Saturday, February 27, 2010

52 Character Building Thoughts for Children

I saw this on another multiple mom club blog and really liked it. Though it's written for the classroom, these are all things we can talk about at home as well.

Written by Leah Davies, M.Ed.

The following quotes may be used in a variety of ways by both teachers and counselors. One idea is for a thought to be posted, read, and discussed at the beginning of each week. It could then be read daily with the students. At the end of the week ask them what they learned or how the thought applied to their lives or activities during the week. Have the children give written or oral examples, or have them draw a picture to illustrate their ideas.

1. How I look is not as important as how I act.

2. I treat others the way I want them to treat me.

3. I am a good sport; I follow the rules, take turns and play fair.

4. It is okay to laugh at funny things, but not to laugh at others.

5. I do not gossip; if I cannot say anything helpful, I do not say anything at all.

6. When I am sad, I help myself feel better by thinking of things that are good in my life.

7. In order to have friends, I must act in a kind way.

8. I believe that I am someone who can do important things.

9. What I say and how I say it tells others the kind of person I am.

10. I appreciate my family, my teachers, and my school.

11. I treat everyone with respect.

12. When I listen, I show others that I care about them.

13. I am being a good citizen when I volunteer to help others.

14. I think for myself and make smart choices that are good for me.

15. Each day offers a new start to do my best.

16. I try to understand what my friends are feeling.

17. Everyone makes mistakes, so instead of getting angry with myself, I try to do better.

18. I do not give up; I keep trying until I can do my work.

19. Sharing with others makes me feel good and makes them feel good too.

20. I work out my problems without hurting myself or others.

21. I am being polite when I wait for my turn and say please and thank you.

22. When I smile at people, they usually smile back.

23. I encourage my friends to do their best.

24. My values guide me to do what is right.

25. I am honest; I do not cheat or steal.

26. When I am angry, I use self-control and do not hurt others.

27. I am being creative when I dance, draw, paint or write a poem or story.

28. I say, "No!" to things that could hurt my body like tobacco and alcohol.

29. When I do what I say I will do, I am being responsible.

30. I am grateful for what I have, so I share with others.

31. I try to learn something new each day.

32. When things do not go my way, I stop and think of what I can do to make them better.

33. I do not make fun of other children because I don't know what their life is like.

34. I feel successful when I do my best.

35. Everyone has good and bad feelings.

36. I take care of myself by eating healthy food, exercising and getting enough rest.

37. I am being punctual when I am on time and do not keep people waiting.

38. When I cooperate with others, I get more done.

39. I follow the rules and try to make my school a better place.

40. I like to get to know children who are different from me.

41. Since I tell the truth, my friends trust me.

42. I look for what is good in others and I say what I like about them.

43. I buy only what I need and I save my money.

44. When I use my time wisely, there is usually enough time to do what I want to do.

45. I think before I act; how I act affects how others treat me.

46. Using manners helps me keep my friends.

47. I have courage to stand up for children who are teased.

48. Before I do something, I ask myself, "Is it safe?"

49. I am me -- I do not try to be like someone else.

50. I care about living things on earth so I recycle and do not litter.

51. When I write down what I think and feel, I learn about myself.

52. I plan ahead and think about what I want to do when I grow up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CMOTC sale advice from a veteran

Kathleen Panzica, our club vice president and CMOTC sale veteran, offers the advice below to our CMOTC moms who are both buying and selling at our semi-annual sales.


These are just some of my suggestions from working previous sales, I am not part of the sale committee. The last two sales I have straightened tables and saw the frenzy of happy shoppers on Saturday.

  1. Pay your dues so you can sell or shop.
  2. Read the Selling Guidelines, there have been changes and it's a good refresher to review each year. They are in place because members have asked for clarification or circumstances have occurred where these are necessary.

  3. Clean it, clean it, clean it. Nobody wants a dirty toy or stained clothing.

  4. Contact the Sale Committee directly with any questions or clarification about a question.

  5. Volunteer to help, the more helpers the less work for everyone. If your husband wants to help, there are spots available for him.

  6. You will make a new friend Friday night when in line waiting to get into the sale.

  7. Spread the word about the sale, if going to the doctor's office, or preschool, ask them to post the flyer. The website has a link for a printable flyer.

  8. Sort all clothes by size, and if needed by gender before the sale, this way you can just put items on the table and keep going.

  9. Make sure the item is clean, neat, batteries working, all buttons on, all pieces attached and zipped up. If it’s missing a piece, like a toy, check with manufacturer sometimes they supply replacement pieces at no cost. After the sale if it didn't sell, then donate, you won't want to lug items that you are just going to donate and not sell.

  10. Group onesies together as a bulk for pricing, they sell better.

  11. Bring a BIG shopping bag and a list of what you may be looking for so you can go directly to that area when shopping Friday evening.

  12. Use safety pins for the clothes.

  13. Small toys in Ziplocs bags are good, just tape the top so nothing falls out.

  14. If you have the instruction manual for the item, attach it. New Moms aren't always sure how these new toys/or cribs/ or whatever work. I know that from experience!

  15. To transport your boxes/bins you may want to bring a small hand truck, Big Lots sometimes has then for $15-20, and their great for around the house too.

  16. When getting started pricing fill a bin and then enter and print the tags, I’ll sort the week before, this way all items are in the system and priced.

  17. For pricing items think your second hand children stores, and also be objective of what you would pay for it if you saw it.

  18. Socks can not be sold at the sale.

  19. Description on tags help workers on the floor match tags on the floor with any tagless items. Also this can help prevent tag switching by customers.

  20. Each member helps make this sale what it is a success, by working together we have a great experience.

Thank you to the sale committee and all the volunteers for their continued work on making this a great fundraiser for our club.


What about you? Do you have advice to offer on selling and/or buying at the CMOTC sale? Please comment below or email us your advice to post.


Here is a deal I found at 610WTVN.

Half price Kingdom of Bounce. Spend $25 and get a $50 gift card to use on birthday parties, Open Bounce and more.

Great deal if you plan to go here a lot.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Diaper/Wipes Deals

For CHEAP wipes, check out this site (valid for the week of Feb 21st - Feb 27th)

For CHEAP diapers, if you have never used, be sure to check out this website. You can get $50 worth of diapers for $25 via $10 savings code and a $15 dollar rebate. Don't need diapers? You can get pull-ups and overnights this was as well!

How do I get my twins to sleep through the night?!

The answer to this question has to be one of the most sought out of all new moms, multiple or singleton. Fortunately, we were able to gather some answers for you.

Below is some advice based on experience from some of our members:


My twins were closer to 8 months or so before they started sleeping through the night, but my daughter is 6 mos. and has been sleeping thought the night for a long time now. What I did differently w/her is fed her after she woke up instead of right before she went down for a nap or bed (like I did my twins). Seems to have made all the difference in the world.


When my twins were 6 months I'd finally had it getting up all hours of the night!!! I called my pediatrician and asked if they still needed their bottles thru the night and if I could let them cry it out. She said by 6 months they should be sleeping thru the night and they were eating out of habit. I let them cry it out and it was the BEST thing we ever did. They are 9 months now and good sleepers!!! It was the ONLY thing that worked!!! I tried all the sleep training books and nothing seemed to work. My daughter LOVES her passie so i put 4 in her crib and she finds them and pacifies herself. It took about a week and then they started sleeping a solid 10-11 hours. We are all much happier in our house!! I recommend you sleep somewhere else in the house so you don't have to hear it. We ran a fan in our room so we didn't listen to it all night otherwise we would have caved. They might of learned it less than a week but like I said we really didn't hear it. We just made the decision and stuck to it for a solid week to make sure they learned to sleep thru the night. They figured it out!


My boys started sleeping through at about 4.5-5 months and I made it happen by cluster feeding at night. My boys were eating every 4 hours so in between their last two feedings (5:30 pm and 9:30 PM) I started giving them a small 2-3 ounce feeding. It worked like a charm. I can’t explain why, I was just grateful. I’ve heard of people having real luck with sticking to a strict schedule as well. Mine have a fairly consistent feeding schedule, but I don’t always do a bath at night, sometimes they don’t get a story and it hasn’t made a difference. They still get up sometimes, but they sleep through 90% of the time. They are 7 months and they have a bottle 4 times a day and have baby food 3 x a day. These are my first children and I know I struggled with amounts to feed them and that also made a difference for me, I wasn’t feeding them enough for them to sleep through the night.


I think with my singleton son and my twin girls that the best thing I did to help them sleep through the night was get them on a consistent daytime nap and feeding schedule and a consistent bedtime. My son began sleeping through the night at 5 weeks and my girls were about 2 months. You are right that they should not need fed during the night at their age. On the nights that my little ones have gotten up, I just go in, make sure they are not sick and then let them cry and fuss themselves back to sleep. It is not easy, but definitely worth it in the long run.


My daughter slept thru the night at 4 months when we tried cry it out - three hours and we were done. We (meaning my husband) didn't have the stomach to keep going with my son, and I continued to get up with him two times a night (breastfeeding through 8 months and formula after that). Finally at 15 months I put my foot down and said he is big enough to go the night. The first night I gave him water instead of formula and he was mad for 45 minutes; the second "feeding" of the night he cried for 30 minutes. The next night he woke once for 20 minutes and then never again. You're correct that you need to set the boundary. I missed out on nine months of good sleep! I was a fool to let it go on that long - don't make my mistake. You could try one at a time if you think that would help...


You will probably get varied advice on this. "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" is a great book with instructions/advice on sleep training. We sleep trained the twins at 6 weeks or so, let them cry it out and get themselves to sleep (mostly for naps- and the most I could take was 15 minutes of crying - when I'd pick them up they'd be so exhausted, they'd fall right asleep). I'm sure many people thought that was too young, but they were sleeping thru the night for 11 hours by 11 weeks. Just take all the advice with a grain of salt. They will do it eventually and I don't think there is anything wrong with letting them cry for 15 minutes - 30 minutes at night at that age as long as they are getting their full nutrition during the day. (My kids were always good night sleepers, but I do remember letting them cry it out for naps at that age for maybe 30 minutes?) Good luck. If you have an extra minute, check out that book. It's great!


I went through this w/ my singleton. The twins slept through the night at 4 months with no turning back. They've always been amazing sleepers. Still are and they are 6! So, naturally I thought my singleton would sleep through even before the twins since he was so much bigger (twice the weight of each twin) but that didn't happen.

I remember letting him cry it out a lot starting at 6 months and I totally regret it now. He just wasn't ready...for whatever reason. And then one day (closer to 8 months) he started sleeping through and he's been a good sleeper ever since. I think there is a point where it's time to let them cry it out, so they say, but for my 3rd, 6 months was too early. I really do regret that time and wish I just would have given him what he needed.

Only you can know when that time is but I just wanted to give your perspective from 4 years down the road. This is only a season and I promise, it will end...I know it doesn't feel like it.


My ped recommended crying it out and that children are able to do this at 5 month. As much as crying sucks...this method works! My girls are now 6 months old and sleep from 8PM-7AM. Get the book Babywise. I used this technique with all 5 of my kids!! They all slept thru the night at 10 weeks. There were certain periods of time when they didn't but most of the time they slept.


We did cry it out at 4.5 months. It took two bad nights and they have been sleeping through ever since. It is painful, but it works.


I wish I had a hard and fast rule or fix or answer. I don't. Really, it's all what you are comfortable with. For my first, a singleton, we did sleep training at six month - I used Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child as my basis because it was recommended by so many. I really had one of my friends feed me some concepts initially because I was SO tired I couldn't stay awake to read it - I was nursing and working full time. He was up multiple time a night. I did the intervals of checking on him. It was VERY hard - emotionally for me. I would go in after a minute, then two minutes, then three and worked up. Your intervals are supposed to be longer but again it's all in what you are comfortable with and I needed to take baby steps myself. Those minutes when he was crying were like hours to me. But in the end, it only took a week before he was sleeping through the night. And the crying went from a long period of time, to just minutes by the end of the week, to nothing. He still woke a handful of times after that, but he would go back to sleep.

For the twins, I had one that sleep at 4.5 months (on his own, no training- it was heaven) and one that was nine months. The issue with the nine months for me was he is so little and had really bad reflux for a long time so eating was painful for him until we figured it out (all kinds of testing and different meds, and upper GI, it was crazy). So, he was four months by the time that we got figured it all out for sure and got him on the right medicine and he could eat well. He didn't hit the growth chart until he was about 6.5 months. So, guilt and wanting him to grow and eat kept me feeding him in the middle of the night. Nothing else. Did he really need it, probably not. But after I fed him he went right back to sleep, so it was pretty painless (other than the continued broken sleep). By nine months he wasn't getting up as much and I decided to let him cry it out a little. Again with my small minute intervals. He moved through that very quickly and was sleeping through the night within days.

In the end, it's all up to you. My oldest is 5 and the twins are 2.5 now. I have seen all kinds of things since then on both sides, crying and no cry, with crying being this horrible child abusing method it seems. When my five year old was a baby, I was desperate for sleep and really this method was "the thing" - my pediatrician even told me to do it. Like I said, I did it in very small intervals, always going in and comforting him but never picking him up as hard as it was. I remember laying in the fetal position on my bed watching the clock for my next interval. It was undoubtedly hard, probably more on me than him. Really within a couple days he went from crying for an hour to 15 minutes then to a minute or two then to no crying. And he was so much happier because he was rested, it's hard on them to get up a lot. It worked. I try not to read a lot about it now, since I am done and past it (and who needs anyone questioning something you did in the past or making you feel guilty about it), but I will tell you without a doubt that it did not affect his trust in us and he and I are still very closely bonded (being my first and a singleton). And my one twin, he was so old that it was easy for him as it turned out. But I tell you both because I didn't do the same thing for both, based on how I felt, his personality and needs as well as the situation. I was also very lucky in that my other twin that slept on his own without intervention was not bothered by his brother's waking to be fed or then crying. Very lucky. I don't know if that is your case or not.

Again, it's all up to you, your twins, your comfort level and situation. I hope that helped in some way. I remember being in your shoes and just wanting someone to give me a concrete answer and ensure it was right...especially with my first child when I was so clueless. There is no “right” answer, take all our advice, try what you want and find what works for you and your child. Between this and following your gut/heart, you can’t go wrong!


Does anyone have more experience/advice to add? Please comment below or send something for us to add to this post.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Article on "over-parenting"

Recently while in our lunchroom at work, where people bring in old magazines to share, a cover article on a magazine caught my eye. It was an article by Nancy Gibbs entitled "The Case Against Over-Parenting: Why Mom and Dad need to cut the strings" in the November 30, 2009 issue of Time magazine. Because just about any parenting article interests me, I scooped it up (and had to laugh out loud as I read it because I actually own a cookbook cited in this article, among other things). I thought the article was thought provoking in many ways and though a couple months old, worth sharing with the group.

Monday, February 8, 2010

BPA Free Cheat Sheets

With all BPA concerns over the last few years, it is hard to know what is BPA free and what isn't. Or even what all your options are for BPA free products. Or even what of your child's products contain BPA, besides the widely known bottles and sippy cups.

Though most companies are labeling their product as BPA free when it is and more companies are going to BPA free products, it's still helpful to be able to refer to a good resource., which was started by moms just like us, has many cheat sheets for BPA free products such as bottles and sippy cups, pacifiers, baby food and baby food making products and much, much more. These cheat sheets, which are updated regularly, can really help you get your arms around all that is BPA free and much more.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentine's cards, crafts and sweets

The Family Fun website always has really neat ideas for all things holiday. If you are looking for ideas, here is a link to all their Valentine's Day ideas.

For Valentine Day's past, we have made the sweet shovel (we filled it with stickers, little raisin boxes and a couple chocolate kisses) and the sweet for the sweet - naturally for my oldest son's friends. Both were a huge success.

In addition to the card ideas, there are also a ton of fun recipes, games and party ideas.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Baby sign language

We taught our first child baby signs and though I was a little skeptical at first, we found it well worth it. We stuck to the basics mostly: more, hot, hurt, milk, please, thank you, all done, bath, book, and a few others. It worked really well and he ended up being an early and very good talker, as well as communicator. So when the twins were old enough, I taught them those few signs as well. Both twins had delays in all areas, including speech, so having baby signs proved even more helpful for them. I really feel, as do others, that it helped them feel more in control and comfortable being able to express their needs before they could get it out with words.

We later discovered that one of the twins has a speech disorder called Apraxia, so knowing some sign language has meant the world to him. We actually all started learning more signs when we discovered this and we noticed a big change in him - he was less frustrated and more social with children and even adults. Even his speech therapist noticed the change.

If you want to teach your child baby signs, or ASL, there are many great resources.

Here are some that I have used and recommend:

  • Baby Signs book by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn
  • Babies and Sign Language website - signing glossary (with photos)
  • Baby Signs Quick Reference Guide
  • Signing Times DVDs (recommended by our speech therapist and our favorite resource)
Personally, I found teaching signs worked best when my children were about nine months old and starting to self feed. That's when I started with 'more,' 'drink' and 'all done.' We worked up from there.

To anyone that has interest and is wondering if it is worth it, in my opinion and experience it definitely is. Here is a great interview with Rachael Coleman the creator of Signing Times on the Multiples and More Blog.

How about our other moms? Did any of you use sign language with your babies? When did you start? What worked best? What resources were invaluable or helped the most? Any tips? Let us know!

Thinking about teaching your baby sign language and have questions? Ask us!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Transitioning to finger foods

The question regarding transitioning to finger foods comes up often. We're all excited to get to this point, but when we do... what can we feed them?

Here are some suggestions that club members provided:

  • soft cooked pasta
  • Gerber puffs
  • brown rice
  • cottage cheese
  • baby yogurt
  • soft cheese
  • avocado chunks / guacamole
  • whole grain couscous
  • cooked green beans (soft)
  • hummus on soft pita bread
  • ripe apricots
  • cooked carrots (diced and very soft)
  • Zwiebeck crackers
  • shaved or grated apples
  • banana (cut small)
  • ripe peaches
  • small pieces of well cooked broccoli florets
  • scrambled egg yokes with/without cheese
  • tofu cubes rolled in (coated with) crushed cereal (Cheerios, Kashi Mighty Bites, etc)
  • baked or steamed (until very soft) chunks of sweet potatoes or squash with cinnamon and/or nutmeg

All cubed and pieces of food, no matter how soft, should be very small. For the soft and somewhat slippery items, crush up cereal (like Cheerios, Kashi Mighty Bites, etc) and roll/coat the food chunks with crumbs. It will make it easier for your baby get a grip and pick up (and save them the frustration).

A great website for all things baby food, including first finger food ideas, is Here is the link to the finger food page which lists some other food ideas and recipes.

What additional tips do all of you have for transitioning to finger food? What resources did you use to get ideas? What favorite foods did your baby have? Give us your input!

Monday, February 1, 2010

School Aged Twins...To Separate or Not

Via email, one of our members asked for advice concerning a Kindergarten issue. She was wondering whether or not to separate her twins. Here is some feedback she received.

Our twins are now in first grade. They had a dependence on each other and did not do well when seperated at preschool, even for a short period. We kept them together for Kindegarten, the first time one went home sick was traumatic for the one left behind, but a huge growth experience for both. The teacher said there is no issue having them together. As they are growing, they are still just as close, but the interdependence on each other is waning, without the trama of seperation. I agree with other posts, it varies by twins, ask them and then be flexible enough to change the situation in the first week of school if necessary.

We kept our twins together for Kindergarten and First Grade (boy/girl twins). At that point, I asked them what they'd prefer, and they said to be separated. They have been separated since. That approach worked well for us. I made an appointment and talked with the principal (spring) to request they be together; normally our school splits them. I then put it in writing when they wanted to be separated. One thing I would have done differently was to request that both had one good friend in their classroom the first year they were split. I (incorrectly) assumed they would do that. The beginning of that year was a little rough for my daughter; I think it would have been easier if she had a good friend in her class.

Each year I would ask my sons' teachers if they saw any reason my sons should not be in the same class. (Our school only had one class for each grade) One teacher, that only had them once a week, did not even know they were twins (fraternal). Ask the boys as you go along and the teachers for feedback. Things could change as they grow.

I say keep the twins together if there are no rivalry issues or other reasons to separate. As soon as Kindergarten, kids are bringing home work and projects. It's much easier to keep up with one teacher and lesson plan versus two. School is a learning curve for both the parent and the twins. Make things easy on everyone the first year and re-evaluate as needed. Definitely talk to your school district though as each district differs on how much control the parent has in decisions such as classroom placement.

Cakes, Cakes, Cakes

Just an FYI,

One of our very own club members is offering her services. She will make cakes for any occasion. Just email or contact her for more information.

Holly Rickelmann
phone#: 740-881-3117
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