February 22, 2015

High Chairs, Changing Tables and Chicken Fingers: Big News at 22nd & Philly!

Big news, friends: life at the 22nd & Philly homestead is about to change. Starting this May, we'll be a party of three! We're very excited to welcome a baby boy and couldn't be more pumped for this new phase of life in Philadelphia.

A few thoughts we want to share with readers:

Onesie purchased at Open House on 13th St
Everyone wants to know, what's going to happen to the blog? Let's be honest. Who the heck knows?! We never dreamed that we would have been blogging for so long when we started writing in 2008. However we do know that it's impossible to predict how our schedules, eating patterns and everything else in life will shake out. We love writing this blog and will do our best to keep posting, tweeting, instagramming and more. We are determined to be those people who just strap the kid on and go, but we will just have to see. Hopefully through midday excursions, early bird dinners and Saturday night babysitters (recommendations welcome) we will still be able to tell you about great places to eat in Philly, while adding advice about dining out with kids to our coverage. Stay tuned and bare with us!

Being a pregnant foodie can be fun and so will being food-loving parents. We've been a little behind on posting during the last 6 months, distracted by checking off baby prep lists and binge watching Netflix when I was too exhausted to go out, but it's also helped us experience Philly's great food scene in a new light. Just because your eating interests are all messed up, you can't booze and you're dead tired/getting fatter by the minute doesn't mean you can't enjoy what Philadelphia has to offer.

We have a ton of farmers markets giving us access to fresh, organic foods that are healthy for mom and baby. Peanut butter on Honeycrisp apples from the Fitler Square Farmer's Market was my savior this fall. Bradd is hell-bent on making our own baby food so we'll continue to be regular market shoppers. Philly is a very walkable city, making it easy for expectant mothers to get some exercise around town or during her commute. Only want to eat carbs and baked goods? Perfect! Indulge! Federal Donuts, Beiler's, Frangelli's, the list of quality bake shops goes on and kept this momma happy all winter. Philly's pizza craze also offers plenty of classy options to help you feel like you can still go out on the town. Schools and whatnot? Well that's another story but we're all about positive thinking here and know it's partly up to us young parents to start demanding change. 

Non-alcoholic drinks can be cool. I owe a big shout out to the bars/restaurants that didn't blink an eye at my requests for non-alcoholic cocktails these last 7 months. Lolita's blood orange margarita tasted delicious even without tequila. The Cambridge and In Riva made some solid fake mojitos. One bartender at Tinto must have dedicated five entire minutes to making me something fun. Vedge, Pub & Kitchen and Crow & The Pitcher were all very accommodating, too. Even some places like Aldine and La Calaca Feliz have non-alcoholic sections on their cocktail menus. There were others that stumbled at the request, though. Our ask of all restaurants is to train your bartenders to make at least one simple, signature virgin cocktail. Please don't ever make them resort to, "ummm, well, we have juice, I guess?" Pregnant or not, no one should be made to feel uncomfortable not drinking. 

Making babies is harder and more stressful than you think. This is really important. Getting to where we are today was one hell of a journey - and it's time we speak up. It took the strength of our marriage, endless love of our families, support of wonderful friends, dozens of appointments with the good people of Penn Medicine, serious retail therapy, copious amounts of red wine and an awful lot of tears to survive our baby creation process. It's hard to nail down just how fertility issues make you feel and impact your life. Frustrated. Helpless. Angry. Jealous. Failure. The list goes on. Your life has a feeling of being put on hold.  And worst of all, no one talks about it. If we have one regret it was not opening up more and seeking emotional support from other people who faced the same challenges earlier. We want our readers to know that we are here to listen and offer any small words of encouragement we can to people facing a similar journey. Life is not just the joyous moments you see on Facebook. Please email us at editor at 22ndandphilly dot com if you ever need someone to talk to about this. That goes for the husbands, too. Don't be the tough guy.

Bradd is the superstitious one of us. From racing cars to the end of city blocks for good luck to a healthy smoothie binge that put him the hospital with stomach issues, he exhausted his attempts to create good karma. In the end, it's possible that listening to Pearl Jam non-stop for an entire month saved the day. Or it was finally just the right time for us.

Next up? Picking out a name. And maybe a second slice of cake.


Jamie S. said...

excited for you guys!

Alyssa said...

Really nice post-- exciting time for you two! Looking forward to seeing your new addition, and it's wonderful that you're opening up about topics that are too often not discussed.

Feisty Foodie said...

Really happy for you both!! I have to say that I stopped drinking the week after I saw you both in New Orleans, and I've been having a lot of fun visiting cocktail bars (I have a deep fondness for a well-made cocktail) and asking them to come up with something nonalcoholic for me (when it's not crazy busy) - my requests are something sparkling, and no coconut (allergic). It's been super fun! I didn't even really think about the pregnancy aspect to that, but obvs makes a lot of sense.

Regarding fertility: I am sorry you guys went through that, but I am glad you had a strong support system and got to where you are. I have been a supporter/friend on the outside through more of these struggles than I care to count, and you speak the truth. It's so much easier when you have people to discuss it with, to help you through.

xoxo to both of you, and congratulations again on baby boy!

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

Oh I'm so excited for you guys! Children change everything. I know; I've checked.