Sunday, February 22, 2009

Conscpicious Frugaltity

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune ran a story on conspicuous frugality, in large part profiling one of my fellow mom bloggers, Carrie Kirby. Although I've been declaring my love for the Treasure Store unabashedly on this blog for over a year now, I had no idea that such statements are indicative of a larger socio-economic movement.

Peggy Notebaert

This morning, we all (even The Dad!) piled in the Great White Moose and drove down to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. It's among my favorite spots for children aged 18 months to 8 years or so. Apparently, given the number of young families waiting in line (to get in, at coat check, for the bathroom), I am not the only parent to feel this way. Sunday mornings are an ideal time to visit the Field and the Shedd, but I suspect that many others feel that the butterfly museum is less of a (time) committment than Chicago's powerhouse sites on the museum campus.

The Boy, The Girl and The Tot were fairly cooperative in setting the day's agenda for our visit. We first went to the slide section, on to the water section, up to the butterflies, through the Amazing Amphibians special exhibit (the zip line was an immediate hit!), and down for lunch as the smell emanating from the caterers prepping for the day's private event inspired immediate hunger. After lunch, we went back briefly to the slide area, but The Tot began to rub his eyes after only about 15 minutes, so we called it a day. The Boy is starting to understand some of the science/learning aspects behind the exhibits, which is nice for me. Maybe one day soon, they'll stand still enough for me to read the placards, if not to pay attention to them themselves.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

On fait le conaissance de Kenley*

* We met Kenley today!

The Girl, The Tot and I trekked up to Schaumburg this afternoon to meet Cara, Grace and Kenley at the giant blue box. In the latest installment of "How small is Chicagoland?" we ran into B., F. and G. in the lobby as we were putting our coats in the free lockers and chatted for a bit before Cara & crew arrived.

We all had lunch, dropped the girls into Smalland and did a bit of shopping. Kenley seemed to like The Tot, who tolerated K's hugs for the most part. Unlike The Boy and The Girl, The Tot has not spent a lot of time with Cara -- and he was not a fan. It's bizarre; I've never seen a child who doesn't love Cara before. But The Tot apparently had to prove a point, stubborn little bugger. The four of us managed to do all of our shopping (bookcase for her, IVAR shelf for me) while the girls were in Smalland. I bought The Tot and The Girl each an ice cream at the end of the trip, and they both fell asleep on the way home.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

fish! fish! fish!

It's been too long since The Boy, The Girl, The Tot and I have had a real outing. So today, we got up and went museuming. I gave The Boy and The Girl a choice between the Field, the Shedd, MSI and the Nature Museum. They chose the aquarium. So that's where we went.

I managed to get 3 kids and myself out of the house pretty darn close to 9 a.m., so we arrived at the aquarium on a Sunday morning not long after it opened. My kids will grow up to pay full price because they can, a side-effect of having a mother who is too cheap to pay for parking when there is a cheaper/free alternate nearby. We parked at Meigs Field and walked over to the aquarium. I was a bit scared that you can no longer park there; there were about 20 Park District security vehicles in the lot. One of them stopped us on the walk over to say hello, but he said it was fine to park in that lot.

The Oceanarium is closed for renovations, so we spent most of our time in the main halls. It seemed to be Volunteer Day at the aquarium. We watched Nickel for awhile in the main tank -- The Tot was not at all cognizant of the tape line on the floor around the main tank during the presentation and was pressed up against the glass anyway. We also did a couple animal discovery centers, learning about turtles and skinks. The Tot and The Girl both touched the skink. The Boy and I were wimps and didn't want to touch it.

We also went downstairs to the Underwater Reef exhibit, which was unusually crowded as the Shedd apparently just started doing guided talks of that exhibit.

Total expenditure: $1.75 for a box of popcorn. We are members and parking was free.