Snuggles is here to straighten this organization out.
August 2013

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  • August 2013: Well, given my slacktastic performance throughout the month of August, I've added more text than usual to this latest picture dump. At least I plan to. If it's not there right now, check back later as my periods of laziness generally have brief respites of semi-production.

    So after science camp one day (in July; timely!), I took Niklas and Zoe to the water playground conveniently located between Kids Sciences Labs and the train station that's just far enough away for Zoe to complain about how far it is. Did I remember to bring dry clothes for Zoe to change into afterward? Ha, ha, ha, ha! Weeeeeeee. No.

    Here's Niklas going to the waterslide at the park that I mentioned above. This extra text is adding a lot of value, let me tell you.

    In the end, standing under the water spout narrowly lost out to filling a bucked with water under the spout and then dumping it on her head. Still, Zoe's having fun here.

    Here's Zoe hanging out by the river. There's' a nice riverwalk thing behind the Whole Foods where Zoe and I would go sometimes after dropping Niklas off at camp.

    When we were at Sesame Place, they didn't really have much in the way of age appropriate souvenirs for Niklas, so I promised we'd buy him a Michaelangelo Ninja Turtle set when we got home.

    Michaelangelo is the turtle most obsessed with cleanliness, apparently. I would have guessed Donatello.

    One thing we learned at Zoe's outdoor t-ball classes was that I am really, really bad at putting pony and pig tails in.

    Action shot Zoe is action packed. Fun fact: I have at least three videos where she's supposed to be sliding but she really just runs to the base and sits down. She nailed it here, though.

    This is the playground at Oz Park. Despite the combination of Zoe and a thirty year old wooden structure, we didn't have any splinter issues even after two hours of running about crazily. We ran into Niklas's friend Piper there, which was pretty exciting for Zoe.

    Zoe thinks castles are the best. Sometimes she will decide that the stairs outside the condo are her castle and that I am trespassing horribly by walking on them. That's not the best, mostly because of the yelling.

    So Niklas's baseball games for the late summer season were in Lincoln Park up by Lawrence. On the downside, there's no playground by the field for Zoe to play on while he's baseballing. On the plus side, there' plenty of dirt which Zoe loves (loooooooooves) to play in. That's also a bit of a downside, I guess.

    Barefoot opportunities are at a premium for Zoe, so she always takes advantage when she can.

    While Niklas was downstate at Grandma and Papa Meekers, Zoe and I took the train downtown to spend the day at Millennium Park.

    Tourists could learn a thing or two from Zoe when it comes to train etiquette.

    Zoe's favorite thing at the park is the "fountain with the spitting guys".

    That's probably not its real name (Crown Fountain is likely it), but that doesn't lessen it's popularity for Zoe.

    To sum up, the vast majority of our time at the park was spent with Zoe playing in the fountain.

    Zoe and I did some other stuff while Niklas was out of town. Mostly stuff in the category of "Stuff Zoe Likes To Do".

    Zoe spends a lot of her time putting things (in this case, sand) in other things (a bucket). That's almost a Monty Python sketch.

    Here's Zoe riding her tricycle. It's likely this trip ended up with me pushing the tricycle while Zoe stood on the seat. She doesn't care for society's notions of proper biking technique.

    This would probably be exhibit A if there were some sort of public hearing to prevent me from styling my daughter's hair.

    So after a few days without Niklas, Andrya, Zoe and I headed downstate to meet up with him and his grandparents and many other members of Andrya's family. Our first stop was at the Catholic War Vets fish fry which included awesome and potentially deadly old school playground equipment.

    We kept this at reasonable, non-ejecting/vomit free speeds.

    Zoe had a phase where she thought sitting upside down in chairs was a great time.

    While we were in the greater Belleville area, we headed across the border to check out the zoo in St. Louis. It's a really nice place surrounded by nonsensical and insufficient roads.

    Here's Zoe and Grandma Meeker looking at butterflies.

    Goat! Goat! Goat! Also, my children, but really, goats are awesome.

    Here's tired face Niklas and some penguins.

    There are some good looking people on carousels these days.

    Zoe wanted to ride the zebra because "zebras are faster than horses." I don't know if there's science there or not.

    We finished up or trip with a cookout at Andrya's Uncle Mark and Aunt Kim's house. The kids played with their dogs and cats for nigh ever and Niklas snuck in a game of Monopoly with Papa. If anyone is interested in a game of Monopoly, pleas call Niklas.

    Amazingly, Zoe did not try to set anyone on fire with this sparkler.

    They're not doing it here, but the kids also roasted some hot dogs on the fire which they seem to feel is the alpha and omega of haute cuisine.

    Back in Chicago, I took the kids to Indian Boundary Park for some bike riding and playgrounding. Here are some pictures of bike riding and playgrounding.

    Zoe was only somewhat infuriated by her inability to keep up with Niklas.

    "King of the road says you move too slow."

    Here's Zoe, Niklas and the girl who kept talking to Niklas and therefore infuriating Zoe. As a side note, on the one hand, I feel like I use "infuriated" too much in regard to Zoe. On the other hand, there's Zoe, so...

    So one Wednesday, we didn't have anything going on so I took the kids to Navy Pier. We hit the Children's Museum and touristed it up real good.

    Here's Zoe driving the bus in the Kid's Town play area. We did a bunch of other stuff in the museum, too, but chasing two kids around makes it hard to document things photo-wise.

    Niklas enjoyed himself on the ferris wheel until I remembered that he and Zoe had dentist appointments that afternoon.

    Zoe didn't mind that we had to rush out, probably because her teeth are historically better than Niklas's.

    The worst part about the trip to the dentist was finding out that Niklas had to have another tooth pulled. He doesn't have any new problems, it's just his love of raisins from ages 1 to 3 and Bermuda's lack of fluoridated water echoing in eternity.

    I don't remember when exactly (after our trip to Navy Pier and the dentist but before our trip out the Iammartinos; I guess I could check the date on the picture, but you know), but one afternoon the kids were being super whiny so I made them go for a walk to burn off their whiny-ness. We ended up by Wrigley, so we took this picture with the brick Josh got for Niklas when he was born.

    I put this up on the front page a while back, but here it is again I guess.

    Other than playing in the dirt, Zoe also enjoyed climbing fences while Niklas was playing baseball.

    So we went out to the Iammartinos to celebrate (a bit late) Charlie's first birthday. The older kids played a bunch of games and road bikes and whatnot. We headed over to park where there's a big monument to some dude who kicked Oak Park some money back in the day and the kids played on that for quite a while.

    So from left to right, here's Niklas, Zoe, Alice and Thomas.

    Captain Crazy Face has a crazy face.

    The kids thought that sticking their heads in the window was hilarious.

    This is Niklas re-enacting the scene from Star Wars where Obi Wan deactivates the Death Star's tractor beam.

    Here's a bit of miscellany!

    Here's Zoe with some pigtails Andrya put in. You can tell I didn't do it because they're not terrible.

    If Zoe's messing around on the seawall at Waveland Park, Niklas must be riding his bike by the lakefront. So far, he hasn't crashed into the lake, so success!

    Here are the kids worn out from something. Maybe the aforementioned bike riding/wall climbing, maybe watching a bunch of SpongeBob.

    The city's redone a bunch of playgrounds lately. My kids Niklas and Zoe like playgrounds, so success!

    Here's Zoe possibly opening a large bottle of wine.

    Zoe's rock climbing skills will come in handy one day; possibly in some sort of burglering career.

    She's skilled at this, too, but I can't thin of an application legally, legalish or otherwise.

    Niklas had a great time on this thing, until he fell out of it.

    I would bay big money to have someone sneak up on children when they're standing in front of dinosaur. Get on it, Field Museum!

    Here are the kids in front of a mummy that they're barely smaller than. Olden people were small.

    Old timey people were strong, though, as apparently they could move this block.

    Here's Zoe at a showing of a 3D movie about sharks. No, it was not Jaws 3D.

    And here we are at the doctor's office. Much like the dentist the previous week, I forgot about this and we had to rush out of the museum to get there. We were just about done, anyway, officially.

    Here's Zoe C Pigtails about to smack the crap out of a baseball.

    I figured that this was promising development.

    Though both kids preferred this arrangement.

    Monkey, monkey, monkey.

    I'm pretty sure Zoe is upset here because Niklas was playing with a girl.

    Here's the handshake line after hard fought little sluggers battle royale.

    I, uh... Yeah.

    Zoe wouldn't let a dust storm stop her from getting a t-ball medal.

    Here's a sneak peek of Zoe's Halloween costume. There's a bit more to it than this.

    This lightsaber battle is clearly superior to Episode I.

    I don't know if Niklas distributed the lightsabers with any forethought, but the colors are dead on.

    Here's Niklas off to his first day of the first grade.

    And here's Zoe dressed as... something.

    Zoe has a promising career ahead of her as a hippo wrangler.

    Construction equipment at school? That'll draw a crowd.