Boutiques?? I don’t even have time to shop, let alone hit the boutiques! I guess we’re pretty mainstream.
Old Navy, Gap, Target, Children’s Place all probably top the list. I also really like Macy’s and Belk although I don’t make it to the mall as often as I’d like anymore! I got the Old Navy credit card when I was pregnant and it’s great because for every $200 I spend at either Old Navy, Gap or Banana (not hard to do!) I get $10 off my next purchase. Plus, they are always sending me coupons and deals. They also offer deals on shipping if you order online. Old Navy and Gap are also great for us because they do the adjustable waste pants which is a must have for our skinny little one (although most brands are starting to do that now).
In the summer it would have to be going to the pool! We also enjoy the park, getting together with neighbors (fun for both the adults and the kids!), hitting the golf course (yes, my son got a set of clubs when he was 2 weeks old), watching movies, going to the local bookstore, or a family bowling outing. Another thing we really enjoy when we have out of town guests visiting is taking them out to the White Water Center. It’s a hidden gem in Charlotte – free to go visit (cost is actually very reasonable if you want to raft); you can take a stroller and walk around watching the rafters and kayakers, or sit and relax with a drink and some snacks. They have a full menu for lunch or dinner and almost every time we’ve been there they have live music on the patio. They also have a kid’s rock climbing area which is a lot of fun. One caution – there are no fences or rails around the “river” so hand holding or a stroller is a must for those who just want to run.
Salsarita’s, Mama Fu’s, Wolfman Pizza, Ginbu, Hawthorne Pizza (if you have not been here it’s great because they built a platform for the kids to stand on and watch them make the pizzas!) We’re also big on eating breakfast out on the weekends – our favorites are Brugger’s, Original Pancake House, and the Showmars in Elizabeth … and for the most special treat – Dunkin Donuts!
Our favorite is Colonial Park which is toward downtown between Randolph and Providence. It’s the closest to our house and has all the essentials – good playground equipment, tennis courts, a paved walkway for bikes and a big open field to play ball. The park is also fenced in so kids can’t get away from you and run into the busy traffic on Providence.
7. Best kept secret in Charlotte?
Not sure I really have one… but love hearing everyone else’s!
This one puts the pressure on! I’m actually a fan of the old fashion backyard parties but I know the bar has been raised. Probably one of our favorites was where they rented a train that actually drove kids (and their parents) around the neighborhood. They also had a big moon bounce in the front yard for the kids that weren’t riding the train. It was a lot of fun and one Jake really enjoyed!
Wine! Although I am currently living without that now that I am pregnant again. So… I guess it would be my great network of friends. Sometimes I think the only way I can get through all this is to vent/cry/laugh with those who know me best and can relate to the stuff us moms go through.
Babysitters … where to find a good one, how much to pay, that you can’t ask your friends for referrals (although I learned that pretty early on!)
11 Being a working mom…
… means my son eats dinner later than most other kids, I don’t exercise as much as I should and my house is not always the cleanest. But I wouldn’t have it differently. I enjoy my job, the intellectual challenges it brings and the work friends I’ve made. I also think my son thoroughly enjoys “school” and has gained so much from it.
12. And last, you are pregnant, congrats!!! What was the one baby item you could not live without when Jake was a baby?
Thanks! Wow – it seems so long ago when Jake was a baby. The things I remember as must haves were the paci, Mylicon drops and the book “Happiest Baby on the Block”. I have been told though by another savvy mom that the must have with baby #2 is the Baby Bjorn. If anyone else has some good advice here, I’d love to hear it!