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May 1 2012

Bris Tips (ha!) from a Mom Who’s Been There

By at 9:49 am

Uncanny resemblance, right?

Six years ago, when I was expecting my first child, my husband and I debated ritual circumcision. We finally concluded that we would do it for the sake of shalom bayit, for the peace of the family. Now our house is overrun with boys: I have a 6-year-old and 1-year-old twins. That’s a lot of brit milah.

A bris usually takes place in the morning because Jewish tradition declares that a mitzvah be performed early in the day. But each bris I planned had a slightly different flavor than the traditional. Both took place in the late afternoon to allow time for out-of-towners to arrive. One was held in Boston with tons of New York family and local Jewish friends. The other was held in Atlanta with a handful of out of town family members and many non-Jewish friends. Each time we chose a Reform, female, mohel with an MD.

Here’s some hands-on advice for the foggy, postpartum days when you’d rather take a nap but find yourself hosting a bris for a cast of thousands. Parents of twins, there is a special section for you. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 24 2012

Giveaway: Baby Nursery Decor

By at 4:39 pm
Matan in Hebrew

The name "Matan" in Hebrew. Get your child's name for your nursery.

They call it nesting: this overwhelming urge when you’re pregnant, to get things ready for the baby’s arrival. Some moms-to-be find themselves cleaning with an urgency they’ve never felt before. Others go through their closets, to send huge bags to Goodwill. And these days, lots of us spend hours on Pinterest, drooling over baby nursery decor.

Luckily, we can help you out with that last one.

We’re giving away some super-cute Jewish baby nursery decorations this week. We were just introduced to a little company called Otiyotli, Letters for Me. They make Hebrew letters to spell out your child’s name that can be hung in your baby’s room. Otiyotli is run by an Israeli mom, Lymor Gal, who lives in Los Angeles. When Lymor’s daughter was born, she couldn’t find anything cute enough for her nursery. So Lymor bought a saw on Craigslist, got herself some paint, and started crafting on her own. Before she knew it, her business had built up beyond family and friends. Check out their Facebook page or their brand new website for more photos and details.

Otiyotli is planning to give away a set of Hebrew letters to a lucky Kveller reader. How do you enter? Just comment below with your child’s name and why you chose it. We’ll pick a winner by Thursday, April 26 at 5 pm–so enter now!

Apr 20 2012

In Search of the Perfect Kosher Birthday Cake

By at 2:09 pm
birthday cake

Though the kids don't remember it, the parents definitely do.

Do you remember your first birthday? I don’t. My parents do have photographic evidence that I attended, and they’ve repeatedly reminisced about the great cake I had. It was chocolate and featured a marzipan mousse, in honor of my baby nickname, Melissa Mouse.

In the intervening years, I have dedicated myself to becoming a dessert connoisseur. I don’t believe in eating just any dessert. I like to eat the best possible dessert. This proclivity even impacted the way we planned our wedding. Our brunch buffet was followed by a dessert buffet, showcasing treats we had the caterer create in addition to the wedding cake. Yes, we rewrote the caterers’ entire dessert menu. Dessert is serious business. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 17 2012

My Daughter Wants to Eat Just Like Me

By at 2:03 pm
chocolate cake

I've been dreaming about this cake for days.

If you are what you eat, then I am slowly becoming a birthday cake this week. But more than that, I’ve realized that I’m a full-fledged, certifiable food hypocrite.

I realized this the other day as I waited excitedly until my husband had whisked our daughter off for a nap. See, that meant I could dive into a slice of chocolatey goodness without Ellie seeing me do it. She would want some, but she is allowed one dessert a day, after dinner–and only if she actually eats said dinner. So as I pushed carrots, grapes, and blueberries at her, visions of icing roses danced in my head. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 16 2012

My Pregnancy Crazy

By at 10:03 am

My cravings are more for ramen noodles and PB&J, but this lady's got a good thing going on here.

Pregnancy is rarely glamorous. I have a rash between my breasts, my face looks like the before pictures of a Proactiv commercial, and I bawl my eyes out in the shower for no apparent reason every morning (which is surprisingly therapeutic, actually.) My bowel movements walk a thin line between liquid and coal and on any given day you’ll find me yanking aside my maternity pants to scratch my itchy baby bump. I’m nineteen weeks and my belly button has already waged a full-on protest. I’d also like to take this opportunity to reach through the World Wide Web and slap women who perpetuate the rumor that pregnancy is a time for uncontrollable sexual desire. My babymaker is currently occupied, and dry heaving on my husband during sexy time just isn’t a memory that I want either of us to have. Sorry, babe.

And then there’s the dreams. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 22 2012

My Baby Girl Wears Pink, So What?

By at 1:33 pm

pink baby socksI wasn’t one of those people who wanted to wait until the day my baby was born to find out the gender. So the day Lila was born was exhilarating–and exhausting–but the birth drama never included the doctor’s calling out, “It’s a Girl!” The delivering doctor didn’t need to, since we already knew. And since that time, I’ve made an effort to ensure everyone else knows, too.

Last spring, I invited pink and purple into our home in a big way. I know another mother who is glad she had a boy, so she doesn’t have to live amidst a pink explosion, but I rather like it. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 15 2012

Reading This Will Make You Tired: Diary of a Mom of 2 under 2

By at 3:00 pm

box of raisins spilledHere’s why you should clean your house–sometimes, you go into the archives of mess and find inadvertently-preserved glimpses of an older life. Six and a half years ago, I took a writing class when I was mother of a 2-year-old and an infant, and had to write a transcript of 15 minutes of my life. I don’t know about you, but reading it makes me pretty tired. Is this your life, too?

If you want to come down from the highchair, you say, “Down, please.” That’s good. But can you eat a little more of your egg before I put you down? Great. Go bring me a book, please, and then we can read it together. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 30 2012

When Your Toddlers Start to Act Like Teens

By at 9:03 am

little girl in heelsThere is a saying that the way your kids were as toddlers is how they’ll be as teens.  (Only bigger and louder and, in some places, with the legal right to drive.)

If that’s true, then we’re really in for some fun times over at my house.

When my oldest was a toddler, he didn’t talk much.  But–Bad Mommy confession–we really didn’t notice until our pediatrician got a concerned look on her face and started asking questions while taking notes and measuring the size of his head (boy had a really big head. Literally off the charts big. He still does). Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 24 2012

Leaving Baby for The First Time

By at 4:02 pm
airplane window

Flying without my son was a totally different experience.

I was the last of my friends to go on a trip and leave her baby at home. As I saw one after another go, I thought “How can they do it?” By the time it was my turn, I thought, “How can I not do it?”

For over 15 months I had not had a 24-hour period to myself, and I was long overdue for some R&R. So off to Las Vegas I went for a birthday celebration with my BFF.

For three nights and four days, I left my sweet baby boy with my husband and his parents. Sure, I was nervous, but with the promise that my husband would send me pictures regularly and knowing what an awesome father he is, I silenced the nagging voice in my head listing all the things that could go wrong. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 19 2012

Why I’m The Most Perfect Mom. Right? Right?

By at 2:18 pm
Ellis Island

I spent hours planning this educational field trip to Ellis Island for my kids...

We were sitting on the ferry as the sunset painted the New York skyline a rosy gold. It was an unseasonably warm January day, and I’d taken my boys and baby daughter with my husband to the museum at Ellis Island. Read the rest of this entry →


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