May 14 2013
Don’t go on Facebook on Mother’s Day.
“Look at the breakfast my kids cooked for me,” one of my friends posted, proudly displaying a picture of some beautifully plated granola, coffee, and bud vase of flowers. Honestly. Other friends posted several photos of floral bouquets of varying size. There were status messages that said things like, “Oh, thank you so much, blah blah husband, for letting me sleep until 11! I have the best family in the world!”
When you write, “I have the best family/husband in the world,” the only thing it’s really conveying is “and YOU DON’T!” (Out of curiosity, how would one possibly measure the “best” spouse in the world? In good deeds? Penis/breast size? Bank account? Some combination thereof? And what does it matter if your spouse is the “best in the world”–doesn’t it matter more that that person is the best for you?) Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 12 2013
“I want to be a part of the sisterhood of women who use their breasts to give life. I want to redeem myself. I want to try again. I want to know that I am not broken.” Kim Simon’s story over at the Huffington Post yesterday brought me to my knees. But her planning and hope for a second chance made me want to stand up and change the way we talk to mothers about nursing.
Parts of her story were my story, the screaming, the hungry baby, the misinformation. The nurses and lactation consultants with blue gloves manipulating my sore breasts into my tiny son’s mouth muttering words like: jaundice. Failure to thrive. Dehydrated. I didn’t know what a “good latch” looked like and I couldn’t hear a soft “ka” swallowing sound amidst my crying or his crying or doctors or criticism. All those things swirling around in my head became the perfect storm when my own family told me that I was a horrible mother for trying relentlessly to nurse my son. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 7 2013
Two weeks after my second son was born, I woke up one morning with swollen wrists that were too stiff and painful to hold my baby. Using my forearms, I handed our son to my husband and whispered, “It’s back.”
It, in this case, was arthritis that had plagued me since before I hit puberty. Brought on by a virus? Possibly tied to that horrific case of the chicken pox I had in sixth grade? Or maybe passed down from an elderly aunt? All the doctors had different opinions. I just wanted to get through my ballet classes in one piece, and maybe work on my tennis game. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 7 2013
After having a few crazy run-ins with vertigo (not the preferable kind, the one performed by Bono and The Edge), I went to the doctor.
I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t having mini-strokes, but rather, just had vertigo as a byproduct of a sinus infection. While a sinus infection is no picnic, it definitely beats mini-strokes. Now I don’t have to waste my spare time writing my husband’s new JDate profile, or making sure the house has enough hangers for my shiva. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 18 2012
When my son was 10 months old, we started giving him some of the foods that you normally test with a baby.
Many of them went well; egg did not. He threw up and broke out into hives. In subsequent weeks, as we were trying other foods, he developed rashes and had other strange reactions. As we were a few short weeks from a big international trip, we insisted that the doctors run a blood test so we could see what his other allergies were before we left. We had no idea that we would find out that he was off-the-charts allergic to peanuts. We were given Epi-pens before we left on our trip. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 13 2012
“Your daughter is not gaining weight,” the pediatrician explained to me at my daughter’s two week checkup.
That pediatrician’s appointment still haunts me. It took me from a place where I thought my milk was just slow in coming into full panic mode. It took me to a world of pumping around the clock, supplemental feeding devices, formula, herbs and teas, weight checks, never leaving the house, and endless tears. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 8 2012
Last week my mother came to visit us for the first time in almost a year. Because my kids know my father and his wife (who I lovingly refer to as my second mom) so well, I was very excited for them to get to know my other mom, too.
She got off the plane, jumped in the car, and immediately began talking about her weight.
It didn’t take long for me to remember what I thought I’d forgotten. My life, for the first 18-20 years, had been consumed and terrorized by weight.
My mom never called me fat. She always said that I was “perfect.” She never criticized me at all.
She criticized herself endlessly. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 5 2012
Last Thursday, I took a shower that easily ranks among the top five best showers of my entire life. Maybe even the top three. The water was hot. And there was plenty of it.
Contrary to my habit of short showers, instilled at Jewish summer camp during the California water crisis of my youth, I reposed in the steamy Nirvana for something just shy of an eternity. And at its conclusion, I had an urge to put it up as my Facebook status; an urge that I quelled, choosing instead to remain silent about my newly-restored electricity.
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Feb 29 2012
I love lobster, too...
My name is Rachel, and I’m a treyfaholic. I like bacon, and shrimp, and lobster rolls. I really love lobster rolls. I’m craving a lobster roll right now.
Mmmmm lobster rolls…
My 15-month-old daughter, Adi, is kosher.
How can a 15-month-old keep kosher? I keep her that way. But it’s not sustainable. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 20 2011
So a few weeks ago, I swanned off to Los Angeles to be surrounded on all sides by friends and family, and engulfed in English and cultural familiarity. And Vanilla Lattes from Coffee Bean. And sushi from a place near an actual ocean and not made by some guy named Shlomi from a kibbutz in the Negev Desert. And of course, Sephora. OK, and my good friend, Jose Cuervo. It was grand. It was glorious. It was everything I wanted in eight days and more.
And my kids? They survived. (And so did I.) Sure, there were moments of guilt, and flashes of uncertainty, but nothing so debilitating that a walk in Venice Beach with my dad, or dinner with my best friend, or an attempt to break into Taco Bell at 3:00 am while jonesing for a coronary wrapped in a tortilla couldn’t cure.
Yes, I missed them. But I had also missed Los Angeles.
In hindsight, I think the hardest part was the plane ride over because I was palpably aware of the difference between where I was and where they were during the entire flight: While flying over France, my children were coming home from preschool. While we soared over Iceland, my family was eating dinner. As we dipped over Greenland down toward Canada, they were going to sleep. And when I landed in LA at 11:00 PM Pacific Time ready to crash headfirst into sleep I knew that on the other side of the world and ten hours into the future my kids were starting their morning. Without me.
(You know, assuming that they had survived the night in the first place.)
Read the rest of this entry →