Monday, December 31, 2012

Choo choo and Achoo.

Unusual things have been happening in the last 24 hours.  My husband and I went out for dinner last night to the Keg.  We saw Les Miserables.  In the theatre.  I rolled out of bed at ten in the morning.  I drank a cup of tea the first time that I boiled water today instead of the sixth.  I ate a cookie before lunch without sneaking it.  That's right, we are sans enfants for a few days!  Both sets of grandparents eagerly agreed to watch our boys for two nights each, and we are staying at my parents' beach house.  The only glitch is that I came down with a cold or flu yesterday, so I'm feeling pretty lousy.  But, it sure if nice to be able to rest and relax while I'm under the weather, because moms don't usually get sick days!  I do miss those little guys though.

We had a nice Christmas, even with all our colds and flus and toothaches.  The boys had fun and were cute as baby elephants (probably the cutest baby animal, by the way) opening gifts and playing with cousins.  The big hit of O's gifts was a "Woody" doll from Toy Story that I picked up at Value Village.  I didn't realize until I was stuffing it into his stocking that the hat was missing, and sure enough that was the first thing he said when he opened it.  I managed to think on the spot and said that Santa thought it would be fun for us to craft a hat for Woody together.  So we spent some good crafting time together later and made a little felt cowboy hat.  

The big gift that we bought for the two of them to share was the Imaginarium Spiral wooden train track set: 

I spent a rather long time setting it up, and before long T had broken it all apart, stepped on it, and pushed it over several times with a big grin on his face.  I sent him to time out because I wanted to play trains I want to teach him to not wreck toys, but he is quite a determined little fellow.  In recent months, O has pretty much given up on setting up train tracks when playing with his trains because T always destroys the layouts.  One solution would be to have tracks permanently set up so that they can't be taken apart.  I've always wanted to have a train table for the kids, but we just didn't have enough space in our last house, and it seemed like an extravagant purchase.  When my husband suggested that we get rid of an old TV cabinet in the basement and make a train table for the kids, I was on board.

Here is the piece of inspiration that he found on Suburban Homestead.  Basically, she took a white Ikea Lack coffee table, and glued the train tracks and accessories right on the table top.  I like the clean, uncluttered look of the train table, and the fact that the Ikea table only costs $39.99.  I perused craigslist like a crazy stalker for the next few days, trying to track down a free or cheap Lack coffee table.  Finally, I found one, but when hubby went to buy it, it was definitely not the size or the condition that the person had advertised.  And he was selling it out of the back of his van.  We figured he was one of those people who picks up free things on craigslist and then sells them.  Luckily, I remembered that we had an Ikea gift card kicking around for almost the same price as the coffee table, so we took a trip there and bought a brand new one (gasp).  We waffled between the white and black/brown, and decided to go with black/brown.  The white display model was pretty marked-up, and we figured this table was going to take much toy-abuse.  We had also decided to build a plywood topper to glue the tracks to, so that we will have a useable coffee table when the kids are done with trains.  All the cool kids have white furniture though.  

My next piece of inspiration was this amazing train table made with a plywood topper sitting on two Ikea Trofast units.  The hole in the middle is genius, and I love the details.  This train table artist had the fabulous idea of using blue glitter for the water, which I am definitely going to copy.  In a house full of boys, you have to grab every legitimate opportunity to use glitter.  Finally, this artist painted a very impressive scene onto their train table.  I will probably not attempt this level of artistry, but cool nonetheless.  I love Made By Joel's paper city illustrations, so I was thinking of incorporating some some of his ideas into our train table setup too.  Stay tuned for current project obsession updates!

Happy New Year to you all!  I'm coughing and sneezing up a storm here, so I likely will not stay up to ring in the New Year.  Actually, I haven't done that in years, but at least I've got a good excuse.  

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