I am excited to share this playdate with you all on this first Friday in June!
So, as a mom, you sort of have a sign on your back that reads, "Are you a mom? Me too, How old? Where do you live? Do you stay home? Let's hang out..." Or something in that realm. So when you see another mom, you each pull that sign around and figure each other out, like speed dating.
I met Julie at the Fig & Fawn pop-up shop I had blogged about a few weeks ago. I was sans kids, and with a girlfriend and she had her sweet little peanut with her in the most adorable outfit! I met Julie as she was leaving, she ended up getting her little Isla a pair of harem pants that I LOVED, and we exchanged numbers and became fast friends at that point.
Communication with her has just been so ping-pongy! Back and forth and easy breezy! We ended up going to the Nest boutique Mother's Day mini photo session and pampering event at Vert beauty together, and then she wasn't able to make a trunk show I did for my Rolypoylz line, the vintage baby clothing I sell, so I invited her to my house for a private viewing and egg sandwiches and coffee. That was such a fun, leisurely morning! Then we set this playdate up, and I get to see these pretty faces again for ranch tomorrow at Devil's Food! See, easy!
Some moms, you exchange numbers with and never hear back from again, or you feel like your kiddos had a thing, but you and her didn't quite jive. Or, you feel obligated to exchange numbers, but really have no intention on ever speaking to this woman again. Let me be the first to tell you, that if I ask for your number, or give my number out, I plan to text you a bout something, or some play date at some point or other! I am a woman of my word! Turns out, Julie is also an Aries and maybe that has something to do with our personalities and how I have clicked with her so well. (eek- hope she feels the same!) haha! OR, I could be that crazy lady you met at Barnes and Noble that was WAY too chatty and actually had a business card, for what???, and then she texted you about a dumb event and.... oops!
Either way, Julie has agreed to meet up with me again, and so far she is responding to my texts! Haha! Julie, I am so glad I met you and thank you for agreeing to do this little Q&A with me!
We met for coffee and WAY over priced egg sandwiches at Blackeye coffee in the Highlands area, and then strolled to a nearby park on 38th and Navajo. Coffee shop, full of "freelancing" or job hunting hipsters giving moms a sideways snarl as we ordered and waited and the park, no swings and visited by the pre-gentrification crowd who may or may not have been told that, "This is a park, not a bar." A colorful morning and stroll, I'd say. Let's do it again!
Julie Mosley, 34, Full-time mom, Brett, 33 entrepreneur, Isla Shirley Mosley 20 weeks old
Neighborhood: West Highlands
HH: What has surprised you most about motherhood?
JM: I'm surprised at how willful even an infant is. That while babies adapt to their environments, they are still their own person, right out of the gate and you kind of have to swing with who they are. I thought I'd be wearing my daughter in a wrap doing chores around the house, but she hated it. You can't really plan in advance for the type of baby you're going to have.
HH: What moment so far made you say, "Yup, I guess I'm a momma!"
JM: A woman came up to me at WholeFoods to compliment Isla for being cute. And to laugh at the spit up I had all down the back of my sleeve.
HH: What has been your favorite "first" with Isla so far?
JM: I was dreading the first night that I'd be alone overnight with her when my husband went to a bachelor party out of town. We ended up going to a lovely garden, shopping and having dinner with a girlfriend. She was in such a happy mood that day and was so sweet. So our first day/night alone together ended up being a really good memory. And it made me feel like "I can do this!"
HH: What's an ideal day look like for you and Isla together?
JM: Isla wakes up happy, so seeing her smile in the morning is a good start. If she would go back to sleep after nursing so I could catch a few more zzzz's, I'd be in heaven. Then a morning walk to the park, a stop for coffee & food with friends and back home to nap. Then reading books and playing in the afternoon followed by an early bedtime. Lots of naps and sleep would definitely be in there. As long as she's happy, it's a pretty ideal day.
HH: Describe Isla's personality so far...
JM: Isla is so curious and observant. She wants to see and do everything! She's social and just loves being around people, including being held, sung to and talked to. Isla is quick to smile and is very sweet. She's responsive to interaction but is always looking around at everything, hoping not to miss a beat. I joke that she has FOMO (fear of missing out) already!
HH: Was Isla planned or a surprise?
JM: She was planned. I got pregnant during an extended trip in Southeast Asia. I think maybe it was all the passionfruit mojitos I drank in Vietnam (or maybe just that the hubby and I got lots of quality time together!)
HH: Sounds like a fun AND memorable trip! Be sure to put it in her baby book!
HH: Tell us a little bit about her birth story. As little or as much as you feel like sharing...
JM: I really wanted an intervention-free birth. I took all the classes and sort of mentally prepared myself that my body was made to have a baby and I was completely capable. Well, my water broke spontaneously a week before my due date. I was like, oh man this just got real. But I didn't go to the hospital until my contractions started about 7 hours later. Once they started, things moved fast! I had hired a doula and the one day she wasn't available because her daughter was having surgery was that day (of course.) So when I arrived at St. Joseph Hospital, I was meeting my back-up doula for the first time. And the baby was "sunny-side up" which was causing me a lot of back labor and I kept moving around the room in different positions trying to get her to turn. It was really intense so I decided to try the bath. The bath felt better but my contractions seemed really strong and my body seemed to be pushing the baby out on its own! The nurse checked me and I was only 2 centimeters dilated. Both my doula and the nurse coached me not to push, but I felt like I had no choice. I said, you know, I can't get control of my body, I think I need an epidural. So they got me out of bed, inserted an IV and checked me one more time; the nurse said "Oh! You're complete! You can start pushing now." The epidural idea went out the window, a crew of staff rolled in out of no where and the baby was crowning as the doctor was putting her gloves on. Miraculously, she turned the right way before she came out. I pushed maybe 3 times, and Isla was born, with a perfectly round head. I had gotten to the hospital at 6:30and she was born at 9:30 pm. They said between getting out of the bath and her birth was about half an hour. I felt like I was in shock! Ultimately, I got the birth that I wanted.
HH: We have more in common! Both of my girls were Saint Joe's babies and I had amazing experiences both times. I too experienced back labor, NO fun, but luckily I was able to get an epidural. Seems my lower back is paying for it now though.
HH: Every time I see Isla, she is so stylish! I LOVE it! Where do you shop for Isla? What are your favorite baby clothing brands/Insta feeds? Any great Etsy finds? Best Gilt find or steal? You mentioned your friends place in Arizona called Garage and a Stella McCartney piece!
JM: I'm really an online shopper but many of my favorite things were gifts! BabyGap has great pieces! I'm obsessed with a company called ChildHOODS that makes the most darling hoodies and sweats, I found them through Instagram. The sweet ikat romper she wore to our playdate is from an online shop called The Little Minis and her moccs were gifted, Freshly Picked, another fave. My best score was something I bought on CyberMonday while pregnant-- its a Molo brand onesie in baby deer print from Nordstrom and it's adorable, and was close to 1/2 price. I have yet to shop at Thief and Bandit, Mini Rodini or Oeuf NYC but they are on my dream baby clothes list. I splurged on a Stella McCartney romper with this darling apple print at the boutique you mentioned in Scottsdale, Arizona, Garage. That store is amazing and fun, and mostly designer brands. I thought, when in Rome....
HH: When in Rome is RIGHT! I think it is fun to shop for babies and kiddos so fast fashion and thrifting is my thing mostly, but before I and Remy when I was earning an income, Gilt and Zara online were my weakness. I was able to snag a couple of wonderful pieces and have managed to take care of them well enough to pass on to Arlo in near new condition. Oxi Clean soak is my best friend!
HH: You are pretty stylish yourself! Those Loefller Randall sneaks... Where do you like to shop for yourself (assuming you had the time.)
JM: I have to shout out to local boutique Goldyn. My favorite jewelry, sunglasses and hat were all purchased there. I have 7 pairs of Loefller Randall shoes--they are my favorite footwear. Shoescribe is a great website to get killer deals on designer shoes. It's dangerous. I like to dress in a mix of low/high fashion and scour the web for deals. I'm online a lot. Emerson Fry is a brand I covet. I shop Gap, H&M or Madewell for basics. I love shopping on my travels. I got some sweet leather sneakers on the street in South Korea and had an amazing pair of denim shorts made in Vietnam. I love anything that is meaningful beyond just looking great; I love the pieces I bought or was gifted by my talented friend Gretchen, when she had her line Gretchen Jones NYC.
HH: You heard right.. that's THE Gretchen Jones from the Project Runway series guys!
HH: You mentioned going to Sol to change a bra into a nursing bra. What other items are on your summer "to get" list?
JM: I kind of want a "Mommy uniform" of a limited number of clothes that I just mix and match. A black romper that you can dress up or down--Madewell and Michael Stars have great ones, a grey cotton muscle tee that goes with just about anything and I really want a pair of Birkenstocks to slip on and go!
HH: I too would like to try to find a slide or comfy slip on! Totally hearing you on the less is more and BETTER "capsule wardrobe" thing... I have a closet full of nothing to wear and end up wearing and rotting about ten or so things on the day to day. If I have an event or a party that I can attend where breastfeeding isn't on the agenda, I can wear a little something different. Even though Arlo is 9 months on the 10th, and nursing FAR less, only about four times or so a day, I still get dressed with "whipping a boob out" in the back of my mind.
HH: I know you are about to go to Hawaii for a trip..Have you traveled with Isla before this trip? How did that go? Any travel tips with baby? How old was she?
JM: Isla's first airplane ride was at 6 weeks old to visit her paternal grandfather in Arizona. I was nervous with traveling with her when she was so young, but she did great! Although we decided not to bring a stroller thinking we would just wear her in a carrier the whole time, and that didn't work out so well. I'd recommend bringing/renting/borrowing a stroller for any trip where you'll be sight-seeing. We went to the botanic gardens and pushed her carseat around in a wheelchair!
We went to Portland, Oregon to visit friends at the end of April, so she was about 3 months at the time and she was such an angel on the plane! Being able to breastfeed at take-off and landing helped! I found that the flight attendants on my flights are sympathetic to travelers with young babies and they pretty much doted on her!
HH: Has Isla celebrated any holidays in your family yet? Describe what traditions you are excited to share with her.
JM: We celebrated Easter for her first holiday with my family. To steal a friend's quote, brunch is our religion, so that is what we did! We also had brunch for Mother's Day (see previous quote.) Both my parents, and my two sisters live in Colorado so it is just great when we all get together for a meal. I'm excited to dress her up for Halloween, bake cookies for Santa Claus, teach her about lighting candles on Hannukkah (I celebrate both as my Dad isn't Jewish but my Mom is,) and to throw her a big luau on her 1st birthday, which is a Hawaiian tradition that we will celebrate with my husband's family and our friends in Maui.
HH: What has been the best baby gear/buys you have had so far? Any regrets or bad baby items that you would say are unnecessary? Any items you wish you had or need?
JM: I love our stroller. I waited awhile after she was born to get one, so I really appreciate having it. We have the Uppababy Vista which has a lot of convertible parts (bassinet, carseat, regular seat,) folds up easily and has big wheels to handle old Denver sidewalks! When she was a newborn she was really responsive to our munchkin noise machine that also projects animal scenes on the ceiling. That one was a gift and we couldn't put her to sleep without having it on. Love my Skiphop diaper bag, and our play mat (Infantino) which is easy to pack up and travel with. Now that she's bigger, the bouncer saucer we got from FisherPrice is really fun and keeps her occupied. She didn't take to the Rock n' Play, 4Moms Swing or our Sollybaby wrap. The first two are just taking up a bunch of space in our home. A friend recently brought over a little bouncy chair that rocks with the baby's own weight. I wish I had that a few months ago! She loves it!
HH: How is hubby as a father and describe how that has impacted your relationship as a couple.
JM: Brett is really in love with Isla. I've never seen him so taken with anything. He wants to teach her everything and uses any moment to do so. It's really sweet. Brett and I have always been kind of independent but we certainly spend a lot less time together as a couple. He is focused on starting a new business and I'm always with Isla. So when we are together as a family, the baby gets most of our attention. As she gets older, I think we'll get back to "us" a little bit more. We still have a lot of fun together!
HH: Tips for maintaining a lovely marriage while we lose our minds from sleep deprivation?
JM: Don't forget to laugh, don't sweat the small stuff, and eat dinner together! Try not to be too hard on each other (or yourselves.) Understand you're both going through a big life change and that everyone processes that differently. Give each other a break, but be honest with your partner and share what you need from them.
HH: What are your plans for the summer as a family?
JM: We'll be spending our 5 year anniversary in Pittsburgh at a friend's wedding! In July we are heading to Maui to introduce Isla to our friends and family that live there (that's where my husband was born and raised.) The rest of the time I hope to do lots of pool time, walks or hikes and enjoy farmer's markets and road trips to the mountains.
HH: Favorite or best thing about raising Isla in Denver?
JM: I love that we get to raise her with all of my family and a circle of great friends around us. She'll get to grow up feeling loved and supported by so many people! It doesn't hurt that she's surrounded by the great outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer! I'm a 4th generation Native so I'm happy to bring my daughter up in the Mile High City--I am so proud of the friendly people, nature, walkability, sweet neighborhoods, great food and adventure that our hometown has to offer!
I am pretty proud of being a CO native too! It really is the best place, (and hottest housing market in the country now unfortunately...)
Thanks so so much for sharing with us Julie! Oh, and I think it is worth mentioning that those awesome sneaks are the ones she picked up from a street vendor in South Korea, and that braid my friends, is Julie's "lazy girl" hair!