15th Day: A Prehistoric Celebration & Ornament Tradition

On the fifteenth day, we had a day of dinosaurs, toys, and traditions- all inspired by Toy Story’s recent Christmas special: ‘Toy Story that Time Forgot’.

Toy Story is a favorite series in the Dingman household

    Toy Story that Time Forgot is about a post Christmas play date.  The child that Bonnie (new owner of Woody and the gang) plays with received an abundance of Christmas gifts.  He didn’t care about all the toys he got and was just glued to video games; shenanigans ensue for the toys after.  It was a cute movie, Marshall loved it.

 

Captivated by the movie

 

    But I’m getting ahead of myself, first Marshall had to go to school- this is his last week at his current school!  Never worry though- he is already enrolled at another great school, at our soon to be new home, with a lovely speech pathologist (who is experienced with children with apraxia).  Our dino day was started before we even realized as Marshall’s daily report showed that they read “How Do Dinosaurs say Merry Christmas” in school this morning!
Great minds think alike!

 

    Now, Brad and I just recently heard about the T-Rex Cafe in Kansas City, Kansas- yes, there’s a Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri right next to each other.  Missouri usually has more to offer, but there is only one other T-Rex Cafe in the US and that one is located in Disney World!  I have no idea how they decided to open up another location in Kansas.  Brad and I have been looking forward to using this as a special outing, moving to Minnesota and our 25 Days fit the bill.
    As we approached the cafe for lunch, Marshall was so excited and intrigued by the building.

 

    Then we entered the prehistoric world and this guy dropped down from the ceiling, completely scaring the pants off of my poor kid.
And he almost smacked me right in the head with his jaw.  Gotta watch out for dinosaurs when time traveling!

 

    Marshall decided right then and there that he wasn’t about giant moving beasts making reptilian sounds.  Brad and I decided to just try and see if he would change his mind and get use to it.
    I have to say, it was a cool place.  The seats in the bar area were giant seashell booths and an animatronic octopus slowly moved above.  There were moving dinosaurs everywhere and an ice age area around the bathroom.  Every half hour, the lights dimmed and stars shot across the ceiling during a meteor shower; projected lava dripped down the walls.

 

The blue octopus moving over the bar

 

    We sat in the triceratops booth, Marshall’s favorite dinosaur!  He still wasn’t too sure about this sensory rich environment.

 

Brad got festive with the dino hat.
Mads was just trying to block out the sound
and think happy thoughts.

 

    Since today was a special day, we ordered dessert and had it brought out first.  Introducing: the chocolate extinction.
All the best food comes with dry ice ‘smoke’

 

 

    We dug in and it was awesome.  It quickly had to get boxed up though as there was no finishing it- especially not with our main course coming out.  Brad was more than satisfied with his burger.  He just had to figure out how to eat it first.
Maybe he was just imitating a velociraptor

 

    When we were finished, Marshall still was a little overwhelmed by the animatronics and sounds so we had to skip our original plan of going to build-a-dino located in the gift shop of the cafe.  Brad felt bad that Marsh didn’t love the T-Rex cafe like we hoped, so he brought him to a regular build-a-bear at the mall on the way home.  The boys definitely have the same taste in what a stuffed animal friend should look like.
Helping stuff his puppy by pressing the foot pedal

 

Rubbing the heart to make wishes before placing it in his new friend.

 

Getting him all dressed in the dressing room with clothes that Marshall and Brad picked out.

 

Registering the puppy to him.  He also got to name it!  Marshall couldn’t think of any names so I rattled off a bunch of famous pooch names.  He immediately became excited and chose Comet.  Bonus points if you know what sitcom family pet was named Comet!

 

Mads and his hockey playing pal.

 

Comet decided to go in his house before heading to our home

 

Singing to Comet in the rain

 

    Marshall was so excited over his new friend, Comet, that he literally started dancing in the rain on our way back to the car.  Brad had to pick him up and carry him so he could dance while still moving toward the parking lot.
    We went home for a quick nap and chores, before heading back out for one of our favorite Christmas traditions.
    Today was the day Marshall got to pick out his yearly ornament.  We let him peruse the ornament section and we give him no limits as to theme, any ornament he wants is the one we get.  Last year he picked an Apache helicopter, this year he picked Santa riding a motorcycle with antler handlebars.  Nano V will surely be proud of this choice.
Somehow he managed to find two different motorcycle Santas. That presented quite the dilemma, since our only rule is he gets to pick just one.

 

Marshall and his 2014 ornament

 

Marshall’s ornament.  Ride on, Santa, ride on!

 

    Every year we add three new ornaments to our collection.  Marshall picks one, Brad & I pick one to sum up the year, and we add a picture frame ornament.  The small picture frame ornament is a tradition we started the very first year we were together, this year marks the eighth picture frame ornament we have added to our collection (not counting Marshall’s baby’s first Christmas picture ornament).  I love watching the progression in those pictures through the years; from bright eyed, youthful college students to building a family.
    This year, I didn’t help pick out Brad and my ornament for the year.  Bradley instead surprised me with the perfect ornament, back in November.

 

    Rainbows have gained a very special meaning to us in these past few years.  They are a symbol of hope, of promise, of new beginnings after a storm.  This ornament- and the fact my husband sought it out to surprise me with it early- means more than I can properly describe here.
    The fifteenth day was about big plans and grand dreams.  Then having to adjust those plans because we never know how things will really play out.  Just like when I look at that first picture ornament from 2007.  Those two kids had big dreams and plans, they thought they knew exactly how their journey would go.  But life isn’t something you can plan down to perfection.  Be it how your son likes a special cafe, or how your life plans play out.  At the end of it all though, we have always had hope that things would work out for the best.  And they have- sometimes it just takes years. We hope everyone can find the best in the worst, never losing their rainbow of hope.
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