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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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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Matzah in the Sandbox (repost)

I am reposting what I posted around the third day of Passover last year since I have some new readers.  There is no time to write now, but I am experiencing the now annual matzah crumb issue and I am thinking that if Jewish Mamas invented our Jewish celebrations, somehow Passover would have been linked with Sukkah and we would always eat matzah outside,  just like during the #exodus.    Nobody wanted to leave the sandbox at lunch time today. With the perfect spring breeze shaking the new Bradford Pear leaves over our heads and the soft afternoon sun warming …

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Nursing our Fledgling Apple Orchard

The Jewish New Year for trees, or Tu Bishvat is coming up next week. In anticipation, I wrote the following piece for the Jewish parenting blog Kveller.com, which is also running a contest where you can win a package of our organic dates from our small business supporting Israeli farmers. Thanks for reading and Shabbat Shalom! Years ago my husband and I volunteered on Kibbutz Sde Eliahu in Israel, working in an organic vineyard and vegetable garden. On Tu Bishvat (the Jewish holiday celebrating the new year for trees!) kibbutzniks we had never seen in the fields came to help …

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Chasing off Bad Dreams

My four year old had his first nightmare this week, or at least the first one he remembered and could articulate.  It came directly from a children’s book that I had been meaning to toss. One of those books where something seems scary and then they realize everything is fine (it’s only a hedgehog, not a monster), but in the meantime they throw in spooky illustrations.  It pays to pre-read all hand-me -down children’s books, but this one wound up in circulation even though I had glanced at it and knew better. So, I googled for a solution and found …

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Sukkot

Sukkot is one of my favorite Jewish Holidays, and it is wonderful and fun for kids.  You get to build a club house and decorate it with all of your awesome art and crayon creations. You can eat, play, and sing in it, and, if you are lucky, camp out under the stars. From a farmer’s perspective, the holiday makes lots of sense.  Sukkot falls during the peak of the fall harvest. I find it very natural to feel a direct connection to our ancestors who built sukkot long ago. And from a mother’s perspective,  shifting meals outside is a …

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Matzah in the Sandbox

Nobody wanted to leave the sandbox at lunch time today. With the perfect spring breeze shaking the new Bradford Pear leaves over our heads and the soft afternoon sun warming our cheeks, we were all content to keep playing. Plus, there was a new bucket of plastic sand toys for digging and building. But I was hungry too, so I ran into the house and grabbed a box of matzah. I have noted the irony of the impressive onslaught of matzah crumbs beginning the moment the house has been cleaned for Passover. The near constant shower of matzah crumbs around …

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Can you Say She-hech-ey-a-nu

I first learned the shehecheyanu as a young 20 something, and it quickly became my all time favorite blessing.  My friend and I were strolling through a vineyard on a drive through Napa Valley.  We were giddy New Englanders discovering California and finding great amusement in the paper booties we were required to pull over our shoes during our visit to the vineyard.   The farmers were trying to prevent tourists from tracking in pests as they wandered through. I can’t remember exactly what my friend experienced as “a first” that day, perhaps her first time seeing grapes actually still attached to the …

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