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Aug 19 2014

Ever Since My Health Scare, I’m Terrified of Having Kids

By at 4:12 pm

Health-scar

I’ve always wanted to have kids, three girls to be exact. I’ve had names picked out since the age of 12 (OK, so those names have changed several times, but still, I’ve been choosing names for what seems like forever). On my 21st birthday, I remember shocking my dad with the news that having kids would come first–even before the family business.

Fast forward to now. At the age of 32 and recently married, I’m not sure I want kids anymore.

What happened? Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 22 2014

What They Bring Home From Camp

By at 11:48 am

sleeping-boy

The voice mail came in while we were swimming. It was Saturday, the afternoon before Noah’s sleepaway camp ended.

Infirmary. 100.7 fever.

“Do you want to get him tonight or have us keep him here until pickup tomorrow?” the nurse asked. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 6 2014

Man Plans, God Gives You Shingles

By at 11:44 am

sick-woman

After all the late-night/early-morning work I did covering the Winter Olympics (in addition to my standing freelance assignments and that whole parenting three kids thing), I promised my husband that I would take some time off afterwards and not do any work at all. (Well, except for my standing freelance assignments and that whole parenting three kids thing).

My husband didn’t believe me. God, apparently, didn’t believe me, either, because, literally less than 24 hours after the Ladies’ Long Program ended in Sochi, God decided to make certain I kept my promise to take it easy by striking me down with a case of shingles.

For those unfamiliar with shingles, it’s caused by the chicken pox virus that has been lying dormant inside you probably since elementary school flaring up and making one half of your body feel like it’s on fire. There are also some blood-red blisters (in my case along the back and above the rib-cage; but that can vary from patient to patient) that eventually erupt and scab over for visual effect. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 22 2013

Gaucher’s Disease Awareness Month: Q&A with a Mother Living with Gaucher’s

By at 2:35 pm
Chris-Kara-Erik Lang

From left to right: Chris, her daughter Kara, and son Erik.

 

October is the official Gaucher’s disease Awareness Month. Gaucher’s disease is the most common genetic disease among Ashkenazi Jews.

Gaucher’s disease is a rare, inherited disorder caused by a deficiency in a particular enzyme. Gaucher’s (pronounced go-SHAYZ) disease occurs when certain harmful fatty substances accumulate to excessive levels in your liver, spleen, lungs, bone marrow, and brain. The accumulation of fatty material in tissues interferes with how your body works and may cause organ enlargement and bone pain.

Besides wearing green shoelaces to show your support, you could also learn much more about this disease by reading the following Q&A with Chris Lang, mother of two, who was diagnosed with Gaucher’s at 31 years old.

How/when did you first find out you had Gaucher’s? What type are you? Read the rest of this entry →

May 8 2013

When Mom Loses Her Voice

By at 11:53 am

mouth taped shutI admire those who can evolve on their own, shedding old bad habits through sheer mindfulness and mental discipline. For me, it takes acute laryngitis.

“You’ll become a good listener real fast,” a friend joked. So true! Here’s what else happened when I lost my voice:  Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 14 2013

Our Flu Stories

By at 9:47 am

With a major flu epidemic going around the country, two Kveller contributors, Carla Naumburg and Avital Norman Nathman, talk about how they’ve dealt with it in the past.

The flu has hit the Boston area in a major way. Last Wednesday, the mayor declared a public health emergency. In fact, the entire nation is seeing the worst flu epidemic in the past 10 years.

We’re Jewish mothers, which means that we’re all about obsessing over who’s sick, who isn’t, and how we can keep our kids healthy (and not just because we really need them to go to school tomorrow). We love the sordid details, and we know you do, too, so here you go–our flu stories. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 12 2012

News Roundup: Pregnancy Sick Leave, Elmo Allegations

By at 4:05 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

kevin clash elmo

– Pregnant women should get two months of sick leave–that is, before they have their baby–says a new Norwegian study. This is awesome, but unless you live in Norway, you probably can’t expect two months of sick leave :( (Science Blog)

– Want to read some of the best parenting tweets about the election? We like the one about mommy stealing daddy’s margarita. (Huffington Post)

– Kaytlynn Welsch, 12, and her younger sister, Heather Welsch, 10, regularly run–and win–13 mile trail races. Are their parents pushing them too hard? (New York Times)

– A study showed that kids only act generously when they think people can see. I guess kids are pretty savvy operators. (Washington Post)

– And in horribly sad news that we hope turns out not to be true: Kevin Clash, who voices Elmo on Sesame Street, is on leave from his job after allegations (which he claims are false) that he had an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy. (CNN)

Apr 5 2012

Bringing the Seder to the Hospital

By at 3:03 pm
grandpa with baby girl

My dad with one of my daughters, Maya.

One year ago, I blogged in this space about how I’d be skipping the seders. I was pregnant with twins, and my scheduled c-section fell on the morning of the second seder. My husband and I were sure that God (and our parents) would forgive us if we sat the seders out, just that once. So instead of a Hillel sandwich and my mom’s farfel-apple-kugel, we had veggie burgers (no buns) and went to sleep early.

Fast-forward eleven months. It’s Passover again, and preparations for a seder at my parents’ house have been underway for weeks. My dad bought the new Safran Foer/Englander haggadah and he has the plastic frogs ready to keep the kids occupied. My mom’s placed her gigantic order of meat at the neighborhood kosher butcher and she’s already changed over all the dishes in her kitchen. I’ve bought all the ingredients for my kosher-for-Passover mandel bread, just about the only thing I know how to bake and my (sorta pathetic) contribution to the meal.  Jon isn’t on call this weekend, and the family—ours, my two sisters with their husbands and children, my aunt and uncle, great aunt and cousins—will all be together for the seders once again.

Except we won’t, because we just found out there won’t be a seder, after all.

On Tuesday, my dad was admitted into the hospital and today we were informed that he won’t be discharged until Sunday. So he’ll miss the seders. And we’ll miss the seders. And Passover will pass us by, again. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 7 2012

Let’s Not Be Hamans

By at 4:31 pm

unorthodox deborah feldmanOn Monday, I taught my weekly Jewish Thought and Culture class to adults at the 92nd Street Y. My subject was, predictably, Purim. We explored the historical context, the story, the celebration. But mostly, I used the Purim story as an example of Jewish oppression over the ages. How a personal antipathy (in this case, Haman’s towards Mordechai) can generalize to become public policy towards an entire group (the massacre of the  Jewish population of the Persian Empire.)

We have many examples of how antipathy towards one or a small group of Jews takes on a life of its own resulting in prejudice, intolerance, and violence. Mordechai and Dreyfus, Jewish radicals and Communists, and the “Jewish liberal media,” all had profound effects on the entire Jewish population. We were lucky if we just got bad PR and didn’t get killed.

I was thinking about this a lot when one of my students asked me about the recent memoir by Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 12 2011

How I Almost (Sorta, Kinda) Lost My Eyes and Peeked into the Future

By at 4:06 pm

“People often get scared when they hear the word ‘glaucoma,’” the woman on the video at the doctor’s office said knowingly.

Um, yeah. That’s because it’s REALLY FREAKING SCARY, I thought, trying my best not to throw up in the examination chair out of panic and fear.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let it be known that as a general rule, I’m not afraid of pulling the “doctor” trigger when it comes to the kids. I generally err on the side of caution. Baby G’s bellybutton looks a little weird in a way I can’t possibly describe? Off we go to the pediatrician (bellybutton diagnosis negative).  R’s balance looks a little off? Let’s go to the ENT and the orthopedist and check it out (and find out he needs to get ear tubes, yet the fact that he doesn’t listen has no medical explanation).

But when it comes to my own health, I’m not so quick to make myself a doctor’s appointment. It’s possible that that is rooted in some weirdly wrong idea that the parent is supposed to be the healthy one and have no problems. And ideally, that would be the case. Read the rest of this entry →

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