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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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!

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.¬†‚̧ԳŹ

 

The Allergy Table

I don’t get it: A kid has an allergy. He/she has to sit at a separate table with other kids who have food allergies and eat allergy safe foods. The rest of the kids will sit wherever they darn well please and eat non allergy safe foods, (greasy, oily, hard to clean, poisonous foods like peanut butter.)

PBJ

PBJ

So, the kids with the poison (the sticky, slimy, oily poison) can drip, leak, and smudge it all over every other table, seat, and floor in the cafeteria.  While the kids with the safe foods are banished to an outcast table.

Has anybody ever watched a kid eat? ¬†Kids can walk around with red kool-aid ‘staches for days and not notice. ¬†They can have chunks of food on their faces, shirt, hands, hair… ¬†all over their body, really. ¬†These are the kids who get to sit wherever they want, eating potentially deadly poison and spreading it all over the cafeteria.

Messy pbj

Messy PBJ

Then they go back to class, touching pens, pencils, books, folders, and everything else in the classroom with their poisonous, oily, chunky, peanut butter hands for everyone to come in contact with, food allergy or not.

PB gets all over the classroom

PB gets all over the classroom

I will never forget the first day I sent my adorable 3 year-old, peanut/tree nut allergic daughter to pre-school. ¬†It was 8:30-11:30, but since it was the first day in 3 years she had been away from me for a few hours, I decided to get to school early and take a peek at her on the playground. ¬†I spotted her instantly. She was holding hands and skipping with the most adorable little 3 year-old boy. ¬†My happiness turned to terror when I realized he could have had peanut butter toast for breakfast and a peanut butter cracker for snack and he was now holding my daughter’s hand!!! ¬†Her hand!! ¬†Her hand that goes in her mouth. ¬†Her hand that she uses to feed herself. ¬†Her hand that could rub her eye and get that poison in her body and cause her body to swell and her throat to close.

poison on hand

Poison on hand

I knew that day would be the last day for her to attend a school that allowed nuts. ¬†It wasn’t worth the risk. The reality is that, even in a nut-free school, kids could still have peanut butter for breakfast and then walk into school with clumps of poison dangling from their bodies and touch my precious daughter, but getting rid of nuts during school is lowering the odds of her coming in contact with them, and that is what mattered.

I will also never forget the day my oldest son told me about the allergy table at his school. It took a few minutes to register what he was saying. There is a kid in his grade who has a nut allergy. This kid has a bunch of friends who don’t have allergies but sit with him at the allergy table for support. Sweet, right? It took another couple of minutes for me to process that he was saying these friends bring in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school everyday and eat them at the allergy table!¬† Does this make sense? From an allergy parent’s perspective, this is terrifying. I have a sneaking suspicion it happens more frequently than we think.

pbj

PBJ

I have four kids, three with food allergies. I would love to just make the world nut-free, but obviously that isn’t going to happen so, I have another idea.

Why not create a new allergy table?  A table where kids can sit if they bring in the sticky, oily poison. A table where kids can sit down, eat their greasy peanut butter and then get up and wash their hands after. The table itself can be washed properly, the chairs and floor can also be scrubbed. It is so much less overwhelming and so much more manageable if all the nuts are kept to one area.

Soap and water go a long way!

Soap and water go a long way!         **shutter stock image

I know this article will anger a lot of people. How dare I call peanut butter poison? ¬†I know it is the only thing that some kids will eat. ¬†If they can’t have peanut butter for lunch the child won’t eat anything else! ¬†Yes, peanut butter is considered “healthy.” But for me, in my world, it is poison. ¬†It is a poison that could make my children unable¬†to breathe and, therefore, I have no choice but to do everything in my power to keep it away.

I have never understood the allergy table. ¬†Don’t you think it’s time to try something new?

 

 

 

Mind Body Green Published My Post – 6 Common Myths About The Vagina!

Thank you Mind Body Green for sharing my newest post!

For some reason we just don’t talk about the vagina in a positive manner as much as we should. ¬†I have heard some disappointing remarks about vaginas from both men and women recently, which is what inspired me to write this.

Read it here, share and enjoy!

J

True business perseverance…. Small business spotlight!

In New England we have gotten a LOT of snow.  They say this was worse than the blizzard of 78.  I heard one news reporter say Boston got over 100 inches since January 28th.

giant snowman

To say that it has been difficult to run a business is a complete understatement! ¬†Between closing full days mid-storm, closing early, opening late,it has been a nightmare for my business and all of my small business friends. ¬†Then when it finally stops snowing, there is the cleanup. ¬†After the 70 inch mark, there was just no place to put the snow anymore. ¬†The snow mounds are so high, you can barely see out of most windows. ¬†Then there are problems that come with so much snow that you just don’t even think of, leaks that never existed suddenly appear. ¬†Heavy snow on weak roofs have caused some roofs to cave in and collapse. ¬†My husband had to get on our roof twice and shovel.

My deck, you can see the umbrella attached to the picnic table

My deck, you can see the umbrella attached to the picnic table

A local business in my neighborhood has had to close their business for the four weeks. ¬†It is a dance studio called In Sync Center of the Arts. ¬†They are one of the most well run and talented dance studios in my area. ¬†What drew me in to this dance studio 5 years ago was how many classes they offered- not¬†just for dance, but taekwondo, lego club, music lessons, and drama. I have four kids and I loved that all of them could take a class at once and I would get a whole hour all to myself :-). In the lobby, they have big screen tv’s that show all of the classes so you can see everyone at once. ¬†LOVE IT!

The week before February vacation,¬†¬†Insync’s next-door neighbor’s roof collapsed. ¬†Thankfully it was empty and nobody was hurt physically. ¬†Financially, it is devastating. ¬†There are 5 business all in this little strip mall and they are all closed. ¬†If I had to guess how many people were employed between the five businesses I would say¬†hundreds. ¬†Hundreds of people out of work because of something out of their control! ¬†It’s heartbreaking!

The UPS store is the roof that collapsed, to the left of Insync.

The UPS store is the roof that collapsed, to the left of Insync.

Teri, the owner of Isync, was trying to unplug and relax for a few days during Feb vacation with her husband and kids.  She actually left her phone in her hotel room while out for dinner, only to return to hear about the nightmare she has now been living for weeks.  She had to cut her vacation short and rush home to make sense out of her new situation.  She was not allowed on the property. The electricity and gas is shut off and everything is roped off until it is deemed safe.

Most people would curl up into a ball and feel sorry for themselves, but not Teri. ¬†She had her team up and running the next day seeking out temporary space for her business. ¬†They brought their phones and laptops to a fabulous little coffee shop (mine ūüôā ) and worked as a team and didn’t stop until they found space that would work.

She ended up with two spaces, one by day and a high school for the night classes.  The high school is perfect because there are so many class rooms that it allows many dance classes to go on at the same time.

Amazing strength, creativity, and the drive to go on.  All admirable qualities that I believe most entrepreneurs have.  Teri has a crazy awesome team loaded with talent and is clearly flexible.

Awesome, talented staff!

Awesome, talented staff!

I am honored to be a customer of theirs and I love how they are handling this situation.

There is so much negativity and tragedy shown on the news and social media, I just had to share how a real life woman turned some serious sour lemons into delicious lemonade ūüôā

insynlogo

Why Aren’t These Vocal Smoke Alarms For Sale?!

Somehow, this video of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s investigation of smoke alarms from 2004 has made a resurgence today on Facebook. It is alarming (no pun intended!) and extremely moving. It caused me to spend over an hour searching online to find a product.

In case you didn’t click the link above, or can’t watch it right now, the video shows Hank Phillippi Ryan meeting with families of fire fighters and filming nighttime testing of their smoke alarms, with frightening results. None of the children wake to the sound of the beeping alarm. OH MY GOD- they sleep right through!!! In the second half of the video, they test a (then) new kind of alarm- a vocal alarm that allows the parents to record their own voice- calmly but urgently calling their children to wake up and evacuate the home. ALL of the kids wake up and all but the child in his crib leave their rooms! By this time, I feel a bit shaky- quite emotional. seriously- I WANT THIS ALARM!!! Like, now. I’ll pay $100 and I want 2. Immediately.

Poking around online, I see that they are not currently for sale. I read several papers, including this very official study from 2006, that demonstrates the same outcome. In fact, the median time to awaken was 20 seconds in the voice alarm group compared with 3 minutes in the tone alarm group!!

WHERE THE HELL CAN I GET ONE?!

This Dateline video from 2013 features a doctor/researcher from a children’s hospital who also points to the child’s name and parent’s voice as important factors in waking the child quickly. The alarms we have in our home do have voice, but it is not my voice or my husband’s, and they certainly don’t call our the names of my children. Where is the study that shows my kids will wake up to this strange voice quicker than the beeping alarm?

I did find lots of old comments from people saying things like “well, wouldn’t the parents wake up and run to the kids anyway?” so, maybe there wasn’t enough interest in the personalized alarms until now. After seeing the videos, I’m guessing everyone I know will want one if it means their kids will wake up and get out in the event of a fire. Would you want one?

photo credit: Push and hold to test weekly via photopin (license)

Isn’t it Time to Put Pre-Prom Tanning to Bed?

I don‚Äôt know a mom or dad who doesn‚Äôt remember tanning before prom- or even just to feel some ‚Äúsunshine‚ÄĚ during a long New England winter. When I was a teen, I signed up for tanning in packages of 10 or 12 sessions at a local fitness center, at a price easily afforded on a teen‚Äôs meager budget, and I enjoyed baking in the bed or dancing in the heat to the too-loud music in a booth for 8-12 minutes.¬† Having never sunburned in my life, I didn‚Äôt give a thought to the dangers of the concentrated UV rays penetrating my young skin. No parental permission was required and, although that has changed in some states, it‚Äôs not enough.

At the Massachusetts Conference for Women in December, I met Meghan Rothschild, a vibrant and beautiful Marketing & PR Manager and Melanoma survivor. Meg told me the frightening story of her diagnosis and treatment. At age 19, she mentioned to her doctor that a mole on her abdomen was itchy. The doctor thought it looked ‚Äúa little funny,‚ÄĚ so it was removed and biopsied. Two weeks later, Meghan¬†was told¬†that¬†she had Stage 2 Malignant Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Her head reeling from the news, she headed in for surgery to remove eight lymph nodes, which left her with four disfiguring scars. Luckily for Meghan, her cancer was caught early and she was declared cancer-free after her surgery. She was now a survivor, but also a 20 year old covered in disfiguring scars, knowing that her own choices- her own pursuit of beauty through tanning- had led to her nightmare. Meghan is as tough as she is beautiful, so it‚Äôs no surprise that her next step was to share her experience to help spare others.¬†Eleven years cancer-free, she¬†is¬†an outspoken advocate for Melanoma education and prevention and is the spokesperson and marketing & PR manager for Melanoma Foundation New England.

According to a 2014 study by Wehner and colleagues, more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer may be related to indoor tanning in the United States each year.

On July 29, 2014 the Surgeon General issued a Call to Action to address skin cancer as a major public health concern.¬†Lawmakers are taking notice- at least 41 states have already passed some type of legislation that regulates minors using tanning beds. Just last Wednesday, New Hampshire’s House of Representatives passed a bill that will ban tanning beds and booths for minors, but leaving it up to states creates too much gray area. National legislation, like the laws that regulate alcohol and tobacco, would be the best way to reduce teens‚Äô exposure¬†to the dangerous UV rays¬†in tanning beds. Today, Meghan is in Washington DC, with over 100 other survivors, working with MFNE, Melanoma Research Foundation and the American Cancer Society to push for national tanning legislation to protect others from Melanoma and other skin cancers.

As parents, it’s our job, not only to apply sunblock to our babies, but to educate our teens and ourselves about sun safety. As my 16 year-old excitedly plans for her prom- she already has her gorgeous dress!!- I‚Äôm happy to say that tanning will never be on her to-do list!

Check out your state’s tanning laws here. To learn more about preventing Melanoma, visit MFNE or Melanoma Research Foundation.

Meghan Rothschild, in DC to speak about Melanoma and push for tanning legislation.

Meghan Rothschild, in DC to speak about Melanoma and push for tanning legislation.