RSS Feed

Tag Archives: steam

The Whistle In The Night

Posted on

My son has a Melissa & Doug train puzzle that has caused trouble since the day I picked it up at the thrift store.

TRAIN PUZZLE-toy

If you have kids, you may know that Melissa & Doug makes sturdy wooden toys, that can also be a little pricey. If you have read my blog before, you may have gathered that my son REALLY likes trains.

So, when my asbestos friend and I were shopping in December last year, I really couldn’t pass up this puzzle. I mean, my kid can tell you the anatomy of a steam engine better than he can his own body. The problem was, he was WITH ME in the store. I tried to hide it from him. It is hard to hide a wooden puzzle. My asbestos friend, TRYING to be helpful, said, “Oh, let him play with it. He won’t even remember it tomorrow.”

Famous last words. She forgot my kid is six months older than hers.

EVERY DAY until Christmas came he asked me, “Where is my puzzle train?”

I finally settled on telling him, “Santa took it to the North Pole. He will bring it for Christmas.” Which, Santa did. My son will STILL tell me, “Santa Claus took my puzzle train and brought it back for me.”

He plays with it.

He loves it.

Did I forget to mention that it is a SOUND puzzle?

I put batteries in it Christmas morning after my son opened it. I was convinced for days that it didn’t work. I finally figured out that it only makes the whistle sound when you put in all the pieces at the same time.

We discovered that it worked off of light sensors in the puzzle. When they all sense darkness, it makes the noise.

And how did we discover this?

Because, invariably, my son takes out one piece of the puzzle and leaves it lying out. 99.9% of the time, it is the coal tender. And at night, when my son has been asleep for two hours and the crotchety dog that is prone to bark at night is locked up in the laundry room, and I am trying to be oh-so-quiet, I click off the living room light…

“Whoooooh-Whoooooh!”

Oh. Crap. That stupid train puzzle. Every night one piece is missing. Every night I never think to check. Every night I have to hold my breath as it whistles in the darkness, hoping that it will not disturb any man, child, or beast already in slumber.

And yet, with all this trouble, it is still a really cute puzzle…

What I Learned This Week – 8/25/13

On Sunday, my family and I went to the Day Out with Thomas event at the Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Michigan. This is our second year. It was kind of nice to know what to expect.

I wanted to look at all the Thomas stuff they had set up for the kids. My husband wanted to look at all the historical stuff at Crossroads Village that is always there, because he is into that sort of thing. My son just seemed pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing. He mostly just wanted to play with the toys that were set up. So much so, that he threw a glorious fit when we removed him from the gift shop toy table. He was not the only child throwing a fit when they were forced to leave that area. But, as i don’t have good behavior to brag about, I will boast that his fit was the loudest and most impressive.

My husband spent a lot of time walking around hand in hand with my son. I spent a lot of time pushing the stroller and taking pictures with the camera. Not quite the cozy family outing I had hoped for (In my head, I am holding hands with my husband, as we both push the stroller with my quiet, well-behaved child in it *sigh*), but we all said we had fun at the end of the day. I think my husband wouldn’t have taken a stroller at all. But it was worth it, because the Thomas-themed bag I took weight a ton, mostly from the full water bottles in the bottom. (Why pay $1.50 at the Village, when you can buy them for $.89 at the Speedway gas station on the way!) I consider an outing a success if we make it home with all the stuff we left with.  And we did.

The BEST part of the day was when we rode on the double-decker paddle boat on the lake at the end of the day. We just caught the last boat as it was about to leave. I got to sit! There was shade! There was cool breeze! There was fresh sea lake air!

CHILDREN WERE MELTING DOWN ALL OVER THE PARK!

BUT WE WERE NOT IN THE PARK! WE WERE ON THE LAKE!

Of course, some of the children on the boat were melting down too. I fortified my son with some crackers and cookies and we were good til he got in his car seat and passed out as we got on the expressway to head home.

Because most of you probably don’t give a flying fig about Thomas, I will post here my arty-fartsy pics from that day.

If you want to see Thomas, pop over to my Facebook page and I will post a couple over there.

If any of you reading this happen to have a little engineer at home and want to make them a Thomas cake for their birthday, you can click here for my own experience. (Go on, check it out. It is lopsided, but still kinda cute!)

A building at Crossroads Village

A building at Crossroads Village

Cider press

Cider press

A quiet train ride moment, frozen in time

A quiet train ride moment, frozen in time

Barns from the boat

Barns from the boat

Dam from the boat, with birds

Dam from the boat, with birds

Boat from the boat

Boat from the boat

Love my new camera, but sometimes the pictures it takes are very devoid of color. Maybe that is a problem that happens with the zoom. Anyone with any photographic advice on how to get more colorful pictures, I would love to hear it. I just have a little Panasonic DMC-SZ3.

And if your advice is “Buy a better camera”, I will delete your comment. Oh yes, I have that power…

%d bloggers like this: