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Introducing a partnership that’s music to a parent’s ears. Primrose School of Lake Wylie

Primrose School at Park Crossing



Primrose School of Cornelius

Primrose School at Austin Village



Five Star Accredited Schools

Proprietary Balanced Learning curriculum ®

Primrose School of Lake Norman

704.658.0460 Primrose School at Afton Village

704.788.8860 Primrose School at Eastfield Village


Ongoing customized student assessment

Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools, Balanced Learning, and The Leader in Educational Child Care are trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2011 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved.

IMAGINE CREATE INSPIRE SAVE LEARN Belgard Gardens | Outdoor Living | Green Market | Decorative Arts & Crafts | Interiors | Kitchen & Bath Building & Home Improvement | Living Green | Taste & Travel | Marketplace Shopping

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contents 8


departments Products to Please . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Sweet gifts for any reason.

features Madagascar comes to SC . . . . . . . . . . . .8 A new exhibit causes some buzz!

Teach the Gift of Giving . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Create a culture of selflessness.

By Leslie Petruk, MA, LPC, NCC

Spring fashion trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Warm weather is on the way! DJ Dad: Matt Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Raising free range kids ... without terrifying them.

Carolina Cuties! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 We love all these sweet faces!

Time for Mom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Find time for yourself, you will be glad you did.

By Renee Roberson Where's the Party? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Themes, ideas and pictures, ready for fun!

By Renee Roberson 10 Things About Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Who knew? Now you do!

Successful Slumber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38


Tips to keep new parents sane.

By Kristin Daley, Ph.D Heart-Healthy Mom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Guidelines to cardiac health for women.


By Jessica Poe Dental Anxiety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Make your child's next visit stress free.

By Laxer Long Savage Master Drop-In Child Care . . . . . . . . . . .44 Teach your kids to love the gym.

By Liz DeFreitas Consignment! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 How, when and where!

Brunswick Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 The beauty of the North Carolina Beaches.

By Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority

4 | for local moms ... by local moms

cover: Zoe is a sweet, 4-year-old little girl who loves climbing on the monkey bars, swinging, and ballet dancing. When she's not harassing her little brother, she dreams of becoming a firefighter. Photo by Becca Bond Photography

It’s no wonder Baxter feels homegrown. It was built on family land, with deep roots in Fort Mill that go back for generations. Its inspiration came from America’s small town past. Evidence of this is found everywhere in Baxter; a Village Green, a YMCA, parks, trails, festivals galore, and a Town Center filled with friendly local merchants. Baxter even has an elementary school and public library right in the neighborhood. But it’s the spirit of Baxter and our strong sense of community that make Baxter a real hometown. Make it yours. Visit us today; in person or online. SAUSSY BURBANK HOMES • EVANS COGHILL HOMES • DAVID WEEKLEY HOMES • MILLER CLASSIC HOMES • THE CUSTOM BUILDER OF YOUR CHOICE*

Classic Homes from the $300’s • Custom Homes from the $450’s • Homesites from the $110’s


New Homes in Fort Mill • Toll-Free at 877-570-HOME

%0., renee & kerrie Photo by Photography by Chanda

Volume 7: Issue 29 Co-Publisher

Sharon Simpson I suppose I should start this month’s letter with an introduction. My name is Renee Roberson and I’m the proud mother of two sweet and energetic children – Mia, age 8, and Noah, age 6. We’ve lived in Huntersville for the past eight years, and during that time, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of local publications. I’ve been reading Little Ones from the very first issue and am so excited to now be working with such a fantastic publication, especially now that we’ll be publishing six times a year. This month is our annual party issue, and believe me when I tell you how much the parties we’re featuring in this issue have blown me away. I have to confess that party planning has never been a great skill of mine, mostly because trying to coordinate every last detail can be overwhelming. Party trends are constantly evolving, and even though I’m not a party planner at heart, I enjoyed learning about the five fun party themes featured in our special party section. I love my children, and I really wish I had the ability to pull together a bash even remotely close to any of these, all on my own. However, for this reason, I am extremely thankful for the numerous party places around the Charlotte area that do all the work for you, from providing the locale, goody bag items, activities and refreshments. We’ve included a great list of them in our “Where’s the Party?” section. Although it’s hard to believe, summer will be here before we know it, and registration is now open for the majority of summer camp programs (day and sleepaway). I used to think that day camps weren’t necessarily something my kids needed during the summer break (didn’t they want to sleep in and take it easy instead?) but after hearing the choruses of “We’re bored!” within the first few days of school ending, I’ve changed my mind. My kids love going to camps, and when we space them out throughout the summer and give them a variety of programs to enjoy, they get the enrichment and socialization they’re craving and I get a little time to myself. If getting time to yourself seems like a foreign concept, this issue includes some tips on how to take a break without sacrificing family or work time. It’s also good for your heart, too! As the weather turns warmer, freshen up the kids’ wardrobes by hitting up all the upcoming area consignment sales featured in our special shopping section and plan a spring break trip to the North Carolina Brunswick Islands. We’ve got all the information you need to help you with your planning and more, and I can’t wait to share it with you.


6 | for local moms ... by local moms

Co-Publisher/Creative Director

Kerrie Boys Editor

Renee Roberson Sales Manager

Terri Johnson Sales Executives

Beth Packard Cindy Gleason Carole Lambert Kim Morton Trisha Robinson Staff Photographer

Photography by Chanda Social Media

Kiran Dodeja Smith Contributing Writers Leslie Petruk MA, LPC, NCC Arden McLaughlin Matt Harris Liz DeFreitas Jessica Poe Kristin Daley, Ph.D

• • • • • • • • Contact Us: p: 704.677.9159 f: 1.888.887.1431 P.O. Box 1676 Cornelius, NC 28031 Copyright 2012 by MediaAdventure, LLC Little Ones Magazine is published four times per year. Little Ones Magazine cannot assume responsibility of statements made by advertisers. In addition, though editorial pieces are heavily researched, Little Ones Magazine cannot guarantee their accuracy. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without express written permission from the publisher.

800-852-9506 |

Downtown Shops. Boutiques. Outlets.

Ski. Snowboard.Tube. Ice Skate. Hike.

BOONE, NC | for local moms ... by local moms


New Exhibit Brings the Magic of Madagascar to South Carolina s the cold weather begins to fade away and spring begins to bloom, there is one topic that keeps surfacing in everyone’s minds — spring break. If a faraway tropical beach is not in the plans for you and the little ones, a perfect adventure is just down the road. Pack the car, bring the smiles and head to Charleston to the South Carolina Aquarium. The #1 family attraction in Charleston, the South Carolina Aquarium offers interactive excitement and value for visitors of all ages. Guests can take part in interactive dive shows, get their hands wet at the Touch Tank featuring Atlantic stingrays, spot sharks and a loggerhead sea turtle in the 385,000gallon Great Ocean Tank and get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the extraordinary care that is provided to rescued sea turtles in the Sea Turtle Hospital. This spring is a perfect time to visit as the Aquarium is opening a brand-new exotic exhibit, Madagascar Journey. 8

Madagascar Journey will be the largest changing exhibit since the Aquarium opened in 2000. The new exhibit transforms 20 percent of the Aquarium’s exhibit floor space to a world far beyond our shores, allowing guests to connect with and observe animal and plant species unseen before in South Carolina. Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world. Unequalled in its rich biodiversity, Madagascar has become one of the world’s top conservation priorities. Featuring a diverse terrain from rainforests to spiny deserts, Madagascar is home to more endemic species of plants and animals than anywhere else in the world. The most commonly known are lemurs, but Madagascar is also the world center for chameleons, and the sole home to five families of birds and nine families of plants. | for local moms ... by local moms

In the Aquarium’s exhibit guests will have the opportunity to embark on their own Madagascar Journey. Stamped passport, mesh safari hat, and little sister in hand, visitors will travel through the planet’s richest landscape, exploring Madagascar’s sundry environment, wild species, vibrant flora, and natural secrets. Guests of all ages will delight as they come face to face with lemurs, eye to eye with chameleons and nose to nose with some of the world’s most colorful fish. Visitors will see species such as the panther chameleon, mantella frog, northern spider tortoise, vassa parrot, giant hognose snake and of course, the famous ring-tailed lemur. Additionally, guests can visit the Travel Postcard Stand, Lemur Interpretation Station, Interactive Baobab Tree and Toddler Mini-gascar Play Area. So surprise the kids, grab your camera, perhaps an overnight bag, and hit the road to Charleston. It will feel like you’ve traveled to a whole new world and back in a day.

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Discover Your Library

By Arden McLaughlin of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Some of my best lessons for treating other people with kindness and respect happened around Valentine’s Day and parties that my family hosted. Often times our children’s minds don’t grasp the ramifications of their actions and it’s up to the adults in their lives to teach them how to be kind. However, that’s much easier said than done because our little ones can’t always put themselves in someone else’s position and feel what he or she feels. That’s why I love finding books that teach lessons. I have included a few in this month’s Book Corner to get you started. And I wanted us to have a little fun with our reading so there’s plenty of love and partying in each book you’ll see. Check these out from your local library or purchase them at your favorite book store. Remember to spend time each day reading with the smallest members of your family. Their minds will benefit from time spent reading while their hearts dance over time spent with you. If you’re in need of other book ideas, parents and caregivers can go to the web site and can click on “Kids” to find the link to our “Bookhive” children’s reading recommendation site that lets parents search hundreds of children's book reviews (ages birth-12 years) by title, author, reading level, interest category, and number of pages. Zinger the Bee is your friendly guide to this site, and he offers librarian-recommended reading lists called “Zinger’s Top Picks” which offer parents a selection of books that are age-appropriate, for each stage of reading ability, from babies to older elementary. Love, Splat, by Rob Scotton Do you remember your first crush? Do you remember your first rival? Now, what would happen if your first rival also had a crush on your first crush? That’s one disaster waiting to happen for your little one, so help him understand ways to deal with his feelings by reading this book with him. Poor Splat generally enjoys loads of fish sticks and ice cream, but his love for these pale in comparison to his love for classmate Kitten. He decides he’ll create the best valentine ever for his crush, but his rival Spike also has a similar idea. Read this book with your children and enjoy learning how Splat survives his first crush. Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink, by Diane deGroat Do you have a prankster in your family? Has one of her pranks gotten her into a bit of trouble? Well, Gilbert gets in trouble for a prank he pulls on some classmates that teased him in this tale. Though he creates nice poems for most of his classmates, Gilbert also creates not-so-nice rhymes for a classmate that tweaked his nose and another that teased him about his glasses. Share this story with your children and learn how Gilbert works to resolve his pranks so he stays out of trouble. Let’s Have a Tree Party, by David Martin and John Manders A fun new book hitting libraries and bookstores in March showcases lots of different friends partying together. Your toddler will enjoy watching squirrels play with birds and possums dance with frogs. This party includes food, games, music, and dancing for the characters while mixing in counting and movement for you and 10 | for local moms ... by local moms

Reading to your

young child

most important things

is one of the you can do to prepare your little one for a lifetime of learning. Research tells us that when you read to a young child, you naturally touch on important pre-reading “building blocks” that begin to develop at birth and must be mastered before your child can become a reader.

Your library can help. 9LVLW FPOLEUDU\RUJ WR ¿QG age-appropriate reading recommendations and group story times at library near you.

704.416.0101 your children. Be careful after reading it though … You might have to host your own tree party in your house. Muddypaws & The Birthday Party, by Deborah Chancellor and Simon Mendez Have you had to separate your pets and other family members after a disaster or two? If so, then your little ones will love the relationship between sweet puppy Muddypaws and his owner Ben. They do everything together until the pup’s bad behavior threatens his chance to celebrate Ben’s sixth birthday with his best bud, although poor Muddypaws doesn’t understand what he did wrong. You’ll enjoy this beautifully illustrated and heartwarming story with your early readers as they learn a few lessons about friendship and understanding. Party Animal, by Kathie Lee Gifford Lucy Goosy’s birthday is coming soon and she wants to plan the best party ever. In Kathie Lee Gifford’s new book we read about how Lucy decides she needs to be picky about her guest list, to ensure the festivities will rock. Goat’s too grouchy and Dog barks way too much. Raccoon is messy while Sheep is dumb. Pretty soon Lucy Goosy realizes she needs help with her list and seeks help from Wise Owl. Throughout the story Owl helps Lucy see that each animal’s difference actually makes him or her special. This is a great book for helping young readers understand the importance of respecting others for their differences.


The Premier Preschool in Charlotte, Lake Norman, Matthews & Fort Mill

Watch your child on secure internet connection Ages 6 weeks – 12 years Age Appropriate Curriculum Before & Degreed & Certified Teachers Enrichment Activities After School Open & Spacious Classrooms Programs 6:30a.m. – 6:30p.m.


All Charlotte Locations are 5 Star Schools The Academy at Blakeney 5 STAR Private Kindergarten NAEYC Accredited

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Fort Mill 3009 Highway 160 W Fort Mill, SC 29708 803.802.8977 Off I-77 on Gold Hill Rd. and Hwy 160 near Tega Cay

Matthews 5 STAR 5549 Potter Road Matthews, NC 28104 704.821.2005 1.5 miles S.E. of Siskey YMCA at Chestnut & Potter

University Area 5 STAR 2115 Ben Craig Drive Charlotte, NC 28262 704.503.4001 Located off W.T. Harris Blvd and Mallard Creek Rd.

summer camps for school-aged children! Lake Norman 5 STAR 9620 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 704.655.8883 I-77 N at Exit 25 | for local moms ... by local moms



local school offers


hen Bill Mitchell opened Primrose Schools at Eastfield Village in Huntersville almost seven years ago, he knew the school needed to offer the students much more than academics. They also wanted to make sure they gave the children confidence and the ability to be able to manage themselves well. It was that philosophy that led the school to integrate a service-learning component along with the academic curriculum at the school. Primrose Schools offers educational child care for infants through private pre-kindergarten, as well as after school. The Eastfield Village location currently has 165 children enrolled. They began offering a TK (transitional kindergarten) two years ago, and now have 24 students enrolled in that program specifically. They have opened up a wait list for interested parents. “We don’t just say we have a curriculum,” says Mitchell. “We are diligent that it is delivered every day in class. It is also driven by individual child assessments. Teachers update them daily and weekly. We meet with parents twice a year and send assessments home four times a year.” The school also utilizes the Bracken School Readiness Assessment; an individual cognitive designed for children, as part of every child’s development at the Pre-K and Kindergarten levels. “We do academically extremely well,” says Mitchell. “What it has shown is that Primrose children tend to develop at about one and half times the rate versus non-Primrose children.” Primrose Schools at Eastfield Village has created a program called “Helping Hands” geared toward character development through service learning projects. The school holds four “We try to help service projects each year. Last fall, the the children children participated in become the a food drive. “We ask the children best little to do age–appropriate people they chores at home in order can be ... ” to receive some pocket change,” says Mitchell. After collecting money at home, the children take it into school, where they use it for math counting and sorting lessons in the classroom. The teachers discuss healthy eating with the children and help them create a shopping list. Then the children take a trip to the nearby Lowe’s Foods and purchase food with the money they collect and donate it to a local food bank. Overall, the children earned about $1,250 this year (up from last year’s record of $700), which was enough to buy about 1,200 cans of

{ } 12 | for local moms ... by local moms

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food for Second Harvest Food Bank. In February the school holds a book drive for local nonprofit A Child’s Place and work on collecting pet food for the ASPCA during the summer months. And on May 12, the school will host its annual “Spring Fling Fundraiser,” a carnival held on the campus that includes games, pony rides, a raffle and silent auction. Last year, the school raised $7,000 for Levine’s Children’s Hospital through this event, which typically brings attracts 400500 attendees. “We try to help the children become the best little From left to right: Sean B., Gun nar H., people they can be,” Maya J. and Sydney T. says Mitchell. This past October, the seven Primrose Schools in the Charlotte area announced their five-star ratings awarded by the Division of Child Development (DCD) under the North Carolina Star Rated License system. Primrose School at Afton Village, Primrose School at Austin Village, Primrose School of Cornelius, Primrose School at Eastfield Village, Primrose School of Lake Norman, Primrose School of Lake Wylie at Steele Creek and Primrose School at Park Crossing all earned the highest star level for child care centers in North Carolina. There are several factors that affect whether or not a school can receive a five-star rating, including what kind of equipment and toys are in the classroom, classroom structure, the level of education of the teachers, and the child to teacher ratio. Primrose School’s Balanced Learning® Curriculum blends teacher-directed and child-initiated activities and is consistently delivered in all Primrose Schools nationwide. This exclusive curriculum is standards-based and enables teachers to help children build a foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable them to move successfully from one level of development to the next. It is the first preschool organization in the country to achieve the gold standard in educational accreditation from AdvancED and to require all of its schools to become SACS CASI or NCA CASI accredited. For more information on Primrose Schools at Eastfield Village, call 704.947.3266 or visit

Charlotte Montessori School Inspiring the unlimited potential of the child

Ages 15 months to 6 years School and Extended Day programs Open 7:30am – 5:45 pm, Monday-Friday 12 or 9 month program options available Challenging classroom settings

Montessori education Practical and academic learning environments Enrichment programs in language, arts and music Focus on independence and problem-solving skills

Call now for a tour!

Experienced teachers Montessori-trained teachers Strong parent-teacher relationships

219 East Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28203


Creativity. Laughter. Imagination. All the essentials are here. Kiddie Academy® is NOW OPEN in Charlotte-Blakeney. The Kiddie Academy difference: • Before and after school care provided with transportation • Technology focus: SMART boards and touchscreen computers • Foreign language program featuring Spanish and Mandarin • Secured webcams and keypad entry • Nutritious meals served family style • Convenient Hours Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Register yyour our child b byy receivee 4/01/12 and receiv

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ask the therapist

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By Leslie Petruk, MA, LPC, NCC

ne common concern expressed by parents that I work with is that their children will grow up to be selfish and will not learn the value of giving. They are seeking ways to teach this value as they worry about the “selfishness” exhibited when they see certain behaviors demonstrated in their child. This is a worthy discussion and it is true that children coming out of high school and college these days exhibit more of a sense of entitlement then past generations. Our economic collapse is not the result of a force outside of ourselves, but the doing of people, who were raised by parents, who were taught values around money, honesty and integrity. So, these are core values that you are instilling in your children and are incredibly important to address and consider. The values you teach your children around these core issues will make an impact on their future as well as the future of America. With that said, it is important to consider a child’s behavior in context. It is typical for siblings to scream “mine” when another sibling takes one of their toys or belongings and this is not necessarily an indication of a selfish child, but more likely a typical sibling reaction. Putting a child’s behavior within their developmental context is also important before jumping to the conclusion that you are raising a self-centered and selfish child. Children cannot be expected to understand concepts beyond their developmental ability. For example, I remember when my oldest child was 2 years old and we would go to neighborhood play dates and inevitably a brawl would break out over sharing a toy. Moms would get so upset and lecture their 2-year-old about how they needed to learn to share and they must give the toy back to Johnny because he was playing with it first. Two-year-olds do not understand the concept of sharing, nor should they be expected to. Their brains are not developed enough to understand that concept and their ability to control their impulse to grab that toy out of Suzie’s hand that they though looked really cool and decided they wanted to play with is not even a reasonable expectation. So, asking a child that young to understand the concept of giving is like asking them to perform a complicated algebraic math problem. Their little brains just aren’t ready for that high level concept. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t exhibit giving in your family and model the behavior as a way of being. Children are far more impacted by what we as parents do then what we say. Do you remember any of the longwinded lectures your parents gave you about morals or values they wanted to instill in you (or more importantly, did lecturing you about them really instill the values) or do you remember those morals and values that you witnessed them live out? What we model for our children tends to have a far greater impact when it comes to teaching morals such as giving. As they get older, if it has become part of the family “culture” and is a normal part of how your family operates, it is then a value you have instilled. For school-aged children there are always community projects that you and your family can get involved in. Doing so year round and not just during the 14 | for local moms ... by local moms

holidays is a wonderful way to show your children that there are always others in need, not just during the holiday seasons. Getting involved in projects as a family is also a wonderful way to teach your children about giving and the power of caring for others. Discussing with them how they feel when they give to others and having conversation around the experience is a powerful way to engage your child in the experience and show them the value not only for the people they are giving to but for themselves when they



What we model for our children tends to have a far greater impact when it comes to teaching morals such as giving.

give of themselves. As children get older, having conversations about what it means to give and the value you hold around giving will help instill giving as part of your family culture. It requires being intentional and creating and finding opportunities for your children and family to give. You can find endless creative ways to give and often times children will come up with some of the greatest ideas that parents never would have even thought of. By including your children in the conversation and asking for their ideas and suggestions they will get excited and engaged in the experience and you will see the gift of giving manifest tenfold. Some other suggestions for making giving part of your family “culture:”

I-77 at the Lake (Exit 30)

Open O pen House House Saturday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m

Visit or call 704-237-5229. College Prep: Age 2 through 12th Grade

Make it a regular topic of discussion at the family dinner table by having each family member share one way in which they gave of themselves each day. Pick an annual “giving” project that the whole family will do – maybe one around the holidays and then one in the summer. Have a “giving contest” to see who can give the most (it doesn’t have to be things or money – it can be time, compliments, service, etc.) If your child receives allowance, require him to give 10 percent to your church or a charity. Participate in serving the homeless or at a food bank once a month. Do a family “research project” to find out what needs there are in your community and then choose which of those you want to get involved in and how. Be creative, the possibilities are endless. Leslie Petruk, MA, LPC, NCC, is the director of SteppingStones Counseling & Consulting of Charlotte ( and a mother of three. | for local moms ... by local moms



Tips to make more time for your interests, hobbies and physical health

.301$+% Compiled by Renee Roberson

ebruary is a month dedicated to romance and spending time with your significant other, but why not aim to also make more time for yourself this month and every month after? Today’s moms are constantly pulled in many different directions, assisting kids with homework, meal planning and grocery shopping, volunteering, working and shuttling children back and forth to activities. This doesn’t even include trying to find quality time with your husband. It’s can be hard to let go and make time for yourself when there is a pile of laundry to be folded or school project to supervise. The key to finding time for you is to look at the bigger picture. Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of spending a whole day away from your family at the spa (although who wouldn’t love that?) and focus on grabbing time for yourself in small increments. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 1. Grab your favorite beverage and gossip magazine as you are picking up groceries or heading to the afternoon carpool line. If you get into the carpool line early, put your phone down and instead use that time to sip a latte or iced tea and catch up on what’s happening with your favorite celebrities. You’ll feel more refreshed and ready to hear all about your child’s day at school after a small 10-15

16 | for local moms ... by local moms

minute break. Keep a tote bag full of books, magazines or your iPad in the car for this same reason. 2. Trade off with your spouse. Taking a mere one hour here and there in the evenings can do wonders for your mindset. Arrange dates on your family calendar that allow both you and your significant other time to decompress. Slip off to your favorite bookstore to browse through the latest titles and let him be in charge of putting the kids to bed one night a week. Use that time to take an evening yoga class if you prefer. Return the favor for him so he can join his friends for a basketball game or bite to eat. Everyone in your household will be much happier in the long run. 3. Trying to fit in weekly activities with your friends can be almost impossible with scheduling conflicts and family/school/work obligations. Set a more realistic goal of meeting a girlfriend once a month for coffee, dinner or a movie. Put it on your calendar so you don’t forget. You’d be amazed at what a little girl time can do for your psyche. Fitting in time for yourself will seem much more manageable if you don’t bog yourself down with the little details. Take time to cultivate an interest, such as photography or sewing. Or join a book club that meets once a month. You’ll be so glad you did.


s e i t r a P y a d Birth

We Love

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Planning a birthday party can be more than just a little intimidating, particularly when you walk into a store and find yourself inundated with large character balloons, Curious George paper plates and napkins and party favors of every shape and size. Sometimes, thinking outside the box can be just as fun and make for a more creative and unique party theme. With the popularity of sites such as Pinterest, researching ideas is a snap. Online shops such as Etsy can help you find decorations and favors if you want to avoid the store-bought route. Check out these themes and ideas that we love and find inspiration for your next party, whether it’s a birthday party or baby shower for the newest member of a family. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• | for local moms ... by local moms



Lake Norman Dance Gallery/Little Flippers

Where’s the Party? Celebrate your child’s next birthday with dancing, art, nature, glamour and more!

Charlotte Aquatics No worries on the weather – the temperature is always perfect in the water at Charlotte Aquatics. And what child doesn’t love a pool party? The chlorine-free pool can be yours for the afternoon for your child to host his friends where they can swim to their hearts’ content. Your private party will include full reign of the pool along with lifeguards to ensure safety; customize your day by bringing your own food and drinks, sweets and treats. Call 704.341.9673 or visit

Charlotte Nature Museum It’s where birthday parties are wild by nature! Customize your experience or choose from one of the packages set to engage your 3- to 7-year old. Included in all packages: museum admission, the birthday cake, refreshments, favors, an expert host and all the cleanup! The best part is celebrating in a location that’s loved by little ones. Visit parties/ or call 704.372.6261 x300 to find out more.

Looking for a Looking great place place to to great your child’ ’s host your child’s birthday pa rty? birthday party?

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Together, the Lake Norman Dance Gallery and Little Flippers Tumbling & Gymnastics will provide your child with an amazing birthday party experience. Even the most energetic partygoers will flip for a variety of party options, including the 90-minute Dance Party (ballet, hip hop or funk) or Tumbling & Gymnastics Party (complete with an obstacle course in the tumbling room). For even more excitement, choose the two-hour Combo Party that includes both dance instruction and 45 minutes in the tumbling room. Visit or call 704.677.5217 or 704.662.0699 for more info.

Miller Street Dance Academy Calling all beautiful ballerinas, dancing divas and tumbling tots! Miller Street offers birthday packages for children ages 3 & up. Get ready to dance, tumble and play games in the studio, where your child will dance to her heart’s delight — and you won’t have to worry about setup or cleanup. Favors, plates, napkins and utensils are also included. Find out more by visiting or by calling 704.889.TOES (Providence location) or 803.396.JAZZ (Baxter location).

Noah’s Art From the inexperienced artist to the preschool Picasso, try Noah’s Art, a children’s art studio with two locations in the Charlotte area. Choose from themed parties in which children make several crafts/projects that coincide with the theme (Pirates, Princess, Jungle, Outer Space, Dogs and Cats and more!). Send out your own invitations, bring a cake and juice . . . Noah’s Art will do the rest. Visit or call 704.542.2388 or 704.521.6657 for more info.

NC Transportation Museum All aboard! The NC Transportation Museum’s Birthday Caboose is a unique way to celebrate your child’s birthday. Two cabooses are available for rental most Saturdays from January through November. Bring your own prepared food or have pizzas delivered; coolers and decorations are welcome on board. Kids of all ages will delight in the train ride around the museum property; they’ll have the time (and ride!) of their life. Visit or call 704.636.2889 x232.

Northcross Bowling Lanes Your littlest bowlers will have a blast at Northcross Lanes whether they choose to lace up their bowling shoes or participate in a high-energy game of laser tag. All parties are reserved for two hours and include five game room tokens per child, bowling shoes, a free game pass for each child to be used on a return visit, unlimited beverages during pizza and cake time and more. Choose from three different party packages; all parties include your own personal party hostess. Visit or call 704.892.7177 for more info.

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continued on page 22

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Cupcakes are great for parties! Make your party special with our great selection of flavors as well as our custom displays.


Consider creating a baby shower theme around classic nursery rhymes such as “Humpty Dumpty” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Look for decorative fabrics and paper products in classic vintage designs, and use details from the story in your invitation and food selection. There are many fun things you could do with this theme, including a “Sleeping Beauty” sleepover or “Gingerbread Man” cookie party.

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•••••••••••••••••••••••• Cupcakes are all the rage, and they’re not going to lose popularity anytime soon. Use cupcakes as your design palette, including invitations and labels. You can even decorate with cupcake liners by making a banner out of them. Decorate cupcakes from a topping bar as an activity. This theme can be customized with colors and toppings to work for either a girl or boy party.

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•••••••••••••••••••••• Building a birthday party around the season your child was born in also makes it easy to mix and match décor and party favors. Use nature as the backdrop for your decorations. Decorate with snowflakes and serve hot chocolate for a winter party. Use pastel colors to decorate a spring-themed party and use cookie cutters to bake sugar cookies in the shapes of bunnies, flowers, butterflies and birds. Have a bug or insectthemed party for summer. Make leaf collages or carve pumpkins for a fall party.

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Another fun and versatile theme is the “tiny” birthday party. This can be used for baby showers, baby’s first birthday or even preschool or elementary-age children’s parties. With this party, everything can be miniaturized, from the decorations to the invitations to the tiny cupcakes or cake pops and other party foods. It’s even easy to find small party favors, such as mini markers and activity pads, stickers, crackers, candy and bouncy balls.

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704.895.5800 20017 North Main St. • Cornelius, NC 28031

••••••••••••••••••••• Superheroes never go out of style. What boy (or girl) doesn’t love a Superhero? Instead of centering the party around one character, change it up by inviting each guest to come dressed as his or her favorite superhero. Use brightly colored decorations and design the invitation to look like a mini comic book, and use kid-friendly comics to make placemats for each guest. Make superhero-shaped sandwiches, have a “spiderweb” fight with Silly String and play “Pass the Kryptonite.” Hand out capes as party favors.

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By Renee Roberson Photos by Leigh Anne Wright

'$ (//+$ %%$"2 How a purpose party inspired one local family to keep giving

Like many parents, Charlotte mom Leigh Anne Wright worries about the effect consumerism has on her three children, particularly when it comes to expectations from birthday parties. So when her husband Brian came home one day and shared what he had learned about the purpose parties at the nonprofit organization Bright Blessings, Wright thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share a teachable moment with her daughter, Bennett, who turned 8 years old this past November. Furthermore, Wright, who is also mother to 5-year-old twin boys, says the concept of the party really seemed to resonate with the parents of the girls invited from her daughter’s class at Carmel Christian School. “Of all the birthday parties we’ve done as a family this was the best turnout we’ve ever had,” says Wright. “I got a lot of emails from other moms asking how they could help.” The group consisted of approximately 20 children, including Bennett’s classmates, her two brothers, and a friend her siblings brought along. Bright Blessings Director Amy Cervantes started off the two-hour party by leading the group on a tour of the facility, all while explaining how some families live in shelters and have difficulty giving their children birthday parties. In February 2011, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reported a record 3,564 identified homeless children enrolled in the county’s schools. The programs of Bright Blessings provide positive emotional experiences for homeless children by lifting spirits, boosting confidence, broadening horizons and supporting basic needs. After the introductory tour, the children set out to 20 | for local moms ... by local moms

work on their project of decorating birthday boxes. Each child got to choose a theme for their box, and Bennett’s group mostly picked the “Game On” and “Pretty Princess” themes. After decorating the boxes with markers and themed stickers, the children got to go “shopping” for age-appropriate items to fill the boxes with. After choosing an item from separate colored

Of all the birthday parties we’ve done as a family this was the best turnout we’ve ever had.

{ } shelves, it was time to wrap the boxes with plastic wrap, ribbons, and personalized nametag with each contributor’s name. “The 8-year-olds were very selfless,” says Wright. “They were really concerned and excited about how the kids would react to getting the boxes.” The gifts the participants created at the party are then used in Bright Blessings’ “Bless a Birthday” program, which provides parties on a monthly basis to homeless children at shelters or housing/program facilities across the greater Charlotte area. “I really think the kids get it more than we think they do,” says Wright. “Our daughter still felt like she had a birthday party and it met all of our needs.” After putting together the boxes, Bennett and her party guests took a trip to the “Treat Street” section of the facility, where they got to put together their own goody bags to take home as favors. With fifteen minutes left before the end of the party, the participants helped Cervantes complete a set of Christmas ornaments to give to local children. Wright says that along with the satisfaction her family got from helping others through her daughter’s birthday party, the crew at Bright Blessings made the process as simple and streamlined as possible. Wright brought a store-bought cake for the kids to share and ordered pizza from a local restaurant in Matthews to be delivered during the party. She also notes that hosting the party at Bright Blessings had a ripple effect within her own family. After witnessing the many ways to volunteer with the organization, her husband, who owns his own company, organized a team-building event with his co-workers at Bright Blessings. “Other moms wanted to know how they could volunteer,” says Wright. “Hopefully it touches enough people and they’ll have a party there, too.”

Bright Blessings

Expands with School

Parties This past summer, Bright Blessings began a project expansion titled “Bless a Birthday: Schools.” In partnership with local organization A Child’s Place and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, local children living in transient situations such as motels and campgrounds are identified. Each month, the organization volunteers assemble and deliver classroom party packages for approximately 40 homeless elementary students who will be celebrating their birthdays. This anonymous program helps ensure the privacy of each student’s living situation among peers. Bright Blessings volunteers deliver the party supplies and gifts to school social workers who then take the party packs to appropriate teachers so that the children can have birthday parties in class with their friends. Each Classroom Party Package includes 24 party snack bags filled with cookies, juice, a pencil and a lollipop, snack plates and napkins. The birthday child receives several small presents, a set of new books and a Care & Comfort Bag, which includes trial-size toiletries and youth-size pillows and blankets. Want to learn more? Call 704.846.2329 or for more info. | for local moms ... by local moms



continued from page 18

Pigtails & Crewcuts Sail away on a fun-filled adventure with the “Ahoy Mate” party, escape to the islands with the “Aloha” part, or let your little ones rock the runway with the “Darling Diva Doll” party, just a few of the many themed parties at P&C. All celebrations include games, activities, themed dress-up and crafts (that turn out to be super-cool favors); some include hairdos, too. New a la carte spa parties allow girls to choose what services they’d like – at P&C or even in the comfort of your own home. Add on stationery-store invites, more crafts and even additional time if you please! Find out more about the parties that were voted to be in the Top 10 Best Birthday Chains by Parents Magazine at or by calling 704.366.9100 or 704.541.3386.

ShimmerMe Glamour, glitz and shine! It’s a fun way to add sparkle and shimmer to your hair with out all the chemicals. What little girl wouldn’t love her own party featuring silky hair tinsel? The hottest new hair trend is available in 20 colors and lasts up to two weeks, depending on the type of hair. Bring your group of girls in for a fun pampering session they will tell all their friends about. Or, ShimmerMe can bring the party to you! Visit or call 704.651.7767.

Small Hands Big Art

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and keep up with area happenings, great giveaways and more! (search “little ones magazine”) ••••••••••••••••••••

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, which provides a listing of up-and-coming events for the month. You’ll never have to worry about what to do! Sign up on our Web site (

22 | for local moms ... by local moms

From toddlers to teenagers, your child and his/her guests will have a memorable time exploring the wonderful world of art. Prepare to get messy . . . and to have fun doing it! Littler ones will choose from a variety of fun project stations where they'll experiment and create at their own pace. Grade-schoolers will partake in a project or activity that is age-appropriate as well. You supply the sweet treat, favors and paper products - Small Hands Big Art will take care of the rest. Visit or call 704.246.8271 for more info.

South Carolina Aquarium Dive into a destination party at the SC Aquarium! Get a big birthday wish from the fish as you and your guests all take in the 5,000 + fishy friends at the Charleston, S.C., location. Make a splash with animal encounters, get a birthday wish during a dive show in the Great Ocean Tank, or host a Shark Sleepover where 50 of your guests spend the night at the Aquarium! This is one party you’ll surely never forget. Call 843.577.FISH (3474) to find out more, or surf over to for more info on the destination.

The YMCAs of Greater Charlotte The YMCAs are a great place for families AND great places to host birthday parties. Rent the swimming pool, the gymnastics room or gym for an affordable, fun-filled celebration close to home without the cleanup. Bring your own food, cake and goodies for a unique party in an environment your guests (and birthday child) will adore. Facilities vary by location. Visit for more info.

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Silky Hair Tinsel!

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Feather Hair Extensions Come see what this new craze is all about! The Olive Branch, 21314 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031 Sola Salon • 20619 Torrence Chapel Rd., Suite 118 Cornelius, NC 28031

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5$$2 (%21

Felt flowers for Valentine's Day? Of course! at Pigtails & Crewcuts

For your tiny dancer! at Jami Masters School of Dance

Dazzle this spring in school friendly shoes! at Tootsies childrens shoes

Hair feathers for your trendy fashionista from ShimmerMe

24 | for local moms ... by local moms

She will love blinging out her own jewelry box! at Toys & Co.

Host your party with us! ff $1p0ao rty! a

2 exp. 3.31.1

Cotswold Village Shops 310A S Sharon Amity â&#x20AC;˘ Charlotte, NC 28211 704.366.9100 | for local moms ... by local moms



$4$0+ -# off to

By Renee Roberson Photography by Kristin Barry


The Pirate F east

Pieces o f Eig (chicke n nuggeht ts) Seaweed S la (coleslaw w ) Peg Leg (Hot Germ Potato Sala d an potato salad) hips Whe (pastaSsa lad m el Salad wheel naode with wagon odles) (red velv Pirate Po et cake ps pops sha ped like pirates) (vanilla c Pixie Pops ake pop or circle s shaped like st wands) ar 26 | for local moms ... by local moms

hen Kristin Barry says she’s planning a party, she isn’t talking about whipping up a birthday cake and throwing together some goody bags. For her daughter’s third birthday this past June, she started planning the party a full five months ahead of time. But although Barry loves entertaining and calls it her “sport of choice,” she faced a particularly daunting request for daughter Madelyn’s most recent soiree – a Peter Pan pirate party. “Let me tell you how tricky it is to plan a party for a Disney movie that is not currently in production, with no current merchandise available, for a little girl who is not into the usual girly activities and likes a party theme predominantly made for older boys,” says Barry, who looked to the Mary Poppins birthday party featured in the February-April 2011 issue of Little Ones for inspiration. Pulling off this particular theme was a family affair, with Barry crediting her handy and crafty husband, brothers and brothers-inlaw. Her mom bakes cakes and her mother-in-law put her artistic talents to work on a number of the large-scale decorations. A handmade treasure map (with the edges of the pages burned for a more authentic look) served as the invitation to the party. Upon entering Neverland (a.k.a. the Barry’s home in Ballantyne), the guests were captured by Captain Hook and forced to sign up to be on Hook’s crew. Each child received a Neverland map depicting the various places in the house where games and goodies were located. The guests were then led to an Indian Camp where they made headdresses and tribal artwork, which was actually pirate and pixie coloring pages on the easel. Other activities included a “Tic Toc Ring Toss” and a Mermaid Lagoon where a replica of Jolly Roger was docked. The Jolly Roger was made out of Madelyn’s slide, a few refrigerator boxes, a board, an old sheet and nets. It included a ship’s wheel, a hold below decks and a plank to slide down. The littlest pirates were then invited to play a game of “Hit a Hook,” complete with water balloon cannonballs. Barry says the biggest hit of the party was the “Dig

for Doubloons” game, most likely because it was a very hot afternoon and digging for the 144 faux Spanish coins in a treasure chest filled with sand took place in a cool, shaded spot in the Barry’s backyard. Following a feast Captain Hook would have been proud to enjoy — including a cake shaped like the Jolly Rodger topped with a scene of Hook and Peter Pan in battle — guests were treated to even more loot following the end of their journey with Madelyn. For favors, infants in attendance took home Peter Pan books, toddler treats included candy, compasses, balls and spy glasses while the older kids had chocolate doubloons, pixie dust, compasses, bouncy cannon balls, pirate paddle balls for the boys and glittery pirate key chains for the girls. Each child also got to visit the candy bar and fill a bag with sour cherry balls, Swedish fish, Pixy Stix and chocolate doubloon coins. In addition to researching and comparing costs for all party supplies, Barry, who is a former accountant who loves crunching numbers, also provides all the design work for the invitations, treasure hunt maps, favor tags, cake pop and food labels. She does the majority of cooking and baking with additional help

from friends and family members. She uses a detailed spreadsheet as a timeline and checklist for all parties she plans and tailors it to each individual event. The week before any party she plans, her list of tasks is broken down hour by hour until every last detail has been covered off. While all the meticulous shopping, researching and implementing plans that goes her parties is time consuming, Barry, who is expecting her second child in March, doesn’t consider the process work. She compares it to any other hobby where people work hard for something they enjoy, such as running marathons or training for sports competitions. “The most fun part is certainly the planning and then seeing everyone’s faces when they are walking through the party and noticing all of the details that I worked so hard to accomplish,” says Barry, who also plans a large Halloween party each year, which takes a full three months of planning. “If it is a party for Madelyn, spending time with her to plan, pick out and create her party gives us so many memories together and watching her face light up and she sees ‘her’ party is priceless.”


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0(/ 2.

By Renee Roberson


Photography by So Bella Photography & KCP Photography

hen Mandie Miller, a custom baker and owner of Got What It Cakes, got a glimpse of the “Parisian Girls Night In” printable party collection local company Anders Ruff designed for the Universal Studios/Target promotional release of the movie “Bridesmaids,” she knew exactly what she wanted to do for her daughter Isabella’s fifth birthday. “I love planning parties for my girls, especially since I make birthday cakes for everyone else all day, every day,” says Miller. “Isabella is obsessed with Paris, although we’ve never been, and it was fun to try to bring Paris to her.” Miller used key pieces from the Anders Ruff Paris Party collection, including a whimsical white butterfly backdrop, as the focal point for the birthday party, which she held last fall at her home in Charlotte. She baked all the desserts for the party, including a gorgeous Parisian-style cake, cupcakes dressed up with the printable cupcake toppers, cruffle pops, cookies, French macaroons made out of 28 | for local moms ... by local moms

mini cupcakes. To add to the authentic feel of the party, the cake was topped with a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which one of Miller’s friends brought back from a trip to France. Miller reveals that the top two tiers of the cake were actually Styrofoam “dummy” cakes, as she only needed enough cake to serve about 25 guests, including Isabella’s closest friends and their mothers. As the girls arrived (decked out in their cutest sparkly leotards and tutus), they each received individual passports (complete with coloring activities and stickers) and miniature suitcases for their “trip to Paris.” The damask suitcases, which came from Polka Dot Market, were filled with stickers, crayons, makeup pouches and nail polish. The girls loved the game of “Pin the Butterfly on the Eiffel Tower.” Miller also made customized “Paris” cookies for each girl to take home. She says she stenciled white shopping bags with hot pink chandeliers and filled them with lunch — peanut butter and homemade jelly on baguettes and an assortment of cheese cubes. Her mom made the jelly and her father whipped up quiche for the adults, and Miller also made a lemonade punch and set out Brie and crackers to round out the food. Miller starting planning the party about four weeks before the event, starting out by mailing the custom invitations by Anders Ruff to the guests in hot pink envelopes. From there, she gathered the material for the chair slipcovers and table runners and her mom worked on sewing them together. She then ordered the suitcases and shopped for the items Cake and Desserts, Planning to fill them. Because all the printable and Styling– elements of the party came from the Mandie of Got What It Cakes Paris Party Collection, three days before the party Maureen Anders and Adria Graphic Design for Invitation and Printables, Décor and Styling Ruff came to Miller’s home to help with Assistance by Anders Ruff all the cutouts and label placement. The goal of my Printable “Paris Party” parties is to make Designs from Anders Ruff people feel like they’ve been taken to another place,” Damask Pink Suit Case Favor boxes from Polka Dot Market says Miller. “I hope everyone felt like Twine from The Twinery they took a trip to Paris that day.” Cookie Cello Bags from


Nashville Wraps


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Ft. Mill residents Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff met at a preschool open house for their children and soon discovered their mutual love of paper, parties, design and art. They launched their business, Anders Ruff, which focuses on custom printable party designs and party inspiration, in February 2010. Before long, business was booming and they’ve since worked with numerous clients on design projects worldwide. In fact, by the end of their first year, the two ladies attracted the attention from Martha Stewart’s “Dreamers Into Doers” website and were featured as the “Doer of the Week.” (To see the interview, go to /doers-of-the-week-maureen). Their work has also been featured in Woman’s World Magazine and other numerous publications. Last fall, Universal Studios commissioned Anders Ruff to design and style an Exclusive Girls Night In Printable Party Set for the launch of the movie Bridesmaids Blu-Ray and DVD at Target. They are now offering the collection as part of their Parisian Birthday Party set. Most recently, the ladies also completed a project with Better Homes & Gardens magazine that will be featured later this year. The company’s website,, has a “partyfolio” section chock full of beautifully-themed birthday parties sure to dazzle the party planner in all of us. They offer customdesigned printables in a variety of collections through their Etsy shop, and you’ll also find select free items on their site as well. | for local moms ... by local moms



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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The young princesses, princes and knights love the Royal Ball parties at the Pre K Birthdays castle located in Cornelius. ‘Tis a beautiful site to see all the young ladies and lords in their royal ballroom gowns and knight attire. The castle is filled with royal decorations, tableware and music that pleases all. Everyone has an enchanting time decorating individual wooden treasure chests, performing a royal ball dance, rescuing the queen’s jewelry and more. However, remember that all must return to their carriages 90 minutes after the Royal Ball begins, before the carriages turn into pumpkins. Pre K Birthdays is the perfect party place for 2 - 6 year olds. We host fun, themed, age-appropriate and private parties for young kids. All you need to bring to the party is the birthday cake of the birthday star’s dreams. Our other themes include Under The Sea, Luau, Princess, Pirates, Princes Tea Party, Zoobilee and Dress Up Tea Party. Once you select a theme, everything in the party reflects your theme activities, decorations, music, tableware and more. Our facility is kid designed and kid-friendly with plenty of room. Each party has plenty of fun activities, toys and treats that kids love. To learn more about Pre K Birthdays, visit or call 704.957.4095.


{in my opinion} Steri-bottles Save Feeding Time


y fourth and final baby is now 9-months and has, not surprisingly, been forced to go along with the flow of his three older sisters’ schedules. Many naps are taken in his carseat or on the go, and feeding seems to happen when it happens. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Steri-bottles, sterile, one-time use bottles that are suitable for our lifestyle and stack up to his growing needs. Originally from the UK, the bottles come in convenient packs that are sealed to keep them sterile. Simply peel down the bottle wrap to remove one bottle and save the rest for the future. Nipples are packed separately; both are BPA free. Simply fill the bottle, snap on the top and soothe your little one. Toss both parts into your recycling bin upon completion. Steri-bottles fit our busy life on the go, but they’d also suffice for feeds, emergencies, or simply those times when you don’t feel like washing and sterilizing. Find them locally at Babies “R” Us where they retail for $5.99 for a 5-pack or $10.99 for a 10-pack.


++ | for local moms ... by local moms

whatever you do, look good doing it!

$0$ ".,$1 1/0(-& what to wear?

0$1' -# %+.57

Offering Charlotte mommies-to-be the biggest and best selection of Olian.

Pickles & Ice Cream • The Specialty Shops on The Park 6401 Morrison Boulevard #4a • Charlotte, NC 28211 704.364.1898

!7+$&1 Too cool for tutus? Get out your babylegs leg warmers! Jami Masters School of Dance, Ltd. Park Road Shopping Center / Back Court Park Road at Woodlawn Road • Charlotte, NC 28209 704.525.6555

$ #7 %.0 5 0,$0 1"'..+ # 71 Dressing for warm weather is a must! Uniforms by French Toast Famous Mart • 6600 N. Tryon St. Charlotte, NC 28213 • 704.596.3132 | for local moms ... by local moms


whatever you do, look good doing it!

$2 .32 2'$ &+(22$0 Make a statement and let your handbag shine this spring!

ShimmerMe • 704.651.7767 • The Olive Branch, 21314 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031 Sola Salon • 20619 Torrence Chapel Rd., Suite 118 • Cornelius, NC 28031

.,1 %.0 *(#1 A cute and stylish slip-on that’s a nice alternative to the sneakers. Tootsies Too • 704.379.1992 1025 Providence Road • Charlotte, NC 28207

4.0(2$ )$ -1 Silver Jeans Co.™ launches maternity denim collection at Destination Maternity® Sharon Corners • 4716 Sharon Road Charlotte, NC 28210 • 704.552.8190

32 | for local moms ... by local moms

hats, decor & more!

JMSD JJami ami Masters School of Dance

photo by wanda june koch

Dance Classes for Ages 2~Adult Dancewear and Shoes

704-525-6555 Park P ark Road Shopping Center/Back Court




10 Things You Never Knew About


[CA M P]

amp has become a staple of the summer season. Each year, millions of children, youth, and adults head to the hills, lakes, valleys, and parks to participate in the timehonored tradition of camp. And, while most people easily conjure up images of campfires and canoes, there is a lot more to the camp experience. Here are ten of the things you may not have known. 10. Camp is older than dirt, almost literally. Started in 1861, the camp experience turned an impressive 150 years young in 2011. The secret behind the longevity? “Camps are constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of today’s families,” says Peg Smith, chief executive officer for the American Camp Association® (ACA). “And yet, in essentials, camp is very much the same as it was 150 years ago — kids still have authentic, life-changing experiences.”

9. Camp is worth its weight in gold, and then some! The camp experience is life changing — developing friendships and memories that last well beyond the final campfire. And, there is a camp for literally every budget. Often camps offer special pricing or financial assistance, and some camp experiences qualify for tax credits or for payment with pre-tax dollars. Visit for more information. 8. Green is “Zen.” Research shows that first-hand experience with nature, like those at camp, reduces stress in children and helps them better handle stress in the future. In addition to teaching children how to be good stewards of the environment, camps are teaching children how to enjoy the world around them and take a minute to breathe deep and feel the nature, which ultimately teaches them how to de-stress the natural way. 7. Mommies and Daddies do it too. Camp is not just for children and youth. There are family camp experiences, and camps for single adults, senior adults, and any adult that wants to relax and enjoy all camp has to offer. Adults benefit 34 | for local moms ... by local moms

from the same sense of community, authentic relationships, and self-discovery that children do. Camp is an excellent vacation option, allowing adults to try a variety of new activities in a safe and fun environment. 6. Try this on for size! Camp is a great place to try new activities and hobbies. Afraid of rock walls? According to ACA research, 74 percent of campers reported that they tried new activities at camp that they were afraid to do at first. And, those activities often leave lasting impressions. In the same survey, 63 percent of parents reported that their child continued new activities from camp after returning home. 5. Manners matter, and often linger. The camp experience teaches more than just archery or lanyard making. The entire experience is made of teachable moments; perhaps one of the biggest is how to live with a group of people. Campers learn to pick up after themselves, respect each other’s property, and to say “Please” and “Thank You.” 4. Veggies taste better with friends. Hollywood and fictional novels may have given camp food a bad reputation, but in truth, camps are constantly exploring healthy food options, and often are at the forefront of things like allergy specific diets, healthy snack options, and vegetarian meals. According to ACA’s 2011 Emerging Issues survey, 90.7 percent of responding camps indicated that healthy eating and physical activity was an important or very important issue. 3. If everyone else went to camp, maybe there’s something to it! Camp has played an important role in the lives of some of the most talented people in history. ACA’s family resource site offers a list of notable campers — including business professionals, celebrities, artists, and great thinkers. 2. Camp gets those neurons pumping! Education reform debate and concern over summer learning loss have pushed academic achievement into the spotlight. Research shows that participation in intentional programs, like camp; during

summer months helps stem summer learning loss. In addition, camp provides ample opportunity for developmental growth, which is a precursor to academic achievement. And, because of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;hands-onâ&#x20AC;? nature of camp, often children who struggle in traditional education settings do well at camp. 1. Camp builds leaders for the 21st century and beyond! Independence, resiliency, teamwork, problem-solving skills, and the ability to relate to other people â&#x20AC;&#x201D; these are the skills that tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leaders will need, and the skills camp has been adept at building for 150 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leaders will not be those who can type or text with lightning speed, they will be those who can have a face-to-face conversation and articulate their thoughts, ideas, and values,â&#x20AC;? says Smith. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leaders will be able to relate globally and find common ground with people who are vastly different from themselves â&#x20AC;&#x201D; people from different backgrounds and cultures. Tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leaders will be made and educated by experiences like camp.â&#x20AC;? Reprinted by permission of the American Camp Association. Š2011 American Camping Association, Inc.

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From Dirt Camp




our little explorer might still be donning mittens and daydreaming about snow days, but summer is right around the corner. As the weather heats up and school bells stop ringing, finding the right summer camp for your child can be challenging and wading through options can be time consuming. Some questions you should consider are “What types of activities are offered?” “Are there ample opportunities to interact with other children?” “Who should I trust to provide the best summer camp experience?” Above all else, most moms and dads would agree choosing a camp that is memorable, educational and most importantly fun, is at the top of the list. What sets summer camps at Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place KIDS apart? Extraordinary educators whose knowledge and passion is the driving force behind delivering unique experiences that are exciting, contribute to long-term development and create memories that last a lifetime. Your child will have a blast (literally!) making new friends, developing skills and trying hands-on activities in a fun-filled and safe environment. With convenient locations throughout town, from Pineville to Charlotte and Huntersville, Discovery Place Camps treat your child to a summer experience to last all four seasons.

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Camp choices abound at Discovery Place and Charlotte Nature Museum

Charlotte Nature Museum Charlotte Nature Museum Summer Camps offer your children the opportunity to enhance their perspective of the natural world and their place within it. Whether trekking on the museum’s outdoor trails, or tracking local wildlife, Museum Naturalists connect with every camper, sparking young imaginations, while at the same time fostering a sense of stewardship for the environment. From Wonder Bugs to Backyard Explorers, preschool through first grade activities include storytelling, singing songs, mimicking animal movement and celebrating the seasons. Does your little adventurer have a knack for unearthing creepy crawlers? Then Scales, Tales & Slime Camp is right up his alley as they delve into the often little-known benefits of bugs and slugs. Using science, future sleuths can track animal clues as a CSI (Critter Scene Investigator) or join a team of Green Crusaders, inventing new uses for recyclable materials. Rising second through sixth grade camps encourage kids to understand their role with the outdoors and explore the natural world. Get Wild in the City and take a closer look at animals that dwell in urban areas. Did you know millions of organisms exist in one cubic foot of water or soil? Examine the lives beneath your feet in the Ponds, Puddles & Dirt Camp. Technology and the great outdoors intersect on the Paw Paw Nature Trail during Leadership Development Camp. Using iPad mobile apps as guides, campers will photograph nature discoveries and film public service announcements to address water pollution. From searching for treasure, making forts, caring for animals to shaping the earth, Charlotte Nature Museum Summer Camps have it all.

Discovery Place Inspiring tomorrow’s scientists and educators is a rewarding task counselors at Discovery Place look forward to every year. With camps available in Uptown Charlotte, Huntersville and Pineville, an awe-inspiring Discovery Place experience is in your neighborhood. Camps deliver hands-on activities that nurture specific interests and provide unforgettable experiences designed to keep your child engaged and learning after school ends. Featuring a host of amazing experiences, camps offer everything from up-close live animal encounters, eye-popping experiments, behind-the-scenes tours of Discovery Place and more. No matter if your child seeks to be a Young Einstein, build a robot or channel their inner pirate, there’s a special summer activity offered by Discovery Place guaranteed to ignite your child’s creative side. Discovery Place KIDS An Adventure in Play — what else is there to say? Discovery Place KIDS offers an array of phenomenal summer camps for children ages 2 through 8. Featuring play experiences designed to spark curiosity and creativity, campers have the opportunity to sing, dance, get messy, be active and ask

questions in a safe and nurturing environment. Led by the museum’s Creative Play Professionals, the camp curriculum is structured around math, science, literacy and the arts with little ones learning through play. Each week there is a new theme ranging from paleontology and ocean life to famous authors including Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss. Does your child have taste for the culinary? Aspiring chefs can try their hand at preparing meals while learning about the importance of healthy eating. Other camps include space exploration as your budding astronaut learns about the solar system and travels to the stars. For more information on the summer camp offerings at Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place and Discovery Place KIDS, visit or

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Lake Norman Dance Gallery and Little Flippers Tumbling & Gymnastics offers a unique quality of fresh, new innovative dance techniques and tumbling skills with some of the area’s finest, experienced and dedicated instructors, who are continually educating themselves in all areas of dance, tumbling and cheer. Both LNDG and Little Flippers are located in a spacious, 10,000 square-foot facility in Mooresville. The three dance rooms have injury-prevention floors, viewing windows and restrooms. Your dancer can choose from a variety of dance styles, including “Mommy and Me,” ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, creative movement, modern and hip hop (and competition teams). Dance classes in the studio begin for children 18 months and older. LNDG offers competition dance and tumble teams for ages 5 – 18 years of age. The Little Flippers Tumbling & Gymnastics portion of the facility covers 3,400 square feet and has 18-20-foot high ceilings, and is equipped with a tumble track, FlexiRolls, mats, inclines, low balance beam, parallel bars, uneven bars, single bar, a trapeze and more. Children ages 12 months and older can choose from Parent/Tot Flippers, Little Flippers Sibling, Kinder Flippers, Advanced Tumbling, an All–Boy Flippers class, Super Cheer and more. The facility, which is home to the 2011 Showstopper National Champions, also hosts birthday parties, Parent’s Night Outs and Open Play sessions and private group rates for local mom’s/parents groups. Summer classes and camp registration begin in April. Summer camp themes will include: Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, Disney Princess, Superheroes, Smurfs, Chipwrecked, Olympic Week, Short Sports, Just Dance, Flipping Fun, CheerTime and more. Camps are open to boys and girls ages 3 - 5 years and 6 - 8 years and will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Older students can choose from Hip Hop and Power Tumbling camps. Call 704.662.0699 or e-mail or call 704.677.5217 or e-mail for more information on classes and registration.


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$"0$21 %.0 3""$11%3+ +3,!$0 By Kristin Daley, Ph.D

any parents struggle with putting their children to bed, and often there are a number of varying opinions on what techniques are most effective. A frequent question I receive from new parents is how to get a head start on teaching their new baby to sleep through the night. Having been a new parent myself, I can easily remember the anticipation of sleepless nights, and the hope that I would make it through this adjustment with most of my sanity intact. Helping your child sleep is such a concern that a survey performed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2006 found there were 40 parenting advice books focusing on sleep. Of the books that were available, most authors either had a background in medicine or no professional credentials at all and the advice that they carried was almost as dichotomous as their educational backgrounds. There are a lot of beliefs about parenting, infant attachment and “right” actions that play out in a child’s sleep routine, but there are definitely some simple ways to help a child sleep better without even raising the battle cries. When I meet with patients of any age, one of the first things we discuss is the concept of circadian rhythm. All animals, including people, have biological rhythms that regulate sleep and wake activities. We are diurnal in our rhythm, in that our natural tendency is to be active in daylight and sleep during the night. In order to establish this rhythm, we have receptors in our retinas called zeitgebers, which is German for “time giver.” These receptors measure light exposure and report to the suprachiasmatic nuclei, which then assist the brain in the release of hormones and neurotransmitters related to our sleep and wake behaviors. Amazingly enough, all of our organs have been found to have clock genes, 38 | for local moms ... by local moms

and have sensitivity to our circadian rhythm. Light exposure is our strongest circadian cue, but temperature and activity have important roles in our circadian rhythm as well. As you can imagine, Edisonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s invention of the electric light has had some pretty big effects on our biological clock. For new parents, this can play a part in helping baby learn to sleep through the night. Whenever you are up with baby during the night, it is important that both you and baby have only minimal exposure to light, so that your brain continues to recognize that it is nighttime. For baby, having light exposure on an irregular clock can slow the recognition that nighttime is their major sleep period, and result in more activity when we wish they were sleeping. For mom and dad, repeated light exposure during the biological sleep period can disrupt circadian rhythm, resulting in increased nocturnal awakenings and poor sleep quality. People with circadian rhythm sleep disorders often feel they are suffering from jet lag and never get the opportunity to catch up on their sleep. It is important to note that nocturnal feedings are important for newborns until they are at least 12 pounds in weight, but limiting nighttime light exposure helps to reinforce this rhythm. In parents with older children, questions often arise about what light exposure is appropriate, particularly if they are coping with fears at bedtime. It is not a good idea to try to leave closet lights or lights in adjacent rooms as a nightlight for your child. Normally, this light is too bright for the child, and can result in sleep that is even more disrupted. Furthermore, it is normal for kids to wake up as many as four to six times per night, but they will usually drift back to sleep if their bedroom environments are less stimulating. For that reason, I recommend only a very dim night light when deemed necessary, and really encourage that the parents discuss whether the child might feel more comfortable with a different comfort device â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a favorite blanket, stuffed animal or possibly white noise in the room. Bright light exposure in the morning tells the brain this is when activity should start, and helps to reinforce the end of the sleep cycle. Circadian rhythm entrainment is strongly linked to consistent cycles throughout each day. Our bodies reach optimal sleep/wake performance when our major activities (sleep, feeding, exercise) are

All animals, including people, have biological rhythms that regulate sleep and wake activities. We are diurnal in our rhythm, in that our natural tendency is to be active in daylight and sleep during the night.

performed on the same schedule every day, even on weekends. Setting a schedule for your child that allows for an optimal amount of sleep and activity, even a loose schedule, can help your child achieve their best rest.

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Kristin Daley, Ph.D, is a physician at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates and is experienced in working with chronic insomnia, hypnotic dependence and complex interactions between sleep and mood. For more info, visit | for local moms ... by local moms


health | wellness

By Jessica Poe


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others are natural nurturers. They constantly sacrifice to provide for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of their children, spouses, parents, friends and neighbors. A mother’s heart is surely busy and brimming – but is it healthy? Heart disease kills more than one third of American women; making it the deadliest disease in America. Right now, more than 42.7 million women live with some form of cardiovascular disease; and between 12 and 25 percent of women will be diagnosed with heart failure in the next five years. “We’re becoming more educated about how heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women; but I’ve noticed women are still better at keeping up with their women’s health issues like mammograms, and OB/GYN visits, than taking care of their hearts,” says Corey Guess, nurse practitioner at The Presbyterian Women’s Heart Center. “On a regular basis, I see women who’ve put their health secondary to others’ because they just haven’t thought about it, or had the time to do so.” Living a heart healthy lifestyle does take time and effort, but Guess says even the busiest moms can succeed when they think long-term, prioritize and practice self-discipline. The first steps to a healthy heart are eating right and staying active. Heart healthy diets include whole grains, low-fat dairy products, a minimal portion of lean-cut meat once a week, and an unlimited abundance of fruits and vegetables. “I truly believe we need to change the way we view food in the United States. We need to eat the way our grandparents ate; which means unprocessed foods and smaller portions,” Guess says. “It’s not that we can’t ever consume foods we enjoy – have dessert or eat a cheeseburger once a week, but then eat right the rest of the week.” Women also need to make physical activity a priority. Experts suggest between 45 and 60 minutes of exercise daily, for most days of the week. In addition to decreasing cardiovascular health problems, women can reap a plethora of positive side effects from physical fitness. “I can’t say enough about exercise. It’s by far the best thing you can do for yourself,” Guess says. “Exercise can help with a variety of ailments that include muscle complaints, 40 | for local moms ... by local moms

headaches and stress. Exercise truly impacts every part of health.” For busy moms, finding time to exercise may seem impossible, but Guess suggests combining physical fitness with family-friendly activities. Bonding while exercising benefits everyone involved. So, join the bike ride, play tag together or go for an evening family walk. If women eat a heart healthy diet and exercise regularly, they’re far more likely to maintain a healthy weight. A guideline to measure healthy weight for women is a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or lower. Though BMI serves as a jumping off point, it’s also important to consider waist circumference and body type. For example, pear-shaped women, who carry excess weight in the thighs, are not at as high of a cardiovascular risk as apple-shaped women who carry extra weight around the stomach. “Though it’s a great general tool, BMI doesn’t capture the whole picture – like muscles versus fat content or bone structure,” Guess says. “In addition to the scale’s numbers, women should be aware of several more risk factors for cardiovascular disease.” Other factors which place women in high risk for cardiovascular disease include: • High blood pressure. ”Every woman should know her blood pressure,” Guess says. • High cholesterol levels. The earlier women discover high cholesterol, the earlier they can treat it – which means avoiding future heart attacks and strokes. • A family history of cardiovascular disease. If a sibling or parent has had heart disease, it significantly increases a woman’s risk for the disease. • Tobacco use. • Living a sedentary lifestyle. • Being overweight. Women with one or more high-risk factors for cardiovascular disease should undergo a thorough heart health workup by cardiovascular specialists. “More sophisticated testing, like what’s available at the Presbyterian Women’s Heart Center, can further classify cardiovascular risk and help patients get on the pathway to a healthier heart,” Guess said. “It includes detailed cholesterol analysis, a calcium CT scan to look for blockages in coronary arteries, carotid ultrasounds, and more.” Women should talk with their doctor about cardiovascular disease risk factors at every appointment, and make lifestyle improvements as soon as possible. Nurturing a heart healthy lifestyle now will not only boost Mom’s quality and length of life – it will influence the hearts of future generations. Presbyterian Women’s Heart Center offers individualized risk assessments that include advanced diagnostic imaging and interpreting, education and navigation to appropriate follow-up care. To schedule your appointment or to learn more about the Presbyterian Women’s Heart Center, call 704-384-CARE.

From Birth through College, your child’s health is our focus. As an independent solo practitioner, you and your child will come to know and trust Dr Arnold Snitz with your families health and wellness. Even through those pesky teenage years, Snitz Pediatrics will be there to answer questions. You will also find a certified lactation consultant to guide you through a successful feeding experience and even help you choose the proper breastfeeding equipment.

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dental anxiety? Turn National Children’s Dental Health Month into a Lifetime of Smiles s specialists in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics, Drs. Laxer, Long, Savage, Eidson, and Turner and staff celebrate February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time where we are very busy in our practice and the community raising awareness about dentistry for children and adolescents on a variety of topics of interest to parents. One important question we are often asked is, “When should a child start visiting the dentist?” Dental decay in children is a preventable disease that can begin during the first year of life. Therefore, we support the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommendation that all children have a dental home by the age of twelve months. During the first dental visit, we offer counseling and information for parents to help them get ahead of the disease process in young children. This includes a discussion regarding medical and dental history, daily oral hygiene, fluoride exposure, nutritional habits that can affect oral health, habits such as thumb and finger sucking or use of pacifiers, and injury prevention. We also perform a thorough dental examination to determine the present condition of the teeth and mouth, and the risk that your child has for developing oral and/or dental disease. Based on this examination and risk assessment, we recommend subsequent visits according to individual needs. With dental care starting at such an early age, parents are often concerned that their child may be anxious or afraid about visiting the dentist. Our pediatric dental specialists and staff are experienced and well trained in helping all children have a pleasant dental experience. We are sensitive to the emotional needs of our patients and parents, and we 42 | for local moms ... by local moms

work toward establishing a great rapport with them. Our pediatric dental team will help your child in their personal growth, and will teach and motivate them toward positive dental visits and excellent dental hygiene habits. The friendly, open, and fun pediatric environment also helps to allay fears and anxieties in kids of all ages. In addition, our staff and doctors are trained in the use of nitrous oxide “happy air” as well as oral sedation where indicated. Parents can take steps at home, as well, to prepare their child and themselves for a smooth visit to the dentist. Reading children’s books that discuss what to expect at the dental office is often very helpful. Also, parents should discuss the visit using positive terminology with a focus on making new friends who will help the child take the best care of their teeth. Rather than, “The dentist will not hurt you”, say, “The dentist will be very gentle.” This approach will help children to form positive associations with the dentist and will ensure dental visits that are free of unnecessary anxiety. For parents who have dental anxiety themselves, it is important not to transfer these feelings

for young children includes brushing two times per day with assistance from parents and daily flossing by parents. Fluoride toothpaste (in the amount recommended by the dentist) makes teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks is especially important to maintaining strong teeth. Children should eat meals at scheduled times and drink water only in between meals. They should also avoid eating or drinking at night after brushing. Most importantly, children should form the habit of seeing the

dentist every six months. Working together, parents, children and the whole pediatric/orthodontic team can ensure great dental experiences, excellent oral health, and beautiful smiles. Laxer Long and Savage is a dental practice that has specialists in both orthodontics and pediatric dentistry. They are currently located in the Ballantyne and Piper Glen area of south Charlotte and Monroe. For more information, visit

“... parents should discuss the



visit using positive terminology with a focus on making new friends who will help the child take the best care of their teeth.” to your child prior to their visit. For parents who do not feel comfortable discussing dental visits with your child, it is best to say nothing. The dental team discusses all procedures with children in an age-appropriate manner and uses terminology they can understand. Finally, our office offers “comfort tours” for parents and children who would like the opportunity to see the pediatric dental environment and to interact with our staff prior to the scheduling of an examination. At these tours, we are able to reinforce the idea of positive experiences for the child. The very best way to ensure a lifetime of positive dental experiences is to make a commitment to the prevention of tooth decay. At Laxer, Long, & Savage, we offer hygiene programs to area schools and pre-schools to assist parents and teachers in the role of advising and encouraging positive dental health habits from an early age. Excellent oral hygiene | for local moms ... by local moms


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By Liz DeFreitas

Mastering Drop-In Childcare

When you have a baby or toddler, your every move turns into a well-planned, carefully executed event. While it is easy for others to encourage you to create some time to yourself, actually following through is much more difficult. Your local YMCA offers free drop-in care so that parents can easily participate in programs, exercise or simply relax in the steam room. The Y is known for providing a safe and nurturing experience for children, but many first-time parents still find themselves a bit anxious when it comes to trusting others with their precious bundle. If you find yourself hesitant to give drop-in care a first-time whirl, try some of these tips to gently ease in your child (and you):

1. Take a tour and meet with staff prior to your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first day. It is a good rule of thumb to stop by when activities are taking place to see the centers in action. 2. Create a drop-off routine: hug and kiss, walk your child into the room and sit with him briefly while the staff includes him in activities. 3. Plan your visits for the same time each week so that your child gets to know the staff working during that time. 4. Begin with shorter visits (30 minutes) first and then lengthen your visit as your child becomes more comfortable (the Y provides dropin care up to 2 hours per day). 5. Ask about peak times and schedule your visits when there are fewer children until your child becomes more comfortable. 6. Meet with the lead staff or director in advance and talk about your child's individual needs. Y staff can support and be consistent with parenting techniques that are successful at home.

44 | for local moms ... by local moms

7. If you can, schedule your visit with another mom. If your child goes to drop-in care with a friend, he may feel more comfortable. 8. Ask how long Y caregivers allow a child to be upset before notifying a parent. At the Y, our staff will ask a parent to check on their child if they are continuously upset for more than 15 minutes. We do our best to help parents and children feel successful in their visit to drop-in care. 9. If your child enjoys specific activities (art, music, story time), ask the director if there are specific times when those activities are offered and plan your visit then. 10. Talk to other moms. They know everything! Drop-in childcare can be a benefit to you and your child. It provides new and enriching experiences for your child and, best of all, it gives you a chance to relax and reenergize. Liz DeFreitas is the Association Director of Youth Programs at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

out & about $!03 07 Creature Feature What: What will Queen Charlotte, the resident groundhog at Charlotte Nature Museum, predict for spring’s arrival? Join the annual celebration with crafts, storytelling, puppet shows and refreshments. When: Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. Where: Charlotte Nature Museum Great Groundhogs What: Bring your preschooler for a fun animal tale and then enjoy arts and crafts activities related to groundhogs. When: Feb. 3 at 10:30 a.m. Where: McDowell Nature Center Fossil Fair What: Bring your littlest explorers to learn about a variety of natural treasures from the earth including fossils, rocks and minerals. See museum and fossil club displays and purchase interesting specimens from vendors. Mine for gemstones like garnets, emeralds and amethyst. Kids can meet animated prehistoric characters, see a

You won’t want to miss these great activities!

full-sized T. rex, make a fossil fish print, search for tiny fossils from the Carolina Coast, and more. When: Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Where: The Schiele Museum Tarradiddle Tales What: Three actors explore four folk tales from different countries: “The Magic Tree,” a Bantu folk tale; “Peter the Fool,” a Danish story; “Spider Talk,” an Anansi story from Ghana; and “Tiger Trap,” from India. This playful one-act show for preschoolers, performed by the Tarradiddle Players, emphasizes storytelling and audience participation. When: Feb. 4 & 5 Where: Wells Fargo Playhouse, ImaginOn Theatre, 300 E. 7th St. or 704.973.2828 A John Williams Spectacular What: Williams has created music for some of the most successful motion pictures in history — “Star Wars,” “E.T.,” Hook,” and more. Associate Conductor Jacomo Rafael Bairos leads the Symphony in a musical tribute featuring John Williams’ greatest movie scores.

When: Feb. 10 & 11 at 8 p.m. Where: Belk Theater Rapunzel What: Imprisoned in a tower, Rapunzel spends her lonely days longing for companionship – until she meets the charming Prince Derrick. This one-act production inspired by the original Brothers Grimm fairytale is geared toward ages 5 years and older. When: Feb. 10-26 Where: Wells Fargo Playhouse, ImaginOn Theatre, 300 E. 7th St. or 704.973.2828 A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra What: As part of the Lollipops series, children are introduced to the instruments of the orchestra through Benjamin Britten’s classic, “A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra,” which includes fun interaction between the musicians and audience throughout the concert. The event includes a pre-concert “petting zoo.” When: Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. Where: Belk Theater

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+711$1 ' 0+.22$: 1 $5 /0(-& $12(4 + .% 2'$ 021 00(4$1 Born of a collaboration between the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, N.C. Dance Theatre and Opera Carolina as well as regional cultural partners, Ulysses will unify and celebrate the arts community in an unprecedented fashion. The festival takes its name and inspiration from that of the Ulysses butterfly, a symbol of spring, wonderment, rebirth and promise. The inaugural festival will not only celebrate the first time so many arts groups have come together thematically, but also the local debut of a variety of great works, including N.C. Dance Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty and Opera Carolina’s Eugene Onegin (both by Tchaikovsky).

Town of Matthews FatherDaughter Valentine Dance What: Daughters ages 4 and up can enjoy an evening of dancing and refreshments with Dad. A professional photographer will be on site. When: Feb. 11 from 4 – 7 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance at the Matthews Community Center. Where: Crews Road Recreation Center Toddler Time at the Mint What: Join a museum educator for an age-appropriate story, game or activity related to art, followed by free playtime in the Lewis Family Gallery. Pre-registration required. Ages 2 - 4 years with an adult. When: Feb. 14 from 10 -10:45 a.m. Where: The Mint Museum Uptown Great Backyard Bird Count What: Join the expert birders at the Charlotte Audobon Society and contribute to this important national study. Learn all about the birds at the Charlotte Nature Museum’s “Big Backyard” as well as your own. When: Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Charlotte Nature Museum Sunday Fun Days @ The Mint Uptown What: February’s theme is “Sensational Surrealism.” Step into “Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy!” Tour the exhibition, draw your own surreal Dreamscape, participate in a toothpick tower challenge, have an “out of this world” hula-hoop experience with 46

The theme for the inaugural 2012 festival — The Majesty of Russia and the Music of Tchaikovsky — fetes Russian culture and composer Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky through a myriad of artistic avenues, highlighted by the creative efforts of leading Charlotte arts organizations. Free and family-friendly events as well as educational outreach are part of what is expected to become an annual event. The festival begins with a Community Day at Levine Museum of the New South on Feb. 25, featuring Russian cuisine, folk music and live performances throughout the day.

Spin Revolution, and write an automatic poem. When: Feb. 19 from 1 - 4 p.m. Where: The Mint Museum Uptown Treasure Island What: This production follows Jim Hawkins, a boy drawn into a dangerous race for buried treasure against the treacherous Long John Silver. This classic story brought to life on stage is easily enjoyed and understood by modern audiences. When: Feb. 24 – March 4 Where: Matthews Playhouse

0"' Night at the N.C. Transportation Museum What: Exhibits come to life after dark, with costumed interpreters telling stories of the past. When: March 2; tours take place at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Where: North Carolina Transportation Museum Fishing with Dr. Seuss What: Hear Dr. Seuss’s classic story, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” and learn about the fish in our lakes and ponds. Kids will also learn how to cast with a fun fishing game. When: March 2 at 10:30 a.m. Where: McDowell Nature Center | for local moms ... by local moms

Community Garden Work Day What: Families can learn how to make the garden beautiful while learning new gardening techniques. There will be opportunities to mulch, plant, trim bushes, compost, harvest and more. When: March 13 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Where: Latta Plantation Nature Center 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Charlotte Goes Green Festival What: The city’s annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade features flags, floats, pipe band music and more. The festival will include a Celtic Kids Zone, Irish music and dancers, food vendors and beverages. All events are free. When: March 17. The parade begins at 11 a.m.; the festival runs from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Where: Tryon & 9th St. (Uptown) or 803.802.1678. Sunday Fun Days @ The Mint Uptown What: Bring the kids for “Super Hero Sunday.” Kablam-o! Zap! Zowie! Inspired by the cool, hand-knit superhero costumes by Mark Newport on view in “Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear,” design your own alter ego, craft yourself a cape, and meet area comic artists and knitters. Marvel at the super-heroic hip-hop skills of Create Don’t Hate dancers, and learn some new moves. When: March 18 from 1 - 4 p.m. Where: The Mint Museum Uptown

Ulysses: Charlotte’s New Spring Festival of the Arts would not exist without the generous support of sponsors Presbyterian/Novant Health Care and the Duke Energy Foundation, as well as each of partner organizations’ sponsors, particularly Wells Fargo and Wells Fargo Private Bank. Take part of this exciting festival and save when attending multiple events. Find out more about the festival, including other free events, by visiting: Website:

Spring & Summer Sale 10 years of bringing you a huge selection of high quality items for your family.

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$ 230$# 4$-21 Community Day Presented by Levine Museum of the New South. Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. A free celebration of Russian culture featuring cuisine, folk music, costume displays and live performances throughout the day.

February 29-March 3 Wed 9-8; Thurs 9-7; Fri 9-7; Sat 50% off sale 10-2 At The Pointe, Beside Knights Stadium Free Admission and Parking 2266 Deerfield Drive Fort Mill, SC 29715 • I-77, Exit 88 • 803.327.5473

The 5 Browns March 6 at 7:30 p.m. (see website for ticket prices) Battle Center at Wingate University This youthful, all-American quintet of Utah siblings studied at New York’s famous Juilliard School of Music and each is a virtuoso concert pianist. The group is set to perform a broad range of classical Russian favorites as well as seldomheard masterpieces. Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Educational Performance March 15 at 10:30 a.m. (see website for ticket prices) Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts The tale of a beautiful princess and the triumph of good over evil, set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, is sure to inspire creativity in students. This beloved childhood story presented through movement will have students feeling happily ever after and integrates English/Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum.

Umbrella strollers ONLY, please



4pm early shop with 3 canned goods on Thursday!


Rock Hill Galleria Mall

in previous Goody’s Dept. store off I-77 • exit 79 • 2301 Dave Lyle Blvd. Accepting cash, credit & debit cards. No checks please | for local moms ... by local moms


so much consignment to choose from! .0 4$07 $ 1.-

see our ad page 47!

Since 2002. Pre-sale for new/ expectant parents. Date: Helper pre-sale on Feb. 27, consignor pre-sale on Feb. 28. General public sale, Feb. 29–March 2; 1/2 price sale March 3. Location: The Pointe, next to Knight’s Stadium in Ft. Mill Contact Info: 803.327.5473

/ " +$



.2 0 #$ Location: Cabarrus Arena & Events Center Date: Feb. 22–26 (see website for sale times) Contact Info: 704.644.3972


Location: 15009 Lancaster Hwy., Pineville see our ad Date: March 1–3 page 47! Contact Info: 704.737.7146

Earn 66–75% commission. Location: Rock Hill Galleria Mall, 2301 Dave Lyle Blvd., Rock Hill, S.C. Date: March 1, 5–9 p.m.; March 2, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; March 3, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; March 4, 1:30–6 p.m. Contact Info: or 803.980.7153

.1' +.1$2 .-1(&-,$-2


Location: South Charlotte Banquet Center, 9009 Bryant Farms Road Date: Pre-sale Feb. 29, 4–8 p.m.; Public sale March 1, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., 30% off 6–9 p.m. Contact Info: 704.299.3097

' 0+.22$ .2'$01 .% 3+2(/+$1 Location: Freedom Hall at The Park Expo and Conference Center, 800 Briar Creek Road Date: Feb. 11, 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; $2 entry from 7:30–8:30 a.m. Contact Info: 877.90.CMOMS


(#1 .-1(&-,$-2


Location: Harris YMCA, 5900 Quail Hollow Road Date: March 3, 8 a.m.–noon. Contact Info: 704.716.6843

-(4$01(27 (27 Location: 3835 West W.T. Harris Blvd. Date: March 3, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Contact Info:

2: 1 (#


Location: TBA in Huntersville Date: March 7–10 Contact Info:


$ -1 .-1(&-,$-2

Women’s & Teens Clothes/Accessories. Location: Kenton Place, Cornelius Date: March 15–17 Location: The Broadcast Group, Ft. Mill Date: March 22–24 Contact Info: or 704.650.8126 | for local moms ... by local moms

$##(-&2.(#1 .-1(&-,$-2 Location: Weddington UMC Family Life Center, 13901 Providence Road Date: Pre-sale March 16, open to public March 17 Contact Info: konsignment

22'$51 Location: 801 S. Trade St., Matthews Date: March 17, 8 a.m.–noon Contact Info:

00(1!30& -(2$# $2'.#(12 '30"' Location: 4560 Highway 49 South, Harrisburg Date: March 17, 8 a.m.–noon Contact Info: 704.455.2311 www.harrisburgumc.

.4$- -2 0$1!72$0( 0$1"'..+ '(+#0$-: 1 .-1(&-,$-2 +$ Location: 1000 E. Morehead (at Dilworth Road) Date: March 24, 8 a.m.–noon; 12:30–2 p.m. Contact Info: preschool-consignment-sale

(#8 6"' -&$ Location: Metrolina Trade Show Expo Date: Spring Sale TBA Contact Info:

'$0$ 0$-#7

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In the spring of 2010, with a lot of hard work, a couple of coats of paint, beautiful wood cubbies and several boutique racks full of beautiful gently-worn boutique clothing, the quaint little shop called The Whimsical Wardrobe came alive. By fall, the wardrobe was bursting at the seams and overflowing with clothing, nursery furniture, baby equipment and gift items from several local vendors. The search began for a larger wardrobe to house the expanding inventory. In October 2010, the store relocated to a much larger space at the Alexander Building, still in Shops on the Green in Cornelius, with a second floor added for over 5,000 square feet of shopping. The Whimsical Wardrobe offers new and gently worn designer and name brand clothing for children in sizes newborn through 16, baby equipment, bedding, furniture, décor, gifts and more. It also added a Maternity boutique upstairs, complete with a separate fitting area. With the recent closing of local children’s boutiques, they have also

12 7 (-%.0,$# 5(2' “a little this and a little that”:) Sign up today to get our monthly e-newsletter!




Get info on exciting events, activites and things to do. Sign up today by emailing and listing “e-newsletter” in the subject.

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added some new boutique clothing and gifts to their inventory. Owners Dana and Linda Lempp say the store’s philosophy is simple — offer the best selection of merchandise at a fair price and treat each customer and consignor as if they are the only one. The store prides itself on customer service and strives to make each customer feel like they’ve just come home to family when they walk through the door. Employees focus on getting to know our customers and their individual styles, an often call customers when certain preferred brands arrive. They also keep a “Wish List” so that when you are looking for something specific, they can let customers know as soon as it arrives. The Whimsical Wardrobe can also deliver furniture purchases. “We want to be your store,” says Linda Lempp. “We know that our success comes directly from our customers and consignors and it’s this partnership that has allowed us to flourish.”

Just because it looks expensive, does not mean it really was... Lake Norman’s upscale consignment boutique featuring new and gently used clothing, shoes, outerwear, accessories, toys, books, baby equipment, furniture, décor, gifts and more ... over 5,000 square feet of pure shopping joy! ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Stop by, Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5

The Whimsical Wardrobe Upscale Children’s & Maternity Boutique I 77, Exit 28, 20830 Torrence Chapel Road (Shops on the Green) Cornelius, NC 28031

(704) 797-1419 & find us on facebook | for local moms ... by local moms



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50 | for local moms ... by local moms

Photos and copy courtesy of Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority


03-15("* 1+ -#1

Five barrier islands on the North Carolina coast provide secluded vacation spots on six pristine beaches for families and nature lovers.

orth Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, located between Wilmington, N.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., offer year-round coastal family fun and memories to last a lifetime. Mild temperatures and great off-season rates, combined with more than 45 miles of pristine beaches; beautiful sunrises and sunsets; quaint shops, galleries, and museums tied to the romance and history of the sea; and accommodations choices to suit every budget, create the perfect getaway destination. The unique character of each island and surrounding mainland town invites families to explore and discover a variety of activities sure to please everyone. What’s a trip to the Brunswick Islands without time spent on beautiful beaches? Soft sand, mild temperatures, and few crowds welcome the young and old – and young at heart – to stroll the strand searching for shells and fossilized shark teeth, cast a line into the surf, or dig in and build towering sandcastles. Alternatively, one may opt simply to sit and soak up the sun – which visitors can actually watch both rise and set over the water, courtesy of Mother Nature and the Islands’ unique east-west orientation. In addition to enjoying the Brunswick Islands beaches, families will also delight in discovering the area’s many other intriguing offerings. A ferry ride to Bald Head Island, a no-cars-allowed resort-styled island that was once a hideout for notorious pirates like Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet, and a visit North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse, Old Baldy, recall simpler, yet adventurous times. Visitors may explore the island’s pristine sand dunes, beaches, maritime forests, and salt marshes by bike, boat, or golf cart. An eco-lover’s paradise, Bald Head Island is home to over half of North Carolina’s sea turtle nesting grounds and offers an unspoiled family vacation far removed from commercialism and touristy distractions. Oak Island provides the classic family vacation of days gone by, with 10 miles of uncrowded beaches, family-oriented attractions like miniature golf and butterfly gardens, and plentiful access to water activities, including two fishing piers, two marinas, three public boat and canoe ramps, and over 60 public beach access points. Guests harken back to a time when navigating the waters around the area called for hard-earned skill, a bit of luck and a watchful beacon in the night as they climb Oak Island Lighthouse. And just across the bridge on the mainland, several championship courses beckon with a friendly round of family golf. Abundant opportunities for fishing, water sports, and more await families in Holden Beach, named one of the best family beaches in the country by National Geographic Traveler magazine and offering small-town charm and unspoiled beauty. Visitors navigating the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway by kayak or canoe will want to keep an eye out for dolphins in the surf, and the delicate evening ballets of ghost crabs as they dance across the sand may prove to be the highlight of a stroll along the beach after sunset.

1. "+.1$ 2. '.,$ | for local moms ... by local moms


- -1(#$0: 1 3(#$ 2. "$ - 1+$ $ "' My husband spent many childhood summers with his family in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. and still holds it near and dear to his heart. We first visited Ocean Isle, which is widely known as a perfect destination for families, when my daughter was a toddler and have been several times since our son was born. Ocean Isle is a barrier island attached to the mainland by a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. For the most part, rental homes and condos on this seven-mile stretch of beach are never more than three or four rows back from the ocean, which makes trekking down to the beach with coolers, buckets, beach chairs, towels and kids much easier. There are many communities in Ocean Isle that allow you access to swimming pool as part of your stay, which is always nice during high tide. The beach is quiet and not as crowded as some of the larger beaches, making it easier to spend relaxing hours surfing the waves or building sandcastles. Once you’ve tired from the beach, Ocean Isle lies directly in between both Wilmington and North Myrtle Beach, making fun day trips a short 30-minute drive away. For the golfer in your family, a number of championship courses are less than 45 minutes away. For the littlest golfers, there is one miniature golf course on the main part of the island. We always plan to spend at least one evening sampling the seafood in one of the restaurants in nearby Calabash, and a favorite tradition is to stop in at Callahan’s of Calabash Nautical Gifts, a gift shop that offers more than 35,000 square feet of shopping. The store maintains a vast Christmas shop that you really do have to see to believe, and we’ve picked up many ornaments there that will remind of Ocean Isle’s white sandy beaches during the holidays. Be sure to check out the selection of homemade fudge and candy, including a selection of fudge that will literally melt in your mouth. Another favorite local restaurant is Sharkey’s, which serves up a wide selection of fresh seafood dishes, hot and cold subs, soups, salads and hand-tossed pizza, and has a picturesque view of the waterway. Whether you choose to stay in a small condo with your immediate family or rent a house with other family members or close friends, staying at Ocean Isle Beach will give you the relaxation and fun in the sun vacations are meant for. ~RR 52 | for local moms ... by local moms

Relaxation or fun family adventures – Ocean Isle Beach offers plenty of both, from keeping a watch for sea turtles and hatchlings on their journey to the sea, to catching a wave at one of the favorite surfing spots in the Brunswick Islands. Visits to the award-winning Silver Coast winery, specialty shops, and restaurants featuring freshly prepared food and relaxing outdoor decks ensure a refreshing family vacation. Birdwatchers will flock to the southernmost of the Brunswick Islands and a prime spot for birding and reconnecting with nature – and family. A walk to Bird Island offers visitors a pristine, untouched stretch of beach and dunes to explore, and programs at the state-of-the-art Ingram Planetarium provide an in-depth look at the sun, moon, and stars, as well as exciting music and laser shows. For a quieter and more relaxing “sky show,” families can simply take to the beach to watch the sun both rise and set over the water, a natural occurrence resulting from the island’s geographic position. Located on the Cape Fear River, Southport is rich in history and picturesque beauty – an Old South atmosphere that has attracted and charmed sea captains, visitors, and most recently, the movie industry, since the 1700s. Family activities might include strolling along the /0(-&2(,$ %3- 2 2'$ !$ "' docks and sampling catch-of-theday-fresh seafood at restaurants •••••••••••••••••• on the waterfront, visiting local galleries and quaint antique and Bald Head Island gift shops, exploring historic Kids of all ages will enjoy the sites, or simply passing the time Bald Head Island Easter of day on Southport’s famous Celebration events, Whittlers Bench. April 6-8, 2012. Seafood lovers want to be sure to include a visit to the town of Southport Calabash, which proudly holds From April 6-7, The Southport the title of “Seafood Capital of the Spring Festival & Azalea Sale World” for its signature seafood offers azalea and seasonal plant preparation. Freshly caught sales, crafts, food, live shrimp, clams, fish, and oysters entertainment, children’s are coated in a light batter, then rides and games, and an annual quickly fried – Calabash style. Big “Chili Cook-off Contest.” kids and little kids alike enjoy watching the fishing boats come Ocean Isle Beach in to dock, and the more The Museum of Coastal adventuresome may want to try a Carolina, with its life-size hand at reeling in their own diorama and touch tanks, trophy catch aboard on a deep-sea provides an up-close-andfishing charter. Calabash’s worldpersonal experience with sea famous seafood, combined with life, and the 17th Annual the area’s attractions, festivals, Family Day at the museum, and coastal way of life, treat all April 7, features free or who visit the Brunswick Islands low-cost games and activities to family vacation memories that for the entire family. will last a lifetime. Holden Beach The Day at the Docks For more information on North Festival, held this year from Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, April 28-29, features arts and where you’ll always find more crafts, food, live music and beach for your blanket, call toll entertainment, a king mackerel free 800-795-7263 or visit fishing tournament, a horseshoe and tournament and the worldrequest your free visitors guide. famous “Bopple Race,” as well as activities for the entire family.

free range kids in a

w o r l d “KCSI” Caution: By Matt Harris

eeping your child safe is one of the most important jobs we have as parents. However, some parents, I believe, go too far. These are the type of people who long for “the good ‘ol days, when children weren’t being abducted every 30 seconds” or believe you can’t walk three feet without tripping over a deranged pervert who is out to steal your child. The reality is that crime stats show kids today are safer then any time in the past 50 years. Once, a parent told me not to put my daughter’s name on her backpack, because “creepy men” will call out her name and take her to their satanic church. I’m pretty sure the scary idea was from an episode of “Criminal Minds” or a Lifetime movie starring Dean Cain. I had another parent tell me not to put any sticker on my minivan that alerts “sickos” to the fact that I have a child, such as the stick figure family decals. I have yet to hear of a criminal who had such a specific fantasy that for years he was waiting for a family with a lacrosse playing boy, a cheerleader, a dad who likes golf, a mom who likes to run and two dogs and a cat to follow home and terrorize. Plus, don’t you assume I have children if I’m driving a stinkin’ MINIVAN? This type of parent has imbedded the fear of stranger danger so deep into their child’s psyche, the kid’s afraid of every human being that comes within 70 feet of him. The odds of your child being abducted by a stranger is rare, as Lenore Skenazy writes in her blog “Free Range Kids:” “Any kid killed is a horrible tragedy. It makes my stomach plunge to even think about it. But when the numbers are about 50 kids in a country of 300 million, it’s also a very random, rare event. It is far more rare, for instance, than dying from a fall off the bed or other furniture. So should we, for safety’s sake, all start sleeping on the floor?”

My daughter has a book about stranger danger. In the book, a little bear kicks a ball into the new neighbors yard. The bear goes to retrieve the ball, and the neighbor, a wolf, says to the little bear, “Looking for this?” The bear starts crying and shouting, “YOU’RE A STRANGER!” He runs into his house and locks the door. Okay, maybe if I had a bear for a child, I might teach him not to talk to a wolf man. Since most of us don’t,

we need to ask, “Is this what we want our children to become?” Do we want him to be so stressed out that a simple comment from a “stranger” turns him into a sniveling, scared little tyke? It doesn’t sound like the makings of well-adjusted adult to me. Studies on child sexual abuse vary slightly but there is agreement that more than 90 percent of children who experience sexual abuse know their abuser. Approximately 40 percent of abusers are family members and about 50 percent are someone they know and trust. So, if we are playing the odds, we should change what we have been teaching our children. Instead of telling them not to talk to strangers or run and scream, “YOU’RE A STRANGER!” when a stranger approaches, we should preach not to talk to people you know, and to scream “YOU ARE A FAMILY MEMBER!” when Mee-Maw approaches. I realize that’s ridiculous, but it illustrates a point. I am not, in any way, making light of harm that comes to children. I just think we need to be aware and not put our worries, fears, or phobias into our child’s undeveloped little brains. We need to, honestly, access the odds of actual threats, from the seemingly constant scares created by television and movies. We should teach our kids not to get in a car with anyone without our permission. We should teach them not to wander off with a stranger. We should teach them to tell us if someone touches their body where their swimsuit covers. We shouldn’t scare them to the point they would be afraid to ask a stranger for help, if they were lost, hurt, or in trouble. We shouldn’t have 10-year-olds afraid to play in their cul-de-sac or walk to a neighbor’s house. We shouldn’t have 6-year-olds believe the world is a horrible place, where everyone is out to get them. That jaded, cynical thinking should be reserved for the adults. It took me 30 some years to reach that point. I worry enough about my children’s well being to cover the whole family, and I really like being the only Harris on anti-anxiety meds.

Matt Harris is the co-host of the Matt and Ramona Show, aired Monday–Friday from 3–7 p.m. You can email Matt your thoughts at | for local moms ... by local moms




Brie Biddle

Photo by Amy Biddle

Dean Frye

Photo by Lisa Wishon

Ava Pruitt

Photo by Demetria Pruitt

Gabriella & Gianna Dixon

Photo by Gedehma M. Dixon Jayden Vazquez

Photo by Tameka Ne'Shay Ania Kit Moore

Photo by Kinsley Photography

Jake Hawkins

Photo by Angel Eyes Photography

Cooper Davis Brown

Photo by Jeremy Brown

Meredith McKee

Photo by Photography by Chanda

54 | for local moms ... by local moms

Have you seen our Cuties ONLINE? View local little ones at Do you have a cutie you’d like to submit? Send your submission to click on “cuties” Be sure to include contact information; we regret that photos cannot be returned. Digital photos must be HIGH RESOLUTION.

Aubrey Hall

Photo by Michelle Hall

Rishi & Raunak Garhyan

Photo by Picture People Brooklyn Trent

Photo by Angela Tucker Photography

Riley Johnson

Photo by Trisha Johnson Jayden Lockhart

Photo by bumper

Bailey & Camden Layne

Photo by Photography by Chanda

Chakira Generette Ronin Johnson

Photo by Olan Mills Pineville

Lorna, Colin, and Fiona Robertson

Photo by Snooky Smiles

Photo by Trisha Johnson | for local moms ... by local moms


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Lake Norman’s

#1 Martial Arts School Trial programs available monthly

social, emotional, and character development through Martial Arts training

Summer camp dates: June 18th - 22nd August 6th - 10th.

704-658-0544 653 Brawley School Rd. Mooresville, NC 28117 56 | for local moms ... by local moms

Worldwide photojournalistic photographer

704.906.8739 ...

Little Ones Magazine Feb-March 2012  

Regional magazine for parents of kids 0-12 in the Charlotte NC area.

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