Thursday, September 30, 2010

A great place to go: Firefly Play Cafe

Terra G. shares with us a great new addition to Columbus, Firefly Play Cafe. Offering green play toys and wide open spaces for running and scooters, as well as free WiFi and coffee and lots of space for parents to relax... what's not to love about it?! Actually, there is more to love and Terra tells us all about it below.


Firefly Play Café ( is a new addition to Columbus, and offers a great alternative for moms (or dads) to another afternoon with the little ones tearing the house apart while you wish you could get out or accomplish something. The space is designed for kids ages 2 to 5 to run, climb, slide, bounce, read, draw or pretend play while parents or caregivers enjoy a coffee bar, tables, sofas and free WiFi.

Located in a storefront in Beechwold, Firefly is open and inviting, offering climbing structures, a slide, dress up clothes, educational toys, a chalkboard playhouse, scooters, books and a bounce house. I stopped in on a whim after an early release from preschool, knowing the alternative was a LONG afternoon cooped up in our house. This was a great option because I was able to pay my bills – which at home the girls would never let me get away with, but at Firefly they were so occupied discovering new things, they totally ignored me – have something to drink, and catch up on email while the girls played themselves silly. While I was there, a playgroup of about six moms showed up with their little ones, and it seems like a perfect place for it, especially when the weather turns cold and rainy.

In addition to free play, Firefly offers classes like mom-and-kid yoga, art, painting and clay.

Here are some photos of my girls having a great time (look at how wide open it is and how fun the toys are!):

Hours are 9:30-5:30 most weekdays, until 8pm on Wednesdays, and 10-1 on Saturday.

Pricing is $5 all day for the first kid and $3 for additional, if they are two or older. Younger kids are $3.

Classes are around $7-12 each.

Healthy snacks, coffee, juice and water is available for $1 each.

Address: Firefly Play Café 4822 N High St (next to the Verizon store) – enter from the parking lot in back

On Facebook: Firefly Play Cafe.

Thanks Terra! Does anyone have other places in the Columbus area that are great to take the kids (of any age) during the quickly approaching colder months? Comment below or send us a post!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kelly's Art Easel - Fall Leave Prints

This is a fun project that allows you to incorporate nature and art. It's a perfect fall project and gives your children (and you) a unique wearable (t-shirt) afterwards. This project can be done with children of any age. For the young ones, like mine, you might need to assist more. However for each age range, children can customize these shirts to their skills, even making cool collages, shapes and words with their nature art.

Fall Leave Prints


  • plastic baggies (for collecting leaves)
  • leaves
  • masking tape
  • large sheets of paper (place mat size is best)
  • acrylic paint (or similar paints for fabric/paper)
  • t-shirts
  • art smocks (or old shirts of daddy's)
  • small plates (or something else flat to put paint on for printing)

How to: We completed this project with our friends Elaina and Miles who are 2 and 1/2 (Rhys & Kyle are 2 yrs old).

We started by giving each child a plastic baggie and then we went and collected sticks and leaves from around the neighborhood. Flowers are great for this project as well, if you can find them! While we were walking, we named different things we saw and collected the items we wanted in our bags. We tried to only take things off the ground and not remove them from the trees.

Once we finished collecting, we brought them back where Shana (Elaina's and Miles' mom) and I had taped down large sheets of practice paper. We also had filled small plates (cake/dessert plates) with a small amount of acrylic paint that we spread out on the plate so it was flat. For this project, we spread out six different paint colors thinly onto six plates. Let your children put the used leaves into different colors, which will mix the paint nicely for cool color combinations. Once we had the paint ready, we showed the kids how to take a leaf, stick or flower and to dip it into the paint. The key is smearing the paint around the entire shape (of the object) as even as possible. Too much paint makes for a sloppy prints because it moves, just think about stamping with ink - the less ink, the better the print. Once our objects were covered, we pressed it onto the paper, having the kids help. They were amazed when we pealed it off to reveal the shape in paint on the paper. Our kids were able to mimic what we did with some help from us spreading out the paint on the shape and pressing it onto the paper. Of course, finger painting was added, which is fun and fine (and great for sensory)!

Once we "practiced" on the paper and the kids got the hang of it, we went to the t-shirts. I used Hane's t-shirts (which are currently buy 2 get one free at Hane'! Note: it does help to place a piece of cardboard inside the shirts so there's a firm background on which to press. I used the backs of old notebooks, and another idea is boxes (like a cereal box) cut to size. Once the shirts were prepped and ready, we used the same process as above to stamp the t-shirts with the leaves, sticks, flowers, etc. that we had collected. The kids enjoyed being creative with their t-shirt nature stamping. Note: the shirts will need at least 24 hours to dry before wear and I'd suggest 48 hours before washing.

Bonus craft: we loved the practice paper stamping pieces so much that we laminated them for great fall place mats!
Have fun and enjoy!

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!

Special thanks to Shana and her twins for trying this project with us! ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

BabyPop Designs cape and mask sets - and the winner is...

Sara W.
(comment number #21)

Congratulations on winning the awesome set of 2 customized capes and masks for your duo!! Please email us ( your contact information (email address).

Costume ideas for multiples

Kathleen P. has shared with our CMOTC blog readers a great list of costume ideas for multiples, listed below. Many of us have a hard time thinking of the perfect, unique and fun idea for costumes, luckily the list has quite a few that fit the bill.


Trick or Treat! Here are some costume ideas for multiples at any age or even couples.
  • Hamburger, Hot Dog & Bag of Chips
  • Fork, Spoon & Knife
  • Spagetti, Ragu & Prego Jars of Sauce
  • UPS & Fedex (even add postal service)
  • Show & Tell (this could be funny)
  • Sugar & Spice
  • Half & Half
  • Cookies & Milk
  • Thank You & Have a Nice Day
  • Beer & Brats (ok not really for a young child)
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Gas & Electric
  • Eat, Drink & Be Merry
  • Headlights & Tailights
  • Mother Nature - and the 4 seasons

Family Fun also has a great list, which you can view here.

Have a Happy Halloween!



Thank you Kathleen! What about you? Do you have some ideas for twin/multiple Halloween costumes? Maybe even some photos to share? Website resources? Please comment below or email your ideas/photos.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Katie's Nutrition Nook: Healthy Brain Food Breakfasts for Kids (and Moms)

With school back in session, it is important to provide your children with healthy foods in order to have the energy and focus to learn. Mornings can get crunched and often nutrition is sacrificed. You need quick things to eat, but unfortunately, many of us do this at the cost of nutrition. Pop tarts, muffins and most cereal bars are loaded with sugar and minimal nutritional value. Sure, they’re quick and portable, but a breakfast of pure sugar does not supply sufficient fuel.

Many of you have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I agree that it is. However, putting nothing but sugar (and maybe a little fiber or whole grains to fool you into thinking you’re eating healthy) in our own or our children’s bodies is not doing any good. A meal consisting of protein (found in meats, beans, nuts, dairy products and eggs) and carbohydrates (found in fruits, starchy vegetables, grains and milk), but also low in sugar and high in fiber will help to start the day off right and keep you going.

Here are some examples of healthy, balanced breakfasts, ideal for the entire family!
  • Cheerios with low-fat milk
  • Plain yogurt with fruit and low-sugar granola
  • Whole grain toast OR English muffin with peanut butter
  • Oatmeal with almonds and/or milk*
  • Egg/Egg whites in a whole wheat tortilla
  • Fruit** smoothie with yogurt and fresh fruit

* Whole milk should be used from the time the child is 1-2 years old and then switch to !% fat or fat-free skim milk at 2 years of age.

** Most of us do not get enough fruit, so offering fruit or fruit juice at breakfast is a great idea! If you offer juice, make sure it is 100% fruit juice (i.e. juicy juice) and limit to 4 oz/day.

What are your favorite brain food breakfasts? Please share your family's favorite quick and healthy breakfasts that keep your body and mind going!

Feel free to comment below or contact me at with any questions you might have. Whether the questions are about weight loss, specific plans for you, general nutrition needs for you and/or your children, or whatever, I am here to help you!

As well, if you have suggestions for topics you would like me to discuss in Katie's Nutrition Nook, please let me know.

- Katie

Monday, September 20, 2010

A GIVEAWAY to thrill your little superhero and/or princess: BabyPop Designs customized capes and masks

****This giveaway has ended*****
Do you have a super hero duo in your family? If so, we have the perfect gift for them! We are very excited to announce that BabyPop Designs is giving away a set of two capes and masks on our blog. These customized superhero/princess capes are a must have for any child who is out to save your backyard.

Sherry Aikens, mom of two beautiful children and owner of BabyPop Designs, started her business a few years ago on after leaving her 15 year career in the apparel industry to be a stay at home mom. With all of her experience in the industry and love of apparel, she found a new avenue in making superhero and princess capes. Her offering includes capes customized with the child’s initial (and choice of emblem), shirts, masks, crowns and gloves. She even makes pet, teddy bear and adult capes… if you happen to be an entire family of superheroes! Their slogan: “Saving one backyard at a time.”

I first found BabyPop Designs featured, with rave reviews, on a blog two years ago and instantly fell in love. I quickly ordered one for my soon to be four year old at the time, who was convinced he was a superhero (and still is). I will never forget how his face lit up when he opened his gift and how quickly he put it on… and how hard it was to get off of him that night (no doubt the “hole in one” gift of the year). What makes me giggle to this day, is how his mannerisms change when he puts his cape, shirt, gloves and mask on. He walks, talks and cocks his head like a true crime fighting superhero. His younger brothers, the twins, turned three years old last month and given that they were following in their older brother’s path, it was time they had their own capes as well. Now we have three masked and caped men happily keeping us safe from harm.

With the joy my children have wearing these nicely crafted capes and the holidays quickly approaching, I thought this was a perfect gift idea to share with the club. One better, after hearing about our CMOTC club and blog, Sherry generously offered to give away a set of two capes and masks to our CMOTC club moms! WOW! The capes for your duos come in a large variety of colors, as well as the option of emblems along with the child’s initial. Check out the options on her website.

To enter to win a set of two capes and masks (required):
Become a Facebook fan of “BabyPop Designs”, (click here), by clicking “like” on her fan page. Once you have done this, comment* below stating you’re a FB fan of BabyPop Designs.

For additional entries – yes, you read it right, you can increase your chance of winning with two more entry options! – do the following: (please create a separate comment for each of the three entry options)
  • 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 or click this link, then click “like.” Once you have done this, comment* below stating you did. If you are already a fan, that counts too. Comment* below letting us know.

PLEASE make sure you use your full name or at the very least your first name and last initial, as it will be hard to determine for sure who is the winner if there are multiple people entering with the same first names.

Winners will be selected on Friday September 24th at 9 p.m. by random selection, using Be sure to check the blog on Friday to see if you won. If an email address is not included in your public 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, please come to the
blog to enter to win.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Craft Project: Instant Nature Friends

Do your children love to collect things from your yard, the park, camping trips, vacations or other places you venture to outdoors? Here's a fun craft to do with all those things they collect and all you need in addition to their finds is googly eyes and a bottle of craft glue.

They can make rock pets, stick snakes, nutty friends, and... the possibilities are unlimited with some imagination!

So easy, so cheap, and what a great way for them to explore nature and use their imagination (and creativity)!

Craft idea from

If you try this craft, please email us photos of your children's nature friends to share on the blog or you can also upload them to our CMOTC facebook page.

CMOTC Member photos:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Frozen Flower Pops

As nice as it's been out lately (loving the fall temps), there is always occasion for cool treats. Check out these super cute (and super easy) frozen fruity flowers! These fun little treats are great for play dates, parties, or just a special fun snack.


Frozen Flower Pops

  • Fresh pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Green apple
  • Skewer


  1. Make the petals by cutting notches in a 1/2-inch-thick fresh pineapple ring, then place a watermelon ball in the center.
  2. For a leaf, skewer a slice of green apple, then push the skewer stem into the pineapple. Place the flower on a wax-paper-covered tray, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for about 1 hour.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apple Picking Time - Orchards and Resources

Fall is the favorite season in our house. We love the colored leaves, cooler temperatures, football, pumpkins and apple picking! Apple picking is something that kids young to old can enjoy and makes for a fun family outing. My boys love picking apples, but more for the fact they have an instant snack that they picked (they love apples). We go apple picking any where from three to six times during the season. We make a lot of applesauce, which I freeze, and other apple goodies, as well as just getting plenty for eating. I try to pick strategically, so that we end up with a lot of the apples that keep well. Some varieties, if stored properly, will last until the spring. That is another bonus to the apple picking family fun, it's cheap and you can have apples for months to come! is a great resource for apple orchards (and much more) by county in central Ohio. I've used this site for years.

Here are some of the orchards we have been to:

Legend Hills Orchard. This nice sized orchard is located in Utica, which we have been to for several years (for strawberries and apples). They have a large variety apples throughout the season. It's not typically too crowded, though it is a popular apple picking place. They also have a farm market were they sell other produce, as well of some Amish cheese, meat and other things.

Windy Hill Apple Farm (also known as Charlie's Apples after the owner). We went to this orchard, located in Newark, for the first time a couple weeks ago. This orchard has organically grown apples, so many of their varieties aren't your typical ones. Instead they focus on apples that are more resistant, since they grow their apples without the use of pesticides and insecticides. I was really drawn to this fact. The atmosphere was so nice there, so peaceful and welcoming. It felt as though we were picking apples in our backyard and really, we were picking apples in their backyard. It's really a good sized orchard even though it feels so personal. And the price of apples is less than some of the bigger orchards, like Lynd's. The only "downside" is, since they are organically grown, it takes a little more time to find apples without blemishes... if that even matters to you (for applesauce, pie, crisp, dumplings or other things... the blemished ones work just fine!). Really though, the benefits far out weigh that "downside." The owner, Charlie, is very warm, sweet and knowledgeable. It takes some talent, education and a lot of passion to grow apples organically in the mid west. I loved this place, for the atmosphere and the fact that the grow without pesticides and insecticides. This will definitely become a frequent stop for us.

Lynd's Fruit Farm. We have been going to this very popular, well known orchard, located in Pataskala, for years. I really like the apple variety, the amount of trees they have and the farm market. Because it's so popular though, it's always extremely busy so you might be sharing a tree with other families. They do have a great farm market with lots of produce and Amish baked goods. In October they also have a pumpkin patch and many fall activities.

Buckingham Orchards. This orchard is located in Sunbury and is probably medium sized. It's gotten smaller over the years as they downsized due to the aging owner, as he told me. He is a very nice man, who knows every inch of that orchard, and walked us to the trees that had the varieties of apples that we wanted. This is a cross hybrid orchard so the varieties of apple trees are mixed among each other, meaning there are no rows of the same apples like other orchards. They have fewer varieties than some of the larger orchards, but are very conveniently located. It's quiet and peaceful and the owner, Bill, is very sweet. They do not have an official website, but at, there are many comments, as well if you google their name you can find more great comments, as well as the phone number. They do have a little farm market as well.

Apple Hill Orchard. This orchard is located in Mansfield (not too far off 71) and is the one we always go to when meeting family/friends from NE Ohio (it's about half way). The picking orchard they have (they also have one solely for commercial sales) is probably medium sized, but always has tons of apples. They have a good variety of apples, including some August variety u-picks. They have a nice little farm market with other produce, as well as some meats and cheeses.

We have not yet been to these places, but I hear that Granville Orchard and Barnstool Orchards (in Utica down the street from Legend Hills) also have u-pick apples. I know that our Farmer's Market pie person (fabulous!) picks her apples from Granville Orchards and really loves it. Barnstool Orchards just started coming to our farmers' market this year with cherries, peaches and now apples. I have purchased cherries and peaches from them, and have been pleased.

Since I have asked each orchard we went to (some once a year just to see if they have changed) if they spray chemicals, I'll share what I know in case that is of any importance to anyone. Obviously, Windy Hill Orchard grows using organic methods, so there is next to nothing used there. Apple Hill uses integrated pest management, which means they have someone assess the orchard every couple weeks to determine what chemicals are needed and therefore are only using what they need on trees/varieties that need it, versus covering them all with everything whether or not they need it. Buckingham and Legend Hills orchards both spray, but tell me it's more minimal and "watered down" though they don't follow integrated pest management. One of the Lynd's, when I asked in an email, told me "Heck yes! And lots of 'em!" (and really, it shows because their apples are big and mostly flawless). Based on our (back and forth) conversations, via emails, and the other responses given to me in person by the owners of the other orchards, I would say Lynd's uses chemicals close to levels of commercial growers. Most of the above using chemicals don't spray past flowering, unless needed. Regardless, by buying local from any of these places, you reduce your carbon footprint, get the freshest apples, support farmers in our community and have a great time together as a family. Just be sure to wash those apples well!

My boys at Windy Hill Apple Farm.

Apple resources:
I am sure there are many great reference sites for making applesauce and apple butter. The one I used for applesauce was the website.

Applesauce: I use the fruit and vegetable strainer attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer (which is listed on that site), cook the apples on low heat with skins on (and some cinnamon and vanilla) until they start to soften, then put it through the strainer - it's perfect. I typically mix varieties, using some that are labeled good for sauce and some not, to get desired sweetness without ever adding sugar. I keep some for the week, and freeze the rest in glass pryex storage containers. It is so easy!

Apple butter: They also have tips for making apple butter, which I have never done.

Apple use charts:
These are great for giving you an idea of what apple varieties are best used for making certain things. Some you probably already know, but all of these charts/resources list ones that are not common as well. Between the three, it should cover just about any apple you might pick this season.

Ohio Apple Growers

Lynd's Fruit Farm - this one used to also list how many months they typically kept, but now it's just a rating (still useful).

Windy Hill Apple Farm - in with the details on their apples, most of the descriptions tell you the length of time they keep in storage. Click on the link for "September Apples" or "October Apples" to see this information, as well as how they are best used. Since their apples are typically a different variety than the other orchards, this is a great resource.

Apple Picking tips, from

Storing apples: I have found that it works best to put your apples in bags (like quart size bags that seal), three to four to a bag, don't completely seal it and put it in your refrigerator's fruit and veggie drawers. We have one in the garage, which quite honestly turns into the "apple refrigerator" in the fall/winter. I also read on a site that you should rinse the apples, leave them slightly wet/damp and put in a bag (like a plastic store bag), tie it loosely and store in the refrigerator (again fruit and veggie drawer). This is contradictory to what I have read saying not to store wet. I tried it with some of our apples, so I will find out soon enough if that works too or not. If you don't bag them, I have found they definitely do not last as long at all. And if you put too many together in a bag, especially if they are highly acidic, that if one goes bad, all of them will get bad (told to me by an orchard worker and proven true by me). The stellar keeper apple, for us at least, has been Fuji. Those will keep into the spring (if stored correctly). Also, if you don't have the extra refrigerator, you really don't need it. They just need to be stored in a cool somewhat humid place, like some basements are.

Happy picking!

p.s. If you do go to Legend Hills or Barnstool, be sure to visit the Velvet Ice Cream Factory. It's only a mile or two down the road from both of those places. It's about five or ten minutes from Windy Hill Apple Farm.


How about you? Do you have a favorite apple orchard, either listed above or one that is not? Why it is your favorite? Know of other great apple resources? Other tips for storing apples? Great apple recipes? Or have a favorite apple picking family tradition? Share it with us! Comment below or email it to us.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Handling Homework Hassles with Twins / Multiples

CMOTC member Mary Lynn P. shared with us this great article she found on handling homework hassles with multiples. Considering how much homework children have now and days and that we have that times two (or more), we all could use some tips. Thank you Mary Lynn for sharing!


Handling Homework Hassles with Twins / Multiples
Helpful Homework Tips for Families with Twins or More

When the bus pulls up to the bus stop at the end of a school day, I often have mixed emotions. Greeting my twin daughters and hearing about their school life is one of the high points of my day, but I also dread the ordeal that lies ahead. Homework hassles can turn our afternoons into an exercise in frustration for all of us.

Studies estimate that the average grade schooler spends more than 130 minutes doing homework each week -- and in homes with multiples, that figure only multiplies! All parents want their children to do well in school, and homework is an important component. With two or more children in the same grade, parents of multiples often have to concoct some clever strategies for handling homework.

Create a Homework-Helpful Environment

Establish a specific place for each of your multiples to do their homework and equip that space with all the tools that they'll need to accomplish their work. Provide paper, pencils, a pencil sharpener and other age-appropriate tools and accessories, such as crayons, colored pencils, scissors, ruler, calculator, dictionary, etc. Make sure the space is comfortable, uncluttered and well-lit. Most importantly, make sure the space is secluded and free from distractions (including television).

Of course, for families with multiples, their primary distraction is each other! Although group homework sessions may seem fun and friendly, it's not conducive to getting work done. I recommend providing separate stations, in separate rooms if possible. For multiples that share a room that can be tricky, and you may have to set up desks in alternate locations, such as a playroom or den.

Establish Routines

After a school day, kids need to unwind for a bit. They may be hungry and ready for a snack. Depending on their personality, they may unwind in different ways. Some children may desire some quiet time watching TV or playing video games, while others need to be active and run around. Still others, of the conscientious sort, can't relax until their homework is complete and their schoolwork can be put away. Keep your multiples' individual needs and lifestyles in mind as you establish your after-school routine.

Almost every child will appreciate the opportunity to spend some time with a parent and communicate about their day. With twins or multiples, it can be a challenge for parents to carve out one-on-one time during the busy after-school rush. Twins may compete for a parent's attention, talking over each other and interrupting in an attempt to share the latest news about their school day. I find that my twin daughters get particularly frustrated and competitive with each other at this time of day, jealous if her sister brings home a better grade or breaks the news first about some juicy gossip.

Commit to establishing a period of individual time with each child every day; the consistency will help them feel secure. Avoid competition and rivalry by encouraging them to save their news of potentially touchy subjects.

In addition, encourage habits that promote responsibility. Praise your multiples for writing down their assignments before leaving school for the day, and for bringing home all the required materials to complete their assignments. Reward them for a job well-done when deserved. Teach them ways to organize their notebooks, backpacks and materials. Clearly identify and label their belongings so they don't get them mixed up, and remind them to always put their names on their homework assignments. Encourage them to think ahead; organize backpacks and books the night before to avoid a last-minute search for lost homework in the morning. We have a saying in our family, "Put your eyes on your homework." It's an easy way to remind them to check up on themselves. Just doing the homework isn't enough; it has to make the return trip to the classroom.

What's the Point of Homework Anyway?

As you decide how involved to be in your children's homework, consider what homework really accomplishes. Educators have identified three categories of homework. The first is an opportunity for students to practice the skills that they've learned in the classroom. For example, math problems that reinforce a method that was taught during the school day. On the other hand, preparation assignments such as background research, get students ready for classroom activities. Finally, extension assignments parallel topics that are ongoing in the classroom by applying knowledge in a broader format.

However, homework also serves a bigger purpose. It helps students develop important habits and characteristics, including initiative, accountability, organization, and motivation. In many ways, these characteristics are even more important than the work itself, which is why it's important for parents to have a balanced role in their children's homework activities. Certainly, you should be aware of and involved with each child's homework. Be available for help. But don't do the work for your child or cover their mistakes. Not only will you undermine the teacher's efforts, but you also prevent your child from establishing these important qualities that he'll need as an adult.

Too Much/Not Enough or "Two" Different

One of the neat things about having twins or multiples it that parents have a constant comparative assessment of how their child stacks up against a peer child -- in this case, their co-twin. However, when it comes to homework, comparing your multiples can create problems. If they have different teachers, they may have varying levels of homework, which can create some jealousy. While you'd think the twin with more homework would be jealous of the twin with less, many families of younger twins find the opposite to be true! ("It's not fair that she gets to do a report about cougars! I want to write a report!" was my daughter's complaints in first grade. I am certain that she'd hold the opposite sentiment now that she's in fifth grade.)
If you are concerned about the amount or type of homework assignments for one or all of your multiples, approach the teacher(s). Education experts recommend that homework for 5-8 year olds require about twenty minutes to complete. For 9 - 11 year olds, expect that amount to double. In middle school and high school, the homework assignments vary greatly according to student's curriculum and number of subjects.

Finally, expect and accept variances in your multiples' abilities when it comes to schoolwork. Even identical twins have unique strengths and weaknesses. Avoid comparing their work as much as you can help it. (I admit that I always chuckle a little bit when I discover that both of my twins missed the same math problem. However, I keep that information to myself and never bring it to their attention.) Consider their homework private business. Just as you wouldn't discuss one client with another in a professional environment, respect your child's privacy within the family when it comes to their homework.


Does anyone else have any helpful resources for tackling homework with their multiples and more? Or experience/advice, please share!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm nervous about breastfeeding twins, how do you do it?

Thank you to CMOTC member Amy A. who solicited this much sought after advice for an honorary member!

I’ve spoken with a new honorary member who is concerned about breastfeeding her twins. We have a lot of CMOTC moms who’ve breastfed your twins and would love for you to share your positive stories. AND if you used a nursing pillow, what brand.

Advice/experience/tips from CMOTC moms:

It is definitely possible! I nursed both of mine until they were 12 months old. It can be a little challenging- it is with even one baby and so for sure with two- but get all the help and support you can and just be prepared to be patient. No matter what anyone tells you, even if they babies are latched on correctly, it does hurt in the beginning. But, if you stick with it and keep trying, it stops hurting after a few weeks. Generally our bodies work on supply and demand. If your babies demand it, your body will supply it. Many moms like to "tandem" feed which means feed them both at the same time, one on each breast. If you are going to do this- I would recommend getting a twins nursing pillow. I did not do this however and just personally preferred to feed one and then the other immediately after. You can do it both ways and see what works best for you. Good luck- I wish you the best!


I just had our twins last Thursday and I am currently breast feeding exclusively. It is tough but it gets easier every day.I bought the 'my breast friend' twins plus nursing pillow and could not do without it. It allows me to feed them at the same time comfortably. I also liked that the cover was a washable plain color, I know some have prints that I didn't care for. I bought it from and chose the option to ship to the closest store. This helped us avoid any shipping fees. It was reasonably priced and arrived within a week.Even though we are only 7 days into our journey, I am confident that I will be able to successfully nurse the twins for quite some time. As with our other 2 children, it can be frustrating at times. But the benefits outweigh the frustrations. Hope this helps!


I fed my twins until they were 10-11 mos old & used the MyBreastFeriend pillow. I fed my singleton until he was 13-14 mos old, use the same pillow. Love the pillow for the lumbar cushion & it raises the babies up so you are not hunched over trying to feed them.


She should get the EZ to nurse breast feeding pillow and order it before her babies are born so that it arrives in time (mine took 2+ weeks to arrive).

The first few weeks/months can be very challenging. It is a good idea to have a lactation consultant come to your home when you are ready to tandem feed. Tandem feeding shouldn't be attempted until both babies are able to latch well on their own and mom is totally comfortable.


It can be challenging at time, especially if one has any issues. I had one stellar nurser and one that ended up having reflux (swallowing hurt him), so he could not stay latched due to this (which we didn't know for months and lots of tests and meds). I breastfed and pumped with the twins for seven months. I also had a singleton before whom I breastfed for eleven months. I used the EZ 2 nurse twins pillow when my second twin was finally able to breastfeed and my boppy for my singleton and if I fed just one twin at a time (once the second was able to BF).

If I had to give some advice, especially to a twin mom, it is try to relax and not worry if it does not go smoothly at first, chances are it will soon. And, if it doesn't and you have to supplement with formula a little, don't feel guilty or like you have failed.

Next, line up a lactation consultant to come in at least once during your hospital stay. They are extremely helpful.

Unless you have stellar nursers right off the bat, or shortly thereafter, you will most likely need to have someone there to help you get them on the pillow and latched for a while. It takes a while before they, and you, get the hang of it. Once they do, a couple months in, it gets a lot easier.

Get a good nursing pillow, like the EZ 2 nurse pillow. It is contoured and very big so they fit nicely. It is huge and bulky, but it works.

Pump. Get a good double pump and pump a lot. My supply was not plentiful with my singleton or twins, so I had to pump extra. When I went back to work, it really went down. I wish I would have pumped more, but sometimes you can't. If you can, do it and stock up as much as you can.

Feeding them together is good for your supply and also efficient, but sometimes having the one on one nursing experience with one child is very special. Consider doing this sometimes too. It takes longer, obviously, but it is worth it.

Don't feel bad if you have to supplement, many of us have had to do it as well.

If you need support, reach out and get it. The CMOTC moms are there for you, as well as visiting lactation consultants.


I am breastfeeding my 7 month old twins, and I'm here to tell you... it CAN be done!

Some of the things I've learned along the way:

1. If your babies are early, lazy, or just plain sleepy at first, try changing their diapers before nursing.... Or, remove their clothing as they nurse to keep them awake. You can also rub their head or feet to stimulate them.

2.The jaw should be working in such a way that you can see the motion under the ear when they're transferring milk and not just sucking for comfort.

3. Babies suck for more reasons than just to eat. Comfort, stress, and to feel safe are a few of them. Being with mom is as much a need in the early months as eating. Babies don't know what century they're born in, or what kind of socio-economic climate. They don't know they're safe and sound unless they are with the food and warmth... YOU!

4. When a baby "ups the suck" it doesn't mean your milk supply is low. It means your babies are increasing your supply to get ready for a growth spurt. They generally hit three or four growth spurts before six months, and will nurse more accordingly.

5. Your breasts will feel full and sometimes engorged for the first six weeks or so. After that, they may feel less full, but you will still be making milk.

6. Nipple confusion is a real problem. If you have to supplement in the early days, try spoon feeding or a supplemental nursing system (SNS) instead. After four to six weeks of successful breastfeeding it's "safer" to introduce a paci or artificial nipple.

7. If your nipples hurt beyond the first few days, or if they come out looking like a lipstick, or if your baby isn't transferring milk well, your baby might have tongue-tie. Ask your pediatrician or an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant about the quick procedure to correct this.

8. It really helps to see someone breastfeed twins. Find a support group!

9. There are two kinds of breastmilk. The foremilk is the milk that comes out first. It quenches thirst and is high in lactose. Too much of this milk can make your baby gassy. The hindmilk is what comes out later. It's higher in fat and protein and is thicker and whiter in color. This is the stuff babies need to grow grow grow! Nursing twins at the same time actually helps get them the hindmilk because usually there is one twin on each breast for all the feedings in a day.

10. Keep yourself hydrated and eating well. Your body can make milk for two babies-- it's all about the demand and supply!


If you have more experience, advice or tips to share regarding breastfeeding twins, or even resources, please comment below.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin