Monday, August 11, 2008

Crazy Long Day in 'Burbs

Had a crazy long and hot, but fun day in the Western 'burbs today. I had three reasons for going out that direction today. The first was that I partook in the Best Brands Resale consignment sale, leveraging my love of both bargains and kids' clothes, and my drop-off appointment was at 10:00 a.m. in Wheaton. The second was that we have barely seen Cara and her kids this summer, so we had planned to spend part of the day together. And finally, The Boy and The Girl had a sleepover at Grandma-and-Grandpa Naperville's house.

After we dropped off my Rubbermaid bins of clothing, I made the mistake of getting on the express lane on I-88, thereby missing the Morton Arboretum exit. I had to turn around a couple of times before I resigned myself to driving on surface streets to get there. The Tot, The Girl, The Boy and I shared a yogurt-granola parfait and a coffee before we went into the Children's Garden. Last time we were there, we never made it into the Treetop Walk, so we started today's visit up there. The Tot was amazing; he was unafraid about walking through the rope maze and eventually did it all on his own, "racing around and about again every minute or two"* with his big brother. Cara & the kids met us up there and they raced around as well. We gradually made our way down through the sections in the garden, although we were all quite hot and sweaty (and Cara's kids were soaked!) after catching tadpoles in the swamp section, so we decided to get lunch.

We caravanned over to the Colonial Cafe in Naperville to have lunch. The place was crowded with moms and kids eating lunch in the air conditioned cool -- so much so that we had to wait 10 minutes for a table, even at 1 p.m. Even in such an environment, I think our party of 8 (6 kids, 2 moms) overwhelmed our waitress. It was loud and chaotic, but everyone ate fairly well and we all got ice cream (frozen yogurt for The Tot and me) afterwards.

I took The Boy and The Girl over to their grandparents' house for their sleepover, then circled back to meet Cara at Fox Valley Mall (my least favorite Chicagoland mall) to shop the Gymboree sale. Cara and I were supposed to go to the BBR pre-sale at 6 while Cara's husband watched her kids and The Tot, but he was late getting the train and The Tot was pretty tired. So I took him with me to the sale and Cara met me later. Afterwards, I realized that I was starving, so I took The Tot over to the Wheaton Town Center to have dinner at Potbelly. It's so rare that I get to spend one-on-one time with him, but it was really enjoyable. Across the open patio area were a couple of large dogs (collies, I think) and although The Tot is usually quite scared of dogs, he wanted to go up to these dogs (but didn't want to pet them).

It was a long day. We didn't get home until about 9. Grandma Texas and Aunt Sam showed up from Texas (in for Lollapalooza) about 10.

* Dr. Suess' The Sneetches. "They kept paying money, they kept running through. 'Til neither the plain nor the star-bellies knew, whether this one was what one, or which one was who." Does anyone else find that lines from children's books seem to commentate on their daily lives?

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