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You know I’m trying to avoid the artificial dyes this Easter. I can’t say too much because my 8-year-old can READ and OPEN MY COMPUTER and ACCESS MY BLOG so let’s just say the bunny is totally on board with my dye free candy plan and found some good options. If you want to know some places to buy candy without Red 40 this and Yellow 5 that, then here are some ideas.

I also asked my parents to forgo the candy. My mom is bringing books for the kids and my dad will bring cute little stuffed animals even though I have absolutely forbid him to bring anymore stuffed animals into my home. (This is the house of a hundred Build-A-Bears after all.)

eco-kids-eggs-2012-close-upI also decided this year to avoid artificial colors when it comes to dying Easter eggs. Why? Because even though my children won’t eat the colored eggs, I just wanted to go more natural. (Don’t worry, this is not a slippery slope where I am suddenly not shaving my armpits because I want to be more of the earth.)

But I am just sick of all the dyes they pump into our American children and I want to try to avoid products that have them.

First I did a little research on making my own Easter eggs dyes. It’s a very cool process but NOT for anyone who has 4 young kids, expecting a 5th and can’t manage to get the laundry folded.

But if you have a little more time and embrace the process of things (especially in the kitchen), try doing yourself! Here is how you do it.

Instead, I bought a natural Easter egg dying kit. Mostly because I’m better at pressing the “Order” button online then buying a bunch of fruits and veggies, mixing them with vinegar, boiling them, letting them cool and then soaking the eggs for at least a half hour. To buy one of these, visit a natural foods store or you can still purchase online with some rushed shipping.

But whether you do it yourself or buy a kit, keep in mind that natural Easter egg dye can stain your hands just like the artificial stuff.  Last year, my daughter Summer was traumatized by dye that would not come off.  And I tried everything.

So no matter what you do, your kid’s hands could still look like this for a bit…


But if green hands don’t say Happy St. Patrick’s Day Happy Easter then I don’t know what does.

mama bird notes:

I want to highlight companies that are offering products WITHOUT artificial dyes. One of my kids’ favorites these days is Yoplait Trix kid yogurts. No high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or sweeteners. (This is not a sponsored endorsement.)

Also, have you LIKED The Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook? If you become a Facebook fan, I’ll never dye your hands green or make you shave your armpits.  CLICK HERE.


I would show you a really cute picture of my sister and I both pregnant except every time Rick took a photo of us, we deleted it. We both agreed that we are much more adorable in person.

She was visiting with my nephew for the weekend and the two of us got a chance to take an exercise walk. And a car actually beeped at us!

“Oh my gosh, did that car just honk at us?” my sister said.

“Do they think we are sexy mamas or is there toilet paper hanging from me?” I responded.

“Actually, it’s your scarf. It’s dragging on the ground.”


Neither my sister and I can come up with a suitable boy’s name. She doesn’t know what she’s having and I know I have a boy in there.

Every time Rick and I come up with a new name, he practices yelling it.

Like, “Archer! Come down for breakfast NOW!! You are going to be late for school.”

Which is exactly how we named our first daughter Dylan except instead of pretending to yell the name, we imagined her sweet adorable face in the bassinet, and whispering to her, “We love you sweet Dylan.” But I think by your 5th kid, you just practice shouting it.

Rick and I have never been very good at coming up with names that we both like.

He finally likes the name Harper for a girl which I tried to sell him on SIX YEARS AGO. So there is some lag time when it comes to us agreeing. And it’s hard not to name your baby for six years.

I try to come up with names when I’m lying awake at night. It’s really hard to sleep these days because the baby starts moving like crazy as soon as lie down. And then Dylan will have a nightmare. And then 2 1/2 year old Chase and Harlowe will have to pee during the night. At different times. And by morning, I feel like a minivan ran over me.

I said to my husband, “I can’t deal with this. I need more uninterrupted sleep!” And he responded, “Well, it’s going to be a LONG time before that happens.”

You know what? I don’t need that kind of reality-based negativity. So I explained to him that I wanted a more positive spin or else I was going to have an epic nervous breakdown.

He clearly got the message because the next time I complained about the general chaos and insanity in our house, he said, “Oh no worries honey.  Calmness is right around the corner.”

Yup. We’re just about out of the weeds. That’s what I need to believe.

mama bird notes:

My biggest pregnant regret? You can read about it here on Alpha Mom.


Knowing how a little boy pees did not come naturally to me.

Long before I had a son, I had to bring a young boy to the bathroom and I must say, I was so confused, he just decided to hold it. Smart thinking lad.

And then I had my own little boy. And I started to understand that you have different options… a toddler boy can pee sitting down but he has to push his pen*s towards the bowl or he can pee standing up but then he needs a step stool and some target practice.

And at this point, I was about to award myself a master’s degree with honors in boy potty training when the subject of wiping came up.

My husband told me that boys don’t wipe, boys “shake.”

“What? Shake like as in shake and bake?” I said.

“Yes, but just the shake part,” he explained.

Okay. I’ve never thought much about what a boy or man does after he pees. I am a girl. Girls must wipe. If they don’t, they quickly get a urinary tract infection (UTI). Sometimes they get UTI’s anyway. Being a girl can suck.

But guys? Who the hell knew what they were doing exactly. I figured they were getting the pee off somehow but didn’t know if they were shaking and baking, using magical powers, toilet paper or whatever.

A whole lot of shaking apparently.

Except the shaking technique wasn’t working very well with my 2 1/2 year old son. Because every toddler (or at least every single one I’ve ever met) hates a drop of anything on his or her clothes. So Chase would pee, shake and then 97 1/2% of the time, he would get a drop of pee on his underwear which did not fly with him. He would have to immediately change or sob about the situation and the whole thing was getting ridiculous and time consuming.

So now, and please don’t tell my husband, Chase shakes and then I pat his pen*s dry. Or he does it himself. Either way.

I’m sure this is just a phase and everyone is happy.

Except then I texted a few friends to see if they ever had to do this with their toddler sons and they were all like… “no.”

God, I hope I’m not the first mother to do this. That would be awkward.

But as one friend put it, “Be happy that hygiene is important to him!”

I like her spin.

mama bird notes:

In other news, I wrote a piece for Lifetime defending Kim Kardashian. I know. I could hardly believe it myself. Click here to read.

Have you LIKED The Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook? If you become a Facebook fan, I’ll try really hard to never write another post about pee and wiping.  I promise.  CLICK HERE.


When I lived in Montana for a year, I ate a lot of beef jerky.

Mostly because I had to drive 3 hours to Missoula for sushi. And in a state with more cows than people (true), dried beef was easy to find.

I actually liked it because it was chewy (a lot of bang for your buck!), low fat and had lots of protein. And now according to Consumer Reports, we are having a “beef jerky renaissance.”  I think this may be the first time “beef jerky” and “renaissance” have been used in the same sentence.

And companies are now marketing the product to women. Why didn’t I invest in this 15 years ago?! I was probably too busy chewing.

I really love this funny clip of 2 anchors trying different kinds of beef jerky.  One anchor is Arthele Neville and the other one is a guy I’ve seen roaming around my house in his pajamas, wondering why we are out of coffee and how come the kids are fighting over stupid yummy key chains.

Man, I need a job where I can eat beef jerky all day!

mama bird notes:

Have you LIKED The Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook? If you become a Facebook fan, I’ll send you a trunk full of jerky (Honestly, I probably won’t). But I might.  CLICK HERE.


You know I’m one of the last six people using a paper date book, right? Okay, there might be more than six of us but we are dwindling.

Every time I take out my date book, I feel like I should also take out my 8-Track Player.

But I like having stuff on paper. And granted, half the time I forget to actually look in my book which means I forget what I am supposed to do anyway, but if my phone falls in the toilet, at least I have a fighting chance of knowing that I have a meeting with my daughter’s teacher on Wednesday. You techy calendar people will have to rely on that fancy memory of yours.

I also like to read books on actual paper. Well, let me clarify. I don’t really read books but if I did, it would be on paper. I still prefer to read a paper newspaper, rather than online if anyone around here would let me have 3 minutes to do so. And I would totally watch TV on paper (if that was possible.)

Which is why I totally appreciated when a friend sent me this very funny video…

See? Paper is not dead.

kelcey kintner


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