At The Field Museum

Since Nadia is all about dinosaurs these days, we planned a visit to the Field Museum. Going there on Tuesday was a great idea – the first day of school was Monday, and the museum was almost empty. One thing neither Anna nor I could predict was how long our visit would last. We thought about 2- 2,5 hours, and we were even thinking about going to the Maggie Daley park afterward (since we didn’t go there on Saturday), but we ended up spending six hours in the museum! Nadia could not get enough of it! 

We started from watching a 3D movie about titanosaurus. Then, we saw the Pacific nations exhibit, then Evoving Earth, Jade, a gemstone exhibit, the Ancient China, Jane Goodall exhibit, the Underground adventure and I think I forgot something :). Nadia kept exploring

Biking With My Girls

Anna brought her cargo bike with her (she ended up driving a truck because of that), and although driving a truck in the city is not the most enjoyable activity, the presence of a cargo bike made a huge difference! We could go anywhere on bikes! Both Sunday and Monday mornings, we would head to the Lake Front Trail to explore the playgrounds – thank you, Chicago Park District!

We biked to the Edgewater Art Fair on Sunday evening (because Nadia really wanted to listen to some concert), and we biked to Andersonville on Monday to have lunch with Vlad and Dylon.

At the Edgewater Art Fair, Nadia danced for forty minutes straight while the band was playing, and Kira followed as much as she could:). Neither me nor Anna could expect it!

Only later we thought that we could plan more outings with the cargo bike, including going to the Lincoln Park Zoo and to Navy Pier – both are relatively close to where I live, but unfortunately do not have convenient public transportation. We will plan better next time!

At The Beach With My Girls

At some point, Anna expressed a concern that the beach’s proximity will alter her daughter’s priorities in Chicago and that instead of the “museum Baba” I will become a “beach Baba.” And indeed, the first request was about going to the beach. The girls arrived late on Friday, and Saturday morning, we headed to the beach straight after breakfast.

We spent about three hours at the beach, the girls mostly playing on the shore and in the shallow water. I was helping them to build the sandcastles and used the opportunity to go deeper into the water while there were no lifeguards on duty.

Also, we had snacks in Ropa Cabana (seen on the background), a new beach food stand run by one enthusiastic couple.

I thought it is going to be a beach every day, but after that, we took a deep dive into the cultural experience!

Family Time

My daughter and my granddaughters are my guests for the past three days, and today my son-in-law joined them.

it’s a very busy time, with lot’s of cooking and cleaning, and it’s the most wonderful time spending time together, talking, reading books and drawing pictures, sledding and having fun the snow. these day, I do ot have to do sledding in the wee hours of the morning, when nobody can see me. I am a grandma with my granddaughter, and we can go sledding as all other people with children.

People are making sledding trains out of multiple sleds, and most of the time theey would turn upside down, but everybody would have fun anyway 🙂

Today, Anna made scones for breakfast, as she always does. This time it was a new recipe, and it was super-delicious. Also, she made them with dry lingonberries, which I brought from Finland, and that made them even better 🙂

My Best Girls Ever

I had the best time ever with all three girls:). Kira is a miracle child: she is so happy all the time and so calm! Not like she does not have bad days and bad nights, but in comparison, not only with Nadia but with any child, I know close enough. Also, she is very advanced both physically and emotionally for her four and a half months. She tries to stand up all the time you hold her. she tries to crawl and sit, and I think she will be mobile in some way by the time she will be six months old. Just you wait:).
She also has an unbelievable emotional response to others, which is also way too early. She meets people’s gaze; she is upset when either Nadia or Anna is upset, and she ever reacts emotionally at the conversations which are not directed to her. And if you talk to her directly, she would always respond with the broadest smile.

Nadia speaks more and more complex sentences. She loves telling stories, and she likes it when Anna tells stories, imaginable, or real. She is very thoughtful and very compassionate, polite, and considerable of other people’s needs.

And all this is most definitely because of her parents. I do not think I ever had such a level of patience, as Anna demonstrates. And I can tell that her patience with Nadia fosters all these positive traits. Many everyday tasks take longer than they could because she lets Nadia do things by herself, to decide for herself, to do them her way. She always accepts Nadia’s help even when it makes things going three times slower :). And I am sure that John does the same; I just saw less of him this time :).

I am so looking forward to seeing these girls growing and doing great things!

Visiting With My Girls

As Anna put it, we had three visits in one. Anna and the girls came Friday evening. The girls went more or less straight to bed, and Anna and I talked till midnight (which was probably not the best idea, but we didn’t have one on one conversations for a really long time).

It was then a long morning at my house, and then we went to the market and picked pre-ordered bread, croissants and vegetables. Afterward, we visited my mom, and she was very happy to hold Kira and chat with all of us. Then we traveled to John and Anna’s house in Milwaukee, and I stayed there till midday Tuesday. Unfortunately, my situation at work is such that I could not take any additional time off, but we were still happy to stay under one roof for a couple of days.

The weather was not cooperating. It became sharply colder on Saturday, and I was completely unprepared. I was glad that I took a warmer coat, but frankly, I could take even a warmer one. We still went for several walks, but it would be better if the weather would be different.
I already posted some pictures from the Havenwoods State Park, and here are some pictures from the neighborhood – the Halloween decorations there are very elaborate 🙂

Continue reading “Visiting With My Girls”

Family Time

My girls went back home today. We spent a wonderful five days together, going to places, doing things together, and talking non-stop. After they left, I told Boris that I either became too old or out of practice because I felt tired of all these non-stop activities. He replied that he thinks that I am just out of practice, and I asked whether he implies that I should do it more often. He laughed and said that probably yes.

Speaking about activities, we went to the Botanic Garden on Tuesday.

The signs say: Welcome back! We missed you!
Continue reading “Family Time”

Spending Time With My Girls

I took this whole week off work to spend time with my daughter and granddaughters, and all the things we are doing together take all the time I have. Everything is great and wonderful, and I am enjoying every moment of our time together, and I hope they enjoy it, too.

We went to the Botanic Garden, and we drove to Chicago to Millennium Park, and there are still tons of activities we planned for the remaining two and a half days.

More stories to follow 🙂

House Cleaning

The reason why this weekend ended up being as it was – my girls are coming to visit me tomorrow. Yesterday, Kira turned two months, and their pediatrician allowed them to extend the circle of contacts slowly.

I was planning to come and visit them in Wisconsin, but since the parents, understandably wanted me to quarantine before meeting the baby, and Mayor Lori wants me to self-quarantine myself after I visit Wisconsin, Anna decided to give me back two weeks of my life.

Nadia is old enough now to sleep in her bed, not pack-and-play. That meant that this time, everybody would stay downstairs, where I have two guest rooms. These rooms usually stay ready to host people who come to visit me, but nobody lived there for the past nine months due to the pandemic.

I never entered these rooms for the said nine months, because there was no need. Usually, they would be in use at least once in two months, and I would change the bedding and possibly dust and sweep, and they are ready for the next visitor. I do not remember when it was the last time they were vacant for nine months!

I am walking in, and I feel like I am walking into the cellar, that’s how it smells! There are cobwebs in the corners, and there is dust on the surfaces. The first thing I wanted to do was to open the windows, but there was no window screen in one of the rooms. A trip to the ACE hardware revealed (as usual!) that this size is no longer used. I ordered the “cut it yourself” kit on Amazon, but it will only arrive on Tuesday.

I took all the bedding fro that room upstairs and hung it to ventilate. Then I cleaned the floor and all the surfaces. I also had to put back the railing on the stairs (because I didn’t do it yesterday, remember?)

I called Boris so that I could consult him about drilling the holes and screwing the screws in. This plus a couple more trips to the stores – that’s how my day was!

However, I can even describe how ecstatic I am to see y girls and see Kira in the flesh for the first time! I am so looking forward to all the activities and conversations!