Enjoying a Long Weekend

What better way to prepare for a fresh weekend than to share our adventures from last week’s 4-day weekend! Thanks to the end of the trimester and staff retreat, we had four days to adventure last weekend. (Obviously, this week has been busy as we try to get back on track and get our inner clocks re-aligned.) So what is the best thing to do when faced with a long weekend and two children under 5? Get busy!

And it begins!

Wife was busy on Friday, so the girls and I headed to Lincoln Park to check out the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Wife and I had attended a fundraising event here many years ago so it was great to get back over for some exploring. And as you can tell by the bundled children, it was a perfect day for indoor adventures!

The girls were off and running as soon as we got inside, so we had to find something cool to check out quick. They loved the interactive exhibits, the first being an exhibit all about water management explaining the different structures for moving and utilizing water. I think the girls understood it as, “Water! And boats! Fish too!” Needless to say, they weren’t really into the history-oriented exhibits.

Is it lunch time yet?

Without a doubt, the girls’ favorite spot was the play area in the basement. It is set up as a marshy environment, complete with a tree-like play fort, a cave and a beaver lodge.

Beaver? Cat? Go with what you know.

And did I mention the costume/serape things they had for the kids? One in frog design and the other in a beaver design, these were great for being dragged around the room, sat upon for faster sliding and general sharing of all germs that kids can carry. The girls loved ’em.

Beaver? Ewok? Eh, cute either way.

I liked this area for two main reasons. 1.) It has a fence and therefore keeps the children contained, and 2.) It has its own private bathroom. Which we all put to good use. So the adventures stretched from the morning to the early afternoon and the girls were plenty worn out afterwards. Another major attraction at the museum is the butterfly pavilion, but I was so busy keeping the girls calm that I didn’t try to snap any photos. Who knew butterflies were creepy?!?

Wife was free on Saturday, so we headed to Old Town to visit the Chicago History Museum. Wife couldn’t believe it was my first visit. There she is with Sweetie in the bottom right corner of the photo. Again, too cold to play outside.

So the girls’ interest was the same as at the nature museum: if it was interactive, it was awesome. And while neither one of them would be a hot dog, the condiments got plenty of love.

And the trains. They loved checking out the trains. There is an early locomotive as well as an early passenger train (precursor to our beloved CTA trains). The girls visited these a few times. Places to go, ya’ see.

All aboard!

We hit an educational movie and tried to read some of the information in the exhibits, but the girls kept moving. Sweetie picked up a couple of tidbits about the Great Chicago Fire, but I think it was an attempt to understand an event so big. One last perk about the history museum, it has the North & Clark Cafe’ attached to the south end. So lunch without leaving the warmth was a great way to end our visit.

The remainder of our weekend was spent on everyday stuff; cleaning, straightening up, visiting family, checking on the house, and even watching a Redbox movie, just Wife and I. We were all a bit worn out after our back-to-back adventures, but it was so worth it. Chicago is full of museums and other great treasures for entertaining/educating your little ones, yet one more reason to love our city. Here’s to this weekend’s adventures!

Random Thought for Thursday: 3 year old logic

Over the past week Sweetie has been dealing with a summer cold. Nothing major, one day of low-grade fever and a bunch of boogers. So it’s really more of an inconvenience than an illness. Still, Wife and I have been pushing plenty of fruit, food, liquids and rest. Little did I know that my 3-year-old knew how to heal herself. Here’s how it went down the other morning:

Me: “Take some water, Sweetie.”

Sweetie: “Umm, no.”

Me: “Have some oatmeal¬†honey” (with fresh-cut apple bits and cranberries cooked up in there).

Sweetie: “Umm, no.”

Me: “Drink a little orange juice.”

Sweetie: “Umm, no”

And so went breakfast. She did eat some of her oatmeal and sip some orange juice. And when she saw me drinking some water she asked for some. But the medical miracle came shortly after  breakfast.

Sweetie: “Daddy, I talk some Spanish and now I’m all better.”

Me: “You spoke some Spanish and now you’re feeling better?”

Sweetie: “Yep.”

Me: “Oh, um, okay. Here, have some water.”

So there you have it folks, the 3-year-old logic that kicked a summer cold. I can’t really prescribe it, Spanish might not be your kid’s thing. But apparently it was Sweetie’s. 3-year-old logic – yet another thing that only a parent can appreciate.

Grosser than Gross

Children love gross things. I remember my childhood friends and I trying to top each other when it came to slimy, muddy, nasty things. And of course, the childhood jokes that started, “What’s grosser than gross?” where you tried to come up with the most offensive, horrid creations and scenarios to evoke a ghastly response.

Well, Sweetie is falling right into line. My sweet little daughter gets a kick out of gross things, particularly with things that involve the body. It’s like her morbid curiosity mixes with the reaction of her parents to give her a sense of accomplishment. For the past week she has been dealing with a cold and has lots of nasal congestion at her disposal. We of course tried to teach her how to blow her nose, and she learned. She just doesn’t always reach for a tissue. Why bother when Mom and Dad are conveniently close and always willing to help?

So we deal with these “snot stalactites” all day long, much to her delight. When I told Captain Jack about this he thought it was hilarious and immediately asked for a picture. I tried to explain I was usually too busy grabbing a kleenex, not looking for my phone. But today we were ready (the cold is almost gone, and so is this moment). On a good note, at least she is getting the mucus out of her head. And for the record, Wife thought I shouldn’t post something like this. But doesn’t it just scream, “man – kids are great!” Yeah, that’s my little girl.