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Dec 10 2014

I’m a Grandmother, Not a Babysitter

By at 11:13 am

i'm a grandmother not a babysitter

I’m not a gooey, super-affectionate type. I’m into competence and capability and problem solving. I have had to teach myself to be less Dr. Spock (as my children used to refer to me) and more Mr. Rogers, so to speak. I have a profession, and while I’ve practiced less than full-time since becoming a mother–it still keeps me pretty busy.

So when my kids started having their own kids and the demands on grandma started coming in, it wasn’t easy. Can I pick up from school? Something’s come up. Can I come to the house? The babysitter has to leave, mum is held up. Can I do this? Can I go there? I’m the Go-To Granny.

What to do? I do not want to be the grandma who is limping around with a toddler in tow, picking kids up from school and bringing them home, giving them dinner and bathing them so that they’re in their jim-jams all nice and clean for Mummy to come and pick up. Every day. No thank you. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 9 2014

No, I Don’t Have to Tame My Wild Child

By at 3:53 pm

wild child

My 4-year-old’s socks never match. She’s left the house in one teal sock and one yellow, while wearing an orange striped dress. Some days, she looks like a miniature Punky Brewster, and at this point, it is fine with me. I am learning to pick my battles.

As a baby, my daughter’s nap schedule was ironclad. She still does best with the same, precise daily routine. This includes everything–especially what she eats. If given the opportunity, she’d sustain life solely on pizza, sunbutter sandwiches, and yogurt smoothies. She hates new foods, though my husband is more successful than I am at getting her to try.

Showers and bedtime require long negotiations… and the occasional bribe. Read the rest of this entry →

You’ve Got to Watch This Hanukkah Mash-Up Song & Dance Extravaganza

By at 1:59 pm

hanukkah mash-up song dance extravaganza

What happens when you get together a 10-piece orchestra, over 50 talented dancers, and plop them into the heart of downtown Chicago to celebrate Hanukkah? You get the Hanukkah mash-up song and dance extravaganza, of course.

Elliot Dvorin and the Key Tov Orchestra cover all the bases in this one, from Adam Sandler’s classic “Hanukkah Song” to the Spanish-language hip-shaker, “Ochos Kandelikas,” and of course–much to Mayim Bialik’s delight, we’re sure–The Maccabeats.

Check it out: Read the rest of this entry →

QUIZ: How Many Kids Should You Really Have?

By at 12:12 pm

how many kids should you have quiz

So you’re deciding between one, two, or three little wonders. This is a tough decision, with many variables. Thankfully, you have me to help guide you, using a handy dandy quiz. Answer honestly.

1. Which comment makes you the most irritated?

a. Aw, is she lonely?

b. Having two kids is easy! They entertain each other.

c. Wow! Were they all planned?

2. What is your greatest strength?

a. Playing make believe for three hours in a row.

b. Dividing everything exactly in half.

c. Thriving in chaos.

3. How do you feel about changing diapers? Read the rest of this entry →

My Family is Thinking About Moving to Israel–But It’s Hard Not to Be Afraid

By at 11:06 am

contemplating moving to israel

When I was a senior in high school, my family and I made our first trip to Israel for my little brother’s bar mitzvah. It was then that I decided that I wanted to marry an Israeli. All of my years at Solomon Schechter Day School learning Hebrew would be put to good use, I would get to visit a country I loved on a regular basis, and our kids would be bilingual and cute. All the kids I knew who had one Israeli parent were bilingual and cute. So, how could I go wrong?

I did marry my Israeli, as it turned out. A mutual friend set us up on a blind date and the rest–as they say–is history. We have kids who are cute, though not yet bilingual. They, too, are at Jewish day school, and they are using more Hebrew with each passing day.

Since that first trip 23 years ago, I have developed a strong connection to Israel. And so, on our last trip a year ago, I turned to my husband and said, “What if we moved here for a year or two? Wouldn’t that be amazing for our kids and for us?” Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 8 2014

My Baby is a Socialist & I Wish Yours Was, Too

By at 4:00 pm

tin of baby formula

My foster daughter is the cutest socialist you will ever meet. I know that there are people in this country who are afraid of socialism, or think that it’s not their responsibility to take care of anyone else, but Dafna is here to show you why socialism can be awesome.

Let’s be real: On the whole, being a kid in the foster system is terrible. You enter the system because of abuse and neglect. Children often get shuffled through many different placements, may or may not get to see and bond with their biological parents, and are the pawns of a bureaucratic system that is undoubtedly broken. But alongside the bureaucracy there are some amazing perks. These perks are different state to state, but here’s an example of some of the awesome socialism we use every day.

1. Free Childcare Read the rest of this entry →

Free Stuff Alert: Glow-in-the-Dark Hanukkah Onesie

By at 1:55 pm

glow-in-the-dark hanukkah onesie giveaway

What glows in the dark, is made with 100% organic cotton, and is the must-have Hanukkah item for fashionable babies? Obviously, it’s this Glow-in-the-Dark Hanukkah Onesie!

This bad boy will be the hit at any Hanukkah party, especially once the sun goes down. ModernTribe is graciously giving away one of these onesies to a lucky Kveller reader. To enter, fill out the form below, and we’ll choose a winner this Wednesday, December 10th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How I Learned to be OK with Losing Control

By at 10:06 am

pregnant woman belly

From the moment I discovered that I was pregnant, I was ready, working to ensure that my baby would be as healthy as he or she could be. Yes to lots of fruits and vegetables. No to nitrates or cured meats or sushi (a particularly difficult one for me). No to Caesar salads, yes to the flu shot (after wonderful advice from my doctor). Yes to telling immediate family. No to telling anyone else… yet. Yes to dreaming up names and possibilities for a future my husband and I could only imagine. Yes to the excitement and even the sense of overwhelming responsibility of the enormous tasks that lay ahead. Each step pondered, considered, and thought out.

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant, it was all about control. Control over what I ate, where I went, and the plan I set for the future.

How different the world looks now, almost six years since my first pregnancy. The initial moments of my pregnancy were all about embracing that control. Our lives now, however, are anything but.  Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 5 2014

Free Stuff Alert: The Chanukitty Sweater

By at 11:45 am

chanukitty sweater giveaway

Well, if you’ve been looking for the perfect Hanukkah sweater for the little girl in your life, you can stop. This is it. The “Chanukitty Sweater.” Featuring both adorable cats and dreidels, it really doesn’t get better than this. Which is why we’re very excited to be giving one away, courtesy of ModernTribe.

(Oh, and before you ask why only little girls get to have all the fun, check out these amazing Hanukkah sweaters for boys, women, and men.)

To enter to win the sweater, fill out the form below. We’ll choose a random winner next Tuesday, December 9th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Was Laid Off in My Third Trimester & Now I’m in Limbo

By at 8:59 am

laid off in third semester pregnant

Now that I’m over the shock of having been laid off right around the start of my third trimester of pregnancy, I’m trying to stay positive and focus on my family and health for the next couple of months. It’s been a pretty big adjustment. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a job with official working hours. Rather, I’ve been staying home full-time with my toddler and squeezing in whatever freelance work my schedule allows for. I’m also starting to tackle my seemingly never-ending list of household projects, or at least the ones that don’t require a ton of lifting, bending, and maneuvering.

There are definitely some benefits to having been laid off when I did. I can now spend more time with my son, get more sleep (I was previously waking up at 5:00 a.m. daily), and give my body a break from my formerly grueling two-hour, multi-step commute.

But I guess there’s a downside as well–namely, that I feel like I’m completely in limbo. Read the rest of this entry →

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