Post Dinner Playtime

Usually after dinner we have 15-30 min to play before it’s time to get ready for bed. It offend takes a few times before the kids will agree. Natalie often suggests drawing, Clue, or an imaginative game. Elliott suggests ninja, superheroes, tag, etc. last night they finally agreed on “Store” (Natalie’s suggestion but Elliott could make it his own). 

Natalie’s store was “Chloe’s Botique” where you get banana split tea and cupcakes upon entry. I got my hair washed, combed, dyed, and colored – as well as a skin treatment. A for only ten dimes! Jordan got his eyebrows plucked. 

On the other hand, Elliott’s store was a ninja training camp – in the sewers. When we asked the cost of attending, he said:

No coins. No dollars. No cash. Nothing!   

(When he saw Natalie’s coins later he regretted offering his services for free). 

Jordan went to Elliott’s store first and had to shower (in the tent) before going to the boutique. 
I love playing with them!!!(random pics below)

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Fav Vaca Spot

In a kids exercise class, kids had to answer: what’s your fav place to go on vacation? Elliott said Green Bay. (The teacher has no idea what he said). Natalie said Martha’s Vineyard.   Other kids said hotels, Florida, cookies and Disney. I think our kids may have changed to Disney if they had thought of it! I think mine might be Acadia in Maine. Or just a really nice hotel with fun family activities! 

Ps so cute. Elliott still just looks up to Nat so much. She is participating in everything and he always looks to see what she is doing. 

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Coach in training

Today, Nat and E had sports camp and played baseball for the first time.  They came home loving it, and Natalie asked if she could play and if I would be her coach

I said, “if the timing works out, for sure!  But I wasn’t all that great at baseball.”

I then found this post it note.  It says, “to Daddy.  You will be a great coach no matter what.  Love, Natalie.”  With a picture of me throwing her a ball to hit.

Hard to argue with that.

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Melt my heart

Me: “I just love you so much bud”

Elliott: “There’s no better Mom than you”

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Sugar Shack

Last year we missed maple syrup season so we weren’t going to let it happen this year. One drawback: we didn’t actually get to eat pancakes at the Sugar Shack because of a 90 min wait and it was already noon! Rookie mistake. We binged on donut samples and brought syrup to take home.  The samples fresh from the tree were too watery!

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Loving Mrs. B

Natalie had the most amazing parent-teacher conference.  Seriously, it must only be downhill from here.  She is blessed with an amazingly caring and conscientious teacher Mrs. Brydges.  Here’s the hug from the conference:

Mrs. B

Mrs. Brydges and Natalie walked us through her school portfolio, which showed how her pictures, letters, numbers, writing, etc. improved since the beginning of the school year!  She said Natalie obviously shows a talent and interest in writing, but has done so good with numbers.  Earlier in the year, she would get stuck on the teens and now she can write and count up to 100!  She was one of the few students to know all word wall words (there’s about a new one every week).  She also is a good listener and is branching out to make new friends.  She is kind about letting others join in on her play.  We are so proud of her!

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Around the world…


At Elliott’s school, they do an around-the-world birthday walk. Each of those wooden sticks is a month.  For each year, Elliott walks around the sun and the teacher reads notes about that year of his life.  (We provided the notes at the beginning of the year.)  Elliott is so proud!  As are Mom and Dad (see background).

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Cutest Leprechauns in Massachusetts

Cutest Leprechauns in Massachusetts

Happy belated St. Patrick’s day!  The kids were excited to learn that they are Irish… even though Elliott walked into a neighbor’s house on St. Pat’s day (where corned beef and cabbage were cooking), plugged his nose immediately and said “What’s that smell?”

Holyoke has deep Irish roots so the crowds come out for St. Patrick’s Day.  This was our family’s 2nd year running in the St. Patty’s day race.  Luckily, the crews did an excellent job clearing the streets from Tuesday’s snowstorm!

The kids race is probably the length of a short street.  The kids are awarded with a t-shirt and cookie at the end – the cookie being the primary motivation for this crew!

I was lucky to run with Elliott.  Last year, he wanted to hold my hand the whole way.  This year, he didn’t want to – as he needed his hands free (underneath his gloves) to have all fingers pressed together.  That’s alison’s classic fast-running-superhero pose, so Elliott has adopted it as the Flash pose.  He was running so hard….


Three seconds after this photo, he started walking.  We were like 30 feet shy of the finish line.  I was trying to explain but he just said his heart was pounding so fast.  But then, he caught sight of the finish line… and shouted, “I so close!” and took off again.


There were many other festivities as well, including tons of free samples (hot chocolate and french toast flavored kettle corn!).  But, the men in blue were Elliott’s fav – and I’m pretty sure he added a bit of Irish delight to their day as well.



Jordan and I surprisingly (or at least surprisingly in my case, since I trained less and didn’t want to hurt as much during and after the race as I did last year) beat our times… he ran about 44:30 and I ran around 46:30 (which is 7:30 per mile).  Not bad for 35!

IMG_1974 IMG_1975

And a huge thanks to Alison who watched the kids at the Holyoke children’s museum while we raced… despite having had her own St. Patty’s celebration the night before.  Thanks Lala!

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A Super Hero Birthday Party for a Super Son

A hand-me-down Batman t-shirt from a neighbor, fueled by our nanny Alison’s deep interest and extensive knowledge about super heros, has resulted in 4 months of full-on Super Hero love.  So, what better way to celebrate 4 years of Elliott than with a Super Hero birthday party!?! (Which was a week early, partially because he has been waiting for his birthday every since Christmas…)

super family

Elliott and Natalie both love to bake (and taste), so we made a homemade cake.  Can you see the Batman and Flash signals?  They are obscured by the sprinkles.  Natalie was a big helper (of course) with all the birthday celebration and is so sweet to get so excited for him.


We also had many tests of super-ness:

  • Super Smart: science experiments
  • Super Strong: piñata breaking
  • Super Agile: obstacle course
  • Super Speed: race

super smart

Look at those muscles pull the cord on the pinata! (The safer 2017 version of a pinata - no wooden bat)

Look at those muscles pull the cord on the pinata! (The safer 2017 version of a pinata – no wooden bat)

And, as superheros have amazing powers, they seemed to multiple in our house.  Both through our guests – I had never met a Thor before!  And in toys.


Elliott’s favorite superhero is Wonder Woman because she has super strength, a golden lasso, handcuffs, can fly, etc.  He is definitely more of a Justice League kinda guy, as opposed to an Xman guy (that meant nothing to me a couple months ago – don’t worry if it doesn’t to you).  Other favorites include: Flash (due to super speed) and Super Man.

Here’s a recent convo:

Elliott: “I gonna be Super Man when I grow up”

Mom: “That’s awesome.  Why Super Man?”

Elliott: “Because of his super strength. And he can fly.  And he has heat vision and super hearing.”

Mom: “Those are all awesome.  But I thought Wonder Woman was your favorite Superhero and she can do all those things and more, I think?”

Elliott (somewhat incredulously with a tone of ‘well duh Mom’): “Well, Mom… I a boy.  And Wonder Woman is a girl.”

Mom: “Oh I understand” (as if gender is the only thing holding him back from realizing that dream!)

He still loves his original Batman (and his Lala)…

I am the luckiest Super Mom of this Super Family!

I am the luckiest Super Mom of this Super Family! (He did 3 wardrobe changes during this party)

One of the biggest compliments I can give to Elliott is… “I’ve learned so much about Superheros from you.”  (Huge grin.)  It is amazing, fun and funny to get a glimpse into his world of imagination.  Not a day goes by, without some awesome crime-fighting and superhero poses by this little boy.

Owning 4 years old...

Owning 4 years old…


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Snow time

Snow birds Poppy and Nana got back to their Hoosier roots with some fun snow play. 

In the 80’s, he made forts. Nowadays, it’s a Batcave. See Robin on his motorcycle too…

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