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Apr 23 2014

The Kid-Dish: Mazel Tov! Drew Barrymore Welcomes 2nd Daughter, Frankie

By at 4:41 pm

drew-barrymore

-Drew Barrymore welcomed a daughter, Frankie, with her husband Will Kopelman on Tuesday. As we previously reported, Drew has plans to convert to Judaism, even reaching out to her frequent co-star Adam Sandler for help. Mazel Tov, Drew and Will! (People)

-Alicia Silverstone started potty training her son Bear at age 6 months. As she describes in her new book, “The Kind Mama,” Alicia used “elimination communication” to get her baby on the toilet from infancy. (People)

-Christina Aguilera posted a rare photo of her baby bump on her Facebook page, Thursday. She is expecting her second child with (possibly Jewish?) fiance Matt Rutler. She captioned the photo, “Baby loves N.Y.C.”  She has a son, Max Liron, from her previous marriage to Jordan Bratman. (The Hollywood Gossip)

-It’s a girl! Mila Kunis has revealed the gender of the baby she is expecting with her “That 70′s Show” co-star Ashton Kutcher. (The Hollywood Gossip)

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Remembering The Beloved Pediatrician My Children and I Shared

By at 12:14 pm

Jordana-baby-feet

He picked up my newborn daughter from her plastic hospital bassinet carefully, with nothing short of love.

“Did you know,” he told the nurse checking my vitals as he checked my baby, “that I’m not only this little baby’s pediatrician, but was also her mother’s? And I was the obstetrician’s pediatrician too!”

“That’s really something!” the nurse said, smiling.

And it was. This anecdote sounds like I live in a one-horse town somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I don’t: I live in a pretty big suburb of New York, where people move away and life goes at a relatively fast pace. Read the rest of this entry →

Why I Changed My Mind About the Tdap Vaccine Booster

By at 11:22 am

tdap-ryan-gossling-meme

I’m entering into my ninth month of pregnancy; I’ve lost all verbal filters that I normally employ and for the most part I either explode or cry. I wasn’t this bad when I was pregnant with the boys (although I was still, admittedly, super crazy) and perhaps it is a combination of managing my 4-year-old’s emotions and chasing after my toddler with fierce hip pain and heartburn, but I want to verbally assault anyone who even looks at me wrong. I’m cranky. So that’s where I’m at.

Around my 27 week prenatal visit my midwives gave me a generic CDC handout offering me a Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis) booster. The standard guidelines are for the vaccine to be boostered every 10 years and the sheet also said “or with each pregnancy.” Since I was boostered 18 months ago when my second son was born I felt like it was overkill to do it again. I asked both the midwives and my children’s pediatrician what the rationale behind the “with each pregnancy” was and neither had any convincing talking points. The midwife said, “there may be waning immunity during pregnancy.”

I am not one to decline vaccines. My husband is a doctor and we both have Master of Public Health degrees. But I like to educate myself about the options and make a decision based on current evidence-based research coupled with our personal family circumstances (or, like, just go with the opposite of anything Jenny McCarthy says). The information provided wasn’t compelling enough for me to vaccinate myself again. I had just finished up 20 weeks of painful progesterone injections and have bruised hips to show for it. More needles? No, thanks. Read the rest of this entry →

The Twins Are Turning One!

By at 10:18 am

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I walked into a baby mega-store the other day and passed the clothes section. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something that made me stop in my tracks…the tiniest onesie 3-pack on a hanger. I couldn’t believe how small it was and checked the size: Newborn. I immediately felt a lump in my throat. My babies, my little girls, almost one year ago swam in the enormity of newborn onesies. I was momentarily stunned at the recollection of how small they had been and got ferklempt as I realized how far they have come in the last year.

Almost a year ago, at 35 weeks, I was on bed rest with pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure flirted with dangerous territory, and after a few weeks of “wait and see,” the scales finally flipped–it was safer for the twins to come out than to stay in. To this day I don’t have the words to express how worried I was from the moment that decision was made until the I heard my babies cry just a mere two hours later. Terrified is too mild a word.

Pepper arrived first. They opened my womb and we could hear her shriek as soon as oxygen hit her lungs. We named her well, I thought to myself. Elora arrived a minute later, and her healthy cry allowed me to take a deep breath of relief, a breath I felt as though I had held for 35 weeks. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 18 2014

Check Out This Brilliant YouTube Video Scripted Entirely by Kids

By at 2:37 pm

If kids could write screenplays, what would they be like?

Here is a YouTube series which explores that very important existential question. In this brilliant short, “Salesman,” two kids script the scene and adults act it out. The results are hilarious.

Check it out the rest of the videos and then try it with your own kids!

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Don’t Believe What You Read About Those Anti-Semitic Fliers In Ukraine

By at 12:18 pm

antisemitic-fliers

Because I work in the media, I never believe a word anyone says or writes. (I know full well there is no such thing as an unbiased journalist, or an editor without an agenda.) Because I was born in Ukraine (then a part of the Soviet Union), I most especially never believe a word anyone says or writes coming out of that particular region of the world.

That’s why, when friends began emailing me the USA Today article, soon backed up (or maybe merely copy and pasted) by other outlets, that claimed Jews in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk “emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” I refused to leap immediately into panic mode.

Within hours, another source, in The New Republicclaimed that while the leaflets may have been real, they were not issued by the local government, but by their opponents in order to deliberately smear the pro-Russian side of the Crimea conflict. Read the rest of this entry →

My Conversion Prayers Were Answered Through An Orthodox A Cappella Group

By at 10:16 am

concert-Kol-Shira

I love music. I’ve been singing all my life. I belted out an elaborate rendition of “Old Macdonald” in my yellow bathing suit for the cable guy when I was 3 and sang on stage throughout adolescence and college. So much of my life has been set to music; every year a different show, a different song. It is how I built an inner confidence and poise. I have always felt that my voice was one of the things that brought me closest to God. A gift I was blessed with and never took for granted.

But marriage and careers and babies and more babies made it very hard to fit singing into my life.

I remember the first time I set foot in a temple for services. While it was a Reform congregation, the service and songs were primarily in Hebrew. Everything felt foreign to me. I knew that Judaism was calling to me but in that moment I couldn’t hear it. I felt lost, confused and disconnected. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 17 2014

Breaking News: Chelsea Clinton is Pregnant!

By at 5:08 pm

chelsea

We are thrilled to announce that Chelsea Clinton and her Jewish husband are expecting a child later this year. Kveller has been following the former first daughter’s baby timeline every since she married Marc Mezvinsky in 2010, and declared her desire to create a little (half?) Jewish baby with him this past fall.

Chelsea was co-hosting a Clinton Foundation event about female leadership with mom Hillary when she made the announcement:

“I just want to thank all of you for being such an inspiration to us and to me in particular. Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year.”

“And I certainly feel all the better, whether it’s a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world with so many strong, young female leaders,” she said.

Mazel Tov, Chelsea and Marc!

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The Perfect Way My Daughter Described Her Friend Who Uses a Wheelchair

By at 3:26 pm

wheelchair

This year, at our first night’s seder, my 11-year-old daughter declared her desire to find the afikomen. You see, she informed me, this would be her only chance.

Puzzled, I asked why. After all, we were heading to a friend’s home for the second night, and there would most certainly be an afikomen hunt there, as well.

(Back story: The friends we celebrate Passover with have one son, Josh, who has Cerebral Palsy. I have written about him and my children’s relationship with him before. Our families have been celebrating second seder together for the past few years.) Read the rest of this entry →

“Number the Stars” Does More Harm Than Good When it Comes to Holocaust Education

By at 12:06 pm

number-the-stars

Shortly after our discussions on Kveller about the appropriateness of the Purim story for preschoolers, my 4th grader needed to read “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry (whom I will always adore due to the “Anastasia Krupnik” series).

I knew it was a book about the Holocaust, and I decided to read it first, so that I could be prepared for any questions he might have. (I’d initially confused it with another title, which follows the main character and her family all the way to Auschwitz.)

What I found in “Number the Stars,” however, was a book about the Holocaust… kind of. Read the rest of this entry →

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