started kindergarten, though, he lost interest in Thomas, and trains, and pretty much wooden toys altogether--putting aside this aspect of his childhood to make room for his new interest in Star Wars and Lego.
 
I tried a few times to get Janae and then Alaina to play with the Thomas stuff--since we'd invested so much money in it, and I'd put so much time and energy into learning all of the trains' names and characteristics--but they were never really that interested.  
 
And so the tracks and trains have been sitting in our garage for the past few years.
  
Several weeks ago, though, Alaina came across one of Ben's old Thomas DVDs in our box of Halloween decorations.  She wanted to watch it, and then again and again.  Pretty soon we were back to our old ways of singing "Boo Boo Choo Choo" and saying things like, "Bust my bumpers."
 
Alaina asked if we could get the Thomas tracks out of the garage, but I kept putting off bringing in the HUGE bin because I knew it would be heavy to carry . . . and it would mean a lot more clutter in our living room.
 
Finally, though, yesterday I got Jason to haul in the trains.
 
And our kids have been playing Thomas ever since.
 
First it was Alaina and Ben--all afternoon.
 
 
When Janae came home she joined in.
 
 
They didn't want to have their baths because they didn't want to stop playing.
 
And then they opted to play rather than watch a show that evening.
 
 
They wouldn't stop for a story (but listened to a book while playing, so as not to neglect their home reading completely), and we had a hard time getting everybody to leave the trains and go to bed.  Janae and Alaina both wanted to sleep with the trains they'd been using!
 
This morning, when Alaina woke up her first words were, "Can I play trains?"  And then when Ben got up a few minutes later Alaina asked him, "Do you want to play Thomas?"
 
 
After church it was the same thing.  And even still, late into the afternoon, they are playing Thomas. 
 
 
It's funny that toys that have been sitting in the garage could have this much appeal . . . but it's so fun to see all three kids playing together and having such a good time.
 
Ben remembers his youth.
 
 
Janae gets to exercise her dramatic abilities.
 
And Alaina has lots of new characters to capture her imagination.
 
I don't know how long it will last--but at least for now, it's good to be back on the tracks :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Janae vs. The Tooth Fairy

You might recall that last spring our daughter Janae lost her first tooth, and then her second, all in one day. 
 
The Tooth Fairy was pretty impressed, and Janae woke up to a $10 bill.
 
 
A couple of months ago, Janae lost a third tooth--one of her top front ones.  When I asked if she was going to put the tooth under her pillow that night, she said no.  Instead, she put it in a little jewelry box for safe keeping.
 
I asked Janae why, and she had a couple of answers.  First, she said she was going to save it until her other front tooth came out, then wrap both teeth up for herself and put them under the Christmas tree so she could have her "two front teeth" for Christmas.
 
I thought that was pretty creative!
 
Her next idea was that she would wait until she had TWO teeth instead of one to leave for the Tooth Fairy--so she could get $10 instead of the measly loonie or toonie she'd seen her brother Ben get for a single tooth.
 
Janae had learned that two teeth together = $10, and she didn't want less.
 
On Friday Janae lost the second of her two front teeth at school.  She came out of class with the biggest gappy smile--bursting with excitement about having lost her tooth.
 
 
That night she put her plan into action--sealing both teeth into an envelope that was clearly labeled for the Tooth Fairy.

 
The next morning she woke up to a pile of change . . . but when we counted it, it was exactly $10.  Of course the first thing Janae did was run into Ben's room to wake him up and show him :)

 
Janae vs. the Tooth Fairy?
 
Janae wins!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Our DRY and (Mostly) Happy Halloween

Like most children, our kids get really excited about Halloween. 
 
Early in September Janae saw a mermaid costume that she had to have . . .
 
 
and Ben decided he'd be Gandalf from Lord of the Rings--which led to my first attempt at sewing a Halloween costume (with quite a bit of my mom's help!).
 
 
 
Alaina went back and forth between wanting to be Rapunzel and wanting to be a witch.  In the end, the witch won out :)
 
 
As soon as school started my kids were begging to go to the pumpkin patch, but I made them wait until it got cooler, and further into October. . . .
 
They found some pumpkins they really liked,
 
 
and some that they were actually allowed to take home.


 
By the time Halloween came, they were more than ready!
 


We ran into their cousins at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and the kids ended up trick-or-treating together at both our neighborhoods. 

 
 
This was much more enjoyable than last year when we were drenched by rain!

 
ALL of the kids lasted a couple of hours--their bags were pretty heavy by the time they stopped.
 
 
 
Then it was time to sort out the candy--one of my favorite parts of Halloween :)
 

 
Unfortunately our night ended with Jason discovering one of our jack-o-lanterns had been stolen and blown up with a fire cracker.  Janae cried and cried because it had been her favorite (carved to look like a cat). 
 
By morning, though, she was happy to pick out a treat to put in her lunch.  And I think it helps that the rest of the pumpkins will soon be muffins and pies, anyway :)
 
We hope everyone had a happy Halloween!