children, eyesight, life in pictures, mommyhood

Eye Love Trains

Little T.Puzzle and I are downtown at the eye doctor. Today is ‘pre-op’ day to prepare for his eye exam under anesthesia tomorrow.

He’s handling this better than I am. Of course a backpack full of Thomas the Train gear certainly helps.

children, gratitude, happiness, mommyhood

Cute Kid

As little T.Puzzle is passionately fighting to be independent, he’s had some serious behavioral infractions and a series of time-outs and tantrums. These have all been meticulously documented by me on this very blog. I thought maybe I would share some good stuff so I don’t get stuck in a woe-is-me rut and T.Puzzle can only partially blame me for his possible future emotional dysfunction. And, I wanted to do it because sometimes this kid can be really, really cute.

The first picture is of him playing in the sand at a nearby park. My friend and her baby walked with us there. Little T.Puzzle tried to act as if my friend was his personal assistant. He immediately starts ordering her around and telling her where to put the water, the bucket, etc. He is very directive just like his brother and father before him. And you wonder why I have issues? Anyway, he had a blast and he was a lot of fun to watch as he attacked the sand with gusto. My friend was gracious and patient with him as always (thank you!).

This second picture shows that even though he craves independence, he doesn’t ever like to be left alone even if I’m only in the next room. On the days it’s the two of us, he follows me from room to room about 90% of our day. Here he is playing with his beloved Thomas the Train at my feet while I blog. He knows enough to leave Mommy alone when she’s typing but there are times he still manages to put his feet (yes, his feet not his hands) or his Thomas the Train on the keyboard just to make sure Mommy is paying attention.

This third one is to show how marvelous his dimples are! I mean with a smile like that, this kid could get away with just about anything.

I posted these pics to remind myself tantrums and/or aggressive behavior do not ultimately define my little T.Puzzle. They are just a small part of him and all the other parts like tenacity, creativity and zest for life are pretty spectacular.

Love you, little T.Puzzle!

children, life in pictures, mommyhood


Little T.Puzzle is obsessed with all things Thomas and he loves puzzles (hence the nickname T.Puzzle). You combine these two great loves of his and he has found nirvana. He has a Thomas and Friends puzzle that he puts together incessantly. If I so much as put the puzzle away so a floor can be cleaned, as soon as he can, he pulls it out and reassembles it. On the days he is home with me, he periodically informs me that he is going to take it apart and put it together again.

Not only is he single-minded in this Thomas puzzle obsession, he likes to pretend he is Thomas. I had to take him to the optician’s because his left glasses lens has two, distinct scratches. While we are waiting, I drew his name on an erasable board. He knows the letters of his name well enough to recognize it. So, I ask “What does that spell?” Instead of saying ‘T.Puzzle’, he says ‘Thomas’ and that makes an older couple in the corner laugh. They have a grandson equally enamored with the whole Thomas phenomenon.

When it was time to leave, the Grandma leans over and says, “Bye, Thomas!”. Little T.Puzzle just looks at her like she lost her mind. “I not Thomas, I JAMES (which is a Thomas friend who happens to be red and the jacket he was wearing was red).

So I took ‘James’ (who is apparently the most contrary of all the engines) home and guess what he did? His Thomas puzzle.

gratitude, happiness, life in pictures

Going to Miami

The boys knew we were going somewhere cool but didn’t completely understand what me and Mad Dog were referring to when they heard the word Miami. Most people I talked to thought we were slightly crazy to do a 12 hour (round trip) car ride over two days to see Thomas the Train. Well, if you’ve read this blog at all, you can understand why our ability to make sane decisions has been compromised simply by parenting Full Speed and T.Puzzle. So, we marched on down all the way to…. MIAMI!

“Where’s your- AMI, Dad?” Full Speed asks.

“No, it’s not MY Miami, it’s just Miami,” Mad Dog replies.

It’s pointless. The rest of our little trip Miami was referred to as your-AMI by the boys.  I kind of liked it though.

So, we arrive at your-AMI and then the real fun begins once we reach our hotel room. I’m learning that a leopard can’t change his spots and well, Full Speed can’t contain his energy. I sat back and let him go to town. He kept launching himself from our bed to the pull-out bed. It was a joy to watch (and only slightly heart-pounding). Sometimes, as a Mom, you have to let go and let the leaping commence.

The morning we are actually set to meet Thomas, little T.Puzzle (who may be Thomas’s biggest fan), is full of joy. While he is not quite as energetic as his big brother, he has the spunk to meet Full Speed sass for sass. And since little T.Puzzle continues to hold on to the terrible twos (even though he is clearly three and has yet to receive the memo), it was awesome to have the threat of ‘if you don’t listen to Mommy, you won’t meet Thomas!’ He was an absolute angel.

I tend to get overwhelmed in crowds and a Day out with Thomas was no exception. It doesn’t help that I often have two boys that run in opposite directions on a constant basis. When I get overwhelmed I can get kind of snippy. I was getting frustrated by the masses of people and with every suggestion I made, Mad Dog had a different idea. Finally, totally exasperated, I say to Mad Dog, “Apparently we can’t agree on anything!” As smooth as silk he responds, “We can agree that you are beautiful.” Nice save. And, yet more proof that Mad Dog is the smartest man I know.

So, the joy and the energy of our day with Thomas had reached a fever pitch. I corral the boys to a bouncy house to hopefully release some energy before we get back on the road to home. All I can say to the Moms out there is, if you see my boys in a bouncy house and think they are out of control, kindly choose another place to take your child. It’s a bouncy house for goodness sakes, not a sit-down-and-drink-tea-quietly house. And, lady, you know who you are. You are just lucky I didn’t take you in the bouncy house myself and show you what a true smack-down really means. Yeah, in case you couldn’t tell, some lady really pushed my buttons when she told me my boys were too rough.

Tell me something I don’t know.

Adios, Miami!

children, happiness, parenting

Day out with Thomas

We are on our way back from our day out with Thomas. 12 hours round trip in two days to see Thomas in person (in train?) in Miami. As you can see from the pic, it was worth every minute. Will post more details of our adventure sometime tomorrow. As you know, life is never dull with Full Speed and T.Puzzle.

The excitement was too much: