Raising Devils

Book Contest: Help Save My Morning Routine!

By KJ / Tuesday, November 3, 2009

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!

By KJ / Friday, November 13, 2009

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

By KJ / Thursday, December 10, 2009

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

By KJ / Sunday, January 17, 2010

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

By KJ / Sunday, February 7, 2010

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?

By KJ / Saturday, February 20, 2010

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

By KJ / Friday, March 26, 2010

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

By KJ / Saturday, April 17, 2010

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

By KJ / Thursday, May 27, 2010

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

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I Dunno…

By KJ / Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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)

By KJ / Friday, July 16, 2010

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 […]

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

By KJ / Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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?

By KJ / Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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.

By KJ / Monday, August 30, 2010

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

By KJ / Friday, September 17, 2010

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

By KJ / Sunday, October 17, 2010

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

By KJ / Thursday, November 25, 2010

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

By KJ / Sunday, December 19, 2010

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

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By KJ / Sunday, January 23, 2011
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Farewell, Great Wolf Lodge

By KJ / Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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

By KJ / Sunday, March 27, 2011

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

By KJ / Saturday, April 23, 2011

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

By KJ / Sunday, May 15, 2011

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?

By KJ / Thursday, June 2, 2011

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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Fairness, Part Two

By KJ / Saturday, June 25, 2011

We were at Sam and Lily’s “Move Up” ceremony when the next utterly unfair event took place. Rory, ten minutes into the event, says “lappy.” I say, no way. You’re a wiggling, squiggling ball of pointy bones that kick, and there is no way I’m holding you on my lap for however long this is. And it is long. Not really, in the grand scheme of things, but long enough. Rob is seated one row in front of us and […]

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Books I Have Loved: Mamalita and The Anti-Romantic Child

By KJ / Sunday, July 10, 2011

I’ve been reading some good stuff lately. I love a good, engrossing memoir, and these were both tough to put down. Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir by Jessica O’Dwyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars I loved this memoir of a procedurally tough Guatemalan adoption, which I know others who’ve lived through. It reminded me of Love in the Driest Season. An unflinching look at both Guatemala and its corrupt systems, and at adoptive parents, besides. It’s an exciting and even […]

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What’s Written on My Arm Today

By KJ / Sunday, July 31, 2011

I struggle with impatience. With yelling. With ranting voices in my head telling me how much I SUCK, and Everything SUCKS and my whole day is a great big pile of SUCKITUDE. Which is just patently not true, but the voices are amazingly determined. This is as bad for me as it is for the rest of the family. Worse, really, because I have to listen to both the voices AND me yelling or snarling or snarking, while they just […]

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By KJ / Friday, August 26, 2011

Admitted Originally uploaded by kjda I love Lily’s new shoes so much, I checked to see if they come in my size. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Annals of Lily Jekyll, Lily Hyde: Lily Lies.

By KJ / Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This morning Lily looked straight at Rob, and lied. Not about anything big. Rob said, “Did you do breakfast hokey?” (One of her jobs this week, running the hokey over the rug tiles under the bar where they eat breakfast.) And she said, “yes.” And she hadn’t. I knew she hadn’t. I knew it by the half smile, and by the fact that I’d been in the kitchen all morning. Rob said, “really?” And Lily said “yes,” again. “She’s lying,” […]

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Come visit me at Motherlode

By KJ / Monday, October 10, 2011

For today, I offer you two topics: School lunches: Fix ’em from the top down, or the bottom up? And: Middle School locker bling: a harmless outshoot of too much igloo decorating on Club Penguin, or consumerism run amuck?

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Lily’s Braids

By KJ / Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lily’s Braids Originally uploaded by kjda Lily is going to be Hermione tomorrow night. Hermione has bushy hair. Lily has straight hair.

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Results Achieved

By KJ / Friday, November 25, 2011

Results Achieved Originally uploaded by kjda Through a judicious application of bribes and threats. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Old Enough to Do What I Want

By KJ / Sunday, January 29, 2012

And what I want to do, on this beautiful, sunny, glorious, relatively warm winter afternoon is… Not ski Not take-a-walk Not sled Not cross-country ski Not hike No, I want to stay inside, bake some cookies, and lounge around with a big pile of magazines and the Sunday Times, and I am DOING IT. I do feel a little guilty. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But I feel like I should “get out there.” “Just do it.” “Get outside!” “Take advantage.” I […]

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Actual Mail

By KJ / Sunday, June 24, 2012

Actual Mail Originally uploaded by kjda I am so happy, and feeling yanked back to childhood, because someone-as in Ayun Halliday– sent me a big fat fabulous envelope in the mail!!!

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Just a Big Pile of Snot and Misery

By KJ / Friday, February 4, 2005

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Once Again, in Deep DooDoo…

By KJ / Friday, March 11, 2005

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Define "Gossip"

By KJ / Wednesday, April 6, 2005

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

By KJ / Sunday, May 1, 2005

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Imaginary Money

By KJ / Thursday, June 23, 2005

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!

By KJ / Tuesday, September 6, 2005

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The Thanksgiving Weight-loss Plan

By KJ / Monday, November 28, 2005

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!

By KJ / Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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By KJ / Thursday, March 9, 2006

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

By KJ / Wednesday, April 26, 2006

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By KJ / Wednesday, September 6, 2006

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

By KJ / Saturday, February 24, 2007

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)

By KJ / Saturday, July 7, 2007

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.

By KJ / Saturday, October 13, 2007

And an elf. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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In the leaves

By KJ / Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In the leaves Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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Lily in the snow

By KJ / Tuesday, February 26, 2008

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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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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