Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chicago! It's Definitely My Kind of Town

We had a great family vacation in Chicago.  We stayed at the Palmer House Hotel, with the famous Empire Room - a place where people such as Frank Sinatra and Sonny and Cher performed, among multiple others. We visited the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, The Chicago Institute of Art, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and we saw the Blue Man Group show.  We also, of course, went out for deep-dish pizza at Giordano's and Molinari's.  Chicago is a beautiful city, especially (surprisingly) downtown.  Even the skyscrapers are beautiful, and I don't think that is something I have ever said before.  There are amazing and well-maintained green spaces everywhere.  The architecture is gorgeous.  There is tons of culture.  It's a healthy city, too, which I love.  There are runners everywhere and great places to run (waterfront trails and so on).  There is delicious healthy food easily available.  Sign me up!

Art Institute: (Monet, Rodin, Picasso among tons of others)





Lincoln Park Zoo:  (totally free and very amazing)






Shedd Aquarium: great place, kids loved it







City Scenes:







Field Museum: fascinating




The Bean: okay, I didn't get it.  People are just looking at their reflections.  It's a big silver bean.  Sorry, but ?


American Girl Store:  tons of girly fun!




Blue Man Group Show:  we all loved it!  Highly recommended.


If you have a chance to go to Chicago, go. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Coolest Fungus Ever?


I found this fungus while running on Lookout Trail in Dundas Conservation Area/Sulphur Springs.  It looks like a huge orange flower.  Apparently some people eat the margins (whatever that means) and it tastes like chicken.  But be warned - some people are allergic to it, and get very sick.  I just think it's fascinating...to look at!

Tobermory Views














Tobermory is so beautiful.  The views are spectacular.  We were just there, and there were lady slippers everywhere, growing wild by the side of the road.  The water was as calm as glass.  The temperature was 48 degrees in Big Tub Harbour, so it would have been much cooler in front of our cottage, where it is 100 ft plus deep.  But my boys jumped in there anyway (for about a second or two).  Hey, they are Canadian, after all.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Camping at Valens Conservation Area!












We camped at Valens Conservation Area near Hamilton Ontario on the weekend.  It was so great to see the kids 'off-screen'.  Our friends had power at their trailer, so the kids could have used their iPods, but instead they were happy to run and bike through the trails and on the boardwalks, build castles in the sand, swim in the lake, and kayak.  We had campfires and played card games.  We saw birds, caterpillars, and other wildlife.  We brought them home dirty, sticky, covered in bug bites and happy from tons of outdoor play.  What Minecraft?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

All I Want for Mother's Day is for the Kids to Pick up their Wrappers!




I mean it.  That's all I want.

Wrappers.  Everywhere.  On the coffee table.  On the sides of the couch.  On the floor beside chairs.  Under the ottoman!

I've tried everything.  It's not that I always pick them up myself, then giving them the message that I will do it for them so they can just leave them there.  No, I will tell them to pick them up themselves.  And then yell when they don't!

It just seems like they haven't received the message.  It's not getting through.  Somewhere, somehow, there has been a failure of communication.

Then I think, I should just buy fruit and vegetables and be completely environmentally friendly, so there ARE no wrappers.  That would solve the issue, right?

No.  Because then there are orange peels and grape stems and banana peels left on the coffee table and end tables.  Healthier but STILL something left for someone else to either pick up or yell about!

And the wrappers aren't mostly from junk food - they're from granola bars and cheese strings.  And juice boxes.  Always, always half-full.

And the funny thing is that I remember very well my parents yelling at me for this exact same issue.

So is it just a child thing?  Children have the attention span of gnats and can't remember to put away their garbage?  Is that it?

Is it just an unfortunate fact of parenting that parents have to constantly correct their kids' behaviour so they can become somewhat civilized?

So yes.  All I want for Mother's Day is for my children to pick up their wrappers.  And their laundry.  And the various charging cords that come with all their devices.  And....

Parenting.  It's not easy.  And it's full of wrappers.