To break up the monotony of this Midwestern Winter, my Dad decided to come to Chicago for a few days and spend some time with his Grandkid. We had a whirlwind few days!
Chicago Children’s Museum
The beloved Zoom Room @ Chicago Children’s Museum
Breakfast at the wonderful Bakin’n'Eggs
Museum of Science & Industry Fun!
Watching the trains @ MSI.
Streetcar selfie @ MSI
Giant John Deere Tractor @ MSI
Circus @ MSI
MSI on a lovely day
We had a great time with Grandpa. Now we’re gearing up for our rapidly approaching epic 2014 road trip.
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We’re ready to celebrate Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras in our house tonight. In a few weeks, we’ll be passing through New Orleans on our road trip, so we’re really in the spirit this year.
Over the last couple days, kiddo and I have been making some decorations.
Construction paper confetti!
Celebratory centerpiece mask and themed reading material. (There are 10 more masks hanging on our walls!)
In addition to decor, we’ve also got delicious foodstuffs happening. Currently, I’m slow-cooking some jambalaya. (I had an adventurous day on the hunt for andouille sausage yesterday, but wound up scoring big time at Paulina Meat Market.)
And of course there are baked goods. We picked up some paczki from our grocery store, and ordered a King Cake from Andersonville’s remarkable Swedish Bakery.
Have a great day, everyone! Celebrate responsibly!
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Isn’t this map the cutest? Get the wood puzzle at Melissa & Doug!
In just a few weeks, we’ll be embarking on our 2014 family road trip adventure. To prepare for this, our March learning unit will be about maps/traveling/our destinations.
Things we’re doing:
- Reading “Good Night, Texas”, “New Orleans A-Z”, “There’s a Map in my Lap”, “The Scrambled States of America” and as many other related books as I can dig up.
- Playing with a USA states puzzle
- Making a map of our apartment, and creating packing lists and packing our things.
- Making a family tree of the people we’re going to see along the way.
- Plotting our route on paper maps that we’ll put into a travel binder.
- Listening to music of the regions we’re visiting.
- Watching “The Princess and the Frog” and any other movies I can find. Possibly also sections of “Stephen Fry in America” and “Aerial America.”
- Listening to the 50 states song.
- Learning (briefly) about Mardi Gras by eating New Orleans-style food and ordering a King Cake from a local bakery for the 4th.
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More than one of our friends have Costco memberships, and today I took one of them up on their offer to visit the store. To prepare, because I know myself and my impulse purchasing, I made some lists and did a little research:
What to buy and skip at Costco and Sam’s Club
15 Things You Should Buy at Costco
Costco is not a place to casually shop. If you walk in without a plan, you could easily leave with a truck full of gallons of peanut butter and 5-packs of floor fans. That said, I dig Costco, and we had a great trip.
I swear he had a great time.
What I bought at Costco today -
- A Speedo one-piece bathing suit for me, as we’re about to go on a road trip, which’ll be followed by a trip to Vegas and a hotel with a pool, and then a week at a lake in Michigan – and honestly, all my bathing suits are from before I was pregnant/during my pregnancy and I don’t like them. Time for an upgrade!
- A big container of strawberries
- An 18-pack of organic chocolate milk boxes
- A 12 pack of Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese for $12.69 – Which works out to significantly cheaper than buying them individually. They retail for around $2.50+ a box, so this was a significantly good deal.
- A box of individual packages of Annie’s Cheddar Bunny crackers
- A box of individual packages of Welch’s Fruit Snacks. I am not above fruit snack bribery for my lovely toddler.
- A bag of Veggie straws and a Rogue Irish Lager for my husband
- A corned beef brisket. St. Patrick’s Day approacheth!
I couldn’t be happier with my purchases. Now I just need to find pantry space for them.
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Last summer, we signed up for the Angelic Organics CSA program, and delighted week after week in the bushel boxes of beautiful veggies we received. We’ve just signed up for a second year, and couldn’t be happier. This year, we’ll be doing the half-share, which means we get a box of veggies every other week – we’ve got some traveling to do this summer, and there were a few times we found ourselves a little overloaded on veggies – what a nice problem to have, right? (It’s entirely possible we’ll go back to a full-share next summer, too!) Maybe we’ll also take advantage of the offerings at the actual farm this summer, too. I’d love to take the kid to a working farm for a day.
**Like them on Facebook for offers – Currently, If you sign up by March, you get a 4% discount, and last year, we had a code for 20% off the total cost, which was a really nice savings.**
Here’s to a summer full of delicious veggies. We’re still working our way through the garlic and herbs from last summer, as well as the jalapenos I pickled!
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Winter is coming to an end, I promise!
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Yesterday, in a strange turn of events, Chicago turned gorgeous. It was in the upper 40s, and the sun shone brightly. With our good friend Leslie, we headed out to the Lincoln Park Zoo to get some sunshine in our systems – as we’re both fighting colds – and get outdoors!
Sunshine in the sunshine.
We began our Zoo adventure at the adorable Farm-In-The-Zoo section, which features a dairy barn, goats, ponies, bunnies, and chickens. Of course, the real highlight of the Farm for the Goober was the giant John Deere tractor – but he had loads of fun crawling through the egg tunnels as well.
After the farm, we walked over to the “real” zoo and checked out a lot of the animals who were out enjoying the sun. Like this tiger, for example.
Seen through the dirty window of the exhibit. (Hey, I wouldn’t go in to clean it either.)
Beautiful and contented giraffes, lunching.
Our day at the Zoo was lovely, and took hours. Little Dude walked the whole time, and took the biggest nap when we got home. The whole day made me even more excited for Spring to arrive so we can spend more time outside. This freezing winter hasn’t exactly been pleasant to be outside in.
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