Monday, August 16, 2010

Millennium Park

Today was a really good day. After breakfast we packed up our cooler and stuff and headed downtown to Millennium Park. We hoped to catch glimpses of the Chicago Air and Water Show, mostly the air part, while picnicking in the grassy area in front of a band shell, then let the kids play in the interactive water fountain before heading back home. The weather was awesome for a summer day, somewhere in the mid-80's but dramatically less humidity than the day before, a virtually cloudless sky and some cool breezes off the lake. Perfect, really. Now it was a matter of having the kids be compliant.

We have a system for packing for our outings. We use the rolling cart cooler and use ice packs/bricks to chill the water bottles and juice bottles, Coke for me, and we make sandwiches for the adults, nuggets or leftovers for the kids, and fruit or munchies. I use the backpack for diapers and a change of clothes for the kiddos, and Denis brings his backpack for anything else like shoes or towels. This time, when we were unpacking in the parking garage, we took along our lawn chairs and a big umbrella for shade. I guess we looked overloaded while walking down the city blocks to the lake but when you count the three kids it's just proportional. We took the banig mats along and spread them out over a sunny green patch in the park. Lunch was easy and afterward we threw a frisbee around. Nikko transitioned very well between being in the car, being pushed in the stroller for many blocks through lots of people, and finally eating lunch. There was a gridlike structure over our heads that cast long rectangular shadows on the grass. Nikko was stimming off the shadows by running up and down the shadowy planks. It was cute to watch the trio chasing each other and falling into a heap when they bumped. What's funny to me is that the orange frisbee, which has been sitting in our house for weeks, suddenly became a prized possession when I took it out of the backpack and flicked it to Denis with my wrist. The frisbee in flight took the entertainment up a notch and it was fun for the kids to chase it. Two hours flew so quickly and we decided to bring the kids to the interactive fountain to splash around. It was Audrey's first real time and she kept slipping on the slick black stone floor, hitting the back of her head. I think that killed the fun for her and she opted out of romping in the water. We had visited this fountain once before and unfortunately I don't think the boys enjoyed it as much this time. Nikko found it enjoyable to run with his feet low to the ground sloshing the water puddles, but he didn't go near the water falling high from the fountain walls. Neither did Ronin. In retrospect, I think they enjoy going to the pool much better than this. Ronin already doesn't care for splashy features that much, but I'm surprised that Nikko didn't seem as into the water as expected. But when it was time to go and his turn to get changed into dry clothes, Nikko put up a little whining battle. Our trip home was not met with a lot of traffic, but Denis went to Super H Mart to shop for some Asian ingredients for future Thai dishes he wants to make. The kids and I stayed in the car with the air running and watching Finding Nemo. Actually Audrey was awake and the boys finished their naps. When the movie finished and I swapped it for Toy Story 2, Audrey threw a huge fit that made Ronin start screaming and kicking her, and then Nikko got irritated with Ronin's screaming. The meltdown lasted five (long) minutes until Toy Story 2 got kicking and rolling, thank goodness. Dinner at home was slightly early, but bedtime was welcome.

And I didn't have to give a lollipop to anyone at all.

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