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Cheap Amusements, Part 1

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I Get to Go to a PARTY! (Two!)

When we were in NYC, we went out. All the time. Even after Sam was born, we went out after bedtime, we went out with a babysitter, we took him along. He’s slept under more bars than my friend the Hip Big Spender, back in his drinking days. Now, we stay in. Some would blame this on the arrival of baby Lily and the growing up of Sam, but I think not. He was sleeping in his stroller in a […]

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I Have to GOOOOO!

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The House that Got Away

Oh, well. Someone willing to pay more for it than we were bought the house we wanted. I’m dejected and disappointed, but we bid the right amount…you know, it probably feels worse to overpay than to not get the house. I’m partly just disappointed because I was revved up for it to HAPPEN. And I hate it when I want something and don’t get it. I’m not good at that at all. I know, a better house will come rolling […]

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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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It’s a little hard to tell, bit the shade of

It’s a little hard to tell, bit the shade of Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 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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Are We There Yet?

Wyatt asked me that 27 times on the way home from dinner tonight, and that’s just after I started COUNTING. And he’s still not two. We are really in for it. More rain, sleet…just when I was thinking we’re close to spring, it won’t be that cold and there’s all this amazing snow. Planning skiing, cross country, finally figuring out a way to put a top on that igloo… Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about […]

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Off to NYC, Masquerading as DINKS

That would be double income, no kids. A double masquerade, since my income wouldn’t really qualify by New York standards. But part of the goal of the trip is to change hat–I have multiple meetings with editors happening, including a few I’m really excited about. Wondertime,in particular, is my new goal. THey’ve been edging towards edgy for a long time now. I love the way they let the writers’ voices shine through (not that I’ve felt stifled anywhere else, but […]

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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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Where’s the www?

I just figured out why so many people couldn’t get to my blog recently–I reconfigured it so that the address is https://kjdellantonia.com rather than www.kjdellantonia.com. I didn’t realize I was doing it. But I think I will leave it that way. A look around at other people’s sites reveals that the www appears to be out of date. Most sites redirect. I’ll have to work on that. Ooh, a project! Just what I need.

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Wanna Know What I Think about Swine Flu?

You’ll have to head over to Word of Mouth at NHPR.org to hear me still being funny about it! Today I’m feeling less clever, since rumors are spreading that China will close down adoption activity until things sort themselves out one way or another. Rory’s in good hands, though, and if things get worse–well, they get worse. And if they don’t, I’m confident it will pick back up quickly. I’m sticking to my vague June travel plans until forced to […]

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Big ‘Ole Black Bear (not metaphorical!)

I’m up early and emailing, and a BIG black bear just loped by our dining room window. He was about 20 feet from the house. The dogs went nuts (good dogs!) and he headed for the woods. Guess it’s time for the annual bear safety lecture!

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Where are we now?

Where are we now? Originally uploaded by kjda The guo men hotel. If we walk to the end of the fence and stand by the guard shack, we can see Rob’s hospital, where he is in a 10×10 pen with a metal cot and a specific daily water allotment (for showering, not drinking, it isn’t that bad). It’s a dump. More later. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Fwd: Nurse in hazmat suit

Fwd: Nurse in hazmat suit Originally uploaded by kjda All staff on the ward are dressed this way. (at the hospital)

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You won’t believe this!

You won’t believe this! Originally uploaded by kjda We are delayed…. Because they are quarantining the plane in Shanghai! At least we aren’t on it. How many ice creams do you think my sleepy wants a nap Rory can eat? We are having a really good day, but Wyatt’s growing pains are showing… KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Dear Kittymama and other new parents…

I’ve been thinking lately about one particular internet friend, known online as kittymama, and I’ve been thinking about her because the child she brings home will be her first. And I want her to know, in advance, one thing: You hate them sometimes no matter what. Babies, biological, adopted, I’m guessin’ any way you bring them into the family, they screw things up. And I mean that in the most loving, actually dealing pretty well way. When you have your […]

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Just a Good Day

Today’s activities included a chanterelle hunt, an activity that required a high tolerance for mud, bugs and failure, as we certainly didn’t find enough for dinner. The kids petered out early when one required the bathroom, but the dog and I soldiered on, finding…zilch. Our only stroke of luck came early, and each child was able to pick one mushroom. Dinner, though, was mushroom free–it just didn’t seem worth the bother, although in retrospect I could have served the one […]

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Click.

This may be an exaggeration. It may be wishful thinking. It may be putting too much weight on one good day… But I think we’ve crossed some kind of line. Yesterday was a pretty good day. The parts that weren’t good were mostly in…my head. Today was a totally good day, and I’m looking at Rory with fresh–and more loving–eyes. I’m hearing her differently. Every hug isn’t an attempt to steal my attention away. Her little family recitation–that my Nini, […]

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Retraction: Tough Questions Should Always Be Asked

At the end of the next post I talk about a tough question posed by a friend (and maybe it shouldn’t be a tough question–more like a tough one to really think about). I said I thought I shouldn’t even ask myself that. I was wrong. The tough questions–even the ones that won’t change–are exactly the ones we should always ask ourselves. The short answer to mine is no. I’ll try to get to the long answer later this weekend.

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What I Really Want to do tonight

What I Really Want to do tonight Originally uploaded by kjda The bag on top is my favorite candy, finally restocked after a long absence (apparently it’s very expensive to ship candy during the summer). Yes, Rory dropped into the right family, although my candy cravings are far more selective than hers, and none of them yet have shown any sign of regarding books as candy. I also found a pair of new books to add to my kindle. Actually […]

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World’s Biggest Thrill Ride

World’s Biggest Thrill Ride Originally uploaded by kjda If you’re 3. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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New Hampshire Girl

New Hampshire Girl Originally uploaded by kjda Her 10th apple, at least–future tarts! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Guess Who Would Have Preferred a

Guess Who Would Have Preferred a Originally uploaded by kjda The girl’s gift bag? Not that he didn’t enjoy his little cowboy, and the Halloween tattoos were a huge hit. But the purple glitter lip stuff? Ahhhh…. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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The Bat heads out

The Bat heads out Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Feed ‘Em Real Food, and Acquire My Copy of Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure

Somehow these two things don’t go together very well…But I am reviewing Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure this week, and I know it’s not one we’ll want to watch again (we’re not really much for watching movies over and over; we tend towards shorter shows so that more kids can have their favorite). I’d love for someone else to enjoy it, especially if there are any real Tinkerbell fans out there (full disclosure: the first Tinkerbell movie only lasted five […]

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On Books

Sam likes Tin Tin. And that is it, that is what Sam likes to read, Tin Tin. He liked to be read to–almost anything, and most especially Harry Potter. But to read to himself he likes…Tin Tin. So tonight I took him to the bookstore, put him on one side of the shelves and me on another. We would gather lots of books, I said, and he could read the first pages, and see what he liked. And I gathered–oh, […]

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Rockin’ on the home front, struggling at work

I had a solo morning, which means all four kids have to be out of the house by 7:40, with all their gear, lunches and etcetera, etcetera, which today included nordic ski gear for Sam and I…and it happened, on time and with relative calm. For reasons I can’t explain, Rory was the issue this morning. I told them to get boots and coats on, handed Rory her boots, as she was dithering, then went to start loading the car. […]

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Tempest. Teapot. But I live in this teapot…

Drat. I’d written a whole post about the MMRRPPH and the MHRRPH MRHHRPH, and I just can’t do it. This town is too small, and people too gossipy–but can I just ask the peanut gallery this: Let us say that you are one of a group of parents whose children are all involved in the same, um, thingy. With an adult in charge of the Thingy. Let us call said adult the Head Hullabaloo, because I do not want you […]

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Grandma is barfing, so…

Grandma is barfing, so… Originally uploaded by kjda Grandpa steps up. That’s Fox in Socks: a level five reading challenge. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Rainbow cupcakes for Wyatt’s birthday

Rainbow cupcakes for Wyatt’s birthday Originally uploaded by kjda From Family Fun…seemed like a good idea when we started. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Duke, and Why Am I Still Up?

Rob is a big Duke fan, and I really wanted to keep him company for the game. I spend too many nights off on my computer or grousing about making lunches, and it’s easy to get disconnected. And I have personally been struggling with deadlines and time crunches and a feeling like I will never get to where I want to be, and it’s made me unnecessarily grumpy– which is insane, given that we basically live a life of no […]

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Lap Child

We are at soccer, where there is so much fun going you wouldn’t believe it. Lily is playing, the sun is shining, and here on the grassy sidelines the smaller kids are kicking balls and running and jumping ane leaping… But not Rory. Rory got a bump and scored a lap hug, and there is no way she is getting up. Possibly ever. She is bothered…Wyatt’s friend has her ball….but oh, no, she isn’t going anywhere. I am torn about […]

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Sam’s School Birthday

Sam’s School Birthday Originally uploaded by kjda Honestly, I thought I had missed this–somehow I thought we were supposed to do the school celebration LAST Wednesday. I was very relieved. So, here they are, one festival of very happy gluten-free-nut-free-egg- free treats. (Rice Krispie Treats are good that way.) KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Real Housewives Catfight. Should I be the one who’s ashamed?

Well, yeah. Little bit. We’ve long since conceded, of course, that these are not really Real Housewives. Many of them do not even have Real Breasts or Real Foreheads, let alone Real Checkbooks or Real Laundry Baskets. The pleasure of the Real Housewives lies in the fact that they’re not real at all. As for the Real Catfight that’s been Really Hyped: well, let’s just say that that’s not even Real Hair that got pulled. This isn’t reality television. It’s […]

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Where Did I Go Wrong Today?

Was it agreeing to move the piano lesson from 8 am (painful) to noon, interrupting my work time and necessitating that Lily and Sam, instead of being with the sitter until 1:30 and the scheduled birthday party (which I wanted to attend) had to be picked up and transported various places starting at 11:30? Was it in deciding to go to the party at all (I really wanted to, but in glorious retrospect, today probably should have been a work […]

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Do Working Moms Really Still Need to Justify Themselves?

At the NYT’s Motherlode blog, Lisa Belkin is reporting a follow up to a study that came out several years ago reporting that the children of working mothers were “cognitively delayed” compared to those of stay-at-home moms. Five years on, those same researchers followed those same kids and found those slight delays in some areas were outweighed by benefits in others, meaning that “the overall effect of first-year maternal employment on child development is neutral.” (No word on whether the […]

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Stride.

We have hit our stride. Rory has been home for almost 14 months, and it’s time to call it good. And oh, it is such a relief. The past year been like hitting my head against a wall, in that it’s so much better now that it’s stopped. I’ve never, ever been so glad that a year was over, and I would repeat sixth grade before I’d live through the first six months again. Of course, we had our beautiful […]

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Tour de Taste

Tour de Taste Originally uploaded by kjda Better pic! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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One is better than two

One is better than two Originally uploaded by kjda The cookie in front is an orange kiss. The one Rory is eating is chocolate chip. The choice was two small kisses or one big chocolate chip. Wyatt loves the kisses. In fact, they are why we are here. Rory chose two kisses over one chocolate chip. She didn’t like the kisses. I knew she wouldn’t, but it wasn’t worth arguing. Lily does, so I saved them for her and went […]

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Clean Up Payoff

The playmobil and the puzzles are back. One can take things off the shelves in the playroom and return them. There is some suggestion that there might be a place for everything and that everything might go into its place. And I am frozen. Inertia, whatnot, and I haven’t cleaned a thing today. Blech.

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Gingerbread, Advent Calendars and Delayed Gratification

If you’ve read one single word of this blog before, you know that Rory loves candy. Rory loves candy. Have I mentioned that Rory loves candy? For her birthday this year, we gave up on having one coherent theme and just had, well, candy. And yes, we made a gingerbread house. Still are, really. Sam and I have planned a Kit Kat fence to finish it off. So it sits, covered in candy, on the dining room table, next to […]

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How Old Are You Now?

When we set out to adopt, we initially thought of a baby. Not an infant–our thought was that there were many, many parents out there who wanted, even needed a baby. A baby, we figured, didn’t need us. Plus, we’d had babies: three of them. We didn’t need the neediness, the sleepless nights, the crying, the helplessness. Didn’t want it. Anyone who’s already been through this is already laughing We thought we would adopt an older baby , a toddler […]

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Pure joy.

Pure joy. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia

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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?