I'm still exhausted from all of the Christmas events and trying to recover! Whew! Just looking at the pictures and thinking about all that took place to write about is already wearing me out! We are so glad to be home and relaxing now.
We travelled to Nonnie & Duke's house to have a few days to spend with them before going to the Great Wolf Lodge and Gaylord Texan with Mark's side of the family. I did not take Dylan to see Santa and have his picture with him here in Lubbock before we went, so I needed to locate Santa in Dallas for him to go see while we were there. I have known all along how wonderful the Northpark Santa is and that people go stand in line for hours just to see him and have their picture taken with him. I wasn't sure I even wanted to attempt standing in a long line with Dylan since he is so squirmy and hates going to the mall, but we decided that we would try it out and see how it went. Mark left that morning while Dylan and I ate breakfast and got dressed to go get our special 'ticket' to see Santa. He spoke to one of the workers, asking for an estimate of about what time they thought we would need to come back and based on our number of 143 (at 8:30A.M., Mark was the 143rd person in line - geesh!) and they estimated that we shouldn't need to come back until about 4 o'clock that afternoon.
We took our time and around 2:30, we decided to get Dylan in his fancy outfit and head on out to go see Santa. We arrived and, of course, they had already called our number and made us stand at the back of the current line. It all worked out, though, because that line moved quickly and we were only about 15 minutes away from visiting Santa at that point.
15 minutes later, Dylan saw Santa. He was frightened to meet him for the first time, since he slept through the entire visit last year, and held on for dear life to me. Mark yanked him off and forced him to sit on his lap. Santa was so kind and spoke to all of us about how old Dylan was. They were so patient and were able to snap a few pictures of scared little Monkey before he burst into tears. His tears went away as soon as we picked him back up, though. I guess we might try to visit the same Santa next year, maybe...
Dylan posed with Nonnie & Duke for Christmas cards...
We opened gifts with Nonnie & Duke on Tuesday evening and it was so fun to see how interested Dylan was in opening things. The best gift of all was from Aunt Kristen! He got new shoes! Who knew that a kid would love new shoes so much? He immediately sat down and wanted to put them on his feet. As soon as they were on, he jumped up and started dancing in them. He loves them and literally points to them to show them off to anyone he sees when he has them on!
On Wednesday, we headed to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine to spend a day of swimming with Mark's side of the family. In an effort to not worry about getting good pictures and just let loose and have fun with my baby, I left the camera in the hotel room. You mom's know what I mean, you are more worried about getting good pictures than having any fun yourself! So, I do not have any pictures of the water park area. I swam with Dylan in the little kid pool. He was scared of the water at first, but I think it actually might have been all of the other wild children running loose in there, rather than the water. He finally warmed up to it and had some fun.
We snapped a picture before we left. Yep, a picture. Just one.
Later that afternoon, we had some time to kill before going to check-in at the Gaylord Texan, so we went to see the new aquarium at Grapevine Mills Mall. It was fabulous!! Mark and I have been to the mall several times, but not since this new addition and we loved it! Dylan loved it, too! It wasn't too crowed and just perfect!
Of course we had to go see ICE! at the Gaylord that evening we were there. Mark and I had been once before, but that was when it was only like the second year it even existed, so it had been a while. We remembered loving it and were really excited to go again. Apparently, things have changed quite a bit since the time we had been there, though. I think the event has become such a big deal that they had to make changes and it was nothing like the time we had remembered. It was just way too busy and overcrowded. There was line after line to get in and then line after line while in with the ice. Dylan was scared because of the crowd and cold (he hates wearing hats and since we made him put it on before we went in, it was all downhill from there, anyway.) I guess some people still love the event, but we were disappointed and actually felt horrible for making it sound so wonderful, dragging his entire family to it. They wouldn't even let us ride down the ice slides with the kids on our laps, so we had no sliding fun. I know the themes are always kid friendly, but I guess no fun for my little man. Oh well, live and learn. All was well after we got the kids to Rainforest Cafe and got food in every one's bellies!
Christmas Eve, we loaded up the car(s) and headed back home to Lubbock so Dylan wouldn't miss Santa coming! ;) Nonnie & Duke wanted to watch him open Santa gifts, so they tagged along, too, but only for a day. I'd say little Monkey is quite loved! :)
Santa did good and apparently Dylan was a good boy, too! He loved all of his presents left for him and was so excited! He couldn't decided what to play with first and kept going back and forth from one thing to the other. I'll have to say, I think his shopping cart is his favorite. He pushes that cart around everywhere all day long! It's so cute! I am thinking he needs a little market to go shopping at now! "Monkey's Market"... I can see it now... ;)