Archive for January, 2014

  • Chapter Forty- Wauwatosa Library Story Time

    Three cheers for free drop-in story time!  The kids and I met my sister-in-law and her son at the Wauwatosa Public Library.  Story Time is in sessions at this library, so check the website before you head there.  There are a few different times and kinds, but we went to the 11:15am session and it’s way less crowded than the 9:30am one.  Good thing because we had five children with us!

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    Miss Annie led the group in songs and stories.  She’s charismatic and calm at the same time, if that can be true.  This is a really short story time, only 20 minutes or so.  Great for little ones with short attention spans, but our crew definitely didn’t want it to end.  The twins were a little hesitant to stand up and sing at first, but having a big sister to pave the way helped out.

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    We watched a puppet show, “The Soup Opera”.  All the kids were enthralled with the singing (played through the CD player).  Little A insisted on more well after the final applause.

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    The artwork takes you inside the world of books (duh), and it definitely reminds me of the public library I went to growing up.

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    In the main section of the Children’s Library, you’ll find books and puzzles to stay busy.

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    You used to have to check out the puzzles, but apparently you can just go behind the desk and get them yourself.

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    Teamwork!

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    This trip was a success.  Kids socialized, sang songs and were entertained.  We left without any injuries or temper tantrums…not bad!  There isn’t a place that I know of in the library where you can have snack or lunch, so we headed home for mac ‘n cheese.  In the summer we could have had a picnic on the grass, though.

    Stay warm, folks!

    A. Storm

  • Chapter Thirty Nine- Hubbard Park Lodge

    Who’s up for a Friday night fish fry?  Head on over to Hubbard Park Lodge if you are, and if you have kids who love to dance.

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    You can’t see the actual building from the parking lot, which makes you feel a little bit like you’re in the wrong place.  But don’t worry, head through the tunnel and along the trail (and if it’s cold you should bring hats and mittens for your kids like I didn’t).  You’ll pass an awesome sledding hill, and the Milwaukee River will be on your left.  Head towards the polka music around the bend.

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    We arrived at 5:45 and the place was probably half-full (the above picture is misleading…this was taken after 6:30pm and the restaurant was full).  We met my brother and his family, and my parents joined in as well.  Since we had a party of 6 adults and 6 children, we were able to make a reservation ahead of time and claim the best spot in the house.  A nice round table in the corner, not too far from the dance floor.

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    Polka music was in full effect when we arrived, and Little T and her cousins headed straight over to the dance floor.  I don’t have anything else to write about her experience at dinner, because she spent the entire time dancing.

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    Hubbard Lodge has the exact same menu as Lakefront Brewery’s fish fry.  It’s sort of a more mellow version of that, actually.  Lakefront, while a super fun and wild, is pretty loud.  It’s hard to talk to anyone at your table once the music starts.  I was really happy we chose this venue.  Totally manageable.  And very family-friendly.  Lots of young kids, babies, grandparents, and parents looking for a chance to have a drink while their kids are entertained and only semi-supervised.

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    Nobody puts baby in the corner.  Except when it’s the perfect spot for her carseat.

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    A nice oatmeal stout was on tap, and went well with the fish.  The cod was really good, not dry or overdone.  Fries were good and I give the potato pancakes a 7/10.  The kids had grilled cheese and hot dogs, then ate my fish because apparently none of them had eaten in DAYS.

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    We danced the chicken dance, chased bubbles, and caught up with family.

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    We also attempted a family photo.  I figure if we take a million of them throughout the year, a few have to turn out, right?

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    I’m definitely going back.  This was a perfect night to catch up with my family, keep the kids entertained, and do something new.  Next time we’ll bring snowsuits and sleds to make the trip back to the parking lot even more enjoyable.

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    Thanks for reading, all.  Hope the new year is treating you well!

    A. Storm

     

     

  • Chapter Thirty Eight- First Sunrise of the Year at Bradford Beach

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    On New Years Day, I woke up early and took myself on a photo date.  I had visions of watching the sun rise with some crisp clouds low on the horizon, all while capturing some really interesting and changing colors in the sky.  However, Mother Nature had different plans.  I got to Bradford Beach plenty early, but the snow was coming down hard, and the sky was so overcast that even after the official sunrise at 7:23am I could see no change in scenery.

    I resigned to not seeing the sun, but found some interesting grays and blues surrounding me.  I liked how the photos appeared to have some filters added for depth and mood.  I wasn’t at all expecting the shots to have this sort of nostalgic feeling to them, but was happily surprised in the outcome.

    Some sort of bird caught my eye.  I couldn’t tell what kinds of birds these were, but they floated in the waves and bounced around in interesting lines and formations.

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    All I could think about was how cold their feet must have been.  It was about 5 degrees when I was at the beach, but I apparently wasn’t the only one wanting to watch the sunrise.

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    There were a handful of cars in the parking lot, and a few people scattered around looking at the lake before getting back into their warm cars.

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    After it was apparent that I wouldn’t see the sun or any evidence of it, I drove along Lake Drive to take a few shots of trees.  Cause snow-covered trees are pretty much the best.

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    Happy New Year, all.  Sending love and peace!

    A. Storm