Tag Archives: baby

Bubbles and wine

14 Jun
high chair happy hour by melissajonas
high chair happy hour, a photo by melissajonas on Flickr.

Sometimes High Chair Happy Hour is sitting by the tub with a glass of wine while the 2 year old plays.

Happy Nap Hour!

23 May
Happy Nap Hour! by melissajonas
Happy Nap Hour!, a photo by melissajonas on Flickr.

Best of all worlds: sleeping baby, beer, books.

Inner Chapters was fantastic. I wish the owner all the best with her new baby. Thanks for the great times!

Free Fun

1 Aug

Seattle Public Library

Reading groups, toddler time, Begin With Books and more! The Central (aka downtown) Branch is a great place to nurse and/or change a diaper.

Seattle Parks Department Community Centers

Many community centers offer indoor play times, perfect for both rainy days and those (rare) times when we need to seek air conditioning in Seattle. Also ideal for families with multiple kids–toddlers can burn off steam while the baby sleeps. Summer schedule here.

Seattle Center

Getting there can be half the fun–who doesn’t love the Monorail? Be sure to carry cash–no cards accepted for Monorail rides. Lots of places for indoor & outdoor play, including the International Fountain and a great fountain/pool near McCaw Hall. Changing tables in multiple bathrooms.

Parks

A Year Of Seattle Parks chronicles one mom’s experiences exploring our awesome outdoors. Wherever you live in Seattle, you’re not more than a mile away from a park. Explore!

Where do you go to have fun with your little one without breaking the bank?

Cafe Flora

14 Apr

Cafe Flora is my new (rediscovered) favorite place.

High chairs/booster seats: More than I’ve ever seen in one place.

Happy hour: oh yeah. One of my favorites. 3-6pm, good prices on great selection of small plates, plus drink specials.

 

Activities & safety issues: Good selection of toys and crayons. Kid books for sale. The fountain is both entertaining and potentially dangerous. Near the arboretum and Birth & Beyond.

 

Food/drink (for kids and adults): Great vegetarian food and incredible cocktails.

Transit access and/or parking: 2 lots, one about a block away. Street parking if you’re patient. I’m not a fan of transit to Madison Valley, but there are buses.

Accessibility for strollers & little legs: Please leave the stroller outside. Walkable for toddlers & bigger kids.

Restrooms and changing table: Comfy inflatable changing table, step stool for washing little hands.

Overall welcome (or not) towards kids & babies: Unbelievably friendly. Not just tolerant, but welcoming and engaged.

Dress for Success

12 Nov

How do you dress to take a kid out in a Cliff Mass worthy storm (or even just an average November afternoon)?  Here’s what we’ve found works well, but I’m curious how others manage.

Layers: a young baby needs to wear at least 1 layer more than you. She’s not walking or hauling another person around.

Minimize: toddlers and older children should have the maximum warmth/waterproofing with the minimum possible number of items. Carry extra clothes and expect to lose socks, hats, rain pants, boots, and other items that you don’t expect to but will somehow lose. Better yet, invest in a small sturdy backpack and have them carry these items (along with snacks, toys, etc–another post).

Focus on top and bottom: both the head and feet leak heat and both are easy for baby to uncover. I always stash a hat in my pocket and dress the kid in a jacket with a hood. If she loses two hats, at least we have some protection. Same with socks: a pair on the feet, a pair in my pocket, and footie outerwear. (Our fuzzy pants have puppy faces…aww!)

Use your pockets: you might not even need a diaper bag if you have enough pockets. Inside jacket, vest, raincoat–more than enough space for everything we need. I carry a small collapsible shopping bag for bringing home any purchases.

Product mentions: the Ergo Baby carrier has great pockets and a built in rain hood. You can also buy additional items that attach to the carrier–a diaper bag & a carry pouch.  The Moby is easier to wear when you don’t plan to take the carrier off for a while and it adds a layer of warmth. I found a vest and poncho on Suze’s Kinder , a site that specializes in outerwear for baby wearing. So far, I like the poncho. The vest has arm holes and can be used when carrying baby on the front or back. I like it, but I’m concerned that the zippers might not last long.

Parties, potlucks, and play dates

8 Nov

Stay in touch with your friends.

Invite people over–even when your house is a mess and you have no food. You can always order in. True friends will understand if you ask them to pick up take out or grab a bottle of wine on the way over.   When people ask you to bring the baby over, take them up on it. Always say yes to invitations and don’t worry about being a little late, not having a hostess gift or perhaps having not showered. Friends understand.

People with kids seem like a logical choice for spending time around your little one, but don’t forget those in your life who don’t have kids in the house. Your life has changed, and maybe it seems all you talk/think about is your child, but spending social time with other adults helps you connect with other parts of your identity.

Babies are great ice breakers.

We live in Beacon Hill, an incredibly diverse neighborhood currently experiencing a baby boom. There are 3 babies under one year on our block and at least 20 kids under 5 in a half-mile radius. Since the baby was born, we’ve  met lots of new friends and had the opportunity to pass around baby clothes and gear. We’ve also met baby sitters and learned survival tips from seasoned parenting veterans. When you see someone with a small child in tow, smile and introduce yourself.

It’s not cheating to order online

Would you like to host a play date or holiday party but you’re overwhelmed by the idea of shopping? Place an order with Amazon Fresh while the menu is fresh on your mind (or monitor) and it will be delivered to your door on the day of your choice.  If you plan to be home during the delivery, you can even order beer or wine.  I’ve pre-ordered my Thanksgiving items to be delivered the Monday before Thanksgiving, giving me plenty of time to realize what I’ve forgotten.

Regular scheduled deliveries have been a life saver for essentials like coffee, baby wipes, and other items we can’t go without. Every Wednesday morning, grocery essentials appear like magic on the porch. For the critters, we have a monthly delivery from Smiley Dog , a friendly local business that delivers high quality pet supplies–never run out of cat litter again!

Thinking of holiday gifts? Gift certificates for deliveries make great gifts for new parents and busy people in general.

Highchair Happy Hour

28 Oct

Happy hour is my favorite time to dine out. It’s cheaper and often less crowded than the usual dinner hour. Small plates mean I get to try more items on the menu and dinner at 4pm fits our schedule well (I usually eat another small meal around 8pm). Before baby, we frequently ate an early happy hour dinner downtown.

Where can you take a baby for happy hour? Hotel bars/restaurants are perfect! The women’s restrooms are usually large and comfortable, perfect for changing a wiggly baby and/or nursing in privacy. Spacious lobbies offer a place to walk around with the baby or let your little crawler stretch.

Our favorite hotel happy hour is at  Sazerac in the Hotel Monaco.  Located across the street from the fantastic Central Library, Sazerac serves strong cocktails, thin-crust pizzas, and an amazing selection of small plates. The acoustics are poor, which makes it a little loud for intimate conversation–perfect for those of us with a vocal baby! Sazerac extends the happy hour menu into the regular dining room, and will seat you in a cozy booth if you get there early.

Looking for something smaller in your neighborhood?

Tidbit Bistro on Capitol Hill (corner of Broadway & Union) also has a great happy hour and incredibly tasty food. The owners are friendly and welcoming to babies, too.

Tasha’s Bistro has happy hour Thurs-Sat. Great wines and really tasty food in a family-friendly environment.

Baja Bistro has happy hour specials from 3-7pm.

Island Soul Caribbean Cuisine features fantastic food at a range of spice levels and outstanding cocktails. The bright decor and welcoming smiles make baby and mama stay long enough to enjoy a slice of coconut cake.

Calamity Jane’s in Georgetown has food and drink specials at happy hour. Kids allowed in main dining area.

Not all restaurants extend happy hour into the main dining area. When in doubt, check before you go.

Beer makes us better parents

19 Oct

We live just about a mile from Jefferson Park. Baby fell asleep walking over there yesterday, en route, so we stopped off at Victrola for coffee–yum! When we arrived at the park, she was still asleep, so we strolled around the park and watched the big kids tumble down the slide. Still asleep…what to do?

After a brief debate about why we’ve never gone there, we decided to check out the Jefferson Park Golf Course snack bar. Cue celestial singing–they have NFL Sunday Ticket! And beer! And fried things! Children are allowed! This is exactly what this Beacon Hill family needs. Baby gets to enjoy the park, mom and dad get to unwind with a frosty cold one.

Becoming a parent shouldn’t mean giving up the things you love. I love football and beer. Baby loves happy parents.

  • Location & hours of operation: (206) 763-6412 4101 Beacon Ave S Seattle, WA 98108;
  • Transit access and/or parking: parking available, walking distance from the Light Rail Station or take the #36 bus
  • Accessibility for strollers & little legs: no stairs
  • Cost: reasonable (less than $10)
  • Activities & safety issues: walking distance to Jefferson Park, golf & mini golf on-site, televisions
  • Food/drink (for kids and adults): Beer, wine, cocktails & snack food (cheeseburgers, fries, etc)
  • Restrooms and changing table: table in women’s room, not technically a changing table but it works
  • Overall welcome (or not) towards kids & babies: very family friendly

Orca adventure

14 Oct

We took advantage of the incredible sunny weather today and went on an Orca adventure. Light rail to University St. Station ($1.75), then a short walk to the ferry terminal. I didn’t have a plan, I just knew I wanted to get on a boat in the sunshine!

Choices at the terminal include Argosy Cruises, WA State Ferries (Bainbridge, Bremerton, and Vashon) and the King County Water Taxi (aka West Seattle Water Taxi). I’d like to take a day trip to Bainbridge, but I need more information about what’s accessible without a car.Pier 55 on weekdays, Pier 50 on weekends

The Water Taxi goes between downtown Seattle and Seacrest Park in West Seattle. It’s only $3.50 ($3.00 with an Orca, kids under 5 ride free) and a 10 minute ride.  It’s currently operated by Argosy, so look for their signs.

It was a pleasant ride, especially nice on the upper deck. There’s a small snack bar–helpful if you’re hungry and also a good way to break larger bills. The Water Taxi requires exact change.  I used my Orca card, which was much more convenient than digging for change–plus I saved $.50!.

Once we were in West Seattle, I ordered some delicious fish and chips from Alki Crab & Fish Co. If I had done my research, I probably would have asked for the order to go and hopped back on the ferry. In the future when traveling alone with baby, I’ll jump back on. If I’m with a friend and it’s happy hour, I’ll hit the deck for something yummy–the drinks menu looks good. Excellent fish and chips, reasonably priced, great view. Very friendly staff and every customer cooed over the baby.

Note: there is no changing table and the restroom is an unheated park restroom. I changed the baby on the grass in the sun, but on a rainy day you’ll be limited to a wet concrete floor or inside the restaurant. Not good choices.

This was a fun outing with baby, but would be even more fun with an older child. My 9 year old niece really enjoyed the trip last summer, and pronounced the tartar sauce at Alki Crab & Fish “the best!”

Child-rearing advice from snarky hipsters

12 Oct

Here’s a Slog poll about babies making noise in public; let the child/parent-bashing begin.

For the record, I voted that you shouldn’t have kids unless you can deal with this circumstance before it ends up on Slog. Off-the cuff snarkery, just like they want to see.

Here are some choices I wish would have been included in the poll:

  • Pack lots of little toys the baby hasn’t seen/hasn’t seen in a while
  • Take frequent strolls around the place
  • Keep baby occupied with bites of pho
  • Ask for the food to go after the first glass of wine
  • Arrive when the restaurant isn’t very busy
  • Make eye contact with the snarky hipsters plotting their blog post about your happy baby, smile, and ask if they’d like to hold the baby while you finish your drink
  • Make eye contact with the most visibly disturbed person, smile, and send a drink to her table