Cherished Moments: Day of Dinosaurs

Judging from all of the random hugs from Anthony, I am the greatest grandmother on the face of the earth :)

I noticed that many people used the month of November for giving thanks to the things in their life. A person battling any type of mental health issue is thankful for the strength to just get out of bed each day.

On that note, I am using the month of December for a time of reflection on the daily blessings. These are the daily things that I have recognized as my joy; happy moments that I cherish. Consider this my journal for this month. On my blog site www.reflectionswithrhonda.com and last blog "Holidays and Depression", I wrote about my experience with Lupus and mental health issues. My psychotherapist suggested I keep a journal on the moments of joy so that feeling can be recreated.

Journal Entry: December 2, 2012

My bestfriend, Sonya, posted a link on my page the day before about taking the grandchildren to the Minneapolis Convention Center Dinosaurs Exhibition. First, I was very appreciative of the invite. Second, I knew my grandson would LOVE going. Third, after reading the event details, I thought I might even have more fun than the kids. I jumped at the opportunity to go.

As always, I got my grandchildren on Saturday evening for our movie marathon; normally it is scary movie marathon. I told them they had to be really good because I have a fun day planned. They were amazing and well-behaved.

Anthony is always the first one to fall asleep. So, Kailey and I continued to watch movies, talk and cuddle. It is our "quality time" together where she doesn't have to share me with her younger brother. In a way I think she was a little jealous that on a few occasions Anthony had me all to himself while she was at school...

Kailey is my first-born grandchild and we share a very special bond. I was there the moment she was brought into this world and haven't missed a beat since the day she arrived. I don't miss a performance or special event at her school.

That evening we talked about her performance at her concert that Tuesday. She wanted to know what I thought of her singing and what my favorite song was: Tis The Season and Penguin Polka. :) I told her she was amazing. It is the first time she fully participated in her concert and I was so proud of her. She knew all the words, danced her little heart out and was on time. I also complimented her on her black turtleneck with leggings and gray plaid skirt. (Kailey is a fashion plate Barbie and clothes are just as important as her dolls.) Then, I shared with her where we were going in the morning: she said she could keep a secret.

We stayed up well past 3am and I told her we both would regret it in the morning because we were going to be super tired in the morning. To make matters worse, I couldn't fall asleep: I was afraid I wouldn't wake up on time or wouldn't have enough energy. Then, around 6:30am it hit me: I actually felt the movement of sadness sweep across my heart and tears; it was a physical feeling that I never recognized. I quickly shook the feeling as i was determined to have a beautiful day with my grandchildren. At 7:30am I jumped out of the bed and make everyone breakfast: French toast, cheesy scrambled eggs, and homemade orange juice. :)

Anthony was the first one at the table and a ball of energy. He kept quizzing me on what we were going to do that day. I told him the special place we were going was the Mall of America so he could go shopping. He didn't sound thrilled about the shopping part, so asked: Grandma, can we go on the ride there? lol. I told him we were definitely going somewhere he really wants to go. He looked over to Kailey, "Ha ha. We are doing what I want to do today." It was hilarious because he didn't even know what we were really doing.

When we pulled up to the Minneapolis Convention Center he was really confused. He asked Kailey what we were doing. She said it was a surprise. Of course, once we got inside the first thing Anthony asked was, "Where are the rides?" Kailey blew the surprise and said we were going to see the Dinosaurs. The look on his face was priceless. He was excited!

We watched the "archeologist" at the door give a brief presentation about the dinosaurs; Anthony barely paid attention because he wanted to get into the dinosaurs. A lady kind of cut us off - we were watching the presentation - and went ahead of us in the line to hand over her tickets. The mouths of babes, "Why is everyone butting ahead of us, grandma." Of course the woman heard and was obviously embarrassed. I told her not to worry about it, we would all get in eventually.

The first stop was a "treasure hunt" map of dinosaurs. Basically it was 10 questions with multiple answers about the dinosaurs. Kailey was super excited about that piece. Anthony was hard to contain in one spot. He did stop to pose for the photograph. It was a green screen behind us and we had to look at the light with a look of terror on our faces. We do not make the best actors and will not win an award. However, the end results was still amazing.

Around the corner was our first dinosaur. They both took off running, sticking their hands in its mouth, and petting it. It didn't take long for Anthony to realize that if you push the butttons, the head, mouth and tales of the dinosaurs moved. He had them making all kinds of noises and shaking their body parts. Kailey took the time to listen to me read about the dinosaurs; only because she wanted to know if it was on our "hunt".

We found Anthony's namesake dinosaur:  Irritator, name means Irritation. lol

  • The early Cretaceous period, around 110 million years ago in Brazil.  Irritator is a genus of spinosaurid dinosaur that lived in the early Cretaceous Period. Current estimations indicate a length of 8 meters (26 feet).  Irritator was a theropod with an unusually shaped crest at the rear of its head, and probably ate fish.  So far the only fossil that was been found was an 80 centimeter long fossil skull in the Romualdo Member, a layer member of the Brazilian Santana formation.  This skull strongly resembles the skulls of Suchomumus and Spinosaurus.  The genus is often regarded today as identical (synonymous) with Angaturama, which lived in the same time and same place as Irritator.

The place where they stayed parked the longest was the dig. They really enjoyed brushing the sand from the bones. They got a little carried away and sprayed sand onto the neighboring children, but nothing too terrible. I did show them that if they were on a real dig, they would gently prush the sand away from the bones so they wouldn't damage the bones.

My bestie arrived just before we finished the Dinosaurs. I told her to take her time with the exhibits. The kids and I slowed are pace even more and spent a lot of time in the gift store. I ended up buying them the hatching eggs (we are going to hatch them on Christmas Eve), Kailey a mini dinosaur, Anthony tattoos, and a surprise Christmas gift of a container of dinosaurs.

My bestie caught up with us while the kids were in the "jumping dinosaurs" and maze. It was great to be able to talk with her and my goddaughter while the kids were playing. After 4 hours of playing, we left to catch a bite at McDonalds.

Afterwards we all gathered at the house and watched the people move in and assembled the new furniture.  Great time with the gals!

What was your favorite thing you did today that brought a smile to your face?

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