Alexis returned home to Seattle last year after spending 18 years traveling and living all over the world, but mostly in Brooklyn. After co-habitating for a year in a multi-generational condo with her parents, husband, and toddler, Charlotte, and 6 months of unemployment - Alexis now works as the Program Director for a large Reform synagogue in Seattle and is slowing unpacking boxes in her new home. She is happy to be back at work full-time as a Jewish professional, juggling quality family time with getting the laundry done, and continuing to blog.
My 3-year-old daughter told me that she wants to dress up as Santa’s sleigh for Purim this year. I reminded her that a few months ago she said she wanted to be an ambulance, but she insists she…wants to be Santa’s sleigh. She is obsessed with Christmas, and it’s almost March. This was the first year that Charlotte really got Christmas as a holiday and the fact that we were not going to celebrate it. She asked a bunch of questions about Christmas, and I would tell her that we are Jewish… >> Read More
I should expect to spend $2,500 out-of-pocket for a standard labor and delivery, according to my health insurance plan. Full-time childcare runs us around $18,000 a year in Seattle. Add the cost of…diapers, wipes, goldfish crackers, and an occasional trip to the zoo—there’s another thousand at least, per year. When we decided to have our first baby, we definitely didn’t factor in the cost or really grasp the financial consequences of having a child. I remember the first week of paying our nanny in Brooklyn and heading… >> Read More
A little over three months ago, my father died. It was sudden and devastating, but not totally unexpected. I held his hand, and with my mother, our rabbi, and sister on the phone, we said the shema…and told him how much we loved him as he left us. We should all be so lucky. My dad passed away just before Shabbat, which I think he did on purpose, to be sure that we’ll remember him at least every week. Not that he needed to worry about that, since I’ll miss him… >> Read More
Oy vey! Charlotte just inched up another spot on the list of most popular baby names.
When we were thinking up names for our unborn child, we set on Charlotte, if it was a girl, about half way…through the second trimester. My bubbie’s name was Cynthia, and we wanted to honor her memory with a “C”or “S” name. When we vetted the name to my parents over dinner one evening, months before my due date, my dad said he knew my Bubbie would have liked the name Charlotte, which sealed the deal.… >> Read More
How many of the 613 mitzvot can a toddler do? We have a PJ Library CD in the car my daughter likes listen to on repeat (please send us a new one soon, Mr. Grinspoon). One song called “Did a…Mitzvah” to the tune of “Found a Peanut” includes such mitzvot as “hugged a sad friend” and “shared my Legos.” It has me thinking a lot about what a mitzvah really is (as opposed to common human decency). I also grapple with how can I appropriately instill the values of compassion and Tikkun Olam (repairing… >> Read More
When is a vacation not really a vacation? Answer: When you go with your 2.5-year-old.
We are back from a week in Southern California where it was warm and sunny most of the time, and felt like a…vacation for a few brief bursts when I had the chance to get away from my get-a-way. I try to kvell more than kvetch as a parent. I know I am infinitely blessed to have a happy and healthy daughter, great life-partner, supportive family, wonderful friends and community. I know the fact that I can… >> Read More
It’s official. I am finally an adult. I will be hosting Passover seder, first and second night, in my own home with my tablecloths, fancy wedding registry dishes, and glasses. I'm also making the…matzah ball soup for the first time ever this year. Last year, my husband and then 1.5-year-old daughter Charlotte and I were living at my parents’ condo for the year and had a bi-coastal Passover (1st seder in New York, 2nd seder in Seattle). Of course we helped with the cooking, singing, and clean-up at our… >> Read More
Our daughter has the lucky advantage of being the first grandchild and having incredibly generous and thoughtful grandparents, aunties and uncles, and friends who have gifted her everything and…more than a toddler could dream. She’s got toys, books, puzzles, stuffed animals, Legos, blocks, dolls, Play-Dough, art supplies galore, musical instruments, a kitchen set, a doll house, balls, a scooter, games, her very own swing-set outside in the backyard, and she’s only 2.5 years old! Not only does she have more than she needs,… >> Read More
We’re done. We nursed for two years, three months, and five days, and now we are finished. Check that life milestone off the list. My first baby is a big girl now.
It’s been three weeks and my…boobs still hurt. And so does my heart. I’m angry, sad, and a touch melodramatic. While I know it was a good time to do it, and I knew it would be hard, I didn’t think it would be this hard. Charlotte is doing fine, and I am a basket case. The timing was right.… >> Read More
Back in the good old pre-baby days, my favorite activity was going out to dinner.
As far as I am concerned, the very best part of living in New York City is having the chance to go to one of the…thousands of places to eat in the five boroughs. I loved trying new restaurants, going out with girlfriends for happy hour cocktails and shared appetizers, dinner with Jdates, and then later on, sharing meals with my husband. I even enjoyed going out to eat by myself with a glass of wine and the latest New Yorker.… >> Read More
To gear up for the High Holidays this year, we’re asking our writers and readers for their Rosh Hashanah Resolution. Here’s one from our writer Alexis Kort.
I’ve got big plans for 5774: read…a book, go to yoga, see a movie with my husband, give more money to tzedakah, and WEAN my little girl. Also, maybe get pregnant. Got your own resolutions? Tweet them @Kveller with the hashtag #RoshRes. >> Read More
To have another or not to have another? That is the question. That is what I am thinking about as Rosh Hashanah approaches. Not about apples and honey and atoning for all my
the past…year, but is it time to have another baby? Thankfully, I got knocked up easily the first time around. I don’t take it for granted that at 33 I became pregnant our second month of trying. Isn’t it ironic how much of our 20s we try NOT to get pregnant? Then when we start trying… >> Read More
I know I have a lot to learn about parenting. While I do find many aspects of motherhood to be fairly intuitive, like when to change a poo-poo diaper, it's always helpful to hear tricks of the…trade. This is why I regularly read Kveller and happily listen to advice from my mom, mother-in-law, husband, former nanny, friends who are moms, friends who are dads, the guy who used to sell me a banana every day on the corner of 36th and 5th Ave in Midtown, our daycare teachers, people without kids--give… >> Read More
Every morning on our way to daycare, Charlotte starts crying “no mommy” in her soft sweet voice as soon as we turn the corner off the main street, several blocks away from the synagogue where she…attends their Early Childhood Center. By the time we arrive, her eyes are red and she’s snuffling and mumbling “no mommy" with tears streaming down her little cheeks. When I do finally make my exit (whether I do a quick pass off and wave, or sit for 15 minutes to read stories), she usually gives… >> Read More
Mommy Wars are usually about mom vs. mom: tiger vs. helicopter, attachment vs. baby-wise, French vs. Israeli. But what do you do if the biggest challenge to your mom identity--and your biggest…potential mommy rival--is your own mother? For the past almost 10 months, we've been living with my parents. Our necessary experiment in multi-generational living has shown me how great it is to live with extra adults to take on raising a child. The benefits far outweigh the cramped living space. Having a toddler is a… >> Read More
Have you, like me, gone down the slide, like a million times, with your toddler on your lap?
Perhaps you vaguely recall reading something or maybe actually learning in a parenting class that there…is a high injury rate, especially for broken legs for the kid on the lap, when you go down together. Perhaps like me, you throw caution to the wind, because it's so much fun to go down the slide with your toddler, to count down one - two - three and weeeeeeee down the slide,… >> Read More
In a game of “which would you rather,” I would choose giving birth over flying cross-country with a toddler. And yet, we have another West Coast/East Coast round-trip planned in a couple of weeks…for cousin Ava’s bat mitzvah and the first night of Passover. Save me. Charlotte has already flown over half a dozen times, back and forth from Seattle to New York and a couple of times to California in her 18 months on earth. Half of the time my husband has flown with us. An equal… >> Read More
The best part of multi-generational living is unlimited FREE babysitting. Sure, you have to give up things like personal space and privacy, but sharing a home with an extra two adults (who love my…daughter as much as me and my husband) is priceless. For the past six months, I have been cohabiting with my husband, baby, and parents. It's like a follow up episode of 16 and Pregnant on MTV, except I am 35 and the father of my child is officially my husband and gainfully employed. Last… >> Read More
I can't tell yet if it was harder to quit smoking or to quit breastfeeding. I smoked for over 15 years. I've been nursing for over 15 months. I had my first cigarette as a 16-year-old, on a teen tour…in Israel. On our flight back to New York, the smokers in my group would take turns sitting in the back row seats of our El Al flight puffing away, as you could still smoke on international flights in the early-mid 1990s. I liked smoking from my first inhale. The occasional high school drag behind… >> Read More
Our 16-month-old daughter has always been on the low end of the weight percentile scales for her age. She dipped down to 0-3% a few months ago, but averages around 9%. She's normal if not a tad above…average for her height. She's a noodle. We get really excited when she moves up a diaper size. She's up to size 4. As if I didn't have enough to be anxious about as a new mom, the percentile game added a number value to my self-perceived success as a parent. Though a bit underweight,… >> Read More