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 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

 

 

 

 

 

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 🙂

 

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. ❤️

 

I Am THAT Kind of Mother

At Mommy Business, we believe in sharing our authentic stories. Our Featured Blogger for August, Rebecca Goldi, captured the importance of authenticity in parenting with her post and we are happy to share it with you. As always, your thoughts and love are welcome in the comments below.  xo- M&J


The Dragons and I were in the waiting area at the car dealership. Zillions of popcorn kernels and Nutrigrain crumbs were strewn all over the carpet (because the best way to keep Dragons quiet and out of trouble is with the use of food… any food… the mess is irrelevant) and all was well with the world when an older woman noticed that two of #1’s fingernails had been painted pink and blue. Tacked onto the end of her observation were 6 words that will strike a nerve in any parent.

“Oh, you’re that kind of mother”

The exact intention of her sentiment continues to leave me quite befuddled because, let’s be honest, my name isn’t Inspector Gadget and ain’t no mom got time to decipher the nonsensical statements made by the geriatric generation. But, nonetheless, it got me thinking. I’ve yet to define myself as to who I’ve become (as a mother) due to the simple fact that motherhood is constantly changing… constantly evolving. I am constantly changing… constantly evolving. In a season where no two days are ever the same, is self-definition even a possibility? For now, I (and my parenting style) may not fit into a neat, tiny box, but as for the woman who knows no filter, I’m deciding to agree. I am that kind of mother.

I’m the kind of mother who encourages her children to go outside and get as dirty as freakin’ possible because it’s a hell of a lot of fun!

MoD Dirty

I’m the kind of mother who encourages her children to eat their food with gusto!

MoD Gusto

I’m the kind of mother who emphasizes the importance of personal hygiene.

MoD Hygiene

I’m the kind of mother who allows her son to put makeup on with her in the mornings. It isn’t a political statement and it has even less to do with breaking down the barriers of gender stereotypes. It keeps him entertained, out of trouble, AND has the added bonus of quality time.

MoD Quality Time

I’m the kind of mother who encourages her children to continuously test their limits (which is probably why they’re dragons, let’s be honest.)

MoD Test Limits

I’m the kind of mother who encourages sibling love, even when it hurts.

MoD Even When it Hurts

I’m the kind of mother who teaches that good cooking feeds the soul!

MoD Feeds the Soul

I’m the kind of mother who encourages her children to express themselves artistically.

MoD Artistically

I’m the kind of mother who chooses her battles. Wearing new shoes to bed? Go for it!!!

MoD Shoes to Bed

I’m the kind of mother who encourages a curiosity and love of nature.

MoD Nature

I’m the kind of mother who teaches the overwhelming love, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, and strength that can only come from the Lord above.

MoD Kindness

I’m also the kind of mother who finds herself overwhelmed with the seemingly endless lists of tasks that never seems to get shorter. I’m the kind of mother who has more patience than a Buddhist priest, but when #2’s crying never ceases and, in an attempt to gain my attention, #1 breaks my Le Creuset skillet, I completely lose it.  And then I just keep yelling because it just feels so good to get it out.

In defining myself, I do not look to the instances of extreme chaos, but rather to the moments in which I feel the most joy… where I feel whole.

I guess in defining myself, I should start there.


Rebecca Goldi bio picRebecca Goldi is a SAHM to 2 boys she jokingly, but accurately, calls dragons. When she isn’t wrangling the boys, she can be found piddlin’ on her pumpkin farm, riding around town looking for lost animals, and keeping up with the Kardashians. She’s a southern mama who loves Jesus, margaritas and making people laugh at the expense of her young dragons.

For more outrageousness, follow the Dragons on Instagram

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