We had a busy day yesterday.
First, The Boy, The Girl, and The Baby and I went to Jam with Julie. We were actually the only family to sign up for the 9 a.m. slot, so she wasn't sure if she was going to hold the class or not. The Baby took an early nap and woke up at 9 a.m., so we didn't make it over there until 9:30 anyway. We were the only ones there, so The Girl and The Boy ran around and I talked to Julie about (what else?) schools until the other kids showed up for the 10 a.m. class, for which we also stayed.
Julie's kids were at Disney until about 4th grade, and then transferred into her/our local school, Belding. I think it's good testimony that someone who is around so many people outside of our neighborhood and in much more influential/tony parts of the City (she teaches at the Old Town School) still sent her children to the local school and has something good to say about the experience.
After music class, we had planned to go to the Butterfly Museum, but it was clear and sunny, so I suggested that we go to the zoo instead. And the kids agreed. We stopped at McDonald's on Fullerton for lunch on the way, and then found street parking on Lincoln Park West (right across the street from Mon Ami Gabi), got The Baby into the stroller and walked on over to the zoo, entering by the Conservatory.
It was a clear and sunny day, but it was also windy and much colder by the Lake than I had been anticipating. We were all wearing polarfleeces and without hats and mittens, and all quite cold by the end. The zoo was pretty empty and many animals were inside, but we saw nearly everything we wanted to see in our 2-hour visit. The Boy and The Girl got to run (The Boy liked screaming and chasing the seagulls, but this random man told him to knock it off: "Kid, stop that!" because the man wanted to feed his popcorn to the birds. Fortunately, The Boy didn't really hear the man and just ran away when he spoke to him. If he had been bothered, I would have said something. Like, "hey, we're in a huge open area in the public zoo, if my kid wants to run around screaming and chasing the birds, you should go elsewhere if you have a problem with that." But he wasn't, so I didn't.)
The Baby really seemed to like the seals in the underwater viewing area. It was nice and warm down there, so we stayed for quite a bit to watch the seals swim around and around. Got to see/hear the male lion wake up and yawn quite loudly. We looked at naked mole rats in the reptile exhibit, and watched the gibbons doing their thing in the monkey house. The Baby took a nap in the stroller. We also took a quick stroll through the gorilla house and ended up at the Farm in the Zoo. The Girl was disappointed that the bees were not there -- a sign said that they were in their more "permanent" home for the winter and would be back later in the spring. The Boy and The Girl got to feed the cows in the barn. The Boy actually fed the cows; I held The Girl's hand and handed the hay to the cow, which stuck out her enormous tongue to get it.
Our visit abruptly ended when The Girl, who is flirting with potty-training, peed all over herself. She was wearing jeans and a dress, so I got her into a diaper, took off the jeans and fashioned a temporary outfit for her using The Boy's extra sweatshirt and my polarfleece vest. And then we headed back to the car. By then, the sun wasn't as high in the sky and we were mostly in shadows on the walk back to the car. With the lack of sunlight and the wind, we were all quite chilly when we got back to The Great White Moose.
Afterwards, we swung by Carter's to get The Girl some new jeans and The Baby some undershirts. Stopped in to Sur La Table so The Boy could pee and I could get some essential oils to make citrus sugar cookies. We rounded out the day with a trip to Costco, where several people commented on how I had my "hands full," most notably when The Baby nearly took a header out of the cart on the way out of the store.