New Years Eve Trip To Dallas-December 30, 2011

Reagan said it was worth the drive! 
Highlights from today: (Click here for pictures)

Keaton woke up around 6:45 this morning and I didn't even realize that Graham was in our bed until I had returned from the kitchen with the bottle, had picked up Keaton and was climbing back into the bed.  It is a wonder that I didn't smash him.  Soon Campbell was stirring on the monitor and I went up to get her out of bed.
After reminding everyone that this was indeed trip day, it didn't take too long for them to get their clothes on.  By the time they all had their clothes on, I headed downstairs for my shower and Robby was backing the van up to the door to start loading it up.  We were on the road early enough to pick up our breakfast at Sonic (which is never, ever fast) and the kids breakfast at McDonalds.  It is just not a trip unless you have breakfast at McDonalds.  We used to just buy the big breakfast with hot cakes but now we have to buy that with an additional order of hot cakes.  My kids are growing up.  Robby filled the car up with gas while I laid out the plates and divided out the food-a pancake and a half for everyone, 1/4 of a biscuit, 1/4 of the egg, 1/4 of the sausage and 1/4 of the potato cake.  The boys cleaned their plates, Reagan didn't finish her pancakes and Campbell must not have liked her egg because it was all over the floor in the back.
We were to meet Grannymom and Grandpa in the church parking lot at 9 and we were there 2 minutes early.  We pulled out and headed to the Big D.  We first stopped in Texarkana for a bathroom stop and then stopped again a bit down the road for lunch at McDonalds.  Those were our only two stops and before too long we were at the Galleria.
The kids did alternate riding in Grandpa's truck.  And the others watched movies in our car-though the movies didn't really seem to keep their attention for that long.  Once we got near Dallas, Graham had had about all that he could take and was ready to see the bridges and skyscrapers (I had told him he would know we were there when he saw bridges and skyscrapers-thought maybe he would stop asking if we had arrived but it didn't help).
Graham was our intercom system on the trip.  Whenever he would learn something about the trip-like we were staying for two nights.  He would turn around and shout to the others "two nights, two nights" or "getting closer, getting closer."  It was almost funny-if he hadn't been shouting.  At one point on the way, Anderson asked if we were there yet and Campbell shouted back "no!"  One thing I did learn from the trip is that we are going to have to have a lesson on Cows and Horses-Graham and Campbell can not tell them apart.  Another reason we had to move out to the country.
Keaton was pretty perfect on the trip but did decide to eat a few times in the car.  That is fine except that when I feed her, I feel like my arm is about to fall off.  I have to hold the bottle in her mouth while sitting in my seat-it is like a game of twister.  At one point, I was trying to shove the bottle in the poor baby's eye.
At the Galleria, Robby pulled in and parked like he knew just where the American Girl store was.  We were right nearby.  I had to change Campbell and Keaton so Grannymom took the boys on the potty.  They went in the American Girl store to potty and the boys were not happy at all about having to go in the store-they did their business and were then ready to come back outside.  They knew Reagan was getting a doll and they wanted no part of it.  She was getting a doll and they were getting a pretzel-pretty good deal if you ask me.
When we walked to the store, Reagan finally realized that she was getting a doll today.  She was so excited-look at the pictures-she is beaming.  I had dreaded shopping with her since she takes so much time shopping but not today.  We found the doll she wanted and they were out-but no worries they had another one just like it with hair a bit shorter.  Yes, Reagan wanted a blond haired blue eyed doll and she couldn't have been more pleased with her choice.  Then we turned around and saw the outfit she had seen in the magazine and about 4 steps away was a doll tote that we had also seen in the magazine and just like that our shopping trip was over.
I even browsed a bit in the store before checking out.  She proudly handed the cashier her gift card, money and letter from Santa which entitled her to a doll to the cashier.  And I picked up the rest with my card.  As soon as we made it out the door, she wanted to get the doll out and carry it-every other little girl (must have been every girl in Dallas) were walking around carrying their dolls too.  She proudly carried it all the way inside the mall and then we met up with everyone else.
They were playing in a play area at the mall-I don't have a clue how they found it but they were definitely running off some energy along with every boy in Dallas.  It was pretty crazy but they all held their own-even Campbell.  Next up, we went and found that pretzel for the boys and we even had enough for everyone.  Campbell had looked at Reagan's doll but didn't seem to want it and luckily, she brought her naked baby doll to the car this morning and has had it with her all day.
After our pretzel, we headed to Papacitas for Mexican.  Robby thought he knew where we were going and din't follow the GPS for a few blocks (she was right) and then we missed our turn.  We had gotten separated from Grandpa in the parking deck and he was doing just as poorly getting there as we were.  Finally, we all made it and didn't have to wait for a table.  The food was good (mine was way too spicy for me) and the kids stayed busy coloring-we didn't order them anything.  They had just eaten those pretzels.  Robby did spoon everyone up some rice and beans and Campbell was the only one who touched hers.
Next we took the scenic (non toll route) to the hotel.  When Anderson saw the hotel, he said "oh, it's beautiful."  I agree though any hotel looks beautiful to me.  We are in the 12th floor so the elevator rides up were quite entertaining for them.
They played in Grannymom's room for a bit while we tried to stir Keaton who had been sleeping for awhile.  Then everyone had baths and the boys went to Grannymom's room to sleep and the girls laid down in here.  First, Reagan had to make her doll a bed and then her and Campbell went to bed.  I told Robby that Campbell would never be able to go to sleep right there but sure enough, they are both sleeping soundly.  Maybe the twos won't be so terrible after all.
The plan is Ikea tomorrow-the kids are so excited because they have the play area that they can go to.  Campbell and Keaton can't go but this will be Graham's first time to go.  I am glad that they all stick together and take care of each other.  We will have some power shopping to do tomorrow-can't wait.  Oh and breakfast here at the hotel in the morning-that will make the kids day.

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