It’s all in a Name

Every since Natalie was born, we really liked Clara Grace as a potential girls name.  That would have been Elliott’s name if he was a girl.  Natalie had a ton of other suggestions too: Mia (short for Maria), Hazel, Julia, to name a few.  Elliott decided that Elizabeth Pearl was his favorite, and then Natalie came around to Elizabeth too.  The top contenders for boys name were Tyler, Conor, Henry and Ryan.  Elliott had the suggestion of doing a poll (he does those a lot in school), so Natalie assisted with that.  Here’s where we ended up.

 the number shows how popular the name is

So, Jordan and I liked Conor the most and liked the one n as opposed to the more common two n’s.  (Natalie asked us to change it to two n’s after we submitted the birth certificate – I think because she had made a picture for him with two n’s that she brought to the hospital.)  We debated between David (my dad’s first name), William (Elliott liked the idea of sharing a middle name with him and obviously that’s a Linville family name) and John (my great grandfather Harold’s middle name, who my Dad was close to and who died in 1981, shortly after I was born).  We decided on David!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 7th

Conor was born on January 7th (well past his Christmas due date, well past the 4 days late that Natalie was, well past the tax deduction due date of Dec 31, well past New Year’s Day and the 7 days late that Elliott was, past my great grandmother’s birthday of January 2nd – which was the date I was mentally prepared to go until).  And, thankfully, one day before Elvis’s birthday of Jan 8th, which Jordan was rooting for.  So, besides being a different birthstone than in December, what happened on January 7th in history?

  • Feast day of André BessetteC.S.C. (9 August 1845 – 6 January 1937), more commonly known as Brother André (FrenchFrère André), and since his canonization as Saint André of Montreal, was a lay brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross and a significant figure of the Roman Catholic Church among French-Canadians, credited with thousands of reported miraculous oil healings associated with his pious devotion to Saint Joseph.[1]
  • Christmas in Russia and the Ukraine (so I guess he is a Christmas baby!)
  • 1610 – Galileo Galilei makes his first observation of the four largest moons of Jupiter: GanymedeCallistoIo and Europa
  • Birthday of Pope Gregory XIII in 1502, best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this day
  • Birthday of Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the US in 1800, who came into the presidency after the death of his predecessor.  He is best known for working to pass the Compromise of 1850, a bargain that led to a brief truce in the battle over slavery
  • Birthday of St. Bernadette of Lourdes in 1844, a French nun.  She saw many visions at the grotto as a young girl and went on to serve people who were ill, despite having many ailments herself
  • Birthday of Nicholas Cage, an American actor
  • 1927 – Commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.
  • 1999 – President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial began in the Senate.

It’s amazing to think about what lies ahead for Conor. There’s anything he can become!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Most of bedtime was fun tonight – it went a little long for my liking, with extra tuck-ins, but let’s focus on the positive.  With Nana and Pop here, we got to double up on reading, so Jordan and I read to Elliott first and then to Natalie. Conor snuggled on his Dad (skin to skin) for the entire time – he had trouble settling in at first, but then loved it.  Elliott had this joke to tell:

Elliott: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Elliott: Blueberry
Me: Blueberry who?
Elliott: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Elliott: Blueberry
Me: Blueberry who?
Elliott: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Elliott: Blueberry
Me: Blueberry who?
Elliott: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Elliott: Blueberry
Me: Blueberry who?
Elliott: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Elliott: Blueberry
Me: Blueberry who?
Elliott: Knock knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Elliott: Blueberry
Me: Blueberry who?
Elliott: Conor.
Me: Conor who?
Elliott: Conor I love you.  Get it?  He was Blueberry for so long, and he has only been Conor for a short time.  How many days old is he?
Me: Let’s see.  He came late on Mon, so Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat.  Just over 5 days.  He’s not in 5 and 3/4’s days old and you are 5 and 3/4’s YEARS old.
Elliott: (with a look of disbelief and hilarity)  Yeah!

Elliott also told me he didn’t need white noise any more, which if that is the case, works out handy since we’ve been using an ipad for the white noise for Conor (and Jordan and me, since we are currently sharing a room and trade-off who gets to put in ear plugs – Jordan has been the best about taking the worst shift of being in charge of Conor around midnight or 1.  This has been significantly helped with Kathy here who takes the first shift in the morning with the kids – I’m nervous for her to leave!)

Nana and Pop also got to see Natalie play basketball today, and Natalie and Jordan had father-daughter dance, which they both love.  And a neighbor/classmate took Elliott to a friend’s birthday party today.  And, an acquaintance in town gave us a really nice glider, so now we have one in my bedroom and could move the other one two the first floor.  We are very fortunate to have a network of family and friends to help out.   In fact, my mom even picked up some socks at Kohl’s today and is mailing them, along with a couple outfits.  The socks are clutch as Jordan and I were just talking about how we probably don’t have enough.  We also got to FaceTime with Grandma and Grandpa today, which really wore Conor out.  Unf, my dad didn’t get to see him with his eyes open, but we’ll try again another time.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Messages from School

Here were some messages we got from the kids’ teachers this weekend.

On Monday (when we first went into the hospital) from Mrs. Brydges

Jordan and Erin, Elliott is calm and happy. After he finished his math center, he asked “can I please make my mom a card because I miss her very, very, very, very, very, very much.” He is a doll!!


On Tuesday from Mrs. B again (after I sent some pics of  Natalie and Elliott with Conor)
This makes me want to cry! Elliott came in so excited, too! He can’t wait to meet Conor and have a snuggle with Mommy! Wow he is big and so beautiful! He looks like Natalie and Elliott, what a blessing! Congrats! Love, Amy
From Mrs. Quirk (Elliott’s other teacher)
He is so beautiful! We can’t wait to meet him! Elliott has been so excited as are we all! Sending lots of love your way!
<Note: Elliott’s entire class made Conor a book with pictures and their very good writing.  It’s so sweet!>
From Ms. Anderson (Natalie’s teacher)
Oh my goodness!! Natalie came in beaming this morning- she can’t wait to come meet him after school. Conor is so beautiful. Congratulations to you and the whole family! I hope you’re doing well! Thanks for sharing!
We got lots of reports from parents of the kid’s friends talking about their excitment too.  I feel so lucky that the kids are so excited about Conor.  Elliott read him a book again tonight and showed him a new toy (a black and white bull’s eye – which Elliott commented that Conor probably thought was so fascinating).  Natalie held him right after school (I think), before dance and during stories and is just so concerned if he cries.
Conor is officially 3 days, 4 hours old.  It’s been fabulous to have Nana hear – she’s on morning duty with Natalie and Elliott so we can rest, helps thoughout the day with a ton of stuff and always cooks dinner.  Yum. 🙂  Conor likes snuggling with her too – and crying doesn’t turn her off.  A great trait in a Nana.
(This is Erin signed in under Jordan’s account.)
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introducing Conor David

Welcome Conor David! Living up to one meaning of his name (strong willed), he arrived two weeks late on Jan. 7 at 5:08 p.m., weighing in at 10 lbs 5.6 oz, 23 inches, 38 cm head (average is 34, big babies usually have 36). His middle name is his grandpa’s first name.

We feel so blessed to be the parents of these three amazing kiddos. Natalie and Elliott were beyond sweet with him yesterday. Thanks to all for your support!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stubborn Blueberry

Blueberry is proving to be my most stubborn – or perhaps laziest – kid yet.  10 days past my due date and no contractions, just a fair amount of discomfort.  My boss has been kind enough to allow me to work from home this week, which has many advantages: 1) avoiding germs at work (my office was very sick before the holidays), 2) frequent breaks to lay down or walk, and 3) avoiding the small talk around why this baby hasn’t come yet.  After being back in school for three days, Natalie and Elliott both reported that they are tired of answering the following questions (even though we all know its well intentioned and simply because people care):

  • Is the here yet? (No)
  • Is the baby a boy or a girl? (We don’t know – its a surprise.)
  • Are you excited? (Yes)

As Natalie notes, the positive side is that she will not need to share a birthday month or gemstone with the baby.  Elliott is still concerned that the baby will be bigger than he was.  In any case, I’m being induced on Mon, Jan. 7th, so the baby at least needs to arrive by Tues, Jan 8th, right?!? I’m still hoping and praying for a “spontaneous labor” this weekend.  We are fortunate that Alison is here through Sat aft, we have many friends willing to help out over the weekend and after school on Mon and Kathy is coming Mon late aft.  Given that her trip was scheduled for two weeks after the due date, I never would have guessed that she would make it to Longmeadow before the baby was born!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More pics from Dec

Best way to ring in #8 is with an N-shaped pancake!

Woo hoo – Natalie is 8!

No cake to celebrate #8 – Natalie opted for an ice cream bar instead! (Mom still is craving a cupcake.)

Hugs with the best kinder teacher!

A bday hug from the best kinder teacher!

(Nat is the one in the middle – hard to get action shots sitting on the ground with my i-Phone, but she scored a basket! So proud of her for putting herself out there and trying!)

Loving the inter-locking gingerbread house kit!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lego-Mania and Wrestle-Mania

Two of Elliott’s favorite interests are Legos and Wrestling.

Here was his Christmas list:

His dream came true – he got his #1 lego set (Voltron) for Christmas from Nana and more from Grandma too.  (A huge thanks to our neighbor who works at Lego and scored us some good deals!)  Elliott had seen the wrapped Voltron box underneath the tree for weeks – he guessed it right away.  I joked with him that it was a pillow – he would shake it, lift it up and say “Mom, tell the truth.”  He opened it on Christmas Eve and started right away (first pic).  And worked on it everyday for six days straight – likely putting in 40-50 hours in total.  If he got paid, he would have needed over-time.  He did almost all the building by himself, more than 2000 pieces, for ages 16+.  He is so proud.  I’m super impressed too.  There have been a couple meltdowns with the actual assembly because its challenging to get the mega pieces together.  (My hunch is that the arms aren’t staying on because he somehow is missing some of the hinges and he has the left and right arms reversed.)

He also LOVES to wrestle.  That’s what he, Jordan and Natalie are doing as I type.  When we dropped in at his school one day, Jordan was very pleased to see this writing product.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blueberry is Overripe

This winter break has been a tough one. The stomach bug struck Elliott on 12/21, Nat on 12/23, me on 12/25 and Jordan on 12/26. So we were thankful that my mom was here as of Christmas night to help and that Blueberry’s due date came and went with no action. Now s/he is five days late with no action and I’m getting a bit more eager. I am experienced in this waiting game. Nat was four days late and Elliott seven. I apparently like to over bake my babies. And bake them Big.

This was Natalie’s little Christmas outfit, which we packaged away without any usage this Christmas. (Much to Natalie’s relief, as she didn’t want to share it)

Mom says we cannot open Blueberry’s presents to us until s/he comes!

Elliott is really protective of his position as self proclaimed “jumbo baby” at 9 lbs 15 oz. so he wants the baby out a lot too. Nat told me yesterday that it would be the perfect day for the baby to come because Lala and Grandma were both here for a period of 4 of their awake hours. A short overlap in coverage!

I’m doing fine now that I am not sick. The biggest difference from the other two is that Blueberry likes to dig in to my nerves, which causes shooting pains down my legs. Nat always had her bum sticking out to one side (right I think) and E hung to the left I think.

Here are a few photos of things we’ve done this week while waiting for Blueberry’s arrival.  Since being married, this is only the 2nd Christmas we’ve stayed home for – the first was when Natalie was born in 2010 and was only 6 days old on Christmas.  It feels strange to have so many days off and just be in Longmeadow!

Yum – we introduced Grandma to the best donuts in western Mass…. Donut Dip! (Also our first trip to the store to choose our own – we all chose cream-filled chocolate frosting long johns!)

Cuddly Christmas with Grandma – especially with the new robes! Thank you!

Natalie and Grandma also made a trip to the library for a winter crafting session.

Despite months of ice skating lessons, still unsure on his own… he lasted <10 min.

Nat was super uncomfortable at first and by the end, was asking if they could go next weekend.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What kind of gingerbread would you like?

Elliott has the best kindergarten teacher in the entire world – Natalie was lucky enough to have her too.  She writes a weekly newsletter about highlights from the class.  I loved this one from Wed.  It’s so Elliott.

Wednesday- We have read many different versions of The Gingerbread Man and we have talked about and appreciated the many different tellings of the classic story.  We did great writing in our journals. We filled in the blank with our best spelling… “I would like to have a gingerbread ________________.” Then the children drew a picture of what they wrote on gingerbread-colored paper with black Sharpies and white China pencils.This is what they wrote!

Amitres- brother                                         Luca- grown up

Celelia- house                                            Mackenzie- house

Charlotte- baby                                           Maxwell- house

Ella- baby                                                   Mona- girl

Elliott- megalodon                                       Ryan- Ryan

Griffin- boy                                                  Teddy- elf

Jane- princess                                            Will- spy

Kavya- bunny                                          William- megalodon

Leo- ninja


For those of those who don’t know what a maglodon is:  Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon), meaning “big tooth”, is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 2.6 million years ago.  Regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived, fossil remains of megalodon suggest that this giant shark reached a maximum length of 18 meters (59 ft) with the average size being 10.5 meters (34 ft).


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment