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

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…

ringtones harry potter In Europe, 30–40 per cent of internet access is via ringtones harry potter . ringtones boostmobile free Such services automatically detect ringtones boostmobile free settings to ensure the best file type and format. ringtones cheap polyphonic Siemens Keypress: Can create and read in ringtones cheap polyphonic text file format. ringtones linda eder Cellular systems required several leaps of technology, including handover, which allowed ringtones linda eder to continue as a ringtones linda eder traveled from cell to […]

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Man, That Girl Can Iron!

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

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The End of Anonymity is Nigh

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What Moms Eat

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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Lightening is Looking Limp…

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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What we did while Sam was at school today.

What we did while Sam was at school today. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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The skiing is not so good.

The skiing is not so good. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Sam in NYC

Sam in NYC 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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Something in the Nature of a Miracle

No, not the fact that I am posting actual text blog entries twice in one day. Rob is out of town. This is night two of my three day solo. I had no babysitting today–which is to say, I had five hours of babysitting in order to allow me to ski with Lily and then sit with her in the ski lodge and wait for Sam. I had no free time today, how’s that. But we got through dinner and […]

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This is going to end badly

This is going to end badly Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Note what he has done to the cone.

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Lily’s Spring Concert rehearsal

Lily’s Spring Concert rehearsal 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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Big fun at the Norwich Fair

Big fun at the Norwich Fair 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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Big girl bed!

Big girl bed! 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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Wyatt and Zach

Wyatt and Zach Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Dogs in the Snow

Dogs in the Snow Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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We Finally Learn to Fly

The three and I flew from Boston to Dallas today. It’s a four hour flight, but came in at 5 1/2 (plus) due to 1) delay on the ground but in the plane because of storms and 2) no gate when we finally DID land. And you know what? It was fine. Sam and Wyatt sat in the row in front of Lily and I. Wy napped for the first hour or so after takeoff (that would be hour 2 […]

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My Bag of Rocks

My Bag of Rocks Originally uploaded by kjda I was going to post this a while ago–it’s the physical representation of my personal frustrations. As in, geez, this bag is heavy, what have you got in there, rocks? Why, yes.

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Quarantine Fun, Day One, and a Panic

Duplicates, I know–I had some trouble uploading. Ok, if all those swabs come back negative, I’ll be the best quarantine mother ever. I will make paper dolls, I will build card houses, I will teach sam to play chess. I will be 100% present, I swear. We will know in an hour. If anyone is positive, it’s more quarantine for everyone, and the hospital for the positive person. The embassy has said they will intervene to make sure an adult […]

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Yum?

Yum? Originally uploaded by kjda Every single one of us at least TRIED this. Wyatt and Lily had several bites each. I can’t say anyone really liked it, but we tried it. The sign said it was a bean, but I have serious doubts. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Shamian Island: The Home Stretch

Shamian Island is best described as the place the British took over, back when tea and opium were in constant traffic across the sea, and although I am sure there was razing and looting involved in its creation, the result is extraordinarily pleasant. Shady verandas. Palm trees. Wide park-like walkways. Few cars. We are staying at the White Swan. It used to be right next to the consulate, so everyone stayed here. Now it’s right next to an entire cottage […]

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Being a Good Sport

Being a Good Sport Originally uploaded by kjda I squeezed her cone trying to peel the wrapper off, but she can take it. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Community, oh, Community

Everyone needs buds. MIne come in, um, human and online form. Physical and online? Ok, that sounds better. I couldn’t parent without mine, and I couldn’t write without my crew of fellow writers, too–a couple of whom, today, totally offhand, provided me with complete inspiration when I really needed it. Writers (like parents) tend to work alone. I’m lucky enough to have a couple of editors I’m in regular contact with, and a couple of steady gigs that mean I […]

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And We Thought Our Trip to China was Bad

Imagine if we’d had to leave without Rory. It just happened, to this family. Here, in a nutshell, is the United States’ new plan for China adoptions: 1. Complete masses of paperwork. Travel to China. Adopt and become responsible for child. 2. Have child tested for TB. 3. If child tests positive for TB, stay in China for 2-6 months, as child will not be allowed to travel to the US, but is no longer the responsibility of anyone in […]

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Wild Emotional Fluctuations (on my part)

After we went to Cape Cod, I had this whole post in my head about how, when you were young, you always imagined you’d go on vacation and come back changed, and now I had–I’d come back fully accepting and loving Rory and happy with our family. And then the last day had its ups and downs, and I lost the feeling, and since then, it’s gone wildly back and forth. It’s scheduling time, and change time, and as much […]

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In Exchange for a Smile Picture

In Exchange for a Smile Picture Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Contrary to the Picture

Contrary to the Picture Originally uploaded by kjda Rory quite liked the Ferris Wheel. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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You Know What I Love? School! (Plus Activity Angst)

School gives us a glorious level of consistency in our lives that I would otherwise be unable to achieve. Every morning, for four hours, there is ritual and order in Wyatt and Rory’s lives. Every day, for 6 hours, the same can be said for Lily. Every day, for seven hours, Sam is safe and surrounded by kids his own age, learning age-appropriate stuff at a school that suits him very well. And every day, when I get everybody back, […]

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When Lily is Sweet

When Lily is Sweet Originally uploaded by kjda She is very very sweet. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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And they’re off…

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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The Big Green Womens Hockey Team

The Big Green Womens Hockey Team Originally uploaded by kjda And their many many fans. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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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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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?