How It’s Done Blog


Once Again, in Deep DooDoo…

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Man, That Girl Can Iron!

I do own an iron. We do. Also an ironing board, with a fetching blue and white checked cover (I think. I would have to check, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I’m not actually sure where it is, but I think I could find it. There aren’t that many places to keep an ironing board, after all. They’re quite large.) So I do. Own an iron. Which means that I could iron something. I think it’s […]

Sam at the pond

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The End of Anonymity is Nigh

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What Moms Eat

Yesterday we ate lunch in the grocery store cafe. My planned lunch: an avocado roll and some sliced pineapple. The lunch I ended up eating: 1/2 box of chocolate-flavored graham crackers shaped like bunnies in the car on the way home. Wyatt had to be nursed, Lily had to sit in my lap and unroll the avocado from the rice and squish it and I had to be constantly vigilant so that my over-stimulated spawn didn’t run the other eaters […]

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Lightening is Looking Limp…

Other than that, all I have to say tonight is, why am I still awake? I’m feeling quite low. It’s evident that Lily has pinkeye, which will necessitate an hour and a half excursion to the doctor, as they no longer just take my word for it (or anyone’s; it’s not like I’m some sort of pinkeye boy who cried wolf). It’s like a giant, ugly conspiracy to keep me from writing. Which I’m evidently a part of, as here […]

What we did while Sam was at school today.

What we did while Sam was at school today. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

The skiing is not so good.

The skiing is not so good. Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

Sam in NYC

Sam in NYC Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

Something in the Nature of a Miracle

No, not the fact that I am posting actual text blog entries twice in one day. Rob is out of town. This is night two of my three day solo. I had no babysitting today–which is to say, I had five hours of babysitting in order to allow me to ski with Lily and then sit with her in the ski lodge and wait for Sam. I had no free time today, how’s that. But we got through dinner and […]

This is going to end badly

This is going to end badly Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Note what he has done to the cone.

Lily’s Spring Concert rehearsal

Lily’s Spring Concert rehearsal Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

Big fun at the Norwich Fair

Big fun at the Norwich Fair Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

Big girl bed!

Big girl bed! Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

Wyatt and Zach

Wyatt and Zach Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

Dogs in the Snow

Dogs in the Snow Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

We Finally Learn to Fly

The three and I flew from Boston to Dallas today. It’s a four hour flight, but came in at 5 1/2 (plus) due to 1) delay on the ground but in the plane because of storms and 2) no gate when we finally DID land. And you know what? It was fine. Sam and Wyatt sat in the row in front of Lily and I. Wy napped for the first hour or so after takeoff (that would be hour 2 […]

My Bag of Rocks

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.

Quarantine Fun, Day One, and a Panic

Duplicates, I know–I had some trouble uploading. Ok, if all those swabs come back negative, I’ll be the best quarantine mother ever. I will make paper dolls, I will build card houses, I will teach sam to play chess. I will be 100% present, I swear. We will know in an hour. If anyone is positive, it’s more quarantine for everyone, and the hospital for the positive person. The embassy has said they will intervene to make sure an adult […]

Yum?

Yum? Originally uploaded by kjda Every single one of us at least TRIED this. Wyatt and Lily had several bites each. I can’t say anyone really liked it, but we tried it. The sign said it was a bean, but I have serious doubts. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Shamian Island: The Home Stretch

Shamian Island is best described as the place the British took over, back when tea and opium were in constant traffic across the sea, and although I am sure there was razing and looting involved in its creation, the result is extraordinarily pleasant. Shady verandas. Palm trees. Wide park-like walkways. Few cars. We are staying at the White Swan. It used to be right next to the consulate, so everyone stayed here. Now it’s right next to an entire cottage […]

Being a Good Sport

Being a Good Sport Originally uploaded by kjda I squeezed her cone trying to peel the wrapper off, but she can take it. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Community, oh, Community

Everyone needs buds. MIne come in, um, human and online form. Physical and online? Ok, that sounds better. I couldn’t parent without mine, and I couldn’t write without my crew of fellow writers, too–a couple of whom, today, totally offhand, provided me with complete inspiration when I really needed it. Writers (like parents) tend to work alone. I’m lucky enough to have a couple of editors I’m in regular contact with, and a couple of steady gigs that mean I […]

And We Thought Our Trip to China was Bad

Imagine if we’d had to leave without Rory. It just happened, to this family. Here, in a nutshell, is the United States’ new plan for China adoptions: 1. Complete masses of paperwork. Travel to China. Adopt and become responsible for child. 2. Have child tested for TB. 3. If child tests positive for TB, stay in China for 2-6 months, as child will not be allowed to travel to the US, but is no longer the responsibility of anyone in […]

Wild Emotional Fluctuations (on my part)

After we went to Cape Cod, I had this whole post in my head about how, when you were young, you always imagined you’d go on vacation and come back changed, and now I had–I’d come back fully accepting and loving Rory and happy with our family. And then the last day had its ups and downs, and I lost the feeling, and since then, it’s gone wildly back and forth. It’s scheduling time, and change time, and as much […]

In Exchange for a Smile Picture

In Exchange for a Smile Picture Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Contrary to the Picture

Contrary to the Picture Originally uploaded by kjda Rory quite liked the Ferris Wheel. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

You Know What I Love? School! (Plus Activity Angst)

School gives us a glorious level of consistency in our lives that I would otherwise be unable to achieve. Every morning, for four hours, there is ritual and order in Wyatt and Rory’s lives. Every day, for 6 hours, the same can be said for Lily. Every day, for seven hours, Sam is safe and surrounded by kids his own age, learning age-appropriate stuff at a school that suits him very well. And every day, when I get everybody back, […]

When Lily is Sweet

When Lily is Sweet Originally uploaded by kjda She is very very sweet. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

And they’re off…

And they’re off… Originally uploaded by kjda Trick or Treating: Not My Department KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

The Big Green Womens Hockey Team

The Big Green Womens Hockey Team Originally uploaded by kjda And their many many fans. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Originally uploaded by kjda Well, ok, that’s a Christmas tree. Which we put up, because yesterday we actually had time to do it, and not in between rushing to one thing and racing off to another. Of course, one reason that we can do that is that what you see there is a big ole FAKE tree. Yep, right here in New England. I grew up in the south, with a very practical mother and an allergy to […]

New Years Resolution 1

New Years Resolution 1 Originally uploaded by kjda The kids get more chores. Christmas is a good time to be reminded of the abundance that we share…and also of the work that goes into it. It’s time, I think, to get more help (and accept some imperfections…). I know, the most common kid-related resolutions must be stuff like “spend more time with them” or “yell less” (made that one, anyway) and “have more patience” (ditto). But we have had such […]

One Sparkly Day

  One Sparkly Day Originally uploaded by kjda Post day exhaustion. THis was also me, trying out the multiple photo share option on the iPhone. Turns out they each come as a separate email.  Ok, got it. I love this picture–had to sneak to get it. I suspect Miss Thumb does not want to be recorded like this, although we’ve never objected to her thumb-sucking at all–in fact, we love it. For one thing, it helps her sleep, and for […]

CRAZY SPORTS PARENTS or the MMMRPH MRRPH (or, Hockey Drama in Perspective)

You may recall my muffled, angry comments about a mysterious local dispute I referred to as the “MPHOLLYPMHRPYLL MURPH MURPH Tempest, teapot MUMBLE MUTTER GRUPM GRIPE” in an earlier post (one too short to merit a link) and then questioned everyone about here, referring to the whole kerfluffle as “Thingy…” If so, or even if you don’t, prepare yourself for what has, thus far, made nearly everyone I’ve described it to giggle in its utter, insane, blown-out-of-proportion-ness. Here’s what I […]

BoxSled Racing

BoxSled Racing Originally uploaded by kjda With Hannah Kearney at the start gate! KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Sprinkler in April

Sprinkler in April Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Go to Your Room. And Then Come Out.

The go-to punishment in our house is a common one: go to your room. Now, I know that that’s a hot-button for Rory–go away from me, because you’re bad–and although she gets the sending, she rarely gets the leaving (other attempts, like a time-out chair and such, failed). She gets an immediate parental visit, a hug, a reminder of why she’s there, and nearly always, instant release–which she then inevitably refuses to take. I’ve talked about this before–how hard it […]

My Lame Last Day Picnic

My Lame Last Day Picnic Originally uploaded by kjda For the more elegant version, see below. I am having a bit of a crisis of confidence today, on many levels. On the one hand, you know how when you were a teenager, you dreamed that you would go away somewhere and come back changed? I feel like I did. We have been back for 14 days now, and I still haven’t lost my temper– which is what I mean by […]

35 Miles!

35 Miles! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

Accepting a “Different Parenting Style”

The New York Times’ Motherlode blog has a plea for advice from a young mother who says parenting is “ruining her marriage.” I scarcely need to offer you a synopsis of her plaint: Essentially, she performs singing puppet shows with cutlery while her spouse is thumbing through his e-mail on his BlackBerry. Who hasn’t heard that before? In fact, this month’s Parents magazine highlights an argument so nearly identical to this one for its article on “How to Fight in […]

Vacation begins

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

Worth the Late Night

It was one of the rare goals of summer that I actually pulled off at our house: last night was the peak of the Perseid meteor showers, and my 9-year-old and I stayed up for it. In all honestly, it neared being a bust, clouds drifted overhead frequently, and he was so sleepy (I actually let him fall asleep outside, then went out and woke him at midnight for viewing) that I think he only clocked one or two meteors. […]

It’s the First Day of School for the Adopted Kid!

First Day of School #2! Today was Rory’s second “First Day of School.” There’s a new head teacher in Rory’s classroom this year; one who appears to have certain fairly defined expectations for how things will go. Last week, she invited each student to come in to meet her, bringing something to show her—a book, she suggested, or something important—and to see the changes in the classroom. We adopted 4-year-old Rory last summer, and she brought, as she will always […]

Happy Birthday Rory!

Rory had a (mostly) glorious day, and we also had our first “adoption moment.” For Rory, it was special snack at school with a mommy visit (Rainbow meringues and rainbow fruit cups, an inspiration, because a) Rory doesn’t really like cupcakes and b) the school expressed some anti-cupcake thoughts, proposing “healthy cupcakes” or maybe “special cheese and crackers.” Neither of those would have worked for Rory, who has had rainbows on her mind ever since Wyatt’s birthday last March, when […]

From Lily

From Lily Originally uploaded by kjda I have been walking by this for a Week and just realized what it said. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

The Organizing Bug

I have the New Year’s organizing bug, early. I can’t tell if I just want to get things in order (yes) or if I’m procrastinating a work assignment I’m having trouble with (yes). I guess it’s both. The basement is borderline organized, all kinds of things are planned out (including some holiday surprises that can’t be revealed here). My computer files are sorted. Backups are being arranged. It’s like it’s New Year’s Resolution season. I just want to GET STUFF […]

A “Parenting on Track” Plot

I’m a newly converted disciple of one Vicki Hoefle, parenting guru, who created the Parenting on Track program. My neighbor (flockmother) loaned it to me, and I quickly sprang for our own copies–which I am already loaning out. It’s a program that’s more about what YOU do than what your kids do–no starcharts or reward boxes, both of which have failed us–and one of the basic tenets is the idea of what Vicki calls “privileges and responsibilities.” Carrots and sticks […]

Making Valentines and Power Struggles

If you haven’t made Valentines yet, or have rashly promised treats for a classroom party, might I recommend these? It’s a Family Fun recipe and couldn’t possibly be easier. Sam and Wyatt made their own, with just a little help from me spreading it in the pan and cutting it. The results caused the kids to jump around the room shrieking “It’s so good! It’s so good!” and then “I love you! I love you!” So I guess, from a […]