Mar 20 2014
The ex and I took our sons to their very first movie theater movie. That’s right, our 8 and 5.5-year-old sons have never been to a movie theater. And their dad shows them some cartoons and they have seen a few short animated films as well as “The Muppet Movie,” but not in a theater. I know: we are horrible parents. We have deprived them for years. They have missed out on so many irretrievably incredible experiences in movie theaters. Whatever. We finally took them to the movies. Yay. (And just think of all the money we saved not taking them to the movies all of these years! Yay!)
Firstborn loved it. Little Man was trepidatious but did great which is astounding considering that the Harlem Globetrotters game near broke his and my spirit with its loudness and overstimulation on so many levels.
Here’s why “The Lego Movie” was awesome for me as well as my boys. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 18 2014
As I wrote about last week, Purim was this past weekend. Yeah, I was feeling pretty grumpy about being a divorced mom who also happens to be a working mom, and I was pretty bummed out that I missed my sons’ homeschool Purim carnival and baking hamantaschen because of my hand and other such Purim festivities.
Now that the weekend has passed, you know what? I’m still pretty grumpy. But I am also feeling a bit better about the whole thing, I promise. Seeing my sons for Purim was great. The wedding we went to went great, despite First Born getting ketchup all over his shirt and tie before the wedding. Here’s me cleaning it off. Why am I laughing about it when I could have been annoyed and upset? A) Because it’s no big deal. B) The Mai Thai I’d had helped. (Sorry! It’s just true!)
The work I did in New York with De Vry University went really well. I was working with them for the second year in a row on National HerWorld Month activities and initiatives to encourage high school girls to learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. The programs specifically focus on giving girls hands-on experience and allowing them to meet women with successful STEM careers in order to foster mentorship relationships, such as the one I had when I was 15, which ultimately led to my pursuing my PhD in Neuroscience. It was a wonderful couple of days with De Vry University and if you are curious about what I did or for more information, feel free to visit the website. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 13 2014
Last year, I was recently divorced when Purim fell. Purim, for those of you not in the know, is a spring holiday commemorating the near destruction and redemption of the Jewish community in Iran some 2000 years ago. For the record, it’s the Book of Esther, God’s name is curiously never mentioned in the entire Megillah that recounts it, and the hero of the story is actually a heroine named Esther. She’s awesome. Anyway.
Last year, amidst the still-clearing rubble of the mess and chaos that is divorce (even one that is managed extremely maturely and lovingly as my ex and I strive to do), my kids assumed that we would do a family costume like we always did. At that time they were 4 and 7. So we did a family costume in the middle of a divorce. We went as the cast of Tintin, with both of my boys as Tintin, my ex as the drunk Captain and me as Snowy the Dog, of course. Here’s me as Snowy in case you missed it last year. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 10 2014
Adar is the month of the Jewish calendar we are in, and it is the month when Purim falls. Purim is the holiday of merry-making, things being turned upside-down, things not being what they seem, desires revealed, identities shifting, and the reminder that a month from now, kitchens will be turned upside down as we prepare for Passover, with all of its delightful obsessive-compulsive cleaning and fastidiousness.
This month for me has definitely been Adar-ish. Lots of shifting of identities, and feeling upside down and trying to right myself. Caring for my sons amidst a book tour that has taken me away from them more than I like has been hard for us all, and we are trying to recalibrate.
Since I have always claimed I am a normal mom, I wanted to share some pictures of a normal mom weekend with my boys. Here’s how it shook down. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 5 2014
The recent study by Dr. Cynthia Colen has a lot of us in the breastfeeding world up in arms. This study declares that benefits of breastfeeding may be “overstated” and our very own Jordana Horn has indicated that this could be an end to Mommy Wars since everyone is just doing their best and we are all good moms and other such positive messages of unity and happiness which I wholeheartedly support!
However, the issues are the following:
1. Academics. This study is not the end all be all of studies. The journal it is published in is not, in my opinion, the foremost journal to look for for this kind of research. The study was based on statistical associations which are not always correlations (they are not the same thing!). It is not a faultless study. It is not “right” simply because it was published. In academia, things are published all of the time which are later edited, revisited, re-analyzed, dissected, contested, and reviewed. That a study exists doesn’t make it a talking point for us moms everywhere. This is an academic paper designed for a statistics and social sciences audience, not for us to use to bolster any particular opinion or lifestyle choice we make based on our lives, work schedules, and decisions. And I would say that even if the study supported breastfeeding. These kinds of papers are not meant for public consumption to draw conclusions about our particular situations. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 3 2014
*Scroll down to the end of this post to enter to win a fabulous VIP giveaway from Mayim’s book release party.
We had a party for my book release last week. PETA hosted it in Los Angeles at their Bob Barker building in hipster Echo Park. We held it on the rooftop, which was amazing because it literally poured rain the night before and we had started the plans to move the party inside. But the skies parted, we held our party outside under the cover of heat lamps, and it started raining again literally an hour after the party ended. Perfect!
Babycakes gave us vegan cupcakes to serve. Greenbar gave us vodka for bartenders to make drinks with. He’Brew gave us kosher beer. We had incredible catered vegan food by my friend Chef Ali, who also contributed some recipes to the book. Ali made BBQ seitan on mini cornbread, mac and cheez bites, vegan goat cheese with balsamic onions over crackers, mini black bean burgers, and buffalo wing tater tots with blue cheese dressing (those were my favorite!). Yum. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 27 2014
1. It’s Important To Try Scary Things
Sometimes we don’t want to do things because they have a lot of uncertainty attached to them. We don’t know how they will turn out and that feels yucky inside. Scary. Dangerous. But it’s OK. You are strong and you can handle it. I promise you can.
2. Words Can’t Kill You
Howard can’t hurt you with his words. No one can hurt you with their words in a way you can’t recover from. Of course words have power. But they can’t cut you like a knife. They can’t give you a boo boo on your head. You will be OK.
3. It’s Good To Show People You’re You
It’s important to protect a lot about you. You’re modest. You are socially conservative. But you also are a rebel. You’re very liberal. You have big ideas and you know how to talk about them. Howard wants you to come on his show because he’s curious about you. It’s OK to show him who you are. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 19 2014
When I was a kid, my parents took us to see the Harlem Globetrotters play. I have only the best memories of watching those games. The players are part comedians, part athletes, and part choreography geniuses. It’s a really fun spectacle for all ages and I really was thrilled to finally have my kids be old enough to take them to a game.
Last year, the ex and I took our sons to their first Harlem Globetrotters game at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. It was mostly disturbingly and shockingly loud for Little Man, who had me cover his ears the whole time but turned out to enjoy the game that way, so besides my tendinitis flaring up from holding my hands over his ears for hours, everyone was happy. Firstborn loved everything about it and laughed his butt off. He was the perfect age for that kind of humor and spectacle.
We went again this weekend, a year later and with an even more cautious Little Man and an even more terribly excited Firstborn. Yes, it was yet another “Mayim and her ex go to a basketball game” just like when we went to the Bruins game a few weeks ago, but this time was different. It was with friends of ours and their sons, and this experience left much more of an impression than the Bruins game did because of the following things. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 17 2014
Backstage at the Bill Maher show.
I was on “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, Valentine’s Day. Here are the highlights:
I like Bill Maher quite a bit. So being a guest on his show was extra pressure because I like him and respect him and didn’t want to come off like a dolt.
2. The Other Dudes.
Um. Jeremy Scahill? You are seriously smart. Like really smart. You remind me of my UCLA Marxism professor I had a huge crush on because he was super duper serious and cerebral and you didn’t know if he ever laughed but you wanted to be the girl who made him laugh. Never mind. I have issues. Anyway. Jeremy Scahill and Eric Klinenberg and Dylan Ratigan? You’re all super smart. Bill Nye the Science Guy as the first guest? Super duper smart and eloquent. Didn’t want to come off like a dolt in front of these men.
3. A Natural Woman.
I am very sensitive to situations where I feel so… female. Like on the Bill Maher show. I was especially nervous about coming off like a dolt because then people might say, “Oh, that woman said something dumb.” Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 13 2014
My sons love pop music. Despite literally raising them on Bob Dylan, Dan Bern and The International Jewish Banking Conspiracy, They Might Be Giants, Israeli extravaganza David Broza, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, my 5- and 8-year-olds like gyrating in their car seats to Pink, Katy Perry, Macklemore, Drake, and–yes–Miley Cyrus.
I didn’t used to play any music in the car for the first years of my older son’s life. I was that hippy who believed that my son’s interactions should be with voices and conversation only. It worked with #1, but once #2 came along, #1 was almost 3 and was already used to hearing music by then. Also, #2 screamed bloody murder in the car for literally two full years, and sometimes music helped drown out his screaming. Or at least provided some illusion of drowning it out. (Ugh, those years sucked big time.)
Anyway. I played CDs for my sons initially but at some point the radio became introduced (should I blame my ex? OK! Just kidding, Mike. Sort of.). And that was the end of the innocence. Pop music is like the best candy ever. It’s generally mindless. It has no nutritional value. But it tastes so good. Like really delicious. Yummy. So yeah, I get it. I like pop music, too.
The issue is that pop music is/has become, in some cases, kind of racy. I am generally admittedly a socially conservative fuddy-duddy even though I am a complete bleeding heart liberal politically. Read the rest of this entry →