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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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Sorry, Mommy.

There was this snack. If you get in the car, i said, to go pick up Sam and Lily (and then drive Lily half an hour to her dance class and then come fifteen minutes back to pick up the cookies for Sam’s Japan benefit tomorrow and then go back to pick up Lily and then drive half an hour home … sigh …) then you can have a snack. But what is it? Rory demanded. I’m not telling you. […]

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Spring “Break”

I know, I mentioned it in passing yesterday…but it is Spring Break, and we have gone to Disneyworld, had our fantastic time, and returned home…and I am tired. Everyone needs something from me, and I am not finding as much in me as there usually is. We are keeping it very quiet here at home, very little major activity, none of the usual cooking and baking and certainly none of the cleaning (that I HAVE TO get to tomorrow), but […]

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Iced Coffee: The Life-Giving Specialty of the House

I love iced coffee. I am so not a coffee person otherwise, in that I really can’t distinguish good coffee from bad (although a really great cup might catch my attention), don’t care how it’s brewed, won’t notice if you stew it for a while and really, really can’t tell where you got your beans or how and when they were ground. When it comes to hot coffee, I’m a philistine, and I drink it with plenty of milk and […]

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Who, Exactly, Makes Me Mad?

It should have been a perfect afternoon. Rainy first day out of school, end of last week, but some brilliant parent has scheduled a birthday party, not outside (as suckers like me invariably do for June birthdays) but indoors, at the aquatic center. I figure I am guaranteed happy children, because generally the aquatic center is the biggest of treats for them, and we’ve reached the point where I don’t even have to get in the pool. I’m toting my […]

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The Gift of the Matchy Match

The Gift of the Matchy Match Originally uploaded by kjda All the matching stuff is corny. I never thought I’d do it. But they LOVE to match. Even Sam. They all, intentionally, chose the coolest matching shirts they could find on our last trip. They dig through drawers to match. I never ask it any more, except at, say, Disneyworld. It’s all down to them. But it has an unexpected benefit. Matching shirts mean no one ever says "THAT’s your […]

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The Kid Who Gets It Wrong

If you don’t try, you don’t get it wrong. If you don’t try to answer the phone, you will never accidentally hang up on your daddy. I felt like I got things wrong today, too. Tactless in a couple of instances, inattentive in others. Not present. Bothered by the echoes of flooding and loss that are all over, here (we’re right on the Connecticut river and unscathed but surrounded). And bothered, as I think I always am, by a beautiful, […]

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Happy Birthday Rory!

Rory’s birthday was Friday, actually. (I think I begin to see why that word showed up in my wordle.) And it was also a little bit Saturday, when we skyped with Grandma Jo and opened HER presents, and then it will be a little bit Monday, when we take treats to class because you cannot take treats to class on muffin day, seriously, people, what are you thinking? It’s muffin day. And then even more NEXT Saturday, which is her […]

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Dinner

Dinner Originally uploaded by kjda Let it never be said that Rory’s KFC meal did not include vegetables.

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Surprise! The Kitten Would be a SURPRISE!

I always forget I know some of you IRL. So–it’s a Christmas surprise. More anon.

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Helping the Dentist Out

Helping the Dentist Out Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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The Perils of Hangman With 7-Year-Olds

The Perils of Hangman With 7-Year-Olds Originally uploaded by kjda

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Why We Should Schedule an Empty Schedule

Just because the day looks empty certainly doesn’t mean it will be.

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Here’s What’s Wrong with the Anti-Helicopter Parent’s Backyard (Hint: He’s Still Hovering)

The parent who created the Playborhood may not be helicoptering, but he’s hovering just the same. Only instead of saying “be careful,” he’s saying “jump.”

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The Get Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto: It’s Up to You Whether You Write Today.

I read the Get Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto, below, today on the #AmWriting podcast I do with Jessica Lahey, after a day of cursing out every interruption even as I accepted and, shall we say, enabled them (especially those “interruptions” called Messages, Twitter and Facebook). (You’ll find it in Episode 32.)   I know it’s December. I know things are tough. I know that, quite literally, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I have interviewed this week has at least one […]

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Want a happier end to summer? Try this: Sometimes, if you see something, don’t say something.

  Last week, we took out annual summer family vacation: a trip to Cape Cod, where we stay in the same place and do the same things, every year, which still manages to always be just different enough. As we often do, we took a fishing trip. We saw whales. We dropped lines and jigged for mackerel to use as bait. We zoomed at top speed to a place where the striped bass might or might not be—and for the most […]

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The Blessing of an Ordinary Week

Soak up the joy of ordinary days, and you build up a reservoir of peace and contentment that keeps you strong when the storms come.

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Oh, Just Join In Already

Some things are just cheesy. I was at a conference recently, and I went to a session where we were first asked to draw our inner monster. (The voice that tells you you suck all the time, and if you don’t have one, then, well. That’s great. I was going to say something snarky but that would be contrary to the spirit of this missive). Next, we went on an inner meditative journey to meet ourselves in 20 years, and […]

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Things Happier Parents Know: Family is the Place to Say Things You Don’t Mean

  I HATE SCHOOL AND I AM NOT GOING! I’M QUITTING THE TEAM! I AM NEVER COOKING DINNER FOR YOU PEOPLE AGAIN! I HATE YOU YOU RUIN EVERYTHING! I AM NEVER SPEAKING TO YOU AGAIN! IF YOU COME IM MY ROOM I WILL KILL YOU! OUR CHILDREN ARE THE RUDEST CHILDREN IN THE WORLD! Yeah, yeah, yeah. In this, the first week after school starts here and a fairly early week of the school year for many of us, I […]

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Damn, Did I Forget to Feed Her?

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The Draft Card

I just heard one Elaine Donnelly from the Center for Military Readiness describe, for NPR listeners, exactly why it’s important that Congress pass a bill codifying Defense Department policy which excludes women from units which participate in direct armed conflicts. Before we get to Ms. Donnelly, why is this happening now? Pentagon policy also excludes women from units which “collocate routinely” (that is to say, move) with combat units, and apparently there’s a sense that in Iraq, units including women […]

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In which I give the dead past a little tickle

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And Another Thing

Well, that last post was perky, wasn’t it? Nothing like a good attitude…(and that was nothing like…). Well, here’s another thing I’m not so crazy about in this, the last few weeks of pregnancy: I hate the publicity of the whole thing. Oddly, for a blogger, I’m a very private person, and there is really nothing private about being nine months pregnant. It’s part of the reason I’m always so reluctant to tell people my actual due date. I don’t […]

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Joining the Fray

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Sam at his holiday concert.

Sam at his holiday concert. Originally uploaded by kjda. lesbian movie clipscfnm moviemovies teenmovie hentaiplayboy moviesshemale moviesmovies mike apartmentsex downloads movies free Map

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I Think I Will Just Rename the Website ENVY

I belong to The Well and mostly frequent a really good freelancer group there, where I am middling to low on a totem pole that includes regular writers for Vogue, Wired and Salon but also people who don’t really see their byline in the national pubs very often, if at all. I love being a part of it. Today, I read an announcement that a fellow byliner just sold her first novel in a “major deal”. I was over the […]

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At the Biltmore house in NC

At the Biltmore house in NC Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Lily and her haunted house

Lily and her haunted house Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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I Just Grasped the Caucus System (and I don’t like it)

I am having a moment of sudden understanding–and thus sudden anger–about the Iowa caucus. How can this be the way we want things done? Here’s my problem with the caucus system: What if everyone in Iowa wanted to participate? I know, that’s crazy, but let’s just say they did. Not possible. What if you’re on dialysis? How many 17-year-old babysitters are there to go around? Who will man the 911 system, the emergency room, the quickie mart. What if you’re […]

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Why I Can’t Read

Actually I have no idea why I can’t read. What I do know is that I get those codes on blogs and groups–the ones that prove you’re human–wrong about half the time. Which would make me half human.

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A meal I can’t get in Hanover

A meal I can’t get in Hanover 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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Lily’s spring concert

Lily’s spring concert 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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Lily and Wyatt at Fratello’s

Lily and Wyatt at Fratello’s Originally uploaded by kjda. The funny thing is that It was Wyatt’s idea. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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Happy Birthday Mom!

I was glad you liked the kids singing. They were so pleased with themselves. And Sam really liked playing his piano into the phone to you. I don’t think that had ever occurred to him before. It was almost like you were here! Rob got everyone into pajamas tonight by sheer force of personality, since he can’t really manhandle them. I find that as exhausting as just sitting on them and doing it myself. Having him able to do it […]

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Après ski nap

Après ski nap Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Spring at Duke

Spring at Duke, originally uploaded by kjda. And at home, not soon enough! Don’t you LOVE this time of year? KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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The Double Trailer Bike

Today we acquired a–doubly used–double trailer bike. Also known as a double tag-a-long bike. In essence, it’s a tandem tag-a-long, because the riders must pedal in unison (although not with the adult doing the pulling). We are, collectively, very, very thrilled. We–in the form of me, Lily and Sam–tried it out, for all of a block. A great deal of core strength is required to keep us upright, so I feel this will be very good for me, although I […]

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TRAVEL DATES!

We leave 6/16. We come back a family of 6 7/2. I’m not panicking. Really.

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It’s a very scenic hotel

It’s a very scenic hotel Originally uploaded by kjda If you like signs in Chinese, and dejected looking people in masks. I asked my friend Julia to put up an update, but I can’t see the site now–I should have a connector cord later today. I just belatedly realized I could blog this way. As I said, we are all fine. Feeling a little too lively. Fortunately, the hotel has all the amenities…ping pong, badmitten, holes in the walls, 3 […]

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Fwd: beijing ditan hospital.jpg

Fwd: beijing ditan hospital.jpg Originally uploaded by kjda Pic of the quarantine hospital. (Beijing Di Tan) On the way out I noticed that they had 2 people in some of the little 8×10 cells.

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Alcohol Ocean

Alcohol Ocean Originally uploaded by kjda I meant to offer up this odd little bit of China yesterday, but other events intervened. It’s right next to the White Swan hotel, and I can imagine a few adoptive parents needing it. I particularly enjoyed the stunned-looking older couples wandering around with the ten-or-so- month old babies. Every one of those truly new parents needed a drink. We are home, and happy to be here, brushing out teeth with water from the […]

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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?