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Remember my dad? He’s the atheist guy who doesn’t believe in souls or an afterlife or anything but still wants me to drop by his grave site once in a while for some unexplainable reason… many, many years from now.

Yeah, that guy. He’s back in town.

He’s really the most inquisitive person I’ve ever met. A conversation with him can become an unintended interrogation session. He’s just super, insanely curious. About everything.

Like when we walk around New York City, a city of roughly 10 zillion gadillion buildings, he’ll peer up at a random one and say, “What’s that building?”

Of course, I don’t know. First of all, as you can clearly see from my lack of a uniform or a clip board, I’m not a city tour guide. Secondly, if you’re not pointing at the Empire State Building or the building I live in (which pretty much covers my citywide building knowledge), how the heck should I know?

Except I feel super dumb that I don’t. Like I should be spending more time studying Robert Moses and the architectural history of New York City. You know, when I’m not taking care of children or doing laundry or washing dishes.

And I’ve never come up with a great technique for slowing down his fast and furious questions…. until this weekend.

I was rummaging around in my purse for the 10 millionth time (looking for my keys that are lost INSIDE my little apartment) and this was sort of hanging out.

“What’s that?” my father asks.

“Umm… It’s a tampon,” I respond. It’s actually a tampon cleverly disguised in this cute carrying case called a TOMtote (as in Time Of the Month) by Lexie B. Designs. I feel like I just dived into the seedy world of product placement but that really was not my intention. I actually use this TOMtote thing.

“Oh,” responds my dad.

Nothing else. No follow-ups. No other questions.

Just, “oh.” And then silence.

It’s so obvious now. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

37 (crap, almost 38) years of searching desperately for the correct answers to all his detailed, obscure questions and all I had to do was utter the word “tampon” to stop him cold.

Except there is something really weird about uttering the word “tampon” to my dad. Or your dad. Or really any dad.

Despite its initial brilliance, it seems this tampon idea of mine sort of sucks.

Ok…. so now can someone help me find my keys? The last time I was this frustrated Summer’s baby doll was missing. And that runaway doll showed up after a couple days. The keys have been missing in action for a week.

I’ve ransacked the apartment and grilled Summer, the likely culprit, about their whereabouts. As usual, she’s playing it all cool and keeping mum. I’m just hoping my dad has a few follow up questions for that girl.

mama bird notes

Contributing mama Daphne Biener writes a moving piece about her baby Acadia who is off to kindergarten and perhaps a baby no more. Click here to read more.

Kelsey Kleiman is the winner of the “Sex and the City” giveaway! Ok, not really. This is Kelsey’s entertaining comment on the mama bird diaries this past week…

I would prefer not to win the Sex In The City Soundtrack so I won’t tell you which character I am most unlike.

Hmm… she sounds like a Miranda. The real winner (picked randomly) is Erin Butler. Yes, the contributing mama herself. Congrats Erin! Email me your address please!


I really skeeved some of you out with that picture of my girls on the pay phones. Honestly, I never thought about how many germs might be on those receivers.

Look, I never said I was the smartest mum out there.

Although, I did make Dylan stop sucking on the Starbucks’ counter the other day after the barista was nice enough to point it out to me. So I get a bit of street cred for that, right?

Those germ infested pay phones don’t bother me much, but I’ve had major angst over fresh mouse droppings in my apartment.

After the last mouse sighting, I thought we had sealed every hole and crevice in the joint. Apparently not. So I’ve been ranting and hollering at my super to DO SOMETHING which is all so pointless because he doesn’t actually view mice in my apartment as a real, pressing problem that needs to be addressed.

In his words, “I’ve never seen someone so mouse sensitive. It my house in Maine, mice are all over the place.”

Hey dude, I don’t live in Maine.

But now I feel downright silly for being such a vermin wimp because Jennifer H has to worry about this.

Yes, mountain lions. So I’m going to shut up about the damn mice.

Mouse and mountain lions aside… it’s movie making season in New York City. This week, Uma Thurman and her crew were using my local playground as a backdrop for a scene in Thurman’s new movie, “Motherhood.”

They hired a bunch of clean, well groomed kids, who don’t use gross public pay phones or suck on counters, to play on the playground equipment while they shot their scene. This guy in the green…

had the job of keeping all the kids in line. He would shout out to all the child actors, “Ok, quiet down guys. We’re rolling.” You see they wanted the kids to play. Just not TOO loudly.

And then once in a while, a very committed stage mom would scream out to her uncooperative child, “GET BACK ON THE SLIDE RIGHT NOW AND PLAY! I SAID NOW!” And the poor, tired offspring would trudge back to the slide. Show business is a biatch, kid.

Here is a shot (not taken by me) of Uma in character.

Ouch. Not so glamorous, right? Listen Uma, if I was some BIG, FANCY Hollywood leading lady like yourself, I would refuse all parts that made me look even the least bit unattractive.

Like I just wouldn’t do the Charlize Theron in “Monster” thing.

Critical acclaim and an Oscar? Yeah, so not worth it.

mama bird notes

If you just haven’t had enough, check out my piece, Playground Wars, on NYC Moms Blog.

And last chance to enter our “Sex and the City” giveaway!

Just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries telling me if you are more like a Carrie, a Miranda, a Samantha or a Charlotte and you are entered to win the soundtrack and a $25 Fandango movie ticket gift certificate.

Good luck mamas!


Rick, the girls and I hit the Jersey shore this past weekend. The 2 1/2 hour drive took a leisurely 5 hours.

If you can endure hours in a car, with your hungry, agitated spouse and even more cranky, ants-in-their-pants children without actually demanding a divorce, then I believe you are true soul mates.

You may not be speaking by the time you arrive. But really, that would be gravy.

Traffic aside, it was a beautiful, fab weekend. But I jetted back early to the city to see my sister, visiting from Memphis. And by “jetted,” I mean, I sat on the bus from Atlantic City to New York.

I’m really really not a bus person. Give me a train, a plane, a scooter, snow shoes, anything. But buses are just sort of cramped and bumpy and nauseating.

Still, this particular bus route has quite a reputation. I heard about folks nursing their slot losses and bringing on board cartons of Chinese food and big buckets of fried chicken and chowing down along the Jersey Turnpike. So you can imagine my immense disappointment when I saw only one guy with a dinky McDonald’s cheeseburger. What a letdown.

And not a single drunk, despondent gambler causing a ruckus. See? The bus just sucks.

That night, I tagged along with my sister and her friends. They all met in law school and decided to reunite in New York. Here’s my sister Quinn and her friend Erin.

Erin (on the right), at the decrepit, decaying age of 26, can’t find a good man. If Erin wasn’t so hilarious and so nice, I’d hate her for being a spring chicken. Anyway, if you know any tall men (Erin INSISTS that they be tall AND male… some people are so friggin’ picky) who lives in New Orleans, let me know and we will make like Chuck Woolery and connect these two southern love birds.

She’s not looking for a short cop. Long story. Just trust me on that.

Don’t find a hottie for my sister Quinn. She’s very much married and I don’t need my brother-in-law kicking my arse Memphis style. Whatever that means. I think it involves bbq sauce.

Now I know my single friends in New York are thinking, wait…Kelcey, why don’t you use your mystical mama bird powers to find me a svelte, McDreamy prince? All I can say is, this is not Match.com for gosh sakes, ok? But I’ll do my very best. So if you know any single bachelors in the 30 and 40 something range in Manhattan, pass those along as well.

Short cops are absolutely acceptable.

Finally (and this has nothing to do with cops… tall or short), ever since the cell phone craze began, I’ve always wondered who uses all those pay phones sprinkled around New York City (assuming they even work).

Well, the answer is so obvious that I now feel like a complete dufus.

mama bird notes

Click on “drooling over this” to check out a tale from the Method cocktail party circuit.

Congratulations Mama Bee! You are the winner of the girlie baby bundle! Thank you to “Mama Knows Breast”, Posh Squeaks, Pediped shoes and Smart Mom!

I know I promised the boy baby bundle next. But apparently, I’m a liar. Because in the spirit of “Sex and the City” mania, I’m giving away the movie soundtrack (see songs below) and a $25 Fandango movie ticket gift certificate.

That’s cool, right? Just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries by Friday, telling me if you are more like a Carrie, a Miranda, a Samantha or a Charlotte and you are entered. And I promise, the baby boy bundle giveaway really will be next. Mama’s honor.

Sex and the City Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1. Labels or Love (Fergie)
2. All Dressed In Love (Jennifer Hudson)
3. The Look Of Love -Madison Park vs Lenny B Remix (Nina Simone)
4. New York Girls (Morningwood)
5. All This Beauty (The Weepies)
6. I Like The Way (Kaskade)
7. It’s Amazing (Jem)
8. How Deep Is Your Love (The Bird & The Bee)
9. The Heart Of The Matter (India.Arie)
10. Auld Lang Syne (Mairi Campbell & Dave Francis)
11. Kissing (Bliss)
12. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart (Al Green featuring Joss Stone)
13. Walk This Way (Run-D.M.C. featuring Steve Tyler and Joe Perry of
14. Sex and the City Movie Theme (The Pfeifer Broz. Orchestra)


My sister Quinn and my aunt Terrell think I have some of kind of ice cream hoarder problem. It has something to do with my freezer…

Is it not normal to stockpile EIGHT tubs of Edy’s low fat ice cream?

In my defense, our local grocery store, D’Agostino, will carry a fabulous Edy’s flavor like Peanut Butter Cup or Fudge Tracks, and then suddenly these flavors will completely vanish for a month or so. Do we have some kind of ice cream shortage in this country? Are peanut butter cups a limited resource?

Whatever the reason, I am left standing at the grocery store, getting freezer windburn as I pathetically stare at the rows of Vanilla Bean and Strawberry, cursing myself for not stockpiling more of my favorite flavors.

So hence my tendency to hoard.

Instead of poking fun, my sister should be truly grateful that I allow her to sample my dairy delights. Dairy delights? Doesn’t that sound kind of inappropriate? My point is… my sister should be thankful because look at her abundant happiness as she enjoys a three ice cream combo of Peanut Butter Cup, Fudge Tracks and Chocolate Chip.

And I won’t willingly share my ice cream with just anyone. You have to earn it. And Quinn really did. She spent hours this past week, playing endlessly with the fierce and feisty duo of Dylan and Summer.

And what better reward than the three ‘scream flavor subway remix combo?

Quinn even sweetly remarked to me, “I respect your ice cream commitment, you crazy ass loon.”

Yes, that’s sisterly love for you.

mama bird notes
When not obsessing about ice cream, I spend energy trying to find the right sunscreen for my family (no parabens please). Click here to read my current fave in “drooling over this.”


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!

kelcey kintner