Mar 29 2013
I was standing on my front step, shaking out the hallway rug as part of my Passover cleaning, when the thought suddenly appeared in my mind, in large bold letters that erased everything else I had been thinking about.
“I am so lucky to have my own home to clean.”
The intensity of my gratitude in that moment surprised me. I hadn’t been thinking about the many blessings of my life, as I try to do on a regular basis. Quite the opposite: I was silently bemoaning the challenges of the holiday, as I have done every year since we started observing Passover more seriously. The cleaning is laborious, the dietary restrictions increasingly challenging as my daughter’s range of acceptable foods becomes smaller and smaller. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure why I kept with it year after year–probably because it is important to my husband, and because I want our daughters to grow up in a home that is Jewish in more than name and mezuzah in the doorway. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 28 2013
“Dear God, how many hours until bedtime?” I mutter from my prone position on the playroom floor as Legos bounce off of my head.
And how long have I been doing this, anyway? I’m home with the kids today, and my husband left for work at 7:30, so it’s been eight hours (not all of them involved being pummeled by Legos, but still). Now the Legos are hitting me in the arm as my toddler flings them into the air, his giggles piercing the torpid afternoon. Let’s see…if there are no major meltdowns, I can reasonably expect to get both kids into bed by 8:30, so I’ve got five more hours to go. Five more hours is doable, right? Five is a lot less than eight, so clearly I’ve reached the downhill part of my day. No problem, I think. I’m golden. I’m coasting. I’m… oh, for crying out loud, can’t they make Legos out of something softer? Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 25 2013
Via BustedBinkyDesigns on Etsy
As you probably could have guessed we’re closing up shop here early today. In preparation for Passover I’m eating a giant bagel and trying to think of genius way to get my daughter to sit at the seder table for more than five minutes.
This morning my husband tried to go over a very G-rated version of the exodus story. When he explained that slaves “worked all day long” she turned to us and said, “like you?” And she wasn’t so into our rendition of “Let My People Go,” but preferred her own version, “Let My People Dance,” which I think has great potential for a viral YouTube video.
That is all to say that I’m not sure how meaningful the holiday will be for her beyond an understanding that there is this tradition where we eat crackers and all sit down for a fancy dinner. And Mama buys us weird kitchy things like matzah bibs (yep) and onesies and t-shirts for all the kids with their names on it next to a piece of embroidered matzah. (Is there a name for the mom that thinks she’s crafty because she buys cute, crafty stuff on Etsy for her kids that other moms have made? Anyhoo, that’s me.)
Because my daughter doesn’t attend a Jewish preschool, we feel an extra pressure to explain the holidays in a way that makes them sound accessible, fun, and not totally bonkers. We have our work cut out for us. (Check out this video if you’re looking for a kid friendly explanation of the Passover story.)
So, this is all to say that we’re wishing you and your families a meaningful and joyous Passover no matter how you celebrate it. And we’ll be back on Thursday to bitch and moan about not eating bread (while secretly hoping that the mini-Atkins diets helps melt away the baby weight).
Chag pesach sameach!
Mar 21 2013
I have a surprisingly bad attitude about Passover. I say surprisingly because I’m that enthusiastic kind of Jewish friend who is always inviting people to join us for Shabbat. I invite people to challah making sessions or to interesting Jewish book events and Torah studies. I generally tend to see the best in our holidays and traditions. In fact, my aunt once told me that even as far back as high school I was known in the family for trying to sell Judaism to anyone who would listen. She didn’t mean it as a compliment.
If the glass-half-full “being Jewish is fun” side of me annoys some of my friends and family, then they will absolutely love me during Passover when I’m something of a pill. I have a problem with Passover. Actually, I have four very specific problems.
1. I am burnt out by Passover.
Speaking in terms of the Jewish year and the school year, I’ve had enough by Passover. I’ve made roughly 28 kosher Shabbat dinners. I’ve served High Holiday meals, decorated a Sukkah and served meals in there, too. I’ve made Hanukkah as festive as possible for all eight nights. And for Purim I’ve put together dozens of mishloach manot for friends. I’m not proud to say it, but by Passover I’m feeling a bit Jewed out. And of course Passover requires the most work of all. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 12 2013
If you’re shopping for Passover, you know you need some matzah, but there’s actually quite the variety out there. Whether you’re looking for classic, gluten-free, or chocolate-covered, we’ve narrowed down our favorite matzah options to make it all the more easy for you. Enjoy!
1. Yehuda Matzah ($27.50) The classic, imported from Israel.
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Mar 5 2013
Passover is coming, and you don’t know where to start? If you’re planning on hosting a seder this year and bubbe’s hand me down seder plate just isn’t cutting it, check out our favorite plates for this year. From classic to funky to three dimensional, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
1. Karma Seder Plate ($250) This beauty is elegant and not Passover-specific, which means you can use it for the rest of the year, too.
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Feb 28 2013
Monday’s post from Sarah Tuttle-Singer, “We Need to Quit Telling Lies on Facebook,” has officially gone viral. With 76,000 Facebook likes (ironic?) and 5o0 comments and counting, it’s been a thrill to see so many people relate to this post about the realities of parenting. We asked readers to send in their own pictures and stories for our #NoMoreFakebook campaign, and below you’ll find them. It’s not all pretty, and it’s certainly not all ideal, but it’s all very real. Share your own #NoMoreFakebook stories on our Facebook wall or on Twitter and join the phenomenon!
Blair Young: Nourishing our toddler with cheese steaks and mayonnaise. She also tasted red dye #3 well before turning 2:
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Feb 27 2013
As part of our month-long series dedicated to Jewish Disability Awareness Month, Jason shares what it’s like to be a parent with a disability.
Every morning I say two prayers. It isn’t normal for someone in my position to recite either one, but I’ve never been described as normal.
The first, traditionally said by addicts, is the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” The second, traditionally said only by women as part of the Jewish morning prayers, is, “Blessed are you Hashem, our God, king of the universe for having made me according to his will.” Together these prayers remind me–a person with cerebral palsy–to be proud of who I am, while accepting, but not diminishing, my challenges. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 25 2013
Charlotte and Bubbie.
The best part of multi-generational living is unlimited FREE babysitting. Sure, you have to give up things like personal space and privacy, but sharing a home with an extra two adults (who love my daughter as much as me and my husband) is priceless.
For the past six months, I have been cohabiting with my husband, baby, and parents. It’s like a follow up episode of 16 and Pregnant on MTV, except I am 35 and the father of my child is officially my husband and gainfully employed. Last spring when our lease was up in Brooklyn, we decided the time had come to say goodbye to the east coast and move to Seattle. Without definite job security, we took a leap of faith and moved in with my parents to their 2 bed 1.5 bath condo. More and more I know friends who are moving back in with their parents, even after getting married and having a baby, to save money and for the mutual support. Of course this is how much of the world already operates. If you have a good relationship with your parents, it can be a win-win situation in many ways. Read the rest of this entry →
So, according to Facebook, this is how I spent my Saturday with the kids:
My children and I woke up with the sun, smiling and ready to kick ass and “make it a great day.”
My hair was shiny. My smile, too.
We drank our morning drinks in latte cups–frothy foam mustaches lacing our lips.
We played backgammon, our skin mottled by drops of shade in the morning light. Read the rest of this entry →