Safe Haven for Parents: Pita Jungle

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Blue Corn Nacho that my husband and I shared for appetizer

A kid-friendly restaurant for newbie parents is like an Embassy for someone who’s lost a passport while traveling in a foreign country. You rarely pay attention to it (or don’t even notice its existence before), but you’re so thankful that it’s there when you’re in a pickle.

I want to give a shout out to Pita Jungle in Pasadena for being so kind to us rookie parents. Kevin and I went to Old Town Pasadena few weekends ago, and went into this Mediterranean restaurant for lunch – since other restaurants looked either too small or a bit too bourgeois for this stroller-pushing parents. They were happy to set up a table for two and a half where the stroller could fit perfectly, without blocking the aisle or disturbing other patrons. I never noticed it before but the place was filled with kids and strollers. It’s great to have a place like this, especially for a paranoid mom like me.

And paranoid I am. redface

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Wood-Fire Chicken for him

Up until a year ago, I was a proud member of the “I don’t want babies around me” club. I was one of those people born missing a baby-loving gene, with dislikes for baby showers, baby’s birthday parties, and anything involving little critters running around with drool dripping down from the side of their tiny mouth. I would get annoyed sitting next to screaming babies at restaurants, especially if I was paying good money for a meal. evil  I avoided them as much as I can, like how people avoid the sun, and if there was a lotion that would block the little munchkins from entering my personal space, I would have smothered it all over my body, head to toe.

Now that the table has turned, I’m super paranoid when I take Pon Pon out to restaurants, almost to a point of fear. I know that there are many, many card-carrying members still roaming around the city and I’m afraid that they’re going to come attacking me from behind the bar counter with their designer bags if Pon Pon uttered even a single sound! I know that the public is generally very forgiving (God bless them) and many don’t mind that a baby is sitting next to them, but I’m still very sensitive because I remember how I used to be.

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Wood-Fired Salmon Salad for me

I’m sure I’ll get over the fear sooner or later and will be braving into any restaurants with the baby and her diaper bag in tow, but until then, you can find me in Pita Jungle, with the members of the new club – parents.

First Run of the Year!

Breakfast (9:00 a.m.): Special K cereal with almond milk.  The chocolate chips in here are so good!  I wish they sell them separately for me to snack on!

Lunch (12:30 p.m.): I had hiyamugi (Japanese noodle, a little thicker than somen) with pre-made dipping sauce, and vegetable and shrimp pancake (onion, garlic chives, carrot, and shrimp).

I really wanted to eat tempura soba but realized that I didn’t have any buckwheat noodle left midway through cooking cry so I settled for hiyamugi that my fiance apparently purchased and hid in the pantry when I wasn’t watching.  I ended up eating two pancakes.

Dinner (5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.): Tiffany, Shannon, and I went for a run after work. We ran around Rose Bowl only once, for a total of 3.1 miles, but they were quality three miles. We walked a little but dashed the last quarter mile like our lives depended up it!  I was out of breath at the end and my lungs and heart were pumping but it felt really, really great. YAY to the first workout of 2012!

I had a small bowl of spaghetti with bolognese sauce before the run to make sure that I had enough energy for the workout (which helped tremendously), but we ended up having real dinner at Pita Jungle in Old Town Pasadena afterward. I was actually pretty surprised how clean Colorado Boulevard was, considering that this was the heart of yesterday’s Rose Parade.

We shared a few appetizers (hummus, pita, sliced cucumbers, scallops, and shrimp) and shared the plate of grilled vegetable salad and black bean burger.  Oh, and two glasses of red wine.

I’ve gained a few pounds in the last several days, which is not too surprising … but I have to get back on track now.  I’m so happy that I’ll be working out with my sister tomorrow!

This is usually how I feel …

biggrin When I  see my sister … very happy to see her!
eek When I find out what she is going to put me through for the next 60 minutes
mad When I have to start
cry When I can’t do some of the moves (burpies!) because I’m so out of shape
razz When I’m DONE!
twisted And this is my sister, with her tough love!