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Fall 2013

is your family’s


in check? fail-proof tips to develop great study habits show a little love in the

lunchbox! 1

one mom’s story: the infertile road

to family

Make some noise. White noise products not only play similar sounds babies are accustomed to in the womb, they also mimic the instinctual ‘shhhush’-ing sound parents make when trying to calm a crying baby. Your baby’s naps should be no less than 45 minutes. Put your child to bed drowsy, but awake.

Sleep. Be Happy. Be Healthy. Twilight Turtle Tunes with Bluetooth Technology. Mix custom sounds & light to create a magical sleeptime environment. ®

Cloudb_Multiplicity Fall Consumer_FP_T3_Bleed.indd 1

9/17/13 8:16 AM

celebrating all life’s little ups and downs 7

Managing the NICU when the babies come too soon

33 Will you fall for the season’s fashion


Homework meltdowns, be gone! Tips to develop great study habits!

36 School Party know-how

10 Gumdrops & Candy Canes:

Keeping your family’s sugar in check

12 Want to save money? Consider a Homemade Halloween!

23 One mom’s story and struggle with infertility

24 Where does the time go? Tips on capturing their firsts

trends in Fashion Finds for Less?

40 Breastfeeding? How to maintain


your supply

45 Bored? Holiday crafts for the whole family

48 Guidelines for when to call the doc 52 Fall Book Review 55 Lunchbox love through planning & preparation

60 Tips for teaching children with different learning styles

26 Comfort Food for Fall 28 Family Togetherness: How to

make the best of travelling for the holidays

30 Product Buzz

64 What to do when something isn’t right with your pregnancy

70 Ask Joan: All you need is love! 72 Five Minute Fix:

32 Halloween candy too much? Try some of these alternatives


75 Selecting a maternity photographer

cover cuties This issue’s cover cuties are boy/girl twin set, Pierce and Marley of Knoxville Tennessee. At 10 months old, they love passing toys back and forth, reading books, and holding wrestling matches with each other and their two basset hound siblings. photos courtesy of Carrie Luster Smith Photography


Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. There’s just something about being able to witness a season with all of our senses...from feeling the cool in the air, watching the leaves turn from vibrant hues to burnt browns, hearing the stillness, as if nature itself is in awe, and smelling and tasting the apples and pumpkins from the local farms. As a family, we have traditions just like many of you: we visit the pumpkin patch and enjoy hayrides, we visit a farm for our apple picking, and even more frequently, we host bonfires with family and friends. There are some amazing stories and memories to be shared over s’mores and a warm fire on a cool night. With the holidays all quickly approaching, we share some great ideas for family togetherness. So many of us struggled to have our children, whether with conception alone or possibly even carrying the pregnancy to full term, and we must never forget our journey. Similarly, while most of us know that October is breast cancer awareness month, it is also a time to remember the babies we hold in our hearts and celebrate the ones Natalie Diaz founder/publisher

we hold in our arms. We hope you’ll learn about what to do if something isn’t quite right with your pregnancy, and so many other informationfilled articles, from travelling, to delicious meals, and even holiday crafts for the whole family. While many of our younger kids are oblivious to the true sentiments of the seasons and are wrapped up in the candy, costumes, and gifts, you’d be surprised at what all they will remember when they grow up. This time of year is a great time to get out and share with others --- whether it be taking artwork to an assisted living or nursing facility, serving at the soup kitchen, or singing carols to those unable to get out and enjoy the magic of this time of year. If you truly place importance on spending time as a family and giving back to others less fortunate, your children will remember and relive those values with their own children one day. And after the endless meltdowns, the “gimmes” and the constant battles over who is touching who, that my fellow moms, is the blessing we can all hope to receive in our lifetimes!

Talitha A. McGuinness executive editor

Publisher Natalie Diaz Executive Editor / Creative Director Talitha A. McGuinness Photographers Firewife Photography Jane Goodrich Photography Contributing Writers Tobi Stanton Stewart Cara Krenn Frankie Howley Michelle Leichty Dr. Joan Friedman Michelle Somers Traci Zeller Dr. Preeti Parikh Nellie Harden Nicole Bell Angel Rodrigues Natalie Diaz Julie McCaffrey Kerry Bergeman Tawna Allred Julie Mitchell Jane Goodrich Social Media Manager Jill Marcum Contact us: 141 Mulberry Street Apt. C-1 New York, NY 10013 917-442-2020

Multiplicity is published as a digital magazine four times per calendar year, with additional supplements as desired. Multiplicity cannot assume responsibility of statements made by advertisers. In addition, though hand-picked and carefully reviewed, Multiplicity cannot guarantee the accuracy of editorial pieces. No portion in whole or in part of this publication may be reproduced without express written consent from the publisher. Questions? Email



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

here’s to sweaters and weekend bonfires, to raking and falling into piles of leaves. here’s to pumpkin picking and pumpkin eating, and even to a little trick-or-treating. here’s to warm colors and hot cocoa, to embracing the changes around us.



when your due date comes sooner than expected

how to manage the nicu by julie mccaffrey



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

Twins and higher-order multiples have greater odds of being premature and needing a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) stay. Although no parent wants to spend any amount of time in the NICU, if you are expecting multiples, it is best to know what to expect and be prepared. Start off by asking your caregiver to give you a tour of the NICU facility when you tour your hospital prior to delivery. Ask about private spaces for lactation and consultations, as well as family or sleep spaces. Find out if you are allowed to bring photos, your own linens and other keepsakes for each baby from home to decorate their incubators.

the first things you may notice when you initially see your babies in the nicu are the many wires and tubes attached to them. Some

of the most common are a pulse oximeter (a tiny light on their finger/foot), a cardio respiratory monitor made up of three patches, a blood pressure monitor, a temperature probe, a heart monitor, various lines for medicines, oxygen via tubes into the nostril or a respirator, and/or a gastric tube. Ask the care team to explain each one and why they are necessary.

get to know the staff, doctors and nurses that will be taking care of your babies. The

more you communicate with them, the more information they are likely to share. Don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way and if you don’t understand, ask for clarification. You will be faced with a lot of medical terminology and asked to make a lot of decisions, so try to ensure you understand each interaction with a doctor or nurse. Along the way, keep a log for each baby of important pieces of information you receive and concerns or questions you have so you can make the most of the daily rounds.

request kangaroo care and to interact with each baby as much as the hospital and care team will allow. Even if your babies are not

well enough for physical contact, you can interact by reading, singing and talking to them. Another great way to start bonding with your babies multiplicity

even while they are in their incubators is to be involved in their care by helping change diapers, take temperatures, and if possible, to feed them.

consider setting up an online journal or blog to keep friends and family updated. This

will also serve as a place where you can share your emotions and thoughts while having a recording of your NICU journey. You can use this outlet as a way to celebrate milestones like weight gain or coming off a medicine. Another way to share your emotions is to talk with other parents in the NICU. They understand and may have resources or tips to share to improve your hospital experience.

your babies may find comfort from being next to their twin after birth. If they are healthy enough, some hospitals will consider putting twins together in one incubator for periods of time. Ask your care team what their policy is on your multiples sharing an incubator.

know that there is a chance that one infant may be discharged before their sibling and in

this case, communication with doctors and nurses is key. Find out when shifts change and ask for the best times to call and get updates.

most importantly, try to take care of yourself. You will have just given birth to multiple

babies and soon they will be home with you. This may mean asking for help and certainly saying ‘yes’ when it is offered. You need to properly heal and rest so you can be there for your babies during and after their NICU stay. Julie McCaffrey is a mommy to 3 kids, including a set of twins. Julie owns BabyNav Baby Planners where she offers personalized consultation to new and expecting parents. She is a modern baby gear expert and loves to help parents navigate everything from baby gear to preparing for multiples, to getting back to work and getting the whole family on a routine. You can also follow her on Facebook. the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


practice makes


tips for keeping the momentum of learning the whole school year by tobi stanton stewart

Parents of multiples have a very unique experience of having more than one child at the same grade level. As a teacher and mom of twins, I offer a few suggestions for starting the school year off right for you and your multiples! *communication is key Most teachers will work with their colleagues at grade level to keep things fairly uniform. However, each teacher has their own way of doing things. Talk to them about your experience of being a family with multiples. Odds are if they’ve been teaching a few years, they’ve had multiples in class and understand the unique challenges you face. Some important questions to ask include specifics for homework and testing. Be sure to ask about the preferred method of communication. One may have a daily homework agenda that requires signing.



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

Another may prefer questions and concerns to come via email. Ask for advanced notice for big projects, as you will be helping with two or more. Many dates have already been decided upon when the year begins and you can put them in your calendar. Communication will keep everyone informed and keep frustrations at bay. *routine paves the way Every child is different, but having a routine is beneficial for all students. Some children need to unwind after the school day by doing something active before they settle down to do their homework. For others, it is most advantageous to have a snack and get it finished before fatigue sets in. Working and communicating with each of your children will lead you to find their body’s rhythm and what works best. Limit your children’s television time during the school week, however, because it can be tremendously educational, become familiar with the curriculum at your children’s grade level. If your third grader is studying Australia, then watching a program about the Great Barrier Reef can help them add to class discussion. There also should be an area designated for homework. The area should be comfortable and far enough away from other distractions that your students can concentrate. Another great routine, dinner as a family is a wonderful time to talk to your multiples about their day. Check in and even take some notes if there are questions you need clarified by the teacher(s).

After homework and the family meal, plan for the next day. Pick out clothes and pack backpacks to be sure everything is ready. This routine alone will provide for a less hectic morning. *everyone needs their sleep You and your multiples require an adequate amount of sleep in order to be ready to tackle the day. Spending quiet time reading is a wonderful way to wind down. Modeling a love of reading will help your children become lifelong learners. With that said, turning off the television, electronics and having a “get ready for sleep” ritual is healthy for the whole family. Saying prayers or sharing one thing you were grateful for or that you accomplished that day is a nice final thought before sleep. *enjoy the learning process Enjoy your time with your little learners and look at their education as a gift you are encountering with them. They are growing and changing, and you are there to guide them. Share your own school stories, as your life experiences can help them to navigate both the fun and challenging times that are a part of growing up. With all of this in mind, your children and their teachers will appreciate the effort and enthusiasm you direct toward their school year. It truly is an investment in their bright futures! Tobi Stanton Stewart is a twin mom and writer who blogs about the good, the bad, and the fabulous world of multiples at The Posh Mommas.


does your child suffer from

backpack pain? If your children are in grade school, they likely carry a backpack. The backpack itself is created to help distribute the weight of books and other school supplies across the shoulders and back muscles. The promblem lies in overload, a common problem these days. Have you weighed your child’s backpack? I guarantee that it weighs as much as 30% of their own body weight, which is way too much! Here are some helpful tips for preventing backpain: *try to limit the backpack weight to 10-15% of the child’s body weight *purchase a lightweight backpack (canvas vs. leather), and with compartments to help distribute smaller items (and prevent from shifting) *look for backpacks with two wide shoulder straps and a padded back *consider a separate bag for the laptop, or wheels if your child’s school will allow them *place heaviest items at the back (against the back) *teach your child to always wear both shoulder straps Source:

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gumdrops and CANDY CANES keeping your family’s sugar in check!

by cara krenn


ho doesn’t enjoy giving in to their sweet tooth every once in a while? Most of us love indulging in a nice, sugary treat, but with sugar appearing everywhere in our food --- and obesity prevalent throughout the U.S. --- it’s easy to get too much of a good thing. So when do fun family treats turn into real health problems? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 13% of adults’ daily caloric intake comes from added sugar. About 2/3 of those sugar calories come from sugary foods, while the other third comes from beverages like soda. Children and teenagers get about 16% of their daily calories from sugar, with 40% of those sugar calories coming from beverages. That’s a lot of liquid sugar! Additionally, the CDC’s study found that most sugar calories are actually consumed inside the home, not while families are out and about. The good news is that doing a “sugar audit” of your home sugar consumption habits can be a quick and helpful way for you to keep your family’s sugar in check. Once you know where all that extra sugar is “hiding,” you can reduce its prevalence in your family’s daily diet. Know what “sugar” is by all of its names. Sugar can appear on food packages masked by a variety of names. The following ingredients are all “sugar”: white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose, and dextrin. Also, remember that the higher up on a label’s ingredients list an ingredient appears, the greater its presence in the product. Cut sugary drinks – especially soda – out of your family’s diet. 33% of the average American’s sugar consumption comes from beverages. Simply eliminating soda can add up to a huge health benefit for you and your family. Still crave



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

a fizzy fix? Try sparkling water mixed with a splash of fruit juice. For kids, try replacing the empty calories of soda with reduced fat milk. Even fruit juice calories can be cut in half by offering kids reduced sugar juice boxes or by mixing juice with water. Switch up your baking recipes. Most recipes won’t suffer from having their designated sugar amounts cut in half or by a third. When baking, consider replacing sugar with unsweetened applesauce. When a recipe calls for sugar, cut the amount. You won’t miss it. Offer unprocessed snacks. Processed foods rely heavily on sugar and salt, so when it comes to snack time, aim for something fresh. Great low-sugar snacks include hard-boiled eggs, turkey roll-ups, cut vegetables and hummus, apple slices, Greek yogurt, nuts, string cheese sticks, whole wheat toast with nut butter, and many more. Need something that can sit in the car until you need a handy snack? Dried fruit, applesauce pouches, or trail mix are great “kid-friendly” snacks that can be stored for long periods of time.

Eat real food. As bestselling author Michael Pollan argues in his book In Defense of Food, our modern diet affords us many luxuries, but has also caused us to steer away from “real” food and veer toward “edible food-like substances.” His nutritional advice is simple: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” It’s hard to overdose on sugar with this advice. Watch your portions. Have dessert, but remember to watch your portions. Servings of ice cream or brownies shouldn’t fill a whole bowl or plate. Everything in moderation. Life is supposed to be fun, especially when you’re a kid, but no one needs an extra large McDonald’s McFlurry every day. Limiting treats can actually make them more fun and special. Try making a “Sunday Sundae” night for your family or head to the ice cream shop for a special treat.

more fyi: surprising sources of added sugar

Sugar sometimes lurks where we least expect it, including these popular food items: barbeque sauce, flavored yogurt, tomatobased pasta sauce, ketchup, multigrain cereals, peanut butter, and fat-free packaged foods.

Save sugar cereals for a weekend treat. It’s tempting (especially for kids) to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Lucky Charms every day for breakfast, but if you must have these cereals in your house, save them for the weekend. While you’re at it, nix the sugar bowl altogether at breakfast. Don’t eat anything with a laundry list of ingredients. The longer the list of ingredients on a packaged good, the worse it is for you (and the more sugar and salt it likely contains). Artificial sweeteners may not be the answer. There’s ongoing debate over the affects of artificial sweeteners, but some studies have demonstrated that fake sugar can actually cause individuals to crave sweet things even more. Limit these when possible. “Fat-free” products may not help you lose weight. Surprisingly, packaged fat-free products are often loaded with sugar. After all, something’s got to make a “fat-free” cookie taste good! Opt for “true” fat-free options, such as fruit, to satisfy a craving. multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


by the mom squad

enjoy these easy, do-it-yourself, unique costumes for your twinnies’ fall celebrations! 12


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of melissa mcfadden photography



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

little aviators

photo courtesy of melissa mcfadden photography



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of rachel vos photography




the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples




the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of jane goodrich photography




the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of snap happy! photography


chicken littles

photo courtesy of arbitrary holiday mom



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of jane goodrich photography


peas in a pod

photo courtesy of rachel vos photography

mary had some

little lambs 20


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the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

the infertile road

to family by kerry bergeman



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


hen you wake up and realize the doctor was serious about not being able to conceive, your life shifts a little. It shifts in a way that is difficult to explain; a shift that is painful and challenging. In 1988, I was fourteen years of age and diagnosed with an illness that would alter my dreams of being the mother to a house full of adorable brats. I had ITP; a rare blood disease that destroys the platelets. After two years of increasing doses of medication and treatments, my doctors removed my spleen, thus curing me. It was then that I was told that I would not be able to have my own family. I was young and was more concerned with going to the pep-rally than being devastated about not having kids, a diagnosis I did not believe anyway. Deep in my heart I knew I would have a family. Little did I know back then how truly difficult that dream would be to bring to life.

pregnant and popping out kids daily. The world, it seemed, was reminding me once again that I was not going to have those babies I desperately wanted. It is hard to smile at the comments. It is hard to share in your girlfriends’ joys. It started getting hard to breathe. In the spring of 2006, our lives were on track. We both had good jobs, no debt, a new beautiful home, and insurance that would cover all the fertility help we wanted and needed. When we went to the fertility specialist, he explained to us that I was not ovulating and that typically was an easy fix. The medical issues I had when I was younger disrupted my entire womanly flow, but he could get things right again. After almost two years of treatments, including six rounds of IUI, tears followed by rivers of tears, I was still not pregnant. The world around me was.

“I was young and was more concerned with going to the pep-rally than being devastated about not having kids.” Over the next five or so years, I had numerous other doctors provide me with the same diagnosis, yet I still did not believe it was true. It was all I ever wanted, so how could this not be attainable? In the spring of 2001, I married the best guy ever. He knew my situation and although he wanted a big family as well, we knew it would all work out; it may not be as easy as others, but we would have our family. Back to the beginning when I mentioned waking up, well that day came a year after we were married, sitting in front of my doctor who said at 26 and trying to conceive for a year I should definitely be pregnant. So began the first attempt with six months of clomid and the good ol’ ovulation kit. The reality was hitting hard. It wasn’t working. At this point, it had been a few years and the treatments stopped because we did not have insurance. Girlfriends and strangers were getting multiplicity

Women were getting pregnant sooner than they anticipated, but they would make due. Women were having “oops” pregnancies, but they would figure it out. There is no way to describe the stress, not only physically and financially, but mentally. I was healthy. I prayed. I did everything the doctor said to do. We were at our end. We finally decided that we would try one round of IVF and move on to adoption. Luckily for us, it worked. I was pregnant with twin girls due December 2008. Our life was finally complete and I could smile with truth again. I could be genuinely happy for that friend or sister who called to tell me she was pregnant. I could attend a shower without drowning my sorrows in wine. Of course, life would be boring if it was just that easy. When I was eight weeks pregnant, I had a torsed ovary, and that almost took my girls and my life. Miraculously, we were all fine after a hefty surgery. --- contd. pg. 38 the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


capturing firsts

from their first steps ything r e v e d n to their first dates a etween! by jodi smeiska

time... It rushes by us parents with the speed of a freight train and pauses just enough for us to catch our breath before rocketing onto the next milestone. Before having children, it was so cliché to blindly accuse time of being too short, yet after children it becomes simply “reality”. Childhood happens. One moment you are staring at a sweet baby, pink with newness, and the next, they are standing proudly on the auditorium stage, cap on their head and diploma in their hand. We sit in the audience tightly clutching a Kleenex, damp with tears, and wonder where the time went, yet we know there was a lot of time in between. Our minds hold frantically to snapshots of the first wobbly step, the wave from the school bus, and the game-winning three-pointer. We waver and begin to wonder if what we are remembering was really how the event happened. In which house was that very first step taken? Were pears the favorite first food or were peaches? What was the first best friend’s name? These quicklypassing, cherished moments will bring joy to our lives for years to come, and documenting them is the best way to keep them fresh in our minds. photos... Perhaps the most obvious method

for documenting our children’s lives is through photos. Photography has come leaps and 24


in b

bounds from the SLRs of the 1970s. No longer do we have to purchase film and wait weeks to see how the photos turned out. We get immediate gratification. Photography can seem overwhelming at first, with hugely expensive cameras and lenses, not to mention classes and the time investment to learn the equipment. Lucky for us, most smart phones have a pretty impressive point and shoot camera complete with apps that allow you to add text, filters, and borders to your photos. In order to truly make the most out of your pictures, focus more on capturing the moment and less on requesting smiles from your children. Get down to their level and see what they see. Capture the smiles and the tears because let’s face it, they both happen regularly. Capture the true essence of your children and bring your photos to life. And, above all else, tote the camera with you everywhere. You never know when a moment that you will want to remember may appear. Aside from the challenge of capturing beautiful photos of our children, the challenge of storing photos can prove to be quite daunting. Printing your favorite pictures on a regular basis can help spread out the workload, and storing the photos in a box labeled with a time frame or event can make finding the pictures later a

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

breeze. Children love looking at pictures of themselves, as well! Decorate a shoebox with your children and place their favorite pictures inside. You can pull down the box on rainy days, snuggle up, and share stories with them. Your photos may start out imperfect from a technical standpoint, but you will get better as you become more comfortable with your camera. Don’t get discouraged that your photos are not always professional quality. What matters most is capturing the moment.

writing... If photography

is the way to see the past, writing is the way to hear it. The conversations that occur with our children and the moments of enlightenment when they link concepts together can be heartwarming and hilarious. Write them down. You don’t have to be a world-class writer, but grab a pen (or crayon!) and jot down the conversations. Fold up the pieces of paper and put them into a large jar. When you are having a rotten day, pull one out and read it and your day will magically brighten. Once the jar gets full, transfer them into a scrapbook or notebook and gift it to your child when they are older.

posts and add them as chapters to your children’s books.

artwork... Once our children

start school, it seems as though every day they arrive home with five more pieces of art. At first it is endearing, but then we start to wonder what to do with it. We try to hang it on the refrigerator, but quickly run out of room. And it is all so beautiful that we cannot bear to throw it away. Instead of throwing it out, recycle it into other projects! Cut small hearts out of a watercolor painting, glue them to plain white note cards, and use them for thank you cards from the children. Or fold up pieces of art and weave them. This will create a beautiful, one of a kind, mural that you can hang in the family room. Or cut and laminate old artwork and use it as bookmarks. These are all great gifts that children can create and feel proud about giving. At the end of the school year, sit down with your children and pick a few pieces that they, and

you, are especially attached to and store them in a keepsake box with other mementos of the school year. If your child is especially fond of rocks, place one or two in the box; create a time capsule that will bring you back to that year the moment you open it. The reality is that the time our children are children is oh, so short. Be present as much as you can in their lives and let your inner-child free. Press pause and savor the special moments and press the camera shutter and relive them for many years to come. Jodi is a mother to fabulous twin girls, and wife to the world’s most concentrated source of both useless and useful information. In between working full-time, raising the girls, attending school, homesteading, sewing, canning, gardening, and volunteering in the community, she pretty much has no time to do anything else! Visit their blog to learn more.

If you enjoy writing, starting a blog is a great way of capturing childhood’s special moments. Not only can you share a story and photos, but you can share your feelings and emotions, as well. Writing in a way that engages all of the senses will take you back to the day for many years to come. Yearly, print your blog multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples



comfort food for

As winter approaches and summer fades, I find myself in my own kitchen. My own hands smell of onions from the meal before, and as the minutes tick by, I keep remembering. Raisin-filled cookies and raspberry jam interchange and run through each memory, but the image of my grandmother, it stays. She will always be there, along with the overwhelming feeling that binds me to From my kitchen to yours….may you find a way to pass along what is most important. It can always be served with a side of homemade bread.

chocolate zucchini cake with chocolatecinnamon glaze & streusel topping for the cake: Etched into my heart there is an image. Sometimes it is black and white, other times it is shaded in the colors of caramel and burnt orange. There is an open window. A light breeze makes yellowed lace curtains tickle an old window sill. A slightly bent figure leans against a table. As I walk closer, curled gray hair, a soft apron, and a faded plastic bowl turn to me. A wooden spoon circles crumbling oatmeal and dark chocolate chips into buttery masses. Over thick glasses, eyes twinkle. Worn hands leave the spoon to rest and pull me in. There’s nothing but warmth. A pot of soup bubbles nearby. A cookie jar, with chipped lid, waits patiently to be filled. 26

*2 ½ c unbleached, all-purpose flour *½ c dry cocoa *¼ c hot chocolate mix *1 ½ tsp. baking soda *1 tsp. baking powder *½ tsp. salt *1 ½ c granulated sugar *1 c canola oil *3 eggs *2 T vanilla *½ c cold water *2 c shredded zucchini In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except the sugar. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the dry mixture to the wet, and beat until smooth. Batter will be similar to brownies, so add ½ cup cold water. Beat until smooth. Stir in zucchini. Drop into a greased bundt pan and bake

at 350 for 50-60 minutes until o clean when a knife comes out inserted into the cake.

*1 cube butter *chopped chives *Salt & Pepper to taste

for the glaze:

for the gravy:

*6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine *1 c heavy cream *1 T butter *2 T vanilla *2 c powdered sugar *1/8-1/4 cup hot water *Pinch of cinnamon

*2 c milk *1/4 c all-purpose, unbleached flour *1/2 stick butter *1 to 2 c frozen meatballs *Salt and Pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; boil until tender. Place for the streusel: 1/2 stick of butter in another *1/3 c brown sugar saucepan. Let melt, then whisk *2 T unbleached, all-purpose flour in the flour to form a roux. Add *1/8 tsp. cinnamon milk.Whisk until the mixture boils *1 T butter, soft but solid and thickens. Remove from heat. Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until simmering. Remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Wait 2-3 minutes, then whisk cream and chocolate together until smooth. Stir in vanilla and butter. When the mixture is smooth again, beat in two cups of powdered sugar. Add hot water and beat again. Stir in cinnamon. Spoon over the top of the hot cake. When cooled, make the streusel topping and sprinkle it over the top of the cake.

Microwave the frozen meatballs until warmed. Drain off grease, Tawna Allred and then add to the gravy. Salt Interiors is a full and pepper to taste. When the service interior potatoes are cooked, drain water, design company in Wyoming. and then mash with milk, sour Tawna specializes cream, butter, chives, and salt and in family-friendly spaces that pepper. Serve immediately.

invoke comfort and an invitation to really live and love your home. She believes that beautiful interiors embrace spilled milk and everyday living, artwork should mean something, and that every room in your home should welcome you and be used! Each Wednesday on her blog, she shares practical recipes that will bring your family together.

a famiiltye! favor

sit down for dinner creamy tomato soup

mashed potatoes with countrystyle meatball gravy for the potatoes:

Dump the chopped veggies and chicken broth into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until soft. Remove from heat and take half of the mixture and put it into a blender. Add one can of tomatoes (with juice). Blend until smooth, and put the mixture back into a saucepan or into a slow-cooker. Repeat with the rest of the veggies, broth, and second can of tomatoes. When all of the soup is together in one pot, add bay leaf, oregano, and basil. When warm, add the half and half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese over the top.

*8 potatoes, peeled and chopped *1/2 c sour cream *1/4-1/2 cup milk

*2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes *6 c chicken broth *1/2 onion, chopped coarse *4 stalks celery, chopped coarse *3 lg carrots, peeled/chopped *1 bay leaf *1 tsp. dried oregano *1 T dried basil *2 c half and half or cream *Fresh Parmesan cheese *Salt and Pepper to taste


The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has proven that table-timetogether yields valuable benefits for families: teens that regularly eat dinner with their families are more likely to get better grades and do better in school, and are less prone to depression, anxiety and emotional problems.

sounds good to us!

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family togetherness:

travelling for the holidays by frankie howley



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

t’s that time of year again. The seasons are changing. The holidays are just around the corner. And before you know it, the kids will soon be out of school, and ready for yet another holiday break. For some families with multiples, planning a family trip may be the perfect ticket to escape for the holidays. But for Netzica Reyes of Monterrey, Mexico, travelling near the holidays signifies bringing her family of five closer together as a family unit. Originally from Mexico, Netzica Reyes spends most of her time creating a balance between raising her three children, Santiago, 6, and twins, Sebastian and Camila, 2, while trying to maintain her job as a Market Research Manager. While she and her husband, Nestor, studied in Atlanta, Georgia for two years, their family recently returned to Monterrey in 2011. Managing their hectic schedules, Netzica looks forward to their annual 18-hour road trip to the States to visit her sister and family in Atlanta. Despite the amount of work it takes to plan and prepare for such a trip with multiples, Netzica admits that, (whether you are travelling by car or flying), the success of creating a sense of family togetherness all starts with attitude. “Every (form) of transportation has its own complications and advantages. I think everything is related to the parent’s attitude. If you are calm, (the kids) will be, as well. You, as a parent, need to be calm to sell the idea to the kids. They need

to know (the trip) is going to be awesome, fun and relaxing.” In order to make travelling a memorable moment, Netzica says, success also depends on both the parents and kids being emotionally and physically prepared for such a long trip. “Talk about it. Ask your kids what they would like to do in that situation. You’ll be surprised by the answers. Also, let them know clearly that the reward to the road trip is being with family, spending great moments together, and enjoying the ride.”

“Every family has their own traditions, and when we are together, we mix up all the traditions we have and enjoy it,” said Netzica. “(These traditions) are very important because it’s the time of the year when we are actually all together, and the kids see the relationships among the different members of the family. My kids are learning from the example to be tolerant, to respect each other, and about the values we have in family [togetherness].”

One of the perks of embarking on a long road trip together is the opportunity to break away from daily routines that can consume a family on a regular basis. “I think that your daily routine doesn’t permit you to bond and communicate that well with your family,” says Netzica. “During these long trips you have the opportunity to bond even deeper because you are forced (to spend time) together for many hours, to share different moments, and to get to know your kids better.” Getting to know her family on a deeper level is something Netzica also contributes to the family traditions that are shared, during her visits to Atlanta, near the holidays. For her family, these traditions consist of planning and preparing a show, to perform after dinner on Christmas Eve. According to Netzica, not only are these ‘family performances’ fun to create, but they are also a very valuable way to connect with her family. multiplicity

“My kids are learning from the example to be tolerant, to respect each other, and about the values we have in family [togetherness].”

While teaching her children about the value of family near the holidays is important to Netzica, she says, this is not necessarily something that has to be done through travel. Rather, it is about creating the bond of togetherness through other means. “You don’t have to travel to encourage family togetherness,” says Netzica. “There are some moments that you can’t afford to travel, (especially with multiples), but I think you need to be out of the routine during the holidays, and plan activities together. Every day, create a special activity and have every member of the family suggest something that he or she enjoys the most. [Most importantly], respect it.” Now that Netzica and her family have discovered the best way for them to connect and to bring their family closer together near the holidays, they have made it a tradition to make their travel plans to the States at least once, if not twice a year. So, before you make your travel plans this year, (or even if you choose to stay close to home), remember to step out of your daily routine. Make the holidays as colorful and eventful as possible through lots of activity and time together. Most importantly, get to know your multiples for who they really are. If and when you do, this holiday could be the making of a memory that your family will never forget, and that may just last more than a holiday... it may last a lifetime.

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the buzz

twin tested... MOM approved!

the scoop on things worth giving

a try

blooming bath

How many of us go through multiple infant bathtubs because we can’t seem to find the right fit with either the size, the space-saving functionality, the babies age out of it, etc.? I was recently introduced to Blooming Bath, and man, do I wish I had known about this when my twins were born! Talk about space-saving and can throw it in the washer with the rest of your laundry and then hang it on your tub faucet to dry. Amazing! I love how the petals cushion my baby’s head and tush (and she looks pretty darn cute sitting within a sunflower...makes me think of Anne Geddes!), and how easy it is to squeeze the water out when finished. I highly recommend Blooming Bath if considering an alternative to the hard plastic tubs or for parents needing to save every bit of space possible. ~ talitha

jj cole agility stretch carrier

If you are the kind of mom that likes to carry your baby around, but need to be hands-free for your other baby, work, errands, etc., then I have the perfect new carrier for you! It’s soft and lightweight, with no straps or buttons to figure out what goes where (and hope that baby doesn’t fall out!). Don’t get me wrong --- I think there’s a time and a place for carriers like the Bjorn, too, but they can be very cumbersome with their bulk and all of the hooks. The best feature is that it goes on much like a t-shirt...easy peasy! JJ Cole’s Agility Stretch Carrier is perfect when babies are newborns and you want them close to you. It is also adaptable as they grow, as you simply add a wrap to help support the baby and your back/abdominal area. I have used mine on trips, as it’s so easy to pack, and I typically leave it in the car so that I can throw it on for quick trips in the store if I don’t want to continue unloading the stroller and infant seat, etc. ~ talitha

boddler bites

Is it time for your baby to start solid foods? Maybe you want your toddler to start branching out with new tastes. If you are like me, I was intimidated by some foods since I, myself was not properly introduced to them growing up. But I was willing to try new things along with my babies! This is where Boddler Bites made things easy. The ringed flashcards have colorful pictures on one side of all sorts of healthy food items, from A to Z. On the other side of the card is a list of simple ways to prepare the foods. We learned how to introduce unfamiliar foods like artichokes, butternut squash, eggplant and Quinoa, as well as learn a variety of ways to eat familiar foods like bananas and carrots. As your kids get older they can use the cards to start making their own food choices and help you find food items at the market. ~ jill 30


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We all know that children’s allergies are so much more common (and deadly) now than ever before. Here’s where Allermates come in. This company offers allergy awareness bands for almost every allergy possible, and they are super cute to wear. What kid wouldn’t want to rock one of these, complete with some bands that have charms you can add, which works well for children who have more than one allergy?!? Allermates also has labels, lunchboxes and medicine bags perfect for inhalers, epipens, and the other medicines your child may need in case of a reaction at school, daycare, and when out and about with the family. It’s allergy awareness in a whole new, fun way! ~ talitha

dyson animal

After years of needing to disassemble my vacuum to unclog hoses, remove the long strands of hair that gets tangled in the spinner and more, I finally started looking at Dyson. I’ve heard and read all the reviews, but I was still unsure. We are now the proud owners of a Dyson Animal. Thanks to this new Animal in my house I have a new respect for dirt. The day the Animal arrived I had just cleaned the house with my old vacuum. But when the Animal arrived at my door I ripped it open like a gift on Christmas morning. I re-vacuumed the house and was SHOCKED that I managed to vacuum up an entire cup worth of dirt from rugs that I thought were 100% clean. The suction power, maneuverability, compact storage, light weight, and versatility are just a few reasons why you should add another Animal to your home. With twins plus a full household, I wish I had added this to my Baby Registry! ~ natalie

early readers the adventuring set

We recently got our hands on The Adventuring Set from Home Grown Books, with beautiful, watercolor paintings from New York artist, Case Jernigan. Home Grown Book sets are geared specifically toward early readers with simple sentence structure and are great as read alouds with a parent to foster colorful conversations. The Adventuring Set focuses on themes with knights, inventors, places, and things that “go”, all pulling from the imagination. See below on how to win your own set, or purchase one and enjoy a discount by using promo code: multiplicitymag. Enjoy! ~ talitha

Enter online to win your very own Adventuring Set! Drawing to be held October 25th.

YOU could be our


*Fruit skewers drizzled with chocolate *Pumpkin seeds with cinnamon & nutmeg *Caramel apple slices *Yogurt covered pretzels *Trail mix in adorable Halloween cellophane bags

For goodies to toss into baskets:

healthy alternatives

to halloween candy by holly crider


remember trick o’ treating very well. When the first chilly night in early September rolled around, I would begin planning out my Halloween costume and dreaming of a basket full of Kit Kats, mini Snickers, and all of the Now n’ Laters I could eat (oh, the candy of the late 80s!). Now, as a parent of twins, I shudder to think that they could eat the crazy amount of sugar that I consumed! Of course, I don’t take a hard stance of “nothing sweet, EVER!”, because I’m a firm believer in moderation. So, I started to research alternatives that must meet two major points of criteria:

1.) They must satisfy a sugary or salty craving and leave

everyone’s teeth intact.

2.) They must be fun, as no one likes the lady who hands out pencils and stale popcorn balls.

Here are some alternatives that will be hits with the kids, and won’t cause a complete sugar overload.

For parties and get-togethers where homemade food is allowed: *Homemade Rice Krispie treats (made with brown rice cereal or puffed wheat. *Carrot cake cupcakes 32


*Fruit pouches like those from Ella’s Kitchen or Plum Organics. (Big kids love these, and these are good when you have an itty-bitty ghoul who may not be able to eat solid food just yet!) *Fruit leather strips (Whole Foods 365 brand is very good!) *Cups of applesauce fruit blends *Easy to peel and eat goodies like Cutie’s tangerines or bananas *Mini-bags of microwave popcorn, pretzels, or Goldfish crackers

Nonfood fun treats:

*Water bottles with a drink packet like lemonade or Kool-Aid (to rehydrate those cute little goblins!) *There are tons of recipes on Pinterest for sidewalk chalk, play-doh, and fingerpaint. These could be distributed in cute jars, plastic containers or even resealable bags. *Tiny, inexpensive gifts like temporary tattoos, glow stick necklaces, hackey sacks, sticker rolls, mini packs of crayons, small bottles of bubbles. These can be found at Oriental Trading or in any dollar store It is possible to have the best of everything: delicious Halloween treats without being the house trick o’ treaters will avoid AND budget friendly options! Holly Crider blogs at When Two Became Four, where she enjoys writing about her twin girls, photography, organizing and keeping all of the plates spinning at once. You can also find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram.

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the scoop... on becky: teal top with leather accents and black skinny jeans - Burlington $7.98 & $19.98 on alli: purple top and black tuxedo leggings Ross $14.99 & $15.99 on Kia: emerald top, navy pants & scarf - TJ Maxx $19.99, $29.99 & $14.99


for less by talitha a. mcguinness

Photos shot on location at Hodges Family Farm, a Charlotte, NC farm focused on educating the general public about farming and farm animals. All fashion photography provided by firewife photography.

the scoop... on alli: black ruffled top and gray/black patterned skirt - Ross $10.99 & $19.99 on becky: black cami with black jacket and belt with maroon snakeskin skirt - Burlington $6.98, $7.98, $7.98 34& $12.99 multiplicity the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

the scoop... on alli: taupe sweater with houndstooth top and maroon belt with taupe boots - Ross $13.99, $15.99, $5.99 & $19.99 on becky: black belted top - Burlington $12.98 on kia: orange top with forever scarf and cream cords - TJ Maxx $19.99, $12.99 & $24.99 multiplicity

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Mon Tues Wed






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planning the perfect by nickie bell


chool’s back in session! The teachers are teaching, the students are learning, and we “classroom moms” are gearing up to be an indispensable resource of support for all. Before becoming a mommy of twins, I was a teacher, so I know all too well the time constraints and daily stress levels of these miracle workers. That’s why I’ve committed to being the best “classroom mom” I can be! Don’t freak out! Being the Super Mom of the class is actually pretty simple, especially if you follow this outline for planning the perfect classroom party!

planning mode:

*Ask for specific preferences from your child’s teacher. What’s worked for him/her in the past, what’s flopped, what they’re vision of the party is like, and how long it should last. *Double check your district’s policy on classroom 36


school party parties and keep those rules in the forefront of your mind. For example, our district only allows 2 parties per year (Christmas and Valentine’s Day), they cannot run over a certain time limit, and food should be storebought and unopened. *Take note of any allergies, intolerances, or medical conditions within the classroom and be sure to adhere strictly to the health concerns of all students and adults alike. *Enlist help! When parties are concerned, the old adage “the more the merrier” applies, especially with regards to planning! Divide responsibilities with other parents in the class; it will lighten your load and make them feel included. Don’t forget to swap contact information so you can keep in touch. *Recognize any cultural variances among the students and be sensitive to everyone’s

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religious beliefs. *Choose a theme (or use one to coincide with what is going on in the classroom) and stick to it! Themed parties are adorable and easy to pull off. For theme ideas check popular websites like Pinterest and Oriental Trading. Your local dollar store may have exactly what you’re looking for too!


*Keep refreshments as simple and mess-free as possible! Single servings and finger foods work great for little ones, reduce waste, and make clean up a breeze. *Offer healthy snacks and drinks instead of all sugary treats. *Be sure to have plenty of extras in case of surprise guests and/or spills --- with a class full of little ones, you know it’s bound to happen! *And although I’ve mentioned it in the planning phase, it’s worth repeating --- be aware of any allergies or other medical conditions and plan accordingly.

children to stay in their seats! Give them an opportunity to release some energy and get excited about whatever it is you’re celebrating. *Be sure you’ve planned ahead of time to have a supervisor for each activity, as well as any materials needed.

miscellaneous: snowmen hot chocolate

ghost bananas & orange pumpkins


popcorn turkeys

*Depending on the amount of time you are allotted for the party, plan a few different activities to keep the students busy. *If you’re short on time, an activity that ties into the snack may work best (think cupcake or cookie decorating). And if time is plentiful, try out an ageappropriate craft (but nothing too elaborate --- those little hands have to carry it home!). *Plan at least one physically stimulating activity or game. fruit rainbows --- for any occasion! It’s a party! Don’t expect multiplicity

*Bring along a camera or appoint someone “photographer”! You’ve gone through this much trouble to throw the perfect classroom party, document your efforts! The photos could be used for crafts, end-of-year slideshows, or just your own personal memory book. *Have a clean-up plan. Bring along a few trash bags, cleaning wipes, and rolls of paper towels to leave the classroom as clean as it was when you found it. The teacher and janitorial staff will love you for it! That’s all there is to it! If you’ve checked off each item from this “perfect party outline” breathe easy; you’re probably soon to be dubbed a proud member of the “Super Parent” club. Congratulations on throwing such an awesome party! Nickie Bell from Mommy2 Twincesses is a stay at home mom to 3 year old identical twin girls. She is a freelance writer for Everyday Health, who hosts her blog Twins-A Mother’s Joy and Insanity Doubled. Nickie publishes her own self-titled blog Mommy 2 Twincesses and manages the family owned business. Talking twins is her hobby so feel free to find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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contd. from infertile It was not the big family we talked about, but it was still perfect. Then in the summer of 2010, I had an ectopic pregnancy that almost ended my life. Family and friends gathered around to give us support, but all we could think and tell people was this was a celebration. I got pregnant on my own and I could do it again. It was God’s way of telling us we were not done. For the next two years we tried again. It failed. It was a freak incident that we got pregnant because my body was still not ovulating. I was devastated once again. I hated hearing the words “well, at least you have two healthy girls,” because I was grateful for that, but those words cut to the core as if I was not. I could not help feeling that want of having a bigger family.

“For the next two years we tried again. It failed. I was devastated once again.” In April of this year, we had saved up enough money, along with maxing out a few credit cards, to give IFV one more shot. At this point, our insurance did not cover IVF treatments. We prayed and prayed and with the grace of God, that one attempt was all it took and I am pregnant again with identical twin girls due this December. That is how we got to where we stand right now. My advice to those who know someone going through fertility treatments or any kind of infertile issues, be kind and listen. Do not try to understand or tell them it will be okay, because sometimes, it just isn’t. Try not to judge or assume she is being dramatic. This is a pain no woman who dreams of being a mother should have to endure. Just be kind to her and give her a break if she is cranky. If this is you going through this, know it is hard. Please do not live in a dream land that it will all be over soon. Be strong. Have your partner involved so he knows the ups and downs and the insane 38


hormonal imbalances you are going to endure. Let yourself feel sad, angry and bitter, or whatever emotion it is you feel for a day or two, but then pick yourself up and power through. If you don’t, you might never get up. You will be a mother. You might not give birth to that child, but through surrogacy, foster or adoption, you will be a mother and once you are, you will not remember the pain of the journey. Kerry Bergeman blogs at New2Two, a peek at my life as a Mother of twins with a set in front of me & a set on the way! Kerry is a full-time stay at home mother of 4 years old twin girls with another set, identical girls this time, due in December. She also teaches part-time at the local community college and blogs about life with twins, dealing with infertility, and a daughter with a severe intolerance to dairy.

did you know? if you think infertility isn’t really a problem, check out these stats from the government Office on Women’s Health:


of American women ages 15-44 have trouble either getting or staying pregnant. infertility can be caused by women and men.

1/3 20%

of infertility cases is caused by men’s reproductive problems. one major known factor in causing infertility is age. of women now wait to try conceiving around age 35 aging affects fertility in women, specifically because of the condition and fact that there are fewer eggs to release.


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months is how long doctors suggest trying before being seen if over 35 years old.



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babies. The most important thing to know about breastfeeding multiples and managing your milk supply is knowing your resources. The more proactive you are can help make this experience less stressful. However, if you find yourself struggling like I did with a low milk supply, fear not because there are things you can do!

know your professionals In addition to

knowing who your pediatrician is going to be after the babies arrive, it’s a good idea to know who your lactation consultant (LC) is going to be before the babies make their arrival (plan early because some of those squirts like to come early!). Some pediatrician and obstetrician offices have their own LC on staff, which can be a great place to start. Another way to find one is to ask for referrals from your friends, other mothers of multiples, or your physician. Just like any profession, there are some LCs that are more skilled individuals than others. A good lactation consultant can recognize problems early on and can help a mother and baby ‘figure’ it out. I found it very reassuring to know that everything was going well with my son, and to help me with my daughter, who had undergone open heart surgery and was a little delayed at getting started nursing.

pump, pump, pump it up The most effective way to establish and increase a milk supply is to ensure that your body is getting the message to make a multiplied supply of milk. First make sure you have a good quality pump. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of renting or purchasing a breast pump, especially if you by julie mitchell have babies in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Call your insurance company to find out. Even if they don’t cover the cost, renting a pump for a month or two is less costly than the I am a mother of four, a set of eight year old twins, cost of a new pump. If your babies do not have a six year old, and a three year old. I successfully a strong suck, or your supply is low, pumping nursed (more about that later) my four children, I was the nursing support chairperson for my local twin for just a few minutes (5-10 minutes) after they club for four years, and I’ve successfully completed are done nursing can provide ‘insurance’ that the classroom portion of becoming certified to be a your body is getting the message to make more lactation consultant. During my time nursing my twins, milk. The principals of supply and demand apply I experienced problems with my milk supply, both to to your milk supply, too. If you don’t demand high and to low (high means more milk than the babies more milk, your body won’t supply it. It is good need and low means not quite enough). I hope that if to remember that your body takes 2-5 days to you find yourself in a similar situation, you can find a respond to a request to make more milk. So, if tip or two from this article that helps. you are pumping more, it is going to take 2-5 days for you to start to see an increase in the Breastfeeding multiples can be a rewarding and amount of milk you are producing. However, mutually beneficial experience for you and your

maintaining enough breast milk...

es for multipl



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be sure to realize that although pumping is good for your supply, more is not always better. Pumping any more frequently than every 2-3 hours can actually be counterproductive and is not worth all the extra effort (and being mothers of multiples, we have to be efficient!)

take care of mama If you need permission to take care of yourself, here it is. Things that can negatively impact your milk supply can include poor nutrition, dehydration, exhaustion, and post-partum depression, (which we all know has a higher incidence in mothers of multiples). Low milk supply can be a vicious cycle of feeling sad because your milk supply is low, and because you are sad, your milk supply can be further decreased. It is important to discuss these feelings with your physician. Those feelings are real and there are things that can help which may include medications, counseling, and support groups, among other resources. herbs and medications Herbal medications

that can increase milk supply are fenugreek, blessed thistle, and alfalfa. Fenugreek is the most commonly used supplement and the minimum effective dose is 3500 mg. One

side effect of fenugreek is that you may smell like maple syrup (I did...funny, but true!). The only prescription medication that is currently being prescribed in the United States is Reglan. However, Reglan has some potential side effects, including depression, which has practitioners only prescribing it for one month. Talk to your physician to see if this drug is right for you.

a reliable source of information Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctors, nurses, and lactation consultant, but for those times when you just have to search the internet, www. is a good source of evidencebased information.

find a friend It is extremely encouraging and

helpful to know that there are other moms out there that are and have experienced exactly what you are experiencing. I strongly encourage you to find out if there is a local organization of mothers of multiples. If there isn’t, no worries, as the internet has made the world a much smaller place! It just takes a little online searching.

know your goals Last but not least, know

your goals, expectations, and reevaluate them

#1 Choice of Lactation consultants and millions of moms worldwide. Only the best for the doubly blessed! Maintains proper positioning Secure wraparound design Adjustable back support Firm support ideal for baby

Available Online at... multiplicity

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The creator of the Twiniversity online resource delivers the definitive survival guide for all parents of multiples --- from pregnancy through the first year The rate of twin births has risen by 79% over the last three decades, and continues to grow. Expectant parents are overwhelmed with questions: do I really need two of everything? Can we do this ourselves or do we need help? Will I have to rob a bank to raise these babies without going broke? A twins mom herself and national guru on having two (or more!), Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the trenches. What to Do When You’re Having Two covers: *making a Birth Plan checklist *sticking to one sleep schedule *double-duty breastfeeding *must-have gear *building one-on-one relationships with each child early Brimming with tried-and-true tips --- from the diaper budget to stroller sanity --- this is the must-have survival guide for parents of multiples. Natalie Diaz has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Family Magazine, and more. She was named one of the top 100 Social Media Moms on Twitter by Disney and has recently been nominated for a She Knows Parenting Award.

Order your copy today!



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regularly. The definition of successfully nursing multiples is different for each set of mother and babies. Some mothers want to nurse until they go back to work, or if you only have enough milk for one baby, maybe nurse one baby and give the other one formula. Some mothers pump exclusively and feed their babies breastmilk in a bottle. As you can see, nursing multiples does not have to be an all or nothing ordeal, so decide what you want regularly to help you be successful. Most mothers, especially mothers of multiples, will experience the need to increase their milk supply at one point or another. A mother’s milk supply could be low for many reasons, including because of growth spurts, not enough milk being released (such as returning to work and not being able to pump often enough to maintain supply), medications, postpartum depression, and lots of other reasons. However, just know that a low milk supply doesn’t have to be the end of nursing your babies. By knowing your resources, you can identify and correct the issue and feed happily and successfully. Julie Mitchell is mom to boy/girl twins (8), and two sons who are 6 and 3. She is a Pediatric ICU nurse, a Board Member of the Charlotte Mothers of Multiples, and just launched Carolina Confection with fellow mom of twins, Lindsay Wilson. Carolina Confection makes custom cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more.


We’re reaching parents of multiples all around the globe and we’d love for you to be a part! Contact to learn about ad rates and securing your spot in a future issue.

need milk? by nellie harden

Beyond the relational benefits of nursing lie the even more pressing health benefits of breast milk. That truth is cornerstone to so many new mothers that, for whatever reason, cannot supply that milk to their children. Even the Natural Resources Defense Council says, ”breast milk is widely acknowledged as the most complete form of nutrition for infants, with a range of benefits for health, growth, immunity and development.” Thankfully, there is a wonderful answer and it lies within the bank. The Milk Bank. There are a number of women who produce more than what their child(ren) need and can help save and strengthen infant lives through donation. The power of human milk is unmatched through science, and for many tiny lives, it is the much needed answer. As mothers, we all feel the heartache and struggles of other mothers. The universal understanding is enough for thousands of moms to sit in front of the rhythmic hum of a breast pump for children they may never know. I was fortunate to be one of those “Super Producers” and while I was feeding my set of twin girls, I also supplied a family of quintuplets. However, I am still saddened that after my first child, I had a huge supply that went to waste because I didn’t know about the Milk Bank. I look back on the hundreds of bags of milk that were thrown away and the possibilities that were wasted. A wonderful documentary was created about milk donation and I had the pleasure of being in the film, speaking at premieres, and educating people about the bank so that mothers know to donate and others know it is a possibility to receive. If interested in learning more, information can be found at Human Milk Banking Association of North America.


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holiday crafts

for the whole family

by karen finchum



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t seems like right after Labor Day I get into major crafting mode. This time, I thought I would share a few fun craft ideas that the whole family can enjoy together through the upcoming holiday seasons.

~to usher in fall

a preheated oven at 250°F for 2 hours. Cool overnight. Spray with metallic spray paint and add the type of hook for however you would like to hang (i.e. on a tree, on a necklace, etc.). Of course the best part of holiday crafting is spending a little extra time with the family. Hope you enjoy!

The first craft isn’t anything new, but decorating pumpkins is such a fun activity in our house. If you don’t like the mess of carving, then you can decorate your pumpkins with all sorts of great decorating kits or even use a “FunKins” artificial pumpkin and use it year after year. Here is a cute idea I found recreating the “minions” on Despicable Me.

Materials Needed:

*Canning rings (for the goggles) *Googly eyes *Blue, white, yellow, red and black paint *Black pipe cleaners (for the hair) *Paint brushes

~to give thanks

Create some “minion” pumpkins!

The next idea is for Thanksgiving. I love to keep my kids’ handprints, and what better way to do that than with a turkey family. The entire family can “lend a hand” to complete this craft!

Materials Needed:

*Finger or acyclic paint in multiple colors *Paint brushes or sponges *Poster board or canvas *Markers in multiple colors

~for any season

your own family of turkeys

My last idea is something that would be great to give as a gift to loved ones or hang on the tree as a keepsake. The finished product looks like it was very difficult to make, but is actually very easy! This family fingerprint ornament is definitely on my list of gifts to give this year!

Materials Needed: *2 cups of flour *1 cup salt *water

Mix the dry ingredients with water carefully until it has the consistency of play dough. Flatten into a thin circle then press family members’ fingers or thumbs into it. Bake in multiplicity

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oral health care:

myths all parents should know

by anita duhl glicken


ll parents want what is best for their children, but no one has all the answers. Take oral health for example. Over the last decade, oral health has become an important discussion in the health care community, as there have been many studies linking oral health to overall health. Like many areas of the body, a person’s mouth is teeming with bacteria. The body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. The cost-benefit of oral health education and prevention significantly outweighs the cost of dental disease. For example, full mouth restoration in a hospital operating room costs $6,000 to $10,000; fluoride varnish application costs 75 cents, takes less than 3 minutes, and can be done during a visit to many pediatrician’s office. As a parent, it is up to you to take your child’s oral health seriously. The following are some common myths to get you started in the right direction: myth #1 - It’s okay to share utensils and cups with your children while eating. Almost every parent is guilty of it, but 46


parents should always use a separate utensil or cup. Recent studies have shown young children getting cavities from Streptococcus mutans (MS), a bacteria that passes from person to person through the transfer of saliva. A 2008 study in Pediatric Dentistry pointed to mothers as the primary source. myth #2 - Blowing on food is the best way to cool down your child’s meal. Well, not if you are worried about their oral health. Similar to the statement above, this is how the MS bacteria is transferred to children’s mouths. myth #3 - Sugar eats tooth enamel, causing cavities. The true culprit is the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth, which convert sugar into enamel-eroding acid. Tooth enamel does not grow back, and once destroyed exposes sensitive dentine to decay. Cutting back on sugary foods provides less fuel for bacteria, and brushing and flossing regularly are vital to keep bacteria and cavity counts low. myth #4 - Losing baby teeth to tooth decay is okay. Tooth decay in baby teeth can result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth growing below them. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, the permanent teeth may erupt mal-positioned and require orthodontics later on. myth #5 - You don’t need to worry about cavities in baby teeth. As mentioned above, baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth. If cavities are left untreated in baby teeth, they can develop into serious pain and abscesses. Occasionally the infection can spread to other areas of the body, and in rare occasions can even result in death. Anita Duhl Glicken, MSW, is the president/CEO of the nccPA Health Foundation and is project leader of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH) Physician Assistant Initiative, which is leading the oral health charge among primary care providers.

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common cold, pneumonia and flu when to call the doc

oh, my!


he common cold, Pneumonia and Influenza (Flu) is a generalized label for all infections of the lungs, ears, nose, and throat that are caused by viruses, fungi, parasites and microorganisms of all kinds. Children are the epicenter for all these things and then some. Even if the child is not of school age or in daycare, they are like human magnets to all things germy. All children get sick and every parent has had the middle of the night panic of not knowing what to do and when. So just when should a parent reach out to a pediatrician? If you’re like any number of us parents who have asked ourselves that very question, then you know it’s a tricky one. Some people will say call the Ped for anything and everything. If you are a new parent, you get an open pass for all hour’s calls to the doctor. New parents have the luxury of never having to apologize for calling around the clock for anything and everything. No matter what the age of their first born, new parents are always doing things for the first time 48


by angel rodrigues

for that given age. Parents who have been around the block a few times with fevers, vomiting, chills, clogged nasal passages, and the umpteenth belly ache are not as easily forgiven those phone calls. However, if you’ve called about your child having a 101 degree temperature and for the third time in a week and he or she is 8 years old, well then maybe you should start taking some notes. Which brings me to the “what should we parents do to survive the germ attacks every season?” part of my advice. We parents like to write everything down about our children. Their first tooth, first steps, first skinned knee, first trip to the zoo, but not many of us keep a journal of advice from the Pediatrician. Every time you call the doctor’s office, during or after hours, a nurse calls you back to find out how to help your sick child and worry-filled parenting head. Consider keeping it in a journal for future reference. The next time little Jane or Johnny has a fever of 102 and won’t eat, but is drinking every 30 minutes, then you will know that Nurse Carol told you

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that you should keep pushing fluids and making sure they are urinating, to give Ibuprophen every 4-6 hours, and maybe suck on small popsicles and crackers if they allow it to buffer the stomach from the medicine. These helpful notes eliminate the need to call each time and also empowers you, the parent, for knowing just what to do. After all, what is parenting but a daily plan of making it up as you go along? Below are the top 10 symptoms your child can get and whether or not to call a doctor (and why). SYMPTOM




It depends on the age. Kidshealth. org recommends calling the doctor for any child younger than 3 months who has a temp higher than 102. Otherwise, treat accordingly.

Fevers are a normal reaction the body has when fighting infections. Not all are a reason to be alarmed and sometimes come and go without cause for further care.


Depends on the frequency and associated symptoms. Vomiting alone just needs to be monitored, time clocked for frequency and fluids replenished. If dehydration becomes an issue, call the doctor or go to the E.R. immediately.

Dehydration is the piggy-back symptom of vomiting that is of a much larger concern over the act of vomiting itself. Vomitting is the body’s response to something wrong in the stomach, but can be a medical emergency if other symptoms occur with it.


Similar to vomiting, diarrhea is not a symptom that alone is of major concern. It is the piggy-back symptoms like dehydration that is more concerning. If dehydration becomes an issue, then call the doctor or go to the E.R. immediately.

Diarrhea is the body’s response to ridding itself of toxins in the intestinal track, and a large part of the fast-moving action is a large loss of fluids. Rehydration is the key to combatting this symptom.


No, unless it is accompanied by other symptoms or are swollen to the point of affecting swallowing.

Swollen glands are another physical response to fighting infections in the body. Giving Tylenol or Ibuprophen to stave off the pain for the child works best, along with popsicles and maybe even ice packs.


A cough alone is not a reason to call the Ped. It could be just post-nasal drip or environmental irritants. Look at the other symptoms, if any, and decide from that if calling the doc is necessary.

Something is in the back of the throat, bronchial tubes or the airway in general, that is causing the child to cough. Try a little honey or warm tea to sooth the irritation and see if it stops.


Yes! Under no uncertain terms should this symptom be left to a wait and see. Call immediately and/ or go to the E.R.

Breathing difficulties are nothing to mess with, as they could be an early sign of asthma, pneumonia or another serious condition that will require medical treatment.


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contd. from call the doc SYMPTOM




Depends on how long they have been going on and if you’ve tried to rule out some causes. The chief cause of abdominal pains in children is constipation. If the child has ongoing persistent pains then yes, call the Ped.

Abdominal pains could mean a long list of things. Ruling out something simple like needing to have a bowel movement will save time and money for an office visit.


Only if the child is lethargic to the point of not being able to hold up their own arms, legs, trunk or head is this a doctor-worthy call. General lethargy is perfectly normal when a child is fighting infection.

When a child is sick ,the last thing they want is to be carted off to the doctor to be poked and prodded. Just wanting to lay around and recuperate is perfectly normal for a sick child (or adult for that matter).


No. Any Ped or nurse will tell you that a sick child is probably not going to be eating much, if anything at all.

As long as the child is drinking, eating is not a priority. Just keep track of how much and how often.


Yes! This symptom is one of the top reasons a child is hospitalized during illness. If a child is not hydrated, everything else will fail.

Nothing is more important for a body to run efficiently than water and electrolytes. If a body, especially one fighting off illness, is without water, everything in the system will shut down. Go to the E.R. immediately!

At the end of the day, all that matters, is that the child is safe and on the road to better health. Whether you are a seasoned parent or a newbie, when in doubt, call the doctor. However, equipping yourself with notes would relieve a lot of stress during those 3 a.m. panic attacks over whether to medicate, elevate, or cool compress a problem. Here’s to healthy kids and happy homes! Angel has a feminist brain, a thirst for knowledge, and writing is her dirty little secret. She is mom to a 7 year old, 4 year old busy twin boys, and a 2 year old independently spirited young lady. She has been married to the best man on earth for over 14 years and is kept alive by coffee. You can follow her blog or find her on Facebook and Twitter. 50


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what you’re talking about... Have your kids ever caught you having sex?

Sex??? What is that when you have twins?!?!?! - Brandi G. Yes, and then one of them screamed, “You’re having a naked party and we weren’t invited! No fair!” We couldn’t stop laughing. - Ashley G. Yes, didn’t know one was there until we heard ewww! Started double checking the door was locked after that! - Eve D. Thankfully, no, but they have come in when we were snoozing naked afterwards. - Angela S. Yup. He just asked what we were doing and then crawled into our bed to sleep with us. Jennifer S. multiplicity

Did you use a belly band after pregnancy and delivery to help “get your body back”?

I got one at the hospital and bought one in a smaller size for when that one got too big. My stomach was almost totally flat in 6 weeks. - Laurie D. I used the belly bandit for months. I attribute that to losing my weight from my multiples pregnancy quicker than my singleton pregnancy. - Christa M. YES but beware if it’s near your c-section scar. I experienced much puffiness and lack of healing based on the belly band rubbing the scar. - Rachel S. I used during pregnancy. I think chasing after twins, puppy and a four yr old at the time kept me in shape and on my toes. - Trish S. the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


book review by michelle leichty

As a homeschooling mom, I have never truly appreciated the chaos back-to-school brings until now. This year, I have a child at the local high school, a child starting at the local middle school and two children at home. I’m feeling swamped --- but in the middle of it all, still want to encourage my children to read. How you ask? Family read-aloud time before bed is a great way to help wind down after a busy day, and still encourage reading. Even if you have children of various ages, everyone will enjoy the time together and the break from the bustle and routine of the day. (I will be the first to admit - it doesn’t happen every night at our house either, but it is possible and wonderful when time permits!) Here are some books both children, and their parents, will look forward to reading after a long day: Perhaps your elementary school students will be able to relate with Nick Allen, the main character in 52


Frindle by Andrew Clements. He enjoys making school a bit more lively, instead of the same old, same old. One day, he wonders why a pen is called a pen, instead of something else. So, he decides to rename it - and call it a frindle. School authorities are not amused, but the idea takes off - and way out of Nick’s ability to stop it. Little Britches by Ralph Moody is an autobiography of his childhood, from the time his family moves from New Hampshire to a Colorado ranch. Children will be fascinated by the responsibilities Ralph must manage, and the perils he faces homesteading a ranch with his father. Spoiler alert! Ralph’s father dies at the end of the book, so beware when reading with emotionally-sensitive children. If you’re not accustomed to reading aloud as a family, start with a smaller book, like The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman. Jemmy was a poor boy who lived on the streets. Now he lives in the castle - as the whipping boy. His job is to bear the punishment when the prince misbehaves because it’s forbidden to spank, thrash or whack the heir to the throne. When the prince decides to run away, both boys learn some valuable lessons in thinking of others. Amanda Freebold is determined to find her father. He left for the colony in

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America three years ago, leaving her, her younger siblings and her mother in England. Now Amanda’s mother has died, and Amanda feels she has no choice but to brave the dangerous ocean crossing with her siblings to find her father. A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla is a heartwarming story about facing, and overcoming, challenges life throws at you. Beloved author Lois Lenski has written nearly two dozen books, but I think my favorite is Strawberry Girl. I loved it as a child because I had read so few books about frontier life in Florida, and 10-year-old Birdie seemed like a girl I would want to befriend. As an adult, I can appreciate how the family deals with some very unpleasant neighbors in the midst of trying to start up their own strawberry farm. If you love Little House on the Prairie, you cannot miss Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. When they moved to frontier Wisconsin from civilized Boston, the couple’s two young girls were frail and sickly. After Mary died, Father begged Mother to let him raise Caddie with the boys. Mother could raise the other girls as she liked, but allow Caddie to run outside, and hopefully gain her health.

Mother agreed, and Caddie was allowed to run with the boys. She experienced many adventures in the wide Wisconsin countryside, which readers will enjoy as much as Caddie did.

* * * * *

“For anyone expecting or raising multiples, this book needs to be on their recommended reading list!” — “Offers advice to frazzled parents.” — Brooklyn Daily Eagle “Full of information, it is richly flavored with tips and tricks that are certainly very practical for the busy parents of twins.” — Twin Research and Human Genetics

photo courtesy of jane goodrich photography

Michelle Leichty has read hundreds of books to her four children in the course of their homeschooling journey. So many people asked her to recommend books that she started blogging about her favorite children’s books at You can find out about her writing business at

A must-read book...

*New book about adult twins coming soon, too!

Dr. Joan A. Friedman, PhD

reading aloud will: Strengthen children’s auditory learning skills. Listening to stories aloud forces children to pay attention to the characters, understand the jokes, and follow the plot.

win a new book set

(details pg. 37)

Improve their vocabulary. Children comprehend at a much higher level than they can read, especially when in elementary school. Reading a book aloud to them that they may not be able to read on their own will force them to process words they’ve not heard yet, figuring out meanings from the context, or asking for explanations. Develop their imagination. While listening to a book, children are forced to imagine the scenes and characters based upon the author’s descriptions. This develops their imagination in ways TV, movies and video games cannot. Develop their empathy. When children are little, they are the center of their universe. Reading stories aloud is an excellent way for children to experience life from another’s perspective, helping them understand that not everyone sees life the same way. As an added bonus, children (and adults) can learn from the characters in books - either examples to follow, or mistakes to avoid. Strengthen their family relationships. Reading aloud as a family creates shared experiences, not only between parents and children, but also between siblings. In our busy world, with activities and distractions pulling in every direction, it is hard to find common experiences for the whole family. I cannot tell you how much I’ve enjoyed overhearing my children laughing together while remembering funny parts of books we’ve read together.

show yourself & your kids a little

lunchbox love by keeley mcguire



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you won’t think twice while going through the motions. It’s something we’ve been doing now for years and is a real life saver for our busy mornings…and my sanity!

he “morning rush routines” are something school-aged parents know all too well. Wake the kids, juggle breakfast, make sure they’re clothed, socks match, hair tamed, bags packed, and oh, lunch! They need lunch, too!

Much like packing lunches for myself and daughter, packing for multiples is very similar. Form an “assembly line” on your counters with your lunch containers and food items you want to pack. Fill each one at the same time, going down the “assembly line” by item, to help with efficiency. This will also help to keep you from going back and forth to the fridge or cupboards and having to pull out different items over and over again. This is also why I love reusable bento style lunch containers --- one box + one lid = done! They’re great for lunches since it’s easy to fill each compartment. They’re also friendly for the environment, rather than packing and throwing away 5-6 plastic zip baggies per day.

Over the past few years, I’ve managed to simplify the school lunch packing process as much as possible. In our family, it isn’t a choice to pack --my daughter, Little Miss, suffers from food allergies and dietary restrictions, so it’s a matter of her safety and health. Because of this, it’s actually helped our family overall to eat better and really pay attention to the foods we’re putting in our bodies. I can attest to this, as I’ve lost nearly 40 pounds over the past few years. I think there is a fear that packing nutritious lunches will be overly time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you establish a routine that best suits your family, it becomes part of your natural daily steps, much like brushing teeth. Just like meal planning your family dinners, lunches can be thought of the same way. One of the best tips I learned was taught to me by Laura Fuentes, Chief Mom at where I’m a recipe contributor. She taught me the “cook once, eat twice” mentality. I can tell you it’s been one of the best mindsets when it comes to planning healthy meals for my daughter. So, how do we do this? Leftovers! Reinventing and repurposing leftovers is your best friend. I pack them for myself for work and my daughter for school multiple times per week. Making chicken? Be sure to cook up a couple of extra chicken breasts with dinner so they’re ready and sliced in your fridge for lunches for the week. We use chicken on quesadillas, for dipping in BBQ sauce, for chicken salad, sandwich wraps, or topped on a fresh salad of veggies and greens. Making pasta? Boil extra noodles knowing you can use them for lunches the next day. Spaghetti and cold pasta salads are great packed up for lunch. Did you know you can freeze cooked pasta for up to two weeks? Just drizzle a little oil on the noodles and store in an airtight container or freezer bag. Stop making your mornings more hectic; pack lunches while you’re cleaning up dinner. This will save you time in the mornings and assure you put those leftovers to good use. Once you establish this into your routine, it will become natural and multiplicity

Also remember, the freezer is your friend! On the weekends, we bake batches of muffins and make pancakes or waffles to enjoy. Again, knowing we want extras for the week, I will freeze leftovers and portion out our baked goods and store them in the freezer. This way, they’re done and ready at my fingertips for breakfast, snacks, or yummy lunches. My daughter loves having breakfast for lunch! A quick warm-up in the microwave or toaster, depending on the item, and they’re ready to go. Quick and no stovetop mess to worry about in the morning! It all starts with a little planning. Find a routine that works best for you, think about your meals for the week and how you can utilize leftovers, and invest in eco-friendly lunch containers. With a little planning and thought before the week begins, you too can learn to pack healthy lunches efficiently for your family. Keeley McGuire’s passions are faith, family, and food. She is the proud Mama of “Little Miss”, her sous chef, and together they love creating, baking, and eating fun foods! She views the challenges of motherhood, working full-time, and food allergies as an adventure. She believes that food can be fun for kids’ allergies and dietary restrictions, so has made it her mission to share how. Follow her journey making allergy friendly foods fun! You can also find her on facebook, twitter and pinterest.

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make your own 56 multiplicity the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

gluten free



PASTA SALAD the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


Spaghetti Sandwich 58


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As moms of multiples, we see firsthand how not all children learn the same way, and that when it comes to teaching and learning, one size definitely does not fit all. So, what is a twin mom to do? Here are some tips on helping your little learners blossom in their own, unique way! 60




with different learning styles

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by nellie harden


s parents, we learn over and over again that children that are raised in the same home, by the same parents and in the same manner can end up being as different as black and white. This, of course, can go for all spectrums of life, including learning. There are so many ways to learn and technology is breeding more ways each and every day. Some children absorb books like a sponge; some are visual learners, and some need motion to associate ideas and concepts. Music can stimulate certain children, while others are very personal and learn best while being taught. What do you do when you have one child that learns slightly, or even drastically, different from another, and you are responsible for teaching them both every life skill and basic lesson before Kindergarten or even beyond? First, take a deep breath and second, do what every parent learns to do… invent today and if it doesn’t work you can re-invent it tomorrow. Now, inventing the day isn’t a matter of winging it Pippy Longstocking style, but rather about taking a combination of needs into consideration. What triggers your child’s interests? What distracts them? When is a good time for them and how do they take praise and criticism? What works for the family and for you? I cannot emphasize the last question enough because a family is a network of individuals living life and learning together. One of the great lessons to teach

our children is the art of compromise and adjusting. Sometimes plans change and what was good for one day’s schedule will not be for another. Implanting flexibility is beneficial to every one’s future. So, what does this mean? You might have separate work spaces or work times with each child. This opens a door to more one-on-one time if needed, especially during those early years. This will also make learning a positive time when your child is able to spend time with just you. You and your spouse can even separate the children’s responsibilities and then regroup afterwards to see where praise and emphasis need to be.

What triggers your child’s interests? What distracts them? When is a good time for them and how do they take praise and criticism? What works for the family and for you? With many children when they are trying to learn, especially at home, it can be difficult because of the mass draw of distractions. If you have a perfectionist child who likes to do everything themselves and a sibling blurts an answer, you could have an unwanted sibling war on your hands. Beneath the screams then


rests a child who feels like they are unworthy. Contrary to that, many times multiples can work as a team. You may have a child that is strong in one area and answers for the both of them leaving the other one at a disadvantage to learning that skill for themselves. Together they embody a complete educational package, but separately the needs are illuminated (many times surpising the parents). Then there is the easily distracted child who is busy thinking about the purple dog three pages ago and how it would look in a green collar. These children work better alone in order to focus their attentions toward whatever task is being mastered and may need more persistent focus reminders. This can get frustrating to the child already thinking about the next page. Though working apart can be ideal in many cases, working together can be, as well. At some point in the real world, your child is most likely going to be surrounded by people and it is important to teach them how to work in a class or group setting. You will have to coax the timid learners and hold back the aggressive ones while fostering love, praise and guidance toward both. Have each child teach a lesson so that the material is reinforced for them and taught through another perspective. This is a special time for them and shows that it is alright to learn from a sibling and that they have a lot to offer. The skills necessary to appreciate and accept help from others --- contd. pg 69

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appy fall!

fun, educational apps for kids of all ages --and for mom and dad, too!

for mom and dad Love looking back at all of your photos and videos? Disney Interactive recently introduced new premium animated Disney themes and music functionalities to Story, the free digital storytelling app that turns the photos and videos that are trapped on your phone into compelling personal narratives. In addition to the new Disney themes (featuring Disneyland Resort, “Cars,” “The Little Mermaid,” Mickey Paris, and ESPN’s SportsCenter), the update also improved the viewing experience and sharing capabilities of the app. Check out a story featuring these updated features, including the new Disneyland Resort theme, here. To celebrate this magical update, Disney will be giving away iTunes gift cards on the Disney Interactive Twitter account, so a few lucky winners can download all the new premium Disney themes! Visit the Disney Interactive blog for more info about how to enter. Purchase this app through iTunes for $1.99.



for the preschool and under crowd Peekaboo Barn, a short, simple game, is ideal for toddlers and pre-readers in that it teaches animal names and the sounds they make. Ten creatures appear in all, after which, night falls and the animals go to sleep. You can select the narrator’s voice in either English or Spanish, or record your own voice! Purchase through iTunes for $1.99. Throughout the journey of Yuvi, kids not only exercise, but also learn valuable lessons of settings goals and the importance of teamwork. Not only does Yuvi – Story Aerobics help develop motor skills and have obvious health benefits, it is also incredibly successful at encouraging the development of their imagination, and reasoning. This app is FREE through iTunes. Want an app that has it all? Try out Timmy’s Preschool Adventure to help your child have fun with basic skills like matching, patterns, colors, shapes, and even counting. There are four basic mini-games to practice these skills, including connect the dots, and pattern bridge. This app is FREE through iTunes. for those 5 and up Did you know that letters can sing? With The Singing Alphabet, each time a child presses a letter it will sing its phonetic sound. Your child can press as many letters as they want and the tune will always sound harmonious. Children can also make their own words and hear how they would sound, or practice the weekly spelling test. Purchase through iTunes for $0.99. Have a budding musician? Music Quest helps your child practice. Developed with students and music teachers, Music Quest encourages students to practice their instruments on their own. Unlike other apps, Music Quest is compatible with any musical instrument on any song. The best part? It’s FREE through iTunes! Interested in exposing your child to another language? My Galaxy allows them to explore planets with this interactive read-along book in both English and Spanish. Explore the planets and follow along as each word is highlighted while its read. Your child can touch a term to hear it again or touch an illustration to learn its pronunciation. Purchase through iTunes for $1.99.

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just a friendly reminder to take care of the most important twins of all...

schedule your mammogram


Innovative one-step fold, 16 Unique seating combinations, Ideal for twins or children close in age! Visit to learn more!


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pregnancy with twins:

what to do when things aren’t quite right by michelle somers

“Are you expecting more than one?”

that I knew.

These were the words, spoken so innocently by our ultrasound technician, that I thought would be the defining moment of our pregnancy. It was our first pregnancy, our first ultrasound, and there were two little critters in there! Amazing! Little did we know that there was going to be an even more memorable ultrasound down the road followed by many, many more ultrasounds and appointments.

My hope is that everyone knows about TTTS. From experience, I know that isn’t the case even though it takes the life of more babies per year than SIDS and is more prevalent than breast cancer. TTTS is where blood passes disproportionately from one baby to the other through connecting blood vessels within the shared placenta. Both babies are at risk because one is essentially starving/anemic and the other is working really hard to pump twice the blood volume that it should be and is at risk of heart failure. A disease of the placenta, TTTS is still not fully understood.

Right through our 16 week appointment, we were having the perfect twin pregnancy, we found out we were having girls, and suspected they were identical. Amazing! Then that other ultrasound came, the one that would change everything. It had only been four weeks since perfection; why were we being asked to push the red button on the wall? That was when we were diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and were told that our girls probably weren’t going to survive. TTTS was mentioned in a short paragraph at the end of a chapter in one of the pregnancy books I was reading. I didn’t think it actually happened to real people, at least none 64


At 21 weeks, we flew across the country to meet with one of the pioneers of a selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation (of communicating blood vessels) procedure. In other words, we were meeting with a brilliant doctor that just might be able to save our babies! After days of tears and sheer terror, we finally had HOPE. We named our girls and wanted to hold them so badly, we were going to do all we could to bring them into the world safely. We armed ourselves with all kinds of information and statistics. We knew we were facing the possible loss of one or both babies and the high likelihood of physical or mental challenges if they did survive. It didn’t matter; HOPE kept us going despite all the negativity that surrounded our diagnosis. In our case, the laser procedure was determined to be the best treatment option. Our girls survived the procedure and that first critical night. Close monitoring continued for the next 14 weeks. Each appointment was filled with ups and downs, but overall our girls were growing. Our medical

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team hoped we would make it to 28 weeks and said anything beyond that was icing on the cake. Despite the initial scare of TTTS, our girls were born at 35 weeks and only had to stay in the NICU for 13 days! On the day we were to bring our girls home from the hospital, our OB’s office called and told us that they just had diagnosed another family with TTTS and asked if we would be willing to talk to them. That was the beginning of our outreach to help others with similar diagnoses. This outreach eventually evolved into the organization now known as the Fetal Health Foundation. Fetal Health was originally formed and continues to be operated by a small handful of families that battled a fetal syndrome. With their help and support, we have provided support and information to thousands of families, funded critical research, and raised awareness about fetal syndromes all around the world. We strive to be the resource that families can turn to help them understand what they were told in the doctor’s office, what they read online or in an online support group. We have a vast Medical Advisory Board that we depend on to ensure we are providing accurate and up-to-date information. We realize that knowledge is power and we want every parent armed with information so they can be the best advocates for their babies. No parent should ever have to look back and think “if I had only known…”

there a dividing membrane indicating two amniotic sacs? The highest risk twin pregnancies are those with one chorion and one amnion (often referred to as mo/mo) due to risk of cord entanglement. In addition to TTTS, SIUGR and TRAP are issues that should be watched when there is just one placenta (or in very rare cases each of these can occur with a fused placenta). Pre-term labor is also a concern for all twin pregnancies. The larger size of carrying two babies, and thus, increased pressure can trick the uterus into thinking the pregnancy is full term before it truly is. While all of this is important, please keep in mind that most twin pregnancies have no serious complications. Fetal Health Foundation exists for when they do. A proud mom of 10 year old TTTS survivors, Michelle Somers is the Co-Founder of the Fetal Health Foundation, a support organization that was formed, and continues to be run, by a core group of families that have experienced various fetal syndromes. With her husband, Lonnie, Michelle also runs Hallucination Sports, an event timing and scoring company based in Denver.

It is important for expectant parents to be aware of the potential risks of a twin pregnancy and which risks apply to them. One important step in determining risk factors is to understand the chorionicity of the twin pregnancy. Are there two placentas? Have they fused together? If there is just one placenta, and therefore one chorion sac, is multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


do gooders by the mom squad

It never takes a large group to make an impact in a community, as some smaller clubs thrive on helping those who need a little extra support. Moms of Multiples of Lehigh Valley in Fogelsville, PA are only 51 members strong, but have reached a number of parents and children they will never even meet. “We’ve been collecting water bottles and snacks to put in the parent lounges so that the families know we care,” said member Kristi Smith. “We’re also including our contact information so that if any parent of multiples is looking for some help, they have a way to find us.” MMLV also provides preemie clothes for parents in need, and is in the process of gathering information for a “success book” put together by the members of the club. The book will be personal stories of member expierences during their time in the NICU/PICU and all that our children have overcome. The goal is simple: seeing some THEN vs. NOW pictures of twins will hopefully inspire families and give them something positive to read on their journey to get their babies home.

trick-or-treating at an area nursing home

“Many of our members are all too familiar with the fears and worries of having preemies in the NICU,” said member Melissa Urland. “We want other families to know that despite all the hurdles that may lie ahead, their babies can overcome all of these challenges and thrive in the days, months, and years ahead!” 66


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of firewife photography

ask the veterans

twins beyond the twos... Do you give an allowance? At what age do you give an allowance and how much is reasonable? While most children do not learn to manage money until they are older, some parents like to instill the value of money and tie it to hard work and responsibility at an early age. So at what age should one start? David McCurrach says whenever they have an understanding of the concept of money (earn/spend/give, etc.). Wondering why kids need an allowance? Consider his top reasons in justifying it in your own home: • Having a regular amount of their own income is the only

way kids can learn to manage money. • They need to be able to make mistakes when the cost is minimal. • Knowing the limit of available funds forces kids: ◦ to think about how much things costs, and ◦ to make choices.

Pregnancy is a beautiful part of life and should be full of wonder and love. Being pregnant with multiples doesn’t have to be scary, even if an unheard of diagnosis is involved. Have questions?

We can help! Answers for today. Hope for tomorrow.

• They have more appreciation when they use their money. Good luck with teaching responsibility and your choice to offer an allowance!


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the dr. is in: 5 facts on...

f lu vaccines

The flu season is approaching and the best prevention for your children is to vaccinate them. Here is some important information regarding the flu vaccines for 2013: • Flu viruses are always changing which is why it is important to vaccinate every year. Although it is not a 100% protective, it is the best protection we have. • The flu vaccine is recommended for all children starting at 6 months old. • This year the types of influenza strains in the flu vaccines are the following: o Trivalent: protects against three strains—one from last year and two new strains, o Quadrivalent: protects against four strains. • There are two types of flu vaccines: o Inactivated flu vaccine is given as a shot. o Live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is sprayed into the nose. It is recommended for children 2 years and older. • Children with egg allergies can get the flu vaccine if it is mild, but if there is any history of a severe egg allergy, consult with your doctor first. Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, Center of Disease Control

Dr. Preeti Parikh is a Board-Certified Pediatrician with a special interest in preventive medicine, advocacy and patient education. She contributes to Multiplicity magazine, The Bump, and the book “What to Do When You Are Having Two”. Outside of work, Preeti enjoys free time with her husband and wonderful twin children. 68


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contd. from teaching besides you is a gift not only to them, but to you, as well. When the books and lessons are put away for the day, just always remember not to compare your children. Their brains are made differently and their thoughts are different. Praise them for efforts and not accomplishments and show them the things they can work on in a positive light. Always have a next step for them to work on, even when they have mastered the lesson for that day. Not only will this give them something to work towards, but if you have a child who is more behind than the other it gives them a sense of security in knowing that everyone has a next step. Paint the picture of the life-long learner. There is no end game to learning and even we, as parents, learn every day.

a certain path created by their imagination, internal world, and external experiences. Walk the path with each child and see what possibilities lie ahead.

In the world of children and especially multiples, it is always important to maintain individuality, and learning is no exception. Their interests, goals and endeavors will follow

Nellie Harden has been married for 12 years and is a mom of four little girls, who represent four corners of a square and bring different gifts, energy and challenges to their world. In addition to being a mom, she works with families through JuicePlus to get enough fruits and vegetables into growing and changing bodies every day and enjoy writing about all of life’s avenues.

chic design with multiples in mind!

full service. e-design. textiles. blog. multiplicity

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ask joan

ve! o l s i d e e n all you

“Divorce with multiples. Has a couple who has divorced ever split custody of the kids? Do they tend to keep them together at all times? What have they found that works best for them? Am I going to be a great mom taking care of both children (doing the duty of two parents with one income by myself), or just a mediocre one? Most likely I will be an average one at best. If we need to split them up in order to be the best parents we can be, then I wanted to consider that." ~ mom seeking reassurance during divorce

The issue I have been asked to address coincidentally corresponds to a recent news story that has engendered passionate feelings and opinions. Married gay partners who fathered boy/girl infant twins with a surrogate who donated her eggs split up and moved with their biological offspring to opposite coasts. Their selfish intent to rob the twins of their connection seems unfathomable. Our reader’s inquiry also involves a divorce. However, contrary to these men’s selfish motives, this mother is deeply concerned about doing what are in the best interests of her five year old boy/girl twins. She wonders if separating the twins would be preferable in terms of parental and financial resources. She writes:

possibly working. She cares deeply about the well-being of her twins and would only consider separating them if she felt convinced that such an arrangement would be in their best interests. Her attitude of sacrifice, self-reflection, and empathy demonstrates what is sorely lacking in the two fathers’ decision to brush aside any qualms about separating their children because of their inability to work through their difficulties. Your maternal love is admirable

“Am I going to be a great mom taking care of both children doing the duty of two parents with one income by myself or just a mediocre one? If we need to split them up in order to be the best parents we can be, then I want to consider that.” She worries that she cannot be an adequate parent if she is a single mother who will be living on one income and 70


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

and inspirational. Your relationship and connection to your children is far more important than money or material goods. If the divorce is amicable and you and your husband will not have difficulties working out visitations, I see no reason why you would need or want to separate your son and daughter at this point in their lives. Your five year olds require your consistent presence and love, especially during this crucial transition. The healthiest thing you can do is maintain a civil relationship with the twins’ father so that the children

continue to feel secure and loved. Remember, the average “good enough mother” is what we strive to be at our best. Getting lost in perfectionistic goals and expectations either created by ourselves or those around us simply leads us down a path of depression and despair, which makes us less than adequate parenting models. For more information and professional advice on parenting twins, consider learning more about Dr. Friedman’s practice and her current book Emotionally Healthy Twins: A New Philosophy for Parenting Two Unique Children. Dr. Joan A. Friedman is a psychotherapist who has devoted many years of her professional career to educating twins and their families about twins’ emotional needs. Having worked through her own twinship challenges and parented her fraternal twin sons, she is a definitive expert about twin development. She is the author of Emotionally Healthy Twins: A New Philosophy for Parenting Two Unique Children. Her second book The Same but Different addresses the intricacies of adult twin relationships. It will be available in February 2014.


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


five minute “entertainment” fix:

place settings with panache! by traci zeller


o you entertain friends or family during the holiday season? My guess is yes! Whether your event is a casual get-together among friends or a sit-down dinner for twenty family members, it’s fun to make the gathering a festive affair. For obvious (!) reasons, the place setting is the foundation of any table, formal or informal. Fortunately, with a few easy tricks, even the most hurriedly planned event can be pulled off with panache! The key is layering. Chargers underneath the dinner plates are a great “base” layer for any special table. I love the texture of casual rattan chargers, available at retailers like World Market. For a more colorful look, I coordinate my chargers with the dinnerware, tablecloth or party theme. Can’t find just the right hue? Spray-paint inexpensive plastic chargers from a retailer like Hobby Lobby or Party City. Need a more sophisticated look? Horchow has gorgeous (and often expensive) options. Plain white dinnerware creates an ideal background for a beautifully presented meal, of course, but also for decorative salad plates. If you are creating a trendier look, my vote here is “save,” not “splurge.” Home Goods often carries brands like Lenox, Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade, 72


so you just might find designer china at a heavily discounted price. I generally prefer cloth napkins and have found a wide variety of colors and patterns at Pier 1 Imports. Of course, paper napkins are very convenient, and Caspari has an incredible selection. Tie the napkins with a bright ribbon, and you’ve added another splash of interest! Last but not least, menu cards not only let your guests know what to expect but also convey the “pampered” feeling of dining out. Many designers sell “print at home” fully customizable menu cards on Etsy. Even more hurried than that? Mini chalkboards are just the ticket! One hint: Using black paper into mini photo frames achieves a similar look. Happy entertaining! Traci Zeller is an interior designer known for her clean, sophisticated mix of classic and modern pieces. As a busy wife and mother to active twin boys, she appreciates the need for spaces that are beautiful and functional. Traci also authors a blog, and her firm, Traci Zeller Designs, provides full service design, textiles, and e-decorating packages.

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


photo courtesy of jane goodrich photography

tips for selecting a maternity photographer


by jane goodrich multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


re you expecting? Yay! Now’s the time to consider setting up a maternity photography session to capture your glowing, baby-growing body at its peak (around 7-8 months). Here are some tips to help you choose the right maternity photographer. look for a specialist You want to choose a photographer who is experienced in maternity photography, not just one who “dabbles” when it comes up. You really get a very short window for maternity photography, so you want your images to turn out right, the first time. view their style Every photographer has a different style. Some may be able to adapt to the type of photography in which you are interested, while others may not. Check out their portfolio. If you don’t love the maternity images you see, move on.

maternity photographers goes a long way towards helping you find one, so ask your friends for recommendations. Did they feel comfortable during the sessions? Were they happy with the photos? Did they feel the final cost was worth it? pricing How much a maternity session costs shouldn’t be a main concern, but you should know what you’re up against. Beware of overly reasonable session costs, as they usually will recoup the costs by charging you more for prints. You may be better off by looking for complete packages that include all the costs. Also ask about a newborn session, too, as photographers typically offer discounts for both sessions. When you’re ready, contact the photographer directly and request a full quote. Last, but not least, don’t leave your booking until too late – many book well in advance! A New York based newborn and children’s photographer with an artful eye and a modern edge, Jane Goodrich’s talent lies in her ability to capture a moment in time – no matter how quickly it passes. A twin herself, Jane loves shooting other multiples and siblings. With every shot, she aims to let the individuality of each child shine through and capture the uniqueness of their relationship. Jane’s work has been featured in Parent’s Magazine, Westchester Family, Westchester Baby and of course, Multiplicity Magazine. Jane has written and photographed several books including ‘Capturing Every Day Life’ - the no-nonsense guide to photographing your kids, the children’s book ‘Where is Charlie’s Nose?’ and the soon to be published coffee table book ‘New York is My Playground’.

studio or onsite session? Do you see yourself at home, standing in a field of wildflowers, or posed against a studio background? Ensure that the photographer you choose is able to accommodate your requests, particularly if it means leaving the studio. Again, looking at their previous photos is a good indication of what they are able to produce and whether or not they are able to accommodate. Keep in mind that there may be additional costs associated with offsite sessions, especially depending on how far the photographer travels. check referrals How other expectant moms feel about their multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


Mama said there’d be days like this. Join moms of multiples all around the globe in supporting each other on the good AND the not-so-good days.

photography by firewife photography



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

Multiplicity - Fall 2013  

Multiplicity's Fall issue is full of articles on maintaining breastmilk supply, infertility, fashion, comfort food for fall, holiday crafts...

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