Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Waffles, Burgers and the Babysitting Trade

Before you have kids, you take dates for granted.
A date with the girls.  A date with your book.  A date with your mom.
And most of all, a date with your husband.
He's always around and you can go out with him whenever you please.
In fact, you might even get a little bored of dating him because, really, how many dinners and trips to the book store can you do before it gets old?
Then you have kids and it all changes.  (I wrote about it once before.  go here)

Now, a date with the girls requires a lot of prep work, pumping even.  (if you don't know, don't ask)
A date with your book?  Yeah right.  You've got errands to run.
Your mom always wants you to bring the baby, so there goes that one.
But hardest of all to arrange is the date with your  man.
Babysitting is involved.
Babysitters are expensive.
I'm not complaining--they are caring for my kids after all.
But when you need to pay for dinner and then tack on another $40, $50 or more to the tab for the babysitter, suddenly date night is happening a lot less frequently.

Enter The Babysitting Trade.
Do any of you do this?
It is pure, solid, genius.
If you don't know about it, let me explain and let me rock your world.

We started the trade when James was a baby--just a few months old.
Our dear friends had a baby the same age and we began to watch each other's kids on Friday nights.
We'd go out one week and them the next.
It was just a couple of hours--those boys were still nursing often--but it was bliss to get away sans baby.
We kept it up as we added William to the bunch and they added Natalie.
Then they moved farther away and it became hard to keep the kids up and make the drive, so it fizzled for a while.
But we were becoming desperate for dates again.  
2 dates a month that we could count on seemed pretty wonderful.
But with 5 kids between us and bedtimes before 8, we weren't sure how we'd work it all out.

In the end, all we had to do was switch it up.
Now I go to their house on Friday nights and put their kids to bed while they go out,
The next Friday Jana comes to my house and puts my kids to bed while we go out.
I get the better deal because 2 of my kids are not on their best bedtime behavior when Jana is here.
Sorry Jana.
Jana and I always fall asleep on the couch at each other's houses.  
Now she's bringing along little Audrey and soon I will be bringing our latest addition.
We get 4 or 5 hours out on a Friday night with our hubbies--and it's FREE!

If any of you do The Babysitting Trade, I'd love to know how you work it.  
The more opportunities I have to go out with my man, the better.

This past Friday was our date night.
We decided to branch out and head to new locals. 
Even with our limited date night opportunities, we were still visiting the same 4 favorite restaurants.
This night we headed to the Orange Circle.  For those of you not from around here, it's where they filmed the movie, That Thing You Do.
There are a plethora of dining options.
Our friend, who lives there, even drew us a map of restaurants to try or pass up.
But first, we walked.
And I made Aaron stop and take pictures in front of the ice dispenser at the liquor store.
Because that's what I do.

When we were first married, he would be so uncomfortable and embarrassed every time I made him stop for a picture.  But just look at the man now.
He's a natural.
I like it when he smiles too.

After scoping out our dining options, we went low brow.
I am after all, 33 weeks pregnant and in my limited maternity wardrobe.  
Fine dining, or even fineish (new word), dining didn't feel like a comfortable option to me.
Instead, we went here.

For dessert.  But also for dinner. We've heard good things.
At 9, the line was down the street.
But at 9:30, we stepped right up to the window.

It's a walk up window kind of establishment.  An old building, like so many of the buildings in Orange.
There are tables outside.
But I think you'd have to go early or late to score one.

Every single thing looked so good that it was hard to decide.
In the end, we went with this.

Hello heart attack city.
It was just what the Dr. ordered.
Well, not my Dr., but some Dr., somewhere.

I got the burger.  On a waffle.  It was so good.
Aaron got the fried chicken.  With a side of maple syrup.  It was so good.
Waffle fries.  Awesome.
House made sodas.  Sublime.  Strawberry for me and vanilla cream for Aaron.  
I'd like to go back for lunch today.  Or dinner tonight.
It's a good thing this place is a 20 minute drive from my house.

One more reason you need to try Bruxie if you live anywhere around here.
Customer service.
They rocked it.
I ordered my burger medium well.
The first half was good--a little more pink than I'd like, but tolerable.
Somehow the other half was way too underdone.
I couldn't eat it.
Aaron explained the situation to an employee.  They offered me a whole new burger.
At that point, I could not eat a whole new burger.
So instead, they gave us a gift card to come back.
And a complimentary cup of their frozen custard.

I have worked in restaurants where that kind of incident would get your drinks comped.
If you were lucky.
I was more than happy with the way they treated us.
And now we have a gift card to go back!
We might be starting a new dating tradition.

Because, aside from the custard (yum!) we didn't even try the dessert waffles.
I am so glad for date night, The Babysitting Trade, and new restaurants.
I am so glad for a night out with my man.  We can wait until 9:30 to eat, or stand in line without worrying about entertaining anyone. 
We can talk for hours without one interruption.
We can be Aaron and Greta and not Mommy and Daddy.
There is something to be said for having less of something.  
You appreciate it more when you get it.
And oh how I do appreciate date night.
Now, who wants to meet me for waffles?  
Love from,

1 comment:

Betsi* said...

I do! I do!
Hehe, I laughed when I read the Dr. bit. And immediately, unbidden, an image of Dr. Haslett from Murder She Wrote popped into my head. Yes, he would order waffles for us. ;)