People ask us all the time how itty bitty city came to be. We moved to Katy in 2001 with our 2 year old son Justice. We had both been working parents (Mr. Nono's real job is in software sales) and I'd been a caseworker in the juvenile justice system for several years. We were so fortunate to have been able to reley on family to care for Justice while we worked. By juggling our schedules and with my family's support, we had the comfort of knowing our son was in a loving environment. But little time was left for us as individuals and as a couple. We never wanted to impose on our family to care for Justice while we did "fun" stuff. Even doctor's appointments and simple errands are hard to do without full time daycare, but date nights as a couple? Hah! And as new parents we were horrified at the idea of leaving him in a stranger's home for babysitting. But we made it work and counted our blessings for the love Justice got and comfort we had knowing he was in a good place.
So back to 2001. We came to visit some great friends who lived in Cinco Ranch. With our second son Destin on the way, I was leaning toward "retirement" and we were considering buying a house. Once the Moore's took the three of us to the Beach Club for some fun, we were sold! We knew we wanted our kids to go to KISD schools, have access to all the great water parks and ammenities offered here, and we loved the beautiful neighborhoods with close schools and shops. So we moved to Cinco Ranch, Destin joined the family, and I finally got to be a stay at home mom! Life was going to be so easy now.
Right. As any stay at home mom can tell you, it is so much harder than working! And we "Katy Moms" put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Trying to maintain wonderful homes, keep our kiddos involved in stimulating, educational activities & lessons, making sure they always look nice and play nice. It can be incredibly lonely, with really long days when you don't have a conversation with anyone over 3. By 4:45 everyday, I was watching the clock to see how much longer until "daddy" would be home. Many of us are displaced from our families because we've followed jobs to the energy corridor. Even if you are fortunate enough to have family in the Houston area, that still usually requires a 45 minute drive to visit. Not practical for when you want a haircut or just 20 minutes to go to the dentist and get your teeth cleaned. Staying at home, I saw a need for short term childcare. Jumping through hoops to get late afternoon appointments and waiting at the door to fly out of the house the minute my husband got home (to make the 5:30 appointments) was frustrating. And forget about date nights! We were barely covering the basics. I missed the freedom to just get up and go. The days when I didn't need my agenda out to schedule a trip to Starbuck's. And when Nono had to go on business trips. Wow. I really needed some help! I start looking at local centers & I was so disappointed. I just couldn't see why in such a nice area, the drop-in centers couldn't be better. Most of us were moving here because of the schools. Surely this area had the clients and market to support a wonderful place for kids to play while the parents got away. One that provided a clean facility, in a nice area, close to merchants, that would provide care when parents needed it without advanced notice. Somewhere kids were not only having fun & meeting new friends, but were safe, and nurtured. Where parents didn't need a reservation and didn't have to tell the staff how long they were staying. A place where if their plans fell through, parents could go pick the kiddos up early, or if plans changed and they needed to be out longer (traffic was bad, long wait at the doctor's office) there was no reason to worry and rush back. A place where the staff were educated, experienced, and wonderful with the children.
In July of that year, my sister told me it was time to either open this "place" I wanted, or stop complaining about not having one because someone else would do it soon enough. That was just the push Nono and I needed, and in September the lease was signed and itty bitty city opened for business on December 19, 2003.
After 6 1/2 years we still love it and we're honored that you share your precious children with us!
Stephanie Fregia-Ruiz &