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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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Perks of Being a Mom of Multiples

Ask any mom of multiples to describe her life and you’ll get a smattering of responses. One thing is certain though, she is sure to tell you that life with multiples is nothing short of extraordinary. True, life with multiples can be chaotic, messy, and down right tough at times, but as a mom of multiples there’s something wonderfully beautiful about getting to experience it all with double, triple, and sometimes even more the love!
Here, in no particular order, are just some of the countless reasons why being a MoM is one of the greatest gigs:

 

  • Listening to the ever-popular “twin talk” and secret language multiples develop that only they understand is quite entertaining!
  • Watching the bond of friendship among them unfold is magical! And even better, they have a built in playmate!
  • Getting to dress them in matching/coordinating outfits and Halloween costumes is, let’s face it, fun!
  • We know what the word “singleton” means…and we use it!
  • Tackling something like nap time or venturing out with your multiples alone feels like a huge accomplishment!
  • It’s hysterical watching them giggle and make each other laugh!
  • Having an ultra sound done every two weeks, sometimes even more, is a huge perk during pregnancy!
  • The teammate bond with our significant other is sometimes stronger because, let’s be honest, he’s often times a second mom-up for feedings, helping with baths, changing diapers, etc…!
  • Watching each of our multiples grow and develop as individuals is rewarding!
  • We get to experience DOUBLE, TRIPLE, (sometimes more!) of the giggles, snuggles and love!
  • The attention we get out in public is actually gratifying, especially when we make having multiples look like a piece of cake!
  • Learning and discovering your strengths as an individual and feeling like SuperMom after a day’s work!
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Upcoming NICU Dine and Donate Fundraiser!

Moms of Multiples of the Lehigh Valley is organizing a Dine and Donate fundraiser in conjunction with World Prematurity Day to raise money for our local Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) at LVH and St Luke’s.
On November 17th, the Texas Roadhouse in Trexlertown will donate 10% of pre-tax sales (including take out AND gift cards!) when you mention MMLV. We will also host a raffle with great prizes donated by local businesses and MMLV members from 6-9pm to raise additional funds for the NICUs. 100% of all proceeds will go directly to LVH and St Luke’s!
Spread the word and support a great cause!

 

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Getting Out and About With Your Multiples

playground

The summer my twins were born, I remember that my husband and I tried so hard to get out of the house and give my older son an opportunity to run around and breathe fresh air. Sometimes we set up a pack n’ play in the shade of a tree when I wasn’t walking the babies to sleep in their stroller. Then we graduated to laying on a blanket in the shade and playing with books and toys while the park bustled around us. Suddenly, and seemingly overnight, my twins started to crawl and then walk. And once everyone was mobile, it got really interesting. The challenge is no longer as simple as getting everyone out of the house, but now it’s keeping multiple kids safe and in sight, and managing to rally the troops when it’s time to leave. Sometimes it’s as easy as avoiding the places that you know will be too difficult to take multiples, and sometimes it involves gear, distraction, planning and reinforcements.

My stroller has been my savior, and I swear I will run it into the ground. It has a sturdy canopy, which means that when I grocery shop with the kids I can buy as much as I can stack on top. Certainly double seat grocery carts can get the job done, but finding one while hauling around multiples can take time. In addition, I love that my stroller has a snack and cup tray, which usually means I avoid having food and drinks tossed on the floor. I also use the stroller or a wagon to wrangle my twins when we get out of the car and when it’s time to head home. I don’t think there will ever be a time that I feel safe with them exiting the car in a parking lot, so getting strapped into a stroller helps. At departure time, I can catch one child and then the other. As many parents know, it’s not easy to get one kid to leave an activity, let alone two or more. A stroller or wagon can at least keep them safe and in place while other children and gear are gathered. Other than a stroller, some moms like to use the leashes disguised as cute, fuzzy animal backpacks. This is a good option if you know your child won’t sit happily in a stroller or if you are going somewhere crowded.

I have also fallen into the habit of using the occasional bribe to get my children to cooperate when we are out on an errand or when we have to leave a fun activity. Everyone will have a different opinion on the subject of bribes, so it is really up to the adult to decide if bribes fall within his or her comfort level and parenting philosophy. I try to keep the bribe something small, and it also helps if it is something that I am willing to give or want to give. A snack that occurs around normal snack time might be a great incentive to get the kids to leave the park or remain occupied in the grocery store. The promise of a fun activity later in the day may also work. However, you have to be willing to not give the reward if you don’t get the desired behavior or action. For example, using a playdate that is already on the calendar as a bribe and not being willing to cancel it upon failure of cooperation is not going to work. These are the types of situations that I dread the most, but (in theory!) things get easier if the kids know you mean business. As an alternative to bribery, some moms have suggested bringing a special toy along that the children only get when you are out running errands. If the toy or coloring pad is seen infrequently, it should help to hold the child’s interest.

Planning an outing with multiples means that I need to get all my ducks in a row before I head out the door. I always do an assessment of the best places to go based on my ability to keep the kids safe and in sight. Sometimes I know that I need help, and that’s when I recruit a friend or family member to go along. Going on a small grocery run can be less nerve-wracking if a family member is willing to push a separate cart with a child. If your kids will behave sitting side-by-side in their stroller, then mastering the art of pulling a shopping cart behind you can eliminate the need for another adult. Potty training brings about its own complications, so having a friend or family member who can watch the other children will make the “Mommy, I have to pee!” moments less hectic.

Tricks suggested by other moms include dressing your children in matching clothing or brightly-colored clothing. A neon orange shirt won’t be hard to miss streaking across the playground. Also, giving your children plenty of warning for when it’s time to leave can help avoid a meltdown and encourage cooperation. Let them know when they have 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, etc. Lay out clear guidlelines for the behavior you expect, how long you plan to stay, and the consequences for noncompliance. If you think there is a good chance someone will need a potty break while you are out it might be a good idea to keep a travel potty in your car. You have to know your own comfort level and whether or not you can take all the children into a public restroom at the same time. Basically, it comes down to knowing yourself, your children, and your environment. Going somewhere new can be more challenging, but that is why we have such a great community of Moms of Multiples – ask questions and get answers about other people’s experiences! There is never enough time in the day and things need to get done, so get out there and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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Summer Fun For the Whole Family!

Beach SummerNow that warmer weather has settled in and schools are out for the summer, busy families are out and about enjoying the sunshine. There are so many places to explore, making the days seem to fly by! Summer brings picnic and pool season, outdoor farmers markets, fairs and festivals. With a little information and imagination, you can make this a memorable summer for your little ones.

For kids in motion, parks all across the Lehigh Valley provide free fun. For something a little different, I like visiting the Bob Rodale Cycling and Fitness park in Trexlertown where my kids can play in a giant sandbox or ride around the tricycle trail. The setup works well for moms who have to keep an eye on multiple children. Family walks are another great way to burn up energy. Hiking trails abound, although I’m a fan of the Lehigh Parkway where a walk, run or bike ride can end with a visit to the Li’l-Le-Hi Trout Nursery to feed the fish. The Lehigh Parkway is also home to the Lehigh Valley Road Runners kids race series, which is free to children ages 3-14.

Swimming is a summer favorite, whether you have your own pool or join a community pool. If managing multiples around water seems tricky, then a day pass may be a better investment than a season pass, and you can bring extra help. Splash pads are a great alternative, especially for moms watching several kids. Bucky Boyle park and Fifth & Allen Street park feature motion-activated spray parks. Moms looking for a caffeine fix can let their kids enjoy the free pop jets at the Promenade Shops, located next to the Starbucks. Personally, I want to check out the splash pad at the Boyertown Community Pool. It’s situated next to a great little playground for kids and an athletic trail.

This year, I signed my older son up for summer camp at his preschool. He loved it so much, I wish there were more dates to choose from. You can usually find a summer camp based on your child’s interests and abilities, from theater to sports to wildlife. The Wildlands Conservancy offers some very hands-on nature camps. The Da Vinci Science Center summer camps will also spark imagination and learning.

Amusement parks offer an experience like no other, especially for those of you with fearless and adventurous children. Some of the favorites within driving distance include Sesame Place, Dutch Wonderland, Dorney Park (featuring Planet Snoopy for the little ones), and Knoebels Amusement Resort. Other than the family vacation, amusement parks may be one of summer’s more expensive outings. Parks like Knoebels can save you money with free parking and admission – you can even bring your own lunch. Also, choosing a Pay-One-Price plan or just paying for each ride individually can help you save.

Sports enthusiasts can enjoy watching their local teams live in outdoor venues this summer. The Reading Fightin Phils and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs make a fun outing for the whole family. The Valley Preferred Cycling Center not only offers child and adult cycling classes, but on Friday nights throughout the summer you can watch professionals in the World Series of Bicycling (and admission is free for children under 12!).

Summer activities for the kids don’t have to cost a penny! Most local libraries, and even Barnes & Noble, have summer reading programs. Many cities and townships hold free summer concerts, including Allentown, Emmaus and Bethlehem. Some also have a free Movies in the Park series, with kid-friendly events leading up to movie time. The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley hosts a free summer concert series, and the Carmike Cinemas located there has a summer kids movie series ($4 for a ticket, small popcorn and small drink is nearly free considering regular prices!). You can get creative and have a picnic lunch in a park, hold a scavenger hunt, or camp out in your own backyard. Whatever you plan, give your children lots of fresh air and variety, and you’ll never have to hear that they’re bored.

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Shop our Consignment Event on July 25th!!

MMLV is excited to announce that we are organizing our first consignment event!  The event will be held at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays (just 5 miles north of Allentown) on Saturday July 25th from 9-11am.  Our sale is open to the public and we hope you will stop by and shop!

We will have Fall and Winter kids clothing (newborn – 6T), baby equipment, toys, maternity clothing, and more!  CASH ONLY

Please plan to bring only an umbrella stroller or baby carrier for any little helpers

If you have any questions, please feel free to send us a message through our website or look us up on Facebook (www.facebook.com/momlv)

Hope to see you there!  As moms of multiples, we will have A LOT of items for sale 🙂
MMLV Consignment Sale_001

 

 

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New! MMLV Coffee and Conversation at Panera

For any MoMs who have wanted to check out MMLV, but have not been able to make it to one of our monthly meetings, please consider joining us at the Panera in Trexlertown on Sunday, June 28th at 11am for our first (of what we hope will be bi-monthly) Coffee & Conversation get-together.  If you need advice, need to vent, or just want to get out of the house for a bit, this is the perfect opportunity to meet other MoMs from our group (and get an extra caffeine boost!).

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