Mommy A to Z

Motherhood, Alphabetized.

November 23, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
9 Comments

Looking Back: Sometimes I’m Not Grateful

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It’s Thanksgiving, and the idea of gratitude is very much on my mind. Especially now, as there seems to be so much turmoil all around us. Sometimes it’s hard to find the good. Sometimes I want to turn my home into a padlocked fortress, curl up with my kids, and never emerge. Yet perhaps being grateful has always been a struggle, even in the best of times. Looking back at my post from last year, “Sometimes I’m Not Grateful,” I realize a lot has changed. We’ve moved into that house I wanted. And while I love it, the “needs” add up quickly. We need to update the kitchen. We need new curtains. The list goes on. The markers recede ever further.

But, when I stop to look, there are reminders all around of goodness, of blessings deserving thanks. My family has recently started volunteering at a community garden, and it’s reminded me: I’m grateful for food. I’m grateful I can help feed others. It’s a basic thing, but a good place to start. This year we’re hosting our first Thanksgiving in our new home. As I race around the kitchen, trying to figure out where my measuring spoons have gone while not burning the meat, I will remember this most basic truth: I am grateful for the family I get to feed. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy this throwback post!

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November 18, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
2 Comments

Super Easy, Super Cute Thanksgiving Cookies

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It’s our first Thanksgiving in our new home! I wanted to make something sweet with the kids, but the problem is, well, I’m a HORRIBLE baker. So I reached out to some of my favorite bloggers, and was thrilled to discover this adorable, no-bake recipe for “Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies” from one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Tarynn Playle, of the awesome blog Mama By Fire. (If you’re not familiar with Mama By Fire, please check it out! The creativity you see here is just a sample of the awesome ideas on her site!) So, without further ado, here is the recipe for cookies your family is sure to gobble up.  Continue Reading →

November 15, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
9 Comments

When 4-Year-Olds Stop Believing in Superheroes

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I’m thrilled to be on The Washington Post today, with my latest piece, “What happens when 4-year-olds stop believing in superheroes, but not bad guys?” It’s about my little guy’s latest worry: If there’s no Batman, then who will protect him from the bad guys?

Here is a sneak peek:

“Mommy, are there real bad guys?”

My 4-year-old son has been asking me this question every night. He’s going through a superhero phase, and is obsessed with the Justice League. Lately, he’s concerned about bad guys. He wants to know what Mommy and Daddy plan to do about them.

When I was pregnant, I never expected parenting to be so philosophical. Because, you see, these questions are more complicated than they seem. They began with other, equally confusing questions, such as, “Are Batman and Superman real?” Read the full article.

Do your little ones ask questions you don’t know how to answer? Do they believe in superheroes? I’d love to hear your experiences!

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November 4, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
1 Comment

A Difficult Anniversary: A Tribute to a Friend

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A year ago, one of my favorite mom bloggers, and a friend through the blogging community, passed away suddenly, without any warning. Melissa’s insights about parenting, and about life, inspired me to take a step back and appreciate everything and everyone around me. She was a beautiful and gifted writer, a patient and thoughtful parent, and a generous and supportive friend to all of us struggling to find our words and our audience. As a tribute to Melissa, I’m re-running her guest post. If you haven’t spent time on her site, please check out Wading Through Motherhood. She may be gone, but her voice lives on through her powerful words.

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October 19, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
10 Comments

Can We Stop Complaining About People Being Nice?

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OK, moms, I get it. You’re too busy to answer the phone. Any form of communication besides texting should be banned under threat of voodoo-induced torture. Unannounced pop-ins to your home will lead to a visit to the secret (and kinda kinky) dungeon in the basement. Recently, I read about a mom complaining because she was invited to a mom’s night out at T.G.I. Friday’s. Will the horror never end?

You’ve spoken your truth. You’re an introvert. You’re busy. You already have a sacred sister circle. Stop intruding on your life.

Yes, everyone relates to these feelings. But let’s take a minute here. What exactly are we complaining about? People being… nice? Continue Reading →

October 17, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
0 comments

When Should You Worry About Your Child’s Cough?

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I don’t know about you, but my household is a cacophony of sound from October through March — and I’m not talking about joyful laughter. I mean stubborn, persistent coughs that come and go all cold season long. So, when do the kiddos need to go to the doctor, and when do they just need time, TLC, and a Sofia the First marathon on TV? Dr. Christina Johns, pediatrician, pediatric emergency physician, and Senior Medical Advisor for PM Pediatrics, gives us the inside scoop in this helpful guest post.

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October 13, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
5 Comments

TBT: Fall Activities I Secretly Like More Than My Kids Do

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In honor of the cooler days and beckoning apple trees, here’s a throwback post for my fellow autumn lovers…

Ah, fall. Pumpkin Pie. Rust-colored leaves dancing gently in the breeze. Tiny witches and goblins (or, more likely, Elsas and Ninja Turtles) knocking at your door. There’s so much to love about the post-beach, pre-Christmas season. For weeks now, I’ve been dragging my kids from one fall activity to the next, presumably for their entertainment. However, I have to confess that — as much as my 5-year-old looks forward to trick-or-treating — many of these events are more for Mommy’s enjoyment than theirs. Here are three fall activities that make Mommy happy, and which, in all honesty, my kids could probably live without.

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October 3, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
3 Comments

What It Means to Raise a Half-Jewish Child

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In honor of the high holidays, here is a look back at a post that had special meaning for me… and maybe for some of you in mixed-faith households. It’s not always easy! Happy New Year to all who celebrate…

Early fall is a time of contradictions. Warm, sunlit days are followed by cool evening breezes, drifting through open windows, foretelling the arrival of cooler times. Days are fuller, yet darkness spreads earlier across the sky. Similarly, every fall, contradictions creep into my own life, as I struggle with the arrival of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For me, the high holidays are a time of reconnecting with my faith — while recognizing it’s only part of my children’s legacy. Of feeling proud of my past, yet anxious about the future. Of reflecting on how much of my faith I want to — or should — impart to my half-Jewish children. Continue Reading →

September 29, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
14 Comments

My Toddler Has a Potty Mouth

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“You made me a turkey sandwich, again?” my toddler asks, looking up at me, his blue eyes sparkling, his entire 3-foot frame radiating mischief. “What the f@&k?”

I wince, and explain to him, yet again, that his word choice isn’t nice or appropriate for a 3-year-old. Yes, he heard Daddy say it. Yes, grownups sometimes say bad words. Yes, Mommy and Daddy should try harder to clean up our act.

This conversation has become exhausting. Continue Reading →

September 21, 2016
by Mommy A to Z
11 Comments

It’s Tough Being the “New Mom” on the Playground

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I sit near the slide, watching my daughter and two other girls playing some game I don’t understand. It involves magical powers, which apparently become “activated” by climbing, jumping, and observing a host of complicated second-grade rules. The girls giggle and chase each other around the swings, without a care in the world. It’s everything I’ve wanted, ever since we decided to move to a new town last spring. Watching my daughter making new friends reminds me that all my efforts to help her with the transition — the late-night talks, the weeks of driving her to camp in our new town before we even moved in, volunteering at her school — were all worth it. Much to my relief, things are working out.

Except that, in all my worries about my kids, all my anxiety about their adjusting, I forgot one thing: I’m new here too. And it’s lonely on the playground when you don’t know anyone. Continue Reading →