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Dec 2 2014

The 5 Types of People You’ll Meet When at the Grocery Store with Kids

By at 9:43 am

The 5 Types You’ll Meet at the Checkout While Your Kids Are Misbehaving

Grocery shopping with kids is always an adventure–sometimes amusing and other times downright traumatic, like the time I sat the children in front of a television in the food court, grabbed three slices of pizza, and returned to find my kids openmouthed and watching a man commit suicide in a Tarantino film. (Apparently someone had changed the channel despite store policy. We received balloons and free cookies that day which made everything better. Well, not really.)

As a divorced, working mom I simply do not have the freedom to shop alone. The task is daunting enough with the twins demanding everything in sight and the baby struggling to free himself from the shopping cart. However, the reception we get from fellow shoppers, compounded by physical challenges we face as a family in the store, makes the task even more unpleasant. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 24 2014

That Time Dr. Oz Ambushed Me at the Grocery Store

By at 3:53 pm

That Time Dr. Oz Ambushed Me at the Grocery Store

So we’ve all been sitting on our couch watching TV, at one time or another, and have seen someone get ambushed at the grocery store. The slender, healthy TV personality (in full make-up) goes through the chips, soda, cookies, and white bread in the shopping cart and they tell the poor, unprepared mom who just popped in, sans make-up, with her yoga pants on, why her children should not be eating sugary snacks.

I never thought it would happen to me.

On a random Thursday I popped into my local Publix grocery store with my 1-year-old, sans make-up (with yoga pants and my worn and beloved orange and blue Coca-Cola t-shirt on) for my regular mid-week shopping trip. This trip usually consists of things I forgot to get over the weekend, or things like fruit and milk that we’ve run out of. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 4 2014

Dear New Parents: It Gets Better, I Promise

By at 11:53 am

Showering

“I shower. ALONE. While my girls are in the house. {Insert dramatic pause here.} And my husband is AT WORK. And they’re FINE.”

At this declaration, my friends’ eyes got wide as they watched their 18-month-old daughter smear a mushy banana all over her face. Their little girl was beyond adorable, but like most toddlers, she poops in her pants (OK, actually in a diaper, but you get the point) and sleeps in a cage crib and wanders aimlessly around the house flinging toys and pulling plugs and breaking things her parents didn’t even realize they owned.

Those days are long passed in my house. (OK, mostly passed. Mostly.) My daughters are 4 years old and 5 and ¾ (God help me if I forget the ¾) and they sleep in big-girl beds and they can pee in the potty (I’m not saying they always do. I’m saying they are capable of it). When they’re being annoying it’s mostly because they are choosing to be annoying, which is more than we can say for most toddlers. Read the rest of this entry →

May 19 2014

The Ridiculousness of Shoe Shopping With My Boys

By at 10:07 am

foot-locker

As a kid I learned that the so called Gates of Heaven opened on Rosh Hashanah and stayed open until the end of Yom Kippur. I therefore had about 10 days or so to get all my prayer in until The Gates slammed shut and I had to wait until next year to apologize for all my lies or ask for a Wonder Woman outfit.

I thought about this business with The Gates while I was in Foot Locker with my boys yesterday.

Shockingly, the sneakers I had purchased for them a short while ago had shredded and feet had grown and it was once again time for a sneaker outing. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 5 2014

Update: Crown Market Is Back in Business

By at 10:01 am

crown-super

I recently wrote about my local kosher market’s announcement that it was closing after 74 years in business and how devastating the news was to so many people in our community. I regretted not shopping there more often and wished I had a chance to do things differently. But how often do we get second chances in life?

With immense pride in my community and gratitude to our leaders for coming together, we all have that second chance in the Greater Hartford area. Our beloved Crown Market has been saved, and I for one will be shopping there all the time. I will not make the same mistake twice. I hope everyone who was affected by this story takes to heart that our local businesses truly need our continuous and community-wide support.

In the many Jewish communities I have lived in over the years, I have never seen people put aside their differences and work together as decisively as this. Our Jewish community acted swiftly and cohesively to rescue one of our most prized institutions, but it could so easily have ended differently. The Crown Market was at the brink of closing, and in other communities around the world, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men are not enough to put their institutions back together again. Don’t wait until your community’s institutions are on life support before mobilizing to save them! Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 3 2014

Ten Tricks for Staying Sane as a Stay at Home Mom

By at 2:12 pm

thrift-store

I am a stay at home mom. And holy crap do I love it. I mean, wow! FOUR human beings call me mom! I am blessed, lucky, honored. In total mothering bliss! But, as being a SAHM seems to be an increasing rarity in my circle of friends, I often get asked how I manage to keep from feeling bored.

Can I tell you something? As much as I love these kids of mine, and as much as I cherish every hair on their beautiful little heads, sometimes, yes, I get a little bored. And sometimes I even start feeling like my whole identity has been consumed by my role as mother. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 6 2014

Having Seven Kids in the Orthodox World

By at 9:44 am

costco exterior

Yesterday Kveller contributing editor Jordana Horn wrote about the challenges of  raising five children in a two-child world. Jordana’s friend Ruchi, an Orthodox mother of seven, wrote this follow-up piece about raising her own brood in a seven-kid world.

I feel Jordana’s pain. My freakishness, when I venture beyond my little Orthodox Jewish community, or others like it, feels a lot like yours! But it is infinitely easier to have seven kids in a seven-to-ten-kid world than five kids in a two-kid world. See, my whole seven-kid world works perfectly around my seven-kid family. Two or three kids is considered a “small family,” while twelve is considered large. Fortunately for me, expectations in my world fit right in with my family’s lifestyle.

1. Grocery shopping.

In bigger kosher communities (i.e. Israel, New York, Lakewood, NJ) you can call or fax your local kosher store or produce market and have them deliver everything to your door. Here in cute little Cleveland the best option for large-scale shopping is still Costco. True story: I can’t understand why anyone with two kids belongs to Costco. How’s that for reverse-freakishness? Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 5 2014

Having Five Kids in a Two-Kid World

By at 10:05 am

Having five kids in a two-kid world.

I am a freak.

Arguably, this was true anyway. But by having a fifth kid (on purpose!) I have pushed myself into the realm of the unfathomable…at least, in the environment where I live.

I live in an area of suburban New Jersey primarily known to most for its mall. It is a bedroom community of Manhattan. It’s where I grew up, and arguably continue to grow up. It’s a well-to-do place where people–to generalize–tend to focus on status symbols like fancy cars and fancy college stickers for said cars. It’s a secular place where, with the exception of attending a friend’s bar or bat mitzvah, people are more likely to be at spin class Saturday morning than Shabbat services.

Having five kids around here is not normal.

I’m not sure what it is about the number five that makes it so different from four. I can name a handful of local peers who have four kids–hey, I was one of them until not so long ago. But for some reason, “five” tips the scales. When people ask you how many kids you have and you say “five,” it’s prone to produce wide eyes and a “Wow!” or “Yikes!” That never happened when I answered “four.”

The fact of the matter is, if you’re not in a religious community in America, more often than not, you live in a one, two, or three kid world. I’m fine with being different, but my experience thus far has made me start to see the ways in which the secular world is not hospitable to families like mine. Read the rest of this entry →

May 30 2013

Father’s Day: Special Offer for Our Readers

By at 3:56 pm

secondbutton-gift-guideThis Father’s Day, we’re teaming up with SecondButton, a men’s bespoke shirtmaker in New York City, to make sure the dads in your life are well taken care of. If you want to give Dad a shirt he’s guaranteed to love, surely your best bet is to let him design it!

At the SecondButton website, you can design your own custom men’s shirt, choosing everything from the basic style to color, pattern, and little things you could never even think of like button thread color and style of cuff (what’s his style, double button or French?).

These custom shirts cost $80, but all Kveller readers can get a 10% discount just for being awesome. To claim, just use the code “Kveller” at checkout. And if you’re feeling lucky, we’re running a giveaway through next Wednesday, June 5th, which you can enter here.

Happy shopping, happy designing, and most importantly, happy Father’s Day!

Go to SecondButton to get your custom shirts today!

 

Nov 2 2012

Teach Me How to Splurge

By at 11:28 am

As part of our month-long series dedicated to Women, Work & Money, Melissa Langsam Braunstein tells us about her struggles to splurge.

Not too long ago, I had lunch with a college friend. When we hung out in our 20s, we’d talk about politics, office politics, and the romantic entanglements of our friends. Now that we’re new parents, we kvelled about parenthood.

He loves being a father, and I love being a mother. We love it all–-except the cost. At some point, we found ourselves agreeing how surprisingly expensive baby gear is. “I just don’t buy things for myself anymore,” he said. I nodded, because while I hadn’t really thought about it, the same is true for me. Read the rest of this entry →

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