Connecting the Dots

Why Does It Always Have to be Snakes?

By KJ / Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Does It Always Have to be Snakes? Originally uploaded by kjda Today’s referendum on my love took place in the bathroom. I have to go. Fine, let’s go. Will you come in with me? It’s really tiny in there. I don’t fit. Look, you can see my boots. My boots are in with you. But I want you to hold my coat. Ok. I like your hat, Mommy! Does your hat fit you? Yes, yes it does. I got […]

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The Hug.

By KJ / Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tonight I blew up at the kids in the car. This was once a regular occurrence, so regular that it’s safe to say they pretty much ignored it unless there was a threat involved, but I’ve grown. Mellowed. Come up with largely effective new methods of discipline and whatnot, and not only picked my battles, but mostly just chose not to battle. I lay out the way it’s going to be, and then it is. But tonight there was such […]

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Push, Push, Push

By KJ / Monday, May 2, 2011

Push, Push, Push Originally uploaded by kjda Both of my daughters are more like me–in all the ways I dislike myself most–than my sons, and so they are gifted with the power to push my buttons in ever more dramatic ways. Plus, and probably more relevantly, they WANT TO. Thus, here is Lily, tonight after dinner and an otherwise perfectly pleasant night. She carries a slice of apple in and sits on the couch and looks at me. You’re not […]

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The City Slicker and the Snapping Turtle

By KJ / Monday, June 6, 2011

The City Slicker and the Snapping Turtle Originally uploaded by kjda We found this guy (actually, I think it’s a girl) on the road today. I wasn’t actually SURE it was a snapping turtle, and I figured Lily could outrun it in a pinch–plus, I needed some scale. So I made her get in the picture. Which the next person to pull over clearly thought was CRAZY. My plan was to cautiously approach the turtle from the rear, pick it […]

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There’s Something Familiar About This Place

By KJ / Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Another post from France… We’ve done the drive from Barcelona to Cazo before. As we headed into Narbonne, Rob reminded me that we’d missed the turn in some way last time. “That’s how we ended up at the Carrefours, remember?” I did, and although we’d liked the Carrefours, with all four kids asleep in the back of the car in the middle of the day and Rob and I each running on about an hour’s poor sleep on the plane, […]

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The iBasket

By KJ / Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The iBasket Originally uploaded by kjda Note the tshirt. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Fall is Apparently Here

By KJ / Sunday, September 4, 2011

Corn maze! 85 degrees in the corn maze, but: corn maze! Rory is alone in the picture because the last time we went to this farm, I apologized to one of the people who works here after overhearing him tell her not to touch something, and he came over to me, and I said I’m really very sorry, again, and added that if he had one thing on the whole farm that she shouldn’t touch and he hid it under […]

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That Perverse Pride We Take In Our Weird Families

By KJ / Sunday, October 9, 2011

This could end really well. Or—let’s be honest here—it could go really badly. Lily requested cheeseburgers for dinner tonight on this, a fantastic day for grilling, and cheeseburgers she shall have. And, she said, those french fries you make, by which she means the Yukon Golds in cold peanut oil from Cook’s Illustrated. But I stopped by the farmstand on the way home for the potatoes, and they are unquestionably not Yukon Gold, but some type of russet. And when […]

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Out of Words

By KJ / Friday, November 4, 2011

I may be out of words for the day. On the fantastic news front, I will be taking the Motherlode blog again next week at the New York Times. I have some great stuff planned, and I’m going to link here every time, which I think I failed to do last time around. This will be the outtakes. The snark. The post behind the post. Or just the links. But it was a day of mucho wordiness. I started it […]

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GoodReads Best Books of the Year Awards

By KJ / Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Vote now for your favorite books! Let’s see, I voted for Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Sideways on a Scooter, and The Wilder Life. I was sadly unable to vote in the fiction category, because, well, it’s been a low fiction reading year (although I’m loving the short stories in If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, and have Stephen King’s new book on my bed table in all of its rather large and daunting […]

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Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 4

By KJ / Monday, February 6, 2012

Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 4 Originally uploaded by kjda And, finally, the nutritious part. You must understand that one reason this is nutritious, and healthful, and a serious gift to myself, is simply that every night, right around this time, my stress wires fully fired, kids plowed into bed, evening of email ahead, determined to get a little down time, I sit down on the couch and plow whatever salty thing I can find it the cabinet […]

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Go Shelf By Shelf and Snack By Snack: “Happier at Home” Week 2, in the Pantry

By KJ / Sunday, September 16, 2012

I cleaned my pantry. Less is more, and should the zombie apocalypse arrive, all that spaghettini will surely not save us. Bourbon, maybe, but that’s another cabinet.

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I Woke Up Grumpy, So I Dragged Everyone Else Down, Too.

By KJ / Friday, September 9, 2016

I know better, but I did it anyway.

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How To Get Out of the Rabbit Hole

By KJ / Thursday, October 27, 2016

I looked up at the clock and realized: the rabbit hole had nabbed me again.

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My Word for 2017: Linger.

By KJ / Friday, December 30, 2016

Linger. That’s my word this year. Professionally, personally, with family, with friends, over essays and book chapters and all the work I put out into the world or keep to myself, I want to linger. I I want to take time, to stay at the table, to rest in the silence or the laughter. In my work, I want to re-read, to edit, to set aside and revisit. And, of course, with the book I’m working on, I need to […]

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September Book Recommendations, Part 1

By KJ / Friday, September 1, 2017

      Guesswork: A Reckoning with Loss I’ve just started this slim memoir in essays, a history of reckoning with grief and loss through exploring a new country on the outside and an old landscape within. It’s lyrical, poem-y, not a one-sitting read.           For many kids, back-to-school means back into the social ocean after a summer spent swimming in quieter ponds. If you’re looking for advice on helping your teen or tween navigate the […]

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For Kids (and Adults) Habits and Plans Beat Resolutions

By KJ / Friday, January 5, 2018

Goal-setting feels overwhelming to many kids. Try these simple steps to help them make a change feel do-able for a new year.

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Say Yay.

Say Yay.

By KJ / Friday, June 29, 2018

Sometimes it helps to celebrate the very little things. Last night, as I closed the dishwasher, knowing that the last kitchen straightening was done, that I’d taken the final things off the counter and wiped the sink (the one thing the kids never manage to do when they clean up after dinner), I set its fancy timer and shut its door and happily said “Yay!” My daughter happened to be standing there, and she looked at me in shock. “Yay […]

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Things happier parents know: you don’t really “have to” do that much

By KJ / Friday, September 28, 2018

I have to get up at 5:00 AM tomorrow—to do all the things I want to do. I’ve got have-tos in my day, of course. There’s a big block of work to be done that’s not optional, farm chores, and a business meeting. I would put getting my home ready for a family visit and prepping a couple of meals for that visit in the “have-to” category as well, although that’s arguable. We could eat take-out (like we did tonight). […]

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Poopy-Bottomed Demon Child

By KJ / Monday, February 7, 2005

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Define "Gossip"

By KJ / Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Really, nothing is better than a little bit of dish. Particularly if that dish makes you feel, oh, just that much better than the person about whom your source is dishing. Maybe, just maybe, you feel like a better mother, or a better wife, or just a better person all around, period. Gives you just that warm glow. For about an hour. Then you’re left with knowledge. Knowledge that, if shared, could make others feel like better mothers, better wives, […]

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10 Reasons Not to Have #3

By KJ / Friday, June 10, 2005

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 2005 edition

By KJ / Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Every year the Byliners on The Well (my favorite online community of freelancers and roustabouts) post “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”– a little annual review of career, life, and just a touch of politics. Here’s mind (feel free to do to same on your blog, and let me know). The Good: Broke into 4 national magazines in one way or another. First essay accepted for national mag. Finally have some strong recent clips. Finished co-author book, edited, well […]

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Hocus Refocus

By KJ / Saturday, April 8, 2006

This has definitely become something of a navel-gazing blog, and the more navel gazing I do, the more I start to notice that much of my navel probably ought to be kept private. I didn’t set out to do quite this. My plan was to post more finished, funny, essay-like entries, but I can tell you right now that those take time–and, of course, that’s not time that comes from my kids, laundry or sleeping efforts. It comes straight off […]

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The Great Snack Project

By KJ / Thursday, June 15, 2006

Yesterday at the grocery store I completely lost my head. This was partly thanks to the entertaining musings of Caitlin Flanigan in To Hell With All That, which we read for book club. Flanigan is always fun to read. For one thing, she’s a person who can see the guilty side of anything. I closed the book, thought the hell with that, I am the mother I am, and went and bought $300 worth of chicken nuggets. OK, an exageration. […]

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You Know

By KJ / Thursday, February 15, 2007

the plow guy gets stuck in your driveway. A neighbor towed him out eventually. Our afternoon playdate turned into a dinner date as well. Three thrilled five-year-old boys. (Although one was slightly worried that he’d “never see his daddy again”). Well worth missing yoga for, really.conference thermal analysis 3rdsex amateur vid101 sex positions forsex adult swapsex free stories absolutelyporn 60 vintage samatuer free video pornjapanese 500 sex Map

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Not the People I Think We Are

By KJ / Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I think I remain stubbornly convinced that we are, somehow, or will be, somehow, living the sort of life that is found primarily in the pages of, say, a J. Crew catalog. That handsome dogs will romp up to us as we pull sculls up on the banks of ponds, dressed with what Fitzgerald might have called enviable casualness. It is this illusion that leads me to participate in things like “tball on the green”. We do live in a […]

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Dear Willliams Sonoma. Send the Spatula, not the Guilt

By KJ / Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dear Williams-Sonoma: I just received my order of assorted miscellaneous Halloween baking items and plastic bowls, and the minute I opened the first box, I was disappointed. Disappointed, annoyed and even pissed off. When I opened the second box, I felt even worse. Not because of the items I ordered, which are pretty much exactly the completely unnecessary but fun to have items I expected, but because you didn’t just send me a few pumpkin candies and a ghost-shaped spatula: […]

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Happily playing

By KJ / Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happily playing Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Who Said I Didn’t Want to Raise a Quitter?

By KJ / Sunday, February 24, 2008

This weekend’s highlight: a visit from one of my oldest school friends and her family (featuring “Boston Joey”, so-called to distinguish him from one of their best friends and sometimes even directly addressed as such). Boston Joey has done some skiing; his five-year-old sister “Roofie” has not. So as my friend took a year off the limited life span of her lower back by taking Roofie up the J-bar and Lily decided she wanted to hit the chair lift, I […]

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Post-Haircut treats

By KJ / Thursday, March 13, 2008

Post-Haircut treats 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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The end of a perfect party

By KJ / Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The end of a perfect party 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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Meet krypto the superdog.

By KJ / Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meet krypto the superdog. 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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An audience

By KJ / Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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

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Because we are all about healthy lunches here.

By KJ / Friday, October 24, 2008

Because we are all about healthy lunches here. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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This sick day may be too much fun…

By KJ / Thursday, January 15, 2009

This sick day may be too much fun… Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Adventures in Adoptoblogland

By KJ / Thursday, April 9, 2009

I got an impulsive email from Guoji Familia this morning–she, Cupcake, Spark and her #2 son were heading our way! We met up at the Montshire, and hung for the morning. It was great to meet up “IRL”, but I’m finding the whole thing inspires me to talk in what I think of as “blogher” talk…lots of exclamation points and references to the ‘net. We had a good time, and bonded over plenty–adoption, of course, kids the same ages, yadda. […]

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Wyatt’s Big Day

By KJ / Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wyatt’s Big Day Originally uploaded by kjda I had a fabulous day with Wy. There was some suggestion, yesterday, that perhaps China hasn’t had a blanket flu-freakout, and that travel dates, for everyone who’s waiting on them, may come soon–and although I’m still hoping we’ll be heading out in June, I can be ok with SOME delay–just not infinite, or even indefinite, delay. It turns out that the combination of a little positive news and a beautiful day returned me […]

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Fun times online

By KJ / Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun times online Originally uploaded by kjda We are trying to guess whose luggage will be so overweight that they will have to repack. One set of girls just had to go buy a new bag. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Fwd: GuoMen Quarantine Hotel as seen from Beijing DiTan Quarantine Hospital

By KJ / Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fwd: GuoMen Quarantine Hotel as seen from Beijing DiTan Quarantine Hospital Originally uploaded by kjda

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Up the Great Wall and on to Fuzhou

By KJ / Sunday, June 28, 2009

We had a beautiful, if hot, day for climbing. The kids were troopers. Some of the stairs were so high they came up to Wyatt’s waist. It was hot, hot, and getting crowded as we came down. People here use umbrellas against the sunshine, so here we were, on this amazing day, climbing down in a sea of umbrellas. Our flight to Fuzhou was uneventful (no temperature taking or hazmat suits…) and the Shangri-la is a very nice hotel, too–haven’t […]

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Hoo, Boy

By KJ / Sunday, July 12, 2009

Worst. Parent. Ever. That’s me. Flat out worst. Which is a pity, because the day had gone rather well. Kids playing together, birds singing, sun shining, whatnot. I went out–promising Rory I would come back–and i did, which she seemed to see as a good thing. Better yet, I went for a bike ride with a friend, and every hill just felt good, because it was just so great to be out on my own. And then… I miscalculated dinner. […]

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Amish Friendship Bread, Defrosted

By KJ / Friday, July 24, 2009

On June 6, I completed the squishing and flipping and baking project that is Amish Friendship Bread–which I know for a fact is slowly conquering the country, and may be nothing more than a ploy to get us all to buy at least one package of vanilla pudding this year–baked my two loaves, and froze one. June 6 was just a few days after we got our travel dates. Rory was still pictures and an idea. We were thinking packing, […]

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Idyllic. Can’t last.

By KJ / Thursday, August 6, 2009

Idyllic. Can’t last. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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On the “Holly”

By KJ / Friday, August 14, 2009

On the "Holly" Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Verklempt.

By KJ / Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I’m having a moment. Summer is over, it is oh so very much over. Sam is back at school, and the others go back next week, and the luxury of having so many days stretch out before us with little planned is utterly gone, and I am feeling like I wasted so much of it caught up in my own stuff. Sam will turn 9 next year–nine!–and time is passing. I should have spent the whole summer holding his hand. […]

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Grumpy.

By KJ / Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I’m feeling impatient and cranky today–like all I can do is gripe at people and criticize. And very touchy–as in, I worked hard on this dinner and you’d better sit down and eat it right now, and for heaven sakes don’t TALK to me while you’re doing it! Nobody is moving fast enough or being nice enough for me. Rory’s horrible wound is a little better. Sam still looks like he’s been in the wars, but I don’t think he’s […]

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How was the Big Birthday?

By KJ / Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Great, if you just whitewash it here and there. The thing is, from two on, I had to just get my skates on and GO. 2:00 pick up Sam, town, snack, buy balloons, 3:00 pick up Lily, home put together big ole’ plastic doll house, cry because we cannot play more with it and it is not ours (well, that would be Lily). 4:00 babysitter’s, share cupcakes, celebrate. 4:30 Farmer’s Market for dinner. Park, try not to get run over, […]

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The Artists

By KJ / Monday, October 12, 2009

The Artists Originally uploaded by kjda This is how we celebrated Columbus Day. For once, everyone is feeling very satisfied (and they are about to have pumpkin pie!)(not made from these pumpkins–who do you think I am?!) KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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A Halloween Book that looks like us.

By KJ / Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Halloween Book that looks like us. Originally uploaded by kjda I know my kids’ books–I co-authored a book about them, and I review them for DoubleX–but I have to admit that the advent of Rory has made me more aware of race in the pictures. That’s not really true–I was always aware–but more appreciative of books that look like us, and the Biscuit books–while not always my favorite, because they tend somewhat towards the inane–are good that way. The […]

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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.

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