Connecting the Dots

Lest you think we did not use the batman mask…

By KJ / Monday, January 26, 2009

Lest you think we did not use the batman mask… Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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By KJ / Wednesday, April 15, 2009

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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Best. Shoes. Ever.

By KJ / Monday, May 25, 2009

Best. Shoes. Ever. Originally uploaded by kjda Dear Donald Pliner Thank you so much for the lovely comfy shoes. I walked. I danced. I did the horah carrying Wyatt. I picked up Lily and danced some more. And not one time all evening did my feet hurt at all. You rock, Donald Pliner. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Welcome to Quarantine, post one

By KJ / Friday, June 19, 2009

It all started with a phone call. Just a little phone call. A situation had arisen that the authorities needed to discuss with us. It ends with us as the Hyatt’s most loyal customers ever. To make a long story short, mostly because tomorrow I’ll have acres of time to tell you more than you want to know about it, we’re quarantined in China. The people seated behind us on the plane have the flu. As in, really have it, […]

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No Gmail Here

By KJ / Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just fyi, Google’s off completely here tonight. So no gmail. I don’t know why. Dad, in particular, I was about to email you…if it’s still a problem tomorrow I’ll find a way around it. Yahoo’s fine.

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A Day in Fuzhou

By KJ / Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So we’ve agreed: Fuzhou, not set up for tourists. On the other hand, we are seeing a real China city, and not just one like Beijing that’s sort of set up to show itself off in the same way that Manhattan is–there are clearly tons of Chinese tourists–although once we let the guide start taking us places, we saw Western tourists too. I can tell you that Fuzhou-ers, rightly, do NOT go out between noon and three. I don’t know […]

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See What I Mean?

By KJ / Tuesday, July 14, 2009

See What I Mean? Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Actually playing together.

By KJ / Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Actually playing together. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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The Pack Swims

By KJ / Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Pack Swims Originally uploaded by kjda Lots of togetherness today at the pool by the fearsome foursome. And if you’re far enough away, you can’t hear the happiness level–but it sure looks good! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Taking Beauty Very Seriously

By KJ / Thursday, August 20, 2009

Taking Beauty Very Seriously Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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The Right Choice for the (formerly, kinda) Tardy Mom

By KJ / Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I have a piece in Parenting this month copping to my perennially tardy nature and the struggles I’ve had overcoming it–and let me say, it’s still a struggle, a big one, I just refuse to believe, for example, that it can take 1/2 an hour to drive to ballet, because that’s just not right. But. So last year, experts were consulted (including my mom), and changes were made, and I undertook to be an on-time person for the first time […]

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Interested in Writing for Double X?

By KJ / Friday, September 18, 2009

We’re looking for submissions about how a major life event has altered your “religiosity”, and I suspect that many adoptive parents have a story to tell on that. Look here for more info, and feel free to tell any writerly friends.

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Lest You Doubt Our Small Town

By KJ / Monday, September 28, 2009

I just had the following conversation with my husband: Me: Heather says Extreme Home Makeover picked a house in Lyme, and Seth’s hardware store is donating a bunch of stuff, so he’ll be on the show. They’re really excited. Rob:Yeah, everybody was talking about this in the barber shop today. And then they played the theme from the Andy Griffith show, and my wacky neighbor popped in to borrow an egg.

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Funny in the Mirror

By KJ / Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tonight we dined out, at an elegant establishment offering free kids meals for members of the Dartmouth athletics kids’ fan club. (Imagine a non-chain Olive Garden.) Afterwards, Rory and Lily stood gazing into a full length mirror together, set at a perfect height for them to admire their little faces, and Lily began to laugh. Rory looks funny in the mirror! Why does she? I didn’t see anything, so I shrugged and went back to trying to persuade Rory to […]

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By KJ / Friday, October 30, 2009

Just in case you wonder why I’m not posting (on my fresh and changing website): Here’s what I’m up to tonight: The Third Annual Spooky Trail! I wrote about it for Wondertime last year if you’d like to check it out.

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Why a Camel?

By KJ / Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why a Camel? Originally uploaded by kjda Got me. But it did catch my attention, strolling along at Duke in a gorgeous day that smells oh so faintly of whatever it is that makes North Carolina smell different than anywhere else. It’s probably more interesting unexplained. Off to eat BBQ with a pack of Dukies. These are mostly male Dukies, and mostly a decade and more older than us, because Rob forms part of the young blood they are bringing […]

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Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…

By KJ / Monday, November 23, 2009

I came in from clearing out the garden for winter a few days ago and found Rory–who’d been outside a few minutes before–sobbing at the top of the stairs. Wailing. I ran up–I thought she was hurt–and she took one look at me and ran away, shouting no! No! Well, that’s never happened before. So I followed her. No! No! I don’t want you! This is dreadful. Did she come in and feel like she couldn’t find us? Did something […]

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Holiday Update: Return to one-on-one

By KJ / Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Update: Return to one-on-one Originally uploaded by kjda My folks are here, so we have one adult per kid. Very relaxing–except for the 800 piece Lego train that was part of Santa’s contribution. We may be done by New Year’s. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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One Sparkly Day

By KJ / Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Sparkly Day Originally uploaded by kjda

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Texas snow is different.

By KJ / Monday, February 15, 2010

Texas snow is different. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Wiki Processing

By KJ / Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wiki Processing Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Ouchie, Ouchie

By KJ / Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rory is mortally wounded several dozen times a day. Rarely do ten minutes go by before the refrain begins: OUCHIE! OUCHIE! I know, I know that this is more of exactly what I blogged about two days ago. I know this is Rory, who just wants as much of me as she can get, and a true wound is an excellent way to get my full attention. But oh, it is getting old. And hard on Wyatt, giver of all […]

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Putting in the peas

By KJ / Sunday, April 25, 2010

Putting in the peas Originally uploaded by kjda We’re probably a little late, but we planted peas and facade beans today. Like our fancy teepees? Also on today’s agenda–cheeseburgers, on the charcoal grill (actually, the charcoal smoker, which I also use as a grill, and in part because it’s supposed to rain this week–good for seeds, bad for grilling). Everyone wanted, for some reason, to put on their own cheese. I’m thinking they may have done this at a friends’ […]

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Lily’s Birthday Down, Sam’s To Go.

By KJ / Thursday, June 10, 2010

Safari Adventure. No, wait, RAINforest safari adventure. Treasure Hunt. Safari Duck Capture. Dangling Wildberries from the wild berry bush. Monkey cake, safari hats ($1 each, totally awesome birthday craft, thanks Oriental Trading Company), one spinning birthday flower sparkler candle straight from China…an ungodly number of happy kids. 10 guests, one birthday girl, many very welcome siblings and a very good chaos. Really, it went fab. And I don’t even have to do it again until….a week from Saturday.

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Tonight’s Project

By KJ / Monday, July 5, 2010

Tonight’s Project Originally uploaded by kjda Lily got the bed for her birthday. A friend made it. Tonight we made the bedding. Glue gun city! I’ve been wanting to sit down with Lily and do this for weeks, ever since the bed came. I mean, a plain bed with no sheets is no fun. Today I blew off a chunk of work and took her to Kmart for the sheets we used as fabric, and then actually sat down and […]

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If You Hate Disney, Well Maybe You Just Hate America

By KJ / Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lisa Ray and her family are boycotting Disney. All of it, from ABC to ESPN to Family Fun magazine to the last tiny little Disney princess sticker in the basket at the doctor’s office. Why? Well, she blames Disney for ousting the Center for a Commercial-Free Childhood from its Harvard-based offices after the CCFC successfully pushed Disney to offer refunds to everyone who’d bought Baby Einstein videos from June 2004-September 2009. But really, she just hates Disney, of course. What […]

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Is Four the New Two?

By KJ / Friday, July 30, 2010

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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What we did today

By KJ / Thursday, August 12, 2010

What we did today Originally uploaded by kjda See below… KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — KJ Dell’Antonia

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One Year

By KJ / Saturday, September 4, 2010

One year. Actually, one year and 2 months. I didn’t think a year meant that much, once we hit that year. I’m just not feeling the milestone, I said. This is still hard, it still doesn’t feel worthy of some sort of “this-is-how-we-were-meant-to-be” record. I suspect that maybe isn’t my style, anyway…that this is how we are will always be what’s important to me… But thatsnnot my point. We’ve hit our stride, I feel–as I said a few days ago, […]

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I Did the Right Thing

By KJ / Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A few posts ago, I talked about how I’d decided not to write a letter to Rory’s new teacher singling her out in any way. I felt confident–and underneath it, I felt certain that said new teacher, and new assistant teacher, would already have a pretty full scoop. After all, our last year had been unusual. And it had ended with what I saw as a pretty negative assessment of Rory from one teacher in particular, who said she couldn’t […]

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Or Don’t Delegate…

By KJ / Monday, October 25, 2010

Of course, tonight I ended up making lunches… I have a neighbor, and fellow blogger ( I LOVE reading blogs of people I actually know) who does “Parenting on Track.” I haven’t read up on it, so I only know about the program through her and others’ stories, but I always want to argue with the absolutes that the systems seem to impose. For example, I’m pretty sure you can never, ever pack your kid’s lunch for him or her. […]

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Still a work in Progress

By KJ / Sunday, November 28, 2010

Still a work in Progress Originally uploaded by kjda But looking pretty impressive, and with a characteristic touch from everyone. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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In Which Things At Home Go Very Smoothly

By KJ / Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday am, and I’ve dropped the bigs off at their school and am delivering the littles to theirs. I’ve forgotten the half boosters, so I’m hauling the full doozies out to leave in the entry for their babysitter, who also teaches at the school. There’s a niggling voice in the back of my head. It’s been there for a couple of days, actually. I pin it down. “Why,” it’s asking, “would said babysitter send me a note that says ‘see […]

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Sam and Homework, Again

By KJ / Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thanks to everyone with thoughts on Sam’s homework situation last week. I did not make him quit an activity. One things has two practices, and the idea is that he cannot go to the second practice unless any longer term homework projects–as in, the ones that are assigned Monday and due Friday–are complete. Meanwhile, another literature assignment came home Friday, due Weds. And on Saturday I said, are you going to do it? And he said, I’ll do the reading. […]

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The Milking Begins

By KJ / Thursday, March 3, 2011

I have managed, largely, to keep my goal of being softer with the kids going. This morning I found that verily, a soft answer doth turneth away the wrath even of a Lily who doesn’t like breakfast, couldn’t find the clothes she wanted and is generally grumpy (go find yourself something else for breakfast, fine, pretzels, pack it up carefully and bring it in the car). But oh, it has been a long afternoon. For starters, back in October I […]

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By KJ / Monday, April 11, 2011

Tonight Rory wanted some pineapple in her lunch for tomorrow, which requires that I cut a little off for her. Which I did, and put it in the little box she’d selected, and put the lid on, and presented it to her. “I just gon’ LOOK,” she said, and opened it up. I don’t know why this bothers me, but it does. It bothers me, I’m sorry to say, a lot. And I know I’ve blogged about it before-but I […]

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Can I Give Today Back?

By KJ / Monday, May 9, 2011

What a day. Let’s just say that the amount of crying that went on this afternoon was stunning, and that was before I told the kids that the (old) dog had (easily, I hope painlessly) died this morning. I have had better days. So, I guess, had she… But (so I won’t start crying) back to the crying. I told the kids this am that I would bring them home for an hour before soccer. We take Lily’s friend B […]

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Because I Wish I Could Play the Piano, That’s Why!

By KJ / Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who doesn’t know that the true reason we drive our kids all over to activity after activity is that we ourselves wish we had had these opportunities or these skills? To be someone who, if the chance arose, would surprise everyone by, say, sitting down at the piano for a sing-a-long, executing a perfect dive into the lake, shushing down the narrowest of ski trails or jumping a horse over a fence? (Apparently I have a secret desire to be […]

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So Mean

By KJ / Friday, July 15, 2011

Child A is reading on its bed. Child B is irritated with Child A for some reason and appears mournfully in the doorway. “I’m too tired for quiet reading,” wails Child B. “I want the light off!” “OK, sure.” Child B has a flashlight on its bed, and, history suggests, plans to use said flashlight once the lights are out. I take the flashlight and hand it to Child A. “Here you go! Now you can read, and Child B […]

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Reading Material: Good Eggs and Someday My Prince Will Come

By KJ / Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Eggs: A Memoir by Phoebe Potts My rating: 4 of 5 stars I love a graphic memoir, and I loved this one. I adore how tight and condensed the words of the story become, while the story itself, through the drawings, sprawls out as wide as any story can. I had a hard time putting this down to sleep. If you’re not a graphic novel reader, but you like memoir, you might be surprised how easily and thoroughly you […]

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Greetings from the Tunbridge World’s Fair

By KJ / Saturday, September 17, 2011

Greetings from the Tunbridge World’s Fair Originally uploaded by kjda The Tunbridge World’s Fair is old school. There were pigs, cows, horses, oxen…And rides, of the kind that come by truck and move on on Monday with the carnival. And BBQ, run by a bunch of guys in leather who look like the Sons of Anarchy gone straight. We are sticky with maple cotton candy, maple ice cream, maple candy and a maple donut with maple icing. It’s been a […]

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Wishin’ I was Knee Deep in the Water Somewhere…

By KJ / Friday, October 14, 2011

Gonna push the world away for a minute, pretend I don’t live in it… I was on the periphery of a tragedy today, one that wasn’t mine in any way, so I won’t go into details. I did what little I could for the people closer to it, and thought about how communities are when sudden grief strikes: first things fall apart, as people find their day-to-day routine interrupted, and there is a flurry of regrouping, and then they pull […]

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Dog Meets Porcupine

By KJ / Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dog Meets Porquipine Originally uploaded by kjda I totally thought the Porcupine was cute. Yesterday. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — Correction: I also TOTALLY thought there was a Q in porcupine. But I fixed it. Ah, the glories of not having to adhere to an editorial policy…I didn’t even have to cop to it.

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By KJ / Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vertibird! Originally uploaded by kjda Thanks to the wonders of eBay, I was able to get my Dad the same Christmas present he got me 35 years ago.. Now if only his grandson will let him play with it.

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Me and Malibu Pilates. And of Course, This Week at Motherlode

By KJ / Sunday, March 11, 2012

I got sucked in by an infomercial. I haven’t exercised in months. I had pneumonia last, um, August. And although that excuse obviously eventually became somewhat less than valid (I think even the most sympathetic of us would have to agree that I am probably all rested up now). you know, one thing led to another, I finished a draft of my book, auditioned for Motherlode, took the job…I was busy, ‘kay? But inspired by a variety of things: this […]

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New office!

By KJ / Sunday, July 6, 2014

This is my new office. This is the view from my new office. Do note the boxes in the foreground, and the complete absence of a desktop computer, and the boxes in the background. Deal is, new desktop–when there is a top of the desk to be seen. Meanwhile, it’s a fresh office start for me! I’m unpacking.

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My Actual Writing Morning, 10 AM-1PM, Annotated.

By KJ / Thursday, September 22, 2016

Let’s just say not everything that happened this morning was strictly work. Probably especially not the Cheez-Its.

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We do owe our kids an apology for this election. It’s not the one you think.

By KJ / Thursday, November 10, 2016

Nothing is different about our country than it was Tuesday, or the day before, or even the day before that. All that’s changed is that we know more about each other than we did then.

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My kid has a “project” due. What’s ok to help with, and what’s not?

By KJ / Monday, March 27, 2017

Teachers assign projects to our kids for a reason, and it’s not to see what their parents can do.

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The One Thing You Can Do When the Homework Is Killing You All

By KJ / Monday, September 25, 2017

We’ve all been there. Your child is frustrated, and insisting the teacher never showed her how to graph the results of the word problem. The 210 page reading assignment had him up half the night; the “measure four rooms in your house” question took the combined efforts of the whole family to complete and taught your kid nothing, and seriously, who does the second grade teacher think is really doing the online research on lemurs? You’re annoyed, you’re confused, everyone […]

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You see a sexist jerk, the voice of the Modern Pioneer girl whispered in my head. I see a teaching opportunity.

There's nothing my inner super-hero likes more than being understimated.


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