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.



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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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Days 34 and 35

day 35

i got some basketball time in with my boys! Both WI and IL closed schools for the rest of year; I’m expecting a similar announcement for MA this upcoming week.

Day 34

Kids enjoyed weekly Science with Lala. She has done about four classes: squid, pandas, sea turtles, and rhinos. Next week penguins!

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Day 33

At bedtime I told the kids, tomorrow is Friday. Remember when we used to get excited for the weekend for more family time?!? Natalie chuckled. Elliott guffawed. “Who needs that?!?”

also we broke out Flash Flash. This was Elliott’s most fav 2nd year birthday gift from N and P. Conor was a little intimated and the equivalent of star struck.

conor is a huge reader. I stink is a fav. Here he brought it for Natalie to read. He also loves this Halloween puppet book, Lift the flap books (grandma and me, spot, bellybutton) and some eric Carle books (brown bear , from head to toe).
also E is growing so much. His pants are always high waters! I try to buy bigger sizes but then it hangs off his waist.

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Day 33

Conquering Forest Park on our wed aft spring observation hike. Nature photos by Nat 

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Day 28

My boss challenged our Holyoke educators to dress up as their favorite book character and send in a video. Teachers are understandably tired right now and only one person submitted. So I got the whole fam to join me in making one. We chose Boxcar Children because it’s available for free now since we cannot go to the library!  Enjoy! (ESP the dog-monkey)



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Day 26

Day 26. Conor has started monitoring his own temperature

(Note: we do not do this daily!!! We only did this week 1 when 4/5 of us were sick!)


Elliott has also started a 30 day lego building challenge, which he of course wants to complete in less than 30 days. (It’s a chart that has a new creation challenge each day.

and Grandma sent the window stickers that our kids love – and now Conor does too. E taught him how to do it.
Note. I still love Natalie. It’s just she rarely lets me take pics of her.

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Day 23

Epic hair cuts!  I’d say one looks phenomenal and the other looks eh-okay. The tip is to start with hair so long that it looks like an older lady’s perm.  We also had pizza, played Monopoly, went on a hike, and read stories. (This weekend feels like a weekend on repeat.)

Also did I mention Conor is obsessed with water bottles? He has taken literally every water bottle I have, which probably suggests that 1) my choice of water bottles is juvenile and 2) I’m a pushover

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