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Oct 28 2014

So That’s Why Women Don’t Usually Travel in Their Eighth Month

By at 2:02 pm


For my 36th birthday, my husband took me out to dinner and a show in San Francisco, an hour north of where we live with our three kids. This was exciting mostly because we were an hour north of our three kids, and also, because we were celebrating not only my birthday, but also that morning’s pink line on my home pregnancy test. We felt both giddy and overwhelmed by the news, and were happy to be out, distracted.

We saw “The Book of Mormon,” and, as observant Jews, it hit close to home. We laughed and laughed. We were laughing at the show, and, by extension, at the Mormons, just as we were also laughing at ourselves, modern people of an ancient faith living a life of contradictions, trying hard to make sense of the traditions and stories that shape so much of our lives, so many of our decisions. Our laughter was uncomfortable, for we saw ourselves on that stage, and were afraid of the possibility that we too were living in an absurd world of illusions, dreaming of Orlando. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 8 2014

After Emergency Rescue, Is it Fair to Judge the Couple Who Brought Young Daughters on Sailing Journey?

By at 12:10 pm
kaufman family sailboat rescue

via Eric Kaufman/YouTube


A story on the cover of the New York Times this morning has stirred quite the parenting storm–pun completely intended.

2 Tots, a Sailboat and a Storm Over Parenting” is about the Kaufman family, who decided to go on a months-long journey in a 36-foot sailboat from Mexico to New Zealand with their 1- and 3-year-old daughters in tow. Less than two weeks later, 900 miles off the coast of Mexico, the adventuresome family had to call for emergency help when they could no longer steer the ship. Their younger daughter, Lyra, was covered in a rash and had a fever, but everyone is safe and stable now.

Cue the opinions. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 19 2014

Mommy Fail: That Time My Toddler Locked Himself in the Car

By at 10:00 am


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 →

Sep 3 2013

My Baby Got Stitches & I’m Still Recuperating

By at 9:57 am

baby with stitches on eyebrowHolding down your 10-month-old daughter as she screams at the top of her lungs while someone sews her eyebrow back together is not an experience I would recommend to anyone.

And yet…welcome to motherhood!

There are many things I can be thankful for. I can be thankful, for example, that even though I have four kids and am pregnant with the fifth, this was my first time taking a kid into the ER for stitches. I can be thankful that we had a wonderful plastic surgeon sew her up. I can be thankful that there may not even be too bad of a scar. And I can certainly be thankful that the Duplo piece she fell on–yes, the little kid Lego that I had thought was totally innocuous–wasn’t just an inch lower, which could have permanently damaged her eye. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 26 2013

My Summer Brain Tumor

By at 5:02 pm

brain tumorApril 2012: I am very, very dizzy. I close my eyes when we drive across bridges, because it looks like the right-hand side is slicing the car in half. I am dizzy at night when my head feels like it goes back several feet before reaching the pillows. I am sick when I drive, squinting my right eye roughly so I can focus on the road.

One night I am dizzy enough that my 10-year-old son calls his friend’s father to take me to the ER. Their daughter watches my kids, who must have been terrified. I can’t bear to think of it. I cover my eyes in the ER, drink a sip of water, and instantly vomit it up on my shirt. I finally get an IV because I am so dehydrated, as well as a mega-dose of Meclizine. I am dizzy for weeks, but I ignore it. I drink huge amounts of water and cut out caffeine in an attempt to feel steady. The Meclizine, the gold standard for vertigo I am prescribed, does not work at all. Eventually I feel normal again and chalk the incident up to a weird after-40 situation. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 13 2013

Sudden Separation

By at 10:18 am

toddler waiting by the windowCertain memories stick with you. Three decades later, my mother recalls the first time she spent a night away from me; she was hospitalized while pregnant with my sister. I fear that when Lila is my age, I too will remember the first time we spent a night apart, especially now that we’ve spent several consecutive nights apart twice, in a two-week span.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. For Lila’s first two years, we never spent a night apart. Sure, we spent time apart–she’d spend a few hours with a family member or babysitter–but we’d never slept under different roofs, and we’d certainly never gone 24 hours without talking or seeing each other. I felt like a piece of me was missing.

It was all supposed to be much more carefully choreographed. I had cringed at the thought of being sidekick-less, but my husband wisely reminded me it would have to happen at some point. When a save-the-date card arrived several months ago, we decided “some point” would be July 4th weekend; we were invited to close friends’ wedding overseas, and we wanted to make it work. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 25 2013

My Ectopic Pregnancy & Why I’m Determined to Talk About It

By at 1:48 pm

emergency room signWhen I was eagerly pregnant with my first, I devoured a library copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting with an open and trusting mind. Every twinge they described I felt keenly and every rare complication was one I considered. At some point, I found myself walking out into the living room and asking my husband, “Ari, could I have an ectopic pregnancy?”

I’m pretty sure his sigh and accompanying eye-roll were the most patronizing imaginable. He said I was too far along, and we’d “for sure” know if I had an ectopic pregnancy.

At the time, Ari was right, but this winter, his certainty was misplaced.

Three years later, as we found ourselves trying to conceive baby #2, my first cycle of trying came and went. I was not concerned–it had taken eight months to conceive our eldest–and I looked forward to going to the mikvah and my next chance. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 22 2013

How I Missed My Own Son’s Birth

By at 5:04 pm

c-section operating tableWhen I was in my mid-20s, a friend of my parents commented that I was “the kind of person who life just works out for.”  And he was right–I had a supportive family, many close friends, and a deeply fulfilling job. I had recently married the man whom I had loved since high school, and received a full scholarship for graduate school. I was a very blessed young woman.

And so, several years later, when my husband and I set out to start building our family, I–perhaps a bit brazenly–assumed that life would continue to work out. And in the beginning it seemed that it would. I immediately got pregnant, even as I watched others close to me struggle with infertility. I had easy first and second trimesters that included a month living in Israel as a last adventurous hurrah before we were to become a family of three.

It wasn’t until a month into my third trimester that I began to not feel well. I had no appetite but was constantly thirsty, my abdomen was tender, and I was “out of it.” I chalked it up to the fact that I was getting larger. I figured I’d had it so easy that I could tolerate a couple of months of being uncomfortable.  Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 8 2013

The Slide: A Cautionary Tale

By at 2:09 pm

little girl in leg castHave you, like me, gone down the slide, like a million times, with your toddler on your lap?

Perhaps you vaguely recall reading something or maybe actually learning in a parenting class that there is a high injury rate, especially for broken legs for the kid on the lap, when you go down together. Perhaps like me, you throw caution to the wind, because it’s so much fun to go down the slide with your toddler, to count down one – two – three and weeeeeeee down the slide, just so you can hear them say “Again! Again!” and do the hand-sign for more and climb up and do it again. And probably like me you thought: my baby will never break her leg going down the slide on my lap.

Well, it happened to me. Or more significantly it happened to my 18-month-old who is now in a cast for four to six weeks with a fractured tibia. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 4 2013

A Fun List of Every Time My Kids Got Hurt

By at 1:08 pm

arm castRonnie’s post last week about accidents sure brought back memories!

We’ve all been where she was (or we will be)–speechless with terror that, because we weren’t watching for that half a second, or that we didn’t react quickly enough, our child was hurt. But, believe me, the child will recover a lot faster than we will as we struggle to forgive ourselves. Read the rest of this entry →


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