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Mar
09
2008

Have you ever noticed that some people are nice.

And some people are not.

Take this broken window for example. (Trust me, I’m working my way back to the nice thing.)

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Because of heavy winds in New York City, construction debris from next door has been flying off the building and well, smashing into my lobby. And onto my neighbors’ terraces. And onto my street.

Sort of a safety problem, as you can imagine.

So New York City firefighters and police officers have closed down our entire block plus the West Side Highway while contractors fix the situation. Let me pause for a moment…

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and just reflect on dreamy firefighters….

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just hanging around on my stoop.

How sexy are firefighters? Here’s the mathematical proof:

guy + firefighter gear + protecting me from flying construction debris = sexy.

So anyway, the whole situation means long, inconvenient waits to get in and out of my building. The not-so-nice people are really pissed off. They are giving my boyfriends the firefighters a really hard time.

The nice people are grateful that someone is keeping heavy, life-shortening wooden planks and other potentially death-inducing materials from falling on their heads. I must say, I am in this second camp.

Here’s another example.

Not nice: Today a woman saw 15 month-old Summer walking and said to my husband, “You better keep your eye on her. You don’t want her to grow up walking with her legs turned out like that. No lady, no matter how nicely she dresses, looks good walking with her legs spread out.”

Did she just call my baby a slut?

Ok, truth is Summer does walk like she has a big load in her pants. But maybe we should cut the little lady some slack since… umm… she’s been walking for a month.

See, that woman is not nice.

Nice: On Saturday, I was trying to change Summer at the airport and she was so hysterical that legs were flying and poop was precariously close to going in all kinds of unintended directions. A stranger stepped out of the ladies’ line and helped me hold Summer so I could clean and change her.

That is very nice.

Not Nice: Last night, someone anonymously posted a nasty, disrespectful comment on my site, accusing me of being a whiner, and raising my children to be whiners and there was more but I’m not even going into it. I deleted the comment but that kind of unexpected cruelty can be hard to immediately shake.

Nice: All the incredibly supportive, funny, real comments that are posted on this site that make me feel like a normal mama (who can simultaneously love her children madly and wish they would just go away for a few hours) and not some crazed, incompetent, lunatic mummy.

Alright. I gotta go see if those steamy firefighters outside need anything.

You know, I’m just trying to be nice and all.

mama bird notes
Beauty girl Alex is taking a good look into her make-up bag and tossing the products that contain unwanted chemicals. You, too, will want to be in the know. Click on drooling over this for the scoop on products that could be detrimental to your health.


Mar
07
2008

Every morning in Florida, I’ve been taking the kids to see the amazing Boca Raton sites Starbucks. No, it’s not just about me me me. They get chocolate milk.

This is Dylan just before she drinks her chocolate milk.
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This is Dylan while she drinks her chocolate milk.

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This is Dylan after she is finished….

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…..with a chocolate milk belly ache. I am her compassionate mama taking snapshots of the 1 minute transformation.

3 1/2 year-old Dylan loves her dairy, but she’s not so wild about wildlife these days. In fact, she’s in a full-on nature phobia phase. Bugs, squirrels, birds, dogs, lizards…. you name the species and Dylan is petrified of it.

Before I had children, I actually thought parents instilled these kinds of fears in their children. Make that misconception #329 I had before becoming a parent.

Well, I am absolutely confident that I have not been pointing out all the vicious killer squirrels at the playgrounds or telling mad tales about evil insects.

Nevertheless, Dylan has me on 24/7 animal alert and so on edge that I jumped out of my sweatpants when I saw a huge bull frog or a toad or something of that genre hopping around in front of my in-law’s garage. That thing should really be on a leash.

Meanwhile, things got so stressful with the girls’ incredible fatigue and endless hysteria, that Rick and I really started to wonder mid-week if we were part of some kind of hidden camera extreme challenge parenting show.

Gosh, I hope we win something good at the end.

At one point, Rick and I started fighting over who would get to go to Target ALONE. Turns out I got to go, but the kids were already in bed so my victory dance was a bit hollow.

Still, the quiet, expansive store stuffed full of bargains was exhilarating. We don’t have a Target in Manhattan so I’m particularly enamored with the place. Look at this skirt for 15 month-old Summer. See that price? $0 dollars. How’s that for cheap?

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Ok… it was mismarked. Real cost: $9.99. Still a bargain.

Overheard at Target: A women was gabbing on her cell phone and I caught this tidbit, “She is such a plain Jane. And her hair? Just horrible. Horrible. I mean, you would never know she was married to a billionaire.”

I start to feel a bit sorry for this Plain Jane, being trashed right there in the middle of the girls’ department at Target. But then I remember that P.J. is married to a billionaire. So whatever.

Overheard the next evening at DD Flats, a restaurant and wine bar: The waiter at a nearby table says to his customers who are perusing the menu, “What looks good other than me?”

Really?! Com’on. Did he just say that?

I asked Rick to start using that line more often.

So back to our hidden camera extreme challenge parenting show. Turns out we did win something. Some incredibly cool moments like this…

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and finally…

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Thanks to all who made this Boca trip possible: Delta Airlines who gave Dylan a seat to pee on (and the flight attendants who helped me clean it up), Wendi and her fab family who brought Wii into our previously empty lives, my generous in-laws who offered up their beautiful home to us rent free (who knew a keg party with their neighbors could be so ragin’. Although those Boca police officers could have been a bit more understanding.), Aunt Marlane who babysat so Rick and I could go out and remember why we are married and Aunt Michele for eating all of Summer’s dinner and dessert (She did leave Summer the roll).

And a special thanks to Rick’s grandmother, Sylvia, who looks so damn marvelous that I’m thinking of retiring down here and picking up some card games.

mama bird notes

Jacki won the mama bird giveaway! Go Jacki. Go Jacki. More giveaways to come…

For New York City mamas, you are invited to an exclusive jewelry + textile show at Soho House. Yes, THE Soho House. Tangerine Sky brings you rare gems, precious metals and hand crafted jewelry from India. Plus, fine textiles and hand embroideries of Andraab. 5% off for mama bird readers.

the details:
Thursday, March 20th
1:00pm-8:00pm
Soho House
29-35 Ninth Avenue, btwn 13th & 14th St. NYC
Cocktails & hors d’oeuvres will be served
Please RSVP to casey@tangerinesky.com to have your name added to the guest list.


Mar
04
2008

Umm… Is this suppose to be a vacation?

My kids are waging some kind of Boca-crazed, caffeine junky-like nap rebellion. 14 month-old Summer, who normally treats herself to two naps daily, is averaging, um, none. Dylan, too, is skipping her afternoon siesta. Instead, the two girls are constantly in the midst of tearful breakdowns because they are completely exhausted and drained.

Rick and I are about the same.

Finally, finally, finally…

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… they both conk out on the way to the park. I’m starting to understand why you suburban mamas love your cars.

So we drive and drive those beautiful sleeping angels until damn eco-guilt takes hold. Not to mention what it’s costing us in gas. We park the car, shut off the engine and within minutes…. both girls are awake and nudgy.

Did we miss Parenting 101? Nap rule No. 1: Never turn off the car! Such a dumb, rookie mistake.

I’ve been driving the girls a lot this vacation. The first morning of our trip, I put Dylan and Summer in the car to take them to Starbucks, 3 1/2 year-old Dylan says, “Mommies don’t drive. Only daddies.”

Apparently, I’ve been letting Rick do the bulk of the driving over the past several years.

I am suddenly horrified that even though there is a female candidate for President of the United States, my daughter thinks only men know how to operate a motor vehicle.

I think I’ll be chauffeuring Rick and the girls around until I can adequately reassure my toddler that mommies do indeed possess this ability.

I’ve noticed that Boca Raton has a lot of valet service going on. I’ve never been too comfortable with the whole valet thing. Trade your car to a stranger for a paper ticket. Hope that stranger is willing to trade again when you come back.

In theory, it does seem extremely convenient. But I think valet service is like a sweet boyfriend who treats you well at first and then ends up leaving you, weeping at the curb.

Here’s my proof: I went to this ladies’ Jewish Federation luncheon today as the guest of Rick’s cousin, Wendi. I completely underestimated the dress for this event and felt so silly and juvenile in a skirt and flats. I needed closed toe heels, at least one silk garment, a Chanel bag (which I don’t actually own) and maybe a little something done on my face.

But Camyrn Manheim, formerly of “The Practice,” was such a brilliant and humorous keynote speaker that I almost forgot I was sans my nonexistent Chanel bag.

Despite my inappropriate dress, I did make one smart move.

I parked myself.

So after the luncheon, while streams and streams of these coiffed women collected by the curb, waiting for their turn with one of the valet guys, I had already driven off into the Boca skyline.

Not only am I cruising around town like a cool suburban mama, I finally tried this Wii sensation at Wendi’s house.

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Not a video game girl, I couldn’t imagine what all the hubbub was about.

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ooooh sista. That Wii is good stuff.

In the spirit of Super Tuesday 2, I’ll vote for whichever candidate buys me a Wii.

mama bird notes

The mama bird diaries welcomes new contributing mama Erin K. Butler! Erin is one sassy, awesome mummy. Click on contributing mamas to read her first piece, “body by baby.”

And you can still enter our mama bird giveaway. Just leave a comment this week. You need to be subscribed to the mama bird diaries via email or a reader. To sign up, click on “subscribe to this free feed” under the menu bar. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.

The giveaway includes:

Burberry “The Beat” Eau De Parfum
The SwaddleKeeper blanket with newborn head support
The children’s book, “Monkey and the Engineer, based on the lyrics of the popular Grateful Dead song (lyrics + story by Jesse Fuller).
Teething Bling by Smart Mom.


Mar
02
2008

You know that phrase, “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” They weren’t talking about traveling with kids… right? Because when you are flying with your children, seems to me it’s all about the destination.

Before we leave for the airport, I tell 3 1/2 year-old Dylan that she has to TRY to go potty.

Dylan: Nooooooo. (sobbing) Nooooo. (More howling) I don’t want to try.

She finally, begrudgingly, sits down on the toilet. But nothing.

In the airport, before we board the plane, I tell Dylan she has to TRY to go potty again.

Dylan: Nooooooo. (Very dramatic sobbing that tips off the other travelers that I must be a super cruel mummy.) I don’t have to goooooooo.

Dylan finally caves (after threats of no DVDs on the plane as if I would carry through on that!) and comes to the ladies’ room with me. She sits ever-so-quickly on the toilet. Nothing.

We are on the plane.

We are in the air.

She is peeing.

On the seat.

Dylan: Oh no! Mommy, I’m having an accident. I’m having an ACCIDENT!

Not a few drops but streams of pee are soaking her tights, her dress (she is a fancy flier), the seat and the seatbelt.

God, if only, “I told you so” was an appropriate parenting technique.

At least I have a dry pair of pants and a sweater for her to wear. And the next person who sits in that seat will never be able to track me down. I made sure that we didn’t leave a scrap of paper that could possibly connect us to that drenched seatbelt.

Finally, we are in warm, sunny, heavenly Boca Raton, Florida.

That night, my in-laws graciously babysit and we head to Trattoria Romana, an Italian restaurant where a huge group of older Floridians are outside waiting for the valet.

And I’m thinking, “God, I love this town. I have never felt so young. Boca is like a shot of Botox without the money or the injections. You just feel so fresh and vibrant here.”

Inside the restaurant, there are lots of “young” folks like myself. The food is delish and Rick’s cousin Wendi (the original Obama mama) makes her Barack pitch to a most likely Hillary-loving 4 top next to us.

In addition to a lot of spunk and a rock star aura, Miss Wendi has got major angst over this Super Tuesday. She and her boss Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Fl) boarded the Obama presidential party train early on and both hope they’re backing the winner.

We get home around midnight and that’s when 14 month-old Summer starts crying. Not sure why. She doesn’t mention anything specific but she does seem to have some aversion to her pack n’ play.

Then, of course, Dylan wakes up because of all the shrieking.

A rapid 2 1/2 hours later, I’m defeated. Rick’s defeated. We sleep awkwardly and uncomfortably with two little monkeys hogging all the room in our bed.

Summer catches up on her baby beauty sleep poolside the next day.

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And both girls have a fab case of Boca fever.

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mama bird notes

Don’t forget to enter our mama bird giveaway. One lucky birdie will win the following….

Burberrry “The Beat” Eau De Parfum.

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The SwaddleKeeper blanket with newborn head support. A wonderful way to calm fussy newborns. The giveaway item comes in an organic cotton paisley print.

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This is for all you Deadheads. This children’s book, “Monkey and the Engineeris based on the lyrics of the popular Grateful Dead song (lyrics + story by Jesse Fuller).

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Teething Bling by Smart Mom. A cute teething toy that you wear around your neck, plus a matching bangle.

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To enter to win all this loot, simply leave a comment on the mama bird diaries. You also need to be subscribed to the mama bird diaries via email or a reader. To sign up, click on “subscribe to this free feed” under the menu bar. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.


Feb
28
2008

I’ve recently discovered that many of you are READING. For enjoyment. Huh?! And not just, “Curious George Takes a Job” 452 times. Actual. Adult. Books.

I thought we mamas had temporarily given that up, along with all those movie outings complete with junior mints, fattening popcorn and occasionally that weird fake butter topping. Gosh, that topping is so greasy and so yummy.

But sites like Memarie Lane discuss books with fabulous wit and detail. And I’m finding invites in my inbox to join goodreads and compare books with other bloggers like my second journal and flutter.

Of course, I am forced to shamefully admit to these avid readers that there is no literature stacked on my bedside table. Just some magazines and maybe a NY Post. Oh, I feel so shallow and guilty. Must find short book to skim so that I can casually mention it in one of my posts and appear to be super smart.

Speaking of that famed tabloid, this week the NY Post had a venti-sized report about Starbucks shutting their doors for THREE epic long hours for something ridiculous called “espresso excellence training.” The java nerve! Apparently this was extremely upsetting for a few Starbucks’ junkies here in New York City.

One New Yorker fumed, “I am shocked. Shocked and appalled.”

Another said to the Post, “A lot of people come here to make out, read, sleep. I can’t imagine how lost people will be.”

Look, I heart Starbucks too and certainly relish the opportunity to make out there…. but closed for 3 HOURS? In a city with a gazillion trillion coffee houses? I say – wipe your caffeine tears and prepare yourself for a new commitment to espresso excellence!

Meanwhile, on frigid winter afternoons, I sometimes take my kids down to our barren, cold lobby for a little change of scenery. I know it sounds pitifully depressing but they actually love it. I, for one, could use a coffee bar down there.

3 1/2 year old Dylan needs no caffeine. She brings all her musical instruments and puts on a show.

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And yes, she picks out her own show outfits.

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And yes again, she instructs me how to style her hair.

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And of course, yes, she’s barefoot.

During one of her recent numbers, she stubbed her toe. And thrust this dirty foot at me, requesting a kiss for her boo boo.

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If this was your kid, would you kiss it?

Well, I’ll admit that I did.

Anyway, we’ll all be getting a break from winter lobby fun because we are soon headed back to Boca Raton, Florida, the land of Ricky’s relatives, warmth and leaking catheters for a week.

Well, here’s hoping all those catheters have been fixed by now.

mama bird notes

Because an escape to warm weather makes me just so darn giddy and happy, it’s time for another mama bird giveaway. Free, fun + fabulous stuff! This giveaway includes….

Burberrry “The Beat” Eau De Parfum. $62 dollar value. This spray promises to be a blend of unexpected contrasts expressing the unique personality of the Burberry woman, naturally sparkling and carnal, slightly wild, incredibly chic and sexy. Wow. That is me in a nutshell. Why am I giving this away?

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The SwaddleKeeper blanket with newborn head support. $31 value. I really failed miserably at swaddling. This blanket makes it so simple. No complicated folding, tucking or wrapping. A wonderful way to calm fussy newborns. What an amazing gift for a new ‘rent! The giveaway item comes in an organic cotton paisley print.

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This is for all you Deadheads. This children’s book, “Monkey and the Engineeris based on the lyrics of the popular Grateful Dead song (lyrics + story by Jesse Fuller). It’s the endearing tale of an engineer’s pet monkey who makes off with his train. You and your kids can light up.. oh never mind. That’s not a good idea. Just enjoy the book. $15 value.

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And finally, because this item was so popular before – here’s more teething bling by Smart Mom. A cute teething toy that you wear around your neck, plus a matching bangle. Totally safe for your baby. The silicone material is non-toxic, latex-free and even dishwasher-friendly. $20 value.

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To enter to win all this loot, simply leave a comment on the mama bird diaries in the next week. You also need to be subscribed to the mama bird diaries via email or a reader. To sign up, click on “subscribe to this free feed” under the menu bar. Good luck birdies.



kelcey kintner


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