Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicago Revisited

Our Chicago adventure began last Wednesday.  We made it into the city, checked in to our hotel and then immediately headed to our friends, Adam and Mary Kate's, new apartment.  Adam and MK have been out of the country for the last seven months and returned only two weeks earlier.  When they came back to Chicago they had a weekend to find an apartment, move in, and start back that their jobs.  Then we came into town.  So that's why there are boxes in the background.  Their new place is much larger and has so much charm and character with hardwood floors and floor to ceiling windows in the guest room.   I can't wait until our next trip back to Chicago to see what they do with the place once they get settled.  Lakin was a real help, unpacking boxes and breaking things left and right.  

Being in Chicago, we ran down the street to pick up a little sushi appetizer and brought it back to the apartment.  Rochester is like a Sushi desert.  As in, there's little to no sushi to be found.  The fact that we could step outside their front door and be at a great sushi place in 5 minutes was magical.  Lakin referred to the sushi as as chocolate cake- maybe because the caviar on top made it look like a cupcake?  She was begging to try some so we gave her a roll and the kids devoured it, then asked for more as caviar fell from her mouth.  So, Lakin loves herself some sushi too.  

 The next morning Chris was busy with his conference and we had a city to explore.  Mary Kate, Amanda and Kristen all met us for some breakfast and exploration.  Our double stroller was a life saver, although it was quite a tight squeeze in many places we visited making me wonder how these Chicago mothers manage.  I was grateful to not only spend the day with some of my most lovely friends but also to have extra hands to help wrangle the toddler.
 Despite looking absolutely fabulous, Lakin was a bit of a crankster.  We're entering the terrible part of the twos and she loves to exercise her independence and tell me no.  It made for an interesting trip.  Good thing most confined spaces we were in were also loud enough to drown out someones whiny protests.

 We visited not only the American Girl store but also Lego Land in Water Tower Place.  Lakin was quickly enamored with this life size Lego statue because she thought she looked strikingly similar to a certain Spanish speaking idol of hers.  There was a long love fest that ensued before we steered her away.
 Kristen hasn't seen Lakin for over a year so they got reacquainted.  We also convinced Kristen to hold Ben for a while and the two fell in love with one another.  I think Auntie Kristen is now over her fear of babies.  Speaking of Ben, he's absent from the pictures because he was fast asleep in the stroller.  Like all the time.  Best. Baby. Ever.  God knew I needed an easy one.
 What's a visit to Chicago without a stop to see the bean?  Look at me being all artsy cool with my camera and reflection.  I'm certain this shot's never been done before.
 While at the bean Lakin chased pigeons, referring to them as chickens and ran around causing quite a ruckus, dodging in and out of tour group presentations and posing for a random Asian tourist to take her photo.  I am convinced most people think she's cute- mostly because of those tiny purple boots and the leopard stretch pants.
 After a big morning out we came back to the hotel for a little nap time.  Getting a toddler to nap in a shared hotel room was as simple as closing the curtains and exiting the room.  We sat in our hotel hallway for fifteen minutes while Lakin fell asleep and then re-entered the room to hang out and chat.  Lakin, who was adamantly opposed to napping because she wasn't sleepy, slept through our entire conversation.  Even snored a bit.  City life wears her out.
 Amanda and Ben had some lost time to make up for.  Amanda recently moved to Chicago, actually right before Bennett's birth.  She was one of our main babysitters in Rochester and a good family friend so she was more than ready to meet the next Jaeger monster and take some time to hold him.  She's also Miss Cathy's daughter so baby loving is in her genes.

As part of the conference, we were invited for an evening at the Museum of Science and Industry.  There were a few special exhibits open to view and a fancy dinner.  The evening was "kid friendly" so we lugged the two tots and our double stroller to the event.  Lakin ate about three rolls for dinner and then tried to escape our grasp every chance she got.  Made for a real relaxing evening.

One of the exhibits was a tornado.  Lindy and I jumped at the chance to stand in the middle.
 Lakin enjoyed the hands on exhibits but not nearly as much as her dad.  This was the perfect pick for a gathering of a bunch of professional science nerds.

 Friday, Mary Kate and I took the kids to Navy Pier and for a walk around the city.  We stopped in the gift shop of the Chicago Children's Museum.  Next time we visit Chicago, I'd like to take Lakin.  The museum seemed really cool, at least the gift shop was pretty dang entertaining.  Lakin made friends with one of the sale associates who graciously demonstrated how to use several of the toys for purchase while we were in the store.

At this point we were nearing the end of our visit and I was seriously considering purchasing this book.  My face says it all.  It was a lot of work keeping a toddler happy, safe, contained, well-fed, and rested while on the go.  My back was tired from lugging the Dora backpack of magical entertaining toys and my own stuffed to the brim diaper bag as well as pushing two children in my double stroller all around Chicago.  More power to you urban mommas that can't just stash a bunch of crap in the back of your car for emergencies and park in front of the store you wish to visit.
All in all, good trip.  Little stressful at moments.  Might have cried a few times.  Lakin definitely cried, like all the time.  Bennett cried only when hungry.  Who wants to go on our next out-of-town adventure with us?  Anyone?  Anyone?


  1. You survived; that's all you can ask for at this stage. Well done. I attribute my bad knees, shoulders, and back for the years I served as pack mule at every amusement park, zoo, beach, etc. Strollers need to come in SUV size. Glad you had a fun (mostly) trip.

  2. you are so crazy - in a good way. props to you for being brave enough to travel to Chicago! I have actually not seen that cool camera pic before and I like it :-)
    Glad you survived and still have your sense of humor!