Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Klzart twinsie giveaway - and the winner is...

The Kothe Clan

Congratulations on winning a custom Klzart original twinsie set! Please email us ( your contact information (email address).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Candy-free Easter basket ideas

Here are some ideas for creating a candy-free Easter that your children will love!

Easter egg hunts are always a favorite activity for all children. The following are items that will fit into the large sized plastic eggs (and some will fit in the small eggs too) and are sure to be a huge hit:

  • Sticker sheets (cut in half or thirds so you don't have to fold them too much)
  • Small raisin boxes
  • Bouncy balls
  • Favor sized play dough containers
  • Matchbox or Hot Wheel cars (most will fit)
  • Bows or pretty barrettes
  • Cool socks (some will fit in the eggs)
  • Jewelry
  • Lip gloss
  • Coupons (like: special day out with mom, stay up late pass, etc.)
  • Small plastic animals
  • Stretchy anything (like frogs, lizards, etc. - kids love these)
  • Money (coins and/or dollar bills)
  • Small figures (like the small action figures that are out now or Polly Pockets, etc.)
  • Packets of seeds (flowers or vegetables) which you can plant and grow together

Other items to fill the perfect Easter basket:

  • Books
  • Art supplies (crayons, markers, paint, paper, Color Wonder products, etc)
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Bubble wands or blowers
  • Kites
  • Puzzles
  • Sand toys
  • Balls
  • Craft kits
  • Cool photo frames
  • Puppets
  • Small Lego sets
  • Doll outfits
  • Jump rope
  • Card games

Here are a few other fun ideas to do:

  • Put an entire puzzle, piece by piece, into a bunch of plastic eggs. Once your children find all the eggs, you can put it together as a family.
  • Put clues/riddles in the plastic eggs that will lead your children to their Easter basket.

How about you CMOTC moms? What candy-free items do you use to fill plastic eggs or Easter baskets? What Easter egg hunt and/or basket traditions do you have? Or what fun activities surrounding these do you do? Please share with us!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sock Bunny Easter Craft

I have seen this super cute Easter craft many times over the years, but had never tried it. So, when I saw it as the featured craft on the Multiples and More blog yesterday, I knew it was time to try.

Using the instructions from Missy, shown on the Multiples and More blog, here is how we made ours.

You will need:

  • Children socks (we used a baby sock and an adult sock)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pom-poms
  • Googly eyes, felt, foam paper or Sharpie
  • Rice or Beans
  • Ribbon
  • Rubber bands
  • Funnel
  1. Using a funnel inserted in the opening of the sock, fill it with rice or beans. Fill it up just past the heel. We didn't have a funnel, so I had them hold the sock open and I used a measuring cup with spout to pour it in. We used beans for the baby sock and rice for the adult sock - rice seemed to work better.
  2. Place a rubber band where the rice ends. (Make sure your rubber band is tied tight.)
  3. Tie a ribbon just below the heel. This creates the head and body.
  4. Cut the cuff of the sock, above the rubber band, in half and then cut angles on each half to form two bunny ears (you can adjust the lengths if you want as well). The boys decided they wanted short ears with some frills on the ends for the baby bunny and the mommy would be a lop bunny.
  5. To make eyes, you can cut foam or felt, or you can use googly eyes or a Sharpie marker. We used foam for one and googly eyes for another.
  6. Cut your foam paper or felt to make a nose and teeth, then attach with glue (unless you have sticky backed foam).
  7. Lastly, attach a pom-pom with glue for its tail. Allow to dry. We only had had neon multi-colored and green ones, a little crazy, but they worked and the boys loved them.

Note: Since these are filled with dry rice or beans, which can be a choking hazard, they should be used as decoration only, not as toys.

Posted by Wendy of

What fun Easter crafts do you have? Please share below in the comments or email them to us!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Crafts: plastic light catchers

I found this cool craft project in the Family Fun Digital Magazine, April 2010.

Pretty Plastic Light Catchers

By adding a very small amount of water to gelatin, kids can create a simple plastic that hardens into colorful window decorations. Gelatin is formed from collagen, a protein made of tiny fibers that’s essential for keeping cells stuck together. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a product that is lightweight and strong but without any of the oil-based chemicals used in many factory-made plastics. The bonus: it glimmers and shimmers in the sun.

What you need:

  • Small saucepan
  • ¾ cup water
  • Small spouted measuring cup
  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • Food coloring
  • 4 disposable plastic plates
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Parchment paper
  • Heavy books for weighting
  • Markers (optional)
  • String, ribbon or fishing line
  1. Boil 3 tablespoons of the water and pour into the measuring cup. Add 1 envelope of gelatin and a few drops of food coloring. Stir the mixture slowly until it’s combined. Let it sit for about a minute, then stir it again to minimize air bubbles.

  2. Pour the mixture onto the plastic plate. If you like, sprinkle glitter on top of the gelatin, or add one or two drops of different colored food coloring and swirl with toothpick to make a marbled pattern.

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the remaining envelopes of gelatin, varying the shades of food coloring each time.

  4. Let the gelatins dry until hardened, at least overnight. Peel them off the plates, then cut them into shapes with scissors. Using a hole punch, make holes at the top of them.

  5. If your light catchers start to curl, wrap them in a sheet of parchment paper, then place them between two heavy books. When they’re flat, use markers to draw on them, if you like.

  6. Suspend each from a string, ribbon or fishing line and hang in a sunny window.

For younger children, I imagine you could lay various shaped or themed cookie cutters on the plates and pour the gelatin mix into them, creating the shape you want without needing to cut it in the end.

Have you tried this before? Any tips? Have any great crafts or craft resources? Please comment below and share. Or email us your crafts to post on the blog.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Internet, Cell Phones and Gaming - How to Keep Your Children Safe

With all the technology available to our children now and days, a frequent worry for many parents is how to keep their children safe from harm while using them. Below are a few great sites that discuss key items to teach your children when on the internet, cell phone or when using a gaming console. These sites also have safe games for young children and give tips to teens. All three of these sites have parent and/or family pledges/contracts on use of the internet or gaming, as well as tips for parents (and teens) on identifying if your child is being targeted by a bully or predator. Many of these sites also have newsletters, containing tips and latest news on such matters, that you can sign up to receive via email. On this site, in the D.A.R.E. activity center within the Parent's Resource Center, D.A.R.E. America and have teamed up to create 14 simple activities that teach important internet safety principles to children ages four to ten years of age. Included are some internet use checklists for children and families. Has a family contract for on-line safety and has a child safe search engine (which filters using Google's safesearch filter). Discusses many on-line and cell phone tips for teens. Has a Get Game Smart Pledge where, as a family, you can promise to talk about rules for video games, TV shows and the Web, and about making responsible choices for each. It also shows you how to set up the parental controls on Xbox, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Discusses how to prevent or spot sexting, cyber bullying and grooming, as well as tips for safe cell phone and chat room tips for teens. It also has social web tips for teens and their parents.

Do you know of any other really good sites? Do you have your own child or family contract? Please share your on-line, gaming and cell phone safety resources and practices.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Giveaway - Klzart's Custom Twinsie Onsies and T-shirts

*********** this giveaway has ended ****************

We are very excited to announce that one of our own CMOTC moms, Kelly Zalenski, is giving away one of her super cute custom creations on our blog – her twinsie set (birth to 5T). If you haven’t seen them yet, you have to check them out in her etsy shop! For this giveaway, the lucky winner will get a set with their chosen design, in their children’s sizes, which range from birth to 5T (and can be two different sizes if that’s what you need!)

Kelly is a stay-at-home mom to two adorable one and half year old twins: Rhys & Kyle (who are the models of the twinsies in her Etsy shop). As a former art teacher, prior to being a MOM, art is still very much a passion for Kelly. Still wearing her professional artist hat, Kelly participates in statewide art festivals and shows year round. She has recently been creating more “kid friendly” art which include both paintings (check out the collages, I LOVE them!!) and her newest addition the twinsies. She also welcomes (and loves) custom orders which she finds exciting and challenging.

If you are looking for unique baby shower or birthday gifts or that perfect custom art piece for your nursery or child’s room or a treasured painting of your pet, be sure to check out Kelly’s Etsy shop! You can also find her on Facebook by searching for

To enter to win a twinsie set (required):

  • Please comment* below on what type of giveaways you would like to see on our Columbus Multiple Moms Blog.
For additional entries – oh yea, you can increase your chance of winning with FIVE more entry options! – do the following: (please create a separate comment for each of the SIX entry options - remember we enter the total number of comments, the random number generator picks a number and that numbered comment wins - therefore you get more chances to win ONLY if you enter each of the six entry options as a separate comment)

  • Become a follower of the Columbus Multiples Mom blog OR sign up for email notification (of blog posts) via feedburner (both are in the left margin). Once you have done this, comment below stating which you did. If you are already following us or subscribing through emails, that counts too. Comment below letting us know.

  • Become a fan of CMOTC on Facebook. Search for CMOTC in facebook and select the one with the photo of our club, then click “become a fan.” Once you have done this, comment below stating which you did. If you are already a fan, that counts too. Comment below letting us know.

  • Visit Kelly’s Etsy shop and then comment below on what items you loved the most in her on-line store.

  • Visit Kelly’s Etsy shop and click “add klzart to your favorites” (in the right margin). Then comment below stating that you did. (Adding klzart to your favorites helps Kelly get points, which then helps get her klzart shop promoted on Etsy, by Etsy. All you need to have is an Etsy user name and password, which are free and easy to get.)

  • Become a fan of on Facebook. Search on and then click “become a fan.” Once you have done this, comment below stating that you did. If you are already a fan, that counts too. Comment below letting us know.
Winners will be selected on Wednesday, March 31st at 9 PM by random selection, using Be sure to check the blog on Wednesday, March 31st at 9pm to see if you won. If an email address is not included in your goggle account profile, you will need to contact us within three days or we will have to select another winner. See giveaway policies for more information.

*Comment section is located below the "You might also like..." section and within the "Posted by..." line. Click on the word "comments" (which will have a number before it showing how many comments there are at that moment) to enter a comment for each of your entry options. Please let us know if you have questions.

If you are viewing this on Facebook, come to the blog to enter to win.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Car Seats...where do I go next?

Question: My twins are quickly outgrowing their infant seats. What do I do? What kind of seat should I buy? I've heard a lot about Britax, what are your thoughts? Thanks.


I'm out of the loop on car seats these days. I do know from experience that a car seat you by for a 1 year old will likely NOT be the last one you will buy. You may end up buying basic belt-positioning boosters when they are older- for age 6 - 8 or so. But the good news is that those are MUCH less expensive. Also remember that car seats have a "shelf-life" and most are rated for only about 6 years. Current Ohio law requires kids to be in some form of supplemental restraint until age 8. There is also a social factor when you get into elementary school.

Other things to consider. Does the Frontier rear-face? Studies show that children are safer rear facing up to about age 2. There are a lot of seats on the market that will get them closer to that mark, then you can turn them forward. I realize that most people won't RF their kids that long, but most 1 year olds aren't developed enough skeletally for FF to be safest. Another good seat to consider is the Sunshine Kids Radian. It won't convert to a booster, but it's best feature is that it's narrow, allowing for 3-across if you need it, and it comes in 2 weight ratings- 65# and 85#.

If I were looking for a seat to move up from the infant bucket, I would look for one that RF to about 32-34# and also FF to at least #65. Then when the kids are older- 5 or 6, I'd shop for a specific booster that would get them through at least age 8. I know many kids won't hit those weight marks, but the higher weight seats offer taller harness heights, etc that will accommodate an average height kid who is below average weight.

For more information and better explanations, visit Browse the forums or ask your specific questions and you'll get a lot of advice on seats that would be safest for your specific needs. Keep in mind that the people who post there are proponents of extending RF and extended harnessing. You'll get a lot of insight, then you can make a decision that works for you.

Good luck with your research and shopping. Don't forget to always ask for a multiples discount. And consider if you need seats for your 2nd vehicle too. A couple of companies that offer great service and pricing are and I know that Hip Monkey will price match and both offer a multiples discount, but you have to call customer service to get a code.


Britax has many good car seats. They have a very good reputation. From what I hear, well worth the money. That said, I don't have one. We needed to get six car seats. I used consumer reports. For the twins, now 2.5 years old, we went from the snug ride to a convertible Evenflo Triumph Advanced (when they were nine months old), which is both rear facing (5 to 35 lbs) and forward facing (20-50 lbs). I kept my boys rear facing as long as I could, which was within months of being 2. You also have to go by height on that. I figured this would last them until it was time for a toddler booster converter (my son has one which uses the 5 pt harness until 65lbs I think, not the car's seat belt which can be dangerous for younger children - like 4 or 5 years old), plus car seats have a shelf life so I knew we would have to get them again anyhow.

I like the seats. I feel good about our decision. I would recommend looking at Consumer Reports and the

Also, Babies R Us offers a 10% discount anytime you buy two of anything over $50 each (I think that's the dollar amount). So, when I bought mine, I used the coupons that come out where there's a % off car seats and ALSO the 10% multiple discount. I had to gather coupons from friends and go a couple days (no room in my car) get them. Well worth it.


I have four kids and three Britax...the Britax RoundAbout Convertible CarSeat....You can use it rear facing and front facing it's a 5-50lbs....I love them, they work great with or without the latch, the only problem is that they are big and durable (very safe) so switching them in and out can give you a workout, but if you are just leaving it put in your car, it's great. Hoping to switch my twins out soon to those boosters!


I have Eddie Bauer car seats. They are supposed to go all the way from infant to booster. I can't tell you if the booster function is going to be great - my kids are only 3. I do like them though. I would say they are in the higher end of average in cost.


With my two children we purchased the Eddie Bauer 3 in 1 seats and they worked out great.
We have had multiple cars from trucks, SUV's, sedans and never had any difficulty with install. They are pretty easy to get in and out. The older model had a difficult puzzle type buckle but they have since changed that. That was the only bad thing I would ever have to say about the seat. My in-laws also live far away and we have done trips to Hilton Head etc. with the seats and and they have worked out fine. Our older kids are now 5 and 6 and they have used them since they left the Graco snugride. It is about $100 cheaper per seat, so the cost savings would be worth it.

Obviously this is just our experience, but if it can save your $200 or so I thought it was worth sharing.


I had a top of the line Graco car seat for my son and I HATED that seat. I still have the seat as an emergency back up but refused to use it for my girls everyday seat. The straps always twisted – such a pain.

That said I went to Babies R Us and bought 2 Britax Marathon car seats. I got the 10% discount for buying 2 of the same item over $100. I would NOT trade these seats for anything. I LOVE THEM. My girls will be 4 next month and we’ve used the seats for 3 years and they are still going strong. They are so comfy and sturdy. Yes, you do get what you pay for.

I love Britax and knowing my girls are safe. Graco has good products – just didn’t like my car seat.


I tried the Britax Frontier for my boys, but didn't like the installation or that it moved around a lot. It just didn't feel as snug as the other Britax products that do not convert to a booster. We have the Britax Roundabout and it did extremely well when we were in a car accident last year. I think you should stick with the Britax brand if you can swing it.


What about just the Britax Marathon. They are the best rated on Consumer Reports and work for a long time for rear and forward facing. If you're not picky about pattern, you can find a great deal on them here: FWIW, I've ordered several things from with no issues.


Additionally, here is a very helpful website (created by the American Academy of Pediatricians):

Healthy Children - This page contains all kinds of info on the different types of seats, which is right for each age/weight, correctly installing, links to find the seat installation inspection locations in your area and much more.

What about you club moms? What do you recommend? How did you decide? What car seat do you use and love? What resources did you read? Please give us your advice and experience.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Starter food advice

Question from a club mom:

My boys turned 8 months on Saturday (born at 34 weeks). I've wanted to try some non-baby food items, but I don't really know where to start. I did try some cheerios and they both promptly threw up on me. I tried the freeze dried fruit and yogurt thingies this weekend, but only a couple.

Any advice would be great.

Advice/experience given by other club moms:

Unless they have teeth, it's hard for them to dissolve some food, although my Pediatrician always told us that they're gums are really tough. I don't remember exactly what we did back then but I remember giving them "Puffs" a lot as they dissolve quickly but still allow the chew process. They sell those pasta meals too which are easy to chew/swallow.


I would experiment with food in small amounts. With the Cheerios I would give them one. I tried to do variety and small amounts. So rather than have it be a meal have it be introduction to different textures and flavors. Peas, and sweat potatoes, and bananas are good. Just very small pieces. It is good to get them picking stuff up with the fingers. I would cook vegetables until they were mushy. It gets very messy. My kids had allergies and had trouble with eggs, and anything like ketchup, salad dressing and mayo. These things turned their face bright red. Also, if they are reaching for food from your plate then they are interested. When I first tried other food with my daughter she spit it out.

With the throwing up it may have been too much new stuff at once. It could be an allergy to wheat but I would not assume this based on one experience.


Have you tried puff's yet? My boys started on that & they are easier to eat than cheerios b/c they dissolve.My twin boys had a really hard time eating non-baby food. (gagging & throwing up) I remember bananas were a good food for me to start with. I would try it a little thicker to see if they could eat it. If it was too thick I would just take a fork & smash it a little more.


My friend gave me a recipe book: Cooking for Baby (from Williams-Sonoma) it seems to have some really good recipes to try & foods to try that are "softer" for the little ones. Just thought I would mention that too.


Hi! Sounds like things are going pretty good! My b/g twins are 10 months old and I have been having the same problem with getting them to try foods that are not pureed. Their gag reflex is so strong that anything that isn't soft ends up all over. BUT I had success with soft mozzarella cheese (the soft kind you buy in a block...then I slice and make pieces about the size of an eraser head). I also had success with tater tots...I just break them open and give them a small sample of the inside. My daughter is able to put the food in her mouth and my son doesn't quite have it down but if I feed him he does great. Someone suggested cheerios but they are just too hard to start with I think.


Your pediatrician should be able to give you some guidance. There is no "right" way - just some guidance on how to introduce food and in what order. I think my twins were about 10 months before they could handle cheerios (they were born at 32 weeks). Sounds like you're doing well!


Always check with your doctor first on insight for amounts and ideas. That being said here are some ideas when just starting out since they are just using their gums to mash food up. Try small bits of cut up soft banana, yogurt (like YoBaby or Danimals) very soft avocado they can mush up, and veggie they can mush a not choke on, spaghetti or orzo's (their smaller).


At this age it takes them a while to get the hang of finger foods. Cheerios or puffs are perfect to start with actually, for the fine motor skills alone. You could also start with something softer like elbow noodles, which have something to grab but are soft. Or maybe you get the nets where you put a frozen banana or apple in it and let them suck on it to get a feel for texture in their mouth (plus this is great for when they are teething). You could also crush up cheerios and coat small banana pieces with it, so it was gripable but yet soft. Carrots cooked really soft are another food many kids like at this age. Very ripe and soft pears are good too, cut small (and maybe coated with crushed cereal so they can grip them). Ultimately you need try different things to see what works best for them. It’s possible that they are not yet ready for food yet. One of my twins went through this so I introduced food to him later than normal. He just wasn’t ready for the whole process: chewing, sensory and otherwise. Other than finger food, baby yogurt (like YoBaby) is a favorite at this age and they now come with fruits and veggies in them. And this typically is a welcome change, but yet not hard for them to eat.


Ellyn Satter's books, How To Get Your Child To Eat...But Not Too Much and Child of Mine, Feeding With Love And Good Sense, talk about feeding at all ages. Recommended by my friend's child nutritionist, these books give you some ideas on how to approach the transition to finger foods (as well as advice for every age stage).

Does anyone have more advice/experience to offer? Please comment below or send an email with your comments.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kid's eat free!

Below are some website resources that list places that have kids eat free deals or special reduced prices on certain days of the week.

A few club mom favorites, which are listed on these sites as well, are:

  • Champps offers two free kid's meals per each adult meal on Tuesdays.
  • Max and Erma's offers one free kid's meal with each adult meal on Tuesdays.
  • Roadhouse offers one free kid's meal with each adult meal on Tuesdays.
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill offers one free kid's meal with each adult meal on Tuesdays.
  • Hoggy's offers one free kid's meal with each adult meal on Wednesdays.

What about you? Do you have any favorite places that offer free or reduced priced kid's meals on certain days? Know any places not listed in the website resources above? Please share!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Entertrainment Junction

We roadtripped to Cincinnati today. We decided to meet an aunt at Entertrainment Junction. I had no idea what to expect since it was my aunt's idea to check it out. First, the cost was pretty high so look for coupons before you go.

Second, it's located very close to Ikea so make it a whole day affair and get some shopping done while the kids play in the Ikea playland (check out height restrictions before you go).
After buying our tickets, we went in to find one of the biggest train displays in the world. It was thousands of square feet of train displays, towns, villages, etc. There is a playground that provided at least 30 minutes of entertainment for my trio.

In the Summer there is also an outdoor train that you can ride.

The best part of Entertrainment Junction was the FUNHOUSE!!! This place was sweet! I can't really put into words what it was like but my 6 year olds and 3 year old LOVED LOVED LOVED the Funhouse. It may be possible to buy a ticket just for the Funhouse. If so, it's well worth it.

The FunHouse consists of a mirror-walled maize, a chain link maize, a claustrophobia hall, and a crazy bridge that I can't begin to describe (but it's awesome). My kids were in hysterics throughout the whole FunHouse and insisted on doing it 3 times before we finally decided to head to Ikea.

If you can find discounts on Entertrainment Junction, I recommend it as a fun family day roadtrip!

Friday, March 12, 2010

And the winners are...

Jenn Murray and Jenn Maron!

Congratulations on winning a Baby Signs DVD! Please email us ( your address information for shipping.

Stay tuned... there are two more great giveaways coming up in the next few weeks!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Libraries - A great place for free programs and activities!

Libraries are great learning places for children of all ages. Creating the love of reading, that excitement and thrill of getting new books to look at and read, is undeniably priceless to children. Teaching children how to look for books on the computer catalogs and in the aisles, is exciting even for us. As is their first library card!

However, the library is so much more than a place to just get books, movies and CDs. The other absolutely wonderful thing about libraries are all the fun programs they offer children of all ages. Better yet, these program are FREE!

Here is just a sampling of some of the programs you will find at your local library, both during the day/evening and weekdays/weekends:
  • Storytimes for children six months to six years old, that incorporate age appropriate stories, songs, finger play and dancing. Some libraries even have pajama storytime at night and potty training themed storytimes!

  • Music programs that feature songs, finger plays and dancing for children ages two to five.

  • Ready to read programs for children five and under that feature easy, interactive crafts that are based on the six early literacy skills and will actually help your child get ready to read.

  • Reading program with a yoga twist for children three to eight that incorporate games, singing, listening and acting out of stories using different modified yoga poses.

  • Career exploring programs for grades kindergarten through third grade where they explore popular careers through stories, songs and activities.

  • Adventure reading groups for children in kindergarten through third grade where they learn about the nature through stories, songs and activities.

  • Puppet shows put on by the library staff for all ages.

  • Family movie nights where you can bring your blankets, pillows and snacks to enjoy a movie on a big screen.

  • Hand's on science programs for children ages six to eleven where they get to explore and experiment.

  • Tween theatre programs where they work on sketches to perform at different library events.

  • Tween writing and illustrating programs where they learn about writing contests, where to get published and also just be inspired.

  • Writing programs for teens where they can share their love of stories (reading them, writing them and/or illustrating them), get some tips and make new friends. Some libraries have writing contests for short stories and poetry, as well as open mic nights where they can share their works.

  • There are even programs for tweens and their Pokemon cards, Yu-Gi-Oh decks and Battle Brawlers. They all meet to play games and have fun.
These are just some of the free programs your local libraries offer children of all ages. There are also a whole host of great programs for adults too! Log onto your library's website and search the events calendar to see what cool programs are offered.

So, when you are looking for fun activities to do with your kids that don't cost a penny, always remember the great offerings your local library has to offer.

What library programs have you taken your children to that they have loved? Which programs do you recommend? Share your library program experiences and advice!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Scratch-and-sniff art project

Here's a fun art project for for children of all ages.

From Wondertime Magazine on-line.

To turn the classic still life into scratch-and-sniff art, I replaced watercolors with Kool-Aid, told my kindergarten class it was a secret solution, and let them loose. I felt like Willy Wonka as I watched the kids press their noses to their artwork and yell, "The oranges really smell like oranges!" — Jessica Burkett

  1. Cover work area with newspaper.

  2. Heap the fruit into the bowl, letting some overflow onto the table (the more fruit there is to paint, the better).

  3. Use markers to draw an outline on the watercolor paper of the still life you've just created, but don't color anything in with the markers.

  4. In separate cups, use separate paintbrushes to mix each packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid with 2 tablespoons of water. Arrange the cups in a row and place the corresponding Kool-Aid packets in front of the cups to identify each flavor.

  5. Paint each fruit you've drawn with the appropriate Kool-Aid "paint." (Note: Grape Kool-Aid looks black when painted on, but it dries to a deep purple color.) Dry about 20 minutes. If some globs of paint take longer to dry, blot the excess with a tissue.

  6. When dry, scratch a painted fruit lightly with your fingernail and sniff. And don't worry if the kids taste the "fruit"; it's so sour they'll probably only do it once.

Does anyone have any other really fun art projects? Or resources for art project ideas? Please share.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our first blog giveaway!!!

*** This giveaway is now over***

In a previous post, I commented on how I felt that baby signs really helped my children communicate without frustration, as well as learn to talk. One resource I used was from Baby Signs®, the original sign language program for babies.

We are very excited to announce that Kathy from would like to give away two Baby Signs DVDs. Two lucky club winners will win via our blog: the Mealtime DVD that teaches these signs: eat, drink, more, cereal, milk, bib and all done AND the My Pets DVD that teaches these signs: cat, dog, bird, bunny, turtle and fish.

Kathy is an independent Baby Signs Consultant and a twin herself! She lives in New Hampshire with her two teenage children, Michael (19) and Megan (16). She teaches baby sign language classes and has a NEW website where she sells baby sign products for anyone who wants to learn how to teach baby sign language to their baby. Kathy enjoys teaching her classes, but wanted to have a website where parents could buy products online. Being a single mom, she realizes how busy moms can be and that sometimes it is just easier to shop online and have the products delivered to your door!

If you are looking for Baby Signs products, be sure to stop by her site as she is offering free shipping through April 1, 2010.

To enter to win a DVD:

  • Please comment below with what content you would like to see on our Columbus Multiple Moms Blog.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

The good enough mother

At times, we all struggle with parenting. We wonder how we are doing as a parent or maybe even judge our own perceived performance - good mommy moment/bad mommy moment. And then there's that ever present mommy guilt lingering in the corners of our mind. Below is an article discussing just that and pointing out that good mothers aren't perfect mothers. Probably something a lot of us just need to be reminded of every once in a while.

The Good Enough Mother

By Elaine Heffner, CSW, Ed.D., pubished on

Amy, the mother of a four-year-old boy, was upset. She had just had the final conference of the year with her son's nursery school teacher. She heard some really good things about her son; she heard that he is very bright, makes friends easily and is very well liked. But the teacher also told her that sometimes he gets silly and babyish. Sometimes when she works individually with the children, he refuses to work with her. So Amy worried about whether there was something wrong with her son and wondered what she might have done to create these "problems."
Why do mothers tend to think that everything is their fault?

As mothers, we want everything to be perfect for our children. More than that, we imagine we can make it so. Sometimes there are things we don't like about ourselves or our lives and blame our upbringing. We want to fix what we think went wrong with us and do it right for our children. If only we could be perfect mothers, we could create the perfect life for our children and they in turn would be perfect. But since children are not perfect, we think there must be something wrong with us – that we must be at fault.

Besides, everyone acts as if a mother is responsible for everything her child does. People glare at you in the supermarket if your child acts up – as if you don't know how to manage him. They make comments on the bus if your child is unruly. If your daughter protests loudly when you leave to go out in the evening the babysitter or your mother might think, "She never does that with me."

As if that isn't enough, there are so many theories about how children should be raised in order for them to become emotionally well-adjusted, smart, successful and happy. And mothers are the ones on the hot seat. Now that so much has been learned about brain development, mothers feel responsible for that too! Child development research from its beginnings has, too often, assigned mom the role of primary influence, responsibility – and blame!

The message mothers take from all of this is that there is a right way to do things, and if you do it the wrong way you will damage your child. Any problem must mean you are doing something wrong, and so it is your fault. To be a good mother, it seems as though you have to be perfect and never make any mistakes.

The trouble with this idea is that even if you were a perfect mother (if there ever were such a person), that's not what would be best for your child. Your child has to grow up to live in the real world, and the real world isn't perfect. A child can't expect always to have people around her who understand her or cater to her every wish. Children have to learn to share, take turns, wait for what they want and realize that other people have needs and moods, too. Having to learn this can be frustrating, so children act up in various ways to show their displeasure. They show their feelings by behaving in ways that adults don't always like, and sometimes lead mothers to believe that they have done something wrong to cause that behavior.

But what about Amy and the teacher's report? Was Amy responsible for her son's behavior? Well, only if you think it was her fault for having a second child (which, by the way, she did feel guilty about). Actually, her son's babyish behavior was his way of saying that he wanted some baby treatment — like being carried or drinking from a baby bottle – and didn't want to be considered a "big boy." When Amy realized that his behavior was saying something about him, rather than about her, she was able to find many ways to help him appreciate being four instead of still being a baby.

So being a good mother does not mean being a perfect mother. A good enough mother is good enough.

A good enough mother:

  • loves her child but not all of his behavior.
  • isn't always available to her child whenever he wants her.
  • can't possibly prevent all her child's frustrations and moods.
  • has needs of her own which may conflict with those of her child.
  • loses it sometimes.
  • is human and makes mistakes.
  • learns from her mistakes.
  • uses her own best judgment.

There are no perfect mothers and no perfect children. If we accept our own limitations, we are better able to accept those of our children and of life itself. In that way we become good enough mothers. And good enough mothers are the real mothers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A fun St. Patrick's Day healthy snack

Here's a really neat idea for a St. Patrick's Day (or any day) rainbow fruit platter that is not only fun to make, but also healthy!

From the March 2010 issue of Family Fun Magazine:

Anyone else have great snack ideas for all of the preschool/elementary classroom parties?

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