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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Originally uploaded by kjda Well, ok, that’s a Christmas tree. Which we put up, because yesterday we actually had time to do it, and not in between rushing to one thing and racing off to another. Of course, one reason that we can do that is that what you see there is a big ole FAKE tree. Yep, right here in New England. I grew up in the south, with a very practical mother and an allergy to […]

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New Years Resolution 1

New Years Resolution 1 Originally uploaded by kjda The kids get more chores. Christmas is a good time to be reminded of the abundance that we share…and also of the work that goes into it. It’s time, I think, to get more help (and accept some imperfections…). I know, the most common kid-related resolutions must be stuff like “spend more time with them” or “yell less” (made that one, anyway) and “have more patience” (ditto). But we have had such […]

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One Sparkly Day

  One Sparkly Day Originally uploaded by kjda Post day exhaustion. THis was also me, trying out the multiple photo share option on the iPhone. Turns out they each come as a separate email.  Ok, got it. I love this picture–had to sneak to get it. I suspect Miss Thumb does not want to be recorded like this, although we’ve never objected to her thumb-sucking at all–in fact, we love it. For one thing, it helps her sleep, and for […]

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CRAZY SPORTS PARENTS or the MMMRPH MRRPH (or, Hockey Drama in Perspective)

You may recall my muffled, angry comments about a mysterious local dispute I referred to as the “MPHOLLYPMHRPYLL MURPH MURPH Tempest, teapot MUMBLE MUTTER GRUPM GRIPE” in an earlier post (one too short to merit a link) and then questioned everyone about here, referring to the whole kerfluffle as “Thingy…” If so, or even if you don’t, prepare yourself for what has, thus far, made nearly everyone I’ve described it to giggle in its utter, insane, blown-out-of-proportion-ness. Here’s what I […]

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BoxSled Racing

BoxSled Racing Originally uploaded by kjda With Hannah Kearney at the start gate! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Sprinkler in April

Sprinkler in April Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Go to Your Room. And Then Come Out.

The go-to punishment in our house is a common one: go to your room. Now, I know that that’s a hot-button for Rory–go away from me, because you’re bad–and although she gets the sending, she rarely gets the leaving (other attempts, like a time-out chair and such, failed). She gets an immediate parental visit, a hug, a reminder of why she’s there, and nearly always, instant release–which she then inevitably refuses to take. I’ve talked about this before–how hard it […]

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My Lame Last Day Picnic

My Lame Last Day Picnic Originally uploaded by kjda For the more elegant version, see below. I am having a bit of a crisis of confidence today, on many levels. On the one hand, you know how when you were a teenager, you dreamed that you would go away somewhere and come back changed? I feel like I did. We have been back for 14 days now, and I still haven’t lost my temper– which is what I mean by […]

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35 Miles!

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

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Accepting a “Different Parenting Style”

The New York Times’ Motherlode blog has a plea for advice from a young mother who says parenting is “ruining her marriage.” I scarcely need to offer you a synopsis of her plaint: Essentially, she performs singing puppet shows with cutlery while her spouse is thumbing through his e-mail on his BlackBerry. Who hasn’t heard that before? In fact, this month’s Parents magazine highlights an argument so nearly identical to this one for its article on “How to Fight in […]

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Vacation begins

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

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Worth the Late Night

It was one of the rare goals of summer that I actually pulled off at our house: last night was the peak of the Perseid meteor showers, and my 9-year-old and I stayed up for it. In all honestly, it neared being a bust, clouds drifted overhead frequently, and he was so sleepy (I actually let him fall asleep outside, then went out and woke him at midnight for viewing) that I think he only clocked one or two meteors. […]

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It’s the First Day of School for the Adopted Kid!

First Day of School #2! Today was Rory’s second “First Day of School.” There’s a new head teacher in Rory’s classroom this year; one who appears to have certain fairly defined expectations for how things will go. Last week, she invited each student to come in to meet her, bringing something to show her—a book, she suggested, or something important—and to see the changes in the classroom. We adopted 4-year-old Rory last summer, and she brought, as she will always […]

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Happy Birthday Rory!

Rory had a (mostly) glorious day, and we also had our first “adoption moment.” For Rory, it was special snack at school with a mommy visit (Rainbow meringues and rainbow fruit cups, an inspiration, because a) Rory doesn’t really like cupcakes and b) the school expressed some anti-cupcake thoughts, proposing “healthy cupcakes” or maybe “special cheese and crackers.” Neither of those would have worked for Rory, who has had rainbows on her mind ever since Wyatt’s birthday last March, when […]

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From Lily

From Lily Originally uploaded by kjda I have been walking by this for a Week and just realized what it said. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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The Organizing Bug

I have the New Year’s organizing bug, early. I can’t tell if I just want to get things in order (yes) or if I’m procrastinating a work assignment I’m having trouble with (yes). I guess it’s both. The basement is borderline organized, all kinds of things are planned out (including some holiday surprises that can’t be revealed here). My computer files are sorted. Backups are being arranged. It’s like it’s New Year’s Resolution season. I just want to GET STUFF […]

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A “Parenting on Track” Plot

I’m a newly converted disciple of one Vicki Hoefle, parenting guru, who created the Parenting on Track program. My neighbor (flockmother) loaned it to me, and I quickly sprang for our own copies–which I am already loaning out. It’s a program that’s more about what YOU do than what your kids do–no starcharts or reward boxes, both of which have failed us–and one of the basic tenets is the idea of what Vicki calls “privileges and responsibilities.” Carrots and sticks […]

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Making Valentines and Power Struggles

If you haven’t made Valentines yet, or have rashly promised treats for a classroom party, might I recommend these? It’s a Family Fun recipe and couldn’t possibly be easier. Sam and Wyatt made their own, with just a little help from me spreading it in the pan and cutting it. The results caused the kids to jump around the room shrieking “It’s so good! It’s so good!” and then “I love you! I love you!” So I guess, from a […]

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Rory Can Take No for an Answer (Sort of)

Sometimes life is not fair, and one of those times is at 7:45 when your big sister has just been allowed to take a shower. Wyatt and Rory want to take showers too! Nope. Sorry. Just only Lily. (That’s a Rory-ism in common use around here.) A tub? Nope. BUUUT WHHHYYYYYYY???? Because in fifteen minutes it will be time to brush teeth, and because no. Just no. Not going to happen tonight. Apparently I said that in just exactly the […]

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Call and Response

Call and Response Originally uploaded by kjda I know, you can’t see what’s going on. Suffice it to say that we are waiting for Sam to come out of school (Lily has a playdate), and I can hear how their messing around together goes WAY to well. It goes like this: Wyatt comes up to see what I am doing. Making a list, I say, and he tries to read it, while behind him: Rory: Wyatt tickle me! Tickle me! […]

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Moment Moment Moment

I love my NPR. In the car, it’s pretty much solid NPR all day long, unless it’s Car Talk or one of the guest-oriented programs has someone on that I’m just not into. But NPR creates conflicts—namely, that all of my kids consider themselves, as conversationalists, way, way, WAY more interesting than even the most fascinating NPR story. And so should I, right? They will only be young enough to want to share with me, for a 25 minute drive, […]

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I Wish I’d Thought of Crab Rangoon

I’m torn. Here I am, having my lovely evening all nice and quiet in my quiet empty house. I have eaten a dinner of junk food (a little ironic, given that my XX Factor post today was on the perils of fake food–but it wasn’t fake, just junk). And I am about to get some writing done, although clearly, given the hour, not as much as I had hoped or expected. I am a little lonely. I miss the pressure […]

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Hey, Jealousy: the Virtual Twin Thing

Wyatt popped out of the pool with the traditional summer blue quivering lips and begged for his towel. “Can I sit on your lap?” I beckoned him in, and he settled, warm and damp, with me in the deck chair. I turned to the friend I was with and sighed. “Twenty seconds,” I said. “What?” “Twenty seconds. You’ll see. Give it twenty seconds.” Within fifteen, Rory–who just minutes earlier had been happily going off the diving board with Lily and […]

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Will Wishing Make it So?

I really don’t want Rory to have a language issue. I go back and forth on whether I think the things I posted about yesterday–her srtuggles with nouns, her mixing up words within categories–mean anything more than, as Gina said yesterday, that she’s “just a girl trying to learn SO Much. Yes, she wasn’t only learning language but learning social cues, learning how to be in a family, learning so much more than kids brought up here at an earlier […]

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A Very Good Reason to Love Me

Tonight Rory wanted to write me a note. To surprise me. I heard her, at the table, drafting carefully away. “I … Love … You…” “How you write ‘because I’m your Mommy?” I interpreted that she wanted me to write “because YOU’RE my Mommy,” and so I did, on a scrap of the holiday pad she was using, for her to copy. A few minutes she appeared at my elbow. “I have something for you! Surprise!” And she handed me […]

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Being a “Special Needs” Parent

So this past weekend, I was driving the car, listening to the Moth story hour on NHPR and feeling lucky. I love the Moth (true stories told live). Hell, I have a story I want to tell the Moth. (The Pringle Fairy.) But mostly, I love that what I expected to be a chore—a half-hour’s drive to a sleepover for Lily—was going to be a pleasure. Double amputee, athlete, actress and over-achiever Aimee Mullins was telling a fantastic story, about […]

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Secret Agent Josephine’s Books Are Here!

My longtime internet buddy Secret Agent Josephine has three new books available on Amazon for your Kindle (or better, Kindle app, because you’re gonna want color and graphics for these): Secret Agent Josephine’s ABC’s Secret Agent Josephine’s Colors Secret Agent Josephine’s Numbers She’s a fantastic artist (people used to compete to have her create an avatar for them), a fun writer and deserving of much success. Back in the day, it was kind of all about whether you blogged undercover, […]

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Originally uploaded by kjda Peace and tranquility. Temporary, but mighty precious. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Today, Three Years Ago, We Told the Other Kids About Rory.

How do I know? Because three years ago, to the week, if not the day, it was Sam’s “Wild Mites Jamboree” which is a hockey thing, and right before we went to the rink, we lined them up on our bed and produced pictures. They were beyond thrilled. We were happy. Our biggest problem was that we hadn’t printed enough pictures, because all three of them wanted to carry all the pictures around (and they did, too, until the day […]

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Illustrating Motherlode

An 8-year-old on an aimless Monday morning of summer break is a funny thing. Deprived of his easy weekend go-tos (wii, minecraft, TV) and not yet quite able to come up with alternatives (by weds we will be good, next Monday he’ll have forgotten again). We went for illustrating the day’s Motherlode post, with the result that you get not one, but two today. I told him the player was faking the foul. “No!” He said. “He’s really hurt.” There’s […]

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Am I Introverted, or Just Rude?

I’m shy, yes. But am I also rude? In a contest between my manners and my preferences, am I allowing my preferences to win?

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Win the November Big Box O’ Books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I did a drawing for my book drawing. This box is heavy–I’ve got 13 books stacked here to go into it. (I have to get new copies of “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” and “A Field Guide to Lies” because I’m giving my copy of Readers to a friend, and I want to keep A Field Guide to Lies–but it will be ready to go out next week, and full of books for reading and sharing. […]

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What’s It Like to Eat at Your Kid’s House?

Something—some mention, some sound, some elusive flavor—reminded me of Captain Crunch yesterday. Captain Crunch, those indefinably flavored rectanguloids best known for scraping all the skin off the roof of your mouth as they stubbornly held their crunch even in the face of the deepest bowl of milk. Thus the name, I guess. But in addition to the flavor, Captain Crunch means something else to me. It means breakfast at Stephanie Ellis’ house, the girl who lived across the street from […]

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Say Good Morning.

For a long time, when I head upstairs to make sure everyone is up in the morning, I’ve been walking into my sons’ room saying, cheerfully, “time to get up!” or “time to face the day!” And for the past week or so, my oldest son has been rolling over and saying “Good morning.” I answered him, of course. “Good morning!” I liked it. It’s so much nicer, I thought, when he says good morning instead of something like, “I […]

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8 Reasons Why There Is No Salad with Dinner

There is a leek in the soup, thus covering the vegetable requirement. Made salad last night. It’s Caesar salad! That counts! What if every body just eats an apple? Can we do that? Can that be okay? I broke the salad spinner. I put out carrots and cucumber and dressing after school and they ate that. That lettuce looks wilted. I just can’t, okay? I don’t exactly hate salad. I eat salad other people make. But I hate making salad, […]

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What’s the ideal size for your happier family?

What’s your ideal family size? There is, of course, no ideal family size. Only children aren’t lonely children. Kids with lots of siblings don’t feel neglected. And if fate deals you a family that’s not the one you expected, you’re very likely to end up perfectly happy about that. Humans are very good at reframing, and when you look at the wonderful family you end up with, well, it’s hard to wish things were different. I have 4 kids. My […]

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On Another Potty Note

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My New (used) Mountain Bike

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sam did

sam did lily’s hair today., originally uploaded by kjda. Peeing scheißend außerhalb undhandjob Ford PatriciaAsian Babes-PiercingFrau Interrassischlespen Pissingass Bang and Bros titsMädchen minderjährige FuckingMütter in Mund Sperma den Spritzen Map

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Again! again!

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Fairy Tales

Fairy tales just aren’t PC, friends. They’re violent. Kings kill princes, fathers fling their daughters out in the snow, the wolf chows down on Grandma. They’re horribly insensitive to gener issues. Girls want to marry the prince, and even if they manage to do something clever or save themselves, marriage is their portion. Fathers promise their daughter’s hands without consulting her, beauty and charm are all important, etc. They’re heavily dependant on social class. Servants live belowstairs, masters above. Paupers […]

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Great moments in parenting.

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And Now All the Fish Have Litttle White Spots. Plus I’m Depressed.

I know, I know, that I get depressed when a) I need more sleep and b) it’s going to be too long before I have writing time again. So I should be able to just go to sleep and push the little black clouds off again, right? I think most of us know depression doesn’t quite work that way. The truth is that around here, we loathe weekends, which doesn’t really bode well for our marriage or family life, but […]

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Lily on her first day

Lily on her first day Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Drawing outside on a beautiful fall day

Drawing outside on a beautiful fall day Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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On the T

On the T 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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Bring on Vogue

This is what I’ve done today: 5:00 Get up to let dog out 5:05 Get Wyatt. 5-7: Sort of sleep, sort of not, while everyone mills in and out of bed. Aquire impressive collection of stuffed animals. 7-7:30 With Rob, get self and kids ready to go out the door. Pack for Sam’s sleepover. 7:50: Drive to town to deliver Sam to fll day Boston trip plus sleepover. (I miss him!) 8:15: Breakfast at Lou’s. Take Lily to bathroom. Let […]

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Happy Spring! (That’s Sarcasm)

Can I just say that I hope this is our annual spring snowstorm…although I’m a little concerned, because in other years that’s been in April. I am so not used to being a New Englander. I think April, I think grass and crocuses. Oh well. Blew it on the thirty minutes today. Had it all blocked out in the calendar–it was supposed to happen at the library while we waited for Lily at a birthday party in town (Holly was […]

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The Flying Baby

I told Lily and Sam a story tonight in which Wyatt flew out the wondow and they flew after him, because of course he’s too little to fly alone… Lily loved it. Kept talking about it all through bedtime. He fly! In story, he fly! Yes, in the story. Story. Yes, it was a story. Sam not fly. i not fly. Wyatt not fly. But she got kind of a speculative gleam in her eye at that last sentence, and […]

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Triathalon. Really. Don’t you think that’s a good idea?

I have, in a moment of, I don’t know, competitiveness, or craziness, or something, signed up for a Triathalon. OK, a mini triathalon. An 8.5 mountain bike ride, a 2 mile trail run and a .5 mile swim. I LOVE mountain biking, and these are really nice, wide trails, or where they are single track it’s more grassy tire track than real single track. It’s just that I can’t really swim, because I have this thing about water, and how […]

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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?