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

Tot Mom # 36

Lauren — Pretty in Pink

Liam — I’m brand new!

Shelley & Luke — When you know, you know

Shelley is from Youngstown, Ohio and attended Youngstown State University, where she earned her nursing degree. After college, she decided to move to Pensacola, Florida to attend Bible school. She earned an associate degree in practical ministry and moved to Charlotte in 2003 to help the Bible School start a church. Shelley met her husband, Luke, at Freedom House Church. Luke was making a move personally in his life and sent an email to the church members to see if anyone could help him move his things. Shelley is the only one who showed up that day, so she and Luke had a few hours to get to know one another. After knowing each other for about 1 1/2 months, Luke told Shelley that she would be his wife. Her response, ” I know.” About 8 months down the road, the two took a leap and have been happily married now for 5 years. When this couple has a chance to go out, they like to dance or listen to live entertainment, mostly jazz. They also enjoy going to dinner and catching a broadway show. Shelley’s hobby is playing tennis. She used to play, pre-tots, and hopes to join a tennis team when her children are older. I would start searching the Lake Norman area!

Lauren is 21 months old and loves just about any activity, since she is so active. She enjoys reading books, putting puzzles together, and watching her favorite television show, Veggie Tales. Lauren also likes being around other people and is quite social, so Shelley makes it a point to take Lauren out and about so she can be around other children. Gymboree is Lauren’s favorite place to enjoy mingling with peers, as well as singing, dancing, and getting the wiggles out. Liam is only two weeks old, so Shelley says she is unable to identify any type of personality yet. My guess? Liam is probably shy since it seems as if most siblings are opposite. Only time will tell!

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is juggling two kids’ schedules. It seems as if they both need you at one time. The best thing, “It is so much fun!”

Tot Mom #35

Justin, Jessica, Joel, & Jobe — The Super J’s

Jessica and her husband, Justin, both grew up in Maryland and began their relationship right before heading to college. Jessica attended AACC college and Justin attended Clemson University. They continued a long distance relationship for a few years, seeing each other about 1 week every three months.  They got married when they were 20 years old right after their sophomore year in college. Jessica transferred to Anderson College in South Carolina to complete her junior year and Justin continued at Clemson. Jessica got a job as a Teacher’s Assistant, which allowed her to see what the future would hold once she graduated college. This experience, however, prompted her decision to fold up shop and discontinue earning her Education degree. Jessica is now a stay at home mom and loving it! She and her husband have been married 8 years now and just moved to Charlotte, NC on August 19, which makes them Charlotteans for all of 17 days. They love the lake area and can’t wait to go wakeboarding out on Lake Norman. This family is active and enjoy being outdoors, camping and hiking. Jessica’s main hobby is cooking. When she was young, she earned an allowance for cooking since her mother worked a lot. It didn’t feel like a chore, though, because she had already grown fond of cooking. Today, she cooks for all of her boys and admits that she is pretty darn good. To offset all of the delicious food, she takes her boys on a 3 mile jog everyday. Eating, then exercising, what a concept!

Joel is three years old and enjoys any boyish activity, including sports, balls, trucks, cars, and riding bikes. His favorite toy of all, however, is his set of golf clubs. Joel’s favorite television show is Wipeout, believe it or not. He will watch that show over any other popular kid’s program, including Blues Clues. Joel is laid back, calm, and shy. When he is around a group of children, he won’t say a word. One thing I noticed, though, is that he is very sweet. He and Madison were sitting on the bench at Birkdale and he leaned over and kissed her cheek. Jobe is one year old and completely opposite from his older brother. He is constantly on the go, doesn’t watch television, and he is not shy at all! Jobe is also all boy, liking to climb and hike. He is obsessed with trains and loves playing the drums. It comes to no surpise that he also enjoys  following Joel around, attempting to do everything he does. That will never change!

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is managing the 2 kids, feeding one, potty training the other. Jessica feels outnumbered when she is by herself. The best thing is seeing the fruits of your labor being played out. Watching the children follow through without being told what to do is so rewarding.

Tot Mom #34


Nancy, Murphy, & Neve — Soft, yet hard

Nancy was born and raised in Thailand and moved to Charleston, South Carolina when she was 14. She attended Lander University in Greenwood, SC and Trident Tech where she studied criminal justice and sociology. She completed her training and certification at the police academy in Columbia, SC. Nancy was a police officer for 8 years with the Greenville City Police Department. It is strange to think of her in this role because she is so sweet! After 8 years of enforcing the law, she felt herself becoming a different person and needed a change. Her friend was a massage therapist and always looked so calm and carefree, so Nancy looked into it. During this exploration, she took her neice to Boone to snow ski for her 21st birthday. She met a guy while snowboarding and by the end of the trip, they exchanged numbers and he planted the seed that she should live in Charlotte. Nancy moved to Charlotte, bought a house, and attended the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular & Massage Therapy. Of course she and Scott began dating and have been married for four years. While in massage school, she obtained a wonderful job working at  Tuscan Development as the assistant to the president of the company and put massage therapy on hold. After the economy crash,  Nancy was laid off and became a full time massage therapist. She has been building relationships and learning people’s bodies to help them feel better ever since. She and her husband love going to WVU games, snowboarding, and spending time with their girls. Nancy’s hobbies include cooking, baking cakes, sewing, and doing crafts. I had the pleasure of making a beautiful necklace at Nancy’s house and I’m looking forward to making a mobile for Madison’s room. Thanks for bringing out the crafty side in me Nancy!

Murphy is three years old and a little on the wild side. Nancy commented she was as good as gold, until she hit age 3. Sounds familiar! Murphy loves her baby sister, playing with her and giving little kisses. She likes doing gymnastics and plans on attending a gym this fall. She is also going to preschool this September, thank goodness, since she has become “obsessed” with school. Murphy also enjoys coloring and has really neat crayons made for her dry erase board. This will be good preparation for Kindergarten. Neve is four months old and just a sweet, little Lovey Dovey. She is calm and quiet, most of the time. Neve likes hands, so instead of munching on her own, mommy gives her a banana toothbrush to use.  It is cute to see the girls together, since Murphy looks just like Nancy and Neve looks just like Scott. They have two very different looks, yet are two very adorable girls!

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is letting go and allowing her husband to do his thing. It is often more peaceful when Scott is at work, just because Nancy has the girls running like clock work. The best thing is that it is perfect! “This is what life is all about!”

Tot Mom #33

Holly, Ethan, & Jack — Mommy’s little Jewels

Holly grew up in Illinois and moved to Idaho after high school to attend BYU Idaho, which is an extension of Brigham Young University. She earned her degree in Secondaray Education, yet found that it wasn’t the career for her. Holly went into marketing for Vital Smarts and did some events planning as well. When her son was born, she and her husband, John, decided she would be a stay at home mom. Holly and John met in Idaho through some mutual friends, dated for about 1 1/2 years and have been married now for 8 years. They recently moved to Charlotte from New York about 3 months ago for John’s  job with Wells Fargo. As of right now, Holly joked that their favorite activity is eating. She and John love to visit new restaurants and try out their dishes. They are hoping to pick up a new hobby, though, to go along with their new lifestyle in Charlotte. This couple dream of purchasing a boat, or maybe finding some new friends with boats! They would also like to try biking, so they would have other hobbies to discuss, besides eating! Recently, Holly has picked up a hobby of her own. She enjoys making jewelry and has started her own blog. Check out http://sterlingloveletters.blogspot.com/. One of Holly’s other passions is photography. She doesn’t claim to be a professional, yet enjoys experimenting by snapping photos of her own family as well as friends’ families. Sounds to me like you need to take pictures of your friends and family wearing your jewelery so you can showcase two talents in one shot!

Jack is four years old and one of the most social children. If there are children around, he is playing with them, or at least attempting to play. He is really into dinosaurs right now and likes to watch the television show Wild Kratts, where two brothers explore the world of animals. Sounds like every boys’ fantasy! He also likes to play computer games, especially on PBS kids. Ethan is 2 years old and basically goes along with whatever Jack does or likes. In addition, Ethan has a few of his own favorites. He likes the show Backyardigans and loves trash trucks. Ethan looks forward to trash day so he can help take out the trash for the trucks to pick up. He is also having difficulty with potty training because he likes throwing away his own diapers. Ethan is going to be a great teacher’s helper some day!

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is feeling isolated and alone sometimes. You often feel as if you can only be friends with people who have children the same age as your own. The best thing is having a flexible schedule. Moms don’t have to sit in an office all day. Most days, we don’t sit at all!


Tot Mom #32

Michelle & Julia — “Social”

Michelle was born and raised in Long Island, New York and shortly after high school went into Property Insurance. She met her husband a few years ago through a blind date. The story is actually sweet! Her mother worked with a handsome fellow and showed him a picture of her daughter she had on her desk. She asked him if he would be interested in taking her on a date and of course he was since Michelle is pretty. Michelle went on the blind date, mostly because her mother set it up, and they hit it off. Shortly after she and Brian began dating, Michelle’s mother passed away. She never knew that her daughter and Brian fell in love and got married. They have been married now for almost 3 years and silently thank Michelle’s mom everyday. Michelle and her husband visited his family frequently down here in the Carolinas and they grew fond of the people, weather, and casual atmosphere. This laid back lifestyle fit their personalities, so they moved to the Charlotte area. Michelle transferred to the South Park area to continue her work in Property Insurance. Recently, she resigned because she wanted to have a family and be able to be with her children. For fun, she and Brian have a boat and enjoy hanging out on Lake Norman with their friends. One of their other favorite things to do is go to Jimmy Buffet concerts. Michelle’s hobbies consist of doing yoga and playing board games. “Yes, I am a geek!” she mentioned with a smile on her face.

Julia will be 20 months old on September 5 and loves climbing and socializing. Her confident, strong personality is a mirror image of Michelle. She and mommy do the adorable “Social” as they hold up their glasses and clink them together. Julia is a water baby as well and loves their boat. Among other interests, she likes dogs, especially her yellow lab Abby. Julia also enjoys eating, yet gravitates towards the healthy side and will pick up fruit instead of cookies. Recently she has gotten into Sesame Street, of course loving the famous Elmo the most. This little girl is like a mini wheat, so sweet and innocent on one side and full of curiosity on the other.

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is never wanting your baby to get hurt. The best thing is ” The way she loves me. It is so rewarding.”

Tot Mom #31

Jennifer & Elaina — Active & Adorable

Jennifer is from Northern New York and lived there until she attended college in Canada, where she earned a Biology degree. She met her husband, Jeff, at a party in college and the two have been inseparable since. After college they wanted to move somewhere warmer, so they went to Winston Salem, where Jennifer attended law school. The two got married four years ago, after she graduated with her Law degree and moved to Charlotte for her husband to pursue his career in Mechanical Engineering. Jennifer went into Real Estate and obtained her job until she had Elaina. As most stay at home moms say, “I missed my baby!” She and Jeff love to be outdoors and enjoy hiking, camping, and playing soccer together. Every fall, they anxiously wait for their season tickets for the Wake Forest football games. When these two sports lovers have a chance to unwind and dine, their favorite place to go is Birkdale Village. Jennifer’s hobbies consist of running, playing soccer, and snow skiing. She enjoys being active and is looking forward to being more active as she continues to get in shape after having her baby. In fact, she signed up for Operation Bootcamp, where she was engaging in hard core working out from 5:30-6:30 in the morning. I’m all for being in shape, but Jen, I think everyone will agree with me on this one when I say, “You’re crazy!”

Elaina is thirteen months old and loves to eat! She also enjoys playing in water, swimming, and being outside. Her new favorite thing to do is play with Tobin, her dog. She will actually sit on Tobin while watching television. Elaina also likes to read books, especially books with dogs, or any animals really. Now that she can walk, Elaina is becoming more active and rambunctious, like most toddlers. While at Discovery Place, Elaina thinks it is cute and funny to run away from mommy. It is time to teach Elaina, “Stranger Danger”!

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is finding ways to keep your tot entertained. She becomes easily bored with the toys at home, so going out is a must. The best thing is being able to spend time with her. Seeing her laugh at things she has never seen is the greatest joy.

Tot Mom #30

Elizabeth & Sam — Singing This Song For You

Elizabeth grew up in a small town in Nevada, where her graduating class consisted of only 22 students. Having been used to a small town, she began researching private Christian colleges. During her search in the surrounding states, she accidentally stumbled into North Carolina colleges. This is where she found Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Elizabeth always had a talent for singing and joined the high school choir, so it was only natural that her major in college was music. During her college days, she had the opportunity to see Opera Carolina and fell in love immediately. She wanted to be an opera singer, so she quickly changed her major to music performance. Out of college, she moved to Spartansburg, South Carolina to pursue her Masters Degree, yet opted to leave before finishing. Elizabeth moved to the Charlotte area and began working with a voice teacher at CPCC. Her opportunity arrived as she was accepted to be part of the opera, La boheme, at CPCC. She met her husband, Luke, through some mutual friends and they have been together for 4 years, married for 1 1/2 years. Being in opera did not go well with the family life, so she got a job part-time job at a hospital as a Unit Coordinator. Elizabeth is now a stay at home mom, raising their little man, Sam. She and Luke like to go rock climbing, white water rafting, camping, and fishing. Luke is very adventurous, so he encourages Elizabeth to live a little on the dangerous side. In return, she brings culture to their lives by taking him to operas. Her hobbies consist of singing, crotcheting (fun, silly hats), and baking. The problem with baking is she has to send it away when she is done!

Sam is 18 months old and goes by the nickname Little Bug. He is quite the ladies’ man, always flirting with girls. I touched his cheek and he gave me the cutest little smirk! Watch out mom! Elizabeth stated that her husband is very charming, so Sam must get it from his daddy. Little Bug is all about water this hot summer, both playing in it and chasing mommy with the garden hose. He also likes to read books, especially his 5 favorite books at home he reads over and over. Sam is a typical boy who loves balls, kicking them, throwing them, bouncing them, you name it. Recently he has gotten into Sesame Street, specifically Elmo’s world. He hates to be in his car seat, so going anywhere is not fun, until they arrive at their destination. Sam is fascinated with people and enjoys observing, so it is worth the trip.

The hardest thing about being a Tot Mom is that it is all consuming. The whole world is revolved around the tot, so mommy time is much needed. The best thing, though is how much they love you. Mommy is his whole world right now and there is nothing like it.