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I need a parenting manual. Seriously, where do I get one of those?

I know my older daughter Dylan never wanted to move to Florida. I could tell because she did subtle things like leave a note every night by my bedside saying, “PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME MOVE.” And there were a lot of tears.

We promised her swimming, new friends, an adventure, a summer that never ends!

She responded by saying that sledding was the passion of her life.

I honestly thought that once we got into the groove of the sunshine state (which by the way, they are totally not kidding about because the sun here is fierce) that she would be happy. She was in 3rd grade. She’d be fine. Kids are resilient. Kids go with the flow!

There was no flow. She cried about missing her best friend and at one point, through streams of tears said, “But what about Lucas!” Who the hell was Lucas (name has been changed to protect some boy I never heard of), I thought? Apparently he had been in her class in New York for the last two years and now his absence was crushing.

Her school (although academically rigorous) was too big with very short recesses, strict rules and less focus on the arts than her New York school. Both my daughters had great teachers but somehow, Dylan’s spirit was wilting.

I tried to honor her feelings. I tried to tell her to be brave and keep moving forward. Sometimes in frustration, I told her to be more grateful for all the wonderful things in her life. Sometimes I just hugged her through my own tears because I honestly had no words.  What was I supposed to say, I wondered?

So this year I moved Dylan and her younger sister Summer to a much smaller charter school. With no bus service, I’m doing a lot more driving and I’m pretty convinced that Florida is the most gigantic state ever. Like way bigger than Texas. I’m sure of it.

I could barely breathe the first day of school as I waited to find out how it all went.


And at the end of the day, I got a “good” from Dylan. By the end of the week, we were still in the good territory and she said her teacher was very nice. This was promising indeed.

Then we went to the beach.  It was a gorgeous day and we found a great parking spot. We splashed into the water with our boogie boards where it quickly became clear that the jellyfish were out in full force.

After a young girl was stung, we quickly retreated to the shore where Dylan downward spiraled into a pit of misery about not being able to swim, missing New York, her friends, her old school and of course sledding.

Damn you jellyfish.

Of course, she has recovered. And her second week of school seems to be going well.

I still can’t quite exhale.

I only hope that someday when she faces tough challenges in life she’ll be able to say, “My parents made me move to Florida. And it was really hard. But now I know I can survive anything.”

I’m guessing she’ll be saying it from her apartment in New York.


Kelcey sent her husband Rick this email…

Rick, I was thinking about a couple things. I love when you make the bed! And I love the way one corner always touches the floor. It brings me back to the days of my asymmetrical haircut in high school.


Rick responded…

I don’t know what you are talking about.


Kelcey responded…

Me: Photo attached. See how one corner lovingly grazes the floor?

rick makes the bed

Rick wrote….

I think it looks great. And a lot of husbands don’t make beds.


Kelcey wrote…

True. And lots of women don’t look as radiant in red as I do – so let’s call it even.


Rick wrote…

Good point. Was there anything else more pressing you wanted to discuss?


Kelcey wrote…

There’s the issue of how much I love that Pina Colada song. You know, the one that goes, “If you like Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain. If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain.”


Rick wrote…

I see you’re still listening to that 70′s station in the car. 


Kelcey wrote…

It’s funny that such a sweet song is really about two people trying to cheat on each other. They both place personal ads for gosh sakes. That takes some effort. 


Rick wrote…

Maybe they needed to  go through all that to find each other again.


Kelcey wrote…

I’m so glad that you feel that way because I just placed a personal ad.


Rick wrote…

Fantastic! Keep me posted on any developments. Anything else we need to talk about? 


Kelcey wrote…

I really really really want to go to Italy. We haven’t been since Dylan and Summer were little and I just need some Europe.


Rick wrote…

That would  amazing. Let’s price it out!


Kelcey wrote…

I did! It’s about a million dollars for flights and lodging.


Rick wrote…

Does that include our checked bags?


Kelcey wrote…



Rick wrote…

So we’ll just get Italian food this weekend instead?


Kelcey wrote….

Yeah, that sounds good. Gotta run. Xo


Rick: Love you.


Liked this post? Check out Emails in a Marriage Part 1 and Part 2!


My 7 and 9 year old really really like clothes. Like when their younger cousin gave us hand-me-downs (sizes 4T, 5T & 6) for my youngest daughter, the older girls snatched them up and started creating all kinds of crazy outfits.

Outfits that required me to say things like, “You’re too young to wear a half shirt. In fact, never wear a half shirt.”

(I guess Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel has some competition when it comes to wearing size 4T.)

They also love new clothes – mostly from the cult of Justice. My daughters can not walk by that place in the mall without being lured in by some kind of sparkly magnetic force. The bonus? I make my girls buy clothes is their actual size. The downside? I have to pay money.

So I was pretty intrigued to find out about MoxieJean. Have you ever heard of this site? It is awesome. And you know I don’t use the word lightly. Awesome is used for things like finding out Milli Vanilli is putting out a new album. That’s the kind of threshold I’m talking about.

MoxieJean is an upscale resale site for kids that features cool brands like Juicy, Justice, Ralph Lauren, Mini Boden, Gap, Hanna Andersson and much more. Because the items are preowned, they are about 75% off. But this stuff looks completely new.

There’s no picking through racks. You can go on the site and shop for your kids like any other website but it’s soooo much cheaper.

Here’s how the girls felt when they opened the box. See if you can detect any enthusiasm…

MoxieJean gave me a $35 gift card and I spent $20 of my own money. And we ended up with 5 items that my girls love. Like LOVE.

MoxieJean Clothes

Dylan and Summer did a mini fashion show…

.Dylan in MoxieJean dress

Summer in MoxieJean outfit

Dylan outside in MoxieJean

Dylan - last photo MoxieJean

Ah… that last photo brings me back to the days of Barbizon Modeling School when I had great dreams of being the first 5′ 3″ supermodel. It’s so weird that never panned out.

None of these clothes looks preowned. In fact, some still had the tags. Even cooler, you can make money or credit towards future purchases by sending your own kids clothes to be sold on the site. (Just make sure they are in excellent like-new condition.)

So ready to do some back to school shopping? Visit MoxieJean. Use the coupon code LOOK4LESS19 and get $10 of Moxie Money for every $50 you spend. (Or $25 for every $100 you spend.)

Also enter our giveaway!

This year, the average family will spend a hefty $355 on back to school clothes. So we’re giving away a MoxieJean Back to School Wardrobe gift card for $177.50 – the winner will be able to get a full back to school wardrobe for HALF of what it would cost new!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Moxie Jean. The opinions and text are all mine.


girl-scoutcook-4I was thinking of signing my older girls up for Girl Scouts again this year.

Honestly, it would mostly be for direct access to an unlimited amount of Samoas but I also like that it’s character building to sell cookies door to door. The organization also teaches good values and the importance of volunteer work.

I was also thinking of not doing it because I loathe putting on those patches.

And because my daughter once fell in a shark tank during a Girl Scout outing but that was hardly their fault.

Last week, there was a very nice Girl Scouts representative at my daughters’ new school and I decided to sign up for more information.

Just a few hours later, I received a warm, professional email from this representative (a parent and local Girl Scout leader) inviting us to a BBQ  so my girls could meet some of the other Girl Scouts members.

Fabulous, I thought!

And then I looked at the woman’s email address.

DirtyChristianWoman at yahoo dot com.

Wait, what?!

So I googled the woman’s name and quickly found her blog called…. Confessions of a Dirty Christian. (I see a theme here.) I tentatively clicked on it, half assuming it would immediately begin funneling money out of my bank account and into some kind of international sex ring.

But it was not a scam.

And even more surprising – not a porno site.

But instead, a blog focused on this woman’s religious beliefs and practice.

She explains… “Before you get all up in arms assuming that this is some pornographic symposium, let me explain…. I label myself “dirty” as a means of expressing the “imperfect/sinful” nature of my heart. As a Christian woman the blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has made me clean, but my heart continues to sin or remain dirty until I bath in the Lords forgiveness through daily prayer in confession.”

I certainly support everyone’s personal religious beliefs. People have a right to practice whatever faith they believe in. But as a parent and Girl Scouts leader, is it really necessary or professional to have an email address calling yourself a DirtyChristianWoman?


We didn’t end up going to the BBQ because we had plans. And because I hadn’t had time to come up with a fun new email address for myself. I mean, I’m not going to be outdone by the Girls Scouts.

I haven’t made any final decisions but kelcey@HotSexyMama.com is totally a contender.


My 9 year old daughter, almost 10, has wanted a phone for awhile. And by awhile, I mean, forever. Like her life is ruined if she doesn’t get one soon. Of course, her life is also ruined if we run out of her favorite chips.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that she heard Pantech had a first phone for tweens because suddenly I heard from the company. The conversation went something like this.

Pantech PR woman: Pantech has this great new phone for tweens. Would you like to review it and also give one away to your readers?

Me: Did Dylan call you?

Pantech PR woman: Who’s Dylan?

Me: Oh you know who she is. Your partner in crime. The clever 9 year old who is trying to get a phone. The one who called you to set this whole thing up.

Pantech PR woman: I’m not sure what you’re talking about but I’d be happy to give you more information about the Pantech Vybe phone.

Me: Man, she trained you well.

So Pantech sent me a phone for Dylan and her younger sister Summer to try out. This is how they felt when the phone arrived…

And the Pantech Vybe truly is a great first phone. It has a large touchscreen display, a slide-out keyboard (which is perfect for little fingers), an easy camera button, messaging, videos, Bluetooth, access to social media (if you want that for your kid) and more.

That’s the part my kids liked.

This is the part I liked….

It’s VERY affordable. It’s available at AT & T for only $29.99 with a 2 year contract.

Plus, all you have to do is disable the data usage and you can prevent you kids from using Facebook, Twitter, email and the Internet. That leaves old school phone calls and texting which is exactly how I like it.

Plus you know this company is smart because they bought the web address MyFirstPhone.com. Which was a much smarter purchase than MothersForJustinBieber.com. (Yes, I bought that address and no it didn’t really pan out.) I never invest in the right things.

Anyway, because the folks at Pantech are super cool, they are giving away one of these phones. Yes, that’s right. To one of you.

Just leave a comment on this site mentioning Pantech. Like… “If I had a son, I would totally name him Pantech” or “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GIVE ME THIS PANTECH PHONE.” Something like that.

(Also, if you want to be entered twice, make sure you have liked Pantech and the Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook).

Good luck ladies. xo

This is a sponsored post for Pantech. All ideas are my own. 

kelcey kintner

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