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Jun 26 2012

My Daughter Turns 2 Today

By at 1:44 pm

big sister with new babyMy baby is 2 years old today.

Yet I have been a parent of two for almost three years. From the moment we transferred that second embryo into my artificially-enhanced womb, I become a mother of two, constantly concerned with the health and safety of both of my daughters. My experience of parenting went from the relatively simple (but rarely easy) focus on one tiny little being to an unpredictable reality of constantly shifting attention, competing demands, difficult choices, and unmet needs (often my own). It went from mostly manageable to complete mayhem. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 25 2012

Do All Our Kids Really Need to Feel Like Winners?

By at 2:54 pm

trophyOn the last day of his after-school tennis program, my 6-year-old came home with a trophy.

“Wow Zack, I’m so proud of you!” I said.

“Why? Everyone got one.” His blasé tone shifted immediately and somewhat manically to intense excitement.

“Oh yeah! Oh yeah!” Zack chanted as he pumped the trophy overhead, just like he’d seen a classmate do at his recent reading awards ceremony. Read the rest of this entry →

May 22 2012

We Don’t Love Our Firstborn More, We Swear

By at 4:07 pm

little boy eating yogurtOne day my daughter will ask me, “Daddy, why was my naming ceremony a small gathering in the synagogue while Asher’s bris was a large bash at our house?”

Yes, my princess, you might be thinking it’s because your religion is sexist and your parents already like their firstborn son better. And perhaps this writing is nothing more than me trying to convince myself it’s not the case. But here’s why I don’t think so: first, right now, your brother is covered in yogurt. A few minutes ago, he screamed and fell on the floor when I took my car keys back from him. So, I don’t like him better. And is your religion sexist? Maybe you should read about exactly what goes down at a bris. Read the rest of this entry →

May 10 2012

Top Things People Say When Told I’m Having My Fourth (!) Kid

By at 9:38 am

Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

Yes, that’s right, boys and girls! I am thrilled to report that I’m pregnant and we will be having a new Kveller blog subject little girl, all going well (pu pu pu) in October, who will with great fanfare join her older two brothers and sister. I feel unbelievably grateful–having met and married each other late in life, my husband Jon and I are making up for lost time as quickly as we can.

When I told my two boys that we were going to have another baby, they were incredibly excited: “Now we EACH get to have our own baby!” Yes, boys, that’s why we did it, so that now, you will each get to have your own baby. Just think–in some families, kids get hamsters. Read the rest of this entry →

May 8 2012

Mo’ Babies, Mo’ Problems

By at 4:39 pm

double strollerTamara Reese wrote a piece recently about being pregnant with her second child, and thinking about how she could possibly make room in her life and heart for baby #2. Like Tamara, I’m also pregnant, and constantly thinking about these questions. But my main question is a little bit different: how could I possibly not have baby #2?

Maybe it’s because I’m at 36 weeks now, and have spent so much of that time really thinking about what a second baby means. I’ve been lucky to watch many of my mommy friends go through the process of adding a second baby to the family, and though I’ve seen first-hand how hard it is, I’ve also seen that it’s possible. Or maybe it’s the advanced nesting–we’re ready with our co-sleeper, six bags of hand-me-down clothing from friends, and even a massive amount of newborn diapers from a neighbor. Read the rest of this entry →

May 7 2012

Our Family Nudity Policy, or Lack Thereof

By at 11:47 am

gypsy stripperMy middle son is 8 years old. My daughter is 5. They’ve been taking baths together since she was old enough to sit up in the big tub without drowning. And they still do. (My 12-year-old son now prefers manly showers but, every once in a while, all three of them still jump in.)

They also, up until a year ago, shared a single bedroom, which meant plenty of running around in various states of undress and, periodically, re-enactments of the stripping scene from the musical “Gypsy,” while singing “You’ve Got to Have a Gimmick.”

They’re not the only ones. In a household with five people and one and a half bathrooms, sharing is a must. Which means if either my husband or I are in the shower and a kid’s got to go–the kid’s got to go, everyone’s modesty be damned. And this doesn’t even include all the times I’m in the shower and my children suddenly discover they need me to negotiate a critical cease-fire or solve a burning dilemma like whether or not lizards have eyelids immediately. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 26 2012

Week 21: Making Room for a Family of Four

By at 11:35 am

pregnant belly with young sonOur first pregnancy was fueled by the tick of my boisterous and unrelenting biological clock. I was ready for a baby, I NEEDED a baby. I remember the faint, inaudible chime of my husband’s internal clock sounded something like this, “Well if we wait for me to be ready, we’ll never have a baby,” and I took that as a ringing endorsement for fatherhood and ran with it.

When a few months of “practicing” didn’t result in two pink lines, I was on a lunar mission for two weeks of nonstop sexy time followed by two weeks of waiting (wondering, crying) until one day it finally happened. And while I spent most of my pregnancy being terrified of motherhood, the moment my son was born my heart overflowed with love for this tiny person, and it hasn’t stopped. I actually think the love I feel for my son, and my husband, has grown exponentially over the past two years. Each night I go to bed beamingly grateful and content. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 6 2012

I WILL Be a Mama Again

By at 2:38 pm

I’ve been writing for Kveller for over a year now.  I am not a professional writer; I didn’t go a fancy journalism school or even take a writing class in college. I’m not a celebrity or even an expert on religion. I am simply a Mama and a Jew and this wonderful site has allowed me to share my ups and downs of becoming a better example of each. Writing here, sharing with you makes me a better version of myself.

You, the readers of this site, have congratulated me on my conversion and have supported me on my faith journey. You applauded my mothering when I questioned my way through each day.  You stood beside me when I shared how I struggled to find the Mama I wanted to be. You celebrated our milestones and you cried with me when I lost one of the greatest gifts that life has to offer.  There are many, many parenting websites out there and a lot of places you can go for information about both motherhood and Judaism. But you choose to come here and for each post that we share with you, you share two-fold with us.  The comments here continue to amaze me with their sympathy, empathy, joy, commiseration, advice and support.  I am lucky to have found this community and consider it a safe place, where my friends are.

I am overjoyed to share with you a new possibility and I look forward to the day, six months from now, when I am inaugurated into motherhood for a second time. In the meanwhile kvell with me, eat ice cream with me, get fat with me, and pray with me. I’m embracing it all, and you’re invited.

Feb 15 2012

Reading This Will Make You Tired: Diary of a Mom of 2 under 2

By at 3:00 pm

box of raisins spilledHere’s why you should clean your house–sometimes, you go into the archives of mess and find inadvertently-preserved glimpses of an older life. Six and a half years ago, I took a writing class when I was mother of a 2-year-old and an infant, and had to write a transcript of 15 minutes of my life. I don’t know about you, but reading it makes me pretty tired. Is this your life, too?

If you want to come down from the highchair, you say, “Down, please.” That’s good. But can you eat a little more of your egg before I put you down? Great. Go bring me a book, please, and then we can read it together. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 27 2011

My Two Boys Finally Like (and Love) Each Other

By at 11:29 am

Mayim Bialik's two sons, Miles and Fred.

When I found out I was having a second boy (my older son, Miles was 2 when I got pregnant), I was thrilled. I love raising boys and I think that, as a non-feminine female who has no clue how to handle adult women who like shopping and manicures much less a 3-foot tall version of that incarnation, raising boys suits me. I envisioned my boys playing together peacefully and lovingly, making each other better people because they had each other. I pictured David and Jonathan from the Torah, but without the gay innuendo most people like to insinuate.


Fred was born in our living room as Miles watched from his highchair, and Miles loved Fred by ignoring him for the better part of two years. He was never mean to him or aggressive with him (he saved that for us), but he did not find anything interesting about Fred. Except that Fred got to nurse and he wanted to start up again.


Cut to Fred at 3 and Miles at 6. There’s been a lot of kvetching, to be honest. A lot of “Fred, NOOO!” or “Fred STOP!” and also “Fre-ed!” (with two syllables devoted to that vowel, first high, then low; like a true teenager-in-training).

Fred is a very late talker, but he learned how to communicate with me. About six months ago, Fred and Miles were playing within my line of vision, but I was tucked away in the kitchen. I saw anger from Miles over Fred wanting a toy. Then he pushed Fred. Not hard, but hard enough so that Fred’s feelings were hurt and he started to cry. Fred came to me and pantomimed exactly what happened. Miles, not knowing I had seen the whole incident, played it off well, like a true thespian (he is, after all, my son), but I informed him that the day had come when Fred’s reporting had surpassed Miles’ fibbing.


They have finally started to play together after a long period of me waiting and wondering if it was ever going to happen.

Read the rest of this entry →


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