Monday, September 20, 2010

More Trains…

The day after our memorable train museum party, we went out to lunch following church and happened to come upon a local train ride here in Folsom, running just for the weekend! IMG_2983 Apparently, a group of railroad enthusiasts are working on getting the railway up and running between Folsom and…I want to say Shingle Springs? Not 100% sure however. They’ve assembled the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation. Here’s a link to their blog. It would not be a commuter line, simply pleasure. It was certainly a fun ride for Cooper from behind In-n-Out down to White Rock and back.


And it was fun to run into some friends! They’re sitting up in the front row. =)


Sunday, September 19, 2010


IMG_2954 My son’s love affair with trains has officially begun! My husband’s work spoiled us with an amazing work party held at the California State Railroad Museum. They rented out the entire museum for the evening, 5:30-10. Dinner was served buffet style, delicious BBQ! They offered free steam-powered train rides about every half hour or so, here was a view of the Capitol building on our ride.IMG_2961They had a professional photographer that took family pictures in front of one of the engines inside the museum, Train Museum AND…each child received a $20 gift card to the gift shop. Can you say spoiled?! (Cooper got a talking Percy and a Thomas board book) What a successful work party! And it was fun to get to see everyone’s families, not just spouses.


If you’ve never been to the railroad museum, you definitely need to check it out. They have full size engines and trains you can both observe and walk through, and for the history buffs, I enjoy the dining car where they have all the different china patterns used on many different trains. I used to breeze by the model train section, not this visit!! Cooper was like a kid in a candy store, running up to each display with his face pressed up against the window:IMG_2973 And last, but certainly not least…they have a Thomas the train section where kids have free play. Thankfully, we didn’t find this until close to the end of the evening, or we would’ve been stuck up there all night!

We learned about the Polar Express ride they offer around Christmas time, which thanks to my neighbor who had early registration for it, we got tickets! They are sold out, so if it sounds interesting, check it out for next year, however, they do still have a ride called Santa’s Express Train. What little boy doesn’t just love trains? My journey continues as I learn the names of all the engines and cars in the Thomas collection. =)

Car Wash

Obviously, our “Cool Summer Days” calendar has ended, and part of me misses it for sure, the other part of me is enjoying the less scheduled time. However, I will definitely do it again and am enjoying seeing how Cooper really remembers a lot of what we did. For example, we “celebrated” Looney Tunes’ Taz’s birthday. I found this shirt at Old Navy and Cooper was ecstatic! What a fun connection and memory. IMG_2949

A little tidbit that EVERY parent learns very quickly is how much longer EVERYTHING takes with a kid. But, once you learn that, it’s slightly easier to deal with the extra time allotted for any given activity. We let Cooper help wash the cars. Yes, it took probably twice as long, but he’s helping with family activities, learning about responsibility, and having an absolute blast doing it! What fun!



Saturday, September 18, 2010


The El Dorado Hills Public Library hosts a pirate gathering once a year in September. Cooper and I attended last year (mostly to gather some last minute supplies for our pirate costumes) and while he was a bit young for it, we still enjoyed it. I’ll give some fair warning here, it’s a little reminiscent of a Renaissance Fair.

They had a preview day the Friday before it “hit the public”. Mostly preschools and family and friends. They had a rotation schedule set up, we spent about 15-20 minutes at each station.

Station #1: A story teller who shared a fictional story about a pirate cat.

Station #2: Historically accurate sword fighting. The kids got to feel the weight of the swords, quite heavy! 61853_1596865078501_1142203622_31738177_4724779_n Station #3: A “sailor” explained some terms and facts about the true life of a sailor, for example, they do not in fact carry their swords with them at all times. Duh! How would you hoist yourself up the ropes with a cumbersome sword hanging from your side. 

Station #4: A ship’s cook shared with us the average diet of a sailor/pirate while at sea. Every person on board received a bucket of beer each day (even underaged!), as well as staple food items. I was also surprised to hear that really, only one cook served close to 150 passengers! That’s a lot of work!59054_1596859758368_1142203622_31738172_2358964_n Station #5: I thought this was by far the coolest! They set up the top level of a ship with sails and all in the grassy area. The Captain shared tricks of the trade, such as how they were able to determine the speed of the ship using an actual rope with knots, hence the nautical term. Also, that pirate loot was not in fact gold and jewelry, but spices. Easy to carry, and worth a lot! He grated some nutmeg into the children’s hands so they could smell it. Also, how difficult it would’ve been to keep the ship on course. Lastly, they fired a cannon – quite loud and exciting!


I encourage you to keep your eyes peeled next year for when the pirates visit! Cooper will still point out, “Pirates gone” when we drive by where they set up camp. What a fun day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stick ‘em Up!


Way back on July 13th, we celebrated “Go West” day. We took Cooper’s sheriff badge we purchased in Austin, TX to be engraved. I picked it up probably about a month or so later, but it’s taken Cooper this long to show any interest in dressing up. Today, however, he was excited. So, here’s my little Sheriff all ready to play. Have fun pretend playing with your little one today!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Create fun in the everyday!


   Here’s my little doll riding on a mechanical carousel horse outside of the Dollar Tree of all places. We started the morning with a little mommy/son date to Starbuck’s (yes, my husband is mortified that our 2 year old ASKS for Starbuck’s by name). I needed to run some errands, so we worked a little fun into the route by hitting the “ride”. Cooper absolutely loves it! What an easy way to brighten your child’s day…and yours (hoping they don’t cry afterward ‘cuz they ONLY got one ride, hehe). Give in now and again and indulge your child in those small, fun activities.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day…and learning to relax.

We weren’t extravagant on Labor Day this year…and I was horrible with taking pictures. We had some friends over from college that we hadn’t seen in quite awhile. We met at a park beforehand. Here’s a picture of Cooper swinging in the “big boy” swings with daddy.IMG_2821 The life lesson here as I learn to become a “Rock Star” at parenting? Letting your kids try new things. I was admittedly nervous about Cooper swinging in the big boy swings. But, dad let him do it and he did great! How blessed I am to have a husband that encourages my son to try things, without fear. I’ve noticed that a parent’s attitude toward different experiences can dramatically impact the child’s view. So, the more relaxed and confident I can be, the more relaxed and confident my child will be as well. So, when I now let him swing on the big boy swings, I try my very hardest to not come across anxious, even though deep down inside I am. Hopefully you, too, can relay confidence in situations you may otherwise not feel it, for your children’s sake. =)