When I healed enough in the past week or so to venture down into the basement, I was appalled to see the state of it! Ben tried really hard to clean it up before we came back from OH but it had fallen apart again. The boys aren't the greatest at picking up toys down there, most especially Legos.
When we started to add to our collection of legos over the past couple of years, I resorted to a cheap organization system~ zip lock bags! It worked for a little while but as our collection grew, it started to fail. The boys inevitably dump them out to find the pieces they need and before we know it, all the colors are mixed together and dumped into the container, making it hard to find what they need.
So ideas have been brewing in my head for awhile on how to inexpensively reorganize the legos and make it easier for the boys to use.
And maybe for me to use, too:) I love legos just as much as the boys! Ben and I have plans to make it fun for them downstairs. (more on that in a minute!) I made a trip Ikea to find a simple storage system that would work for us.
I worked hard to build it all by myself! Well....maybe with a little help from Eliana:)
Here is our new and improved play area!! The boys (actually, mostly Zakkai) helped me sort all of the different colors into the bins. They were excited about how easy it will be for them to play and to clean up! (mommy likes the last part:) We talked about selling the train table pictured above but are now planning on turning the top boards over (where you see green "grass") and gluing lego base boards onto them so they have a big lego area!
All sorted out and ready to play with!
And now for my tribute to Thomas the Train. You might laugh at me but this really does mean a lot to me.
Thomas became part of our family over 4 years ago when Samuel discovered how wonderful he was at the age of 2 1/2. His obsession with Thomas grew by leaps and bounds over the course of 3 years. Thomas came with Samuel EVERYWHERE. Everyone knew that where Samuel went, Thomas went. He went to church, the store, the doctors, preschool.....you name it.
Thomas was a really important tool for Samuel's sensory issues. It helped him tremendously to have a familiar, well-loved object with him in his pocket. We got special permission for Thomas to come to school and Sunday school. And not just any Thomas (we had 4 or 5), THE Thomas. Samuel had one specific Thomas that he adored and one only.
We lost Thomas several times and I spent who knows how many minutes of my life searching for him and always finding him, to the joy of a sweet little boy. Until one day last summer, a mere couple of weeks before school started. Thomas got lost and stayed lost. There were many tears shed over the loss of THE Thomas and my heart broke for Samuel. I thought I would eventually tuck Thomas into Samuel's memory box as a special reminder of a little boy's happy world.
The hours upon hours of Thomas playing, building tracks and watching the Thomas cartoon has slowly dwindled over the past 9 months or so. Zakkai will still play with it upon occasion but he really wants big brother to play with him. And when Samuel refuses, all of the trains sit and wait.
This week I finally brought up to the boys that maybe it was time to sell Thomas (and all of his friends and paraphernalia) to a little boy that still loves trains and wants to play with them. There were immediate protests from Samuel and then the tears came to his eyes and the little boy-ness came out and he wailed, "But, mooommmy, I love Thomas!"
And so Ben and I told him that we'll hold off for a little while longer until he's ready to let go. And maybe until I'm ready to let go, too. Tonight I packed up Thomas and co. (pic above) and was surprised how instantly my throat clogged up and how a few tears escaped. I put them in our storage room for now. Maybe a little part of me is still hoping that they'll want to play with him again. Maybe I'm just not ready to say goodbye to that very important, special part of my little boy.
The little boy who is growing up all too fast.