Letting the Princess into the Farm House

Note: This article originally appeared  on kveller.com. Kveller.com offers a Jewish twist on parenting, everything a Jewish family could need for raising Jewish children–including crafts, recipes, activities, Hebrew and Jewish names for babies…and advice from Mayim Bialik. It all started with the arrival of the Ariel bathing suit. I was whipping a cart through Target when my 2-year-old spotted the suit. “Oooh, so pretty,” she said. “And her hair is exactly the same color as mine.” My daughter has dark brown hair and Ariel’s hair is a shade of red you don’t actually find naturally. Something about her bubbly delight combined …

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My Top 5 Back to School Parenting Mistakes

I am feeling so grateful that we have made it through the first 10 days of kindergarten and so far it seems like pretty smooth sailing.  We even added the bus to the schedule without a problem.  Most of the mistakes this week were mine, so I decided to list my top 5 back to school mistakes while they are still fresh in my mind! 1) Practice Lunch: While I spent the summer feeling like I should have been practicing reading and letters I now realize we should have practiced other things like eating out of a lunch box.  On …

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1,2,3,4 & 5 Days of Kindergarten: We did it!

As of today, my son completed his first week of kindergarten  — a full five day week complete with music, gym, walking in lines and one new “halfway friend.”  No school bus yet, but we are feeling brave enough to try it soon.  I feel like we have all learned so much we are ready for an early diploma. The transition has been hardest by far on my 2 year old, who so desperately wants to go to school too.  She cries watching him walk away with his class and I have had to carry her screaming to the car …

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Lakeside

In case anyone noticed, I haven’t updated my blog in a while.  I escaped the heat again this year for an extended vacation in the Adirondacks where I spent my summers growing up and my family owns a house. My days are very different here, swimming lessons at the lake and lots of time picking wild blackberries and generally following the children around, helping them inch toward swimming.  There is no TV, and very limited internet and cell connection so my world shrinks here to the matters at hand with little distraction. We are in our last week here and I should be back to writing soon.   …

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Surfing the Huge Heat Wave

First an overwhelming and unrelenting heat. My fellow farm blogger wrote about the heat here on her blog “A Year on the Farm” and it is good to know we are not alone. Spring was suddenly banished, sent sprinting off to northern Canada, and we were thrown into blazing hot days. Then a storm came through with winds so strong and loud it felt like another world, like a dream.  My two year old immediately recognized the wind sounded wrong, scary! She sat up in bed and yelled, “need Daddy, now!” With the strange powerful wind came cool air and …

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A Sunflower Seed and How I Got it Wrong

I recently took my children to a friend’s daughter’s birthday party. After the party, the children were offered a choice of party favors. I was surprised when my 5-year-old son, the farm boy (like, we actually live on a farm), chose a little plastic pot with a seed in it (guaranteed to grow, just add water). I started coaching him to choose something else, saying, “Leave the seeds for other children. You have millions of seeds at home, so maybe a new eraser for school?” But he dug in and brought the pot home. As a mother, I should really learn to keep my mouth shut, because I …

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Why Toddler Picked Flowers are the Best

My children brought me these beautiful flowers this morning when I really needed a lift.  I was trying to finish a giant writing project on a deadline (a grant proposal) and I was feeling stressed and exhausted when they came bounding in with a great sampling of every single thing blooming in the front yard from tiny to large. I love how young children pick flowers — they go right for the bloom and pull off the very top. They  have zero interest in the things that stress out flower farmers like getting the right stem length.  And once they …

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Compostable Toys and Farm Photos

Again, I am guilty of not keeping up with the farm blog now that the farm is kicking into the real season.  We are so busy with the CSA, selling flowers to a wholesaler and trying to connect with more chefs that writing has been falling by the wayside, and so many writing ideas are slipping away! That’s OK, I will keep trying. I have to share this photo I took of a project my two year old did with the newly harvested baby squash.  She spent a long time moving them around and arranging them until she was happy …

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Lessons from Sunflower Seeds and Shelling Peas

There is so much happening on the farm now, it is hard to find time to write about it. We are already into our fourth week of the CSA season, and strawberries are sadly winding down already.  Deer attacked our late strawberry planting, so the season will end a little earlier than we hoped.  We are also harvesting spring onions, radishes, tons of lettuce, spinach, arugula, cilantro and peas. A couple of weeks ago we went to a birthday party and one of the party favors was a little plastic pot with sunflower seeds that children could water and watch …

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I Need a Siren

Another Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Memorial Day came and went last week, and I found myself unprepared to mark the day.  In fact, today we are already on to Israel’s Independence Day — but I seem to be running a bit behind. Back in high school, I probably read more Holocaust memoirs than was healthy and later I spent quality time at both the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Israel’s Yad Vashem. In those pre-mothering days, there was plenty of time for reflection. Now as a relatively new mother, museum visits and heavy reading have seriously fallen by the wayside. Everything about becoming …

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