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Upgrade in Progress

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Death, Tact and the Preschooler

I only wish I knew what led up to this conversation, but when Sam and his friend joey are playing quietly in another room, we leave them until someone comes out bleeding. Sitting in the dining room, madly frosting cookies for tomorrow’s bake sale, Laura and I hear: “My grandpa died. He died, and my Grandma Layne misses him very much, and she’s sad, and I have to go visit her and keep her company.” “Oh.” It’s hard to convey […]

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Beautiful Duke (Rhymes with Puke)

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Forecast: Mild Depression, with Possible Sloughs of Dispond

It’s raining here today. It also rained yesterday, and the day before that. The Day before that the sun was out for a bit in the morning, and then it…rained. Tomorrow we’re expecting rain, followed by clouds, which will be accompanied by rain. Oh, and then it’s going to rain. But not to worry, because the day after that, it’s going to rain. And, just in case you were a bit worried about drought, this weekend we’re expecting rain. I’m […]

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sam did

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A False Alarm for Freak-Out Girl

Last night, in the middle of innocent teeth-brushing, I was suddenly and unexpectedly just knocked over with pain in my middle. Anyone who’s had both knows that really bad stomach cramps and really bad labor cramps feel, well, much the same, and since it’s a mistake I’ve made before I really panicked, but I couldn’t do anything about it, except sit there and panic. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t yell for help–but what would have done, anyway? […]

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Just a Temporary Truce

I refuse to wave the white flag, but there is now no way I can meet that Dec. 31st deadline. All my babysitting for the end of the week has fallen through, so unless I skip the New Year’s Eve party we’re supposed to attend in favor of drafting, there’s no way for me to get anything done. Even today, I kept thinking–what about tonight? And tomorrow night? But it’s time to be realistic. We came home from the holidays […]

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Things get better

You know, this is the good part. Lily had a much better day today, not asking for “nappy” quite so much, took no for an answer a couple of times and actively chose to stop nursing, even though Wyatt was still at it, so that she could play with Sam. And both went to bed beautifully. I’m happy to nurse her, pleased to still get to hold her that way, as long as it’s not every time I nurse Wyatt! […]

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Lily lets me READ!

I wrote a book about reading to babies–and it’s been months since Lily has really let me read to her. She brings books, yes–but after a page she’s off for another book. She’d rather “read” to herself–and she does, she sits and talks and turns the pages–but like everything else, she just doesn’t want anyone to do it for her. But tonight, ar long last, she let me read. I happened to grab a handful of board books she hadn’t […]

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Why We Call Lily Wednesday Now

Music class this week–our last class, my last one ever unless my better nature takes over on Wyatt’s behalf. Of course both kids were flawless, adorable, Lily dancing with her friend and Wyatt showing off his new clapping abilities. I realized, as I never had before, that the real reason to go to these things is to show off how cute and smart your kids are. I should perhaps say that the reason I’ve never spotted that before is that […]

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Big Day for Wy

Big Day for Wy Originally uploaded by kjda. Facing forward in a new seat!

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New sandbox!

New sandbox! Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Sam and daddy watch their first world series in a bar

Sam and daddy watch their first world series in a bar Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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At the Detroit airport

At the Detroit airport Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’AntoniaI just want to say that Lily has a matching sweater too, but she took it off because she got hot. (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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Just sayin’

It is sleeting something awful, with a little rain thrown in. The driveway is a sheet of ice. I am so glad I don’t have to go outside barefoot to pee. I just let the dog out, did you guess? Oh–and I am SO GLAD that tomorrow I will have my fancy new gas-guzzlin’ SUV that will actually get back up this driveway. Is it a hybrid, you may ask? Nope–because the foolish folks that make the hybrid don’t make […]

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Lazy Ass Me

This week I have been VASTLY better at dicking around on the ‘net than, say, actually writing anything. I will have meetings, or probably at the very least one meeting, with editors next week. Agents for absolutely certain. The book should be shiny and ready to stick in a box, the freelance ideas gloriously new…but I am googling a former writer from Rollerderby. Oh, yeah, I’m ready for prime time.

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After!

After! 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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Wyatt at the pool

Wyatt at the pool 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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Old Friends and Facebook

I was a little bit venting and a little bit just trying to share a little more about my day when I wrote last night than I feel like I usually do. I kind of almost forgot that epistolary conversation is a two-way street! I didn’t get a response from Mom. Lily and I took a walk together today, during Sam’s soccer practice. I think she just needs a regular reminder that Sam’s needs don’t trump hers. Wyatt gets it […]

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Wyatt skis

Wyatt skis Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Brain-stretching CSS exploration and Erik Reece

Those two things don’t really go together, do they? Or maybe they do. Perhaps Erik Reece, an author whose new book: An American Gospel I know I’m going to enjoy, also, when he isn’t exploraring the relationships among history, the gospel and environmentalism, likes to get in a good CSS coding session. I heard Reece on NPR this morning–this is a book that’s going to really play into some of the issues that have been percolating in my life and […]

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LOA!

Ok, nobody but another China adopting parent will know what that means. Suffice it to say it’s big news. It means our paperwork has been through the mill. There are no questions, there are no issues, and now we are just waiting for our permission to travel–which is a pretty standard and predictable process. This was fast. This is good. (This is real!)

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When it is hot, be hot.

To decide to have a child is to decide to allow your heart to go walking around outside your body. Wyatt’s TMO teachers presented us with that sentiment on Mother’s day, as their idea of a festive mother’s day apparently involves making one cry (they also offer handprints, and that poem about how the handprint won’t be this small for long—oh, and checkbook covers, which I quite appreciate.) Let me just say that the decision to adopt a child—now that, […]

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Wait! Come back!

This time you really can comment! (I think…)

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Bad news

Rob tested positive. they called at 11 tonight. others of us are feeling symptoms. i think we are all going to Beijing Di Tan Hospital. we will not have internet access. this is not going to be fun.

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Wyatt finally gets a hot dog

Wyatt finally gets a hot dog Originally uploaded by kjda For breakfast, of course. He ate 4. We think this is our last breakfast here… We are taking lots of pictures. We will put them up tomorrow, I hope. Rob has the camera charger. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Still here…

Full disclosure: Lorelei Rebecca Seelig, fka You Wan Rebecca, has had more sugar in the past week than in her entire previous 3 year, 9 month life. She has had candy. She has had lollipops. She has had Sprite, Coke and Orange soda. “I like tandy,” she tells us, helpfully, before meals. “I like Sprite. I like cookies. No dinner, just cookies.” We have no routine, of course, no set rest time, no set bed time, no ability to have […]

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Visit me on Double X!

Rationing health care: gotta be done. (Psst…we already do it.)

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Things That Make Me Happy

Things That Make Me Happy Originally uploaded by kjda This is on our road home. I see it every day, and every day I think of that road crew, goofing around with the tar, and I laugh. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Just a Little Reminder from the Poison Ivy Fairy

Just a Little Reminder from the Poison Ivy Fairy Originally uploaded by kjda Not to take life in the woods for granted. I can’t get the picture to look as bad as it does in real life…it hurts! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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One Angry Cowboy-hatted Dude

No consideration, he shouts, nodding to his friends. A little quiet, please, kids. Quiet! Thye don’t even apologize. His gaze fixes on me. Aren’t you even going to apologize? You’re not going to say you’re sorry? I’d really only just tuned in to him. He was sitting at a table at the Boloco we’d just eaten at, with three other moms and 5 other kids, outside, looking at the little town square our kids had been tearing round. I recognized […]

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Lily post-kindergarden

Lily post-kindergarden Originally uploaded by kjda Lily’s first day pic is in my camera, so here she is painting pottery in honor of her first day!

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Goofiness at the Fair

Goofiness at the Fair Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Patience, and Wagon Rides

I am slowly but surely becoming a better person, and will no doubt achieve that flawless maternal perfection epitomized by, say, Dooce in time to work it on my great-great-grandchildren. I recently managed to go from being late all the time to at least much better (and wrote about it for Parenting–look, that glam mom in the accompanying picture is me! Really!). This month (season? year? decade?) the project is: Patience. The expert coach for the moment is Rory. Because […]

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Where in the World is KJ?

Where in the World is KJ? Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Woof!

Woof! Originally uploaded by kjda Fourth go for the puppy costume. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Wyatt accepts help

Wyatt accepts help Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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I have the Flu, and I hate Everybody

Just when it was getting kind of easy and nice, it developed that it’s only easy and nice if I don’t feel like total crap.. I have yelled mercilessly at each and everyone of my children today, and that makes me feel even worse. Bleh.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Originally uploaded by kjda For us, that meant fondue with friends, a neighbor’s bonfire and bedtime! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Planet of the Helicopter Parents

You MUST go read this Choose Your Own Adventure parody by Marjorie Ingall, or I will never forgive you. Seriously, you deserve this big a laugh today.

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Rory, Anxious but Coping

We’re visiting my parents, much loved by all kids including Rory–but she’s never been to their house before. And we haven’t stayed overnight anywhere besides our house since we went to the Cape last summer–a place which offers many, many consolation prizes for not being home, and where Rob was with us. Here, no pool, and no Rob either. Rory is doing really well–too well, some of the time, tearing around shrieking and jumping on the sofa–but she’s also sucking […]

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Will They Appreciate That We Never Ran Errands?

We are not big home maintenance types around here. I do not like to grocery shop, don’t dig shopping anymore, and have the house at a stage where most of the crap can at least be pushed aside into manageable piles. There are hioe and errand-type things that I wish would just happen (for example, i just realized that we’ve completely outgrown our stroller collection, and I really wish the fairies would just come get it). But generally, on weekdays, […]

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Easter Bunny Questions

It’s such a beautiful weekend…the Easter Bunny would like to hide the baskets and eggs outside! (The Easter Bunny is mischievous in our house, a tradition that dates back to the time my mother forgot to put out my basket, but left it where she’d hidden it from me originally, which I think was on top of the china cabinet, and then claimed that the Easter Bunny MUST have hidden it (good save Mom, esp. at 6 am!).) Anyway, the […]

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I Don’t Want to Be Anybody I Am Today

I was reading a little snippet of Ayelet Waldman’d Bad Mother today. She was talking about her mother-in-law, and how wonderful she was once Waldman realized it. She described her as serene, and talked about how nice it must be to grow up in a house with a serene mother, adding that she’d grown up with temperamental, explosive mother and that she was that kind of mother herself, and so she knew all too well its disadvantages, and I thought, […]

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See Below.

See Below. Originally uploaded by kjda Can’t last, tho. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Kate Plus Eight Plus Chickens

The Gosselins have been another of my guilty pleasures ever since my husband, flicking channels one night after a day of moving house with a six-month old, a two-year-old and a five-year-old, came across Jon attempting to put all six toddlers into ski suits and we settled in for a good bout of schadenfreude. I resisted their pull last season as the marriage imploded (just too prurient) but I can watch Kate parent her eight on her own with only […]

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How We Spent Our Day

How We Spent Our Day Originally uploaded by kjda The other half is equally impressive. Sam helped willingly for 5 hours. We did say we would pay him, but we never said how much…and he seriously never once griped. And it was HOT. I am so proud. Plus, holy crap, look at the garage. Of course I didn’t take a picture of the dumpster pile. Yesterday was my birthday, and I got some lovely gifts (silverware and a shirt from […]

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Is Four the New Two?

Affluent families are having more children. Some working moms have “six, seven, even 14 kids,” according to Forbes. Movie stars like Angelina Jolie? More children. Reality television stars: having more children. Actually, that’s why they’re reality television stars, but you can see the trend. More children. Bigger families. Four is the new two. Why? In the same Forbes piece, David Hacker of the State University of New York at Binghamton says kids are now ” ‘luxury goods’ which people believe […]

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Are Girl Power Camps Really Good for Girls?

Any mother who wasn’t at the top of the social pyramid growing up (and maybe even those who were) has meditated about what we’d like to tell our own daughters as they head into middle school and beyond. Don’t make everything a drama. Act confident, and people will be happy to be around you. Relax. Say what you mean, don’t apologize, don’t back down. We know, of course, that those aren’t lessons that can be taught by your mother, but […]

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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?