Friday, October 31, 2008

Day One

The driver we need is not compatible with laptop.
Pictures will have to wait until we're home.


Planned to go to Field Museum and Art Institute while Ren Man was gone all day Thursday.
Field Museum opened first so decided to go there first, then lunch there, then Art Institute- and hopefully Ark Boy would nap in between.
However- the Field Museum is AMAZING! It is set overlooking Lake Michigan (Ark Boy was beyond excited about the boats/water) and is right next to The Shedd Aquarium- where I knew we were going to go today.
Kids are free at the Field Museum, adults are not (they are $14).
For reasons that are still unclear, adults were also free when I went.
Ridiculously thrilled by this.
Bring Ark Boy straight to children's area of museum.
He presses buttons to make various animal noises (squirrel, cardinal, coyote, etc), "picks" corn, visits adobe house, jumps into infant padded area (makes Farm Girl laugh), plays with model indigenous homes/people/animals.

He also wandered into the art studio.
Typically he doesn't draw
for long
or color
or play with playdough.
So paint/glue/scissors/and other messier more fun art supplies have not yet been introduced.
Ark Boy bee lined for the scissors.
He began cutting teeny tiny snips in paper.
Couldn't manage more than that-
scissors are trickier than I knew!
Mid coloring he dropped his crayon and ran from the room to resume picking corn.
Hastily thanked the person helping him and chased after Ark Boy.
Ark Boy also worked very seriously on his drum skills in a music room.
But the absolute most fun part of the children's area of the museum was
the roped off portion with tables set up for a school group to examine artifacts.

Suddenly Ark Boy announced that we should go see dinosaurs.
This is quite funny because Ren Man has been sad on more than one occasion that his dear son is not as enthralled by dinosaurs as Ren Man once was (dare I say- still is?)
I tell him on every one of these sad occasions that if he wants Ark Boy to be interested in dinosaurs the boy needs to know what they are!
Anyway- I showed Ark Boy a dinosaur skeleton in front of the museum before entering but other than that dinosaurs had not be discussed.
My guess is, like me, he had heard several mothers attempt to lure their children from the children's area by saying: "do you want to go see the dinosaurs?"
Happily the 2.5 year old got in the stroller and the baby was put back on the mommy back
not without several comments about wrapping-
really I think these midwesterners are on to something with this friendliness- it's been quite refreshing- not that I think us newenglanders are unfriendly... it's just usually a smile, a wow at most- and that's it. Here people are having whole conversations with me!

And we traipse upstairs
well- into the elevator that brings us upstairs.
There are two enormous elephants on an elevated stand in this huge open hall and a huge dinosaur skeleton.

We proceed to view various huge exhibits
the place, suffice it to say, is huge
and this is just the second floor
We walk through a (need I say?) huge exhibit of various stuffed animals (not like fluffy cuddly stuffed- taxidermy stuffed) set in their natural (but dead) habitat.
We saw bears, lions, moose (huge moose), deer, (let me just pause to say: when I say bears, for instance, I don't mean one case of brown bears- there were at least 1/2 a dozen bear displays each featuring a different type: brown, black, polar, etc etc), flamingoes, geese, deer, rhinocorous, chimps, lemurs, cats, hyenas, dogs, and more!
About this time I was getting a little hungry so I checked my watch.
asked if Ark Boy wanted lunch.
Go get lunch.
Restaraunt not as crowded as I would expect but no matter.
Have cheese ravioli for Ark Boy (but I end up eating because he prefers the other option)
and california panini for me
panini is amazing- what little I ate of it (have a picture of how little I was offered-

Ark Boy kept one hand on the half he wasn't eating to guard it from unwanted nibbles from mommy- have picture of that too).

Decided it wasn't worth going to Art Institute when there was still so much to see here.
Went on to see exhibit about earth's progression from the beginning to now.
Saw Lucy!
Ark Boy kept calling Lucy a monkey and saying he wanted to see it.
So we went and looked at her again.
"Look! She has nipples!"
"Look! She has hands!"
"Yep, she has hands"
you can guess who said what.
We saw a dinosaur exhibit, a jade exhibit, a jewel exhibit, and more! It was huge (have I said that) and sooo cool.
Wanted to see more but Ark Boy wasn't falling asleep and he's only so patient with my stopping of the stroller- it was definitely a speed tour for me.
After a quick visit back to the children's section (where Ark Boy was completely uninterested in the now not-roped off area) decided we were done.

Glanced at my watched- realized I hadn't changed it to Chicago time.
It was now only a little before 3.
Ren Man wasn't getting home until 6:30.
Reasoned that three hours in the hotel would be okay and we could all use some down time before going out for dinner.
At 4 Ark Boy was cuddling with his sleepy time blanket in a corner on the floor.
Insisted he get up- did not want him staying up until 10 or later.
Suggested a bath.
That lasted.
About 3 minutes.
Attempted- unsuccessfully- to put Farm Girl down for a nap.
At 6- when Ren Man was done with class- I called to tell him to RUN not walk home.
"I'm on a bus right now"
Add to all this that the wonderful wireless internet was VERY intermittently working- much to my frustration.
We had decided that I would figure out where we should eat dinner (from a pre-compiled list).

Decide on place from one of "my" restaurants.
Ren Man wants to try a different one.
Go to "his" restaurant (takes much longer than this sentence makes it sound do to a couple turn-a-rounds) by way of the restaurant I want to go to.
Find "his"
Looks super fancy
Decide to go to mine
Been told best inside out pizza in Chicago
When we order waitress tells us it will take 35 mins.
Ark Boy is happy to sit and wait.
Farm Girl is not falling asleep.
It's 8pm
Chicago time
Usually Farm Girl falls asleep around 6:30
East Coast time.
Considering all that- she's done very well.
35 mins later
pizza arrives
I want to go there every night!
Ren Man says no.
The pizza is so super yummy!
On the way home Ark Boy passes out big time (manage to take off his coat, button down shirt, shoes, socks, and pants before putting him in bed- still asleep).
Farm Girl also falls asleep
and stays asleep!
Another busy day planned for tomorrow.

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