Madison (my tot) and I have a goal to meet 365 Moms & their tots.

Tot Mom #43

Bonnie & Triston — Proud working mom & her little man

Both Bonnie and her husband are originally from New Jersey. She lived there during her youth before attending college at Belmont Abbey, in Belmont, North Carolina. She majored in Business Management and moved to Charlotte to work for Phillip Morris after graduation. She decided to move back home to NJ and met the man of her dreams shortly after while hanging out with some friends at a concert.  Of course, she thought he was good looking and proceeded to ask him out. I like a woman who can take charge! The two were engaged one year later, at a concert, go figure. They were listening to one of her favorite Jersey punk rock bands and to her surprise, the band stopped to say a few words to a special lady in the crowd. The spotlight shone down on her and before she knew it, Adam had the ring in front of her. Needless to say, she was completely swept off her feet as she accepted his proposal to one of their favorite songs, Lean on Sheena. During their engagement, Bonnie decided to make a career change to the field of nursing. The two were married in June 2008 and her life changed forever! They moved to Greenville, NC where she obtained a job in nursing, however, the couple wanted a little more action in their lives, so they moved to Charlotte after 2 years. Bonnie is currently a nurse in the emergency room at Carolina Medical Center North East. For fun, Bonnie and Adam love to go to concerts, enjoying a variety of music. They enjoy being outdoors, swimming & hiking. Their favorite spots around the Charlotte area are Lake Norman and Birkdale Village. Bonnie’s hobbies consist of scrapbooking and cooking, which she would love to pick back up now that her little man is growing older.

Triston, aka T, or Triston Jade (if he is in trouble), will be 2 years old July 25. His absolute favorite things are art and music. In fact, his birthday party is going to be art themed. The kids will even get to decorate their own smocks! Triston also enjoys wagon rides and would stay in there for hours if you let him. He loves his kittys, Dublin and Chanel, or diddys (as he calls them). This baby boy is growing up and will start preschool this fall and mom couldn’t be more pleased at the thought of adding some structure in his life. For fun, Bonnie and Tristen like to go to the Birkdale fountains together and splash around, but their favorite outing is the Cornelius Art Center. This center has drop in art, where you pay a fee of $6 and your child gets to visit various art stations for one hour. That sounds like so much fun, Madison and I are going to join them on their next art adventure!

Bonnie says the hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is keeping up with Triston and allowing him to be independent. She has to separate her nurse mentality from mommy mentality so she doesn’t become too overprotective. The best thing is watching how he copies everything she and her husband do. It is so much fun to watch him pick up life habits just by observing his mom and dad’s actions. Looks like you guys will have to watch what you say and do from now on!

Tot Mom #42

Grace, Miranda, & Sabrina — Cute, Cuter, Cutest

Miranda — Drama Queen

Sabrina — Miss Independent

Grace is originally from Augusta, Georgia and lived there for most of her life. She attended Augusta State University, earning her degree in finance & economics. Grace picked up and moved to Charlotte when she was transferred with First Union and has now lived here about fourteen years. She didn’t know a single person when she moved here, yet was able to eventually build friendships, some through work. A fellow coworker had two friends that he thought may interest Grace, so she met them and began hanging out with both of them within her group of friends. All of them attended the MS walk in Newton, NC one weekend and she began to grow very fond of Randy, who is now her husband. They were married in March 2006 and now have two adorable girls. For fun, they love traveling, but have had to put travels on hold with two little ones. Grace and Randy are going to start planning a much needed trip to Cabo San Lucas. Good Luck! For now, the pair enjoy an evening out every now and then at their favorite restaurants, Ru’sans and Ruth’s Chris. Grace has been a stay at home mom since September 2011 and loves it! She will continue to stay home as long as the family can swing it with one income. One of her favorite hobbies is belly dancing, which she describes as a “celebration of womanhood”. Grace also stated that she never had a lot of time to put much effort into cooking, so she is enjoying cooking now that she stays home with her girls.

Miranda is four years old and goes by the nickname, Miranda panda. She is a bit of an introvert, yet has been recently coming out of her shell. Miranda is also mommy’s little drama queen! For example, the other day she spilled her drink and asked Grace, “Mommy, are you going to leave me?” Then, she took off running and locked herself in her room. Sounds like most girls to me! Miranda is into princesses and girly things, so it comes to no surprise she wants to take dance lessons. She is also the little swimmer in the family, having begun lessons at only 7 months old. Sabrina is one year old and the opposite of Miranda. She is fearless and a risk taker and enjoys climbing on just about everything. Sabrina is the extrovert and outgoing. This little one likes to be independent and do things her own way. It is a good thing she has such a great big sister, who loves her and helps her any chance she gets.

Grace stated the hardest thing about being a tot mom is finding a way to nurture the relationship with her husband. The best thing is the joy her little girls give her every day. “I feel complete.”

Tot Mom #41

Dana & David — Love at first sight

Meadow — Making everyone smile

Lyric — Compassionate & Kind

Dana was born in Lantana, Florida, however, grew up in West Palm Beach. She attended the University of Florida, where she majored in music. After one semester of having fun, Dana moved back home to attend Palm Beach Community College, where she was able to be serious. During this time, she got a job at a Cigar Bar as a personal assistant doing party hosting. She eventually became very busy planning events, so she made the decision to do it full time. Dana met her husband, David, at one of the events. He noticed her and that is all she wrote. David asked her out and they went on a date two days later. After ten days of dating, the two packed up everything they owned and took off on an adventure to start their life together. They stopped in Helen Georgia for a break from the road trip and David proposed to Dana. She knew he was the one and said, “Yes!” They continued their journey and landed in Asheville, North Carolina where they lived in a hotel. Dana got a job at a physical rehabilitation clinic working at the front desk, so they stayed there for a while. Within three weeks of knowing one another, they were engaged and found out that they were going to have a baby! Unbelievable! Dana and David stayed in Asheville for a few months, however, found it difficult for David to find work. Being a massage therapist, he needed a location where he could move forward with his career. He found a job at Massage Envy in Huntersville, so the two moved here. In the middle of all of this, Dana grew homesick, so they tried moving back to Florida, yet found themselves continually discussing how wonderful it is in the Charlotte area. They made the final decision to settle down in Huntersville and have been married now for four years and have two beautiful children. For fun, they love being outdoors, especially to go on hikes. They also enjoy going for day trips to explore and visit new places. Currently the two are training to run a marathon. Dana’s hobbies include reading, visiting the website ‘pintrest’, and photography. You can visit Dana’s website at (laviephotographic.blogspot.com).

Lyric is almost four years old and loves any sports, mostly baseball and soccer. He also enjoys wearing his pajamas and would live in them if mommy would permit. Being a social butterfly, he likes to play with his friends and take care of them. When his friends fall down, he helps them up and wants to kiss their boo boos. He is gentle, polite, compassionate, but most of all, “the best big brother”. Meadow is seven months old and one of the most mellow, laidback babies around. On any given day, she is all smiles and easy going. Her favorite thing in the world right now, “mommy’s breast”. She also loves her big brother, watching him as he engages in play and giggles when he takes a moment to smile at her and call her “little miss”.

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is not having any alone time or time for yourself. The best thing is all the love and laughter. “They are so funny, it is priceless.”

Tot Mom #40

Kristina & Ruth — Always Outdoors

Kristina was born in Colorado and lived in just about every area of the US due to her father’s career in the military. Her family finally settled down in Virginia, where her parents currently live. She attended William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and earned her degree in Psychology. During college she met her husband, Micah, while both were working at Staples. They didn’t hit it off right away, so it took some time of getting to know one another before falling in love. Micah was a few years ahead of Kristina, so he graduated and moved to Charlotte while she finished college. They held a long distance relationship until she graduated and moved here to continue their romance. They have been married now for about 8 years. Upon her arrival in Charlotte, Kristina went into human resources as a recruiter for a bank, yet decided it wasn’t for her, so she began looking into getting her Master’s Degree. She attended UNCC where she earned her Masters in Early Childhood Education. While taking classes, she got a job writing curriculum and loved it. Kristina is currently a stay at home mom and teaches a class at UNCC. She and her husband enjoy many activities, mostly those that involve being outside. They go camping, hiking, and indulge in the occasional motorcycle ride when they want to seek a thrill. This pair are also highly competitive and like to play boardgames, especially to beat other couples or family members. For their anniversary, they went miniature golfing and just to avoid any fun banter between the two, she threw the game. Her husband didn’t realize it until the last hole! Kristina’s hobbies consist of yoga and making greeting cards with stamps. She is also interested in getting back into ice skating, even though she states, “I’m not very good!”

Ruth, AKA tooter (because she toots a lot) and moobear, is an outdoors kind of girl who enjoys getting dirty. Her favorite activity is going worm hunting. She loves to dig up worms and bury them in her piles of dirt. Another outdoor activity she likes is going to the Lazy 5 Ranch to feed the animals. This active, curious 2 1/2 year old also has the silly habit of taking off her clothes. “She likes to be naked when running around the house and occasionally in public.” In fact, I witnessed her taking off socks, shoes, and pants. Yes, Ruth was running around in her diaper while having a play date with Madison and I! She is also very verbal and enjoys telling jokes to anyone who will listen. It comes to no surprise that she likes to be the leader and I have no doubt that she will continue leading the pack as she grows older.

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is watching your child when they get hurt, knowing there is nothing you can do but hold them until the pain goes away. The best thing is seeing everything through her eyes. “Everything is fun!”

Tot Mom #39

Denise & Billy — Lovers of the Lake

Cole, & Addison– Sweet & Spicy

Denise was born in Biloxi, Mississippi and moved to Winston Salem, North Carolina when she was thirteen. Her family often relocated due to her father’s career. She attended Fayetteville Tech to earn a degree in radiology, yet decided it wasn’t the career she wanted to pursue, so she moved to Statesville to go to CPCC  for Real Estate. Denise then moved to the Lake Norman area and began her career as a loan officer for a mortgage company. She met her husband, Billy, through mutual friends. Denise’s best friend was dating Billy’s best friend, so they began hanging out for a little while before starting a relationship. They have been married now for six years and love their Lake Norman life. When they have a chance to engage in activities without the children, they enjoy sneaking away for some wings and drinks. They also like to attend Panthers football games and take their boat out for a cruise on the lake. In fact, the whole family piles onto the boat to enjoy water activities all summer long. Sounds like the good life to me! Denise’s hobby consists of running and working out at the YMCA. She needs to stay in shape to keep up with her twin four year olds!

Cole is laid back and mild mannered, often depending on his outgoing, strong willed twin sister. He loves superheros, transformers, and most of all, dressing in cowboy attire. He and his sister attend the YMCA preschool program and love it. The Y offers a wide range of athletic actvities from swimming to gymnastics. No wonder they love it! Addison is a girly girl and highly into princesses and fashion. She is the leader of the pack and “rules the nest” at home. Cole listens to Addison for the most part. She is a little swim bug and would live under the water, if possible.

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is juggling the toddler years with all of the melt downs and temper tantrums. It also becomes difficult to juggle being a mom and a wife. The best thing is watching them grow and develop their own personalities. “It is hysterical to watch a mini you and your husband running around.”

Tot Mom #38

                                    Emma & Mama’s Boy

Emma, Kylee, Chloe, & Liam — Young Love

Emma was born in Romania and lived there until the age of 6. She and her family moved around a little, having lived in Oregon, California, and finally Chicago, where they have been settled for 20 years. She met her husband, Cosmin, at a wedding when she was 15 years old and they have been head over heels ever since. They are both Christian and made the decision to save themselves for marriage. After 4 years of dating, the two tied the knot and have been married now for 9 years. Emma stated that she feels blessed to have such a sweet husband and has cherished seeing him every day for the past 13 years. Fairy tale love is real!  Emma had a wonderful job in Chicago at Neiman Marcus before becoming a stay at home mom. The two moved to Huntersville 3 months ago for Cosmin to continue his career at Sprint Nascar as a computer technician. For fun, they enjoy street racing and are proud to say that they own a Mitsubishi Evo, which is just as fast as an exotic car. I’ll take your word for it! Street racing has come to a halt since they have 3 children, so Cosmin likes to drive the Evo to work. Emma said the engine is loud and she can hear her husband coming down the street every evening from work. Her hobby consists of playing the guitar and singing. She used to sing gospel at her church and looks forward to getting back into music soon.  We had the pleasure of hearing Emma play the guitar and sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Madison watched and listened intently as the sweet music filled the air. What a treat!

Kylee, Chloe, & Liam are all under the age of 6 and mommy had them all before reaching 26. Kylee is 5 and the stubborn one in the group. When she comes home each day from Kindergarten, “All hell breaks loose!” Emma has accepted she can’t change Kylee’s character, so she has revamped the way she disciplines her. Kylee is into Hello  Kitty and loves to sing. She and mommy do duets together and Emma admits she is good. Shopping and going out anywhere are high priorities for this little Vixon. You name it, she will be there! Chloe is 2 1/2 years old and the lamb of the family. She is very calm, never cries, and is considered to be the “perfect child”. Her favorite thing to do is play with her toy story dolls, which she has many. She also has a large bronco in the living room, which she likes to ride like Jessie, the cowgirl from Toy Story. Liam is 11 months old and a “mama’s boy”. He is obsessed with his mommy and attached at the hip. Emma even has to cook while holding him. He likes to play with his sisters and bug them, when he isn’t climbing on mama.

The hardest thing about being a tot mom of 3 is not having help. The best thing is just having them, they are a blessing.

Tot Mom #37

Jennifer, William, & Matthew — Generations of Love

Jennifer was born in Miami, Florida, yet lived in a number of areas. She moved to Knoxville, Tennessee for her father’s career and considers this to be her hometown since she was raised here. Jennifer went to Birmingham, Alabama where she attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  A short while later, she moved to Augusta, Georgia with her family.  She started her career at  a retina clinic as a certified ophthalmic assistant. After gaining experience in a diagnostic dye test, she accepted a position as head retinal angiographer in Wilmington, NC. She loved her job and ended up working for this clinic for 8 years before taking a position which involved research in Charlotte.  She rented a house in Southpark and started working at Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose, & Throat in the Imaging department.  During this time, she joined the ever so popular eHarmony site where she met the love of her life, Tom. They were inseparable from the very beginning and were married in November 2008. For fun, this couple likes to go to the mountains, particularly Blue Ridge Parkway and Blowing Rock. They also like going to beach, which is convenient since both of their parents own beach houses. Jennifer & Tom love playing with their boys and working in the yard.  Jennifer’s hobbies include shopping, cooking and play dates for her boys. Her relaxation time is spent watching the food network to get ideas for gourmet dishes.

William is 18 months old and is the fourth generation, having been named after his father, grandfather and great grandfather.  He loves swimming and has been in the pool since he was 12 weeks old.  It also comes to no surprise that he enjoys bath time. Will is a sweet boy who loves his class at The Little Gym.  His favorite toy is his night soother ocean wonder machine (he never goes on a trip without it) and his favorite show is Yo Gabba Gabba. Matthew is 4 months old and named after his maternal grandfather.  He has just begun to smile and babble.

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is the sleep deprivation. Jennifer can’t wait to have her nights back so she can catch up on her sleep.  The best thing is that she and Tom have found the meaning of life through their boys.  She says everyday is heaven on earth.

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