Day 9

The stomach bug put me behind a few days. we had a renewed attempt at remote learning today and did much better. We were doing personal reflections at dinner and Conor was clapping for all of us! (Conor felt decidedly less positive about the spring snow storm though)  I’m feeling super thankful for a neighbor who gave us clementines, eggs and bananas since our grocery order doesn’t come until late Tues night and it’s been a week since we have been to Big Y. 

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Day 5

Conor woke up feeling much better but is still crabby. We let J out of his room for dinner.

Elliott joined me for 7 min of PE today!!!  Look at that impressive plank! (He was setting up for a push up). And learning time began. We got instructions from school. I’m going to make a learning plan with them each morning. I also told Jordan to order a chromebook with rush delivery and made a large order for supplies on Amazon. So thankful for delivery workers! A lego FaceTime play date with the Marx boys counts as engineering and drawing FaceTime chat with Grandma counts as art.

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Day 4

Day 4 was rough. Conor woke up in a bed of red kidney bean-puke and Jordan went to bed with a dry cough so we quarantined him in Elliott’s room for 20 hours (day 4 into 5).
Natalie and Elliott did a scavenger hunt on our old street with a lego prize!  The pic of Conor walking with them in their St Patrick’s day clothing was the only time they were by each other yesterday because otherwise they had to social distance from each other.

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Day 3 of 23+

Day 3 of 23+
It was a full day of conference calls so the family fun was considerably less. Conor is loving baths so that occupied him for almost 30 min while the other two kids spent time on technology. Conor has a cold so he is crabbier than usual and J has a sinus infection so he needs to rest more than usual. Hoping this is the worst of it.

N and E also helped pick up dinner mess so We had time to play apples to apple. N and E also had a friendly wrestling tournament that didn’t end up in a fight or injury!! (If you talk to Nat, don’t tell her I wrote about that or posted pictures.). They also read and wrote a little today but my home schooling hasn’t started yet (reference the top many conference calls).


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Covid Quarantine. Day 2 of 23.

Covid social distancing day 2 of 23. Nat created a candy recipe…. vanilla chocolate chips, marshmellows, milk and powdered sugar. El had a challenge to build the full Haunted High School (9 bags, 1474 pieces) in 1 day, which he accomplished by waking up at 7 a.m. and finishing at 8:52 p.m.  Part of this included a 2.5 hour LEGO building play date (see ipad with friend Teddy).  He also stopped for lunch and dinner (not breakfast), soccer and a quick bath. We played soccer on the green, while Conor walked around a lot. And, I’ve done a fair amount of Covid communications this weekend (hence the boring last photo).

The vanilla delight!

She’s my baking buddy! (I’m her chocolate chip.) <That’s a little saying we have for each other.>

Hey, Nat, you know I don’t need you to hang onto me?!?!

See… Penny loves being outside too!

(This was a game of 360 soccer… El is protecting the goal, which is the tree.)

Challenge in progress….


Challenge competed!

I am feeling relieved the Governor enacted greater social distancing measures including 3 weeks and 1 day if no school statewide. I’m feeling anxious for low wage earners and fewer student learning opportunities.  More work tomorrow to try to do my piece to figure this out for Holyoke… while my kids read and write a letter / story at home.

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Covid Quarantine Day 1 of 16+

This COVID crisis has brought much pain and sacrifice to so many people. Ours has been relatively small in the scheme of things – a canceled trip by G and G, a canceled guys trip and work trip by Jordan, no school or extracurricular activities for two weeks, and intense crisis planning at work. It has also brought some blessings, which I plan to chronicle throughout.

Day 1 of 16+

A family hike down the street from our house, where Natalie let Elliott proudly lead and we had fun throwing misplaced golf balls back on the course

My dada is so strong…. he can carry me and Penny! (a penguin lovey)

Then, I spent the evening advocating to state officials to take more drastic measures for social distancing, including statewide school closures.  Here’s a sample email….

I urge you to close all schools across MA and enact other more significant social distancing efforts in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, especially among our most vulnerable populations.  As you know, I work in the Holyoke Public Schools and many of our students live with their grandparents who are most at risk.  Many also have asthma.  Although we have taken the bold step to close school for 2 weeks, we need the entire Commonwealth to act together.  Social distancing is less effective when its one city at a time.  I’m sure you’ve seen the information about the 1918 flu epidemic and the impact that the social distancing efforts made in St. Louis, greatly reducing deaths, vs. hard hit cities like Philadelphia.  I’m sure you know that the availability of tests is limited right now – your public health charts don’t even show cases in Hampden or Hamilton County, despite a news article from Baystate indicating there is likely 24 cases as of yesterday.  I’m sure you’ve seen that 12 other states and many large cities have closed: Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, Louisiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington and Alabama have ordered all schools closed. The governor of Kentucky has recommended closing all schools in that state. Major metropolitan districts in Atlanta, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas have also shuttered.

Be safe and well,




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Natalie is almost a germaphobe so I haven’t talked to the kids about COVID 19 until tonight. Given that G and G sadly need to cancel their plane trip out here next week, and the fact that the state of MA declared a state of emergency, I thought it was time for a real talk.

Erin: Have you heard of coronavirus for COVID 19 at school?

Natalie: No, what’s that?

elliott: No

(I explain a little)

Elliott: Well I have heard of the corolla virus.

(we have a Toyota corolla.)

Amidst all the worry that this illness is causing, its nice to have a small thing to smile about.  We’re doing what we can to prevent the spread of the illness in order to keep our most vulnerable populations safe.  We’re stopping unnecessary travel.  I’m also helping to inform the response in my school district.  We are so appreciate of all the public health officials, doctors, nurses, custodians, etc. that are working diligently during this time.



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Happy 7th Birthday Party Elliott!

  • the formatting of this stinks on my phone. I will try to change it soon!

    We celebrated Elliott’s birthday a little early with friends at Movement Terrain, a ninja type place. The giant inflatable balls were a highlight.
    And Nat has fun too!

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Florida in February

We scooted out from MA for February break week (well, actually two days before).

Thursday: Swimming at a super cold Yacht Club.  And a trip to the beach, I believe.  And then a trip to Mammaw and Pappaw’s pool tool
Friday: Trip to the Jettys.  Saw dolphins!  And, E&J date night for Valentine’s Day.  Woot woot!!  N&P stayed back with the kids, concluding the night with some Home Alone 2!
Saturday: Nana & Natalie did morning stretch yoga on the beach.  Trip to Sharky’s beach with Chucky and Therese, who moved to Sarasota last summer.  Highlight… We were on the pier and a fish tugged hard on a fishing pole.  Elliott says, “I think its a shark!”  (We all thought he was wrong… until a fisherman agreed.  I thought it was a catfish.)  Elliott says, “I think its a baby hammerhead!  (I thought the chances of him identifying a small shark were slim, but I was wrong on that too!)  Then, Elliott kept say “aw, look at that baby hammerhead.”  He was thrown back in, but not before we got a good look!
Sunday: Lunch at Snook Haven.  Saw an alligator in the creak!  Plus, swimming at Uncle John’s and family pizza dinner with cousins!
Monday: E&J kayak trip (more dolphins) and more beach time.  In the morning, everyone went to the beach except Elliott and me.  He wanted to stay back and read in bed, like “the good ol’ times.” He also read, Where the Wild Things Are, to me.  I’m so impressed!
Tuesday: Climbing the banyan tree + a mini golf date with N&P!  (Yay!  I type this while Conor sleeps and they are on their way to golf.)

Below are pics from the week, in no particular order and with an over-emphasis on Conor (sorry!)  He is also definitely walking all over the place.  People are enjoying his toddle, his red hair, his laugh (he loves to laugh after other people laugh) and chunky thighs.  He is enjoying rings, balls, blueberries and stroller rides.

Big Papa’s got his Nana and his blueberries – that’s a good day!

Rockin’ with my rocking dada!

Anybody up for a game of catch? (note: Ball is one of C’s favorite words and objects)

This cuddly lady looks so familiar, but I cannot quite place her.

OMG! I’m driving! Let’s go on the golf cart again. (In real life, he points at the golf cart and says “oooo.”)

Hmm… how can I get all that fountain water into this cup? Or that cup?

I’m a beach babe. (Actually, I’m a sitting-on-the-blanket kinda babe b/c I don’t care for the sand or cold ocean water)

I love my valentines!

It takes muscles to hold my beach bod. (This is Uncle Chucky)

Do we have a story to tell you… (this was taken moments after the hammerhead shark incident!)

Climbing the 50-year-old banyan tree knocked out my teeth. (JK – those two top missing teeth are due to a wresting match with a BFF and a cucumber)

Wait a sec…. gotta pose. A girl has gotta look good while climbing

Ah! For real, these alligators at Snook Haven are no joke!

Ah! Run! I saw a real one in the creak!

Why are we posing for a pic when there is a for real alligator behind us (look at the back right)

I love me some venison! (aka Fawny)


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Happy 1st Birthday, Conor!!

(2.5 weeks late)

Happy 1st Birthday, Conor!  Wow – what a year.  His personality is shining through, and it’s really fun to be by him. I’m so glad he is a part of our family.  

Look at me – I’m one!

Weigh-in: 26 lbs (95th+ percentile), 31 inches (75th percentile), still a big head.  Natalie was about 24 lbs 9 oz and Elliott was 25 and change.

Nicknames: C-Man, Boody (even though that’s really Elliott’s nickname from when he was little), Bud.  It kinda seems like we’re lacking in the nicknames.

Personality: Cute, happy, and a mixture between particular (like his big sis) and easy going (like his big bro).  He does have to be more flexible than Nat had to be… after all, he’s a third child.)  Loud and likes to talk.  I want to write that he wakes up singing and smiling, but that’s not true. And he does fuss on the diaper changing table and sometimes when I’m getting him in his car seat.  (On 1/23, we took a walk to the library and that got too long from him… he reached his arms up to me to say “All Done”.) 

Gotta bundle up to get my big bro and sis from school

Favorite Games:  Hide and seek.  Pushes his face up against the glass door in Jordan’s office.  Explores the pantry and cabinets. Claps and he likes when people cheer “Yeah Conor.” (Nat is so encouraging and does this all the time.)

Favorite Books:  5 little lady bugs (#1 favorite – he loves the little lady bugs that pop up; this was a Natalie favorite and hand-me-down from big cousin Trevor).  That’s not my dinosaur (a gift from Grandma, which has been edited by Elliott to be more technically accurate – for example, the swimming “dinosaur” or plesiosaur isn’t actually a dinosaur, so Elliott changed the words to “That’s not a dinosaur.  Dinosaurs only walk on land” and the “spines” at the end of the book, where changed to be “plates”). That’s not my reindeer (a hand-me-down from a friend for Natalie’s 1st birthday). He likes the Karen Katz and Spot lift-the-flap books.

I like to be silly, especially during my epic 40 – 60 min meals. This is my silly “eeee” face, where I shake my fists. This one happens to be after spaghetti. Yum!

Words: He can say the name of everyone in our family, but you haven’t said “Conor” lately.  “Eee” is for Elliott. “Na-Na” is Natalie. Mama and Dada are pretty self-explanatory.  (Added 1/24, in the 2.5 weeks since his birthday, he has also said “balloon” (he got two for his birthday and loves them), blueberry, banana, all done, hi, bye.)

Funny Stuff: He has this funny game where he likes to go “EEE” and pump his arms really excitedly.  He is totally not aware of your body at all, so he often pivots his bum on the ground, which sometimes ends up with him sitting on my face or cheerios all over your bum.   

Motor Skills: He is really good at standing and will even pick up heavy things, like Daddy’s Yeti water bottle, and balance with it.  I thought he would take his first steps while we were in Green Bay for Christmas, but I was wrong.  (He took his first step on 1/13 and six steps on 1/23 to get to a balloon.)  This probably is more fine motor, but he waves (sometimes a little backwards.)  He has given a couple kisses, but these are rare – although he gave one to Lala on his first day of meeting her, when she came to help while Jordan was away.

Look at me – I’m 1! (Thanks for the trike, Grandma!)

Favorite Toys: Balls.  His friend Sarah (who already has a ton of hand-me-down toys) just gave him a bunch of new things, like a keyboard and puzzle. Loves to stack cups, play with balls and mess up our cabinets.  

Favorite Foods: Blueberries (are #1!), clementines (a new fav) bananas, strawberries, oatmeal.  Chicken, broccoli, soft carrots, Gerber, etc. 

Favorite Places: Climbing on the back of the couch.  Going through our cupboards, especially the Tuperware cabinet and dishwasher.  His corner of toys in the living room too. Otherwise, he doesn’t really leave the house too much – weekly trips to church, the library with our awesome nanny Kaitynn and basketball court (to cheer on an older sibling) are about it.

Gotta love my sis time! Isn’t her room beautiful, fun, with lots of little things

Favorite person: I wish I could say me, but he is an independent love bug.  He isn’t too clingy, but he is excited to see your favorite people – Mom (especially when you’re thirsty), Dad (especially in the morning before N & E are awake), Natalie (she gets her smiley cute face right up in yours and has the most excited voice; what’s not to love?!?), and Elliott (super sweet voice and very gentle). 

Places you’ve been: 7 states – MA (home state), CT (directly south), FL (for a Nana & Pop visits at 3 months old), IN (for a family wedding in July), IL (during the big Midwest summer tour, plus in October for an early Thanksgiving trip), WI (during the big Midwest summer tour and for Christmas), and VT (during a Nana & Pop visit in the Fall).

Schedule: Wake up at 7:15.  Two naps a day. In bed by 7:15 p.m.  Lots of playing and eating in between there. 

We are so thankful to have this adorable boy in our family.  He’s a love bug.

I just love to feed myself yogurt. It usually requires a post-yogurt bath. Did I mention I love water bottles too? I’m a big kid now.

Didn’t I mention I needed a bath?

And didn’t I mention I’m a big kid?!? Mama and I went to the toy store while Dad, Nat, Elliott and Lala were skiing

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