Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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March 31, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: how to avoid allergens

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

Dealing with allergies can be a non-stop battle. The weather gets warmer earlier every year and spring allergies – pollens, primarily – start sooner. But some people have to deal with winter allergies, like dust and molds, too. Medicines can do a lot to reduce your symptoms, but did you know there are things you can do around your house to minimize your exposure to allergens? Here are five ways to help avoid allergens before they trigger sneezing and runny noses.WomanClosingWindowWeb

Keep your humidity levels reasonable: Mold grows in areas with a lot of moisture, and winters in the Charlotte area, like the winter we just had, can be wet. If you keep the humidity level of your home around 35-40 percent, you can minimize mold exposure.

Get rid of dust mites: A clean home can do wonders to reduce your exposure to dust allergens, which are common when your home is shut up during the winter. Therefore, you should wash your sheets in hot water once a week. You should also dust and vacuum regularly. While performing these chores, we recommend wearing a mask to help reduce symptoms.

Keep the windows shut: In the springtime you want to keep as much pollen out of your house as possible. Keeping your windows shut keeps pollen outside. Read More →

March 27, 2017

Smarty Tips for Divorce Part 2: Resolving Issues for Your Children

CSP Team Note: This is the second in a three-part series written by Rebecca Wofford, a family law attorney and partner at Wofford Law, PLCC to help our readers navigate the divorce process. Read part one here. Rebecca is also founder of The Lunch Project – see her most recent Smarty Mom profile here and her first profile here – she was also 2014 Smarty Mom of the Year!). Nobody wants to go through this, but when this is the best option for you, we’re hoping this series of blog posts will be helpful to you.

You may have married him, and you may want to be separated and divorced from him, but if you have children with him, the two of you will continue to be tied together as parents — perhaps for a very long time. You will go to bar mitzvahs, graduations, weddings, and the hospital for the births of grandchildren — together.

Divorce is hard on two people who married each other and now have to undo everything, including things like their real estate, bank accounts, student loans and credit cards. Once they separate, they have to continue to live separately which means often times the same income now pays for two standards of living in separate households. For parents, however, the financial issues are not always the hardest part. At least, marital property and debt can be divided and you can figure out how much support needs to be paid so both you and your ex-spouse are financially capable of moving forward. The goal for attorneys representing their non-parent divorce clients, is to separate their marital estate and allow them to become individuals again, perhaps with the only tie between the two being a monthly support payment.Divorce Part 2

Financial issues aside, and, yes, they can be very difficult, for our clients who are parents, issues about how life will be for their children after divorce are often the most difficult and daunting. There is no family law attorney or judge who can completely separate you from each other unless one parent has lost his parental rights, which very rarely occurs since the right to parent is a constitutional right. For the vast majority of our clients who are parents, they will continue to co-parent after divorce. Our legal system determines “custody” but I hope you and your spouse, if you are going through divorce, will determine how you will co-parent in the most healthy way possible. If so, you will set a great example for your children. Read More →

March 23, 2017

Smarty Summer Day Camp 2017: Providence Day School – Accio Fun!

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By Diane Sutton, Director of Summer Programs, Providence Day School

My daughter is part of the “Harry Potter generation,” and she absolutely devoured the books throughout her school years. Attending her first Harry Potter camp through Providence Day’s Summer Programs was truly magical for her. Fifteen years later, she still recalls the experience with delight. The next generation of Muggles can also enjoy the magic and wonder of Hogwarts as Providence Day continues to bring the world of Harry, Ron and Hermione to life as part of a summer’s worth of fun and adventure!

Not a Potter fan? There are so many other wonderful ways your children can spend their summer at PD. Miss Ava the Science Lady will have your budding scientist getting messy with Ooze, Glop, & Slime…..or creating beautiful artwork as they learn about light and color in Nature’s Art. Your young animal-lover can get close to real wild animals in Wildlife Wonders, or learn about the differences between domestic and farm animals in Pet Pals. Gamers can create their own Minecraft® server or design their own 3D game. Techies can take home their own drone in Miss Ava’s Innovators and Inventors.

Summer Camp and Freedom SchoolPDS 2016 06 29

Read More →

March 21, 2017

Smarty Summer Day Camp 2017: Palisades Episcopal Summer Camp

By Smarty Guest Blogger Amie Berryhill, Palisades Episcopal School Summer Camp Director

Palisades Episcopal School Summer Programs are all about nurturing the mind, body and spirit of our campers!

Our staff of trained teachers will build up their minds and help children avoid the “summer slide” through daily math games, reading time and educational field trips. Campers will visit the public library each week to check out books related to the camp themes. We will travel to a variety of museums and planetariums! Older campers will learn the importance of strategy and financial responsibility through Connect Four and Monopoly tournaments!

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March 20, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Signature Pediatrics: Starting Solid Foods (or What in the World am I Supposed to Feed My Baby?!)

By our Smarty friends at Signature Pediatrics

Rice cereal, egg white vs yolks, gluten, dairy, peanut butter, “baby-led weaning”— controversies and changes in feeding recommendations over the past few years have caused some confusion over the best way to start solid foods in infants. Let’s start by saying we all agree that babies need to be fed! It’s the what and when that seems to be ever-changing.

Photo cred:

Photo cred:

A brief review of feeding practices in the past century reveals that in the early 1900’s many infants weren’t fed solid foods until almost a year of age, and green vegetables were sometimes not introduced until age 3! In the 1930’s 4-6 months of age was recommended for starting baby food, and by the mid 1960’s the age of solid food introduction had steadily decreased to the point that 80 % of infants had already started cereal by 1 month of age.

So, what are the most current recommendations?

They are relatively straightforward and simple, and unlike many things these days the “rules” have even relaxed a bit!

Timing: Solid foods should be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age.

Breast milk or formula alone provides sufficient nutrition for most infants until 4-6 months of age. It takes until about 4 months of age for the intestinal and kidney systems to mature enough to process other foods, and by this age most infants have developed the skills to accept and swallow a food. Read More →

March 17, 2017

Smarty Summer Day Camp 2017: Charlotte Country Day

Are you ready for a GREAT summer? Sign up for Summer Programs at Country Day! With more than 200 creative classes and challenging sports camps, our Summer Programs are designed for children as young as three-years-old to those who will be seniors in high school. Whether you’re looking to expand your skills or make new friends, Country Day has the camp for you!

5 things we love about Country Day’s Summer Programs

1. There is something for everyone! 200 different themed camps offered for ages 3–18. There is a wide variety of traditional and specialized camps, such as art, drama, cooking, video game development, robotics, science, and more.CCDS Summer Camp 2016 - 159 Final

2. They fit your schedule! Half-day and full-day, morning, and afternoon camp options from 7 am to 6 pm all summer long.

3. Teachers and staff who care! Wonderful teachers and staff who have expertise and passion in their camp areas.

4. Hone your academic skills! We’re excited to introduce the Summer Institute, which offers high school students a variety of unique, weeklong academic enrichment experiences in support of specific skill development and student curiosity. Best of all, each weeklong institute is thoughtfully designed and taught by some of the most beloved Country Day teachers. Read More →

March 14, 2017

From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Spring Forward with Your Library Card

Spring Forward Top Image

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Though spring isn’t yet officially here, the signs of its imminent arrival are all around us in the colorful form of yellow daffodil blooms and pink flowering trees. Springtime can be a great time for growth and new beginnings. The sun is out, the birds are singing and it’s time to launch exciting things!
Here are a few ways to spring forward, and how your Library can help.

1. Take it from us – these books helped.

Certain books find their way into our lives and make a lasting impact. This is as true for people who work in libraries as it is for anyone else, so we asked Charlotte Mecklenburg Library staff to share a personal story of a book that helped them in some way. The stories we received were touching, funny and inspirational. Maybe they will inspire you too! Read More →

March 13, 2017

Smarty Summer Day Camp 2017: Charlotte Christian

Charlotte Christian Summer Camp Pic 1 - Community Cares Service Camp
It’s time to plan some summer fun! Charlotte Christian School has hosted outstanding summer camps for more than ten years and this season’s line-up promises lots of new adventures in academics, arts, sports, and technology. Opportunities include more than 50 ways for your child to explore new ideas like film production or drone technology or further develop a special passion like football, cooking, or LEGO Robotics.

Charlotte Christian Summer Camp Pic 2 - Baseball Camp Read More →

March 7, 2017

Smarty Tips for Divorce Part 1: Divorce Primer

CSP Team Note: This is the first in a three-part series written by Rebecca Wofford, a family law attorney and partner at Wofford Law, PLCC to help our readers navigate the divorce process. Rebecca is also founder of The Lunch Project – see her most recent Smarty Mom profile here and her first profile here – she was also 2014 Smarty Mom of the Year!). Nobody wants to go through this, but when this is the best option for you, we’re hoping this series of blog posts will be helpful to you.

When a marriage breaks down, what do you do? This is something we have trouble talking about in our polite society. Even when surrounded by a group of mom friends — our tribe who normally lets their hair down and shares the “real” stuff — the mention of divorce can quiet the room and cause our most down-to-earth friends to look around the room nervously and then change the subject. Yet, we all have friends who have gone through this process. One-on-one, we have held their hands, looked them in the eye and told them it will be o.k. when we have no idea if this is true and then we worry and hope that it will all work out. Or, that they will stop talking about their divorce simply because we don’t know what to say. So, our friends going through divorce are left to consult with other people who have gone through the process and, unfortunately, they hear a lot of horror stories about how awful the legal system treats people, how attorneys don’t really care about what is going on in their lives and how life will never be the same now that they are going through divorce.image1

Here’s the thing — life will change, and divorce is hard, but it does not mean that change cannot be a blessing if this change is meant to be. It is time we start talking about the things we fear the most and resolve to become educated so we can make the best decisions we can for our families. It is also time we understand the hard stuff so we can support our mom friends going through divorce. This is why I decided to write about this. There is a lot of misinformation about divorce and, although it is one of the hardest things people go through, it can have a positive outcome. You and your ex-spouse can continue to co-parent successfully although you now have a legal document that says you are no longer wife and husband. Read More →

March 6, 2017

Top Ten Reasons to Volunteer with The First Tee of Greater Charlotte

By Smarty Guest Blogger Aly Bridwell, The First Tee of Greater Charlotte

1. It increases your personal health

1When you volunteer, you are focusing your attention on others, and not on yourself. Perhaps you have a lot going on in your life at the moment…or perhaps a recent college graduate…or maybe you just need a break from your day job. Whatever the reason may be, volunteering is a great way to free your mind, and relax. Especially when you get to hang out with the amazing kids at The First Tee of Greater Charlotte!

2. You learn something new

2So you want to be a volunteer with The First Tee of Greater Charlotte-but you don’t think you can because you have never played golf-let alone coached anyone in golf-before. That is okay! At The First Tee of Greater Charlotte, we take volunteers of all skill levels. Rest assured, our volunteers come from a variety of different backgrounds and skill levels. Prior to the start of each season, Volunteer Orientations and Trainings are offered where you will learn all the necessary skills needed to assist with classes. While you are teaching the participants new skills-you could be learning new skills yourself. Read More →

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