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For the first time since 22 month-old Summer was born, I’m now really getting to spend time with her.  Each morning. Just Summer. And me.

There are no morning naps to contend with anymore.  She’s outgrown them. There is no big sister racing around, spinning with energy and chattering away in an endless stream of nonsequitors.  Instead, Dylan is racing and spinning and chattering happily at preschool.

Just simple, present, precious time. With Summer.

A chance to know my baby, who really isn’t a baby at all.

And I had time with someone else this past weekend. My mother.  My fascinating, puzzling, passionate mother.

She is plowing her way through an aggressive social work program to earn her masters, so my time with her lately has been quite limited.

But she came up for a visit and the two of us were able to focus on each other.  This is always a challenge for us. Because frequently we are like two acquaintances, awkwardly stuck in an elevator together, who struggle to find common ground.

But this visit we made it work, made it click.

We went to yoga class together, had lunch and had conversations that went like this…

“Mom, why do you keep your money in a plastic ziploc bag?” I asked.

“It’s just easier. I keep the cash in one bag and credit cards in another,” my mom explained.

“But wouldn’t it be easier to have a, oh i don’t know, A WALLET.”

“No, I tried that. It didn’t really work for me.”

“Really? Because it works for the other 6 billion people on earth.”

“No, I like this better.”

“Ok. That’s cool.”

And we had substantive conversations too that focused less on ziploc bags and more on parenthood and relationships and life.

I’ve always been a girl on the go. I’ve got stuff to do and I want to get to it. But sometimes I can stop. Connect and just be.

The being can be the hardest part. But it’s also the part that ends up meaning the most.

mama bird notes:

Contributing mama Jordana bales has been facing a firestorm lately from her little, beautiful Ava. Click on contributing mamas to find out how she finally got things under control and got her mama confidence back.

A fellow mummy needs your help in the kitchen. She’s completely bored with what she’s serving up for her little girl. Click on askamama and give her your best kids meal.

For you New York mamas, a Fresh Direct giveaway worth $50! With crazy gas prices and a tumbling stock market, who couldn’t use some free groceries? Just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries this week and mention Fresh Direct. To win, you must live in New York City or surrounding areas where Fresh Direct delivers.

This offer is only for web orders. Limited time. May not be combined with any other offer. Offer is non-transferable and void where prohibited. The lawyers made me say all that stuff.


Have you been longing for my post debate analysis?  CNN tried to book me, but I told Wolf I had laundry to fold.

Yes, I did watch on Friday night.

Every minute of it, despite my inner boob tube demons that kept constantly urging me to watch Grey’s Anatomy on DVR instead.

I really didn’t feel like either candidate knocked it out of the auditorium. Obama certainly held his own on foreign policy. He did an excellent job of nailing home the point that we took our eye off Afghanistan and Bin Laden, the true villains of 9-11. Not Iraq.

But I thought McCain did a brilliant job of stressing his long history of experience without seeming like some old, disoriented man. His repeated comment to Obama, “What you don’t understand…” was very effective.

I’m not sure why McCain told us that the pen he was holding was really old. Maybe he was trying to look young and sprightly compared to his writing instrument.

And yeah, McCain stumbled over the name of Pakistan’s new president. But I seriously doubt most Americans can pronounce Asif Ali Zardari. And you know our current president doesn’t even realize there is a new president. So McCain is differentiating himself from Bush in that respect.

Of course, McCain also tripped over the name of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  But that seems kind of hard to say too.

I watched the debate with my mom, who’s in town for the weekend from North Carolina. She thought they both did a decent job discussing foreign policy. As for their appearance and behavior (you know, what REALLY counts)…

McCain: Good looking, although she thought he was rude with his repeated smirks.

Obama: Looked stately, more presidential. But he could put on a couple pounds.

I’m sure the french fries, pizza and milkshakes have already been ordered for Obama’s second debate prep. You know, to help him bulk up.

Of course, the real juicy debate will be next week between the man who has a penchant for saying some unpredictable things and the woman who has been passionate about foreign policy for a whole 3 weeks.

Grey’s Anatomy won’t even be a temptation.


I’ve been so erratic and all over the map lately. Really, I haven’t been a bit presidential. And now I’m thinking of suspending my blog so that I can focus solely on my angst.

Oh wait. I’m not running for President. I don’t need to suspend anything. I’ll just write about my stress (you know, rather than doing something actually constructive).

I’m completely overwhelmed by the kindergarten options for my daughter Dylan. Can you imagine if someone came up to me when I was a 20-something single girl, out drinking cocktails with my girlfriends and flirting with some guy in an Upper West Side bar and said to me, “Someday you will be freaking out so crazy about kindergarten choices.”

Oh no, not me. I would never be THAT pathetic.

But I am.

And at this point, I’m thinking we should just move out of Manhattan.

Last night I attended a THREE hour meeting at Dylan’s preschool to discuss kindergarten options… you know, private schools, public schools, talented and gifted programs, the ERB test, the OLSTAT test, the Stanford Binet test, the oh-my-gosh-I-have-no-friggin-idea-what-any-of-this-means-test, etc.

And you have to decide what’s best for your child and start applying RIGHT NOW. Well, actually three days BEFORE NOW.

And I had the additional pleasure of paying my babysitter $60 bucks for this experience.

So hence my current McCain-esque tailspin that is getting me nowhere.

When I got home, I was so brain-fried that I just put on the TV. I was excited that a new episode of “ER” was starting.  No spoiler here if you are an “ER” fan, but I’m finally convinced that it really is the most depressing show on television (Rick’s been insisting this for years).

I was sobbing. On my couch. Watching ER. By Myself.

Apparently, it really is possible to become even more pathetic.

But I’m going to get my act together. Because if the government can solve our crippling economic crisis than I can certainly get a handle on Dylan’s kindergarten choices. It just takes a little focus, homework and internal calmness –

What? Oh, lawmakers haven’t solved our country’s financial problems yet? Well, jeez. That’s just another thing to worry about.


I think if you live in Manhattan’s West Village, you should be guaranteed certain rights… like clean drinking water, routine garbage pick-up, reliable mail delivery and at least one Sarah Jessica Parker sighting.

But after 5 years of calling this neighborhood home, nothing.

NOTHING. Not one glimmer of SJP.

But I’m making a little progress.

Because earlier this week, my friend Julie and I were strolling along Waverly Place, when we saw the hubby. Matthew Broderick. So I asked the great Ferris Bueller… did you cheat on your sensational, fabulous, fashionista wife?

And he said nothing. But you know what, that might not entirely be his fault because I may not have actually asked the question out loud. It’s probably more accurate to say I just thought it.

Officially, his publicist has released a “no comment’ on the rumors.

Anyway, Ferris seemed a bit intrigued by us and our strollers.  Maybe because we both have the double decker Phil and Ted strollers – although it can’t be his first Phil and Ted experience because they are pretty common in the city.  It looks like this…

How else can you maneuver a double stroller in and out of quaint, cramped stores?

But if Ferris had questions about our brilliant stroller system, he kept quiet. That guy is very big on the no comment.

Not the case for everyone in my hood.

The other day, I pushed my stroller into a local coffee shop and a man peered down at Summer and said to her…

“You poor baby. All strapped in like that. It must be torture.”

“Trust me, if anyone is being tortured in this scenario, it’s me,” I responded laughing. I had endured a great deal of whining that morning.

“I don’t feel sorry for mothers. You chose this. No one forced you.”

Holy double caffe latte what?!

Hmm… what would Sarah (no, not Palin) do in this scenario?

I looked around the shop and another mother gave me a look that said, forget it girl. He’s not worth the effort.

She was right.

So I said nothing, grabbed my latte, aimed my Phil and Ted’s towards the door and headed out.

mama bird notes:

Contributing mama Daphne Biener faces some tough questions from the playground about God, goblins and magic. You might just start to believe. Click on contributing mamas to read more.


My husband has never really been all that handy. I know some of you are married to guys who can fix a leaky pipe while putting together a piece of Ikea furniture while watching a ball game.

Rick? Well, he’s got that ball game part down. Solid.

But my husband has countless other skills like spotting celebrities, juggling and singing in tune so I’ll be sitting pretty when I open up my own little community theater.

As a result we have a lot of little stuff in our apartment that just needs fixing and we can’t quite figure how to actually make that happen. Because I’m clueless too.

I wish I could do it all… kill a moose, drag it back with my bare hands and then fix that broken closet door knob, but it’s just not me.  (That last sentence was inspired by the multi-talented, multi-tasking Sarah Palin, but should in no way be read as an endorsement of such candidate.)

So I was a little apprehensive when we ordered the most adorable, pink retro bike for Dylan.

That arrived in a big box.

Needing some assembly.

But man, did my husband make it happen.

Now the handle bars were a little crooked and the seat was too high and the front light didn’t quite work.

And as Dylan set off on her first official spin, the left pedal did fall off.

And then a few yards later, it fell off again.

Listen Dylan, no one said riding a bike is easy.

But Rick is not a man who accepts failure. His girl would ride. So he ran back home, grabbed the wrench he borrowed from our super and fixed that little retro number. And off she went on the most lovely of September days.

And I understood the moment perfectly. This is just the beginning of a trillion moments to come where I watch with pride as my little girl pedals away.

Of course, 14 seconds later, I chased after her and grabbed her handle bars so she wouldn’t careen into some pedestrians and flip over the curb.

But still, for a few moments, it was joyful to just watch that little pinkalicious girl fly.

mama bird notes:

Miriam is the winner of the fabulous travel brush set from Design Brushes.  Miriam, email me at kelcey@mamabirddiaries.com with your mailing address. More giveaways to come!

kelcey kintner