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Tact for the Pregnant

Tonight at book club I sat next to a girl, somewhat younger than me, about four weeks away from having her second baby and more than ready. We were talking about how weird those last few days were, when you know it’s going to happen, but you don’t know when. “I really realized it when I bought milk with an expiration date that was past my due date,” she said. “I felt like it was sort of a cross between […]

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How Are You Feeling?

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War, Satelites and Gravity

Those are some of the subjects I discussed with Sam today. Yes, I explained war to my almost five-year-old as he sat in the “way back” of the minivan.(I’m not sure whether to thank NPR or the president, but I really can’t listen to Dan Zanes all the time.) I got to bellow it, because it’s a little hard to hear back there, and he kept asking me to repeat myself. Apparently I wasn’t making any sense, and it took […]

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Sleep…They

Wyatt is in that must pull up, must stand, must get tooth or something phase. Lily is in the “lie down with me” phase. They don’t sleep, or not for long. I had to take a break from writing this post to put Lily back to bed. If it were just one or the other, we could tag team, retrain, something… but it is both, and we are just barely treading water. And again. And again. In fact, she’s sitting […]

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Wy’s party

Wy’s party Originally uploaded by kjda. At lily’s school.

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Halloween–and bedtime– came early

Halloween–and bedtime– came early Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Sam’s school

Sam’s school Originally uploaded by kjda.

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Buy Nothing Month(s)

I am not buying anything in January and February except books, food and toilet paper (which really represents the entire category of non-food essentials from toothpaste on but is limited to disposable items one actually does run out of and need. Therefore, lip gloss–which I am unlikely to run out of for several years–would be a no.) Rob’s response was a mystified “Why?” Somebody else asked me to expand on the rules, and when I say “I”, does that include […]

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More on Why Wyatt is Brilliant

Today he hugged Sam, turned to me and said “Sam is taller than me.” Rob has all three kids at the grocery store. He’s known for this: everyone at the Co-op and in fact everyone in town gives him big props for his willingness to do something most parents (let alone dads) will not. He just straps them all into a giant cart and ignores them, if you believe what he says. And I do notice that they don’t give […]

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Sam: the world’s best sport

Sam: the world’s best sport Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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Before the wedding

Before the wedding Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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Worth it.

Worth it. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia When biking in unknown parts of Vermont, it is best to remember that Vermonters do not use the word “Hill” in road names lightly. As in, Trapp Hill Road. THey don’t use it in a pretty, suburban midwestern isn’t the idea of rolling hills just so pretty kind of way. No, they use it because there is a big, trucks changing gears bear-came-over-it kind of, yanno, hill, and that’s what the road […]

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Of Laundry baskets and bicycles

My fingers are crossed for you about the house. I mean, somebody has to sell houses…Somebody has to be credit-worthy, right? I am glad Dad enjoyed the tale of the flooded stove. That was just par for the course, really. It wasn’t even an unusual day. Today’s big highlight was the purchase of two new laundry baskets. We lost a laundry basket sometime last year. I do not see how tt is possible–no one does–but there it is, it is […]

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Grace in action

Grace in action Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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“Jumbo” Rice Krispie Treats

"Jumbo" Rice Krispie Treats, originally uploaded by kjda. As in, Rice Krispie Treats (yum!) made from new “jumbo” rice krispies–more fiber! Whole grains! The minute I opened the box I had my doubts. Tasted one, and doubted even more. So I mixed them–half and half–and still. So not worth it. A belated look at the ingredients reveals that Rice Krispies contain: Rice. Malt. Maybe one other thing. The Jumbos–a huge list of all kinds of crap. They taste something like […]

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My Bag of Rocks

My Bag of Rocks, originally uploaded by kjda. Geez, what’s in there, a bag of rocks? Why, yes! It’s a metaphorical bag of rocks, too. I am carrying a lot of baggage, lately.

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First Farmer’s Market on the Green

First Farmer’s Market on the Green Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Good Morning Snaily

Good Morning Snaily Originally uploaded by kjda It is very cool here in the morning. The fountain isn’t on, which the fish seem to prefer. They are swimming around. You can see the dead ones floating around in the water clearly. There are two. There is a couple playing badmitten. They seem to be having fun. I like to imagine them reconnecting, now that they have to spend a week together in quarantine. Maybe the last time they played badmitten […]

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The Pringle Fairy

If asked, I can state with confidence that the maximum number of days one family should spend pretty much cooped up a room together is…6. Not seven. Seven seems to be just that much too much. But we are getting there. They just took our temperature for the last time. We just had our temperatures taken for the last time. We ate our last lunch. We filled out a form that even had a box for “comments about our stay”. […]

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Re-entry: Not Pretty

Some of my publishable thoughts on arriving home: Whoa. We got in at 11:00 night before last and the kids were up until 3. We hauled them through yesterday, even taking Sam and Lily to a tennis lesson and getting the boys a haircut–and put them to bed at a relatively normal time (when Rob and I were nearly asleep standing) but at 1:30 the first of them–Rory–appeared. And this is where the fact that they all sleep in the […]

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And, Again.

I would post, but how many times can I say that this is hard? How many times can I detail the ways I’ve failed today, or the ways I’ve taken my frustration out on my family? How many times can you hear, again, that I have simply got too many small children…too many to take to the bathroom. To many to cut up fruit for, too many to mix chocolate milk for, too many to watch in the swimming pool, […]

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Ok, I Give In, No More Ambien

I have always relied on my ability to sleep. I drop off the minute I hit the pillow, regardless of circumstances, and I sleep solid–even that ever-present alertness that comes with a baby and a monitor only threw me a little off my stride. Until…this. I honestly don’t know if it was Rory, or China. I’d doze, but I couldn’t sleep, not really sleep, not the deep velvety stuff with the dreams you don’t know are dreams, and it was […]

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At Dinner, again

At Dinner, again Originally uploaded by kjda This time she’s out for the night. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Because Wyatt Takes “Twinning” Very Seriously.

Because Wyatt Takes "Twinning" Very Seriously. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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School day, redux

School day, redux Originally uploaded by kjda I don’t wan’ go school! That pretty much sums up our morning. Our babysitter, fabulous in nearly every way, isn’t on the school night train yet (and it’s been a tough one for us to get on, too). Rory went to bed an hour plus later than she needs to. She had to be dragged out of bed. All the way to school she insisted–she did not want to go. Wyatt had some […]

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Be as the Powerful Current (I made that up.)

Three solid i-friends (Mommy, Lori and the mother of Awesome Cloud) are in China right now. Some bonding troubles, not all is going perfectly–but I find myself envying them, especially those last two, who sound, at least, uncomplicatedly happy. I think China really screwed us–and this has nothing to do with Rory at all. But the quarantine…that was so hard, and so scary, even though in retrospect I can see that we didn’t need to be frightened, and so long…you […]

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And so it begins

Sam gets a weekly note home with all the homework for the week listed. For Wednesday it says “bring in a white twin sheet.” We don’t have a white twin sized sheet. Do you? We have some very, very attractive polka-dotted ones. Apparently, though, the Romans did not wear red-polka-dotted togas. What we do have is an old full or queen sized sheet, only slightly moldy, that I used as a Halloween ghost last year. Here is what I WILL […]

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I Blame the Kitchen Island

We have, in our kitchen–oh, who am I kidding, it is the kitchen–a very large island composed of granite tiles and a sink. Behind it lies the 3’x9′ kitchen space; in front, four barstools and then the living room. This means that when friends are there I can cook and be in the thick of things, it means kids can do homework and art projects and I can empty the dishwasher, it tends to mean that I absolutely never sit […]

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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Did I Say We Were Cutting Back

Did I Say We Were Cutting Back Originally uploaded by kjda On sugar and fat? KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Mockery and the American Girl Doll

I have just been mocked, mocked. So mocked. I told a friend–mother of a 4th grade girl–that this coming Wednesday, I will be taking Lily to Boston to the American Girl Doll store, to buy her a doll. We do not own an American Girl Doll. We do not own one, and Lily has been asking, for the past year, when she would be old enough for one. Soon, I kept saying. Her friends began to acquire them, one by […]

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Rory is So SAD.

Rory is So SAD. Originally uploaded by kjda Wyatt was invited to a birthday party, and Rory…was not. Neither was Lily, but that is ok by her. Rory, in the other hand, is very upset. She even had Wyatt convinced to skip the party and come home to play Mario Wii with her…until I decreed the afternoon a Wii free zone and freed him up to go to the party. She cried all the way there…fortunately the party hosts couldn’t […]

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Flame Weeding.

I’ve spent several hours in the last few days doing things that I think are going to convey a totally faux idea of who you’re dealing with here. First, Saturday night, I waxed all of our nordic skis (well, mine, Rob’s and Sam’s). With hot wax, and a wax iron…this is something I just started doing, and I’m very proud (plus the results are indeed pretty great), but I feel like waxing makes me sound like the kind of girl […]

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On our way!

On our way! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Let the Party Begin!

Let the Party Begin! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Party!

Party! Originally uploaded by kjda Look at the bar my hostess set up…I love parties. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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A New Friend (and first official iPad Post)

We had one of those classic adoption encounters this weekend, really of the kind you only dream about. Ran into our old neighbor from across the street, who we consider a friend, at the grocery store. I’ve seen her probably a dozen times over the last year, but the only lengthy conversation we’ve had was about evil sports parents. Still, I think of her as someone I see fairly often. She greeted us, chatted–I see you’re one short today–yep, Wyatt […]

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Off the No Yelling Wagon

Sigh. Wyatt pushed me right over the edge this morning. Or should I take the blame and say I went over? My reaction to him ousted me over? Oh, whatever. He hit Lily. Wouldn’t go to his room, wouldn’t stay in his room, wouldn’t get in the car, wouldn’t get in the carseat…etc, etc. Lost his DS privileges for the weekend (the only time they’re allowed). Int was a long and drawn out battle, that took from 9:15 (when were […]

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Good Parents. Bad Kids.

To add to the nature vs. nurture debate: One proposal that in some cases, nature will always win out. Dr. Richard Friedman, intrigued by reports from patients he knew to have been “more or less decent parents” that their adult children were mean, unkind, unsympathetic, and rude, suggests in the New York Times that “for better or for worse, parents have limited power to influence their children.” Maybe, he says of one patient’s child, “this young man was just not […]

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The Five Worst States for Kids

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. If you’re an NPR listener, you’ve heard the name. The Foundation just released its annual KIDS COUNT Data book, in which it compiles markers for child-well-being in all fifty states. This is the 2008 data, and overall, things are looking bleak for the youngest citizens. The number of children living in poverty rose to 18% in 2008, […]

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A Rory-ism

A Rory-ism Originally uploaded by kjda "I got see that." "I got look." "Let me see!" Rory never believes us. There’s no more, we say, as in no more chips in the bowl or no more tea in the pot. No yogurt in the fridge. No chocolate milk. She never, ever takes our word for it. She trusts us in every other way: dress her, lift her down from the counter, jump into our arms from a brick wall, but […]

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Sigh.

Long day here. Lots of shuttling and shuffling, a little dose of art camp, the brilliant idea to take all kids to the beading store. All of which went fine, it was just–after all my happy post yesterday, I have to say I felt overwhelmed. The day started with me breaking yet another glass milk bottle, this time in the garage, just as we were leaving to pick up our poor carpool-ee. Got that cleaned up, forgot Sam’s bike for […]

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Kids on Bikes

Kids on Bikes Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Water, Water Everywhere

Country living is batting 1 for three today. On the one hand, the kids spent yesterday’s rainy afternoon, romping, looking for frogs, walking in the puddles on the dirt road from a neighbor’s house. On the other, we have three floods in the basement (unfinished and full of crap, but still) and the bottom of our driveway washed out–it’s still passable, but not by much. The rain seems to have passed, the clouds are hanging a little more lightly over […]

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Triangulation

We adopted out of birth order. This is a sin against the standard advice regarding adoption, I know, and one we committed utterly blithely. But he’s a baby, we said of the baby. He’ll always be the baby, and so birth order will be preserved! Of course, our youngest was three—no baby—when we adopted his also 3-year-old sister, 6 months older than he. When she turned four he felt betrayed. Not good. But that passed. He’s the baby now, demands […]

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Be My, Be My Baby

Last week, inspired by lots of things–one parenting guru (Vicki Hoefle, of Parenting on Track, whose cult I am totally joining), one excellent book that purports to be about parenting the ADHD child, but is really about examining your parenting style in the middle of your kid’s childhood and figuring out who you really want to be as your grade schooler turns into a teen (that would be Katherine Ellison’s Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention), my feeling of relative […]

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As Others See Us

We had school conferences tonight. Or rather, Rob had school conferences, since he unilaterally changed Rory and Wy’s conferences to a time I couldn’t make, and then, because they filled, couldn’t change them back–but then, he couldn’t make the time I’d chosen, so who am I to talk? In any case, Rob, armed with my questions, went. My questions boiled down to: “is Wyatt interested enough?” And “is Rory managing to learn anything?” My perception being that Wyatt, who does […]

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Independent Packing

What does it say about me that up until now, for every trip, I have made myself insane completing every last detail of every bit of the packing? As in, I charge their Nintendos. I pack their carry-ons. I make sure each kid has just the right workbook or crayons, or every member of the mini SuperWhy team. I put carefully distributed snacks in them. I pack their clothes, matched, clean, suitable. Etc. I micro-manage the whole process, and it […]

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How the Crazy Person Bikes

How the Crazy Person Bikes Originally uploaded by kjda I don’t know what we were complaining about–it’s 32 degrees, and technically above freezing. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Happy Easter, Part two

Happy Easter, Part two Originally uploaded by kjda Things I did right this year: Four sets dye, four sets cups, LOTS of eggs. (although Rory just said "I need more egg. She never really quite gets the idea of enjoying the process–for her, it’s a race to speed-dye the eggs, or frost the cookies, or whatever.) Bought white eggs in the next (bigger) town over. New England hens lay brown eggs, which dye more, well, subtly. Took this picture before […]

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Resources

I've got Ten Mantras for Happier Parents (based on the research for my book, How to Be a Happier Parent). They've worked for me—want to try them?

Hi, I’m KJ. Can I send you something?