Monday, December 31, 2007

Peggy Notebaert

I have no idea who Peggy Notebaert is or was, but I love her Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. It is one of my favorite places to take The Boy, The Girl, and The Baby. It is small, with several small child-friendly exhibits and a dedicated place to play for the under-7 set. Our membership expires at the end of January, but I plan to renew. They have food in a small cafe, and their serving pieces are all compostable. Speaking of which, since it is the eve of the new year, one of my goals for 2008 is to get a standalone composting bin.

Today, The Boy had been housebound for long enough that he was making me crazy, so I loaded him, The Girl, and The Baby in the car for an outing. I had originally intended to go to Pottery Barn Kids on Clybourn to "browse" while the kids played, but traffic was so light, we decided to head to the Nature Museum instead. Apparently, I was not the only mother going nuts with small boys in the house because The Boy spent a good hour running around the under-7 area with twin 5.5-year-old boys. The Girl, who normally holds her own even with 4- and 5-year-olds, decided that she could not play with them because they were boys. The Baby alternately nursed and crawled around.

We split two organic cupcakes and a bag of pretzels from the cafe, then went upstairs briefly to look at the reptiles exhibit. I patiently read the names of each turtle, snake or lizard to the kids and we looked in each window to locate the reptile. The Boy knew that the Jolly Roger sign on some of the descriptions meant that that reptile was dangerous or poisonous to humans. Smart kid.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Isn't it romantic?

I forgot to post this!

Grandma and Grandpa Texas came to visit this weekend. After I picked them up at O'Hare (in the snow), we stopped briefly at home and then went on to the Loop to get them checked into their room at the Palmer House. The Boy, who has become quite a hermit since he started preschool full-time, stayed home with The Dad. And The Girl, The Baby, and I went with my parents to check out the windows and otherwise enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Loop at Christmas. As former Chicagolanders, my parents have fond memories of the city at Christmastime, my dad especially so, as he spent nearly 20 years working for an engineering firm located between Monroe, Adams, and Wabash, and knows that area quite well.

After Grandma finished her tour of the Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's) windows with The Girl, she spotted a really big ring in the southeast corner window. I noticed a few people in the back of the window, peering over and with cameras. I assumed that they were on some kind of special Macy's tour, but then I noticed the couple walking in front of us, in front of the window, and the man who turned, got on one knee in front of her and she started crying. I didn't see the rock, but it was apparently in the window with a sign asking ___ to marry ____.