White Fluff

Let’s start with the happy stuff…BUBBLES!!!!!

IMG_4105

I took the immersion blender and it’s foaming attachment and used it in the tub to make the bubble bath of all bubble baths

IMG_4106

Longest bath ever, probably.

IMG_4108

And then…

IMG_4109

It’s April 15.

IMG_4110

And here we are.

IMG_4116IMG_4118

15 inches so far, and it’s still snowing.

IMG_4119

Luckily the lil’ guys gave me help with the shoveling

IMG_4120

This is our driveway. I made it about halfway through the driveway yesterday, when there was about 8 inches before Henry and I ran out of steam. So today, with an additional 8 inches layered on top, the lower half of the driveway was…backbreaking, I think is a good word for it.

IMG_4123

It’s good to have help when facing daunting tasks

IMG_4126

Especially help that is willing, able and gung-ho. Henry’s my very own Minnesota Miracle Man.

IMG_4127IMG_4128IMG_4129

IMG_4131

Even still, we had to call in the reinforcements.

IMG_4133

IMG_4134

Sometimes the snow takes you out

IMG_4136IMG_4137

Look, Ma! No snow!

IMG_4139IMG_4140

Spring Break

Yeah…it’s not quite spring here yet, but we’re working on it.

IMG_3820

Henry’s working especially hard

IMG_3823

Mom and I are just hoping sunny smiles and cool shades will do the trick

IMG_3825

On my trek out to California, I had an adventure  with knitting a scarf. It had several lives, but ultimately, it ended up quite lovely. I asked Henry to model it for me, and he did a great job.

IMG_3827IMG_3833

And he had so much fun modeling, he just couldn’t stop!

IMG_3844img_3845.jpgIMG_3849

Last week was the boys’ spring break from school, so we hit Union Depot to start our journey to Chicago

IMG_3932IMG_3933

A weird filter happened on my camera, and I captured some oddly blue moments before I realized it.

IMG_3937IMG_3939

The first hour of the train ride seemed to be the most magical thing the boys had ever experienced.

IMG_3942

And after that it was just plain fun for the rest of the day. Card games, reading and activity books were well-used, but more than anything, they just wanted to explore the train.

IMG_3944

Here, Charlie is writing I LOVE THE AMTRAK!

IMG_3947

Dining car lunch

IMG_3948

We made it to town around dinner time, so we cooked up some food and then hit the hay. The next day was our big explore day!

IMG_3951IMG_3953IMG_3954

Crystal Garden fountains that Joe remembered fondly from childhood.

IMG_3956

His sons loved them as well

IMG_3966IMG_3967

Navy Pier

IMG_3971IMG_3973

Wandering downtown. Joe’s up on that pedestrian bridge. Charlie is hiding from him somewhere up there! Ack!

IMG_3976

We spent a lot of time examining the rocks embedded in the Times building

IMG_3982

Namesake of Charlie’s school

IMG_3984

Joe’s fave

IMG_3988IMG_3989

And then…CLOUD GATE FUNTIMES

IMG_3992IMG_3993IMG_3997IMG_4002IMG_4006

Nothing better than interacting with public art

IMG_4009IMG_4011IMG_4017

After all that, the boys headed to the airbnb and I experienced some not-so-public art in the Institute. Look what I found! Miniatures!

IMG_4025

Then that evening, Jane and Darren hosted a delightful dinner gathering. I had assumed that having the boys with us meant this Chicago trip would not also be able to be a friends trip. But I was wrong. We saw people every day, which was a wonderful treat. Way to go, friends!

IMG_4027

Darren and Charlie always seem to end up connecting with each other on a whole other level.

IMG_4029

The next day, we headed south to the Museum of Science and Industry, because that’s pretty much what my kids are into.

Mad scientists!

IMG_4031

In that space, there was a huge Tesla coil hanging from the ceiling that would go off every so often, making an abrupt, loud and unpleasant noise, so the boys couldn’t wait to get out of there. Henry could wait even less, so he and I took off in a hurry. Turned out well, because this place was huge, and dividing and conquering was the best way for the kids to follow their own hearts.

IMG_4032

Looking through the bottom of the plane to see the model of Chicago below

IMG_4034

I felt like I was in the Everything in the Whole Wide World Museum with Grover. “Wowee, what a tall hall!”

il_570xN.1466382753_addg

IMG_4037IMG_4043

Henry really hates when strangers offer to take our family photo

IMG_4047

Streets of yesterday. Reminded me of The House on the Rock

IMG_4049

A toy manufacturer, where people could design their own toy and watch it made from start to finish. We watched other people’s toys being made, which is kind of cheating, but just as cool!

IMG_4050

This was the total highlight. A pinball machine designed for the Swiss National Tourist Office. Seriously. They were so into it, and watched it over and over and over. Henry cried when we finally had to walk away.

IMG_4051IMG_4054IMG_4056

This was pretty amazing, too. A captured U-Boat towed from the coast of Africa with a giant hall built around it.

IMG_4059

A fairy castle!

IMG_4062

Bye Bye, Museum! Thanks for entertaining us on a rainy day.

IMG_4067

After those action-packed days, the boys wanted to do one thing: to be surrounded by books. So we spent the whole morning at a library.

img_4068.jpgIMG_4069

Then, after a ramen lunch on Milwaukee Ave, we headed to Myopic Bookstore.

IMG_4073

On our walk to lunch, we had passed a park that the boys liked the look of, so we wandered back. Charlie and I got on a street that split and veered the wrong direction, though, so we had quite a time figuring out how to get back there. Worth it in the end, though.

IMG_4076IMG_4081IMG_4083

Of all the things we did, the highlights for Charlie and Henry seem to have been taking the ‘L’ and the Amtrak, so we ended the journey on the perfect note: heading down to the subway on our way to Union Station.

IMG_4087

Joe chose a sleeper car for us for the way back, and we were all grateful.

IMG_4089IMG_4095IMG_4103

Happy Spring! Hopefully it will be here soon, anyway.