Happy 11 Months, Conor!

Happy 11 Months, Conor!  (Two days ago)

I cannot believe this guys is almost 1!  I have a lot of memories from last December, waddling around the neighborhood for exercise (running downgraded to jogging downgraded to wogging downgraded to walking) and watching Natalie’s basketball practice on an uncomfortable gym floor barely being able to get back up.  So, it feels SO MUCH BETTER to be running 6 miles, lifting weights, sleeping through the night, etc.  2019 wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.  See below for some amazing pictures!

This is my happy place

Yay! Brats! Cannot eat just one.

Isn’t my Dad the best? He’s strong. He can hold me forever. And his teeth are so white.

Why do my brother and sister get to have all the fun when I’m sleeping? Give me some of those small cribbage pieces to put in my mouth. And cards to crunch.

Who is so big?!? Its Conor!

My sister and brother like to climb up these walls. I, instead, recommend pulling on the ropes.

Mom, give me some of your oatmeal.

Ah, that’s better.


Weight: He’s around 25 lbs and at the top of the scales.

Personality:  Amazing.  He is happy to see all of us.  He makes us laugh and laughs along with us.  He is a chatterbox.  He has a lot to say.  It seems like he is really good at “parroting” what we say.  I swear, we’ve heard the following: love ya, blueberry, banana, yum, brother, Natalie, etc.  (There’s more too – I just cannot remember them all.)

Funny story: On Sunday, I fed Conor lunch as quickly as possible because we wanted to take Natalie and Elliott rock climbing for an early Christmas gift.  His last thing to eat was eggs.  A few minutes after I got him out of his high chair and was holding him, he had a big burb.  A big egg burb.  I scrunched up my nose, plugged my nose and then waved my hand in front of my nose and said “PU”.  He laughed aloud.  We were all there to hear it, so we all laughed.  It was awesome.

Favorite foods: Blueberries (which is very appropriate, given his nickname before birth was Blueberry), Oatmeal and O’s.  He likes a lot of other things too but is getting a little more picky.  Bananas used to be a favorite and aren’t any longer.

Another funny story (the beginning is not funny): My cousin Matt passed away 13 years ago on December 8th.  He was 20, I believe.  I was telling Natalie and Elliott about him.  There’s many fun and funny things to share because Matt was hilarious.  One of my favorites is when he was in elementary school.  “Your mama is so fat…” jokes were popular, and he had the best one: “Your mama is so fat that when she sat on a rainbow, Skittles popped out.”  This inspired some “Your baby brother is so fat” jokes as well, like “Your baby is so fat that O’s get stuck in his neck fat and under his double chin.”

New interests: When we finish up dinner and are cleaning up, he loves to crawl all around the island area – sometimes picking up some extra food that he dropped – and explore the pantry as well.  (So gross when he explores the broom.)  He has now found the tuperware cupboard, so there’s no hope of neatness there.  I do have to admit though, its much better than him helping with the dishwasher, which is right next to the tuperware cabinet.  Pulling out forks seems like a recipe for disaster.  He also loves this “Baby,” which is a small doll that Elliott used to have and call “Little Boy.”

Physical talents: Okay, I know that some kids can walk by now (including his only baby friend, Sarah).  My kids have always been so girth-filled that their physical movements have been on the slower side.  However, Conor can stand like a champ.  He can stand for 10-15 seconds, even on soft surfaces like my bed, and then does a deep knee bend to get back down.  Oh yeah.

Schedule: He usually sleeps from about 7:15 p.m. to 7 a.m. with a morning nap of 1-1.5 hours and an afternoon nap of 1-1.5 hours (always up by 5 p.m.).  He is nursing 3-4 times a day, depending on whether I’m home or not and has seemed to ban bottles, which isn’t a big deal since he eats so many big meals a day.  It can take him up to an hour to finish a meal sometimes.  And, its not because he is a slow eater.  Email me if you want to see a video of him chowing on blueberries.  During weekdays, he is with our nanny, Kaitlynn, who he loves.  She is so good about playing all sorts of stuff around the house with him.

Sibling Relationships: Elliott gives a really sweet “Nigh, Nigh Conor” (higher voice than normal) with a little peck or hug.  Natalie gets upset with me if I put him down for nap or bedtime without an extensive good bye from her.  Even when she is done eating breakfast in the morning and needs to go upstairs to brush her teeth, she has an extensive “see you later” process, which includes her walking backwards slowly, waving, and saying “see you later Conor” with a huge smile on her face.   It’s no wonder that when he gets a chance to crawl out of his bedroom, he totally bypasses the dangerous stairs right there and goes straight for Natalie’s room.  There’s so much in there that he would LOVE to get his hands on.  And, it nearly always contains one of his favorite people!  (When he does get in there, she emphatically pleas with me to pick him up, which I do understand.  There’s a lot of little pieces of legos, etc. all around.)

We are definitely lucky!



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Happy belated birthday Nana

We got to celebrate Nana’s birthday 10 days late with cranberry pecan cookies. Nat is definitely my baker girl! (And sometimes Elliott likes to help, but he was busy with legos so he just wanted to do tastes, which Natalie is always so happy to accommodate.)

before N and P flew in, E joined me for our first Holyoke vs South Hadley Thanksgiving Day football game. His first football game ever. It was a great date. I packed hot chocolate (thank goodness bc the concession stand wasn’t open). And we ran out of milk so I added some half and half to make it extra creamy. He was so polite to my co-workers. Since it was cold I got to snuggle him for an hour. He is a pretty cute burrito boy. Xoxo

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The kids and I have been reading Roald Dahl – we are now on to Matilda!  She inspired us with a limerick about her teacher so I’ve written two. (while my kids were also inspired by If I built a house and were designing their dream houses)

My kids always like to tease me

Tickling under my chin and knee

Then I say no, no, no

But still they go, go, go

Early to bed may help, let’s see


Conor is about to turn one

He’s a chubby boy and so much fun

he lives peak-a-boo

and chews on a shoe

But my back hurts, he weighs a ton


P.S.  pic is from brat night  Conor ate a whole one! (Cut up into about 32 pieces)







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Open house

To stuff myself with turkey. (Didn’t know that to be true!)

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Happy Halloween!!

Natalie picked our Conor’s angel costume! And Elliott picked out Jordan’s Ash costume (the owner of Pickachu).
These last two are throwbacks to 2011 and 2013!!

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Happy 10 Months, Conor!

Happy 10 Months to Conor!

Conor is so fun – and mobile!  He is quick to smile and definitely happy to see us.  When we talk down the stairs in the morning, his whole body shakes with excitement as he anticipates walking into the kitchen to see Daddy, Natalie and Elliott.  Natalie just added that he has begun to be very attached to his mama… crying when I leave the room.

Gross Motor: Scoot-crawls (a mix between Elliott’s perfect crawling and Natalie’s odd bum scoot.)  Pulls himself to standing – and sometimes gracefully sits down.  He pulls himself up on everything, even on the outside of the large bath tub and then turns on the knob. Can stand on his own for up to 10 seconds.  Loves to rough house on the couch.

Favorite Foods: BLUEBERRIES (fitting, since this was his en utero nickname), BANANAS, puff, O’s.  We recently introduced peanut butter – he loves it, just like a Longmeadow Linville always does (see pick below).  I think Nat and  Jordan could eat PB for every meal.  He seemed to have a food sensitivity to dairy and eggs when he was little, but that doesn’t seem to be the case any more!  Yay!

Favorite Books: 5 little lady bugs, you aren’t dinosaur, any lift-the-flap book,  He isn’t that into Eric Carle, which was def. a Natalie favorite.

Favorite things to do: Couch-aerobics (e.g. climbs up on the couch, rolls over off the couch), pulling bins out, play kitchen toys, standing up on the play kitchen, being outside, crashing Magnatiles, rolling balls (we barely have any and need to get him some), being by his family, chewing on things, playing “boom” with Natalie, playing with his friend Sarah (who is one of Elliott’s best friend’s little sister – and the daughter of the only mom I know who is as old as me and has an infant)

Words and Sounds: Mama,Dada,ba,y,and na.(says “boom!”once and awhile.)

Schedule: His naps are definitely later than most kids’ naps.

7:15 – Wakes by 7:15, nurses, eats breakfast.
8:20 – Walks N&E to school every weekday and then plays
10:15 – 12:15 – Morning nap
12:15 – Eats lunch & play some more
1:00 – on Wed, he gets to go to a little babies class at the library
2:30 – Picks up N&E from school every weekday and then plays
4:00 – 5:00 – Afternoon nap
5:30 – Dinner & nurse
7:00 – Nurse & go to bed by 7

Yay! I get to play with the big kids!


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Grandma visited!

Grandma visited a couple weeks ago. Each kids loved their 1:1 Grandma time. Conor played on his mat with her a lot. Elliott and G drew Pokémon (and E loved the Pokémon cards she brought!) Natalie and G did nails. She also came to the LEGO race with us and apple picking. Yum!

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Happy 9 Months, Conor! (posted a week late)

Weight / Height:  TBD – appt is at the end of the month, but I’m guessing close to 25 lbs.  The jokes about ‘is he ready to try out for the Patriots yet?’ and ‘did they give him a license upon delivery?’ etc continue.  Clayton mentioned the other day… “Your baby has a really big head.”

Personality: Fun, cute, sweet, easy going, exploring.

Food:  He eats almost everything, even the fish that got us all sick last weekend.  (Poor guy was very constipated afterwards.)  Given that N&E have more preferneces for what they like and don’t like, I forgot how happy babies are to eat almost anything – even if they make a face at first.  He will just skip what he doesn’t like – all that I can remember is skipping rasberries and some crusty white bread.  He really likes avocados, blueberries, bananas, sweet potato fries.

Interests:  He likes playing with kitchen toys and other baby toys.  He loves crashing magnatiles.  Chasing balls.  And, of course, putting everything in his mouth.

Milestones:  He is definitely crawling all over the place.  He has a bit of Natalie’s peculiar baby scoot, where one leg usually drags behind.  He often “takes a knee,” which is a really wobbly pose that allows him to stop, check out what’s going on and clap.  He can pull himself up on things.  He has 6 teeth.  He is clapping.

Words:  His first word was Mama!!!  (That has never happened for me before – Natalie’s first word was cheese and Elliott’s was Dada.)  (Admittedly, Mama seemed to be a word he said when distressed… it was basically like, Mama…. figure out what I need.)  He also says Dada.  Elliott thinks his first word was Robot.  He maybe has said sis, bro and banana.  I’m typing this as Daddy feeds him a snack and I just keep hearing “mama”.

Schedule:  Usually wakes up by 7:15.  Nurses & eats.  Takes N&E to school.  Plays.  Nap around 10.  Milk and food around 12.  Plays.  Picks up N&E around 2:45.  Nap around 4 for about an hour.  Nurses around 5:30.  Dinner.  Bedtime by 7:15/7:30.  He doesn’t use a pacifier, but I toss in one of his loveys to help him sleep (either the fawn – aka fawnie – or penny the penguin).

Favorite Books:  The Usborne (you’re not my dinosaur/reindeer/etc) stories and Karen Katz lift the flap books.  And the 5 little lady bugs.  And that’s about it.

Downsides: The same downside I cited for Elliott – he is a tank.  My upper right shoulder is permanently sore.  Thank goodness his Daddy is stronger than me – see a pic from our plane ride to Chicago.

If you want a blast from the past, read Elliott’s 9 month update from Dec. 2013.

Weight / Height: On Dec 31st, he was 22 lbs 12 oz (90-95th percentile), 29 inches (85th -percentile – though I think he was a bit short changed on this one), with a head circumference of 18 7/8 inches (98th+ percentile).  Don’t you love his chunky canckles? (Photo credit: Natalie)

Personality: Sweet, Easy Going, Smiley, Curious and Content .  We recently set up a new toy shelf and he loves scooting over there to check out cars, balls, Natalie’s guitar and whatever else he can find.

Hey, what’s happening?

Interests: His sister.  If it’s Natalie or something of Natalie’s, he’s usually interested in it.  (Don’t tell Nat this but on the rare occasion when only he and I are in the house, we sneak into Natalie’s room and I let him play with her Minnie figurine, a Hello Kitty doll, Baby Ellie… stuff he usually doesn’t get to get his hands – or slimy, drooly mouth – on.)  He seems to like cards and dollhouse.  He likes making the door stopper bounce back and forth.  Unf, he likes putting shows in his mouth – he is still obsessed with putting everything in his mouth.

Thanks for being my data to my big sister’s Dora Dance birthday party, Grandma!

Foods: This boy can eat.  Everything and anything.  He eats healthier than any of us – lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and soft meats/proteins.  No eggs or peanut butter yet.  We haven’t done a lot of tough meats – we’ve erred on the side of turkey meatballs, roasted pork, fish.  He mostly drinks breast milk (~5x a day), but I’m typing this as I fly back from Boston… and I know he definitely needed to have some formula while I was away.  I’m a lot more relaxed about nursing this time around – I figure, we all do the best we can and a little formula every couple of days is not going to hurt him.  And will help me stay sane (pumping is the worst!).

Allergies: He had a bad reaction (hives) to amoxicillin (which is in the same family as penicillin), so I doubt he’ll be getting that ever again.  I am allergic too but didn’t have a reaction until 4th or 5th grade.  And, I thought that we might escape the inhaler with him, but unfortunately, after our 4th doc visit in about a month, he was sent home with an inhaler for a respiratory infection.  He thinks its a fun, chewable toy though!

Yum – delicioso!

Milestones: He has 4 teeth!  I think #3 finally poked through around Dec 8th and the 4th around Dec 11th.  His top two teeth were just bulging for so long – I felt so bad for him.  He is really great at getting around…. He effortlessly transitions between stomach/crawling and sitting, so he can pivot all around and it’s hard to figure out where he’s going next.  As most of you know, we live in a long, narrow house, so when Natalie and I will go from the living room to kitchen to get something, he might quickly whine, but then we stick our heads out to encourage him and he tries his darndest to catch up.  Usually.  Then, Natalie will freak saying that he’s after her feet, and I remind her she is way bigger and can just run away.  I wonder how long that will work for.

Schedule: Thank goodness I’m on a reduced work schedule – otherwise, I wouldn’t get to see this boy much!  He wakes up between 6:30 and 7 a.m. (Dad usually handles the morning stuff, since I try to work out a couple times a week or have back exercises to do – see below) and is in bed by 6:30 p.m.  He usually doesn’t wake up at night, but when he does, I send in Dad – under the excuse that I smell like milk.  He is down to two naps a day and the range between 1-2 hours.  One nap at 9ish and another at 1pmish.  (I’m including Elliott’s schedule in posts more than I used to because Alex and Jira seem to ask for my opinion on baby schedules every couple months, so this will be an easy historical record!)

Guy Time!

Any Downsides?: Elliott is a tank, so between lifting he and his big sister (and doing other stuff around the house), I threw out my back about 3 weeks ago.  Luckily, I have a great Physical Therapist on speed dial – and an awesome husband who constantly encourages me to let him do the heavy lifting and carting – so after a week, I was feeling significantly better.  And, Elliott poops a ton.  His sister did too… hers were more explosive, but Elliott’s are much more frequent and often show the entire contents of his last meal.  I’m sorry since that’s probably TMI, but I just don’t get how ½ inch green bean can pass threw undigested.

Overall: Elliott is an absolute joy and we are so lucky to have him in our family.

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It’s a party!!

Nana and Pop were gracious enough to host my family for the weekend. Everyone loved the Linville Manor!! All the kids played together so well. Ages 8, 7, 6, 6, 5, almost 4, 9 months and 12 days! (Okay, Wesley slept but sometimes could pop out for a short visit)


swimming when 39 degrees! (Helps that the pool was 9o and hot tub 102!)

basement play area with racing cars

fierce (okay actually super friendly) games of chess

My personal low point was the haunted house.

Haunted house was my nightmare! We were short a tix. So I was only adult. ($6 each for 3 min) Trev and Nat raced through leaving me with the four younger ones. Kenzie is crying and needs to be hold. Cam is wailing. I tell everyone to close their eyes. Elliott does but then no one is holding is hand so I ask a random teenager to hold it. Clayton was there too. I saw an emergency exit and bolted. Honestly the worst $42 I’ve spent in my entire life.


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Meet little Wesley

Meet our sweet little cousin Wesley!!! Born Oct 1. He came a little early – probably to make sure we could meet him during our trip to Chicago. (No pics with Conor yet – I need to make sure big cousin Conor – who is 5x heavier – doesn’t roll or crawl over him.)

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