Saturday, 31 October 2009

Biggest Haul Ever

We came out of our seasonal yuck just in time for Halloween. At one point the yuck found both Gillian and I zonked out during the daytime. To this, Fergus compassionately observed: "If you guys are just going to sleep all day why did you bother having kids anyway?"

We finally found the strength to carve our pumpkins this morning:


For trick or treating, Effie wore the wolf costume Grannie made 30 plus years ago! Yeah Grannie!!!
Gillian went as Anders Flanders from DetektivbyrÄn:


See! (Anders Flanders, far right)...


Our regular plans for a halloween trip up-island had been cancelled so we joined a group of fellow rural dwellers and hit a particularly active subdivision in town. This was the first time I had ever heard of trick or treating while it was still light out but it seemed to work. We actually had a rain free, warmish, full-moon night.

Here's the embarrassing haul. These pics also show the different styles between these two - one likes to sort and admire, the other likes to eat and ask questions later:

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Pick a Pumpkin

...but only if it's a small one! Rules!?! Next year we're invading Kristal's catapult-yer-pumpkin-at-a-cow patch - even if she doesn't invite us:

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Travel

Not only are we fortunate enough to have great Chicagoian friends willing to host and hang out with us for ten days but we also have great Everettonian friends eager to feed us and drive us to and from the airport at all hours. THANK YOU!!! Ahhh, unshcooling!

Sport -of-the-future: bench-cushion sliding...



Ferg got off the plane exploding with energy and had one agenda: concoctions with Ronnie...


Frank has great guitar playing concentration abilities:

Flying



Now is the time for a shout-out to all those parents who experience air travel with their kiddos. Gillian, for one, impresses the hell out of me with her negotiating skills, patience and constant attention to our kids during the several medium-haul flights we have made as a family. Just like an average day at home then! Meanwhile, when flying, I’m reduced to a mere observer - a product of trial and error familial seat assignments: Ferg on the window, Gillian in the middle, Effie on the aisle... lonely ol’ me across the way. And there I sit listening to my ipod and reading magazines (and blissfully passing around what turns out to be the last remnants of our family’s anti-air-pressure-chewing-gum to my fellow row passengers). And although on our last flight, Chicago to Seattle, I did play some American Girl Go Fish (who knew?) with Effie and helped Ferg build a K’nex motorcycle this really is nothing compared to the continuous attention Gillian gives to Fergus.

For some reason Ferg has never been the type to sit back and watch a movie on the plane. He prefers building/playing with stuff and looking at books, all with Gillian constantly assisting him and pulling out new items from a seemingly bottomless supply of surprise in-air distractions. It is impressive, though I’m sure disheartening to Gillian, that Fergus can put together a Bionicle in under five minutes. I need a nap just thinking about how much work this is for her.

Cramming anyone into such a tightly confined space as a plane seat for four hours is annoying and uncomfortable. For someone as peripatetic as Fergus it is just plain cruel. However, Gillian has developed a rhythm that seems to work for our kids. Which is why it was a little deflating to have the lady in front of Ferg announce to us, immediately upon Ferg’s joyful arrival at his window seat, that she was very tired and needed her sleep and that we had to be quiet. It was 7:15 pm! Actually it wasn’t deflating at all – it was shockingly funny and, bwahaha, a call to arms.

At one or two moments during the flight I would say that Ferg wasn’t exactly playing “quietly” - he was, after all, deeply involved in a battle between two opposing transformers - but still, to hear him shushed several times by grumpy-puss was rather hilarious. Hilarious because it is not in Ferg’s make-up to even remotely hear “shhhhhh” let alone respond to it and, oh by the way lady, you should see him when he isn’t happy on a plane (Ferg bests Tim Booth)! And hilarious, as opposed to annoying, because little did she know that we had just spent ten straight days listening to many a strangers’ need to comment on his feet and you know what, poopy pants, we’re kinda hardened to all that now so why don’t you just shut up, plug some headphones in your ears and join our little society. We’ll continue having fun and meeting our kids needs here in the back.

Woops, this was supposed to be a kudos post and looky here, it’s turned into a rant. Must work on that.

Warmer day

On our last day in Chicago the sun made an appearance and we took full advantage with a lengthy session in the playground and a trip to Margie's Candies - an old fashioned ice cream parlor. We even fit in some El Cid tacos at the 11th hour.



Rachel certainly gave Margie's its props but she failed to mention that they have hosted both Al Capone and The Beatles during their 90 years at the same location. I would have lifted my head up from my delicious milkshake more often.



It was nice enough out for the street vendors to do decent business as the school bells rang (pork rinds and cotton candy!?!):

Signs of Chicagoland

Great combo:


Run Freedom Run:


Cute, cuddly AND fits in your purse:


Aaaaw:


"We've been spending most our lives/
Living in a munchies paradise":


Not quite:

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ferg Thoughts

Fergus: "When I'm an adult like you, I'm going to live here"
Me: "Here? In Chicago?"
Fergus: "Yeah, in Chicago"
Me: "Okay. But you'll be so far away from me"
Fergus: "Why, where will you live when I'm an adult?"
Me: "I'm not sure. Hopefully still in our house back home"
Fergus: "Yeah, I'd live there... but I think it will be too worn out by the time I'm an adult"



Sunday, 18 October 2009

Winding down in the windy city

A trip to Chicago's chinatown was always an option and then yesterday Ferg really got it in his head to go there. Turned out today was a nice day for a boat ride to Chinatown down the river...

There is so much cool architecture and so many bridges along the river that it made my neck ache:







Chinatown:









The fancy Chinatown water taxi stop:


I've taken more darn pictures of the Sears tower than anything on this trip:


Here's a shot of the 103rd floor Sears tower skydeck balconies where you can look through the glass floor to the street below. We did not do this.


Here is Martin's office building (centre, with the boats at its base):


Along the river at sunset:


We made a full day of it by going to see the evening performance of Blue Man which has a residence in Chicago...



Saturday, 17 October 2009

Chicagwegian Food

Hachi's Kitchen is a most excellent local sushi place frequented by our hosts - we ordered take out from here twice:




Snail Thai Food in South Chicago - Obama's neighborhood Rachel says.


Rachel and Martin live, in seems to my rural west coast eyes, in a very ethnic community. Latino most notably. I had some excellent steak tacos the other night after a play I went to with Martin (the play featured their friend Wendi... it's from the writers of award winning Urinetown... hey, want good quality wackiness? check it out: Yeast Nation - "the world's first family, a colony of salt-eating yeasts, floats in the brine of the primordial soup under the rule of a tyrannical baritone"). Anyway, I went on and on to Gillian about the great authentic steak tacos Chicago has to offer and made us all stop in at a taco-type place down the street from Rachel and Martin's house (which they had never been to before). This place was out of steak. In fact, steak was thawing in a large vat in front of us on the counter (that, and the sign out front, should have been warning enough). So the taco filling options were down to tongue or goat's meat so obviously the three of us willing enough chose goat. Three of us got sick. I'm just saying...



We also went here a few times:


But, when it comes right down to it, our kids are not really all that well suited to the restaurant experience at the moment. We keep trying but one in particular is just too mobile and too busy. So Rachel fed us at home a lot and boy did we eat goooood!!!