Monday, March 18, 2019

dining out, lately

We had nested all we could nest. The nursery was ready. We were ready. My induction was scheduled. We worked hard wrapping up at the office. We also worked hard putting together all the baby gear. And then, we felt like dining out all the time. These were not planned "we must eat out everywhere before baby comes!!" dinners, they were actually somewhat spontaneous outings that happened to mark special prenatal events, plus February's occasions - Valentine's Day, my 35th Birthday and Bob's birthday. [PS how cool that our sons birthday is right in between ours? Pisces Fam!]

I'm glad we took advantage. Postpartum, I've never been so content to be at home 24/7. It's all been so lovely. We're lucky!

Little Big Diner - Newton Centre
When you have a Ramen craving LBD is the best of the best. I enjoyed the very filling Miso Ramen topped with chashu pork, bean sprouts, sweet corn, scallions, nori + an ajitama egg

Metropolis Cafe - South End
Valentine's Day date night. 
Metropolis is a cozy bistro nestled in the heart of the South End on Tremont Street. It has been a neighborhood mainstay for years. The vibe is casual and relaxed while the dimly lit space with comfy booths and window nooks sets the scene for a romantic occasion!

Creative Mediterranean comfort food shines at Metropolis. We were really pleased with our meals. 
Rainbow Trout - stuffed with confit fennel, wilted spinach, preserved lemon + salsa verde
Beetroot + Pear Salad - roasted red beets, Bartlett pear, shaved fennel, Roquefort cheese, toasted hazelnuts, sherry vinaigrette
Veal Scallopini - free range cutlets sauteed with capers, brown butter + cauliflower leek gratin 
Lemon Mousse Tart - raspberries + shaved coconut
Coffee Creme Brulee - with flourless oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

Country Mile - Watertown
35th Birthday Dinner

Country Mile is OUTSTANDING. It is brand new from a husband and wife (chef + front of the house) duo from Vermont. I guarantee you will see it on all the Best of Boston lists in 2019. I wasn't into mocktals throughout my pregnancy but the bartender here does them justice, they are exceptionally crafted and were the price of an actual soda. (Although perhaps this was a birthday deal?!) The group can vouch for the cocktails being fantastic, too. 

I have included a photo of the menu below since four of us shared about half of it. You will literally want every vegetable dish in that first section. I'm still swooning. 
Pictured above:
Curried Mussels + Japanese Eggplant
Gimlet Mocktail
Black Trumpet Mushrooms (see their instagram)
Lomo w cave aged Gruyere
Seared U10 Scallops
Chocolate + Cheese dessert plate

Sweet Tomatoes Pizza - West Newton
Lunch Date before my Non Stress Test @ NWH MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine).
This pizza is some of my favorite around. We had Garlic Spinach + Hawaiian

COOK - Newtonville
Dinner date after getting the car seat inspected at the Newton City Police Dept.
Cook is an awesome neighborhood spot for an upscale casual meal. We shared Charred Broccoli with chimmichuri + Sticky Wings in a spicy soy glaze. A classic Burger with cheddar, LTO and crispy french fries hit the spot.

Rice Valley - Newtonville
Dinner date - the classic "lets go for spicy food" meal 
This was the night before my induction (Saturday 2/23). A little spicy never hurt the chances of going into labor naturally, right? 

We don't eat American Chinese food often. Rice Valley has a nice atmosphere to dine out in and the food is average. The Hot and Sour Soup was nice and spicy. We asked for the General Gao's Chicken (labled as spicy) to actually come extra spicy. It did not, even though she assured it would, but it was still a tasty meal. The actual night of my induction (Sunday 2/24) we went for Spicy Buffalo Wings at Buffs Pub right before heading to NWH to get admitted. Talk about going all out. My water broke after one dose of the oral meds (which is considered lucky) so I honestly think the spicy wings helped me out!

Il Casale - Belmont Center
It's Friday 3/1 - I'm 4 days postpartum. I was discharged the day before and Camden was still admitted in the NICU. Bob's birthday was on Wednesday so we decided to take advantage of Camden's excellent care and head out for a birthday date night. We arrived to the warm and bustling converted fire station and grabbed two seats at the bar. I eyed the martinis next to me thinking how good they looked. Suddenly my face lit up. "I can have a drink. I can actually order one of those!" I thoroughly enjoyed my 9 months of sobriety but what a moment. My first postpartum drink: the 60 day cask aged meletti Manhattan made with overholt rye, meletti amaro + amarena cherry.  

The Buratta Salad was a wondrous portion of field greens, speck from Trentino Alto-Adige + fresh figs. All the pasta is made in house - I had a terrific Cream Mushroom Gnocchetti featuring pickled beachwood mushrooms, charred endive, local carrots + pine nuts. It was our first time to this Il Casale location (I had been to Lexington) and it made for a lovely Friday birthday date night. 

West on Centre - West Roxbury
Cam's still in the NICU and we're still really not up for hanging out at home without him. This was another nice meal out that proved a welcome distraction. I had Pan Seared Sea Scallops in a citrus reduction over butternut squash pure + sauteed garlic spinach with roasted cauliflower. 
Both these neighborhood restaurants provided terrific meals and swifty paced (but not rushed) service. This was perfect for us as we did not want to linger, we were either eager to head back to NWH for Cam's bedtime feeding, or home to get that extra, much needed sleep! 

Saturday 3/2 ended up being Camden's last night in the hospital. On our way home we received a call from his nurse that he would likely be discharged the next day. He came home with us on his actual due date, Sunday, March 3rd! He is now 3 weeks old and I've never been happier! Being his Mom is the absolute best. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Camden John Luiso

It's a BOY!

Welcome to this beautiful life, little buddy!!
Camden John Luiso
February 25th, 2019
9:28 pm
8 lbs 1 oz | 20 inches
A shortened version of the birth story, if you'd like to read....

Due to my recent diagnosis of mild Polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid) I was scheduled for induction at 39 weeks. At Newton Wellesley Hospital on Sunday, February 24th after one oral dose of misoprostol at 9pm my water broke at 2am. What a feeling that was. It woke me in an instant and felt like nothing I've ever experienced. Pretty cool actually. I was excited! Then, I was transferred from Antenatal to Labor and Delivery where contractions begain shortly after. This is it, the biggest moments of life so far!! Labor was Incredible. Truly it was. It was painful, to state the obvious. The pain was manageable for a long time; my favorite way to manage the contractions being hot baths and really getting in a zen place afterwards with warm towels in bed and a cold cloth on my face. I enjoyed an orange popsicle and then a raspberry italian ice. I didn't have any desire to take a walk, use the birthing ball or try out different labor positions. When the contractions got to very painful levels the epidural wasn't given a second thought. It was about 12 hours in around 3pm on 2/25 and I was ready for a break. That first sense of numbness and falling into a deep nap was bliss. I awoke with labor shakes and chills - I learned these are uncontrolable and normal from hormone fluctuation. This also caused some tears - happy tears! I was all choked up at the thought of meeting my baby so soon! A good playlist was on in the background - the nurses kept complimenting on it. (James Taylor, Paul Simon, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Steve Winwood, Sam Hunt, Bruce Hornsby, Van Morisson....) Labor was Emotional. Spiritual. Challenging. Rewarding. The best thing I've ever done!
When I finally felt the urge to bear down and push the attending OB checked back in to confirm. Sure enough I was 10 cm, fully dialated, it's go time! This was around 7:30pm. It was a true team effort from here. Bob was an incredible labor coach - calm, composed and intuitive. My nurses and the BC nursing student (experiencing her first birth) were absolutley phenominal the whole way through. 19 hours with 2 hours of pushing - the hardest work I've ever done in my life - I delivered a beautiful, chubby, hairy, calm natured, absolutley perfect baby boy. 
Camden spent 6 days in the Special Care Nursery (SCN - a level 2 NICU) for Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). He was discharged a healthy baby on March 3rd, 2019 - his actual due date!

This little boy is the sweetest soul showing Mom and Dad a happiness and love beyond compare. 

Welcome to the Luiso family, Camden John!