Mom Confessions: Just Between Friends #JBFPhilly

Knock Knock... you there?

Hi.  I'm Joey Fortman.  Mom to two boys; Hudson & Boston.  I have a dog Rocky and my husband is a sports nut who runs a sports radio station in Philly. Go figure.  And no, I'm not a sports fan.  I am the loudest one on the sidelines at my sons soccer games but don't tell anyone. 

So, I use to have this 'blog' where I'd go and share my deep dark secrets & struggles as a new mom in a new world of the unknown.  Fast forward to today.  In 2015.  And I'm about as far from that 'real mom' as I've ever been!  Blogging has changed over the years and as opportunities come by I take them which leaves this blog and the very creative side of the business taking a nap.  Cause unfortunately, when the job becomes a job, it's no longer a hobby, right?

Fortunately over the years one thing is consistent - my relationship with Just Between Friends in Philadelphia!   The national Just Between Friends sale has been around for a few years and was founded by a mom in Oklahoma who wanted a way to save money!  She went out and created franchise locations across the country and for the 4th year in a row I'm working with #JBFPhilly. 

Apart of this experience - I was able to grow a little personally. I needed to bring in someone who new how to do the entire process of purging and teach myself & JBF team members the value of compassion for sure!  Although most of us are moms and although I though I was ok with being done having more babies, this was a major eye opener for sure!  Darla DeMorrow from Heartwork Organizing has been a friend of mine for years.  I've always known she was a fab organizer but until I really got to experience her expertise - I had no idea how fab she really is!  

The little tidbits that Darla shared with me as she drained my junk drawers & help me find the bottom of my closets I'll take with me for the rest of my life, I think.  Honestly, that poor woman heard more from me in those few days of purging & putting items on hangers that I'm sure she won't forget what a crazy mom I am! ha.  Yeah, so I do happen to organize my kids LEGO's.  Honestly, I don't do it for the organization.  I do it for my own sanity!! Darla said 'don't organize your kids LEGO's'.  And I do.  But it's therapeutic for me!  It really is!  But I was shocked when she told me that it was a waste of time.  

I guess I never really thought about the truth that comes with this whole process.  It's like shedding a part of me.  Now that I'm on the other side of it, I'm able to look at things more clearly and really feel the need to shed those layers that hold me back. 

OH MY GOSH?!?!  WHO KNEW that this sale would be SO PHILOSOPHICAL! lol

I've been working with #JBFPhilly for about 4 years now and I have such a love and respect for Tracy, the woman behind the Oaks & Reading sales.  She's one heck of a mom, entrepreneur, business owner and friend.  The first sale that Tracy hired me to help with bringing influencers in she got Franchise of the Year!  Over the years I've watched her rock it big time and it's been fun to be her cheerleader.  She's helping families!  

Ok, now that I UNLOADED my JBF-Baggage on you! hahaha  Although it's a good baggage.  Purging is a process.  But, tomorrow I get to spend and buy more!  Wahoo!

Tune into my favorite morning tv personality Jennaphr Frederick of Fox 29 tomorrow as she will be there from 7-10a with me.  You'll catch the story of a woman who does JBF and took her ENTIRE family on vacation with the money she made & saved!  Also, Graco is doing a buy back with JBF - get the details on their latest recall and how you can profit from it. 

Ok friends, here's the schedule, what time/date are you coming?

CLICK HERE to download the schedule

Monday, March 16th

Tuesday, March 17th

  • 8am-7pm: Drop Off for all Consignors. Refer to the Drop Off page for details.

Wednesday, March 18th

Qualified Presale Entry Only - See window to the right for details.

Thursday, March 19th

  • 9am-8pm: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ~ $3 Admission   Children and strollers welcomed. 

Friday, March 20th

  • 9am-8pm: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ~  No admission
  • 8pm-9pm:  2nd Chance Drop Off.  Consignors are welcomed to drop off toys, strollers, furniture, baby gear and anything else that does not require inspection - no clothing or shoes, please!

Saturday, March 21st

  • 8am-5pm: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ~ No admission

        50% Presale - Pass Required

  • 6pm-9pm Team Members + 2 Friends
  • 6:30pm-9pm Consignors + 2 Friends

Sunday, March 22nd

  • 8am-3pm:  50% OFF Sale!  Many items an additional 1/2 off all day!

Monday, March 23rd

SALE CLOSED

  • 5:00pm-8:00pm: Consignor Pick Up of unsold items

 

 


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joey fortman

Putting the TMI in Motherhood with #RealMomProblems from funny & fantastic to everything in between! Joey Fortman has been seen on Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends and more!

9 Things About Mothering an Almost Two Year Old

Well... here I am.  An emotional roller coaster trying to navigate my way to the end of the exit before I end up throwing up in a paper bag from nerves, sadness, stress...life, ya know.  Trying to keep a dry eye today is almost impossible.  ( MEGA Thanks to my dear friend Debbie for allowing me to get lost in my tears with you.  And my amazingly organized friend Darla came over yesterday and fueled my heart with good and bad emotions too.)

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Darla is working with the Just Between Friends Philly sale as an ambassador and she's been amazing in helping me clear the clothing clutter in my house.  I have 3 racks full of baby, toddler & kid clothes plus some crazy awesome tips that I'm sharing in the next week with you so be sure to be on the lookout for that.

So between getting emotional yesterday with Darla as I was reminded that my baby isn't a baby anymore as I cleaned out his adorable -too-small clothes yesterday, him turning two, my dad struggling with walking and spending a week in the hospital after he fell...then the ups/downs of traveling last week.  The cold.  The stress.  All of it can go fly a kite for all I care.  

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I'm not really sure whether the emotions I am feeling is totally because my 'baby' is about to turn 2 tomorrow. Or whether it's some other things that are going on in my life.  But then again, it wouldn't be life if it wasn't filled with ups and downs, right?  I just wish at this point I was feeling more ups than downs.  But I guess most moms feel this when they know that they are forever past their own baby stage, right?  Please tell me this is normal.  

I can tell you that right now, my boy and his birthday are the most important thing on my plate.

There is nothing going to get in my way of celebrating with that little love this time.  Last year, I missed this poor kids birthday.  He doesn't have a clue. But I do.  I was devastated that my flight from Kansas City got cancelled and I got home right when he needed to go to bed but we managed to throw in a cake, candles and a song.  Last year my Mother in Law was in town helping with the boys because I was traveling so much.  She did a great job at giving his special day merits of awesome.  She even baked him a cake. 

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Here I am, a year later and it's time for me to reflect on Hudson. 

There is so much guilt with this job.  Guilt is so hard to release and move on from, isn't it?

So, I'm going to bestow upon you some of the learning lessons I've picked up with this little monkey in his short years of life. 

Isn't he so freaking cute?  It kills me how cute he is.  Blonde hair & blue eyes. How could have God given me a more beautiful gift?  So let's get out more tissues for the day and lets reflect on motherhood to me.

9 Things About Mothering An Almost Two Year Old

1)  REPETITION.  OH, my dear child how I love you.  But you love to nail it home!!  haha.  For instance, when I'm trying to get dinner ready and you come in with your 'APPLESAUCE APPLESAUCE APPLESAUCE' chanting.  Hudson, please learn "JUST A MINUTE PLEASE" a little faster, k?  =)

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2)  YOUR LOVE OF GO-GO SQUEEZE. 'MORE APPLESAUCE MOMMY'  Dear Go-Go Squeez, this kid is obsessed.  That word is an understatement.  

3)  THE RUB A DUB THING THAT YOU DO.  Honestly, the most amazing and most special thing that I will never ever forget about this kid is what is going to be the hardest thing to see go!  I know it's going to hurt me more than it will you, kid. For sure.   Hudson loves to rub shoe strings, stuffed animal tails, blankets....anything funky and soft on his binky.  It's how he soothes himself.  Wow.  How am I going to survive that one?  Eh.  One foot in front of the other, right?

4)  THE LOVE YOU HAVE FOR YOUR BIG BROTHER.   Oh dear Lord.  Here come the tears again.  Dangit.  Ok, so Hudson - and Boston.. maybe you'll both read this one day.  Maybe you'll both forever be the best of friends.  Boston just adores you, Hudson.  And Hudson thinks Boston hung the moon.  The sweet things they do.  They really are the best of friends.  (Tossed in with a glimpse of wrestling...boys will be boys though.)  There is definitely something special there between the two though.  I hope it lasts.  And there is a small part of me that is totally jealous of it because I hardly talk to my sisters.  We have had some big bumps and bruises in our lives and not the best relationships between us.  It's sad.  But I'm chalking it up to the fact that we are females.  Boys are just wired so differently.  

5)  YOUR TRAFFIC STOPPING GOOD LOOKS.   Yes, kid.  You're a freaking doll.  Every single room you walk into the girls giggle and the boys want to kick your butt.  =)  Ok, maybe not the last part - but females LOVE your blonde hair and blue eyes!  If only I had a camera rolling when your pediatrician told me that your eyes would stay blue.  I was over the moon!  I just couldn't believe it.  I still don't believe it.  Your daddy has deep dark Armenian eyes.  So does your brother.  I was convinced that there was nothing I could do produce a blue eyed kid.  Toss in the blonde hair bonus?  God is good.  And I guess he wanted to help me out since the first kid, I was always thought of as the 'baby sitter'. ha.   You're a hunk Hudson.  

6)  THE WAY YOU LOVE YOUR MAMA.  Kid, tears are a permanent stain on my face today.  What crinkles my lips to an upward grin is playing what I know would be your response to my tearful tirade.  You would grab ahold of me kid.  Pull me close to you.  Your eyes totally focused on me and trying to take away my pain.  Your sweet heart would touch my cheek and say 'mommy - mommy - mommy' with your repetitive personality and once we locked eyes?  You'd have a 1/2 smile and say 'HI.'  That two letter word is magic from you.

7)  YOUR 'FRIENDS'.  So, I started calling your stuffed animals 'friends' and you immediately caught onto it.  It's so cute. Because at night - you make sure you say 'goodnight friends' to all of them.  Right now your favorites are Mickey Mouse.  (The big one you use to rub his tail on your binky often.)  Also, last week when we went out to dinner you got a COW and you LOVE him as your friend!  They are your friends little buddy.  You can tell them all the stories in the world and they are the best of friends.  They will listen to your every words, Hudson.  They won't judge you or hurt your feelings.  They are always going to have an unconditional love for you little dude.  Just like your mama. 

8)  HOLD YOU, MAMA.  Ya know.  There was quite a few amazing things your big brother did that was sad to see go when he became a 2 year old.  The biggest one I miss the most is the one you picked up.  When you want me to pick you up?  You repeat 'HOLD YOU, MAMA' till I do.  And it hits my heart so deep that you only have to say it a couple times and I'm all over the words and the feelings you give me when you're in my arms. Oh buddy.  The thought that soon I won't be able to hold you makes me cry. 

WHY AM I SO STINKING EMOTIONAL????!?!?!  CAN I PLEASE JUST GET THROUGH THIS. 

DEEP. BREATHING.

9)  SHOES ON!  Hudson, you are so funny with this.  You're obsessed with putting your shoes on! You pick up a pair and walk around the house with that phrase on repeat. It's awesome, dude.

10)  THE WAY YOUR FACE LIGHTS UP WHEN I WALK INTO THE ROOM.  Oh Hudson.  Please don't ever stop doing this.  I could be having the worst day ever and I'll walk into your preschool and that fast moment where you see me and there is nothing I want more than to feel the rush of your grin, your grasp, your run to me... it's something special that words can't even describe.  

Hudson... today I grieve the 2 YEAR MARK.  I definitely don't grieve any loss of love... but I do grieve the loss of little.  The singing you to sleep.  The lullabies that I played for you every night nearly of your little life.  Holding you in my arms and rocking you to sleep stroking your cheek.  Kid, you bring me so much joy.  I can't even imagine my life with out you.  You fuel me to be a better version of myself.  One filled with more love and compassion for others.  One who fears the loss of your little. 

But today is the only day I'll grieve a bit.  Because yes... it's the natural state of life and the cycles we go through.  Knowing that we won't be wearing diapers forever or that you'll brush your teeth, speak in sentences, laugh at the silly boy fart jokes just like your brother.  

I'm not the most spiritual person in the world.  But I know that there is a reason why you were put into my life.  God has so much more life for me to live with you.  I can't wait to watch you grow up in the next two years, Hudson.  May you always love life the way you do today little boy. 


Your biggest fan, 

Your Mama

Talking The Slap on The Today Show

I've been holding back the past couple days because I had to take a fast trip into NYC on Monday to connect with the lovely Kate Snow on a piece for the Today Show.  This really just came out of nowhere as does every really cool opportunity I get the chance to encounter.  Granted, this is what I spent the last 20 years of my career in - radio/tv - but those sporadic opportunities to do tv while doing my 'real job' as a mom to Boston & Hudson always leaves me inspired and wanting more. 

I have to tell you - I was extremely nervous with what they were actually going to air and what was going to be cut out after our very candid discussion about kids, other parents & discipline. 

We sat in that room for at least an hour.  It went by so fast - but the discussion had all four of us really opening up about our personal lives and our personal opinions regarding parenting.  

I for one, wasn't exactly the smartest person in the room. ((HA. I KNOW YOU'RE TOTALLY SHOCKED, RIGHT?)  It's been interesting over the years to see how I've gone from interview-er to interview-ee.  That's not a bad thing - it's just a transition for anyone who is use to being on the 'other side'.  Before, I'd dive in to the conversation focused on the guests.  Not me.  And now, they wanted to know more about me?  And not just about me - about my parenting skills.  

Ohhhhh boy.  I hopped on that train on Monday night with the fear that I was going to get a tongue lashing from anyone I know.  I'm totally giving myself away here, aren't I?  I mean - if I didn't tell you that I TALKED to much - you'd have no clue, right?   

I gotta stop calling myself out.  I guess because I've done so many things that I'm never sure what way they spin things.  It's for ratings, I get it.  Totally get it.  But that doesn't mean I'm not going to find my foot in my mouth as I walk out the door, right? 

So, just to give you a quick bit on the inside story of that.  I candidly discussed my childhood.  And we all really felt that parenting today is a totally different experience than it was when we were kids.  It was more of a norm that parents whipped or discipline us with aggression.  For me, I can tell you my mama was a wonderful mom.  My biggest cheerleader.  But if you crossed that woman?  Shew.  You betta grab your behind cause she's coming for it. She enjoyed breaking branches off trees and chasing me with it, only after she PEELED them and exposed the GREEN of course. 

Naw.  Not scarred about that one.  I was ONLY trying to learn how to ride a bike when she chased me down the road on a bike swinging that stick to make a stink on my legs.  I did learn how to ride a bike that day. However, I don't think I sat down from the sore bum for another week after that.  

Yeah, I know that the topic is 'Would you let another parent discipline your child?"  Not so much, were YOU disciplined as a kid by your parents.  But don't we all as adults do what our parents did?

Is it ok to let another parent discipline my child?  My answer to that is yes.  I would.  But if anyone wants to lay a hand on my kid - you better be prepared for a hard core investigation done by me.  Have I personally ever hit my kids?  Not Hudson.  But I did lose my temper on Boston once.  As he was just so happening to hop in the shower. I gave him a whack on the butt.  Did he cry? No.  He did what I did when I was a kid.  "ha ha - that didn't hurt mom!'  Ok dude.  So, I'll only do what my mother did when I was a kid.  Get more mad and want to slap even harder!

But, I have had enough classes in DBT to take my anger and redirect it into something more powerful as a message. Sadly, I can't even tell you what I did.  I just don't remember.  But I can tell you that was the beginning of a different personality for Boston.  It may not have been the beginning - but it sure had to have started somewhere around there.  Because I can tell you there were numerous occasions that I did everything I could to not lose my temper when he said things like 'I hate my life.  It's so boring... yada yada."  I realized that a big chunk of that behavior either came from other kids or something he watched because I can assure you I would have and never have talked to my mother that way!

He's in 1st grade.  There is a sense of arrogance, 'I don't have to follow rules' to him that is extremely alarming.  But sometime later and many hours of crying to girlfriends that I'm raising the spawn of satan, I've accepted the fact that this feeling is normal.  The reactions are normal. The anger, frustration and desire to ship him off to a 3rd world country so he can REALLY see how bad his life could be.  Yeah.  It's there.  Trust me.  I want to take him around to see how his life could be.  But, that's for another day.  

Today?  It's about TODAY.   

So, I come to you with the parenting delimma... What would you do? 

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The Art of Kids Oral Health

Ever struggled to get your kids to understand the importance of oral health? You aren't alone! More than 1 in 4 (28%!) parents report that their child frequently forgets to brush their teeth. On top of that, 1 in 4 parents say that even getting their kids to brush their teeth regularly can be difficult!  And I can completely relish in the motherly bathroom drama that happens with bedtime.  BRUTAL!

Scholastic has come along to offer some great help in making one of the toughest jobs that much easier!  Scholastic has partnered with the Advertising Council to create lesson plans and activities for kids to help! The lessons teach oral health through science, math, and even poetry to establish great habits for oral health! You can go Scholastic.com/HealthyTeeth to find out more. On the site, you'll find a poster, oral health tips (in English AND Spanish!) and an oral health booklist. The campaign has a goal for parents to help get their kids to brush their teeth for 2 minutes twice a day! Brushing twice a day helps prevent oral diseases and by using the site, you can make it fun for the kids!

It doesn't stop there. Teachers can get involved too with this scholastic.com/2min2x! Sometimes it takes an army, and oral health is all about education and action!!

In addition to the websites, there is also a fun new app called Toothsavers.  The app encourages kids to take charge of their oral health twice a day by helping rescue fairytale characters from a cavity-creating sorceress. It's got a super cute, kid-friendly design. The game includes three features to help kids learn the importance of teeth brushing: a game that allows your child to be the hero, a two-player version of the game where you can "brush" teeth when the phone is held up to the mouth, and a real life tooth brushing companion! The companion features twice a day reminders and helps with progress tracking.

With tooth decay being the most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S., it's important to get kids involved in their oral health care, and Scholastic has created a great way to do that! Poor oral health can impact learning abilities, self-esteem, and the way your child speaks - so make oral health a priority in your house by using the 2 Min 2X day program and app on Scholastic.com/healthyteeth! It's better to be proactive and get ahead of the game by taking care of dental health than paying for it later with painful cavities, and more! Take advantage of this great program and flash your healthy smile because you know you're helping your child in so more ways than one by making oral health a priority.  (And tweet me about your #RealMomProblems with bedtime routines in your house!)

When it comes to oral health, I can honestly tell you that in my family the decay is an epidemic.  So obviously my boys have history stacked against them.  My dad and his family struggled with bad oral health his entire life, I had it and now my oldest had it.  Yeah.  SEVEN CAVITIES.  That poor kid ended up taking a nice long nap this past summer while they fixed those babies.  With that strike against us, we have to get our kids to brush their teeth even better than the average kid.  The app is really an awesome tool in our house too.  Listen, I’m game to make anything a game if it works and my kids’ do it! haha

 

What are your bathroom brushing tips and tricks?

They'd love to hear!  Share yours on their Facebook and Twitter!

 

Sprout Good Night Show Filmed in Philly

Sprout Good Night Show Filmed in Philly

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So, I can't believe I'm doing this.  As I've NEVER done it before.

Tell you about an event that happened that I didn't get to go to.  VERY silly, yes.  But good enough to share for sure!  

I was invited to a viewing recently of SPROUT and THE GOOD NIGHT SHOW.  (Which, by the way, they tape in the daytime. Or at least they did this day. lol) And I couldn't go.  Now mind you, there are a ton of things that I get invited to that I unfortunately have to turn down. But one thing is totally for sure.... THIS ONE I was bummed to miss!

I love Sprout Programming.  I missed it when my oldest got 'to cool' and I'm loving the return with the #2 toddler love. 

I missed the event, but they sent me pics of it.  I always LOVE seeing being the scenes of these kid shows.  Cool, huh? 

Michelle Lepe is the star and she plays with the STAR! lol Hudson loves that star.  It's so cute when his face lights up as he sees it.  Great show!  And ya know.  Sometimes you have to share something that's just COOL in your city as a blogger.  And this is one of them!

About The Good Night Show:

The Good Night Show” is a three-hour programming block featuring hosts Nina and Star, Lucy the Firefly and Hush the Fish that takes place in the You & Me Tree.  Nina and her side-kick, Star, take preschool children and their parents on an adventure every night. “The Good Night Show” incorporates hosted segments with Sprout's original series and gold-standard shows, such as “Pajanimals,” “Caillou,” “Zou” and “Sarah & Duck.”  It airs nightly from 6-9pm ET.

“The Good Night Show” is themed to gentle, preschool appropriate subjects with the emphasis on narrative and slower paced content.   Each episode is developed to wind preschoolers down after a busy day with songs, stretches, Spanish language lessons, sign language demonstration, games and storytelling. Nina and Star invite children to explore different themes each night such as seasons, school, bedtime and beyond to help parents encourage a regular nightly routine.