Raising Devils

Should You Need to Ask for What You Want?

By KJ / Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Should You Need to Ask for What You Want? Originally uploaded by kjda "Ball!" Rory’s tennis ball ice cream has rolled away, under my feet. "Ball! Bally!" "Yep," I agree. "Bally." Rory sighs. "Please can you get my ball?" "Sure." I roll it back. We repeat a variation on this about every other hour. She will sit in the public restroom, grunting "uumph! Uumph!" if she can’t reach the toilet paper. Ditto for too high paper towels. Struggle with an […]

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Sunday Night Pity Party

By KJ / Sunday, May 22, 2011

Whew. It is Sunday night. We had a long, nice weekend of mellow togetherness. Helped Sam with his model of Spaceship Earth. Took Lily, Wyatt and Rory to the bookstore with their wallets. Went to a grown-up party (for us, there were a few kids there but hey, not ours!) and made new friends, a rarity in our town, where a) we tend to already know most people and b) (and probably more relevantly) people only talk to people they […]

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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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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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Three Unrelated Thoughts. And a Bonus Fourth.

By KJ / Sunday, December 11, 2011

1. I am now the proud possessor of about 1/2 lb of chestnuts, officially roasted over an open fire, by me and various kids. We ate some. Thoughts? If we reheat them in an oven, do we have to change the song? 2. I can now, finally, begin opening holiday cards–because I finally ordered ours. Yesterday. I find that the guilt about not mailing them comes later. 3. I bought Lily (7) the BEST PRESENT EVER. I love it when […]

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Behind the Scenes at Motherlode, 3/4

By KJ / Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ah, Sunday. The week always looks so CLEAN on Sunday! SO much time! So much glorious room to fill in the blog, so many great guest posts that I will so easily get to… I probably shouldn’t hold my breath, time being the slippery beast it is… Tomorrow I’ll be posting about a really interesting survey about exactly that. I interviewed Kristin van Ogtrop (whose book I love) about an upcoming story of their about women and time, and it […]

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Behind the Scenes at Motherlode: Sam’s Sugared Cranberries

By KJ / Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I refer to this recipe in a post on Wednesday, November 21, 2012–and I’m packing them up for the trip to Fairfax County/DC right now. Sam’s Sugared Cranberries 1 lb fresh cranberries, picked over 2 cups sugar 2 cups superfine sugar, for rolling Make simple syrup: combine 2 cups sugar with 2 cups boiling water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. (Let COOL. LET COOL. If you pour it over the cranberries now, they will burst.) Divide cranberries […]

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Bananas and Schadenfreude

By KJ / Tuesday, February 15, 2005

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At the Bike Races

By KJ / Thursday, March 17, 2005

My house is cleaned, when it is cleaned, by three fabulous women. I believe this is for the best, because it’s not really a job for a single individual, particularly not one who is easily daunted. It is certainly not a job for me. Last week, these women went on vacation. All together, along with the other four women that make up this cleaning company. Packed their bags and headed to Disney. Before they left, Lori (who’s in charge, at […]

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On Gratitude, the Media, and Michael Jackson

By KJ / Tuesday, April 12, 2005

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The Draft Card

By KJ / Thursday, May 19, 2005

I just heard one Elaine Donnelly from the Center for Military Readiness describe, for NPR listeners, exactly why it’s important that Congress pass a bill codifying Defense Department policy which excludes women from units which participate in direct armed conflicts. Before we get to Ms. Donnelly, why is this happening now? Pentagon policy also excludes women from units which “collocate routinely” (that is to say, move) with combat units, and apparently there’s a sense that in Iraq, units including women […]

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Mice Are SO Not My Department

By KJ / Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sam and I were cleaning out the car today, while Lily climbed around among all the debris we’d removed from our own little Tobacco Road. I was clearing receipts, wrappers and toy bits from the front console and Sam was vacuuming Lily’s car seat when, over the roar of the wet/dry vac, I hear “Something’s really scaring me, Mommy!” There’s an undertone of panic, and I move fast. On the ground, in front of the vacuum I see a small, […]

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I Do Not Want to Talk on the Phone

By KJ / Friday, October 21, 2005

I am a bad person with a massive guilt complex, but I rarely return phone calls. I do not like them. They require too much real-time presence, and the only time I have any real-time presence to give is, generally, at night after bed time, a time I devote to a) recovering and b) novel writing. I am so protective of my time. I feel like it’s a slippery eel, always swimming away from me as I grab after it […]

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Uh-Oh, the End Approaches

By KJ / Monday, December 26, 2005

The end of the year, and I am not finished with my draft. The holidays gained momentum and then overtook. But I still maintain hope. 5 days remain. 5 days in which to draft…well, to be honest, I haven’t counted, and I don’t think I will. But I’m off, now, to see if I can’t manage maybe just one scene before bed. Just one, just one, just one small scene. Even half a scene is far better than none.

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Again! again!

By KJ / Sunday, February 12, 2006

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Hoo, Boy (although Hoo, Girl is Probably More Apt

By KJ / Friday, March 24, 2006

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Protected: How Not to Be a Novelist

By KJ / Monday, May 22, 2006

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Happy hAlloween!

By KJ / Tuesday, October 31, 2006

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I think the fish (and I) have turned a corner.

By KJ / Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Well, we lost three more of the total 7 fish that were living in our tank–all three “zippys”. We’ve lost 6 fish so far. There will be no more new fish in this aquarium until all spots are gone and the remaining fish have managed not to die for at least two weeks. BUT…it’s a little too soon to say, but Goldie and Stripey (the original fish) are looking better, and LIghtening, whom I’d long since given up as a […]

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Lily and emily on the “caramel”

By KJ / Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lily and emily on the "caramel" Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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As American as Apple Pie, Bloody Skeletons and Machine Guns

By KJ / Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I let Sam watch the first half of the first inning of the World Series tonight. A lot of the kids in his class are talking about it (we’re close to Boston and this is definitely Red Sox nation). It took 45 minutes of pregame to get to the batters. There were 8 or 10 rounds of commercials. The first one was funny and we both loved it so much we went back to see it again–a guy and some […]

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Lily eats ice cream

By KJ / Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lily eats ice cream 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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In Praise of Wyatt (Why not?)

By KJ / Monday, March 3, 2008

OK, Wyatt is exceptional. And in the interest of bringing everyone around to my way of thinking, let me just share some of the cute and brilliant things he’s said in the past couple of days–two weeks shy of his second birthday (because there’s nothing more fascinating than stories about the cute things my kid said, is there?) He and Lily were playing Hide and Seek. He found her, and there was much giggling, and he said “I thought you […]

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Happy Spring! (That’s Sarcasm)

By KJ / Friday, March 28, 2008

Can I just say that I hope this is our annual spring snowstorm…although I’m a little concerned, because in other years that’s been in April. I am so not used to being a New Englander. I think April, I think grass and crocuses. Oh well. Blew it on the thirty minutes today. Had it all blocked out in the calendar–it was supposed to happen at the library while we waited for Lily at a birthday party in town (Holly was […]

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By KJ / Thursday, June 5, 2008

Before 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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By KJ / Wednesday, July 30, 2008

At EAA 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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Pure blog

By KJ / Friday, October 17, 2008

Hi– I’m feeling frustrated tonight–turned a piece in to a new editor and definitely did not hit the ball out of the park. It’s not that it needs revising–of course it needs revising, we’ve never worked together before–it’s that when I reread it, even I can see that it needs revising. I got so caught up in the word count that I seem to have taken out all of the content. Ugh. But I am a professional, and I will […]

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By KJ / Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowshoeing Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Impossible! Improbable! Ridiculous! (but true?)

By KJ / Monday, March 30, 2009

You Wan lives in a foster home in China–and I found her. As in, I found the foster home, online. I found pictures of her. I found out more about her than I ever thought I’d know at all, let alone before we went to China to get her. Chalk it up to the magic of Google. Wan’s file has been in China since 2007, when someone, somewhere, declared her ready for adoption. The latest information we had dated back […]

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Goin’ Local

By KJ / Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I’ve got about 1/2 an hour this morning before I go relieve Rob at TMO (Wyatt’s pre-preschool, where somebody has to be the parent volunteer). He’s #3 to go through it, and we–along with the five other families in the class with #3–finally figured out (or maybe that should be I finally figured out) that if you split the morning it’s actually kind of fun. Anyway, I popped in for my treat of the week: one Lou’s chocolate cruller. It […]

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The Double Trailer Bike

By KJ / Monday, May 11, 2009

Today we acquired a–doubly used–double trailer bike. Also known as a double tag-a-long bike. In essence, it’s a tandem tag-a-long, because the riders must pedal in unison (although not with the adult doing the pulling). We are, collectively, very, very thrilled. We–in the form of me, Lily and Sam–tried it out, for all of a block. A great deal of core strength is required to keep us upright, so I feel this will be very good for me, although I […]

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Travel Approval, New Job, Great Day

By KJ / Thursday, May 28, 2009

We just got our travel approval from China–and I just became the kids’ media reviewer for Double X (part of Slate). A double good news whammy. FAQS: When do you travel? We won’t know until Monday, because of the Dragon Boat festival. I would be more resentful, but I happen to love dragon boats! I’d guess we’ll be gone the second half of June. What’s this job thing? I’ll be doing all the kids’ media reviews for doubleX. It’s a […]

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By KJ / Saturday, June 20, 2009

It’s 6:00 on what’s the Chinese friday–they don’t take Saturday off. They do have Sunday off. There’s been no word on our swabs. We hope they’ve decided not to tell us they were negative, because they think we’re going to start fussing about leaving, and we were very difficult about the hotel thing. They don’t, we suspect, want to come to back to us–although I’ve no doubt that if one of us is positive, we’re going down. But I think […]

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In Which Rob Tests Negative

By KJ / Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finally, way later than we expected this afternoon, Rob got his results back from yesterday. H1n1 no longer courses weakly through his veins. One more negative–as in, the results from today’s test–and he can, as he so elegantly put it (with all due respect, I’m sure) “blow this kung pao stand.”

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500 Buddhas

By KJ / Sunday, July 5, 2009

I overheard our guide explaining that each of the 500 Buddhas represented a different emotion, and that if there was a particular state of mind you were struggling with, you were supposed to do–something or another–with that Buddha. I didn’t catch what, nor am I sure what the significance of some of the more mustachio’d Buddhas would have been, emotion-wise. But whatever it was, I should have done it with the impatient looking Buddha, and the Buddha who couldn’t enjoy […]

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A dilemma

By KJ / Thursday, July 16, 2009

So. It’s 9:15. I’m bitterly exhausted. Tomorrow is…another day, another day, another day. Another day feeding them, talking to them, tending them, wiping them. Another day. If I go to bed now I’m likely to get some sleep. I will be more rested for them. But the day will come…sooner. And there I will be.

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Alone with the Needy

By KJ / Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All night I’ve been thinking–who can I get to hang out with us tomorrow morning? No babysitting Thursday mornings, see, and I’m faced with three hours alone with the dynamic duo, waiting to pick up Lily. Alone, in the house, with Mr. Mario Cart and Miss I Want Scissors I Want Painting I Want Coloring. Actually, both of those activities are fine, as they are individual and require nothing from me except, you know, something about every ten minutes, or […]

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Lily Swam Across the Pool!

By KJ / Monday, August 10, 2009

Lily Swam Across the Pool! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Double X on the Double Standard

By KJ / Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today’s Double X post actually has to do with parenting and kids–something I usually don’t talk about there. Anyone else notice that people responded to the suggestion that the CDC might recommend circumcision for boys in a VERY different way than they responded to the recommendation of the HPV vaccine for girls? To vent about the double standard, head over to Double X.

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Take One of Me Too!

By KJ / Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Take One of Me Too! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Best View in Town

By KJ / Friday, September 18, 2009

Best View in Town Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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An Afternoon of Indulgence

By KJ / Thursday, October 1, 2009

An Afternoon of Indulgence Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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The Garden Produce Project

By KJ / Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Our garden is done for the year, except for a few pumpkins that refused to turn orange (our plan is to spray paint them in glitter and go all Martha Stewart on their asses). The productive harvest is in the house. Tonight we ate soup made with the beans we grew (the shelling kind, not green beans) which was unfortunately not very good, though the beans themselves were delicious. Two ham hocks=too salty for one soup. (Good biscuits tho!) And […]

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And they’re off…

By KJ / Saturday, October 31, 2009

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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Check out In Her Boots!

You see a sexist jerk, the voice of the Modern Pioneer girl whispered in my head. I see a teaching opportunity.

There's nothing my inner super-hero likes more than being understimated.


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