Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Christmas Card That Should Have Been

I did send out Christmas cards this year. This is the one that I designed, but then couldn't use because I am a lousy photographer! I overexposed the first picture and it didn't print well enough. I still think it is cute though!

Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo

On 12/14/07 I took the kids to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the Zoo Lights celebration.

The kids shared hot chocolate while watching the Christmas trees with lights that "danced" to the music.

We visited the Gorilla house and they were all sleeping. In the Lion House, the big cats were prowling around. They had crafts set up there for the kids.
The animal shapes were fun to come across. The lions were our favorite.

We liked watching the Ice Sculpting. This guy was talking to Max a little bit because Max ran up to the fence and shouted a big hello at him.

Santa's House at Daley Center

On Saturday 12/8/07 we decided to head over to the Daley Center to see Santa Claus. It has been a tradition of ours to visit him there, walk through the Christkindlmart and take pictures by the light displays and the City Tree. It has changed a little since we have been here last. The tree decorations and colors are new this year. Santa's House has been remodeled also. (I was a little disappointed that instead of the lights display, there is a display about a penguin visiting different Chicago attractions. Kind of cute, but not what I wanted to see!) The Christkindlmart was as bustling as I remembered it. But our final stop at Santa's Workshop was the best EVER! Santa was very sweet to the kids. After freezing in line for quite a while, Maddie ran in, dove into his lap and just snuggled down deep into his cozy red suit and long white beard. Max jumped onto his lap also and Santa began to ask the kids what they wanted for Christmas. Maddie told him that she wanted a telescope. He looked a little taken aback by the tiny girl wishing for a telescope. His eyes got really wide and his voice very theatrical. He said, "Well this may be possible Madeline. But you must do one thing for me if you get this telescope. You must study very hard and learn all about the stars up in the sky, so that you will know what you are looking at when you use it." Maddie very seriously promised to do this and then he turned to Max. Max told him that he wanted a Playmobil Adventure Animal Tree house. Santa replied, "I can do this, but you must also do one thing for me. You must go to bed on time every night without fussing, so that you can earn this wonderful toy." Max happily agreed and then the kids jumped off Santa's lap...or at least they tried to. Max made it off okay, but not Madeline. I heard a squeal from Madeline and an theatrical "Ouch!" From Santa. I looked over and saw that Madeline's barrette was stuck in his beard! He quickly reassured Madeline, "Did that tug your hair like it tugged my beard?", all while holding on to that beard for dear life. I dislodged the offending barrette and all was well. He gave the kids reindeer Pez dispensers and announced to the elves that he needed a two minute break. He scurried out the backdoor, presumably to make sure he was presentable for the children who were visiting next. All in all, it was the cutest and funniest Santa visit ever. The kids loved meeting Santa. They are at that whimsical age where the shyness or fear of St. Nick is gone and they are ready to believe in the magic of the season. And this Santa really charmed them. After we left Santa's workshop, we hurried home for Hot Chocolate because it was too cold to do anything else! I guess the State street windows will have to wait!

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

12/7/07 I took the kids to Navy Pier today for Winter Wonderfest. It was the first day, and we got there just as the doors opened. There were so many things to do, from bounce-arounds, slides, roller coasters and rides, carousel, Ferris wheel, shows and exhibits... (They even had an ice skating rink, but I was not about to brave that alone with two small kids!) We played all day! Here are some of the Christmas Fairies that we met.

The kids had fun meeting with the elves at the Elf Squad E-Wish Center.

They got to email their Christmas lists to Santa. Max told Santa he would be leaving corn dogs out for him.

Dancing on the snowflake lights.

...The biggest rocking horse ever.

I enjoyed the Santas Around The World Exhibit. They had a displays that showed the Santa traditions from different countries. This one was Perre Noel from France.

Yoopuh Man

12/5/07 Max has had this cape for a while, but today he found it and ran through the house yelling, "Here I come to yave the day!" And, "I'm Yoopuh Man!" I think super hero phrases are genetically encoded, because Max has never seen superman or batman cartoons. He was making us laugh!

Gobble Gobble!

11/21/07 Max ran out of school with his hoodie up and a turkey hat that he made on. He was so proud of it that he walked home through the rain with it on.

We went to visit Brent, Rebecca and the twins for Thanksgiving. Here are Todd and the kids on Thanksgiving day.

Maddie had fun with Ellen. We weren't sure what they were dressing up as here, but they sure looked happy!