Play, Meet (one)
I wanted to start a new little series on here about the fun little play meetups Remy and I have. I hope to tap these other mommy brains for tips and advice and I hope you find these mommas as inspiring as I do. I have learned that my newest accessory, a baby, is an instant connector to many different types of women who also carry this chic accessory. First up is Katie Gartner and her light eyed, fair skinned cuties Judah, 3.5 and Ruby 16 months. I first met Katie a couple of years ago at a clothing sale. In fact, she was pregnant at the time. I blogged about her company over on Fashion Folio, but she runs an annual sample sale, of sorts, in Denver called Frock Shop Sales. Matter of fact, it might have been back in 2012 when I first met her, and she had her first sale.
Frock Shop sales is pretty cool. What happens is Katie cleverly figured out a niche in the retail world you see. What happens to all that clothing that local boutiques and Denver designers just can't sell or get rid of? What are fashion girls in Denver to do when they have champagne taste on a beer budget? Well, they shop these end-of-season goodies at Frock Shop Sales thanks to Katie! We actually JUST missed her sale this year, which was back in April. Boo. She plans to hold the annual sales in the spring so by then I should be back to a normal weight and hopefully able to shop for myself again postpartum.
Katie's littles are very quiet, and reserved. I think Katie described them as being guarded and taking a while to warm up to many people. This was our second meetup today. The first was coffee at Blackeye Coffee in Highlands and some park play at Columbus Park off 38th. Today, with the dip in temps, she mentioned she and her littles were headed to Cherry Creek Shopping Center's play center. I admit that before having Remy, I think I actually tweeted or stated that this was, "my nightmare," but oh how the tables turn when you actually HAVE a baby! Katie likes coming here because when it's cold in Denver, often, there aren't a ton of options for indoor play, and this is pretty close to where she lives in the Sloan's Lake neighborhood.
I have been here before with other tots, and maybe once or twice with Remy, but she was still too little to actually crawl or grab onto anything, but today I can say was probably her FIRST experience with this play area and she LOVED it!
We grabbed a coffee and banana bread and sort of stood on the sidelines waiting for Katie and scoping out the crowded place. Remy LOVES being social and people watching so she was just in a state of euphoria as she watched all the kids running and playing! I leaned over the wall and set her down and she was OFF! She still can only stand with assistance and was sort of a late bloomer with crawling, but she gets around. She had so much fun even when older kids were sliding DOWN things she was trying to climb UP. Didn't seem to phase her one bit. She crawled over for a snack and rolled onto her back and chilled eating her Cheerios which other tots came to scoop up off the floor behind her. Oops...
It was sort of the perfect, and safe (in comparison right?) environment for mommas to chat while kiddos played. With watchful eyes at all times, Katie and I were able to chat a little on the sides about mommahood.
HH: How do you balance running a business, Frock Shop Sales, with being a full time mommy?
KG: It's really only busy about two weeks prior to a sale and a couple weeks after a sale, but I conduct business during nap time and early in the mornings.
HH: If you were to give any advice to a new momma, what would it be?
KG: That's a tough one. Probably to ASK for help, and to TAKE help when it's offered. I was horrible at that. Also, to schedule things, like this, because as you know, it can get lonely being cooped up in a house all day with a little baby.
HH: Has parenthood become any easier?
KG: Oh yeah...probably not until last month when Ruby started solidly sleeping through the night.
HH: Where do you like to take the kids in Denver? What sorts of things do you like to do with them?
KG: The zoo. A LOT! We live near Sloane's Lake so I will run with ruby in the stroller and Judah will ride his bike. We have a pass to the Science & Nature Museum so we go there when the weather is bad.
HH: What about kid friendly restaurants you like?
KG: We like Federal Bar & Grill on 26th & Federal near our house, which opened about a year or so ago. Anything allergy friendly AND kid friendly because they have food allergies. Chipotle because they list what's in the food and any burger joint. Judah loves a burger, just no bun or cheese. For myself and my husband, we like Linger and Root Down.
HH: What are you most looking forward to when the weather warms up?
KG: More outside time. Taking them to parks with splash pads. I'll have to tell you about those!
HH: Any vacation plans coming up?
KG: This weekend we are celebrating my birthday and our wedding anniversary and we are having the kids babysat so we will be able to go out to dinner and have a weekend to ourselves. We are staying home because we live near downtown, but it will be the first time in four years I won't be breastfeeding or off npumping! My family always goes up to Estes Park every year too.
HH: What is Ruby's favorite thing to do? And Judah's?
KG: Ruby loves to dig in the dirt! Judah loves to ride his bike, and he's a bug cuddler. He'd be so happy if we cuddled and read books all day.
HH: What are their favorite play things right now?
KG: For Judah, it's his strider bike and his little race car track set. For ruby, it's whatever her brother has!
HH: Where do you like to shop for kids clothes?
KG: For Judah, I love the Gap clearance. I'm all about finding the deal! Belmar used to have a Gap that was pretty much untapped and had amazing clearance items, but they've since closed. He doesn't wear anything but sweatpants right now so I try to find cute ones. His style is comfy, casual. For Ruby, I am so fortunate that my sister had two girls before I had Ruby so I have tubs and tubs of clothing. I feel guilty shopping for her because I have these amazing hand me downs, but every now and again I think she needs a little something new. For myself, Nordstrom Rack, and of course the sale I started to curb my appetite for finding the deal! I have these amazing Helmut Lang pants from one of them, and today I'm wearing these tan OTBT boots from the most recent sale which were from Goldyn boutique. I also really like Inspyre, they have one over here in Cherry Creek North, and its really cute and affordable.
HH: What's your favorite piece of clothing you have for Judah and Ruby?
KG: Well for Judah it's this "old man" style sweater from the Gap and for ruby it's these little fringe moccasins.
HH: What's your favorite baby gear?
KG: Well, when they were little it was the swaddles. My kids were always swaddled! Now, it's my double Bob stroller. It's huge, but I love it. I also love Camilia homeopathic teething drops and the muslin blankets by Aden + Anais. I always carry one, they're good for everything!
HH: What's the most surprising thing about motherhood?
KG: How little sleep you will get! It was extra tough for me because both littles had tummy issues, but it is also surprising how I could still function on that little amount of sleep!
On Katie: Free People striped top, necklace by local jeweler mkaltenbach, J Brand denim and OTBT boots.
On Judah: Gap shirt and Old Navy sweat pants.
On Ruby: Gap leggings, gifted skirt and hand me down shirt.
I'm wearing: Thrifted hat, camel coat, floral blouse. Black maternity tank from Gap and dark denim by Tory Burch from Alicia Boutique from a couple years ago and sunnies Oliver Peoples from a LONG time ago.
On Remy: Thrifted Ralph Lauren denim shorts, Crazy 8 shiny tights, Zara brogues, Louis Louise blouse found on major sale one year at the Cherry Creek sidewalk sale, and coat is by First Impressions, (I think a Macy's brand) a gift from Tete. Hair bow from Target.