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Apr 4 2014

What Not To Do When You Think Your Child Has Lice

By at 11:33 am

lice

It was a typical weeknight. My son was having dinner while I was tackling my leftover work emails and sorting through the coupon mailer. In fact, it was actually one of those rare evenings where the ratio of food in the child’s mouth to food on the floor was pretty favorable. Things were looking good until I noticed that in between bites, my son seemed to be aggressively scratching his head.

At first I assumed he’d gotten food in his hair–a feat he’s managed on many an occasion. But upon further inspection, I saw nothing of the sort.

After dinner the scratching persisted. And the more he scratched, the more I came to face the realization that we were probably dealing with our first-ever lice infestation. I mean, the kid goes to daycare, so it was bound to happen at some point, right? Only instead of taking a productive, level-headed approach to the situation, I opted to do the thing that came naturally: I freaked out. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 4 2014

The Transformative Powers of Bath Time–for Mama and Child

By at 10:22 am

needs-bath

This post is part of our Torah MOMentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat Metzora. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

Bath time. It’s so simple, yet so transformative.

Most evenings around 7 p.m., Sylvie enters the tub covered in the evidence of a day well spent. You know the look: pasta sauce in her curls, a thin layer of dried snot on her cheeks, dirt on her knees, lint between her toes, and streaks of green finger paint in random places.

Come to think of it, by the end of dinnertime she brings to mind my fashion preferences as a teenager in the 90’s. You know the look: torn jacket, messy hair, smudged eyeliner, chipped nail polish. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 3 2014

Tovah Klein Talks Toddlers: Lower Your Expectations and Respect Their Individuality

By at 3:25 pm


tovah-klein

Let’s be honest: parenting a toddler can make even the sanest person among us feel homicidal at times. I should know–I’ve got twins.

Tovah Klein, author of “How Toddlers Thrive,” is an associate professor of psychology at Barnard and director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development. She kindly took a moment from a busy book tour to talk me off the ledge  talk to me about her new book and why we just need to shift our perspective.

In “How Toddlers Thrive,” you write about our current “overzealous child-rearing culture” and how the media often confuses parents. I am a confused parent. How will your book help me?

There’s a reason for confusing toddler behavior (defined here as ages 2-5): there’s rapid change going on in the brain in these early years–700 synapses per second are being connected! That’s why toddlers are exhausting to be around. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they need is for us to help guide them in a way that gives them a secure emotional base. Its important to take a step back and try and see the world from a toddler perspective. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 3 2014

What’s Your Exodus: Breaking Free from Winter, Anxiety & Explaining Yourself

By at 2:13 pm

As Passover approaches, we asked our readers and writers: What do you need an exodus from? Today we hear from three more Kveller writers as part of our “What’s Your Exodus?” series. 

From Monica Gebell:

Monica Gebell "What's Your Exodus?"

My exodus comes with Spring. It’s no secret that the Northeast has seen one of the more cruel winters this side of The Ice Storm of 1990, and I’ve had it. It’s been a loooong winter, especially for my three babes, who, when we come home from school every day, pine to stay outside. There’s little I want more at 4 p.m. than to let them frolick and squeal their way around the yard, chase and tackle each other, scream, hide, seek, take them on a walk. But it’s arctic. Way too cold for my little ones, who won’t keep hats and mittens on for more than a minute and who might need a 12-step program for their Sprout channel addictions.

With Passover will come buds and leaves and colors and petals and sprouts, the real ones, and head-clearing walks, hopscotch, countless games of tag, fresh air.  Next year in Jerusalem, maybe, but this Spring, I’m barefoot in the grass, baby. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 3 2014

Free Stuff Alert: Hidden Charm Candle & Bracelet from Curious Candle Company

By at 11:31 am

Curious Candle Company giveaway on Kveller

If you love surprises, jewelry, and things that smell really good, then you’ll be super excited to enter our latest giveaway with Curious Candle Company.

Curious Candle Company makes 100% soy wax candles handmade in the USA. And besides offering fresh and relaxing scents, each candle has a hidden charm inside, only to be revealed once the candle burns down.

We’re giving away three of their Style Icon Charm Candles, which have a refreshing clean cotton scent, along with a white bead charm bracelet for you to decorate with your hidden charm. To enter, fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner next Wednesday, April 9th. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 3 2014

I Don’t Deserve Anything In This Life, But I Am Grateful When I Receive

By at 10:17 am

starbucks

The other day the guy next to me threw his computer bag on the table and quickly exited Starbucks. Without a second thought, I followed him out, but I stopped abruptly when I spotted him, cell phone in hand, making a call. Realizing he had no intention of blowing up the store, I took a deep breath, relaxed my shoulders and returned inside to try to enjoy my drink. When he eventually returned to his table, it took all the restraint I could muster to keep silent about the anxiety unleashed within me as a result of his clueless actions.

It has been almost a decade and a half since I left Israel, yet I have not shed all of my old habits and fears I acquired while living abroad. In Israel, when an individual leaves a bag behind and flees, we are told to report it and evacuate. I learned to call home after each terrorist attack. Then I would reach out to local friends and roommates to ensure everyone I knew was accounted for and safe. After a few days of avoiding public places, I would reluctantly make my way back onto the bus again, often the same bus route that was targeted; after all, life must continue. I told myself confidently that I still had much more business left to complete on this planet and I needed to give thanks for each day going forward.

I reflect often about my younger years while I sit in Starbucks, which has become my habit, my retreat and my sacred space on the long nights and weekends when the children are away at their father’s. Before my divorce, before my world turned into chaos, I had a very different outlook on my life. I followed the rules. I studied, I worked hard, I earned degrees and built a career and a family. Yes, I sinned–worse than some people, but certainly not as badly as others. Still, I have come to recognize that there is no logical explanation as to why good things happen to bad people and tragedies befall the rule-followers. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 2 2014

The Kid-Dish: Regina Spektor is a Mom!

By at 2:42 pm

All the Jewish celebrity parent gossip you (n)ever wanted to know.Regina

-Singer/Songwriter Regina Spector announced the birth of a baby boy with musician husband Jack Dishel who performs under the band name “Only Son.” So far, the couple is keeping mum on the name. On Facebook, the new mom kvelled, “As you may have noticed, we’re pretty private so we won’t be posting any pictures or updates about him….but we can report that he’s super CUTE!!! Lots of love, mama regi & papa jack (and lil dude too :)).”  Mazel Tov, Regina!(E Online)

-Rachel Zoe showed off photos of 3-month-old Kaius and his big brother 3-year-old Skyler looking adorable on Instagram on Monday. She captioned the pics, ”The boys are weighing in with their opinions on footwear today ;) #hardatwork.” (US Weekly)

-Christina Aguilera seems to have a thing for Jewish men. She announced that she is pregnant with a baby girl with fiance Matt Rutler, and though we have not sifted through his ancestry, the interwebs seem to believe he’s a member of the Tribe. She has a son, Max Liron from her marriage to Jordan Bratman. (People)

-Expectant parents Mila and Ashton visited Kutcher’s family in Iowa this week. The pair announced that they are pregnant last week after Kunis was spotted at a prenatal yoga class. (US Weekly)

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Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 2 2014

What’s Your Exodus: Breaking Free from “What Ifs,” Too Much Texting & Peppa Pig

By at 2:06 pm

As Passover approaches, we asked our readers and writers: What do you need an exodus from? Today we hear from three more Kveller writers as part of our “What’s Your Exodus?” series. 

Stephanie Kanowitz "What's Your Exodus?"

From Stephanie Kanowitz:

I’m supposed to pick only one thing I’d like to break free from this Passover, but I’m struggling to edit down the list. Not that I have it bad by any stretch of the imagination, but in my dream world there would be:

* No whining by my 4-year-old.

* No temper tantrums involving the rag doll pose or the flinging back of the head onto hard surfaces by my 1-year-old.

* No questioning myself about whether I’m irreparably damaging my child by taking him to the mall while I shop instead of to a concert one time out of 1,000.

* No “Peppa Pig.” Absolutely no “Peppa Pig.”

From Sarah Chen:

I want to break free from begging my toddler to stop gargling his beverages. Milk, water, Shabbat kiddush grape juice . . . I wish he or I could just move on. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 2 2014

As My Son Turns 18, Looking Back On a Life With Autism

By at 10:20 am

hannah-brown

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. To learn more, click here.

When I turned 18, I had my first legal drink–a strawberry daiquiri–at Windows on the World, the bar/restaurant that was located on the top floor of the World Trade Center.

When my oldest son, Danny, turns 18 next week, we will take a train from Jerusalem to Haifa, and then we will ride the Carmelit subway for a good part of the day.

Danny loves trains and has ever since he was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. In addition to marking his birthday with a cake in the evening, his father and I will become his legal guardians that day. When he was born, there was no World Autism Awareness Day, but it’s hard not to see the irony in the fact that April 2 is just six days before his birthday. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 1 2014

My Husband and I Switched Sides of the Bed (and Our Marriage Survived!)

By at 2:49 pm

sleeping

When I told people that we were considering a change-up after almost a decade on our respective sides, they recoiled in horror.

“That would be grounds for divorce in our house!” they shouted. “We would move into separate rooms before we would swap! You will never sleep again!”

I have never been a middle-of-the-bed type of girl. In my unmarried years, I trended towards the side farthest from the door, probably with the subconscious thought that if someone nefarious broke in, they’d get to the first empty pillow and give up. When my husband moved in, there was no bed-side discussion; he simply filled the gap. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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