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Shop our Spring/Summer Kids Consignment Sale!

Moms of Multiples of the Lehigh Valley is organizing a Kids Consignment Sale for Saturday, March 25 from 10am-1pm at St. John’s UCC in Fogelsville, PA! The address is 1027 Church St, Fogelsville, PA 18051.

Come shop kids clothing and shoes, baby equipment, toys, books, games and more at a fraction of retail price!
(Items for sale are NOT exclusively for twins so you don’t need to be a family with multiples to shop ?)

CASH ONLY!!!

Umbrella strollers and baby carriers only for any little helpers, please ?

Check out our public invite on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/256889004722865/

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HOW TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND

The following post was submitted by our own MoM, Gabrielle, who is mom to two sets of twins! If you enjoy this and would like to read more, check out her blog here: Dollars and Sense Times Two
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HOW TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND.

The holidays are a time filled with expectation, wonder, and joy.
They are also a time filled with anxiety, chaos, and dismay.
I was asked to write a post for my local MoMs Club (Mothers of Multiples), and I thought it was time to write a self-care post about managing holiday intentions.

( I am also grateful to write this because I will be referring to it in the next month as a reminder).

  1. First and foremost: Decide what your priority is in celebrating the holidays. Are you celebrating Jesus’s birth? Do you believe the holidays are for visiting family and friends? Is it a time for reflection? Do you observe the Winter Solstice? Whatever the holidays mean you, be clear on your purpose of celebration, this will help focus all your activities.
  2. Begin with lists. My bullet journal is full of them, and they are all half crossed out (this is the desired effect). Make a list of all the holiday activities you want to do. I’ve learned to do this over the years with my husband because I’ve come to the realization that we have different ideas. Then with your list in hand, start crossing things off. These are the things you will NOT be doing. Depending on the age of your children and family stamina, pick maybe the top three things you want to do.
  3. Make a calendar. I’m a visual person, and sometimes I can’t conceive of an event until I see it in writing. On Active Duty, I had a three-month calendar in my office that had every event for my department. It was helpful to see it all laid out. Once you have your chronology ready, then go back to your list. How do the events you want to do match up with what is already scheduled? Do you need to reorder your priorities? Is there something you want to omit and/or add?

This tip is important for me because I have a tendency to be overscheduled. Moving from activity to activity is stressful, and when I have it all planned out, i can sometimes see how I have too much going on. In my world, too much equates to anxiety and crankiness.

I try not to miss Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. My oldest child (who doesn’t like church) or my Jewish side of the family is usually available to make this happen. It is probably my most important event. My husband (a true Scot) never misses Burns night. I schedule nothing else that weekend. Figure out your important events and plan your schedule around it.

  1. Practice setting boundaries. I role play in my head how to say, “no.” I also practice with my husband. If you can’t divest yourself or it is just not feasible to say, “no,” practice negotiation and compromise. I  will take the lead in planning things I have to attend so that I don’t have to say, “no.” For example, my brother will want to see me over the holidays but he waits until the last minute to plan, so I ask him early on what he intends to do for the holidays and his schedule. Then I can manage planning something easy that suits all our needs and is not thrown together hastily. We expect our children to open their presents at our home on Christmas morning. I do not schedule any activities on Christmas day outside of our home.
  2. We all have relatives who can be stressful. I have one group of family members that live in what I refer to as, “the house of glass.” We don’t go to their home. However, they are welcome to come over. I often invite them before they can invite us. I rarely censure my kids’ play in our house. It is set up for little children. There is nothing breakable they haven’t already destroyed, or it is put up. I would rather the children learn to love these family members on our turf when their every move is not full of anxiety. If having guests gives you feelings of dread, suggest a public place with a fun activity, i.e., holiday light tour, ice skating, a picnic, etc…It’s ok to limit contact with people or settings that aren’t healthy for you or your family.
  3. Presents are stressful. My children have too much stuff. We have a rule of 4 for gifts in our home (excluding stocking stuffers). You get something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. Typically, my husband and I make a list of two things we want, and the another partner chooses one (surprise). My children make each other cards or something homemade. We don’t participate in gift exchanges. My husband (an accomplished brewer) makes and bottles holiday four-packs for his office. Instead of toys, my kids get experiences from their grandparents. This year, they are going to the Smithsonian with their Grandfather and the Franklin Institute with their Aunt and Uncle. In the past, my brother gave them a pass to the children’s science center.
  4. Set a time frame for the holidays. They creep earlier and earlier each year. We decorate the house on Thanksgiving weekend (when all four kids and three adults are home). All our decorations are down on New Year’s day. As much as some family members protest, we don’t listen to holiday music outside those dates. We have found this makes the Winter season especially festive.
  5. Consider your child’s developmental stages in planning activities. I would love to take my kids to see the Putz (a traditional Moravian decoration that features ornate figurines, animals, and building scenes to tell the Nativity Story), but I’m not sure they are mature enough to sit through it or be by those tiny figurines. Last year, we tried to take my younger twins ice skating, it was a complete flop. However, tree decoration and holiday bingo game (played at home) was a hit. My children are still only on the “decorate sugar cookie phase”, we haven’t advanced to cutting out cookies yet. I want activities to be successful, not a pressure.
  6. I purchase/wrap presents and do holiday cards early. My goal is to have all gifts bought, wrapped and hidden by December 1st. I don’t love wrapping, so I get it over with early. My mother, who had a job as a young woman as a professional gift wrapper, loves it. For her, wrapping a gift is as important as the gift itself. It is a major part of her Christmas celebration. Make whatever you love a focus for your holiday and knock out the rest early. It lends more time for relaxation and enjoyment.
  7. Holiday meals can be super stressful. I try to keep our meals simple (and by comfortable, I tend to like crockpot cooking for the holiday season). This year, I’m planning to create several freezers to crockpot meals for the month of December. There are a couple of meals that I won’t miss. The freezer to pot meals allows me to focus on the meals I love like homemade latkes (potato pancakes) for Hanukkah, oyster stew for Christmas Eve and ham for Christmas day. Although I love them for the holidays, I buy kiffles from a friend who makes them as a fundraiser (I could make them but buying them is the same price as creating them myself and is so much less stressful). I make sugar cookie dough early and refrigerate it. Pick what is important to your family and do those things with great love. Find ways to do the rest simply.
  8. Find time for play and joy. Give of yourself to others. If you don’t have time to work for a cause, consider a charitable gift. I always write a holiday letter to my children’s teacher thanking them for their work and sharing my child’s progress in their class. I try to surprise our mail lady with a little gift. My friends and I have an early holiday lunch before things get crazy. I delight in the holiday books from the library. We have games we only play at Christmas. We have Christmas light tours where we drive around sipping cocoa from a thermos while admiring the light displays. Create a holiday that is meaningful to you and your family.
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Car Seat Safety 101

IT’S OCTOBER: DON’T LET CAR SEAT SAFETY SCARE YOU!  EDUCATE YOURSELF!

This month, MMLV had the opportunity to host Child Passenger Safety Technician (aka Certified Car Seat Tech), Abbie Bruno Patterson. Because we felt the information presented at the meeting was so helpful, and because many of our members were unable to attend, we thought we’d compile some of the wonderful information for you to access right here on our website. Please note that this information is not complete. It is merely a recap, and the best place to further your education on car seat safety is through Abbie herself, her website: Super Car Seat Geek <https://supercarseatgeek.wordpress.com/> , her Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/SuperCarSeatGeek , or talking with any other CPST.

That being said, this is a great place to start! So check it out! Here’s some great info on car seat safety
I.    Five Most Common Installation/User Errors

1.) Harness Placement: For rear facing, the harness should be at or below the child’s shoulders. For forward facing, the harness should be at or above the child’s shoulders.

2.) Loose Installation: To check for a tight installation, grab the car seat at the belt path you are using and move it from left to right and back to front. The seat should move less than 1” in any direction at the belt path.

3.) Chest Clip: The chest clip should be positioned at…you guessed it! Across the child’s chest and be in line with his/her armpits. 

4.) Harness Straps: Aside from placement, also check to be sure harness straps are secure against your child. Do the “pinch test”: Simply pinch the harness at the child’s shoulder above the chest clip, after removing all of the slack from the harness. If your fingers slide and you can’t pinch any slack, you’re good to go. Also note that slack can “hide”, so as you are tightening the harness, pull up on the harness, above the buckle to remove any hidden slack by the child’s hips or lower body.

5.) Seatbelt Placement: For booster seat use and seat belt only use, be the sure seat belt is centered on child’s shoulder and rests snugly across their lap, touching their upper thighs, NOT the belly. In the event of a crash, the seat belt will continue to tighten until it hits bone which is why a seat belt across the belly can be so dangerous and why it’s so important for children to remain in boosters until the belt fits them correctly. Remember that seat belts are designed to fit adults, not children. Most kids will need a booster until they’re 10-12 years of age.

**Be sure to check and read your manufacturer’s manual for safe installation and proper use of ALL car seats and boosters

 II.   DID YOU KNOW…

-PA State Law (and NJ!) requires that children be rear facing until age 2. HOWEVER! It is advised that children be rear facing until they max out the height or weight limit of their car seat (ideally staying rear facing until around age 3-4) because their skeletons are immature and they are more prone to serious head, neck and spinal injuries. Rear facing for as long as possible mitigates these risks.

-PA State Law requires that children be in a booster until age 8. HOWEVER! It is advised that children be in a booster until they are at least 4’9” and until they pass the 5-Step Test for correct seat belt fit.

5 Step Test:

  1. Can sit with their bottom fully up against the back of the seat
  2. Knees naturally come to the end of the seat, feet rest on vehicle floor without slouching
  3. Lap portion of the seat belt can be secured on the lap, touching the upper thighs, away from the belly
  4. Shoulder portion of the seat belt sits centered on the shoulder
  5. Child can sit properly for each car ride with correct belt placement and without slouching, falling out of correct position, etc

-There is no state law however, it is advised that children remain in the back seat until at least age 13. This is due largely to skeletal development and is not necessarily a weight/height thing.

-Tethers on a forward facing car seats are very important! They reduce forward head movement in a crash by approximately 6-8” which greatly reduces the risk for injury.

-Thick or fluffy winter coats and jackets are NOT recommended for use in the car! They can increase the risk for injury or could even cause ejection.

-After any crash, a car seat or booster should almost always be replaced (check your child safety seat’s manual). Check with your insurance agency, but some may cover the cost of a new seat.

-As many as 80% of children are in the WRONG seat!

III.   Useful Car Seat Products

-In lieu of coats and jackets, The Cozy Woggle and Car Seat Poncho are great products that keep your little one warm without jeopardizing the safe and proper use of his/her car seat.
 IV.   Super Car Seat Geek’s Services

-Private Car Seat Installations and Seat Checks

-Concierge Service: she will help you select the best car seat or booster for your child, car and budget

-Presentations/Informational Classes

Contact Info: Super Car Seat Geek FB page (www.facebook.com/SuperCarSeatGeek, SuperCarSeatGeek@gmail.com

 

There is SOOOOOO much more to safe and proper car seat use and installation. Be sure to check out Abbie’s Facebook page, Super Car Seat Geek, read your manuals carefully, and educate yourself in order to secure your precious little cargo 🙂 From our families to yours, drive safely!

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Join us at our Upcoming NICU Dine and Donate Fundraiser!

Moms of Multiples of the Lehigh Valley (MMLV) is organzing a Dine and Donate event to benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Lehigh Valley Hospital and St Luke’s.

Join us at 1760 Pub n Grille on Monday November 14th anytime from 4-9pm and 10% of your food sales will be donated!


We will also be hosting a raffle table at the restaurant to raise additional funds! Raffle baskets and gift cards are generously donated by members and local businesses.


100% of ALL proceeds go directly to our NICUs! Come out to support a great cause!

nicu-fundraiser-1760-pub-n-grille-11-14-2016_001

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Fall Fun-tivities

Summer may not officially be over until September 21st, but with kids going back to school and the cooler nights setting in, it sure is starting to feel like fall. If you are like me, you enjoy everything that fall has to bring: beautiful colors, aromas of apple and cinnamon, the comfort of jeans and a sweatshirt, Sunday-Fundays and of course, everything pumpkin-flavored! Perhaps one of my favorite things about fall is that my family and I spend a lot of time outside. I’ve already started to think about trips to the pumpkin patch and hay rides through corn fields. If you and your family are looking forward to fall as much we are, check out some of the great things happening in our area that you can take advantage of this season!
Summer may be over, but there’s still fun all around :o)

  1. The Great Allentown Fair- August 30th -September 5th http://www.allentownfairpa.org/index.php/general-info/about-us
  2. Rodale Organic Apple Festival- September 17th http://rodaleinstitute.org/applefestival/
  3. Grim’s Family Farm Fall Festival- Opens September 17th http://grimsgreenhouse.com/fall-festival
  4. Seiple Farms Fall Festival- Opens September 24th http://www.seiplefarms.com/autumn.html
  5. Celtic Classic- September 23rd -25th http://www.celticfest.org/directions_and_parking
  6. Oktoberfest at SteeleStacks- September 30th – October 2nd and October 7th – 9th http://www.steelstacks.org/festivals/oktoberfest/
  7. Boo Fest!- October 22nd  http://www.lvbg.org/boo_fest.php
  8. Organic Halloween at Rodale- October 22nd http://rodaleinstitute.org/event-registration/?ee=187
  9. Boo at the Zoo- October 29th and 30th https://www.lvzoo.org/event/boo-at-the-zoo/
  10. Trunk or Treat at Cedar Crest College- October 30th
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Ju-Ju Monkey: Hangin’ Around For 6 Years!

Today marks the 6 year anniversary of one of the leading natural parenting stores in the Allentown area. Ju-Ju Monkey first began as an online shop with a small in-home show room at founder and operator, Sara Moore’s residence in 2010. Clients were seen by appointment only but as clientele grew, so did the store. Now located in Allentown off of Tilghman St., Ju-Ju Monkey has served families of the Lehigh Valley and beyond at this location for the past 3 years.

Looking back at the early stages of the shop when her son was only 2 years old, Sara remembers wanting to learn more about cloth diapering. One might say that this was why it all began. Sara saw a need for mothers, like herself, for a place to go to both purchase and more importantly, learn the ins and outs of cloth diapering. Sara, who is self-taught and self-educated on the subject, has become more than knowledgeable in this field having even served on the Real Diaper Association Board (realdiapers.org) for the past three years as an advisor and supporter of cloth diapering.

In addition to cloth diapering, Ju-Ju Monkey has also become a local resource for other natural parenting techniques like baby wearing. Knowing how challenging and intimidating baby wearing can be (especially for us moms of multiples!), Ju-Ju Monkey offers classes during the week with a special class focusing on tandem wearing (yay multiples!) held every Tuesday at 9:30 AM. The class is only $12 for 45 minutes. Don’t own a carrier? No problem! Sara is happy to let you borrow and try out what’s in her shop. Tuesday evening classes are geared towards basic baby wearing knowledge and for parents who wish to learn more. The various classes that rotate monthly are: Foundations/Baby Wearing 101, Woven Wraps and Back Carry. Fridays are dubbed as “Fancy Finish Friday” focusing on different ways to tie off woven wraps.

If these opportunities sound inviting but you can’t get to the shop whether it be because of work, stresses of leaving the house as a new MoM, etc… Ju-Ju Monkey will come to you! This unique feature aligns with the shop’s mission to serve the community and Sara’s belief that it truly takes a village to raise a child.

While natural parenting is the focus of the store, it is a judgement and pressure-free atmosphere. Natural parenting isn’t for every family and Ju-Ju Monkey understands this. So while cloth diapering or baby wearing may not be your thing, there’s still reason to check out the store. Drop by with your little ones and you are likely to witness exciting children’s classes in the back of the shop like: Sing and Sign, Kindermusic or Draw Me a Song. Check out their classes offered here: http://ju-jumonkey.com/class-registration/

Whatever your reason, whatever your parenting style, Ju-Ju Monkey is a must-visit shop. Even if it’s to just escape the craziness of parenthood, Sara invites you to stop in and just relax with a cup of coffee. (side note: Dunkin Donuts is right next door!) Ju-Ju Monkey is that type of place: welcoming, nurturing and family-friendly. Stop in soon and see for yourself why this store happily celebrates 6 years of business today and why clients can likely plan on many more!

*Recently I had the opportunity to do a phone interview with Sara, who was kind enough to give me some info about the shop’s history and happenings. A huge thank you to Sara for taking the time to fill our readers in on her wonderful gem of a store! Shop Local! :o)

Ju-Ju Monkey
4755 W. Tilghman St.
Allentown, PA 18104

Store Hours:
M-F 10-7
Saturday 10-4
Sunday- Closed

 

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Shop Our Kids Consignment Sale!

Moms of Multiples of the Lehigh Valley is organizing a Kids Consignment sale for Saturday, July 30th from 10am-1pm at St John’s UCC in Fogelsville, PA!
Come shop kids clothing and shoes (all seasons!), baby equipment, toys, books, games, and more at a fraction of the retail price!
CASH ONLY!!
Umbrella strollers and baby carriers only for any little helpers 🙂
Help spread the word and share this invite with your local friends! Contact MMLV with any questions!
www.facebook.com/momlv
www.mmlv.org
MMLV sale flyer July 2016_001

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Top 10 Travel Tips for Moms of Multiples

TOP 10 TRAVEL TIPS FOR MoMs

While May seems to be off to a rainy and chilly start, summer is upon us and many have started the vacation planning process. Vacation is a time to kick back and relax- Think that’s impossible with multiples? Think again! We’ve collected some great advice from our own MoMs to assist you in planning, traveling and vacationing with your brood this season :o)

  1. Never underestimate the power of the supermom minivan. Nothing beats power doors, built in TV and DVD player to keep your tykes occupied on long rides and what’s even better is the large cargo space for all. your. stuff. The third row makes it great for carting other family members or friends and if it’s not in use, the extra space makes a great changing station for those still in diapers ;o)
  2. Speaking of diapers, did you know you can ship diapers to a lot of hotels/resorts so you don’t have to have that extra baggage? Call ahead and see if the place you’re staying can accommodate you.
  3. If you’re traveling with a potty-trained crew, portable potties for the back seat are a great idea. Check out this one here as an example: 2-in-1-portable-potty-trainer-seat
  4. Family bathrooms can be a lifesaver at rest stops! You can tag team with your SO to make diaper changes/potty time quicker- some family bathrooms even have two toilets- and the obvious plus side is you have your privacy as a family to contend with all the fun ::insert sarcasm:: of taking TWO or MORE kiddos to the bathroom :o)
  5. Traveling by plane? Here are two awesome sites with all your major mom questions answered! TSA-Traveling with Children and TSA-Travel Tips: Reducing Stress When Flying with Children
  6. A novel idea for any trip is to keep a snack basket and busy basket on hand. Keep your snack basket filled with easy grab-and-go treats to keep hungry mouths fed- including your own! Busy baskets are great for long trips- think about putting together a bunch of fun activities that are age appropriate for your young ones. Here’s a site with some innovative ideas: Busy Bag Ideas
  7. Take a look at this travel gem, The Trunki! It’s a ride on suitcase for your little ones. Imagine pulling them through the airport, heck they could pull one another! Trunki
    The makers of trunki also sell other products great for traveling, like the Toddlepak- a harness for keeping your “runners” at bay, and the Paddlepak, a waterproof backpack for lake, pool or beach trips.
  8. Another convenient way to keep your multiples in tow is to consider baby/toddler wearing. Many of our MoMs use products like the Kinderpack, Tula and Ergobaby. These baby wearing devices are great for travel, especially when you need to rush through the airport or want to get from point A to B without lugging around your stroller. Want to learn more about baby/toddler wearing? Check out two great stores in the Lehigh Valley area that will let you try out some of their products right in the store: JuJu Monkey in Allentown and Motherbaby Naturals in Bethlehem.
    Bonus! Baby wearing can be a great workout. Try safely squatting with a 20 lb toddler. Can anyone say, “Gym time on vacation?!” ;o)
  9. While you may be able to run on “vacation mode” remember your children- especially the younger ones- are at their best while keeping to “regularly scheduled programs.” Staying up later or skipping nap times can mean disaster. Try to keep sleep times as close to routine as possible to ensure everyone has a pleasant trip. You may even join your kiddos at nap time- Afterall, you’re on vacation!
  10. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – A great quote to remind us MoMs of the importance of forward thinking! Take time to plan as much as possible- pit stops, meals, leg stretches, packing lists, etc… As a MoM, it often becomes routine to plan ahead, plan for extra and plan for the unknown. Vacation planning should be no different. Keep a change of clothes (for everyone), an emergency and first-aid kit, blankets, water and food in the car for long trips and in your carry on (when possible) for long flights.

 

Whatever vacation you and your multiples venture on this summer, remember it is simply that, a vacation- have fun, be safe, relax and enjoy the little moments making big memories with your family and friends! :o)

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SHOP OUR UPCOMING CONSIGNMENT SALE!!

Moms of Multiples of the Lehigh Valley is organizing a Kids Consignment sale for Saturday, April 9th from 11am-2pm at St John’s UCC in Fogelsville, PA!

Come shop kids clothing and shoes (all seasons!), baby equipment, toys, books, games, and more at a fraction of the retail price!

CASH ONLY!!

Umbrella strollers and baby carriers only for any little helpers 🙂

MMLV sale flyer_001

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Girl Scout Cookie Crunch Event This Weekend!

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out the 2nd Annual Girl Scout Cookie Crunch this Sunday, February 28th from 1-3pm at the ArtsQuest Center at Steelstacks in Bethlehem!

In this creative food-based event chefs and restaurants create delicious and unique dishes, be they sweet or savory, all of them made with Girl Scout Cookies. At Girl Scout Cookie Crunch, held on National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, attendees will enjoy a variety of offerings created by area restaurants and eateries. From amazing appetizers to decadent desserts, each will feature one (or more) of the nine Girl Scout Cookie brands. Attendees can also vote for their favorite Cookie-based dish, with awards given out in both the sweet and savory People’s Choice categories.

Tickets cost $30 ($25 for ArtsQuest members and $21 for Girl Scouts under age 17 with ID). Ticket sales benefit Girls Scouts of Eastern PA and the ArtsQuest Center.

For more info, visit http://www.steelstacks.org/event/2109/girl-scout-cookie-crunch/

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