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So I was stoked (that word is so underutilized) to see a big jump in readership lately and then (gasp!) someone goes ahead and unsubscribes from the mama bird diaries this week. Oh, snap. You didn’t just do that!?!

Was it the condoms?

Was it the elephant’s penis?

Was it the building pipe that looked like a tampon?

Is it because my eldest daughter uses a portable potty on the street?

Maybe that reader is just incredibly, ridiculously old and she thinks I slighted 104 year-old’s in my last post when I mentioned I did not want to buy the same bathing suit as a woman who looked 104. Yes, I’m certain that’s got to be it. She must have been thinking… “Gosh, that mama bird chick is so funny, smart and sassy. If only she didn’t go and bash centenarians, I would have been a life long reader.”

Apparently, you can’t please everyone. But I hate to alienate the centenarian sector.

Well, let me tell you, that defector is going to miss out on some awesome stuff. Like… um… like, oh I know. Like this rat in front of my building.

Because two mammoth construction projects and mega amounts of scaffolding isn’t enough to beautify our little street. What we really need is a gigantic blow-up rat.

If you live in New York City, you probably know the rat. If not, let me introduce you.

He likes to protest non-union workers at construction sites. I think he may do birthday parties on the weekends for extra cash.

You know what that mama bird ex will also miss out on? 3 1/2 year-old Dylan’s summer fashion preview… called ‘find a stylin’, fresh look right in your very own closet.’ That’s right. For example, after I got Dylan completely dressed this morning, she stripped down and reconfigured her outfit a bit.

Yes, the sleep sack/ sun hat combo is the IT thing this summer. Completely, blowing short shorts out of the water. And I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that short shorts are actually back. No, I’m definitely not going there either.

After we redressed Dylan, she added some winter accessories.

Speaking of that girl, Dylan graduated this week from her first year of preschool. This is a snapshot of her on the very first day, back in September…

And here she is on the last day…

Well, trust me, she smiled A LOT in between these two photos. But now she’s all grown up, a year of preschool under her belt, ready to head off into the world… what? Oh, right. Next week, she’s starting camp at the same preschool. And it’s pretty much the exact same schedule. So you can skip that fancy graduation card.

mama bird notes

My friend Lauren, a writer for BusinessWeek, has a great piece on working parents and illness. Check it out here.

Know anybody having a girl? This is the last chance to win a fabulous girlie baby bundle including…

the must-have book for any new mom, “Mama Knows Breast,” a beginners guide to breastfeeding by Andi Silverman, an adorable Marie Chantal onesie from Posh Squeaks, too sweet, polka dot pediped shoes and teething bling from Smart Mom (seen here).

To enter, just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries this week and send a post to friend. We’ll have a baby boy giveaway next!


I feel so grateful for all the amazing, poignant words in response to my last post about Kristin K. and her family. I added a couple addendums and photos to the post.

As you can imagine, humor is not radiating through me these days. My heart feels broken for Kristin and her daughter, Julia. And I’m completely positive that my sadness has lead me to be a bit short tempered with my children and my husband. This, of course, is true irony because this is the moment I’m appreciating them the most.

Despite my crankiness, Dyan has been undeterred in her unintentional efforts to make me smile.

Like at 6:30 this morning when Dylan thrust these is my face….

While I slept, she apparently had done some digging in my drawers and found condoms.

Dylan: Mommy, open these! Open these! I want to open these.

Me: What? Dylan, it’s 6:30 am. It’s not wake-up time.

Dylan: Mommy, pleasssssssssssse. I want to open these.

Me (still delirious): Honey, we’ll open them later (Why would I possible say that? Oh my, I am so very very tired.). It’s not candy or a toy. They’re nothing. Please put them back in the drawer.

Dylan: What are they?

Me: Huh? (Are you not completely impressed by my sophisticated delay tactics?)

Dylan: What are they, mommy?

Me: A grown-up thing. For mommies and daddies. That’s all. Please get back in bed. We’ll open them later (Why do I keep saying that?!).

I stuffed the condoms back in the drawer and hope like hell that she sort of just forgets about it.

Kind of like the roller blades. Let me backtrack.

Whatever big sister Dylan can do, Summer can do too (or at least that’s Summer’s theory anyway).

If Dylan wears a winter hat on a 60 degree day, then Summer does too.

If Dylan “reads” the paper, Summer does too.

If Dylan climbs on a step stool to wash her hands, Summers barrels up there too.

So what were we thinking when we ordered one pair of barbie roller blades (courtesy of Nanny)?

Dylan thought the skates were pretty awesome and cool. Summer, naturally, thought they would be pretty awesome and cool… ON HER FEET.

No problem. We’re creative, savvy parents. We’ll figure this out.

How about we take turns? CRYING.

How about we pull out my roller blades? SCREAMING AND SOBBING.

Nothing worked. More tears. We gave up. We shoved the roller blades in a closet until we can come up with a Plan B. You street-smart parents with multiple kids… what exactly is… uh… plan b? Buy another pair of these discount skates for a 17 month-old? Seems sort of ridiculous.

While you’re mulling that over, let me tell you one other thing. If you ever have a babysitter for a few hours and need a new bathing suit, just don’t go looking, ok? Because let me tell you what they sell in these department stores….

Bikinis. Bikinis. Bikinis.

How about some cute, trendy one pieces? I mean, cut a 30-something mama an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny bikini break.

I finally found a few dinky racks of one pieces and next to me is this woman who looks about 104, combing through the very same suits. The very same suits. Ugh. Well, I had to kind of giggle about that. A little.

mama bird noes

Contributing mama Erin K. Butler is back with a beautiful piece about the moment your baby turns into a little girl or boy. Click here to read more.

Here are a couple recent pieces I wrote for New York City Moms Blog on marriage sex vs. television sex and a post office meltdown.

Know anybody having a girl? This week is your chance to win a fabulous girlie baby bundle including…

the must-have book for any new mom, “Mama Knows Breast,” a beginners guide to breastfeeding by Andi Silverman, an adorable Marie Chantal onesie from Posh Squeaks, too sweet, polka dot pediped shoes and teething bling from Smart Mom.

To enter, just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries this week and send a post to friend. We’ll have a baby boy giveaway next week!


I have no funny in me right now. Nothing.

Because my friend is up at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, sitting by her husband’s bedside. They have been together for more than 22 years. He kissed her for the first time in 1985, under the Washington Square arch on Halloween night.

They have a nearly 4 year-old daughter who is this energetic, sweet-as-can-be little girl. And for many years, cancer has been this family’s adversary.

I can remember when I first met my friend. I sat next to her at a baby yoga class. I was desperate for anything that filled up the long, isolating hours with my new, little, amazing creature. I was a mother. I was given the opportunity to care for and protect and mold (so I thought) this baby. And I was terrified. Baby yoga! Yes. That would certainly help. Or at least fill an hour or so.

But I still had no mommy friends. I needed them. Now. I decided to start a neighborhood playgroup. So there in baby yoga, I announced a new playgroup and mothers were eager to join. The imaginary quickly become real.

This mom joined this group of mothers… all of us flailing around, looking for answers to fix babies who didn’t sleep, didn’t take bottles, nursed too much, nursed too little and probably were all perfect and normal and just waiting for us moms to calm down.

At the time, I knew nothing about this future friend. She seemed nice.

I knew nothing about the disease that her husband was battling. I would learn later.

I would also learn that she is smart, accomplished and filled with limitless and incredible strength.

But today, at this moment, I feel completely helpless. They say, miracles happen. Do they? I want one. I want one for her. I want one for her husband, their daughter and their families.

Once again, I am looking for answers. But it’s no longer about pacifiers and colicky babies.

It’s about why we have to fight so hard sometimes to keep the ones we love. It’s about why kind people must suffer. It’s about the inequity in this world.

There is no playgroup anymore. Mothers have gone back to work and moved, children have sprouted and headed off to preschool.

But we are still here, us mothers, waiting, hoping and praying for our friend. There is no doubt. We are very much still here.


Kristin K.’s husband Mario passed away last night. So where was the miracle? Perhaps in the 22 years they had together, perhaps in the number of years he was able to live with cancer, perhaps most of all in their amazing daughter.

Kristin + Julia, we are endlessly here for you. XO

another addendum

I want to share a beautiful photo that Kristin sent out today of Mario and a few of her own words…

“Mario passed away on Tuesday morning, around 6:45 am.  He fought long and hard.  He took everything they threw at him, and never complained.  I will miss him.  He was my soulmate, my best friend.  There are not enough words to describe how I feel.  I really thought he would pull through, because he always has…

…I am attaching a photo of Mario that was taken on Saturday.  He had a great day, and looked the best I have seen in awhile.  He even has a twinkle in his eye.  Boy, will I miss that twinkle.”


I want to take a moment to thank all of you who pointed out that elephant’s ginormous penis. Frankly (and I don’t possibly know how), I missed it. And my life would have been a little emptier without the experience.

Oh damn it. Here I am again… faced with the awkward elephant transition. Even worse, I’m talking about elephant penises. So here’s my segue: Stop thinking about elephant penises. Seriously. Right now.

I had to defend “ER” this weekend. Yeah, the tv show.

We went out to dinner with this awesome couple and suddenly, the husband is just tearing into “ER” like what kind of idiot would actually watch that has-been, depressing show.

At first, I just laughed it off but then I really started to get a bit defensive because Abby and Luka and Neela are my friends. Well, pretend friends. The point is, they’re cool and I don’t want them disrespected.

Because of his unprovoked attack, I have to out this “ER” hater. And I hate to do it because he is actually a great guy.

You might recognize him from the “Unexplainably Bitter About ‘ER’ Still Being On The Air Fan Club.”

By the way, if you watch “ER” (all three of you), who do you think died in the season finale?

By Saturday morning, I was over the whole bashing my favorite show thing. And thank goodness because by 9:30 am, I was spritzed, powdered and headed to Long Island for a Bat Mitzvah.

Dylan freaked out because I wouldn’t let her wear her skin tight, mini tie dye dress (how Joan Crawford am I?!) but she totally chilled out once we got in the car…

And Summer piled on my old Mardi Gras beads during the drive.

I don’t think that girl appreciates for one moment what I had to do for some of those beads. Ah… some day I will school her in the ancient art of collecting Mardi Gras beads. Isn’t it heart warming when a mother passes on a beautiful tradition to her daughter?

We arrived at the temple and after about 10 minutes inside, the girls were a little antsy. So I took them outside and then we broke into a playground. Why would you lock a playground anyway? And I really shouldn’t take the credit, because it was the Bat Mitzvah girl’s 11 year old cousin who actually figured out how to smuggle us in. But seeing that she was a minor, you know the cops would have blamed me.

It didn’t matter though because we were at the reception long before any hot police officers show up (oh wait, damn).

At the reception, Dylan declared an empty hot dog roll “the best sandwich I ever had” and tasted her first Shirley Temple.

Once the Bat Mitzvah’ing was done, we headed home with the girls. The traffic and the drive back wasn’t too bad. Shorter than the way there, but still longer than an elephant’s penis.

Oh com’on. You were still thinking about it. Ok, maybe it’s just me.

mama bird notes

Contributing mamas Daphne Biener has a hangover, the parenting kind. Click here to read more.

Ever seen a cupcake that SERIOUSLY looks like a burger? Click on drooling over this.

Di is the winner of the mama’s survival kit (and no special treatment was given because of her mother’s day sob story… although it was a sad tale. The winner is always random). Congrats Di!! Thank you to nunu chocolates, Grounds for Change and Parducci. All eco and all fabulous.

Know anybody having a girl? This week is your chance to win a fabulous girlie baby bundle including…

the must-have book for any new mom, “Mama Knows Breast,” a beginners guide to breastfeeding by Andi Silverman, an adorable Marie Chantal onesie from Posh Squeaks, too sweet, polka dot pediped shoes and teething bling from Smart Mom.

To enter, just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries this week and send a post to friend.


Don’t you miss those days when you had an endless amount of time to leisurely linger over each and every page of the New York Times? Er, uh, I mean the New York Post. The other day, I was skimming the Post because I don’t want to miss one sensationalized, over-dramatized, gossipy beat in this city and I saw this…

A brother and sister, touring a South African safari park, crossed paths with this six-ton elephant. I showed the photo to my daughter Dylan.

“Honey, look at this huge elephant. He’s resting his… um… He put his…” I point to the picture. “What’s that called?” I ask.

“Trunk,” My 3 1/2 year-old responds.

“Oh, yeah. Now why couldn’t I think of that? He’s resting his trunk on their car. Isn’t that funny?!”

I am hoping that my inability to think of the word “trunk” is a symptom of my 6:30 am wakeup calls, rather than the slow deterioration of my brain. But there is something just a tad unsettling about your toddler reminding you of the name of something you’ve known since your toddler days.

By the way, that duo, with the elephant, is totally fine. The ginormous animal just kind of hung out there for about 6 tense minutes and then wondered off into the brush.

But seriously, couldn’t they just drive away? How fast could an elephant possibly run? He weighs 6 tons for gosh sakes. But what do I know? I couldn’t even come up with the word “trunk” so I’m obviously no elephant savant.

I don’t know how to segue from elephants to really anything else in my life, so – head’s up – we’re done with elephants. I mean, for now. They could totally make a come back. I like to keep things spicy and unpredictable around here.

So yesterday, that THING happened.

You know, when a complete stranger or maybe someone you know walks right on up to you and says those lovely, touching words, “When are you expecting?”

Umm… expecting what exactly? A baby? Oh you see, really super funny story, I’M NOT PREGNANT. But heck, LOOKING pregnant is just as fun. Maybe I’ll kill the afternoon registering for some layette.

So let’s just all agree that unless you see a delivery table, no need to ask a woman when she’s due. If you actually see the delivery table and a woman is laying on it and she looks reasonably uncomfortable and there are a lot of people in white coats and scrubs, then go ahead and ask. If not, skip it.

Jeesh… Way to make a girl feel like an elephant. Oh, there you go. I told you those animals would pop up again.

mama bird notes

We have a guest contributing mama today! Diane LeBleu’s husband has a knack for getting in fender benders and this mama is getting fed up. Click here to read more.

Last chance to enter the mama’s survival kit giveaway! It includes decadent, organic homemade chocolates from nunu chocolates, organic coffee from Grounds for Change, and some eco friendly, fabulous wine from Parducci. To enter to win, just leave a comment this week on the mama bird diaries.

kelcey kintner