We know that being a mom is much more than a job. It’s a full-time-never-get-a-break-don’t-put-that-in-your-mouth-no-means-no-lifestyle filled with ups and downs, laughs and tears and memories by the minute. Sure, it can be confusing and completely overwhelming at times, but hey, that’s why we’re here.
The two Jen’s originally created this site, and now a team of moms with different views will add to this daily blog. Our goal is to make this the ultimate resource for Charlotte moms and moms-to-be on a variety of activities, events and motherhood-related topics (best deals on hip new products, navigating the school systems, kids eat free, etc). This is a place for us to share as well as our readers, and we don’t pretend to know everything here. But, we’ll try our best to provide you with plenty of info we’ve learned through research, trial and, unfortunately, error.
What’s Courtenay’s story? I want to know more about Jen. I think I know Krista from somewhere, but where? Find out everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you didn’t) about our talented and insightful bloggers who know an awful lot about kids’ stuff and the latest goings on around town. We’re moms, wives, co-workers, friends, people in the know and, best of all, your guides on this crazy little thing we call Charlotte Smarty Pants.
By Dr. Kashyap Kansupada at CEENTA
Did you know your eye can be a window into your overall health? During a comprehensive
Because our eyes are located on the outside of our body and are see-through, doctors can peer in to see blood vessels, nerves, and tissues with specialized equipment. Diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and
Everyone should have a regular eye exam. Too often, people forget about their eyes if they see clearly and their vision has remained the same. It is recommended that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease have a comprehensive eye exam at age 40. “The heralding signs of presbyopia, where our arms are not long enough to see near anymore, prompt many to seek attention around this age,” says Kashyap Kasupada, MD, FACS.
• Ages 40-54, every 2-4 years
• Ages 55-64, every 1-3 years
• Ages 65 and over, every 1-2 years
If you have a family history of eye disease, or if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, talk with your ophthalmologist about how frequently your eyes should be examined.
Call 704-295-3000 today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam with one of our Board Certified eye experts at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates.
One of the biggest decisions to make as an expecting Smarty Mom is what stroller to get. There are so many brands, models and styles to choose from. It’s not a small purchase, so when you do decide on the one you want, you want to make sure it’s the best for you and your baby.
Today’s strollers have many bells and whistles to help make your life easier. There are travel systems and even iPod accessories for those Smarty Fit Moms! Today, we’ll focus on the single strollers.
This is one stroller that this Smarty Mom can vouch for. This sturdy stroller offers many seated positions, from reclining to upright, and even foot rest adjustments. The adjustable handle makes it easy to push the stroller with comfort, while the cavernous cargo holder below the seat is a huge plus to keep any overflowing diaper bag. The Click & Go adapter system works with the Britax Chaperone and B-Safe infant seat, which makes traveling with newborns a cinch. Britax also offers a bassinet seat that clicks into the stroller that allows for a smooth, flat space to nap in while you’re on the go. Lastly, when baby number two comes, there is a second seat that attaches to the back so you can tote both of your kiddos around with ease. Available online and in most major baby stores, the stroller retails for around $400, but I’ve found it on sale recently for $340 at Babies R Us.
UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller
This newborn-through-toddler stroller is made to last. The SnugSeat add-on allows you to bring your newborn along for a ride and when they outgrow it, just remove add-on to keep your toddler along for the ride. This stroller is also car seat compatible, which is a huge plus! While outside, the canopy will keep those sun rays at bay with a SPF 50+ sunshade. The seat is reversible, so you can ride around with baby facing you or taking in all the sights looking out. This stroller also offers ample storage space in the basket below the seat. The stroller comes in a variety of color options and can be found locally at Shower Me With Love, retailing for around $460.
There are a variety of models under the FastAction line to choose from, all seem to be amazing. A few of the models I’ve looked at are lightweight and fold down easily which makes getting the stroller in and out of the car super convenient! Some of the more advanced models under this line allow for infant carriers to take the place of the original seat, allowing your wee-one the opportunity to grow up with the stroller. This is a more affordable option and can be found in major baby retailers ranging in price from around $90 – $230.
Phil & Teds Navigator
Coming in a variety of bight and fun colors, the Navigator stroller is super rough and tough, as it is stylish. They claim their strollers go from newborn to age five. I pray that I don’t need to use a stroller at age five, but I guess it’s nice to have the option. This is another stroller that can also grow with your family by connecting the double kit on the back so you can tote your toddler and infant. The stroller seat lies flat for those baby power naps and can also face you or face away. This stroller also promises a one-handed fast and compact fold for ease of stowing. A really neat feature is that the seat is countered and ventilated, which could be very nice, especially in the warmer months when out and about. The Navigator retails for around $500 and is available online, as well as at Buy Buy Baby.
This modern spin on a nostalgic stroller is ideal for the newborn baby. The seat lies flat and covers like a bassinet. The canopy and apron are sold separately, but worth it for the extra coverage of your newbie baby. The stroller is very light and compact which is great for taking it in and out of vehicles. When your baby is older, the seat adjusts to set more upright. The seat is also reversible allowing your baby to get a view of you, as well as check out the world in front of them. With the car seat adaptor add-on, you can use your Graco car seat. The color selection for this stroller is so fun, too – lots of bold colors to choose from! The Cameleon retails for about $980 and can be found at Shower Me With Love.
Holy smokes. This is by far, the coolest, most technologically advanced stroller I’ve ever seen. I’m told that it’s the newest, hottest stroller used by Giuliana Rancic and Bethenny Frankel. For the sporty Smarty Mom, it features daytime running and pathway lights at the front of the stroller. On the handle, a LCD screen keeps you aware of how fast you’re going, how far you’ve gone and the temperature. A neat feature is the iPhone plug-in so you and your baby can rock out, while also charging your iPhone. A major plus of this amazing stroller is the power-folding feature. At the touch of a button, the entire stroller (chair and all) will collapse. This stroller from the future can be found soon at Shower Me With Love for around $850.
Strolling Smarties, we want to hear from you! What features are you looking for in a stroller? What are you impressed with that’s out in the market? Dish it!
Happy Wednesday Smarties. Wear RED on Friday and help support the efforts to raise awareness among women about heart disease and stroke – be
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® is proud to present DRAGONS!
Time Warner Cable Arena
January 30-February 3, Check website for showtimes.
For the first time in circus history, myth and majesty will share the arena during this must-see family event that can only be witnessed at The Greatest Show On Earth®! Experience circus spectacles so incredible that once again you will believe in the unbelievable! Dragon tribes from the far reaches of the earth are brought together in a single performance, displaying their breathtaking skills in a circus tournament of champions. Each tribe must prove that they have virtues of Courage, Strength, Wisdom and Heart to arouse dragons which appear right before your very eyes! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime family event when The Greatest Show On Earth brings the world together… to bring your family together!
Charlotte Symphony Pops: The Wizard Of Oz
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
February 2, 2:30pm, 8:00pm
We’re off to see the Wizard! Put on your ruby red slippers and follow the yellow brick road as you’ve never done before! Watch the classic MGM film The Wizard of Oz in its entirety on a large screen with live accompaniment by the Charlotte Symphony! You are invited to dress up as your favorite OZ character, to participate in the COZtume
Workout and Raise money for Relay for Life
Carmel Road Park
February 2, 7:30am
Relay For Life and SouthPark Boot Camp are teaming up to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Renew your Get Fit Resolution this Saturday, 7:30a.m. at Carmel Road Park. Class is free, donations go to American Cancer Society. Bring yoga mat/towel & water. Come get in a pre-Super Bowl sweat!
American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day
American Heart Association
Showing your support on National Wear Red Day is just one of many ways you can take action against
The Secret Garden
February 1-3, Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:00pm
Celebrate magic on a Broadway scale with The Secret Garden, a modern musical classic. Orphaned 10-year-old Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in England with relatives she has never met. With the help of Martha, a chambermaid, and the gardener, Ben, Mary’s own personality blossoms as she brings life to a neglected garden, as well as her sickly cousin and uncle. Based on the beloved children’s novel and winner of three Tony Awards, The Secret Garden is a timeless tale of hope and inspiration. Best for ages 8+. Cost is $20.
Brother Rabbit Spinning Free
February 2-3, Sat., 11:00am, 1:00pm; Sun., 2:00pm
Don’t miss the world premiere of this multicultural production – inspired by the people who have made the Carolinas their home – written specifically for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s Tarradiddle Players. Brother Rabbit is the quickest, cleverest, wittiest rabbit there ever was, but Slippy Fox sees him as one thing and one thing only: dinner. Brother Rabbit’s only hope of escape is to distract Slippy Fox with irresistible stories, such as “Martín the Magnificent,” from Central America, “The Fisherman Prince,” from the Vietnamese, “The Very First Fire,” from the Cherokee, and “Lookout Mountain,” from the Gullah. Best for ages 5+. Cost is $16.
Great Day for Groundhogs
McDowell Nature Preserve
February1, 9:30am-10:15am & 11:00am-11:45am
After an enchanting tale about these spotlighted creatures of the moment, we will have a crafty activity to conclude our homage to the Great Groundhog. Registration required.
Charlotte Nature Museum
February 2, 10:00am
What will Queen Charlotte, our resident ground hog, predict for Spring’s arrival? Join us for our annual celebration with Queen Charlotte and her Court! Programming includes crafts, puppet shows and storytelling.
Go Kids Go
Billingsville Elementary School
February 2, 9:00am-12:00pm
The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. presents Go Kids Go every Saturday in February! Go Kids Go is a FREE community event for children ages 0-12 and their families. The program educates children about fun ways to stay active, eat nutritious meals and lead healthy lifestyles. Kids will participate in a variety of games and activities focused on exercise and nutrition. All Go Kids Go! activities are age-specific to ensure maximum impact and fun.
Reedy Creek Nature Center
February 3, 2:00pm-3:00pm
This is an exciting time of year as the first winter rains trigger some of our salamander species to begin their annual breeding rituals. Join a naturalist as we learn about this amazing species and then hit the trails to look for salamander eggs! Participants must be able to walk 1 – 2 miles on uneven terrain. For ages 5+. Cost is free.
A Romantic Evening in Waxhaw
February 1, 5:00pm-9:00pm
Waxhaw is the perfect place to show your loved ones a great time! Looking for a way to treat your sweetheart? How about a father/daughter date in honor of Valentine’s Day? Looking for a way to say “I love you” without needing a babysitter? Come to Waxhaw on First Friday to enjoy romantic music played throughout downtown…free carriage rides….special culinary delights…opportunities to be pampered…and great Valentine’s Day gift ideas. The evening will also be great for kids who may want to make a Valentine card for Mom or Dad. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience romance in a characteristic setting! Surprise a Valentine of any age, early, in Waxhaw!
Britax Car Seat Checks
Britax North American Headquarters, 13501 S. Ridge Drive
February 1, 8:00am-11:30am
Certified child passenger safety technicians assist you with car seat installation. There they will teach you the correct way to install your child seat, provide safety recommendations, and answer any questions that you may have. Cost is free.
Living History Saturdays
February 2, 10:00am-4:00pm
Step back in time as costumed interpreters bring to life the 18th and 19th centuries. Witness life in the Carolina backcountry through activities such as farming, chores, open hearth-cooking, flax, processing, and weaving. Site closes at 5pm. Cost is $6/Adults, $5/Seniors, $3/Youths ages 4-17, children age 3 and under/free.