Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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August 21, 2017

Where were you during the eclipse of 2017?

That is a question that our children will think back to for the rest of their lives! Many Charlotteans will be witnessing the solar eclipse very close to the path of totality. For those of you who are planners and total eclipse enthusiasts, you have had your hotel booked within the path of totality for months, even years. For those who are a little late to the game, perhaps you’re waking your kids up early for a road trip into the path of totality. Nonetheless, Charlotte is abuzz with eclipse excitement. FullSizeRender

I have had some people ask me why I am so excited by a minute of activity (in my book the eclipse should definitely be considered more than a minute of activity). My kids even looked at me a little puzzled when I asked them to block their calendars and told them they had to view the eclipse with our family. Without going into scientific details or perhaps spiritual frames of reference, I shot my replies from the hip. Here are my top reasons as to why we must witness the eclipse: Read More →

August 12, 2017

Smarty Mom: Tiffani Jones

tiffani jones march of dimes
So if you love babies like we Smarty Moms do, you are most definitely going to want to step into the life of Dr. Tiffani Jones for at least a day. Tiffani delivers babies in Charlotte while gracefully living a full and meaningful life. Tiffani’s smile is contagious and if you ever find yourself in conversation with her, you will find she is also magnetic. If her positivity and passion isn’t evident yet, then look no further than her caring and selfless children. I just love this family and know you will too!

Smarty Mom: Tiffani Jones

Married to: Thaddeus Jones
Kids: Gavyn (8) and Greyson (4)
Occupation: Obstetrician/Gynecologist
Alma Mater: Meharry Medical College
Originally From: Pontiac, Michigan
What part of Charlotte do you call home? Eastover

Delivering babies must be so rewarding and challenging at the same time. What’s it like bringing a baby into the world?

I was once told that things are always better when you don’t make it about you. That is how I look at delivery. While different for cesarean deliveries, for most deliveries I consider myself a guide. I take my medical knowledge, the desires of the mother, and the status of the baby/pregnancy to help guide her decisions about what to do and get their babies safely from their uterus to their arms. It is an honor to witness the joy and happiness of childbirth. Read More →

August 7, 2017

It’s August and that S word is on the tips of our tongues

I try not to throw that word that starts with an S around too much, you know, that word that denotes a more rigid schedule, lost freedoms, early mornings, papers, projects, tests, and maybe late nights. Can you hear that? Is that the sound of your own cry resonating from the bowels of your own childhood? Or is it the sound of your highlighter excitedly marking the new school year calendar?IMG_9274

I have one child who just doesn’t participate in any S conversations – said child is on the fence from what I can gather. I don’t press the conversation; I know what thoughts and emotions linger in the space between us. It’s about to be a transition year, a release into new wilderness. Too much mention of S only brings in the clouds for the rest of summer. It’s as if I have the power to control the weather with my choice of words – and I want the sun to keep shining.

On the other hand, I have one child who hounds me to go school supply shopping at least every other day. I find screenshots and written lists around the house of back-to-school essentials. Said child makes MY stomach turn. “Shhh…we have plenty of time,” I whisper as I push her words away for the time being. It’s too much confrontation. And it’s not like the last school supplies are going to be swept off shelves like bread before a snowstorm anytime soon. Read More →

July 24, 2017

Remembering summer boredom

As a kid you told yourself that you would never ever compare your childhood to your own child’s when the time called for motivational conversation. As your mom or dad began the dreaded statement, “When I was a kid…” upon seeing you move about the house aimlessly in the summer, your eyes rolled to the back of your head. When the perceived eyeroll was caught by that superior parental peripheral vision, you complained of something in your eye that was making you look up and then spent the next few minutes looking up at the ceiling while rubbing your eye. The wrong eye. Conversation turned one sided for a few moments as you studied the imperfections in the ceiling that you never noticed before – before the summer, before the eyeroll – while your mom or dad spewed out ideas. Something about a dust cloth, weeding, getting dressed…boredome curiosity

You then checked in with Boredom who was saddled up next to you at the kitchen table who was shaking her head “no” after your dad got to the word “encyclopedia” and something about learning. Boredom was a relentless friend who you wanted to unfriend but instead allowed to degrade your behavior down to silly noises, eating from the sugar bowl, looking for split ends, sitting in contorted ways (I guess you could get away with calling it yoga these days), studying back-to-school fliers while making yourself sick, and then back to looking at the imperfections in the ceiling and noticing that an array of bumps actually looked like a face. Your parents seemed to have a million terrible ideas on how to rid yourself of Boredom (dusting and weeding was supposed to make Boredom unfriend you). “I would never say that to my kid!” circulated throughout your stagnant grey matter.

Ultimately, most of us split up with boredom decades ago. Well the relationship just kind of slipped away without much to-do. A free moment became hard to find and you weren’t even sure what color your own ceiling was…that is until you had kids and mashed peas ended up on splattered on the ceiling – a ceiling that could use a coat of paint one Saturday when there was nothing else to do. Hundreds and even thousands of Saturdays then raced by and you finally called a painter because there was no free time to be had. You found yourself wishing for Boredom who seemed to now be a privileged friend. Read More →

July 10, 2017

Smarty Summer Butterfly Project

If you’re looking for an easy, fun (and no mess) summer project to inspire wonderment in your children, then you definitely should check out the butterfly project we just completed. And you might be surprised by the childlike excitement that you too will experience.

We ordered painted lady butterfly caterpillars from Carolina.com and within a week, six little guys arrived in a small plastic covered cup containing all the food they would need to make their transformation. I found it amusing that the website Carolina.com takes one to a website dedicated to insects and educational items and not the Panthers, Tar Heels, or Gamecocks. Who knew!

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The caterpillars were not very active upon arrival and were less than one inch in size. Within a day or two, they started feeding while leaving small web trails. They were like toddlers practicing walking. And if you think your kids grow quickly, watching caterpillars grow is like watching the world through a time lapse lense. Read More →

June 26, 2017

Bunny story: part two

A couple weeks ago, I shared a story about our bunny Andie, specifically why we rehomed her and what we all learned from that chapter in our lives. Our daughter took it the hardest, ultimately blaming herself for not stepping up to the responsibility of pet ownership. We had many conversations about the lessons that surfaced, lessons that I knew would not remain on the surface but would ingrain into them.IMG_7804

We had no idea exactly how profound the bunny experience was for our daughter. After tears dried and life shuffled us all into next chapters, unbeknownst to us, Addie kept going back to reread those painful pages over and over. Behind closed doors, she was working on how to make a wrong a right. She needed redemption. And she missed her fuzzy friend.

For six months, Addie researched hamsters: the different types; necessary care; food; toys; cage requirements; handling requirements; and costs. She filled the pages of a one-inch binder, complete with tabs to delineate all hamster categories. She watched hours of educational videos, read blogs, and studied websites. We had no idea until she presented us with a letter and a YouTube video to show us why she was ready to take on the responsibility of pet ownership all on her own – she even saved up enough money pay for everything. Read More →

June 17, 2017

Smarty Mom: Amelia Abbott

Smarties, meet Amelia Abbott, a woman effecting change in the Charlotte community. When Amelia sees a need for volunteerism, awareness, compassion, and advocacy, she doesn’t just join the ride, she helps create the movement by mobilizing others through Do Good Charlotte. Her passion breeds action that directly affects our neighbors, causes, and organizations right here. I am grateful to have women like Amelia and the other founders of Do Good Charlotte in our city, helping to create better worlds for all of our children! unnamed-8

Enjoy getting to know one of our Smarty neighbors and consider joining Amelia on her mission to make Charlotte an even greater city!

Smarty Mom: Amelia Abbott

From? Bronxville, NY, a small suburb outside New York City.
Years in Charlotte? 13 years
Children? I have two fantastic kids – Wilson, age 9 and Jorie, age 6.
Alma Mater? Randolph Macon College in Ashland, VA.
Former career? Before moving here I worked in political fundraising in Washington, DC, and then did event marketing/sales here in Charlotte.

We want to know more about Do Good Charlotte! Can you share?

Do Good CLT is a group of women, mobilizing locally, to propel positive systemic change through community-building, volunteering and advocacy. We currently focus our efforts in the areas of women’s rights, education, immigration and racial reconciliation. Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations actively working in these areas, we seek first to listen and learn, and second, to identify volunteer engagement opportunities for our members. Through these relationships, we strive to form meaningful connections across the lines of race, class and status. In addition to volunteerism, Do Good CLT supports educational, community-building initiatives through participation in cultural events, facilitating panel discussions at our general membership meetings, hosting a Do Good CLT book club, and meeting with city leaders on relevant issues. Read More →

June 5, 2017

How a rabbit taught our family lessons

If you follow my posts, you know I write from the heart. When I first started writing for Charlotte Smarty Pants, I have to say, it felt a little uncomfortable. Why? One word: vulnerability. Once I post, I know I am potentially opening myself up to judgement.Andie

I have a story to share involving a parenting decision that has received applause and scorn at the same time – it’s a story that I haven’t shared with many because quite honestly, it makes me feel vulnerable, and it still has the potential to unsettle me. Here is the story of Andie:

Andie was a miniature Netherland dwarf rabbit, our pet of two years. Her runt size made her the smallest of the dwarfs and allowed her to live inside, in a cage, in our sunroom. Andie was ridiculously cute. Seriously. And debunking all rabbit truths, she never bit a single person, never chewed a single item, and even loved hanging out with our dogs. Andie possessed all rabbit perfectionisms. But we were not perfect for her. Read More →

May 16, 2017

How will your future chapters read?

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day was filled with loving gestures and special moments. Yes, being a mom is one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences, so we all appreciate the recognition and sentiments. And keeping in line with true mothering fashion, the day is never 100% about us. It trickles down to our kids too, as we reward them with many hugs and kisses for their carefully written out thoughts and creations. Hallmark may be making a mint but in the end, we are the ones who are truly richer. Mother’s Day makes us all slow down and pause – one of my favorite places to go.images-1

But what happens outside of being a mom? Recently, I have found myself in the same conversation with many women who all seem to be in a similar place: their children are growing increasingly independent, leaving them with more time for self reflection. No longer are we defined solely by motherhood. We can and do aspire to contribute to our own self development and set our sights on future chapters. Read More →

May 1, 2017

Presbyopia and a light-hearted look at phone addiction

The other day I found myself in deep thought about a light subject: my phone. Lately I have been more aware of my phone usage since my 40-something year old eyes are starting to bark at me. After I ignore them all day, they send in the headache to do the heavy work, to really drive home the message: either I am on my phone/computer too much, the blue light is really effecting me (hello insomnia), and/or I need reading glasses. This launched into a one and a half hour eyewear search while my daughter was at field hockey practice. Searching for reading glasses/anti-blue light glasses on my phone was not the brightest idea; when I finally looked up, my eyes felt like they had been pulled, twisted, and dried out. The irony is uncanny. Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 6.11.00 PM

Later that evening, after showing my husband his high school reunion page on Facebook (he isn’t on it but spent the next hour exploring through my account), I started to think about all the time I potentially have spent on my phone. While I don’t consider myself a heavy user of my phone (denial?), I admit I am on it more than I should be. If I added up all the hours over my lifetime, would it all add up to thousands of hours or even worse, several years? According to research, women spend up to two years of their life applying makeup/getting ready. I know I spend more time on my phone than I do in the bathroom mirror (insert wide-eyed emoji here).

I also realize the progression of this article is like the first bullet point below: not only have the need for reading glasses ensued from my (potentially) excessive phone usage, but the “H” used to be lowercase in my ADhD; now my brain bounces like it’s a party up there 24/7. Read More →


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