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My city dog Martini is going on holiday in Southern Connecticut for two weeks. She is planning to do some running, sniffing, playing and maybe even catch up on her reading. Martini says, with her black coat, the city is just too hot this time of year. She needs to get out and breathe some country air. She might decide to move out there if she can find a place that fits her canine needs.

This is what I tell myself. In reality, our 4-year-old lab is doing a two week trial period with a family that will hopefully adopt her. She is sitting right here at my feet and I already miss her. Martini was a handful from the very beginning. I picked her out at a Long Island animal rescue league when she was three months-old. Even as a puppy, she was so elegant and beautiful. Very Audrey Hepburn-esque if you can imagine the late actress as a dog. Beautiful but insanely, crazy hyper. Four years later, she still has so much energy that we had to hire a professional dog runner to run her five miles a day. I do realize that my dog is in better shape than either me or my husband Rick. Rick wanted to adopt a different dog from the shelter. He liked this puppy named Lucky Girl. I’m sure Lucky Girl does not have a personal trainer. In fact, I’m sure she is asleep right now.

One day, we finally decided that Martini deserved more room to run around and play. She deserves to be a dog, not spend her life in 1,200 square feet. I don’t know what to tell my toddler Dylan. I don’t know what to tell myself. We are going to try to let her go so she can be happy. Sometimes it’s the crazy ones we love the most.


Yesterday, as I was pushing my daughter to preschool, I suddenly brought my stroller to a halt. A clothing rack, packed with dressing gowns and aging frocks, was blocking the entire sidewalk. Someone was moving into the Village Nursing Home on 12th Street. Did I wait patiently for the rack to be moved? No. Did I go back to the crosswalk so I could cross the street? No. While chatting on my phone and keeping an eye on my daughter, I attempted to roll the rack out of the way. In case you’re not aware, full clothing racks are very heavy. Make that extremely heavy. The rack pitched forward. Despite my best efforts to hold on to it, the rack tumbled to the ground, sending hangers and clothing across the sidewalk. Clearly, we were going to be late for preschool.

As I picked up the hangers and house dresses, I had a thought. I may need to be more present in my life. Perhaps, it is not always necessary to do three things at the same time. My father was visiting this past weekend and I watched him focus on my children. He has this amazing ability to really be present for them, playing endlessly. That’s not my natural strength. I’m so much better at preparing snacks, cleaning out the stroller, organizing their clothes or whisking them off to school, to the park or to an activity.

Each night at bed time, Dylan and I talk about our favorite part of the day. For me, my best moments are usually dancing with Dylan and her sister, hugging them in our big arm chair, reading Dylan books or giving the girls extra goodnight kisses. Ironically, these are often the moments I’ve rushed through so I can get something done. But I’ve noticed something about these “to do” lists. They never end. There is always more laundry, more dishes and more errands. So I’m really going to try to be a little more present in my life. For today, I’ll let a few of the calls go to voicemail, play a little longer with my kids and I definitely won’t move any more clothing racks.


One of my favorite pastimes (and this is pathetic by the way) is sitting down on the couch after a long day with the kids, eating Tasti D-lite (touted as All Natural but can’t possibly be true at less than 20 calories an ounce but I choose to believe it’s all natural anyway) and watching bad TV. Yes, I have other more respectable hobbies like yoga and skiing. But my love for bad TV is probably only equal to my passion for reading the New York Post.

The problem with loving crappy TV is that inevitably, bad TV shows gets canceled. And that makes me sad. My DVR series manager (and if you don’t have DVR or Tivo or some equivalent you are nuts) is a graveyard of canceled shows. My list of shows to record is like TV’s death row. I think I was one of the last six people watching “The O.C.” I still miss my friends Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa. I loved “Hidden Palms” (a recently canceled teen drama that was a cross between “Dawson’s Creek”, “The O.C.” and Encyclopedia Brown). In fact, “Hidden Palms” was so hidden, I think it was on the air for all of a month. At 37, am I too old to be watching shows about high school students? Wait, don’t answer that. Moving on to “Gilmore Girls.” With good acting and clever writing, this show had its heyday. But the last and final season was so devoid of any real plot that it actually hurt me to watch. Still, every week I tuned in and I was a bit melancholy when it was all over.

So my latest obsession is the reality show “Hey Paula.” This show is terrible. Every episode, Paula Abdul cries, yells at her staff and complains non-stop about her fatigue. Hey Paula, here it is straight up. Take a nap, knock off the diva/loony behavior and quiet down because your life rocks.

My husband Rick does not make me feel better about all this. The guy actually comes home from work and will watch one of his DVR saved shows like “Meet the Press” or “60 Minutes.” But I don’t care. I learned so much from Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa in our four seasons together. I also enjoy Morley, Mike, Lesley and the rest of the 60 minutes gang but let’s be honest, they could never hack it in the O.C.


During the summer, I sometimes begin to feel like the last mom in Manhattan. The parks become strangely quiet. You can actually get into a decent restaurant before 9:45 pm on a Saturday night. And the Starbucks’ line shortens considerably. But all this quiet leaves me feeling a bit lonely and restless. With relatives in nearby coastal towns, there are plenty of places for me to escape but a change of venue come with a price. Packing. I get nervous just typing the word.

Packing has never been my thing. It’s my husband’s thing. He can pack for a trip in 10 minutes. For me, it can take hours. It can take days. I agonize over what to bring. Whatever I want to bring is lying in a crumbled ball at the bottom of the laundry basket. Within moments of beginning the process, I’m paralyzed. At that moment, I can’t remember what I’ve ever worn a day in my life. Invariably, I forget something big (like underwear or my glasses) or I pack 15 pairs of shoes for a four day holiday or I bring a top that I haven’t worn in a year. That top shouldn’t be in my closet, never mind in my suitcase.

These days I have to pack for myself, my toddler and my baby. How much pressure can a girl take? Not just the clothes but the baby food, the diapers, the monitors, the sippy cups, the bibs, the wipes, the books and toys for the car …. I’m really starting to sweat. Plus, my toddler Dylan likes to peruse the suitcase and pull out items as I’m putting them in. You know, she likes to “help out.” Thanks Dylan but I got it.

Once we finally zip up the suitcases, I feel such relief. But it only lasts until we strap the kids into their car seats. That’s when the crying usually begins.


My 3 1/2-year-old daughter Dylan is bilingual – well, sort of.

Despite hiring a part-time Spanish speaking nanny, my daughter doesn’t speak a word of Spanish. Since Patricia only helps me out once a week, it just isn’t enough.

But Dylan is picking up another language: Yiddish. Unlike myself, my husband, Rick, is Jewish and my mekhutonim(in-laws) are of course Jewish and that means a whole lot of Yiddish is going on. My daughter now talks about bumping her keppe (head) and washing her hentes (hands). She can’t wait to visit her Bubbie (grandmother) and Zaydie (grandfather).

My little girl talks about making a pish (pee) in the potty and needing diaper creme on her tuches (bum). And, like every toddler, she certainly knows how to kvetch (complain) or be a noodge (a pain in the tuches).

O.K., so maybe this wasn’t the language I envisioned but so far I still understand what she’s talking about and I’ve never heard her Bubbie or Zaydie yell at her for eating cornflakes.

Although I do hear her bat mitvah will cost us a fortune. Oy vey.


kelcey kintner


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