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.

Mommy Product Review: Top Five Products I Use Everyday

Last week, my little guy turned three months old! I’m no where near figuring out mommyhood, but I do have a few bits of wisdom to share. When I was pregnant, I found myself spending hours researching baby items. I’m sure many of you expectant moms out there are doing the same; scouring the internet, trying to decipher between need vs want baby items. Below is a list of the top five baby items I have been using on a daily basis.

1. Graco Newborn Napper Pack n Play – Meadow Menagerie

This pack n play has been in our bedroom since before my little guy was born. It doesn’t take up much room and is light enough to easily move around if you feel your configuration wasn’t working. We use the changing table on this pack n play at least five times a day. The little guy is so familiar with the changing table that when we lie him on it, he raises his legs to help us with changing his diaper. Too cute right! Another plus for the diaper changing area is it is easy to clean. For all you expectant moms out there, an easy to clean diaper changing area is a MUST. To make it even easier to clean, I lay out cloth diapers on the changing station to catch diaper leaks and accidents. I then just put the cloth diaper in the wash, and wipe down the changing area. Easy peasy.

Along with the changing table, the pack n play comes with a bassinet, storage pockets, vibration settings, music, lights, and is easy to pack up. This pack n play is a great product for a new mom looking to have her little one in their room for the first few months.

2. Boppy Infant Feeding and Support Pillow Luxe Monkey

I have to admit that I didn’t utilize the boppy to its fullest till my second month with the little guy. At first I used it just as a nursing pillow and found myself wondering why I bought it. I would think to myself, “I could just use a regular pillow for nursing just fine.” I blame my lapse in creative thinking on my lack of sleep because by the second month, I was using the boppy in several ways. The first way as stated, is as a nursing pillow. It’s been great for two main breastfeeding holds, the cradle hold and the football hold. I especially appreciate the boppy when I have to football hold my little guy to convince him to finish nursing off his least favorite boobie. Another great use for the boppy is tummy time. When I first started doing tummy time with my little guy, I had him lying on his activity mat. I would lay on the floor next to him, encouraging him to lift his head, all while I fought my instincts to pick him up because his little whimpers indicated pain. The boppy has made tummy time more bearable for him and I. Now, the boppy is either on our bed or our couch, the little guy is propped in it. He likes it a lot more because although he is face down, he can see my face easily (and vice versa). During tummy time, I place a book in front of him and we read it together. He now smiles through tummy time and I am happy to report, he can hold his cute little head up longer than ever before. I’m also using the boppy as another set of hands. I lay him in the boppy, cuddled up snug, and cut his nails, I have him sit in it while I have him take his vitamins, give him massages, move his arms and legs to music, and have him nap in it. Below is a picture of him sleeping in the boppy as I write this exact post. Him and the boppy are in my lap, leaving my hands free to type.

3. Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier

I was first introduced to the Moby Wrap when I was in Whole Foods. I was cutting through the baby items aisle to get to their little ‘food court’ when I accidentally knocked down one of the Moby Wraps. As I picked it up, I saw the mom and baby smiling at each other. I then went home and researched the wrap, deciding that I must purchase one for myself. I am glad I did. It has been a great way to snuggle up to the little man while I still having some mobility. I often ‘moby’ him when I take a quick trip to our local grocery store, at home while doing light housework, and I bring it along when we go out just in case he is fussy.

The only criticism I have regarding the Moby Wrap is that it is really long and the ends tend to get dragged on the ground when I am trying to get it ready. My mister would add that the Moby is a bit too feminine for him and he prefers the Baby Bjorn.

Below is a picture of my little guy Moby’d.

4. Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle ‘n Swing

When I first learned about attachment parenting I made it my goal to not rely on products to take place of good old fashioned mommy. That was pie in the sky thinking. Within just a month in a half, I realized that it was an unrealistic expectation I had placed on myself. As much as I love holding him, I needed to free my hands at least a little each day. I struggled with whether or not to return the swing that was gift to us, and then, one weekend, I gave in and asked the mister to put the swing together. Since then, the little guy takes his morning nap in it. It’s been great for me because I can put him in the swing, he gets a good nap, and I take care of stuff around the apartment. Sometimes, I even treat myself to a morning nap. I do wish the swing’s sound functions had louder volume and stayed on longer. My little guy is so sensitive that when the river sound stops, he wakes up.

5. Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Diaper Bag

Although this is a pretty recent purchase, it is one of my top five most used items.  I pride myself on being pretty resourceful and I thought I could get away with a big purse and a diaper changing pad as a diaper bag.  What I found is that it was a pain carrying all the things I needed in a large LeSportesac  bag.  I had with me the little guy’s bottle, diapers, wipes, diaper pad, nursing cover, extra pair of clothes, burp cloth, tissue, hand sanitizer, and for myself I had my wallet, keys, phone, and a bottle of water.  All these items made my cute bag bulky and cumbersome.  After eyeing several moms’ diaper bags while I went out on my daily walks, I decided to spend the extra bucks and get myself an actual diaper bag.  The one I settled on is the Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Diaper Bag.  This bag comes with 11 pockets, is lightweight, comfortable to carry, can attach to the stroller, and comes with a changing pad.  I chose the unisex black color so my mister can carry it without feeling self-conscious.   Another great feature with this bag is the stroller attachment.  It easily attaches to our stroller, which is a Britax B-Ready  (link to youtube review of stroller).   I highly recommend this diaper bag.

I’ve shared my top five items, what are yours?  I would love to know what items other moms use on a daily basis.