What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

museums and snow

We went to the Shedd Aqurium yesterday, which was challenging and fun. We got there at around 10 and had to wait about an hour to get in, and we were in the stroller/wheelchair line; the other line was enormous. While in line we befriended a woman who turned out to be from China and talked about children (hers is 2), the Olympics, and lots of other things. She told me that she had been buying a lot of gifts for her son who she had left behind in China and was missing terribly. Though I mentioned it, I think the irony was lost on her that probably a lot of the things she was buying her son were made in China; in fact she works for a company that distributes stuff from China to big stores like Wal-Mart and Target. She didn't know she was in a special line so I brought her in with me, which she appreciated.

Anyway, the aquarium was awesome and we headed off immediately on entry to see the Beluga whales; they are really amazing looking and there was a cute baby. Lots of mammals, birds, and fish later we went looking for food and ended up in the food court, where I asked Nina if she would like a sandwich. Apparently at that juncture a sandwich would have killed her, so I instead ordered a burger and fries. As soon as the burger and fries were placed on the tray, Nina decided that a burger and fries were now deadly and to be avoided at all costs, and in fact now only a sandwich would do, we're talking life and death here. Since I was only buying one meal to split, that was now out of the question, which you can imagine made for some drama, and I'm not big on giving in to avoid drama. Now, about once every few months Nina throws a real tantrum and apparently this was to be the magical day. And, as you may or may not know it is hard to push an umbrella stroller and carry a cafeteria tray with a soft drink and a meal balanced on it. Add in a child in tantrum trying to knock the tray out of your hand because she is pissed off and you can imagine the results. I was lucky that there was about half a drink left and that the burger was lifted slightly off of the surface of the tray in a basket. It was mostly edible, amazingly. And to tell the truth, it was so loud in there that I couldn't hear it and for me the tantrum is much less stressful if I can't hear it so well. After about five minutes I stopped being bummed out at her for being unreasonable (I know, she is three) and was able to hold her and she spent some time calm with little bouts of sad resurgence. In one of those I pointed out the fries, which was the end, she perked right up and ate some burger and fries and all was good in the world. And you know the good thing about those tantrums? It's exhausting to really put everything you have into them and immediately after a long nap is required.

We had taken the train to the aquarium but I decided to walk back to the hotel along the lake (remember the burger and fries? I ate at least half). It took an hour or so but we took a turn through Millennium Park, which I can honestly say is much nicer when it's warmer out. If you have walked with me you know I set a nice brisk pace so I was stripped down to a sweater and it was a really lovely walk with Nina sleeping in the stroller. I also got to take pictures of my favorite building in Chicago (I have been taking pics the whole time but don't have a card reader here so they will have to wait until we get home). A quick trip to Whole Foods for some sinusalia (so far it's working for the sinus infection I seem to have) and then we had to scoot out to dinner.

Larry had arrange to meet some friends for dinner at out favorite Chinatown restaurant, Penang; our friend Peter's wife is from Malaysia so he ordered a bunch of stuff and we just feasted, it was an excellent meal. In attendance were Alex, Paul, Peter, and Carlo, friends of Larry's through math at UF and UofC. Afterwards we went to a reception at the home of George and Roza Glauberman. George was PhD advisor to Larry, Paul, Alex, and Carlo and the conference they are all attending (and the reason we're here) is in honor of George's birthday.

Today we were going to hit the Lincoln Park Zoo but when we got off of the train it was sleeting and we decided that an outdoor activity was a bad idea in the weather so we headed to the Field Museum, where we saw Sue and a lot of other really cool stuff. Two days a year the Field Museum closes at 3pm and is open only to members and today was one, so after eating a late lunch there we headed back, along the lake again, only this time in some snow. For those of you not familiar with the area, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium are all on "Museum Campus" so it was the same walk as yesterday, only this time the top half or more of all the tall buildings were shrouded in fog. Nina slept again, but not for as long because I had forgotten the rain cover for the stroller; she was a bit soggy and cold as it was still precipitating off an on. Plus the no exhausting tantrum thing.

Larry and Nina headed off to Navy Pier when he got back from the conference; they had a fun evening at the Children's Museum, from what I hear. I decided not to join them; instead I went to Whole Foods and bought a bottle of kombucha, a spicy salmon roll, and a pint of organic strawberries. I brought it back to the hotel and had a nice dinner ALONE. I was excited to watch LOST on an actual TV (in HD, no less) but it was a re-run. Very frustrating.

Oh, and for the record, Nina could not care less about snow. I pointed it out to her as it was falling from the sky and she seemed not to notice that it was different than rain. The only excitement I have gotten from her about it was when we first got here and there was a little left on the sidewalks from a storm, and then she wanted me to run over it with the stroller wheels.


Luci said...

Wow! Sounds like you're having so much fun! My heart was totally with you in the cafeteria incident as I have BEEN there! But it all works out in the end, as it did. Will you post some photos soon?

Elaine said...

Sounds like you're keeping yourself busy! And Nina cracks me up. Food can kill ya and it seems only they know when and how.

Daisy said...

What fun! I remember a challenging day at the very same Shedd Aquarium, but it was many years ago, before they renovated. We saw the belugas a couple of years back -- gosh, they're cute!