Sep 11 2014
I’m holding a number 2 pencil and there’s a university issue blue book in front of me. A bland-faced test proctor places a sheet of paper, face down, on my desk.
“Don’t turn it over until the bell,” he says.
It’s my final exam, and the questions on it, and how I answer them, will determine my future. Read more →
Sep 11 2014
My son Dalen is a worrier. He worries about big things like mass extinction and little things like being late for school and not wearing the right color clothes for Spirit Day. When his mind begins to spin and his fingers begin to twist, I think of myself at that age.
I was an anxious kid. I worried about thunderstorms and math tests and lingering coughs. But more than anything, I worried about death. I was obsessed with it, in fact. Every time my parents were 10 minutes late to pick me up (always) I imagined them buried under a monstrous tractor trailer. When my little brother started going out with his friends, I stayed up and waited for him long after my parents had gone to bed. And when my dad complained of chest discomfort, I didn’t sleep for a month.
Death lurked behind every doorway, sneaked in through every crack in the ceiling, crawled under the floor, slithered into my daydreams, and lingered long into the night. Read more →
Sep 10 2014
Can you believe Rosh Hashanah is just two weeks away? Well, now you can take on the new year in style with these lovely nail decals. Transform your holiday experience by sporting your very own shofar, apples, and honey–on your fingers.
Midrash Manicures is giving away a set of 44 easy-to-use, stick-on decals for adults and children. They last up to 10 days and include symbols from Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Read more →
Sep 10 2014
Fran Drescher is off the market.
The actress we know best as Fran Fine from “The Nanny” got married to inventor Shiva Ayyadurai Sunday, whom she met a little over a year ago when she watched him speak at a Deepak Chopra event, reports the Huffington Post.
“I was speaking on sages and scientists — in fact, talking about innovation and the fact that we need to more universally look at the models of innovation,” Ayyadurai explained to host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. “And Fran heard my talk and we fell in love, and we’ve been together since that talk.”
The nuptials took place at an intimate ceremony with family and close friends at Fran’s beachside home. The bride wore a red Badgely Mischka gown, and the groom wore Ralph Lauren. Read more →
Sep 10 2014
When I’m not mommy-ing or writing for Kveller, I am writing other forms of comedy or performing stand-up.
I was recently asked to shoot an episode of an online comedy show called “Headline Punchline”–a talking heads showcase where five comics are given five headlines the night before filming and are asked to write up punchlines for them. It’s very fun, and very stressful. But hey, I’m one of those sickies who actually works well under pressure.
The day of shooting, my wonderful husband took an extra-long lunch so that I could make myself look like a person presentable for the camera and less like a walking napkin. I did my hair and makeup and found clothes that weren’t covered in toddler-mess. Read more →
Sep 10 2014
My 4.5-year-old has been jumping the baby gate at the top of our stairs before we are awake to sneak into the kitchen and eat treats. He has his fill and creeps back upstairs. Last week he used a stool to get in the freezer and eat ice cream sandwiches; we later found a half-eaten 16 oz. bag of marshmallows in his bed and some baking chocolate under his pillow.
But one thing agile, sneaky 4-year-olds don’t do well is cover their tracks. One morning I came downstairs to find that my son had used a GRILLING SPATULA to serve himself a piece of his little brother’s birthday cake onto a plate. There was a dirty plate and fork on the counter (because if you are going to sneak cake you MUST serve it to yourself on a plate and use a fork like a sophisticated criminal), an open Tupperware with sugar cookie crumb-trails and a half-eaten nectarine. He looked at me innocently and asked, “What’s for breakfast?”
My blood was boiling. Lying and sneakiness makes me bananapants crazy. But lectures, warnings, and punishment have gotten me nowhere (don’t even get me started about the positive parenting sticker chart and the bazillion “good behavior prizes” rotting in our closet). All I could think to myself was, “I give up.” And then I thought, GIVE UP. Just GIVE UP. And I replied, “You’re in luck! I know how much you like to eat treats so today you are having cake for breakfast!” Read more →
Sep 10 2014
I’m a relatively fit person. I’m far from an Olympic athlete, but I do the best I can to stay healthy and in shape. I’m also the working mother of almost 3-year-old twins, so when I’m not at work I want to be with my children (not at the gym).
My friends often ask me how I manage to stay in shape. My answer? I turn playtime into exercise time.
When my twins were babies, I’d lay them on their backs and get into a plank position with my face above theirs and hold it for as long as possible. It started off as just a few seconds, as I was recovering from a C-section, but gradually I was able to hold it longer and longer. Their coos and smiles were excellent motivation to keep holding that plank! As I got stronger I’d do tummy time right along with them, doing push-ups on the floor facing them. I’d make funny faces and talk to them as I went up and down. I’d also stand next to them and do squats–tickling them each time I went down. Their giggles definitely encouraged me to keep going. Read more →
Sep 9 2014
My youngest baby, Hope, is fast approaching 7 months old. Though we are not currently members of any synagogue, our lack of shul membership doesn’t necessarily translate into a lack of faith. My husband and I are Jewish and we want to raise our children Jewish. And while one of their first introductions to this faith will be the ceremony where we give our child a Hebrew name, we haven’t done it yet. But it’s time to start planning.
In Judaism, the naming ceremony for boys is part of the brit milah or bris, the ritual circumcision that most Jewish boys receive in the first week after their birth. It’s a straightforward, if not uncomfortable process that looked something like this with my son: I was eight days post-partum and was largely a walking ball of emotions. Our house was filled with some close friends and family but mostly extended family that I did not know or recall or even like. A mohel (one who performs ritual Jewish circumcisions) showed up and claimed he had circumcised nearly every little boy in the tri-state area. He said a couple of blessings that I did not understand over my tiny helpless son who lay sobbing on top of our card table, and he carefully removed my son’s foreskin. Everyone celebrated as my baby screamed. Someone removed the baby and the iodine and replaced it with a platter of rice that my husband’s grandmother had made for the occasion. A group of old women sat down at the exact same table where this whole ridiculous scene had just taken place and started noshing and kibitzing. I grabbed my son and the rugelach tray and hid in my bedroom where I sobbed and binged on pastries.
In every way, this ceremony felt like it was more about religious to-dos and tasks and less about faith. I recognize this was my personal experience with my son’s bris, but nonetheless it cut me sharply (no pun intended) that his first introduction to Judaism was seemingly so full of ritual, yet so lacking in spirituality. Read more →
Sep 9 2014
Oh, Joan. The reason we love her so much is because she was never afraid to blurt out what we all were thinking–especially when it came to motherhood, childbirth, and all things vaginal.
So it was only appropriate that Howard Stern deliver a quintessentially Joan-esque eulogy at her star-studded funeral at Temple Emanu-el on the Upper East Side of Manhattan this past Sunday.
On her website, comedian Margaret Cho, who was at the funeral, described what happened after Howard’s opening line, “Joan had a dry pussy.” Read more →
Sep 9 2014
This is a sponsored post.
Potty training time: A major milestone for both you and your child, but a lot more work than coaxing out that first gummy smile. Potty training can take weeks, months, or even years to master.
However, there are several reasons why you may want to try a quicker, more focused, and streamlined potty training method for your ready-yet-potty-resistant-kid. Maybe he’s starting preschool and they have a potty policy; maybe a new sibling is on the way; or maybe you are both just ready to move on with this growing-up business and think a little independence can be an emotionally healthy thing.
Plus, you know, diapers. Am I right? Read more →