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My husband and I have been arguing about waffles. Or more accurately, the syrup.

Rick believes 14-month-old Summer should get waffles WITH syrup. In his opinion, waffles WITHOUT syrup is like mac without cheese, Brad without Jen Angelina or shake without the bake.

On the other side, I believe that Summer gets plenty of sugar the rest of the day (I view sweets as a fun let’s-get-in-the-stroller-and-be-happy motivator). Plus, our carb lovin’ younger daughter seems quite content with just a little butter on her waffles (Of course, I butter them! I’m not Mommy Dearest for god’s sake).

So how do we end this waffle war? Now, keep in mind, my record is clear. I always voted against the waffle war and Rick initially voted for the war but now wants to cut and run. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. I think I’m watching too much primary election coverage.

While you are pondering all that, please enlighten me about another matter. Can my 3 1/2 year old actually hear me? This is how it works in my house.

Me: Dylan, what do you want for dinner?

Dylan: (silence)

Me: Dylan! What do you want for dinner?

Dylan: (silence)

Me: Dylan, can you hear me?

Dylan: (silence)

Me: Ok, if you can’t answer me then no books or “Sesame Street” tonight. And heck, while we’re at it, no dinner or dessert either.

Dylan: Grilled cheese.

In contrast, I wish I could tout my own stellar listening skills. But I really can’t. For example, when we go to a restaurant, and the waiter comes to tell us the specials, this is what I hear.

Waiter: Good Evening. Tonight we have the steamed artichoke for an appetizer… I wonder if we have to pay the babysitter’s cabfare home if we get back before 11 pm…. These spanks are really digging into my stomach. Would anyone notice if I pulled them down just a bit…. I really need a pedicure. Is there anyway to possibly bring two kids to a nail salon? No, that’s ridiculous. Hey that might be a money maker. A nail salon with a kid’s play area! Simply brilliant! Wait, actually that’s not good. All those chemicals… And for dessert we have a red velvet cake with a vanilla icing. Let me know if you have any questions.

Wait, what happened? I didn’t hear any of the specials! Is there a fish dish? A grilled sea bass or breaded halibut, by chance? Should I ask him to repeat it? Oh, he’s walking away. Damn. I’ll just order off the menu.

Dylan and I may need to work on our listening skills.

Meanwhile, let me update you on my zen go-with-the-crazy flow parenting techniques.

3 1/2 year-old Dylan continues to wear 14 month-old Summer’s sleep sacks to bed – EVERY NIGHT. Of course, I always try to tuck Dylan in without one. The other night she says to me, “Mommy, you ALWAYS forget my sleep sack.” Sorry girl. Don’t know what is wrong with me.

Then Dylan started wearing layers and layers of Summer’s clothing around the apartment.

And now she wears Summer’s clothing wherever we go. This is Dylan stuffed into Summer’s winter jacket.


You’ll notice the sleeves are just a smidge short and it’s all a bit snug.

Would you let your kid out like this? I’m either so chill or such a pushover. She can’t look that odd because she got THREE compliments in Starbucks on her outfit. Me? Not a one.

mama bird notes

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There is a restaurant in New York City called the Waverly Inn. You can’t simply call and make a reservation. I mean, com’on. That would be ludicrous.

You have to know someone who knows someone who knows the secret number or email address or spy code and then, if all the planets turn just so, you get a reservation. Or you can show up in person and beg and sob and plead some more and hopefully they will squeeze you in at 5:30 pm or perhaps 10:45 pm, if that’s more convenient for you.

It’s insulting. It’s pretentious. It’s aggravating.

So, of course, I really wanted to go. I’m not proud of this. But I wanted a peak at this super secret celeb society, run by Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair.

We scored a reservation through a friend of my husband’s. You know who you are and I hope the gift of a future child is enough to repay you for your overwhelming generosity. We tend to have girls around here so I hope you are ok with that (I have found girls to be just delightful and I’m sure you will love yours madly).

The Waverly Inn is very quaint and charming inside. The food is well, so-so. But forget the food, WHO IS THERE?

Me: Honey, go to the bathroom and see if there are any celebrities here. (My husband has incredible celebrity radar. He’ll see a flash of some woman’s ear and say, “that’s Nicole Eggert from “Charles in Charge.”)

Rick: I don’t have to go.

Me: Please. Because if I go to the bathroom first, I’ll notice no one and then you’ll go later and see Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow and Colin Farrell. And I’ll be just completely annoyed. So please go first.

Rick: Honey…

Me: Pleassssssssssssssssssssssssssse. Come on. Pleassssssssssssssssssssssssssssse.

Rick: Fine. I’ll go.

Rick heads off to the loo and comes back with this report.

Rick: Charlie Rose (PBS tv host), Michael Stipes (R.E.M lead singer) and Salman Rushdie (the controversial Indian-British novelist who hid for a decade because of a Iranian fatwa, ordering his execution) are here. They are all seated on the right hand side as you head to the bathrooms.

Damn. I’m not really into Charles, Michael or Salman. No offense to the Rushdie party at table 17, but who wants to hang in a restaurant with a guy who’s had an Iranian death threat hanging over him for years and years? Yeah, that’s definitely not how I roll.

No Sarah Jessica? No Gwyneth? Are you sure? Sigh.

I try to sashay across the dining room as if I am indeed someone famous and fabulous. But alas, I am not. Well, at least there’s no line for the ladies room.

And I finally have the Waverly out of my system.

Meanwhile, we did the birthday party circuit this weekend. On Sunday, I took Dylan to Carter’s birthday party. Carter is this sweet, too cute boy from Dylan’s preschool. All the kiddos had such a blast, except for my Dyl pickle.

The girl just doesn’t like crowds or most group activities, so she basically sat in my lap and waited for cake.

2 hours of waiting. Just. for. cake.

Of course, after the birthday cake, everyone put on their coats to go home. I told Dylan it was time to leave and she cries, “But I didn’t get a chance to play! I want to play.”

I can hardly breathe I’m so frustrated.

As she sobs, I put her jacket on.

We get outside. She recovers a bit and says, what’s that song from my yoga class?

“Take a deep breathe, sit up tall, rub your hands, Ommmmmmmm,” I sing to her.

It’s like somewhere deep down, she knows I am the one who needs to stay calm, to keep breathing.

Finally, something Dylan does love intensely (just like her nanny)…. flowers.


She always makes a point to stop and sniff the roses, or the hydrangea or the daisies or the carnations. As she takes in the sweet essences, she murmurs, “They are so beautiful. So beautiful.”

Right back at you, babe.

mama bird notes

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Contributing mama Daphne Biener is here with a tale from the h20. Click on contributing mamas to read about the swim race. My money is on the mama.

And don’t miss the piece by our contributing papa (aka my handsome hubby Rick Folbaum), on why we could all use a few more surprises in our lives. You mean our lives might be a tad predictable?! I think he has a point (and you know, I try not to admit that a whole lot). Click on contributing mamas to read more.


People really need to start telling me things.

For example, when Dylan was a year-old, I was still using the newborn size nipples with her bottles. I could not understand why it took the girl SO LONG to finish a bottle. Until thankfully, some mother just happened to mention that nipples come in different sizes.

Well, my god, why didn’t someone tell me sooner? It’s like one of those Oprah Aha moments except that I should of “Aha’d” about 8 months earlier.

Can you imagine how frustrated young Dylan was?

She must have been thinking, “I’m sucking this thing with everything I got and I’m barely getting a dribble. I don’t have the energy for this. My mom needs to smarten up, march herself over to that Buy Buy Baby and get me some toddler size nipples. Damn. I wish I could talk.”

This time around it was Greenstylemom who saved my arse.

I just happened to check out her blog on the eve of the big Valentine’s Day when I really should have been paying attention to my children. She had her own way-too-late-Aha-moment.

She wrote that last year, she brought her daughter to preschool on Valentine’s Day and was a bit horrified to learn that all the other kids had cute valentine’s to hand out. Her daughter – nothing.

WHAT?! I. am. panicked.

What time is it? 6:37 pm. I call Rick at work.

Me: You MUST pick up valentine’s cards on your way home. Something from the drugstore. For Dylan to give to her friends at school. Oh my gosh, I hope they are not sold out. Buy something. ANYTHING.

A Peanuts 32-pack purchased for $1.99. Wow. Isn’t that what my mom paid in 1975?

Rick and I stayed up late, putting the valentine’s together. We even had a slight disagreement about the fastest way to label and fold the cards. My technique was obviously vastly superior.

The next morning, poor Dylan did not know what was going on when I thrust the little Snoopy cards into her hand and told her to give them to her classmates and teachers.

She refused.

I tried again.

Nope. Not having it.

I finally had to rely on her friend Ella to help me pass them out. Ella was THRILLED.

I was relieved.

Now I can eat all of Dylan’s Valentine’s Day loot


without feeling like a subpar mom.

Well, I had a slight tinge of subparness because we didn’t bring in sweet little treats. Or homemade cards. Or cute gift bags.

But heck, Snoopy from Walgreens rocks it.

And that evening, Rick gave me two dozen roses…


…even though, as you may recall, I described Valentine’s Day as ridiculously predictable, stale and manufactured. The guy does not scare easily.

I’m thinking he wanted to make sure he was covered. Just in case, I started feeling a little love for the holiday. Which I kind of did.

Of course, both of us caught some kind of romantic stomach virus too.

And then just before I went to bed. I discovered this


in the bathroom.

Where did this guy come from?

Is he a loner or part of a larger gang? Where is the gang? Did they go out for beer? Are they coming back?

So I woke up Rick because really, the THING was big and fat and I did not want to deal. I’m just the photographer. So he killed it and went back to bed.

My Valentine.

mama bird notes

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As usual, no fancy, sophisticated comments needed. A simple, “I want to smell delightful and delish when I’m wiping snot from kid’s face” or “Just give me the free fragrance” will do.

Our contributing papa is back in the mama bird game. Click on contributing mamas to read more.

And if you are just oh-so-bored with been there, done that weekend kids’ activities, it’s time to bring on the disco. To read more, click on drooling over this.


3 ½ year-old Dylan just hearts our dog Martini.

I think mostly because Martini moved to the suburbs last June.

Martini was a bit crazy rambunctious rowdy neurotic spirited.

She would lovingly gallop through our apartment at 80 mph, sending Dylan, in a mad panic, scrambling to the highest surface.

But now that Martini lives with a new family in Connecticut, she is the object of Dylan’s adoration.

Dylan: When Martini comes back, we should buy her a vest (there are endless examples of well-dressed pets in our neighborhood which has convinced Dylan that Martini does indeed need to be fitted for some new outer wear).

Me: Well, I think Martini is going to stay in the country because she is so happy running around there.

Dylan: But when she comes back, we should buy her a vest.

Me: Well, if she comes to visit, we’ll certainly consider it.

Dylan: She needs a vest.

Me: Ok.

Given Dylan’s sudden zest for our former dog (and apparently vests too), I thought she might enjoy the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. A friend gave us tickets and it’s barely a 10 minute cab ride to Madison Square Garden from our apartment.

So we went.

And Dylan was overflowing with exuberant joy.

Mostly because of the escalators.


As for the dog show, our seats were amazing. I desperately wanted to stay right there in our spot until Justin Timberlake comes back into town.

And there were a few moments of suspense.

Like when Dylan got her foot stuck in one of the chairs. Apparently the seats are not intended for use as a climbing apparatus. She yelped as if she would never be freed again which brought a few critical glances our way.

As for the show, we saw dogs running back and forth to polite clapping from the crowd. And we watched judges checking out their hind legs and other very important dog show stuff (For more details, rent that Christopher Guest movie).

Apparently, Patty Hearst’s (Yes, THAT Patty Hearst) dog was competing but I wasn’t able to spot the celebrity canine (mostly, I think because I have no idea what her dog looks like).

But I did notice the bars were on lock-down at the Garden. I guess booze and beagles don’t mix.


It just ain’t cool anymore to drink and judge dog shows.

All and all, the show was a fun way to fill a frigid winter afternoon.

As you know, I’m pretty down on winter. I mean, other than the cold, the darkness, and claustrophobic children bouncing off the icy windows, I don’t mind it THAT much.

However, I will admit there are moments, like a snowy afternoon by the Hudson River,


when winter can be quite magical.


Have Valentine’s Day. Sending a little magic + love + chocolate your way.


When I was single I used to dread Valentine’s Day. Did I really need a national holiday to remind me that I was completely unattached?

It’s cruel. Oh yes, there is love all around. Love. Love. Love. Oh, but none for you.

All those red petals and baby’s breath delivered to the cubicle next to you. So darn close. Maybe I’ll scoot those roses over to my desk, just for a few minutes, since she’s off at lunch. I heard she was cheating on her boyfriend anyway. Oh, they smell sooo good. Crap. She’s coming back. Quick. Quick. Put the flowers back on her desk. My god, she’ll think I’m a crazy person.

The holiday wouldn’t be so depressing in the middle of let’s say… June. Sunny, warm, tank tops and flip flops June. But dreary February?

Of course, boyfriends along the way and my husband changed all that. I, too, could finally go out and pay for inflated price-fixed Valentine’s Day dinners. I suddenly had a dozen long stem roses on my desk and creamy, caloric Godiva chocolates tied with fat, crisp ribbon. And it felt sugary and sweet and nice.

But suddenly this year, it all feels ridiculously predictable. Stale. Manufactured.

Just not feeling the love for the holiday.

I love and adore my husband. But there is no denying that our first kiss is long gone. The frenetic energy and heady rush of new love has transformed into the warm buzz and constant chaos of our family unit.

Roses on February 14th feels like fresh love.

A bunch of gorgeous flowers from my favorite shop on some random day feels more like us. It feels like deep love, commitment, respect, laughter and a life intertwined. I’ll take it.

Oh wait, I want one more thing.

How about a rich, creamy nutella crepe.

And a fab BCBG top too.

And also 10 hours of straight sleep.

And maybe if Rick promised to never again eat chicken skin.

And a guarantee I’ll look as good as Tina Turner when I’m 68.


Did you see her perform at the Grammy’s? Wowie Zowie. Beyonce has nothing on her.

Yes, that’s about it. The perfect celebration of our eternal love. A little odd that chicken skin and Tina Turner would play a role. But love is a mystery, my friends.

By the way, I know many of you are anxiously waiting to see my LA Mac genius techno hero Wass, all tucked in and ready for bed. As I suspected, Wass is indeed a sleep sack maniac. He supplied the picture to prove it.


I knew there was a reason he and Dylan are such tight buds.

Last night, 3 year-old Dylan woke up in the middle of the night sobbing because she couldn’t scratch her tushee while wearing 1 year-old Summer’s sleep sack. I get it. Who wants an itchy butt?

The solution seems obvious, right? Ditch the sack. But no. I unzipped her, scratched her tush and then she demanded to be zipped back up.

Hmm… I wonder if Wass had the same issue last night.

kelcey kintner


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