Dec 10 2014
Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, begins at sundown on Tuesday, December 16 and ends the evening of Wednesday, December 24. In addition to spinning your dreidel and frying your latkes at home, here are some events throughout the New York metro area that will help you party like a Hanukkah rock star.
When Mindy Saved Hanukkah Treasure Hunt
Who doesn’t love an adventure? Take the kids on a Hanukkah-themed treasure hunt in this century-old synagogue/museum and make holiday crafts and treats. $15 per family
Eldridge Street Synagogue, 12 Eldridge Street, Lower East Side
Sunday, Dec. 14, 11am-1pm Read more →
Dec 10 2014
Growing up as the youngest of three, I was the last to learn to ride a bike, roller skate (which I gave up altogether since I was so klutzy), play checkers, backgammon, and most other games. And although I loved playing with my older siblings and sometimes they showed mercy on me, I pretty much got creamed every time we played a game.
But my parents showed me a great deal of compassion. Whenever we arm-wrestled, played checkers, or Go Fish, they let me win most of the time. I still remember that incredible feeling when I won. It felt good.
My father and I used to play silly games in the car on the way to school when I was little. “What number am I thinking?” he’d ask. And no matter what number I said, he’d exclaim, “You’re right!” And I would squeal with delight. Instinctively, I knew never to try this game with my friends–this was something special between my dad and me. Read more →
Dec 10 2014
I never had a baby shower. Sure, there was the obligatory surprise lunch-time shower my colleagues threw for me, where I got to bask in my own glow for a 45-minute power session of crock-pot mac ‘n cheese and a marathon opening of a dozen onesies my students had all sponge-painted for me. That was pretty awesome. But I was never surrounded by friends cooing over miniature shoes, eating Noah’s Ark-themed goodies, and playing stupid party games with chocolate bars in Pampers and blindfolded baby food taste-testing.
Whenever I’m asked why I didn’t have a shower, I simply reply, “Jews don’t do that kind of thing. It tempts the evil eye.”
This is easier than explaining that after we miscarried our first pregnancy at 10 weeks, and had to painfully “untell” a handful of close friends and family, the importance of secrecy provided a layer of insulation against disappointments, awkward conversations, and jealous gazes at coworkers’ growing bellies. Read more →
Dec 10 2014
My 10-year-old son came into the room while I was watching the news yesterday. On screen, they were talking about Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police in Cleveland.
“Why would the police kill a kid, Mom?”
I stumbled around for answers I didn’t have.
“Well, I guess he was carrying a BB gun and the police thought it was a real gun.”
“My cousins have BB guns. Are they going to get shot?” Read more →
Dec 10 2014
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 more →
Dec 9 2014
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 more →
Dec 9 2014
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 more →
Dec 9 2014
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 more →
Dec 9 2014
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 more →
Dec 8 2014
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 more →