The Elvis

How has it taken me 18+ years of knowing Jordan before I cooked him Elvis’s favorite sandwich? Peanut butter. Bacon. Honey. Fried. it was a bit. It filled Elliott up so much he had to wait 2.5 hours before he finished his second half of the sandwich.

The chocolate peanut butter pie was dessert two nights in a row. and here is some cuddly love from dinner tonight

 

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Happy Birthday Jordan! And Field Day

May 29th started with the kids field day… after 75 minutes of trying to keep balloons in the air, high knees, jump rope, bean bag toss, and many things with balls, we took a break and need to revisit today (Saturday May 30th).

To celebrate Jordan’s birthday, I picked up Portuguese food because we were supposed to leave for Portugal (for our 15-year wedding anniversary trip – it would have been the first time we had ever been away from the kids for a week… and in fact, my first time ever being away from Conor for even a night).  Natalie and I also made a peanut butter chocolate crust pie.  And we had a post dinner family swim (well, I was the lifeguard – its wasn’t warm enough).  Hence the no-shirt birthday pictures.  The kids did an amazing job with their cards.  Natalie also worked it out with Grandma to send Jordan’s favorite peanut butter chocolates for Seroogy’s, but super unfortunately, the place I hid it (above the fridge, in a box, in a plastic bag) was ransacked by a mouse.  GRR.  Something to address today.


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Habitat Haikus

Aunt Leah has kindly taught five weeks about habitats to her neices and nephews.  To wrap up the unit, she asked each kid to share a habitat haiku.  Elliott helped me write mine because I didn’t know the components of one.

NATALIE

A habitat is
Water, shelter, space and food
That makes a great home

ELLIOTT

Habitats are so cool
A habitat is the woods
Isn’t that awesome?

ERIN

Four requirements
Shelter, water, food and space
Make a habitat

I had saved this post in drafts and forgot to post  so now I’m adding on from leahs Facebook post a month later

 

 

One of the best things to come from quarantine was hanging out with my niece and nephews during our weekly “Science Class with Auntie Leah!” After 9 weeks of learning about HABITATS, it has come to an end. These kids are so smart, excitable, and interactive… it has been such a pleasure to spend time with them while I live so far away. And now they all desperately want to spend months on end with Auntie Leah and Uncle Lee in Alaska – mission success!

Classes held:
– Habitat overview
– Food
– Water
– Shelter
– Space
– Deep Sea
– Polar Habitats
– Deserts
– Caves

 

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Day 71

Work has gotten crazy busy.  I’m leading the planning for phase 1 of reopening offices, as well as the district’s overall reopening plan for the fall.  And Jordan had a work “retreat” (virtual) this week, so he wasn’t really able to help out with “learning time” as much. Here’s an assortment of pictures from the last month.  Kids are in great spirits, all things considered.  Conor is 16.5 months old.  His favorite things are:

  • Waking up E and wanting to play Zombies music on his Alexa (which E really doesn’t like because he has the Alexa teed up for his Harry Potter book)
  • Waking up N and playing a dancing bear in her bed (she looks like a dazed teenager when she wakes up, but is always nice to C about it)
  • Lotion (including tasting it)
  • Chalk (including tasting it)
  • Water bottles (I don’t even have any bottles any longer… he’s stolen them all)
  • Balls (especially throwing in the bushes)
  • Bike rides (we go almost nightly now)
  • Reading (I think I’ve read “Everything is Mama” by Jimmy Fallon 6x today already)
  • Being outside (thankfully, there are less cars in the streets)

Just exploring the garden (which I do not attend to)

Big man on campus! Bike riding!!!

Thanks for the masks, Nana! (Jordan and I use them at least a few times a week for the grocery, CVS, etc.)

We have pizza at least once a week… we’re in the midst of a taste competition. Can any pizza beat Bona Vita’s cheese and sausage? (So far, no… but I’m wondering what the kids think of Giordano’s when we hopefully go to Chicago this summer!)

More taste testing… with a tiger stuffed animal that Natalie got for donating to WWF (after Elliott first thought of the idea of donating to save the rhinos)

Nat was so kind to video tape me and hold up my Spanish talking points for a teacher appreciation video we made for work

Everyone is learning piano! (Well, except Mom, although I do have a crush on the piano teacher)

Do you see this rat tail?!? Ugh – totally want to cut that off.

For Mother’s day weekend, Elliott and I got to read books together in bed one morning… he couldn’t decide which one to start with (eenie meenie minnie mo – sp?)

Conor loves Flash Flash – Elliott’s prized gift from his 2-year-old bday (from Nana and Pop)!

Ball! (Conor loves throwing tennis balls from the front porch into the thick bushes… I’ve spent at least an hour of my life digging through bushes in search of tennis balls. Btw, doesn’t he look stylin’ in this outfit?!?)

Elliott’s geometric creation – thanks for the suggestion teacher Becky!

Hiking in Wilbraham…. LOVE!

I wonder how the white chalk tastes. Yuck. I wonder how the green chalk tastes. Yuck. I wonder how the brown chalk tastes. Yuck. But shouldn’t it taste like chocolate? Let’s try again. Still Yuck. What about the green again? Mom, how do I get this taste out of my mouth?

Natalie’s first play date in 10 weeks… following social distancing guidelines, of course. She did not like that I said hi to them from my bedroom window… and she is not going to like that I took this picture. And she reads the blog now too, so I’m going to get in trouble. I love you Natalie!

Cuddle time with Daddy… and his water bottle

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Day 42

IMG_3919

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Fractions

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Dad musings

Hey, it’s Dad here.  aka Jordan.  First-time caller, long-time listener (ok, not first time.  Maybe like my fifth post).

As you can see from the blog posts, Erin has done an amazing job keeping the kids focused, happy and having fun during Coronavirus.  She’s managed to work a full-time job that has become even more intense, with hours of virtual meetings and planning for how Holyoke students get their breakfast, learn without at-home computers, and prepare for next year.

Our kids have also done a pretty awesome job of being kids.  Coronoavirus became our excuse to (finally) implement some chores around the house, so they are emptying garbage cans and unloading dishwashers.  Natalie has been particularly fantastic on helping with Conor when needed, and Elliott has been particularly fantastic on helping with yard work (including a new brick patio installation) when needed. Finally, our nanny has been fantastic with always being here with a great attitude even if it means sitting in a small playroom with a whiny 1-year old for hours on end.  It takes a village.

Elliott and Dad with a snake in the yard

Natalie reading to Conor

Neighbors have also been amazing.  Our neighbors, Mary & Todd, across the street make a routine Saturday trip to Costco, and they frequently pick up eggs or whatever else we might need.  Another neighbor picked us up stuff from CSV and another organized a scavenger hunt for the kids complete with prizes.  Finally, there is beer Jesus.  One Saturday night, I found this (see picture below) on my doorstep – a really great beer from Treehouse Brewery with the enscription:

“When you saw only one can at the front door, it was then that I carried you.”

Beer Jesus

I have no idea who Beer Jesus is, but I’ve heard of other people who have received the holy cup all over the town.

And finally, grandparents have pitched in despite the distance.  Grandma and Natalie have had frequent Facetime calls that have approached two hours – it’s like having a baby sitter.  And Nana sewed us awesome face masks which we badly needed.

So while this whole thing has been rough, it hasn’t been all bad.  We’re super lucky.  I think we’ll come out of it with two kids who can play piano, one who learned to ride a bike, all who are better at basketball, a new brick patio and lot of quality time together.  Including two new family traditions – pizza night and movie night!  We may not keep them weekly as we have been, but I think Erin and I enjoy these nights just as much as the kids!

You think you can stop me, fool?

Some of my beautiful people

I hope anyone who reads this (like, all five of you) are staying sane and, more importantly, staying healthy.  We think of our great-grandparents often: Mammaw & Pappaw (Florida), Grandma & Grandpa Linville (Indiana), and Grandma Jean (Wisconsin).  The virus seems particuarly unkind to older people and especially those living in community, but fortunately, all of them have fiery spirits which bodes well during something like this.  That’s my way of saying they are tough old geezers who have been through shit before and come out the other side. And we love them lots.

xoxo,

Dad

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Day 44 – Conor exploring & his first joke

Conor loves to go outside, regardless of the time of day or weather. We took a post dinner “stroll;” we were never more than 5 feet from our property. He touched a worm for the first time (see last photo) and explored a sewer. He liked seeing the cars go past. He crossed through a garden patch and fell straight on his back wide-eyed. He liked the hearts for healthcare workers we have posted in flourescent  paper on the garage windows.

Also he played his first joke yesterday. He put a bubble wand in Daddy’s shoe and  cracked up. He looked for Jordan to make sure saw it.

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Day 39 – Elliott’s opinion writing

The Best Sweet Treat 

What is your favorite type of chocolate?  My favorite type of chocolate is King Size Hershey Bars.

One reason is they have a lot of chocolate.  Some can even be made of peanut butter.

Another reason is they are super big.  Normal Hershey bars are as big as a LEGO person, and King size Hershey bars are two LEGO people wide and three LEGO people long.

My final reason is King Size Hershey Bars have rectangles that are stuck together so you can rip them apart in perfect rectangles to have different numbers of chocolate rectangles.

Don’t King Size Hershey Bars sound delicious?  Isn’t it cool how they have a lot of chocolate, they are big and you can rip them into pieces?  If you think this sounds like a delicious sweet treat, try going to the grocery store after COVID is over! 

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Day 38

?Just got the sad news that schools are closed in MA for the rest of the year. We are the 35th state to do so. We have the 5th highest deaths. I’m feeling sad for kids missing their friends and teachers. I’m feeling sad about canceled plans to see family – like Grandma and Nana for a May recital and no Cape Cod with the Marxes and my parents – and a canceled anniversary trip to Portugal with Jordan. I’m feeling especially sad for all the families that are in less comfortable living situations – trying to navigate at-home learning with not enough space or devices for everyone to work. And I’m feeling worried for the high school students who are working on the front lines of grocery stores and pharmacy shops in order to bring in money for their families – maybe working 30+ hours a week and may be not able to do school work.

we are so fortunate to experience joy amidst the loss. Never before would I have had N and E do morning yoga with me! And Nat wanted C to wear the PJs she wore when she was 3 (which matched her baby Ellie). I may have called him Clara once today 🙂

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