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.)
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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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).


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Best siblings for Blueberry

I forgot to share this from late Oct / early Nov….

The kids have been really sweet about Blueberry coming.  Natalie kisses Blueberry everyday that I drop her off at school.  Elliott has had some great questions / comments about Blueberry.  Some of them include:

  • “When we are at school, Blueberry is going to think, ‘Where are those exciting people?'”
  • “How do the white blood cells know that the baby isn’t a foreign invader?”
  • “I wish I had a shrink ray so that I could shrink your tummy.” (So that I was more comfortable to lay on.)

Of course, Natalie is hoping for a girl, and Elliott is hoping for a boy.  When I visited Natalie’s class, one of her friends told me, “I hope your baby is a boy, so he can play with Elliott and not interrupt mine and Natalie’s play dates.”

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Advent calendar

We are excited to continue a tradition from Jordan’s family: the homemade advent calendar! Mammaw made it and our kids are the third generation to use it.  Their great great grandmother, Maude Stevenson, became quite the traveler after Alvin died.  One of her first trips was to Israel.  She brought me the olive wood star.  (I think Elliott spotted that on day 23, which he is excited about because he is the odd days and Natalie is the even days.)  We also tried out a dreidel (borrowed from a friend) so it was an inter-denominational night!


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Weekend of Natalie

We got a jump start celebrating Natalies 8th birthday with a friends party at a pottery place. The girls worked on wheels and did coil pots. They were awesome! I didn’t realize it is a two part party bc they will come back to paint them!

The pre party prep was pretty fun  we attempted cake pops  and with much improvising, they turned out! We got some yummy frosted pretzels out of the various iterations too.


Then on Sunday, Natalies dance team performed at intermission of the local

hockey team! The girls didna clinic with the UMass dancers and then performed for 40 seconds  short but challenging  at bedtime tonight, when we were sharing what we are thankful for, Nat said for being famous!!! She was so in the zone that she didn’t even hear us yelling her name to and from the ice   Even though we were the front row  very proud of these girls (and their fans)!





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