Page 1

Winter 2013

how balanced is your

teeter totter?

the art of

the scoop on

flat head syndrome 1

new year

no yelling!

mamas on a mission! 6

New Year - How about try no yelling?

28 The art of efficiency for every mom of multiples

10 Reading Readiness --- are your

30 Appy Winter! Apps the whole

13 How to Shop on a Multiples’

31 Heading back to work - know

twins ready? Budget

family can enjoy


what to do?

17 Fitness & Getting the Family In It 18 Product Buzz - the scoop on

must-have items for moms and kids!

20 It’s our Birthday and YOU get the gifts!

22 How to Write Meaningful 24 Kitchen Comforts - Easy recipes 26 Ask Joan: Sleep routines

to update that fall wardrobe & we share some great ideas!

36 Flat Head Syndrome - what every mom should know

38 Balancing the Teeter Totter 40 Five Minute Fix - Animal Appeal


the whole family will love!

34 Fashion Finds for Less: It’s time

41 After the Move - making it work 42 Do Something Good - MOMs come together to make a difference


cover cuties Just over 1 year old now, Aiden and Silas are identical in looks, but couldn’t be more different in personality! Aiden likes to take charge at playtime, while Silas is always watching and learning. Both boys love to dance and each has his own style. They LOVE music and playing with big brother, Jack. When they grow up, they will probably be Superheros. photos courtesy of Jillian Farnsworth Photography multiplicity


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


mom squad When I was a little girl, my biggest dream was to grow up and become a mommy. Never did I realize that I would go to college, be swept off my feet by my Prince Charming, have identical twin girls and a toddler son, (with my fourth due in May!), and own my own Consulting company, plus help run a magazine for moms just like me! Whew...life as we all know it can be exhausting if we give it too much thought. Lucky for me (or unlucky some would say!), I happen to surround myself with women and mom friends who are much like myself ( just plain crazy!). I have a hard time saying “no” when asked to do things, love a full plate, work best under pressure, never procrastinate (okay, I’m not a meal planner, so dinner each night is usually thrown together just before we all sit to eat!), and generally, just have more to do than there are hours in a day! I know that many of you balance schedules very similar to mine, and even if you aren’t crazy enough to have four kids in the mix, we all have a number of things to juggle (i.e. playdates, volunteer efforts, work in or out of the home, spouses who still like our attention

once in a while, and the list goes on). This is where this issue comes in to play...

Natalie Diaz founder/publisher natalie@multiplicitymag.com

Talitha A. McGuinness executive editor talitha@multiplicitymag.com

We offer advice from moms just like all of us on how to balance it all. Want to write and carry out New Year’s resolutions? We’ve got you covered. Ready to get back into the workforce? Check. Can we truly balance the teeter totter of life? We’ve got that, too. One of the biggest things on which we pride ourselves is being a support system full of resources to help each other. After all, the mom squad didn’t get here by just needing something else to do. We all have twins (and then some!), businesses, volunteer efforts, etc. and live our lives just like you. We have learned some amazing things over this past year, not only about each other and ourselves, but about you and what you want from us. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our 1st birthday and will grow with us on this wonderful journey of moms of multiplehood. With that said, here’s to many more birthdays ahead and to having it all (at least by each of our own respective standards)!

Publisher Natalie Diaz Executive Editor / Creative Director Talitha A. McGuinness Photographers Firewife Photography Jane Goodrich Photography Contributing Writers Nicole Hastings Jodi Smeiska Cara Krenn Dr. Joan Friedman Jessica Therival Julia Fritze Angel Rodrigues Kathleen Tirella Ecker Farrah Ritter Judi Howe Dr. Jane Scott Jill Marcum Traci Zeller Amanda Stephens Social Media Mgr./Ad Sales Jill Marcum Contact us: 141 Mulberry Street Apt. C-1 New York, NY 10013 917-442-2020 info@multiplicitymag.com www.multiplicitymag.com

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 editor@ multiplicitymag.com.



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

happy new year and

happy birthday to multiplicity! Thank you for helping us make our first year such a success. As moms of multiples ourselves, we are all on a similar journey to raise our multiples successfully and with as much love and guidance as possible. We hope you’ve gained valuable information and insight from our past articles and tips, and maybe even had a few cries and laughs along the way, too! We know it’s our birthday, but you all get the gifts. See pages 20 and 21 for more details on entering to win one of our fabulous prizes!

photograph courtesy of paired images

new year, no yelling (and why do we do this any way?!?) by jessica therivel


I know what you are thinking. Here is another article where the writer sets out on a quest for improvement in parenting, and makes themselves the guinea pig with a set task and a deadline. The problem is, much like a diet, anything you can only force yourself to do for a short period of time is not likely to be sustainable for the long term. I am not going to set a New Year’s resolution this year to never yell again, because the fact of the matter is, with my twin kindergartener girls, I might break that by early afternoon on January 1st and then feel like a failure. When you have a sense of failure, you will often revert back to the old behavior, because if you have already messed up, what is the point of continuing with that resolution? Instead, I am going to take a long hard look at why I yell, look at how I can make changes, but fully realize that it is not realistic to think I may never yell



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

again. Yelling of course has the potential to cause emotional trauma in extreme circumstances, but I think what most of us as parents have realized is that it is really ineffective (yet we still do it!). I figured a first step was to look at my patterns of yelling and try to see if there are any common themes. My main trigger is definitely to yell when I feel like my girls are not listening. Sometimes to be fair, it is my fault if I start talking or issuing an order without checking to see if they are paying attention to me. What I have found helps is to make sure they are making eye contact. There is definitely a difference between defiance of a parental request and the child just not paying attention. I have also seen in my household that yelling is ineffective for a number of reasons. With having twins, it gets interesting, because the reasons for why yelling is ineffective is dependent to which twin I am talking. I have one twin who has always been very internally focused, so if she is deeply engaged in something, it is as if the rest of us are not even there. She is also internally motivated rather than being greatly influenced by outside factors. I have to approach her more with logic. Yelling at her for the 100th time that she has not picked up her shoes will mean nothing, but if I tell her she can’t have her snack until she picks up her shoes, she gets it. On the flip side, her twin sister is much more sensitive, as she

cares very much what other people think or how they feel about her. She is very tuned into what an adult’s tone of voice is and we went through a phase where if she knew I was upset, she would shout, “Don’t use your mad voice!!!” Because she is so sensitive, I can use this to my advantage when I talk with her instead of an exchange of yelling. We went through a phase after kindergarten started of terrible tantrums once she was home from school, usually for very minor things that because she was so tired, were very big deals to her. I told her that it hurt my feelings that she used all of her good behavior at school and was nice to her teacher, but was not nice to me when she got home. This was definitely more effective than me turning around and yelling at her when she had a tantrum. Also, have you ever realized how much children pick up on our speech mannerisms and ways of saying certain things? For me, it is one simple word, “Seriously?” This became clear when one of my daughters was engaged in imaginary play with her stuffed animals and one toy was clearly not cooperating, and I heard my child say, “Seriously?” My husband quickly confirmed I say this a lot. Noted… So, what can I set for myself for a goal for the New Year in regards to yelling? My first step is going to be to remember to count to ten and keep a speaking tone of voice vs. a louder, yelling tone. I am going to work really hard at making sure that any requests multiplicity

I am making, for example, “Put on your shoes, clear your plate, put your backpack away” are made when I have the girls’ focus and they are actually paying attention. I am also going to work hard to examine myself and see if the urge to yell is truly coming from the girls’ behavior, or if there is something going on with my end of things. A perfect example was recently when I had a headache and it had the bad luck to be present at the same time both girls decided to go into crazy mode and were playing some loud game that involved lots of screaming. No one was getting hurt, they were getting along, and having fun. The problem was mine; I had a headache. After yelling at them for being too loud, I quickly realized that if I had just told them I had a headache, they would have likely piped down. Recognizing if the problem is their behavior or your problem is key. So, 2013 is going to be a time to keep working on if not “no yelling”, at least much less yelling and more talking. I am going to work hard at truly listening to the girls and what is upsetting them, using empathy and active listening. And, seriously, I am going to stop saying, “Seriously?” Jessica Therivel has been married for 8 years to Laurent and is mom to twin girls who started kindergarten this fall. Now that she has some free time again, Jessica is freelance writing and running a photobook design business.

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have you heard about our program...

of the month sponsored by

This year we want to meet YOUR multiples. Tell us why they rock and share some of your fondest memories. All submissions will be considered and reviewed by the Twiniversity Mom Squad. The chosen twinnies will be featured on Twiniversity and will receive a toy from Step2 selected just for them.

Being pregnant with multiples doesn’t have to be scary, even if an unheard of diagnosis is involved. Have questions?

So what are you waiting for?!? Send us your submission!

We can help!

Thank you Step2 for partnering with us for 2013! To submit, complete the form on Twiniversity.com and upload a picture. We’ll take it from there!

Answers for today. Hope for tomorrow.


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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 50% of the nation’s unemployed youth age 16-21 are functionally illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs. Let our job be to teach them from the start! 10


reading readiness begins in infancy

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

by judi howe

From the day they are born, I am going to get my babies ready to do well in school. I am going to raise smart kids! My commitment to get us there:

1. I will read aloud to you.

photo courtesy of jane goodrich photography

Start reading to your babies the day they are born. Continue reading aloud every day to your child throughout the elementary school years. Some children like for their parents to continue reading to them in middle school; let this be each child’s choice. Treat books like all of your your children’s toys by putting them wherever your babies are. If they want to chew on a laminated board book, let them, as it will only encourage their curiosity and interest in hearing the spoken word through story and rhyme!

2. I will sing to you.

Don’t worry about whether or not you can carry a tune. A singing voice is a happy voice and it will convey peace and comfort to your children. Singing has been proven to alter behavior. If you want your babies to calm down, sing quietly and slowly. If you want to perk your babies up, sing a tune to which you can march or dance around the house while carrying your babies (probably one at a time, but the other will certainly enjoy watching the show when it’s not their turn!). Sing every day. Make up songs for the everyday tasks that you are doing to make things fun and keep the interest of your babies.

4. I will affirm you.

From day one, praise your babies. Tell them how precious they are, how smart they are, and that you are proud of them. Whatever values you prize, praise them for those, and be sure to do it individually whenever possible. For example, “You were so cooperative when I was changing your diaper. It made my job so much easier. Thank you, (use his or her name). I am so proud of you.”

5. I will say ‘I Love You’ to you.

A lot of us think that our children know that we love them. Hopefully, they do. But it is very important to say it out loud. Start this the day your babies are born and never stop...never!

6. I will play music for you.

Expose your children to music. Play music of different types in your home. Choose quiet, calming music when you want them to nap or happy, upbeat music when you want them to be playful. There are many wonderful sources of music for babies; you won’t have to look far. Having a CD player or iPod in the nursery is a great idea for putting quiet classical music on before bedtime. Putting a CD on in the car is also fun…you can sing along yourself!

I will.. read aloud to you.. sing to you.. talk to you.. affirm you.

3. I will talk to you.

Some parents think it is silly to talk to a baby. After all, he or she can’t talk and doesn’t understand very many words either. However, this is missing the point entirely. Your baby needs to hear the sound of your voice… your happy voice, your calming voice, your conversational voice, your praising voice. Talk to your baby everywhere. While riding in the car, talk about the weather, the traffic, what you are going to do later in the day. You are building their vocabulary, little by little. If you can’t think of anything to talk about, repeat step #2 – sing! multiplicity

7. I will touch you.

Your touch conveys a sense of security and confidence for your babies. Cuddle them, tickle them. Rub noses and play pat-a-cake. A loving touch is worth a million bucks!

Judi Howe aims to spread the message of the importance of reading aloud to preschoolers with a long-term goal of improving literacy for all children, thereby enhancing each child’s opportunity to one day pursue higher education. She has a website for her books and a blog called Books are Building Blocks and she writes children’s picture books. Judi lives in NC with her husband George. They have five grandchildren. the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples




sponsored by

Know a Super MOM who deserves to be recognized? We are partnering with MAM to recognize 12 of the most outstanding moms of multiples around the the world. To nominate a Mom, please complete the form online and tell us why she should be one of our Super MoMs. All submissions will be reviewed and considered by the Twiniversity Mom Squad. The chosen Super MoM of the month will receive a $50 SpaFinder Gift Card. Even Super Woman needs a day off every now and then!

Thanks to MAM for partnering with us in 2013!

YOUR AD COULD BE HERE. Reaching parents of multiples all around the globe, we’d love for you to be a part! Contact talitha@multiplicitymag.com to learn about ad rates and securing your spot in a future issue.

what you’re talking about... How do you go about starting potty training, and how do you know when your twins are ready to start?

Google the topic and become familiar with the “signs” of potty training. Every child - including each of your twins - will be different. - Anna Just do 1 at a time so you can concentrate and keep them on the potty. We used cotton training pants after the first few days so if there were accidents they could feel it. Mine hated that wet feeling, so eventually figured out the potty. - Jenny [After my boys turned 3], we tried potty training and they did good for about a week, but then there was poo in their underwear all the time. One month later, I spent a long weekend sending them to the bathroom every 15 minutes giving them [rewards], and it just clicked. - Megan 12


I have 3 year old twins and I’m curious about playdate etiquette. If I go to someone’s house, what am I supposed to bring? If someone comes to our house, what do I provide?

It’s totally up to you what you bring/provide unless the playdate coordinator specifies otherwise. Playdates are really just excuses to get some adult [time] and give your kids a change of scenery... don’t overthink it. - lovebugsmama I think you can ask if there is anything you can bring. I always have snacks/juice on hand that I can feed the kids and coffee/tea for the moms. - Kathy You should not feel inclined to bring a gift or anything fancy. I always try to bring cut up fruit or veggies or pretzels, animal crackers, goldfish, etc. that’s easily shared. - Mariah

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shopping on a

multiples’ budget by nicole hastings


admit it. Money and I have always had a love/hate relationship. Love it when I have it; hate it when I don’t. For most of my working life I’ve made enough to survive, but to be honest, I never paid much attention to where my paycheck went. Perhaps it was naivety, perhaps it was denial, but I had gotten cozy with the fact that on Friday my paycheck was there and Saturday it was gone. Then, enter my twin boys and stay-at-home-momhood. My family’s dual-income catapulted into one and forced me to face my estranged relationship with money. Even though I wasn’t bringing in any income, it became my job to be the household economist, and a frugal one at that, since we have two more mouths to feed—and two little bottoms to cover. It may seem out of place that I’m now writing advice to you about budgeting, but my finicky relationship with finances has gotten me in trouble more than once in the past and the lessons learned have outweighed the trouble, and so I pass some of these lessons on. Groceries and Food According to a Gallup.com 2011 poll, Americans report spending

an average of $151 on food per week. It doesn’t say if that was money toward groceries or eating out, but I can tell you one thing for sure; the best way to make the most of your weekly food budget is to stop eating out. The quick drive-thru trips may be convenient when it’s hard enough to get out the door with young multiples, but these conveniences eat up your money subtly and slyly. Simply put, we don’t eat out. I learned to cook and I learned how to shop for groceries. Here are some rules I go by that may help you, too:

tried & true tips!

#1—Get over what other people think of you and your family’s finances. It’s none of their business anyway. Who cares if people think we’re cheap— that goes for strangers at the grocery store, as well. I used to “feel bad” for saying to the clerk that I’d changed my mind on something so I’d buy it to avoid confrontation. That’s silly. It’s their job to be there and they’re paid to put things back. Besides, it saves you the time and energy suffering from buyer’s remorse later and driving back to return the item.

Get over what other people think of you and your family’s finances --- it’s none of their business. multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


#2—I don’t need to tell you that shopping with multiple children of the same age can turn a one-hour shopping trip into a three-hour event, so this rule is better practiced alone until you get the hang of it. Write out your needsonly list at home (I personally don’t have the attention span to meal-plan, but if you do, you’re my hero!), bring a calculator and only cash with you—leave your plastic at home. At the store, go down your list calculating the price of everything that goes into that cart (round up to leave wiggle-room for sales tax at the end.) Knowing that you only have the allotted grocery cash forces you to think carefully about what goes into the cart. When you’ve reached your cash amount on the calculator, you’re done. It may seem drawn-out and strange wandering through the aisles with a calculator, but eventually, you’ll be good enough to calculate in your head. When you’re a pro, attempt a trip with the kids (unless, of course, the shopping trip is your “alone time” so then, if your husband asks why were you at the store for three hours by yourself, you can say you were calculating!) *Tip: This is a teachable moment for older kids. Give them a calculator or let them practice their mathematics on paper with a small list of items for them to find. #3—Get groceries that ‘multitask.’ Find weekly staples that can be used for multiple meals. For example, two whole roasting chickens can be popped in the slow cooker 14


and oven on a Sunday and you have chicken for salads, pasta, and tacos for the rest of the week. Plus, you can use the carcasses to make a soup stock you can freeze for later. For produce and other leftovers that will otherwise go bad, I put out what I call a “rainbow dinner” --- buffet style on the counter (this is a great way to get more fruits and veggies into the kids also, fingers crossed!) Any leftover veggies can be used for a vegetable soup stock. It’s not complicated or hard; it does take a little planning and time, but it’s worth it! #4—A treat is just that, a treat. We’re inundated with the message that we deserve to treat ourselves on a daily basis.

This is also a priceless lesson for our children: saying “no” to the things we really want, but can’t afford. According to another online Gallup poll, in 2011 American’s self-reported daily spending for a household income between $60,000 and $89,999 was an average of $82 per day. I can’t imagine what I’d spend

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$82 on every day, but I can guarantee that some of that money is going toward things we’d be better off without (like sugary coffee drinks). As a former barista myself, there are people who get $5 (or more!) coffee drinks every single day of the workweek. That’s $1,250 or more a year! Don’t get me wrong; I love my coffee and wouldn’t know what to do without it, but I’ve had to adjust. Most of the time I brew my coffee at home and take it with me to reduce the latte-temptation. This is also a priceless lesson for our children: saying “no” to the things we really want, but can’t afford. Ideas for saving on clothing I believe there is no need to buy brand name clothing unless you can truly afford it. There’s a phrase from Dave Ramsey —syndicated radio show host and best-selling author—that I cling to when I get the I-need-to-buy-newclothing-bug: don’t try to keep up with the Joneses, because the Joneses are broke. There is no shame in a good deal and that’s the only way my family is clothed. Here are some tips to save on your family’s thread: #1—Thrift is in. It’s good for the environment and most thrift stores’ proceeds go to local charities, the sellers themselves (moms just like YOU!), or others in your own community. #2—Children’s consignment stores and sales within multiples clubs have popped up everywhere here in Denver and I’m sure it’s a trend nationwide. There’s no time

like now, after the holiday craze, to sort through all of your children’s toys, gear and clothing to consign or sell at one of many MOMs’ kid sales. Just be sure to take your profits and put it toward clothing in order to break even. #3—Host a clothing-swap for your friends and their kids. What someone may not fit into may be perfect for someone in your brood.

spending is a step-by-step process and it takes a while to start new habits. I’m definitely not an expert; I’m just a mom whose twins (and the gazillion diapers they require) were a blessed wake-up call to change my family’s money handling, not only for our present needs, but for future needs, as well. Nicole crossed the stage at her college commencement ready to

Just remember that responsible

devote every waking minute to interviews and writing as a budding journalist—and making money along the way, because that’s what happens when you graduate…right? Two years later, she’s a stay-at-home mom to twins with looming student loans and credit card. Nicole’s faced with the challenge of holding the purse strings and trying to tighten them at the same time. Frugality has become an everyday reality in her home. And Nicole’s learning to live it and love it!

Learn the times of year to buy. July/August and late January/ February are the best times to hit the stores for various deals.


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the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

focus on fitness:

how one mom met her goal & got the family involved, too! by amanda stephens


decided to run after watching the Biggest Loser, and I thought “if those people could run, so can I.” I was overweight and had to do something before I turned 40. So I decided to run a 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles). I joined a local training group from the local shoe store and in 12 weeks, I finished my first 1/2 marathon. I started with the Jeff Galloway run:walk:run method since I had a prior knee injury. I started with a 1-minute run:1-minute walk routine, slowly increasing the run portion over the 12 weeks, and now run 5 minutes: walk 1 minute. With peer pressure from one of my best running buddies, I completed the San Francisco Marathon (26.2 miles) in July. The full marathon was NEVER on my “to-do” list, but I am thankful she made me do it. It is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, (behind having my kids of course!). We got our twin girls involved by having them cheer for me. They had pom-poms and cowbells and cheered for everyone (which made everyone smile), and in August, Jane, after seeing all my medals, wanted one of her own. We signed her up for a 5K Fun Run and it was on from there. After seeing Jane get all the attention, Valerie wanted some of her own, so

we did the Awesome 80′s race as a family. It was a wonderful experience and we’ll be doing more races once the season starts in April. We make exercising fun by spotting things along the route and run around the block to “train” for the races. This is a great time to talk to each other and bond as a family. I also encourage healthy eating by having snacks on hand like fruits and vegetables, and always offer water first. To get started yourself, visit a local running store to get fit for a good pair of shoes. Find a race. SIGN UP. I find that if I don’t sign up for the race, I’ll never follow through. If a 1/2 marathon is too daunting, try starting with a 5K (3.1 miles) instead. Use an app like the Nike+ app that tracks mileage and time to keep you on track. I also use the “half marathon with Jeff Galloway” app. Success is yours if you follow a good training schedule and these guiding principles:

1. Your mission each day is to

simply cover the distance --- don’t run too hard.

2. Run so slowly that you are

not huffing and puffing --- even at the end of your workout.

in mom amanda & tw ddies running bu

3. Walkers: Every 3-5 minutes

on your long walks, shorten your stride to “baby steps” for 30 seconds or so. contd. pg. 27

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the buzz

twin tested... MOM approved!

the scoop on things worth giving

a try


Fundanoodle is a new education readiness brand from Carolina Pad (check them out online to see all of their beautiful and fashionable office and school supplies!), designed to develop and improve the skills needed for handwriting and many other everyday activities. Their learning modules are broken down into three main categories: 3 year olds, Pre-K to Kindergarten and Kindergarten to 1st Grade. My nearly 3 year old son loves pounding the pegs into a template to create a picture, and the beading is great for working with and teaching patterns (and he just thinks he’s playing!). Other moms with older twins especially love the magnetic pieces and the dry erase board in helping them form and write letters (in the K-1st Grade Activity Pack). Products range from writing tables to full multi-activity kits. With learning and a lot of fun, what’s not for a mom to love? ~ talitha

tidy table tray + flexi-diner

I could never get my kids too close enough to me at the table when they were in their high chairs. I felt I had to reach so far to feed them. Now I can have them sit right at the table in their booster chairs with us. The Tidy Table Tray and Flexi-Diner is a great space saver, without giving up the convenience of a tray to catch spilled food and drinks. The insert removes easily for cleaning, but not easy enough for my kids to detach. The spill catch lip that extends towards the child catches food that would otherwise fall into their lap, resulting in fewer changes of clothes! After removing the flexi tray to clean, the remaining tray is good to use with craft projects so that crayons don’t roll away! The tray clamps onto probably any table with an easy to use clamp. ~ jill


Ladies, if you had a c-section and are still bothered by the appearance of your “war wound”, this product may be the answer! I was able to deliver my twins (granted, who weighed in at only a little over 4lbs. each), yet required a c-section for my little boy who a.) did not feel the need to arrive on his birthday, and b.) weighed more than my twins combined. Who would have thought?!? My scar is pretty low, but still an eye sore to me. I’ve tried creams and store-bought ointments guaranteed to lighten its appearance, but nothing has ever done the trick. However, the ScarAway silicone sheets seem to have significantly lightened my scar after using them for just over 2 months. Each box has four strips and they are clinically proven safe in the treatment and prevention of new scars. They also carry sheets for other types of scars/other areas of the body, which may come in handy for my seven year old twins who constantly feel the need to climb everything in sight! I also recently learned that these same sheets are recommended by plastic surgeons and are used in burn centers around the world. Sounds like a great solution to me! ~ talitha 18


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

peeled snacks

As a mom who is constantly looking for alternatives to the sugary, unhealthy snacks for my kids, I was recently introduced to Peeled Snacks, and I and my kids have fallen in love. Their “clusters” are very similar to a cereal texture and they come in several different flavors, including my kids’ favorites, apple and berry crunch. They also carry a dried fruit line, and while my kids aren’t big fans of any dried fruit, they did try them and at least liked the Pine-forPineapple. These snacks are made with natural ingredients, are full of vitamins and minerals, and are so easy to pack for lunches at school, for those playdates at the park, or even for snacking around the home. You can order samples or the full kits online. ~ talitha

squeez’em food pouches by booginhead

My kids have minor food allergies, some narrowed down and others still a mystery, so I like to make my own food for them. Thus, I have never purchased the food pouches that are so popular today. But then I ran across Squeez’ems refillable food pouches from BooginHead. These are refillable food pouches that are dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe! I also love that it is all in one piece, cap and all, so I am never searching for a piece. I like to whip up a batch of real fruit slushes or homemade ice cream slushes, fill the pouches and freeze them so they are ready to go. These are currently available in Wal-Mart stores. The best part? They save money, the environment, and are healthier for your children! ~ jill

best cradle by it’s you babe

This product is for all the expectant mamas in the mix. Now on my third pregnancy (fourth child), I decided to try something a little different. I have always had difficult pregnancies (at least compared to the moms who deliver and never knew they were pregnant!), and ended up needing a cerclage and a little to a lot of bedrest. However, I discovered the Best Cradly, a prenatal support cradly that is not only comfortable to wear, but it actually feels like it lifts my growing tummy, giving me the support I need in my back and the pelvic rest I need after surgery. I’m not saying it’s a miracle product, but I haven’t been forced on bedrest yet (and fingers crossed I can keep wearing this support cradle and avoid it altogether!). Learn more and purchase at their website. ~ talitha

YOU could be our

See pages 20 and 21 for how to enter for your chance to win one of several fabulous prizes in honor of our 1st birthday! multiplicity


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birthday giveaways!

It’s our party and you get all the gifts! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring and giving away these great prizes for moms and twinnies, too! Visit our website and be sure to “like” us on facebook for more details on entering and when each giveaway will be featured. Winners will be notified by email each week. Good luck and thanks for celebrating our milestone!


1 Rooster Diaper Bag, 2 Toy Nannies & 2 Cart Nests.

$300 retail value!


1 pack of ScarAway sheets


perfect for all of us moms with c-section scars!

retail value!



Giveaway - 2 Winners will receive: 4 albums of winner’s choice each album $14.99 value!

*with music by Lady Gaga*

www.babyblanketmusic.com 20


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2 Lyft Booster Seats $79.95 retail value each

2 Everyday Layette outfits and 2 Kushies Zolo Linki Toys $80 value!

the boost they need to reach the family table at mealtime!

Trusted by moms since 1987, Kushies offers more than 350 baby products including stylish layette and playwear, washable diapers, the award-winning Kushies Zolo toy collection and a broad range of baby essentials.




2 boys belts

$29 value each!

$200 Gift Certificate

made from real fire hoses and

come in S, M, L. www.galloenfuego.com multiplicity

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write meaningful resolutions

and keep them!

by cara krenn

After we’ve popped our champagne and sang “Auld Lang Syne,” many of us begin thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Each January marks the start of a new year filled with possibility – one that may be better shaped by setting resolutions for ourselves. About half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year. Most don’t keep them. Some people even dread writing them. But resolutions don’t always have to be work, and they don’t have to be unattainable. This is the year to make your goals meaningful AND fun. Follow these tips to write great resolutions – and keep them!

don’t rush - This year, make drafting your

resolutions an act of reflection. What have you loved about your life this past year that you’d like to continue? What would you like to see change? What areas could you work on? Think of 2013 as a clean slate and take your time determining your goals for the new year.

be specific - Many resolutions fail because they’re far too general and difficult to enact. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the top three resolutions for 2012 were: 1) Lose weight, 2) Get



organized, and 3) Spend less, save more. If these are your goals too, how can you make them specific and achievable? If you’d like to “exercise more,” why not resolve to walk or run a 5K or 10K? Look up a training plan online to regularly use as you work toward your goal. Want to “get organized”? Schedule a specific weekend to tackle your home office, clean out your closet or declutter your kids’ rooms. You’ll get an extra boost of satisfaction by donating unneeded items to your local thrift store. Do you need to focus on spending less and saving more? Register for a free money management service such as Mint.com to help you organize and categorize your spending.

go in on it with a friend - Research shows

that you’re more likely to stick with a resolution if you have someone to hold you accountable to it. This year, make a fun resolution and ask a friend to commit to the same one. If you want to exercise more in the new year, set aside a “date” with your friend each week to go on a walk or hit the gym. Or perhaps you’ve both been eager to try Zumba or hot yoga classes. It’s harder to make excuses when someone else is counting on you – especially if it’s a good friend whose company you truly enjoy.

be realistic - Don’t make your resolutions too

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daunting. Feeling like you’re not spending enough alone time with your partner? Maybe a weekly date night is unlikely to realistically fit into your hectic schedule. Aim for a monthly “adventure” together – try a new restaurant, take a fun class or go on a long hike. Desperate to fit into your pre-baby jeans? Don’t resolve to go to the gym every day – commit to two times a week or resolve to always take the stairs when possible. Want to create a better family environment at home? Try enforcing a “no cell phone” rule at dinner and ask each family member to share something about their day. Often aiming “small” with your goals will help you achieve them – and make you feel happy, not defeated.

put reminders in your calendar - Whether you rely on

your phone to run your life or use an old-fashioned planner, make sure to write (or type) resolution reminders into your calendar the same week you draft them. These “pop-up” reminders will help keep you on track until your goal is achieved. Additionally, you can write your resolutions down and post them in a visible spot you’ll see frequently (a closet door, refrigerator door, etc.)

read something motivational - Kick off the new year with some inspirational reading. Gretchen Rubin’s blockbuster bestsellers The Happiness Project and Happier at Home follow the author’s yearround resolutions divided by month and provide excellent inspiration for starting your own “happiness project.”

break it down - If you’ve got

your sights set on a large goal such as writing a novel or running a marathon, break it down into short-term, smaller goals. For example, you can plan to sign up for a writing group or compete in a 5K race as you ramp up to your big resolution.

make it a family affair - Get

your kids involved in writing their own resolutions by dedicating an afternoon to drafting goals together. Have fun brainstorming and sharing resolution ideas and make a game plan for how each person can achieve their goals. You can even think of family resolutions such as creating a “Hiking Day” each month, participating in a charitable walk together, committing to a community service project – whatever is fun and meaningful for your family.

re-evaluate - Remember that you can always start over if you decide to change your goals for the year. January isn’t the only time for re-invention – you can be a “chameleon” year-round. stay positive - Attitude really is everything. Believing you can do something is half the battle to actually accomplishing it. Regularly give yourself a pep talk and make sure to congratulate yourself on achieving a goal. There’s something fabulously satisfying about marking a new year’s resolution as complete. This is your year to make it happen.

are you down with

the hive?

If you and your little ones haven’t yet watched the Disney Junior channel’s The Hive, tune in and you’ll see why it’s a hit in more than 150 countries worldwide. A fun and friendly kid’s TV series, The Hive follows the fortunes of Buzzbee and friends in their fun-packed adventures in the Hive. Every day brings something new for the little bee as he explores the world around him with best friends Barnabee, Jasper the wasp, Debee, and his sister, Rubee. How it helps: storylines in each episode explore themes such as working together to solve problems, being part of a diverse community, and valuing family and friendships. Fans can also enjoy The Hive online at www.thehivetvshow. com, where they can find video clips, preschool friendly games, activities downloads and more.

Above all, don’t forget to make your resolutions (and the process of writing them) fun. And remember, whatever your resolution for 2013 may be – you can do it! multiplicity

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kitchen comforts by kathleen tirella ecker

On a cold day, there is nothing better than coming home to a great smelling house and a hot meal! With four kids, plus homework, activities and work, our household is a busy one! I love using my crock pot or my tried and true “cook once – eat twice” recipes to maximize mealtime and keep me out of the kitchen! Below are two of my family’s most favorite recipes. They are both easy on the budget and easy to make, (not to mention delicious!).

Easy Vegetable Soup

Here’s what you need: *4 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Juice (like V8) *1/2 cup water *1 cup Chopped Celery *1 cup Chopped Carrots 24


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*1/2 cup Chopped Onions (I leave mine big so the kids can pick them out) *2 small Zucchinis, chopped *Any leftover vegetables in your fridge! (great way to use vegetables - just throw them in! I have used green beans, spinach, cabbage, corn, etc.) *If you have no leftover vegetables, add 1 Bag of Frozen Mixed Vegetables *Pepper to taste *Vegetable Seasoning to taste Cook on high in crock pot for 1 hour, turn to low and cook all day! This makes approximately 6 servings. My kids have been known to have “thirds” of this. I try to not cook with salt, but you can throw some in for flavor, too. This recipe is loosely based on the Weight Watchers Vegetable Soup Recipe and it is so easy to make...you cannot mess it up! Consider for lunch or dinner with grilled cheese or warm crusty bread!

Roasted Orange Chicken

Start with a whole chicken (or two!). Remove anything that is inside the chicken body cavity (neck and giblets). Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry. I like to wear gloves when washing and handling raw chicken (if you do not have any gloves you can use two sandwich bags on your hands!). Place chicken breast side up on rack in roasting pan, and go wash your hands (if you do not have a roasting pan, you can use a Pyrex baking dish). In a small bowl, combine olive oil and orange juice. Pour this over chicken and rub in. Season chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary. Slice orange in half and squeeze fresh orange juice on top. Take remaining orange rind and stuff inside chicken. Roast chicken for 15 minutes. After it cooks for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to roast for 18-20 minutes per lb., then add on an additional 15 minutes. (A stuffed 6lb. chicken takes approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes to cook). Remove from oven when done and check temperature. When fully cooked, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees. To make easy oven potatoes to go along with your chicken, you’ll need: *6 large potatoes *Olive Oil *Rosemary Wash potatoes thoroughly and pat dry. Slice into circles. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and then sprinkle with rosemary. Cook in oven with chicken for about 30-40 minutes. They will be fork tender when done. Enjoy!

Here’s what you need: *Whole Roasting Chicken *1/4 cup Olive Oil *1/4 cup Orange Juice *Salt & Pepper *Rosemary *1 Fresh Orange I like to cook two whole chickens at the same time, as we will have one for dinner that night with oven potatoes and a vegetable. The second chicken will become chicken enchiladas or chicken quesadillas for dinner, and chicken salad or chicken noodle soup for lunch! Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and spray a large roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray. multiplicity

KathleenTirella Ecker is a fulltime stay at home mom, parttime blogger and part-time event planner for DC Event Planners. She and her husband Bart have been married for ten years and were blessed with four beautiful children in four years, including a surprise set of twins. Kathleen lives with her family in Loudoun County, Virginia, where they love exploring the local farms, cooking together, playing tennis, and visiting the beach. Be sure to visit her blog to see how she is surviving and thriving as a mom of 4 wonderful & crazy kids. the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


ask joan

me o s g n i t t e g about

. . . s ’ z z z z z z

My identical boys are 4 months old and have developed the same sleep problem in the same way, at the same time. Over the course of the night, both sleep about 4 hours, wake, then 3, wake, then 1-2 hours for the rest of the night. Given their age, hourly feeding seems to be a bit much. Both wake to nurse only (no playing), and go right back to sleep. Neither will accept any other comforting (pacifiers, snuggling, etc). I have slept in their room from time to time and there isn’t any external stimuli to startle them. What makes them wake up and why does the sleep length keep shrinking as the night goes on? Can we fix it? Oh, and they nap on schedule during the day, but not for more than an hour. ~ Katie Dear Katie, In order to answer your question, I consulted The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. Both authors write extensively about the biological importance of sleep. Pantley explains that a baby’s biological clock begins maturing at about 6-9 weeks and does not work smoothly until 4 -5 months. Dr. Weissbluth asserts that around 12-16 weeks daytime sleep starts to regularize and bedtime is earlier. He finds that around four months of age babies become interested in things that can disturb their sleep. Each of them underlines the importance of establishing sleep cues along with self-soothing techniques so that the infant becomes accustomed to falling asleep on his own. In response to your question about your twins’ diminishing nighttime sleep and shorter daytime nap schedule, I offer the following explanation based upon these experts’ research. Pantley writes that by six months of age, the average naps per day is two, and the total length of naptime hours are between 3-4 hours. Since naptime sleep has a great impact on nighttime sleep, do everything that you can to get your babies to nap longer during the day. Pantley suggests the following: About five or ten minutes before the usual awakening time sit outside the bedroom door and listen. You’ll find the baby in a sleepy, just about to wake up state. Use whatever techniques you have that helps the infant to fall back to sleep. Take daytime naps in a lit room where the baby can hear noises of the day. 26


Both authors relate that the process of falling asleep is learned. Put the babies in bed when they are sleepy instead of sleeping. Both experts agree that the earlier you can help your babies fall asleep on their own, the better off everyone will be – the babies will be able to sleep longer and more deeply, and you will feel less sleep deprived. They both agree that the social cues imposed by parents become the primary factor in children’s sleep patterns. They advocate a nightly routine so that the babies associate nighttime sleep with a dark and quiet room. Finally, parents need to appreciate that “sleeping through the night” must be realistically redefined. Weissbluth suggests that parents reframe their thinking to expect an “organized night sleep”, which occurs when your twins have a block of uninterrupted sleep lasting 4-6 hours. Pantley writes that a baby “sleeps through the night” if he is sleeping five consecutive hours and adds that most babies awaken 2-3 times a night up to 6 months of age. Reorganizing your expectations and routines should help promote healthier sleep for your babies and for you. Dr. Friedman is a prominent and well-respected twin expert who shares her passionate views and insights with twins and their families throughout the world. The fact that she is an identical twin and the mother of five, including fraternal twins, makes her ideally suited to this task. Her commitment to twin research and her treatment of twins of all ages demonstrate the breadth and depth of her skills and experience. She conducts ongoing groups for parents of twins and provides consultation on twinrelated matters such as school placement, developmental discrepancies, and behavioral issues.

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contd. from -- fitness This takes pressure off your legs, feet and joints.

4. Recruit someone

to join you. Having an exercise partner improves motivation.

5. Don’t go out and run 3

miles if you have never run before. To prevent injury (and discouragement), you should ease into your running program gradually. Each session should take about 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. Also, be sure to space out these three days throughout the week to give yourself a chance to rest and recover between efforts. And don’t worry about your speed --it will increase over time.

amanda’s suggested training routine



Weekend Day of Choice

Week 1 10 min 12 min walk/run walk/run combo**

1 mile

Week 2 15 min walk/run combo

17 min walk/run

1.5 miles

Week 3

20 min walk/run combo

20 min walk/run

2 miles

Week 4

20 min walk/run combo

20 min walk/run

2.5 miles

Week 5

20 min walk/run combo

20 min walk/run

3 miles

Week 6 20 min walk/run combo Week 7 20 min walk/run combo

20 min walk/run

3.5 miles

20 min walk/run


**A combination of run:walk you feel comfortable doing. (i.e. 30 sec:1 min, 1 min:1 min, 2min:1 min, etc.)

Amanda Stephens had her fraternal twin girls (who are now six) after 9 years of trying. She has gotten healthy for herself and for her kids. Through running and eating healthier, she has lost a total of 42 lbs. since the day she got pregnant with the girls. She runs with other twin moms for the excercise as much as the therapy they give each other. Her mottos are “Just do it” and “I run because it’s cheaper than therapy”.

healthy snacks by jill Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie •2 Frozen Bananas* •½ Cup Milk

•2 TB Peanut butter •Chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth consistency. Add more milk for a smoothie-like consistency. You can freeze any leftovers and defrost in the refrigerator for a couple of hours for an ice cream snack after school tomorrow. *Before you throw out those darkened bananas, peel them and slip them into a freezer bag and freeze. They are perfect for ice cream or a smoothie without watering it down with ice.


•1 Can Hummus (drain only ½ the juice out)* •1 Squeeze of Lemon Juice multiplicity

•1 Teaspoon Greek Seasoning •¼ Teaspoon Minced Garlic •Dash of Olive Oil Poor ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. If the consistency isn’t smooth enough, you may need to add more olive oil. Serve right away or refrigerate until snack time. Eat with your favorite corn chips. Our family favorite is Tostitos Simply Natural Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. Enjoy! the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


the art of

for a life with mess by jodi smeiska


efore children, I felt as though I was at the pinnacle of efficiency. I made from-scratch bakery on a weekly basis, dinner was prepared nightly and presented along with a glass of wine, and the laundry was most certainly washed, folded, and put away nightly. I did all these things with ease (with perfectly coiffed hair, of course), along with working fulltime and attending school, (or at least this is how I recall things, but the memories are fuzzy). Once the girls were born, it felt as though my life imploded. I was unable to keep up on the simplest of tasks, let alone cook healthy meals on a nightly basis. The laundry stacked up and I began questioning why on earth we had decided to cloth 28


diaper. It was during the first six months after the girls were born that our little family of four pulled together and, through the process of prioritization and elimination, created an efficient and stable ship able to withstand any storm that comes our way. The most quintessential tool in any mom’s belt is the art of organization. Getting to a state where you feel as though you have things under control takes time, but once you have arrived, your household will run like a well-oiled machine. When I went back to work after my maternity leave, my mornings were a harried mess of breast-feeding, diapering, packing bags, and rushing out the door. I started an inventory approach to packing

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the girls’ bags, stuffing gallonsized bags and marking the bag with what its contents were. For example, I had a bag with onesies and socks, and another with two complete outfits and spare shirts for spit up and blow out situations. When refilling the diaper bag, it was easy to see which had been depleted. Another area that we struggled with was the division of labor. In the early months, I felt rundown, as though my purpose was solely for food (ok, so in a lot of ways it was), and it began taking a toll on my mental health. I found that one of the best things for our family was to divide the chores and create a schedule for them. Both my husband and I know exactly

what our responsibilities are and complete them (I cook, he does the dishes). We also started the “frantic fifteen” where we spend 15 minutes picking up as much as possible before sitting down for the evening. In the early days, my husband and I were seldom without a baby in our arms. These snuggly moments were priceless, but there was little room left in the day for chores. After purchasing two slings and two wraps, life got a whole lot more efficient. Breastfeeding while doing dishes? Check! Rocking a baby while chopping vegetables? Double check! Supermom was in the house! That is, until we actually had to venture outside our home. Leaving the house was typically a drawn-out affair, which left me feeling anxious and stressed. To avoid this, I created a checklist of items that we would need for both short and long trips. These lists help to quell my feelings of anxiety and allow me to know that I brought with us the things we need to keep the girls happy. I also loaded a stash of necessities into our van for those times where we’re gone for longer than anticipated. Another efficiency technique I’ve started using is enlisting my husband as our official family chauffer. In this arrangement, I can get the girls ready and out of the house and put on my makeup as he is driving. This has lead to a few mascara mishaps, but the overall savings in time is well worth looking like a character from Clockwork Orange.

The final tip I can offer on running an efficient household is actually counterproductive to the general idea of efficiency. It is simple enough in concept, but it really is the most difficult skill to master. Slow down and regain a focus on the important things. Forfeit all the housework and just simply be in the moment with your family. Time will continue to march on and in five years, you certainly won’t remember that in one day you were able to wash, dry and fold the laundry, shampoo the carpets, scrub the grout in the bathroom, weed the garden, bake macarons, and cook a lovely risotto for dinner, but I can guarantee that you will recall the day when you decided to leave the messes and jump in rain puddles with your children, or lay on your backs cloud watching, or building an

epic fort out of every blanket in your home. I don’t dispute the need for efficiency. In fact, most days I strive to do more with my time than is possible, but the real art of parenting lies in our ability to acknowledge when it is time to stop, breathe, and be present for the little moments that create the greatest memories with our families. 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.

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

for mom and dad Ever wanted to send that far-away friend a sweet something without the mail lag time or breaking the bank? With gifts under $20, yiftees are for when you want to do something more than just a social media post or an email. They are real gifts that you buy, your friends receive via Facebook, email and text, and they pick up and redeem at real shops and restaurants local to them. Best part? If the gift is not picked up/redeemed within four weeks, the money is returned to the purchaser. Sign up at yiftee.com, or visit them on facebook to download the app.

for the preschool and under crowd Kiddos (or you) having a little trouble sleeping due to noises when away? White Noise features ambient sounds of the environment to help you sleep. It includes looping soundscapes such as ocean waves, hard rain, and flowing stream water. White Noise has been featured by Dr. Oz, the NY Times, Health Magazine, (and now Multiplicity!) as an app essential for rest/relaxation. You can purchase at itunes.com. For Android users, you’ll love the Kids ABC Letters Lite edition for entertaining little busy bodies. This app is free and has several features to teach the alphabet, including naming, forming (where each letter is made up of various shapes the child has to fit into the correct place), and recognizing (an interactive game where the child has to “catch” the correct letter) for each of the alphabet letters. The app also teaches recognizing letters in context by asking the child to select a certain letter in a given word. Visit Google’s Play Store to download. for kids 5 and up Geared toward users of the iPad and iPhone, BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. are apps offering hundreds of free featured movies, plus a full collection of movies and quizzes on a range of topics. Even teachers love and use the app in the classroom (in fact, it’s won a number of educational awards --- what’s not to love?!?). This app covers seven main subjects (i.e. science, social studies, etc.), and parents can help their children “refine their play” by finding things that align specifically with what their children are learning by state standards, subject matter, and even grade level. Visit their website to begin the learning fun! Stack the States asks a range of shape, capital and geographic questions about each of the 50 states. When answered correctly, your kiddos are able to drop the states to the bottom of the screen to begin “stacking” them. Be careful --- as states are not always easy to stack and can easily fall off of the platform (meaning you lose it)! Once they reach the correct height, a level is passed and they earn a random state that appears on their own personalized map of the U.S. Visit itunes.com to download the app.



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back to work

how do you prepare? where do you start? how do you know it’s time? by angel rodrigues


hen I had my first baby in 2005, I was a working mom. Sure, I took the allocated maternity leave. After that, it was straight to work for me, more out of necessity than desire. My husband and I worked opposite schedules and therefore didn’t need daycare. Then we decided to have a second child. We figured everything would be exactly the same, except there would be two of them. Then we found out we were having twins! “Two for the price of one” we kept telling everybody. We’ve got this... right?!?

With our family growing, fast, my husband was faced with either working his rear end

off or staying home with two screaming babies. A few days trying out stay-at-home dadhood and we quickly learned what choice he was going to make. So this time, maternity leave turned into stay-at-home mom time and I was ready to go on the craziest ride of my life. One twin had colic and the other acid reflux, or GERD to which it’s commonly referred. My toddler was the best little man ever and just rolled with the punches and got up at every bottle feeding, for moral support. He was the best big brother and middle-of-thenight assistant a mom could ever ask for. With my husband multiplicity

working two full-time jobs, I felt like a single mom with three little ones. I got up early in the morning, provided play time, breakfast, packed the diaper bag and cooler for a day outing. I carried my twins in their carrier car seats from our third floor apartment down to our van every day to get out of the house. At night my husband was working, so I slept from bed to bed keeping everyone fed, happy and loved, except the babies cried all the time (from illness) and so did I. I was severely depressed and quickly shutting down. Having moved out of state when the twins were born, we knew no one. I mean no one. We persevered until we decided to

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photo courtesy of firewife photography

ask the veterans

move closer to family. Hillary Clinton wasn’t kidding when she said it takes a village to raise a family. I felt like I needed the United Nations. With the dawning of a new day and the help of a really long nap I realized I needed to go back to work. The kids were past their colic stage and my husband could handle it now. Back to work I went. My depression and disconnected feelings were all erased and I was whole again. My children were doing well, dad was bonding and I was making friends. Life was good. Did I mention that it was right about this point when I realized I was surprised with an unplanned pregnancy?

twins beyond the twos... How do you handle it when one twin seems to excel at an activity or subject in school? How do you explain this to the other twin who loses sight of their own strengths in favor of what their twin does better? Many twins, especially identical, grow accustomed to doing the same things at nearly the same time (i.e. napping, eating, playing, etc.). However, even at an early age, you may notice some differences in things they like or excel at individually. It’s only natural when they begin preschool and elementary grades to begin separating them, not only in class, but also in extracurricular activities. One twin may be much more athletic, while the other enjoys the arts like drawing, music and 32


dance. Explain that while they were certainly born on the same day, they are individuals who will excel at different things in life. Explain how they can encourage each other in their choices and root each other on. What could be more encouraging than your twin cheering from the sidelines? Also, enjoy the times when you have them individually...it doesn’t require anything special, but take those moments to embrace their differences while still enjoying the rare one-on-one time. ~talitha

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With another bout of tears in my eyes and the weight of the world on my heart and soul, I quickly realized I was heading backwards and not forward. It wasn’t until I went for the gender screening and we found out our fourth baby was our much wanted and missing family member. It was a girl! I knew now that our family was complete and this was not a backwards movement, but just the circle of life. Singing Hakuna Matata, I happily went on maternity leave, but this time was different. I decided to set myself up for a better future and go back to school online. So while I stayed home with our four children, I went to school online, started freelance writing and my own blog. I was connected, healthy, happy and so were my children. My husband however, really needed a vacation!

Once the 2012 school year came around, our oldest was entering second grade and we decided to put the twins into preschool. Having never ventured preschool, it was scary and unfamiliar to us, but they wanted to go more than anything. So, off to school the boys went. Baby girl on the other hand stayed home. I went back to work and relieved my husband of the crazy hours he was working, (because quite frankly, I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack and die!). Our daughter has become a complete daddy’s girl, I am loving work, my husband can actually sleep, and we even manage a family dinner every now and again. We may be running from one place to the other most of the time, but one thing is certain; our family of six is now perfect! 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.

back to work tips Moms are often looking for a way back into the workforce after the children have arrived. According to professional staffing firm Mom Corps, here are 5 basic things that will help you re-enter the workforce with gusto:


Be organized - Have your resume prepared; Be sure to create spreadsheets for networking, applications for which you’e applied, etc.


Writing is crucial - Brush up on your grammar, spelling, etc. as people DO notice!


Sell yourself - Create a strong and effective elevator speech for selling yourself.


Follow up - This one speaks for itself! How do you know if you don’t ask?


It’s not about you - Remember that it’s what you can offer the company in helping maximize productivity and profits.

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protecting the earth

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FASHIONfor less by talitha a. mcguinness

finds 34


For most of the country (and many parts across the world), there is a definite chill in the air with winter weather on the horizon. We moms of multiples wear many different hats, from stay-at-home moms (taking care of the kids and household to organizing playdates, etc.), to the “never enough time in the day” moms always on the go, and the corporate and work from home moms who are often expected to be a little more professional in their day-to-day attire. Regardless of our activity, there’s little excuse to dressing fabulously, especially when you can find so many great items to fit any budget! The biggest rule of thumb right now is to layer --- which especially comes in handy when you get overheated chasing little ones at the park! Scarves, jewelry and purses aren’t just accessories for those moms who’s children have outgrown their constant care (and tugging and pulling!), but rather for those ready to embrace their own sense of fashion once again. Good “in” colors for now are the grays and blacks, but always with a pop of color (the turquoise is beautiful this time of year!). I also love to mix up styles, adding the feminine touch of a frilly coat over straight pants, or the cute dress over chunky, patterned tights. Depending on length of pants (hint: shorten using hem tape), you can opt for either the boot for cooler days, or the basic, but trusty flat. When selecting your outfit for the day, don’t ever be afraid to be the envy of all moms at the playground! Here’s to finding your sense of fashion for less...hope you enjoy!

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

1 Merona Womens Double Breasted Classic Peacoat, Target - $40; Grey Zip Detail Naples Bootcut Trousers, A|Wear - $24; Black wedge, Lulus $39; ALDO Bunger handbag, Aldo Shoes - $50; Women’s Braided Scarf, Old Navy - $19; Black Dome Ring, Dorothy Perkins - $11; Silver Filagree Teardrop Earrings, Maurices - $8.

2 Cropped Swing Tank, Witchery - $31; Twill Jacket, Oasis - $40; Women’s Stretch Skinny Fit Trousers, Uniqlo $48; Grey Filagree Pumps, Dorothy Perkins - $29; Grey Buckle Zipper Riding Boot, Go Jane - $35; Amrita Singh Bridgehampton Ring, Amrita Singh $50; Textured Hoop Earring, The Iconic $26; Infinity Mod Circle Scarf, Etsy - $22



Long Line Pintuck Blouse, Debenhams - $31; 212 Collection Plaid Slimming Straight-Leg Pants, Kohl’s - $28; Slim Hooded Black Trench Coat, Romwe - $170; Red Suede Snake-Embossed Mary Jane, White House Black Market - $40; Metallic Snakeskin Clutch Bag, Debenhams - $39; Zipper Wrap Bracelet, EMP - $26; Feather Hoop Drop Earring, Oasis - $23.


Rust Belted Dress, A|Wear - $24; Rob Bow 3/4 Bolero, Vila - $33; Brown Mid Waist Elastic Skinny Striped Leggings, She Inside - $16; Poppie Jones Fringe Mini Bag, DSW - $27; Resin Double Bangle, Mango - $20; River Island Black Leaf Drop Earrings, River Island - $5; Michael Antonio Baldwin Faux Leather Knee High Boots In Cognac, Beyond the Rack - $56.

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


the story behind flat head syndrome

by dr. jane scott

Have you ever been out and seen a baby wearing a helmet? If you are like most moms, you probably marveled at how adorable it looked on the baby, but then silently wondered what in the world it was for. The answer is one that all mothers, especially those with multiples should be aware of: Flat head syndrome. What is flat head syndrome? If you are not familiar with flat head syndrome, you are not alone. Flat head syndrome is the condition in which an area of an infant’s head is flattened, often with little hair growing in that area. It is most often the result of babies spending a lot of time lying on their backs or often being in a position where the head is resting against a flat surface (such as in cribs, strollers, swings and playpens). The two main components of flat head syndrome are plagiocephaly (the condition in which flat spots develop on the infant’s skull), and torticollis (when an infant’s neck muscles become tight on one side, causing a head tilt). In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) launched the “Back to Sleep” Campaign to reduce Sudden Infant Syndrome (SIDS) in newborns. “Back to Sleep” has been a truly lifesaving service and has decreased SIDS deaths by over 50%. However, this initiative had some unintended consequences. “Back to Sleep”, coupled with the amount of time newborns spend on their backs sleeping/ napping, in their car seats, bouncers and swings, have caused a 600% increase in positional plagiocephaly and torticollis! Who is at risk? Every baby is at risk of positional plagiocephaly and torticollis (flat head syndrome), and nearly 36


1 in 2 babies develop the condition to some degree by the time they are 5 months old. It is important to note that preemie babies and multiples are at even higher risk, often spending an extended amount of time lying flat on their backs in the NICU after birth. What are the consequences? While it was once assumed that flat head syndrome would simply resolve itself without causing any longterm consequences for the baby, current research suggests that many infants with flat head syndrome can experience not only cosmetic abnormalities, but also varying degrees of developmental delays later in life. (Pediatrics 200; 105:e26) How is flat head syndrome treated? These conditions, when caught, can be extremely expensive and emotionally and physically difficult to treat. Physical therapy can be uncomfortable for the child, but is often required, and in severe cases, cranial remolding (the helmet) is necessary. Can flat head syndrome be prevented? Yes! The best method of prevention is to be diligent in repositioning your baby’s head. Newborn infants sleep the majority of the time, and it’s important that they be flat on their backs when they are. To reduce the pressure this can cause on the back of the head, parents should change baby’s head positioning after each feeding, alternating sides so that one does not become favored. Parents can also try alternating the arm in which they hold their baby for feeding, and alternating the side from which they approach baby during diaper changes. As baby gets older, and strong enough to move on his or her own, parents can provide distractions to entice baby to turn their head from side to side, perhaps using a favorite toy. Another helpful tactic

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

can be to turn baby around in the crib so that they naturally turn toward the parent and the activity in the room. Prevent flat head syndrome with Tortle™ Dr. Jane Scott is a Board Certified Pediatrician, a wife, and a mother of four. 
Over the last 20 years practicing, she has watched flat head syndrome grow exponentially in infants to now epidemic numbers and has witnessed countless parents struggle to treat this. Some are fortunate to receive an early diagnosis, when the issue is still fairly easy to correct. However, there are also many emotionally devastated parents who are faced with many difficult choices to make because of something that could have been easily prevented. After seeing so much unnecessary heartache, Dr. Jane made it her mission to end flat head syndrome across the U.S. and the world. In addition to educating new parents on the prevention of plagiocephaly, Dr. Jane created Tortle™, a non-invasive affordable solution that not only helps to treat mild cases of early-diagnosed positional plagiocephaly and torticollis in young infants, but can prevent it from ever occurring.

your pediatrician about plagiocephaly and torticollis. Get informed and be prepared before your baby is born. Help spread awareness by talking to your friends and family. There are numerous online resources for information and support from other families who have had a baby diagnosed with flat head syndrome. Through education and awareness, we can keep babies’ heads beautiful and round! About Tortle Founded by Dr. Jane Scott in 2012, Tortle Products is the maker of Tortle, a comfortable, lightweight baby beanie that helps prevent the problem of positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome prevalent among infants. All babies are at risk for this condition. Tortle is available in three sizes and a variety of colors and designs. Follow Tortle and Dr. Scott on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest. Dr. Jane Scott is a Board Certified Neonatologist, Pediatrician, and Founder of Tortle Products, LLC. As a neonatologist and pediatrician, babies and moms are Dr. Jane’s life. Not only does she have first-hand experience as a mother – she had four premature babies – she works with infants who have severe medical conditions and understands how difficult this can be for families. In addition to educating new parents on the prevention of plagiocephaly, Dr. Jane created Tortle, a non-invasive affordable solution that not only treats mild cases and early diagnosed positional plagiocephaly and torticollis in young infants, but can prevent it from ever occurring. The Tortle is a patented, FDA cleared device that Jane hopes will eradicate flat head syndrome while allowing moms to safely follow AAP’s important Back to Sleep protocol. Dr. Jane is currently writing her first book on plagiocephaly, which is slated for release in Spring 2013.

The Tortle is an FDA cleared, simple, safe, and comfortable beanie designed to aid parents in positioning their infants. By switching the Tortle from side to side with each feeding, parents alleviate the flat spots and neck tightness that newborns often develop. For more information about Tortle and Dr. Jane’s mission, visit Tortle.com. It is important to remember that prevention is key and flat head syndrome doesn’t have to affect your baby. Speak with

Dr. Jane’s work is her passion, but when she’s not working she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


the teeter totter by julia fritze 38


the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


t’s a balance. You are standing in the middle of a teeter totter. On one end of this teeter totter is your “work”. On the other is your “life”. Your task is to stay in the middle of this teeter totter and keep it perfectly balanced, never letting anything hit the ground. And now you have done something crazy. You have thrown your multiples on the “life” end of your teeter totter. And they are children. They do not know it is easier on their mom if they sit still. Chances are, they are bouncing up and down and trying to enjoy the ride. Is it possible? Can you really balance work and your life with multiples in the mix? Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70.6% of all mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the workforce. That means the majority of moms are working on this teeter totter every day. Some mothers you see seem to have all the answers and have it all together, but I bet if you look a little closer, you probably have more in common with them than you might think. There are some tactics you can use and are even more important as a mother of multiples. Here it is, broken it down into four rules, that may improve your chances of keeping the teeter totter in balance. RULE #1 – PRIORITIZE Easier said than done, but this is something that should be done on both the large and small scale on a regular basis. Identify what is important to you and your family. Once you realize you can’t and probably don’t want it all, I bet you feel a wave of relief. As mothers we too often feel we have to be everything to

everyone at work, home, church, clubs, etc. If you prioritize what is the most important, eliminate activities that are superfluous to the major goals, and focus on your family and your needs, it will be a guiding principal. You will know what is important to you for “work” and “life” and the balance will come much easier. RULE #2 – LEARN TO SAY NO This is a hard one for many, but key to keeping the balance. Once you have established your priorities, you’ll realize that many things that are probably stealing large chunks of your time are not the important things. Eliminate what you can. Perform time cutting shortcuts when possible. Buy the cupcakes for the twins’ school bake sale, skip the happy hour with the friend you have grown apart from, turn down the extra project at work that you know won’t get you recognition and help you get the promotion you want. When the priorities are all competing and you cannot get them all done, it is time to move to rule #3. RULE #3 – ASK FOR HELP Again this is hard for us mothers to do, but is also another key to balancing the teeter totter. Once you come to the realization that your priorities are competing and something is going to push you out of balance it is time to pull in the reinforcements. Ask a more junior employee to help you with a project and use it as a mentoring experience. Ask a friend to watch your kids while you get a haircut. Utilize your parents and in-laws who always offer to help. Ask your husband to film the twins’ multiplicity

soccer game so you can watch it later as a family and you can go to the important meeting. Set your priorities, know what is important, and ask for help where needed. RULE #4 – MAKE TIME FOR YOU This is important for all mothers, but even more so for the mom of multiples. You can go 24/7 only for so long. Find time to go to the gym. Finish your top priorities and then get some sleep. Eat right. The healthier you are, the more you will be able to do. It is counterintuitive, making time for yourself to have more time for your work and your family, but by putting yourself last, you are helping no one and possibly hurting your family and your career. Take care of you and watch the energy you are able to give to others grow. These are four simple rules. It is by no means a comprehensive list and I am by no means an expert in this area. I was even late in meeting my deadline for this article due to my girls’ teething causing interrupted sleep this week, coupled with a business trip. But that said, I think we can do it. As mothers of multiples we have learned to be jugglers very early in our babies’ lives. Throw two screaming infants at a singleton parent and watch them crumble. We are made for this. True, occasionally there will be a slip up. One end of the teeter totter will hit the ground. It’s ok. Just get back to the middle, regroup, and start again. With a little work and planning, I bet you can keep your teeter totter in balance and your priorities will be achieved.

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


five minute fix:

animal appeal by traci zeller


ould you “take a walk on the wild side” and use animal print in your interior design? Please tell me the answer is yes! If your room is lacking a little bit of “oomph,” an animal-inspired accessory may be just the “five minute fix” you need. The pattern, color and texture of animal prints or furs add interest and energy to just about any space. Zebra, leopard, cheetah, snake and other patterns are easy to find, and available colors range from those found in nature to those only imagined. Best of all, animal prints and furs are available at all price points and in real or faux versions. In this traditional living room, I relied upon animal print pillows to strengthen the color story and add another layer of pattern and texture. The small scale of the print does not compete with the striped window treatments or the classic styling of the spool chair, but instead makes the vignette more vibrant and youthful. Pillows, throws and rugs are easy ways to incorporate animal print or furs into your décor. A few of my favorites are the Black and White Spotted Pillow from Furbish, the KOLDBY cowhide from IKEA, the Mongolian Lamb Pillows from West Elm, and the Celine Cheetah Rug from Ballard Designs. If those things are too much for you, pick something inexpensive and start small! It’s the perfect way to experiment. Small elements like coasters make a difference in the overall look of a room and let you try out the style with little risk. I found these faux snakeskin coasters from Zara Home for a little shot of pattern that costs less than a pack of diapers. 40


Remember, too, that animal prints are not limited to fabrics! Tortoise glassware – like those available at Horchow -- adds punch to the most basic white dishes. A horn bowl or cup, such as this one from World Market, is a wonderful, difficult-to break alternative to glass accessories on a coffee table. Similar items are often available at Home Goods and other discount retailers. In the right space, I also love the look of papier-mâché animal sculptures like those sold at West Elm. Happy decorating … and remember that these wild things don’t bite!

Named by Charlotte Style magazine as one of Charlotte’s 50 Most Stylish People in 2010, Traci Zeller is an interior designer known for her clean, sophisticated mix of classic and modern pieces. Traci developed her refined aesthetic through years of extensive travel, including exposure to the finest art, architecture and interiors around the world. 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, in which she shares her stylish favorites with over 120,000 readers per month. Her firm, Traci Zeller Designs, provides full service design and e-decorating packages.

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

after the move:


making it work

y family of five moved to the Netherlands last October. We flew out of our small, local South Carolina airport for a single connection to Atlanta. From there we faced an overnight flight to Amsterdam with our 3.5 year old and 2 year old twin boys. And so started our adventure as expats. There have been trials and bumps along the way, but for the most part, we are adjusting and creating a life here that feels like “home”. Home is, after all, the people you are with --- not necessarily the physical place where you reside. I know that is somewhat difficult for some people to understand --- and it really wasn’t until we left our home right before the holidays that this has really rung true. Fortunately for us, however, our kids are young and flexible and my husband and I are a team. We are somehow making it work.

Moving to a new place is never easy. You have to find your grocery stores, doctors, schools and pharmacies among a slew of other places that you need to know. You’re nervous venturing out because you fear you might get lost, and you really don’t know anyone to rescue you should you need it. I’ve found that these are all realities that we had to face, in addition to a foreign language, colder climate, and being so far away from everything and everyone that we were familiar with. In all honesty though, that didn’t scare or deter us. It had been a dream of ours since we were dating to see the world and once our family was in a good place for us to go, we did. When we arrived, we had to wait a little over a month for the things we shipped from home to arrive. That was a huge challenge in itself. We landed with 9 suitcases and our car seats and not much else. I brought the few multiplicity

by farrah ritter

comfort items that I could pack with us so at the very least, they had those things to tide them over. We did luck out with a fantastic relocation company that ordered the necessities of furniture for us so that they were delivered and assembled upon arrival. Beds, a couch and kitchen table were key, as it was vital that we establish our routine with the boys as quickly as possible. Parents of multiples know all too well that a schedule can be a chore, but it can also be your sanity. Once it was clear that their routine wasn’t going to change, everyone relaxed a little and by the second week, I had them all enrolled in a preschool that we had researched beforehand. What better way to get the language immersion process going? Our main goal while we are here is to travel and see what we can of Europe. As a family

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do something


by natalie diaz

the power of our community...

On December 14th, I decided to have the twins play hooky from school (don’t judge!) to see Santa. Little did I know the events that occurred at Sandy Hook on that day will live in my mind forever. I got a call from my mother-in-law telling me to NOT turn on the TV when I got home. She said there was a shooting at a school and it would scare the kids. I didn’t know all the details and I didn’t even know if I wanted to find out. The twins’ birthday was the next day and I wanted to just be in a celebratory mood and shut the outside out. Saturday morning, we went to celebrate with all of their friends. During the party, I got a text from a friend informing me that one of the kids killed was a twin. I’m not sure why at that moment it all hit me, but I looked at my duo celebrating and I imagined the surviving twin. What were they doing right now? It was then that I knew we had to do something. Twiniversity has a paid “Gold”



subgroup which allows for the funds collected to be used for twin families who experience a catastrophic event. That Sunday, I woke up and knew just what to do. I started a Fundly campaign to raise funds to plant a sapling for Noah in Central Park. I needed to raise $500, so I created the page, sent a few emails, and posted a message on facebook. Within 11 minutes, $500 was raised. I turned to my husband and said “What now?”. I really wanted to dedicate a tree and even have a plaque for Noah in the park, but it would take $5,000. He responded “Go for it. We’ll figure out what to do if you can’t raise the money.”. I never imagined we would raise the money within 12 hours. That night I got a call from another blogger and twin mom friend, Jody, and she had someone to match that donation so that TWO trees could grow side by side in Central Park in honor of Noah AND his twin. What a great

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

gift. We would like to thank Jay who made the donation in honor of Noah’s sister. He did it to teach his daughter about giving, community and support. Thank you so much. With more than $3,000 raised over the funds needed for the tree, we will donate to a trust for Noah’s surviving siblings. The rapid response of everyone’s support restored my faith in humanity. The events that occurred were beyond horrific and I wish I had the power to turn back time so not one of those families would shed even one tear. Our prayers go out to all the families of both the students and teachers who lost their lives, and the survivors who had to endure the tragedy. Fundraising continues for Noah’s family. For more details on how you can help or to donate, visit Twiniversity.com.

contd. from --- move

we have discussed our goals and the places that we really want to make sure we see in the next two years. We live every day as an adventure and a chance to experience something new. Learning new things, meeting new people are all essential to an open mind and inquisitiveness that we hope to impart upon them. This isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but is anything about parenting easy when it comes down to it?

“For anyone expecting or raising multiples, this book needs to be on their recommended reading list!” —MultipleBirthsFamilies.com “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

Farrah is mom to twin boys, as well as their 3 year old brother. Recently, they made the move to the Netherlands for the next few years. You can follow their journey on her blog The Three Under, Facebook, and as @ Momofthreeunder on Twitter.

A must-read book...

*New book about adult twins coming soon, too!

Dr. Joan A. Friedman, PhD

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the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


We all have days like this.

photography by firewife photography

Join moms of multiples all around the globe in supporting each other on the good and the not-so-good days.



the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

Profile for Multiplicity Magazine

Multiplicity Magazine - Winter 2013 Issue  

Winter issue focused on work/life balance, keeping resolutions, fitness and family, and so much more!

Multiplicity Magazine - Winter 2013 Issue  

Winter issue focused on work/life balance, keeping resolutions, fitness and family, and so much more!