Happy 5th Birthday Elliott!!!

Happy Birthday to the sweetest boy -who has been counting down to his birthday since early january. More text to come later but here are some pics!


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Another smart cookie – Elliott

Elliott’s parent-teacher conference isn’t for another few weeks, but I’ve been so impressed with him lately!  Tonight, we were reading an Arthur book about a Spellathon, and he confidently said he’d win his spellathon at his school because he knows how to spell out the words.  I asked him DOG and CAT, and he got both right on the first try!  We tried BIG and BED next – some trouble with the short vowel sounds, but he did great with the consonants.

Even more impressively, this was a conversation the other day….

Elliott: “Mom, did you know that 10, one time is 10.  10 two times is 20.  10 three times in 30.  10 four times is 40.  10 five times is 50.  10 six times is 60.  10 seven times is 70.  10 eight times is 80.  10 nine times is 90.  and 10 ten times is 100.”

Me: “Whoa, bud, that is amazing.  How do you know that?”

Elliott: “Its easy peasy.  I can just figure it out in my head.  And, do you know that five four times is 20?”

Now, to be fair, he struggled today when Auntie Becky – a math teacher – quizzed him on two different ways to make 10.  So, we’ll work on that next.  But, what’s best, is he seems to like learning and is proud of his learning.  He’s also learned so many letters and improved his writing so much this year.  I cannot believe my baby is really getting kindergarten ready!

Elliott snow

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Natalie’s parent-teacher conference

Natalie had her second parent-teacher conference of the year!  I’m so proud of our star student!

  • She is reading above grade level.  She was even chosen as one of the two best readers in the class to read at an assembly for black history month!  She’s probably at K level, but only “needs” to be at “I” by the end of the year.
  • She wrote that her favorite subject is “siyents” (science).  She loves the science-related kits and projects that Aunt Becky and Uncle Mike have gotten her, and her favorite constellation is Orion, I believe.  She esp. likes chemistry.
  • She wants to get better at her writing.  (She works really hard at her writing and is a good writer – but wants to get even better.)  At the beginning of the year, she wrote a “small moments” book about our trip to Cape Cod and used a lot of detail.  She really likes writing how-to books, like how to make a pepperoni pizza.  She recently wrote a book about her favorite color and opened with an interesting question to grab the reader’s attention.  (The book was about the color blue, which isn’t really her favorite color but the teacher chose pink and Natalie knew she wasn’t supposed to copy that.)
  • She works well with others – even her math partner who sometimes picks his nose and recently “blamed” her for “pushing him” off the stand-up desk, even though he really just fell.  (This was a BIG deal to Natalie, who is a teacher pleaser, and definitely didn’t want to be viewed negatively at all – luckily, a neighbor boy game to her defense.)

She still misses kindergarten – more choice time, and her lovely, caring teacher.  She doesn’t LOVE 1st grade like she loved kindergarten, but I’m happy she seems happy each day (although she cheers for snow days).  Her favorite time of day is usually specials, especially Gym on Tues & Fri and art and technology on Thursday.

We’re so lucky to be the parents of a sweet girl who tries hard and is pretty smart (and cute).

Nat snow day


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Woodstock, Vermont

Some pictures from our recent trip to Woodstock, VT…no kids! Alison offered to fly in to b hang out with the kiddos so we took her up on it.

We missed them, but not too much. Snowshoeing, a spa at a swanky hotel, breweries, racquetball, today, and shipping. It was a fun 54 hours!!!

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Computer graphics by Elliott

Elliott and I had some time to play computer games while Natalie and Mom were at a birthday party.  Check out his creations!


He wants to make sure I mention that the car can travel over OR under hot lava, and the robot can turn into the car.  Whoa!

Elliott House

My RobotMy Car

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After months and months of counting down, We were so lucky to have Lala visit! It was a very happy reunion!!! She jumped right back into her old routine – saying hi and hugging Ed the crossing guard, convincing Ms April to allow her to sneak a peak during Natalie’s dance class, reading at LMI, etc.

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Lousy morning

Last night….

Me: “is there anything special you want to do tomorrow?

Natalie: “can we just have a lousy morning?”

Me: (chuckle) “Do you mean lazy morning? I don’t think you want to have a lousy morning”

Natalie: “I mean lazy! What does lousy mean?”

Me: “bad. So you asked for a bad morning”

Natalie: (hysterical laughing) “I mean lazy! I mean lazy!”

I love when the kids try out words they aren’t exactly sure about! Funny to hear and I’m proud they are taking a risk!

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Breakfast in Bead

E came up with the idea for breakfast in bed. He asked for it to be served on “that thing you put cookies on”.

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Snow Day

We got about one inch of snow and school was cancelled today. Natalie’s 5th day of cancellation or late start. :(. These New Englanders aren’t Midwestern tough.

On the bright side, in between conference calls, we got in some very creative play.

Nat made her own closet for Stella and perfected the set up in her room. (Warning to Daddy who is away – she moved her dresser and lamp on her own to make room).

And Elliott had me trace his body to make a pint-size Optimus Prime (with a chocolate bar below his feet because why not?)

And they each helped each other out. Nat helped color. Elliott helped make hangers.

Natalie also read to her bro in bed this morning while is showered!!! When we were reading before bed tonight, E wasn’t quite as happy. Nat tooted and E shouted “get me a blanket! SOS! SOS!”

And Nat organized her Girl Scout cookies! I used to love doing that with my mom and sisters for the whole troop. This order was smaller – 22 with Tagalongs taking the lead as most popular. Although Nat should get extra commission for up-selling S’mores cookies to both Grandma and Jira even though they are $1 more!

I’m such a lucky Mom. We miss our Dado who is in Scottsdale. He’s pretty lucky right now too.

Okay… now the downside, off to work on a contract. The same one I was working on at 6:15am.

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A goof Thx

These pics are in no particular order but definitely all being a smile to my face.

1. Roro continues to be a HUGE part of the family. Dad and Elliott even hold his “hands” (that little collar) during dinner prayers. Note – Elliott has also been wearing those stegosaurus pjs often to assist on his impending transformation into a Dino. He is hoping the full transformation happens by his fifth birthday, which is about 62 days away. (The countdown has begun). He says his backbone is the beginning of spikes. His tailbone is the start of his tail. And his teeth are changing to be more shell shaped which is better for eating plants. Tonight he told me he hoped he would be in the newspaper soon – as the first Dino to live in human times. “I will be so famous”

2 no idea what victory he is celebrating here but mind you, it’s zero degrees outside. And did you see that he is in the midst of housing a bag of raw almonds. What kid likes that for a treat!!?

3. Not sure what he is doing here but you can tell he loves superheroes and his construction plate from Nana!

4 and 5. His bff Ethan and he got dressed up super goofy on their play date. We hear about Ethan at least 12 times a day. The other day Elliott asked me if I knew his middle name!

Tonight at bedtime Elliott said he wished we were made together. It’s great to be so loved. We laugh about how we would argue if we went to his school or my work. We decided I would have to start teaching at his school.

And when I gave him a kiss good night he double “dabs” it in to keep it. And makes me do the same. He does this for every one, every kiss. “Dab dab” has been going on for like two months!

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