…are spent at our local mall’s fantastic educational toy store. I love shopping there. When I can’t be with Jamie during my workday, finding him awesome presents at the mall on my lunch hour is the next best thing.


Today, I was on a mission. For some reason, over the last few months Jamie has started getting really excited every time we’re out somewhere and see something with Thomas the Tank Engine on it. I have no idea where or when he was exposed to this, because he’s never watched the show with us at home (it’s on during the day on weekdays when we’re at work) and his preschool has never shown it either. Somehow, though, Jamie knows who Thomas is and just goes absolutely nuts every time we see his picture on something, whether it’s toys, or sippy cups, or whatever.


So, I decided to poke around the toy store today and hook Jamie up with some Thomas stuff of his own. Luckily, My Favorite Toys has the largest selection of Thomas toys in Southern Illinois. (That place really rocks. They have a lot of obscure stuff, and hard-to-find stuff, and classic stuff from when parents and grandparents were little kids, and just all sorts of neat stuff. They also have tons of Folkmanis puppets, which family members have been buying for Jamie since he was born. He has quite the collection these days.) I am putting a link to this toystore’s expansive website in my list of links, because I really want these folks to stay in business for a long, long time. They are so friendly and knowledgeable — it’s like they only hire teachers or something. I’m constantly telling people to go check them out if they’ve never been in there or browsed their website. I like to keep our bucks in Southern Illinois, and I love having them as a local resource. I want them to stay put!


Anyway, getting back to Jamie and his Thomas obsession, I bought him two Thomas & Friends videos, two books (one with magnetized pages and cool magnets of all the Island of Sodor trains, and one with a clock with moveable hands so you can change the time on every page as Thomas goes through his railway schedule — how cool is that?) and a little Jamie-sized railroad engineer’s cap to wear when we watch his Thomas videos. I called Geoff, who usually gripes that Jamie has too much junk as it is, and he got really excited about coming home and playing/watching Thomas the Tank Engine with Jamie. Geoff really wants to do train sets with him when he gets older, so he was chomping at the bit to come home and have “train night” at our house.


I can’t wait to surprise Jamie with all his Thomas presents!