Connecting the Dots

First Day of School

By KJ / Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of School Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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At the Tunbridge World’s Fair

By KJ / Friday, September 18, 2009

At the Tunbridge World’s Fair Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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A Thing I Hate About Breakfast

By KJ / Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If I’m in the kitchen making lunches (or, ideally, sticking the already packed sandwiches, etc, into the lunch boxes) during breakfast, they’re all lined up across from me at the bar. This seems to alert some sort of inner “soda bar” facility deep in the brain, as the combination of the bar, the kitchen and the breakfast makes them conclude that I am a waitress. A bored waitress. So if I’l there, they spend all of their eating time thinking […]

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New Hampshire Evening

By KJ / Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Hampshire Evening Originally uploaded by kjda I was just sitting here, not being particularly grateful for the abundance that is my life, when I looked up and saw this. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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And they’re off…

By KJ / Saturday, October 31, 2009

And they’re off… Originally uploaded by kjda Trick or Treating: Not My Department KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Still Spooky After All These Days

By KJ / Sunday, November 8, 2009

Still Spooky After All These Days Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Tonight They Played Monopoly

By KJ / Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sam and Lily’s favorite friends came over tonight, and all was quiet and peaceful in the playroom–oddly so. Rory was taking advantage of some snuggle time on the couch with the grown-ups (I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that was kind of annoying, but I try to keep in mind that her “family age” is different from her real age, and she needs all the snuggle time she can get), but what were the others doing? Playing Monopoly. This […]

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Christmas, Uninterrupted.

By KJ / Sunday, December 27, 2009

I do think we managed to savor Christmas. That Lego train? Put together in full by Sam and Grandpa, with occasional help from other kids. We played dominos (Mexican Train! from Lily to Sam!), did puzzles and baked cookies. Carols were sung, hummed and whistled all across the house, although not by me, because I have a cough and cold I can’t shake. Candy canes were eaten, stockings emptied, and even, in a few cases, thank-you notes written. And now […]

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One Sparkly Day

By KJ / Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Sparkly Day Originally uploaded by kjda Atop of our driveway pile.

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Texas Snowman

By KJ / Monday, February 15, 2010

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

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WikiStick Processing

By KJ / Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our local diner, Lou’s, hands out Wikisticks (you can see them in the picture below) to kids to play with while they wait for their food. Wyatt asked me to help him make a house and two people. Rory looked at Wyatt’s house, handed me her sticks, and said: C’you make my China? I said ok, and while I made her a house, she worked with some sticks. That me, she said of a blue circle with two legs. Look! […]

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Really, Though, it’s Everybody

By KJ / Thursday, April 1, 2010

I pin stuff on Rory–and why not, she’s the most interesting of the lot right now, and the one for whom I get to come up with all of these reasons for her behavior…but really, all three “littles” make me crazy, and all three of them have some of the same issues, which are probably–somehow–my issues. And so I ask. with passionate interest–why do they always want me? Truly, Rob is a MUCH nicer person than I am. Way more […]

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Perfectly Happy

By KJ / Monday, April 26, 2010

Perfectly Happy Originally uploaded by kjda At least until the ride home! That’s Lily playing soccer, very happily, in the rain. Today was a big deal for her–although she’s played hockey for two years, it’s always been overshadowed by Sam’s play. He doesn’t do soccer, and today, the whole family had to load up and go–for her sake, not his. We have attended so many games and practices and pick ups–it’s always come on! we have to take Sam! We […]

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Somebody Else’s Elegant Last Day Picnic

By KJ / Friday, June 11, 2010

Somebody Else’s Elegant Last Day Picnic Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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I Want Go Back China!

By KJ / Friday, July 9, 2010

As you can probably tell from the syntax, that’s Rory talking. Earlier this week, Lily had a friend over, and Wy went to said friend’s house to play with her brother, leaving Rory at somewhat of a loose end. At least she thought so. I was working on a promised Strollerderby post at the kitchen counter. She came and lay under my barstool. She crawled up and sat in the stool next to me, fingering the fruit in the bowl. […]

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Sam’s Lunch Today

By KJ / Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sam’s Lunch Today Originally uploaded by kjda I am either the worst or the best mom ever. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Annals of Useless Gadgets

By KJ / Sunday, August 1, 2010

Annals of Useless Gadgets Originally uploaded by kjda Makes breakfast effortless! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Today we rocked.

By KJ / Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today we rocked. Originally uploaded by kjda I have been wanting a garden gate, instead of a flap of deer fence, all year. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Gettin’ the Skates On

By KJ / Monday, September 6, 2010

It’s fall. You’ve probably noticed…not that the weather feels particularly fallish, and not that the leaves are changing, etc., but once the kids go back to school it’s fall, and the last of my kids goes back to school Wednesday. And I am once again realizing that as they go back, I go back too. Not back to work–I’ve been working all summer, in a failing effort to do every bit as much as I did during the school year […]

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Tonight We Brushed Krypto

By KJ / Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tonight We Brushed Krypto Originally uploaded by kjda Seriously. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Rory, Still a Little Dubious

By KJ / Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My bad tonight–letting all four kids take ice cream in the car. Not cones, cups, and in Lily and Sam’s case, more like milkshakes (FriendZs, to be exact). I don’t usually even let them EAT in the car. But circs prevailed in a not particularly interesting way, and the ice cream was successfully eaten, until (you knew there was an until, right?)… Rory announced that she was done. At this point we were at the hockey rink picking up Sam, […]

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Looking Up Auditory Processing

By KJ / Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the comments a lot. I was hoping for help! We do, we just have a bunch of things that don’t add up. Auditory processing sounds very worth researching. She literally does not process much of our speech beyond the first words or commands. Does the expected thing in any situation (brushes her teeth and puts on pjs when told, near bedtime, to go up and get a towel and her pajamas and come back down for […]

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Tis the Season to Organize

By KJ / Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Just in case you don’t remember what my office looks like, let me post a small refresher photo: It’s probably worse now. I’ve added a small collection of office-related Christmas gifts, a couple of children’s book publishers catalogs, Rosetta Stone: French and a jar of peanut butter. And an unused pull-up—pretty sure that wasn’t here before—and assorted additional bits of paper. I have lots of assorted bits of paper. And an empty cookie box and a box of gallon-sized zip […]

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New Office Cleaning Technique

By KJ / Monday, January 31, 2011

A little office cleaning, as I’ve said before, is clearly in order: It is more than a little hard to type on this laptop. New plan: Step one: clear everything off the desk! Step two: Enjoy new work surface. Step three: Don’t turn around. New Office Cleaning Technique

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Off Track

By KJ / Saturday, March 5, 2011

“No!” Wyatt stood in our hallway, feet in his socks firmly planted on the floor. “No. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here!” Yesterday, I brought Rory and Wyatt home for about an hour before picking Lily and Sam up from school. I’d meant for us to stay out–but they were so awful, so whiny and obnoxious to me and to one another, that we ran one errand, abandoned the plan for coffee and treats (with a rousing […]

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Nothing for Me!

By KJ / Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When next I post, it will no doubt be a picture–and it will surely be a happy picture, because we are off to the Happiest Place On Earth ™! Actually, is that right? We’re going to Disneyworld, anyway. The Happiest Place On Earth ™ might be Disneyland. Or somewhere else. I forget. But we’re off to Orlando. And I do expect there will be plenty of happiness, although I’m not fool enough to expect nonstop joy or even a day […]

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And You Let Them Drink Coke?

By KJ / Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This has never happened to me before, and I’m so happy that it waited until I was ready. Last night, Guo Ji Mama and I were at her son’s lacrosse game on our local fields. We ate a picnic from the Mexican place, left most of our respective broods happily playing in the park and sauntered over to sort of semi-watch the game. After a while, a largish blonde woman approached. “Are zose your kids alone in ze playground?” she […]

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Everything in a Name

By KJ / Friday, June 17, 2011

What’s in a name? Everything. Every thought your parents had about who you might be. A goodly dose of who your father’s family was, and possibly, depending on your circumstances, your mother’s as well. If you’re adopted, what’s in a name? Maybe everything, maybe nothing. Casually (as in the non-legal name you’d give, say, a gymnastics class), Rory’s name says nothing much about her except that she’s the child of two people who liked the name Rory. Her name is […]

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Do Not Take If You Get Nervous, Dizzy or Sleepless.

By KJ / Saturday, July 16, 2011

I have a really awful cough. It’s a really awful contagious cough, because Lily had it first, and now I have it. But it’s worse for me, because I have given birth four times (once things went very badly), and when I cough… well, let’s just say I really don’t like to cough. Every night for the past couple of nights, I’ve been taking this Mucinex stuff to loosen things up, with a cough suppressant too, so I don’t wake […]

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Can Your Adopted Child Name that Fruit?

By KJ / Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I need help. Rory has been with us now for two years and two months. And she came speaking English–about 2-year-old English. Her language is still behind in some expected ways–she struggles with “he” and “she” and verb tenses–and that’s cool. She gets speech therapy for that, and for leaving off the final consonants of all her words (speech therapy doubles as ESL in her case, since its not really her second language–they know the history and work with it). […]

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Chase Me! Don’t Chase Me! Chase Me!

By KJ / Sunday, September 18, 2011

Who doesn’t like to be pursued and desirable? No one! Pay attention to me! Chase me! Want me! I just wish my children wouldn’t take it so literally. Wyatt has a friend over–actually, it would be more accurate to say that both Wyatt and Rory have a friend over. A very good friend. Always a success. Rory wants him to chase her. When he does chase her, she will run and shriek NO! NO! She will dodge. She may even […]

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The Ritual of the Flu Shot

By KJ / Saturday, October 15, 2011

This weekend, our family of six will load up, head to the medical center, and wait in line for our flu shots. It will be at least our sixth annual such journey, and a funny thing has happened along the way: the kids have embraced the whole thing. Not just because they don’t want to get the flu. I’m obviously a believer in the shot, even understanding its limitations. The vaccine’s effectiveness depends on the match between the influenza viruses […]

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Motherlode: More Screen Time? Homeschooling Anarchists? Good Teachers When Kids Fail.

By KJ / Sunday, November 13, 2011

On Motherlode at the end of this week: I was thinking that my idea to allow kids more “screen time” on the computer if they were doing creative things instead of just playing, as one commenter said, was a good one–but most people are still arguing for full limits or none. And what I liked best about the New York Times Magazine’s “Homeschooling Anarchist Parents” article this week was the mother’s unabashed embracing of a parenting style I thought […]

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New Family Members

By KJ / Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Family Members Originally uploaded by kjda The lady I got our kitten from assured me, a novice cat owner, that all kittens come with a free companion poodle. In retrospect I can see that this must not be true, but here we are. So far, it’s the calmest transition our house has ever seen… but then, we’ve been through some doozies.

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Of COURSE I Can Interview Anne Lamott i/f/o the Whole Times Newsroom

By KJ / Sunday, March 18, 2012

I’m beyond thrilled about the Motherlode Book Club reading Anne and Sam Lamott’s Some Assembly Required, and ditto for the opportunity to interview them both, for a short video to be posted on the Motherlode blog. I’ve always loved Anne Lamott’s work. This follow-up to Operating Instructions is fascinating: her son had a son. At nineteen. There are so many questions to ask them both about that that the mind boggles. (The mind also notes repeated use of that in […]

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8 Things We Have Learned about Having a Pool

By KJ / Sunday, July 6, 2014

1. It’s an excellent way to acquire beach towels. 2. Ditto assorted children’s clothing and swimwear. 3. Bleach and Borax are cheaper than pool chemicals. 4. Apply before pool party, not after. 5. I don’t know where your goggles are. I don’t know where anyone’s goggles are. 6. Mmmm, pool water beats toilet water any day (that’s from our dogs). 7. Bacardi piña coladas are the way to go. 8. Am never leaving my house again. At least not this […]

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Choose Your Own Verb: Are You Where You Need, Want or Are Meant to Be?

By KJ / Thursday, September 29, 2016

Do you do what you need to, what you choose to, or what you’re meant to—and does the difference matter?

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You Know You Need a Great New Read (November, 2016)

By KJ / Monday, November 14, 2016

Here are the books I read and liked, and why, in no particular order, for November.

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

By KJ / Friday, May 5, 2017

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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Man wakes woman with bugle

Say Good Morning.

By KJ / Friday, September 29, 2017

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

By KJ / Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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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parenting is a duet not a solo act

What’s the ideal size for your happier family?

By KJ / Friday, August 10, 2018

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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Wanna Be Happier? Go Rube. (Works for Kids, Too)

By KJ / Wednesday, March 27, 2019

There are worse things than tapping an oak tree your first time out. Like never making syrup at all.

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Once Again, in Deep DooDoo…

By KJ / Friday, March 11, 2005

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Man, That Girl Can Iron!

By KJ / Friday, April 29, 2005

I do own an iron. We do. Also an ironing board, with a fetching blue and white checked cover (I think. I would have to check, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I’m not actually sure where it is, but I think I could find it. There aren’t that many places to keep an ironing board, after all. They’re quite large.) So I do. Own an iron. Which means that I could iron something. I think it’s […]

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Sam at the pond

By KJ / Monday, July 11, 2005

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The End of Anonymity is Nigh

By KJ / Friday, February 3, 2006

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What Moms Eat

By KJ / Saturday, May 6, 2006

Yesterday we ate lunch in the grocery store cafe. My planned lunch: an avocado roll and some sliced pineapple. The lunch I ended up eating: 1/2 box of chocolate-flavored graham crackers shaped like bunnies in the car on the way home. Wyatt had to be nursed, Lily had to sit in my lap and unroll the avocado from the rice and squish it and I had to be constantly vigilant so that my over-stimulated spawn didn’t run the other eaters […]

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By KJ / Monday, October 9, 2006

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Lightening is Looking Limp…

By KJ / Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Other than that, all I have to say tonight is, why am I still awake? I’m feeling quite low. It’s evident that Lily has pinkeye, which will necessitate an hour and a half excursion to the doctor, as they no longer just take my word for it (or anyone’s; it’s not like I’m some sort of pinkeye boy who cried wolf). It’s like a giant, ugly conspiracy to keep me from writing. Which I’m evidently a part of, as here […]

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