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A lost tooth and more gift ideas!

Talking toy ideas again to help with your Christmas shopping!  But first I have to share some important news…

Someone lost her first tooth today.  :)  I mentioned this on facebook already, but need to document it here on the blog so that we have this milestone in our family scrapbook.  And what a milestone it was!   After two years of patiently watching her sister lose teeth and get money/attention from the tooth fairy it is finally Addison’s turn.  She pulled it out herself and then came running down the stairs yelling “Mommy!  It came out!  My tooth came out!  I pulled it!  It’s bleeding!  I look like a vampire!”  HA!   :)   Ellie and I were laughing.  As soon as we got it cleaned up she instantly got to work writing a note to the tooth fairy asking if she could please keep her first tooth to show her class tomorrow.  I think “Liliana” will be ok with that.  :)  I have to say that after things calmed down a huge wave of sadness swept over me.  I love that little baby tooth smile so much and within a year or two it will be gone.  Kind of a reality slap of how quickly my babies are growing up.  If I could freeze these girls in their current age forever I honestly think I would.  (Kole at age 2… not so much – I’d give him a year or two before I’d freeze him.)  ;)  We went to get yogurt at Addie’s favorite place to celebrate and had a fun afternoon despite the fact that several times mom had to hold back the tears.  
And now on to the toys!  Several of you have asked what I’m getting my kids for Christmas this year so  I thought I’d share a few ideas I have.  Of course who knows what Santa will come up with last minute, but here are some things I’ve bought and some things I have a feeling we might see come December.  
My girls love their Princess Toddler Dolls and over the past two years they have collected most of them.  
But they don’t have Mulan.  So when I saw her in Costco a month ago I picked her up thinking I was being so smart starting my shopping so early.  I brought her home and set her in my closet and that night my girls found her!  I was so bummed!  I told them she was for a birthday gift and they stared at her longingly in her package all night long.  They are getting too smart and know all of my hiding spots so from now on all toys will be shipped/taken straight to Kenny’s office.  I can just see Kenny working with all of his big shot clients surrounded by princesses and polly pockets.  :)  
Another doll option I’m considering are these fun Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  Wouldn’t they be cute stocking stuffers!?  I love them because I had something similar when I was a little girl.  
Plust I just have a feeling these two might enjoy them.  :)

Kole has loved his nesting blocks so much that I thought it would be fun to move on to some real building blocks.

Kole also LOVES puzzles and has mastered everything we own. 

I know these Thomas the Train Wood Puzzles will be a huge hit.  By the way, if you are thinking of getting puzzles for your kids, my FAVORITE puzzles are Melissa and Doug Puzzles.  Two of Kole’s favorite puzzles that I forgot to take a picture of and mention yesterday are the Magnetic Fishing Game Puzzle and the Latches Board Puzzle.  He has loved both of those and plays with them all the time.
While we’re on the subject of trains, I’m also thinking of getting Kole a Train Table.  I would love to hear from any of you boy moms – what is a good one to get?  Do I want one that has the track nailed down (sounds nice for right now because Kole gets frustrated when he can’t keep it together) or will he want to put the track together when he gets older?  Are they something boys play with for years, or will it be collecting dust by January?  Thoughts?  Opinions?  Thank you in advance!  :)
Wanna see what I am the most excited about getting Kole this year for Christmas!?  
A toddler trampoline!  Kenny and I have always planned to get a big trampoline with padded sides once we get into the new house and have room in our yard for one, but I can’t wait one more day.  My boy has WAY too much energy and just needs to bounce!  He is constantly jumping on beds and loves to be in motion.  We had one of these when Ellie was a toddler and she loved it.  But most of the time she just sat on it and played with her dolls.  That won’t be the case with Kole.  :)  I’m hoping this helps on days that I can’t take him to the park.  I haven’t decided which one to order yet (so many fun choices on Amazon), but definitely something like the one above with a handle bar for him to hold.  Usually I would hesitate to buy something like this because I don’t have the room for it, but I am so desperate right now I don’t even care!  Drop that baby right smack in the middle of my living room floor!  You want to eat fishy crackers in there too?  Go ahead if it will keep you entertained for 5 minutes.  This is what having three kids has done to me…  :)
Another fun thing I’m looking at for my kids this year is the Chest-R-Desk.  My cute friend Kami at No Biggie told me about this one.  It’s a chest, a chair, and a desk all in one!  
This is Kami’s cute little boy testing it out.  It’s great for kids 3-12 so all three of my kids could use it.  One of my biggest pet peeves is how my kids’ art projects and homework end up all over our kitchen table making it hard to clean up and feed them every 30 minutes (I swear I’m feeding someone every 30 minutes!).  I love that they can keep all of their paper and art work inside of the chest and then pull it out and have their own little work space.  How fun and functional is that!?  I know my girls would LOVE these.  I may need three of them.  :)  You can purchase them at Chest R Desk or check out the Chest R Desk Facebook page.  You can also see more pictures and a video showing how they work on Kami’s fun blog – No Biggie.  Such a cool gift idea.  

The girls need new rain gear this year for Christmas.  I know most people buy snow hats and gloves, but around here we gear up for rainy season in Jan. and Feb.  

I haven’t found “the ones” yet but I’m searching for cute rain gear so if any of you see some let me know!

 My girls have LIVED in their American Girl pajamas.  And so have their dolls.  They have grown out of these beloved pj.’s so I’m looking at some new ones for Christmas.

These pj’s are a bit of a splurge, but they are made of the softest material and my girls want to sleep in them every night so I’m spending a bit more and getting one pair of really nice pj’s instead of buying them multiple pj’s that are cheaper quality.  (Of course, that doesn’t include Christmas pj’s… they may end up with a pair or two.. or ten of those.)  :)  It goes without saying that anything from the American Doll Store would be a fun surprise for little girls on Christmas morning!  That store makes me want to be a little girl again.

My girls told me the other day that they hope Santa brings them another doll house.  I said “what!?”  No way.  You already have several.”  So my girls will not be getting another doll house, but I do think a doll house is such a fun gift!  I’ve loved seeing my girls faces Christmas morning when they see the doll house of their dreams in the living room.  There are so many fun options to choose from.  I mentioned our favorites here.

Another gift I’m considering are some new Animal Bath Wraps from Pottery Barn Kids.  We have worn ours out!  We’ve had them for years.  My elephants love them.  
 And so does my little frog.  

I have more fun gift ideas for my three peanuts, but I’ll have to share them another time.  I need to go check and make sure a certain tooth fairy is on call this evening.  :)
Happy Shopping!

xoxo, Erin
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44 thoughts on “A lost tooth and more gift ideas!

  1. I’m a long time reader and also have a 2 1/2 year old Cole who is also in EI for speech—crazy right? We bought a train table and he LOVES it {actually both kids love it}. We actually bought the LACK table from Ikea because I didn’t like the look of the other train tables and this one looked better with the rest of our house. Everything stores right underneath and it gets played with all the time. Highly recommend the trains! :)

  2. My little guy has loved his train table, and my girls have too! We have this one the red open storage on the sides.

    Hope the link works.

    The storage is great and easy for the kids to access. Take a picture of it assembled so when they take it apart to make new configurations, you (or your girls) can put it back like a puzzle (my girls love to do this).

    I knew my son would love it, but I’ve been surprised how my girly girls have loved it too.

  3. A train table is a great investment! I bought one for my oldest 2 boys when they were 4 & 2 and it was their favorite toy for YEARS! Now I have 2 more boys and it is still played with regularly. My daughter plays with it as well. We bought the one at Costco and it has held up great for 9 years. It fits with all the Thomas trains and tracks and is much cheaper than other brands.

    Smart idea on the trampoline! I literally have no room at all or I would get one for my monkey who is a couple of months younger than Kole.

  4. Erin, my son (now 14) LOVED Thomas and trains. we bought the table made by the same company because i knew it came apart for storage (we are keepimg ot for grandkids!) and for its stability. we did NOT have the tracks setuo or glued down for two reasons. He liked to change thimgs around and i didnt want to commit to one setup and take away the creativity that comes with track building and because we could put the trains away, flip the board ( with the grass and village design) and have a Lego table.

    Happy Shopping

  5. My boys ADORE their train table. Do NOT get the one with tracks nailed down. Here’s why… boys like to build theirs and do separate lay outs for their tracks. Also, sometimes, they like to just put all the tracks away and play with their little people or hot wheels and action figures. It’s endless hours of fun, and they will use it for years. My oldest got his at age 2 and he’s 5. It’s played with every day. My parents got it from a company and I honestly don’t know who or where they got it but it can turn into a desk or an easel. We briefly had it as a desk but that didn’t last long, they wanted their train table back.

  6. Erin, my son is just 3.5, but I would recommend getting the train table that does not have the tracks glued down. Pretty soon your little guy will be able to work those tracks like nobody’s business, and he will want to move them around. We have the generic train table from Toys R Us and it’s lasted for many years – my younger daughter actually had it (she is 9 now) and it looks brand new. Thanks for all of the gift inspiration!!!

  7. I have twin boys that are 3.5 years old. We got them a train table for Christmas last year…bought online from company called Nilo. We love it because we got rolling bins to store everything underneath. We also bought wooden train set that I believe was Melissa and Doug. I don’t recommend the nailed down track because he will out grow that quickly, but I have seen kids play with the wooden train sets upto age 10 or more! While it may be frustrating for him to tear apart the track, you will definitely get more use out of it. This is a great gift idea that I am sure Kole will love playing with in his new bedroom for years to come!

  8. Love your gift idea posts! Our son received some hand me down train tracks several months ago and they have been his favorite toy by a long shot. For his birthday, we bought him a train table and he is still absolutely giddy over it. He plays with it constantly! Ours has car roads on the boards which is nice so he can take off the tracks and use it as a car table if he’d like. It also has an open storage shelf on the bottom which is great for storing baskets of tracks and all his big trucks. I wouldn’t recommend nailing the tracks down. Building new configurations is half the fun, I think. :)

  9. Addie looks so cute with her little tooth missing. I know what you mean about feeling sad about these little milestones, because it really does all happen so quickly.

    Great gift ideas! Thanks Erin!

  10. Such fun ideas. Having had 3 boys who absolutely LOVED Thomas, the train table is a must! We have loved ours and the huge drawers underneath are wonderful for storing lots and lots of things.

  11. When my little boy (who is now a 20-year-old LDS missionary) was little, he LOVED Thomas the Thank Engine. We used Thomas toys for all sorts of bribes…er, motivation. So, one year as Christmas approached, I saw a train table at Sams Club and we bought it for him. That was THE. BEST. EVER. We didn’t permanently attach the tracks; he liked changing things around. I think you will find that the tracks stay together better on the train table, anyway. He played with it for years. When he was in high school, he decided to give it to some friends of ours who had little boys who also loved trains (and they didn’t have a lot of money), because he knew those boys would love his trains and train table as much as he did. I am sure that in coming years, we will buy another train table for our grandchildren (which had better be a long way off!). I’d recommend just going with a train table that looks good to you; I know your little man will love it!

  12. Thank you so much everyone!

    Kristina – thank you – so sweet of you to say!

    Florest family – Too funny about Cole in speech! :)

    I SO appreciate the train tips everyone! NO nailed down tracks – got it. :) After your recommendations I’m getting one for Kole this year for sure. Thanks again!

  13. I’m agreeing with everyone else here…a train table was a great investment for us! We originally bought it for our son when he was 18 months and he is now 4 1/2 and still plays with it! (As have both of our girls.) We have one that does not have the tracks glued on. I think that is a better option because Kole won’t always be frustrated with the tracks coming apart. My 4 year-old likes to design his own tracks now and might not still be interested with the train table if the tracks were glued on. Happy shopping!

  14. Love following your blog! You have such a cute family. I have two little girls, one named Addy, and love your gift ideas. Are the strawberry shortcake dolls really tiny?

  15. Erin, you have no idea now many of your gift ideas I have pinned the past two days for Sydney! These posts have been a great help – thanks a bunch! Hope all is going well with the house-planning!

  16. Speaking of holding back tears…Last night as I was tucking Connor into bed, he informed me that he only has 2 more weeks of being in Primary! Try that one on for a minute! I’m dying. My little boy cannot be turning 12!

  17. Re the train table–it doesn’t even have to be specifically for trains…What I would look for is a table that:

    1) is pretty big, but a good toddler height
    2) has lots of storage options
    3) if possible, has a lid/top that can flip–that way, you could have a train table on one side (and could even draw grass/trees/water etc on it or on paper on which he could set up the tracks, and on the other side, you could glue several large lego baseplates and then you would have a lego table as well. You might think that lego is a long way off, but it will come quickly, and lego is something that can keep my very active 3 yr old occupied for quite some time–he can’t really make the sets or anything yet, but loves playing with the trucks, etc, that we make for him, and is learning how to play gently with lego (no crashing games :). We made a lego table from a large coffee table from ikea, and he (and all the other kids that come to our house) LOVE(s) it. We would have bought one that we could play trains on, too, except that we keep Thomas and his friends at my husband’s office, so that when the kids are there they are completely occupied.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share my thoughts, especially since you’ve given me such great gift ideas! Whatever you get will be fantastic.


  18. Love your blog! I have a 3 year old little boy. We bought the trampoline a few months ago. It is a big hit! I got it at, and it has a color wheel to spin and then you jump on the colors on the trampoline. He really loves it.
    Jennifer Johnson

  19. Thanks Jennie! I think those Strawberry Shortcake dolls are about half the size of a barbie (at least that is what I’m picturing??). I need to look on-line or at Toys R Us for the exact size.

    Mary Beth – Yea! I’m so glad these ideas have been helpful!

    Amber – AHHH! Connor CANNOT be turning 12! I gasp when I read that! He will always be the sweetest little 2 year old watching Toy Story to me. :)

    Wilma – Thank you so much! I’ll keep all of those things in mind while I hunt for the perfect train table! Great tips. I really appreciate it!

    Jennifer – I’m off to check out the Wal-Mart trampoline! Thank you!

  20. I have totally been thinking about a little trampoline around here too. I don’t have a train table, but I bought the “lack” (i think that’s the name) coffee table at Ikea for our toyroom. I have loved it, it has been great for train tracks, lego creations, coloring, everything. I just like it because it can have so many purposed beyond just trains and it looks good in the playroom too. Obviously it doesn’t have the track on it, but it just provided the hard smooth surface to build it all on.

  21. We tried the train table but the kids preferred making bigger tracks on the floor–and the train table ended up collecting junk on top of it. We love the Thomas trains & tracks though. Definitely something to keep for the grandkids even!

  22. Cute ideas! My daughter loved American girl stuff when she was younger. My son was big into rescue heroes.
    One of the BEST things I can remember buying when my kids were little ( around Koles age & up), was a Fisher Price christmas manger. It is absolutely adorable & they LOVED it. It plays music. Google Fisher Price Manger & you’ll see it. It wasn’t expensive & well worth it & its a decoration & a keepsake toy.

  23. My son, who was 2 last Christmas, got a train table and he has played with it every day since! I kid you not! I would 100% recommend getting one for your little guy especially if he likes trains. And I wouldn’t nail down the tracks to the table. Sometimes my son likes to take the tracks off and just use the table top to play with his trains and/or matchbox cars. Also, you may want the option of buying other train tracks configurations down the road and setting that up on the table. After 9 months of playing with the same train track configuration, when it was my son’s 3rd birthday I bought him another train track (just the track, not the table) and set that up on our current table. He loved it and now he has 2 train track setups to interchange. I was also worried about the tracks coming apart, but you’d be surprised, those tracks click in pretty snug and stay together really well. Definitely get your son a train table you won’t regret it! We got the KidKraft table, with the drawer….love the drawer, tons of storage! I will try to find a link to the one we bought.

  24. Love your blog. As a mum of 2 boys we used our train table a lot. WE bought the Thomas top only and a handy friend build the table(or you could ask your builder). We used a little blue tac to secure tracks when boys were younger. Great also for car tracks, Lego creations, playing under and more. I am sure Kole would love it. Thanks from Susanne in Australia

  25. We have a plain train table that was given to us by some friends. My boys love it because they can build trains on it and they use it to build Legos on! Win-win for me!

  26. My husband insisted last year that Kendall needed a train table! I think he might have wanted it more than anything haha! This is the one that we got:

    I would have to be honest and say the most frustrating thing for us has been that it falls apart and what 2-3 year old doesn’t knock things down? I had a hard time getting it back together correctly and it made me nuts! We still have it and it is sturdy and has held up really good and I am sure if we have a boy in the near future he will get a lot of use out of it!

    My best friend has a little boy that will be 3 in December he is really into the GeoTrax. I am not sure if they have a table, but the thing I liked about those is they snap together and they stay together pretty well. Tripp has quite a few of them and plays with them all the time when we are over there:)

    We like the fisher price snap on dolls! I already got her a puppy for Christmas to add to her collection!

    This year I think one of her gifts is one I will play with more than her!! We got her the Loving Family Grand Dollhouse and of course all of the accessories to go with it! I can’t wait:) I am sure we will throw a few other baby dolls and fun stuff in there as well!!

  27. My son is right about Kole’s age and we are getting him a train table this year with a wooden train set. We are not getting it nailed down since I know he will want to move things around eventually. We bought the Toys R Us brand table (Imaginarium brand) and got it on sale. We liked it and got to see it all set up in the store. It has a crain too.

    I would also recommend this plastic table that can be used as a table too. We got it for him last year and the good thing about it is that you can run hot wheels on it or the take and play Thomas’.

  28. Hi – we have a train table for the two boys.

    DON”T stick them down permanently.
    Just use Blu tak – the stuff for putting posters up on walls.

    That way it’s easy to rearrange and those train track sets have lots of additions/ bridges etc.

  29. Just a little fun thing to pass on… When my sisters & I were little girls and we lost a tooth, we would wake up with very fine fairy dust (irridescent glitter) sprinkled lightly across our face and pillow. It’s my favorite tradition :)

  30. My folks bought the Imaginarium (I think that is the brand) one for my boys a couple of years ago and it had two side drawers for train storage and such. It worked great!! I’m not sure if any of the train table come with the track already nailed down, but, I did have my dad nail/glue the track down in place. The boys would always accidentally knock the bridges down or the ornery/naughty little sister ;-) would always knock it down. Anyway you can buy it at Toys R Us for 120ish and it came with a ton of trains/track/bridges, it basically was pretty awesome and compatible with all Thomas stuff.

    I’d talk more but I better run. Just wanted to give you my two cents on trains. Ha.


  31. Hi, Addi looks so cute with her missing tooth:)

    How do you handle Father Christmas (Santa) regarding the pressies? For example, how do you make sure that your children know to thank you & Kenny & other relatives rather than just Father Christmas? For example, are the stocking presents from FC & the rest from you etc?

    Also, if they make a pressie list to Father Christmas do they get upset if they don’t get what they’ve asked for?

    I’ve often wondered how people handle Father Christmas.

  32. Great ideas, Erin! Thanks! And congratulations on the tooth! My daughter just lost the same one and she is 7 1/2…it was also her first. She has been waiting FOREVER! lol! I know what you mean, though…it is so sad when you know that smile is changing forever now. I feel the same way when a baby gets their first tooth and I know the gummy smile is over. Sigh.

    My daughter got those little strawberry shortcake dolls from her grandma for Christmas last year and they have been a hit here. The smell is really strong (in case anyone is wondering!). They are just the right size. :)

    Another thing Kole might like is a yoga ball in a peanut shape…we got ours at Walmart for $17 and it has been in constant use here! Kids can do so much with it to get their wiggles out. We also have had a Dizzy Disc for years and that one is awesome if you have a kid who likes to spin at all. It hardly takes up any space, either.

  33. Thank you so much for the girl gift ideas! I am definitely buying some of what you suggested. A few years back I did buy a huge set of wooden thomas train tracks off craigslist. The lady that sold them too me, had a huge stash of everything thomas the train and even sold on ebay. So I looked at her sons amazing and complicated train table and said, I want to have something like that, so what tracks do I need? I ended up with over 100 tracks and accessories, and paid about 150.00 to 300.00? and the retail cost would have been double. Because it had bridges and over passes etc, I had to glue it down, because my son was busy and he kept taking it apart, there was no way I would remember where all the pieces would go. I dont regret gluing it down at the time, because it was complicated enough that my son never got bored with it. If I had bought a more simple train set, I dont think I would have glued it down. I highly recommend looking for a deal on ebay or craigslist for the real wooden thomas tracks. They are very expensive in toysrus and target, so why not try and save some money.

  34. Thank you so much for all of the sweet comments and great toy suggestions everyone! I have written down all of your suggestions and am so prepared to research train tables! (And other things mentioned). YEA for fun toy ideas! You guys are the best. :)

  35. Hi Julie!

    Everything my kids get for Christmas has a tag on it that says if it is a gift from Santa or from mom and dad. Santa usually brings the “big stuff” or things that they’ve asked for and of course everything in their stocking is from Santa. My kids know that Santa checks with us first so we have to approve of their gifts (for example – El keeps asking for a puppy and that’s not happening!). :) They also know they might not get everything on their list and that’s fine. They always get lots of surprises they didn’t ask for so it all works out. :) They know better than to be upset over not getting something on their list when they’ve been blessed with so much. We love the toys but try to really put the focus of the holidays on Christ and family time. Hope that answers your questions! Such a fun time of year. :)

  36. Hi Erin,
    Thank you for answering my questions about Father Christmas. (Santa)

    It’s a lovely idea what you do. I bet you excited when you wrap the pressies up & look forward to seeing your Children’s faces:)

  37. * get

    By the way, they’ve started showing loads of Christmas ads (commercials) here. Some are brill:)

    There’s one by John Lewis, a major department store, about 2 snowmen. It’s probably on YouTube. It’s lovely:)

    P.S. Thank you also for your comment about Christmas & the Saviour, fun times & family. Thank you for your great example:)

  38. She looks so cute with her missing tooth!
    My 5 year old is getting a big doll house for her Barbies this year. She’s going to be so excited. She has a smaller doll house, but nothing for Barbies! I am at a loss at what to get my 1 year old. She literally has every toy imaginable, thanks to her older siblings.

  39. LOVE that sweet first missing tooth! Addie looks so cute!

    I totally wanted to buy those puzzles at Costco for Jensen, but held back since he’s not really old enough for them. Glad they’ll be making their way to your house!

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