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Last night as I watched the Emmy Awards, hosted bbrian-dunkleman.jpgy the oh-so-vanilla Ryan Seacrest, I couldn’t help but think of Brian Dunkleman. Remember him? He was Ryan’s co-host on the first season of “American Idol.” Then he got canned (or according to him, decided to pursue an acting career) and Ryan somehow became a superstar. How bitter must Brian Dunkleman be?

My husband Rick and I think of Brian as an old friend that we’ve simply lost touch with. We wonder what he’s up to and how he’s doing. Although I’m ashamed to admit it, we do sometimes refer to him as Brian Dingleberry (but if you tell him, we will completely deny this). Apparently, Brian is working as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles. I wonder if he watched the Emmys last night. I imagined him sitting in a dark room, eating a giant tub of Rocky Road ice cream and cursing at the television (especially when Seacrest tromped around in that Henry the 8th outfit). What was that about? He is no Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.

I don’t understand why they couldn’t get anyone more interesting to host the Emmys. Weren’t there any B level comedians looking for a little press? Even Dunkleman would have mixed things up a bit. Seacrest did refer to Emmy winner Sally Field as a legend. Oh, Ryan. Here’s a note to self. No woman wants to be called a “legend” while she’s still alive. Save that kind of praise for the “in memoriam.” Way to make an accomplished actress feel VERY OLD.

But I was thrilled to see “30 Rock” win best comedy – the best half hour of laughs (no track needed) on television. Sadly, Britany Spears didn’t show up. Underwear or no underwear, that girl would have made the show.


I had a lot of Tulane University flashbacks this weekend. On Friday, I showed my breasts for some killer Mardi Gras beads. Oh fine. That didn’t happen. But I did grab lunch with my sorority sister Valerie Long. And when I say “grab”, I mean wolfing down food with my two spirited children in tow. Valerie and her husband were very understanding (or at least didn’t show their disgust) as my 3 year-old Dylan masterfully combined cheerios, water, beans and rice while snot poured out of my 9 month-old Summer’s nose. But my head was spinning just trying to catch up with old friends while I tried to manage the chaos of Dylan and Summer. I would get half through a question or sentence and couldn’t even remember what I was saying. At least in college, I could coherently finish a thought most of the time.

And that night I had a surprising Tulane deja vu moment. My husband Rick and I were getting ready to go out for our 5th anniversary. I brushed my teeth with Tom’s of Maine fennel flavored toothpaste (I have a fluoride allergy ok?) and then I took a sip of Shiraz. The combination of flavors tasted like a Jagermeister shot. We did a lot of Jager shots back in college and it’s not necessarily something I need to experience again. Yowzah. It definitely has a bite. Luckily, with toothpaste and Shiraz, you don’t blackout and end up mugging down with your biology T.A..

And today we headed to Brooklyn for a coed baby barbeque (just to clarify burgers were put on the grill, not babies). It was in honor of the beautiful and very pregnant Tulane Alum, Rachael Witlieb Bernstein and her handsome hubby Michael. I’m absolutely sure children outnumbered the adults. No one really seemed to notice that Dylan helped herself to about 47 stone wheat crackers and also took quite a liking to the brie. As for me, I think I’m going to order some crawfish etouffee tonight and call it a big easy weekend.


Am I the only one who feels sorry for Britney Spears? I’m not one to follow celebrity gossip (I hate to even write that since I once claimed to hate reality tv and we all know what happened there) but I’ve been thinking a lot of about Britney this week. I just feel sorry for the girl.

Of course, I also felt sorry for Jennifer Aniston when she got dumped by Brad Pitt. Now, our girl Jen is beautiful, talented and a multi-millionaire. She does not need my pity. One of these days, she will land herself a hunky, sensitive man with his own cash and Brad will be her favorite mistake.

britney-spears.jpgBut I’m sick of everyone ripping apart Britney for her “come back” appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Yes, the critics are right. Her singing (o.k. lip synching) was a bit off. And I’ve seen better dancing from tipsy 13 year-olds at a bar mitzvah. Maybe her most recent epidural hadn’t quite worn off? But I’ve had it with the insults about her body.

As someone who has also given birth to two children, I thought she looked pretty good. She deserves some serious high fives for even having the courage to put on that itsy bitsy oufit (see here). I wouldn’t have the chutzpah. Perhaps, she could have chosen a somewhat more flattering outfit. O.k. definitely. And she does have the money for a 24/7 personal trainer and chef (unlike the rest of us). But still. She’s had two kids. She’s not exactly tipping the scale. Let’s cut the girl some slack.

Her ex and my current boyfriend Justin Timberlake cleaned up at the MTV awards. Guess somebody’s not crying a river anymore. Oh, Brit, pull it together. You may not be the most responsible mom out there, but you are still one hot mama.


mama bird notes
Check out the new installment of alex’s beauty diary. Alex talks about illuminating concealers. She had me at “flawless complexion.”

Just as a reminder, the mama bird diaries does not practice pay-to-play. We only recommend products that we think are truly fabulous, beautifully designed and worth drooling over.




As I walked out of Dylan’s preschool today, I started to cry. It’s judylans-first-day-of-preschool.jpgst that kind of day.

It was her first day of preschool. After a year of preschool applications, essay writing (we did the writing), preschool play dates (she did the playing), rejection letters, acceptance letters and preschool bills (they come before the ABC’s begin), we finally arrived at the first day. Unfortunately, there would be no smiling picture of Dylan with her crisp outfit and new backpack. This picture was the best she could do.

As I dropped her off at preschool, her tears were gone. They had been swallowed up by soft, fresh playdough, a painting canvas and new puzzles. She was fine. But I felt sad. Within moments of walking out the door of Village Preschool Center, I saw her waving goodbye from her college dorm. I know she’s three. But why does it feel like I’m going to turn around and she’ll be gone, off on her own adventures, experiencing her own life?

Maybe it’s just the day. Any year, especially this year when it’s Tuesday again. Tuesday, September 11th. I think of all those families, still crying, still grieving, wanting to just talk to their husband, their daughter, their brother again. To say I love you one more time.

All of us, who live with these two and three year-olds, know that some days “challenging” doesn’t even begin to describe the toddler experience. There are days when it’s hard to even like Dylan as she pinches her sister, throws multiple tantrums and seems to relish in making every moment difficult. But I always love her like crazy. And today, I felt like she slipped away a little bit. Got a little older. And it made me cry.


Not very long ago, I was squarely in the anti-reality camp. I could snicker at those who spent their evenings watching “Survivor 43″ (seriously, how long as that show been on?) and the “Surreal Life.” Oh, I spent my evenings watching television (and some of it was very low brow) but I liked to think of myself as above the reality fray. Things have changed.

Reality tv is like a drug. You sample just a little bit and you’re hooked. It’s cheap, easy to get and feels so good. I blame my baby Summer. A couple times a day, I put on Sesame Street for my toddler and nurse my baby in the other room (Summer can not focus on nursing when her spirited and chatty sister is in the same room). So for twenty minutes, I need something to watch. First, it was Kathy Griffin’s reality show. Entertaining and funny. Call it a gateway reality program. Then Paul Abdul’s show. Painful to watch but still addictive.

Then I went further down the dark road of reality addiction. “Scott Baio is 45 and Single” filled up my DVR. As each show ends, I want more. “The Hills” (as I’ve discussed in depth) came next. And now, perhaps my most shameful moment, “The Fashionista Diaries” on the Soapnet channel. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m now watching the Soap Network. I think I’ve hit rock bottom. The show follows six New York City interns in the public relations, magazine and beauty industries. I’m right now in the middle of a “Fashionista Diaries” catch-up marathon. How do I even find the time to blog?

I tell myself once I wean Summer, I will wean myself off this mindless, candy tv. I’ll just quit and never record again. I’ll watch a movie with my husband. Maybe even hire a sitter and grab dinner outside of the apartment. That might be fun. Maybe I’ll run into one of those fashionista interns in the ‘hood. How cool would that be.

mama bird notes

The always glowing mama, Alex Goveia, will now be sharing her insider beauty knowledge with the rest of us in a new mama bird feature called, “the beauty diary.” You can find it under the menu bar on the right hand side of your screen. Alex comes to us with top beauty credentials (check out her bio under “this manhattan mama”). Each week, she’ll tell you about products that will make your skin glow, eyes pop and your outer beauty shine. Let’s face it. Inner beauty can only get you so far. She will turn you from a drab mama to a yummy mummy in no time.

kelcey kintner


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