This Mother’s Day, let’s commit to giving moms the care and protection we deserve

I am writing this just a day after the news broke about the likelihood of the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and bringing the issue of abortion back to the states. What this means is those in need of abortion services will no longer be protected by federal law, and instead their reproductive rights will be at the whim of their state legislature.

For women like me, who live in states like New York, nothing will change. However, for the thousands of women who live in states poised to enact the strictest abortion laws in the country, the overturning of Roe means they may be forced to spend obscene amounts to go out of state for an abortion, resort to unsafe and/or illegal alternatives, or continue a pregnancy they do not want.

As a mother who has carried two children in my womb, I know with a full heart the joy and wonder of bringing life into this world. I do not take this lightly, and I reject anyone who suggests those of us who are pro-choice are callous, uncaring supporters of “baby murder.” It is because of my experience with having a healthy, supported and welcomed pregnancy that I more than ever want to ensure that others have the same.

The ability to choose when to have a child is just part of the bigger picture for ensuring women and mother’s are protected. For those who choose to carry a child, we need to do a far greater job of providing them with comprehensive prenatal and post natal care.

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Croquet is the friendly lawn game you must try

If you just finished watching the second season of Bridgerton, you likely noticed how prominent a role croquet played in highlighting the smoldering, competitive chemistry between the Viscount Anthony Bridgerton and Miss Kate Schwarma.

Or, you might be fonder of Heathers and how croquet was used to show the divide between the haves and the have-nots.

And who could forget the memorable scene in Disney’s version of Alice In Wonderland, where Alice was forced to play a highly unusual and markedly unfair game against the Queen of Hearts?

For years, croquet has captured us through pop culture, and may even seem a bit exclusive. However, this centuries old game really is for everyone.

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PJ Library makes celebrating Passover easy, meaningful and fun

In addition to running this blog and related social media channels, I run an Instagram account and Clubhouse club called, “Raising Jews.”

In our most recent discussion, we spoke about ways to make Passover fun for kids of all ages, and shared crafts, games and other ideas to make the holiday a joyous experience for everyone.

My main takeaway from the conversation was realizing our children reflect our attitudes and emotions. If we can find the joy in Passover, they can as well.

Of course, having some resources to help us make a memorable Passover helps, and once, again, PJ Library delivers with its extensive offering of books, music, games and more to create a meaningful holiday.

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Buddha Board brings mindfulness and creativity home

Throughout my life, I have used creativity to ease my mind, reduce stress, and turn off the world for a moment.

I enjoy oil painting, for example, and love how I can get lost in the mixing of paints and the strokes of my brush on canvas.

Oil painting, however, involves a lot of prep work, and sometimes, I don’t want to be bothered.

Sometimes, I just want a quick and simple way to express myself artistically.

Enter the Buddha Board, an art and meditation tool, I was introduced to a few weeks ago.

The Buddha Board enables the user paint freely using only water. No need to find paints or clean brushes between strokes. All you need is your brush and good ole H20.

After a short time, your creation evaporates away leaving a blank canvas waiting for your next moment of inspiration.

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VIDEO INTERVIEW: Camp expert on choosing the best overnight camp for your child

I sat down with Tom Rosenberg, President and CEO of American Camp Association, to talk about how families could choose the best overnight camps for their children.

In our interview (posted below), we discuss taking the time to research the options available and consider what camps would appeal most to your children. We also discuss concerns such as tuition costs, homesickness, and device dependence.

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New book captures the essence of motherhood through rhyme

I have thought about writing a parenting book for a long time, and toyed with various ideas for expressing my views.

The format I kept coming back to was poetry.

I have always enjoyed creating rhymes, and often find myself composing verse in my head. I felt compiling a bunch of short poems on the various aspects of motherhood would resonate best with my audience.

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Tech-free player helps kids relax and reset

My oldest is a highly sensitive child, who feels his emotions with deep intensity. When he is happy, he is exuberant, when he is sad, he is distraught, and, when, he is angry, he is furious.

My youngest is a go-go-go type of child. His mind is always wandering, he is easily distracted, and he often has trouble calming down and focusing on what he needs to do.

For both of my kids, I have found helping them be more mindful of their bodies, their breathing and their feelings, has made handling some of the more challenging moments of parenting much easier.

When either of my children are inconsolable, I often sit with them and breathe with them until they are calm enough to talk about what is wrong and work on a solution.

I am always looking for tools to assist me in encouraging my children to learn how to regulate emotion, and for helping them get into the right mindset for sleep.

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American Academy Of Pediatrics to release puberty guide for all genders

I don’t remember much about “sex ed,” probably because, like most kid, I turned a lot of it out, and I was lucky to have a good working knowledge of puberty before I engaged in any formal classes.

What I do remember, or rather don’t remember, was learning much about what happens to boys, or kids born with male body parts (though the word trans was not in my vocabulary at the time). As a girl, the focus was on things like ovaries and periods, and breasts and babies. We weren’t learning about sperm or erections or ejaculation.

At the time, I didn’t think much of why we were separated along gender lines. I guess, like the teachers, I presumed only certain things were relevant to me. Why should I worry about what was happening to the boys when I had enough going on in my own body?

Now that I am older, and more aware of how important comprehensive puberty education is for all kids.

I am thrilled to see efforts being made to teach children about the changes bodies go through in an inclusive, informative and, dare I say, enjoyable experience.

One such effort comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose upcoming book You-ology provides an in-depth look at the changes all bodies go through.

Written by gynecologist Melissa Holmes, MD, FACOG, and pediatricians Trish Hutchison, MD and Kathryn Lowe, MD, FAAP, You-ology is a book guardians will appreciate, and children (ages 9-13) will find appealing.

Adults will love the book’s thorough and fact-driven guides to everything from menstruation to erections. And, young readers will enjoy how a recurring group of characters go through familiar experiences like growth spurts, sprouting hair in new places, and hormonal changes.

Unlike puberty books of the past, You-ology, is truly meant for all genders. Transgender, gender-nonconforming, non-binary and other gender diverse children and their guardians will find a wealth of information on navigating their unique puberty experiences, as will cisgender children and their families.

Beyond teaching young people about puberty, this book provides helpful tips for navigating the more challenging aspects of growing up, such as bullying and what to do when they encounter pornography.

Having a nine-year-old son who is about to go through puberty, and a six-year-old who isn’t far behind, I am grateful to have a copy of You-ology to help myself and my kids better understand what they will be going through on their journey to adulthood.

You-ology will be available for purchase in April 2022.

I am thrilled to see efforts being made to teach children about the changes bodies go through in an inclusive, informative and, dare I say, enjoyable experience. #aap Click To Tweet

Let them read books

Throughout history, adults have worried about what their kids read. On a small scale, this meant parents limiting what is read in the home. On a bigger scale, this has lead to banning books from schools, libraries and other public spaces.

Not long ago, a Tennessee school chose to ban Maus, a graphic novel inspired by real-life events during the Holocaust, for offensive language and imagery. The move was met with much outcry, as many thought banning this book does a disservice to the students who would benefit from reading this account of the Holocaust.

With rare exception, I believe children should have access to literature. I won’t even add the caveat “age appropriate,” because that term is so subjective and the ability to handle mature material varies greatly from child to child. Furthermore, I believe books are a great way to spark hard conversations.

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Creative ways to connect this Valentine’s Day

When my husband and I first got together, Valentine’s Day meant spending an evening out at a fancy restaurant. As we have gotten older, and have added kids to the mix, February 14th is more often celebrated at home with a meal we cooked ourselves and watching a favorite movie or T.V. show.

While going out for dinner is a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day, you may want to mix things up a bit this year.

Read on for some creative ways to connect this Valentine’s Day.

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