A Day at the Railroad Park

Yet another thing we love about living in Arizona is the abundance of parks with playgrounds in the area. Play areas for kids are planned into communities, and they are kept clean, landscaped, well-maintained, and well-lit in the evenings. You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your kids entertained!! There are plenty of options to enjoy the great outdoors, run amuck and be free (which our little boy just LOVES!!!)

Two weeks ago we got invited to a kiddie birthday party that was held at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. This place is not your average park! We were pleasantly surprised to see some ACTUAL classic train cars on display right in the park! There were also train rides to be enjoyed, as well as a carousel and a model train museum! A museum!! While we deeply enjoyed the birthday party (there were LOTS of food!!), even Terrence and I were excited to just roam the park and RIDE the trains.

Miggz got to enjoy a train ride with his Lolo (his grandpa). While Terrence and I waited and waited for their train to pass us by the picnic ramada so we can take their pic, we decided to hop on a different ride called Scottsdale Live Steamers. It was a miniature train ran by–as the name suggests–a LIVE steam engine. Terrence and I had a blast! Too bad we couldn’t catch Miggz and Lolo in THEIR train…they passed the ramada while we were on our ride!

The best part…we will DEFINITELY be back! Rides for kids under three are free with a paying adult, and the tickets cost a dollar each–two tix per person, for a total of ONLY $2 per ride!! There is no admission fee to get in the park itself.

Besides the super large grassy areas in this park, there are playgrounds of course–which we didn’t even get to explore while we were there. We also didn’t get to go inside the actual exhibit train cars…it would have been nice to see what’s on the inside of those trains.

Surely this place merits more than a second visit!

Here are some photos from our day at the railroad park…

While we waited for Miggz and his Lolo, Terrence and I took some pics of this "Railroad Crossing" sign...

...then we got bored and decided to ride the Scottsdale Live Steamers.

I took many pics…too many to post! Here is a slideshow…all taken using my iPhone 4s and an HDR photo effects app. Most photos were from inside the Model Train Museum, and while Terrence and I rode the miniature train.

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For more information about McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, go to therailroadpark.com.

Take your kids there! You’re sure to love it!! Across the park are some nice restaurants/shops too. It’ll make a great date–even for the grown-ups!

The Miggie Report: 20 Months

I’m over a week late, but here is Miguel’s 20-month report for his grandmas, aunties, and godmothers who I know LOVE to read about his monthly updates.

20 Months

I was just thinking to myself last week how we’ve reached another milestone in Miguel’s life. Being a Mom who likes to remember special dates (yes…even seemingly insignificant ones like his month-sary birthdays), I made sure to greet Miggz on his 20th month with a kiss on his forehead in the car on our way to church. I LOVE that his Daddy follows suit with a greeting (even though he probably would not have remembered that it was the 17th had I not first greeted him…LOL!)

We are past the point of lighting a candled cupcake (or some other pastry) on his monthly birthdays (though I must admit I probably would not mind the occasional treat). I know some parents even buy a small (or big) toy for the occasion. We do none of that now (and I say now because we DID that once for his 6th-month birthday, but c’mon…that’s PRETTY significant–six months!!! It’s the halfway point to one-year!). These days we give him a simple greeting and a kiss. He may not get the greeting part yet, but we know the kiss definitely lets him know it (meaning the day) must be something special. Plus he randomly gets toys from us–that would probably warrant as monthly gift toys if we aptly timed the buying of them.

Miguel’s antics just grow by the magnitude each month. This is especially evidenced in the past couple of weeks while we had additional family visiting here at home. How he started with a wailing cry at the sight of meeting his Grandma Amy and Grandma Maila for the first time at the airport, and ended with knowing how to call them by name (AH-MEE! MAI-YAH!) by the time they had to go back to Norway.

Favorite Things

Miguel’s absolute favorite thing to do these days, like in previous months, is to be outdoors (no surprise there!). He just LOVES to run around and not be bound by any walls. It seems that he LIVES to pick up rocks. He likes to toss them in the water and bring them inside the house (you’re bound to see them turn up in the bathtub, on pantry shelves, and yes…sometimes in my handbag). He also enjoys the occasional dip in his backyard pool.

When indoors, Miguel loves to play with his blocks, building Mega Block fortresses and Foam Block castles (this is a departure from previous months, when all he wanted to do was knock them over). He also enjoys playing with his Tonka Trucks a lot. It seems that this is one toy that he just doesn’t tire of. He received a set of these trucks from my cousin Olive for his 1st birthday, and here we are, eight months later, and the trucks are still his faves. (They’ve gotten attached to us, as well, those trucks. I remember mourning over the loss of one truck for days, after finding out we had left it back in a Vegas hotel some time in November. Thank God he’s got four more of them!!!) He’s since gotten a portable Tonka Garage from one of my Dad’s friends, and a set of Tiny Tonkas from my sister. And he can’t get enough of them!! He picks them up to play with everyday.

Mommy Dislikes

Cute as he may seem, there are some things I just wish Miggz will soon grow out of. The past month, I noticed Miguel chomping on a LOT more things than he did when he first teethed. I mean, I could understand the occasional munch on his toys and such, but on drawer pulls and coasters??? What gives?? LOL. He also has this thing where he thinks it’s fun to turn the TV on and off again and again (and seems to find more satisfaction at doing this while a basketball playoff game is on). He’s learned to also do the same with the volume knob on our TV receiver.

As the days go by, I wonder what more mischief he’s gonna get in to.

Mommy Likes

Miggz is generous with his kisses and hugs. And it’s so easy to make him laugh! Especially when I make silly sounds and funny sound effects whenever I dress him after a bath, or as he plays with his toys. I LOVE that he thinks I’m hilarious!!! (Always has since birth… It’s a mutual thing).

Miggz is also SUCH a quick learner. He can now mouth words to “Bahay Kubo” (a Filipino folk song), thanks to his Gramma’s constant teaching him of it. He knows his numbers until fifteen (though he skips some at times: one, two, three… seven, eleven, fifteen… LOL!). I continue to count every step on the stairs whenever we go up or down. He can also now identify the letters I, O, M, and W (I don’t know how he knows those before the other letters), and he now understands the concept of colors (red, green, blue, white, yellow), though he cannot completely identify the right name to the right color just yet. He just loves yelling out the colors when we eat Mini M&M’s (another one of his favorites).

One of my absolute faves to remember about this month is when Miggz occasionally does his “roll call” at the dinner table. He goes around and points at–and identifies–all of us: Mommy! Daddy! Gramma! Yo-Yo (Lolo)! Auntie! Uncle! Auntie! Auntie! Uncle! Jo-chi! Amy! Mai-yah!

He’s the best.

Miggz will probably choose to sleep out in the backyard if he can get away with it. (He is pictured here outside with Tator, his Auntie Anna and Uncle Jon's dog).

Miguel’s First Steps

Tonight was absolutely exhilarating! I got to see my son take his first real steps!!! For the past month and a half he’s been taking a couple of steps here and there, and then he’ll proceed right to his usual speed crawl. As we played together in his room though, he just took off. Not two steps, not even five steps. He took like seven steps from one point of the room to another! Ahhhh. Of course I did not have the flip video, or even my iPhone video camera to record it. A normal mom would immediately get up and grab the nearest camera she could find. Of course, I chilled there and just played with him. Of course, he takes off again!!! LOL. After that we took a little trip to our bedroom where the flip video is, and Te even came along to encourage him to walk some more. Finally…I caught a few videos of his FIRST REAL STEPS!!!

It’s true what they say…the BEST things in life are free =)

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