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

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

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 ❤️


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 😀

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!

image

 

 


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

 

I’m Gonna Miss This

I will never forget the night my mom called to let me know that my nana was not going to make it through the night.

I was home folding laundry watching the season finale of The Apprentice. My kids were sleeping.  My husband was working.  I had paused The Apprentice while on the phone. When I hung up I un-paused the show and Trace Adkins had just taken the stage.  He began to sing and I was mesmerized. He sang a song about how life can be so crazy but “you’re gonna miss this” -the chorus and the name of the song. Like country music does, it tells little stories of life. I heard my life in it.

It hit me so hard at that exact moment; Trace was right. I already missed my nana and she was still here. She was in a coma-like sleep and had been for a few days, so technically the nana I knew and loved had already left us.

I cried. Then I cried some more.

The next morning my nana was still hanging in there. Not conscious, but still breathing.

I went out and bought Trace’s album and listened to that song over and over. Later that day when she passed away I cried even more.

IMG_5076

I never said a word to my kids about that song but each one of them told me months later how much they loved that song and how it reminded them of Nana Alice.

That was in March of 2008.

I am thinking about that tonight as my children have a group of friends over and they are swimming, music is blaring and they are laughing, shouting and singing. They are LOUD. They are fun, happy and loving life.

I sit back on the deck and watch them swim, not able to hear myself think because it is so loud, but

I wouldn’t change a thing. I am soaking up every sound, every laugh and every smile.

fun summer nights!

These days, these years, they are the best ones of my life.

I know I’m gonna miss this. ❤️

 

Why We’re Suing Whole Foods and Rain Crow Ranch

My husband, Andrew Kaye, wrote the following this afternoon, after reading that Rain Crow Ranch had been forced to suspend operations. I couldn’t have put my thoughts together better than this.

This is the ranch whose product infected our son, Joshua, with the E. coli that killed him after he ate it and also sickened multiple children.

This is the ranch who had a different recall a week before we bought the ground beef that made Joshua sick.

This is the ranch run by an owner who openly preaches that you can not get E. coli from grass-fed beef.

This is the ranch which Whole Foods lent money to in order to buy/convert the processing plant that was just shut down, the processing plant which has had a long “contentious relationship” with Federal Safety Inspection Services.

This is the ranch whose products Whole Foods relies upon to supply their Northeast region with grass-fed beef.

This is the ranch whose products Whole Foods has never removed from their stores.

This is the ranch whose products Whole Foods continues to tout as meeting the highest standards for quality and safety.

Sadly, this is is the ranch who will be back up and running again before you know it and sadly, Whole Foods will, in all likelihood, keep on selling their beef while touting their bogus feel-good family farm story.

Because it is about money. If it were about safety or quality or, to quote Whole Foods oft-repeated and incredibly insulting term, “an abundance of caution”, they’d cut ties.

So, for anyone that may question for a moment why my wife and I are suing Whole Foods and Rain Crow, it is to hit them in the only place that matters to them, the wallet. To make the cost of doing business the wrong way costlier than doing it the right way.

Until then, when they sicken or, God forbid, kill the next kid, may the lot of them face criminal charges.

♥️One of my photos of Andy with Joshua ♥️

♥️One of my favorite photos of Andy with Joshua ♥️

Without the Birthday Boy…

Ten years ago, at this moment, I was in labor. I was 4 hours and 35 minutes away from bringing my beautiful son into this world. I was rocking permanent dents into the carpet of my bedroom with every contraction.. trying to stay quiet in my new rocking chair so my family could rest, elated that my baby boy would soon be snuggling in my arms. No matter how many crazy worries went through my head, I never imagined I would be here tonight without my son.

Josh would be SO happy to be celebrating double digits. And we would be happy to do anything he wanted for his birthday. The January before he died, we started the tradition of decorating the dining room with birthday streamers and a banner and balloons and really going all out in the simple ways that make a kid feel special. I could tell he was a tiny bit jealous of his little sister that day, and I was so looking forward to spoiling him in that same way for his birthday 6 1/2 months later. We never got the chance. We spent the days leading up to his 9th birthday trying to wrap our heads around the fact that our son would not be there to celebrate. Our little boy was dead. Forever 8 years old.

We spent his last few days making promises to him- ways we would celebrate his birthday and spoil him when he woke up. Not “if.” We would help him build the treehouse of his dreams. We would even call Pete from Treehouse Masters if he wanted. I would let him skip the next year of school if he wanted, and just spend time doing everything he had ever wanted to do. We meant every word.

On August 3, 2015 at 5:35 AM, Joshua Quentin Kaye will be 10 years old, but he won’t be here to celebrate, to hug, to spoil. I will do my best to hug and love and spoil whoever I am with- all day. I hope you will do the same. #ThisIsForJosh

Josh at NEWC fence JKF Stamp

 

 

 

 

Dedicated to Joshua Kaye #ThisIsForJosh

I have four children.  It isn’t very often that I get to spend one on one time with any of them.  I had the opportunity today to spend the whole day with my youngest son who is 7.

I had to work a little bit in the AM.  I had no choice but to work, so I let him have some bonus tv time.

He kept asking me, “you almost done?” “Can we play now?”  I was engrossed in work and REALLY wanted to keep working until I was finished, but because I knew I was wasting precious one on one time with my baby, I did the bare minimum (per usual it seems).

When I was finished, I asked him what he would like to do and he chose playing out in the back yard.  So we played catch, tennis, soccer and he wanted me to watch him do some soccer ball tricks.

We then went to the mall to buy a few last minute gifts for his older brother who is turning 14 tomorrow.  When we finished doing what we had to do I, once again, turned the power to my little 7 year old.  I told him he was in charge and I would follow his lead.

He opted for ice cream first.  Well, it is actually frozen yogurt, but because of my families food allergies to peanuts and tree-nuts (to name a few), we are pretty limited with what is safe for us. We sat together and ate our ice cream.  I refrained from pulling out my phone. I sat, in silence, with him while we ate and he chatted about what he wanted to chat about.

Next we went to Build-A-Bear.  For the record- I NEVER say yes to building a bear.  We have too many stuffed animals in the house, it is too expensive (for me with four kids) and I just never say yes.  Because he was in charge today, I was willing to splurge.  He chose a $16.00 bear.  No noises, no smells, no clothes, not even a certificate.  His wants are so sweet and simple, he just wanted the softest, cuddliest bear they had.  My heart was so filled with love.  Again, I refrained from pulling out my phone while waiting.

Next he just wanted to walk around and hold my hand.

 

Holding-Childs-Hand

After we left the mall, we had to pick up his sister at a very crowded beach, met up with his 2 older brothers and had a fun filled evening with friends at Coco Keys water park.  It was busy and chaotic, just like our normal life.

I dedicate this day to my dear friends’ child, Joshua Kaye, who is no longer with us.   Losing him taught me that the time we have right now is all we have.

I put off a lot of things for later that I just don’t get to.  One thing that sticks in my mind was a giant princess puzzle that my daughter got for her birthday when she was 4.  She LOVED that puzzle.  It was life-sized and the pieces were big.  Water spilled on it and the pieces got all warped.  I took the pieces and put them flat under a large pile of heavy books.  I told her they would probably flatten out over time.  She asked me daily for those pieces, asking if they were ready yet.  Day after day after day.  I got frustrated she asked me so frequently.

Then, one day- a few years later-  I was cleaning up and (woah!) there were those puzzle pieces. Three years had past.  She no longer wanted them.  It was such a simple thing I could have done to make a 4 year old happy.  I could have just checked on the stupid pieces to see if they are ready yet for her, but no- I was too busy.  You only have now.

Yes, I was on my phone today. I texted, looked things up, and got some work done.  But, I was also very aware of the here and now.  I made my 7 year old really happy.  He feels so very special that he got to see what his big brother is getting for his birthday before everybody else and we got some amazing one-on-one time.

I dedicate this and most of my days since Josh’s passing on July 7th 2014 to him.  There isn’t a moment that goes by that I don’t think of him and his family and how they wake up every single day without him.  I think about how courageous Josh’s parents are.  They made a decision that they must continue to really live their lives without their precious 8 year old son, for their two daughters.

Everything about Joshua’s death sickens me.  He should be here.  But he isn’t. (Read his story here and here.) Instead of walking around angry and sad all of the time, I try to be understanding, kind, and loving for my own kids.  I have learned to be more patient and, most of all, present.

Life with 4 kids, plus a small business, being an author, radio show co-host and blogger is busy and sometimes a blur, but I am taking one moment at a time and trying to do it with a smile on my face and love in my heart.

#ThisIsForJosh

For more information about Joshua Kaye Foundation, visit the foundation’s Facebook page.