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I can’t believe I told you about my big disco night out in Memphis and never mentioned the most totally awesomely awkward part.

The bathroom.

Thank you to Janna (my brother-in-law’s sister which makes her my 3rd cousin or something) for the reminder.

You see Raiford’s, now known as Hollywood Disco, has one of those bathrooms with NO stall doors.

Never been in one?

You are missing out ladies.

You see, you get to pee while sitting next to someone (most likely a stranger) who is also peeing.

And since there are no stall doors and only a partial divider between you and the other lucky gal,  you can make eye contact, use each other’s toilet paper and share witty banter… ALL while peeing in unison, or not in unison if you’re more of the independent type.

Or if you’re more like me, you’re just TRYING to pee.  Because really, I could have 16 draft beers, only to walk into this very public ladies room and suddenly I absolutely can’t go at all. Not one little drop.

I don’t know how guys do it standing side by side at the trough.

Apparently the woman’s bathroom at Raiford’s just underwent a renovation too.

There used to be a mirror in front of the toilets so you could actually get glimpses of other gals’ privates.

I’m sorry I missed those glory days.

I need a stall door.

Just a little privacy to do my lady business.


So Christmas in Tennessee turned out to be awesomely cool.

And not just because you can fill up your tank, grab a packet of condoms and pick up a fresh salmon roll all in the same establishment.


You just can’t get that kind of convenience up North.

My sister and brother-in-law were incredible hosts and party masters. My brother-in-law, Erik,  can cook up shrimp etouffee, gourmet turkey meatballs, three kinds of quiche, manicotti and still has time to party with us like a Memphis rock star.


Yeah… I’m still not showing you Erik’s face. I like my brother-in-law cloaked in mystery.

One night all of us danced until 2:30 in the morning. But at one point late night, I looked around and thought, “Who let in all the dumb, underage kids?”

Apparently, they were in their mid 20s.

This is my sister Quinn on the dance floor.  Notice the focus. Notice that when there’s a fog machine, your body just sort of takes the lead.


And not to be outdone. Here’s my mom a little earlier in the day showing us her tap moves, adding a splash of the Rockettes.


No fog machine or cocktails required.

Oh and this weekend, my sweet mom learned about this ritzy new technology called the iPhone.  She noticed that 4 year-old Dylan is really intrigued with the gadget and started asking questions.

Apparently the Apple marketing team has not been targeting the 65 year-old former tap dancer, current Buddhist, now getting a masters degree in social work demographic. I don’t know what they’re spending their advertising dollars on.

My girls loved their holiday in Memphis. Look at my little one in her sweet Santa dress and too cute red hair bow…


Oh you don’t think that’s my kid? Man, you are like eagle eye over there. Ok. That’s my sister’s adorable niece, Abby.  My girls dressed more like this…


There is something so lovely about the traditional wedding veil and…


the acrylic, Dream of Jeannie, halter top on Christmas eve.  Super sweet Memphis mama Martha loaned the girls these cute dress up clothes. Honestly, I don’t know why I even bothered packing actual clothes.

On Sunday, we were sort of  sad, super sad, ridiculously sad to pack up, say goodbye and head home.

Summer was obviously the saddest because she had to give up her little princess green halter top.

She dreams of a magical day when she heads back down South and they are reunited once again.

mama bird notes:

I wanted to give a big congratulations to my newest contributing mama Diane LeBleu. Her most recent mama bird post, “Merry Christmas! I Have Breast Cancer!” was just reprinted on the awesome New York Times’ Motherlode blog.  Click here to visit Motherlode and Diane’s piece.


I have one of those hacking coughs right now.

The kind where people stare at me on the street and are either…

A) Panicked because they think I am choking and are contemplating whether they have time to save me because they’re already late for a 2 pm blow-out appointment at their hair salon so they can look extra sassy for the holidays or…

B) They curse me because they think I am spreading some kind of nasty, dangerous virus or…

C) They judge me because I  absolutely must have a 2 pack a day cigarette habit to sound this horrendous.

There’s a lot of phlegm involved with this cough. It’s super sexy. Just ask my husband. He mentioned that I coughed in his face last night. Look, if he can’t recognize a little foreplay, his loss.

So despite this cough and the crazy cold weather here in New York, I headed out this weekend to get a pedicure. And then I walked home in the freezing hail in my flip flops.


Yeah my toes were cold. But it’s so much better than ruining a perfectly good pedicure.

That color is black onyx.

The guy next to me at the nail place was getting the very same color. That’s how life usually rolls in the West Village.

Anyway, it’s been so darn cold the last couple days, that I’ve actually been going out like this…


How ridiculous and dorky do I look? As I get older, I’m getting closer and closer to that pilly ski hat a certain relative of mine always likes to wear when the temperature drops.

Mom, you know I would never out you or your fashion choices on this blog.

Anyway, my dumb winter hat kind of makes me long for the days of the summer visor.


When I looked just as dorky, but I was so much warmer.

But I am gratefully headed for warmer weather tomorrow. We are flying to Memphis for the holiday.  You can bet my Jewish husband never thought he’d one day be celebrating Christmas in Tennessee. He’s just praying for some tasty southern BBQ.

I can’t wait to show everyone my black onyx toes.

And if I don’t see you at Graceland, Happy Christmas to all.

mama bird notes
These days contributing mama Karen Palmer Bland is trying to explain to her kids why Santa won’t be stopping at their Jewish home this holiday season. To read more of this hilarious post, click on contributing mamas.


So guess who fell off the Tito’s vodka wagon?


Oh yes, just a couple days on the cheap stuff and my husband is already back to drinking his glitzy Grey Goose. Some people simply have no recession willpower.

What’s that Rick? Oh, he wants me to tell you that he bought it on sale in Jersey.

It still cost more than Tito’s. I can promise you.

Well, no matter because I already have another genius way we can save just bundles.

Like some of you, we still have gifts to buy. I was kind of stressing over the whole thing until I saw this sign in the West Village.


Yes, That’s Benny’s Burritos! Now it just seems so obvious. Buy all your loved ones a Benny’s Burritos gift certificate for Christmas and Hanukkah!  Nothing rings in the holidays like a Chicken Chipotle burrito.

And if you’re looking for free activities… Well, Santa is totally free (you know, if you don’t count the cab ride there and the overpriced hot chocolate afterwards).

Summer hesitantly put in her x-mas order…


But Dylan wasn’t getting anywhere near that jolly, obviously untrustworthy guy from up North…


“Dylan, don’t you want to tell Santa what you want for Christmas,” I asked.

“No. Daddy is telling him what I want,” she responded.

Apparently, she’s got the gift thing covered. That girl sure knows how to delegate.

After visiting with Santa, Summer tried to convince her daddy that he should buy her this little stuffed deer.


The cost for this mini deer at ABC Home & Carpet?


Completely true.

If Summer wants that dumb deer, she better go back and have a little chat with Santa. Because her ‘rents are too busy blowing their money on overpriced vodka.

P.S. Happy Hanukkah to everyone.


We pretty much celebrate every holiday around here. Well, not Arbor Day because that holiday is pure evil, my friends. But definitely all the rest.

mama bird notes
This holiday season is truly about gratitude for all our precious gifts and the strength to face our challenges. Contributing mama Diane LeBleu shares her challenge in an honest, beautiful piece called, “Merry Christmas! I Have Breast Cancer!” Click here to read more.

Jodie and Tammy won The Children’s Place giftcards. Congrats ladies! Send your mailing address to Kelcey@mamabirddiaries.com and I’ll send these giftcards along.


I really dig certain Christmas traditions.

Like as a kid, I can still remember taking the Metro North train into the city with my mom and sister to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Because in a life that could be somewhat unpredictable, there was always something very comforting about that ornate, old familiar music hall and those reliable, power-kicking Rockettes.

So I really wanted to take my 4 year-old this year. I just knew she would be dazzled by the entire experience.

“Hey Dylan, do you want to go see a show with Santa Claus?” I asked. My voice emanating holiday glee.

“No,” she responded, her voice much less gleeful.

“Oh. Well, there will be dancers too! And they all dance in this really straight line and kick their legs so high, you won’t believe it. Doesn’t that sound so cool? You love dancing. Do you want to go?”


“But remember last year, you loved that show with Elmo and everyone else from Sesame Street.”

“I’ll go to a show with Elmo.”

“But Dylan, this show doesn’t have Elmo but it’s going to be just as great. Umm…. I guess I could just take your sister instead.”

“Yeah, take Summer.”

What?! Oh crap. That totally backfired.

Ok. Must think of new strategy to force my kid to go to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular so she can be DAZZLED.

A couple days later, I hesitantly tell Dylan I’m picking her up early at school so we can run some errands together. She is thrilled that we are taking the subway and doesn’t inquire further.

As we arrive at Radio City Music Hall, surrounded by mobs of tourists, she finally asks, “Where are we?”

“Oh, honey, we are just running some errands. Mommy needs to check this out real quick. Here, have a $10 bag of cotton candy. Do you want a bucket of popcorn too?”

That shut Miss Curious up in a hurry.

So we sit down.

And the lights dim and the orchestra starts playing.

And she is mesmerized.

Impressive dance numbers starring the Rockettes. A flying Santa. Fake snow falling from the majestic theater ceiling. Even 3D effects. Man, they really souped up this show.

And the ending – Oh my gosh. The ending! Oh wait. We missed that. Dylan got tired and wanted to check out this new car on display in the lobby.


And then she said to me,

“Mom, this car smells a lot better than our car.”

Oh, honey, that’s the magic of the holidays.

mama bird notes

On a sadder note…. My friend Rachel just wrote to me about a 12 year-old boy named Lucas Goldbaum. He has an inoperable brain tumor and his mother is trying to raise money for a very expensive, experimental vaccine that looks like Lucas’ only hope. She is trying to raise $250,000 by December 31st. Any donations are appreciated.  Even a few dollars.

Make your check payable to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In the check notation, please write, “In honor of Lucas Goldbaum. Mail to KC Miller, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Blvd, Suite 2416, LA, CA, 90048.

For more information on Lucas Goldbaum and this fundraising effort, email me at kelcey@mamabirddiaries.com.

And a quick reminder… I’m giving away two $30 gift cards to The Children’s Place. Just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries this week and you are entered. Just mention your  desire for one of these gift cards so I know you are interested in the giveaway. Good luck birdies!

kelcey kintner