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Something kris kringle crazy happened to me this Christmas. I was completely satisfied. Get. over. myself. I’m serious.

For the first time, 3 year-old Dylan was understanding and buying this whole big, overweight guy in a red suit is breaking into our apartment and bringing you gifts thing. Solid. Christmas eve, she dictated a letter to Santa. It read, “Thank you for the gifts. I would like a kitchen in a box. Watch out for the mouse traps.” We left St. Nicky skim milk and low fat animal crackers. If the guy has a heart attack, it won’t be on our backs.

Turns out wrapping gifts in newspaper (although totally eco-friendly) looks completely ghetto. Plus it leaves nasty newsprint all over everyone’s hands. Nothing jingle or jolly about it. Must find cool recycled wrapping paper option for next year’s festivities.

Plus, Santa somehow forgot to put the kitchen set together the night before. God, no one is full service anymore. So tired, draggin’ Rick had to pick up the Santa slack on xmas morning. Still, Dylan was in holiday heaven opening all her gifts and (when no one was looking) Summer’s presents too. And Summer was blissfully climbing on the half-assembled kitchen set and smittenly gazing at her pop. Could everyone really be this happy? Where’s the morning meltdown?

Then we drove to Connecticut to visit my family. Not a smidge of traffic. Not even a slight slow down from 65 mph to 60 mph because some guy is pulled over, taking a whiz on the side of the highway. Nothing. Speaking of urine (such a gee-ross word), I had to pee twice on the 2 hour drive. 3 year-old Dylan, only once. That gal has better bladder control than her mother. Or maybe, she didn’t drink a grande skim mocha just as we got onto the West Side Highway.

I just ADORE Starbucks for being open on the holiday. Oh, don’t feel sorry for the baristas. I wished them a very chipper, cheery Merry Christmas. Come on, I’m sure they make time and a half. Don’t they?!

On the drive, we also learned that age old baby proverb to be true, “If your 1 year-old is too quiet in the back, she is probably eating a chocolate flavored lip smacker.” And the lesser known addendum, “She will be very angry when you attempt to take the lip smacker away and substitute it with a different food source.” But Summer, in the spirit of the holiday, quickly got over it. Because apparently, as my brother-in-law Erik like to say, that’s how she rolls.

The remainder of the day just kept going like that. Presents. Laughter. Cocktails. Yummy eats. Chocolate mint brownies. More good times with funny, fabulous family. I was practically nauseous from all the happiness. These aren’t the holidays I remember. I guess the tinsel times they are a changin’. I think I’ll roll with it.

mama bird notes

mrb_runnerbag.gifDon’t forget to post a comment this week AND send a post to a friend (I would never ever spam your friends. What kind of mama would do that?) to enter to win this sleek, stylish Mr. B bag. $50 value. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.

Plus, another desperate mummy needs your brilliant ideas on teaching her son some manners.Click on “askamama” and share your super smarts.


Someone is stalking my husband. I knew this would happen eventually. He’s a news personality in New York City. And he’s very friendly to everyone (not in a smarmy way but in a what-a-nice-guy kind of way). So I knew, at some point, some lady would fall hard. Turns out, it’s one of MY ladies.

1 year-old Summer is stalking her poor daddy. It’s gone beyond love. It’s the girl’s obsession. No matter where he goes, you hear her little hands and knees padding across the floor. She will find him. He can not hide.


summer-carbs.jpgI think it’s a carb thing. I’ve never known two people on this doughy planet who love carbs more than Rick and Summer. The girl can down a whole bagel and then be scrounging around on the floor for cracker crumbs or a lost, stale potato chip. As for Rick, he has a deep, unwavering lust for the white kaiser roll. So it seems natural that these two carb souls would one day meet and fall for each other.

Yes, I’m a bit envious. It’s not the carb connection. I’ll take chocolate over a hunk of bread every time. But I feel just a teensy bit jealous of this thing they have going on. It comes just as Summer and I are losing our thing.

Yes, it’s finally done. Or at least practically done. I cut out Summer’s final night time feed. I just loved breastfeeding Summer because she was so content when nursing. So happy. But she’s slowly adjusting to a ta ta free world. As for me, I’m a melancholy mama with aching boobs.

Summer, her boyfriend, Dylan and I all went to see Santa today. I knew it was getting down to the wire with his big night to shine quickly approaching. Oh, this is not my kid sitting on Santa’s lap. In fact, I don’t even know her. Just some sweet, lovely gal who’s putting in her toy order.


This was as close to Santa as my 3 year-old shy girl Dylan would get. Girlfriend don’t give St. Nicky no love.



Sore boobs. No cute Santa pic with my girls. But we still have this…


mama bird notes

mrb_runnerbag.gifDon’t forget to post a comment this week AND forward a post to a friend (remember, this girl doesn’t spam) to enter to win this super smart Mr. B bag. $50 value. I’ll announce the winner Friday, December 28th.

Plus, another mama needs your ideas on teaching her son some manners. Click on “askamama” under the menu bar and help a mummy out.

Contributing mama Daphne Biener is monday morning quarterbacking. No, she’s not talking about football. Please. It’s all about the princesses. Click on “contributing mamas” to read more.

Finally, did you take our anonymous tele poll yet? There’s nothing new on the tube anyway, so gives us the dirt. Just click on “your mama says what?”



My extra sassy friend Liz (and please call her that if you ever meet her) pointed out recently that we adults have to work too dang hard in our children’s activity classes. Man-oh-man do I know what she’s talking about.

I once took 3 year-old Dylan to this super cute kids’ yoga class. Well Dylan, as per usual, wasn’t a tidbit impressed. She sat there glumly while I did donkey kicks, flapped my arms like a wild butterfly and roared like a fierce lion. At one point, I was actually winded. Aren’t we paying for this? Shouldn’t it be a little more relaxing for us adults? I can upward dog all day long for Dylan and Summer at home. No need to shlepp to 6th avenue and 14th street for the opportunity.

Plus, why should I pony up big om bucks when I can take Dylan on fun, free errands instead? I’m really starting to get this parenting thing. Today I took her to Crate & Barrel. As far as I’m concerned that place is a toddler amusement park. We rode the escalator multiple times (no line to get on by the way). Dylan played drums on an abaca ottoman and turned a silicone screen (apparently a splash screen for deep frying) into a big easy musical washboard. All the trash cans with step lids needed to be tested. We did lots of dancing to the Crate & Barrel holiday hits CD. And she had a lovely almond snack on a pivot dining table. In case you go, it’s BYOA (bring your own almonds).

All of this for the very reasonable price of free. FREE… well, except for all the money we spent on ornaments and a gift for our babysitter. And a house warming present for a friend. Plus, there was the ornament that Dylan accidentally broke when she playfully swatted it. I had to threaten no more escalator rides if she did that again.* And there was the cost of the cab ride (there and back). O.k., so maybe not free. But at least I didn’t have to kick like a donkey and try to engage my toddler in some dumb, cheery class. Plus, I checked a couple things off my “to do” list.

These days, I’m just jonesin’ for ideas on what to do with my 3 year-old, energetic, cup of capuchino. Her school is on a holiday hiatus for the next two weeks and I’m starting to run out of indoor activities. I recently read about these parents who do cocaine and then take care of their little ones. Wow. Intense. They’re addicted to blow? Not me. I’m a preschool addict.

A few months ago, I dropped Dylan off for the first day of school with such trepidation. Was 3 mornings too much? Was she ready? Now I’m impatiently waiting for school to rock and roll and whatnot again. Dylan follows me around saying, “What can I do? What can I do now?” I give lists and lists of dynamic and innovative ideas but few ever catch her fancy. As my father-in-law suggested, maybe she could just throw in a load of darks?

Or perhaps another visit to Crate & Barrel is on tap. I need to return something anyway. I’m hoping to exchange my 1 year-old for something a little quieter at night. I didn’t technically buy Summer at C & B and I don’t have a receipt but I’m thinking they might let that slide. You see, last night she was up crying from 2:30 am until 6 am. See the problem? I’m trying to cut out that final nighttime nursing feed and Summer is holding her own one-baby revolt. It’s a showdown of wills between the two of us. Sigh… if only I could bridle the energy of those two girls and get them addressing the lonely stacks of holiday cards on the counter. Now that would be a Christmas miracle.

*Alright, that broken ornament didn’t really cost us anything. I pushed it, with my foot, under a festive holiday display and pretended it never happened. My mother would be disappointed in me. I should have paid for it.

mama bird notes

First, the results of our mama survey. So how do you keep the magic alive in the bedroom? 58% say there’s no magic. You just do it. 16% refuse to admit what goes on behind closed doors (now I really want to know). 21% rely on porn to keep things sizzling. And 5% close your eyes and imagine you’re with a handsome superstar.

Click on “your mama says what” to take our latest anonymous poll. It’s all about tv. How much does your kid really watch? Spill it mamas.

Contributing mama Jordana Bales is finally able to use her psychology skills to outsmart her toddler. Thank goodness she’s willing to divulge her secrets. Click on “contributing mamas” to read more.

mrb_runnerbag.gifAnd finally, it just seemed too darn sad to wait until January for another giveaway. So the mama bird diaries is giving away this smart and mod Mr. B diaper bag. $50 value. Easily clips on to a stroller or simply use as a shoulder bag. Comes with a changing mat. Your diaper changing days are behind you? No problem. Use as a regular bag for around town. You have kids. So I know you still have a lot of crap to carry.

So how do you win this super fab item? Post a comment on the mama bird diaries in the next week AND forward a post to a friend. Just click on “send to a friend.” All email addresses are confidential. Your friend will never be contacted by me. And that is a promise. Because it ain’t cool to spam.

I’ll announce the winner next Friday, December 28th. Good luck birdies!


I think my kids are FINALLY starting to pay off. I mean for a while they were just take, take, take. So greedy. You have these children and suddenly there are these little people on the planet who depend on you 27/7. Plus, and this is the real doozy, you love them more than you love yourself. Who needs that?! All this brings you is anxiety, worry, stress, fatigue and a barge load of responsibilities. But now it’s payday. Turns out, there might be a little something in it for me.

First of all, my children have taught me how to be an impulse buyer. Pre-kiddos, it took me a gazillion years to buy something. Once at the Gap, I tried on two down black coats (size small and size medium) for about 55 minutes. First, the small. Fits nicely, very flattering, but could I wear a sweater under it? Not sure. Then, the medium. Much roomier, less tight in the back, but a little large in the shoulders. Back to the small. Over and over and over again. My boyfriend at the time was sitting lifeless, having surrendered to boredom in the corner, just nodding his head in agreement at anything I uttered. I finally bought the medium. I don’t even have the coat anymore and I still wish I had purchased the small. Seriously. That jacket was alway too big.

Those days of deep consideration and pondering are so over. Yesterday, when picking out a Christmas tree, I looked at one tree. ONE. The guy cut the twine off, showed it to me and I said, “I’ll take it.” With two hungry kids (make that 3, I was starving), winds smacking me in the face and nap time looming, there was no time to hesitate. Deliver that bad boy. For years, my husband pleaded with me to make decisions (and get ready in the morning) more quickly. But it’s my girls who’ve finally succeeded in transforming me.

dylan-decorates-the-tree.jpgMy children have really started paying off in the holiday department too. Growing up, holidays could be a bit unpredictable and lonely at times. So I sort of dreaded from Thanksgiving until the New Year. As an adult, I was completely intimidated by the idea of creating my own holiday traditions because this time of year is so wrapped up in food, those sweet, intoxicating smells from the kitchen. And I just don’t cook. How can I have Christmas eve at my home if I can’t roast a turkey? Or more accurately, if I don’t want to roast, puree or dice anything.

But now I’m starting to get it. I don’t have to be perky Rachael Ray to create a tradition. Last week, Rick, I and the girls lit the menorah candles for 8 straight days and celebrated Hanukkah. We even made latkes (potato pancakes). They were from a mix but still…those cakes were damn tasty. And today, 3 year-old Dylan and I put lights on the Christmas tree. She helped me fill the tree stand with water and layer the branches with ornaments. It didn’t feel unpredictable or lonely. It feels like the creation of my own holiday traditions. So my kids may not have part-time jobs (when can they start that by the way because preschool is steep?) but they are contributing in other ways. Who knew these little ladies could teach me so much?

mama bird notes

Contributing mama Daphne Biener could also take a lesson from one of her girls. Click on “contributing mamas” to read more.

And in “drooling over this”, a gift idea for a fellow yummy mummy.


Damn. It’s too freakin’ cold out. Before children, bundling up for freezing winter temps meant throwing on a coat, hat and stuffing some gloves in my pockets. Done. Out the door in 14 seconds. Now, add 32 minutes. And that’s on a day when I’m cooking with turbo gas.

There is just too much crap to wrap around these kiddos. Nothing stays on. Little 1 year-old Summer looks at me with those big hazel eyes and just simply can not understand why she can’t hold her scrumptious piece of buttery toast. She tries to grab on to it with her big, pink, puffy mitten but it’s just futile. I finally shove the toast half way into her mouth and she seems content with the hands free option.

Even with the windy, I-wish-I-was-wearing-wool-hanky-pankys-weather, I decided this morning to take the girls to pick out a Christmas tree. Shhh… don’t tell all my Jewish relatives. I mean, 48 hours ago there was a rabbi in my apartment. So we drove an hour and a half to the Lantier Tree Farm in Jamesburg, New Jersey to pick out and cut down our own tree. Well, maybe that’s not quite accurate. Actually, on the hair less ambitious side, we walked three blocks from my apartment and picked out a tree on the corner of 8th Avenue and Jane Street. And we had it delivered. Look, it’s free delivery AND I did have to brush a little ice off the branches so it’s not like I’m a holiday prima donna here.

I tried to encourage Dylan to get out of the stroller and actually help me pick out the tree but she wasn’t budging. She said, “Mommy, you do it. I’m too tired.” Too tired? Too tired for this joyful holiday moment? Too tired for St. Nick? Too tired for Rudolph and his precious, rosy red nose? Too tired for the little white lights, steamy hot cocoa and exuberant Christmas carols? Apparently so. Fine. Well, I can’t really blame her. She was all tucked into that stroller sleeping bag, looking perfectly toasty.

We make it home. In the lobby, Dylan jumps out of her stroller with gusto. Then she sheds every annoying layer in the elevator. So by the time we step out onto the 5th floor, I am holding her jacket, mittens, hat, sweater and shoes. I plead with her to at least keep her socks on until we actually make it inside our apartment. And then we do. Ah. Warmth.

Gosh, I’m jealous of all you mamas who live in warmer climates. What are you wearing right now? A t-shirt? A pair of flip flops. Can I cry with envy? My very talented hubby is a TV anchor in New York City, the number one television market in the country. Don’t tell him but I’ve been sending his resume tapes to a few stations in Santa Barbara. Hopefully, I’ll hear something soon.

mama bird notes

We have two mothers that could use some immediate mama help. Jordana can’t figure out what to name her baby if it’s a girl. Weigh in on her current favs and give your top picks. And mama Natalie is also looking for some guidance with her 3 year-old. Click on “askamama” under the menu bar and share your brilliance.

Also, a pediatric ER doctor wants to pass on some sweet information to all you mamas. According to new research, a spoonful of honey can help reduce your kids’ nighttime coughing. Here’s the link if you want all the details. Thanks doc.

Finally, I was recently tagged for a meme by Nona at Everyday Yogini which, in the blogging world, means I’m supposed to share 7 little known facts about myself. So here I go.

1. I’m very good at using chopsticks. For as long as I can remember, my mother has used them for practically every meal, so props to her for teaching me. I also won an award in high school for my typing skills (my photo was in the local paper). Obviously, I haven’t won too many awards if I still remember it with such fondness.

2. I went on my first date with my husband in 1996. We went on our second date in 2000. Apparently, it was love at second sight.

3. My parents were never married. They still aren’t. They are not together.

4. Growing up, I was the shortest kid in my class for years and years. Now I’m an average 5’4.” Well, it might be more like 5 foot 3 inches and a quarter.

6. I was one of the top ten finalists for Real World San Francisco and then I got cut when they selected the final six. I came oh-so-close to kissing Puck. Damn. Sorry I missed that. Yes, I’m obviously still bitter about being cut from the cast.

7. As a sorority girl at Tulane University, I did live goldfish shots. That’s what a college tuition can buy. I got a degree too.

kelcey kintner


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