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 →
Nov 20 2012
My husband at his heaviest.
I read Yael Armstrong’s piece, “I’m Not Going To Make My Kids Weight Crazy,” with great interest, as weight is a frequent topic of conversation in our house.
Not my weight. I’ve never had much interest in my weight. Due to a variety of chronic problems and food intolerances, I grew up a skinny kid whom every Jewish grandmother was constantly trying to fatten up. As I got older, I never even owned a scale. The only relationship I had with eating was, does this make me feel sick, or does this not make me feel sick? I stick to a pretty strict diet for health reasons, but it’s not a hardship as early conditioning has made it so I recoil from most foods. (Yes, stand-up comedians, I am that very special brand of stupid that I sometimes forget to eat. The only time I ever felt hungry was the three times I was pregnant, and the new sensation took me by surprise every single time.) Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 12 2012
Three weeks after Jared was born, he started spitting up. At first it was normal baby barf, but it became heavier and more frequent.
By his 4-week birthday, Scott and I were living out of the washing machine. We left it full of soap and water, dumping soiled onesies, footies, burp cloths, bibs, and our own vomit-soaked clothes into it throughout the day. We ran the washer at night and as we needed new clothes for ourselves or our son, we pulled them out of the dryer. At the height of the worst, Scott changed Jared’s clothes five times in one hour. The footies were soaked from head to toe and front to back. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 15 2012
All the Jewish parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.
Part of the Kindergarten Canon.
- Education Analyst (and father) Michael Petrilli has developed a list of 100 books he feels every English-speaking child should read. (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
- A new study by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that the development of ADHD in children may be linked to how much mercury-rich fish the child’s mother ate during her pregnancy. (Reuters)
- The Upper East Side is home to a great “breastfeeding resource,” Yummy Mummy, which caters to moms of every sort, and offers prenatal breastfeeding classes to locals. (New York Times)
- Children with autism may wander away from home more frequently than was once believed, according to a new study, which says that about half of those children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will run away from home, and of those, at least half are missing long enough to raise serious concern. (ABC News)
- A significant increase in the number of children given CT scans when brought to a hospital is raising a red flag for some who believe such tests may increase the risk of cancer later in life. (Reuters)
Sep 24 2012
In 2006, my 35-year-old stepbrother was diagnosed with advanced metastatic prostate cancer. Jeremy faced his disease with tremendous grace and humor.
He died less than two years later.
His death was devastating for me. Although we had different biological parents, we became brother and sister when we were both just 2 years old. Only three months separated us, and some of my fondest childhood memories involve our make believe games and mischief together. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 14 2012
I just learned that Dr. B., the pediatrician who took care of my children, died in January.
He was the senior partner in a four man group when I first walked into the office with my 8-month-old daughter, my first child, after we had moved from Manhattan to Queens. Although Dr. B. was very reserved, he was an excellent doctor who gave me good support and advice as I raised four kids, and he saw us through many an illness. I made my check-up appointments with him and would wait for him to see my kid when I came to the office for a “sick visit” instead of being randomly assigned to another doctor. I also liked Dr. N., who became our primary pediatrician after Dr. B. left the practice to retire out West.
Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 24 2012
Ten years ago I left West Hartford, CT as a single woman with a dream: to return one day to raise a family. One month ago, my dream came true.
After 40 weeks of wandering the desert–OK, living in Austin–we have returned to a hamish Jewish community that reminds me of when I lived on the Upper West Side. As we drive around exploring the area, we are amazed that we keep driving by synagogues–10 or so at the last count (and this is a relatively small town). Aiven is enrolled for the early childhood program at a great Jewish day school for the fall (hurray for avoiding the train wreck of NYC preschool applications!) and he is finally enjoying the outdoors (it was much too hot and sunny in Texas for my fair-skinned redheaded munchkin). Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 6 2012
My 3.5-year-old, who has been potty trained since last summer, has been having frequent urine accidents off and on over the past few months. My little girl is a sweet, smart, earnest, rule-follower who generally doesn’t give us a hard time about going to the bathroom. She tells me that she wants to keep her pee-pee in her body, but she doesn’t know how. It breaks my heart. Until the fourth accident of the day, when it frustrates the hell out of me.
A few friends had mentioned the possibility that constipation might be the cause of her accidents, but I wasn’t sure, as she’s pretty regular (or so I thought). Yesterday morning I stumbled across this article in the New York Times, which I immediately emailed to my pediatrician. She called a few hours later, and gave us an appointment for 5 p.m. An x-ray of my daughter’s tummy revealed that constipation does seem to be the culprit. We start the Miralax today. Read the rest of this entry →
May 18 2012
Back when I was 18 years old and on my way to college, I had a very dramatic medical situation on a family vacation that resulted in some MAJOR surgery and a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s Disease, an intestinal disorder that is very common among Ashkenazi Jews, has been a roller coaster for me since my diagnosis.
Before the disease I had always suffered from obesity, trying every diet on the planet to make myself lose weight. However, as the disease progressed, the pain increased and my weight decreased. In the past 10 years, I’ve had an extreme case that has caused me to see multiple specialists, try experimental therapy, and drop a scary amount of weight. The once rotund 16-year-old-224-lb-teenager morphed into the emaciated 113-lb-anorexic-looking-adult, causing family and friends to fear for my well-being. I had planned not to have children, for fear of passing on the disease, even though heredity is not a cause of the disease. It is one of those fun diseases for which there is no cause, no cure, and only maintenance. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 11 2012
I’m pregnant again, so you know what that means. I am worried about my thumbs.
See, the first time around, I worried about the stuff you typically associate with pregnancy: stretch marks, weight gain, and other TMI-type stuff. Luckily, I came out fairly unscathed–if you don’t count the emergency C-section and inability to breastfeed. What I never counted on–or was warned about–was the excruciating pain in the spot where my left thumb meets the wrist that started less than two months after Ellie arrived. Read the rest of this entry →