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Gruna Lunda

Gruna Lunda Originally uploaded by kjda Note that it’s 9 pm and still this light! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Last Day of Strawberry Picking

Last Day of Strawberry Picking Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Guilt and Everything After.

Am I the only person out there that walks through her days with this constant load of guilt? I swear it’s why my back hurts all the time. My personal sack of guilt is so heavy that during the few moments of the week when it lifts, I think I should step on the scale. I literally walk through town with my shoulders drooping. I often have to remind myself that no, whatever I am doing at that moment is […]

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7 Things To Do Before Summer Slips Away

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 […]

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ReEntry is hard…

We got back from vacation so late last night that there was no bedtime rountine, only bed. Tonight we had routine, only I decided to switch it up a bit: on vacation, I started reading them nightly chinks of a chapter book (The Four Story Mistake). Everyone liked it…on vacation. But now that we’re back, Rory wanted…well, I don’t know what she wanted, exactly, but suffice it to say it was not the chapter when Oliver brings out the sleds […]

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Back to School: Mistakes Were Made

But minor ones… Let me first say, as an aside, that Blueberry Shrub, a drink I made after reading a wildly enthusiastic description of it in the NYT magazine, tastes very much like something you would make Easter Eggs in. I don’t know why I’m surprised…I think I will try using it in salad dressing. That said, I am sitting here drinking it and having Paz flashbacks. Mistakes: first of all, we allowed I sufficient prep time last night between […]

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When Things Refuse to Stay the Same

Last week, Rory’s beloved babysitter, who is pregnant with her third, was put on bed rest. From Rory’s point of view, she disappeared with no warning–I was traveling, and it was all we could do to get all the kids and their needs covered, let alone get Rory over to see her Heather. We explained, of course we did, but Rory was bit suspicious and very clearly thrown off course. She liked all the activities that filled in for Heather, […]

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When an Impediment Is NOT an Impediment

Sometimes it seems like I learn all my parenting lessons from kids in the back seat. This morning, after we dropped off Sam and Lily, I heard Rory determinedly repeating to Wyatt in the back seat what sounded like “FPLIDT, Wyatt, FPLIDT!” “What?” Wyatt was asking. “What do you want me to do?” “FPLIDT!” “Spit? Hit?” This went on for some minutes, and I thought I heard Rory getting frustrated. She has a small speech difficulty, and any double consonants […]

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Coming soon: one gingerbread house

Coming soon: one gingerbread house Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Smart Things, Nice People, Small Town

Showed up at pick up today–on time, swear– to find Lily in tears and Sam worrying. “I SAID you told us not to ride the bus,” he declared, but they wanted us to ride it anyway! I TOLD them you always forget to call…” Whoops. In my defense, my day was so packed and one thing after another that I didn’t even drink COFFEE until after noon and I never did get that shower. Working up to that now. But […]

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I Didn’t Know I Did It Until I Didn’t

Sunday was a screw-up day. Long story short, we made an hour-and a-half drive there and back to go to an event that had been moved to Saturday, only I didn’t notice it in the emails. They also changed the time, which I DID notice. No one was very happy with me, least of all me. On the way home, we pulled in at Blanche and Bill’s Pancake House (near Killington). I’ve always wanted to stop there, so it seemed […]

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I Don’t Even Want to Control You. Do I?

I’ve been storing up examples of Rory’s need for control, in part to prove to myself that I’m not imagining things, and to gain, of course, additional verification that she is trying to drive me crazy: In a restaurant, I ordered her chicken fingers, and she pitched a fit. “I not want you do that! What they got?” Um, chicken fried steak, meatloaf, smoked chicken and chicken fingers. That’s it. That’s the kind of restaurant it is (and one, I […]

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When to Win the Power “Struggle”

A couple of days ago I posted about refusing to give a screaming, rude and miserable Rory the sippy cup of water I’d brought for her to drink in the car, because when he first saw it she said (screamed) she didn’t want it. And yancy commented: This made me sad to read. Why does it need to be a battle or a question of someone’s winning and someone’s losing? The way I read it, you don’t want to give […]

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Happy Easter, Part two

Happy Easter, Part two Originally uploaded by kjda Things I did right this year: Four sets dye, four sets cups, LOTS of eggs. (although Rory just said "I need more egg. She never really quite gets the idea of enjoying the process–for her, it’s a race to speed-dye the eggs, or frost the cookies, or whatever.) Bought white eggs in the next (bigger) town over. New England hens lay brown eggs, which dye more, well, subtly. Took this picture before […]

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Blowing Off Birth Order: Great Result, Bad Plan

When we adopted Rory, almost two years ago now, she was 3 1/2, 6 months older than our youngest, Wyatt. All of our other kids were biological kids (Sam was 7 and Lily 5), and Rory was our first (and only) foray into adoption. We “adopted out of birth order,” and as I remember it, the decision process went something like this: our social worker, Kathleen, a big, comfortable woman with shorn white hair and a confident, rolling walk, had […]

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I Just Took All the Car Seats Out of My Car and Quit Piano Lessons

I’m not sure what pushed me over the edge. I was on it anyway. A wonderful friend accidentally pushed all my “terrible parent” buttons when I tried to explain why I’ll never take all 4 kids to NYC. “I just wanted to share the place I love with them,” she declared, and I realized: that’s the last thing I want to do. I want to keep the place I love, and have all of my professional interactions, and get work […]

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Who, Exactly, Makes Me Mad?

It should have been a perfect afternoon. Rainy first day out of school, end of last week, but some brilliant parent has scheduled a birthday party, not outside (as suckers like me invariably do for June birthdays) but indoors, at the aquatic center. I figure I am guaranteed happy children, because generally the aquatic center is the biggest of treats for them, and we’ve reached the point where I don’t even have to get in the pool. I’m toting my […]

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The All-Lily All-Year School Work Review

Do you, at the end of the school year, when all the binders and the art and the whatnot come home in the various bags, do anything appropriate with them? I’m trying to make sure that Sam and Lily understand that their school work is VERY IMPORTANT to us. But those piles have been sitting in the hall for weeks. So this weekend I piled them up on the dining room table, and tonight Lily seized on hers and sat […]

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Best $8 I Ever Spent

Best $8 I Ever Spent Originally uploaded by kjda Rory is in love. His name is Sea, or possibly Fast. If you let go of him, he “run away” in the wind over the pool, and you have to swim after him. You can wear him to jump in. You can wear him to climb out. And he is only for Rory. She saw another little girl in one at the pool today and asked, just oh so very nicely. […]

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Moshi Monster Surrender

My babysitter’s daughter has been going online occasionally with the three younger kids to play Moshi Monsters. I’ve staunchly refused to let them do this at home, largely because I do not want to play Moshi Monsters, and I suspected that was what it would be. Plus, I’ve had my doubts about this entire genre, which seems to promote shopping and decorating as the only fun activities available to our virtual and real selves. But I’ve always secretly thought–who wouldn’t […]

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When Does It Feel Like They’ve Gone Back to School and I Have More Time?

Let’s see: they’re back in school. They’re all full day four days a week–not the same four days, but four days. I should feel like I have more time, right? Or at least more time than I did this summer. When does that start? After I make that trip in to Lily’s class midday for her “unique week,” probably. Or maybe after the three multi-hour midday meetings for the community ski program I run, because I was apparently, in one […]

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Stepping in for Lisa Belkin at the New York Times’ Motherlode Blog: Because I’m Good Enough, I’m Cool Enough, and Gosh-Darnit, People Like Me!

Should I play it cool and tell you that of course I’ve been asked to take the first week in what will probably be a rotation of writers filling in for Lisa Belkin at the New York Times‘ Motherlode blog? Should I say that after all, I do already cover parenting, culture and policy issues for Slate‘s XXFactor blog—already a position to be proud of, with a rightly respected publication? Should I tell you that the Times won’t find anyone […]

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Halloween

Halloween Originally uploaded by kjda The hogwarts crew (that is Sirius Black looking nobly off into the distance), Crookshanks (can we have some suspension of disbelief here? I know it looks like a stripper costume) and one Shy Guy. I don’t usually put pics of the kids’ friends on the blog, but somehow I think we’re cool. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Dentist! No Dentist! Dentist!

On friday I looked at my iCal and realized–dang, someone has a dentist appointment on Monday! Because I brilliantly failed to categorize it, though, I couldn’t tell who. “It’s all of them,” my husband said. “We got cards in the mail last week.” I thought that seemed funny. I thought it was a little soon, but I didn’t think about it very hard. And then last night, I looked again, and the dentist appointment was at nine. Which couldn’t be […]

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Party Clothes New Hampshire Style

Party Clothes New Hampshire Style Originally uploaded by kjda We are invited to a fantastic progressive party tonight. A full meal cooked by some of the best cooks in town. They call it "Howl at the Moon."

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Behind the Scenes: Operation Vacation Recovery Begins

Where in the world is KJ? Cape Cod. Watchin’ whales, kickin’ back. Swimming pools, sand castles, the “Chatham Freeze.” It’s been a nearly completely “off” week: comments were kindly taken over by the NYT team, posts were nearly all from guests, no “quandary” last week, and thus no response. Oh, I did a few things. Someone pointed me towards a fantastic blog about twins, and I immediately snagged the writer for a contribution–I can’t wait. She and I will be […]

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Just a Big Pile of Snot and Misery

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Once Again, in Deep DooDoo…

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Define "Gossip"

Really, nothing is better than a little bit of dish. Particularly if that dish makes you feel, oh, just that much better than the person about whom your source is dishing. Maybe, just maybe, you feel like a better mother, or a better wife, or just a better person all around, period. Gives you just that warm glow. For about an hour. Then you’re left with knowledge. Knowledge that, if shared, could make others feel like better mothers, better wives, […]

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My New (used) Mountain Bike

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Imaginary Money

I love spending imaginary money. Usually I do it in catalogs, but today I took the imaginary money total to new and greater heights than it’s ever been before. It started out with a simple patio. I’ve been wanting a patio since we moved here, and a few weeks ago I decided to actually take a few steps in that direction. So I called Brian, who did a little tractor work for us last spring. Brian was the dream tractor […]

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I Have to GOOOOO!

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The Thanksgiving Weight-loss Plan

1) Eat all meals with eighteen-month-old on your lap. Succumb to her demand that you give her all the good bits. Martyr yourself by refusing to let anyone else sit with misbehaving child in the car. 2) Visit someone who, if that person saw the way you usually eat while pregnant, might say things like “oh, of course you can eat that way, but I have to be careful.” Which almost sounds like a complement–but isn’t. It’s one of those […]

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The End! The Beginning! The End!

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Irritable

This is quickly becoming the blog of the cranky. I am not usually cranky, although I wouldn’t call myself particularly perky, either. But today I am deeple cranky. I have yelled at Sam about five times for being actually irritating and several times for just being. Now, when he’s finally at school and Lily is napping, I just can’t DO anything. For starters, two of the three things I most want to do–have a baby and buy a new house–are […]

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The glamourous result

The glamourous result, originally uploaded by kjda. Incidentally, her brother is wearing the same shirt today–but with him it’s a little less generally apt.payday 9 payday loanadvance loan money paydayalaska company loan home100 financing loans1st time buyer loanloans plan advantages 401kadvance loan colorado cashalaska mortgage refinance loan Mapringtones 3gforfree countryringtones generation 4 cellphonespanasonic ringtone gd 55mobile 6010 ringtone tsprint 6700 ppc ringtoneringtone 7100i nextelto how ringtone 8125ringtone 911 69999 Map

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Picture019.jpg

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“Just one stomach virus away from my goal weight!”

The best things about the past 24 hours: We weren’t, like certain friends of ours, camping out overnight in an unheated cabin. Good news anytime, but if most of the family is going to spend the night hunched over the toilet, it’s definitely a plus that there IS a toilet. I wasn’t pregnant, so I didn’t have to both barf and panic; I could concentrate on the barfing. No one threw up on anything that couldn’t be cleaned with relative […]

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Losing the Baby Weight, Secrets of (Don’t Expect Too Much)

I can say, I think, even though we don’t own a scale (well, I think we must, but I don’t know where it is or whether we have batteries for it), that I have finally lost the baby weight. From all three babies. In fact, I’m a pnts size smaller than when I had Sam–which I suspect means nothing more than that pants sizing has changed, because I know what I was like then and what I’m like now, and […]

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And an elf.

And an elf. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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In the leaves

In the leaves Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Lily in the snow

Lily in the snow 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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I Have SKILLS! (OK, one skill)

Ok, so recently I was having, yanno, a bad day. One of THOSE days. And during the course of it, the dog swallowed a candy necklace, which I thought little of, being awfully busy yelling at small people and tripping over small people and muttering unkind things under my breath about the small people and all, plus the dishwasher and the laundry and lunch, oh, lunch, can’t I have chocolate milk with my lunch? And after a bit I noticed […]

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Just like Lily

Just like Lily 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’s newly short hair

Wyatt’s newly short hair 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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Tunnbridge Worlds Fair

Tunnbridge Worlds Fair Originally uploaded by kjda. If only you could see the rain… KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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Deceptively simple

Deceptively simple Originally uploaded by kjda. Thank you, Martha Stewart. This looked easy… And it wasn’t exactly hard, but I wouldn’t call it easy, either! KJ Dell’Antonia

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Snow angels

Snow angels Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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My Postal Pickup

My Postal Pickup, originally uploaded by kjda. So you have to picture me, at the post office, mailing my one little package (Rebecca’s book) and handing over my pick up slip. And then he said…I’ll get the handtruck. What is it? One comforter, two fans and a few assorted items of clothing. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Homework Help

It’s a beautiful night here. I’d like to go for a walk with the dog. I would much rather be going for a walk with the dog–and even the younger kids–than babysitting by 7-year-old while he completes a project about New York state for his “state fair.” Go ahead, you say? Why don’t you? Why should you be stuck with hishomework? Well, if I don’t contribute at all, then what he will end up with is a posterboard covered in […]

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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?