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Regrouping

Regrouping Originally uploaded by kjda The easiest number of children to deal with is always one fewer than what you have. It’s been true every time and it’s true again. Rory had to go get her tb test read, so I had breakfast at the buffet with just these two, which last week I would have considered a chore. But they know what they want to eat. They know to walk to the table. They can be left eating by […]

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Why Are You POKING Her?

I don’t understand. Not that Lily and Wyatt don’t touch one another, or bug one another occasionally–but Rory they feel compelled to constantly poke. If she is sitting on a barstool, one of them is touching her feet. If she is on the couch, one of them is on top of her, prodding her. If she is wandering around, someone is following her–touching her. They poke her in the car, they prod her in the stroller, they nudge her at […]

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Buds

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

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Loving the Pool

Loving the Pool Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Tandy! I Like Tandy!

So, below a couple of pictures we have a lovely picture of the candy-smeared Rory. I haven’t figured out her relationship with food yet, or what I should be trying to do for her. She’s got some oddities–for example, she sucks down any sugary drink she’s given, from Sprite (thank you, China) to chocolate milk, before eating. Some foods she just mainlines–any snack, for example, or the little boxes of cereal they serve at a breakfast buffet. Either you take […]

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First Day of School

First Day of School Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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At the Tunbridge World’s Fair

At the Tunbridge World’s Fair Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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A Thing I Hate About Breakfast

If I’m in the kitchen making lunches (or, ideally, sticking the already packed sandwiches, etc, into the lunch boxes) during breakfast, they’re all lined up across from me at the bar. This seems to alert some sort of inner “soda bar” facility deep in the brain, as the combination of the bar, the kitchen and the breakfast makes them conclude that I am a waitress. A bored waitress. So if I’l there, they spend all of their eating time thinking […]

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New Hampshire Evening

New Hampshire Evening Originally uploaded by kjda I was just sitting here, not being particularly grateful for the abundance that is my life, when I looked up and saw this. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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And they’re off…

And they’re off… Originally uploaded by kjda Trick or Treating: Not My Department KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Still Spooky After All These Days

Still Spooky After All These Days Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Tonight They Played Monopoly

Sam and Lily’s favorite friends came over tonight, and all was quiet and peaceful in the playroom–oddly so. Rory was taking advantage of some snuggle time on the couch with the grown-ups (I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that was kind of annoying, but I try to keep in mind that her “family age” is different from her real age, and she needs all the snuggle time she can get), but what were the others doing? Playing Monopoly. This […]

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Christmas, Uninterrupted.

I do think we managed to savor Christmas. That Lego train? Put together in full by Sam and Grandpa, with occasional help from other kids. We played dominos (Mexican Train! from Lily to Sam!), did puzzles and baked cookies. Carols were sung, hummed and whistled all across the house, although not by me, because I have a cough and cold I can’t shake. Candy canes were eaten, stockings emptied, and even, in a few cases, thank-you notes written. And now […]

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One Sparkly Day

One Sparkly Day Originally uploaded by kjda Atop of our driveway pile.

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Texas Snowman

Texas Snowman Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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WikiStick Processing

Our local diner, Lou’s, hands out Wikisticks (you can see them in the picture below) to kids to play with while they wait for their food. Wyatt asked me to help him make a house and two people. Rory looked at Wyatt’s house, handed me her sticks, and said: C’you make my China? I said ok, and while I made her a house, she worked with some sticks. That me, she said of a blue circle with two legs. Look! […]

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Really, Though, it’s Everybody

I pin stuff on Rory–and why not, she’s the most interesting of the lot right now, and the one for whom I get to come up with all of these reasons for her behavior…but really, all three “littles” make me crazy, and all three of them have some of the same issues, which are probably–somehow–my issues. And so I ask. with passionate interest–why do they always want me? Truly, Rob is a MUCH nicer person than I am. Way more […]

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Perfectly Happy

Perfectly Happy Originally uploaded by kjda At least until the ride home! That’s Lily playing soccer, very happily, in the rain. Today was a big deal for her–although she’s played hockey for two years, it’s always been overshadowed by Sam’s play. He doesn’t do soccer, and today, the whole family had to load up and go–for her sake, not his. We have attended so many games and practices and pick ups–it’s always come on! we have to take Sam! We […]

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Somebody Else’s Elegant Last Day Picnic

Somebody Else’s Elegant Last Day Picnic Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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35 Miles!

35 Miles! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Accepting a “Different Parenting Style”

The New York Times’ Motherlode blog has a plea for advice from a young mother who says parenting is “ruining her marriage.” I scarcely need to offer you a synopsis of her plaint: Essentially, she performs singing puppet shows with cutlery while her spouse is thumbing through his e-mail on his BlackBerry. Who hasn’t heard that before? In fact, this month’s Parents magazine highlights an argument so nearly identical to this one for its article on “How to Fight in […]

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Vacation begins

Vacation begins Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Worth the Late Night

It was one of the rare goals of summer that I actually pulled off at our house: last night was the peak of the Perseid meteor showers, and my 9-year-old and I stayed up for it. In all honestly, it neared being a bust, clouds drifted overhead frequently, and he was so sleepy (I actually let him fall asleep outside, then went out and woke him at midnight for viewing) that I think he only clocked one or two meteors. […]

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It’s the First Day of School for the Adopted Kid!

First Day of School #2! Today was Rory’s second “First Day of School.” There’s a new head teacher in Rory’s classroom this year; one who appears to have certain fairly defined expectations for how things will go. Last week, she invited each student to come in to meet her, bringing something to show her—a book, she suggested, or something important—and to see the changes in the classroom. We adopted 4-year-old Rory last summer, and she brought, as she will always […]

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Happy Birthday Rory!

Rory had a (mostly) glorious day, and we also had our first “adoption moment.” For Rory, it was special snack at school with a mommy visit (Rainbow meringues and rainbow fruit cups, an inspiration, because a) Rory doesn’t really like cupcakes and b) the school expressed some anti-cupcake thoughts, proposing “healthy cupcakes” or maybe “special cheese and crackers.” Neither of those would have worked for Rory, who has had rainbows on her mind ever since Wyatt’s birthday last March, when […]

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From Lily

From Lily Originally uploaded by kjda I have been walking by this for a Week and just realized what it said. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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The Organizing Bug

I have the New Year’s organizing bug, early. I can’t tell if I just want to get things in order (yes) or if I’m procrastinating a work assignment I’m having trouble with (yes). I guess it’s both. The basement is borderline organized, all kinds of things are planned out (including some holiday surprises that can’t be revealed here). My computer files are sorted. Backups are being arranged. It’s like it’s New Year’s Resolution season. I just want to GET STUFF […]

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A “Parenting on Track” Plot

I’m a newly converted disciple of one Vicki Hoefle, parenting guru, who created the Parenting on Track program. My neighbor (flockmother) loaned it to me, and I quickly sprang for our own copies–which I am already loaning out. It’s a program that’s more about what YOU do than what your kids do–no starcharts or reward boxes, both of which have failed us–and one of the basic tenets is the idea of what Vicki calls “privileges and responsibilities.” Carrots and sticks […]

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Making Valentines and Power Struggles

If you haven’t made Valentines yet, or have rashly promised treats for a classroom party, might I recommend these? It’s a Family Fun recipe and couldn’t possibly be easier. Sam and Wyatt made their own, with just a little help from me spreading it in the pan and cutting it. The results caused the kids to jump around the room shrieking “It’s so good! It’s so good!” and then “I love you! I love you!” So I guess, from a […]

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Rory Can Take No for an Answer (Sort of)

Sometimes life is not fair, and one of those times is at 7:45 when your big sister has just been allowed to take a shower. Wyatt and Rory want to take showers too! Nope. Sorry. Just only Lily. (That’s a Rory-ism in common use around here.) A tub? Nope. BUUUT WHHHYYYYYYY???? Because in fifteen minutes it will be time to brush teeth, and because no. Just no. Not going to happen tonight. Apparently I said that in just exactly the […]

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Call and Response

Call and Response Originally uploaded by kjda I know, you can’t see what’s going on. Suffice it to say that we are waiting for Sam to come out of school (Lily has a playdate), and I can hear how their messing around together goes WAY to well. It goes like this: Wyatt comes up to see what I am doing. Making a list, I say, and he tries to read it, while behind him: Rory: Wyatt tickle me! Tickle me! […]

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Moment Moment Moment

I love my NPR. In the car, it’s pretty much solid NPR all day long, unless it’s Car Talk or one of the guest-oriented programs has someone on that I’m just not into. But NPR creates conflicts—namely, that all of my kids consider themselves, as conversationalists, way, way, WAY more interesting than even the most fascinating NPR story. And so should I, right? They will only be young enough to want to share with me, for a 25 minute drive, […]

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I Wish I’d Thought of Crab Rangoon

I’m torn. Here I am, having my lovely evening all nice and quiet in my quiet empty house. I have eaten a dinner of junk food (a little ironic, given that my XX Factor post today was on the perils of fake food–but it wasn’t fake, just junk). And I am about to get some writing done, although clearly, given the hour, not as much as I had hoped or expected. I am a little lonely. I miss the pressure […]

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Hey, Jealousy: the Virtual Twin Thing

Wyatt popped out of the pool with the traditional summer blue quivering lips and begged for his towel. “Can I sit on your lap?” I beckoned him in, and he settled, warm and damp, with me in the deck chair. I turned to the friend I was with and sighed. “Twenty seconds,” I said. “What?” “Twenty seconds. You’ll see. Give it twenty seconds.” Within fifteen, Rory–who just minutes earlier had been happily going off the diving board with Lily and […]

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Will Wishing Make it So?

I really don’t want Rory to have a language issue. I go back and forth on whether I think the things I posted about yesterday–her srtuggles with nouns, her mixing up words within categories–mean anything more than, as Gina said yesterday, that she’s “just a girl trying to learn SO Much. Yes, she wasn’t only learning language but learning social cues, learning how to be in a family, learning so much more than kids brought up here at an earlier […]

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A Very Good Reason to Love Me

Tonight Rory wanted to write me a note. To surprise me. I heard her, at the table, drafting carefully away. “I … Love … You…” “How you write ‘because I’m your Mommy?” I interpreted that she wanted me to write “because YOU’RE my Mommy,” and so I did, on a scrap of the holiday pad she was using, for her to copy. A few minutes she appeared at my elbow. “I have something for you! Surprise!” And she handed me […]

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Being a “Special Needs” Parent

So this past weekend, I was driving the car, listening to the Moth story hour on NHPR and feeling lucky. I love the Moth (true stories told live). Hell, I have a story I want to tell the Moth. (The Pringle Fairy.) But mostly, I love that what I expected to be a chore—a half-hour’s drive to a sleepover for Lily—was going to be a pleasure. Double amputee, athlete, actress and over-achiever Aimee Mullins was telling a fantastic story, about […]

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Secret Agent Josephine’s Books Are Here!

My longtime internet buddy Secret Agent Josephine has three new books available on Amazon for your Kindle (or better, Kindle app, because you’re gonna want color and graphics for these): Secret Agent Josephine’s ABC’s Secret Agent Josephine’s Colors Secret Agent Josephine’s Numbers She’s a fantastic artist (people used to compete to have her create an avatar for them), a fun writer and deserving of much success. Back in the day, it was kind of all about whether you blogged undercover, […]

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Originally uploaded by kjda Peace and tranquility. Temporary, but mighty precious. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Today, Three Years Ago, We Told the Other Kids About Rory.

How do I know? Because three years ago, to the week, if not the day, it was Sam’s “Wild Mites Jamboree” which is a hockey thing, and right before we went to the rink, we lined them up on our bed and produced pictures. They were beyond thrilled. We were happy. Our biggest problem was that we hadn’t printed enough pictures, because all three of them wanted to carry all the pictures around (and they did, too, until the day […]

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Illustrating Motherlode

An 8-year-old on an aimless Monday morning of summer break is a funny thing. Deprived of his easy weekend go-tos (wii, minecraft, TV) and not yet quite able to come up with alternatives (by weds we will be good, next Monday he’ll have forgotten again). We went for illustrating the day’s Motherlode post, with the result that you get not one, but two today. I told him the player was faking the foul. “No!” He said. “He’s really hurt.” There’s […]

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Am I Introverted, or Just Rude?

I’m shy, yes. But am I also rude? In a contest between my manners and my preferences, am I allowing my preferences to win?

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Win the November Big Box O’ Books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I did a drawing for my book drawing. This box is heavy–I’ve got 13 books stacked here to go into it. (I have to get new copies of “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” and “A Field Guide to Lies” because I’m giving my copy of Readers to a friend, and I want to keep A Field Guide to Lies–but it will be ready to go out next week, and full of books for reading and sharing. […]

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What’s It Like to Eat at Your Kid’s House?

Something—some mention, some sound, some elusive flavor—reminded me of Captain Crunch yesterday. Captain Crunch, those indefinably flavored rectanguloids best known for scraping all the skin off the roof of your mouth as they stubbornly held their crunch even in the face of the deepest bowl of milk. Thus the name, I guess. But in addition to the flavor, Captain Crunch means something else to me. It means breakfast at Stephanie Ellis’ house, the girl who lived across the street from […]

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Say Good Morning.

For a long time, when I head upstairs to make sure everyone is up in the morning, I’ve been walking into my sons’ room saying, cheerfully, “time to get up!” or “time to face the day!” And for the past week or so, my oldest son has been rolling over and saying “Good morning.” I answered him, of course. “Good morning!” I liked it. It’s so much nicer, I thought, when he says good morning instead of something like, “I […]

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8 Reasons Why There Is No Salad with Dinner

There is a leek in the soup, thus covering the vegetable requirement. Made salad last night. It’s Caesar salad! That counts! What if every body just eats an apple? Can we do that? Can that be okay? I broke the salad spinner. I put out carrots and cucumber and dressing after school and they ate that. That lettuce looks wilted. I just can’t, okay? I don’t exactly hate salad. I eat salad other people make. But I hate making salad, […]

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What’s the ideal size for your happier family?

What’s your ideal family size? There is, of course, no ideal family size. Only children aren’t lonely children. Kids with lots of siblings don’t feel neglected. And if fate deals you a family that’s not the one you expected, you’re very likely to end up perfectly happy about that. Humans are very good at reframing, and when you look at the wonderful family you end up with, well, it’s hard to wish things were different. I have 4 kids. My […]

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Wanna Be Happier? Go Rube. (Works for Kids, Too)

There are worse things than tapping an oak tree your first time out. Like never making syrup at all.

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Once Again, in Deep DooDoo…

ringtones harry potter In Europe, 30–40 per cent of internet access is via ringtones harry potter . ringtones boostmobile free Such services automatically detect ringtones boostmobile free settings to ensure the best file type and format. ringtones cheap polyphonic Siemens Keypress: Can create and read in ringtones cheap polyphonic text file format. ringtones linda eder Cellular systems required several leaps of technology, including handover, which allowed ringtones linda eder to continue as a ringtones linda eder traveled from cell to […]

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Man, That Girl Can Iron!

I do own an iron. We do. Also an ironing board, with a fetching blue and white checked cover (I think. I would have to check, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I’m not actually sure where it is, but I think I could find it. There aren’t that many places to keep an ironing board, after all. They’re quite large.) So I do. Own an iron. Which means that I could iron something. I think it’s […]

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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?