Apr 8 2014
So you all know I’m a hippie, right? I made my kids’ shampoo for the first five years of their life, I don’t use paper towels or commercial cleaning products, I use naturopathic and holistic medicine rather than Western medicine, I don’t own any toys that require batteries, I believe in natural birth as an empowering and profound experience for women, and I don’t shave my legs. You get it: I’m a total hippie.
Well, as you can imagine, conventional parenting magazines never sat right with me because they simply didn’t address the things I needed to know as a parent interested in cloth diapering, sustainable parenting, and how to stop well meaning family from buying your kids every battery-operated toy in existence for every birthday and holiday. There used to be a print magazine called Mothering that was THE parenting magazine for moms (and dads) like me. It is now available only online for environmental reasons at Mothering.com and it is a tremendous resource for those interested in what’s referred to as Natural Family Living. Read the rest of this entry →
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 →
Sep 16 2013
I am having work done on my house. Nothing fancy, I promise. I don’t do fancy. Just your standard rotting wood issues in a 1940s house in the hills. It’s been very expensive and mildly stressful, but my contractor is actually my direct next door neighbor so that’s convenient and it’s actually gone incredibly smoothly.
Having work done on your house means random men in and around your house all the time all day. Fortunately, it’s generally been the same group of about five guys and they are all very nice and I bake for them and bring them cool drinks like I’m a 1950s housewife. I am just so in awe of people skilled with their hands, and this crew of painters and construction workers is fascinating to me. They can literally fix anything, they have matched the paneling of my house perfectly with fresh wood, the painter’s knowledge of color was like that of a classical painter; it’s really cool to see how hard they work and how much they seem to enjoy being skilled at very difficult and very rigorous work. There’s also been a heat wave here so many days they have been working in 100 degree heat! Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 6 2013
I’m one of those moms raised on “Free To be You and Me” who really hoped my sons would like baby dolls. I don’t mean to sound weird about it, but the book and song “William’s Doll” made so much sense to me as a child and it makes so much sense to me as an adult. I wanted boys who wanted dolls.
As a Waldorf mama, I presented my sons with wooden and natural fiber toys and introduced no academics for their first years, but I never splurged on those pricey faceless Waldorf baby dolls, because it just wasn’t in our budget. I have some of my beloved baby dolls from childhood, and when I was pregnant with my second son, I gave my older son the option of meeting my dolls for the first time. He was 2 at the time.
He instantly took to my baby doll Jennie, so named because my Grandma Jennie (z”l) gave her to me when I was a little older than he is now. As he learned about my growing belly, he became more and more interested in Baby Jennie, but he curiously and definitively renamed her “Baby Jonah” and insisted she was a boy even though she was in a pink dress and bonnet. (We found out two years later that he is colorblind and the dress and bonnet likely look grey to him!) Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 2 2013
Three years ago, Kveller writer Carla Naumburg declared in a post entitled “Let’s Get Real, Mayim” that she wanted to know more about the “real” Mayim Bialik, that my posts always painted a sort of shiny portrait of my kids and my life in attachment parenting bliss. Carla and I exchanged a few posts where I demonstrated that indeed, I am a “real” mom with crappy days, whiny kids (sometimes), and real and difficult feelings. This interaction is one of the things that really drove me and continues to motivate me to be as honest as I am on Kveller and I thank Carla for her challenge and, because of that exchange, her friendship.
In that vein, here is what my day was like on Tuesday. This should illustrate quite well that I am a real mom. I mean it. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 25 2013
About a year ago, I posted a Facebook link for a Kickstarter campaign for a new engineering-related game called “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine.”
GoldieBlox is a game designed by a female engineer who created the game out of a desire to make a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) impact on what she views as a lame set of choices for toys and games for young girls today.
I was so inspired by her video that I decided to pre-order three of the games. The boxes arrived and I was instantly impressed that the packaging wasn’t all pink and purple, as I assumed it might be. As I have argued here before, there is nothing genetically programmed into girls’ DNA to make them like pink or purple, and it’s a completely arbitrary and commercially-driven obsession that our young girls are told to have. Anyway, it’s fine; pink and purple are nice colors, whatever. The game wasn’t all pink and purple and that made me excited. OK? OK. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 25 2012
I like to browse Judaica stores.
Whenever I have free time and am remotely near a store selling a variety of Jewish products, books, and tchotchkies, I cannot resist wandering the aisles. My personal favorite in Los Angeles is one on Fairfax Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the neighborhood with the highest concentration of Holocaust survivors anywhere in the world. Read the rest of this entry →