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Dec
09
2007

Today’s post is a hybrid (you know, it’s an eco thing). First, sparkling, clever commentary. Then, the dishy details of the mama bird giveaway package. Why do you deserve a chance to win all these FREE goodies? Because you’re a super fab, sassy, working-her-ass-off kind of mama. That’s why.

So I begin…

stuart-little-2.jpgThe little bastard is back. You know who I’m talking about. On Saturday, Rick headed to New Jersey with 3 year-old Dylan, leaving me and nearly 1 year-old Summer protecting the homefront. No problem. We were ready. The pest control guy came this past week, dropped poison and filled holes. Apparently, there was a gaping hole behind our fridge that a dog (never mind a few mice) could sashay through. Plus, a sign that read, “Welcome to the mouse bed and breakfast. Free continental breakfast served daily.” Hole filled. Vacancy sign removed.

Not long after Rick left on Saturday – I saw him again. That furry little critter raced through the kitchen. I screamed. Loudly. It does seem uncanny that EVERY time Rick leaves the apartment, the mouse reappears. I’ve never seen both of them here at the same time. Hmm… I’m just saying. That tidbit aside, I was HYSTERICAL. Really. Nervous break-down material. I called Rick sobbing, insisting we move into a hotel. The Hotel Gansevoort is just up the block. A quick check of availability. Only $678 a night. O.k., Plan B.

My neighbor offered the services of his cat. Perfect. Then he just happened to mention that when this kitty catches a mouse, she likes to bring it to you in bed as a gift. Scrap that. Fast. So once again, crappy Plan C. One of our building staff came up and laid those tantalizing glue traps.

And later that afternoon… there he was. Stuck to the glue trap. Going nowhere but still moving. I think I’m going to throw-up. I’m really not a “glue trap” kind of girl. I’m more of a “staying at the Hotel Gansevoort” kind of gal. Thankfully, my super Kent came and took the little rodent away. Kent always has extremely helpful things to say like, “Hey, at least it’s not a rat. I see tons of rats coming out of the construction site next door. If we had rats, we’d all have to move out.” Yah, that’s great. Now I’m envisioning mice AND their rather large, creepy cousins, rats.

I really am in full mouse post traumatic stress syndrome mode. Every shadow, every reflection, every elmo toy is a scampering rodent. Oh please, oh goddess of all mice, please let that be the last time I see one of these creatures in my apartment. Let them play happily outside. Let them find warm shelter elsewhere. Or let them all die a peaceful, tranquil death far away from me. That’s my wish for this most joyous and merry of holiday seasons.

mama bird notes

Let me tell you about our fab.u.lous giveaway package. One lucky mama bird reader will win the following…

A beautiful toby + rei bamboo and organic cotton fleece baby blanket in chocolate. This soft, eco-friendly blanket ($60 value) is perfect for wrapping up your little baby. Also, a scrumptious baby gift.

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These adorable, fun gloveables from Feather Your Nest. What could make cleaning more fun than these too sweet waterproof gloves? Finally, something to smile about when you’re washing all those dishes. And helps keep your mama hands nice and soft.

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This Poco Bag by Bumpkins from EcoStyle Baby. It’s a perfect little bag for your cell, keys and cash when traveling with tots to the coffee shop. For those times when you don’t want to lug around that big purse. Plus, EcoStyle Baby is offering a 10% discount to all mama bird readers. Simply put in the discount code,”MamaBird.” Good til the end of January.
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The Estee Lauder Holiday Spirit Lip Gloss Palette. Your lips will glisten and gleam in the stunning shades of the season. This limited edition product will turn you into one glowing mama.

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And finally, this oh-so-necessary book, “Dear Peppers and Pollywogs… What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties.” We all know the stress of planning a birthday party for your little one. Finally, some help. Author Lisa Kothari believes no matter the budget or limited time, a great kids’ party can be planned.

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Details coming tomorrow on how you can win all this divine booty.

Our contributing mama Jordana Bales thought pregnancy would be the mother of all science experiments. Click on “contributing mamas” under the menu bar to read her itchy notes from the underbelly.

We have a new feature called askamama. This means you get to ask.a.mama anything you want. Send your question to kelcey@mamabirddiaries.com and I will post it. Then (and this is the very best part), other moms will share their brilliance. Don’t you almost feel better already? Don’t let your panties be in a bunch for a moment longer. Shoot me an email. Don’t want your name posted? No problem.

Meanwhile, new mama Rachel is looking for advice on soothing her darling yet demanding newborn. Click on askamama on the menu bar and help a gal out.

It’s the season to give. But how do you pick the best charity? It’s easy when you have a watch dog in the house. Click on “drooling over this” under the menu bar for the 4-1-1 on choosing the right nonprofit.

You may have noticed that the beauty diary is no where to be found. That’s because our glam mom Alex will now be posting her beauty product must-haves in “drooling over this.” So yummy mummys, continue to drool away.

Finally, we have two winners of the FlipClips $25 gift certificates. Congratulations mama bird readers, Kristen M. and Pam F.! Even if you didn’t win, you can still get $2 off, in the month of December, by using the discount code FC989SJ2. Flip on birdies.


Dec
06
2007

What’s with all the tears? All the time. I get the baby thing. Babies have a very limited way of communicating. So I know, when nearly 1 year-old Summer wakes up for the 37th night in a row, at exactly 4:32 am, she’s crying because she wants the boobies.

Now, I’ve explained to the little lady that we really are phasing out this boob thing. Really. But she’s a stubborn gal and wants me to know that if I’m going to talk the talk, I’ve got to crawl the crawl (or something like that). So she’s testing me. I let her cry until 5 am (because that seems more like actual morning to me) and then I give her the goods. But hopefully we are making progress. I am slowly reducing the length of time she nurses. Summer continues to deem all other milk repugnant.

But when does all this sobbing peter off? My 3 year-old Dylan is a ticking tear bomb. This morning she was convulsing over the very notion of getting dressed. This afternoon – another full on, body on the floor, cranked up SOB FEST (almost as eventful as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, minus the gospel tent and crawfish po’boys). Dylan’s distress? It was too bright in her bedroom for her baby dolls to sleep. Oh. Now I see.

For the record, I offered to pull down the blackout shades and turn off the light but she remained completely distraught. I would have even sung those baby dolls a verse or two of, “Mary had a little lamb.” But Dylan wasn’t open to creative problem solving. Tears. Wails. And more tears.

I can tell you what definitely doesn’t work. Two summers ago, Rick, Dylan and I were vacationing in Italy. One afternoon, we were trying to prepare a lovely Tuscan lunch – some cheese, prosciutto, bread, salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasonings. Yum. We planned to eat it by the pool, surrounded by the rolling green Tuscan country side. I was 5 months pregnant and attempting to cut up fresh, bright tomatoes for the salad. If I couldn’t enjoy all the wine that Italy had to offer, I was going to soak up every crumb of the divine food.

tuscany-1.jpgBut Dylan would not stop crying. Endless, inconsolable crying. I finally got down on her level and screamed, “STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW.” So what happened next? Oh, she cried harder. I was immediately ashamed of my behavior. How could I give birth to another baby when I was so cruel and incapable of caring for this child? I apologized for yelling at her. And then more “sorry’s” and “I love you’s” from me. Slowly, the tears dwindled and there was peace and comfort and quiet. Lunch came later.

In some ways, there is something so beautiful and authentic about openly and immediately expressing emotions (even with kicking and screaming). We adults are so buttoned up and conditioned to keep our tears tucked inside. So Dylan and Summer will cry if they want to. Even simultaneously at times. But still, a day without tears would be magical. Peace. Comfort. And quiet.

mama bird notes

Next week, I have a fabulous giveaway package to tell you about. I kind of want to keep all the goodies myself but I promise, the mama bird diaries will give it away. Stay tuned for details.

And remember, if you comment on the mama bird diaries by the end of this week, you are entered to win a $25 gift certificate to Flip Clips.


Dec
04
2007

Marriage is not for sissies.

These lovable, amazing, exhausting children and life itself can beat the amour right out of a couple. Everyone is just so tired. By the time you are finished with the bedtime routines, the delay tactics, the tantrums, the good night kisses, the dishes, the laundry, the neatening, the glass of water for the toddler still fighting sleep and then tomorrow’s prep, your energy for each other is greatly diminished. O.K., sometimes nonexistent.

Because of this, my husband Rick and I have put off something for a very long time. No, I’m not talking about that. Well, unfortunately sometimes that too. I’m talking about something completely tedious and annoying – picking out a new faucet for our bathroom sink.

Not only does the goose neck spout shoot off occasionally, spraying water everywhere, but it’s also leaking into the vanity below. FINALLY (and only because all our stuff is getting ruined and I’m pretty sure toxic mold is growing on our stock of shampoo and sun tan lotion), we sat down at the computer at 10 o’clock one night to look at faucets. Hundreds of faucets. Within minutes, we were both irritated. One exchange went like this.

Me: “You’re not even looking at the screen.”

Rick: “I looked away for a second.”

Me: “Well, you missed a bunch of them. I don’t want to do this alone.”

Rick: “I’m paying attention. I looked at the TV for two seconds. Do you want me to tell you every time I briefly turn away?”

Me: “Yes, actually I do.” Even as I’m saying this, I realize how ridiculous it sounds.

We are both tired. We are both bored. Then I see one. A faucet that looks kind of cool and relatively reasonably priced at $129. We have quickly learned, on this grand faucet expedition, that $129 is actually a bargain. But Rick won’t go for it.

faucet.jpgMe: “I like it. It’s cool.”

Rick: “It looks like a penis.”

Me: “No, it doesn’t. I would never think that.”

Rick: “Definitely. It’s a penis faucet.”

Me: “Damn. Maybe, you’re right. We’ll keep looking.” Now, we are both laughing. We have been momentarily saved by the penis faucet.

As a side note, others apparently aren’t so prudish. Rick and I went to the West Village Italian Centro Vinoteca (the latest from the owners of Gusto) over the weekend. I went to the bathroom (which of course was FREEZING – is it really too much money for restaurants to heat their bathrooms?! I’m willing to chip in. I hate shivering and peeing simultaneously). And what did I find? Oh yes, the penis faucet. Then the very next day at a birthday party at a kids’ playspace in Chelsea, the penis faucet AGAIN. This penis really gets around.

Back to marriage. An argument with your spouse can begin over a $5 container of fruit and suddenly you are fighting about the mortgage and your complete lack of a college savings fund. Sometimes one spouse needs more space while the other needs more connecting. One feels cranky. The other is taking it personally. The dreamy, euphoric rush of dating seems 107 years ago, if you can even remember dating at all. Romantic evenings out need advanced planning. Spontaneity goes missing. Responsibilities are plentiful.

But you keep trying. Trying to find moments of connection and laughter. Trying to find a penis faucet in your day. Because I hear that these kids will grow up and there the two of us will be. And we’ll be staring at each other, completely rested, with lots of time to try a new restaurant, check out an art gallery, meander around the city, duck into a movie at the last minute, fly off to London, linger over a coffee and connect. And someday I want to be there. But right now, I want to be here, in all this craziness. With you.

mama bird notes

First, the results of our weekly mama poll. So when the kids are asleep and you are home with your spouse, partner or lover – what is your preferred activity? 52 percent are definitely overachievers, hoping to watch a movie, have sex, eat ice cream and sleep ALL in one evening. 19 percent are content to just watch a flick. 15 percent are sexing it up. 11 percent are downing the low fat ice cream. And just 3 percent are getting some shuteye.

Click on “your mama says what?” under the menu bar to take our latest anonymous survey. This week we want to know about your overall life satisfaction.

If you can’t get no satisfaction and you’re in need of a new direction, maybe it’s time to invest in a life coach. Click on “drooling over this” to meet one of my favorite coaches. Mention the mama bird diaries and you get a free session. Be happy and free!

And remember, comment on the mama bird diaries this week and you are entered to win a $25 gift certificate to Flip Clips. More free stuff!


Dec
03
2007

mouse-pic.jpgHave you noticed that mice have the best PR team ‘mouse money’ can buy? It was actually my wise old father who pointed out that mice are depicted as almost heavenly in every storybook. Whether it’s that Mickey who presides over the magic kingdom, those lovable mice Gus and Jaq who come to the assistance of Cinderella, Ralph who can actually ride a motorcycle or Tom of “Tom and Jerry” fame – they are some cutie patootie critters, right? Oh, I’m not convinced.

In our apartment, I’m on full alert, near hysteria, mouse patrol. Mice are a sporadic problem in our building. And just the other day, I walked by the kitchen and who did I see but Mickey or Gus or Stuart Little (honestly, they all look the same) sitting, hanging out really, on my counter top. Holy crap. I do not like mice. I couldn’t even get to my cell phone because it, too, was on the kitchen counter. I picked up our landline and felt a bit like Jodie Foster, trapped in the panic room, because I only know one number by heart. It’s my husband’s and he, of course, was swimming at the gym. My heart jumped into my throat, as his cheery voice mail picked up.

The mouse finally scurried off to… I don’t know where. Hence, the reason I’m still hysterical. My super came up and put down some of those sticky mouse pads. So let me try to understand this. The best case scenario is finding a LIVE mouse stuck to one of these pads? Yeah, that won’t work for me. So I (once again channeling Jodie Foster) took matters into my own shaky, panicked hands. I hit the hardware store and bought one of these rodent control machines that supposedly transmits powerful ultrasonic sound waves that repel mice but can’t be heard by people or house pets. Hard to verify that this $40 miracle machine even works. I mean you just plug in and, like a gullible twit, pray to never again see another rodent.

I still remember when my sister’s pet hamster Susie got loose. We were about to hold a little memorial ceremony for the MIA fuzzfest when she popped up one morning, just sitting on my pillow, staring me in the face. Holy Amy’s organic macaroni did that freak me out. And then, in my 20s, my roommate and bff Jordana brought home a rat, swearing it was a pet mouse. Rat? Mouse? Really must we quibble over the nuances of difference? It was either me or the rodent and mice have a terrible record of paying their rent. So I stayed.

Now I’m anxiously inspecting every nook of our apartment, waiting for that mouse to taunt me with its twitching little tail. Dylan and Summer are no help. They are like Hansel and Gretel, leaving crumbs throughout our apartment, basically inviting the mice to come join us for snack time. At this point, I’m just trying to spread the rumor that apartment 3A leaves out open containers of food. Hopefully, Gus and Jaq are already on their way downstairs.

mama bird notes

flip-book.jpgI’m really flipping for this. A company called Flip Clips will turn a 15 – 30 second digital video into a retro flip book. Remember those? Well, this is so much cooler than those ‘old school’ stick figure ones. Your kids will love playing with these. A groovy stocking stuffer. As a mama bird special, you’ll get $2 off in the month of December by using the discount code FC989SJ2. Or even better, win a $25 gift certificate to Flip Clips by posting a comment on the mama bird diaries this week. Any comment. No need to be smart or clever. How’s that for a deal?! I’ll announce the two winners this weekend.

Also, for you New York mamas, do you have the cutest kid in the city? Time Out Kids has just launched an online gallery of NYC’s Cutest Kids. If you submit a shot of your adorable tot by December 15th, you are entered to win a rad toy from LeapFrog Learning Moments (which means one less toy on your shopping list). Click here for more info.


Dec
02
2007

I am so obsessed with Project Runway that I’ve considered putting on a diaper (astronaut style) and hoofing more than 20 blocks uptown to the garment district to declare my love for Tim Gunn and the rest of Heidi’s gang. I’ve even thought about watching it in real time (commercials and all). So far I’m holding onto a tidbit of dignity and still doing the DVR thing. The show is simply brilliant.

christians-episode-2-project-runway-outfit.jpgIn episode 2, the arrival of Miss Queen Bitten Bee, Sarah Jessica Parker, had all the gay contestants gasping for air and practically drowning in their own tears. We are not worthy. And SJP was so darn sweet, especially when critiquing Christian’s misguided 80’s throwback (seen here), that it just made me heart her even more. Another mama at Blog con Queso, is hauling her cookies 30 miles to check out SJP’s discount line at Steve & Barry’s. So I’m anxiously waiting for the 4-1-1 on our trio (Steve, Barry and Sarah Jessica). Meanwhile, let’s move on to poor Tiki.

Tiki Barber showed up in episode 3 and there was just no love in the fashion house for that man. Nobody really even recognized the great football running back and current correspondent for the “Today Show.” And men’s wear? B.O.R.I.N.G. Or not. carmens-episode-3-project-runway-look.jpgApparently, these designers don’t really do men’s wear so some very creative garbs went down the runway – like this fetching look by Carmen. Um… she apparently ran out of time and didn’t quite get to the shirt. Auf Wiedersehen Carm. We hardly knew yuh.

Earlier, Tiki’s blase wife made a brief appearance in the workroom to critique the “in progress” designs. I’m sure most of her uninspiring and lackluster footage ended up on the cutting room floor. But it was a dishy, yummy treat to see some nearly nude male models for once. And Michael Kors is by far my fave judge with snarky comments like, “that crotch is INSANE!” I thought Crazy Eddie was in the room.

My Project Runway infatuation is perhaps fueled in part by the ongoing writer’s strike. I miss the Daily Show. I long for Saturday Night Live. In fact, this past Saturday night my husband and I saw SNL actors Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers eating at a pub in the west village. We do get our share of celeb sightings in this ‘hood and like a too-cool-for-school New Yorker, I would never say a word to any of them. But I was weak. I was foolish. I was lonely for them. As we passed by I said, “I miss you guys.” And they genuinely seemed to appreciate the unsolicited sentiment (read: total pathetic invasion of privacy).

So for now I live for the runway. Must leave you now. I’ve gotta head to the TRESemmé Hair Salon and L’Oreal Makeup Room to prep for Wednesday. I may even utilize the the Bluefly accessory wall on my way there.

Note: My apologies to anyone who doesn’t actually watch this show. I promise to be back tomorrow with tales OFF the catwalk.

mama bird notes
Congrats to Sandra Schwartz who won the Hayden-Harnett bag! Go Sandra. Go Sandra. Please no mama tears (sniff sniff) if you didn’t win because I promise, I’m putting together a December giveaway package. So you’ll have another chance soon to win some free, cool stuff. Details coming soon.




kelcey kintner


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