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Happy Earth Day!

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Here’s the thing – We’ve been busy bees and having all sorts of fun spring adventures, but WordPress is still not letting me post easily, so I’ve been remiss in updates. I’m writing this from my phone, which isn’t fun, but here’s hoping WordPress works out their bugs before too long. (I emailed support and they got back to me super fast, so that’s a good sign.)

In the meantime, we’ve —

Had a wonderful visit with Grandpa, and even saw Rainforest plants at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

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– Been outside having fun as much as possible in our strange Chicago spring weather.

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– Starting work on our garden.

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– Going to the park.

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– And just generally enjoying Spring.

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Hope to be able to do real posts again soon!

Because of course we went to the Rainforest Cafe to coincide with both a visit from Grandpa and our Rainforest unit study.  Not that I expected the kid to actually learn anything about the Rainforest from the over-the-top restaurant experience, but I figured he’d have fun. He adored it, and the adults who accompanied him also had a good time and a pretty decent dinner as well.

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He found the animatronic animals – a jaguar, monkey, snake, aligator, and two elephants – to be especially fascinating.image

The menu boasted Brazilian dishes, which I doubted was true. However, in all my research about Brazil I’ve come across recipes for Feijoada – a spicy stew made of sausage and black beans – and since it was on the menu I decided to try it. It turned out to be delicious.image

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The Rainforest Cafe in Chicago is a lot of fun, if you’re into dining experiences that are noisy and vibrant. As my friend Dan, who went with us, pointed out, the sign outside says it’s a “wild place to shop and eat” and not the other way around, so it’s not hard to know what to expect. Oh well, we had loads of fun!

Taking a wee break!

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We’re in the swing of Brazil/Rainforest month, and having all kinds of fun. The kid has really been enjoying typing as a way to learn how to spell words, so we do a little of that every day, and we’re adding a creature/plant/fact a day to our paper rainforest.

Grandpa will be arriving in town tomorrow, though, so I’m going to take a few days off. Also, wordpress is having some issues which make posting really difficult right now – For example, as I’m composing this post I can’t actually see any more than 3 lines of text/one-fifth of a photo at a time, so I have no idea what I’m doing. Hopefully, having mentioned this to their support team, a few days will be enough to be able to blog easily again. Until then, happy learning!

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imageShamelessly inspired by this post over at Creative Tots, I decided that kiddo and I were going to spend the month building a paper rainforest and adding things to it daily.

So today, we began.   I pumped some music from Brazil and we got crafty.

I did most of the cutting, and he did all the gluing with his trusty glue stick, and together we created a big paper rainforest that we taped to his door – “That’s where we do school things, Mama” – and added our first creature; butterflies. My plan is to add an animal, flower, plant, fact, or something else to it every day in the month, and let those things trigger whatever conversations they start. We also began discussing the four layers of the rainforest, and how they’re different.

*Side Note: We began both yesterday and today with a breakfast viewing of the Rainforest episode of “The Magic School Bus”. The kid adores this show, and Mrs. Frizzle, and absorbs everything like a sponge, so I’m allowing it while I have my coffee and prepare for the day*

A Bold Beginning!

imageBefore meeting friends at a park this morning, we stopped into a local Starbucks so I could grab a coffee.  As we waited for our drink, I realized we were standing by this display for small-lot coffee from Brazil, so kiddo and I had a nice little talk about how the letters spelled “Brazil” and coffee can be grown in Brazil. Learning happens everywhere!

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As the weather here turns nicer, we’re turning our attention from Gaelic things to the warm climate of Brazil and the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest.

On tap this month –

  • Listening to Brazilian music. Putumayo has a Brazil album, FYI.
  • Reading a slew of colorful books about the Amazon. I can’t be the only one who remembers “The Great Kapok Tree” right? We found a ton of books at the library, and on our trip this past weekend to Indiana, we stopped into Indy Reads and I bought every Amazon-related book in their (wonderful) $1 Children’s book section. If I lived in Indiana, I would buy all my books there. Loved it.
  • Visiting the “Rainforest Adventure” exibit at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
  • Decorating our dining room with a whole menagerie of animals and flowers you’d find in the Amazon, thanks to a bunch of art projects I found via Pinterest. It’s amazing the things a paper plate can do.
  • Maybe we visit The Rainforest Cafe while Grandpa is in town next week? TBD! I also wouldn’t be opposed to dinner at Brazilian steakhouse. :)
  • Watching The Magic School Bus Rainforest episode, and possibly “Ferngully” too. Also, looking for documentaries about the Rainforest.
  • Learning the different layers of the Rainforest.
  • Learning where Brazil is on a world map, as well as making/identifying the flag.
  • Possibly visiting the South American art section of the Art Institute of Chicago. (I’d like to find a Brazilian artist to feature, but I’m admittedly behind on my unit study research at present.)

I’m looking forward to these next few weeks. I think it’ll be a nice way to kick off spring.

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