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Fwd: padlocked door.jpg

Fwd: padlocked door.jpg Originally uploaded by kjda If you can zoom in on this picture, you can see that they have the door of the hospital chained and padlocked.

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The Red Couch

What is wrong with that child, you ask? What are you people doing to her? Well, it’s like this. If Rory has one single, stand-out, non-endearing trait, it is (and this is SO PETTY) that she pretty much has to go potty every single solitary second of every day. Is she nervous? Unable to complete, shall we say, with relative strangers? Does she have a UTI? Dunno. Doesn’t, in the context of getting out of China, matter. But there it […]

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Not a, Baby

Adopting a three-year-old is not very much like having a baby, except in the level of shock to the system. One does not, for example, have to nurse, or wake up every three hours, or carry the baby around for hours on end in the hope that it will somehow stop crying. But the wow factor–the shock and awe and the what have we done–that’s there, in spades. Tonight was a wall-punching night for me. I was congratulating myself on […]

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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

I love summer. WInter is hard, where we live, and it’s long, and it’s cold, and then it’s long, and did I mention it’s long? The sheer amount of gear involved in winter life…I could cry just thinking about it, and I love to ski and ice skate. Sigh… But this is summer. The pool has become easy. The biking is fabulous. There are only three and a half more weeks before Sam stuarts school, and then while the summer […]

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I May Be Worried About the Wrong Control Freak

I was trying to work through Rory’s tantrums last night–well, not the tantrums, but the way I react to them. And I was getting all fancy about her need for control, and how maybe I could understand that, as she’d had no control over being abandoned, and adopted, and yadda, and so I shoudl be more tolerant of her need to choose, say, which of the three potties in the pool bathroom she uses, every single time, and maybe if […]

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Still Not There.

I’m still waiting for the day when life just feels normal. Last night I dreamed that one of our neighbors covered the slopes of their yard with snow somehow, and I walked down the road with Rory, Wy, Lily and Sam and we just happened to stumble across it. It would be Rory’s first time playing in the snow, and I wanted to see her reaction, but she’d wandered off, and somehow we were surrounded by hundreds of families, all […]

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Who is this kid, and what did she do with Rory?

At dinner last night: This good, mommy! Thank you! To Wyatt, instead of a slap: You make me so MAD! (Wyatt: You make me so mad TOO!) This morning, 7 am, standing in our room fully dressed: I ready go school now! I get my shoes on! Tonight, awakened from an accidental post-dinner nap on the way home in the car (I tried to put her to bed, but it was just that much too early) and about to have […]

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Trucking

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

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Rainy Saturday

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

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Poopyheads R Us

We have a playdate this afternoon, one of our favorite neighbors and a friend of all three. She, Lily and Wyatt are all playing an elaborate game of make-believe. Rory is not; she likes some quiet time after school to do things without, I suspect, teachers coming over to make sure she is doing them in the approved Montessori way (although she loves Montessori; she has a bell and she rings it constantly around the house, saying “Please sa-ye your […]

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A Bat

A Bat Originally uploaded by kjda This was once a baby bunting from Old Navy. I think this is it’s fourth wearing. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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This Kid Has Game.

This Kid Has Game. Originally uploaded by kjda I don’t need help! When it’s said with a big smile by someone determinedly flailing away on the ice, that’s a deeply charming sentiment. The tough, resolute athlete tool it on the butt again and again, but after 45 minutes she was at least moving under her own steam. Some. Tonight Rob showed her some pictures of the other kids skiing. "What about me?" This one was born to live here. All […]

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Two Small Miracles

i am finally coming out of the flu fog, with this to report: This morning in the car, Rory was humming a little repetitive hum, a sort of non-song, over and over, and Wy chose to be outraged. You can’t do that! It’s annoying! She’s being annoying! Rory, everyone in your class will say, that’s so annoying! Mommy, Rory is being annoying! After a few miles of this, I asked Wyatt why he thought Rory was humming. (Rory, very satisfied-ly, […]

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Organization, continued

Ok, so I love systems, and getting organized. I also love staying organized, so once I find something that works, I do stay with it. Last year, I realized that Lily had a really hard time getting dressed in the morning. She just couldn’t decide, and couldn’t cope with deciding, so we decided to put her clothes out the night before. Which she also couldn’t cope with. She would change her mind, or need tights, or just in general begin […]

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Sam’s Magic Inventions, and Musings on Mental Health

Last night Lily announced that her tummy hurt. I muttered an uh-huh, sorry your tummy hurts sort of acknowledgement that we all know means “I don’t believe you,” and Sam asked: Has any one invented–you know how one person feels pain, and the other person can’t know, like, how bad it is–like when you try on hockey skates, and no one but you can tell whether or not they really fit? That was a little incoherent, but I got it, […]

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Texas Hike

Texas Hike Originally uploaded by kjda It’s gorgeous here today! And no one Compared this hike to a "forced march." KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Fwd: Future scientists dissect cow eyeball.

Fwd: Future scientists dissect cow eyeball. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone Begin forwarded message: >

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KJ on Kids and Branding on Slate

I’ve got a piece on Slate this week on kids and brands (one of my favorite fellow writers asked me what I was branding them with–a Bar Double X, perhaps?) I’d love it if you’d come, read and argue away.

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Not the Bike Ride They Thought Mom was Taking Them On

Not the Bike Ride They Thought Mom was Taking Them On Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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I don’t want you to work. I want you to just be home.

Think these words made me sad? Think again. I do work, and I work hard, and I have been struggling, of late, to get everything done and done well. But my writing work is important, and so, on a different level is the fact that I work at all. I want the kids to get that Rob and I both work, that we both worked hard to get to jobs that we enjoy and that help us all to lead […]

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Annals of Guilt-Inducing Parenting Research: Moving

Add this to the list of things that I’m apparently supposed to worry about, to which I don’t think my own parents gave more than a passing thought: Recent research results on moving during childhood show it’s harmful in the long run. Relocating parents of extroverted kids needn’t worry so much, but those who’ve spawned introverts and other “neurotic” types can add another brick to the never-ending load of guilt. With all due respect to the idea that knowing more […]

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Raising Responsible Kids, Presidential Style

I distinctly recall how badly I wanted to make money as a kid. I remember lemonade stands, getting $1 each for ironing my father’s shirts and, later, mowing lawns. I remember the first thing I did with my own money, too: I walked straight to Skaggs Albertson’s, which sold—wait for it—Charlie’s Angels trading cards. I remember once debating between Fruit Stripes gum and a book, and having my mother press me towards the book, which would last longer. I went […]

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6-Year-Olds and Pedicures? So Wrong.

Last week, Sierra and Carolyn were discussing the places where kids just don’t belong. Bars. Comedy clubs. Nightclubs (I sense a theme here). I’ve got one more spot to add to the list, and it’s not even a place where you’re there to drink: Spas. No one who isn’t old enough to pay for her pampering with her own hard-earned cash belongs in a spa, and no 6-year-old needs a pedicure. As for spas actually meant for tots, I’m appalled. […]

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Lily lost a tooth!

Lily lost a tooth! Originally uploaded by kjda Alert the tooth fairy!!! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Tour de Taste

Tour de Taste Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — KJ Dell’Antonia Twitter.com/kjda

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Writing About My Little Daughter-of-a Bitch (Not a title Babble would let me use!)

Lily is upset about noodles. This is an understatement, the equivalent of saying that John McEnroe used to get upset at umpires’ calls at Wimbledon. 6-year-old Lily is upset about noodles. I put cold noodles in her lunch, not the hot ones she wanted, and as she picked her lunch up off the counter, the lack of a thermos tipped her off that this (like several other things this morning) has not gone according to plan. She is tired. She […]

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I Have a Dumpster

and I’m not afraid to use it. We are drowning in stuff here, climbing over it in the basement, shoving it into cabinets, packing it into boxes…years of hoarding hand-me-downs and “maybe we will use that someday” have left us with a house that almost cannot be cleaned–all we ever seem to do is move stacks from one spot to another. We’re REALLY trying to change that. Oh, it’s not all environmentally incorrect. Old tech gear goes to Best Buy […]

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Doin’ the Math

I recognize that this is a very corny, wholesome yet pushy activity for a parent to do with her kids, but sometimes—especially when the battling in the car gets to be too much for me to take—we do in car math drills. I call out the questions, taking turns for each kid. Wyatt loves this. He’s definitely a math guy, and I take pride in (and am mildly freaked by) his abilities. But Rory has struggled with this activity, so […]

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Not Quite Yet!

This is Rory’s favorite phrase. Rory, come play with me? Not quite yet! Rory, empty your lunchbox. Not quite yet! Rory, time to go. Not quite yet! Even for good things, it’s not quite yet, not quite yet. I finally tracked down the origin yesterday morning when she asked my husband if she could feed the dogs, and he said: Not quite yet. Not surprisingly, this turned out to mean when I’m ready and possibly never, which is certainly how […]

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Shifting Needs

We are (as you can see below) at a big, giant indoor water park/hotel. It’s “AWESOME,” and “the best valentine’s day ever” and “so COOL.” All of those things are true (it’s also, we’re just now noticing, right under the airport flight path, but that’s not going to bother me any. I’m a good sleeper, I am! It’s not crowded (while we in the East take two winter breaks to save on heating costs, in the South and West, they […]

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2 Minutes of Wild Hockey Action

Rory is #10, black helmet, black ponytail. Wyatt is white helmet, #19 (both in yellow tied-on pinneys). The video was created by the proud dad of #14 in red. They played hockey for 2 straight hours Sunday in a wild end-of-season “jamboree.” And now they are mad that it’s over.

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I need this.

I need this. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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On the Blogroll

I’m on a long overdue mission to update my blogroll, which has become sadly dated. (Since I found one link that hadn’t been updated in 786 days, I’m guessing that’s when I last linked anyone up.) I’m bringing on some of those hip new things all the other kids have, like the title of the last post and the timing of the update, which I love when my fellow bloggers kindly provide to me. I’m a big blogroll click-thru fan. […]

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Bad Ideas I Have Had, the Artistic Version

It all started when I read this book. I no longer remember the name of this book, but suffice it to say that as my co-author and I (Reading With Babies, Toddlers and Twos) are to reading with small children, this author was to small children and art. She was for it. She was for lots of it. Unfettered access to art supplies, lots of room to create, paint galore! But even she probably would not have given a six-year […]

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Immediate Gratification

Immediate Gratification Originally uploaded by kjda Sam has been saving. And this weekend, he found that he had enough for the lowest end iTouch, the 8G. Of course we have, as a family, a reasonably large quantity of iThisandThats. With EXTREMELY limited access, Partly because I don’t want them wired up during the week, and partly because of the competition allowing one to play the iPad entails. Everyone has accepted that the iFamily is for travel only. But if he […]

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Moshi Monster Surrender

My babysitter’s daughter has been going online occasionally with the three younger kids to play Moshi Monsters. I’ve staunchly refused to let them do this at home, largely because I do not want to play Moshi Monsters, and I suspected that was what it would be. Plus, I’ve had my doubts about this entire genre, which seems to promote shopping and decorating as the only fun activities available to our virtual and real selves. But I’ve always secretly thought–who wouldn’t […]

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Sam! Lily! Wyatt! Wordle!

Sam the fantastic. Sam the wonderful. Sam the kid so easy, relatively speaking, that I do not HAVE to blog about him. Sam, the child who was the topic of this blog long, long ago. so long that all of the posts have been horribly corrupted my spam and need to be somehow rescued. Sam, who would really appreciate the above if he only knew what I’d written about him. What are you DOING, KJ? I’m trying to game Wordle. […]

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Early to Bed: Never Gonna Happen

I really thought I’d be asleep by now. I got into bed at 10:15. And then there were just a FEW emails to answer. And then I thought, just half an hour’s book revision. Just half an hour, no more. But it was going kind of well. And then there were just a couple more emails. And Facebook. And a message. And now, this. And a new blog post by a favorite blogger to read (that would be Jess, on […]

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Should We Get a Kitten

I’ve lost my mind, I know I have. I am thinking of getting a kitten. I nice Siberian, because I was very allergic as a kid, although I seem ok now, and they are supposed to not produce the protein that causes allergies. (Dr. Oz says so, so it must be true!) Who thinks our dog, who is largely interested in other animals but not aggressive, would enjoy the companionship of a cat? Will I? Or is this just another […]

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Fwd: Darn it

Fwd: Darn it Originally uploaded by kjda > > > > I forgot my skates…I will just have to sit in here and watch…with my iPad…weep for me. > > > > >

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Boxes

Boxes Originally uploaded by kjda The worrisome thing is that all I REMEMBER ordering from the Container Store are hangers.

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Today’s Mantra: I Got This.

Rushed morning? Husband headed out of town? One child who overslept, missed barn chores and got fines? Another who never wants to go to school, and a third poking the seats of the first two in the car? Yeah, I got all that. But somehow, this morning, I let it wash over me. Made the iPad play through the car stereo (my phone won’t do that any more, thanks IOS update), sang along with the happier kids to the three […]

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Right Here, Right Now: Are You Where You Want to Be, Doing What You Want to Do?

So, are you? Feel free to skip right down and just tell me your answer in the comments, but here’s why I’m asking.

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It is harder to raise the comeback kid than the golden child. And better.

What you want for your child now may not lead to what you want for your child in the future.

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#Priorities

Episode 63 Show Notes: #Priorities kjdellantonia.com NY Times Well The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, Jess Lahey #AmWriting with Jess and KJ The Atlantic Vermont Public Radio Grown and Flown #Priorities Scrivener Bullet Journal #AmReading Razor Girl, Carl Hiassen Peter Mayle Chomp, Carl Hiassen The Decent Proposal: A Novel, Kemper Donovan The Other Alcott, Elise Hooper All of a Kind Family, Sydney Taylor Little Women, Louisa May Alcott Pride […]

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October Book Recommendations, Part 1

  A memoir from an accomplished novelist is always a gift, but this one stands out. When you tell me it’s about growing up in and marrying within the Orthodox Jewish culture, I’m hooked–but when you tell me it’s some of the best writing I’ve seen about growing up, evolving your beliefs and finding your own way outside of the stories you’ve been told—and have told yourself—then I’m blown away, and I was.         How many real […]

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I don’t mean to frustrate, but

I always make the same mistakes. I’m not bad at love (and that’s a Halsey lyric, in case you don’t have a Top 40 loving kid in the house), but that always make the same mistakes part? I got that down. I burn nuts and garlic toast, every single time. I always believe I can get places faster than I actually can (and sometimes, at speeds that would require me to travel backwards in time). And if I told you […]

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The One Thing Happier Parents Know That Makes Back-to-School Mornings Better

  MORNINGS! They’re a madhouse. So much at stake—those kids have to get to school on time! With their gym shoes and their violin and their homework and six manila folders and two cans of green beans and a ball of yarn that they didn’t mention needing until 6:30 am! It’s crazy and it’s painful and it’s chaos—and there really is one secret, one thing you can know, that makes it all better: There’s actually nothing at stake. Nothing. Zero. […]

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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?