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This week I took Summer for her 18 month-old check-up. I still dread those vaccination visits. I don’t mind the crying. Although the first time Rick and I took Dylan as a baby, all three of us were pathetically sobbing. Note to new parents out there: Hysterical moms and dads don’t really calm newborns.

No, I don’t cry anymore. I just worry. And frankly, I’m far more talented and experienced at worrying than crying anyway.

It’s the whole could-there-possibly-be-a-connection-to-autism-thing that just makes me queesy. But on the flip side, I’d sort of definitely prefer my kids not get polio or the mumps or the measles. Because that sounds like a major bummer. So I buried my angst and headed to the doctor’s office.

At which point I learned that I never brought Summer in for her 15 month check-up.

Or her 12 month check-up.

In fact, Summer hadn’t had any of her shots for 9 months. I know my friend Adam (the pediatric ER doc – aka the red headed George Clooney) is just shaking his head right now in disapproval. Oh, Adam. I’m not perfect.

Summer has been to the pediatrician 12 zillion times for chest congestion, coughs and colds. But apparently, I had forgotten all about those nifty “wellness” visits.

It’s kind of out character for me because I’m pretty insanely organized. So maybe the fears in my subconscious took over my appointment calendar. Anyway, we’ll will be catching up on her shots over the next month which is good old fashion summer in the city fun.

Meanwhile, 38 is roaring towards me like an Amtrak Acela train (without all the delays). I don’t even know why I give a crap about 38. It’s really her step sister 40 that I am truly afraid of.

I know, all of you out there who are already 40 are thinking, “Com’on Kelcey, don’t be such a friggin’ wimp. 40 is nothing.” And I’m sure I’ll feel that way on the day after my 40th birthday. Or at least, I will absolutely feel that way about 40 on my 60th birthday.

It just all goes so darn fast.

I still keep thinking that I’m going to wake up and be 24, sitting in a cafe with some friends, listening to Blues Traveler and not stressing about child immunizations or 40th birthdays.

Totally hasn’t happened yet. Strange, right?

Instead I will celebrate what 38 years has brought me. Things I dreamed of but could not have ever imagined at 24…

Oh wait. Scratch that. I mean, he was fun. But not that guy. I meant this guy and his girlie sidekicks.

mama bird notes
I really am ashamed of myself. WEEKS ago, the very funny site GoodMom/BadMom featured one of my stories on their Sunday Blog wrap up. You know that story I wrote about my atheist dad. Anyway, I never properly thanked them for the awesome honor. It’s embarrassing really. So please head on over and check out their site and I will rest easier tonight. Thanks to Jennifer H. for unintentionally setting me straight.

And check out our new mama bird poll. How would you feel about your husband going to a strip club?


I feel like I’m always try to reassure my husband that our 3 1/2 year-old’s behavior is COMPLETELY NORMAL for her age.

Like when Dylan wakes me up in the morning by licking my arm.

Or when she kisses every page of the book I’m reading her.

Or at night, when Rick says to her, “Honey, it’s bedtime. Why aren’t you sleeping?” and she responds, “I am sleeping. In a different way. With my eyes open.” Oh, that’s cool. I should try that. I’d get so much more accomplished.

Or when she wears my nude, control top pantyhose to the playground.

Or wears this outfit to the water park on a gorgeous sunny day, despite my suggestion that a bathing suit and flip flops might do the trick. Rainboots? Really!?

Or when she insists that her sister Summer needs to wear a down winter coat on an 80 degree day.

I double insisted that Summer did not.

No worries Rick. I see lots of young kids in the neighborhood and they are all just as nuts. But he always looks at me like he’s not quite convinced. Like perhaps we are inadvertently raising some kind of irrational wild thing.

This past weekend, a colleague of Rick’s told us about an experience she had, in an elevator, with her 5 year-old son.

A very heavy woman got on the elevator and her son said quite loudly, “MOMMY, SHE’S FAT.”

I mean, wouldn’t you just crawl into that musak box right then and there?

Of course, the mother made him apologize and the woman was very gracious about the whole thing but still…

I think I’ll stick with my kid who likes to wear control top panty hose.

Oh and I’ll also keep the other one who wears pink, princess heels to the beach.

mama bird notes
Looking for some children’s music with a little New Orleans funk? Click on “drooling over this” to read about an awesome kids’ CD. They had me at Radiators…

I’m crying in my crab cake sandwich over the closing of New York City’s campy French diner, Florent. You can read more at New York City Moms Blog.

As some of you know, my husband has Crohn’s disease, a debilitating and sometimes life threatening disease that causes painful inflammation of the digestive tract. Since his own diagnosis 17 years ago, medical advances have been made. But instead of becoming less prevalent, Crohn’s is becoming more and more common. Almost a million and a half Americans are now suffering from this disease and many of them are young children.

This week I’m giving away some beautiful note cards, created by artist Alexa Maizes, a 10 year-old suffering from Crohn’s Disease. She also sells her note cards on her website and a portion of the proceeds go the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Just leave a comment this week on the mama bird diaries and you are entered to win.

This week in NYC, Rick will be helping to raise money to find a cure for Crohn’s. If you feel like donating click here.

To view a Fox 5 NY piece on Rick click here. I even make a cameo! And you can’t tell I have a poochy, mama belly!! Oh, and Rick is pretty good too.


Ever been to a burlesque show? My husband and I had the chance this past weekend to experience the Box in New York’s East Village. This risque variety show starts with performers in ape costumes running around and humping audience members (yes, seriously) and ends with me feeling the emcee’s abs (yes, seriously). Oh, here. I’ll show you.

This guy has obviously never had a baby. Who has abs like that? Please don’t tell me your husband does.

And I… uh… noticed that this emcee had a tendency to wear his… um… his privates to the right. So I asked my husband, “Do most men have a preferred side to put their goods on?

The answer from Rick, “Yes. Definitely.” Hmm… Interesting. And you thought I only enlightened you about toxic plastics. If you have a hankering to read more about the bulge (and really, who doesn’t?) visit Memarie Lanie.

We went to the early evening “family” burlesque show (no kids invited) around 7:30 pm. The second show starts about 1:30 in the morning and apparently it’s really something to see. I’m guessing that if you are going to a show that STARTS at 1:30 AM then you don’t care if a big fake hairy ape is humping you. Or much else for that matter.

Boy, after all that… how could Father’s Day ever compete? Luckily, the girls smothered Rick with love.

Dylan’s hugs can be more like strangulation but the girl just has a big heart and a tight grip.

Sunday afternoon, I booked a sitter and took Rick (who loves all things European) to this great pub called The Molly Wee. I figured we could enjoy some relaxing alone time and savor a pint at their sweeping wooden bar.

Except we weren’t quite expecting so many Iron Maiden fans.

Apparently, Iron Maiden was playing later that evening, just up the street at Madison Square Garden.

It was fun to connect with these guys…

In case you are wondering, Rick’s the one not wearing any headgear.

And in the end, isn’t Iron Maiden what Father’s Day is all about?

mama bird notes
It’s time to announce the winners of the Lands’ End swim package. Robyn is the winner of the boy’s package. And Julie L. is the winner of the girl’s package. Please email me your address and size of your child to kelcey@mamabirddiaries.com. Congrats mamas!

If you live in New York City or plant to travel here, you must check out the awesome site Mommy Poppins. This mama knows it all when it comes to cool stuff to do with your kids in NYC.

And, of course, she just came up with another brilliant idea… The Mommy Poppins Neighborhood Guide for Families, the perfect way to find the best toy stores, parks, shopping, family friendly dining and tons of fun places to visit in each neighborhood. And it just so happens that I wrote the piece on the West Village if you feel like checking it out.


I try to find funny in almost everything. But once in a while, there is nothing to laugh about. Take, for example, a new study by the nonprofit organization, Environmental and Human Health Inc (composed of doctors, public health professionals + policy experts), about the danger of some plastics to children and reproductive health.

Yeah… doesn’t exactly leave you in stitches, does it?

But I’m going to give you the basic facts and some awesome info to help protect your family. And then there will be a hunky reward at the end. Super hunky.

But first, the evil nitty gritty.

This study focused on the health effects from two chemicals found in some plastics – bisphenol A (BPA) and the phthalate DEHP. These chemicals are commonly found in both infant and baby products, as well as many everyday consumer items.

First the way scary part…
We’ve reviewed hundreds of scientific studies on these chemicals and discovered that this is a far more serious problem than most believe. The plastics industry has escaped serious regulatory attention by federal and state authorities, while producing billions of pounds of resins each year used to manufacture thousands of products. Almost none of it is recycled, and most is buried or incinerated, which explains its presence in soils, groundwater and even air,” said John Wargo, professor of Risk Analysis and Environmental Policy at Yale University.

OH MAN, THAT SUCKS. (Kelcey’s commentary. Not part of the actual study.)

The two plastic ingredients (BPA and DEHP) are the subject of this report because of increasing evidence that they disrupt normal growth and development due to their hormonal activity.


And this quote really got to me… “While the final verdict on the risks of BPA may remain uncertain for years, the evidence for harm is already strong enough, as this report makes crystal clear, to immediately start protecting potentially vulnerable people – especially children – from any unnecessary exposures,” said Dr. Mark Cullen, professor of Medicine and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine.

DON’T FREAK OUT. Well, freak out a little. But then take action.

There is an excellent list here on Z Recommends of all the companies that manufacture sippy cups, bottles, feeding products, etc.). You simply click on your favorite brand and find out which items are BPA free and which contain BPA. Pretty helpful and easy, right?

Like I was wondering about those First Year Sesame Street Take & Toss cups. Turns out… BPA free. Let me tell you, Summer is going to be quite relieved because I was about to throw those bad boys in the trash.

Z recommends comes to the rescue again with a list of safe and not safe bath toys.
And click here for their list of safe teethers.

This gets a little tricky because phthalates are in all kinds of everyday products like cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants, hair gels, hair sprays, body lotions, nail polish, food wrap, shower curtains, automobile interiors, paint, pesticides and hospital supplies. And you often won’t find it on the ingredients’ label. I can’t even get started on that ridiculousness (Hi FDA – you still out there?)

Click on Non-Toxic Kids for some easy ways to avoid phthalates.

Some really big ones…

-Avoid using plastic containers and plastic wraps in microwave.

-Avoid the use of scented candles, air fresheners, dryer sheets, and other heavily scented products, as many contain phthalates.

-And choose products that don’t contain the word “fragrance” on the ingredients list because they will often contain phthalates.

Ok. I’m done with all that. And thank you to you for sticking with me.

So here is a little Sawyer…

Or if you’re more of a Fox fan…

Ok, ok… I now a few dads out there are just sick of all the male eye candy on this site. So here’s a little Lilly for you all out there. Happy Father’s Day.

Ok, I promise, the next post will be a heck of a lot more fun.


I absolutely love the idea of biking. But the biking itself? Yeah, that doesn’t usually work out.

One college summer I had tremendous plans to go on a two week biking tour through the French countryside. But at the last minute, I backed out. I mean, it suddenly sounded like an awful LOT of biking. Instead I could stay home in Connecticut, waiting endlessly for my crush to call, while spending the rest of my time trying to get into bars with my fake ID. Now that’s a summer.

Who needs the French and all that pedaling?

Many years later, my husband, daughter Dylan and I traveled to Tuscany. And that’s when I had an absolutely brilliant idea… What could be more lovely than riding around Tuscany on our bicycles? Oh, it will be just perfect.

In the August heat. On the Tuscan hills. While 5 months pregnant.

Rick mentioned that he thought I was perhaps being a bit too ambitious. But I laughed at that Debbie Downer and told him to bulk up. Man, if that guy wasn’t married to me, he wouldn’t do anything adventurous. He is so damn lucky to have me. This was going to be awesome.

You know what? Despite that joyful smile plastered on my face, not really all that awesome.

Expensive? Well, yes… with the bike rentals, the bike seat, the helmets, the locks, the bike rack, the bike pants….

Tiring? Oh, definitely. I was exhausted after schlepping into Florence just to pick up the bikes.

Hot? I mentioned it was August, right?

But I apparently have no memory retention because I am, once again, obsessed.

I am already lost in visions of scenic, family bike rides along New York City’s waterfront bike paths. When I imagine Rick biking, I sort of envision… Leonardo DiCaprio. You know, all urban and sexy and eco.

And, of course, not to brag but doesn’t that make me his bike-loving-ex-Gisele?

But maybe with a little less thong showing.

As you know from my previous post, this is definitely NOT how I imagine Rick and myself hitting the bike paths…

Although these two don’t look dumb enough to blow off a parent paid trip to France in favor of trolling the Connecticut suburbs.

So this time I’m serious. We’re getting used bikes. We’re getting bike seats. Dylan and Summer are totally on board with the plan. We’re doing this thing.

Rick – don’t say anything. This is going to be awesome.

mama bird notes
Click on drooling over this for the perfect dessert for wine lovers. You will seriously wow your dinner guests.

Don’t forget our TWO awesome giveaways from Lands’ End. I’m giving away a Girl’s Swim Package (bathing suit, short sleeve rash guard shirt + beach towel) and a Boy’s Swim Package (board shorts, short sleeve rash guard shirt and beach towel). Sun sensible with 50 UPF Protection. Winners will get to pick the sizes.

To enter, leave a comment this week on the mama bird diaries and let me know if you are interested in the boys giveaway, the girls giveaway or both!

kelcey kintner