Raising Devils

Triathalon. Really. Don’t you think that’s a good idea?

By KJ / Monday, July 21, 2008

I have, in a moment of, I don’t know, competitiveness, or craziness, or something, signed up for a Triathalon. OK, a mini triathalon. An 8.5 mountain bike ride, a 2 mile trail run and a .5 mile swim. I LOVE mountain biking, and these are really nice, wide trails, or where they are single track it’s more grassy tire track than real single track. It’s just that I can’t really swim, because I have this thing about water, and how […]

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Wyatt’s daily dose of melamine

By KJ / Friday, October 3, 2008

Wyatt’s daily dose of melamine Originally uploaded by kjda. Read the ingredients: milk powder, check! KJ Dell’Antonia

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Teeniest rink ever.

By KJ / Monday, December 15, 2008

Teeniest rink ever. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Best Playdate Ever

By KJ / Friday, March 20, 2009

Best Playdate Ever Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Maybe Jews aren’t early risers (and maybe they’re onto something)

By KJ / Sunday, April 12, 2009

There has been a lot of discussion in our household lately about the history of the two major religions that intersect here. Twice a year, sometimes three times, these things come up more often than they usually do. There was a time when there was some acrimony, with Rob blaming me for the ubiquity of Christmas and me demanding, shrieking even, to know why Sephardic Jews can eat rice during Passover but Ashkenazi Jews cannot, thus leaving us with 10 […]

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A Wee Bit of Trouble Concentrating

By KJ / Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am having just a wee bit of trouble getting anything done. Anything, that is, besides dicking around on the internet preparing to go to China. Much lies in between us and China, as it happens. Including Seattle and my sister-in-law’s wedding, Lily’s birthday, a photo shoot for Family Fun magazine, and some pretty substantial housework. Among the things I could have accomplished today, it’s worth including: ordering bow ties, arranging a larger propane tank, packing up assorted outgrown clothing, […]

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My Bag of Rocks

By KJ / Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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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6 people, one room, Day One

By KJ / Friday, June 19, 2009

It’s a lovely day here for staying in and not going to the Great Wall. Really, we’re all feeling quite festive about it. After that first phone call yesterday, we were quietly encouraged to get the kids down to the pool while Rob met with officials. When they called us back up, they swabbed our throats (just about the only thing that could have made Wyatt less thrilled in general about the Chinese people as a whole was one of […]

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Cicadas, lessons, card-playing

By KJ / Thursday, June 25, 2009

We woke up frustrated today. as a group. Last night was hot, hot, hot–it’s cooled off every other night, but not last night. There was tossing, there was turning, and two of the three of us in my room fell out of bed at least once. We woke up itchy and ready to crawl out of our skins, and with no appetite for another huge Guo-men breakfast. The troops were rebelling. And, of course, there was nothing my mom and […]

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Regrouping

By KJ / Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Regrouping Originally uploaded by kjda The easiest number of children to deal with is always one fewer than what you have. It’s been true every time and it’s true again. Rory had to go get her tb test read, so I had breakfast at the buffet with just these two, which last week I would have considered a chore. But they know what they want to eat. They know to walk to the table. They can be left eating by […]

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Why Are You POKING Her?

By KJ / Thursday, July 16, 2009

I don’t understand. Not that Lily and Wyatt don’t touch one another, or bug one another occasionally–but Rory they feel compelled to constantly poke. If she is sitting on a barstool, one of them is touching her feet. If she is on the couch, one of them is on top of her, prodding her. If she is wandering around, someone is following her–touching her. They poke her in the car, they prod her in the stroller, they nudge her at […]

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Buds

By KJ / Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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

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Loving the Pool

By KJ / Sunday, August 9, 2009

Loving the Pool Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Taking Beauty Very Seriously

By KJ / Thursday, August 20, 2009

Taking Beauty Very Seriously Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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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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By KJ / Friday, October 30, 2009

Just in case you wonder why I’m not posting (on my fresh and changing website): Here’s what I’m up to tonight: The Third Annual Spooky Trail! I wrote about it for Wondertime last year if you’d like to check it out.

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Why a Camel?

By KJ / Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why a Camel? Originally uploaded by kjda Got me. But it did catch my attention, strolling along at Duke in a gorgeous day that smells oh so faintly of whatever it is that makes North Carolina smell different than anywhere else. It’s probably more interesting unexplained. Off to eat BBQ with a pack of Dukies. These are mostly male Dukies, and mostly a decade and more older than us, because Rob forms part of the young blood they are bringing […]

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Jingle Bells Rules

By KJ / Friday, November 20, 2009

It is now time, approximately seven minutes into the holiday season, to establish a set of rules regarding the song “Jingle Bells,” which shall be as follows: No version of “Jingle Bells” involving either Batman or sledding accidents shall be sung in my presence at any time. No one shall attempt to work out devious ways to get around rule one. The singing of songs involving “Catman” or replacing the names of Batman and Robin with those of your siblings […]

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Holiday Update: Return to one-on-one

By KJ / Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Update: Return to one-on-one Originally uploaded by kjda My folks are here, so we have one adult per kid. Very relaxing–except for the 800 piece Lego train that was part of Santa’s contribution. We may be done by New Year’s. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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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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Wiki Processing

By KJ / Saturday, February 27, 2010

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

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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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That’s ok, Veruca, Daddy Will Buy You a Job

By KJ / Thursday, July 29, 2010

It sounds like the ultimate in helicopter parenting—not to mention the ultimate bad idea. If your fashion-design major daughter can’t get a job, why not buy her one? The Wall Street Journal is reporting on what might be a recession trend: parents “giving their kids the business.” Buying a “Pita Pit” (surely the subliminal 90210 reference is intentional; who could resist the mental image of Brenda’s dad handing over the keys?), a “College Hunks Hauling Junk,” or a “Fibrenew” franchise […]

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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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What to Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

By KJ / Sunday, January 30, 2011

This afternoon Sam had a hockey game. The three littler ones declared a preference for staying home, which seemed reasonable. They’ve watched a lot of hockey this year. For once, I could stay home. I run the clock for home games, but this was “away” even though it was our home rink. At the last possible minute Wyatt shouted “No, wait, I want to go too!” and raced out the door. Rory barely had time to contemplate his departure….and he […]

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Faux Twins: an Unintentional Side Effect

By KJ / Friday, February 25, 2011

Yesterday I had just Wy and Rory in the car on an afternoon ride home (about 15 minutes) and, unusually, Wyatt fell asleep. Usually it is the other way around. And Rory began to chatter. She told me a little about her day (Ava—I think—lost a tooth!). She had some commentary to offer on the snow (lots) and the day (warmer than usual) and our plans (can we go to the grocery store and buy … um … um … […]

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Best Ferry Ride Ever

By KJ / Thursday, March 31, 2011

Best Ferry Ride Ever Originally uploaded by kjda Only ferry ride ever! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Mother’s Day Cards and Chores

By KJ / Monday, May 2, 2011

Guess who is the only child to just come in every day and empty her lunchbox out without direction? Rory. Guess who remembers to do her morning chore without being asked? Rory. Guess who jumped up and got the crayons when I reminded them that Mother’s Day boxes were being mailed tomorrow? Rory. She is so alert to any opportunity to please. Not just me, either. Wasn’t I so nice, Wyatt, she asks if she gets him a cup for […]

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Spring Clean-o-rama

By KJ / Saturday, May 21, 2011

Apparently the urge to clean, like spring itself, comes late to me. There are still hockey bags in our hallway. Ski boots in the closet. Too-heavy coats (although not full-on ski jackets) in the cubbies and I am tired of it, and tired of the piles in the kitchen, and tired of the piles in the bedroom, and tired of the piles in general. Maybe even tired enough to actually do something about it. But not alone. I called three […]

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Stomp STOMP Stomp STOMP STOMP Thud!

By KJ / Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Every night, right around this time, we hear it. Stomp stomp STOMP STOMP STOMP Click-squeak-slam! STOMP STOMP STOMP. Pause. Stomp stomp STOMP STOMP STOMP Slam- squeak-click! STOMP STOMP STOMP. It’s Rory, getting up to go to the bathroom, slamming open the bedroom door, then returning and slamming it shut. She doesn’t need or want help. She feels fully confident in making her own way on this. Doesn’t turn on a light. Her siblings could sleep through anything, and they sleep […]

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Again I Make the Pasta!

By KJ / Thursday, June 23, 2011

I think we’re going to be eating this all summer long. It’s far, far easier than it looks. Yes, I make my own pasta noodles. It’s what takes it from good to insanely spectacular. Four eggs, about 2 1/4 cups of flour, in the mixer, then with the dough hook, then kneaded on the counter: Roll it out. I find it’s better to let the sheets of dough rest and dry a little (as in, five minutes, while rolling out […]

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Grilling the Pizza!

By KJ / Monday, July 25, 2011

There was much confusion surrounding my new version of make-your-own-pizza night. We’ve been into make your own pizza every since I spent an evening standing in my buddy Jess‘s kitchen while she rolled out pizzas and I ate all her pepperoni while thinking, “this is a really good idea for dinner.” I think we’d had pizza weekly since, BUT (and it’s a big but) we have no air conditioning. You really can’t cook pizza in your oven with no a/c […]

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Resurfacing

By KJ / Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First we went to the Cape. This we shall universally regard as having been a good idea. Rob and I actually had a relaxing vacation. Periodically he would turn to me and say “you know what I really love? The sound of crying babies.” And I would sigh blissfully back “And screaming toddlers…” And he would reach his hand out from his pool lounge chair and take mine, and we would listen to other people’s babies and toddlers while our […]

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Mama Time

By KJ / Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rory has a playdate tomorrow. And Sam and Lily have school. That means I get Wyatt all to myself for a couple of hours. I’m planning on some legos, some coffee, and some snuggling. I’ve been realizing lately just how little solid attention I lavish on Rory or Wyatt. They’re such a pair! They play together nearly all the time, and even when it’s not entirely amicable play (I really wish Sam had not shown them how to shoot a […]

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A Very Good Reason to Love Me

By KJ / Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tonight Rory wanted to write me a note. To surprise me. I heard her, at the table, drafting carefully away. “I … Love … You…” “How you write ‘because I’m your Mommy?” I interpreted that she wanted me to write “because YOU’RE my Mommy,” and so I did, on a scrap of the holiday pad she was using, for her to copy. A few minutes she appeared at my elbow. “I have something for you! Surprise!” And she handed me […]

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Wishin’ I was Knee Deep in the Water Somewhere…

By KJ / Friday, October 14, 2011

Gonna push the world away for a minute, pretend I don’t live in it… I was on the periphery of a tragedy today, one that wasn’t mine in any way, so I won’t go into details. I did what little I could for the people closer to it, and thought about how communities are when sudden grief strikes: first things fall apart, as people find their day-to-day routine interrupted, and there is a flurry of regrouping, and then they pull […]

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Motherlode: Lies! Sexual Harassment! Fat Babies!

By KJ / Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So, shameless self-promotion is the mark of the successful modern writer, and in particular the successful modern blogger. I definitely want to succeed at my second week at the helm of the New York Times’ Motherlode blog, and so I’m inviting everyone: please drop by, read, comment, argue and engage! If you’ve ever wanted to discuss parenting styles with New York Times readers from New England to California and far beyond, or even just to take issue with mine, now’s […]

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