Fish Food In The Sock Drawer…. Totally Normal, Right?

I don’t know about you, but laundry hanging out of every drawer and stacked up on top of the bureau makes me NUTS! ¬†Today I couldn’t take it anymore so I stopped what I was doing and started sorting out my oldest son’s drawer.

This is a real bureau in my house right now as you read :-(

My son’s bureau

Not only did I find toddler sized socks (he’s 15 ūüė≥) but I also found size 5T jammies.

I also found a bottle of fish food that was dumped on the bottom, who knows when….

Dried up, old fish food!

Dried up, old fish food!

I shook out each pair of underwear and each pair of socks and little dried up pieces of fish food fell out of them.

So this leads me to believe a few things.

First of all, one of the kids spilled fish food into another kid’s underwear drawer and didn’t clean it up. ¬†They also didn’t tell anybody or ask for help cleaning it up.

Fish food WAY too close to the underwear drawer!

Fish food WAY too close to the underwear drawer!

Secondly my two teens (13 and 15) are always arguing over socks so I KNOW they both saw the fish food and decided to just wear the socks with fish food on them and not clean up the mess.

Is wearing fish food socks and underwear itchy? ¬†Smelly? ¬†I’m going to say yes.

Since my 8 year old owns the fish, he is getting the blame for this one.

Clearly the others noticed and ignored it.

Normal, right?

 

EDIT:  The 15 year old son also happens to be a genius when it comes to anything related to reading, writing or language so I asked him to give me a quick edit on this post and he has a problem with me stating that he wore fish food on his socks and underwear.

He wants it to state clearly here that he did NOT see any fish food in his drawer. ūüėā

 

Jenns Bio Pic 2Jennifer Ormond is a Boston-based entrepreneur, author, radio personality, blogger, mom to 4 amazing kids, and wife. Lover of business, coffee, writing, children and parenting. Queen of sarcasm and eternal optimist!

Connect with Jenn at mommybusiness.net, coffeebreakcafe.net, or jenniferormond.com. On Twitter- @jennormond & @mommybiz7

Why This Mom Loves Pokemon Go!

This mom of four (ages 8,10, 13, and 15) loves Pokémon Go!

When my oldest two were younger and really into Pokémon, I was sometimes pregnant, sometimes nursing and ALWAYS tired.

I could hear them talking about Pikachu and Dragonite and it sounded like a totally different language to me. They read the books, collected the cards, and watched the show. While they watched the show, I would wash dishes, or cook a meal, do laundry, or nurse a younger one. It was rare that I sat next to them and watched an episode.

They ALWAYS asked me to play/watch/listen. They always wanted me to play the game or watch the show with them. They wanted to sit next to me to show me the cards and discuss, at length, the names of the characters, their powers, and what they turned into. At the time, I was too tired, distracted, and just plain confused by the whole thing.

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Before I knew it, those cards and books stopped being used. Nobody asked me to sit with them and go over poke cards with them anymore. I was sad. I knew I had missed out on a great bonding time that I could never get back, or so I thought….

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My youngest son, who is now 8, loves¬†Pok√©mon. He isn’t quite as excited as his older brothers were, but does pull out the old cards and always uses his own money to buy more. This time, I am paying attention- I don’t want to lose out on the opportunity to learn about Pok√©mon (and bond with my little guy!)

Recently, one of my friends on Facebook told me about Pok√©mon GO. ¬†I hadn’t heard of it, but with a¬†few quick scrolls,¬†I could clearly see this was HUGE. I went to download it and I could see from the App store that somebody in my family already had- I was PSYCHED!

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Fast forward two weeks and there are three of us playing. (The two little ones play on my phone while I am driving.) Since we are all competitive, we are having a blast seeing who can get to the next level quickest. We are all helping each other too when we see Pokémon that are in the area and as a team we seek out Poke stops.

I am loving every minute of this. The language is familiar this time around and we are all learning together how to play. I am determined not to miss out on the bonding opportunity this time around!


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I feel like this is a¬†chance to take a walk back through the two oldests’ childhoods.

Yes, it can be annoying when I have to sit in a parking lot for an extra 10 minutes at a “gym.” ¬†Yes, it is irritating when we drive a little bit further than the Pok√©stop and miss it altogether. ¬†And yes, we had to make an agreement on vacation that we would all put our phones away for a few hours and enjoy real life instead of¬†“Poklife”.

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But overall, I am embracing this little phase. I have two teens who WANT to hang with me. Or maybe they don’t necessarily want to, but I know they don’t hate me, like they could. They are fun to be around and we are having so much fun together with this silly¬†little game!

 

Me and my two oldest :-)

Me and my two oldest ūüôā

 

Here’s the scoop in my humble opinion- we have a super popular video game (more popular than many social networks) that all ages are having fun with. Our children are not shooting people, killing anybody or anything, they are not harming prostitutes or police like in other games. They are catching creatures with really creative names, colors and powers.

 

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Yes, the distraction factor is a real problem.

Yes, I have read that the FBI and the CIA are reading my thoughts, emails, pics and DNA through my agreeing to this little games contract, but since my life is pretty boring, who cares? ¬†Listen away. Listen to us having some fun together.¬†ūüėČ

-J


Jenns Bio Pic 2Jennifer Ormond is a Boston-based entrepreneur, author, radio personality, blogger, mom to 4 amazing kids, and wife.  Lover of business, coffee, writing, children and parenting.  Queen of sarcasm and eternal optimist! 

Connect with Jenn at mommybusiness.net, coffeebreakcafe.net, or jenniferormond.com. On Twitter- @jennormond & @mommybiz7

 

 

 

A Lost Child…. Every Parent’s Nightmare

Walking down the very crowded Ocean City boardwalk, in the middle of my long-awaited vacation last week, I heard the cry of a terrified child. My friend and I stopped short, as did a bunch of other moms. We know what primal fear sounds like.

I turned to see a lost little boy. He had found a police officer who was saying and doing all the right things.

The boy (who appeared to be around 4 or 5) knew his first and last name, plus his mom’s phone number. (Good job, Mama!).

The police officer had the boy sit down on a bench while reassuring him that they would find his mom. The officer got to the boy’s level by kneeling on one knee while asking him questions. He was speaking softly into his walkie talkie, reporting every detail to the person on the other end.

Lost boy. Face blurred to protect his identity.

Lost boy.
Face blurred to protect his identity.

Just as the two began to walk towards the crowd, a young teen ran over and asked if the kid’s name was “John” because there was a frantic mom screaming for a kid named “John.”

That’s when I walked away. All was good.

I turned to look at my own kids, who, along with my friend’s children, were oblivious to what was happening. I was so grateful at that moment.

That little boy gets to snuggle with his mom tonight because of that police officer. What might have happened if that lost little boy ran into the arms of the wrong person? I can’t even go there.

The officer was calm and reassuring. He was professional and kind. I’m sure he will be remembered as a hero by that little boy and his mom.

Not only does this man put on a uniform every day and risk his life for strangers; he keeps his eyes out for children who needs his help and protection. It was beautiful to witness this interaction, especially knowing it ended happily.

There is so much ugliness going on in this world right now, I just wanted to share some beauty.

-J


Jenns Bio Pic 2Jennifer Ormond is a Boston-based entrepreneur, author, radio personality, blogger, mom to 4 amazing kids, and wife.  Lover of business, coffee, writing, children and parenting.  Queen of sarcasm and eternal optimist! 

Connect with Jenn at mommybusiness.net, coffeebreakcafe.net, or jenniferormond.com. On Twitter- @jennormond & @mommybiz7

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Update

I try not to overload Mommy Business with too much Joshua Kaye Foundation– but I’ve realized that’s probably more than a little crazy. Losing Joshua has changed us forever, and we put so much of our energy into trying to #SpreadLoveAndKindness in his memory. This weekend, we held our first Family Fun Day & Touch-a-Truck event and it was fantastic. We were so touched by the support shown by the entire community. Check out the cool video one of our friends put together.¬†

So many of you have reached out with kind words and support in one way or another. Thank you- I’m not sure how we’d have gotten through the last 22 months without such a supportive community.

‚̧M

Joshy squishy face JKF stamp

What 45 Looks Like

I was on a weekend getaway with my family recently in New Hampshire, when I bumped into an acquaintance who lives in the town next to mine. We knew each other well enough to say hello and chat a bit. We talked about skiing and North Conway and how great it is.

She asked me if I skied and I told her I hadn’t put them on since before children. Since my oldest is 14, that makes it about 15 years since the last time I had skied. I was bursting with pride because I didn’t fall down once!!

I told her how excited I was that this 45 year old body could still behave like a 20 something’s. She looked at me like she was a bit confused. She then said, “Wow! You do NOT look 45.”

I didn’t know what to say.

Is this a compliment?

What does 45 look like?

Do I look older or younger?

Then I went back to, what does 45 look like?

I thought about it for a few days and this is what I have come up with.

1. 45 looks tired. I can’t remember the last time I slept in my own bed without a kid waking up in the middle of the night needing a hug for a bad dream or an arm or leg in my face. ¬†I have 4 kids who are active and require me to drive a lot, cook, do laundry and a lot of cleaning. We also do lots of homework, lots of arguing and an awful lot of laughing.

Kids sleeping in my spot on the bed :-(

Kids sleeping in my spot on the bed ūüôĀ

2. 45 looks bigger. For me, anyway. I have been fighting weight gain since the sperm hit the egg 15 years ago and the numbers keep going up, unfortunately.  I am having fun working out, trying to get the numbers back down, though.

I love my taekwondo!

I love my taekwondo!

3.¬†45 looks lighter. I no longer care so much about what others think. Obviously, there are a select few people in my life that I truly love and respect and I care what they think but, overall, people can and do talk crap about me and I simply don’t care. As women, we spend so much time worrying about what others think and say about us when it really only matters what we think of ourselves. I don’t think I understood that truly until I hit my 40’s.

Kids making me "pretty".  They wrote "mom" on my face :-)

Kids making me “pretty”. They wrote “mom” on my face ūüôā

4. 45 looks ballsy. Yep, ballsy! I do things now that I never would have done in my 20’s. I speak publicly about being a business owner and try to help as many people as possible. I get up in front of strangers and judges and do taekwondo at tournaments. I recently got on skis for the first time in 15 years (I was terrified). I am on the radio. I write. I put myself out there and allow myself to be vulnerable.

That is me, filled with anxiety about to go down the mountain.  Well, okay it was the bunny hill but that counts!  :-)

That is me, filled with anxiety about to go down the mountain. Well, okay it was the bunny hill but that counts! ūüôā

5. 45 looks (or feels) like a kid who is still learning how to be an adult. I hugged my oldest the other night, he was upset. I caught our reflection in the mirror while hugging and thought to myself, how on earth did I get the honor and privilege of parenting this kid? I am still a kid myself trying to find my way through this life, and here I am making the rules.

6.  45 looks grateful.  I am grateful to have a husband who loves me and four children who teach me why I was put here on this earth.  I am grateful for a roof over my head and food in my belly. I am grateful that my parents had me young and I have them both in my life still.  I am grateful for REALLY good friends and I am super grateful for such a tight knit extended family.

7. 45 looks happy. I am happy. ¬†I truly appreciate what I have. I love my husband, my children and my businesses. I understand now, more than ever, that money really can’t buy happiness.

Me and my love out having fun :-)

Me and my love out having fun ūüôā

 

I am grateful that this woman made me really think long and hard about what 45 looks like. ¬†I don’t know if I look my age. ¬†Hopefully, when people look at me, they see a mom, wife, friend who tries to be a good person, because every day I try to be a little bit better than I was yesterday.

 


Jenns Bio Pic 2Jennifer Ormond is a Boston-based entrepreneur, author, radio personality, blogger, mom to 4 amazing kids, and wife.  Lover of business, coffee, writing, children and parenting.  Queen of sarcasm and eternal optimist! 

Connect with Jenn at mommybusiness.net, coffeebreakcafe.net, or jenniferormond.com. On Twitter- @jennormond & @mommybiz7

 

 

Getting Creative With Sun Butter!

As a mom to four children with many activities and food allergies, I have to be creative with meals since most of them are eaten on the go.  Sandwiches seem to be the go-to option in our house.

With the new year right around the corner, I am trying to come up with some new sandwich recipes to spice things up a bit.  We have been in a super boring food slump.

We have peanut and tree nut allergies in our family so nuts of any kind are not allowed. ¬†(Except for the nut writing this ūüôā ) ¬†Sun butter is a staple in our home.

Last night, I decided to try and be creative with sun butter sandwich recipes. It is safe for my kids, they like it, and it is high in protein. I dug out an old peanut butter recipe book I have had for years. ¬†I substituted sun butter for peanut butter and ¬†had a “tasting party” and got valuable feedback from the kids.

First we tried “The Elvis” sandwich. This was Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich, the book said. My version was sun butter spread on both sides of the bread, bacon, thinly sliced bananas and honey, on toasted bread. Sounds strange but was SO GOOD! This sandwich got the highest ratings from the “tasters”.

The "Elvis" sandwich :-)

The “Elvis” sandwich ūüôā

Next up on the strange sandwich list was a grilled cheese with sun butter! Yes, it sounds nasty but honestly it was really good! It was a little sweet and salty. You know those little orange cheese crackers with peanut butter in the center? Kind of like that but much better, because I added butter and toasted the bread. The “tasters” liked the sandwich but couldn’t commit to actually eating it on a regular basis.

Grilled cheese with sun butter!

Grilled cheese with sun butter!

Last, but not least, for our sandwich tasting party was a BLT with sun butter. ¬†That too, was strange and delicious at the same time. Unfortunately my tasters were not on board. ūüėě

BLT with sun butter

BLT with sun butter

 

Only one of these sandwiches made the cut, but at least we came up with something a little bit different.

 

We also like to dip just about anything in sun butter, veggies, cookies, crackers or just eating it plain. ¬†My current fav is the traditional ants on a log, a little sun butter smeared in celery topped with raisins. ūüôā

YUM!

YUM!

There are so many things we can do with sun butter.  I am just grateful that within my house full of food allergy kids, they actually enjoy the taste.

It is one of my secret pleasures as well.

Feel free to send me some of your favorite sun butter recipes (or post on fb of course)!  We would love some suggestions :-).

Jenn@mommybusiness.net

Happy New year!

-J

 

 

 

 

Photo credit Shutterstock.com for ants on a log

Autism & Asperger’s on Disney’s Girl Meets World

If I had my way, my family would only watch 2 hours of TV per week. We watch more than that, but we’re picky about the shows, especially for our 6 year old. Even on the channels we’ve always trusted, some of the shows are full of sass and even border on bullying sometimes. One show consistently gets it right, though, so we watch religiously as a family.

Girl Meets World, the sequel to Boy Meets World, features the real life, ¬†grown-up¬†Cory Matthews¬†and¬†Topanga Lawrence as the supportive and down-to-earth parents of an adorably quirky adolescent daughter, Riley. The show spotlights issues and topics that kids and families face in daily life- divorced or absent parents, materialism, fitting in, honesty, friendship, responsibility and growing up in general. The most recent episode, which aired on September 11, tackled a topic that most shows would shy away from- Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome- in an authentic way and succeeded in sending the best message possible.

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One of¬†Riley’s three best friends, Farkle (the son of Stuart Minkus, in case you watched BMW!) is a lovable genius. He’s also a bit socially awkward and outspoken and sometimes misses social cues. In my new favorite¬†episode, Farkle goes through a series of tests after his genius confirmation and is nervous about a possible Asperger’s diagnosis. While Farkle, the guidance counselor, and teacher (Cory Matthew, of course!) offer information about Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), at no point does anyone send the message¬†that there is something wrong¬†with someone with either diagnosis. Ultimately, it’s revealed that another character (Isadora Smackle) does have Asperger’s and the friends realize the label doesn’t matter as much as they thought it would.

While any diagnosis can be worrisome for a parent or child, and nobody can deny the challenges faced by children and adults with ASD, it’s refreshing and necessary to realize that “normal” doesn’t need to be the goal. Although we have lots of sensory issues in my family, I’m not the mother of an autistic child. I just know how I want my children treated and how I want them to treat others. When even the most well-known Autism advocacy organization seems to be¬†getting it wrong, it’s really nice to see a family TV show get it right!

To quote Riley Matthews, “Who wants to be normal?”

Nobody raise their hand.


 

MSTK bio picMelissa Kaye is a Boston-based green living expert, writer, radio personality, food safety advocate, mom, and wife. She is currently working her way through grief and learning how to live without her would-be 10 year old son, Joshua, who died July 7, 2014 of E. Coli. With her husband and two daughters, she has founded Joshua Kaye Foundation, which will honor what was important to Josh- community, fairness and animal welfare. 

Connect with Melissa at mommybusiness.net or on Twitter @mstkaye and @mommybiz7. 

My 9 year Old is Teaching My 7 Year Old How to Use the Stove!

I am keeping my distance allowing her to take the lead and teach him how to make his grilled cheese sandwich.

I have some mommy guilt that I am not the one teaching him.

I am also bursting with pride that my two youngest are helping each other to be self sufficient.

I kind of want to step in so nobody gets burned, but I don’t want to hover, plus this is a great lesson for us all.

Hot pan!

 

Judging by the way they are speaking to each other, I feel like I did something right along the way. ¬†I chose not to interfere and now they are enjoying each other and their lunch! ¬†‚̧ԳŹ

Deep discussions over lunch :-)

Deep discussions over lunch ūüôā

 

How to Help When Your Friend’s Child is in the Hospital

Two days ago, my very good friend called me from AZ to ask for my help. She apologized, fearing her question might cause me an emotional breakdown. My sweet friend’s very dear friend is going through hell right now, and she wants to know how to help. Being that her hell looks a lot like my life last June 25-July 6, I was the person to ask. And we are always 100% honest with each other, so she knew I would give it to her straight.

So, in this case, a friend’s child is in the Intensive Care Unit at a nearby hospital, in serious condition after a very brief illness. There are pets and other children to care for. Here are my best suggestions:

1. Keep calling, texting and private messaging.

Your thoughts and prayers are helping to sustain these nervous parents. DO make sure you let them know you don’t expect a reply.

2. Offer specifics, don’t ask what you can do to help.¬†

If you are in a position to help,¬†offer up ideas. Your friend’s brain is struggling to function on the most basic level right now, they will appreciate having to give only a yes or no answer. Can I pick Janie up for a playdate this afternoon? Can I take your dog for a walk or a sleepover at my place until you’re all back home? Or, if you’re very close- don’t even ask, tell. “I’m coming to the hospital at noon and bringing lunch and some clean clothes. Let me know if there’s¬†anything specific you’d like me to bring.” Or “I’m stopping by your house on my way home to take your trash out, feed the cats, switch the laundry and drop off a lasagna in case anyone is planning to sleep at home tonight.” You don’t have to commit to anything big, but¬†don’t be afraid to if you just can’t sit still.

3. Bring a few simple things when you visit the hospital.

Bottled water, lip balm, SOFT tissues and a few small, healthy snacks. While you’re there for a visit, make sure you watch mom and dad take a few bites and a few sips. When a child is sick, the parents are running on adrenaline and don’t even notice their hunger or thirst, but they’ll need their strength to get through this hard time.

shutterstock_164906795*Shutterstock image

4. Don’t let your friend play host!

Remind the parents that you and other friends are there to help and they should not feel pressure to entertain you. Maybe encourage them to sit and snuggle their child and take a break from thinking about the medical stuff for just a few minutes. If they need to stretch their legs, go for a walk outside in the fresh air for a few minutes, but be mindful of why you’re there.

5. Keep people in the loop.

Offer to update your other friends or your school community. I appreciated the support of our friends and family so much, and knowing that the entire school community was also pulling for us meant the world to my family and me.¬†In the event that there won’t be a happy ending, it is beneficial for the students to have had a heads-up that their friend was sick or injured. But the real benefit here is the support and love of the community.

6. After the whole ordeal, whether there was a miraculous recovery, or a parent’s worst nightmare comes true, acknowledge the trauma.

When a family loses a child, the entire community mourns. It’s ok to talk about your feelings- in fact, it’s soothing, or at least heart-warming when my friends tell me, through tears, how much they miss my son. When a family suffers the trauma of watching their child suffer and survive, there is a huge sense of relief, but the trauma is still there. The child is resilient, but the parents may need more time to recover. Bring food, mow the lawn, clean the house, check in.

In the hardest times, we find our true community. I hope this helps you be there for your friend in their time of need. – M¬†‚̧ԳŹ


MSTK bio picMelissa Kaye is a Boston-based green living expert, writer, radio personality, food safety advocate, mom, and wife. She is currently working her way through grief and learning how to live without her would-be 10 year old son, Joshua, who died July 7, 2014 of E. Coli. With her husband and two daughters, she has founded Joshua Kaye Foundation, which will honor what was important to Josh- community, fairness and animal welfare. 

Connect with Melissa at mommybusiness.net or on Twitter @mstkaye and @mommybiz7. 

 

This Recipe Is SO Good, I Had To Share!

While scrolling through Facebook the other night, I stumbled upon a healthy recipes website that I really liked, so I took screenshots of the recipes I wanted to mess around with, got inspired and tried a bunch of new things.

This recipe really caught my attention¬†because it was a homemade Nutrigrain bar. ¬†My kids LOVE real Nutrigrain bars, but I don’t buy them because they have GMOs and we¬†avoid GMOs as much as possible.

We have allergies to peanuts, tree-nuts and gluten, so I modified the recipe to work for my family.

OMG- it is so good.  We are all loving it.  Had to share.

 

Not pretty or perfect but delicious and relatively healthy!

Not pretty or perfect but delicious and relatively healthy!

Dough:

2 cups of Gluten Free King Arthur flour

1 cup of coconut oil

1/2 cup of agave

1 egg

1 cup of gluten free oats

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of salt (you can do a half if you like)

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste, I did a bit more)

 

Strawberry Purée:

Quart of strawberries (1 of the dirty dozen, so I chose organic)

Sugar to taste.  I used a tablespoon

Little bit of (non-GMO) corn starch to thicken it up

Thickened strawberry puree

Thickened strawberry puree

Put the liquid dough ingredients together and mix with an electric mixer until it looks like it is almost creamed.  Slowly add in dry ingredients, continue to mix.  When all ingredients are mixed well, move to the fridge to chill.

Agave, vanilla, coconut oil and one egg.

Agave, vanilla, coconut oil and one egg.

While the dough is chilling, put the strawberries in a pot with a little bit of water. Heat it up and stir. Let it cool and put it in a blender or food processor and blend until puréed. Put it back in the pot and add the sugar, heat up and stir. Add cornstarch, the hotter it gets the more the cornstarch will work, so only add small amounts until reaching the desired thickness. Allow to cool before adding to dough.

Clean organic strawberries!

Clean organic strawberries!

When the dough has a nice chill, roll it out. ¬†This is where somebody who has some baking talent can make these bars look pretty-unlike mine ūüėÄ

This dough could use some help but it sure tastes yummy!

This dough could use some help, but it sure tastes yummy!

Roll the dough flat. Then, using a pizza cutter cut out rectangles.   Scoop out purée onto one side of the rectangle.  Fold the dough to cover the purée and pinch the edges of the dough together to keep the purée enclosed.

Strawberry puree on the dough before folding

Strawberry puree on the dough before folding

Bake at 350 for approximately 8-12 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before eating.

Icing could be added to the top to make it look and taste more like a pop tart too!  Each one of my kids mentioned that would be cool to do.

Home made gluten free, nut allergy safe nutrigrain bars!

Homemade gluten free, nut allergy safe nutrigrain bars!

Enjoy!

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Jenns Bio Pic 2Jennifer Ormond is a Boston-based entrepreneur, author, radio personality,    blogger, mom to 4 amazing kids, and wife. Lover of business, coffee, writing, children and parenting. Queen of sarcasm and eternal optimist!

Connect with Jenn at mommybusiness.net, coffeebreakcafe.net, or jenniferormond.com. On Twitter- @jennormond & @mommybiz7