Connecting the Dots

In Which Rob Tests Negative

By KJ / Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finally, way later than we expected this afternoon, Rob got his results back from yesterday. H1n1 no longer courses weakly through his veins. One more negative–as in, the results from today’s test–and he can, as he so elegantly put it (with all due respect, I’m sure) “blow this kung pao stand.”

Read More

500 Buddhas

By KJ / Sunday, July 5, 2009

I overheard our guide explaining that each of the 500 Buddhas represented a different emotion, and that if there was a particular state of mind you were struggling with, you were supposed to do–something or another–with that Buddha. I didn’t catch what, nor am I sure what the significance of some of the more mustachio’d Buddhas would have been, emotion-wise. But whatever it was, I should have done it with the impatient looking Buddha, and the Buddha who couldn’t enjoy […]

Read More

A dilemma

By KJ / Thursday, July 16, 2009

So. It’s 9:15. I’m bitterly exhausted. Tomorrow is…another day, another day, another day. Another day feeding them, talking to them, tending them, wiping them. Another day. If I go to bed now I’m likely to get some sleep. I will be more rested for them. But the day will come…sooner. And there I will be.

Read More

Alone with the Needy

By KJ / Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All night I’ve been thinking–who can I get to hang out with us tomorrow morning? No babysitting Thursday mornings, see, and I’m faced with three hours alone with the dynamic duo, waiting to pick up Lily. Alone, in the house, with Mr. Mario Cart and Miss I Want Scissors I Want Painting I Want Coloring. Actually, both of those activities are fine, as they are individual and require nothing from me except, you know, something about every ten minutes, or […]

Read More

Lily Swam Across the Pool!

By KJ / Monday, August 10, 2009

Lily Swam Across the Pool! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

Double X on the Double Standard

By KJ / Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today’s Double X post actually has to do with parenting and kids–something I usually don’t talk about there. Anyone else notice that people responded to the suggestion that the CDC might recommend circumcision for boys in a VERY different way than they responded to the recommendation of the HPV vaccine for girls? To vent about the double standard, head over to Double X.

Read More

Take One of Me Too!

By KJ / Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Take One of Me Too! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

Best View in Town

By KJ / Friday, September 18, 2009

Best View in Town Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

An Afternoon of Indulgence

By KJ / Thursday, October 1, 2009

An Afternoon of Indulgence Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

The Garden Produce Project

By KJ / Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Our garden is done for the year, except for a few pumpkins that refused to turn orange (our plan is to spray paint them in glitter and go all Martha Stewart on their asses). The productive harvest is in the house. Tonight we ate soup made with the beans we grew (the shelling kind, not green beans) which was unfortunately not very good, though the beans themselves were delicious. Two ham hocks=too salty for one soup. (Good biscuits tho!) And […]

Read More

Woof!

By KJ / Saturday, October 31, 2009

Woof! Originally uploaded by kjda Fourth go for the puppy costume. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

Wyatt accepts help

By KJ / Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wyatt accepts help Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

I have the Flu, and I hate Everybody

By KJ / Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just when it was getting kind of easy and nice, it developed that it’s only easy and nice if I don’t feel like total crap.. I have yelled mercilessly at each and everyone of my children today, and that makes me feel even worse. Bleh.

Read More

Happy New Year!

By KJ / Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! Originally uploaded by kjda For us, that meant fondue with friends, a neighbor’s bonfire and bedtime! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

Oh, I Wish I Were an Anonymous Blogger….

By KJ / Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There have been many, many times here when I’ve wished for anonymity. Such rich veins of commentary as would open up to me! Such rants I could post about various and sundry things that I CANNOT EVEN MENTION HERE EVEN A LITTLE BIT! Ok, so MPHOLLYPMHRPYLL MURPH MURPH Tempest, teapot MUMBLE MUTTER GRUPM GRIPE darn it I really can’t even get any more specific MRPHO MRPH just wrong. Also, helicopters.

Read More

They Take Mardi Gras Seriously Here

By KJ / Tuesday, February 16, 2010

They Take Mardi Gras Seriously Here Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

About to race!

By KJ / Saturday, March 6, 2010

About to race! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

Housekeeping

By KJ / Friday, April 2, 2010

It’s getting pretty deep around here–meaning that our many belongings are gathering forces in various piles and preparing to take over the house, or at least the space we would prefer to use to walk it. I meant to deal with it this afternoon, but my lovely friend Mimi invited me over to drink Sangria and watch the kids play in the sprinkler instead, and–well, at least when we’re not some, what already IS clean stays clean! But this weekend […]

Read More

A Gnome!

By KJ / Friday, April 30, 2010

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

Read More

How You Want Your Kids to Behave in Publiv

By KJ / Sunday, June 13, 2010

How You Want Your Kids to Behave in Publiv Originally uploaded by kjda I have concluded that, if you just keep taking them and taking them and taking them, eventually–maybe one in four times–you get a decent result. I guess the hope is that eventually the ratio improves. Of course, this is the third lacrosse game in three days, and I am sitting here typing, so I am probably not behaving that well myself. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Read More

Fall Guy

By KJ / Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fall Guy Originally uploaded by kjda This is a little suction cup guy we have had for at least eight years. Isn’t it funny how some things just stick around? I am a big purger of things, but somehow, some stuff sticks. (I am thinking, for example, of the ancestral family beach towels. I have beach towels that I’ve had since I was five.) Bear with me, I do have a point. At mile 28 or so today, Sam’s wheel […]

Read More

9 year olds still love playgrounds

By KJ / Friday, July 23, 2010

9 year olds still love playgrounds Originally uploaded by kjda Sam is always the one on the sports field and never has time for the playground. We were going to the pool, but it’s 70 and mildly drizzly…perfect playground weather, really. And without Lily, our threesome tension is loosened…I am sure Wy and Rory will find something to argue about soon, but they haven’t yet. Sam just finished his last of three straight weeks of camp. Too much, in a […]

Read More

7 Things To Do Before Summer Slips Away

By KJ / Monday, August 2, 2010

It’s August. Do you know where your summer’s gone? I don’t. Some of it’s gone to the pool, for the kind of lazy afternoons spent on towels eating popsicles that I remember as a kid. Some of it’s been whiled away by my nine-year-old’s determined statement that it was The. Most. Boring. Day. Ever, which, if you ask me, isn’t really a bad thing. It’s in the garden, sure, it’s in our newly cleaned out garage. But what I want […]

Read More

Life Lessons: When a Mistake Costs the Game

By KJ / Monday, August 16, 2010

If you’re a golf fan (and even if you’re not) Dustin Johnson inadvertently provided you with a great “teachable moment”during Sunday’s PGA championship. If you missed it (or just don’t do golf), Johnson was leading the field on the 18th hole when his tee shot fell slightly to the right of the fairway, into a “bunker” (that’s a sand trap) that had been “walked on, kicked and trampled by thousands of fans over the last week,” as HuffPo’s Nancy Armour […]

Read More

The Right Choice for the First Grader with Homework

By KJ / Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lily has officially been a first grader for a week, and she is exhausted. Exhausted to the point of after-school sobbing, exhausted to the point of incoherence. This afternoon I was on the phone, making plans with a neighbor for her little girl to come over and play with my youngest three while her older kids went to soccer practice, when I was interrupted by a wail of misery from Lily, who was emptying her lunch box. “AHHHHH! NOooo! Ohh […]

Read More

Adoption, Money and Motherlode

By KJ / Friday, September 24, 2010

In introducing a guest post I wrote for the NYT’s Motherlode blog, , Lisa Belkin quoted a friend of hers, an adoptive parent, as saying “I have faced the fact that my daughter is only mine because I have more money than her birth mother.” Lisa notes that her friend considers that a simple reality of adoption, but one that is rarely spoken aloud. My guest post was about another reality of adoption–adopting the child who already has a family, […]

Read More

Quietly Quietly Quietly

By KJ / Thursday, November 4, 2010

We do Halloween big here. BIG. So big that I have yet to finish clearing up, so big that I have yet to recover. Not big in the yard full of lights and inflatable vampires big, but still big. It encompasses Friday in prep, Saturday in party and Sunday in, of course, Halloween itself. I am still recovering. In the course of it we failed to help Lily do any schoolwork. She aced her spelling test and all five bonus […]

Read More

Finally the Aquatic Center Is Fun

By KJ / Friday, December 3, 2010

Finally the Aquatic Center Is Fun Originally uploaded by kjda Because I dont have to go in! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

Read More

The Parenting on Track Car Playout

By KJ / Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last week, I described the plot my friend Mimi and I laid to get my three littles to STOP MAKING ME CRAZY in the car.  How did it play out? So far, so damn good. I’m always a little embarrassed when these very simple things–courtesy of Parenting on Track–work over all the far more complicated strategies I’ve tried, and for the car, I’ve had more than a few. Let’s see, there were the stars that I took away for fighting […]

Read More

Lily’s Valentines

By KJ / Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lily’s valentine’s are so weirdly charming that I wish I’d taken a picture of each individual one. There’s a pillow she sewed. A spider made from an egg carton and a pipe cleaner ring. A gnome we made at Christmas. A small batch of fake flowers wrapped in felt. I guess when there are only eight kids in your class, you can go all out, and throw in a piece of our soon-to-be-famous fudge, too. I have no idea what […]

Read More

I Am a Million Different People

By KJ / Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rory has lived with us for 21 months now, and I still feel like I don’t know her. I love her, and I’m charmed by her, and I want to scoop her up and give her raspberries, but I don’t know her. I’m not sure she knows herself. I can predict what she’ll do on lots of occasions. If Wyatt pushes her accidentally, she will explode into tears and hollers and shrieks. If Wyatt whacks her over the head with […]

Read More

Hidden Mickey!

By KJ / Monday, April 18, 2011

Hidden Mickey! Originally uploaded by kjda It’s not often your brothers and sisters stand around cheering while you get your hair done. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

Read More

Spring Clean-o-rama

By KJ / Saturday, May 21, 2011

Apparently the urge to clean, like spring itself, comes late to me. There are still hockey bags in our hallway. Ski boots in the closet. Too-heavy coats (although not full-on ski jackets) in the cubbies and I am tired of it, and tired of the piles in the kitchen, and tired of the piles in the bedroom, and tired of the piles in general. Maybe even tired enough to actually do something about it. But not alone. I called three […]

Read More

In the Name of Utter and Absolute Fairness

By KJ / Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh, hell. What’s “fair,” anyway? Who came up with that concept? I hate fairness. This morning, in the car, we had something like this: Wyatt: That’s MINE! Give it back! Rory: [silence] Wyatt: MOMMY! She has my motorcycle! Give it back. Rory: You didn’t say please. Wyatt: PLEAASE give it back! It’s mine! Rory: [silence] Wyatt: Roo-RYYY! Rory: You didn’t say it nice. Wyatt: Pleasegivemebackmymotorcycle. Rory: I’m not gon’ give it back unless you ask me nice. Wyatt: GIVE IT […]

Read More

A Heat Wave, Their Way

By KJ / Thursday, July 21, 2011

It is really hard to let you wear tights and eat oatmeal when it is 100 degrees and we have no air conditioning, but I will stay cooler if I just let it go.

Read More

Captive

By KJ / Thursday, August 25, 2011

Captive Originally uploaded by kjda Food, water and shelter. At least Lily, Rory and their two friends are complying with the Geneva Convention. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

Read More

Nothing Slips Past Us, Here

By KJ / Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I didn’t actually buy new slippers for anyone. Rory and Wyatt need slippers for school, and I must have bought the ones we found in a closet today on sale at the end of the year last year. Then there was a larger pair for Lily that I vaguely remember buying in the distant past, on the theory that she would grow into them eventually, which she has. The problem, of course, is that Rory’s new slippers look like this: […]

Read More

iCloud, and I Got Nothin’

By KJ / Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I’m tired. I’ve been tired all day–sleepy tired, as in, shut-your-eyes-for-just-one-minute-huh? It’s that kind of day. Chilly, dreary, a little rainy. And I just got my mac id to work with iCloud. And I’m sitting here, looking at it. at the little thing that says “move your MobileMe to iCloud” and thinking, damn. It’s all working. Right now, email, iCal–all nicely sync’d up just the way I want them. ANd I JUST know if I move, there will be growing […]

Read More

Can Virtual Schools Really Replace Classrooms? (Hint: Not for Most Kids.)

By KJ / Monday, November 14, 2011

On Motherlode today, one I’m really proud of–virtual schools are earning praise in the home schooler’s blogosphere, and I think for those kids, they deserve it. But what if cash-strapped administrators try pushing this cheaper alternative on kids who won’t really “school” at home? Read and comment, please! Also: Holiday book shopping! The Children’s Book Review! I love seeing this every year. Come tell me and everyone else what you’re buying for the kids on your list.

Read More

New Desk Ornament

By KJ / Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Desk Ornament Originally uploaded by kjda

Read More

All the Words Rory Can Spell

By KJ / Saturday, March 31, 2012

All the Words Rory Can Spell Originally uploaded by kjda

Read More

Just a Fun Winter Picture

By KJ / Friday, March 4, 2016

Once, there was snow.

Read More

Sane Scheduling Part Three: Don’t Do This.

By KJ / Monday, October 3, 2016

I’ve been working on The Sane Family’s Guide to Scheduling, and I had a little something left over that just didn’t fit anywhere. So, herewith, a few random things that I try to keep in mind when adding things to my schedule:   1. Never put anything on Monday, especially Monday morning. First off, Mondays are hard enough. Second, me, I forget things on Mondays. I want to be someone who looks at her calendar on Sunday and plans the […]

Read More

It’s Ok to Be Happy When Things Aren’t Grate

By KJ / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

“I hate you, Mommy. You are not grate. You are NOT GRATE, Mommy.”

Read More

The end of the school year might be harder on your kid than you think.

By KJ / Friday, May 19, 2017

As much as your children may be looking forward to summer, they may also find it hard to see the end of the school year—even if they never admit it or recognize it.

Read More

September Book Recommendations, Part 5

By KJ / Friday, September 29, 2017

  If you’re a fan of practical parenting books, especially the kind with lots of amalgamated-from-my-client-list-with-real-identity-disguised examples of people who are doing it worse than you, I highly recommend this one. The “13 Things” in question really are things that we’ll all be happier if we don’t do (make your child the center of the universe, take shortcuts to avoid discomfort) and will often make you pause and take a hard look at what you really do as a parent […]

Read More

1 is better than 3 is better than 20

By KJ / Friday, April 13, 2018

Turns out more stuff equals less focus, for toddlers, and for us.

Read More

Three things happier parents say when their kids whine about chores

By KJ / Sunday, August 19, 2018

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 […]

Read More

A book that will get you out of your head, and one that won’t.

By KJ / Monday, April 8, 2019

Sometimes my own head is a cruddy place to be. It’s noisy, for one thing. And really very—close. Like a hall of mirrors all parroting my least appealing inner voices back at me. (Let’s just say they aren’t all waving little “Yay” flags and singing “THIS GIRL IS ON FIYYY-RRREEE.) I mean, it’s not like that all the time, but when it is, or when I really need some serious distraction, there’s no better cure for being too much all in my headthan the chance to spend a […]

Read More
The Chicken Sisters cover

Want more Mae and Amanda? 

Sign up here for a free Epilogue to The Chicken Sisters--and to be the first to hear about my next book, In Her Boots, coming Summer 2022.