Valentines Day with a Newborn

My daughter was born December 28th. I wasn't thrilled about having another winter baby (my first was a february baby!) but babies come when they come and that's that. Come Valentines day I was beyond ready to get out of the house and feel like a real person again! The only problem was that I was nursing a colicky baby and I didn't really feel comfortable leaving her with a sitter yet. 

So, like any stir crazy new mom I made a reservation! It wasn't the nicest restaurant but it wasn't Pizza Hut either so I was thrilled! I showered (a huge feat!) and put on makeup and even wore my best jeans! Tonight would be a night to remember!

We typed into the GPS the address to the restaurant and when we got there, realized there was absolutely zero parking near it. So we drove a distance away, fed the meter and grabbed the baby. If you've ever been to Iowa in February, you know what kind of sick joke the wind is. I swear I was pummeled by the wind and by the time we realized we were completely lost, my hearing was compromised and my hands were cracked and bleeding. But I was optimistic! We stopped in a little shop and asked directions. The restaurant was this cool loft style building and I was really feeling the vibe. I felt 24 and vibrant instead of the exhausted mom that I'd embodied the hours before.

Upon giving our name for our reservation, we were told that they didn't have a reservation under my name. I honestly almost started to cry. I asked them to please check again and ask around while we sat at the bar (baby car seat in hands). They did and we stared at the menu of delicious food that we may not be able to eat. Bad news. No reservation. They offered the shallow bar to us (but only appetizers ugh!) but we weren't having it. My husband suggested we try Olive Garden because that restaurant would surely be available on Valentines Day.

We drove there, me a little heartbroken but still fairly optimistic. After all, the toddler was with a sitter and the night was young!  We got to Olive Garden and a sea of cars greeted us. Every teen boy and his first girlfriend had decided that Olive Garden was the go to place for their Valentines dinner. Still optimistic we parked (ridiculously far away. Remember the wind?!) and ran into the restaurant. 

The. line. of. people. 

Out the door. 

45 minute wait. 


So we waited. Our daughter cried and I felt like crying too. This was not how my night of romance and fun was supposed to work out!! 

Finally I gave up the dream, much to the relief of my exhausted and annoyed husband, and we got out of there. 

The only place in a city of 80,000 people that had a table available was Old Chicago Pizza. They were nice, I was devastated and we had pizza for Valentines Day. Remember how I was thrilled about not having to go to Pizza Hut? That really bit me in the butt. 

Sometimes life doesn't work out the way we want it to and during that postpartum period, that can be a hard pill to swallow. Thankfully we have many Valentines Day's to come and now we plan ahead and realize, we don't have to go out ON Valentines day! The Monday after works great too!