Connecting the Dots

Can I Sit By You?

By KJ / Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Can I Sit By You? Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — It happens at every meal we eat out. We enter. All is calm. Approach the table with a small, preliminary flurry of activity. There is, perhaps, a little jockeying for position and then: “Can I sit by you?” If nothing else, this post should convince you that no child in his or her right mind should WANT to sit by me. Because I don’t […]

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A Stompin’ Flickerin’ Good Time

By KJ / Saturday, August 20, 2011

I’ve written before about how loudly Rory walks. My theory is that she’s afraid if she can’t hear herself move, no one knows she exists. Like a lonely tree on the forest or something. Tonight she stomped so loudly across the upstairs that the lights downstairs flickered. This surely says something about our wiring, but that aside, I need this to at least ease up–so I have an evil plan. No, it’s not the destompinator (that may be next). I’m […]

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Annals of Lily Jekyll, Lily Hyde: Lily Lies.

By KJ / Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This morning Lily looked straight at Rob, and lied. Not about anything big. Rob said, “Did you do breakfast hokey?” (One of her jobs this week, running the hokey over the rug tiles under the bar where they eat breakfast.) And she said, “yes.” And she hadn’t. I knew she hadn’t. I knew it by the half smile, and by the fact that I’d been in the kitchen all morning. Rob said, “really?” And Lily said “yes,” again. “She’s lying,” […]

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Where’s the Phone?

By KJ / Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where’s the Phone? Originally uploaded by kjda I’ve figured out why we can never find a phone when it rings. (there’s even one hung up in the background.) I may have yours. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Motherlode: Lies! Sexual Harassment! Fat Babies!

By KJ / Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So, shameless self-promotion is the mark of the successful modern writer, and in particular the successful modern blogger. I definitely want to succeed at my second week at the helm of the New York Times’ Motherlode blog, and so I’m inviting everyone: please drop by, read, comment, argue and engage! If you’ve ever wanted to discuss parenting styles with New York Times readers from New England to California and far beyond, or even just to take issue with mine, now’s […]

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Three Unrelated Thoughts. And a Bonus Fourth.

By KJ / Sunday, December 11, 2011

1. I am now the proud possessor of about 1/2 lb of chestnuts, officially roasted over an open fire, by me and various kids. We ate some. Thoughts? If we reheat them in an oven, do we have to change the song? 2. I can now, finally, begin opening holiday cards–because I finally ordered ours. Yesterday. I find that the guilt about not mailing them comes later. 3. I bought Lily (7) the BEST PRESENT EVER. I love it when […]

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Behind the Scenes at Motherlode, 3/4

By KJ / Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ah, Sunday. The week always looks so CLEAN on Sunday! SO much time! So much glorious room to fill in the blog, so many great guest posts that I will so easily get to… I probably shouldn’t hold my breath, time being the slippery beast it is… Tomorrow I’ll be posting about a really interesting survey about exactly that. I interviewed Kristin van Ogtrop (whose book I love) about an upcoming story of their about women and time, and it […]

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Favor Effectiveness over Efficiency

By KJ / Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Laura Vanderkam pointed me towards an article today that came at exactly the right time: Chasing Efficiency? You’re Wasting Your Time A few choice quotes: Nobody other than perhaps you really cares how efficient you are, but everyone cares how effective you are. Sometimes the least efficient thing can lead to the most productive outcome. A great example of this would be carving out time in your already too busy schedule to mentor someone in your organization. Clearly this endeavor […]

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You Know You Need Something New to Read

By KJ / Saturday, September 17, 2016

2 novels. 2 memoirs. 4 nonfiction. If you’re looking for a good read, look no further.

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Shouldn’t FB Be Showing Me My Crap Memories, Too?

By KJ / Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I know I’ve shared some rotten moments on Facebook since I joined. So why are my “memories” all hazy scenes of family happiness?

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Before You Limit Your Kids’ Screen Time, Should You Look at Your Own?

By KJ / Wednesday, February 1, 2017

New research has parents of kids 8-18 reporting an astonishing 7.5 hours of personal screen time a day. If that’s true, how can we help our kids learn to limit themselves?

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September Book Recommendations, Part 3

By KJ / Friday, September 15, 2017

  I was so thrilled to find this memoir of a young German woman’s experience as an immigrant and newbie farmer in Vermont in the 1940’s. It’s both a classic city slicker in the big country story (love those) and a glorious, contemporaneous depiction of another time, with party lines and pony carts and train travel. I’m treasuring every page.         Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies framework won’t fully explain you or everyone around you, but once you’re […]

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So I wrote this mantra

By KJ / Friday, March 16, 2018

I wrote ten mantras, actually, and I dubbed them Ten Mantras for Happier Parents. (Ten secrets? Ten sayings? Aphorisms, mottos, truisms? Sometimes is not your friend.)  Number seven has been giving me a really hard time of late. Here it is: You can be happy when your children aren’t. I’ve been struggling to live that lately. One of my kids has been unhappy, for reasons biggish but not catastrophic, and it’s been bringing me, and all of us, down. […]

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How to Be a Happier Parent Pre-order Bonuses

Why Pre-ordering Books is Great for Authors and Readers (and makes a great birthday gift). Plus, Pre-order Bonuses!

By KJ / Monday, July 23, 2018

Happy Birthday to me! It really is my birthday. And—my personal celebration—I’m finally actually asking you to pre-order my book, How to Be a Happier Parent. I love it, and I think you will too—it’s a practical, thoroughly researched guide to bringing more joy into our everyday family life, not by doing more (please, no) but by doing things differently. I’m also telling you why pre-ordering the book matters, and what I’ve come up with to make those pre-orders fun […]

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Happier Parent Mantra: What you want now isn’t always what you’ll want later

By KJ / Thursday, February 7, 2019

This one is really biting me in the butt lately.   What you want now isn’t always what you’ll want later.   That’s one of my 10 Mantras for Happier Parents*, and it is killing me.   Honestly, I’d really rather just give in and make my child happy right now—on whatever it is. Lately, it’s been biggish stuff (hello, report card season), but it’s also been a pile up of all the stuff. Come back here and put your […]

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Upgrade in Progress

By KJ / Tuesday, February 22, 2005

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On Gratitude, the Media, and Michael Jackson

By KJ / Tuesday, April 12, 2005

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Three Shots (and

By KJ / Thursday, June 30, 2005

It was Sam’s annual check-up today, an event he’s been preparing for by reading Blue’s Check-up and conducting mock doctor’s appointments for months. He enjoyed himself vastly as they checked his vision and his hearing , weighed him, measured him and produced, as promised, an otoscope and a stethoscope. He was most pleased, and reasonably charming. Until the medical student and doctor exited, and the nurses arrived. They tried to be nice. One, a gregarious, gigantic guy named Kevin, was […]

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All Manuscripts MUST…

By KJ / Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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The bribe

By KJ / Wednesday, April 26, 2006

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By KJ / Wednesday, September 6, 2006

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“Just one stomach virus away from my goal weight!”

By KJ / Saturday, February 24, 2007

The best things about the past 24 hours: We weren’t, like certain friends of ours, camping out overnight in an unheated cabin. Good news anytime, but if most of the family is going to spend the night hunched over the toilet, it’s definitely a plus that there IS a toilet. I wasn’t pregnant, so I didn’t have to both barf and panic; I could concentrate on the barfing. No one threw up on anything that couldn’t be cleaned with relative […]

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Losing the Baby Weight, Secrets of (Don’t Expect Too Much)

By KJ / Saturday, July 7, 2007

I can say, I think, even though we don’t own a scale (well, I think we must, but I don’t know where it is or whether we have batteries for it), that I have finally lost the baby weight. From all three babies. In fact, I’m a pnts size smaller than when I had Sam–which I suspect means nothing more than that pants sizing has changed, because I know what I was like then and what I’m like now, and […]

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And an elf.

By KJ / Saturday, October 13, 2007

And an elf. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Now I am Dangerously Cheesy

By KJ / Friday, November 9, 2007

Now I am Dangerously Cheesy Originally uploaded by kjda. Comic created with Comic Life from plasq –

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The cross country ski “polar bears”

By KJ / Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The cross country ski "polar bears" 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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A Spring Song (By Sam)

By KJ / Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring is here Spring is here The ice is off the river The snow is kind of deep The mud is on the driveway And also on the land And that is spring in New England Spring is different here

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A very confused caterpillar

By KJ / Friday, April 18, 2008

A very confused caterpillar 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’s newly short hair

By KJ / Friday, July 11, 2008

Wyatt’s newly short hair 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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Tunnbridge Worlds Fair

By KJ / Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tunnbridge Worlds Fair Originally uploaded by kjda. If only you could see the rain… KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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Deceptively simple

By KJ / Saturday, October 25, 2008

Deceptively simple Originally uploaded by kjda. Thank you, Martha Stewart. This looked easy… And it wasn’t exactly hard, but I wouldn’t call it easy, either! KJ Dell’Antonia

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Snow angels

By KJ / Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snow angels Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Goin’ Local

By KJ / Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I’ve got about 1/2 an hour this morning before I go relieve Rob at TMO (Wyatt’s pre-preschool, where somebody has to be the parent volunteer). He’s #3 to go through it, and we–along with the five other families in the class with #3–finally figured out (or maybe that should be I finally figured out) that if you split the morning it’s actually kind of fun. Anyway, I popped in for my treat of the week: one Lou’s chocolate cruller. It […]

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Pre ring bearing

By KJ / Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pre ring bearing Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Mob Scene in the Forbidden City

By KJ / Thursday, June 18, 2009

Here’s a phrase you may want to learn if you’re going to bring a lot of small, blonde children to China: Ta-men pu yao. That’s “They don’t want it.” Ta pu yao is “He doesn’t want it.” The smog today was palpable, settling down in the Forbidden City to the point where you felt like you needed to clean your glasses, even though you weren’t wearing any. It was muggy, cloudy and oppressive. While we walked to the Forbidden City […]

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Lessons Not Learned

By KJ / Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I was hoping we might all learn a little gratitude for much we have and a little understanding of how little we need from this, but my five-year-old is having a tantrum because there is no ice for her coffee.

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So. Tired.

By KJ / Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The real trouble with the whole quarantine thing is that it sucked a lot of the adventure right out of us. We’re tired. We’ve eaten a lot of things we might not otherwise have eaten. We’ve hung out together. We’ve talked to people. We’ve been stared at. And now we are ready to resume our normally scheduled programming, but we still have a week of travel to go. Rory is adjusting well. She kind of collapsed today and took an […]

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How Lucky We Are

By KJ / Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Lucky We Are Originally uploaded by kjda Four kids, so far, is surprisingly not orders of magnitude more difficult than three. (of course, we cheated by not adding a baby). Things I expect to be difficult–like taking two three year olds who are asleep in the car to the grocery store, or taking them all to the pool–so far have underceded my expectations. (Is that a word? It should be.) If the difficult days are yet to come–the teenage […]

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Two Months Ago

By KJ / Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two Months Ago Originally uploaded by kjda I sat on this bench, in this museum, with another adoptive parent and her recently at home daughter…and never really thought this would happen. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Do you Snuggle Post Time-Out?

By KJ / Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ok, so I sent Rory to her room today–probably for a slightly lame reason, but there it is–sometimes I give one or the other the “go to your room” line and then I think, well, that wasn’t really a big deal–but once I’ve said it, there we are. They’re used to it; they march. Rory has marched, but today she didn’t…I had to deliver her. I went up to release her pretty quickly. The point is, unless there’s some dramatic […]

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Rory’s first haircut (with us)

By KJ / Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rory’s first haircut (with us) Originally uploaded by kjda And the last time all three littles get their hair cut on the same day. Whew! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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I want you go now, Mommy.

By KJ / Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tonight was the open house at Lily, Wyatt and Rory’s Montessori preschool. Rory was very angry that I refused to leave; this did not comport at all with what she had been told about school, which she clearly has conceived of as a place that she will go and be relieved of my constant supervision and insistence that things be done my way…boy, is she in for a surprise! The teachers have been warned…if they’re not in charge, she will […]

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World’s Cutest Card Sharks

By KJ / Thursday, September 17, 2009

World’s Cutest Card Sharks Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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News Flash: Not Everything is About Rory

By KJ / Monday, September 28, 2009

Or having four kids instead of three (or two, or one, for that matter). At some point over the weekend I said to myself “Self, you have got to quit this blaming it all on Rory/having four kids business.” I had bad days before we had Rory. I had days when I felt like I would never get out of the house, that the dishes would never be done and the laundry would never be washed (Full disclosure: I have […]

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New Hampshire Morning

By KJ / Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Hampshire Morning Originally uploaded by kjda I’m pretty sure she’s saying “WTF?!” KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Because I Love Halloween

By KJ / Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Because I Love Halloween Originally uploaded by kjda And because I love Sam. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

By KJ / Friday, November 6, 2009

Rob and I are in North Carolina, a two night trip, the first time we’ve been away from home since adopting Rory. She seems fine–we talked to her on the phone, and she’s enjoying the time with her beloved babysitter (who’s been known to be much nicer than her beloved mommy). It was the first time we’d talked on the phone, and she was very pleased–this mommy? this our mommy? It’s mommy! It’s good to be here. I have nothing […]

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Jingle Bells Rules

By KJ / Friday, November 20, 2009

It is now time, approximately seven minutes into the holiday season, to establish a set of rules regarding the song “Jingle Bells,” which shall be as follows: No version of “Jingle Bells” involving either Batman or sledding accidents shall be sung in my presence at any time. No one shall attempt to work out devious ways to get around rule one. The singing of songs involving “Catman” or replacing the names of Batman and Robin with those of your siblings […]

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Among other things, I need a new agent

By KJ / Friday, December 18, 2009

Yesterday was a day so filled with blogging fodder that I decided to clean out the tupperware drawers instead of sitting down to the keyboard. Actually, I decided to go to bed, but I had to pack lunches first, and I was hating it, and I thought about what it was that I hated about packing lunches so much, and one thing was that I can never find lids to the adorable lunch tupperware. (Because we cannot use baggies anymore, […]

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