Matt had Friday off. I know that should be a good thing, but I was just not in a good mood that day. I am getting a little summer-weary already from all the adventures that are constantly needed to keep everyone happy. I'm an adventure kind of person and all, but it's always in the summer (after we've done our first round of all the fun chicago summer things) that I start to wish we lived in a big suburban house somewhere so that my kids could just run outside and play in the yard and ride their bikes on the culdesac (I just always invision myself living on a culdesac when I have these daydreams of the suburbs).
So, when Matt said "hey, I'm off work...let's go hiking in the Indiana dunes!" I was less than thrilled. I wanted to do it to be a trooper, but I didn't want to pack a bunch of nasty sandwiches into a backpack, drive an hour and a half to some state park (while listening to the kids fight in the backseat) and hike around the friggin' park getting another allergy attack!. Are you picking up on my mood yet? I just was not in a good place yesterday.
And it all happened as I knew it would: the backseat-of-the-car fighting, getting a little lost so it took longer, the warm sandwiches for lunch, the mosquitos, the itchy eyes, and the kids whining that they wanted us to carry them while we hiked, (city kids!). And I struggled. I tried to cheer up the kids on the hike...
...we took pictures of weird plants and bugs and birds; we found a rather shady trail so the heat wasn't too bad...
...we tinkled off the sides of the trail (alright...Sam was the only one..surprised?)...
...and, at last, we burst through the end of the trees and saw water.
Could it be? Yes! It was the lake finally. Sammy had been begging to swim the entire time.
They took off and made a run for Lake Michigan.
The beach was interesting there. Tons and tons of rocks.
Claire collected about 100 of them and kept putting them in Matt's backpack. He must love her a lot to carry all of those.
I wanted to let the kids swim right there where there were not so many people, but the lifeguard informed us that we had to come down to the appropriate part of the beach to swim. As I looked down the beach, I noticed the giant steel factories silhouetted in the background. How charming. I hope we're dipping our children into the most polluted waters in the world right now.
Matt had brought Claire's swimsuit, Sammy's swimsuit, and his own swimsuit. He didn't bring mine. Do I sound like Alexander from Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day? I felt like him. I was just feeling horrible! And sitting on the beach fully dressed did not make me happier.
The kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly (finally) now that they weren't hot or walking so much. I tried to be cool and enjoy myself too, but then they kept announcing over the loud speakers at the beach that kids were missing. "A little boy, age 8, last seen wearing green shorts is missing everyone. Please notify a lifeguard if you see him." I started crying behind my sunglasses. That is terrible! Then I started wandering the beach looking for the little boy and I was so angry that no one else was! You don't think I was having any hormonal issues, do you? I certainly don't think so. But then, they announced that another little girl was missing!
Luckily, they were both found before we had to leave to get back to Chicago, but NOT before I had cooked up in my head that some pervert was grabbing children one-by-one off this beach and that my husband was a horrible person who was making us stay there while children were abducted!
And....so we left. The kids were so starving that we had to get them McDonalds on the skyway on the way back into the city. I held out for El Milagro's, which I'd heard was a great place for carne asada in the Pilsen area of Chicago.
It sure looked good! But, alas, it was very disappointing. It was the rubberiest meat I've ever eaten! Yuck! I think Matt was ready to choke me with the tortillas at that point though, so I didn't complain too much.
Anyway, I've had better days, but I shouldn't complain. I think I did though. I think maybe I complained and cried until I fell asleep actually. I think my husband was trying to figure out if there was a legal way to put me out of my misery so he could get to sleep. I'm much better now though. Nothing like a dreary, cloudy 4th of July to cheer a mom up.