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I think my college years may have helped prepare me for parenthood. Just like at Tulane, I’m still counting the minutes until nap time, still being tested and still unsure of what I want to do when I grow up. If only that semester abroad was an option right now.

She may be years away from diplomas and sorority rush, but already my toddler Dylan seems to understand the rules of college. As I’ve mentioned, she refuses to wear most of the clothes I buy her (are any boys like this?). The latest item: a bright blue Juicy Couture shirt I got on sale. Honestly, I would wear this top. But my days of the baby doll t-shirt are over (so I think a toddler size 3 is definitely not happening). Adorable shirt. Amazing color. Cute as can be. Of course, Dylan will not let it touch her skin.

But yesterday morning she had no choice. My husband was home and Dylan’s sister Summer was napping. Earlier I had pulled the Juicy shirt and a pair of pants out of their room so Dylan and I could slip out and get her a haircut. Dylan did not appreciate my somewhat sneaky tactic to get her to wear the shirt. She cried. She whined. She begged for her stained blue and brown striped shirt (the one she wears nearly every day but alas, it was dirty). Finally, I got the Juicy shirt on her. She tried to rip it off three times on the way to the Doodle Doos Hair Salon. Then it happened. It always does. She started to warm up to the thing. I guarantee you it will become one of her favorites.

Remember in college when you used to go out for those ladies’ nights or “two for one” pitchers? Nobody wanted to break the seal. You did everything you could to not pee. You hold out as long as possible because the minute you go, you have to go again every 10 minutes. Well, that’s how Dylan is about clothes. With a new item of clothing, she holds out as long as she can, but once she gives it a go, she wears it constantly. She may be a member of the class of 2026 (seriously) but she’s ready for college already.


Toddlers are strange little creatures. In the past couple months, we found a new suburban home for our dog Martini, gave our baby Presley the nickname Summer and hired a new babysitter. Big changes – right? Not according to my toddler Dylan. She seems completely unfazed by these developments. I guess that leaves her extra energy to obsess over the little stuff. If I attempt to put almonds and peanuts in the same snack bag or try to put on the “wrong” pull-up diaper (she likes the pull-ups with the picture of three princesses, not just one princess. I mean, obviously, three princesses is so much better than one), a meltdown is imminent.

Even though Dylan seems quite comfortable with the big changes in her life, I don’t want to be blamed for anything in her future therapy sessions like a dog abandonment complex – so yesterday I took her to visit our former dog Martini. Dylan, Summer and I jumped in the car and headed to Connecticut. Doesn’t the word “jumped” make it sound like I’m still so carefree and spontaneous (even with two children nipping at my heels all day)? Let’s just say Dylan was unimpressed with the trip. As Martini bounded toward us, covering us with kisses, Dylan was more interested in getting access to my handbag. She sat on the grass and happily applied different shades of Christian Dior lip gloss until the visit was over.

Later in the day, once we were back in the city, I made a stop at the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine. A glass of wine at the end of these sweet and maddening days with my children is a real must sometimes. At the store, Dylan got out of the stroller and apparently noticed a kitty cat. As I was picking out a bottle of shiraz, she happily chatted with me about the sleeping cat. Before we headed home she wanted to say goodbye, so she lead me over to a wine crate where I saw the surprisingly life-like, stuffed kitty. At least I hope it was stuffed and not some taxidermy special. Either way, we said our goodbyes and promised to come back and visit. Maybe Dylan is just a cat person after all.


I’ve always had a bit of doctor envy. In my head, I imagine these scenarios where someone is hit by a car or suddenly passes out or is in labor and I come running to their side. “I’m a doctor, please stand back. I know what I’m doing,” I say as I quickly stabilize them. Sometimes I can fashion medical supplies out of random things on the sidewalk. “Hey you, hand me your belt. Stat!” Or there is a medical emergency on an airplane and the flight attendant urgently asks, “Is there a doctor on board?” Yes. Yes. That’s me. I’m one of those cool, fabulous doctors.

Of course, I’m not. I hated science classes. I don’t actually want to be a doctor. I just like the idea of it. It’s like you are some kind of super hero. My friend Adam is a doctor. Or at least he claims to be. I met the guy in a crowded hot tub in Crested Butte, Colorado in my twenties so it’s hard to imagine he really practices emergency pediatrics. But I’ve actually seen him in his scrubs up at Mt. Sinai Hospital and he uses big medical words so it’s either a really elaborate hoax or he’s legit.

Doctors are just so darn helpful. I mean I’m a stay-at-home mom/journalist. What can I do for you in an emergency situation? Let’s see. I could write about it after someone else saves your ass. Or I know, I could use my secret mommy powers and give you kisses and promise your boo boo will go away. I even have Elmo band-aids if things really get serious. You see? Not that helpful. Not at all.

I could earn a Phd and then call myself Dr. Kintner. But that’s a lot of school and I will have come no closer to saving anyone. I could pretend to be a doctor but apparently you can get yourself in quite a bit of legal trouble practicing medicine without a license. I guess at the very least I can call 911 if I witness some kind of emergency situation. It’s not much but it’s a little something. I’m keeping my cell phone handy.






Everybody has their own pet peeves. I hate when someone does the dishes and then leaves bits of food in the drain trap. It just wigs me out to see soggy cheerios and little pieces of unrecognizable food abandoned and looking for a proper home.

What I didn’t realize is that it’s possible to acquire someone else’s pet peeve. My husband Rick has a thing about toilet paper rolls. He’s a pretty laid back guy about most things so it’s strange that he gets his calvins in a bunch over toilet paper. So let me explain (this might not be as exciting as the “The Hills” but hang in there with me).

The paper has to roll from the top (not the bottom). I’ve never spent two seconds in my life thinking about whether I’m pulling the sheets from the top or the bottom (I’m just happy the toilet paper is there). But once I started living with Rick, I made an effort to make sure the toilet paper was unrolling his preferred way. It’s the least I can do for my husband – right?

Last week, I must have been in a hurry because I put the roll on the wrong way. I noticed it immediately. It was actually annoying me that it was unrolling from the bottom. And then I was annoyed that I was annoyed. Why did I suddenly care about this? Out of principle, I refused to fix the situation. Why didn’t Rick fix it? I have no idea. But I do know that somehow Rick had cleverly transferred his pet peeve to me. Very crafty of that guy.

I guess people can have enormous power over each other’s thinking. I can still remember how much I loved orange juliuses in high school. A trip to the mall just wasn’t complete without one – so frothy and orangy delicious. Until one day, my girlfriend Jordana innocently (or maybe not so innocently) remarked, “don’t you think they taste like baby aspirin?” I considered this. She was right. They did taste like baby aspirin. Yuck. That was the last orange julius I ever had.

But she is forgiven because Jordana is also the girl who introduced me to sushi, one of my food obsessions. The same goes for Rick. He may have turned me into a crazy girl obsessed with toilet paper rolls but being married to an incredible guy like him is more than worth the trade off.


The folks over at MTV are geniuses. I finally tuned into the reality show “The Hills.” Why is this show addictive? Everything feels so hokey (hokey is the lamest word ever but it really fits). For example, last week our girl Heidi who seems secretly evil or maybe just not that smart (I never saw the other seasons so I’m not sure) is upset that her new fiance Spencer makes big decisions without her. Are you addicted yet? I’ll continue with the suspenseful tale.

One of his latest romantic surprises is a tacky graffiti Hollywood mural on their apartment wall. But the 20-year-old blond Heidi won’t be pushed around any longer. Spencer walks into their apartment to find Heidi, with a paint roller in her hand, covering up the mural. Does anyone really believe that Heidi would paint the wall herself without seeking the assistance of a professional painter? At the very least, wouldn’t one of the MTV staffers do it for her?

Then to conclude this staged scene, Spencer takes the roller and finishes painting the wall himself to demonstrate that he now understands relationships are about compromise. Some production assistant at MTV must have thought this up. It all sounds pretty ridiculous and a bit like actually watching paint dry. So why is “The Hills” so entertaining? If you can explain it to me, I would love to know.

While on the subject of shows I hate to love, “Scott Baio is 45 and Single” is finally over. Chachi is engaged (at least for now) with a pregnant bride-to-be. That show was painful but there was something so compelling about watching the former teen star agonize over his commitment phobia. Plus, I love that Scott Baio has had the same haircut since the early 80′s. He may have trouble committing to one woman but he can go the distance with a hairstyle. Oh god (a.k.a. VH1), please let him do another season.

mama bird notes:
There’s really no way to smoothly transition from bad TV to toxic plastics but here I go. I’ve done some more research on bisphenol A, a potentially toxic chemical found in many brands of plastic baby bottles and sippy cups. Here is a great link that clearly lists safe and potentially unsafe bottles and sippy cups. Click on the link and scroll down to the bottom right hand side.

kelcey kintner


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