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Friday, March 28, 2014

March Happenings

I keep feeling like this winter will never end (just like everyone else in this area of the country), and so March passed by kind of quickly in a relative blur of sameness.  We did manage to get outside a few times.

Chicago River dyed Green
We finally went to the Vault (we've now had Do-Rite, Firecakes, Glazed and Infused, and the Vault).  The doughnuts were really, REALLY good, but I don't know that I think they're the best in Chicago.  I guess, for me, there's sort of a bliss point for your basic buttermilk cake doughnut.  This place definitely hits that, but so do the other places.

Basically, if pizza isn't your thing, and a Chicago Dog doesn't carry any kind of interest for you, just go on a doughnut tour while you're here.  We've got a LOT of amazing options.
The yeast doughnuts were SO huge!
After we went to the Vault, we headed off to a Chicago Park to check out a Maple Syrup festival.  I had no idea that they could tap trees and make Maple Syrup right in the middle of Chicago, but they can.  It was pretty cold outside, but it was still nice to get outside and into a little bit of nature.

Upper Left:  syrup tasting and boiling sap over an open flame, Upper Right:  Me and Grayson, checking out the tree taps, Lower Left:  Katie inspecting the sap (apparently, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup!), Lower Right:  Grayson walking in the woods, and Katie and Grayson chillin' (literally) in the stroller.
We got a few days where it was warm enough to head to the local park, go on a couple of bike rides, and be outside for longer than 30 seconds without hating the experience.  Today was kind of cold again though, so we played inside.

I took food coloring and white vinegar and put a few different colors in a muffin tin.  Then, in the pie plate, I spread out a layer of baking soda.  Katie and Grayson both got a medicine dispenser, and then squirted the colored vinegar on the baking soda.  Grayson couldn't fill the dispenser on his own, but I bet he could have done it if it were one of the dropper-types.  Katie had no problems at all, and really loved her "Foaming Rainbow Lakes."

Grayson also tasted all the parts involved...but that problem quickly solved itself.  Neither Vinegar nor Baking soda is terribly tasty alone.

Katie loved the foaming, and then playing in the baking soda afterwards.  She wanted to save her "colored sand."  We didn't.
 Overall, this was a great activity.  Both kids could do it, and they enjoyed it, and it was really easy to clean up.  These days, that's the biggest win of an activity for me.

 Lastly, someone started walking around our house almost full-time!  Watching his little teetering wobbles down the hall and his nervous giggles as he tries to go faster is SO much fun.  It definitely helps to brighten up some of these still-dreary days.

Here's hoping for April Showers...and maybe a few leaves or flowers?

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