Seattle 1 of 3: Enjoying the Seattle Sights

We have just returned from our five days in beautiful Seattle.  We had a great time!  For any of you considering where your next vacation will be I encourage you to consider Seattle.  There was so much to do and experience, I have to break my Seattle recap into three different posts.

Today’s post will focus on the city of Seattle sights.  A kid friendly city, we had no trouble using public transportation to get around.  All the sights we visited were stroller friendly and our little guy loved every moment of it.

So what did we do?

We first visited the International Fountain and enjoyed a choreographed water and music show.

fountain

untitled (15 of 207)We continued our walk and found ourselves in awe of the Space Needle.

space needle

We took a ‘break’ and visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.

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glass

The next day we visited the famous Pikes Place Market.

pikes place

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Left Pikes Place Market to enjoy other sights of Seattle.  The day was gorgeous.  There was a light breeze and bright blue skies.

walkWe then stopped at one of my favorite sights of the entire trip the Seattle Public Library.

untitled (67 of 207)We took a moment to appreciate the Olympic Sculpture Park and later in our trip visited Bruce Lee’s gravesite.

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brucelee

We indulged our love for music at the EMP Museum where we recorded our band, 3 Miles Island’s, first music video.  Turns out our little guy is more of a DJ than a drummer.

dj

We took a ferry to Bainbridge and admired the Seattle skyline.

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We ended with one last view of Seattle from Kerry Park.

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Have you been to Seattle?  What’s your favorite sight?

Mommy and Me Out and About #3 Lunch Date

A lunch date? You must think I’m crazy, with a newborn, you hardly have time to shower somedays right?  Well, as difficult as it can be to get things together enough to take a trip outside, once you feel your little one has settled into a somewhat predictable routine, I encourage you to plan a lunch date. My first lunch date was with my sister, who at the time was visiting from beautiful, sunny, San Diego.

#3 Lunch Date

For this trip out with the little one here are some tips:

  • Schedule the lunch after 1:30, when the lunch crowd has died down a bit and the restaurant you go to won’t be so crowded or busy
  • Choose a casual restaurant that you have seen families dine at.  Make sure they have enough space for your stroller or car seat.
  • Consider the menu.  Does it have food options you can eat with one hand?  You may have to hold your little one while you eat.
  • Have lunch with a friend that is understanding of a crying baby.
  • Be flexible.  This could mean having to cancel your lunch date, move it to a later time, change the location, or cutting it short.  It all depends on what your little one needs at that moment.

For those of you living near downtown Chicago like me, below is a list of some locations I have gone to with my little guy.  I consider these places baby lunch date friendly.

  • Macy’s on State Street.  Their food court has many options.  Lots of space for your stroller.  Keep in mind, the food court closes at 3pm.
  • Melis on Halstead.  This restaurant has always been a favorite of mine.  It is usually very busy, so I make sure go after the lunch crowd and have lunch at 1:30 on a weekday.  The crowd is much smaller then.  Consider leaving the stroller at home, they don’t have much room for a stroller.  I brought my little guy here in his infant carseat.
  • Protein Bar on Washington.  This place is a great place for a healthy lunch.  I have had lunch here with my little guy several times.  The wraps are easy to eat while holding a baby.  Protein Bar’s downtown locations are closed Saturday and Sundays.
  • India House on W. Grand Ave.  I love Indian food.  This place offers a great lunch time buffet.  Since all the food is already prepared, it is a quick meal with lots of options.  Their lunch buffet ends at 2:30pm.
  • Atropolis on Halstead.  This cafe is roomy, has delicious sandwiches and tasty pastries.  It’s a great place to meet a friend for lunch.  There’s plenty of room for your stroller.
  • Perez on Randolph. For the Mexican food lovers out there, this restaurant is a great option for lunch.   There’s room for your stroller.
  • Whole Foods in the South Loop.  With their many food options, you could meet a friend here.  Maybe your friend could even help you do some quick grocery shopping.

Do you have any restaurant suggestions for other moms out there?  If so, please share.

Mommy and Me Out and About #2-A Shopping Trip

For all you new moms out there, I am sorry to break the news to you, but you will need some transitional clothes after childbirth.  I was hoping I would be one of the lucky few who by their sixth week postpartum could fit back into my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans.  That did not happen.  I was somewhere in between really loose maternity clothes and too tight pre-pregnancy clothes, I needed some in between clothes for my in between body.

This brings me to my second Mommy and Me Out and About:

#2 A Shopping Trip

Now, I’m not talking about a quick trip to get some milk, I am talking about a good two hours to get yourself some new clothes.  While you are adjusting to mommy life, it is important that you look and feel good.  Wearing your maternity clothes and knowing you won’t fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes can be frustrating.  You deserve to treat yourself out to some new clothes that fit your current body.

In planning for this shopping trip I would suggest enlisting some help from someone you trust.  It should be someone who will be honest with you about how you look and can help care for the little one while you try on clothes.  For my first shopping trip out, I went with my sister.  We had my little guy in the stroller, walked out to Chicago’s State Street. We browsed Old Navy, Forever 21, Ann Taylor Loft, H&M, and Macy’s.  Since the clothes I was purchasing are transitional pieces, I didn’t want to spend too much on them.  I ended up buying a pair of pants and a blouse from Ann Taylor Loft, a blouse from H & M,  a pair of electric blue colored jeans and a cardigan from Forever 21. I consider it a successful shopping trip. By the end of the week, I was wearing clothes that fit and felt much better about my appearance.

So what are you waiting for? Get on the phone and plan that shopping trip!

Below is a picture of my little guy at Macy’s on State Street.

Taking baby outside during the winter

Today the little guy and I went for our usual stroll downtown.  I try to get us outside at least five times a week for some fresh air and sunlight.  Something I always struggle with is how to dress him appropriately during these cold Chicago days.

During my first visit to the pediatrician, I asked her how to dress the little guy for outside trips. Her advice was to dress him in one more layer than I have on.  I used that rule to guide our first few trips outside, but during those first walks, he just wasn’t comfortable.  It wasn’t until our fifth trip out that I seemed to find the right combination of layers for him.

The first thing I consider when taking the little guy out for a walk is the temperature.  As a general rule, I won’t take him out unless it is at least 27 degrees (factoring in windchill).  Since 27 degrees borders on uncomfortable for me, I figure it is best to keep him indoors for anything lower than that.  Today was 35 degrees, making it a great day to take our usual three mile walk.

To get him ready for our walk I dressed him in his usual going out layers.  The first layer is usually a fleece onesie.  The next layer is his bear suit coverall.  This bear bodysuit is made of thick fleece, has a hoodie that does a good job covering his head, and has sleeves with mittens at the ends to keep his hands warm.  Once he is dressed in those layers, I put him in the stroller.  The stroller has a JJ Cole Bundle Me bunting bag.  It’s a great stroller accessory. Essentially, it is a  warm blanket with zippers on the sides to zip the little guy up and keep him toasty.  My friend jokingly named the bunting bag, “A baby Ugg”, which I think is hilarious.  The last step is to cover him with the plastic rain cover.  The rain cover shields him from the cold winds we Chicagoians are familiar with.  Once I’ve got all these components set, him and I are ready for our stroll outside.  Below are pictures of him at the different stages of getting ready.  The first image is the little guy in his “Let It Snow” onesie, in the second image he is in his bear fleece bodysuit, and in the final image, he looks a bit like a toy, wrapped in plastic while snug in the bunting bag.

Once we are outside, I make sure he isn’t too cold or too hot by checking his cheeks and forehead.  I usually do that after I have given us 10 minutes to adjust to the outside temperatures.  I then continue to check him every 10-15 minutes.  If he is too warm, I will unzip the bunting bag a bit,  if he is too cold, I either turn around to go home or I grab the extra swaddle blanket I have in the diaper bag and place that in between him and the bunting bag.   When we go inside, to keep him from overheating I quickly unzip the bunting bag and remove any blankets.  If we are going to be inside for a while, I sometimes also unzip his bear bodysuit.

For additional information on how to keep your baby warm in the winter, check out this babycenter article.

How do you dress your little one when going out during the winter?

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