Nov 4 2014
When my in-laws came this spring to meet Penrose, they brought with them a DVD containing several months worth of baby videos of my husband. They were taken in 1981, when household-use video cameras were new on the market. His grandparents and aunts feature prominently, as does his mother, and of course, my husband, baby Bill. His father is behind the camera, being directed by his grandfather. The videos capture the family sitting around, happy together, and there’s lots of loving footage of tiny Bill, who looks so much like Penrose it’s uncanny.
Although there’s a substantial amount of footage, it’s always taken somewhat deliberately, as in, “here we are all together, so let’s document the moment.” VHS tapes weren’t cheap, the camera weighed a ton, and the only way to share the footage was to get everyone together again to watch it, or tediously copy the tapes and mail them around. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 2 2014
Mazel Tov! Mila Kunis and fiancee Ashton Kutcher had a baby girl!
The actress had a health baby girl at Cedars-Sinai, the hospital of choice for movie stars, at 6 a.m., Tuesday morning.
No word on the name yet, but we can recommend a great Jewish baby name bank if they are still on the fence. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 9 2014
A paper published recently in a social science journal explored the correlation between intelligence and childlessness and determined, “One standard-deviation increase in childhood general intelligence (15 IQ points) decreases a woman’s odds of parenthood by 21–25 percent. Because women have a greater impact on the average intelligence of future generations, the dysgenic fertility among women is predicted to lead to a decline in the average intelligence of the population in advanced industrial nations.”
Naturally, in the popular press, this was boiled down to the headline: Smart Women Don’t Have Babies.
When I sent the link to my husband, I wrote: “Duh. It’s a very unpleasant process.” Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 21 2014
Sleep training is hard any time of the year. When trying to find a quiet week to start sleep training, parents will inevitably discover there is no good time, as “normal” life is constantly interrupted by birthdays, late-night meetings, work trips, and so on. You just have to pick a week and try to be consistent.
So when my husband got called up to miluim (emergency reserve duty in the Israeli Army) this August, you can imagine my hesitation to start sleep training alone. It was just a week after we arrived back home in Israel, right after our 6-month-old, Chanan, recovered from jet lag, and mid-way into Operation Protective Edge (which we hope is almost over).
Against my better judgment, I’m trying anyway. And as a result, I’ve come up with five reasons why miluim really screws with sleep training. (I’m sure in many ways these concerns will echo with the experiences of parents living far from the front.) Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 19 2014
I’ve always wanted to have kids, three girls to be exact. I’ve had names picked out since the age of 12 (OK, so those names have changed several times, but still, I’ve been choosing names for what seems like forever). On my 21st birthday, I remember shocking my dad with the news that having kids would come first–even before the family business.
Fast forward to now. At the age of 32 and recently married, I’m not sure I want kids anymore.
What happened? Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 6 2014
I’m on my fifth kid, and I still don’t get it.
I have been the “Mommy” in “Mommy & Me” classes for years. Without exaggeration, years; I have gone through the Kubler-Ross cycle of Mommy and Me classes. Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Give a little clap, clap, clap!
Some classes are tedious from the adult side of things (please, God, not “Wheels on the Bus”), but once you get the hang of the mothering thing, you know how to pick classes at good places where the kids will be stimulated and have fun. So, as they say in another context, It Gets Better. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 9 2014
I was nervous. I didn’t know what reaction I’d get on the other end of the call. Would I be met with joy? Apathy? Had I been forgotten? It had been a while since we last spoke and I felt anxious. As the time of the call drew closer, I had butterflies.
No, I’m not describing the emotions of talking to a guy I was really into… I’m talking about the excitement and anxiety I felt when my husband and I Skyped with our 18-month-old daughter while we were on vacation in Europe and she was back in California with my parents.
Before we left on our 12-day journey, we told my parents that we wanted to try to Skype a few times with our daughter. We went into it with the understanding that if seeing us on the screen made her burst into tears, then we would say goodbye and not see her again until we could do so in person with real life hugs and kisses. Read the rest of this entry →
May 1 2014
Now that Shabbat starts later, and my husband and I have a car, I have been taking my little girl to the Village Learning Place in Baltimore where we participate in the Friday morning “Mother Goose on the Loose” story time. Most of the kids there are at least a year older than she is, if not more, and I think I might be the youngest parent there (though the nannies are more around my age).
Why do I go? Ziva is only 7 months old, so her participation in the activities is very limited, and everything that gets handed out becomes an exploration in taste. Time to ring the bells? Straight into her mouth. Time to wave scarves around? Hers is covered in slobber. She can’t march in a circle but when I carry her around, her squeals of delight and gigantic grin let me know that she’s definitely benefitting from the experience.
As a librarian, I learned over and over the importance of early literacy. Nursery rhymes help teach your kids phonological awareness and language. Music helps their brains develop, and modeling behavior teaches them learned behaviors. It killed me for the first few months of her life that between my work schedule and not having a car, we couldn’t get to the library for story programs. I really felt like I was failing her as a parent and as a librarian. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 19 2014
Today my 1-year-old locked himself inside the car. It was my biggest mommy fail to date and one I could have easily avoided if I had been paying more attention.
Jared and I had just left our weekly Baby and Me class at the synagogue where my daughter attends preschool and where Jared will go next school year. I was situating him in his car seat when another mom pulled up and asked if I wanted to meet for lunch. I said sure and she drove away as I finished tightening Jared’s seatbelt.
I knew he had slipped the keys out of my hand as I was talking; I felt it happen. Still, it didn’t fully register. Until I shut his door and instinctively patted my right coat pocket to feel for the keys. I felt he emptiness and heard the click of the locking doors at the same time. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 11 2014
My husband and I have been in our house for almost seven years now. After moving houses (all on the island, which has a dearth of year-round rentals) a total of seven times in our first two years here and resisting the accumulation of a whole lot of stuff (besides the necessities, including a complete menagerie of musical instruments), we’ve been able to relax, spread out and acquire.
We sort through things annually and donate to Goodwill or bring things to our town transfer station, which functions as an on-going free swap meet as well as a dump and recycling station. My husband, who genuinely fears and dreads clutter, will suddenly cave to impulses requiring him to get rid of a lot of mugs at once. But still, the stuff has piled up, in the basement and especially in the office/guest room that will become the baby’s room.
Suddenly, we had to make room for a whole other human being in our house. And she comes with her own stuff. Read the rest of this entry →