Sunday, August 24, 2008

How does Luc twist my arm so?

Although milder than the last two, we have not been disappointed by Chicago’s Summer season. It really is the best! It is great dressing in t-shirts, shorts and sandals each day without having to worry about the weather turning cold. As my energy has returned, we have been getting to the park every day. The boys love this. 

We have taken advantage of the Green City Markets, stocking up on fresh, fresh organic and local produce at affordable prices on Wednesday mornings. The boys love buying croissants and sitting on our picnic blanket to eat these before running around, buying obligatory ‘hot cheese’ (a baked cheese not unlike haloumi) and partaking in fruit smoothies. 

We have found a new favourite breakfast haunt in Nookies Too. A cafe that is open 24 hours during the weekends, copes with kids admirably, is without a wait at around 8am and provides a good breakfast to boot. We took the boys here this morning, stacked them full of  energy-pancakes before embarking on a bike visit to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, to see a butterfly release. On the way there, we saw a ‘real-life’ beaver lodge constructed by some local city-type beavers in North Pond

Last weekend we were subjected to myriad aircraft buzzing around overhead with the Chicago Air and Water Show. Luc’s latest future occupation has been ‘fighter pilot’ after witnessing the Navy’s Blue Angels flying in formation... fast! The planes seemed to be flying really low and would set off car alarms in the street each time they flew by. The crowd at the lakefront was just too large to be enjoyable (I attempted on a Friday afternoon) so we saw most of the action from the parks around home and our rooftop deck. 

The boys are now the very proud owners of a bunk bed. We made a special trip to IKEA to choose one, then had it delivered several days later. There was so much excitement revolving around this, that Nic soon forgot all about his small bed (that had been his cot) being dismantled and taken away. He is now the proud occupant of a ‘big boys bed’. 

Not quite too sure how Luc managed it, but he talked me into letting him host another party for his friends. This time it was a pajama party - partly fueled by the bunk bed acquisition, and partly by an episode of Max and Ruby (this show has a lot to answer for... filling a young lad’s head full of party ideas!!). Luc asked that everyone wear pajamas. I mentioned to him that it might be difficult for the mummies if they had to walk along the street or drive a car, to wear pajamas. He conceded. Luc helped again to work out the menu (vanilla cake, fruit kebabs, hummus and lemonade). Luc had to help produce all these items - which he did with some enthusiasm but with more reluctance. I was determined to impress upon him, that a party does require planning and preparation: it is not just up to Mummy to do everything. I do love those little language misunderstandings: Luc uses ‘Rapunzel Beans’ to make hummus (chick peas are known as garbanzo beans in the States). 

Picture: Luc’s invitation to his Pajama Party. I am the tall one in the centre, Luc is wearing his robot pajamas (the one with the spiky hair). 

Friday, August 8, 2008


What an auspicious date. The Olympics are underway. Due date is now one month away. Baby is still hanging in there and moving about like crazy (this one is a kicker!) I had an inkling that if baby did not arrive by today, we should be going the full distance... hopefully this will happen. 

I have just started ‘nesting’. This has involved some fairly ruthless ‘throwing out’ of ‘stuff’ that seems to have accumulated in our 2+ years here. I have a long way to go, but am pretty proud of my ability to purge thus far. I bought some newborn clothes for the baby and these are now washed and ready to wear. We found ourselves with no new-baby clothes after passing these along the kid-wear chain. Hopefully, the new clothes will fit. Sizing works rather differently over here. Rather than 0000 / 000 / 00 sizes, baby clothes come in ‘newborn’, ‘0-3 months’, ‘6-9 months’, etc. I naturally bought ‘newborn’ size only to later discover these were for babies ‘up to 8 pounds’. Both boys were larger than this... so hopefully, our ‘plus-sized’ baby will be able to squeeze into the few outfits I bought. 

We had a horrific storm on Monday evening. Apparently, tornados can occur in a city. Thankfully, our neighbourhood was spared the tornado, but we had some very scary lighting and extremely strong winds to contend with. Paul took our car to the gym to park it undercover to escape the forecast hail. Thankfully the hail didn’t eventuate, but Paul managed to mention the word ‘tornado’ to Luc before he left. I could see Luc’s head swimming with visions of the twister in ‘Wizard of Oz’ and some footage we had seen recently of a tornado ripping apart a pig farm in Oklahoma. He was terrified. I explained to him that we would be safe as we lived in a ‘brick house’, and as he should remember, brick houses were the strongest and could even survive the ravages of a Bad Wolf’s huffing and puffing. Luc wanted to know if farms were built from sticks and straw (given his memory of the farm being sucked up)... I mentioned that, yes, they were.... so not to worry. This appeased him enough to sleep through the raging storm. I however, was scared! I closed all our blinds, turned off the computers and switched on the TV on to watch for the broadcast storm warnings whilst waiting for the storm to pass.  Now I really hope that there are no storms when we visit Grandpa & Nanna’s farm at Christmas! 

Photo: boys working together to conquer a slide. Photo taken on Paul’s iPhone while I was in hospital. I haven’t brought my camera out much recently... so am struggling to find some recent photos!