Metro Parent Relief

Top 5 Kid Friendly Restaurants in DC, MD, and VA!

familyrestaurant If your family is anything like my family, you love to eat out!  We view eating at different restaurants as exciting, and intriguing.  We try new food, take in the wide varieties of atmospheres, along with rate the level of customer service that we receive. I guess you can say that my family has our own review campaign going on, when it comes to baby and kid friendly establishments.

Below we have developed a list of the top 5 rated family friendly restaurants in the DC, MD, VA area! At these specific restaurants, you will not have to make a mad dash for the exit if the baby begins screaming at the top of her lungs, or your tot shares with everyone around that he needs to go pee pee.

Enjoy the list where your family can enjoy everything from Pizza, to Burgers, Italian, Greek and More!  These places are full of friendly staff, family fun, and wonderful menus that are sure to please even the highest critics of them all.

1.)   Aria Pizzaria– 1300 Penn Ave. NW Washington, DC – This authentic pizzeria is located at the most convenient spot ever, the Ronald Regan Building.  This attraction offers what I call a 2 For 1 with the ability to visit the Ronald Regan Building, and dine all in one trip.  Aria offers tasty sandwiches, pizzas, and salads to please any palate.  There is even great outside dining available during the summer months.

2.)   Johnny Rockets– A chain family friendly restaurant, offering the feel of the 50’s and 60’s with it’s retro décor, awesome Motown style music, great shakes, and if dining before a movie, such as at my family favorite location, Kingstown, in Alexandria, VA, you can get discounted movie tickets!

3.)   Spartan Family Restaurant– located in Burke, VA- offering a wide variety of Greek, Italian, and American cuisine.  Spartan has long been a hidden jewel, with local families flocking to dine in after church services on Sundays, during the week for healthy, homemade, delicious meals, and as tradition for some families on special occasions.  Visit it’s family friendly atmosphere, there is no doubt that you will agree that they are one of the best in the area!

4.)   Olympian’s Family Restaurant– Alexandria, VA – yet another Greek specialty, family owned.  Olympian’s has been in existence for quite some time.  Many have enjoyed the fact that on a Friday night, you can find this restaurant packed with local families.

5.)   Flippin Pizza– Bethesda, MD- with multiple locations throughout the area.  As we all know, our kids love to eat Pizza!  At Flippin, you can get non-greasy, not too spicy, handmade pizza delivered, at a family friendly price.  They even have wonderful lunch specials for us adults for quick lunch breaks.  I recommend the white pizza, delicious!
PrintCheck out great sites like TeddysTable.com, Urbanspoon.com, Opentable.com, and Aboutus.com to learn more.

Staying Connected

As a couple, becoming parents is one of the most exciting and bonding experiences that we go through together. But we also discover that having children, with all of the chaos and busyness that they bring, not to mention attention they need makes it very difficult to keep a strong connection to each other.  Date nights become fewer and farther between, conversations become shorter and less attentive. So, what can we do to ensure that we stay connected?

Here are 8 ideas, a few from our Facebook fans, for keeping your relationship in the forefront of your life.

Schedule a regular date night.  Weekly would be fantastic, but even a monthly date night where you go out, without kids, and spend time as a couple, is a simple but wonderful way to connect with your spouse.  Schedule your babysitter in advance and make sure you put it in the calendar. That way you’re less likely to postpone or plan other activities.

Weekly standing breakfast or lunch date.  This is a great idea for couples with school-aged children or parents of newborns who aren’t getting much sleep. Meet your love once a week for lunch or coffee, even for an hour or so, and you can catch up with each other during the daylight hours, when you’re not so tired.

Use technology to check in.  Send a quick text/chat/email or even write on his Facebook wall to let him know that he’s on your mind in the midst of a hectic day.

Hold hands.  There’s nothing like holding hands with each other to take you back to the early days of your relationship. It’s a sweet, simple and intimate way to show affection and to stay connected both emotionally and physically.

Put your kids to bed earlier.  Your children will benefit from the extra sleep and you and your sweetheart can spend the evening hours together. Rent a movie, catch up on what’s on the DVR, or have dinner together and talk. A 7:00-8:00 pm bedtime is great for your little ones and your relationship.

Watch and play along with The Newlywed Game.  We love this idea from one of our Facebook fans. What greater way to get to know each other better than to have fun playing a game with a little competition? She also mentioned that she and her husband save their answers in a notebook so that they can look back and see how things have changed.

Say, “I love you” throughout the day and look at each other when you say it. We get so used to saying a quick “I love you” to our spouses that it starts to lose significance a bit. Grow your connection by stopping what you’re doing, and looking at each other with sincerity when you say it. It makes such a difference

Write a love letter.  There is nothing more romantic that an old-fashioned love letter.  It doesn’t have to be lengthy, just jot down a few words to let your significant other know how you feel and how much your appreciate having him in your life.

 

 

 

Metro DC Area Moms Groups – Finding Your Support Network

We know that a strong support network is essential for moms and moms-to-be.  But if you’re new to the area, or new to motherhood, it can be difficult to meet other parents, especially if you stay at home. We’ve found that our region is full of groups and clubs that are dedicated to supporting moms and their families.  Check their websites to find info about events going on near you.

Mothers of North Arlington (MONA) – This is a very active moms group with a wide variety of offerings including a cooking club, book club, gardening club, scrapbooking club, and the list goes on. You can sign up for playgroups and new mom groups, a babysitting co-op and they even put out a preschool directory. http://www.monamoms.org 

Old Town Moms (Alexandria) – This group is located in Old Town Alexandria but welcomes moms from all over. groups.yahoo.com/group/Oldtownmoms/

MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club – With over 2,100 chapters in the US, including several in Virginia and Maryland, this is a group whose main goal is to provide a support group to at-home moms.  Activities include Mom’s Night Out, holiday parties, playgroups, weekly outings, service projects and more. Look for a group in your area- http://www.momsclub.org/join.html

P.A.C.E. Moms – P.A.C.E provides “educational and emotional support groups for new and second time around mothers in the DC area”. These groups meet for 8, 2-hour sessions and are run by professional mental health educators.  Groups are for moms and their 2-week to 5-month-old infants. http://www.pacemoms.org

Vienna Moms, Inc. – The Vienna Moms include over 400 at-home and working moms who live in the Vienna area. This is an extremely active group with moms and kids socials, playgroups, book clubs, cooking clubs, a speaker series, Mom’s Night Out and more. You have to live within one of 4 zip codes to join (22180, 22181, 22182, 22124).  http://www.viennamoms.org

MOTH (Moms on the Hill) – This group is for moms and moms-to-be in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC.  Request an invitation by emailing Mothinvites@yahoo.com.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) – MOPS is a Christian organization for moms with young children. Local chapters vary in size from 10-200 women and meet at least once a month. http://www.mops.org

DC Expectant Moms –Moderated by birth professionals, this group is committed to helping moms-to-be in the DC area find what they need for their pregnancy.  Resources for everything including doulas, childbirth workshops, massage therapists and more. http://www.dcexpectantmoms.com

National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs – NOMOTC is dedicated to supporting moms of twins, triplets and higher order multiples. Activities include monthly meetings, social events, consignment sales, playgroups, holiday events, and summer picnics.  Check out the website to find info on Northern Virginia, Fairfax, Loudoun and Montgomery County chapters. http://www.nomotc.org

KidWX– Kidwx.com – member based website that offers unfiltered reviews of service professionals for children. KidWX offers trustworthy, candid opinions from real parents!

 

 

Documenting Your Baby’s Growth

Keeping a photographic record of your baby’s growth is invaluable, but can easily fall by the wayside in the early months.  A lot of us take weekly or monthly photos of our pregnant bellies so that we can document the growth of our ever-expanding midsections and developing babies. Once baby is born, creativity often takes a backseat to diapers, burp cloths and 2am feedings. Here are some fun tips and ideas for documenting your baby’s growth that, with a little bit of planning, are fairly simple to do.

1.  We love the idea of photographing your child in the exact same setting each month.  By keeping the background constant in these photos, you can really see your child’s transformation from a baby into a toddler. Choose a setting that’s easy to recreate each month, the same chair or on the same rug.  Then, pick an outfit that you can buy in multiple sizes, like a plain-colored onesie or t-shirt.  Including a stuffed animal is a great way to add scale to the photo and it’s also something fun for your baby to hold while you take pictures.

2.  Another unique idea we adore is using a Stendig wall calendar as a background for your photos. This 36×48 calendar is a stark, neutral background that dates your pictures while allowing your little one to shine.

3.  Write your baby’s age on a small chalkboard or whiteboard and include it in your photos.

4.  Use balloons to show your baby’s age.  Adding a balloon each month makes for more and more adorable photos as the year goes on.

5.  Spell out your child’s age with alphabet blocks (you can include his name and milestones too) on a white blanket or sheet. Lie or sit your baby next to them and take pictures quickly before she starts to play with your backdrop.

6.  Monthly onesie stickers are really simple and easy to use and are a perfect way to document your baby’s first 12 months. There are so many designs and colors to choose from, simply stick these on a onesie and snap away.

For the best results, commit to a schedule (be realistic) and stick to it! Be consistent. Take many more photos than you think you’ll need.  Enjoy the process, and have fun!

Follow us on FACEBOOK! Check out our posts to see these ideas and find even more creative ways to document your child’s growth.

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