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Swimmingly

The thing I like best about the swimming pool is that they can all touch. Not that this means I am off in my plastic adirondack chair licking a Jolly Rancher icepop (the biggest vice available at the pool, sadly–where is my mojito?). But I can sit on the side, in primo splashing territory for all the horrible little splashy children in their swimsuits, shoving the ones that don’t belong to me aside and saying jeez, kid, don’t get between […]

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Apparently We Won’t Be Invited to Dinner

I was just reading Brain, Child, and came across a little offhand comment from a mother of three: Another child would … tip us over into another category: that of the Big Family, the sort that, dispite how well-behaved the children are or how fantastic the wife’s guacamole she brings over, simply entails too big a crowd I hadn’t exactly thought of Rory as a social liability… I really do make good guacamole.

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Apparently Lily Needs Another Little Sister

Apparently Lily Needs Another Little Sister Originally uploaded by kjda During Rory’s time out. Can’t cure the tantrums in one day after all! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Small world

Small world Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone Oh–why is it a small world? I never came back to this (similarly, I owe the blogosphere a post about why I don’t regret adopting Rory, and happily that one gets easier to write every day). This is Jan–she’s our beloved babysitter Heather’s step-mother-in-law. And she knows Miss Nanette and Mr. Dana. They are the only people she knows in all of China, and they are one of […]

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Not the Worst, But Still Not There

An adoption bud is in China right now, three days from meeting her daughter, and she wrote a line about “that sweet little face that needs her mama to come pick her up” and my heart just broke. Rory has a sweet little face, and she could use a mama to come pick her up, too, and in all honesty I’m still not feeling it. I like her fine. She’s swell. She’s even very special, and she’s been through so […]

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Whoa!

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

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Feeling bleh

We had such a great day yesterday that today couldn’t really be anything but a letdown. Let’s see…didn’t get through some work stuff, didn’t get ravioli made, didn’t make last batch of tarts, didn’t clean out closet, haven’t yet made lunches…Saturdays are WAY better than Sundays. There are a bunch of dids, but my mood is wrong to focus on those. Sam had hockey tryouts this weeked. He did make one of the travel teams, but the second tier one. […]

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Thanks, New Kid’s Store!

Thanks, New Kid’s Store! Originally uploaded by kjda In honor of the grand opening of our semi-new kids store (and to understand the magnitude of this, you must realize that there is no kid toy or clothing stories in town), there were girl gift bags, and boy gift bags. I know it’s a little blurry, but you can see the intensity with which the purple lip gloss is being applied. To lips. To cheeks. To forehead. Every once in a […]

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On the way out

On the way out Originally uploaded by kjda Now that she grasps what trick or treating is, she may never come back. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Lunch, and all the Angst it Entails

Lily slipped into the bathroom yesterday and very nicely asked “Have you packed my lunch yet?” I’ve made your sandwich, but not the rest. Why? Can I do it? Can I do it and have FOUR THINGS? Wyatt and Sam were both down with a touch of flu, so the morning rush was both eased and compromised–so why not? One fruit, I told her, and a little of whatever else you want. I gave her two containers and she put […]

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It’s Here!

It’s Here! Originally uploaded by kjda Genuine snow, about 2 inches of it. Enough to sled on and toss a small snowball or two. Enough to force me to finally get out the snow pants. Enough to thrill everyone and count as Rory’s true first snow. She loved it. The funny thing is, we went to a Waldorf winter fair today. Waldorf being what it is, there is no Santa, but there IS a King of Winter, who was walking […]

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Ringleaders and Instigators

I took only Rory and Lily to dinner at the home of one of their friends recently. New friends, a family I didn’t know, along with another family we were already acquainted with (the boys were home on the sick side with Rob). The new friends have two daughters, 2 and 4, and although I don’t have the impression their girls are peaceful and retired types, I’m not sure they were prepared for Rory–who took one look at their large, […]

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I did the right thing, in case you were wondering

But I’m not going to go into details. And actually, all this reclusiveness and the MRRPHS and the Thingy and the HH wasn’t because I’m worried about my fellow parents involved in Thingy. Actually, it was all reasonably civil, and although some ugly things happened they were reasonably civil ugly things, and I will have an interesting story to tell everyone one of these days. Nah, the parents within Thingy–I mean, I’d already written a litter, so saying I’m all […]

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The American Girl Doll Store

The American Girl Doll Store Originally uploaded by kjda Yum…but after, there was Orange Cup Yogurt: my new absolute fave. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Rainbow Cupcake results

Rainbow Cupcake results Originally uploaded by kjda And indeed, they made everybody very happy. Well, everybody except me. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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No Time No Patience

Today was an easy day with nicely set apart activities, little rushing–it should have been so easy. But I decided I needed to do something on the computer during the hour in between one thing and another (order a new bike helmet) and then it took longer than I expected, and then, oh, then, Wyatt took my whatever! Rory wont let me have my turn! Lily not hellpin’ me! In other words, from all three, loud and clear: pay attention […]

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Lily Rocks the Hula Hoop (and more)

Lily Rocks the Hula Hoop (and more) Originally uploaded by kjda > > Lily had a friend’s festive birthday party, obviously, which she attended with enthusiasm today. It was all of 40 degrees here, but still an improvement over yesterday’s rain, which just went on and on. I am a little grumpy…we had our big annual party sort of thing here Friday night, a museum auction, and I had such a good time that it’s a little bit of a […]

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That Gon’ Make Me ANNOYING!

Well, yes, yes it is. In fact (and this is awful, and I know it), you were already annoying. Far more annoying than your brothers and sisters. and I’m trying to figure out why.   Rory doesn’t mean she’s annoying, of course. She means she’s annoyed (by Lily’s singing in the car, and in this case, she’s absolutely right). But ti’s something she says often, and oh, it rings so true for me. Why is Rory (4, and home for […]

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Top Baby Names of 2010 So Far: The Mystery of Seraphina

We’re crazy for baby names. The marketing genius behind Nameberry.com knows it, and she knows that any time she can release some new scoop on who’s naming who what, the parenting world will pounce. We believe names matter, and we’re right: as Sierra wrote earlier this year, girly names doom a boy to teasing and poor-sounding names decrease your odds of success. As Time magazine put it, we want to be unique, but not too unique. Or maybe we do […]

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Kate + 8 + Palin = a Camping Trip Not to Be Missed

How is this not getting more news coverage? I know, Wikileaks has compromised the “war on terror” and oil still oozes into the gulf, with a storm bearing down on it for good measure. I know, President Obama is going on The View. But for pure newsworthy entertainment value, how did the camera crews of the world manage to miss Kate Gosselin and her 8 Goss-lings going camping with Sarah Palin? You have to figure the shoe has yet to […]

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Oprah’s Dr. Phil to Unhappy SAHM: You Made a Deal

From this month’s O Magazine, perhaps the most off-base advice Dr. Phil has ever given. To a SAHM unhappy without her career, Dr. Phil says, in essence, tough. “Bloom where you’re planted” has never sounded so patronizing. A mother of two writes in, saying that she and her husband agreed, before having kids, that she would stay home until they were in full-time school. Now that the kids, aged 2 and 4, are actually here, demanding snacks and generally absorbing […]

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The 19th Amendment and the Olden Days

Yesterday was the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. You probably know what that was, but I’ll bet that’s only because Sarah Palin made some rather clever comments about ewoks in marking that date. Come on, a week ago today, how many of you would have correctly answered an open ended question like “what is the 19th amendment to the constitution?” I’m not sure I could have done it, and I’m a former lawyer and an “A” student. I wouldn’t […]

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Kids on Bikes

Kids on Bikes Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Star Chips and the Mommy Store

I don’t ask much. I swear I don’t. I want them to empty their lunch boxes after school. I want them to pack their own lunches (with help, in the case of Wyatt and Rory). I want them to put their clothes in the laundry hamper, turned right-side-out. That’s it, really, although I rounded off with table clearing, dog feeding and two area clean-ups, all assigned as a team. And bought a star chart, and tried to put them on, […]

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‘Member? ‘Member, Mommy?

Rory is bothered by conversation. She’s largely a native English speaker, since she grew up understanding and speaking more English than Chinese (she was raised in a large foster home with American parental figures and Chinese nannies), but the ebb and flow of conversation still goes over her head, and she’s hampered by a natural 5-year-old inability to tell the difference between a suitable topic for conversation and a random non-sequitur. But she wants to be a part of any […]

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If I Could Parent on Track, We’d Be There By Now

A friend, neighbor and fellow blogger is a big devotee of Parenting On Track, and last week I persuaded her to loan me her cds for in-car listening. She has three kind, thoughtful and independent girls (at least they look that way to me) and I know she’s followed the program to the letter. I’ve known other people who’ve gone to seminars and raved about them, and I’ve felt in need of some guidance lately. I lose my temper too […]

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Disappointment

It was Sam, my big guy’s, turn to have a rough day. It was a teacher in-service day for Sam and Lily, and Lily fulfilled a long-overdue wish to go to school with Rory and Wyatt. I don’t think she had as much fun as she expected to, but that’s another story. Sam and I planned to go ski Killington with friends. The weather was less than super, but a morning skiing was doable (half-price day for locals, too!). But […]

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Farewell, Great Wolf Lodge

Farewell, Great Wolf Lodge Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — KJ Dell’Antonia www.kjdellantonia.com

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Awesome breakfast.

Awesome breakfast. Originally uploaded by kjda Yum! I’m on a healthy eating binge, and this is truly my favorite incarnation of that. Fruit, yogurt, honey, granola. I’m committed to a 25 mile, 3000 vertical feet bike ride in, um, 16 days. And I have ridden the trainer bike in the basement ONCE. Today my riding partner and I are going to brave the cold. It’s 20 now, we will see what it is in 2 hours! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from […]

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The View Out My Window

The View Out My Window Originally uploaded by kjda I am going back to bed. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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I Get My Best Stuff Done When I’m Driving

When I’m driving—which is to say, when I’m stuck in the car, cruising along and unable to do anything other than contemplate the meaning of Sam’s favorite song (“Fireflies,” a song that gives “MacArthur Park” a run for its money in terms of its general air of having a much deeper meaning than anything that’s actually said ) if he has control of the iPod, or belt out a few of my own favorites (I favor “If You’re Gonna Play […]

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Social Cues

Rory is still lousy at picking up social cues. And I’ve realized that this, above all things, is what she does that pushes my buttons. It’s part of what happened at the Aquatic Center (in the below post). I’ve realize that when I overreact to her, its often at one of those moments. I don’t care if she makes mistakes. I don’t care if she misbehaves (I do, but I don’t–you know what I mean.) I react in a normal, […]

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Never Say Never, Except When You Say Never

Babble’s editors (who were, when I was one of their bloggers, my editors) just started a fresh new Twitter hashtag: #neverinamillionyears. As in, as a parent, never in a million years would I: put a 6-year-old in a bikin (my contribution) put a TV in their room (@mychildPsych) post bathtime pics of my kids on social media (good one, @perpetuallykate) become THAT parent at a kids’ sporting event (ooh, yeah, @OWTK) punish my child by public embarrassment (oops, @mymomfriday, think […]

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One last summer picnic

One last summer picnic Originally uploaded by kjda Sigh. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Harry Potter and the Mother Who Kept Her Mouth Shut

I love Harry Potter. I love Harry Potter so much that I am awaiting entrance to Pottermore for both Sam and me. I love it so much that I pre-ordered Book Two from Amazon UK, back when Scholastic didn’t realize you could do that. I was Harry Potter for Halloween before more than a handful of kids knew who that was. But I am VERY FRUSTRATED with Harry Potter just now. (And no, not because we don’t have our “Welcome” […]

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The End (Draft One. The Endle? The Ending?)

218 pages. 66,000 words, give or take a few. A book. About that year, that really bad year, when Rory was new and we both thought our lives had caroomed (no, really, spell-check, caroomed, I don’t know what you mean by caromed but it isn’t what I mean, not at all) to a very bad place, but only I get to write a book about it. Yet. I just finished the draft. It’s a first draft. With a lot of […]

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Cool Pout.

Cool Pout. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia

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I Finally Feel Like a Real Writer

I Finally Feel Like a Real Writer Originally uploaded by kjda Although it’s a little hard to write. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Rory apparently got someone else’s fortune

Rory apparently got someone else’s fortune Originally uploaded by kjda

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Book Give-away: “Catastrophic Happiness” and “Girls and Sex”

I’ve got a copy of “Catastrophic Happiness” by Catherine Newman and one of “Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape” to share. All you have to do is either sign up for my weekly email (if you haven’t already) or share this past week’s email (which is likely how you got here in the first place). Then tell me you did, and which book you’d like in the comments to this post, and we’ll use a random number generator […]

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My Name Is KJ, and I Meditate.

I used to meditate sneakily, because one of the reasons I meditate is that my mind is filled with all kinds of negative commentary on stuff like … meditating. But I’ve had to come out of the closet.

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KJ’s Best Gifts for Writers

In the most recent episode of the #AmWriting podcast, co-host Jessica Lahey and I offered up—along with my December Keep Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto and a reminder that even though the holidays are upon us, WRITERS GONNA WRITE—a list of some of our favorite writer-y things that we’ve aquired over the years. Mine, I realize, skewed awfully heavy on the Decoupage Tissue Box covers–but I am telling you, these are great. Everyone needs a tissue box cover, or at least, […]

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August Book Recommendations, Part One

Hey—want to win a totally random book and help me spread the word about my weekly missives on making this whole parenting thing a joyful part of our lives? I’m conducting a Random Book Mailing. I’ve got a stack of 19 recent releases to give away, including the two novels below. Do something—anything you’d like—to encourage friends to join the list, then let me know you did by Monday, August 7, 2017. (You can also just reply to this email.) I’ll drop everyone’s […]

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Rules for Happier Parents: The Road to Jack O’Lantern Glory is Paved with Pumpkin Guts and Tears

Cook a simple meal, do a load of laundry, clean a bathroom, carve a pumpkin. Life skills, man.

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Wet, Cold, Miserable–and Memorable

Here’s how a wet, cold, miserable Memorial Day weekend might make you happier than the one you’re imagining. I know what Memorial Day is supposed to look like. Maybe yours won’t. Maybe your view looks more like this one: And maybe–bear with me for a minute–that could actually make you happier. Here’s the thing about vacations and holidays: they’re weighed down by the burden of expectations. That means times we really really feel like need to be happy have to […]

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Happy Children Do Chores

Children should do chores. That’s a controversial premise, though not everyone will admit it. A few parents will declare outright that their children are “too busy for chores” or that “their job is school.” Many more of us assign chores, or say we believe in them, but the chores just don’t get done. That’s a problem. For starters, chores are good for kids. Being a part of the routine work of running a household helps children develop an awareness of […]

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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?