Photo was taken at the Mall of Georgia. I was not allowed to use flash, so pic is grainy – I’ve posted the official one taken on our Flicker site. The grain kinda works though, considering JT wore his Indiana Jones hat (as he calls it) and his fireman boots (which he has not taken off in over 2wks!!!!). We decided dressing him up and forcing him to look “perfect” – was not JT (or worth the fight – when dealing with a 3yr old – you MUST choose your battles wisely) so it was a big high-five for mommy and daddy, we were not sure if our plan with Santa’s Elf secretly handing over the Darth Vadar JT wanted so badly would actually get him to sit with Santa – SUCCESS!! (a real smile from JT would have been nice – i know, that’s pushing it).

We planned the whole day around getting JT on Santa’s lap, sad, we know. First we took him in car to go “get a prize” for using the big boy potty, knowing full well it was near nap time and he’d be out like a light. Sure enough, within 20min he was out cold. Then we knew we must let him sleep for at least an hour to have a happy boy later that afternoon.

So mommy and daddy drove around, showing each other where their new offices are located. Yup – you heard that right, Barry has a NEW job and Kim got moved to a new office with the same company, these new offices are located exactly ONE HOUR CLOSER TO HOME. That’s right, no more TWO-THREE HOUR COMMUTES one-way. We are so excited, not to mention our offices are still within 2miles of each other, so if we need, we can still commute together or meet up for a lunch every now and then. We’re holding off on the commuting together for a while as we are beginning to realize we both need a bit of “decompression time” when leaving the office – getting in car for a long ride home with your lovely other half after a long frustrating day’s work can be, well, frustrating – sometimes. (i love you honey!!).

So we drove around a bit more and grabbed a bite to eat (and some chicken and fries for JT after his nap). Then we went to Toys-R-Us … this accomplished 2 things: 1 – JT got to run around aplay and get some of the crazy energy our 2 – we got to see what types of toys he’s interested in since not only is Santa Coming – but JT’s THIRD BIRTHDAY is on the 29th!!!

To all you mall-lovers, I’ve gotta hand it to you – you may not be able to ride a 4wheeler for 3hours straight, through mud and over rocks and up steep hills – but damn you can fight the craziness that is THE MALL and THE TOY STORE at Christmas-time. Barry and I are not big mall people, so i think we were more overwhelmed than JT. Floor to ceiling toys, every isle PACKED with people and kids – people constantly moving and no real opportunity to stop and look at a toy – mom’s and gramma’s with full lists and carts full – INSANITY!! Toys we buy 2nd hand for under $20 we’re well over $100 and being snatched up.

Well, we made it out of the toy store spending under $70. We got a small toy for JT as his prize and we got a larger box of the same thing (set of star wars men) to put under the Christmas tree, along with two new books. JT saw this bigger box and asked where it was and where was Darth Vadar. Hence, THE PLAN began… one of us walked into the mall with JT, while the other went back to the car and got Darth Vadar. We begin telling JT that Santa knows he wants Darth Vadar and he just has to go ask him for it. We walked around “looking for santa” – let JT ride the merry-go-round, get comfortable with idea of doing new and exciting things – LOL. Then one of us stood in line for Santa, the other let JT play on the in-door playground (again, wear him down – LOL) – we then talked to Santa’s Elf about Darth Vadar and handed over “the bone”, Daddy brought JT over when it was our turn in line, bada bing bada bang – we got a picture with Santa Claus!!!! Sweet success!!!

JT then found a quarter on the ground, bought himself a gumball – we got a pop and cookies to top it all off and headed to the car before the sugar was in full force. By the time we were close to home, sugar effects were worn from dancing and singing in the car. Then ring-a-ding-ding – Gahmer’s calling. She’s at work, and forgot her lunch, would we mind grabbing her something to eat and swinging it by – no not at all – be there shortly.

We all went in to take Gahmer her dinner, JT still in hat and boots. We showed Gahmer the pictures from Santa, she showed off JT – then in perfect Gahmer fashion, she pulled out some M&Ms for him and handed him the bag. This was not a single little snack bag, this was 1 pounder – it had been opened already, but there were still quite a few (A LOT) left. He walked out carrying the whole bag inside a trick-or-treak pumpkin lantern. All was fine, we would take the bag away as soon as we got home – he was eating some, but not at a pace that would be concerning.

We told JT he had to take a shower when we got home (it’s now 9:30pm) – he agreed, but wanted to take the pumpkin and his new WOOWOO (star wars men – he calls them woo woos – that’s the sound light saber’s make – wooo wooo) – no problem. In the mix of getting him in the shower and dogs out and milk/diaper/jammies ready… the M&Ms made it into the shower – unbeknown to us. It was Barry’s night to get JT down – he went to wash JT and get him out of shower when he noticed it – the EMPTY BAG OF M&Ms!!!

JT finally was forced down into bed at about 12:30am – only after a round of running hide-and-go-seek, catch me, find me, fight me, tickle me, let’s watch Woo-Woo. Nite-Nite JT.

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