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Jan 21 2013

Welcome to the World, Baby Boy Lewis!

By at 9:52 am

meredith lewis new babyWe are very excited to welcome yet another baby to the Kveller family!

Yesterday, Meredith Lewis, our Director of Operations, gave birth to her second baby, a healthy baby boy. We’ll have to wait until the bris to learn his name, but we’re sure Meredith, her husband, and big brother Ari are already kvelling over this new beautiful addition to their family.

We can’t wait to hear all about the birth and adjusting to life with two (and luckily for her, we recently ran this series on just that). In the meantime, we’ll try to adjust to life without Meredith in the office.

Mazel tov, Meredith!

Jan 8 2013

In Praise of the Meal Train

By at 4:08 pm

I’ve never once been told not to eat when it came to my Jewish family. In fact, the opposite holds true. I’m usually not eating enough.

Have some more matzah balls.

Did you try the stuffed cabbage yet?

Here, take a little bit more tzimmes.

There’s never enough food. The food itself: warm, rich, and soul-satisfying made me feel loved and taken care of, just like I felt about the women and men who prepared it all for me growing up. I’ve taken many of the food-focused life lessons I learned in my Jewish household and have continued to practice them in my adult life. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 26 2012

How Can I Help My Daughter Cope With Our New Baby?

By at 12:52 pm

mika and romiDear Kveller Readers,

As many of you know, two weeks ago today I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She did us the favor of waiting out both Hurricane Sandy and the presidential election. And so far during her short life on the outside she has continued to exhibit considerate behavior—sleeping long stretches, eating well, and making adorable faces.

Now, her 3-year-old sister is a different story. Last night I had a dream that bandits had kidnapped my older child and I was forced to negotiate her release in a produce market in South America from a guy selling mangoes. Not the most subtle dream I’ve ever had. Yes, it does feel like somebody has taken my sweet child who used to make me smile and laugh and replaced her with a child I don’t know, one who reduces me to a pile of tears.

So, I’m turning to you dear readers and writers to offer some advice. How oh how do we get through these first weeks? How do I help my 3-year-old understand that just because we have another baby we don’t love her any less? How do we help her understand all those big emotions?

And with that, I turn it over to you. We’re devoting this week to life with two (or more) and how to cope. Looking forward to advice from all you wise women and men.

Debbie

Kveller Editor

Oct 4 2012

Two Isn’t So Bad, Really

By at 4:13 pm

You know who’s screwed Jordana, you are!

black and white photo of tamara's sons

Via Tamara Reese

I had a lot of fears about my firstborn’s reaction to a new baby. We did everything we could to prepare him and I believe much of it was a success, particularly the “big brother” books that we read at ad nauseum. We’ve been especially diligent at pointing out what Big Brother can do that baby cannot.

That being said, it’s been a rough month over here.

My firstborn, now 2 and a half, refused to eat our first week home from the hospital. He’d pick at the occasional carbohydrate here and there but showed his displeasure through exerting control over what went into his mouth. That passed and now mealtime is accompanied by tantrums and food throwing. Yay.

And then there’s sleep. A first he went to bed at a reasonable hour and then had a nice 4 a.m. wake up where I was trying to juggle two crying boys. The past few weeks, we put him down for bed and he stays up in his crib until well past midnight talking, screaming, playing, calling for me and claiming to have poop in his diaper (which turned out to be true only once).

The only upside is that he’s still in a crib and hasn’t attempted to climb out (knock on wood).

Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 3 2012

That Baby is Totally and Completely Screwed

By at 4:45 pm
Jordana Horn's fourth child

Jordana and Baby G.

I’m sitting in the kids’ service for Sukkot, my 38-week-pregnant body uncomfortably positioned on a folding chair. In front of me is my 14-month-old daughter, Baby G. She is sitting for the first time in a plastic toddler school chair, in a circle with other kids.

It’s clear that she is profoundly mesmerized by the proceedings. It is blowing her mind how the service leader knows her name, and how she is asked to clap at regular intervals. She keeps turning around to look at me with her huge, gap-toothed grin on her face, as though she’s saying, “Can you BELIEVE this?”

She is sweet, and innocent, and beautiful. I stare at the little Florence Henderson-esque blond curls on the back of her neck. In an act of tremendous restraint, I somehow refrain from leaning over, grabbing her and covering her with kisses. I love her. And I pity her.

This gorgeous baby, light of my life, is totally and completely screwed. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 3 2012

Welcome to the World, Gillen Azar!

By at 12:03 pm

tamara reese newborn boyWe’re sending out a huge Kveller-style congratulations to contributing editor Tamara Reese on the birth of her second child, Gillen Azar. Gillen was born on August 27th at 8 lbs, 3 oz, and both mom and baby are doing great

Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 27 2012

Getting Our Toddler Ready For Baby #2

By at 12:24 pm

Little boy on stepsWe’re about to welcome a new little addition to our family. I’m pretty sure my 2-year-old thinks I’m birthing a playmate for him who will bound out of my womb ready to pass a ball. And I’m afraid the screaming infant we bring home won’t be the only thing my son finds disappointing.

My husband and I have done all we can to prepare his little mind for the changes ahead. We took a sibling class at the hospital geared towards toddlers and they read books about a new baby, toured the hospital rooms where he will meet his little brother, and even learned to diaper his beloved Curious George doll.  He left mostly talking about the apple juice he spilled down his shirt during snack.

We have lots of books about becoming a big brother, our favorite being What Baby Needs by Dr. Sears mostly because it shows babywearing, breastfeeding and cosleeping. All things we do in our house, and did with my son, but none of which he actually remembers.  He loves to read the books but until he actually sees us doing these things he doesn’t really understand.

What he does understand is that I am physically limited.  My son wants to be carried, snuggled and rocked. He wants me to rough-house with him and play trains on the floor. Thankfully my husband is being extra hands-on when he’s home and in the meanwhile we’ve taken to lots of couch snuggles while reading library books, which appears to be a suitable substitute.  At bedtime, my son and I would gently dance around his room together before bed time, me swaying with him in my arms and singing a song I made up called “dancin’ with your Mama” — I still sing the song, but can no longer dance while holding my lanky boy. I’m by no means wishing this baby out, but I cannot wait to dance with my son again. We both miss it terribly.

There have been lots of tears and tantrums from both of us as this pregnancy comes to close. He knows that if he runs, I cannot chase him (cue frantic Jewish mother waddling after he toddler screaming “GET BACK HERE!”) and he has figured out that if he flattens himself completely on the ground, I have no way of getting him up. I find myself snapping at him more than usual and the patience I once had left around the time my belly button popped and I lost track of my feet.

Last week after a car nap which lasted over an hour thanks to me driving around, my son woke up and was ready to come inside. But once we walked in the door, he melted into hysterics and refused to climb the stairs up to the apartment. I’m not physically capable of picking a limp screaming toddler off the ground and carrying him up sixteen stairs, so I told him I would let him collect himself and I’d be back to check on him in a minute.

I waited upstairs for five minutes and then peaked down to find him asleep on the step.

I know he has big huge feelings right now and he’s sensing that I’m tired and can’t physically do what he needs me to do for him right now. My heart aches for him on these days. But when I looked down those steps at my sleeping boy, I remembered

He will always be my first baby,

He still needs so much of me,

and there will always be enough love to go around.

Sometimes it’s just hard to be two.

Jun 12 2012

All I Can Do is Kvetch

By at 10:17 am

kvetch tote bagThe opposite of kvelling is kvetching–and it’s something, if I can say so myself, that I’m quite good at. Every non-Jewish boyfriend I ever had learned the meaning of this Yiddish word that onomatopoetically conjures up its very essence: kkkvehhhtch. To complain persistently; whine.

I’ve kvetched about heat in August and cold in December, my mother, my father, and all my ex-boyfriends. I could (and have) conjured up a kvetch in Central Park, on a fresh April Day, while eating ice cream in the arms of my beloved (teenagers, you know. So freaking loud). Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 5 2012

Welcome to the World Benjamin Evan

By at 10:05 am

Baby boyWe are thrilled to announce the arrival of the newest Kveller on the block, Benjamin Evan Deutsch. Our assistant editor, Amy Deutsch, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy at 10:52 am on May 30. Everybody is at home and doing great.

Benajmin came into the world at a healthy 8 lbs and 6 oz and 20 inches long. His big sister Abigail is being very helpful getting her parents burp cloths and diapers when they need them.

Amy says that baby Benjamin shows an inkling of being a Superman fan as he barreled his way out into the world with one hand over his head. It was his left one, so they have high hopes for his baseball career as a southpaw pitcher.

We can’t wait for Benjamin to visit the Kveller office.

Mazel tov!

Apr 11 2012

A Case of the Mommy Thumb

By at 11:06 am

mommy thumbI’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 →

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