and she was way excited. the best part for us was the look of genuine surprise on her face...we'll have to do that again someday. now...what she DIDN'T know was that we had scored awesome tickets to the US vs. Honduras Men's semifinal soccer game at Soldier Field that night. we have become a family that is semi-obsessed with soccer, lol. which is odd...because if you had told me a year ago that we would be into watching professional soccer, i would have called you crazy. but as it stands, we are HOOKED.
the Men's team had secured their spot for the semi-final on Saturday night...and since we knew we were going to Chicago anyway, we figured why not go to the game?! she had been making posters all week and hanging them around the house...'GO U.S.-BEAT HONDURAS', etc. so while Mike was checking into our hotel, she turned to me and said:
'Mom, this means we won't be watching the soccer game...that stinks.'
to which i replied:
'oh yes we are...we are going to WATCH that game Allie. FROM THE SIDELINES!!!'
to say she flipped would be putting it mildly, lol. this was the look on her face at the stadium that night... it rained for most of the first half...but we didn't care. we cheered our team on, and they won. (until Sunday when they played Mexico in the final and got their hats handed to them...ouch.) i'm guessing that Soldier Field must have 60,000+ seats..and every single one of them was filled. it's a neat feeling to be around so many people who share your excitement for the game, walk around with pride supporting their country's team and truly get into the spirit of the competition.
the next day we just stayed near the hotel and bummed around. Woodfield Mall is near where we always stay (it's close to Mike's family), and now that she's into shopping, we spent the better part of Friday afternoon there. we turned in early Friday evening, since we were heading into the city on Saturday...we were wiped out and the rest helped immensely.
Allie loves her American Girl doll, Emily. we get to the American Girl store about once a year, and she so looks forward to it...her eyes glaze over, she gets all giddy and she is flying high with excitement. but wait...'MOM! i didn't bring Emily, because i didn't know we were coming to Chicago!!'
fear not, sister...mama's got you covered, lol.
that doll was packed neatly in the back of the car...like i would forget?! here she is, showing off Emily's new ear piercings that she got done that day...and after seeing the mayhem that is consistently there every time we go, no matter what time of year...i have to say that whoever came up with the idea was a genius. recession?! you'd never know it in that place, lol!
after our trip to AG, we decided to spend the day at the Museum of Science and Industry. (we are members to a similar museum here in Ohio, so we get in free...woot!) i had wanted to go see the pirate exhibit at the Field Museum, but they were dead set on the Science museum. we had a good time...
the 30 minute live show called 'Poop Happens'...teaching kids about digestion, lol. i have to say that i was laughing so hard i was crying at the 2 college kids that work for the museum and do this show. and every kid in there was teeheeing at the fact that they were allowed to be talking and making jokes about poop without being reprimanded, lol. so right from that show, we hightailed it to the lab for...
'Dissect a Cow Eye'.
i was worried a bit...10 was the youngest you could be to participate, so Allie just made the cut. (no pun intended) but she was adamant, and we got the last eye available. (whew. she had been looking forward to this lab all stinking day and would have been MAJORLY bummed had we not gotten in.) i was shocked...it was an actual lab like when i was in high school Anatomy class! each 'student' had their own lab setup...complete with SCALPELS. now, i handle scalpels everyday...they are S-H-A-R-P.
i freaked a bit.
but i relaxed and told myself to let the dude teaching the class do his job...he informed them about safety, etc. and she did just fine. until they handed out the eyes, lol.
uh, yeah. they don't exactly look like most people expect them too...and between the weird color and the muscles/nerves hanging off the back side of it, she looked a bit freaked.
but then fun Professor Dude teaches them to do the 'Cow Eye Popsicle' trick with the scalpel (demonstrated below), and all is well, lol.
before you know it, she was engrossed and totally loving it.
when we were walking out, she was like 'Mom...is that like what you do at work, only you use brains?'
to which i replied...'well, kinda. only the brains are attached to patients and they are alive and we're a bit more careful.'
pause for thinking.
'so no 'Brain on a Popsicle Stick' for you?'
we laughed, and she told us that she loved the dissection...and maybe she will go to Medical School. personally, i have every reason to believe she meant it. the girl LOVES science...so we intend to encourage her to pursue it as long as she is enjoying it. then again who knows...she has also told us she wants to be a rock star, an actress and an accountant.
after that, we hopped in the car and hit the road for the trip back to Ohio. she was looking out the window as we were driving on the Skyway through downtown, and she told us...'you know what guys? this was the best weekend ever.'
to which we just smiled at each other.
because for us, the most exciting part was the whole surprise concept...at her age, it's getting harder to surprise her with things, you know? no more Santa...no more Easter Bunny...and she isn't easy to keep secrets from.
but this one.
this one last minute weekend trip.
this one made an impact on her that i have a feeling will last quite some time.
i know it will for Mike & i.