Conor – 19.5 months old – and update on SY20-21

Conor is so cute.  And high maintenance.  There’s so many funny things that happen with me… and then there’s so many things that make you grimace too.


  • He started this new game where after you lay him down to sleep he runs to the edge of the crib in his sleep sack with the biggest cheesiest grin to tell you good night.
  • In the morning, when we get him after he wakes up, he scoots to the opposite side of the crib and says “no, no, no” because he wants his white noise off.
  • We have a step button that turns on a light in his room, which he loves to turn on and off…. he sees his dad turn off the white noise with his toe (its on the ground, you slide it), so he tries to step on the white noise machine to turn it on and off too.
  • He loves to climb… he’s been pulling himself up on the smallest edges of cupboards to be taller.

Funny and Grimace combined

  • He saw me use a oven mitt to move a pot so he wanted to do the same too… unf, it was my oven mitt and my stove top.  Not his play kitchen one!
  • Although he’s not really a mama’s boy compared to how Elliott was, he can be super possessive.  He usually shoves everyone else a way when I’m holding him and they come up for a hug or good night kiss.  Today he yelled “my mama”.  Then, when I brought him upstairs, he proceeded to say “my dada,” “my nana,” (that’s Natalie), and “my Eeee,” even though he had just refused to give them a hug.
  • He loves playing with chapstick and deodorant.  Its so cute to see him put it on his nose, but so irritating that he over-smears and digs his hands in there, so I can never find a good one.
  • He loves airplanes.  After one flies overhead, he always asks for “more, more.”
  • He loves riding bikes and going fast down our big hill.  He has now started to ask for “more, more” for that too – did I mention the hill is really big!?  It’s tough to pedal to the top, but so worth it for the high-pitched “Whee!”
  • On bike rides, he taps my back when he is done with his snack up… rests his feet on my bike seat when I’m standing up trying to get up the hill…. and plays with a zipper I have on the back of my shirt… and one time, tried to stick his hands down my undies.


  • He loves to run and climb… he face planted into stone steps today and got a huge bump on his forehead to accompany his black eye, which we’re not even sure how he got.
  • He triumphantly throws food on the ground when he’s done, including applesauce.  UGH.
  • He throws markers and crayons on the ground just to make a mess.

He loves reading.  His favorite books are Otis (thanks to the Phipps family!), The Cool Beans (Thanks Grandma!), and Blue Truck (thanks Elliott hand-me-downs).  I’m super impressed b/c those are longer reads – we don’t always make it through.  I’ve also been reading a lot of Good Morning God and Five Little Ladybugs.

And, I do have other kids too… I wish I got to spend more one-on-one time with them.  Elliott and I have been reading Harry Potter The Half-Blood Prince (book 2), which he found at Grandma’s house from when Leah’s old collection.  Natalie is always up for joining Conor and me for a bike ride or a walk… and I would love to bake with her more.

Natalie and Elliott’s school is delayed 2 weeks this year due to needing extra training for teachers.  Then, their first week will be remote and then after that, they should go two days a week (Thurs and Fri).  They will have peers on Mon/Tues in their rooms, so their classes will essentially be life-streamed.  I cannot imagine how this works well.  Wed Am will be remote for all, with self-paced / independent work in the afternoon.  About 50% of parents aren’t even sending their kids back.  This is such a crazy time, as a kid, as a parent, and then as a district administrator.  It’s so busy, and there’s not one right answer.  Everyone needs prayers.  We just did our back-to-school supply shopping online (Target and Amazon) – not nearly as fun.

I’ve been championing back-to-school personal responsibility pledges for students, parents/guardians and staff.  Here’s what I wrote for Holyoke… like I said, what a crazy time.

Elementary Students

We must work together to keep everyone safe.  I promise to do my part.  

  • I will try my best in school everyday.
  • I will let an adult know if I need help.
  • I will stay home if I am sick. 
  • I will wear a mask/face covering.
  • I will stand 6-feet apart from others when at school or in public. 
  • I will wash my hands a lot.

Secondary Students

We must work together to keep ourselves, families, peers, teachers, staff, and community as safe and healthy as possible.  A combination of actions will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.  I must also be an active learner and care about my education.  I pledge to do my part.  

If/when I am learning remotely.

  • I will have a dedicated space to do my school work as best as I am able.
  • I will take good care of the device (e.g. Chromebook, iPad) given to me.
  • I will let my teacher or parent/guardian know if I need a certain material or if I need help.
  • I will try my best in school every day.  I will be on time.  I will pay attention to my teachers.  I will submit assignments on time. 
  • I will contact my teacher/school if challenges arise so we can work together to resolve them.  

If/when I am attending school in-person.

  • I will work with my parent/guardian to conduct a health and symptom screening (CDC, MA DPH) before I go to school each day. 
  • I will stay home from school when I am sick.  If I have any of the following symptoms, I must CONTACT MY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER AND SCHOOL NURSE and get a COVID-19 virus test prior to returning to school or remain at home in isolation for 14 days. Here are MA test sites. (DESE Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Protocols
    • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
    • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
    • Muscle aches or body aches
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms
  • If a family member or I test positive for COVID-19, I will remain at home until cleared to return to school.  
  • I will let my teacher know if I need help or if a challenge arises.
  • I will follow and support the guidelines outlined in Holyoke’s return-to-school plan, especially wearing a face covering/mask, practice social distancing, and washing my hands frequently.  

When I am not at school/work.  

  • I will be a responsible citizen and do my best to follow the health and safety guidelines in MA. 
    • Wear a face covering/mask that covers my mouth and nose.
    • Social distance from others who are not in my immediate circle.
    • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.
    • Avoid large gatherings and adhere to the travel order requirements.
    • Keep my immunizations current, including flu vaccine by Dec. 31.

***Contact your health care provider and school nurse if you or a household member has or may have COVID-19. Call our hotline at 413.561.0862 with questions.***

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