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Who Said I Didn’t Want to Raise a Quitter?

This weekend’s highlight: a visit from one of my oldest school friends and her family (featuring “Boston Joey”, so-called to distinguish him from one of their best friends and sometimes even directly addressed as such). Boston Joey has done some skiing; his five-year-old sister “Roofie” has not. So as my friend took a year off the limited life span of her lower back by taking Roofie up the J-bar and Lily decided she wanted to hit the chair lift, I […]

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Post-Haircut treats

Post-Haircut treats 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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There.

There. 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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“is this the ting-iest?”

"is this the ting-iest?" 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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At the top of Holts

At the top of Holts 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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Haircuts!

Haircuts! Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Wyatt licks sugar off the counter

Wyatt licks sugar off the counter Originally uploaded by kjda. Sam is home sick. It’s 4:00, and I am just…tired of being in charge. Since I intend to end the day with a full on TV binge, it’s a little early to start. And so things slowly deteriorate…

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What a Bad Mother Eats for Lunch

What a Bad Mother Eats for Lunch, originally uploaded by kjda. Can you see the telltale Easter Egg dye on the sides? In my defense–my totally excellent babysitter was inspired to dye Easter Eggs with the kids Saturday. On the plus side: Now I don’t have to do it! On the well this is kind of a benefit side: a fridge FULL of hard-boiled eggs. The good kind, the kind that come from a local farm. Three dozen of ’em, […]

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I Should Be Happy. Should I Be Happy?

One of the perils of visiting my folks is that the radio station they favor plays a lot of Carpenters. That has obvious issues, of course, but one of the biggest is that even the very happiest Carpenter song, what with the whole sad story of Karen Carpenter, the nostalgia factor, my lost youth–makes me feel sad. And since it’s not a specific kind of sadness, I just apply it to whatever I’ve got going on that I could possibly […]

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Things I CAN Do

Here is a list of the things I CAN do today: Keep drafting my next freelance pitch. Pack the kids’ carry-on bags for our flight to Seattle (6 hours!) Pack clothes for the Seattle trip. Buy suitcases for ditto, plus China trip. (We have three suitcases, two of the small black rolly kind (one with a hole in it) and one of the giant purple nearly impossible to keep under weight kind. I plan to acquire a pair of medium […]

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And…We’re Off.

We are ready. Ready, as in, weighed suitcases sitting in the hallway. My mom asleep already. Me, popping one last movie onto my iPhone and gathering a few last cords and ends. Three excited kids asleep in their room (miraculously, no reappearances!) knowing that the next time they sleep in there, there will be four. (Gulp.) I do plan to blog while we travel–there should be plenty of pictures and lots to tell. We’ll be in Beijing until Sunday 6/21. […]

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Fwd: My cell

Fwd: My cell Originally uploaded by kjda

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Today in Beijing (slightly delayed)

] As you can see, we had a wonderful day. It’s good to be out, it’s good to be here. And hey. we’ve certainly adjusted to the time difference. Tomorrow, the Great Wall and the plane to Fuzhou.

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I don’t know what’s going on outside…

But I’m going to assume those are happy noises until somebody comes and tells me otherwise.

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Just plain ordinary discipline

Rory ran off in town today, just shot merrily off down the sidewalk and around the corner. We were on a block with no crosswalks and a sort of little plaza, and she was going right back to where we’d been a few minutes ago, before we went to–you guessed it–the potty–so it wasn’t that bad, and I almost let it go. I wasn’t angry or even worried–even if she’d gone a little farther, we live in a small town […]

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Things That Are Unlikely to End Well

Things That Are Unlikely to End Well Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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A “Camp” Milestone

Tonight we sent all four kids to the kids’ dinner at the hotel where we’re staying on Cape Cod. All together, all in their matching striped shirts. Lily and Sam went when we were here once before, so they were into it–Lily especially–and that brought Wyatt along, and Rory just know of got swept up. I’m honestly not a hundred percent sure that she understood that Rob and I wouldn’t go too. But she went. We sat on the veranda […]

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No Spoiled Youngest Here, I Guess

Wyatt’s my baby. My buddy, my beloved littlest one and the only one who looks like me. When I got to our sitter’s today I heard him sobbing through the window, and I rushed in–pausing to give Rory a hug on the way–calling what’s wrong, Wy? He didn’t want to come home, that’s what’s wrong. Now, I know Heather’s house is a haven of legos and turtles and popsicles (and it’s SUPPOSED to be, I love that they love it […]

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One Mile Too Far

We biked 18 miles today–two little kids on one double tag-a-long bike and one on a single tag-a-long. Sam and a buddy rode solo. It was the “Tour de Taste” with lots of stops for food, so it wasn’t quite the monster journey it sounds like. But it should have been 19 miles–which it turned out was exactly one mile too long. Rory went from super sport, rollicking along, talking to the other kids–to sound asleep. On the bike. I’m […]

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If You’re Not Reading Let’s Panic About Babies!

You’re not laughing hard enough. http://www.lets-panic.com/

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Funny in the Mirror

Tonight we dined out, at an elegant establishment offering free kids meals for members of the Dartmouth athletics kids’ fan club. (Imagine a non-chain Olive Garden.) Afterwards, Rory and Lily stood gazing into a full length mirror together, set at a perfect height for them to admire their little faces, and Lily began to laugh. Rory looks funny in the mirror! Why does she? I didn’t see anything, so I shrugged and went back to trying to persuade Rory to […]

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A New Take on the Temper Tantrum

Last night was windy–and where we live, that means it sounds like a freight train is coming over the hill. We lay in bed, listening, and began to hear, periodically, another sound: BANG BANG BANG. Or sometimes BANG. Or BANG BANG. It was not rhythmic, or constant, as you would expect of something the wind was blowing. And it not eventually result in the reappearance of a child, as you would expect from a kid-created noise. It just kept periodically […]

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Lots of Excellent Reasons for a Happy Blog

You’re all absolutely right. There are many reasons for a rosy blog– picture. One, which no one mentioned but I’ve thought of often, is that sometimes complaining lets a negative attitude fester and breathe, and no one–least of all me–needs that. As for the comments from the peanut gallery–and by that, I mean friends and family, not real commenters–oh, I do get that. I have had to remind a couple of people that the first rule of reading the blog […]

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Did I Say We Were Cutting Back

Did I Say We Were Cutting Back Originally uploaded by kjda On sugar and fat? KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Ski-Ding

Ski-Ding Originally uploaded by kjda Who would have ever thought I could take all three littles ice skating (indoors) and then Nordic sanity and then retain enough sanity to blog about it–no, wait, to have actually enjoyed it?To have had a blast, even. I have dreaded, dreaded this winter. The thought of all the boots and mittens and hats and this and that and the other…oof. And who knew how Rory would take it? I do not and never have […]

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Killing Time, Coloring Tongues

Killing Time, Coloring Tongues Originally uploaded by kjda We have half an hour before Chinese class, and we are spending it wisely. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Killington!

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

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Still Life by Sam

I found this on my camera and it was too good not to post. I think he’s recording the fact that he was able to peel hard-boiled eggs and leave shells mostly intact.

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Rory Won’t Fess Up, and No Sense At All Is Made

I went into the bathroom as Rory was supposed to be brushing her teeth, and found the mirror covered in suds of some kind, all over the back of the sink about where she could reach. What is that? I asked–and she froze. Did you do that? Dumb question, as it was wet, and she was the only child in there (or anywhere nearby). Frozen. Did you put soap on the mirror? Did you put water on the mirror? How […]

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Sprouts! And I really think we’ll be just fine.

Sprouts! Originally uploaded by kjda Now that I’m done being the flavor of the week, the most interesting news around here is that the Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli have sprouted! (They’re from the same plant family, so it’s nut too surprising they’d be first together.)This is our first year growing the garden from seed (you can expect to read about it in Kiwi next spring) and we have four little grow shelves of seeds. We planted over the weekend, and […]

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Kitty Face

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

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Nicest “pool” ever!!!

Nicest "pool" ever!!! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Mandatory Natural Childbirth

I hear a lot of women complaining about the way doctors and hospitals treat them during labor. Pushing epidurals, requiring pitocin, being generally unsympathetic to requests to limit intervention. Taffy Brodesser-Akner has written about her birth for both Self and Salon, and it’s a true horror story–a doctor who broke her water against her wishes and circumstances that only went downhill from there. Brodesser-Akner didn’t necessarily want an all-natural birth. She just wanted to be listened to and treated with […]

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My Least Favorite Mom Job

There are one or two minor things I don’t like about this parenting gig. The early rising, for example. The midnight sheet-changing. The diapers weren’t my favorite (past that!) and the Sisyphean dishwasher and laundry moments do get me down. But there is one thing, one single thing, one thing that’s somehow fallen to me in our house (all of those other things were or are shared tasks) that really pushes my buttons. One thing that looms over my head […]

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A Rory-ism

A Rory-ism Originally uploaded by kjda "I got see that." "I got look." "Let me see!" Rory never believes us. There’s no more, we say, as in no more chips in the bowl or no more tea in the pot. No yogurt in the fridge. No chocolate milk. She never, ever takes our word for it. She trusts us in every other way: dress her, lift her down from the counter, jump into our arms from a brick wall, but […]

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Lily, about to ride pandamonium

Lily, about to ride pandamonium Originally uploaded by kjda It twists, it spins and Dory and Sam won’t do it. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Taking a couple of days….

I’m off to New York for a couple of days. I’m gonna see some people, do some stuff and head for this DoubleX comedy event. And I’m going to be alone, alone, alone, blissfully, Greta Garbo-y alone. Except for when I see people and I’m not. Everyone knows you can love your husband with extraordinary passion and your children suitably less so, or equally-in-a-different-way or however you want to put it, and still need a couple of days in your […]

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On Vacation

I am taking a break, a breather, un petit vacances. From everything, lucky me. Well, everything except my head cold. No escape from that. Rob and I are with friends, having some adult time, and the kids are with grandma, having some time with someone who doesn’t say no to things lime making ink to try to write with a feather quill. I think this is good for us all.

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Lily’s bread and Lily’s luck

Lily’s bread and Lily’s luck Originally uploaded by kjda Last night Lily made the rolls for today’s dinner. I helped; in fact, I made her follow a recipe and was so anal about the whole thing that when it didn’t raise as much as I expected we made another batch. In between Lily asked to play with the flour and water and such, and made something she said was bread dough. We had yeast left over from the rolls, so […]

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Lily and I Get Crafty

Lily and I Get Crafty Originally uploaded by kjda In a continuation of the preceding post, this is also the kind of thing that is now possible, on this side of the mountain of the past, oh, nine years. I like this kind of project. Quick and chick. Start, over done, contemplate achievement. I like Gingerbread houses. I like frosted cookies. I like Halloween costumes and cardboard box houses. I will never, ever sew you a dress–too precise. Too time […]

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Sunday Snapshot

I’m new to the Sunday snapshot game. photo.JPG Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone But I thought anyone who’s been following along might wonder what ever happened to our BIG gingerbread mansion. After weeks and weeks of “we we gon’ eat that? When? I wan’ eat that candy but I CAN’T!” eventually, they could. I wouldn’t have, but they did. Although not, I think, nearly as much as they thought they would.

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Pure joy.

Pure joy. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia

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Awesome breakfast.

Awesome breakfast. Originally uploaded by kjda Yum! I’m on a healthy eating binge, and this is truly my favorite incarnation of that. Fruit, yogurt, honey, granola. I’m committed to a 25 mile, 3000 vertical feet bike ride in, um, 16 days. And I have ridden the trainer bike in the basement ONCE. Today my riding partner and I are going to brave the cold. It’s 20 now, we will see what it is in 2 hours! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from […]

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Spring “Break”

I know, I mentioned it in passing yesterday…but it is Spring Break, and we have gone to Disneyworld, had our fantastic time, and returned home…and I am tired. Everyone needs something from me, and I am not finding as much in me as there usually is. We are keeping it very quiet here at home, very little major activity, none of the usual cooking and baking and certainly none of the cleaning (that I HAVE TO get to tomorrow), but […]

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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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The Real Reason My Kids Will Learn to Be Responsible

The Real Reason My Kids Will Learn to Be Responsible Originally uploaded by kjda This is Rory wearing Lily’s shorts for soccer. Rory is wearing Lily’s shorts for soccer because although I noticed this morning that she was wearing long pants, I promptly forgot, and although I brought everyone’s shirts and shin guards and cleats, I forgot to bring her shorts, and I also forgot all three soccer balls. In theory, they should pack for soccer themselves. But I have […]

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In the Name of Utter and Absolute Fairness

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 […]

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I Hate Being Enlightened

A post most emphatically NOT from France (as you’ve probably gathered, I wasn’t posting directly from vacation, due to technical difficulties). The whole point of the last two years plus of my life has been to realize that I control both everything–and nothing. Nothing, in that what happens outside of me–external career stuff, traffic, other people’s emotions, quarantine, illness–I can’t control any of that and I never will. Everything, in that what I do control, completely, is my own reaction […]

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Never Say Never, Except When You Say Never

Babble’s editors (who were, when I was one of their bloggers, my editors) just started a fresh new Twitter hashtag: #neverinamillionyears. As in, as a parent, never in a million years would I: put a 6-year-old in a bikin (my contribution) put a TV in their room (@mychildPsych) post bathtime pics of my kids on social media (good one, @perpetuallykate) become THAT parent at a kids’ sporting event (ooh, yeah, @OWTK) punish my child by public embarrassment (oops, @mymomfriday, think […]

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Not Me!

IMAGE REMOVED DUE TO COPYRIGHT FEARS, BUT IT WAS A FAMILY CIRCUS CARTOON FEATURING THE “NOT ME” GHOST. When I was a kid I thought these Family Circus comics were so funny! Can you imagine a bunch of kids all saying it wasn’t them? That would be so crazy! I was an only child, and only once, once in my entire life was I ever not responsible for some transgression I was accused of. Left the oreos open? Me. Milk […]

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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?