Little Man and Food

Little Man's first Thai.  He loved the satay chicken!

Little Man’s first Thai. He loved the satay chicken!

I’m a pretty adventurous eater.  It wasn’t always that way, but many years of Food Network and friends who eat sushi helped push me toward restaurants and entrees that I wouldn’t have normally chosen.  I’m pretty much up for anything.

My husband, on the other hand, is pretty picky. When we first started dating, he had three meals that he would rotate on our date night dinners: chicken Parmesan, burger and fries, and chicken tenders.  He’s become more adventurous in the time we’ve been together–I got him to try seafood on our Caribbean honeymoon and *gasp* he liked it.  I remember telling him pretty early on in our relationship that I was going to make different foods when we were married, and that he didn’t have to pretend to like them, but he had to at least try them.  He ordered beans and onions on his Five Star chili today for lunch.  He’s come a long way.

When I was pregnant with Little Man, I read all I could find about helping babies develop a wide palette and how to avoid picky toddlerhood.  I tried to follow all of those recommendations.  He hates avocado, which just hurts my feelings, but he loves salmon, which thrills me.  He isn’t quite old enough to hit the picky toddler stage yet, but I’m hopeful that he won’t be as picky as his dad.  I’m trying not to care, but it’s a pride issue.  I judged my husband a lot for being so picky, and I don’t want Little Man to be like that.  Obviously, I love my child and am not planning on disowning him, especially over food preferences, but I really want to go on Mommy-Son dates to Thai places and sushi and…not just Chick-Fil-A.

Time will tell if he takes after his daddy in that way or not.  Luckily, I worked some magic on the husband’s palette.  Maybe lightening will strike twice.

Snow Days and Mom Guilt

The weather here in Derby City has been wintry to say the least! We have had about a foot of snow and crazy cold temperatures, which means that schools and businesses have been closed for a few days. I’ve been able to stay home with L so far this week, and it has been so fun to not wake up to an alarm and be lazy and play with L.

But I have to say, I am not built to be a stay-at-home mom. Oh my word, being cooped up in the house with a toddler is tough! I do my best, but I can’t stimulate him as much as his daycare does. He has been going through some attachment issues with me, too, and I worry that this extra time at home will make that worse. But I love the extra time with him!

His daycare was open today, and I decided to take him in. He needed more stimulation, I wanted him to get back into his normal routine, and I needed some time to myself. And I feel so guilty about it. And I hate that I feel guilty.

“Mommy wars” about staying at home versus working have permeated our culture so much that I feel bad to take my son to a place that loves him, cares for him, teaches him, nurtures him, and provides socialization with other kids that I could never emulate in my house, even if I have the day off. They help him learn and grow in ways that I know I can’t. He loves his teachers and his friends at school. He has flourished in the toddler room. Why should I feel bad about that?

I think it’s because I care too much about what other people think. I worried that the daycare teachers would judge me for taking him in even though I was off work. I worried that my other working mom friends would judge me because they might be jealous that I chose to send my son to daycare today when they had to go to work. I worried that my family would judge me for not keeping at home to spend extra time with him. I even worried about any potential reader might think while reading this–see the last sentence of my second paragraph as proof. I added that during my editing process because I didn’t want to come across as if I don’t enjoy my son.

I’m still fairly new to this motherhood thing, but from what I hear, mom guilt doesn’t really go away. I just hope that as I grow as a mother and mature as a woman, I start to care less about what other people think and focus on what I know to be best for my family. For today, that means having my son in daycare while I spend some time alone and look forward to his smile when I go pick him up. Tomorrow, it may look different. Like, actually going to work and getting back into my routine. Hopefully.

Derby City Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day changes when you have kids.  Well, I guess the expectation of what Valentine’s Day will be changes when you have kids.

I’ll admit, I used to be one of those “What are you going to get me?!?” girls when it came to holidays and my birthday.  I like being made to feel special–who doesn’t?–and I looked forward to seeing what my husband would get me to commemorate whatever special occasion might arise.  But now that we have L, those things just don’t matter as much.  Often, holidays are a reminder that, crap, it’s been a while since we had a date night, hasn’t it?  I guess we better have dinner or something.

This year, I didn’t have any expectations other than to have dinner at a Louisville restaurant (read: not Olive Garden) and go look at the next size up in car seats.  Romance is in the air, people!

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My husband surprised me with reservations at Martini Italian Bistro, located in The Paddocks (martinilouisville.com).  I LOVE this restaurant!  This is where we had our rehearsal dinner, and we had only been back one other time for an anniversary.  I was actually really surprised to learn that this was a locally-owned restaurant; it seems like a franchise, and it apparently started out as a corporate-owned business that ended up being purchased by the general manager, making it local.

We got to Martini around 4:40 (we’re old, okay?) and it was already pretty busy.  Our cozy 2-seater table was a little small for the food we ordered, but the ambiance was perfect.  They had a live pianist in the bar area, which was really nice.  Their in-house, freshly-made foccacia bread was delicious, our fried calamari appetizer was the perfect proportion of breading and meat, their dipping sauces were perfectly paired with the calamari, and our entrees were amazing.  R got the Chicken Milanese, which is a fancified chicken Parmesan dish, and my  Shrimp Garganelli with spinach and goat cheese was probably the best pasta dish I’ve ever eaten.

The two best parts of my dinner.

The two best parts of my dinner.

All of their pastas are handmade, and the quality of food and service was impeccable.  All of the servers were even bringing flowers to the ladies they were serving.  It was especially sweet to see how excited some of the older ladies were to get flowers from their servers.

After dinner, we ran some errands.  Blah.  L is outgrowing his current car seat, so we needed to get a bigger, convertible car seat that will last until well after he switches to front-facing in another year.  My sweet husband is so cost-conscious, sometimes to a fault.  After looking at all of our options in the store, he wanted to research online reviews before we made our final choice.

This is my "Are we seriously still looking at car seats?" face.

This is my “Are we seriously still looking at car seats?” face.

For the record, we ended up purchasing my first choice, the Graco My Size 65 in grey with some green detail.

My smallest Valentine had a great time with his Nana and Papa while we were having our date night.  I think he’s probably the cutest Valentine I’ve ever had!

We haven't quite mastered posing for a selfie.

We haven’t quite mastered posing for a selfie.

I definitely recommend Martini Italian Bistro to my Derby City peeps.  It makes for a great date night, no matter the occasion!

Derby City Mom

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for almost 5 years now. At first, I thought that I might want to have a food blog that I was going to title “Whisks and Witticisms.” My sister rightly pointed out that with such an ambitious title, I was setting the standard pretty high to always have something witty to say. Right…I’m not that clever.

And so my desire to blog stayed in the corner of my mind while life kept moving. Job changes for myself and my husband, a Master’s degree, and a sweet baby boy distracted me until I read the post of a college friend who was starting her own blog. It was the push I needed to bite the bullet and commit.

Thus was born Derby City Mom, a forum for me to keep a record of my quickly-growing son, an outlet for me to write (which has to be something I treat like homework. Life is busy for this full-time teacher mom!), and a pain for me to enjoy my city more. I grew up close to Louisville, but never ventured much further than the mall or the movie theaters. Even after living here for almost 6 years, there is so much here that I’ve been missing out on.

Like all moms, I want to be the best version of myself as I can possibly be, as a wife, mom, employee, and even just as a citizen of such a great place to live. And, like all moms, I fall short. All. The. Time. This is my sanctuary–my opportunity to embrace the imperfection and just live.