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Dec 17 2013

What If I Have a Girl?

By at 9:57 am

Pinky

I’m afraid of raising a girl.

I’m 20 weeks pregnant and very soon we will find out the gender of our third child. This is the longest we’ve gone without knowing the sex of our babies and the longer we wait, the more anxious I’m getting. I’m anxious because I’m afraid this baby will be a girl. And I’m not really sure what to do with a girl.

My husband has always wanted a girl; one he is convinced will hang onto her Daddy’s every word like a sunbeam. With both of my previous pregnancies my husband was sure we were having a girl only to find out they were both boys. I, on the other hand, breathe a huge sigh of relief when we see that little arrow on the ultrasound pointing to the boy parts. I joke we’ll have an entire men’s basketball team before he realizes genetics are working against him.

I can deal with boy parts. I had two younger brothers and am now the mama of two little boys. I have a general idea of how to do the boy thing. It was once said, “If you have a boy you only have to worry about one penis, if you have a girl you have to worry about all of them.” I’m not sure if that’s funny or horrifying. Boys are rough and tumble or sweet and sensitive. They wear shirts, pants, and shoes–no accessories required. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 18 2013

Hanukkah Giveaway: $50 Gift Card for Adorable Hanukkah Dresses from Kids Fly Too

By at 2:02 pm

hanukkah dress giveaway from Kids Fly Too

Greetings, Kvellerites! We’ve got a Hanukkah giveaway for you of the most adorable sort.

Kids Fly Too, an online clothing shop that features limited edition dresses, all made in the USA, has just about the cutest Hanukkah dresses for the little girl in your life. We have one $50 gift card to give away to a lucky reader. But fear not, even if you don’t win, we’ve got a gift for you: use the code “kvell” for free US shipping on Hanukkah dresses. All Hanukkah dresses will ship within one business day to ensure they arrive in plenty of time. For more from Kids Fly Too, check out their Facebook page.

To enter to win the gift card, fill out the form below by this Friday, November 22nd. Good luck and Happy Hanukkah!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 5 2013

The Great Fashion Debate with My 5-Year-Old Step-Daughter

By at 1:58 pm

pink

Just before bedtime I put on a brave face and begin “The Great Fashion Debate.” What will my step-daughter wear the next day? I try to open with a note on the weather or the next day’s activities–long sleeves if it’s cold, something fancier if we’ll be going to synagogue–and then wait for Ronia’s first choice. At 5 years old, Ronia is not as invested in fashion as some of her friends, but she definitely cares, and has a strong affinity for dresses and skirts, pink things, and anything with ruffles.

This could not be farther from my own fashion sense. Seventy percent of my wardrobe is black, and it’s safe to say I wear a cardigan over a tank top with jeans six days a week. Meeting in the middle is a pretty far walk for either of us.

So why do I care what Ronia wears? I know that there are some parents who feel like they have neither the time nor energy to police their kids’ fashion choices, and I salute them. But I find that I really do care what Ronia wears. Partially it’s because I know that I get judged based on how she looks and behaves. Though I did not give birth to Ronia, and only married her father a few weeks ago, when people see us together, the assumption is that I’m her mother, and that I’m responsible for making her look neat, clean, appropriate, and fashionable. I’ll never forget the time that another parent came up to me at synagogue, looked at Ronia, raised his eyebrows, and said, “Wow, you guys let her dress herself?” That stings. And it implies bad mothering on my part, for allowing her out and about in one of her more creative ensembles. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 28 2013

Interview with Interesting Jews: Actress & New Mom Shiri Appleby

By at 9:56 am

newheadshot

Shiri Appleby has been acting in Hollywood since the age of 4, and now she has a baby of her own with chef and husband Jon Shook. The L.A. based pair welcomed little Natalie to the world seven months ago, and since then she’s been balancing the act of doting mama and busy actress. Most recently Shiri guest starred as girlfriend of main character Adam on the hit HBO series GIRLS, and will be appearing on the third season which airs January 12, 2014. Shiri also guest stars on the NBC drama, Chicago Fire.

Recently, I got a chance to chat with the sweet Ms. Appleby about acting, kvelling, being a new mom, and what it was like to work on the set of GIRLS.

Tell me a bit about your daughter Natalie.

Natalie is almost 7 months. She’s not really into toys; we were just talking about it. She’s more engaged in looking around her and seeing what’s going on. She’s really observant and likes to engage with people. She’s not really crawling, yet.

How do you and your husband split up parenting responsibilities?

Jon helps a lot with the night feedings and since he’s a chef, he cooks dinner for us. But I feel like parenting is a bit of a team sport in the sense that you do your portion until the other person is capable of doing their side. But he plays with the baby in the morning, and since I don’t work 9-5 it’s not too stressful. And my parents are really involved and have helped us a ton, too! Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 3 2013

The Case of the Purple Booty Shorts-Wearing Babysitter

By at 5:03 pm

booty shorts

I remember vividly the first day that “Dawn” came to our home. I found her through a babysitting service run by my alma mater, a prestigious women’s college. While many of the Brooklyn mommies I know choose to employ older, more experienced nannies–- Jamaican or Trinidadian no-nonsense ladies who line the park benches at the nearby playgrounds and chat amongst themselves–I had the revolutionary idea to find a college girl–someone who’d be more like a “big sister” to my kids. She would have no problem getting down on the floor to play with them, but could also be someone I wouldn’t mind having extended conversations with as we took day trips to the beach and the zoo.

Dawn showed up at my house wearing a demure, floral print dress. She was so shy and deferential, I wondered if we’d get along. She was considering pre-med, and we commiserated about the perils of trying to find a boyfriend at an all-girls’ school. Everything was going fine until her fourth or fifth day with us, when she showed up at my house in what can only be described as a pair of tiny, butt-cheek baring booty shorts. Dawn explained to me that she had just come from exercising, but that did little to help me reconcile the presence of purple lycra in my living room. More than just running shorts, these purple booty shorts actually had ruching up the sides, with strings that tied at the tender place betwixt her gluteus maximus and her no-no zone. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 29 2013

Overcoming My Eating Disorder & Raising a Healthy Daughter

By at 5:07 pm

scale on a plate with knife and forkI gave birth to my daughter six months ago, and, a few sleep-deprived weeks later, I realized it was right around the 10th “anniversary” of when I was admitted to a hospital for an eating disorders inpatient program.

When I try to reconcile the memory of my scared, enervated teen self with myself today, as a (somewhat) confident mother of two with visibly muscled biceps from lugging around a giant purse, a diaper bag, a breast pump, a baby, and sometimes a 38-pound 3-year-old, it’s difficult. But I still vividly remember the feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, and physical weakness. As it turns out, you can be too thin after all. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 11 2013

My Autistic Daughter is Going Through Puberty

By at 5:01 pm

pubertyWhile the world of autism is talking, blogging, and arguing about Autism Awareness Month, over here we have been dealing with another kind of awareness. One in which autism, like with a lot of other things, brings challenges, not just to Maya, but to me as her mom.

Puberty.

A few months ago I wrote a post about how I and everyone around me were noticing changes in my daughter and my fears about how to talk about it with her.  Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 29 2013

The Kid-Dish: Celebrity Passover Edition!

By at 11:28 am

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

drake passover seder

- Canadian rapper Drake Instagrammed his family’s seder with the caption, “Talking matzah and plagues…Happy Passover.” (Instagram)

- Tori Spelling shared her favorite Passover recipes on her website, and of course, they all look perfect and amazing and Pinterest-approved. Charoset cupcakes, anyone? (ediTORIal)

- Zach Braff singing one of the four questions in a never-ending loop. You’re welcome. (Vine)

- Check out celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s seder set up, which she captioned, “Calm before the storm #passover.” (Instagram)

- Joan Rivers was definitely kvelling over her family, tweeting, “Had a great time at our Seder last night. Love spending Passover with @MelRivers and Cooper! Perfect Perfect Perfect!” Cute picture attached. (Twitter)

- The Four Daughters of the Passover seder, in the style of HBO’s GIRLS. (The Anti-Girlfriend)

Mar 1 2013

My Preschool Daughter’s Bikini

By at 9:52 am

little girl in a bikiniA few weeks ago, my preschooler daughter wore her blue, green, and yellow bathing suit all day long, the one with the bunches of bananas print. Mind you, this was in New England, during one of those frigidly freezing spells, and note, too, that she didn’t wear the entire bathing suit–just the ruffle-banded bikini top. “This,” she explained as she put it on, “is my bra.”

She paraded around the house in just her “bra” for an hour or so–until she got cold. Then, she pulled her shirt over that and continued onward. She wore the getup to the co-op and she made sure to show our 20-something housemates the strap peeking out from beneath her shirt.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 30 2013

My 6-Year-Old’s Baby Talk is Driving Me Crazy

By at 4:24 pm

My daughter turned 6 in January. She’s been going to kindergarten since September, and three years of preschool before that. She can bathe herself and put on her own coat and set the table for dinner and literally shimmy up the front door to click the top lock. She’s learning to read and she takes ballet and she knows the lyrics to several Stephen Sondheim musicals (no, not “Sweeny Todd” or “Passion”).

And yet, despite all her big girl accomplishments, my 6-year-old daughter insists on talking like a baby.

I don’t mean the adorable, natural mistakes, like saying,”We love each others” instead of “We love each other” (anyone could mis-conjugate like that; English isn’t exactly known for its grammatical logic), or getting her two languages mixed up and, as we step outside, using the Russian word for snow (sneg) to tell me, “Mama, it’s sneg-ing!” Read the rest of this entry →

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