Caution: May Cause Blindness

First, let me say that I am like a child before Christmas, I’m so excited for this eclipse. In fact, I’ve cursed a lot over the last few months, after realizing that it would take place while I was scheduled to be on vacation with my husband’s family… in MA… very far from the path of totality. That said, most of you know I’m a big fan of keeping my kids safe, and that includes their vision. So, when I read an Astronomy Magazine article this morning, I was a little irked. His headline, calling an eye expert “dead wrong” is a bit crazy, and accusing him of “attempting to deprive people the spectacular, life-changing view” is irresponsible and a little over the top.  I’ve read several other articles over the last week, supporting the notion of close supervision for children viewing the eclipse, and I think that Michael Bakich at Astronomy Magazine was a bit irresponsible in publishing his article with the headline and tone he chose. In his article, he references a post made a few days ago by optometrist Michael Schecter, and essentially calls it BS. I call it good advice. (We’ll still be viewing with NASA recommended viewing glasses, after I put the fear of blindness into my kids!) Read on below for Dr. Schecter’s thoughts.

“As an Optometrist, I want to express concern that I have about the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug 21. There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse directly, even with the use of solar filter glasses. Everyone should keep in mind if they or their children are considering this.

Nasa.gov

We have to keep in mind that some people will encounter the inability to control every aspect of this exercise. For instance, true solar eclipse glasses are made for adults, do not fit children well and should not be used without direct parental supervision. If the solar glasses do not filter out 100% of the harmful UV rays, if they are not used absolutely perfectly, or should there be a manufacturing defect in any of them, this will result in permanent and irreversible vision loss for any eye exposed. Just like sunburn to the skin, the effects are not felt or noticed immediately. I have a great fear that I will have patients in my office on Tuesday, Aug 22 who woke up with hazy, blurry vision that I cannot fix. It is a huge risk to watch the eclipse even with the use of solar glasses. There is no absolutely safe way to do so other than on TV.

The biggest danger with children is ensuring proper use without direct parental supervision. As the eclipse passes over many places, including Columbus, the moon will not block 100% of the sun. Because so much of its light is blocked by the moon, if one looks at it without full protection, it does not cause pain as looking at the sun does on a regular day. Normally if you try to look at the sun, it physically hurts and you can’t see anything. During an eclipse, however, it is easier to stare for a bit….and even less than 30 seconds of exposure to a partially eclipsed sun, you can burn a blind spot right to your most precious central vision. With solar glasses you can’t see ANYTHING except the crescent of light of the sun. Kids could have a tendency to want to peak around the filter to see what is actually going on up there. One failure, just one, where education and supervision fail, will have such a devastating consequence.

Please, please be safe. Watch it on television”

Wherever you’re watching from, please be careful AND ENJOY!!


 

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 12 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 honors what was important to Josh- community, fairness and animal welfare. 

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

Three Years. #ThisIsForJosh

Three years ago tonight, I snuggled with my boy and fell asleep sooner than I meant to for the last time. I woke up a few hours later and had to watch his sisters’ world crash down around them, knowing they’d be going home without their brother and best friend. We left Children’s Hospital without our boy on the oppressively hot afternoon of July 7, 2014. I don’t know how we made it the few blocks to the hotel without collapsing, but once we did, we couldn’t leave. We couldn’t bring ourselves to go home yet without him. It hasn’t gotten easier to be without him. Three years is a long time, but a sound, smell, or glimpse can bring me right back to the hospital. And I still wake up some mornings shocked by my reality. Three years… I look at his best friends and imagine him standing there. He was just hitting a growth spurt- how tall would he be now? His friends horse around and tell jokes, and I can hear him cracking up. We’re lucky to have his friends and their families around us so much. They are our lifeline, really. The boys have become surrogate brothers to our girls. They and their parents are like family to us now. And they’re a big part of the foundation we started in Joshua’s memory. When a child dies, the love you have for them doesn’t… so we put our love for Josh into Joshua Kaye Foundation and every year since we lost him, from 7/7 through his birthday on 8/3, we ask friends, family, and our community to join us in acts of kindness.

The acts can be big or small, serious or silly. We’ll be sharing ideas and specific group opportunities on our Facebook page and on Instagram. If you decide to join us, please share your acts of kindness on social media with #ThisIsForJosh.

Thank you for all of the love and support,

M ❤️

Mother’s Day (A Day After, Anyway..) -M

Mother’s Day is different than it used to be. I guess it always is. When we’re little, it’s exciting to make special things for mom, our own creations- cards, art, jewelry, breakfast, and, as a teen, apologies. Then it becomes our turn to be spoiled by the beautiful, simple pleasures of extra snuggles, breakfast made by tiny, messy hands, and maybe one less turn wiping bums that day. (Thanks, Dads!) I used to look forward to Mother’s Day for the special handmade cards and gifts that were coming my way, and of course I still do, but there’s something missing.

 

Handprint Art by Joshua

This was my third Mother’s Day without my sweet boy. The first, I tried not to cry all day, but did anyway. And I refused to take calls except from my mom (but not on her first attempt.) Last year, my husband and little one made breakfast, but I don’t remember much else. This year, I avoided social media, and forgot to call my mom until after her bedtime. I received lots of loving messages from friends and family and put off reading a beautifully honest piece about mothering that a dear friend dedicated to me until this morning. But my day was mostly good. Yummy brunch made by my husband and little one, followed by hours of bracelet making with my girls. Maybe it helped that we were working on bracelets to honor Joshy, or maybe it’s that my hands were busy, my girls were chatty, and I couldn’t focus on the hole in the beads with tears in my eyes, but I definitely cried less.

Sending love to all the awesome moms out there, with a little extra for the moms who will never be whole.

M❤️

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 😳) 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. 😂

 

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 🙁

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 🙂

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! 🙂

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 🙂

 

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 🙂 )  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 🙂

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. 😞

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. 🙂

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

I Will Keep My “Fake” Facebook Life, Thank You Very Much!

I am SO tired of reading the posts and cute little FB memes about everybody’s fake happy life on Facebook and how it’s all a bunch of bullshit.

face book pic screenshot

I will take that happy bullshit any day over the dark, depressing crap that is on the TV news.

Turn on the news and before you know it, 6 minutes have past and you’ve heard about 12 people murdered, 2 six-alarm fires, and 5 more foods you should never eat.

Newspapers are the same.  We are conditioned to believe that bad news is the only news worth delivering. Quite frankly, I am tired of listening to only the bad stuff.  I don’t want to hear only about how awful this world is because I have come to see that there are WAY more beautiful things happening than bad.

Based on people’s FB’s pics and posts, I would say that most people agree with me.

I wouldn’t say that everyone is faking their lives on social media, they are simply expressing the beauty captured in their lives.

I read a hilarious and totally relatable post on this topic the other day.  This mom’s point of view was that life is messy and ugly and everyone should stop posting pictures of calm serenity when it is really chaotic.  While I agree on one hand-  being a mom is busy and life is messy, for sure, I feel that if we can find a few moments of beauty, why not share?  It doesn’t make you a liar or a fake, it makes you an optimist or a person who can see beauty the through the crap.

facebook screenshot

I consider myself a person to be one of those people who sees beauty through the crap.  I have removed the people in my life who only see the bad.  I barely watch the news or read the paper (I do pay attention to the bigger picture things that affect my life directly) but over all, I am pretty happy and positive. Knowing about the six-alarm fire 7 towns over does not help me or my stress level.  This is tragic and real and people are hurt- I get this, but having devastating news shoved down my throat hourly doesn’t help anything. In fact, studies show that exposure to negative news can cause major stress issues, even mimicking PTSD.

Seeing smiling faces and happy memories on social media does bring me happiness.  I love seeing pictures of my high school friends and their families. I love seeing (and getting to know) people that I probably wouldn’t lay eyes on in real life. I love learning about new places and recipes. I also love hearing opinions from people that I know and respect.

So this girl, is going to keep her “fake” Facebook life and love every minute of it.

Please, everyone, keep sharing happy posts and pictures.  I, for one, truly appreciate it. 😊


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

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.

GirlMeetsWorldCastPhoto

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!  ❤️

Deep discussions over lunch :-)

Deep discussions over lunch 🙂