the story of a train table.

Friday, December 28, 2012

this year i went round and round with what to get parker.  i didn't want to just spend a bunch of money and throw toys at him that i hoped would keep him occupied long enough for me to check my email and get dinner ready (though, the thought was tempting).  i wanted to get him toys that would really stand the test of time.  now, i know that sounds dramatic, but i'm serious.  i knew that things like a tugboat or some puzzles would provide some entertainment, but i wanted something that he'd really use.  use and love and continue loving for a long time.  i've seen those train tables before but wasn't sure he was old enough to really enjoy one and get the whole trains-on-tracks thing.  but then we visited a toy store to get some presents for william and lindsey and they had a train table there all set up.  he couldn't get enough of it.  surrounded by walls of colorful toys, the train table kept his interest the entire time we were in the store.  i mentioned it to steve and he thought it'd be a better present for the following year.  i wasn't convinced.  we visited the store again for some more christmas shopping and once again, the train table was where it was at for parker.  so, on christmas eve when we had a family breakfast out and stopped by the store once more, i looked at steve like, "look!  he loves it!"  then i saw steve eyeing it and measuring it with his own feet.  yessssss.  we went home, steve and nathaniel drove to lowes, and they bought the supplies to make parker his own.  steve spent a good chunk of christmas eve in the garage, building it with william alongside, his trusty sidekick, and even had to hurry back to the store for an unforeseen supply just before they closed for the holiday.  i checked in a few times over the few hours they were down there, brought them hot chocolate (the garage was cold!), and watched it become the train table i'd envisioned.  once parker went to sleep, they carried it up and all four of the older kids set up a scene with the tracks and trains we already had.  i couldn't have been more excited.  i knew parker would love it, and, more than that, it was such a special gift to him made by his dad.  well, christmas morning came and parker and nathaniel were the last ones down.  parker spotted it immediately and could not get out of nathaniel's arms fast enough to get to it.  right there, my christmas morning was made.  and honestly, he was even more excited than i'd hoped.  i thanked steve a million times, but here's one more: thank you so much.  it was so special.  and now, every time i hear parker playing at it, my heart grows a size.  i spy on him around corners as he tinkers at it, moving trains around and accidentally knocking down tracks (he's getting the idea slowly!).  i just love it.


i still may stain it, or paint it some other color.  i'm not really sure.  part of me doesn't want to do anything to it!  i don't think i'll permanently paint grass or water, but maybe buy felt to make shapes that can be moved around it.  any ideas?

38 comments:

  1. What a lovely gift!! I love that it was handmade... by his dad no less! A wonderful gift, and memory, for years and years to come.

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  2. Best. Gift. Ever. Parker is going to treasure it for years and years and years and someday be able to give it to his kids and tell them that his dad made it for him. What a precious gift!

    -Amy

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  3. Such a special gift and I love how excited he got when he saw it....priceless! Really love that Steve made it too!

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  4. that video is adorable. its amazing to see how excited wee ones get. not just at Christmas but all the time!

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  5. @desertgirl, i know! we said that too. an heirloom train table, to be sure!

    @nessa, i know. i tell you what--having little ones makes christmas!

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  6. Is it weird that I laughed AND teared up AND rewound the video to see little Parker's face light up and his little lips make a little "oh!" when he saw the train table?

    Precious. :)

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  7. What a perfect gift made with LOVE! Better than anything store bought. The video is priceless!

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  8. I definitely just watched that twice- and may go back for thirds! His face is priceless, and those wiggly "GET ME DOWN!!" legs are hilarious!
    What a great gift- and, like you said, so much better than a temporary occupier-gift!

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  9. his little face when he sees the table is seriously so dang cute!!! what an awesome gift :)

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  10. Your man is so awesome! I'm still in awe that he just BUILT that. Crazy!

    I love it as is. Simplicity is sweet.

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  11. OH my, that video was precious. Ah, Parker's face when he spots the table!

    Homemade gifts are the best! They will be cherished for years and can be passed down. My hubby is making me a rustic kitchen table for Christmas (still not done, but close).

    I would stain it and then seal it. And I think the felt shapes would be amazing!

    Best parents awards to you two. Now my ovaries are quivering!

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  12. @jessica, ooh! a handmade kitchen table! that will be soooo nice. best husband award to YOUR husband then too!

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  13. @gesci, i know -- the full body 'get me outta here and to that table stat' was the best.

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  14. his face when he spots the table! so sweet. what a amazing gift, it definitely means so much more that steve made it!

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  15. Cannot believe Steve made that on Xmas eve. Dad of the year award. Parks reaction is soooo cute.

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  16. Happy tears over here. The way you explained how happy your heart was that Parker would get something special made by his dad...and then his face when he saw it! Too much!

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  17. what a sweet little table!! always better when you can make things like this on your own rather than worry about shelling out the money they want for them- and then the expression on your kiddos face melts your heart a little bit more :)

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  18. this is such a lovely toy story. i love the video, such a magic. kudo to steve for building parker's gift over a day :)

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  19. Oh my gosh, that video killed me. So adorable! I have to admit, I watched it a few times just to see his reaction when he saw the table. So cute!

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  20. this was the sweetest thing ever.

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  21. and parkers face when he saw it. i died.

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  22. I just watched it like 3 times to see his face light up! so awesome! what about painting it with chalkboard paint on the bottom, then he can draw rivers and things when he is older but isn't pinned down to something permanent.

    I think you have a chalkboard wall, but they make it in other colors now I hear if that works better!

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  23. It's okay, I wore that video out. Parker's little mouth O of excitement when he spots the table...love!

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  24. the look on his face was priceless!

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  25. This is such a beautiful gift. My husband too often builds things for the children and it is so so touching. It looks like you had a beautiful Christmas and I'm gladly now following along. Best - Monica

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  26. His reaction is priceless! Nice job building it yourself.

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  27. Awww the way he just got so excited and squirmed down to see his present :) so cute!

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  28. Those trains are exactly what I remember growing up on. We still have a huge chest of them outside somewhere that I'll have my greedy paws all over the second I have my own kids. They're the best.

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  29. Those are the kind of gifts I love parents giving their children! Now I want a little boy just so we can have a train table in our house :)

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  30. I would leave it plain. Maybe just a little sealer to protect it a bit. I think it would be fun to have the big kids and you and Steve to graffiti a bit on the bottom of the table. Like a secret super special message. Sort of like those awesome old wood school desks that you would end up staring at during boring lectures. Great video. My one year old Lola's favorite gift? A wristlet my mom gave to me. She's been carrying it around on her elbow, hand in the air, crammed with stuff since Christmas Day.

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  31. @joan lindsay, yes! writing on the bottom for sure.

    @laura, the chalkboard paint - now that is an idea!

    @e, i know... we actually pause it on his face when he spots it. cheesy.

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  32. oh my word, that table is awesome!! I love that you caught Parker's reaction on film. so precious!

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  33. Best. Video. Ever.

    Seriously, we laughed really hard.

    Nicole :)
    NeNe Monster

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  34. You make my ovaries ache with all that train table cuteness. Stop that. What an incredibly special memory though!

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  35. That's a wonderful gift! He will love it for years to come!

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  36. oh my, I love the "oh" surprise on his face -that is awesome! Exactly what we were looking for, but had a sick kiddo for our holiday :-(

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  37. That video, and his footie pajamas, are the cutest things ever!

    Jessa

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  38. That is a fabulous table and what a great memory of him and William making it Christmas Eve just for little Parker Bean. Felt grass sounds perfect. I want one.

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