What to Do When it's Cold Outside

12:15 PM

Although this has been a really mild winter by Chicago standards, there are still lots of cold or wet days when playing outside isn't optimal.  This is when I love that my kids are endlessly creative!
This is also when I praise the Lord that the kids play so well together. Yes, there are occasional squabbles, but they are not the norm. The norm is this little group huddles up and plays and plays and plays.  Obviously during the day, we do school, but occasionally when our reading load gets too heavy, that bleeds into our evenings. Such as the evening pictured above when I was reading to the kids in the kitchen (as they cluster around the radiator) and they laced these little animals the entire time! It was pretty heart-warming.

There's also our third floor which I realize I have yet to fully disclose to you - and I WILL - but here's a peek into one room: the play room. It currently has ghastly red linoleum and truly truly vintage wallpaper which will not be staying, but somehow manages to be the most cozy space. With all its flaws and cries for attention, this third floor of ours is one of my favorite places. 

The kids clearly turned it into a surgery one night.

Whatever ails Sarah the Cat is being "dealt with" by an experienced team of surgeons.

For days when it's cold, but sunny or the kids just desperately need to let off some steam, there are so many amazing Chicago parks available to us. Touhy Park is just a block away from us, but there are some more activity laden places that are only a few minutes drive away. This one is Indian Boundary Park. It pretty much deserves its own post, so I'll try to do that one day. 
For now, you can see that just the  big leaning tree is irresistable! 

Ok, so this is not us playing outdoors, but just saying a quick hello!

More freezing cold outdoor fun is walking our dog around the neighborhood. 
Depending on our mood and everyone's sense of adventure, we ramble around and check out the local houses. Fully suited up, of course.

Here's a street we walked down - with the train overpass visible. 
I do love hearing that train rumble by. 

We found ourselves under this intersection of streets and train overpasses, and we all sort of felt like we were in our own abandoned fortress! No, we didn't run around and play, as it really ISN'T abandoned, but it did give us all a big sense of glee to sort of just BE there and hear the trains fly overhead on the El track. You can also see one of the painted murals that is unique to Rogers Park. Every one of our viaducts are painted with unique murals. 

Some days we have neighbor kids over to play. Here, Dorien and August play with Alex, a new friend who lives about a block away. We have found that Legos are pretty much universal and generally guarantee HOURS of happy play.

Brooklyn and Alex's sister, Sophia, played Barbie's in the playroom just as happily.
Sophia is one of the few friends Brooklyn has made who's actually her age!

Another indoor past-time is a seriously detailed Connect-The-Dot book given to August by DD.  It has up to 1,000 dots and they are so tiny I would need a magnifying glass to find them all! Here, Brooklyn shows off a completed one. And then she took a nap to rest her exhausted eyes.

And finally, more park time, this time with friends! We met up with Harper and Chloe at Touhy Park to take advantage of a beautiful day and the kids explored the giant concrete cornucopia.

Some were more adventurous than others.

That's just a random sampling of life around here the past several weeks! We've had such a crazy mix of weather - warm days, snow days, storms, hail, rain...we've just been rolling with the punches.
More tales of our adventures, both chosen and thrust upon us, coming up!


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