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July 8, 2013 / erostositko

Dining Out With a Toddler…and other lessons from the first year of motherhood

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No shirt, no shoes, no problem.

It’s been nearly a year since my last blog post. A year filled with lots of excitement, joys, challenges, ups, downs, firsts and lasts.

We experienced Julien’s first smile, first tooth, first taste of rice cereal, first birthday, and more recently, my last day of work, after almost 14 years as a healthcare journalist. It’s a bittersweet time, as I will miss my colleagues, but I look forward to having more time to devote to this blog, and my other endeavors, including my gig at Dairy Spot, the blog of the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association. If you love cheese, yogurt and/or ice cream, check it out!

To sum up the last 12 months, here are some of the things I’ve learned in the first year of motherhood:

  • How to Dine Out With a Toddler. If you read Dining Out With a Baby, many of the same rules apply. When you bring your toddler out to dinner, you have to eat early. We’re eating by 5:30 and home by 6:45. You get used to this, and are usually ready for bed yourself by 10:00. Because time is a factor, dine out close to home. If you’d like a more leisurely meal without being rushed, go for brunch or lunch instead. Pack plenty of toys and snacks.
  • The Convenience of FreshDirect. Home grocery delivery service has been available for a while, but recently FreshDirect came to our area. After receiving an offer for $100 off of two orders, plus free delivery for three months, we had to give it a try. We have been more than impressed with the ease of ordering, the customer service, and the quality of the products. FreshDirect is so perfect for moms who find it hard to get out of the house to the grocery store. The prices are comparable to Wegmans or Whole Foods. Look for specials on select items each week.
  • Babies Love Yogurt! For a while, Julien’s favorite food was Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is especially great for growing bodies because it’s packed with protein, calcium and probiotics. Plain, unflavored, Greek yogurt is preferable for babies, as it has no added sugars. Now that he has become more independent with eating and likes to feed himself finger foods, the Greek yogurt is one of the only things he gets excited for me to feed him. And it’s one of the only foods that he’ll finish and look for more. So in order to make sure he’s still getting his veggies and pureed meats, I sometimes sneak these other foods in with his daily dose of yogurt. And they go down just fine.
  • You Can Save a Lot of $$ Eating at Home. Yeah, this one is pretty obvious. But if you order lunch every day, and eat dinner out a few nights a week, think of all the money you can save by cooking at home. Not to mention, all the fun you can have in the kitchen. Our restaurant days may be few and far between, but that just makes date nights extra special.
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