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Toss the Kid a Donut and Have Done with it!

My friend over at Three Little Girls is talking about natural childbirth today–or at least, intervention free childbirth. When it comes to intervention, she’s against it. Too high a c-section rate in this country, etc. She pulled off her births without epidurals, too–great if it works for you, and maybe marginally safer, but you don’t get a gold star to wear around afterwards. I know; I’ve done it both ways. You really should get a star–in fact, you should get […]

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. . . Originally uploaded by kjda.

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Raspberry picking (with Billy Idol)

Raspberry picking (with Billy Idol) Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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On Halloween

On Halloween Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Wyatt in the snow

Wyatt 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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Wyatt is Two!

Today is his official birthday, which we marked with a cake from Lou’s, balloons and a few presents–what Lily called “the family party, because nobody else is coming.” He’s a delight, a fabulous kid. In fact, I’m enjoying them all even more than ever, maybe because with the end of skiing season I’ve been able to return to working more, maybe because they’re getting bigger…who knows why, but things are good! And spring is near. Outside play, days without boots, […]

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The end of a perfect party

The end of a perfect party 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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A summer tea party

A summer tea party 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 Like Rain

I Like Rain Originally uploaded by kjda. Especially thunderstorms. Always have. I can remember starting a new school on a stormy day and knowing I would be “on”, that this one would be good, and it was. Thunderstorms fill me with energy. I want to do things, things I have been meaning to do, a Facebook page, a game with Sam, everything. Of course writing this, I am procrastinating the work I actually NEED to do…

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Spider eats damsel

Spider eats damsel Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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All dressed and ready to go

All dressed and ready to go Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Rebecca!

Rebecca!, originally uploaded by kjda. Here she is! And in yet another amazing coincidence–Lily owns that sweater. It’s an Oshkosh B’Gosh by way of Target, but it’s unmistakeable. We got an update tonight, and the word is that yes–I did, via googling and link following and Yahoo Groups, find our little needle in the big ‘Net haystack. I’m thinking I should have bought a lottery ticket, too! More importantly, she’s on track in every way, and we know it. We’ve […]

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NHPR: Theo Chocolate

I have another NHPR bit, this time on delicious Theo Chocolate.

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How to keep flower girls and ring bears happy

How to keep flower girls and ring bears happy Originally uploaded by kjda Last wedding, we were not prepared. In the interval between photos and the ceremony, we dismantled an entire room in a synagogue. After the ceremony and before the food was served, we ate the centerpieces, and the whole thing nearly turned into the Donner Party. This time we were prepared! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Fun times online

Fun times online Originally uploaded by kjda We are trying to guess whose luggage will be so overweight that they will have to repack. One set of girls just had to go buy a new bag. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Fwd: GuoMen Quarantine Hotel as seen from Beijing DiTan Quarantine Hospital

Fwd: GuoMen Quarantine Hotel as seen from Beijing DiTan Quarantine Hospital Originally uploaded by kjda

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Up the Great Wall and on to Fuzhou

We had a beautiful, if hot, day for climbing. The kids were troopers. Some of the stairs were so high they came up to Wyatt’s waist. It was hot, hot, and getting crowded as we came down. People here use umbrellas against the sunshine, so here we were, on this amazing day, climbing down in a sea of umbrellas. Our flight to Fuzhou was uneventful (no temperature taking or hazmat suits…) and the Shangri-la is a very nice hotel, too–haven’t […]

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Hoo, Boy

Worst. Parent. Ever. That’s me. Flat out worst. Which is a pity, because the day had gone rather well. Kids playing together, birds singing, sun shining, whatnot. I went out–promising Rory I would come back–and i did, which she seemed to see as a good thing. Better yet, I went for a bike ride with a friend, and every hill just felt good, because it was just so great to be out on my own. And then… I miscalculated dinner. […]

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Amish Friendship Bread, Defrosted

On June 6, I completed the squishing and flipping and baking project that is Amish Friendship Bread–which I know for a fact is slowly conquering the country, and may be nothing more than a ploy to get us all to buy at least one package of vanilla pudding this year–baked my two loaves, and froze one. June 6 was just a few days after we got our travel dates. Rory was still pictures and an idea. We were thinking packing, […]

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Idyllic. Can’t last.

Idyllic. Can’t last. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Sunset

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

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Verklempt.

I’m having a moment. Summer is over, it is oh so very much over. Sam is back at school, and the others go back next week, and the luxury of having so many days stretch out before us with little planned is utterly gone, and I am feeling like I wasted so much of it caught up in my own stuff. Sam will turn 9 next year–nine!–and time is passing. I should have spent the whole summer holding his hand. […]

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Grumpy.

I’m feeling impatient and cranky today–like all I can do is gripe at people and criticize. And very touchy–as in, I worked hard on this dinner and you’d better sit down and eat it right now, and for heaven sakes don’t TALK to me while you’re doing it! Nobody is moving fast enough or being nice enough for me. Rory’s horrible wound is a little better. Sam still looks like he’s been in the wars, but I don’t think he’s […]

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How was the Big Birthday?

Great, if you just whitewash it here and there. The thing is, from two on, I had to just get my skates on and GO. 2:00 pick up Sam, town, snack, buy balloons, 3:00 pick up Lily, home put together big ole’ plastic doll house, cry because we cannot play more with it and it is not ours (well, that would be Lily). 4:00 babysitter’s, share cupcakes, celebrate. 4:30 Farmer’s Market for dinner. Park, try not to get run over, […]

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Outside the meeting

Outside the meeting Originally uploaded by kjda I am such a good citizen. Oh, except for the part where I blogging and not listening. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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A Halloween Book that looks like us.

A Halloween Book that looks like us. Originally uploaded by kjda I know my kids’ books–I co-authored a book about them, and I review them for DoubleX–but I have to admit that the advent of Rory has made me more aware of race in the pictures. That’s not really true–I was always aware–but more appreciative of books that look like us, and the Biscuit books–while not always my favorite, because they tend somewhat towards the inane–are good that way. The […]

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Book Contest: Help Save My Morning Routine!

I’m the quintessential reformed Tardy Mom, Parenting Magazine’s poster child on the subject, and it’s true–our mornings, while not particularly resembling clockwork in any way, are now calmer, cooler and vastly more timely.  Setting a load time and sticking to it, of refusing to serve breakfast to any child not already dressed, of setting up an actual alarm clock to ring when breakfast is over and tooth-brushing time has arrived–those have worked wonders (thanks, Mary Caroline Walker! I’d link to […]

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I Want Rory to Go Back to China! I Hate Rory!

Oh, pick your jaw up off the floor–that’s not me talking, it’s Wyatt. Wyatt, out of the blue, today in the car. (Well, not quite out of the blue–Heather’s house was out Rory’s window, and not his, and that was pretty much unforgivable).  I DON’T WANT RORY TO COME HERE FROM CHINA! Did we pull the car over and have a special moment? Nope.  Me: Well, Rory belongs to us now. She will always live with us. Rory: But Wyatt, […]

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DoubleX, Nintendo and Santa

Today’s DoubleX post (I only link here if I think you might be interested): What if Santa isn’t bringing you exactly what you want? Wyatt wants his own Nintendo. Despite the post, I remain tempted.

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Mellow, Relatively Speaking

Mellow, Relatively Speaking Originally uploaded by kjda This was yesterday, actually, at the bookstore. Lily read a Dora book that I refused to read–which was of course a serious bonus. Coffee was had, a small tantrum thrown for reasons too dull to describe here (suffice to say that no, I won’t buy TWO copies of Berenstein Bears Valentine’s Party–in fact, I can’t believe I bought one.) And we skied a few runs, had a Lily friend over and her mom […]

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What I Want to Send for Lunch

What I Want to Send for Lunch Originally uploaded by kjda I would do it, too–except that even though I have three kids all eating lunch at the same school, they aren’t allowed to share food. We spent the day skiing–fabulous! Wonderful! Also surprising, since at 3:45 this morning Lily was throwing up. But unless it involves contagiousness–hard for me to imagine on a ski slope–I never argue with a kid who says she’s feeling well enough to get outside. […]

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Any Chance You’re Thinking of Adoption?

Toying with it, maybe–kinda just thinking hey, what-if… I have a feeling you’re out there. Email me or post a comment and ask me to email you. (No one can see your address but me.) It is so hard, and you should totally do it. There are so many kids out there, Rory’s age and a little older, that need the life we have.

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Procrastination Lesson

Sam had a “Jump Rope for Heart” event at school today. They were out early–at 12:30, for conferences–and participating kids could stay, and jump, and earn prizes and have big fun. But they were supposed to raise money for the American Heart Association. The papers came home weeks ago, and I said, Sam, look, you could really do this well, you know a lot of people. I will match anything you raise. After a week I brought the papers along […]

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Rainy snowy happy Saturday

I just want to say that I truly believe this was the first rainy saturday I have spent wholly at home with no real plans and no big activities since Sam was born, so almost nine years ago,that I haven’t wanted to rip my one arm off and beat myself to death with it by dinnertime. Around here that counts as a good day. I am not ignoring the question of whether I got flak for the slate article–I just […]

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Vasa museum

Vasa museum Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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I Dunno…

Meh. It’s summer. This makes me happy. I bonked, halfway through a DoubleX post today that I wNted to write, in fact, told people I would write–three hours later, there I was with the same single paragraph. I can tell you that is not an economically sustainable business model. This makes me unhappy. Rory is having a delightful touch of nighttime regression, refusing to go to sleep, romping about her room, kicking, jumping and building forts until all hours. Unfortunately […]

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When Putting Your Kids on Reality TV is Good for Your Career (and you’re not an actress)

Let’s say you’re the owner of a small but popular bakery and a gifted cake decorator with aspirations to be, say, the next Colette Peters. But how do you get there? Baking celebrity cakes would help. Writing a book, ditto. But somehow you’ve got to get the attention of the celebrities, and publishers insist that a book needs a “platform.” “Who’s going to buy a book by an unknown baker,” they demand, while you’re left moaning “but how do I become a known baker without a book?” Meanwhile, you’re juggling triplets, running the bakery and soothing a husband who’s one–tenth occasional (and subversive) bakery staff and nine-tenths Mr. Mom. You’re at a standstill.

Enter TLC. Read More

A Daily Paper for Kids Whose Parents Don’t Read Newspapers

In my ongoing quest to get my rising fourth-grader to read more, I downloaded A Wrinkle in Time onto my iPad (which he’s otherwise not allowed to touch). He read a few chapters, lost his place a few times, changed the type color, changed it back, and then got caught up in a paperback copy of Holes that his school sent home for summer reading. When he finished it and declared it his favorite book ever, I asked him if […]

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Julia Roberts: Formerly Hot?

Jess, I love that women over 40 are dominating on magazines covers and, even better, in the movie theater. I noticed it too—and I also noticed Laura Linney (46) on the cover of last week’s New York Times Magazine, that More magazine’s circulation is increasing (cover girls have to be over 40; this month’s Kyra Sedgwick is 44), and that the inside of Elle magazine, not just the cover, offers articles clearly aimed at women past the ingenue stage: recovering […]

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One. More. Day.

I’m not exactly ready for school to start. It’s just that, given that it’s going to start, that the inevitable march of time will draw us inexorably onward, I would just as soon things START ALREADY. There’s this whole processing and adjusting and sorting thing coming at us like a freight train, and in my head, I’m already on it. But in reality, of course, I just have to let it spin out. Tonight we nibbled at it. Sam and […]

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Truly Friends Forever

Most of us had friends as kids that we promised, with mixed results, to love forever—but what must a friend from your orphanage, from your foster home, from your past mean to a kid? We adopted Rory at nearly four, and from the first, she’s been asking for “Bethany.” As often as she cried for her foster mother and father, and maybe even more often, she cries over Bethany. She wants to see her. She lingers over the pictures we […]

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No Messing With Heaven

First, let me say that I know from tough questions bubbling up from the back seat. I have already handled, on previous occasions, the question of what war is, an explanation of gay marriage and, regarding racial discrimination, “but that was all a long time ago, right?” And I have fielded, also while driving, a lengthy discussion among all four kids regarding why and how my youngest son, then three, could indeed “get a baby” if he chose to marry […]

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Language As a Second Language

I have to admit I am a little worried about Rory’s language. She isn’t exactly a non-native English speaker. Her foster parents spoke English, and so did she, although it was about on the level of a two year old (we adopted her at almost four). But the nannies and other staff spoke Chinese or dialects, and I imagine the children did a lot of physical communication, since they would have had varying speech abilities. Rory is still behind, and […]

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When the Best Things in Life ARE Things: Motherlode

I have a guest post on Motherlode this weekend. I love the essay before mine, too. What she said.

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Farewell, Great Wolf Lodge

Farewell, Great Wolf Lodge Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — KJ Dell’Antonia www.kjdellantonia.com

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How the Crazy Person Bikes

How the Crazy Person Bikes Originally uploaded by kjda I don’t know what we were complaining about–it’s 32 degrees, and technically above freezing. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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The View Out My Window

The View Out My Window Originally uploaded by kjda I am going back to bed. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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In the Garden

I love to grow food. I’m pretty indifferent about flowers. I mean, flowers are nice. I like it when there ARE flowers. But there’s a limit to how much time and effort I will invest in flowers, and I generally reach it about the moment when I get to the farm stand, note the huge selection and decide to go get a coffee. (Good thing the farm stand has coffee!) But growing food–whole meals so local we are talking steps […]

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Is That How You Do It?

Lily, after a massive tantrum episode, chose to sleep last night on the small loveseat on the landing outside the kids’ room. (Long story short, she refused to make her lunch for school during the time Rob allotted for that duty, and then lost it when bedtime arrived and lunch was not made. And then some.) Rory couldn’t take it. We kept hearing the “bang” of the door to their room (which slams when the windows are open) and the […]

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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?