Jeanne Houck, firstname.lastname@example.org 2:04 p.m. EDT April 1, 2014
Woman creates ‘Mommy Buttons’ app
Four years ago, singer and children’s entertainer Jennifer Ellis recorded a jazz, pop and blues album for youngsters.
Now a stay-at-home mother of two boys and a miniature labradoodle puppy, Ellis has created a new way of using recordings to reach children.
It’s a “Mommy Buttons” app and it allows mothers to record oft-used remonstrations to children such as, “Don’t run in the house,” “Do your homework” and just plain “No,” and play them back to the youngsters with the touch of a button and without opening their mouth.
The app, or computer software application, for iPhones, iPads, iPods and Android tablet computers costs 99 cents and can be purchased at the Apple Retail Store and the Google Play store.
“I was inspired to create the app after realizing that I was repeating the same points to my kids over and over,” Ellis said. “I think most moms can relate to feeling like a broken record. I would always say to the boys, ‘If only I had buttons on my fingers for all the things I say over and over each day’,” Ellis said. “Mommy Buttons lets me save my breath.”
Ellis said the app is more than a silly, fun way to make sure kids brush their teeth and finish their chores. “For some kids, it offers a chance to connect to a parent away from home if Mommy Buttons is on their iPhone or iPod because they can hear their parents’ voice any time,” Ellis said.
Ellis sings (www.JenniferEllisMusic.com) at a variety of events, including the Blue Ash lunch concert series, Great Parks of Hamilton County programs and fundraisers for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She also has a degree in computer science and has operated a web design company for 15 years. But, “At this point, I focus on being a mom first, spreading music to a new generation – and now, Mommy Buttons,” said Ellis, who lives in Sycamore Township.
Ellis said she uses her Mommy Buttons app daily with her sons, 10-year-old Eli and 8-year-old Tyler, who attend schools in the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District. “My buttons change all the time and we laugh a whole lot every time I use the app,” Ellis said. “When the boys see me walk into a room with my phone in hand, they can’t wait to hear what I’m going ‘say.’
“The boys are constantly recording their own buttons on their iPods too,” Ellis said.
“For us, Mommy Buttons has helped to turn my repetitive daily parenting moments into ‘wow’ moments that have us all stop and giggle before moving on to what needs to be done next in our lives.”
Launched in February, the Mommy Buttons app (www.MommyButtons.com) will be updated in April with more buttons and the capability to text message voices.
Ellis’ twin sister, Patty Shukla, is a happy customer. She lives in Jupiter, Fla., and has three children ages one month to 10 years. “We have so much fun with Mommy Buttons,” Shukla said. “We can’t stop making buttons to hear and share with our friends. It’s so simple and entertaining,” Shukla said.
Meanwhile, Ellis also is developing a “Daddy Buttons” app. “My husband (Andre Howell) says he can’t wait to record, ‘Go ask your mother’,” Ellis said.
Want to know more about what is happening in Indian Hill? Follow me on Twitter: @jeannehouck.