Dragons are Nocturnal

Elliott: “Mom, did you know that dragons are nocturnal, like bats?  I’m brushing Cinder’s teeth right now for the morning.  He is 3.  His birthday is Oct. 12.  He goes to bed at 9:55 a.m.”

Me: “Oh, that’s right when you go to specials, huh?  You go to PE and he goes to bed.”

“Yes, I have Dog-Dog put him to bed since we’re the same age.  And, Cinder has a day off of preschool in order to check out the kindergarten classrooms tomorrow.  I’m asking Dog-Dog to bring him.  He will be back at 10:00 p.m.”

“Okay, I’ll leave the door unlocked for them.”

“Okay.”

 

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Prayer from Elliott

“Dear God and Jesus,

Please have my mom be a better wrestler.  Amen.”

– Elliott, in the middle of a wrestling match with me, he lays down, closes his eyes and says this prayer.

(What a trip!  The ways kids will find to insult you.)

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Cute March Pics

Cute pics

Our little hero smiling….

the defender of the universe (mini VOltron) smiling

 

O Christmas tree standing to Conor’s left side so he practiced looking left (C always looks and sleeps right)

After an early spring walk

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Conference Time

I may have blogged about this before, but it sure is a pleasure to go to parent-teacher conferences when your kids are so amazing.  Here are some highlights:

Natalie

  • “Sweetest, nicest student who works so hard and cares about everyone”
  • “a great friend”
  • “Takes great pride in her work and sentence structure”
  • “Put a lot of thought into her reflection sheet”.  In her own reflection sheet, she talked about her strengths in reading and writing (because she adds a lot of detail).
  • “Neat hand writing”
  • Top speller in the class
  • In her WIN (what I need) block, she gets to do extension activities because she is beyond grade level… right now, she is working on creative writing and math challenges
  • In math and reading assessments, she went from “above average” in fall to “well above average” in spring.  I think she scored at the 88th percentile in math and 96th in reading
  • The only thing that Natalie needs to work on is being more confident in herself at school and presenting that confidence in a school setting.  (Don’t tell her that I wrote this on the blog.)

Elliott

  • “Elliott makes us smile everyday”
  • “He is respectful and smart.  He makes the classroom safe for all students.”
  • “He puts his whole self into his work”
  • “He is so empathetic – remember the wrinkled heart activity”
  • Likes a variety of activities in choice time – art, stacking cups, blocks.  He has a lot of interests and a lot of friends
  • He wrote his whole story independently – great job in phonetic spelling and taking a risk on tough words (e.g. straight to the hospital)
  • Strong on comprehension
  • Elliott made this amazing portfolio, showcasing his growth since the start of the school year.  Math is beyond a favorite activity – he is well beyond grade level.  His teachers stopped him at counting at 200, but one of his proudest moments is that he has counted up to 1,375.  He really could do everything he needed to do – can graph, can independently sort words, can read all the word wall words.  He is reading at grade level.  The reading still hasn’t “clicked” for him – he needs to work hard at decoding, but we are working on it.
  • He wrote and illustrated the sweetest story about going to the hospital to meet Conor (see below).
  • He recognizes that he needs to continue working on his speech and he sees the speech therapist 3x/week at school.  And we’re doing work at home on it too.  (Don’t tell him that I wrote this on the blog.)

Elliott’s Story

Hapy Day (Happy Day)

As soon as I lit sool, I wet shrat to the hasdl.  (As soon as I left school, I went straight to the hospital.)

Nanu pot the cor and we wet in to the hasdl.  (Nana parked the car and we went into the hospital.)

I hodi Conor and I opin u prezit frum Conor. (I held Conor and I opened a present from Conor.)

I fil hape that Conor is in my famuly. (I feel happy that Conor is in my family.)

 

We are so lucky to have great teachers for our kids.  Seriously, teachers do God’s work.  We trust them with the most important people in the world to us and its amazing how much they learn together.  I especially love how caring Mrs. Brydges (Elliott’s first grade teacher) is.  She also uses centers to engage kids in the learning.  I like how Ms. Anderson (Natalie’s 2nd grade teacher) uses the workshop model in math, so its a lot of hands-on learning too.  I’m very proud that my sister Becky is an awesome 4th grade teacher – I’ve seen her teach, so I can attest to that.  Her students are so lucky to have her too.

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Lucky Irish

Grandma was here for an early St. Patrick’s day celebration, while Jordan had a work trip to Orlando.  She read The Circus Ship (about animals being shipwrecked on an island in Maine) to both Elliott’s and Natalie’s classes.  (See picture below  – it was the last school day before St. Patrick’s Day.) Isn’t Elliott’s bow tie the best? (A Grandma gift!)Here’s a pic of the world’s cutest little leprechaun (once again, purchase credit to Grandma)

Jordan and I ran in our 4th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day race.  I thought it was pretty impressive that I was running <10 weeks post-partum, but I was upstaged by Irish Elvis here.  We both ran our slowest 10k ever…. it was one of the most enjoyable.  He had a mini speaker, playing Elvis tunes on repeat.  And throughout the race, I heard cheers of “The King is Alive!,” “Elvis is in the house,” “Elvis has left the building,” “Where are your blue suede shoes?”

Happy St Patrick’s Day!!!!

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Happy 6th Birthday, Elliott!!!

Happy 6th Birthday, Elliott!!!

Food was a focal point of the birthday celebration.  Per Elliott’s request…. pancakes for breakfast, sausage for dinner and S’mores milkshake for dessert!  He and I came up with the base – vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge swirl, mini marshmallows and graham cracker pieces.  Natalie took it to another level with her suggestion of whip cream topped with a girl scout s’mores cookie.  She may have a future at a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop…. or maybe they will go into business together for a E&N Ice Cream Shoppee!

Another theme to this birthday celebration was Voltron, the defender of the universe.  If you are a regular blog reader, you may remember that he got the Voltron lego set from Nana and Pop at Christmas, and he finished the 2,000+ piece, 16+ years and older set in less than 6 days.  I was able to find matching Voltron t-shirts for Jordan and Elliott; they don’t make Voltron onesies, so I made my own.  Maybe I have a future in baby clothing design.  He also got a Voltron plastic toy, black lion plastic toy and two Voltron books (Shiro the black lion and Keith the red lion), so he was hyped up right before bed.  I’m sure the sugar didn’t help.

Bros before… wait, this is a 6-year-old bday caption. Guy time.

Wait, Conor is covering up my Voltron t-shirt! (real quote)

I love you Mom, but enough with the pictures – I haven’t barely even gotten to play legos. (real quote)

 

“Mom, I just have to do a set-up for Elliott’s birthday dinner; he’s going to love it.” – Natalie (She was write – it was one of his gratitudes at dinner)

The entire family got to be Royal Readers in his kindergarten classroom too!  He and another boy greeted us outside of the classroom and walked us in… to a line up of Kinder kids bowing.  Elliott led us to the reading circle, and I read The Good Egg (a recent book given to us by Grandma), which is about not stressing about being perfect.  (Advice that I’m just now realizing I should have taken tonight, as I rushed around tonight to clean up the house before the cleaning lady came, make sure the kids bathed before Jordan’s trip to NY tomorrow and executed a fun birthday celebration.)  Elliott also got to do show and tell… he showed a mini rhino rubber figurine from the Lincoln Park Zoo (in honor of the rhino King, also born in 2013 but weighing 80 lbs upon birth, not 9 lbs 15 oz), a picture of he and Lala, the lego red lion (in honor of two interests – legos and Voltron) and a gymnastics medal (to which Max proudly piped up that he was in that class with Elliott too).

We were the Royal Family (of Readers) in Mrs. Brydges’ Kindergarten class!

We are going to have an at-home birthday when the weather warms up, which will include a scavenger hunt that leads the boys to legos to make cars for a lego car race down the ramp Elliott and Dad are making.  And although we didn’t have any extended family in for his actual birthday, Elliott enjoyed celebrating a little early with Grandma this weekend.  And he got cards/emails/texts/presents from Florida (N&P, M&P), Illinois (JAC, even a neighbor from Grove St who has never met him), Wisconsin (G&G, Marxes), New York (sitter Gina), and Alaska (Aunt Leah).  And, I’m sure I’m missing some folks.

Elliott is about 50 lbs – we have a doctor’s appointment next month.  And here is a list of his favorites!

  • Foods: Sausage, hot dogs, peanut butter, peanuts and mangos, ice cream.  
  • Musician: ELVIS (to Dad’s delight).  His favorite song is Jailhouse Rocks; he also sings Viva Las Vegas (he lies to say Viga).  
  • Sports/Activities: Baseball, soccer, basketball, gymnastics and ninja class (your fav).  He’s also becoming a stronger swimmer – he can kick far while holding his breathe. 
  • Toys: Legos.  
  • Color: Red, followed by blue
  • Board Games: Clue Junior, Old Maid, Mermaid Game, Candy Land, Jenga, Sequence.  He’s moved from needing to play on my team with most of these to playing on his own this year!
  • Dinosaur: Velociraptor, followed by Stegosaurus and then T-rex
  • Transformer: Optimus Prime (same as last year)
  • Superhero: Batman (same as last year)
  • Stuffed Animals: Roro, Roro’s sister (a pink one that Conor gave him, per your request), Other Roro, Leopard, Dog Dog, a blue Velociraptor (that he made at Build a Bear with Nana and Pop).  +25 more
  • Animal: Rhino and bald eagle are tied, followed by the death stalker scorpion
  • Shows: Voltron and Captain Underpants.  
  • Books: Who would win?, Magic Treehouse, Shiro (a Voltron book from Grandma)
  • Word: Butt (Even in your writing and drawing at school, he finds ways to squeeze it in sideways or another sneaky way.  
  • Best Date: In the summer, Elliott and I took an all-day trip to a Dinosaur park in southern CT, where he took pictures with every one of the 35+ large dinosaur statues and played on the dinosaur playground.
  • Trip: He shared that our trip to Burlington, VT, (Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!) and Montreal (he loved the hike up Mount Real to see the cross). This was last April.
  • Subjects and School Update: Math, Science, Social Studies (e.g. countries), P.E, Technology
  • Planet: Earth, followed by Jupiter due to the Red Spot and the fact that Jupiter’s gravitational pull takes in a lot of asteroids, without which Earth would be destroyed (Editor’s note: I don’t know if this is true or not but he legit probably read it in a book and seems to make sense to me.)
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Happy 2 months Conor!

Conor is two months old as of March 7th!

Weight: 14 lbs 10 oz (93rd percentile – so relatively, my most slender baby – can’t you tell from these pics?)  This compares to to Elliott who was 14 lbs, 7 oz.  (95th percentile) and Natalie at 13 lbs, 1 oz (95th percentile – girls are on a different chart).

Height: 25.25 inches (98th percentile) (Elliott was 25.5 inches)

Head circumference: 41.5 cm (98th percentile), which is a cm less than Elliott’s.

New discoveries: His hands and attempting putting his hands to his mouth.

Favorite People: Natalie and Elliott – they both play with him in such different ways.  Natalie is so smiley with a sing songy voice and talks to him a lot.  Elliott will more play “toys” with him and understands his language.  Elliott says that Conor says his name – and even joked that Conor said “Elliott egg” to tease / joke with Elliott.  And then Elliott laughed.  The smile he gives to us all is just amazing and of course, melts our hearts.

Schedule: He usually wakes around 7am, give or take 45 minutes.  He has started falling asleep for the night between 5-6pm!  I feed him before I go to sleep, but otherwise, he’s waking 1-2 times per night.

Favorite song: Chocolalala by Mister G (a Latino singer – I guess he has a bit of Latino Holyoke to go along with the Irish Holyoke, which is represented in his name and reddish hair!)

Favorite toys: The stacking blocks.  He still loves his black and white pictures, but apparently can see more things in color now.

Personality: I’m still figuring this out.  I guess I’d say that he loves to be by his siblings.  At a month old, I would have said he was fussy, but I think that was primarily due to food sensitivities (my diet is now no dairy, no soy, no eggs, very limited wheat – he seems okay with nuts).  So, for now, I’m going primarily with sweet.

 

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Bros

Elliott, Conor and I played bananagrams while Nat was at dance. E also read him a book (potty) yesterday morning and cuddled with him before bed. E says they have a special language (in which Conor conveniently tells E he will share his penguin lovey Penny with him) and handshake.

 

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Winter break

One of the five of us traveled to Nashville for winter break for three days – apparently it was wet and rainy, but Jordan looked great on stage as a special panelist. He reveled In not sharing his room with anyone and not wearing the Ergo baby carrier.

The rest of us were in Longmeadow with Nana who kindly flew in with only two weeks notice to help us out. God bless! The 9-day break included play dates with friends, visits from former sitters, swimming, nails, painting, bowling and museum visits. And a lot of board games, legos and free play at home. Conor LOVED Elliott’s idea of playing city. He was fascinated and subsequently exhausted by all the action. Unf no baking (one of my fav hobbies) since I’m currently not eating dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, most nuts, etc due to a potential allergy or irritation of Conor’s.

 

 

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Valentines week

Kinder fun above  note who is Elliott’s wise person!!! Pics above are Valentine’s Day C was a big hit with the second grade ladies

 

Meet our new roommate Elliott  we banned Conor to Elliott’s rook bc Conor is a loud sleeper and mixed in the quieter sin  he loved his set up

 

 

 

Second to last photo is witj sarah who is  4 weeks older than c  she is the younger sis of one of Elliott’s best friends  last pic was from my date night with jordan tonight  J is the master of the football hold

 

 

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