The Unraveling of Tradition

This year’s Rosh Hashanah became the beginning of a challenging New Year. Approaching the middle of my third trimester with a two-year-old at home I refused to cook. I spent the Wednesday afternoon before the festivities with my feet up while blowing bubbles for my daughter. There was only one small tantrum that occurred in […]

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Quincineara Barbie

It’s been two weeks of vacation for my family in upstate New York. Nothing but fun, sun, relaxing walks by the lake, fishing and Quinceañera Barbie. Wait…what!? Here’s how Quinceañera Barbie came into my life. My daughter Helen Rose is American, Mexican, Jewish and Catholic. The question from my Jewish-American side of the family is […]

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Bringing Some Dharma to My Jewish-Catholic Household

Insomnia. It’s awful and I’ve never had it before. Until now. Part of this has to do with me getting pregnant again shortly after a miscarriage. Another part has to do with the anxiety, fear, loneliness, happiness, joy and gratitude I feel approaching motherhood for the second time. The second time is different, of course. […]

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Naming Our Past, Present & Future

Here’s how we created an intimate Jewish naming ceremony for our adopted baby Quinn

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Now What?

You just spent several hours or days in the hospital giving birth to your child or, in our case, several months going through your whirlwind adoption. But the moment you have long awaited is here: You are finally home. You left the house as two, but returned with three. For those of us as first […]

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Loss and Gain

The doctor calls Adrian and me saying, “Congratulations! You’re pregnant!” Adrian hugs me and we lift Helen up and kiss her little 16-month-old cheeks. “Helen! Helen!” we cry, “Helen you are going to have a little brother or sister!” Helen pushes our faces away not exactly understanding and gallops into the bedroom in search of […]

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Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan Are Expecting Their Second Child

We are so excited for Mark and Priscilla’s recent baby news! After Max’s birth, this generous interfaith couple pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook shares to charitable causes.  By Joanna C. Valente  Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan just announced some pretty big news: They’re going to be parents again–making their 15-month-old daughter Max a big sister-to-be. Of course, […]

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Avoiding “That Look” on Purim

It’s Purim again and I’m afraid to leave the house. During Purim, my neighborhood is like being inside a disco ball at Studio 54 in 1976—only there are a lot more Jews and no sign of Bianca Jagger riding a white horse. When I was growing up, Purim was not one of the major holidays […]

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Using My Words

I type this while holding a squirmy, feverish 3-month-old in my lap. Shh, shh, shh, I tell him. It’s OK, just relax and rest bubbeleh. I rub his back and pull him closer, patting his head, whispering, “Just lay your keppe down on mommy’s shoulder.” He has no idea what I’m really saying, but the […]

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What You Can Do Now for Your Future Baby

  Four months ago, I gave birth to a baby girl. After a long labor and unexpected C-section, there was only one thing that mattered to my husband and me: that our baby was delivered safely into the world and was perfectly healthy. Not that I was expecting anything different. She was in the good […]

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