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Feb
26
2008

I was looking at one of my old scrap books from college. And I was just so YOUNG. With such large hair.

3 1/2 year old Dylan pointed to a picture of me from sophomore year.

Dylan: Who’s that?

Me: That’s me.

Dylan: But you don’t look like a mommy. (I guess mommy’s don’t have power bangs). Where am I?

Me: You weren’t born yet.

Dylan: I was a baby?

Me: No. Not a baby. Not even a little sparkle. (How could I have ever imagined such a creative, beautiful, frustrating, sweet spirit with golden curls was headed my way?)

I wish I could go back there. To those moments in the pictures. I want to laugh with my college friends. I want to have a crush on some guy in economics class and then find out he likes me too.

I want to be more gentle with other people’s hearts. I want to make some of the same choices and some different ones too.

My life is soooooooo completely different now.

Take the Academy Awards. I am a sucker for these shows. I get all caught up like somebody is going to give me a gold naked statuette to honor all my hard labor. I’ve twice been nominated for best multiple loads of laundry in one single night, but always lose out to this chick Meryl somebody.

So I’m trying to watch the preshow red carpet gabfest. I like to survey the gowns and cringe at the awkward interviews.

Poor Felicity (well, that’s what I still call her) was asked why kids should study math (a taped question from a young viewer). Keri Russell simply mustered up a, “It’s important for kids to go to school.” Yeah, right. Unless you can make millions as a celeb. Then who needs math? Just hire a money manager.

But my runway show was temporarily interrupted for a viewing of, “Elmo’s World.”

Turns out Elmo, like many of the stars, was also wearing red. He looked good, although I would have loved to have seen his matted hair in a sleek ponytail.

Once the kiddos were tucked in and re-tucked, I could really focus on Oscar and his 80 years. But it’s hard to root for your fave flick when you really haven’t seen any of them. Plus, with no friends over, the Oscar pool was a bit on the paltry side. Rick always wins the pot anyway so I just handed him 10 bucks.

But earlier that evening, Rick and I took our kids to Tortilla Flats, a Mexican restaurant down the block. Every weekend, this place is bachelor party central, but at 6 pm on a Sunday night, it’s pretty mellow.

The girls were incredibly content, groovin’ to the music and eating copious amounts of tortilla chips. Rick and I were talking and laughing and connecting.

This moment. This is what I always wanted. All along.

As a 19 year-old college student, I dreamed that someday, I would meet this guy, who just somehow was right for me. We would have a family and we would be happy. Not all the time. But a good chunk of the time.

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever get to this place. But I hoped. I dreamed.

So as I sat there at this Mexican restaurant eating my enchiladas verde, I realized that it had indeed all come true. This is happy, I thought. This is definitely happy.

So why do I want to go back and be that 19 year-old again? I guess because there was so much ahead of me. Of course, there still is. I only have to witness my 65 year-old mother, who is going back to school this summer to earn a Master’s in Social Work, to remember that.

But in my life, choices have definitely been made. Roads have been taken. And although I wouldn’t give up my current life for anything, there are moments sometimes when I long to be at the beginning of the story.

mama bird notes

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Contributing mama Daphne Biener has electrifying chills for a certain musical. Hmm… I wonder which one. Click on contributing mamas to read more.

And a mama needs your help with some sibling rivalry. Click on askamama and share your brilliance.


Feb
24
2008

So I’ve been waiting. Waiting for this hamburger phone (a promotional item from the crazy good movie “Juno”)

juno-phone.jpg

to be removed from my husband’s side of the bureau. It was given to Rick about a month or so ago at a movie screening. Now, day after day, it sits there. With no purpose. Just taking up space. Apparently, just in case Rick happens to wake up one day with a fierce hankering to reach out and touch someone with a hamburger. So far this has not happened.

Normally, I (AKA Anti-Clutter Patrol Chief) would just make it disappear. But now I’m sort of fascinated by how long he’ll let that burger just hang out there. If only the burger had a close friend – like an iPod in the shape of a side of fries.

Due to our limited closet space, Rick did recently clean out his closet and found this gem: a pair of stylin’ leather pants circa 2000.

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It was in the Goodwill pile until I coerced him into trying the pants on. So we laughed about how we used to go out for dinner, both wearing our cool, trendy leather pants. God, I wish I was kidding.

And then Rick says, “Maybe I should keep them.”

Me: What?!

Rick: Well, you know, just in case, I dress up as a cowboy someday for Halloween.

Me: Oh. That seems kind of… I don’t know… UNLIKELY. You hate dressing up for Halloween. And don’t cowboys wear jeans anyway?! I thought they’re all about the denim.

Rick: Hmm… I don’t know.

We both momentarily ponder a cowboy’s wardrobe but come up with no definitive answer.

Rick decides to keep the leather pants. Oh snap. That’s when it really hits me. That Juno hamburger phone ain’t going nowhere.

Meanwhile, we recently woke up to snow in New York City. This means pushing and yanking my stroller through this…

stroller-in-snow.jpg

And sloshing through massive puddles like this…

big-puddle.jpg

And if that didn’t slow me down enough, walking takes an excruciatingly long time because…

dylan-with-snowball.jpg

3 1/2 year-old Dylan wants to explore every inch of snow, even though her sister is pretty Les Misérables in the stroller. But there is reason to celebrate because the post office is nearly empty due to the nasty weather. And after we’ve mailed our packages, Dylan takes the opportunity to pee just outside.

dylan-using-potty.jpg

This should be sufficient proof for all you nonbelievers in the portable potty. With that done, we can go home and change into warm, dry, pink clothes.

dylan-in-tutu.jpg

By the weekend, the snow had mostly melted and that’s when Princess Katie and Racer Steve rocked our Sunday. I am definitely not one to swoon over children’s tunes but this band mixes all kinds of music (like rock, swing and funk) with shot glasses of humor and attitude. But it’s mostly the tiara that I love. This is Princess Katie. Pretty cool, right?
princess-katie.jpg

With my wedding behind me (yes, of course, I wore a tiara. As if I would miss that opportunity.) and no bachelorette parties on the horizon, I’m always looking for new venues where it’s acceptable and even encouraged to don a tiara. There is no quicker way to go from feeling sort of drab to simply fabulous.

And I’m telling you, at the Princess Katie and Racer Steve concert, I spotted moms wearing their sparkly head pieces proudly. Now Dylan did this…

dylan-pouty.jpg

And Summer did some of this…

summer-with-coffee.jpg

Oh please. I only let her drink coffee on the weekends. But most of the time, Miss Pouty and Miss Caffeine were unbelievably entranced and enthralled with Princess Katie and her crew. I wonder if Katie is looking for an assistant to polish that tiara. Maybe she’d even let me wear it now and then.


Feb
21
2008

My husband and I have been arguing about waffles. Or more accurately, the syrup.

Rick believes 14-month-old Summer should get waffles WITH syrup. In his opinion, waffles WITHOUT syrup is like mac without cheese, Brad without Jen Angelina or shake without the bake.

On the other side, I believe that Summer gets plenty of sugar the rest of the day (I view sweets as a fun let’s-get-in-the-stroller-and-be-happy motivator). Plus, our carb lovin’ younger daughter seems quite content with just a little butter on her waffles (Of course, I butter them! I’m not Mommy Dearest for god’s sake).

So how do we end this waffle war? Now, keep in mind, my record is clear. I always voted against the waffle war and Rick initially voted for the war but now wants to cut and run. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. I think I’m watching too much primary election coverage.

While you are pondering all that, please enlighten me about another matter. Can my 3 1/2 year old actually hear me? This is how it works in my house.

Me: Dylan, what do you want for dinner?

Dylan: (silence)

Me: Dylan! What do you want for dinner?

Dylan: (silence)

Me: Dylan, can you hear me?

Dylan: (silence)

Me: Ok, if you can’t answer me then no books or “Sesame Street” tonight. And heck, while we’re at it, no dinner or dessert either.

Dylan: Grilled cheese.

In contrast, I wish I could tout my own stellar listening skills. But I really can’t. For example, when we go to a restaurant, and the waiter comes to tell us the specials, this is what I hear.

Waiter: Good Evening. Tonight we have the steamed artichoke for an appetizer… I wonder if we have to pay the babysitter’s cabfare home if we get back before 11 pm…. These spanks are really digging into my stomach. Would anyone notice if I pulled them down just a bit…. I really need a pedicure. Is there anyway to possibly bring two kids to a nail salon? No, that’s ridiculous. Hey that might be a money maker. A nail salon with a kid’s play area! Simply brilliant! Wait, actually that’s not good. All those chemicals… And for dessert we have a red velvet cake with a vanilla icing. Let me know if you have any questions.

Wait, what happened? I didn’t hear any of the specials! Is there a fish dish? A grilled sea bass or breaded halibut, by chance? Should I ask him to repeat it? Oh, he’s walking away. Damn. I’ll just order off the menu.

Dylan and I may need to work on our listening skills.

Meanwhile, let me update you on my zen go-with-the-crazy flow parenting techniques.

3 1/2 year-old Dylan continues to wear 14 month-old Summer’s sleep sacks to bed – EVERY NIGHT. Of course, I always try to tuck Dylan in without one. The other night she says to me, “Mommy, you ALWAYS forget my sleep sack.” Sorry girl. Don’t know what is wrong with me.

Then Dylan started wearing layers and layers of Summer’s clothing around the apartment.

And now she wears Summer’s clothing wherever we go. This is Dylan stuffed into Summer’s winter jacket.

dylan-2.jpg

You’ll notice the sleeves are just a smidge short and it’s all a bit snug.

Would you let your kid out like this? I’m either so chill or such a pushover. She can’t look that odd because she got THREE compliments in Starbucks on her outfit. Me? Not a one.

mama bird notes

Last night, I saw a beautifully shot documentary about human endurance and spirit that just lifted my soul. You don’t always get that kind of soul lifting on a week night. This is one incredible movie. Click on drooling over this to read more.


Feb
18
2008

There is a restaurant in New York City called the Waverly Inn. You can’t simply call and make a reservation. I mean, com’on. That would be ludicrous.

You have to know someone who knows someone who knows the secret number or email address or spy code and then, if all the planets turn just so, you get a reservation. Or you can show up in person and beg and sob and plead some more and hopefully they will squeeze you in at 5:30 pm or perhaps 10:45 pm, if that’s more convenient for you.

It’s insulting. It’s pretentious. It’s aggravating.

So, of course, I really wanted to go. I’m not proud of this. But I wanted a peak at this super secret celeb society, run by Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair.

We scored a reservation through a friend of my husband’s. You know who you are and I hope the gift of a future child is enough to repay you for your overwhelming generosity. We tend to have girls around here so I hope you are ok with that (I have found girls to be just delightful and I’m sure you will love yours madly).

The Waverly Inn is very quaint and charming inside. The food is well, so-so. But forget the food, WHO IS THERE?

Me: Honey, go to the bathroom and see if there are any celebrities here. (My husband has incredible celebrity radar. He’ll see a flash of some woman’s ear and say, “that’s Nicole Eggert from “Charles in Charge.”)

Rick: I don’t have to go.

Me: Please. Because if I go to the bathroom first, I’ll notice no one and then you’ll go later and see Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow and Colin Farrell. And I’ll be just completely annoyed. So please go first.

Rick: Honey…

Me: Pleassssssssssssssssssssssssssse. Come on. Pleassssssssssssssssssssssssssssse.

Rick: Fine. I’ll go.

Rick heads off to the loo and comes back with this report.

Rick: Charlie Rose (PBS tv host), Michael Stipes (R.E.M lead singer) and Salman Rushdie (the controversial Indian-British novelist who hid for a decade because of a Iranian fatwa, ordering his execution) are here. They are all seated on the right hand side as you head to the bathrooms.

Damn. I’m not really into Charles, Michael or Salman. No offense to the Rushdie party at table 17, but who wants to hang in a restaurant with a guy who’s had an Iranian death threat hanging over him for years and years? Yeah, that’s definitely not how I roll.

No Sarah Jessica? No Gwyneth? Are you sure? Sigh.

I try to sashay across the dining room as if I am indeed someone famous and fabulous. But alas, I am not. Well, at least there’s no line for the ladies room.

And I finally have the Waverly out of my system.

Meanwhile, we did the birthday party circuit this weekend. On Sunday, I took Dylan to Carter’s birthday party. Carter is this sweet, too cute boy from Dylan’s preschool. All the kiddos had such a blast, except for my Dyl pickle.

The girl just doesn’t like crowds or most group activities, so she basically sat in my lap and waited for cake.

2 hours of waiting. Just. for. cake.

Of course, after the birthday cake, everyone put on their coats to go home. I told Dylan it was time to leave and she cries, “But I didn’t get a chance to play! I want to play.”

I can hardly breathe I’m so frustrated.

As she sobs, I put her jacket on.

We get outside. She recovers a bit and says, what’s that song from my yoga class?

“Take a deep breathe, sit up tall, rub your hands, Ommmmmmmm,” I sing to her.

It’s like somewhere deep down, she knows I am the one who needs to stay calm, to keep breathing.

Finally, something Dylan does love intensely (just like her nanny)…. flowers.

dylan-smelling-flowers-1.jpg

She always makes a point to stop and sniff the roses, or the hydrangea or the daisies or the carnations. As she takes in the sweet essences, she murmurs, “They are so beautiful. So beautiful.”

Right back at you, babe.

mama bird notes

Buffy is the winner of the new fragrance from Lacoste, the limited edition Dream of Pink! Sweet scents are coming your way.

Contributing mama Daphne Biener is here with a tale from the h20. Click on contributing mamas to read about the swim race. My money is on the mama.

And don’t miss the piece by our contributing papa (aka my handsome hubby Rick Folbaum), on why we could all use a few more surprises in our lives. You mean our lives might be a tad predictable?! I think he has a point (and you know, I try not to admit that a whole lot). Click on contributing mamas to read more.


Feb
16
2008

People really need to start telling me things.

For example, when Dylan was a year-old, I was still using the newborn size nipples with her bottles. I could not understand why it took the girl SO LONG to finish a bottle. Until thankfully, some mother just happened to mention that nipples come in different sizes.

Well, my god, why didn’t someone tell me sooner? It’s like one of those Oprah Aha moments except that I should of “Aha’d” about 8 months earlier.

Can you imagine how frustrated young Dylan was?

She must have been thinking, “I’m sucking this thing with everything I got and I’m barely getting a dribble. I don’t have the energy for this. My mom needs to smarten up, march herself over to that Buy Buy Baby and get me some toddler size nipples. Damn. I wish I could talk.”

This time around it was Greenstylemom who saved my arse.

I just happened to check out her blog on the eve of the big Valentine’s Day when I really should have been paying attention to my children. She had her own way-too-late-Aha-moment.

She wrote that last year, she brought her daughter to preschool on Valentine’s Day and was a bit horrified to learn that all the other kids had cute valentine’s to hand out. Her daughter – nothing.

WHAT?! I. am. panicked.

What time is it? 6:37 pm. I call Rick at work.

Me: You MUST pick up valentine’s cards on your way home. Something from the drugstore. For Dylan to give to her friends at school. Oh my gosh, I hope they are not sold out. Buy something. ANYTHING.

A Peanuts 32-pack purchased for $1.99. Wow. Isn’t that what my mom paid in 1975?

Rick and I stayed up late, putting the valentine’s together. We even had a slight disagreement about the fastest way to label and fold the cards. My technique was obviously vastly superior.

The next morning, poor Dylan did not know what was going on when I thrust the little Snoopy cards into her hand and told her to give them to her classmates and teachers.

She refused.

I tried again.

Nope. Not having it.

I finally had to rely on her friend Ella to help me pass them out. Ella was THRILLED.

I was relieved.

Now I can eat all of Dylan’s Valentine’s Day loot

candy-2.jpg

without feeling like a subpar mom.

Well, I had a slight tinge of subparness because we didn’t bring in sweet little treats. Or homemade cards. Or cute gift bags.

But heck, Snoopy from Walgreens rocks it.

And that evening, Rick gave me two dozen roses…

flowers-2.jpg

…even though, as you may recall, I described Valentine’s Day as ridiculously predictable, stale and manufactured. The guy does not scare easily.

I’m thinking he wanted to make sure he was covered. Just in case, I started feeling a little love for the holiday. Which I kind of did.

Of course, both of us caught some kind of romantic stomach virus too.

And then just before I went to bed. I discovered this

bug-2.jpg

in the bathroom.

Where did this guy come from?

Is he a loner or part of a larger gang? Where is the gang? Did they go out for beer? Are they coming back?

So I woke up Rick because really, the THING was big and fat and I did not want to deal. I’m just the photographer. So he killed it and went back to bed.

My Valentine.

mama bird notes

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As usual, no fancy, sophisticated comments needed. A simple, “I want to smell delightful and delish when I’m wiping snot from kid’s face” or “Just give me the free fragrance” will do.

Our contributing papa is back in the mama bird game. Click on contributing mamas to read more.

And if you are just oh-so-bored with been there, done that weekend kids’ activities, it’s time to bring on the disco. To read more, click on drooling over this.



kelcey kintner


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