Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Zoo Trip

We planned a little zoo trip last weekend. Thanks to my sister-in-law for snapping some camera pictures so I could chase/corral my two-year-old and get a few pics on my phone.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Project Post 29: Levi's Train Table

Greetings from a brand-new computer with a working keyboard! I really feel like I'm cheating by titling this a "project post," because it alludes to the idea that we worked hard and built a train table and I'm getting ready to tell you all about it, when what we really did was purchase a train table for a good deal and I spray painted a board and called it a project. Good thing this is my blog which means I make the rules, otherwise I'd be fired.

Let's go back in time to October 2012, pre-Levi's birthday. My sister told me she had seen a good deal on a little Kidkraft train table at a store the next town over (shout out to Lowry's - where I worked during college - neat store and great people). I went over to look at the table and bought it for $40 (I had a $50 gift card that the Lowry's gave me for college graduation, so really, they gave it to me for graduating college - score! Thanks guys :) ) 

The MSRP for the table is $139. There were a few reasons it was discounted - some missing pieces and a couple of cosmetic bruises underneath in the storage area (not visible). One side of the table is to set up a train track and the other side is a lego table. We'll be leaving it on the train side for quite a while because we are not really into small legos (not age-appropriate anyway), but we LOVE trains.

{Stock photo found here}
The little "scene" on the train table was for an airport and after looking up product photos, not even half of the pieces were there. I was prepared to buy some new pieces and had not thought much about it (the table was sitting in the guest room for a while - out of site and out of mind) and while at Marshall's one day, I struck gold. I was shopping in the toy section and ran across a Kidkraft Construction Zone 60-piece Train Set (made for Kidkraft train tables). I had not researched yet to find out they even made different train sets for the tables, and I was SO excited to find that. Trains AND construction??? Wow.

The train set that was suppose to come with our table (the set with missing pieces) was an airport train set. I knew the "scene" painted on the table wasn't going to work well with our new construction site scene. Since the actual train set has 60 colorful/busy little pieces, I decided that it would be a good idea to just spray paint over the airport scene with a solid color. Since I already had a can of black chalk board paint, it was the winner. It definitely makes the table a lot less cluttered-looking, which is important since I have an irrational fear of toy-clutter in my home (I've explained before that since our living-kitchen-dining/main living space is just one large room, I work REALLY hard not to clutter it up with junk and toys). Last week, upon visiting our house for the first time, our friend and speech therapist said after she toured it, "ok, where are all the toys?" Best compliment ever - thanks Mis! 

I love the results. Maybe one day when Levi is an adult, he will read through my blog archive and appreciate this (ha). Tyler put together all the pieces that required a drill/screw gun and it was my job to set it up. It took me quite a while because I realized that this set was for the bigger-sized Kidkraft train table and I wanted to use all the pieces...plus I do not have an engineering mind. I finally made it work after hours of trying and successfully used all the pieces. Now if I can just keep my boy from tearing it apart:) .........(I will probably glue it together).

{The "airport" scene}

The pictures above show the table top before I spray-painted it, and the next two show it after it was painted and the set was (painstakingly) configured and put together. I love it painted black - it allows you to just focus on the little train set and not get all overwhelmed by a million other illustrations.  We're about to have some serious post-nap train time right now. Choo choo! Happy weekend!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


My keyboard is out. Just pictures for now.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Nanny's Christmas Card Pictures

Last year, Nanny decided to start including a picture in her Christmas card with herself and her 3 great-grandchildren, which I thought was a great idea. We took them in her back yard last year, and this year we met my cousin Natalie and her kiddos (the other two great-grandchildren) at the entrance to her neighborhood which was perfect. There was lots of open space for the kids to run around and play and lots and lots of fall leaves to play in. The kids had a lot of fun. I thought I'd share some pictures (I am a couple of months late, but I didn't want to post the pictures before Christmas so that the recipients of Nanny's Christmas cards would see her picture first - you know, because one or two people on her list read this blog). ;) 



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