When you are in nesting mode, you're mind is probably racing with questions on how you are going to "do it all." Well first off, lets quickly get you acquainted with the fact that you WON"T, and that is perfectly normal! You are already going to be superhuman after birthing multiples and you will and need to be ok with asking for as much help as humanly possible to help raise these munchkins of yours! It takes a village and there is no shame in that. Some mamas will need to go back to work full time and others may just be in need of some good self-care alone time. Thanks to Beth G., we want to help guide you through the process that has worked for many of our mamas when it came to finding the best nanny for their families.
I know I need a nanny, what do I do next?
You will need to answer a few questions on your end before beginning your search process.
Where do I search for a nanny?
If you would like to do the search on your own, use Care.com or SitterCity.com. You can also use a nanny agency, such as NannyJoynt. For more babysitters or sporadic nannies we recommend Busy Bees or UrbanSitter.
If I want to search on my own, how do I go about the search process?
It is highly recommended that you pay for at least 2 months with the online sites of Care or SitterCity. In order to search all applicants and speak with all individuals, you need to be a paying member. Do not wait for applicants to reach out to you, they can only contact 5 people a month, so you must reach out to nanny applicants and be proactive. When reaching out to them, ask them to complete a simple task such as emailing you a resume or 2 references to see how their basic follow through is.
I’m ready to interview a few candidates, how do I go about this?
Check our files tab on PVMoM's facebook, for a list of suggested questions and adjust as needed. You can screen candidates with phone interviews, or solo in person interviews, but it is highly recommended that you see how the candidate interacts with your children prior to hiring them. You can either do a short working interview or an all day interview/trial. Just remember, you can tell a lot about a person when you see how they enter your home and interact with your children. It may be nerve wracking to welcome strangers into your home, but if they are the right one, the candidate will no longer be a stranger.
I have a candidate that I am interested in hiring, what do I do?
Do your homework! It is highly recommended that you complete a background check and a department of motor vehicle check on your candidate, even if they won’t be driving your children. If you do want your nanny to drive your children, make sure to discuss their type of car, knowledge of proper car seat safety and have them do a test drive with you to gauge their driving abilities. You cannot know too much about the person caring for your children. You may also want to have the candidate complete a personality test. Begin drafting a contract to cover at least the basics: pay, tasks, holidays, travel, paid time off (if desired/negotiated), and more.
Why do you recommend a contract?
An employment contract is helpful for both parties to be on the same page when providing a service and can keep both parties accountable. It protects both parties when there is a dispute. Also, be specific about their duties so there are no questions as to what needs to be accomplished in a day. We’ve found contracts are very helpful when a nanny may not be meeting your expectations or maybe asking for extra days off or calling in sick a lot. While the document likely won’t hold up in court, it was helpful when discussing performance and accountability.
Are there any tax-free benefits I can offer my nanny?
Yes! There are many tax benefits that residents of AZ can take advantage of is hiring a nanny. A few of these are, but not limited to:
My candidate has checked all of my ‘boxes’ and we agreed on pay, now what?
Discuss a starting date and plan a training period. It is highly recommended that you plan at least a day or two to ‘train’ your nanny on how you would like things done before you head off to work or to complete solo tasks. Most nannies will know how to care for a child, but they won’t know how you would like your laundry completed, your daily schedule and more. If you are super particular, write things down and take a couple extra days to make sure things are satisfactory for you.
My nanny has started working with our family, what can I expect in forms of communication?
Be sure to set expectations early. Most nannies will provide photos throughout the day if the parents are not home and communicate via text message as needed. It is important to not ‘high five at the door’ meaning that you take time to have a quick 5-10 minute discussion at the beginning and end of each day to speak about any important topics or changes. It is also recommended that you provide ground rules on social media posting about your family along with what warrants a phone call to you as the parent.
We advise to start looking for a nanny at minimum 2-3 months prior to your ideal start date. Most mamas have shared that it took them two solid months of interviewing at least 10-12 candidates to solidify the right match. Sometimes the best fit, yet hard to come by, can be a recommendation of a available nanny or look for a nanny share via friends.
Remember this person part-time or full-time will become an extension of your family. Don't rush this process!!!
How is it February with 1.5 year olds, and we're already stressing about WHAT preschool our children are going to be attending in the Fall?!?!
"YOU ARE KIDDING ME?!" was my initial reaction to a girlfriend, who informed me preschool registration started like, TODAY. I broke out in a sweat and could not even fathom the idea of my little, itty, bitty munchkins waving goodbye to me at school.
At first glance, preschool "shopping" is an incredibly trying task if you have no starting point. You need to be smart about it, and break it down into a few categories that will best fit your families needs. This will quickly clarify a path to a few schools that you can further research.
I never imagined this to be a make it or break it component, but after one year of preschool under our belt and prior wavering between a school that was a 5 minute drive versus a 25 minute drive, I now see the light. I would advise not having to drive more then 10-15 minutes to a school. This is truly going to narrow down the playing field of contenders.
2. Discipline/Conflict Resolution Style:
If you are placing your child in a preschool at the young age of two, I've found it important to find a school that will mimic what you, yourself do at home when there is a conflict. You are in the beginning moments of building your communication, conflict resolution, boundaries style for your littles; you want this to be consistent. In our case, our school not only encourages the style of discipline we use, it has empowered me as a parent to use new techniques that I may never have been exposed to otherwise.
3. Curriculum Style:
Truly preschool is just that. "before school." Find a program that you believe in and fits your child's personality. A place that will challenge your children to learn at their own pace, and in an environment they feel confident to excel in. For some that may look like a child-directed play based curriculum. For others it may be a faith based curriculum that helps teach those building blocks of faith early on. We gravitated towards a co-operative curriculum that is creative based and implements Reggio Emilia principles. We wanted to foster an environment for our kids that would continue to allow them to be kids and learn cooperative and expressive communication skills very early on. This Reggio Emilia style is closest to how we parent and discipline at home and is a perfect extension for them to attend twice a week..
Be sure you and your partner make it a priority to tour each preschool that is on your list. Have a list of questions that you can ask the Director during your visit (see Questions to ask). Don't let them shy you away from viewing a class "in session."
Narrow it down to your top three and set a 2nd appointment for your children to come and shadow a classroom as well. Don't let the lack of "readiness" cues your children might show discourage you when shadowing. The other children have acclimated into their settings and routines over the past year and developmentally matured since their first day, so don't compare!
While you are going through this process of elimination, be realistic and recognize the school setting, the educators, the director, should feel like an extension of your home. If anything was off-putting during a visit, go with your mother's instinct and choose a different school that you feel will work for your family during this pivotal transition for your kiddos.
5. Ask Questions:
Don't shy away from asking any/all questions you may have for each school. If you want to narrow down your long list of options, ring the schools and ask to speak to their Director. When you start touring your favorites, make sure to sit down with the Director and ask additional questions. (see Questions to ask)
It is this time of year that you can find the parks and secret spots around town filled with photographers chasing around families trying to capture that one special photo for the holiday card. PVMOM is fortunate to have a wonderful photographer who has captured memories of so many of our very own families. We asked her to share a few tips that to help make family photos a little less stressful and a lot more fun!
Of course we had to share some of the beauties from the mini session fundraiser she did for us! Thank you Sara Waterman for not only these photos but your generous donation to PVMOM.
Think coordinating not matchy matchy (except the kids, kids can always match especially multiples). What does your dream family photos look like? Is it elegant? Then think cream colors, tans and browns or black and white, flowing light fabric can look gorgeous in a little wind. Do you want a modern and fun feel, then choose coordinating colors, I love yellow and blues, deep purple and yellows, jewel tones then add a pop of accent color, add a scarf, headband, boot socks for a bit of fun. Keep in mind darker color clothing will frame your face better (the eye travels to the brightest part of the picture) so typically that should be faces. Please remember that it is important for no one member of your family to draw attention away from the group with a bold outfit that stands out. Layer it up! I love jackets they really polish the look for a man, a cardigan can be slimming for a women and also makes it easy to take it off for a quick change of look.
Cheese is for nachos:
Mom, dad…. leave the “say cheese” at home. If your having your pictures done by a photographer don’t stand behind the photographer and hollar “smile, say cheese”. Demanding kiddos to look at the camera and smile will cause anxiety, rebellion and will most likely result in that fake smile you can feel a mile away. A photographer will interact with your kiddos to produce those beautiful natural smiles, if your doing it on your own I find that for 3-6 year olds talking about farts and dad’s stinky feet, which usually does the trick. For the itty bitties, I use a feather duster… works like a charm! Try picking up your kids and tossing them in the air, give your kids kisses, go in for a family tickle… all ways to create genuine moments of family bliss. Bonus tip: For posing your kiddos, try a fun game of simon says!
Time your session:
Leave ample time to prepare for your photoshoot, when mom shows up to the session rushed and frazzled it sets the tone for the session. Eat before your session and have snacks on hand. Kids and adults get cranky when hungry and become unwilling participants when their bellies are rumbling. Try not to plan your shoot during nap time or “cranky” hour. A good photographer can shoot anytime of day, and happy kids trump perfect lighting any day of the week!
Where will you be displaying your images? Think of the colors of your home. Will graffiti walls background look odd in your Mediterranean styled home? What are you going to wear? You don’t want to be wearing high heels and pearls on by a rustic fence in the middle of the Sonoran desert. Where do you feel comfortable? You want your images to show your family and the joy you have together. Think of a location that helps you feel comfortable, relaxed and where you can be yourselves.
If your doing them yourself even if you have the most scenic, beautiful location on earth, if that location does not offer good natural lighting, then your photos will probably turn out poorly. You need to consider the lighting conditions at your location before you commit to it. Your best light for taking photographs outdoors typically occurs in the hour or so after sunrise and then again during the hour or so before sunset. Also if taking pictures of your kids, make sure their back are to the sun, you don’t want harsh shadow or squinty eye. Bonus tip: a covered porch where the family is under the porch and your camera is outside, will most always produce near perfect lighting - seriously try it.
PS - aren't our families beautiful!!!!?
All photos were used with permission and taken by Sara Waterman Photography.
Visit her Facebook page to learn more and see her gallery.
By Jill Scott
Hi, my name is Jill, and I love to coupon.
Now, you may have seen shows like Extreme Couponing where people come away with 94% savings on shopping trips. These usually give them a lifetime supply of small toothpaste tubes and 100 yogurts that are going to expire in a week. I am not one of those couponers. I am, however, a parent of three young boys whose family is having a go at being a one income household.
The cost of diapers is a nightmare. I was blessed with a six month supply from friends and family after the birth of the twins. Like all things, it ran out while the cost of living (and formula for another six months) remained. This led me to research and try out the many methods of saving money out there.
There are tons of options for buying diapers on the cheap and not one of them works all of the time. What does work is knowing your options, having a game plan and following through with your couponing.
Step 1 - Gather coupons
Companies like Proctor and Gamble, Kimberly Clark, and even Fry’s generic brands want to introduce you to their products. Coupons are marketing tools to get products into your home so that you will buy them again. This means companies are in constantly putting coupons out there. Here are a few ways to get them.
Lost coupons never get used. Even worse, they stick to the graham cracker crumbs and uncapped lip balm in the bottom of your diaper bag. Do yourself a favor and buy an organizer to keep in your bag everyday. Find one with sections and label them (food, baby, cleaning, health, Target, etc). Put the new coupons in the back of each section and purge expired ones at least once a month. This is the model I have been using for a while.
Step 3 - Be Loyal
The reality is that joining Fry’s Rewards programs or Safeway Club Card allows retailers to track your purchases and keeps a tab on your spending habits. While this may have you hiding in your master closet wearing a tin hat, the upside is that it allows businesses to customize their offers to you. Fry’s knows we’re a young family and is very generous with their coupons and specific-to-our-family promotions called Best Customer Bonuses often on young child items (including diapers, but also food pouches, eggs, and breakfast sausage - don’t keep the Scott Boys away from their turkey sausage).
Step 4 - Throw All Loyalty Out the Window
Children have sensitivities and allergies and preferences, but if you want to make things really work you can’t have a favorite brand. Cartoon logos might be different. They smell different. Certain styles may hug them more or allow more movement, but overall diapers are all the same thing. Huggies and Costco’s Kirkland diapers are made in the same place as are Pampers and Luvs. So long as they don’t leak or cause an irritation, buy everything.
Step 5 - Stack Stack Stack
Some retailers have really cool ways to extend savings. Target for example, has its seasonal promotions on diapers ($25 gift card for $100 purchase or $15 off instantly of $100), What they’re not telling you is that the boxes sold are generally at a higher price. However, you can bring in a Manufacturer’s coupon, a Store coupon (often found in those mini coupon books for newborns), and add on Target’s Cartwheel (again an electronic app with offers that download to your phone for 5%, 10%, etc items). If you aren’t brand loyal, you can walk away great savings on diapers to create a small stash (not stockpile) of diapers that will keep you in business until you breathe a sigh of potty-trained relief or another promotion is offered, whichever comes first.
And two brief bonuses for overachievers:
Many stores price match if you bring in a physical ad of a competitor. If you know what’s going on at Walmart, Target, Fry’s, etc. most stores will honor the price to keep your business.
If prices drop within a week or a new promotion is offered within a store you shopped, you can normally bring in a receipt for a refund.
With all the recent babes arrivals we thought this blog post from our fellow twin mom member Julie was perfect timing. Enjoy.
This post is to all the new mama’s out there who are worried about getting their pre-baby body back. You used to workout, eat right, rocked your swimsuit and felt confident in your own skin. Your body just went through 9 months of growing a perfect little human (in my case 2) and now your itching to get your body back. Let me say that again…your body just went through 9 months of growing a perfect little human! Isn’t that AMAZING!?!? PRAISE your body for what it has accomplished and don’t spend another minute fretting over this. Your doctor may or may not have given you the a-ok to lace up those new, cute Nike’s sitting in your closet that you are just DYING to test out on a run. Here is what’s on my heart that I want to share with you.
Having a new baby (or babies) is one of THE MOST precious times of your life. A time that will pass so quickly and only God knows if you will ever get to experience something so special again. I know it’s constantly on your mind to get back to the “old you” but here is my advice: Don’t worry about it right now! Now I know that’s easy for me to say and not as easy to follow when you’re feeling insecure, but bare with me here. This time when your newborn is little, goes sooooo fast. It’s a time for bonding, for snuggling, for resting and recuperating when they are sleeping, for healing, and for getting to know that little person you brought into the world. You have the REST of your life to get back into shape… Now by no means am I saying to put this off for years, I’m just referring to those first fews months with a newborn. Savor it. Enjoy it. LIVE it. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with that child.
If you’re nursing, your primary purpose right now is to feed your child, not to lose weight. I get so many questions about “how can I lose weight while nursing my baby?” Well, I guess it IS possible, as producing milk burns a lot of calories, but you can’t restrict calories if you’re trying to produce enough milk. In my case, I was eating about 2,500 calories a day to feed my twins. I was starving ALL-THE-TIME! So here’s my advice: Eat nutritious meals containing nutrients your child can benefit from. Such as nuts, fruits, veggies, quality proteins, greek yogurt, potatoes, grains, avocados, and flax or chia seeds. These foods are dense in nutrients for you and your baby, and nature has a great way of portion controlling. Listen to your body. It’s ok to eat more if you’re still hungry. But before you reach for those cookies and ice cream, make sure your hydrated and ask yourself “what benefit will this give my child?”
Too often, I feel like society pressures us to be perfect and to look like those air-brushed celebrity mom’s who just had babies. So I wanted to be that girl you need in your life. The one who reminds you that you’re beautiful, you have so much to be grateful for, you have the rest of your life to get back into shape, and to tell you it’s OK to take a break. It doesn’t make you a slacker or mean you don’t care. It simply means that you love and honor your body for it’s accomplishment, and love your newborn more. <3
As first time parents, my Type A - OCD was out of this world - nesting as most would call it looked like we had an army of organizers in our home prior to the twins arrival. I had lists upon lists, freezer meals, rules for family/friends visiting, coded boxes for month 1, 2, 3, … you get the point. You could say I was wound a bit tight!! The one anticipating qualm I had was my hospital bag and what the first 48-72hrs would look like.
I reached out to my favorite Type A mamas who I knew would rescue me with excel spreadsheets of ideas as I handed the final to do list to the hubby to complete - a sense of relaxation came over me. My go-to's for your hospital/birthing center bags. Just know you can make yourself crazy trying to anticipate everything and gather all your necessary items at home, but the best advice I received was “there is always amazon prime overnight and baby stores open till 9:00pm”. That is why they invented grandmas, sisters and best friends. They better call and ask you what they can pick up for you before walking through that front door to hold those babies of yours!
Hospital Bags -
I overpack. No matter where I am going, by plane, car or foot. You would think with working in the travel industry and the amount of international travel I did prior to kids that I would have this down to a science, no it's a lie! The night before I go anywhere I’m a hot stressful mess trying to ROLL all of my components to make them fit. I knew I wanted to limit the amount of “bags” we were schlepping into the hospital as can you only imagine at 2am having to make multiple trips to the car just grab the necessities while I'm screaming during a contraction. I did not need to look like a whale sized bag lady walking in. I stuck to 2 bags. 1 large for myself and our largest double diaper bag for the babes.
Mama Bag - Lo & Son’s “Catalina” was my go to. It’s so versatile and a staple piece for traveling.
Babes Bag - Ju Ju Be “Be Prepared” I still am indecisive about this but it has received use multiple times. It’s HUGE and too big for two babes in cloth to tote around on a daily basis but we have used it every time we travel. Bonus Buy Buy Baby carries it so you can see it in person.
Hubby Bag - he was in charge of his own - in theory! Make sure he packs toiletries, pjs, extra change of clothes and snacks for him. We also brought on our own pillows (cuz I'm weird like that). The hospital will allow the mother free food but not the hubby - we just ordered like I was eating for 3 each mealtime and had the grandparents pick up food upon each visit.
Lunch doesn't have to be boring...nor does it have to be daunting! Did you know there are subscription services out there that provide weekly meal plans for you!? They even include the shopping list -- you simply download, print and run off to the store! Better yet - so many of the options are family friendly!
Super Healthy Kids offers members weekly meal plans that include breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner. Not only can you customize your plan you can save recipes to your box for future reference. Each week a plan is sent right to your inbox (sign up). They were generous enough to let us share a weeks worth of lunches with you guys! Download the recipes here.
They also offer a FREE online class:
How You Can Prepare Healthy, Delicious, FAST Home Cooked Meals...And Spend More Time With Your Kids Without Wasting Anymore Time, Energy & Money. Reserve a seat.
Want more ideas?! Check out these foodie pages on Instagram:
About Super Healthy Kids
Amy + Natalie are the mom's behind Superhealthy Kids. Amy started the blog as a way to spread her healthy eating message for kids and also to sell the healthy habits plate. A few years later, Natalie moved to the same city as Amy and they met when working with the youth group in their local church. They started talking nutrition, and knew that there was something big they could create together. Super Healthy Kids has grown from there! Amy and Natalie love working together and share a passion for health, fitness and whole foods. Their vision is to continue to help both parents and educators make it easier to feed kids nutritious food with a focus on fruits and veggies, that is fun, simple and delicious! Learn more!
Rachel Salkin, President
Hello! You can usually find me running around with my 2yo twins, Jackson + Harper. We love to be out and about with our friends but we are also homebodies! When I am not with my kiddos I am finishing some chore, working on my business or dreaming all things PVMOM :-). I grew up in Tucson, attended FIDM in LA where I started working for Nordstrom, then returned to AZ where I met my husband. I spent the last 8 years working with my him in our marketing firm before becoming a SAHM. I am a total night owl, hate the mornings (hence my Starbucks addiction), and love to cook! People would probably tell you I am a neat freak and extremely passionate. My TV obsessions are Mistresses and anything HGTV.....leaving me wanting to redo a room in my house weekly.
Beth Gevirtz, Vice President
Shalom! I'm Beth Gevirtz, mommy to Syd and Ari, almost 3-year-old girl/boy twins and of course my fur babies, Ella and Sophie. I was raised on Lou Malnati’s and Portillos in the suburbs of Chicago, was a gymnast in college at The University of Florida (Go Gators!) and moved to AZ in 2009. If I could, I would live off of cookie dough, bagels and cream cheese and filet mignon - you’d never believe that I’m a Registered Dietitian by degree and past work life! Baking and shopping are my go to stress relievers, you will find homemade cookie dough in my fridge 95% of the time (I can’t promise it will ever be baked though!). In my spare time you can find me watching mindless trash TV such as So You Think You Can Dance or Dance Moms, and if you ask my husband I can Facebook stalk with the best of them, but he wouldn’t really know because he travels at least 2 weeks a month. Needless to say I look forward to growing PVMOM and if you need me, you can find me on Facebook!
Lyndsey Steele, Secretary
Hi! I'm Lyndsey, the Secretary (complete with glasses and a cardigan). I live in a madhouse run by a tiny army that I made myself. Logan is five and Garrett, Conner, and Ellie are two. I own a home healthcare company and clinic that supports children and adults with disabilities. I constantly feel busy but am always ready for cocktails and Mom's Night Out. Don't threaten me with a good time! I'm born and raised in Arizona but most PVMOM Members may argue that I live in a far off land, also known as the East Valley. I have a passion for supporting Moms of Multiples because it's a different world that not everyone understands and am excited for all the PVMOM has planned for this term! Especially MNO. And cocktails.
Jenny Bruso, Treasurer
I'm Jenny Bruso, your Treasurer. I have 3 1/2 year old fraternal twin girls, Olivia and Sophia, and a 6 year old boy, Ben. As much as I love my kiddos, I need to work to keep my sanity. I work full-time at JDA Software supporting Workday Financials, our accounting system. I have over 15 years of experience in the accounting field and it is nice to change it up to a role that is a blend of IT/Accounting. I grew up in Illinois and moved to Arizona in 2003. Before a husband and kids, you could find me at a karaoke bar on Friday and/or Saturday nights; now I save the singing for car rides to and from work. After the kids are in bed, I spend my free time catching up on Facebook and Pinterest or playing Angry Birds POP. If I had more time and energy, you would find me baking or sewing (I worked at JoAnn Fabrics in high school). I love spending time with my twin and triplet mom friends and I'm looking forward to a great year with PVMOM!
Shannon Rice (Galasso), Communications Chair
Ciao Ladies. My name is Shannon Rice and I do not sleep. Like ever. It's half my fault and half my wonderful almost 2.5 year old boy/girl twins named Amelie & Dermot who have won multiple gold medals in not sleeping. I like to think I work part time as an entrepreneur running a destination lifestyle photography brand but who am I kidding - I haven't seen the inside of an A380 in 3 years. I am a native from AZ and started my obsession with living abroad when I was 21 years old in Florence, Italy. My husband and I met via Skype and were engaged after 3 months where I had a stint living in Dubai as an expat. San Francisco is where we called home prior to kids and have a keen affinity for anything wine related. I have a passion for helping others and think I have a six sense when it comes to researching any topic.
Heather Renc, National Rep
Hi! I'm Heather Renc, PVMOM's National Rep to our parent club, Multiples of America. I'm originally from New Jersey, but have lived in Arizona longer than I've lived in any other state (17 years!). I've been married for 9 years to my college sweetheart, Tom, and together we have 3 energetic boys - Sam, who is 3.5, and our almost-2-year-old twins, Ben and Will. I work part time as a dentist and I'm home with the boys the rest of the time (which is WAY harder than working). I'm a big fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers, and in my spare time I enjoy running, reading chic lit, and drinking wine. Not necessarily in that order. I look forward to getting to know all of you better this coming year!
Neha Velangi, Program Planner
I'm Neha Velangi, one of the two Program Planners for this year. Mommy to identical twin boys Aarish & Aarav who just turned 1 a few weeks back. Born in India, raised in Dubai, went to college up in MN and now settled in AZ. It's been quite a ride ! When I get a few quiet moments through the day I miss my nerdy, dorky engineering-self, spending hours in the lab working on new products and upcoming medical devices. My love for chocolate and all things sweet is unreal. I'm quite an artist at heart and would love to get back to painting & making handmade cards at some point. Both the husband and I love to travel, even though now it seems like more work than time off, with the boys. Currently reading 'When Breath Becomes Air' and feel like I have been on the same chapter for the last couple of months (yeh, the hiding in the closet with my Kindle hasn't been working very well) With a husband who has 6-day work weeks, this group of women and the connections I've made in the past year have been a total lifesaver. The idea is to encourage people to foster new relationships, connect with old ones and to create a space where everyone feels like they belong ! That is my goal as a program planner.
Kassie Lewis, Program Planner
I am Kassie, one of your meeting planners. I have 20 month old twin girls. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to AZ about 10 years ago. I miss Chicago tremendously! In my former life I was a nurse. In my free time I love to read (romance novels are my guilty pleasure) I don't really watch reality tv...is that weird? I LOVE traveling especially internationally. I am a scuba diver and have been diving in some pretty cool places. Oh! And I'm a Harry Potter nerd!
Jennifer Oh, Fundraising Co-Chair
My name is Jennifer Oh. I am currently a stay-at-home mom. I have four children; Sarah (17), Lauren (14), 2-year old boy/girl twins, Addison and Matthew as well as two pet rabbits-Blackstone and Truffles. It is crazy that I will be touring colleges and preschools all in the same year! I grew up in Pennsylvania and we have been in Scottsdale for 9 years. I love Italian food and chocolate.
Fun Fact: My mom is a fraternal twin!
Naomi Arnold, Fundraising Co-Chair
My name is Naomi Arnold and I am the mom to 2 year old boy/girl twins Makenzi and Ryder. We have lived in north Phoenix for 9 years. I moved here from southern CA for my job. I am in my 9th year as a kindergarten teacher. I absolutely love pizza (I could eat it everyday) and hate seafood! I feel so thankful to be a part if PVMOM and am glad that I can give back by being a part of the board.
Jill Scott, Social Chair
Hi! I'm Jill Scott, mother of three boys (!!!!!!) - twins 1 1/2 year old Mickey & Ziggy and a three year old, Declan. I'm a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a 14 year veteran middle school social studies teacher. I'm an avid crafter, Pinterest addict, and movie junkie. I take pride of in my DIY Halloween costumes (no plastic masks here) and always seem to be planning something (my favorite event was a Thunderstorm for my good friend (think bridal shower for a guy). I'm taking some time off from work to watch my boys & I love play dates - so hit me up!
Melanie Morin, Social Co-Chair
I am the mother of Vander and Emerson, b/g 20 month old twins. I have dreamed about having b/g twins ever since watching Brenda and Brandon on 90210 (never actually thought it would happen).
If I get a run in before everyone wakes up, it is going to be a good day! A run, shower, and hair done before everyone wakes, I might as well have won the lottery! I work full time as a medical sales rep. My husband and I are a match.com success story. He is from Boston. I am from NJ but grew up in CA. We love doing things outside as a family, running, swimming, biking, playing at the park. My household single handedly keeps Oikos, Chobani and TCBY in business. Lastly we eat from paper plates and plastic utensils for every meal!
Reina Canute, Special Events Planner
Hi my name is Reina Canute! I am Momma to a two-year-old little boy, Wess and 1-year-old boy/girl twins, Graham and Eva Grace. Originally from Casa Grande AZ, I have made Scottsdale my home. I raised elementary & high school children for many years (aka, I was a teacher) and now am focusing on my career in real estate. During my stint as a stay at home mom I became my own "Cake Boss," and still dabble in decorating. If at anytime you can't find me, it means I escaped to Pinetop.
Beth Summers, Sale Co-Chair
I'm Beth Summers, sale co-chair and unofficial welcoming committee member :) I have almost 3-year-old girls, Addison and Harper. I'm from Michigan but have been in AZ for 10 years. I am a die hard sports fan and will not leave the TV during college football Saturdays. I used to be an avid runner (pre kids)- and have completed 5 marathons! Hopefully one day I can get back to that. Currently, I work full time as a Director of Sales at a software company in North Scottsdale.
Lisa Peters, Sale Co-Chair
Hi! I'm Lisa, mommy to 3 year old (in October) boy/girl twins Faith and Jackson. Originally from Canada, I moved to Phoenix with my husband in January 2013 and BAM! pregnant with twins one month later. It's been a crazy ride having kids in a town that's at the opposite end of the country to all our family, but I love my PVMOM tribe and am so thankful for this group. Likes: I love RED WINE!!! And entertaining. Dislikes: Humidity (hello AZ in July/Aug), and I hate it when the wine bottle is empty. In my spare time you'll find me on Facebook trying to get the PVMOM sale promoted, or surfing swip swap pages!
Kira Bonnice, Big Tent Coordinator
Hi! I'm Kira! My identical twin girls were born in February 2015 (18 months today!). Together with my boyfriend of 9 years and our Black Lab/Whippet Zoe, we're one little happy family. I'm a born and raised Arizona girl (excluding my college years in Michigan). Lately I've been working hard at finding a house (we close in September, yay!), knitting for pregnant friends, and listening to audio books or reading. I'm admittedly a huge geek. I'm an unashamed Harry Potter fan and can't wait until the girls are older so I can read the books to them. I'm the Assistant Director of Admissions at The University of Advancing Technology so I work with geeky students all day. Find me on Facebook; I look forward to a great year together.
Shenen Dietrich, Board Advisor
My name is Shenen Dietrich. I am blessed with 6 year old fraternal twin boys that have enabled me to join this amazing organization. I was president for the past 2 years and prior to that sale co-chair. Having just returned from attending Multiples of America national convention as one of PVMOM's delegates, I am proud to announce my appointment to the MOA Finance Committee as the sponsorship coordinator. I look forward to serving our national organization in addition to my local chapter, PVMOM. As a career, I am an Internal Medicine physician working as the medical director for DeRosa Medical Clinics. My passions include equestrian sports, skiing and traveling.
Nicole Raymond, Membership Chair
On Saturday, August 27th Sportball is hosting a PVMOM event to give parents the chance to see what they are all about! The two classes classes will be split into age groups (1) parent + child, 15months to 2years and (2) drop-off 3 to 5 years. As a partner of PVMOM, Sportball if offering members a highly discounted rate for this 60-minute class. We hope you will not only come and support them but see some of your favorite friends!
Space is limited! Snag your spot here.
Over the summer a few of our toddler mom members had the chance to participate in a mommy + me Sportball class. Not only did they work on skill building in 8 different ball sports (different sport each week) but they engaged in activities focused on physical literacy and social exploration. It was a perfect mix of structure and open play....with some bubbles thrown in!
During the 45-minute class led by high-energy, passionate coaches the kiddos had the chance to learn about the magic line. Placed against the back wall, the magic line is home base after a segment is complete.
Class started off with a few "run, kids run," where they could race from one side of the room to the other, right into mom's arms. They then completed their warm up laps (LOL) before heading back to the magic line for skill #1. When you think skill building for basketball, it isn't trying to get your 2 year old to throw a ball into the basketball hoop, but rather them take a small ball and attempt to toss it through a small hula hoop. The first few attempts might be disastrous but after a few attempts and successes the kids crave more.
As class moved on participants engaged with the coaches, sometimes assisting in demos and even got to help setup the obstacle course. Now this isn't a climb to the top of the rope, then swing to the bar across the room, only to jump down into a ball pit kind of course. When you are speaking toddlers it is a jump over the bean bags, wave side to side through the cones and bear crawl along the rope on the floor. Not only are the kids having fun but they are challenging their little minds and muscles. OF course no class ends without bubbles and a huge high five from coach!
Now, not everyone's experience goes smoothly on day one. For those that haven't had much structured play or class setting it can be an adjustment. You might find your super curious son at the bag of balls dumping them out, laughing as each one rolls across the floor. Or your socially shy child hiding between your legs timid to engage with this coach they've never met. What we can tell you is that each and every minute of interaction and week of class fosters a variety of social and physical experiences. The combination of structured and free play allows them to explore while also learning to follow direction and participate at the appropriate time.
All the members that participated in a class had the same overall experience. "We love that this class provides exposure to a variety of sports, structure and play. The coaches were highly engaged and willing to help both the parents and children settle into class."
They also offer drop-off programs (age 3+) to help children develop independence through creative storylines and special themes. These children will get the chance to build relationships with other children, some as leaders and mentors.
PVMOM Member Offer: NO registration fee. Please mention PVMOM during signup. They also offer a 10% off sibling discount!
Our goal is to set kids up for a lifetime of active fun. How do we do that? By “coaching with purpose.” Whether it’s teaching kids how to handle winning and losing or how to dribble a ball, everything we do, in every class, is for a reason. For instance, all classes follow the same structured format, beginning with warm-ups, progressing to skill development, then finishing up with games – because we know that kids perform better when they know what to expect.
Sportball was one of the first programs of its kind to focus on building developmentally appropriate skills through non-competitive sports, games and activities – and the company keeps evolving to make sure that it delivers the best in sports programming for kids under 10.
The new Scottsdale Gym coaches 8 different ball sports to kids as young as 15months up to 10 years old: volleyball, football, hockey, tennis, baseball, basketball, golf and soccer. With high energy, passionate coaches, your child is guaranteed to have FUN in every class!
Super fun Parent and Child classes for kids as young as 15mos, and Drop-Off multisport classes for kids ages 3-10 available. To learn more feel free to call Kelli at 480-275-7419 or email email@example.com.
I don't know about you, but when August rolls around and Target becomes nothing but back to school headquarters I find myself browsing all the cool new pencil bags and locker decorations (stuff was so boring when I was a kid).
*Make sure you read all the way through as we have some fun giveaways!
A majority of the product picks below are fun whether your multiples are heading into preschool or entering junior high. It's even safe to say these are all toddler approved for use at home or out on the road.
InchBug Customized Labels
InchBug makes labelling your kids belongings as simple as clicking a button! Not only do they offer adhesive labels for things such as food containers and sports equipment but their Orbit labels are perfect for bottles and sippy cups. Orbit labels come in a pack of 4!
Enter to win a set of Orbit labels!
Wildkins Snack 'n Pack Back Pack
Parenting.com listed the Wildkins backpack a must have for the upcoming school year! The front insulated pocket is perfect for lunch, snacks or the 18 Matchbox cars that must go to grandma's for a sleepover. It also features reflective edges on the front for safety at night.
Fit & Fresh Slim Ice Packs
Not only are these ice packs slim, allowing them to fit in a variety of lunch boxes, but they come in cool shapes and colors (think sunglasses and cars)! What kid doesn't want FUN + cold food in their lunchbox? Each pack comes in a set of four.
Enter to win a pack of ice coolers!
Good Day Note Cards
Speaking of fun in lunch boxes, these colorful cards add an instant smile to any child's face with a simple "you are my sunshine." Want to make your own cards? Check our our Pinterest board for inspiration!
Enter to win a box of Good Day cards
My Art Portfolio
While we always love the artwork our children bring home we rarely have enough wall space for it all. This Art Portfolio comes in a few colors and contains 9 accordion style pockets for you to organize all the Picasso masterpieces.
Nike + Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II
Similar to the iconic chucks these All Star II have added durability and more comfort...perfect for any kid. And hey...we won't tell if you cruise around town with mommy + me matching kicks! Available in a variety of colors for men, women and kids!
Coffee for MOM!
Who says back to school has to be for mom ONLY! We all know that the transition back into busy morning routines mean mom need more fuel! Some prefer Starbucks while others crave the Dutch Brother's drive thru. Either works if it kick starts your day!
*Only current PVMOM members are eligible for giveaway items.
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