Amy is a Jewish educator and a mom. After graduating from Brandeis University she received a masters degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary where she was a Wexner Fellow. Over the past 10 years Amy has developed experience in teaching, family education, camp, curriculum writing, and most recently, has begun teaching Baby & Me classes.
I love the way certain phrases, sounds, and words add up to a special family vocabulary. I’m pretty sure my kids think I don’t know the word “head” because I only ever call it by the Yiddish…word keppe (especially when I'm giving it a kiss!). My husband's go-to name for a pretend person is Chaim Yankel. My son has taken to calling me Ima instead of Mommy because it feels more special to him. All of these together create our own unique family language. If you're looking to add a few… >> Read More
In the summer of 2011, I got a Kindle. I'd been railing against e-readers for a long time because I love books so much. I love the feel of them, their weight in my hand, the sound of the pages…turning, the smell of them, and of course, the worlds that they transport me to. But, my dad was upgrading his Kindle so I figured it wouldn't hurt to read a few books on his old one. Addiction happened quickly. Once I finished reading all the books he'd downloaded, I discovered that you can take… >> Read More
There's nothing quite like the experience of watching your child become a member of the Jewish people through the most ancient of covenants: circumcision. It's an incredibly emotional day. Leaving…aside the facts that 1. You're eight days postpartum and incredibly hormonal; 2. There's a billion people in your tiny house; 3. You're supposed to feed them something, and 4. They all want to put their germy faces right near your brand new baby, there's the main event: someone is about to take a knife… >> Read More
So you're planning a bris. You've booked the mohel, decided where to hold it, and searched through your closet 15 times trying to find anything that makes you look like the baby has actually exited…your body. (Black, black, 100 times black!) And all of the sudden you realize that the baby has to wear something, too! So what should a baby wear to his own bris? You may want to dress your baby up. After all, it's his big day! A baby tuxedo! Baby button-down shirt with baby slacks!… >> Read More
It’s hard to find the perfect gift for a new baby. I often go the route of buying clothes that are a few sizes too big for the baby to grow into. Which is great and all, but sometimes it’s nice…to buy something unique. A gift with a little bit of Jewish flair, perhaps? If you're in search of something special, let Kveller be your guide to the most awesome, fun, and special presents for the newest bundle of joy in your life: 1. One word: Onesies. M is for matzaball? B is for bagel?… >> Read More
That feeling of discovering you’re pregnant is like nothing else (that is, if you’ve been trying to get pregnant!). You laugh, you cry, you call the doctor, you kiss your partner a lot. You feel…so relieved to know why you’ve spent the last few weeks feeling like you’re on a cruise ship even though everyone else seems to be on solid ground—and vomiting occasionally, of course. And if you’re me, you basically immediately go out and buy maternity clothes. After all, that’s part of the fun of pregnancy, right?… >> Read More
Ever since she was little, my daughter has hated getting water in her eyes. She'd cry and scream, and like so many first-time parents, I would go to extremes to avoid her crying and screaming. At…bath time, I'd gently tilt her head back and cover her forehead with a washcloth as I rinsed away the shampoo, ensuring that the water stayed far away from her face. As she got older, I still protected her eyes. As a 2-year-old, she learned to ask for a boop-boop--a washcloth to pat away the… >> Read More
Wonder Crew is a new line of toys for preschool-aged boys, designed to break out of the traditional stereotypes of masculinity in our society. Their creator, Laurel Wider, is a psychotherapist, and…her idea for Wonder Crew came out of her work. She hopes that the Crewmates (dolls, really) will help boys to build emotional intelligence, confidence, and imagination. I talked with Laurel about the inspiration behind Wonder Crew, how to change the conversation about masculinity, and fighting with history teachers in Jewish day school. What inspired… >> Read More
Last summer we packed up and moved from New York City to Boston. It's a move that's been a long time coming--when I first moved to NYC I figured I'd be there for a couple of years, just to…experience the city and exert some independence and all of those things that you think about when you're 23 and single. I even told a friend that I was moving away so that I could come back--I'd spent my whole life in Boston until that point and in order to settle there completely, I needed… >> Read More
My daughter started Hebrew School last week. She's in kindergarten and will be learning the Jewish fundamentals—holidays, traditions, lifecycle events—all the good stuff. For me this is a huge…deal—HUGE!—because I'm a Jewish educator. And now my daughter is old enough to finally be in Hebrew School, in a grade that I used to teach! It's very surreal. Just before the first day of school, we got an email from her teacher with that week's essential question which would comprise the core of the… >> Read More
Walking down the street in my neighborhood the other day, I glanced in the window of a shop at their holiday display and saw something that made me stop in my tracks. What was it, you…ask? The Santa Dreidel. Seems like it's this year's version of the Jewish star Christmas tree-topper, or the Hanukkah stocking. Ah, assimilation. There's been a lot about it in the Jewish press lately. There was a huge study that came out a few months back, administered by the Pew Research Center, which noted a few trends in the… >> Read More
Walking down the street here in Brooklyn, we are practically under a Halloween assault. It's a riot of pumpkins, multicolored cobwebs, skeletons, and scarecrows. My 4-year-old calls out her…favorites (pink cobwebs, in case you were curious) and even the baby can point to the pumpkins. There's a house five blocks away that turned their entire front stoop into a pirate ship with a skeleton crew, and the witty folks on our walk to school have a spooky version of Instagram (they call it… >> Read More
About four months ago, I stopped pumping.
I know. It's a big deal. I'm a part-time, work-from-home mom, so pumping was something I had to do in order to go out and get in a few hours at…the office. Every night, around 9 p.m. I'd get my water, wash my hands, set up the pump, and watch TV. After an hour of being attached to flanges that made an arooga sound as they pulled on my nipples, I'd have a few ounces and I'd know that I could leave the house the next… >> Read More
When my daughter started eating solid foods, we did exactly as the pediatrician said. Start with rice cereal, then move to fruits and vegetables that are yellow & orange, then to fruits and…vegetables that are green, purple, and red. My daughter liked to eat and I never really thought more about it. As she grew older, she grew pickier. She moved from eating most things to only eating some things to only eating a few things: macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, bagels (with butter, no cream cheese),… >> Read More
Yesterday afternoon I ran some errands with my baby. Being as I live in a neighborhood where it sometimes feels like I know everyone, I bumped into a friend. She asked where I was headed. I explained…that I was out doing errands alone since my almost-4-year-old daughter was at dance class. My friend looked at me, looked down at the baby cooing up at her from his stroller, and looked back at me again. "You know you've got the baby, right?" she asked. >> Read More
I admit it: there was a long period of time when
Law & Order: SVU
was my favorite TV show. I'd set the DVR and watch it every week, giving myself crazy nightmares. But like any good…addiction, it was hard to quit. Week after week, I'd watch--sometimes covering my eyes for half of the episode--because I needed to know how Elliot and Olivia would handle the latest "ripped from the headlines" tragedy. Then I had kids. And suddenly, a show about special victims went from appealing to appalling. I can barely… >> Read More
When my daughter was born, I had time to be intentional about parenting. I chose books, music, classes, even BPA-free sippy cups based on copious research.
Now that I've got kid #2 in the mix, I…don't have the same kind of time or energy to make those intentional decisions. My parenting is based on what's fastest, easiest, or most convenient. Which is why, instead of reading my son a long, but lovely, book about The Bedtime Sh'ma , I've been reading him a shorter Sandra Boynton book. And instead of… >> Read More
Growing up, I never really thought much about Valentine's Day. I'd sign a valentine for every kid in my class, put them in the little boxes we made, and then really enjoy eating the candy I somehow…always got. As I grew older, I pushed back on that whole St. Valentine thing. I don't know much about the man except that he was a saint--and if he was a saint, well, that doesn't feel so Jewish to me. I didn't mind getting flowers or candy if someone decided to give them to… >> Read More
On a recent road trip, we stopped along the way to refuel--nurse the baby, potty break for the preschooler, and load up on snacks.
Right next to the snacks, of course, was a stand filled with DVDs…for kids. Our 3-year-old wanted one, and since we were about to be in the car for another four hours (the trip from Brooklyn to Montreal is lo-ong), we acquiesced. We picked out what looked like the least scary and most preschooler-friendly on the shelf--something called Best of Veggie Tales--a top ten song countdown. What… >> Read More
When reading all of the advice posts to our editor Debbie about life with two kids last week, I started thinking about what I'd said to her the last time we saw each other. My son was 4 months old,…my daughter was 3 years and 3 months. Debbie was about 8 months pregnant with #2. And she asked me how it was to adjust to two. Without even thinking about it, I lied. I blithely said, "Oh, it's not so bad!" instead of telling her about how this baby would get so hysterical around… >> Read More
Five months ago yesterday, my son was born. Yes, it amazes me that time has flown by so fast, but today what is really on my mind is where he was born.
I labored, delivered, and cared for my son…in the first days of his life at NYU Hospital. The very same one that was evacuated late on Monday night when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City--hard. When Benjamin was born (and my daughter Abigail too, for that matter), I knew that the folks at NYU were stellar. They took excellent care of all… >> Read More
So my daughter is in school now, which is a topic unto itself that I promise to address another day, and every day she needs to bring lunch.
I grew up in the day of brown bag lunches. You'd…sit in the cafeteria and everyone had a brown paper bag, with plastic bags inside that were filled with their assorted foods, from sandwiches to Doritos and Oreos. Except for me. >> Read More
It's funny how perspective can change in the blink of an eye (or in this case, 14 hours of labor). Before having my son, I thought my 3-year-old was still a baby. She was so little! She could…barely do anything! But then I had a baby. And when you compare a 3-year-old to an infant, that 3-year-old is like a giant. Not only can she walk, she can run, trip, scrape her knees, and shake it off. Not only can she talk, but she can express an argument as to why she… >> Read More
This week my 3-year-old starts preschool. It's only two days a week, and only the mornings, but still--it's school. We've been talking about it a lot. We called my mom to see if she could find a…picture of me on my first day of school, and we ordered my daughter a new special dress online for her first day picture (don't worry, it was cheap—I anticipate it coming home covered in paint and glue!) Her teachers are coming over for a home visit to introduce themselves and get to know Abigail… >> Read More
When I saw Jordana Horn's piece about epidurals come up in my Google Reader yesterday, I had to read it. After all, I'd just given birth to my second child six weeks ago and have some strong feelings…about epidurals. Against them, that is. Let me start by saying I really, truly believe that birth is an individual experience, and I want each woman to make the decision that is right for her. So I totally support Jordana's decision to have an epidural. And another one. And another one. And probably another one… >> Read More