The twins take Millennium Park.

One weekend about three weeks ago, I got a wild idea in my head to take the babies on the train downtown. I just started thinking about how we many not live in Chicago forever, and what a shame it would be if they never even got to ride the el. It was beautiful weather, so I thought taking them downtown to Millennium Park would be fun. And it really was, though the train trip was kind of a bust. Jack seemed rather bored by it and Emme was terrified for the first 30 minutes or so; she didn’t even want to get out of the stroller to sit on our laps. I thought I could get some cute photos out of it but between her fear and the crowded train, taking pictures wasn’t really in the cards.

Once we got downtown, the real fun started. I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me to take them to Millennium Park before. I guess I thought that there wouldn’t be enough down there to entertain them. But the beautiful weather brought tons of crowds, meaning optimal people-watching. And it was still warm enough to have them go for a wade in Crown Fountain. Jack loved it right away, Emme needed a little convincing.

This was all fun and games until Jack took off like a prison inmate making a break for it and fell into the water. This was taken milliseconds before the spill.

Because he is apparently part fish, it wasn’t enough to get just one side of himself wet — he had to flip-flop back and forth, pretty much basting himself in the fountain water. Since the sun was starting to go down, it was getting pretty chilly, and Jack needed a chance to dry out… so we headed over to the Bean, the affectionate nickname for Cloud Gate.  Let me tell you about this sculpture. I was one of the millions of Chicagoans who were totally making fun of this weird, disco ball-like kidney bean when plans for it were first announced. But it is so incredibly beautiful and so weirdly fun. There are always throngs of people surrounding it and it’s just fun to hang out near. In fact, Justin and I had first anniversary photos taken in front of it, which I am now going to subject you to.

So we had a fun twenty of minutes or so running around the Bean.

Look! A photo with all four of us in it!

The Boy and the Bean.

(We split up — Justin took Emme, I took Jack, so we could let them run around a bit — which is why I have so many pictures of Jack versus Emme.)

Then we went out to eat! That’s right, we had the quintessential Chicago tourist experience. Jack was an ANGEL in the restaurant, Emme…WAS NOT. It was my first experience feeling utterly helpless as a parent in public. She was screaming, throwing things, dumping stuff over…acting like a toddler, basically, but nothing we did or said settled her down. I know we probably need to eat out a little more often so we can start working on public eating behavior but I cringe at the thought. I hate bothering people who are trying to have a nice dinner in peace.

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon. I wish we hadn’t waited so long to do it, because I would like to do it again before it gets cold…but with the sub-60-degree temps we’ve been having lately, that might not be possible.

CJG - September 27, 2012 - 11:13 am

Does the city put up Christmas lights anywhere around this bean? That would make for fun holiday pictures.

Richard Ragsdale - September 27, 2012 - 9:24 pm

Great shots, as always. The ones of Jack and the Bean are especially nice. And his look of terror before his fall is priceless!

Janie Hightower - September 27, 2012 - 10:22 pm

I’ll be looking at this every day for awhile…. have never seen so many great great pictures in one place. The kids look adorable and so do the parents.

Marsha - September 28, 2012 - 4:01 pm

This post and the previous one are amazing! Seeing Jack master the slide and then both of them in the new environs of Millennium Park is so much fun. You truly captured the feelings and expressions. Isn’t it funny how they each react so differently to different experiences….and try to figure out why!

And thanks for the anniversary photo! I’m sure there will still be some warm weather this fall but timing it to fit your schedule is the trick!! Those two are not babies anymore!

Shara - September 28, 2012 - 11:21 pm

It is my GOAL to get my son, aka THE BEAN to see THE BEAN. I just love all your photos – your anniversary phots are so nice – you are a hottie! 🙂

joey - September 30, 2012 - 9:02 am

These are wonderful photos! It is clear everyone was having a great time. BTW Justin you look like you have lost wieght and need to get some smaller jeans!!

Ann - October 17, 2012 - 8:40 pm

I love all these photos. Its been wonderful seeing the twins grow so much the last year. They just keep getting cuter and cuter too! Don’t know how you and Justin do it with full time jobs and full time toddlers! Do you EVER get “me” time???? Grandma needs to come and give you a break!!!!

Becky Hartman - October 23, 2012 - 8:17 pm

I LOVE this episode and pictures. Emme is reminding me of Mary Katherine. Hugs all around. (Aunt) Becky

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