Parenting books that I really need

Every new mama winds up with a shelf full of parenting books.  During my first pregnancy I tried to read What to Expect when You’re Expecting.  I think I made it to week 18 or so.  Books are boring, scary, and also completely irrelevant until your baby arrives.  There’s no way you could possibly understand what a book is trying to teach you until you’re “in it”.  Now  as a seasoned toddler mama here’s my list of books I really need.

What to do when you accidentally teach your kid the F word.  

Yes that f word. And yeah, I did that.

And its sequel… Words that replace the F word so you phase the real one out.

I went with “farts” but I mean that’s going to get me in trouble soon too.  Leading by example, pro mom.

How to get your kid to go to sleep. A guidebook for babies 0-103. 

Hi, why don’t these babies want to go to sleep? It’s literally the only thing I want to do.

Potty training doesn’t mean what you think it does.

Guys, when people say you’ll potty train your kid in no time, they mean pee. Poop takes months. Why didn’t anyone say that?

How to get your kid to do things without bribing them with candy.  

I mean really, is there another way?

How to have an adult conversation without bringing up your babies every 5 seconds.

Just kidding I wouldn’t read this book.  Listen about my kids or get outta here!

How to hold and comfort a toddler who has just barfed, without barfing yourself.

The worst.  THE WORST. But gosh they really need a hug from mama when they’ve barfed all over themselves.  I more than gladly do it. But still, ick.

1,001 daily reminders that you’re doing a good job.

Being a mommy is hard.  It’s easy to tell myself everything I do wrong in a day.  But I’m trying my best and doing alright.  If only my brain could let that sink in!

With parenting I tend to think that everything is hard until it’s not.  In another year I’ll probably be in need of a whole different set of books.  What’s missing from my shelf? Let me know the real parenting books you need in the comments below.

How is this birthday different from all other birthdays?

Passover is one of my favorite holidays.  I have fond memories growing up of being with my cousins and scouring our grandparents’ condo for the afikomen.  I remember sitting at the kids table giggling through the very long seder.  And daring each other to eat the gefilte fish.  As I got older I would head home to be with my parents, siblings, and aunts and uncles to sing ‘Dayenu’ (Hebrew for “it would have been enough for us”) at the country club in a room full of snow birds.

Family togetherness, food, and laughter have always been the cornerstones of my Jewish experience.  We’re not that religious and I don’t always know what I’m saying when I recite prayers in Hebrew.  But I love being Jewish. 

Several years ago my very cute non-Jewish boyfriend (now husband) agreed to abstain from bread during Passover.  I thought it was a lovely gesture and was excited to bring him in the fold of some of the best matzoh recipes I knew:  matzoh pb&j, matzoh pizzas, and matzoh s’mores. After two days he asked for clarification on how long we’d be without bread.  He hadn’t read the fine print before he agreed. 

Today we have a beautiful family and cherish opportunities to celebrate together.  Our daughter arrived three years ago just before Passover & Easter.  I knew the day would come that her birthday would line up during Passover.  What would we do?  I couldn’t stop obsessing that one day she wouldn’t be able to have cake on her birthday.

So here we are three years later and the time has come.  Violet has requested to take donuts to her class to celebrate her birthday.  Every day on the way to school she points right and says, “Donuts that way.” And then points left and says, “School that way.”  I’ve gone back and forth on what to do.  Should I send ice cream instead?  Will toddlers like macaroons?  Does this matter?    My answer is, I don’t know. 

I have to parcel out what’s important to me as a Jew, for us as parents, and for our daughter who is a small person with limited understanding of the world around her.  At the end of the day, I have to go with what I do know.  I know my daughter will be happy to share donut holes with her friends at school and then come home to make matzoh pizzas for a special birthday dinner.  It will be enough for us.  Dayenu. Dayenu. 

Stress Relief Tips from my Toddler

“Come dance with me mommy!”  Can you think of anything cuter?  The first time she said it I almost melted.  And we danced care-free and silly in the living room.  And by the 20th time she said it, I was vaguely listening while I cleaned up a mess or put laundry in the wash or who knows what I was doing.  

The mom life is stressful y’all.  It takes everything I’ve got to be a good wife, mother, friend, and employee.  There’s so much stress in the everyday grind of going to work and coming home just being a functioning human.  And while my toddler certainly causes me so much stress I’ve also realized I’ve got plenty to learn from her as well.  Because sometimes you should just stop what you’re doing and dance.  



Five Favorite Kid Friendly Spots in Orlando

I love to eat.  It’s been so fun to see the food scene in Orlando develop over the last several years.  What has been less fun as I’ve had kids is how stressful going out to eat can be.  I don’t pretend to be raising children who have perfect manners all the time and can go anywhere. Sometimes my toddler has a meltdown at the table or throws food or refuses to eat anything except french fries for dinner.  Here are my top five spots where that’s perfectly acceptable:  Read More »