Monday, August 30, 2010

How do you sleep train twins in the same room - won't they wake each other up?

Question from a CMOTC mom:

I need some advice please. I am having issues with my 8 month old twins sleeping at night. If I decide to let them cry it out how does that work? They are in the same room but have their own crib and they are side by side. Usually only one is awake at a time (imagine that). Do I let them wake the other one up? One of my boys is typically a good sleeper, but thanks to his brother crying constantly for several nights now he has started waking up and fussing too.

I let one of them cry for about 15 minutes last night but he was downstairs in a pack n play so we didn't wake up the other one. Then it took me 20 minutes to calm him down but he slept from 2 am until almost 7. I'm just not sure what to do but we are all exhausted as we enter night six of this new routine. Please let me know what worked for you or any ideas you may have. Thank you in advance for any help.

Advice/experience from CMOTC moms:

Mine are 2 now and I remember those miserable nights. My Ped mentioned giving them "baby boot camp" around 9 months because mine weren't sleeping through the night either. They were also prone to ear infections & reflux, so I was constantly in their room for one reason or another not knowing if their crying was related to that or to something else like teething.

We would let them each "cry it out" and they both had their turns. It was miserable. To this day my daughter always wakes up before my son and can wake him up at times. We just let her do her thing. At that young age my son learned to tune her out and keep sleeping through her screams. At times we let them each have a moment of "crying it out". One would start, then the other. My son usually settled down after 20 mins but overall, each could cry it out for over an hour. I remember my heart beating fast, my blood pressure rising/boiling and freaking out at the clock wondering if we'd ever get sleep again. I think they finally got used to it after a week or so, but it was no picnic.

Good luck & many blessings to you during this transition.


I've had the same issues with my girls and are still having them at 13 mos!!

Mostly we let them cry it out. It's very hard to do, since your instinct is to go to them. But if one is crying, it almost NEVER wakes up the other. Almost. I have to be honest, I have one cryer and one sleeper. It's frustrating. But if you go to them every time they don't learn to "self-soothe". Sounds barbaric, I know. I think it's harder on the parents.

However, if you hear their cry change... and it's a HURT cry, then of course check on them. Mine like to throw out their blankey if we don't come in right away. Then the cry changes. I go in, put the blankey back in the crib, caress their head and leave. No talking.

Good luck. I know it's hard.


At 9 months, I was about to lose my mind and sanity from lack of sleep. At 11 months, I separated them and put them in the own room. BEST decision ever. It is probably not the popular opinion, but at some point you need sleep. I wish I would have separated them sooner. So that is my advice. And then let the non-sleeper cry it out. We also put a fan in the hall way to drown out the noise. And a white noise machine in their rooms which REALLY seemed to help.

We left them in the same room and let them cry it out. Their cribs are about 3 feet apart. My daughter would sleep fine through her brother's crying. I really just tried to read their signs. I could tell if the cry was getting better or worse. If it was getting worse, I would go in after 15 minutes and try to calm him down by singing, rubbing his tummy, whatever I could do without picking him up. Every day a different thing would work or not work! Once he was calm I would leave again and the cycle would repeat itself. It started out once an hour, then by day 5 he was sleeping through the night. If he would not calm down at all after an hour, I would pick him up, but I would do everything I could to avoid this. Now my daughter is the worse sleeper, so probably once a week we have to go through this process again, but typically after 15 minutes she is asleep.

It was the most difficult week of my life, but my kids are great sleepers now. I put them down wide a awake and they do not make a peep, sometimes laying there for 30 minutes awake. Unfortunately every kid is different, so this may not work for you. Just remember the hard work now will pay off in the long run. It was right around your twins age that my twins really fell into a routine and slept rather well. I no longer woke up wondering what would happen that day. Good luck!

I am sure you will hear from the others.... continue to let them cry it out. Though I kinda forget, I think at 8 months they could at least go from 10pm till 6 am without feeding. They do not wake each other. I would continue to keep them in the same room. I do recall sometimes putting the one in a separate room (pack-n-play) but that was out of my fear of them waking the other up and on those nights I HAD to get the sleep.

Good luck... it will get better soon!!!


I used the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Twins for sleep issues. When I decided to do CIO. I just put the two in their own cribs in the same room. I read a story to them while they were in their cribs. As long as I knew that they were well fed and in a safe location, I felt comfortable just shutting the door and leaving the room. I think they cried for about 30 min for about 3 nights in a row. When they woke in the middle of the night crying I didn't go get them (I was just too tired anyway). It might help if you leave the house or have your husband listen on the monitor when they are crying. I know it was hard to listen to. As long as they sound like they haven't hurt themselves, they should be okay crying and the crying should get shorter and shorter each day.

Mine are 22 months and have been sleeping well since about 6 months. It's tough to do the CIO but a few days of crying is worth it for them and for you in the long run. Mine are now trying to climb out of their cribs which is a whole new problem for me. :) Hope this helps.

My two cents is that you need to keep them in the same room (rather than one in a pack and play downstairs) and let them cry it out. If you change it to where one is downstairs, then even if he starts sleeping through the night, it's very likely that once he is in his own bed again, he will not. It's different. Maybe this wouldn't happen, but for my kids routine was routine and part of that is sleeping in their own beds under the conditions of their own rooms - lights, sounds, space, smell, bed, etc.

Next, mine were in different cribs but butt up next to each other too. Luckily for me, one of them started sleeping through on his own at four months. The other I had to sleep train at nine months. I had the same concerns about the one waking the other, especially because the twin I was sleep training still had the really horrible hair-sticking-up-must-pick-him-up baby cry (he still does at three years old!). However, it's kind of a necessary evil of the sleep process, since they do sleep together.

As it turned out, sometimes my sleep trainer would wake up his brother, sometimes not. They get used to each other and sleeping through the other. That's not to say that the other won't always wake up every time, but it is to say that you might be surprised, he might start only waking up only on occasion (rather than all the time like now). For my twins, this sleep training for the one twin at nine months took two weeks. It is painful. First, the longer you wait (like nine months) the harder it tends to be. I knew this, but still waited because he had issues when he was younger and I just let it go. But it is harder the older they get. Second, I was not a by the book kind of girl. I was a two minutes crying, go check (no words, no pick up, just lightly touch MAYBE), then wait maybe five minutes and go check, then eight minutes, check. My graduation in adding time was there, but not as big a gap of time as some say you should do. I just couldn't do it. I was weak. Same with my singleton who needed sleep training (we did that at five months). You have to do what works for you and them. Sleep training/cry it out (totally or in intervals of time) works though. It really does. They need to learn to sleep by themselves.

We had a mobile that had a detachable music box (Tiny Love brand). We detached the mobile part and left the music part. At eight months they can press the music button if they want it in the middle of the night when they wake up. Sometimes that is soothing and it's self soothing, so that is good. It's hard for them to learn to sleep without you helping them. One of my friends, back when I did my now five year old singleton's sleep training, said that a doctor told her "if your favorite thing in the whole world that helped you get back to sleep was there every time you woke up, why wouldn't you wake up wanting it?" It's just a matter of them comforting themselves and learning how to fall asleep by themselves, not relying on you to help them.

That said, I think sleep training was the HARDEST thing ever! It was painful and I didn't like it. But it worked and they now sleep very well. All three. Woo hoo. But when you go through it, ESPECIALLY with multiples, you question everything you do and worry and stress and all that. I get it. I so get it. I do not miss that time (the sleeping part - I miss the little baby part at times - just because it goes WAY too fast!) at all. But, once we got through it, they slept well. However, expect vacations and sicknesses to throw it off balance again. You might have to go through some "cry it out" nights after those things too, but they typically do not last as long as what it is now. Typically, I would say try it for two weeks (one week with a singleton) and if it doesn't work, stop, wait a couple weeks and try again. However, if your twins have been separated (downstairs in pack and play) the entire six days so far, you may have to restart it from the beginning with them both in the same room. ????

Good luck. It doesn't seem possible now, but it will work and they (and YOU) will sleep... soon!


Do you have more advice? Please comment below.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bear Quintuplets

CMOTC mom Lynne M. shared with us this cute story about a black bear mom, who much like all of us, had multiples. In fact, she had five little cuties which in the bear world is very rare. For all of us multiple moms (and animal lovers), this hits home. Enjoy!


Content and photos from Tom Sears of Digital Photographics.


Black bears typically have two cubs, rarely one or three. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire, a black bear sow gave birth to five healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as many as four cubs but five was, and is, extraordinary.

I learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set myself a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom, no matter how much time and effort was involved. I knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dark. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week, for six weeks I had that once in a lifetime opportunity and photographed them in the shadows and dull lighting of the evening.

Due to these conditions the photograph is a bit "noisy" as I had to use the equivalent of a very fast film speed on my digital camera. The print is properly focused and well exposed with all six bears "posing" as if they were in a studio for a family portrait.

I stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. As time for hibernation approached, I found still more folks who had seen them and everything remained OK. I stayed away from the bears as I was concerned that they might become habituated to me, or to people in general, as approachable "friends". This could be dangerous for both man and animal.

After Halloween I received no further reports and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated. This spring, before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2007.

I saw them before mid April and dreamed nightly of taking another "family portrait," an improbable second "once in a lifetime" photograph.

On April 25, 2008 I achieved my dream. When I showed the result to a woman who had purchased a print of the cubs a year earlier she exclaimed, "I have never seen such an extraordinary photograph".

When something as magical as this happens between man and animal Native Americans say: "We have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow."

And so it is with humility and great pleasure that I share these photos with you.

Bear family 2007

Bear family 2008

Sincerely, Tom Sears
PS. As of August 2008, the cubs are doing well but have gone their separate ways and there will not be another "family portrait".
Thank you Lynne. If anyone has any cute stories, great resources, funny parenting/kid stories, advice, fun places to go, or whatever that you would like to share with the CMOTC moms, please email us. We would love to share it on the blog!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weelicious: a kid friendly healthy recipe/food idea resource

Weelicious is a really great website for kid friendly healthy recipes. This mom of two and culinary school graduate, Catherine McCord, has packed this site full of tons of baby, toddler and really kid of any age (including us!) recipes and ideas. You can search the site in multiple ways to find specific recipes, whether it be a meal type, food group or gluten free. If you subscribe to the site, you will get an email when new recipes are posted - which is great!

In addition to the almost daily recipes, she also creates "programs" which are basically videos of a "how to" for different recipes. Catherine also came out with a great program recently which is called "School Lunch" in which she highlights many tips, tricks and ideas to get you thinking "outside" the box. For those of us that have problems thinking of new things to pack, that our kids would actually eat, this program is great!

On the Weelicious facebook page, there are also photos of creative, fun and healthy lunches (many that you wouldn't think to do). If you are a fan ("like" the page), you will get these and links to the recipes (if appropriate). Another great feature of the facebook page is that "fans" post questions often and Catherine, as well as others, answer them quickly. Fans also often post their favorite recipes (all of which can be found on the Weelicious website) too, which is great for ideas.
Lunch box photo: Pita, Sunflower Butter*, Weelicious Strawberr-Wee Preserves & Banana, Kale Chips, Papaya, Strawberries, cheddar cheese cubes & crackers. (BTW, kale chips are surprisingly good!) *great substitute if your child's school is nut free.

How about you? Do you subscribe to this site already and have a favorite recipe(s)? Or do you know of other great kid friendly healthy recipe/resource websites? Please share!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kendra's Fitness Corner - Top Ten Personal Trainer FAQs

Hello there! I hope you have had an active summer and are working on your exercise program. If not, now is a great time to start!!!

Over the years I have received many questions on exercise and weight loss. Since I am sure there are some of you who have one or two of these same questions, here are my Top Ten most asked questions – and the answers!

10) Q: It’s 9pm by the time I get the kids in bed and have a chance to exercise….is it ok to exercise at this time? What is the best time to exercise?
A: The best time to exercise is when you will do it consistently! There is no magic time of the day that is best for exercise. Pick a time of day you can commit to exercising regularly. Working out before bedtime has the potential to make it harder for you to fall asleep (with your heart rate still elevated and your endorphins activated). However, for most people if you have a good half hour to unwind after your evening workout this shouldn’t be a concern.

9) Q: Is the Wii Fit a sufficient workout by itself?
A: If you are currently sedentary or only do low impact cardio (solely do walking for example) then you will definitely benefit from the Wii Fit. It’s a great tool, has a variety of exercises, and is a good motivator. However, in my opinion, if you are already a moderate exerciser (or have been doing the Wii for a couple months) and are looking to loose weight you will need to supplement with more intense strength training and cardio sessions.

8) Q: Can I lose weight / get in shape with cardio only or do I have to do strength training?
A: Pick up some dumbbells! Your fat loss will be faster with strength training included. Doing cardio alone (and watching your diet) will still help you loose weight, but increasing your muscle mass will increase your metabolism and help your body burn more calories all day long.

7) Q: Do I have to stretch? How do you stretch?
A: Yes! Stretching is very important. Not only does stretching provide a way to de-stress, improve circulation, and release tension, but it increases your range of motion, flexibility. Tight muscles can also lead to pain (i.e. desk jockey syndrome). It’s best to WARM-UP for 3 to 5 minutes (like walking / jogging / jump rope) before stretching. I recommend stretching at the END of your workout. So you would warm-up, workout, and then stretch out those muscles that were shortened during exercise (a muscle shortens during contraction). Make sure to hold your stretch for at least 15 seconds.

6) Q: How many days a week should I do strength training?
A: For a beginner, even just 1 day/week of strength training can be beneficial. You will see more results with 2-3 days of quality strength training per week. By “quality” I mean you are working at an intensity that overloads your muscle (and thus builds muscle). If you do 5 push-ups but could really do more…do them! Maximize your exercises. If you are going to spend time doing it then get the most out of your time. Remember not to work the same muscle group 2 days in row.

5) Q: How much time should I spend doing cardio?
A: Cardio ideally should be done 20-30 minutes 5 to 6 days a week. HOWEVER, some is better than none! Start small and work your way up. You may do cardio on consecutive days. If you don’t have 20 minutes in a row then break up your cardio into 2-10 minute sessions. However you will have the “warm-up” and “cool-down” phase of each session. So for best results, count only the meat (higher intensity) of each 10 min workout to go toward your total.

4) Q: Should I drink a sports drink during my workout?
A: Are you doing high intensity exercise for 45 minutes or longer? Then you might need 4 oz of a sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes after the 45 minute mark. For the rest of us…NO you don’t need it! Besides increasing your calorie intake with a bunch of simple sugars, these drinks also have preservatives, dyes and just aren’t something I would put in my body (or my kid’s body). If you sweat so much that you are loosing electrolytes during your long, intense exercise session then yes you need something (sports drink, fruit juice, even 2 or 3 jelly beans work great). For most regular exercisers, just stick with water!

3) Q: Is running better than walking?
A: No neither is better or worse. Running more efficient (burns more calories per minute), but it is also harder on the joints. Walking is the most natural form of exercise and is least likely to cause injury, especially for the novice exerciser. Do I make all my clients run who are able? Yes. Like I said, it’s more efficient. Depending on your body composition you will burn approximately 100 calories a mile. It takes less time to run a mile than walk a mile. If time is short…there’s your answer.

2) Q: Will I get huge muscles if I start weight training?
A: Lifting weights or doing body weight exercises are going to develop (build) your muscles. You want to build muscle. You want to be toned, strong, burn fat at a higher rate, and reduce your risk of osteoporosis, right? These are all good reasons to do weight training. Unless you are planning on taking steroids or the like, you will not look like the Hulk. It’s just not possible.

And my most frequently asked question of all time….

1) Q: If I do a TON of crunches every day will that make my stomach flat?
A: No. To reduce fat around your waistline you need to watch your calories in and burn calories with exercise. When you do crunches and other ab exercises you are building muscle in your abdominal area. “Flat” isn’t the right word anyway…I would use the word “firm”. You will see a little tone and definition (think the 6-pack look of Stacy Keibler from Dancing with the Stars!) from doing these exercises…but ONLY if you have reduced adipose (fat) tissue covering up your abdominal muscles. You could have the strongest, most toned abs in the world but no one will ever see them if have fat hiding them. So combine ab exercises, reduced calorie intake, and strength/cardio routines for best results!

Feel free to comment below or contact me at with any questions you might have for me. Whether the questions are about the summer challenge, burning the most calories in 30 minutes, fitness techniques or anything fitness related for you or your children (and husband too!), I am here to help you!

Get moving!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Saving via group deals...

Probably many of you are familiar with the very popular group buying website - Groupon. The concept here is a company offers a great deal (anywhere from 30 to 80% off) which you can buy. There is a minimum amount of these deals that must be bought by others for the deal to be activated (if the minimum is not met, your credit card is not charged) - thus the "group" part of the name. In most cases the deal is so good and interests enough people that the stated minimum is bought within a few hours of its posting (most deals are offered for 24 hours).

Now, there are many more sites out there that offer a similar concept. Some don’t even require the minimum number and some will give you the deal free if you share the deal with a few of your friends and they buy it. The offers can be on anything from restaurants or salon services, to car care, house cleaning, photographers, golf packages, various merchandise… just about anything and everything you can imagine.

Redeeming your deal: for most of the sites, once you purchase the deal (and the minimum has been purchased within the selling period), you will get an email notifying you that your deal is ready. Typically you will receive the email the morning after the day of the sale. The email will instruct you where to go to get your deal, for Groupon and LivingSocial it is the "My Deals" area on their sites. In the "My Deals" it will list whatever deals you have bought. You print your deal from there and take it to the store to use as cash. Just that easy!

Since we all like (or need) to save money, we thought we would share some of the sites we know about with offerings for Columbus with all of you just in case you weren’t aware of some.

GroupOn – The original group buying site.

ColumbusDailyDeal – This site’s deals are all local businesses.

LivingSocial – An additional perk to this site is the great incentive where if you share this deal with your friends and three of them buy the deal, you get the deal for free.

EverSave – Many of the items, but not all, are natural and organic products. This site also gives you $5 off your first purchase.

Some of the deals through these sites are just amazing. Not all the deals, or maybe even most, will meet a need or want that you have. However it’s worth to subscribe to each just in case that one great deal comes up. Like today for me, I need bike helmets for my recently turned three year old twins and it just so happens that through Living Socially, Roll has $60 worth of product for only $30. I love their helmets, but they are pricey. With this deal, I can get two for the price of one! Even if I don’t find another deal that appeals to a need I have this year, I’ll still be really happy about this one great deal I got today.

Do you know of other sites like this? Please share! Also, please share your experiences with these types of sites with all of us, by commenting below.

Monday, August 16, 2010

One of my twins is teething and biting the other... any advice?

Question from a CMOTC mom:

One of my boys biting the other. He is teething. He seems too young to truly understand that it's wrong. Anybody have this issue? The other twin, when he was teething at this stage, often tried to bite me or other adults but never his brother. Any suggestions?


Advice/experience from CMOTC moms:

We did time outs at that age, for one minute. We just repeated over and over "no biting, that hurts brother..." and then offered him a teething ring or toy that he could gnaw on. They are two now and one still bites the other occasionally, but it's not teething, it's anger!


You probably received a bunch of responses, but since I just went through this with my son biting his sister (14 months - 15 tomorrow), I thought I'd share what seems to have worked.

As you probably know, it's usually the result of frustration. So the first thing you need to do is watch the biter and learn his "tells" or "signs" right as he starts to get frustrated. When you notice he is getting frustrated, give him something that is acceptable to bite -- teether or some other bite-able toy. If you miss the sign and he goes into biting mode, grab him before he gets the deed done if you can or after if you can't, tell him firmly "no bite", and put him in a time out in a play pen away from and out of sight of his brother. It is a pain, but be very consistent with the time out. (We kept Connor in the playpen for about a minute or two.) We did this with Connor and after about a week, he stopped going after his sister. He would look at her, but go into a mini-tantrum on the floor instead of biting her. We'd them give him the teether toy to bite and try to resolve whatever was frustrating him -- usually he couldn't figure out a toy or wanted something from the toy box and couldn't get it. Sometimes he wanted a toy she had, or he was jealous of some attention she was getting at the moment. It did work and, knock on wood, he hasn't had a biting episode for 3 weeks now. The only other thing we did was give him positive reminders when he was being good, like "Thank you for not biting your sister," or "You are playing very nice. Thank you." We're still doing the reminders and the teether in hopes of avoiding a relapse.

Keep in mind that biting is normal behavior for kids. They are not weird or anything and there is nothing wrong with you as a parent. This is just the first opportunity of many we will have to teach our kids what's acceptable and what's not.


My kids were binkie babies so during this time I ALWAYS had them in their mouths. It's kind of a pain if you're trying to wean them off or if your kids don't use them. I found that it gave them something to chew on. Also, if I didn't have the binks in, they would naturally find ANYTHING to put in their mouths which often times was something that shouldn't be or obviously another child...

Also, you'd be surprised what words/language children do understand. It's important to get down on the ground to their level & look them in the eye to stay "no biting' or "we don't bite", not nice or that hurts people. Whatever term you come up with, use it over and over again. Consistency is important and they'll get it, trust me.

BTW teething rings didn't work so well for us. I did use a lot of Tylenol or Motrin around the clock & don't be shy. Teething can be a long & miserable process. It helps w/the pain & swelling. Just ask your Peds for their dosing recommendations or any other treatment options (ie: Orajel, frozen waffles...).


My daughter was a biter. The doctor said when she is able to talk it will get better. He was right. She still has her moments of anger and biting but not very often. Good luck to you!


We did a lot of redirect at that age. A harsh "We don't bite. Biting HURTS." and move to something else. Give something that IS appropriate to nibble on and encourage that. If it was repeated, then we'd give attention to the victim and ignore the biter after correction. When mine got a bit older, then we used apple cider vinegar, but that was maybe older 2s and 3s. Still use it for repeated disrespect. Others I know have used Tabasco, but really not at 1.

One thing I always remember is that they know more than they let on or than they can communicate. And if you watch how they learn and understand, try the "dropsie" game with them. When they drop their toy from the stroller or high chair, you pick it up and give it back. Then they drop again, and you dutifully pick it up. You could go on all day and YOU would be well trained. If you stop it on the 1st or 2nd one, they realize they can't play that game all day and it will stop (eventually). So they ARE capable of understanding a lot. They do have short-term memory so they'll keep trying, but you can't let them get away with biting EVER. I don't mean they should be punished, but should be redirected. If it's really bad, then a few minutes in a play pen, away from the action (with appropriate teething toys) would be warranted. The victim does deserve some peace and to be able play without fear and I wouldn't call that a time out. Just some "alone time". And really just a minute or two for everyone to cool off and become interested in something else.

Good luck.


Follow up from CMOTC mom who originated the question:

Thank you for all your advice. We are trying the timeout/redirect. It doesn't seem to be a frustration thing, he's teething so he likes to bite and if his chunky brother happens to be there with a succulent looking arm... So, we are working on making him understand that brothers are not chew toys. ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kelly's Art Easel - Water Shadow Painting

With it being so hot out, playing with water is always a fun way to cool down, especially if you can connect with art! What child doesn't like water play? What more, it's easy and virtually FREE! ;)

What you need:
  • several different sized containers for water
  • paintbrushes
  • sidewalk chalk
  • sponges
  • water "wear" (clothes that can get wet)
  • a driveway, sidewalk, etc.

My twins are only two years old (later this month) and they LOVE doing this, as do their their friends (also pictured) who just turned one year old a few months ago. But this isn't just for little ones, I have done this with with children as old as six or seven years old who loved it as well.

What to do:

  • Set out the containers (different sizes are great because they'll experiment more), then dip the brushes into the water and "paint" the pavement.

  • Try painting your shadows with water and watch how long they last.

  • Let them "stamp" their hand prints, foot prints, etc. by dipping it into the water and pressing it on dry pavement.

  • Cut up sponges into different shapes to stamp (or if you have bath sponges already in shapes, those are great too). Our favorites are fish.

  • Younger kids will love to dump the water containers and then move the water around into different shapes with paintbrushes once it spreads onto the pavement.

  • You can then add color with sidewalk chalk.

If you have any suggestions or requests for future Kelly's Art Easel columns, please comment below or email ( As well, if you have any art questions for yourself or your little ones, let me know!

Have fun cooling down and being creative with water!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Car Seat Check Events

Many local police and fire departments offer regular weekly or scheduled car seat checks. Whether it's a car seat for your infants or a booster seat for your kindergartners, it's always a good idea to stop by any time you have a new seat (or base) to make sure it is installed correctly for your car and also fit properly for your child. It is also a good idea to go in once a year for a re-check, especially if you need to take your car seats out put them back in any time throughout the year, just to make sure everything is still okay.

Here are some regularly scheduled checks in Franklin County:

8:30 am to 12:00 pm
Washington Twp. Fire
6200 Eiterman Road
Dublin, OH
Call (614) 652-3920
To Schedule an Appointment

1 pm to 4 pm
Violet Twp. Fire
8700 Refugee Road
Pickerington, OH
Call (614) 837-4125
To Schedule an Appointment

8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Westerville Fire
400 W. Main Street
Westerville, OH
Call (614) 901-6889
To Schedule an Appointment

9 am to 4 pm
Washington Twp. Fire
6200 Eiterman Road
Dublin, OH
Call (614) 652-3920
To Schedule an Appointment

9 am to 12 pm
Violet Twp. Fire
8700 Refugee Road
Pickerington, OH
Call (614) 837-4125
To Schedule an Appointment

Below are a few of the date specific car seat check events:

10 am to 2 pm
Norwich Twp. Fire
5181 Northwest Parkway
Hilliard, OH
Call (614) 876-7694
To Schedule an Appointment

Here are Delaware County's date specific car seat check events:

Wednesday, August 18th
3:00 – 6:30 pm
Powell Police Department
47 Hall Street
Powell, OH 43065
Appointment required

Wednesday, September 15th
3:00 – 6:30 pm
Genoa Township Fire Station
7049 Big Walnut Road
Galena, OH 43021
Appointment required

Wednesday, October 20th
3:00 – 6:30 pm
Orange Township Fire Station
7307 South Old State Rd.
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Appointment required

Wednesday, November 17th
3:00 – 6:30 pm
B.S.T.& G. Fire Station
350 W. Cherry Street
Sunbury, OH 43074
Appointment required

Wednesday, December 15th
3:00 – 6:30 pm
Orange Township Fire Station
7700 Gooding Boulevard
Delaware, OH 43015
Appointment required

No appointments needed, walk-ins are welcome at these events:

Saturday, August 21st
9:00 am – Noon
Berlin Township Fire Station
2708 Lackey Old State Road
Delaware, OH 43015

Saturday, November 20th
9:00 am – Noon
Tri-Township Fire Station
495 Sunbury Road
Delaware, OH 43015


Know of other places or dates? Please let us know.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Advice on introducing sippy cups

Question from a CMOTC mom:

I'm struggling a little with the sippy cup. What is actually the point of the sippy cup? If my 13 months old children don't hold their bottle on their own when sitting, meaning they don't seem to get the concept of tipping their head back and pushing up the bottle, does that mean they aren't ready for a sippy cup? How do I know when they are ready? Do I just use it like a bottle and lay them down to use it? My pediatrician told me to take the valve out of the sippy cup, but then my kids just flip it over and play with the water that comes out rather than drink it. I've also read and had friends tell me that i should really start with a strawed cup first and then go to a sippy. Help please!

Advice/experience from CMOTC moms:

I would suggest trying the Take n Toss by The First Years. They are about $4 for 4 or 6, disposable & reusable, leak "free" (let's be real here nothing is really leak free), & no valves or plugs to deal with! My 2.5 year old uses these. Since he is my 3rd kid I went through a ton of trial & error.


I think it just takes time for them to get used to it. I agree with the other moms that the take n toss may be a good start. When I first started with mine, they didn't get it for quite a while but after playing with it for a few weeks they eventually got it. It wouldn't hurt if you wanted to try a straw style cup and go from there, but even with a regular sippy, they will eventually get it.


Mine didn't do so very well with the sippy cups either. I bought a few different ones and nothing worked they were not interested in the tipping your head back part. I have 20 month old boys. I bought the 10 oz. Munchkin cups with the flip straw. My sister had success with this cup for her daughter so I tried it and they have worked out wonderfully for them. Unfortunately every kid is different though. Good Luck


I see your boys just turned a year, so don't worry too much. I gave my twins a sippy cup with handles and a soft nipple (or whatever the thing is called where they drink out of!) when they were 10 months old. They just threw it or chewed on the nipple. They had no interest in it at all. At 13 months I tried again with the same cups and only gave them it at snack times. It took a few days but they got the idea. Each day I took away a bottle so by 14 months they were completely off of them even at bed time. BTW their feeding schedule was 7, 11, 3, 6, 9. I saved the bedtime bottle for last. My mom told me to do this as they seem to find comfort in the bedtime bottle, but honestly I don't think my kids cared much. Once they got to be 18 months I only gave them hard spout cups with no handles(Playtex is the best IMOH).

If I can remember right I bought the munkins brand cups at Walmart that had the handles and soft drink lid. They were cheap and they still felt like a bottle to them. Just be warned not to put the lids in the dishwasher! They tend to melt!

We now use the Dr. Browns or Playtex brand cups. The Playtex ones have valves that really prevent leaks. Even when they throw them. I am still amazed because my son can chuck it.


I'm new here and haven't even had my twins, but I have been through this three times before, so I thought I'd share a few things that I've learned along the way. First, let me just say that every child is different...out of my three kids, all three had completely different preferences and timing as far as training cups go. Here are a few things, anyway, that might help you along the way...
  • Taking the valve out, if there is one, does usually help, but if you're worried about the mess and cleanup (and who isn't?) only try this when they are in their highchair, or outside, where cleanup is not as much of a concern.
  • Just a note: It might be wise to confine cup usage to the kitchen or highchair/table/seated position, so when they do get older, and start using a regular cup, they don't think its ok to take (and inevitably spill) liquid all over the mine still do, from time to time. Not to mention that one of my daughters favorite pastimes when she was about 18 months old, was to hide her sippies...not the most pleasant thing to have to follow your nose to find the rotting milk. Yuck!
  • It may take lots of trial and error to find the right cup for your child. I think we might have gone through 5 or 6 different cups with my middle son. Hard vs soft spouts, handles vs no handles, valve or no valve, straw vs traditional sippy, there are a lot of choices, and the process of elimination might take more time than you would think, or hope.
  • My third basically went straight from breast to a regular cup. Sippies just frustrated him, and he ended up refusing everything we tried. It is a bit more messy at first, but don't rule out this possibility. He would drink from a straw occasionally, though, so I did have a few of those thermos funtainer cups with straws (which are completely awesome in the summer. They keep drinks COLD for hours even If they're left in the car on hot day) for when we went to the zoo or park. Or a regular plastic water bottle worked well for him, from about 11 months old or so.
  • It may also help to put something they like, and are familiar with in the sippy...try formula, or expressed breast milk, or something slightly sweetened like a small amount of juice with water.
  • Temperature may also be an issue. If your baby is used to only breast milk, or warmed formula, then it may be more difficult to get them to drink something that is very cold.

As far as holding the cup on their own, a reclined position in a highchair might help. Also, each time you offer the cup, try placing their hands on it, and helping them put it up to their mouth. It will probably take some practice, and time, but they'll get it eventually.

If all else fails, or you find yourself or your child getting too frustrated, take a break and try again in a few days or so.


Anyone have more advice to add to this? Please comment below or email us.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Terra's Living Seasonally - Bacon and Sweet Corn Pizza

When I have nothing planned for dinner, I have a few go-to options that work with pretty much any meat and veggie that’s in the house. These include fried rice, frittata and pizza. Pizza is especially great when you’re down to almost nothing in the pantry because it doesn’t demand a lot of toppings. A few sliced tomatoes, some cheese and basil and I’m happy. Here is a version that makes use of seasonal sweet corn and pantry staples (at least in our house!) of bacon and onions.

You can buy pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joe’s sells it for $.99 in the refrigerator case), a pre-made pizza crust like Boboli, or, if you have an extra hour, make your own. I use the recipe from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything. This is our most frequently used reference book in the kitchen. I highly recommend it.

Mark Bittman’s Pizza Dough
  • 1 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup water (plus more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
Combine yeast, flour and salt in a food processor. Turn on and add 1 cup water and 2 tbsp oil through the tube. Process about 30 seconds, adding a bit more water at a time if needed, until it forms a ball.

Turn onto floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round ball. Grease a bowl with the remaining teaspoon of oil and put the dough in it and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm part of the kitchen until the dough doubles in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

When dough is ready, knead it lightly on a floured surface, form a ball and divide into two if you are making a small (10-inch) pizza and saving half in the fridge for later, or leave in a single ball for a family size pizza. Allow the dough to rise another 20 minutes on the work surface, covered with plastic wrap.

Making the Pizza

Form the dough into the shape you want. (If it was refrigerated, you need to let it come to room temperature first, about 20 minutes). I use my hands to form a round, but you can also use a rolling pin. Try to ensure it’s an even thickness everywhere – about ¼ inch - but the crust edges can be a little thicker.

The following should be enough for a family style pizza using the whole batch of dough. I’m roughly doubling how much I used to make a 10-inch pizza to share with my girls. That’s about all the three of us can eat, and I save the other half of the dough in the fridge for another day.
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 ears corn, cut off of the cob
  • 4-6 slices of bacon
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup shredded swiss, gruyere or fontina, or some combination (or more mozz if that’s all you have). I use a packaged shredded swiss-gruyere mix from Trader Joe's

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the bacon down the middle lengthwise and then into ½ inch slices. Cook, stirring often, in a nonstick skillet until just cooked, don’t let it get crispy because it will cook more in the oven.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Or pour it all off and add a tablespoon of olive oil if you want to be healthy and boring. Return the heat to medium and cook the onions a couple minutes until they start to soften. Add salt and pepper and the corn kernels to the onions, cooking for another 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the corn is bright and sweet.

If you have some, sprinkle a little (less than a tsp) of cornmeal on the pizza pan, then lay the pizza dough round on top of it. If you don’t have cornmeal, skip it. It just helps give it some texture and prevent sticking.

Top with the shredded cheese, the onion and corn mixture, and the bacon. You could also add tomato slices, fresh basil and salt and pepper at this stage, but I didn’t.

Cook for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the bottom crust is done.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Road Trip Car Games

With summer comes vacations and with vacations sometimes comes long car rides. Many of you have asked how to survive those long road trips with multiples (and more). In addition to the great advice we have received from CMOTC moms (here and here), below are some games to play to break up the boredom and and have some fun.

From Family Fun Magazine, August 2010 issue.

Road Trip Car Games

These clever activities will help your family pass the miles with smiles. Plus, fuel up on fun with new travel books and gear from our Boredom Buster Awards.

Game 1: 2-Minute Tens
To play: Players take turns challenging the rest of the group to name 10 things in any category: cookie varieties, animated movies, dog breeds, female professional athletes, automobile models, and so on. The group has two minutes to complete the list. Give it a twist: Allow yourselves fewer than two minutes or require that items be listed in alphabetical order.

Game 2: Snoopy Sam
To play: An adult makes a list for each player of things people in other cars could be doing, such as sleeping, wearing a red hat, or eating an ice-cream cone. The first player to see everything on her list wins. Give it a twist: The player who spots a nose picker automatically wins!

Game 3: Car Colors
To play: Each player chooses a color from the cars that pass by in one minute. Everyone then tries to spot 25 objects of their chosen color. When an object is spied, the player calls it out so that others can verify it, then writes it down on his list. The player with the highest tally after a set time wins.

Game 4: Sing It Out
To play: The first player sings the entirety of a simple song, such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb." The next player repeats the song, leaving off the last word. The following player leaves off the last and second-to-last words. (It's surprisingly hard!) Players have to sing the song correctly on their first try or they're out. The singing continues around the car until all the words have been left out.

Game 5: I'm Thinking of a Relative
To play: One player thinks of a person related to the family. The others take turns asking simple yes-or-no questions to help them guess the person's name: Is the person an adult? Is the person a female? Does she have red hair? The player who guesses correctly thinks of a new person.

Game 6: I Have Never
To play: Players take turns saying things they have never done, such as eaten spinach or been on a boat, with the goal of trying to name something that everyone else in the car has done. A successful "I Have Never" earns a player one point. The first to reach five points wins.

Game 7: Electric Light Brigade
To play: In this night-driving game, players find lights in order of the colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Players call out the colors when they spot them; the first to finish the list wins. A car with one headlight is a wild card, good for any color for the player who spots it. Give it a twist: Add such colors as brown or pink. During the day, look for colors on signs.

Game 8: Will We See Gophers?
To play: One player thinks of something the family will see or do at the vacation destination. The other players ask yes-or-no questions (Is it something we are going to eat?) to help them guess the item or activity. The first player to guess correctly wins. Give it a twist: Allow the guessers just 10 questions, or just five.


What fun family games do you play in the car? Share with everyone, email us or comment below!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin