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Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Rest Of The Chicago Story - With Pictures

Here are the pictures I promised the other day...

Kevin and Liam spent a morning at the Chicago Children's Museum. It seems Liam's new best friend, Big Bird, came along for the ride. Actually, Big Bird was very helpful this trip - he pecked elevator buttons right and left, and also "ate" his way down Ontario Street one afternoon and trimmed away excess shrubbery.

A fun time was had playing drums.

And here's Chef No Name Diesel Engine creating a tofu stir-fry at the wok station.

We had lunch outside at the Navy Pier one day, and Liam had fun letting his little brother play with his hair.

A quick shot of the older son at lunch.

More brotherly goofing around.

The conference ended as well as it began, and I just wish it could have been a bit longer. The last morning of the conference, Kieran and I caught a cab to the Hilton. The cabbie turned out to be a recent immigrant from Somalia. He saw Kieran's Maya Wrap, and then he asked me if all the mothers at the Hilton this week were American. I told him not everyone was, but the majority were. He thought that was interesting, as apparently he'd never seen so many babies in slings outside of Africa, and he asked what the conference was about. I told him it was about breastfeeding and other aspects of raising babies and young children. He got me with this comment...

"Why do you need a conference about nursing and carrying babies? Isn't that just what you're supposed to do with them?"

Yes, sir, it is, but not everyone has that idea yet. We're working on it.

(And then I realized some parenting frustrations are universal. Our cabbie went on to ask, only half in jest, if I knew of any conferences discussing how to get five-year-olds to brush their teeth and go to bed at a reasonable hour.)

We had one extra day in Chicago, and we had the distinct pleasure of a playdate in the park with Amy, Kevin, Carter, and Archie. Amy and I have known each other on-line for almost four years, and I have always admired her parenting style, so it was exciting to finally meet in real life. The boys got to burn off some steam playing ball, the adults got to visit, and a fun time was had by all. Thanks for the meetup, you guys. I hope we can do it again next year!

We then played around at the Navy Pier a bit more, and then that night we walked up to Watertower Place and had dinner at a 50's-style diner that had the best mushroom burgers I've ever eaten.

The next morning we came home, fortunately without major problems. There was my ID issue. My wallet was never found, and my passport was safely tucked away in the safety deposit box at our bank (no, they wouldn't let anyone else in to get it, even with our permission), so I had no picture ID. When we checked in at the airport, no one even blinked an eye. It turns out you can fly without ID. You just have to be willing to go through the extensive hand search (Kevin and Amy, you two were right!) That was all kind of a relief, but Liam wasn't prepared for me to disappear for as long as that took. Kevin ended up trying to convince a crying 3-year-old to go through a separate line with him and Kieran. No one was happy until the four of us were back together again, and then all was well.

Today we've been doing the laundry and opening all our mail that accumulated during our trip. And lookee what came:

This bracelet was made by the lovely Kate as my prize for guessing how many odd socks her boys had squirreled away in their room (28). It is gorgeous - I love the color of blue, and the heart clasp - the picture does not do it justice, trust me. Thank you, Kate! It's is so pretty, and it fits perfectly.

And that is the tale of Chicago '07. I hope we get to go to Chicago again, whether it's for a conference or not, and I hope there is another La Leche League International Conference in the next few years, whether it's in Chicago or not. And next time I won't lose my wallet!

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  • Sounds lovely! And so glad you could fly home...A's new best friend is "Little" Big Bird. Perhaps the birds could have a playdate ;-)..

    By Blogger chichimama, at Friday, July 27, 2007 6:54:00 AM  

  • "conferences discussing how to get five-year-olds to brush their teeth and go to bed at a reasonable hour"

    Sign me up for that one, too!

    By Blogger Julie, at Friday, July 27, 2007 7:23:00 AM  

  • What a great trip!
    How come there are hardly ever any pics of YOU, sweetcheeks? lol.

    By Blogger Robbie, at Friday, July 27, 2007 8:36:00 AM  

  • Sounds like you had a blast. Funny about the cabbie- you'd think people would have gotten it by now. I cannot beleive how big Kieran is.

    By Blogger Lindyloo, at Friday, July 27, 2007 9:18:00 AM  

  • Glad you had such a great trip, and that you didn't have too much trouble getting back home.

    By Blogger Steph, at Friday, July 27, 2007 8:32:00 PM  

  • lol at the taxi driver's quizzical comments, glad you love the bracelet, your delish soaps arrived at my place at the same time time as my pressie arrived at yours lol.
    mmmmmmmmm they smell divine. you are such a dahling doing a Global Swap totally uninvited :o)
    glad you're home and hosed, super-glad you loved the LLL conf so much X

    By Blogger kate5kiwis, at Saturday, July 28, 2007 7:26:00 AM  

  • Well have to say I am glad you didn't have too much trouble coming home on the plane, I was wondering how it would work out. Glad you all had such a good time at the conference, and I love the photos!

    By Blogger Christy, at Sunday, July 29, 2007 3:51:00 PM  

  • Glad you got home safely. We had lots of fun meeting you guys- it's always very cool to see an online friend irl- to me it feels like meeting someone famous. How did we get away with no pictures? I must have been very distracted. Our pictures go straight from the ballpark to our afternoon at the local fair : (

    By Blogger amakice, at Monday, July 30, 2007 12:37:00 PM  

  • LOVE the cabbie's comments. :)

    glad the trip went well and you made it home safe and sound.

    what a lovely surprise to find that bracelet in your mailbox. it's always nice to return home to gifts. :)

    By Blogger amygeekgrl, at Monday, July 30, 2007 7:35:00 PM  

  • Wow, sounds like a fantastic conference and a good get-away (lost wallet notwithstanding.)

    We were recently in Chicago so I found myself smiling quite a bit through your recent posts. We too experienced the Navy Pier . . .

    By Blogger Dana, at Saturday, August 11, 2007 5:11:00 PM  

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