Now, I didn't mention this before, for fear of someone undesirable learning my husband was out of the country, but John spent a few weeks recently in Bolivia, working as a volunteer in a Christian hospital outside Cochabamba. (He is responsible for telling his stories from that trip, and I will be nagging him with gusto until it is appropriately documented here on the blog.)
In order to start his trip off with a bang, we went a day early to Chicago to party hard before we sent him to the airport. I had grand visions of Buckingham Fountain and Millennium Park (two of my favorite places to take the girls), but the rain was coming down in buckets, and we realized that we really had never given the Field Museum its time to shine. (We LOVE the Museum of Science and Industry and visit it every chance we get. This is due in equal parts to the sheer coolness of it--the hatching chicks, the farm machines, the TRAIN, the foam catapults--and the free neighborhood parking.)
So, we compared our hands to Bushman's.
And made gorilla faces.
And lounged on Egyptian litters, pretending to be ancient princesses.
The girls were appropriately horrified and intrigued by the idea (and reality) of mummies. They enjoyed a 3D movie with John, which Bella and I avoided, knowing the naughtiness that would ensue. In short, it was fantastic, and I coveted the big-city life yet again.
Then we spent the 87 years in traffic that it takes to get from downtown to the suburbs (where our hotel was), and I remembered why I love living in small places. South Bend traffic delays me five minutes, maximum, when driving to or from downtown. Aaaahh. So nice.
We Googled restaurants in Wood Dale (our suburb) and found that Sweet Baby Ray's, which is John's favorite barbecue sauce, had a little spot not two miles from where we were staying. YUM! I heartily recommend a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries. (I also heartily recommend not trying to move for 3 hours after dinner. That was a lot of food.)
The front desk kept forgetting to bring a crib to our room. In fact, for some reason, they first brought a mini-fridge to our room instead of the crib. I mean, a fridge is useful and all, but Bella couldn't really lie down easily inside, and I just didn't feel comfortable shutting the door on her to make it dark enough for her to sleep, so we were forced to send it back. This was John's alternative to the crib.
Yes, that is the armoire. At first he kept one door open, in order to avoid future accusations of abuse, but when she just kept oh-so-casually sliding herself out the door, he shut it.
And she fell immediately asleep.
Naomi slept between the beds on the floor. That's her favorite hotel sleeping spot. This left Olivia with an entire bed all to herself. And when you have a bed to yourself, how should you sleep?
That's right. With your feet on the pillow and your head under the comforter. No wonder Mimi prefers to sleep on the floor.
We sent John off the following afternoon. I felt like I spent the time he was gone with my pressure-relief valve permanently locked down. My poor kids. My good friend, Stacy Andrew, said this about her husband recently being gone for a couple weeks, "It's like I've been without water." Thank heavens my water has returned safely.