Visit to the "North Pole" - Santa 2013

For the 3rd year in a row, I took the kids to Bass Pro's Winter Wonderland for Santa pictures and toy fun. We were sad that Daddy wasn't able to go with us but time was growing short and I was afraid by this weekend that poor Santa's "North Pole" would be overrun with little people. We had a special surprise we had to work on early Monday morning for Daddy's Christmas (he may actually still read this thing so I won't say yet what it is but hopefully it works out!), so we were at the wonderland by 10:05am. For the record, to be up, moving, and all dressed that early on a non-school day is almost like a Christmas miracle.

It also was a miracle that Quinn let me curl her hair. Which promptly fell about an hour later. Quinnie has some beautiful, shiny, blonde hair but dang! It is so fine and won't hold curl to save it's life. I am endlessly trying different combinations to keep her hair out of her face for school but inevitably they all fail and she comes home with an assortment of paint, markers, and glitter speckled throughout it every day. I am waiting for it to get a bit longer and then maybe, just maybe, I can learn how to braid it somehow. But I've learned a couple of things: first, I have NO clue how to "do" little girls' hair. I never can get a straight part to even make acceptable piggies. Second, fine hair is just impossible. I am used to my thick, coarse hair that just needs a little spray to be pulled back. Maybe it will grow less fine as she grows? As usual, I digress. Back to Santa.

Anyway, the kids were SO excited. They really "get" the whole Santa thing this year and it's so fun to see and hear. Now when they see something they want, they either say "Oh, I need to tell Louie! (our Elf)" or "I better ask Santa!". It's been great for bribing good behavior. Not going to lie.

Quinn looks a little hesitant in the Santa pics but she really wasn't at all. I think she just looks overwhelmed because of the "elves" shaking their bells and yelling (politely asking?) her to look at the camera. Our Santa has a rule of only one child on the lap --- apparently he has a bad knee --- but he's so realistic looking that we keep going back. And his pictures are free so you can't beat that.

After visiting with Santa, we played inside the Wonderland for a good 45 minutes. I will say Bass Pro knows what they are doing. All sorts of trains, remote control cars and "monster trucks", stations for writing letters to Santa and building Lincoln Logs... after seeing Ryan enjoy the train SO much, I was dang tempted to buy their electric train. Resisting, resisting. He has a huge assortment of wooden tracks and trains - I think we need to wait a bit on an electric one. Maybe birthday?

Waiting in line for Santa. They hadn't actually seen the big guy yet until the front portion of the line cleared out. This is Ryan getting his first glimpse.

Quinn's new diva pose. She does this half smile, head tilt thing all the time now. I don't know how to tell a 3 year old to look straight and hold your head up so we are rolling with this for now ;) And I'm pretty obsessed with her outfit. I've never bought MJ before but I've been shocked at how much use we've gotten out of the pieces. And they wash so well! Plus those pants are about the softest material - I wouldn't mind a pair myself for pjs :)


Driving monster trucks

Quinn loved herself some monster trucks. She loved ramming into her brother's car. Shocking.

Remote control cars - I had to drag them away from this activity. They loved racing each other.

I had such a great, relaxing day hanging out with these two crazies! They just make me laugh. After we finished up with the toys, we headed through the mall and passed by the Rainforest Cafe. Outside there they have a mechanical elephant and crocodile. They were enamored by the elephant and kept running to say hi to him. Then they made the mistake of doing the same with the crocodile except just as they were getting close, that little stinker kinda jumped and opened his mouth wide and snapped his jaws. I thought the kids were going to pee in their pants from fright. Clearly, I don't like to see them upset, but I couldn't help but sorta (ok, really) giggle at their horrified expressions. They ran away squealing and both jumped in my arms at the same time. For the record, each of them weighs well over 30lbs so my days of carrying 2 are over. Oh my. I am still laughing thinking about it. It's probably not that funny as you read this - maybe a "you had to be there moment"? On our way back to the car they avoided the front of the cafe entrance like the plague. Which may work out to my advantage because I hear eating there is overpriced anyway :)

We sang Christmas carols all the way home and I caught myself several times with tears in my eyes as I glanced in the backseat and see these wonderful little people so happy and singing their hearts out. My cup runneth over. It's the most wonderful time of year indeed and only promises to get better. Today is their class Christmas party and tomorrow is the preschool program.  I have a strong feeling that a few more happy tears will be shed between non and then. 

Merry, merry!

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